Ever since the election, I’ve been building lawn chairs. Nothing fancy, just gluing and screwing together pieces of wood that I can cut with a circular saw and jigsaw. I knew within a day of the election that Joe Biden won and would be sworn-in on January 20. I also knew that Donald Trump would do all he could to tear the country apart between now and then and I don’t want to watch. My chairs are my distraction, keeping me off of Twitter and social media.
That said, I can’t help myself. I keep reading the news and continue to get more and more disturbed by the GOP’s effort to overturn a legitimate election. I realize that it’s the professional wrestling version of a presidential transition. Most of the participants know that it’s fake but half the spectators don’t. Republicans are making a mockery of our democracy in an effort to satisfy the delusions of their base.
The latest assault on our system comes from a lawsuit filed by Texas Attorney General Ken Paxon and supported by 17 Republican attorneys general asking the Supreme Court to overturn elections in Georgia, Wisconsin, Michigan, and Pennsylvania. The lawsuit has no basis and no precedent. They are merely asking the court to disenfranchise the millions of people who voted in those states. The real goal is to curry favor with Donald Trump and his conspiratorial base. The Founding Fathers would be appalled and every patriot in this country should be, too.
We are seeing what happens when elected officials are not held accountable for bad behavior. For four years, Republicans defended every move Donald Trump made, calling any criticism fake news and accusing liberals of attempting to undermine his presidency. They built a cheering section with the help of a right-wing media bent on blurring the line between fact and fiction. The Trump base can no longer tell the difference and defer to their biases and the lies of the GOP leaders who should know better.
The Majority Leader of the Pennsylvania Senate said Donald Trump called asking her to claim voter fraud in her state. Asked if she would have signed a letter to Congress, she replied, “If I would say to you, ‘I don’t want to do it,’ I’d get my house bombed tonight.” She’s talking about the GOP base, not Antifa.
This morning, Republican members of Congress, including one from North Carolina, are submitting an amicus brief supporting the attorneys generals’ attempt to overturn the election. We’re watching a coordinated attack on our electoral system by cynical politicians who know that the effort will fail but also know that they will pay no penalty for their unpatriotic assault on our democracy. Indeed, they believe it will help their political careers.
Fortunately, there are voices of sanity from the right, though too many conservative commentators who know better are silent. Erick Erickson took the suit to task this morning calling it “absurd” and saying the attorneys general “beclown” themselves. We desperately need more voices from the right, and not just from Never-Trumpers. We need responsible conservatives, with whom I disagree vehemently over policy, to stand up for their country and call out this charade. They may be the last resort since the right has created a alternative reality where the mainstream media and Democrats are in collusion to steal the country.
As for me, I’m going to start on another chair. January 20 can’t come soon enough. Then, maybe we can begin the fight for our democracy instead of just fending off assaults on it.
Thomas Mills is the founder and publisher of PoliticsNC.com. Before beginning PoliticsNC, Thomas spent twenty years as a political and public affairs consultant. Learn more >