Summing up the week, UC Irvine law professor and election law analyst Rick Hasen tweeted, “I’m a heck of a lot less nervous about this election at the end of this week than I was at the beginning of it.” Yep, that tracks. It’s as if nearly everyone outside of GOP lawmakers and partisan hacks spent the week cutting off every single avenue available to Trump. He may not concede, but he has no legal leg left to stand on and no conspiracy left to sell that hasn’t been thoroughly destroyed and debunked. In fact, Trump is an even bigger loser in the courts than he was in the election. The only safe space snowflake Trump has left is within a Republican party still happily coddling the loser-in-chief to meet their craven political ends. Simply put, they need his voters. So, in yet another flagrant dereliction of duty, congressional Republicans have been privately relaying their congratulations to Joe Biden while publicly insisting the election isn’t decided yet even as Trump’s denialism jeopardizes national security.- Advertisement – On Friday evening, former Justice Department official Neal Katyal declared Trump an “unprecedented loser in the courts” after he logged nine losses in a single day. “No litigant has lost more, so much, so fast,” he said in an Instagram video parsing the losses. On top of that, Trump’s main law firm in the election disputes, Jones Day, dropped him as a client. More than a dozen federal prosecutors also urged Attorney General Bill Barr to rescind his memo authorizing them to investigate voting irregularities, saying they had found none and the directive “thrusts career prosecutors into partisan politics.”Additionally, on Thursday, a coalition of federal, state, and local election officials declared the 2020 election “the most secure in American history” mere hours after Trump tweeted out a baseless ALL CAPS conspiracy theory about votes being stolen from him.- Advertisement – Former Republican congressman David Jolly, who has since left the party, summed it perfectly Thursday on MSNBC.“This is about a political party that is defrauding the American people in real time,” Jolly said. “This is about a generation of Republican leaders who are committing a fraud upon American democracy.”Missouri Sen. Roy Blunt provided perhaps the clearest example of a lawmaker knowingly betraying the American people and his oath of office. On Sunday, Blunt, No. 4 on the Senate leadership team, went on ABC’s This Week and encouraged Trump’s lawyers to get on with their charade and “let the facts speak for themselves,” adding, “It seems unlikely that any changes could be big enough to make a difference, but this is a close election, and we need to acknowledge that.” The statement was about as close any Senate Republican had come last weekend to acknowledging Trump’s defeat.But then GOP Leader Mitch McConnell went to the Senate floor Monday and, in coordination with Attorney General Bill Barr, threw his full support behind Trump’s faux fraud charges and futile legal efforts. The political calculus had changed, most likely because Trump was threatening to throw the two Georgia GOP senators fighting for their seats to the wolves. By Tuesday, Blunt switched from almost-truth teller to fueling Trump’s fire. “You know the president wasn’t defeated by huge numbers in fact he may not have been defeated at all, we’ve gained seats in the House,” Blunt said.That right there is the vision of a man who knew better, said so on national television, and then sold out his country a couple days later for the GOP’s political gain. That’s a man whose moral compass went haywire and sacrificed his integrity on the altar of political expediency. In his world, protecting the Senate Republican majority is more important than protecting the country and safeguarding the institutional norms that keep our democracy in tact.Frauds and traitors—that’s damn close to all that’s left of the Republican party. It’s not just one or two fringe players in the House Freedom Caucus anymore, it’s the leadership team of Senate Republicans—a caucus once considered to be more firmly rooted in reality and therefore at least trustworthy enough to perhaps step in when something as critical as national security was on the line. If that was ever true, it’s not anymore. Prior to the election, it was hard to imagine Republican lawmakers could do worse by the country in the instance of a Trump defeat than they had done throughout his tenure. Now, just like with Trump, no low is too low for these miscreants. Total annihilation of the party is the only solution and, unfortunately, they didn’t suffer a convincing enough blow in the election to convince them voters have abandoned them in any real way. So what we have now is an ongoing battle for the soul of the nation, as Biden puts it. It’s clearly a long-term project that is going to require commitment and resolve in the face unrelenting moral rot. At the beginning of the week, one senior GOP official brushed off Trump’s legal exercise in futility as harmless enough, according to the Washington Post. “What is the downside for humoring him for this little bit of time? No one seriously thinks the results will change,” said the official. “He went golfing this weekend. It’s not like he’s plotting how to prevent Joe Biden from taking power on Jan. 20. He’s tweeting about filing some lawsuits, those lawsuits will fail, then he’ll tweet some more about how the election was stolen, and then he’ll leave.”By Wednesday, the Post alleged “widespread alarm” among congressional Republicans as Trump purged a group of administration officials from top national security posts and installed at least a handful of loyalist lackeys at some of the government’s most powerful intelligence posts. At that point, a smattering of Senate Republicans finally came out and admitted that Biden might be president and should at least be getting the intelligence briefings that Presidents-elect have routinely been getting for decades. But with the exception of a handful of Senate Republicans, GOP leadership and the rest of the caucus have continued to fuel Trump’s faux fraud charges and insist he might still have a path to victory. He. Does. Not. At least, not on planet earth. – Advertisement – – Advertisement –
Categories: Letters to the Editor, OpinionThere are times when all I can say is “You just can’t make it up.” Such is apropos to the release of a wholly partisan GOP memo which charges that the FBI and Department of Justice, both past and present, deceived the FISA court and unscrupulously surveilled a Trump campaign aide, not once, but repeatedly.What appears obvious is the chair of the GOP-led House Intelligence Committee, Devin Nunes, cherry-picked selective classified intelligence information to demean the work of our intelligence people in a manner intended to undercut the Mueller investigation.Shockingly, Nunes, abetted by the White House, released this report despite warnings of FBI Director Wray, who said the memo paints a false narrative of bureau activities. Specifically, Wray, a Trump appointee, said “the FBI has grave concerns about material omissions of fact that fundamentally impact the memo’s accuracy.” Over the weekend, Nunes promised more memos. If I read this all correctly, Trump, who seems to aspire to be an autocrat and who has accomplices in Congress, is pulling out all stops to undermine the Mueller investigation. He is willing to mortgage the credibility and reputation of the FBI and the entire intelligence community to save his own skin.As reported in the New York Times, Peter Baker, who has covered the Trump/Russian connection since the campaign, stated that “Trump’s war on the nation’s law enforcement apparatus is unlike anything America has seen in modern times.”I’m uncertain how dangerous this is for our democracy. But, I continue to retain confidence that Special Counsel Mueller, a man of unquestioned integrity, will get to the bottom of this. I’m not confident, however, that our Congress will step up and carry out its constitutional duty.Robert K. CorlissSchenectadyMore from The Daily Gazette:Schenectady department heads: Budget cutbacks would further stress already-stretched departmentsSchenectady High School senior class leaders look to salvage sense of normalcyMotorcyclist injured in Thursday afternoon Schenectady crashSchenectady man dies following Cutler Street dirt bike crashSchenectady, Saratoga casinos say reopening has gone well; revenue down 30%
Batesville, In. — The Ripley County Community Foundation has awarded a $2,000, 20th Anniversary Grant to the Gibson Theater in July. The Board of Directors issued this grant in recognition of the historic, economic and aesthetic values local movie theaters, such as the Gibson Theatre, have on Ripley County’s communities.The grant will be used to add handicap accessible bathrooms to the theater.