Election 2020

Who Will Do the Right Thing on Wednesday?

The electoral votes will soon be counted. Not everyone will do their duty.

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The final step of the process of electing the president is the formal counting of the votes of the presidential electors. Usually a rather dull ceremony, this year there are expected to be some fireworks. In the weeks since President Trump lost his bid for reelection, his supporters have offered increasingly unhinged legal theories and baseless claims of fraud deny the reality that Joe Biden will be inaugurated as the next president. I would like to think that the current attempt to derail the counting of the votes and the affirmation of Biden's victory will be a last ditch effort to continue Trump in office, but the last few weeks suggest that there will be more last ditch efforts after this one.

Some Republican members of Congress will forsake their constitutional duty in order to curry favor with a fickle president and his deluded fans. Others will do the honorable thing despite the political risks. The fact that we must have this conversation says nothing good about the state of the American constitutional democracy.

I have a piece out in Lawfare today that takes an extended look at the counting of the electoral votes and the likely objections to doing so. From the conclusion:

It has now been revealed that the president attempted to bully the governor of Georgia into changing the presidential vote count for no other reason than that the president wanted it. It is hard to imagine a more flagrantly corrupt action on the part of a losing president short of simply attempting to bribe presidential electors or forcibly seizing ballots. If Republican legislators object to the counting of electoral votes for Biden, it is this brazen effort to steal an election that they will be assisting. Their attempted assistance might be as practically futile as the president's phone call itself was. They might not actually succeed in stealing the election. But their objections to the counting of properly certified ballots can hardly be interpreted as anything other than a desire to do so.

You can read the whole thing here.

NEXT: Interesting Domicile Case Involving Kevin Spacey

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  1. No mention of Barbara Boxer or John Lewis or Stephanie Tubbs Jones or 2004 in the “Lawfare” article.

    This thing is terrible, I won’ t mention the other exactly same terrible thing.

    1. Thanks for the idiotic whataboutism, Bob.

      Dumb grandstanding from Dems in the past is no excuse whatsoever for the genuinely insane cult of personality these loons have developed around Trump.

      1. Bob’s from Ohio.

        The backwater, can’t-keep-up, Republican part.

        Expecting him to recognize distinctions is foolhardy.

        1. If there were a distinction to recognize, Bob wouldn’t have said what he said.

          1. Georgia voters appear to have done the right thing on Tuesday. America’s betters will administer another lesson to conservatives in Washington on Wednesday.

            This explains all the crankiness around here.

            1. James Buchanan Jr. was old as well, and how’d his term work out?

        2. Bathe! Just take a bath, you are redolent of the cardboard and sewage of you r last nap by the downspout. Apparently the librarians don’t care, but the no doubt the Salvation Army does; you are likely putting the other diners right off their mulligatawny.

          Do you sleep on roadkill too? My gawd you are fetid!

        3. Kirkland, the riots in DC have already started.

          1. If you are referring to the impotent, confused clingers milling about the Eclipse with their silly hats, losers’ flags, and Yosemite Sam bandoliers, singing Happy Birthday to Eric Trump and waiting for a miracle from tiny sweet eight-pound, six-ounce newborn infant Jesus to deliver victory to their lame duck leader . . . who cares?

            1. Kirkland, dismiss us at your own expense — there are already 80 Million pissed-off Americans who are going to use the 2022 primaries to purge the RINOs and come back in 2024 to save this country. Assuming that it still can be saved.

              Trump is going to be our President in Exile for the next four years and listening to Trump speak now, I can see him holding large rallies for the next four years — starting with the purge of “the weak Republicans.”

              1. McConnell seems to disagree.

      2. It’s not whataboutism. Using that word is a cop out. It’s about double standards, which are pretty much the only type of standards that left wing politicians have.

        1. I fully acknowledge hypocrisy from Dem pols–so?

          In this instance, we are WAY past the usual political grandstanding into SERIOUS delusional conspiracy lunacy. Nobody in the past actually believed the sitting VP could, unilaterally, set aside the election AND SHOULD DO SO. That’s fucking nuts, and is the direct by-product of a completely unhinged cult of personality around Trump.

          1. If you are not wiling to say that both Boxer and Howley were wrong, then its just partisan carping.

            1. Bob, a ride on the Trump train was never a smart choice of route. But refusing to get off after the train wreck is just stupid.

              1. I’ve called it a “stunt” and “hopeless”. I just refuse to give in to hysterical nonsense about it.

                Choo choo

                1. Now they’ll never let you into their cool kids club. All the mean girls in the middle school will make fun of you.

        2. But what is one’s “constitutional duty” “right” course of action here? See: https://priorprobability.com/2021/01/05/the-12th-amendment-for-dummies/

      3. “whataboutism”

        The point is that this was done 16 years ago by the other party. The objections were rejected, just like these will be. No one cared then, its just OrangeManBad hysteria to think otherwise now.

        Its not a republic ending coup, its just a hopeless political stunt.

        1. I agree most of the actual perps are just grifters, just as Boxer was. However there is a vast audience for insane conspiracy theories and feeding them is not healthy for anybody. Moreover we are (apparently) looking at a MUCH larger number in Congress that are going to go forward with this nonsense–also not an encouraging development. Congratulations for the GOP winning the race to the bottom.

        2. To a point, but only up to a point.

          Telling a racist joke to a colleague at the water cooler is not quite the same thing as shouting encouragement to a bunch of Klansmen about to lynch someone. Yes, they are both racist, but one has far more potential for harm than another.

          Unlike 16 years ago, we currently have a large segment of the population that actually believes it was a stolen election, some of whom are heavily armed and prepared to cause real trouble. Hawley and company are risking the consequences of throwing a lit match into a gas can. And that’s one reason why 2005 is not comparable. Whether or not Boxer’s objection was well taken, there was no real risk of any real damage.

          1. “we currently have a large segment of the population that actually believes it was a stolen election, some of whom are heavily armed and prepared to cause real trouble”

            WWGWD???

            What would George Washington do?

            He would address their concerns and have an ACTUAL investigation and/or an ACTUAL adversarial hearing on the matter. We have NOT had that — and forget about us being “heavily armed” because all we have to do is simply not get out of bed…

            All we have to do is stop working and you are f****d. Remember when you couldn’t get toilet paper? How about not getting ANYTHING… I don’t think you realize how much you depend upon those whom you despise.

            Simply not get out of bed…

            1. Actually, in a similar position, George Washington would have immediately announced his concession, explaining that he didn’t even desire to be president, and only agreed to serve because it was the clear and unambiguous desire of the electors.

              We were extraordinarily lucky in our first set of leaders. Historically a large fraction, if not most, new democracies fail on the first attempt at a transition of power to an opposing party.

              1. Now do John Adams or Thomas Jefferson in 1796 and 1800, and tell me how congenially things went in the past.

                1. I think that just proves his point that early attempts at a transition of power are usually problematic. But here we have well over 200 years of mostly peaceful transitions. This one is a clear aberration,
                  although if it goes as predicted tomorrow it might not seem so in retrospect.

                  1. Trump’s administration cut loose the transition funding and briefings earlier than Clinton did in 2000, so not that much of an aberration.

                    1. 2008, 2012, 2016?

                      As usual, you find one example, which isn’t even comparable because of the legitimate uncertainty in 2000, and defend Trump.

                      There is nothing he can do you won’t rationalize.

            2. He would address their concerns and have an ACTUAL investigation and/or an ACTUAL adversarial hearing on the matter. We have NOT had that — and forget about us being “heavily armed” because all we have to do is simply not get out of bed…

              I don’t want to channel Kirkland here, but the people who support Trump don’t exactly seem to do a whole lot of that anyway.

              1. How do you think that 80,000 lb loads of food and everything makes it across flyover space? Pixie dust and unicorn flatulence?

                1. I live in new york city and order directly from up-state farms, and my farmers are not repulbicans.

                  1. Grain is grown and milled up there?!?

          2. “we currently have a large segment of the population that actually believes it was a stolen election”

            Same as in 2004. It was “Diebold” that time.

        3. “The point is that this was done 16 years ago by the other party.”

          Not true. No point going further.

          1. “Not true. ”

            oh BS. Objection made and rejected. Just as this will be.

            1. 1) Ruled out of order by the same party.
              2) Not endorsed by the party’s candidate.
              3) The candidate was not an incumbent clinging to the levers of power.

