NEWS UPDATE: On Wednesday, May 12, 2021, House Republicans voted to remove Rep. Liz Cheney from the No. 3 position in leadership. Before the vote was taken, Cheney said:
“We cannot let the former president drag us backward and make us complicit in his efforts to unravel our democracy. Down that path lies our destruction, and potentially the destruction of our country.” After the vote, Cheney said that if Trump tries to run again, “I will do everything I can to ensure that the former president never again gets anywhere near the Oval Office.”
After House Republicans ousted Cheney, Der Führer Trump had this to say:
“Liz Cheney is a bitter, horrible human being. … I watched her yesterday and realized how bad she is for the Republican Party. She has no personality or anything good having to do with politics or our country. … She is a warmonger whose family stupidly pushed us into the never-ending Middle East disaster, draining our wealth and depleting our great military, the worst decision in our country’s history. … I look forward to soon watching her as a paid contributor on CNN or MSDNC!”
On April 3, exactly 6 months to the day he lost the election, Der Führer Trump said in a statement:
“The Fraudulent Presidential Election of 2020 will be, from this day forth, known as THE BIG LIE!”
In response to Der Führer Trump, Wyoming Republican Representative Liz Cheney wrote on Twitter and told the annual retreat of the conservative American Enterprise Institute in Sea Island, Georgia:
“The 2020 presidential election was not stolen. Anyone who claims it was is spreading THE BIG LIE, turning their back on the rule of law, and poisoning our democratic system. We can’t whitewash what happened on January 6th or perpetuate Trump’s big lie. … It is a threat to democracy. What he did on January 6 is a line that cannot be crossed.”
Republican Representative Cheney has long been a vocal opponent of Trump. She joined 9 other Republican representatives to vote in favor of Trump’s second impeachment. At the time Cheney said that Trump “assembled the mob” and “lit the flame” that caused the January 6 Capitol insurrection seeking to overturn the election’s results.
Der Führer Trump responded to Cheney’s remarks in a afternoon statement by writing:
“Heartwarming to read new polls on big-shot warmonger Liz Cheney of the great State of Wyoming. She is so low that her only chance would be if vast numbers of people run against her which, hopefully, won’t happen. They never liked her much, but I say she’ll never run in a Wyoming election again!”
REPUBLICANS CONDEMN DER FÜHRER TRUMP’S CRITICS
It has been reported that Republican House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy considers Cheney’s continued attacks on Trump as a distraction from the party. He has refused either to appear alongside Cheney in public or to say whether she should remain in leadership.
On Tuesday, April 4, McCarthy said that there is growing concern among Republican lawmakers about the ability of Congresswoman Liz Cheney to lead the party’s caucus in the chamber while she continues to assail former President Donald Trump for inciting his supporters to storm the U.S. Capitol on January 6 McCarthy told the Fox News:
“I have heard from members concerned about her ability to carry out her job as conference chair, to carry out the message [to take back the House] “We all need to be working as one if we’re able to win the majority. Remember, majorities are not given. They are earned.”
McCarthy was also overheard on a hot mic saying he has “had it” with Cheney and had “lost confidence” in the Wyoming Republican and daughter of former Vice President Dick Cheney.
ANOTHER BACKS OUSTING CHENEY
On April 5, it was reported that Der Führer Trump and House Minority Whip Steve Scalise are openly supporting Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-N.Y.) to replace Rep. Liz Cheney as House Republican conference chair. Trump had this to say in a statement:
“Liz Cheney is a warmongering fool who has no business in Republican Party Leadership. … Elise Stefanik is a far superior choice, and she has my COMPLETE and TOTAL Endorsement for GOP Conference Chair. Elise is a tough and smart communicator!”
Scalise’s spokesperson Lauren Fine said in a statement:
“House Republicans need to be solely focused on taking back the House in 2022 and fighting against Speaker Pelosi and President Biden’s radical socialist agenda, and Elise Stefanik is strongly committed to doing that, which is why Whip Scalise has pledged to support her for Conference Chair.”
The endorsements of Stefanik substantially increases the Republican Party’s’ internal feud over Cheney. The internal feud threatens Republicans’ chances of taking back control of the House in the 2022 elections. House Minority Whip Steve Scalise has said he thinks a vote will be taken again within a month and that Cheney will be removed.
ROMNEY & COLLINS DEFEND CHENEY
On April 4, Republican Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) went to the defense of Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) during her very public feud with House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) Romney tweeted:
“Every person of conscience draws a line beyond which they will not go: Liz Cheney refuses to lie. … “As one of my Republican Senate colleagues said to me following my impeachment vote: ‘I wouldn’t want to be a member of a group that punished someone for following their conscience.”
