Saturday, December 5, 2020

Bottomless Bad Faith

What are the craven, bootlicking, anti- democracy Republican poltroons in Pennsylvania's legislature up to now that they've heard from gassy consigliere Rudy "Hands in Pants" Giuliani's parade of crackpots and racistsMore mischief:

Just hours after GOP leadership in the state House indicated they would not move to upend Pennsylvania’s election results in Harrisburg, Speaker Bryan Cutler and Majority Leader Kerry Benninghoff joined more than 60 Republican colleagues Friday in calling on members of Congress to do it instead.

In a letter Democrats dismissed as a stunt, the GOP lawmakers disavowed the election’s outcome — an 81,000-vote victory for President-elect Joe Biden — and accused Gov. Tom Wolf, a Democrat, of “undermining the many protections” they had written into a law passed a year ago to expand widespread voting by mail. [snip]

Just a day earlier, Cutler (R., Lancaster) and Benninghoff (R., Centre) had unequivocally stated — in a memo cosigned by Senate Majority Leader Kim Ward (R., Westmoreland) and President Pro Tempore Jake Corman (R., Centre) — that state legislators had no authority to ignore certified election results and appoint Pennsylvania’s delegates to the Electoral College themselves, despite repeated calls from the president and some within their own party to do so.

“It would … set a precedent that a simple majority of the General Assembly can override the will of the people as evidenced by the popular vote,” the GOP leaders said.

That statement drew a swift rebuke from top Trump advisers on Friday. Lawyer Rudy Giuliani accused them in a tweet of “covering up for Dem[ocrat] crimes” and misleading the president. He said he was ashamed of them for “let[ting] America down.”

Legal adviser Jenna Ellis went further, retweeting a stinging rebuke from another Giuliani ally who called the GOP leadership team in Harrisburg “liars,” “cowards,” and “traitors.”

Yes, indeed, they're liars, cowards, and traitors -- that much we can heartily agree on.  On top of that, cynically pointing a finger at Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf for overseeing a fair and secure election leads into a point made by Greg Sargent, who explains in a column about the Georgia runoff election, it's much more than cowardice:

It is often claimed that Republicans who refuse to concede Trump’s loss are suffering from “cowardice” or that he has held them “hostage.” In this telling, Republicans secretly know the truth but won’t say so, simply because the political price of weathering his fearsome rage-tweets is too great.

This won’t do. It badly undersells the bottomless bad faith and dishonorable instrumentalism that Republicans are employing here. Yes, Republicans know Trump lost and that contradicting him on this point might cost them some of his supporters.

But they are fully embracing the opportunity to use this situation to their advantage, not doing so because they see no other option. They are trying to harness and channel all this depraved Trumpian rage to their instrumental advantage, not work around it, despite its extraordinarily destructive potential.

It's hard to expand on this, except to say that the incoming Biden Administration, which is already seeing this bad faith playing out every day, needn't waste any time expecting anything but more bad faith from this party of nihilistic misfits and sociopaths.  You have a mandate -  use it.

But first, let's win those two Senate seats in Georgia!


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