Trump has no problem with spinelessness when it comes to true believers like the QAnon lady from northwest Georgia, Marjorie Traitor Greene. He didn't have to ask her to purger herself by nonsensically claiming memory loss. That kind of arrogance and that kind of crazy just comes to her naturally. But what about more kind of normal right-wing politicians? Yesterday Greg Sargent-- no Brian Kemp fan-- took great delight in seeing former senator/current rogue gubernatorial candidate David Perdue, who sold his soul to Trump, twisting in a wind storm of Trump farts.
Sargent started his column by informing his readers that Perdue has "debased himself on Trump's behalf" and the fates are likely to deliver him one mega-MAGA helping of the kind of humiliation that never goes away. After Trump's endorsement and in-state rallies, the latest polling shows Perdue losing to Kemp, 53-27%.
Aside from Sargent gloating-- for the rest of us-- he had an important point to make. "A decisive Kemp win would show that Republican officials can abide by the integrity of election losses and live to tell the tale-- that is, without immediately seeing their careers implode in the next GOP primary."
That’s why it’s important that a bipartisan group of senators is meeting this week to discuss Electoral Count Act reforms. Let’s hope those include built-in safeguards against governors and state legislatures certifying sham electors.
But beyond structural reform, our democracy will also depend on elections officials performing their roles with integrity at a time when pressure to corrupt election outcomes might only be increasing.
And so, even if that stolen election scenario is improbable, it will have value if a candidate running on an implicit vow to execute that scenario goes down to defeat. It could mean GOP voters aren’t swayed by the argument that they should elect a governor for the express purpose of subverting future elections.
We shouldn’t be overly sanguine about the meaning of a Perdue loss. Kemp did sign an onerous voter suppression law, and such measures are being implemented by GOP legislatures across the country.
What’s more, many GOP candidates are running on a willingness to corrupt elections in a similar manner, including candidates for governor in swing statessuch as Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Michigan, and GOP primary voters might pick them. So even if Perdue loses, a 2024 sham-elector scheme will remain a live possibility, if an unlikely one.
Still, a big loss for Perdue would be welcome. Is there any candidacy quite like his?
Remarkably, the basis for Perdue’s challenge is that Kemp performed his official duty with integrity despite facing some of the most intense pressure in the country from Trump and the MAGA movement to corrupt himself-- and our elections-- on Trump’s behalf.
And Perdue is wagering that GOP voters’ angst over losing in 2020 will make them ripe marks. He hopes to exploit the raw emotions that always grip voters of the out-of-power party to portray the act of upholding the integrity of a loss amid extremely difficult conditions as a betrayal.
This reprobate can’t lose by enough.
Neither can Josh Manel-- in 6 days in Ohio. What a suck-ass this guy is! Trump has already endorsed his opponent and this is the ad Mandel started running today... still with the PRO-TRUMP logo:
How about Wisconsin's worst Assembly speaker in history, Robin Vos? Late yesterday, Molly Beck reported that it didn't take Trump much growling to get Vos to back down from his decision to end the absurd Gableman investigation into the 2020 election. Trump announced he would end Vox' career with a primary if he defied him. And Vos folded immediately.
"Anyone calling themselves a Republican in Wisconsin should support the continued investigation in Wisconsin without interference," wrote Trump. "I understand some RINOs have primary challengers in Wisconsin. I’m sure their primary opponents would get a huge bump in the polls if these RINOs interfere."
Beck reported that originally "Vos hired Gableman to look into the last presidential election in June 2021 hours after Trump blasted a statement to his supporters criticizing Vos and other Republican legislative leaders for not doing more to litigate his 2020 election loss."
Gableman, who is certifiably insane was given a $676,000 taxpayer-funded budget by Vos, including an $11,000 monthly salary. "Since the review launched," wrote Beck, "Gableman has missed multiple deadlines to issue a final report. Gableman has issued dozens of wide-ranging subpoenas and asked a judge to jail elections officials, mayors and others who he claims aren’t cooperating with him. The targets of his subpoenas have said they are following the law and asked the judge to find Gableman must interview them in public and not behind closed doors, as Gableman wants... In recent weeks Gableman appeared on former White House adviser Steve Bannon's podcast to put pressure on Vos to extend his contract with the state beyond April-- Vos' deadline to complete the review. At one point, Gableman told Bannon's fans to call and email Vos and ask him not to pick up his office furniture Tuesday."
As you probably know, Tom Nelson is the fervent progressive in the Wisconsin U.S. Senate race. He was once Assembly majority leader and in a good position to put this Vos maneuvering into context. So we asked him.
"The depravity of the Republican legislature knows no bounds. Is there any wonder why there is a mass exodus of Democrats and Republicans from both the senate and assembly? Democrats are tired of getting beaten up with little recourse-- save for upholding vetoes. And the GOP, I would imagine, are tired of getting bossed around and threatened by the Speaker. Why else would you leave the legislature when you are in the majority when your re-election is all but guaranteed, thanks to U.S. and Wisconsin Supreme Court sanctioned extreme gerrymandering?
"I can't tell who is doing more damage to the state Republican Party-- Robin Vos or Donald Trump. Then again, it isn't my problem. The sad part of all this is that it was and still is avoidable. Trump is not the Speaker, nor the Governor, nor the GOP Party state chair. What is lacking-- and this goes for the rank and file legislative members-- is backbone. To stand up to Trump and stand up to Vos. I can't tell if I want to cry as I watch state legislature implode or laugh because it is there undoing. Let's hope the joke is not on all of us."
This morning, state Senator Chris Larsen didn't hold back. He told me that "Michael Gableman and his circus are what happens when a person lacks a moral compass, is given a bottomless budget, and told to find something that doesn't exist. Way back when in October, just after Gableman was hired for his supposed election expertise, he admitted he did not understand how elections work. Since then, he's embarrassed himself and Republicans by illegally deleting records, making provably false accusations, and giving away the whole game by spending his time stumping at Republican events, even finding time to head to Mar-a-lago to get Trump's blessing for his crusade. A judicial review last month showed little evidence of an actual investigation. Instead, Gableman and his squad of henchmen are focusing on Facebook stalking public officials and opining about how their body piercings, pets, and living situations reveal their true political leanings. The people of Wisconsin have known the truth from the beginning: Michael Gableman, Donald Trump, and all of those making up false accusations ARE the election fraud."
Damn... I wish Larson was in Congress! He is running for his Senate seat again this cycle.