Romney was the Republican Party’s 2012 presidential nominee and has been one of the few Senate Republicans most willing to criticize Trump. He was the only Republican to vote to convict on one of the articles of impeachment during Trump’s Senate trial in 2020.
Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) has also gone to the defense of Cheney and did so during a Sunday, May 2 interview. Both Romney and Collins voted to convict Trump at the end of his second impeachment trial held after President Biden was sworn in. earlier this year.
TRUMP’S HISTORY OF PUSHING THE BIG LIE
During a 2016 presidential debate in which Trump had faced off against Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton, FOX news caster Mike Wallace asked then candidate Trump if he was prepared to concede to the winner, if he didn’t win. “I will tell you at the time. I’ll keep you in suspense” Trump said during the debate. He had also said that if he did not win it meant the election was rigged.
Fast forward to July 15, 2020. In an exclusive wide-ranging interview with Fox News Sunday host Chris Wallace, President Trump was asked if he was “a good loser”. Trump said that he wasn’t a good loser and he went on to add that he thinks “mail-in voting is going to rig the election.” This led Wallace to ask whether Trump may not accept the results of the election and Trump said “We’ll have to see.”
On September 23, Trump was asked at a press conference if he would “commit to a peaceful transferal of power” if he lost the election, Trump said:
“Well, we’re gonna have to see what happens. … You know that I’ve been complaining very strongly about the ballots. The ballots are a disaster … Get rid of the ballots and you’ll have a peaceful … there won’t be a transfer, frankly, there’ll be a continuation.”
ELECTION WAS THE MOST SECURE IN AMERICAN HISTORY
On November 12, the Elections Infrastructure Government Coordinating Council and the election Infrastructure Sector Coordinating Executive Committees issued the following joint statement that the “The November 3rd election was the most secure in American history:
“The November 3rd election was the most secure in American history. Right now, across the country, election officials are reviewing and double checking the entire election process prior to finalizing the result.
“When states have close elections, many will recount ballots. All of the states with close results in the 2020 presidential race have paper records of each vote, allowing the ability to go back and count each ballot if necessary. This is an added benefit for security and resilience. This process allows for the identification and correction of any mistakes or errors. There is no evidence that any voting system deleted or lost votes, changed votes, or was in any way compromised.
“Other security measures like pre-election testing, state certification of voting equipment, and the U.S. Election Assistance Commission’s (EAC) certification of voting equipment help to build additional confidence in the voting systems used in 2020.
“While we know there are many unfounded claims and opportunities for misinformation about the process of our elections, we can assure you we have the utmost confidence in the security and integrity of our elections, and you should too. When you have questions, turn to elections officials as trusted voices as they administer elections.”
On November 27, President Trump claimed that President-Elect Joe Biden must prove that the votes he received in the presidential election were not “illegally obtained” in order to enter the White House. Following is Trump’s Tweet:
“Biden can only enter the White House as President if he can prove that his ridiculous “80,000,000 votes” were not fraudulently or illegally obtained. When you see what happened in Detroit, Atlanta, Philadelphia & Milwaukee, massive voter fraud, he’s got a big unsolvable problem!”
Twitter added the disclaimer: “!This claim about election fraud is disputed.”
Trump’s tweet came after it was reported by FOX News no less that Biden crossed the 80 million vote threshold as votes are still being counted. Trump’s TWEET is merely one of the many of his TWEETs to cast doubt on the election result. Trump has ordered lawsuits to challenge the results in the swing states, with all those lawsuits having been dismissed, which he has challenged by alleging voter fraud in multiple swing states that he lost, specifically Pennsylvania.
It was on Wednesday, November 15 that Trump said the election was stolen and said:
“This election was rigged and we can’t let that happen. We can’t let it happen for our country. … And this election has to be turned around because we won Pennsylvania by a lot and we won all these swing states by a lot.”
TRUMP’S LOSING LEGAL CHALLENGES TO ELECTION
The Trump campaign launched upwards of 51 legal challenges related to how votes were counted. All of the court challenges were dismissed as the states certified their results.
On November 19, 2020, during a news conference at Republican National Committee headquarters in Washington, with the smell of sweat blackened by his cheap hair dye running down his face, an unhinged former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani had this to say:
“I know crimes, I can smell them. You don’t have to smell this one, I can prove it to you, 18 different ways. I can prove to you that he won, Pennsylvania, by 300,000 votes. I can prove to you that he won Michigan, probably 50,000 votes. …
It’s not a singular voter fraud in one state. This pattern repeats itself in a number of states, almost exactly the same pattern, which any experienced investigator prosecutor, which suggests that there was a plan — from a centralized place to execute these various acts of voter fraud, specifically focused on big cities, and specifically focused on, as you would imagine, big cities controlled by Democrats, and particularly if they focused on big cities that have a long history of corruption.”