              1. 1 is just wrong. Objection made by 1 senator and 1 rep, each house debated per statute and then Boxer and 30 Dem reps voted to sustain.

                2 and 3 are just strawmen.

                1. Bob,

                  You obviously don’t know what a straw man is.

                  The fact that the sitting President is proclaiming that he won when all current evidence is that he lost and that he is issuing threats to Secretaries of State, Governors, and his own Vice President, if they don’t “find” enough votes to overturn the election or (in the case of Pence) if he doesn’t shirk his Constitutional duty and try to do something he is not empowered to do. That isn’t a straw man, that is a very significant difference. This might explain why the 2005 incident was mostly a non-incident. None of the party leadership went along with it, which ups the ante considerably.

                  The fact that the sitting President is threatening to use his powers to stay in office makes this vastly different from 2005 when (a) the losing candidate was not onboard with the challenge and (b) Kerry had no power to actually punish anyone, grant favors to anyone, pardon anyone, etc., etc., etc..

                  You claimed the same thing was happening. 2021 is not only not the same, it isn’t even analogous to 2005.

                  I mean:

                  “Our legal teams on the ground have found no evidence that would change the outcome of the election,” Kerry said. Is Trump this honest? Are the people supporting the challenge to electors being this honest about their goal? Is their goal merely to “raise awareness” of voting issues? That’s not what they say.

                  Cruz: “Once completed, individual states would evaluate the Commission’s findings and could convene a special legislative session to certify a change in their vote, if needed.” Yeah, he wants to give states a chance to change their electoral votes, after having certified their count, after all deadlines have passed? Really? And what pressure would Trump put on the states at that point? This is a direct assault on our democracy. Stop pretending otherwise.

                  1. None of this screed shows any real differences. Following a statutory procedure invoked previously is not a “direct assault on our democracy”, no matter how often you say it.

                    You know full well that like in 2004, the objections are not going to be sustained by either the House and Senate.

                    “None of the party leadership went along with it, which ups the ante considerably.”

                    What leadership is going along?

                    McConnell and the Senate leadership is certainly against it. I guess McCarthy is being coy but I bet he will not support.

                    1. To answer your question “What leadership is going along? “, the GOP is currently a wholly owned subsidiary of the Trump organization, acquired via a hostile takeover. The “leadership” is Trump who demands fealty to his vassals. Granted, McConnell is eager to have Trump gone so he can be the leader, but Trump ain’t letting go.

                      GOP leadership is not just “going along”, the real leadership of the GOP is actively leading the charge to overthrow an election. And anybody who is “going along” is actively trying to destroy American democracy. Yeah, it’s almost certain to fail, but attempted [insert criminal activity here] is still a crime.

                    2. Not quite. They’ve been hobbling Trump all along, look at how little got done on his agenda in the first two years, when they had a majority. Especially in the Senate: The House would send over legislation Trump liked, occasionally, but the Senate was a killing ground for it.

                      What they’re doing is pretending to be on Trump’s side, because the Republican base are, and they have to at least keep the base uncertain about their being on the other side.

                      The long bait and switch con the Republican leadership have been running is falling apart, but they’re desperate to keep the base from being morally certain that it was a con, and burning the whole thing down.

        4. You mean Democratic protestors invaded the Capitol?

          I don’t recall that.

    2. I am tired of this “heads we win, tails you lose” mentality — and what politics profesors such as Whittington fail to realize is that they are discrediting their entire profession with this pedantic moralization. I say that as someone whose initial degree was a BA in Political Science.

      Yes I hope they “do the right thing” — refuse to accept the fraudulently-elected electors.

      That would be the right thing to do.

      1. The (Republican) state legislators have had two months to conduct hearings and/or send a new slate of electors. Why haven’t they done anything about it?

      2. Trump lost by 7 million votes. Then he lost 60 court cases. Now he wants to be president anyway. How in the fuck would that be the right thing to do?

        1. Trump lost by under 100,000 votes. Maybe he’d have lost by 7 million votes under the system you WISH we had, but he lost by under 100,000 votes under the system we DO have.

      3. I doubt you have one degree, let alone anything relevant to the situation.

        There were no fraudulently-elected Electors. You have been lied to, and as usual you’ve been too cultish to realize it.

        Donald Trump claimed, on the tape which will be the primary piece of evidence used to convict him, that he won all 50 States. He is wrong. The courts have said he is wrong. The investigations and audits have said he is wrong.

        Pull your head out of your ass.

    3. Bob is right. It’s ridiculous to pretend this is some kind of earthshaking precedent. It’s irresponsible to write articles about this case without mentioning the 2005 case.

  2. I suggest the following question be put on any final exam for any law course, poli sci course or history course.

    Q. On January 6 following a presidential election the Vice President, presiding over the electoral vote count has the absolute and unconditional authority to accept, reject or replace any electoral votes that were duly certified and submitted by a state.
    True or False?

    Anyone answering true should

    1. Immediately be given an F in the course.
    2. Submit their resume to any law firm that employes Rudy, Sidney, etc and know that they will be hired as an attorney regardless of whether or not they have a law .
    3. Expect to have to undergo substantial therapy.

    1. I’m just wondering what lawyers are suggesting that the VP can do that. I know that’s the narrative, but I want to see a lawyer’s text saying that’s allowed.

      1. Louis Gohmert. A former judge.

        The essence of his lawsuit was that Pence could willy-nilly set aside the certified EV’s from any state and substitute others if he wanted to.

        1. And not just Gohmert. He’s the plaintiff, but his attorneys made the actual filing. So, yes, there are lawyers claiming (not just “suggesting” that the VP can do just that.

          1. So much utter bullshit has become accepted constitutional doctrine that I am utterly unmoved by this line of reasoning. Overturn Wickard for starters, and maybe I’ll start to care.

            1. So you reject the Constitution entirely?

              Or are you the only one who truly understands it?

              Wickard, BTW, was rightly decided.

              1. No, I reject hysteria over people making bad arguments, when bad arguments are the law of the land.

                1. In other words, only you truly understand the Constitution and the laws.

                  1. I also reject your demand that I give up my own reason. I may be wrong about this or that, am almost certainly wrong about some things, but demanding that I accept as true what appears to be false to me is something I’ll never accept as reasonable.

                    1. Brett, this is not reason.

                      When you repeat the same argument over and over again well after even your compatriots have moved on, that is not reason.

                      When you insist you know better an institution’s inner workings than that institution itself, that is not reason.

                      When those trained in the institution you are critiquing explain to you why you are wrong on fundamental issues (e.g. as applied versus facial challenges), and yet you don’t even bother to address them but continue on as before, that is not reason.

                      When you replace your onion of what the law ought to be with your understanding of what the law is, that is not reason.

                      You think this is reason; it is not.

                      The righteous argument that you will not accept as true what you believe to be false applies just as well to flat earthers. Your immovability is is pride, not reason.

                    2. demanding that I accept as true what appears to be false to me is something I’ll never accept as reasonable.

                      What Sarcastro said, plus this:

                      Accept the possibility that you might be wrong. You don’t actually have to change your mind, you just have to accept that:

                      1. There may be things you don’t know that would lead you to a different conclusion.

                      2. You may have made an error of fact or logic.

                      3. You are human, not divine.

                    3. Forgot.

                      Accept that your opinion that some court decision, Wickard, say, was mistaken, doesn’t justify violating the Constitution in some other matter.

                      You are arguing, pretty explicitly, that Wickard being, in your opinion, wrong, would justify Pence picking and choosing electors.

                      Do you really want to stand by that argument?

                    4. Also forgot:

                      I also reject your demand that I give up my own reason.

                      You go way beyond defending your own thinking. As a general rule, Brett, you are so convinced you are right about absolutely everything that you don’t even admit the possibility that those who disagree are operating in good faith.

                      It’s a recurrent theme in your comments. Everything you dislike is a result of some far-fetched conspiracy. You can’t even credit your opponents with honest error. That’s irrational.

                2. Hysteria is their waking state. Half of it is play-acting though. You’d think some of them would get tired of alternately panicking and dramatic posturing, but they never do.

                  1. Trump and his acolytes have now spent over two months having an extended tantrum and warning ominously of civil war and communism, and you think hysteria is his opponents’ waking state?

                    1. Granted, that reply should have been to Sydney, higher up the thread.

                      I am tired of being told that this or that right wing proposal is so off the wall that attorneys should be sanctioned for suggesting it, when crap like Wickard is accepted precedent. Tired to the point where I’m ready to give up and throw up my hands.

                      Granted, the argument for, say, denying birthright citizenship to the children of illegals, is way out there, but no more so than a lot of accepted constitutional precedent.

                      I’m tired of the double standard here. I want one standard. I don’t like legal realism, but to hell with legal realism for the left and strict construction for the right.

                      If the left can nail me in the balls, I can gouge out their eye. That’s how it’s got to be, or nailing me in the balls is a winning move.

                    2. There is no double standard

                      Trump’s yahoos have offered cases with factually untrue pleadings.

                      The law not being what you think it ought to be isn’t sanctionable. That is not a double standard.

                      I don’t think many are arguing to sanction the chuckleheads arguing the 14th doesn’t say what it says. They just shouldn’t lie about it.

                    3. Trump is just doing the Trump thing: he keeps trying.

                      That’s not the same as making up a dozen different doomsday stories about what Trump would do, all of which turned out wrong and stupid in retrospect. But it wasn’t just making them up, Dems actually believed the stories they just made up. There was crying and raging on Dem news. Celebrities went apeshit for years.

                      Of course those are just the additional doomsday stories on top of the Dems’ several other environmental religious doomsdays that you guys continue to panic over.

                      Also, 2 months isn’t 50 months.

                    4. And on the civil war question:

                      Will Dems act peacefully? Are you going to keep sending Antifa out to hurt people? Are you going to keep pushing race preferences? Are you going to keep trying to find new ways to arrest and imprison people who are not like you (gun owners, religious people, etc,)? Are you going to keep stealing more and more of every American’s paycheck? Are you going to keep bullying farmers, bankers, oil producers, anyone not in a union, etc? Are you going to keep blacklisting people who are not like you from jobs and the ability to engage in commerce? Are you going to keep cheating in elections? Are you going to keep doing lockdowns and telling the people the lockdowns hurt that they don’t matter (while you never missed a paycheck)?

                      If Dems keep pushing people and making it clear there will never be peace, how do you think it will turn out? Good?

            2. > So much utter bullshit has become accepted constitutional doctrine that I am utterly unmoved by this line of reasoning.

              I’m trying to understand this response.

              Someone asked “I’m just wondering what lawyers are suggesting that the VP can do that. I know that’s the narrative, but I want to see a lawyer’s text saying that’s allowed.”

              Two of us responded with examples of actual examples of attorneys who are arguing exactly that.

              And you respond with what can only be described as legal nihilism. If you want to be taken seriously, you’ll need to do better than that.

      2. “I’m just wondering what lawyers are suggesting that the VP can do that. ”

        As lawyers, none. As politicians, a few.

        Its not a legal argument, its a political argument dressed up in legal clothes.

        1. Actual lawyers who have been admitted to the bar have made that argument in actual filings to actual courts.

          Agree that “Its not a legal argument, its a political argument dressed up in legal clothes.”, but they filed their suit.

          Yes, they were acting as “politicians” not “lawyers” but that doesn’t excuse their behavior, or make it any less “real”.

      3. Over 150 members of Congress, most of whom are lawyers.

      4. OK, Callahan.

        Here’s another.

        As he addressed a crowd gathered outside the White House awaiting Trump’s remarks, Giuliani asserted that Pence has the power to unilaterally reject the electoral vote tally, even though the vice president has no such authority.

        “Every single thing that has been outlined as the plan for today is perfectly legal,” Giuliani told the crowd. He falsely claimed that the vice president “can decide on the validity of these crooked ballots or he can send it back to the legislatures, give them five to 10 days to finally finish the work.”

        Satisfied?

    2. And Sidney, this is why law, political science and history courses are going the way of the Penn Central — and soon.

    3. Hell, Pence doesn’t even seem to think he has the power to do that. Nor does he seem to want to do it if he can.

  3. Why is it that jewish law professors think they know what is RIGHT?
    This is hilarious. If the government of the people, by the people and for the people smell a rat from Georgia, do law professors opine that they are to do nothing?

    Four black folk left alone counting ballots from under the table…not a rat? Dead people voting? Not a rat? Election conducted outside the law set down by the legislature. Not a rat?

    The domestic enemies of the Constitution live in law schools labelled as ‘professors’….a.k.a. lawyers without clients. Time for the jews to move to Israel.

    1. The scary thing is that his antisemitism will have traction because of the legitimacy of the issues it is tied to.

      1. Any excuse will do.

    2. Get bent.

    3. Proof, Pavel? Presenting proof won’t make you any less of a bigot and racist, but it might make you look more like an average asshole rather than an major asshole.

    4. Hey Pavel: иди на хуй

      Am Chai Yisrael!

      1. He’s just a poser. Don’t bother.

  4. Its Kamala’s Party and Keith will cry if he wants to. Cry if he wants to Cry if he wants to.

    You would cry too if it happened to you!

    1. Keith Whittington exhibits less (impotent, partisan) whining than does the average Volokh Conspirator.

      It’s the liberal-libertarian mainstream’s world, but we still let obsolete conservatives live in it.

      1. Tooth brushing? Could you at least try that? Your horrible bodily and halitosis stench can be avoided at distance, but that green grill is deeply revolting. Schools of dentistry provide cheap treatment, check it out before you loose another incisor – it’s a bad look.

  5. The bizarre thing is that even if Trump did manage to get all the Georgia election officials to commit federal crimes to “find” votes to flip the result, the election would still go to Biden. Georgia doesn’t have enough EC votes to flip the whole election.

    It is one thing to ask someone to ruin themselves to give you the presidency. Quite another to ask someone to do that just for a couple of ego points.

    1. You’re going in the right direction, but at the last second, you veered off the path. I’ll give you a hint: ego has nothing to do with it.

    2. Orbital, you make a good point, but I’m not so sure about the conclusion. It almost makes more sense to suppose the leaked tape interrupted in progress an actual attempted coup d’etat. If so, investigation might confirm it, by turning up evidence of other such calls in other states, and possibly also coordination plans for follow-up actions.

      I don’t assert that happened, because it is merely plausible, and I hate to see merely-plausible arguments swallowed uncritically. You need evidence, or it didn’t happen. But if I were running a capable news organization, I would have every good investigator I could find looking for that evidence now.

      1. “actual attempted coup d’etat”

        Hysterical nonsense. No coup d’etat is done by a stupid phone call.

        Where are the tanks, soldiers with rifles on the street, seized tv stations, arrests?

        The results were already certified and the Electors already voted. It was a venting session, stupid but harmless.

        1. Bob, it was not harmless. It was not intended to be harmless.

          Assuming against evidence that the interpretation you describe is plausible, you have still swallowed it uncritically. That is foolishness. You are practiced at it.

          Once again, to ride the Trump train was unwise. To refuse to get off after the train wreck is folly.

          1. You are just delusional.

            Nothing happened as a result of it, nothing will happen.

            Choo choo

            1. This is the exact same behavior from the Ukraine call, with the exact same “hear no evil” response from the cult. He’s brought his gifting home again.

              1. It is the same as the Ukraine call, with the “hear nothing but evil” response from YOUR cult.

                1. What did you hear, Brett?

                  Do you really claim the call was anything but an attempt to get Raffensperger to falsify the election results?

                  That’s inconceivable. You’re getting in even deeper, if that’s possible.

                  1. No, it was an attempt to get him to cooperate in challenging them.

                    1. That reminds me, I actually have a nice bridge that you might be interested in buying. 140 years old, but good as new!

                    2. A conclusion unsupported by any part of that transcript.

                      You are fucking delusional.

                      He told him to FIND votes, to say he “recalculated” or whatever, and threatened him witg legal trouble for not doing so.

                    3. This is what your “reason” tells you?

                    4. “He told him to FIND votes, to say he “recalculated” or whatever, and threatened him witg legal trouble for not doing so.”

                      Read the transcript of President Trump’s call with Georgia secretary of state

                      “recalculated” wasn’t anywhere in there. No variation of calculate was. Here’s what was:

                      “All I want to do is this: I just want to find 11,780 votes, which is one more that we have because we won the state.”

                      Trump or rather, his people, were to do the finding, if Raffensperger allowed him to do the investigation. Because he wasn’t being allowed access.

                      Trump, rightly or wrongly, appears to be convinced he was cheated, and is frustrated that he’s not being permitted any opportunity to prove it.

                    5. “recalculated” wasn’t anywhere in there. No variation of calculate was. Here’s what was:

                      As always, Brett is wrong.

                      And so I just don’t know, you know, Mark, I don’t know what’s the purpose. I won’t give Dominion a pass because we found too many bad things. But we don’t need Dominion or anything else. We have won this election in Georgia based on all of this. And there’s nothing wrong with saying that, Brad. You know, I mean, having the correct — the people of Georgia are angry. And these numbers are going to be repeated on Monday night. Along with others that we’re going to have by that time, which are much more substantial even. And the people of Georgia are angry, the people of the country are angry. And there’s nothing wrong with saying that, you know, that you’ve recalculated. Because the 2,236 in absentee ballots. I mean, they’re all exact numbers that were done by accounting firms, law firms, etc. And even if you cut ’em in half, cut ’em in half and cut ’em in half again, it’s more votes than we need.

                    6. As usual, Brett has his own alternative facts.

            2. Somebody might get indicted.

              Cleta Mitchell is no longer positioned to stain the reputation of Foley & Lardner.

            3. Bob: Nothing happened as a result of it, nothing will happen.

              Bob didn’t have to use that, “will,” long enough to even get the shine off it. Dead wrong in less than 24 hours.

      2. I see your point. It is almost certain Trump is trying this with multiple states (AZ, PA, etc) and he tried to call Georgia 18 times before he got through. Nothing if not persistent.

        We could posit that Trump’s thinking is that if he gets one state to flip, he can then assert that ALL states that voted against him are fraudulent, and use that for the basis for more extreme action. Declare the election invalid. Suspend the transition. Cancel the inauguration. That would play really well with his base and all the pliant members of congress, but I can’t imagine any of the 50+ courts (including SCOTUS) going along with it.

        That Trump and his supporters are that delusional is, after four years of it, easy to believe. So while I concede your point we should also note that Trump is trying to schedule a golf trip overseas during the inauguration. If he really expected what he is doing to work I doubt he would be doing that.

    3. You do know that this was a settlement discussion related to a lawsuit, don’t you? And aren’t settlements sometimes negotiated successfully?

      1. No, Dr. Ed, it was definitionally not a settlement discussion related to a lawsuit.

  6. This whole situation terrifies me. I know that Biden will be president, and this is mostly posturing.

    My problem is that politicians are generally high functioning sociopaths. They will do what advances their own interests. They will play the role that advances their own interests. At the national level they will be very good at identifying this role.

    I understand playing the rule bound traditionalist. I understand playing the radical with new ideas. I understand playing the man of religious faith. I understand playing the dealmaker. I understand playing the man of the people. All of these roles have a place in American politics.

    Why are people choosing the role of lickspittle to a would be dictator? Why are they choosing this role when the dictator is failing? How is our system so broken that this is a remotely viable strategy?

    1. This is so well put. Of course the immediate answer is that a scarily-big plurality of voters encourages/enables such behavior, but this just begs the question how it got to that point. The answer to *that* is complex, and probably not yet fully known, and I don’t have much to add there; but I do have two comments on next steps:

      1) We must track who did what & when to eviscerate our democracy, and publicize it persistently, in many different formats (popular books, evergreen internet scoreboards, wikipedia, serious historical reviews, etc. etc.), and over the long haul. This will help inform those voters who *do* care about our constitution going forward, thus pushing the incentives for current and aspiring sociopaths in a good direction.

      2) In parallel with 1), let time elapse. Each time an old U.S. voter dies and a young U.S. person reaches voting age, the number of enablers for this kind of behavior goes down by a fraction of a head (10%? 20%? it’s actually possible to estimate this given available data and a well-defined criterion for enablership). If we can learn from this experience enough to avoid further increases in the underlying forces which gave rise to this phenomenon, time is on our side.

      1. “Each time an old U.S. voter dies and a young U.S. person reaches voting age, the number of enablers for this kind of behavior goes down by a fraction of a head”

        Depends on what kind of behavior is being enabled.

        “Generation Z has a more positive view of the word “socialism” than previous generations, and — along with millennials — are more likely to embrace socialistic policies and principles than past generations, according to a new Harris Poll given exclusively to Axios.”

        https://www.axios.com/exclusive-poll-young-americans-embracing-socialism-b051907a-87a8-4f61-9e6e-0db75f7edc4a.html

        1. As for a positive view of socialism. I’m having a more positive view of socialism. I’m a libertarian; but if the choices are northwest European style socialism and whatever Trump is pushing, I know what I’d chose.

          1. What will you do when you find Trump doesn’t drink? Or that he bathes regularly?

            1. I’ll find out what it is he doesn’t drink, and have some of it.

              1. A few proposals:

                Mad Elf (Troegs) — a cherry-infused holiday treat (and if you can find Mad Elf Beer Cheese, grab it)!

                Old Peculiar (Theakston) — a magnificently straightforward, traditional ale.

                Turbodog (Abita) — a celebration-worthy dark ale.

                Two Hearted (Bell’s) — Larry Bell’s favorite child, for good reason.

                Draught (Guinness) — nitrogenated splendor in a widget can.

                Brawler Champion (Yards) — a lighter, aromatic, deftly crafted English-style ale

                Sierra Nevada Pale Ale — A longstanding leader.

                Allegash White — A strong, elegant witbier.

                Framboise (Lindemans) — centuries of delicious ambient yeast anti-technology.

                1. Arthur…Have you tried ‘Sip of Sunshine’ (Lawson)?

                  If not, give it a go.

                  1. I have heard of Lawson’s Liquids — I have been encouraged to try a maple stout more than once — but that brewer’s distribution network seems to be . . . still developing. Lawson has registered a couple of dozen brands in my state but I have never seen a bottle or can. If I find a Sip of Sunshine I will grab it.

                    Thank you for the pointer.

                  2. Ah Vermont beer! Sip of Sunshine is excellent, as is anything from Frost Beer Works. Or if you don’t mind the price tag and the difficulty of traveling to their place in the middle of nowhere, Hill Farmstead. Avoid Heady Topper like the plague.

          2. There is no “northwest European style” socialism. That’s capitalism with very large transfer payments – a large welfare state.

            Which is fine if that’s what people want, but I suspect you’re going to have a hard time talking Americans into 55% marginal tax rates on $50k of income.

            1. You are somewhat overstating the tax burden, especially in France, Germany, and the UK, where the top rate kicks in at a much higher level.

          3. The largest gain in real income for the low and middle class in 60 years? Yes those President Trump policies are just gauche.

            1. Yes, unrestricted Keynesian deficit spending sure does heat up an economy, just like the democrats said it would. The crash that follows can be worse than the gains from the spending though.

              1. Please, don’t call it Keynesian deficit spending. Keynesian deficit spending was supposed to be deficits in bad times and surpluses in good, and average out. As bad as Keynes’ ideas were, this is a thousand times worse. He was suggesting a cup of coffee when you were tired, what we’ve got now is a perpetual meth binge.

                1. As bad as Keynes’ ideas were,

                  Says the expert macroeconomist.

                  Keynes’ ideas were fine.

                  If you were going to turn to only one economist to understand the problems facing the economy, there is little doubt that the economist would be John Maynard Keynes. Although Keynes died more than a half-century ago, his diagnosis of recessions and depressions remains the foundation of modern macroeconomics.

                  Greg Mankiw.

                  1. Keynesian economics, in a nutshell, is the idea that the government borrows money during downturns to stimulate the economy, and then pays it back during booms, to moderate the booms. On the face of it, it’s not an entirely mad proposition, though it does require you to accept a few dubious premises, such as the government actually spending the borrowed money on something stimulative, rather than rewarding political cronies, or the taxation during the boom not being more damaging than one expects.

                    The basic problem with the idea, though, is that, in democracies, deficit spending is addictive. Telling a government to borrow in slow times and pay it back in boom times is like telling somebody to take a hit of cocaine when they’re feeling sluggish, then hit the gym and spend a few hours on the treadmill when they get back to feeling energetic. Maybe potentially good advice if it were realistic to expect them to faithfully follow it, but in reality it’s a recipe for producing a crackhead, because the hit of cocaine is a real rush, and the exercise is tedious.

                    We don’t follow Keynesian economics, we stimulate all the time. Because shutting off the spigot when the economy improves is bad politics, even if it was good economics. Once buying votes with borrowed money is on the table, anybody who’d really try the essential other half of his advice would end up losing the next election.

                    And it was fairly predictable that, in practice, Keynes’ advice would end up being an excuse for 24/7 borrowing. Which is why I said that his ideas were bad. Because good advice that can’t be followed is worse than less ideal advice that actually could be.

                    1. I know what Keynesian economics is, Brett.

                      As to attitudes towards the deficit, Brett, I’d note that it was Bush and Trump who insisted on unnecessary tax cuts, thereby driving deficits higher, despite the Republican “theory” – actually a fantasy – that the cuts pay for themselves. Blame your guys.

                      I’d add that those tax-cut deficits are exactly the wrong kind to stimulate the economy. In other words, the Republicans do exactly what you criticize.

                      Yet there are, today, things worth borrowing for, notably infrastructure. And when you have virtually interest-free loans available it makes perfect sense to do that. Of course Trump kept promising that. He never delivered, of course, just like he never delivered on his wonderful health plan. I guess you still believe he’ll come out with it before he leaves office.

      2. “Each time an old U.S. voter dies and a young U.S. person reaches voting age, the number of enablers for this kind of behavior goes down by a fraction of a head ”

        So you don’t think Antifa and the like are also enabling this kind of behavior?

        “it’s actually possible to estimate this given available data and a well-defined criterion for enablership”

        I would suggest that a “well-defined criterion for enablership” is nearly impossible.

        1. I do think some of the left are enabling this kind of behavior. There are lots of people on the both sides who would destroy the systems and safeguards we have.

        2. So you don’t think Antifa and the like are also enabling this kind of behavior?

          It’s not clear to me what kind of behavior is being discussed, but I think Antifa is a bunch of assholes and thugs who greatly damage their alleged cause.

          1. bernard, whenever I’m tempted to come to that same conclusion about Antifa, I have to fight a recollection.

            Years ago, I attended an impromptu presentation of an impromptu news reel film, made in the late 1930s. It showed American anti-fascists, communists, I think, boarding a German ship in New York harbor, and tearing down a swastika flag from its mast.

            That happened before WW II began, even in Europe. One of the guys who did it had arranged the film presentation, and he was there. I talked to him afterwards.

            He told me and a few others about fighting fascists in the Spanish Civil War. He said they suffered severe criticism for accepting arms from the Soviets. I don’t remember exactly what he said, it was something close to this, “The fascists were shooting at us. We needed the guns. We would have taken them from anyone.” (Don’t take the quotation marks as faithful, my memory isn’t that precise.)

            Anyway, the kicker was that right up until I met that guy, in the early 1980s, he was on file with the State Department—termed a, “Premature anti-fascist.” I never hear sharp criticism of Antifa without reflecting on that term.

            1. Stephen,

              I don’t think the analogy is apt. These guys aren’t fighting Franco. There’s nothing particularly brave or “anti-fascist” in setting random fires.

              IMO their activities during and after the demonstrations this summer did harm by letting the RW media inaccurately characterize all the demonstrators as thugs.

              If there are right-wing thugs around, and there are a lot of them, it seems best to let the police handle it, and to let it be clear who it is that is responsible for whatever violence occurs.

            2. Yeah, do you reflect on the fact that it was just an argument between two murderous totalitarian ideologies over which would prevail, and between the fascists and the ‘antifascists’ there were no good guys, only competing teams of bad guys?

              It’s not really that different today: Today’s antifa aren’t fighting for liberty, they’re fighting to impose their own rule, and just characterizing everybody they don’t like as “fascists”.

              1. Trump and his supporters are proto-fascists, though. If they succeed at what they are currently attempting, then they would graduate to fascism.

                Very little distinction other than fair elections between right wing populism and fascism, and we all see now what Trump’s opinion of elections is.

                The commonly cited characteristics of fascism:
                the cult of tradition and the past, of action over thought, of machismo
                the fear of difference
                the appeal to a frustrated middle class
                the obsession with international conspiracies
                an exaggeration of the power of enemies
                the demonization of “rotten” parliamentary governments
                the use of simple, impoverished language
                the glorification of the people as a monolith holding common views

                1. I’m not particularly shocked that the left prefer to define fascism in terms that avoids all the substance of the political ideology, instead putting all the weight on subjective cosmetics. Because the substance of fascism is uncomfortably close to the modern regulatory state.

                  As an economic system, fascism is a variety of socialism in which the government, instead of taking direct ownership of the means of production, in effect conscripts the owners, leaving them with the work of running things, but dictating in detail what they will use those means to produce.

                  The ACA is an example of economic fascism: The health insurance companies remain nominally private, but are told in detail what they may and may not offer as products, what the prices will be, and the customers were ordered to purchase the product whether or not they wanted to. In all but name the insurance companies became an arm of the government, conscripted to run an off the books entitlement program.

                  That’s how socialism works today, the fascist model of socialism is triumphant because it leaves the factories in the hands of the people who already knew how to run them, and the government can blame any problems on the private sector, even if they’re the result of the government’s own orders.

              2. between the fascists and the ‘antifascists’ there were no good guys, only competing teams of bad guys?

                I don’t know if you’re trying to describe the Spanish Civil War, but if you are you’re doing a bad job of it.

                1. If you’re trying to pretend the communists in the Spanish Civil war were in any sense the good guys, you’ve got a lot of subsequent communist history to ignore. The communists have not, anywhere, any when, been the good guys.

                  Antifa vs fascists was the Bloods vs the Crips. It was gang war between two different evils. And not even very different evils.

                  The only difference today is that it’s not Antifa vs real fascists today, it’s Antifa calling anybody they feel like beating up “fascists”. It’s gone from the Bloods vs the Crips to the Bloods vs everybody, because the Crips are gone.

                  1. The Republican side of the war – you know, the elected government – had a lot more factions than the Communists.

                    Antifa vs fascists was the Bloods vs the Crips. It was gang war between two different evils. And not even very different evils.

                    So you’re conceding that the white supremacists are not actually “fine people?” Good.

                    1. I’ve never denied it, nor did Trump. I just denied that everyone in Charlottesville who wasn’t Antifa was a white supremacist.

                      Read what Trump actually said, in context.

                      Note that the reporter just can’t process what Trump is saying: “Sir, I just didn’t understand what you were saying. You were saying the press has treated white nationalists unfairly? I just don’t understand what you were saying.”

                      But Trump was being quite clear, unusually clear for him.

                      Don’t be that reporter, Bernard.

                    2. Bernard being a dishonest liberal Jew, doesn’t know anything else.

                    3. Who organized the rally, Brett? Who shows up for a rally organized by white supremacists and neo-Nazis?

                      Fine people don’t.

                    4. Weren’t you just last year deny that people were rioters just because they show up at a riot?

                    5. That’s pathetic, Brett.

                      I didn’t say all the demonstrators in Charlottesville were rioting. I said they were all white supremacists and neo-Nazis.

                      Which ought to be obvious, given the rally’s objective and organizers. In fact, it’s more or less true by definition. If you show up to support a neo-Nazi demonstration it’s fair to call you a neo-Nazi.

    2. “This whole situation terrifies me.”

      You’d have to go back to the Holocaust, or the Mongol invasions, to find a situation so pants-wettingly scary.

      1. It might interest you to know that Biden is assuming power the way that Hitler did.

        1. No, I officially rank Biden as less bad than Hitler.

          1. Although he might just be a slow starter.

        2. By winning contested elections?

          Or by being the compromise candidate?

          You’d have to be a little more specific.

        3. Holy shit. Can we quit comparing to Hitler presidents who have nothing in common with Hitler.

          It’s been absurd, hysterical noise from the left directed toward Trump and now it’s the same going from the right back toward Biden.

        4. Jesus christ.

    3. You remember when Trump had that judge who ruled against his proposed “Muslim ban” jailed? That was pretty frightening. And we were all scared when the Washington Post had a Seal team parachute in and kidnap the editor. To this day nobody knows what became of him. Chilling! [/sarc]

      Anybody who refers to Trump as any sort of dictator, would-be or otherwise, has forfeited any claim to be taken seriously. Venting and bluster doesn’t make somebody a dictator if they, you know, don’t dictate.

      Remember in 2008? “Does the Constitution permit a president to detain US citizens without charges as unlawful enemy combatants?” Obama replied: “No. I reject the Bush Administration’s claim that the President has plenary authority under the Constitution to detain U.S. citizens without charges as unlawful enemy combatants.”

      A few years later he had assassin squads, not detaining, but killing Americans. Thankfully just overseas. So far as we know, anyway.

      Remember when Obama noted that he didn’t have the authority to enact DACA on his own? And the year he did it anyway?

      Obama was a hundred times the dictator Trump is, and it would still have been a bit of an exaggeration to call him one. Calling Trump one is so over the top you beclowned yourself.

      1. So sayeth the birther.

        1. So sayeth the moron who still can’t point to anywhere I said Obama wasn’t born in the US.

          1. Brett, I dredged up those comments last time I saw this argument. You very neatly left yourself a backdoor on the birther issue, much like you are currently with the president’s attempt to overthrow our republic.

            Basically the “just asking questions trope” with a slight Brett twist:

            “I don’t think this, but it is very convincing and needs to be addressed, or people might start getting violent. Not me, never. But other people.”

            1. Even your very narrow back door had to be paraphrased to the point of falsity.

              What I said was that,

              1) Like any historically contingent fact, sanity called for at least some minimum quantum of uncertainty about Obama’s birthplace. It wasn’t a logical truth, after all!

              2) But that essentially all the evidence confirmed he was born in Hawaii, in fact, the only indications to the contrary were that stupid bio, and his stubborn refusal to let his original birth certificate be released. So HE was the real source of the controversy! Which I suspected he found a useful red herring.

              Finally,

              3) The natural born citizen clause actually IS a binding part of the Constitution, so the Birthers ought to get a court hearing on the merits, where I fully expected them to lose.

              But to the left, Obama’s birthplace isn’t a historically contingent face, it’s some kind of article of faith, like the Nicene creed. And you got mad because I wouldn’t join your religion. “Birther” doesn’t mean somebody who stupidly thinks Obama was born in Kenya, so far as you guys are concerned. It means people who aren’t members of the Church of Obama.

              1. “Flat Earther” doesn’t mean somebody who stupidly thinks the earth is flat, it means people who aren’t members of the Church of the Ball Earth.

                You can claim that there was some small amount of uncertainty about where Obama was born, but that uncertainty was on the same order as the uncertainty of the moon not being made of green cheese. It would be fair to call someone who trumpets that level of uncertainty as deserving of attention a “green cheeser.”

                1. Yeah, about that order. It was pretty stupid to think that Obama was born in Kenya, even just given that birth announcement in the local paper.

                  I’m just not willing to blow off the fundamental philosophical point, and say there was no doubt at all.

                  If it hadn’t been for that bio, I’d have said, “Screw it, this is too frivolous for the courts to bother with.” But that bio existed, so it wasn’t as though their case was totally baseless.

                  And since they did have that iota of evidence in their favor, and that clause IS in the Constitution, I thought they should get their day in court.

          2. You could prove you always said the exact opposite and you’d still get name-called exactly the same.

            Rev is filth. When the sewer backs up, I don’t talk to the sludge that appears. I think that’s the best policy.

    4. Drama alert!

      World’s scariest event ever! Next week will be a million times scarier! Because some Americans have different opinions than you.

    5. “How is our system so broken that this is a remotely viable strategy?”

      The Democrats broke it when they legalized fraud.

      1. If the Democrats legalized fraud, why is it that they have so assiduously avoided engaging in it?

  7. As a comment above notes, at least nobody in the leftist cult is saying that challenging electoral votes is unprecedented. Senator Cruz is as responsible to his constituents as Senator Boxer was to hers: Boxer’s frivolous and unsuccessful challenge was ultimately ruled acceptable by the people and we have yet to see how the people respond to Cruz’s challenge.

    We also have yet to see how the state election statutes change. Certainly, we are all aware of the pronouncements by various pundits, professors, pedants, and Courts: now it is time for such voices to be silent and to listen to the profound voice of the people speaking through their elected representatives.

  8. Meanwhile, in the Pennsylvania senate Republicans just refused to admit one of the senators who won his election in November: https://twitter.com/abgutman/status/1346519659005284353

    1. Yeah I saw that. What the fuck are they thinking? Are they actually so dense to think that this will make them more popular?

      Just another example of appealing to the fringe while thinking the fringe is more numerous than they are because they’re disproportionately loud? It didn’t work for Warren in the primaries and it won’t work for these fools either.

      1. I’m not exactly a defender of Republicans, but isn’t this the same as in 2009 when Al Franken wasn’t seated until Norm Coleman’s recount litigation was finished? (And this was with a Democratic Senate — remember, Democrats are the party of adults.)

      2. Consequences to your actions.

        Every Democrat all the way down to dog catcher now carries the stench of corruption and fraud.

        You guys really need to work on rebuilding trust or you’re going to have a hard time doing even the most basic things without suspicion.

        1. You think they care if there’s suspicion? I don’t. Democrats don’t care if people know they won dirty, so long as they win. I think they might even prefer that the losers know they were cheated.

          Because it’s more fun to thumb your nose at somebody if they can see you do it.

    2. That sounded pretty outrageous, so I was curious why they’d do it. Turns out the litigation over that election isn’t finished yet, and they don’t want to seat the guy until it is.

      The guy only won by 69 votes, and whether several hundred ballots can legally be counted is still being fought over in the courts. Even with this guy seated, the Republicans would have 28 of the chamber’s 50 seats, a solid majority, so it isn’t a fight over who controls the chamber, either.

      It isn’t that outrageous once you get the details.

      1. The remedy for unfinished litigation – especially after your state supreme court has ruled – is not to not seat that incumbent.

        1. Where’d you get that idea? Is it in the secret protocols to the PA constitution?

          1. The guy is the certified winner. He should be seated. Otherwise his constituents get no representation.

            If the lawsuit goes the other way then it’ll be corrected.

            1. The legislature has a duty to judge the election per the state constitution and there is precedent of not seating the contested party until it is resolved. Of course, media outlets don’t mention this. They also don’t mention that the federal lawsuit raises serious questions about the state supreme court decision basically dismissing written statute that is clear.

              1. That is indeed the rule in many legislatures across the world. But as the Grand Chamber of the European Court for Human Rights unanimously held this summer, that is really not an appropriate solution. Instead, there has to be an impartial forum where such disputes can be sorted out. (Eg the judiciary.) See Mugemangango v. Belgium, judgment of 10 July 2020.

                1. Yeah, and a ruling of that chamber means precisely nothing in terms of this case. You might as well be appealing to the rules of D&D.

                  But, in fact, all the legislature is doing is saying, “We’ll wait until the litigation is actually over.”

                  1. Legislators, roll initiative!

                  2. The European Court for Human Rights is the most authoritative international adjudicator of international rights. It isn’t captured by human rights violators like the UN Human Rights Council, it’s an actual court, and it isn’t linked to the particularities of any one legal system. As such, its judgments are extremely persuasive. But not more than that, and I never said they were.

                    1. You can take them as persuasive as to what our law ought to be, that’s your right. They have diddly to say about what our law is.

                      But this is entirely beside the point. They say, “there has to be an impartial forum where such disputes can be sorted out. (Eg the judiciary.)”

                      What’s the legislature saying? They haven’t seated EITHER of the candidates. They’re saying, ‘We’ll seat the winner after the judiciary are done.

                      So, what are you complaining about here? That they’re doing exactly what this ‘grand chamber’ is recommending?

  9. My quibble would be that we shouldn’t refer to this effort as, e.g., “a last ditch effort to continue Trump in office.” It isn’t an effort (even a hail mary effort) to keep President Trump in office. I doubt that most of the participating Senators and Representatives even want President Trump to continue in office.

    This is all for show. It’s generally about positioning the participants for their political futures and, for some of them, it’s specifically about positioning themselves for the 2024 GOP nomination process. The same was true of the suit against Vice President Pence. That was about subtly pushing VP Pence off track for the GOP nomination in 2024 (though I don’t think his chances are great anyway, unless President Trump got emphatically behind him). It was about suggesting that VP Pence isn’t being sufficiently loyal to President Trump and is just laying down for the evil left.

    1. Its all Kabuki theater. You’d think they’d get tired after episode #454823488 of pearl clutching at another impudent Trump tweet/quote that means nothing and goes nowhere. But I guess some people are just really slow on the uptake.

      1. I haven’t mentioned anything Trump said/did–he’s the same grifting bullshit artist that burst on the scene in this country in the ’80s. My opinion of him remains unchanged from then.

    2. “This is all for show.”

      Of course. Ambitious pols thinking this will help them in the future to be President if senators or Speaker if a Rep.

      From the hysterical comments here and elsewhere, you’d think this was like 1993 in Russia and tanks were shooting at the Capital.

      1. The really dumb thing is this isn’t even an instance of another ‘outrageous’ Trump tweet/quote or at least not a very high one by the standards of all the other ones that have been bandied about through the years.

        They literally had to snip out pages of context and redefine the word ‘find’ to make up a final ‘SCANDAL’ for no reason. I mean the won supposedly right?

        1. Oh, that’s cute: You think this is the last ‘scandal’ they’re going to invent.

      2. This comment sure aged well, Bob!

    3. “I doubt that most of the participating Senators and Representatives even want President Trump to continue in office.”

      They want Trumps voters, not to have him continue as President.

    4. Yup, because there is nothing that voters like more then politicians doing everything they can for your vote not to count.

      1. The voters that they are chasing believe that will be outcome if the election isn’t overturned. That their votes won’t have counted. Thus the posturing.

        You don’t need to say it – we know that you don’t agree with that. It’s why they’re not trying to convince you. They don’t care what you think. You’d never vote for them under any circumstances anyway.

        1. These are the states the the Rs lost, and they think they can win over D voters by arguing that their votes were invalid the last time. I don’t think so.

  10. After Wednesday the performative moralizing will have to switch to a new topic.

    What will you all be saying in your group-loyalty affirmations then? Have you decided? Or are you waiting for someone to go first so you can join in and echo them without taking a social risk?

    1. Oh, I dunno. Maybe we’ll be talking about the bands of armed thugs that stormed the Capitol?

  11. The news will be in Georgia, not the senate – – – – – – – – – –

  12. Their objections to the counting of improperly certified fraudulent ballots can hardly be interpreted as anything other than patriotism.

  13. According to YouGov’s latest poll, nearly all Trump voters and a substantial minority of Biden voters as well (10-20%) believe that the evidence of fraud is substantial; that that evidence has not actually been examined by any court, but has been repeatedly brushed off with cop-outs such as standing doctrine; that a full forensic audit of the entire election, which has not occurred, is morally mandatory; and that Democrats (and their captive media) who call us deluded or our claims unfounded know all those things and are deliberately gaslighting the public.

    I go further, and would support the President if he uses force to retain his office now that the courts have cheated him by refusing to do their job. Our freedom rests on four boxes, and the first three — soap, ballot, and jury — have now been exhausted.

    1. would support the President if he uses force to retain his office now that the courts have cheated him by refusing to do their job.

      Our freedom rests on four boxes, and the first three — soap, ballot, and jury — have now been exhausted.

      Fascism sucks.

    2. If you would support violence to overturn the apparent will of the voters, you’re a lot more un-American than you think the Democrats are.

      1. The right thing would be to peaceably separate America into two nations.

        1. No — make about 30 cities sovereign and no longer part of the US.

          1. How about we just continue to shove progress down your bigoted throats, while the Volokh Conspirators whine about it inconsequentially for another couple of decades?

            If people are wondering what happened to Prof. Blackman — has anyone checked the bushes outside Chief Justice Roberts’ home?

            1. Not when it comes about by fraud you sick, ass eating, monster. The Good Reverend is a racist scumbag anyway.

              1. So says Eric Starvo’s little brother.

          2. Works for me, along with retroactive removal of citizenship.

            1. Do you think you will be missed?

          3. Your white hood is showing again, Dr. Ed.

    3. “I go further, and would support the President if he uses force to retain his office now that the courts have cheated him by refusing to do their job.”

      All-talk, disaffected Republicans are perhaps my favorite culture war casualties — and the core of the Volokh Conspiracy’s following.

      Open wider, clingers . . .

    4. Look at your math. YouGov poll puts Trump voters as suspecting fraud at 88%. As Trump got less than half the vote, the number suspecting fraud is less still. I have seen no poll saying Democrats suspecting fraud above 5% and then it doesn’t say who they think the fraud favors. Lots of people suspect fraud but significantly more don’t.

      Do you think any of the Representatives or Senators really suspect fraud? Hawley, Kennedy, Cruz all went to Ivy league law schools. You think they believe what they are peddling. Trump does, but he is old and seems senile.

      1. I’ve seen polls showing 59% of Democrats suspecting fraud; It’s just less than 5% who think the fraud caused Biden to win.

        1. In looking at party response, Democrats often see fraud as voter suppression while Republican see fraudulent voting. Either way you can’t really rely on people’s feeling. There is no evidence of fraud that has been sufficient to initiate court action. The results are consistent with expectations, an unpopular President running during a crisis fails to win reelection.

          1. I’ve said it before, I’ll likely say it again: We don’t have evidence of “fraud”, we have evidence of “election law violations”. Stop trying to shoehorn the claims into the narrow hole of “fraud”, and crowing that they’ve been disproven when they don’t fit.

            If an election worker took a box of uncounted ballots and burned them, it wouldn’t be “fraud”, but it WOULD still be a big deal, and if it happened in an election where that box held more ballots than the winner’s margin, it would call the outcome into question.

            There hasn’t been a major election in the history of this country that didn’t involve at least some fraud. I kind of doubt there was enough fraud to swing this one, but we’ll never know for sure, given that some of the violations were the sort of thing that makes fraud harder to detect.

            But, again, the real concern here is that election laws were systematically violated, and in a way that predictably favored one party. Is this supposed to be without redress or consequence, just because it wasn’t technically fraud?

            1. Brett,

              Again, you are using word salad to try and make a point. But there is no point. To go through your argument:

              1. Yes, there are technical distinctions between election law violations and “fraud”, in much the same way that there are distinctions between libel, slander, and defamation (or false light and other assorted concepts). Yet most people without legal training do just fine without the distinctions. The only reason we are even talking about “fraud” constantly is because of a certain person who incessantly tweets about it, often in all-caps.

              2. If an election worker burned a bunch of ballots, it would be a crime (assumedly- I haven’t viewed all jurisdictions). Not just an election law violation. Notice what you did there? You conjured up an outrageous scenario that is not alleged (destruction of ballots with intent) to conflate all election law violations with crimes- most aren’t.

              3. Any nationwide election will have some issues; if you assume that an issue such as a Snowbird who is domiciled in New York and votes in Florida (such as occurs with stunning regularity for some GOP operatives … 😉 ) is fraud, then yes, of course there is. There is no evidence that there has been any kind of systemic “fraud” for some time. Your assertions about how hard it is to detect are unavailing given the number of investigations at both the state and federal level that have attempted to uncover “fraud” and have completely failed to do so. While no system is perfect, ours has been pretty good, for quite some time.

              4. Your last assertion is without consequence, since you have repeatedly claimed that following the law … when you don’t agree with it … is an election law violation. Which is fine for you to believe, but no one else should agree with you on this.

              1. “since you have repeatedly claimed that following the law … when you don’t agree with it … is an election law violation. ”

                I have done nothing of the sort. It’s not “following the law” when you violate the law, but got a judge to say you could do it. That’s what I’ve been saying. Permission from a judge to break the law doesn’t mean you didn’t break the law, it just means you won’t get in trouble for breaking it.

                1. Brett, I appreciate how you try to re-package this, but saying, “Look, if the judge says the law is something different than what I, Brett, believe it to be, than that’s not the law!” is exactly what I said.

                  Any practicing attorney will tell you that there are times when they think judges are wrong. But you’re an attorney, not the judge. If you think the trial court judge is really wrong, you appeal! And then maybe the appellate court is “wrong” too. And so on and so on.

                  But at the end of the say, you, Brett, are not the judge. When you say that a judge gives “permission to break the law,” then it is obvious to most of us that you don’t understand what you are talking about.

                  Have a wonderful day!

                  1. But I’m not an attorney, I’m not under any kind of obligation to pretend that when a judge reads a law that says, “Tuesday” and says it means “Friday”, he’s right. I can notice that he’s wrong.

                    I can understand the attraction of that sort of nihilist legal realism to attorneys. Legal professionals risk getting in real trouble if they forget in a legal proceeding that it isn’t what the law says, but what the judge says, that’s binding. Understanding that judges can be wrong is dangerous for a legal professional, they might try to act upon the law itself, not what a judge is saying.

                    But the rest of us don’t have our metaphorical gonads hooked up to an electroshock machine, so we’re free to see four fingers when Judge O’Brien hides his thumb.

                    1. Again, you misunderstand me. Other people (attorneys, election board, voters, governments, etc.) have to do this thing called “The Rule of Law.”

                      And part of that means that if a judge, who has the jurisdiction to make a ruling, orders something… that is the law, buddy. We don’t have the luxury to say, “But I’m Brett Bellmore! I know the law better than judges! I don’t need to do no fancy thing like appeal the judge. I just get to do what I want! Because Brett Bellmore is the RULE OF LAW! It’s the RULE OF BRETT! Because judges cane be wrong, but not me!”

                      That’s not how it works for the rest of us. And sometimes, your approach is really dangerous, because “the law” consists of a lot more than you know, or understand. It’s a common law system, so you have all these … things … things like the differences between law & equity, and prior decisions, and the interplay of certain doctrines with the written text of statutes.

                      So it’s not us who nihilists, Brett. You’re the one who wants to trash any semblance of the rule of law, simply because you don’t understand things (as you repeatedly demonstrate).

                      Again, approach it with a little humility. It doesn’t mean Judges are Right, and You are Wrong, always …. but there is something almost pathological about how you have somehow become the self-appointed expert in every state’s election laws, to the extent that you now seem to know better than every state judge, in every state, how their election law works!

                      Wait … did you stay in a Holiday Inn Express last night? That’s it, isn’t it!

                    2. They have this thing they like to call “the rule of law”, but what they really mean by it is that the legislature can enact what they want, but “the law” is only going to be what the legal fraternity want it to be in the end.

                      Look, maybe the legal system really needs to operate on that basis, (Though I doubt it!) but the larger system needs to be able to have a concept of judges getting it wrong, or else we’re not a democracy anymore, we’re some kind of judiciocracy. We need to be able to say, “Screw this, that is NOT what the law the legislature enacted means!”, and saying that isn’t incoherent.

                      Because if you have no concept of the judges getting it wrong, in the end we’re not a democracy anymore. We’re ruled by judges.

                    3. Brett, again this is word salad.

                      Judges might be “wrong.” If a trial court judge is “wrong” (for example), then you appeal. If the first level of appellate review is “wrong,” then you appeal again.

                      If you exhaust your appeals, and the judges are still “wrong,” then you have to accept that your opinion isn’t the law. You are welcome to change the law through the legislature (local, state, federal) or other governing document (local, state, or federal) so that the law reflects your view, and not that of the judges.

                      That’s the rule of law.

                      What you are arguing for is the Rule of Brett (or Rule of Trump, but I repeat myself). No offense, but I prefer judges to you.

                2. I have done nothing of the sort. It’s not “following the law” when you violate the law, but got a judge to say you could do it.

                  It is emphatically the province and duty of the judicial department to say what the law is. Those who apply the rule to particular cases, must of necessity expound and interpret that rule. If two laws conflict with each other, the courts must decide on the operation of each.

                  And you still haven’t identified a single law that was “violated” anyway. The one thing that you think you have because you don’t understand as applied challenges to laws didn’t happen. They did not count late-arriving votes in Pennsylvania.

                  1. You’re not distinguishing between, “saying what the law is”, and getting to decide what the law will be. They’re not the same thing.

                    A meteorologist “says what the weather is”, but he can’t make it rain on a sunny day by saying it’s raining. He can be wrong.

                    It is entirely possible for the judiciary to segue from the meteorologist sense of saying what the law is, into deciding what the law will be. And thus be wrong.

                    1. And you arrogate to yourself, or maybe Donald Trump, the power to decide that the judge was wrong, and to act accordingly.

                    2. You’re not distinguishing between, “saying what the law is”, and getting to decide what the law will be. They’re not the same thing.

                      No, Brett. What the court says the law is is what the law is. You’re allowed to think they should have ruled differently, but that’s about as meaningful as you arguing from the stands that the last pitch was “really” a ball when the umpire called it a strike. It doesn’t change the count on the scoreboard.

                      When the SCOPA says that the PA constitution means that ballots received after a statutory deadline must be counted, then Pennsylvania law is — not “will be” — that ballots received after a statutory deadline must be counted.

                      “We are not final because we are infallible, but we are infallible only because we are final.”

    5. ^^^Superfluous evidence that “libertarianism” is a fraud, especially the sort proffered from people who name themselves after Ayn Rand characters.^^^

  14. But what is one’s “constitutional duty” or the “right” course of action here? See: https://priorprobability.com/2021/01/05/the-12th-amendment-for-dummies/

  15. Just remember, the Democrats could NEVER win without the votes of blacks and mestizos, both of whom have average IQs far below that of whites.

    1. This is what lurks behind the typical trump cultist’s mask.

      Remember, republicans would NEVER win elections without the help of an electoral affirmative action program known as the EC. And they typically don’t even win state legislatures without incredibly craven gerrymandering.

      1. The EC protects minorities, you racist.

        1. White people are not a minority in the US.

        2. No, it doesn’t, you dumbass.

  16. Funny was just doing a perusal through some archived news articles and found a host of op-eds by liberals who suggested Congress (specifically Senators) were not “doing their job” by objecting to electors from Ohio.

    it is “doing your job” and “democracy” and everything positive if it is the Left.

    When it happens to the Right their job is to still down and shut up.

    And people are surprised that the public has had enough of the double standards….?

    1. Please post links to those archived op-eds.

  17. Curious.
    Why would Georgia have an election process that effectively disenfranchises the state within the Senate?
    By the 20th amendment, the Senate and House must assemble on January 3. By placing their senatorial election run-off on Jan 5, Georgia has failed to send senators to Washington. How quickly will the state certify today’s election. Opportunity for dems (currently loosing) to hamstring things by requesting recounts.

    1. It is only for a few days. Grand scheme of things not great, but not that bad also.

  18. The Secret Service needs to have a plan in place for forcibly removing Mr. Trump from the White House at gunpoint if he is still there after Mr. Biden becomes President.

    Should Mr. Trump attempt to tarry, the plan should be executed quickly and unhesitently.

    1. Enough with the “Trump refuses to leave, so we have an excuse to shoot him!” fantasies.

      1. Yes, because clearly he’s going to do his level best to be out of the country by the evening of the 19th, to avoid attending the inauguration. If only he can find a country that will have him…

        1. The Scots told him to stay away. An American president.

          Have we ever seen a lamer duck?

    2. They have a Bobcat on-site with a lift attachment.

    3. You are a delusional fraudster.

  19. Ted Cruz just spoke and said all he wants is a 10 day Electoral Commission, but he knows that that can’t happen. The Constitution is clear that if no one gets the majority of the EC vote, the House immediately chooses the next president. He is trying to pull a fast one.

  20. This just in: Apparently Republicans, too, are capable of rioting when they’re unhappy about something.

    Trump is telling the protesters to be peaceful: “Please support our Capitol Police and Law Enforcement. They are truly on the side of our Country. Stay peaceful!” The Senate chamber is being evacuated.

    1. Oh right.

      Trump is trying to calm things down!

      Are you nuts? He’s been provoking this stuff forever.

      Geez. Do you just bow down to a statue of Trump every morneing and evening?

      1. My personal hope is that they’ll be arrested and identified, and then subsequently prosecuted. I have been to plenty of protests, and all of them peaceful.

        If that doesn’t happen, I’m leaning towards it being a false flag operation, because there’s no way the capital police wouldn’t be interested in arresting Republicans.

        1. ” there’s no way the capital police wouldn’t be interested in arresting Republicans.”

          The Republicans are all armed, because the second amendment is all that’s standing between them and all the tyranny. Police prefer disarmed victims.

    2. And if you think Trump wrote that, I have a bridge to sell you.

      Way to go, all you “this is just harmless theater” commenters!

      1. I think the members of Congress were engaged in harmless theater. These particular protesters, (Well, rioters now.) not so much.

        1. Except Trump’s antics, and those of his supporters in Congress, led directly to this, which makes them not so harmless.

      2. So, what’s your theory here? That somebody has taken over Trump’s Twitter account?

        1. Trump’s staff members have posted things on his Twitter account throughout. They’ve said so.

  21. Well, now we know.

  22. Is the section of the Electoral Count Act that allows challenges to the reported electoral votes even constitutional? What part of 12A gives Congress the power to reject electoral college votes? It just says that the votes “…shall be counted.” I realize that since no challenge has ever been upheld, and since none of these will either, that no court has ever had to decide this issue. But surely Congress doesn’t have the power to disregard the will of the electoral college by a simple majority vote of each house.

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