By MARSHA MERCER
On Wednesday, the United States reported nearly 3,000 people
had died in one day from the coronavirus, and President Donald Trump released a
speech on video.
It could be his most important speech ever, he said, but
it wasn’t about the record loss of life for a single day or that as many Americans
died of the coronavirus in one day as perished on 9/11.
Instead, the president railed for 46 minutes about “bad
things” in the election, again making baseless claims about fraud, ballot
“dumps” and conspiracy theories.
Trump is doing a disservice to the country and to his
legacy with his continuing attacks on the electoral process. He will go down in
history as a president who was impeached, lost his re-election bid and spread more
conflict, distrust and hatred on his way out.
Unfortunately, many of his supporters believe his
unsubstantiated claims. History shows repeating a lie often enough makes it
seem credible, especially a lie from a trusted figure.
Trump has spun his web of deceit into a successful fund-raising
effort that reportedly has reaped $170 million since the election. He claims it
is for his lawsuits but could use it for the 2024 comeback presidential campaign
he is said to be considering.
He is still being aided and abetted by many Republican
members of Congress. And yet, some Trump allies and hand-picked subordinates are
finally standing up and refuting his lies.
Attorney General William Barr told the Associated
Press Tuesday, “to date, we have not seen fraud on a scale that could have
effected a different outcome in the election.”
That prompted Rudy Giuliani, the president’s personal attorney,
to claim there hasn’t been “any semblance” of an investigation into Trump’s
But Barr Nov. 9 authorized U.S. attorneys around the
country to pursue “substantial allegations” of voting irregularities even before
the vote tallies were certified, despite the lack of any evidence of widespread
fraud. The Justice Department’s top elections
crime official left the post after Barr sent the memo.
Trump badgers Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp, a Republican, as
“hapless,” and urges him to use his “executive powers” to undo the election,
even after the state counted, recounted by hand and certified the election for
Joe Biden. Kemp rightly says he does not have such powers.
Trump also tried to stop Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey, a
Republican, from certifying that state’s electoral votes to Biden.
Ducey had made “Hail to the Chief” the ringtone of Trump’s
calls, so he wouldn’t miss one. But when the tone played while Ducey was on
live TV at the certification ceremony, Ducey put down his phone and signed anyway.
Trump threatened that Republicans “would remember.”
On Nov. 17, Trump fired by tweet Christopher Krebs, a
Republican, Trump appointee and Senate-confirmed director of the Cybersecurity
and Infrastructure Security Agency in the Department of Homeland Security.
Krebs had batted down the president’s claims that
election systems were hacked or manipulated, saying in a tweet “59 election
security experts all agree, `in every case of which we are aware, these claims
either have ben unsubstantiated or are technically incoherent.’”
One of Trump’s legal henchmen said Krebs should be
executed. He later said he was just being sarcastic.
Trump previewed his obstinacy long ago. In 2016 and this
year, he insisted he could not lose unless the election was rigged. But because
someone can’t stand to lose is not grounds to toss out millions of legal mail-in
Courts around the country have shut down Trump’s legal
efforts to overturn the election, citing a lack of credible evidence of fraud.
When U.S. District Court Judge Matthew Brann in
Pennsylvania ruled Trump’s allegations were “strained legal arguments without
merit and speculative accusations . . . unsupported by evidence,” team Trump
tried to discredit him as an “Obama appointee.”
Yes, but. Brann is a conservative Republican and
member of the Federalist Society, a conservative legal group. The state’s two
senators, one Republican and one Democrat, recommended him to Obama for the
We rely on free and fair elections to choose our
leaders. Trump’s refusal to accept reality exacerbates the gulf between
Americans and is dangerous for the future of our democracy.
If Trump wants to run again in 2024, that’s his
business. Now he needs to put the country first.
©2020 Marsha Mercer. All rights reserved.