It was on November 17 that Trump’s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani, during a five-hour hearing in Williamsport, Pennsylvania before U.S. District Judge Matthew Brann. Giuliani asserted widespread election fraud in Pennsylvania without evidence and that a “Mafia-like” cabal of Democratic leaders in cities nationwide used mail ballots to rig the election in Joe Biden’s favor. United States District Judge Matthew Brann, a Republican appointee, wrote that the campaign’s error-filled complaint “like Frankenstein’s Monster, has been haphazardly stitched together”. Just one example of a pleading error was spelling “poll” as “pole”. The Federal Court denied Giuliani the right to amend the election challenge complaint for a second time. The Trump campaign appealed the ruling.
On November 27, the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed Brann’s lower court ruling and called any revisions “futile.” 3rd Circuit Judge Stephanos Bibas wrote the decision for the Court. Bibas is a former University of Pennsylvania law professor. The Court Panel included Chief Judge D. Brooks Smith and Judge Michael Chagares. Trump’s sister, Judge Maryanne Trump Barry, sat on the court for 20 years, retiring in 2019. The 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals denied the campaign’s request to stop the Pennsylvania from certifying its results, a demand the court called “breathtaking”. Judge Bibas wrote in the opinion and found:
“Free, fair elections are the lifeblood of our democracy. Charges of unfairness are serious. But calling an election unfair does not make it so. Charges require specific allegations and then proof. We have neither here. … Voters, not lawyers, choose the president. Ballots, not briefs, decide elections”
Trump’s lawyers appealed the decision to the Supreme Court and the Supreme Court declined to hear the case.
PART OF THE BIG LIE IS MAIL IN VOTING IS FRAUDUELENT
After the Wallace interview, Trump engaged in repeated attacks on mail in voting as a pathway to voter fraud. It was a claim that was unsubstantiated and was an outright lie that Trump kept repeating.
In April, 2020 Trump responding to a question about Wisconsin wanting to go to mail-in ballots said:
“Mail ballots are a very dangerous thing for this country, because they’re cheaters. … They’re fraudulent in many cases.”
Trump also said that any expansion of mail ballots would lead to widespread fraud. Attorney General William Barr for his part said people should need an excuse to vote by mail. Trump has said no-excuse absentee voting is fine but claimed the Postal Service couldn’t handle the increase in election mail, which turned out to be totally false.
Trump laid the foundation to dispute the election outcome with his incessant lies that “mail-in ballots” would result in a rigged election. Trump’s false claims were used as an excuse for the Republican Party to purge voter-registration rolls, limit mail-in ballots, close polling stations in minority areas and challenge in-person voting by minorities. The best example was in the state of Texas where Governor Abbot ordered only one polling place or drop off for ballots per county that has millions residents and requiring hours of driving to hand deliver ballots.
Election experts say Trump’s critiques of mail-in voting was just another one of his many lies. Instead, they said mail-in voting was expected to improve voter turnout on the whole and there was little evidence that it will have a partisan effect by benefitting one party over the other.
The experts were proven right. Mail in voting improved voter turnout overwhelmingly. On October 19, 2020, it was over 71 million people had cast their ballots with early voting or mail in voting around the United States, surpassing the 58.3 million total pre-election votes cast in 2016. That’s almost half of the total presidential votes cast in 2016.
WASHINGTON POST OPINION COLUMN BY MICHAEL JOHN GERSON
Michael John Gerson is a nationally syndicated columnist who appears twice weekly in The Washington Post. He is the author of “Heroic Conservatism”, HarperOne, 2007, and co-author of “City of Man: Religion and Politics in a New Era”, Moody, 2010. He appears regularly on the “PBS NewsHour,” “Face the Nation” and other programs. Gerson serves as senior adviser at One, a bipartisan organization dedicated to the fight against extreme poverty and preventable diseases. Until 2006, Gerson was a top aide to President George W. Bush as assistant to the president for policy and strategic planning. Prior to that appointment, he served in the White House as deputy assistant to the president and director of presidential speechwriting and assistant to the president for speechwriting and policy adviser.
On April 3, 2021, the Washington Post published an opinion column entitled “Elected Republicans are lying with open eyes. Their excuses are disgraceful” written by Mr. Gerson. The fact that Gerson was a top Republican advisor and aide to former President George W. Bush makes his observations about Trump spreading the “big lie” important to note. Following is the column with the link to the column:
“For the activist base of the Republican Party, affirming that Donald Trump won the 2020 presidential contest has become a qualification for membership in good standing. For the party’s elected leaders, accepting the clear result of a fair election is to be a rogue Republican like the indomitable Rep. Liz Cheney (Wyo.) — a target for Trump’s anger, public censure and primary threats.
