Forget the Ukraine mess that saw Donald Trump try to dig up dirt on Joe Biden. Or Russia’s influence on the 2016 election. NBC’s Meet The Press writes that the biggest scandal playing out right now before our eyes. Trump is trying to overturn the results of a fair election, an election he lost.
As NBC writes, consider the last 24 hours:
- The two Republican members of Wayne County’s canvassing board voted against certifying its election results before reversing course, and Trump praised the action: “Wow! Michigan just refused to certify the election results! Having courage is a beautiful thing. The USA stands proud!”
- In Nevada — a state Trump lost by 2.4 percentage points — the president’s campaign team filed a lawsuit asking a judge to either declare Trump the winner or to reject the state’s election results.
- In Pennsylvania — which Biden won by more than 82,000 votes — Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani was in court asking a judge to overturn the state’s results. (“At bottom, you’re asking this court to invalidate some 6.8 million votes thereby disenfranchising every single voter in the commonwealth,” the judge said.)
- And to top it off, the president on Tuesday fired the federal government’s head of cybersecurity, who had debunked many of the conspiracy theories that Trump’s team had been promoting.
But wait, there’s more. The Trump campaign is expected to file for a recount later on Wednesday in Wisconsin, a state that Joe Biden won by more than 20,000 votes.
Meanwhile, as the pandemic rages, Trump remains holed up in the White House, tweeting unfounded conspiracy theories.
We’ve written about the damage this is doing to the transition, and to the plans the Biden administration wants to implement to fight COVID-19. But of course, there is an even more sinister side to all this. Greg Sargent writes in the Washington Post:
All this sets up another possibility. With Trump unlikely to formally concede, you can see a kind of Lost Cause of Trumpism mythology taking hold, in which many supporters continue believing the election was stolen from him and that squeamish Republicans betrayed him by not fighting hard enough against it.
That could do serious civic damage: As Rick Hasen suggests, it appears designed to place a cloud of illegitimacy over Biden’s presidency. What’s more, it will require Republicans running in 2024 to do a delicate dance maintaining fealty to that mythology for years, just as they tiptoed around “birtherism.”
And, NBC notes :
“Bottom line: Trump’s efforts to overturn the election have stumbled and gained no significant traction yet. But it’s still disturbing to watch, especially with so many elected Republicans staying silent.
“And it provides a road map for someone else to do it better next time.”