Trump Strikes Out, And The GOP Has Some Decisions To Make
[guest post by Dana]
While Trump claimed that post-election lawsuits would result in a reversal of the 2020 election, it appears that the plan to overturn a legitimate election wasn’t quite the winning strategy he had envisioned:
Former president Donald Trump has officially lost all of his postelection legal challenges in the US Supreme Court, after the court announced Monday that the justices had refused to take up his final case out of Wisconsin.
Trump and his Republican allies lost more than 60 lawsuits in state and federal courts challenging President Joe Biden’s wins in Wisconsin and a handful of other key states. They petitioned the Supreme Court to hear a small number of these cases, and the justices either rejected them right away or didn’t take any action before Biden was sworn in on Jan. 20, a clear sign that they wouldn’t interfere.
The justices didn’t address any of Trump’s arguments — either on the substance of the challenge or his arguments for keeping it alive after Biden took office — in Monday’s order, simply including it on a long list of cases that they were declining to hear.
Trump and his allies had used postelection legal challenges to promote lies about widespread voter fraud, and they denounced the judicial system, including the Supreme Court, as biased when they repeatedly lost. Judges at every level — including some who were nominated by Trump — concluded that these cases were either procedurally deficient or, after reviewing the evidence, meritless. The only case Republicans won, in Pennsylvania state court, involved a small number of absentee ballots that arrived in Pennsylvania after Election Day and were nowhere near enough to change the results.
Trump has been a polarizing figure throughout his tenure, certainly, but there can be no doubt that his post-election actions only served to further polarize the nation. However, another thing the post-election chaos served to accomplish was to force the hand of Republicans so that Americans could see where they stood on Trump. In turn, it also served to expose how much influence and power the former president has in the Party. Since the waning days of his second term, we’ve seen Republicans break ranks and vote their conscience to impeach the former president, followed by other Republicans voting to convict him. Those same independent-minded individuals were then rebuked by their fellow members for going against Trump. They chose to look out for their own political futures by determining that supporting Trump by censuring his opponents was the more profitable route to take. With that, there are now six Republican senators that have announced their retirements, thus giving the Democrats potential openings in certain states. Just today, Sen. Roy Blunt announced that he was retiring:
In announcing his retirement, Blunt joins GOP Sens. Rob Portman of Ohio, Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania, Richard Shelby of Alabama and Richard Burr of North Carolina, all of whom opted against seeking reelection in 2022. Sens. Chuck Grassley of Iowa and Ron Johnson of Wisconsin have yet to reveal their plans.
Blunt’s decision opens the door for a Trump-aligned candidate to win the seat given that Missouri continues to be Trump country. Trump easily won the state in both elections. After the election, Blunt declined to address Joe Biden as the president-elect and instead sent Trump a congratulatory telegram. He later voted to acquit Trump in February.
Anyway, the retirees (as it stands) will have some level of influence within the GOP and the options are open:
…Senate Republicans not seeking reelection could set up contested primaries highlighting divisions between far-right, Trump-aligned Republicans and the old guard of the party.
No matter who the “old guard” candidates might be, it’s guaranteed that they will face a full-throttle crazy train boring down on them in an effort to run them right off the tracks:
Blunt and other retiring Republicans avoid a congressional election in which ex-President Donald Trump plans to a major role, forcing GOP candidates to take a stand on his divisive presidency.
Republican strategist Liz Mair said there a “trend” of mainstream conservative Republicans “walking away from an environment in which traditional conservatism has been little rewarded, but jumping on crazy trains has been.”
The result, she said, could be a series of elections “that pit diehard liberals against a nuttier, and often deeply un-conservative and ethically-compromised, breed of Republican.”