Nothing about this is normal. The GOP is increasingly defined not by its shared beliefs, but by its shared delusions. To be a loyal Republican, one must be either a sucker or a liar. And because this defining falsehood is so obviously and laughably false, we can safely assume that most Republican leaders who embrace it fall into the second category. Knowingly repeating a lie — an act of immorality — is now the evidence of Republican fidelity.
This kind of determined mendacity requires rolling out the big guns. Said the prophet Isaiah: “Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil.”
Moral clarity against lying is sometimes made harder by our loose application of the term. When public figures disagree with you in their analyses of tax policy, or welfare spending or Social Security reform, they’re generally not lying. They’re disagreeing. When it’s revealed that someone was previously wrong about an issue — even on a grave matter of national security — it doesn’t mean he or she was lying all along. It means that person was wrong.
“To preserve the meaning of words,” said Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan (D-N.Y.), “is the first responsibility of liberalism.” Precisely because principled disagreement is essential in a democracy, we can’t attribute every difference to deception. This form of false witness is a tool of polarization and a method of dehumanization.
It’s important to keep perspective about the stakes of any given lie. There is reason the English language has so many words to describe the shades of culpability in a deception. You can equivocate, or dissemble, or palter, or mislead, or prevaricate, or fib, or perjure.
There are mortal lies and venial lies, cruel lies and merciful lies. Context matters.
Speaking of perjury, almost any GOP response to charges of deception will eventually include the words “Bill Clinton.” In a time of rampant whataboutism, Republicans often point out that Clinton was a spectacular liar defended by his party. What they fail to acknowledge is that many elected Democrats criticized his lying under oath, even as they opposed his impeachment. Clinton was not insisting his supporters share in his immorality to show their loyalty, though that might have had some appeal when it came to other human failures.
The context for Trump’s lies has been particularly damning. When Trump falsely asserted that Barack Obama was born in Africa and thus illegitimate as president, it was permission for racism. When he claimed he saw Muslims in New Jersey celebrating on Sept. 11, 2001, it was a vicious lie to feed a prejudice.
But the lie of a stolen election is the foundational falsehood of a political worldview. Believing it requires Trump’s followers to affirm the existence of a nationwide plot against him and his supporters — a plot led by ruthless Democrats and traitorous Republicans, and ignored or endorsed by useless courts and a complicit media. The claim’s plausibility is not the point. Does it really make sense that Attorney General William P. Barr, who found no evidence of election fraud that could have changed the result, was in on the plot? Were the conservative judges Trump appointed who dismissed his rubbish lawsuits really out to get him?
Such considerations don’t seem to matter. In the 1930s and ’40s, was it plausible that the democratic leaders of Weimar Germany had stabbed their own country in the back and betrayed its people? Or that an international conspiracy of powerful Jews was controlling world events?
Trump’s lie is not the moral equivalent of fascist propaganda. But it serves the same political function. A founding lie is intended to remove followers from the messy world of facts and evidence. It is designed to replace critical judgment with personal loyalty. It is supposed to encourage distrust of every source of social authority opposed to the leader’s shifting will.
The people who accepted this political mythology and stormed the Capitol were not lying about their views. They seemed quite sincere. And who knows what Trump really thinks? When a congenital liar surrounds himself with sycophantic liars, he can easily lose radio contact with reality.
No, it is the elected Republicans who are lying with open eyes, out of fear or cynicism, who have the most to atone for. With the health of U.S. democracy at stake, their excuses are disgraceful.
DINELLI COMMENTARY AND ANALYSIS
The similarities between Trump and Hitler are no accident as is documented in the below Dinelli blog article Trump: The Once and Future Fascist Who Wants To Be President Again
Since the election and swearing in of President Joe Biden, Republican lawmakers have remained steadfastly behind Der FÜHRER Trump. Many elected Republican officials have also kept their mouths shut in laying blame on him for the January 6 insurrection and the attack on the Capitol. Republican elected officials cower in fear of not supporting Der FÜHRER for fear of suffering his withering attacks and being “primaried” by Trump supporters. Simply put, there is no longer a Republican Party, but the Trump Party.
Several leading Republican lawmakers, including McCarthy and Republican Senators Ted Cruz and Lindsay Graham, have traveled to Florida to visit with Trump at his Mar-Maro-Largo Mansion to play golf and talk politics, no doubt including his comeback in 2024. Trump has suggested he will run for President again in 2024 but that he won’t decide until after the 2022 congressional elections.
With any luck, Der FÜHRER Trump will be indicted soon and be relocated to a government gated community before the 2022 congressional elections roll around.
A link to a related blog article is here: