Beyond Willful Ignorance

I hope there’s a silver lining in this Circus Trumpus Maximus that is the litany of lawsuits aimed at altering the election. I hope that Republicans finally rise to the occasion and denounce this idiocy.

But I won’t hold my breath.

So far the dearth of Republicans who have publicly denounced the President’s repeated lying about the election, and trying to destroy the confidence America has in its election process, is an embarrassment to a once proud party.

America needs the balance of the two party system, it is indeed what we could once rely on for a stability that keeps us from drifting too far toward extremes.

But no more. Trump destroyed that and, even in the face of repeated and unsurprising losses in court, the Republicans show little inclination to call him on it. They display what most recognize as willful ignorance, arguing the President has the legal right to pursue challenges.

Having the right to do something does not make it right to do it.

The language in the latest case out of the Third Circuit could not be clearer.

BIBAS, Circuit Judge.

“Free, fair elections are the lifeblood of our democracy. Charges of unfairness are serious. But calling an election unfair does not make it so. Charges require specific allegations and then proof. We have neither here.”

On Appeal from the United States District Court
for the Middle District of Pennsylvania
(D.C. No. 4:20-cv-02078)
District Judge: Honorable Matthew W. Brann

Submitted Under Third Circuit L.A.R. 34.1(a)
on November 25, 2020
Before: SMITH, Chief Judge, and CHAGARES and BIBAS, Circuit Judges

The President claims his legal challenges are based on “widespread” fraud and that the election was stolen. Yet, as always, the devil is in the details. In the actual filings there are no claims of fraud. Here’s how the court detailed then dismissed the complaint as baseless

“Seeking to turn those state-law claims into federal ones, the Campaign claims discrimination. But its alchemy cannot transmute lead into gold. The Campaign never alleges that any ballot was fraudulent or cast by an illegal voter. It never alleges that any defendant treated the Trump campaign or its votes worse than it treated the Biden campaign or its votes. Calling something discrimination does not make it so. The Second Amended Complaint still suffers from these core defects, so granting leave to amend would have been futile.”

Read the case for yourself,

We all know this is all about using the President’s significant base of support (I still cannot reconcile myself to the fact that 72 million Americans voted for Mr. Trump) to win the Georgia Senate runoff races and maintain the Republican majority.

While one can say that’s politics and having a Republican controlled Senate is a balance to a Biden Whitehouse and a Democratic controlled House, there are times when doing the right thing, calling out the President for his attack on Democracy and the foundation of American government, demands one rise above politics.

In 1974, it was the actions of Republicans, members of his own party, that persuaded Richard Nixon to resign. These Republicans knew full well it would cost them the Presidency in the next election, but they also knew they had a higher obligation.

A similar situation exists today. It’s not enough to sit back and wait until January 20th and the swearing in of the new Administration, they must act now. Republicans face one of those rare moments in history where moral obligations overwhelm politics. What they do will determine much of what happens in the future and in the next election cycle.

Actions would speak volumes, silence would seal their place in history.

Again, I won’t hold my breath.


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