Patterico's Pontifications

12/17/2021

Republican Litmus Test for Candidates: Stolen Election Lies

Filed under: General — Dana @ 9:51 am



[guest post by Dana]

In a broader sense, this is the ultimate litmus test for any Republicans running for office:

During a Minnesota gubernatorial forum, conservative Post contributing columnist Hugh Hewitt asked each of the five leading candidates whether Biden definitively won. None would say he did.

A sampling of the candidates’ answers to the question:

“I can’t know what I don’t know,” said former state senator Scott Jensen. But then he recited debunked claims from Arizona about hundreds of dead voters and 9,000 more mail ballots allegedly being received than were sent out. (The purported issue of 9,000 supposed additional votes reflects how data is entered when there is a signature discrepancy.)

Neil Shah said: “Do I think that played a role? How could it not have?”

Lexington, Minn., Mayor Mike Murphy leaned into it the most, saying, “I do believe there was voter fraud at a massive scale across this country” — while acknowledging he “absolutely” does not have proof of that…

“I don’t think the election was fair, but I do think we have the results that we have, and the electoral college is the way that we determine the election,” state Sen. Paul Gazelka said.

State Sen. Michelle Benson pointed to supposed overreach in election changes by Gov. Tim Walz (D) and the Democratic secretary of state, while urging people to get more involved in monitoring the process: “The more we watch; they less they cheat.” Pressed by Hewitt on whether Biden actually won, Benson offered only the barest of factual statements: “He was certified by Congress as having won the electoral college.”

I’m glad Hewitt asked the question. It should be asked of every Republican candidate running for any level of government. Voters should know with whom their candidates’ loyalty rests. Such transparency is always a good thing.

Along with that, keep in mind that:

…the market spoke; wagering against the GOP base’s appetite for “stolen-election” claims turned out to be a bad bet — a recipe for excommunication from the party leadership, even.

And that tells you so much about today’s Republican Party.

–Dana

44 Responses to “Republican Litmus Test for Candidates: Stolen Election Lies”

  1. Hello.

    Dana (5395f9)

  2. I hope to see the question asked in the Georgia gubenatorial primary. If only to see Brian Kemp try to finesse it. It will be something to watch.

    Appalled (1a17de)

  3. If Kemp says “Ain’t we had enough of New York liberals coming down here telling us how to run our elections?”, I’ll get residence in Georgia and vote for him.

    nk (1d9030)

  4. It’s an easy litmus as to whether a Trump supporter is a cultist. If you believe in Trump’s election fraud hoax, it means you’ve suspended belief in any evidence (or lack of evidence on Trump’s part) and taken his shaky unfounded word on faith. We are a faith-based political party, but it’s a faith on the wrong person.

    Paul Montagu (5de684)

  5. To be exact, this is a litmus test of a faction that has the power to elect Democrats should they so choose. It should be clear that this is what they are threatening in the name of their God (Donald Trump).

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  6. The election wasn’t stolen. It was thrown.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  7. At issue with Trump and others asking Vice President Pence to not accept electors from certain states is how the United States constitution determines the method to be used when voting for electors.

    US Constitution Article II Section 1

    Each State shall appoint, in such Manner as the Legislature thereof may direct, a Number of Electors, equal to the whole Number of Senators and Representatives to which the State may be entitled in the Congress…

    Only the state legislature may make changes to election laws for Electors. Any other party making changes to the election laws for Electors is unconstitutional. A number of states violated this rule.

    Some states had the state legislature send electors and the governor send electors from an unconstitutional vote. It was asked of Vice President Pence that in those cases he accept the electors from the state senates and not accept all other electors from governors by unconstitutional elections.

    For me and some this isn’t about election fraud or dead people voting, this is about following the rules.

    Tanny O'Haley (8a06bc)

  8. Only the state legislature may make changes to election laws for Electors. Any other party making changes to the election laws for Electors is unconstitutional. A number of states violated this rule.

    No challenge to the method of voting can be entertained after the vote. To allow such would be chaos.

    What is meant by “the legislature” in each state is a matter for that state to decide, and that decision must necessarily come from that state’s courts. Judicial review is not specifically mentioned in the Constitution, but it is a thing that’s been around for quite some time.

    If one dislikes the state court’s ruling and sees a federal issue, they should take that to the federal courts ASAP, not after the vote as was done. I must admit, though, that the current Supreme Court has been inconsistent about what they call the Legislature, particularly in referendum states.

    Of course, if we get the Popular Vote Compact, then every state will be up in every other’s states business as the state firewalls all come down.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  9. anti-trump hero peter meijer:

    “Meijer knew that some Republicans had sincere concerns about election integrity; he himself feared that Democratic officials had taken advantage of the coronavirus pandemic and exceeded their authority to enroll absentee voters.“

    source

    JF (e1156d)

  10. There is also some question about what changes the legislature can make. Were a state to cancel the popular election for President and assign the electors directly they would be well within the scope of the US Constitution, but having waived the right to do so for almost 200 years they may find abandnonment, adverse possession, the “rights” ratchet, and some form of stare decisis might prevent that now. Hard to say.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  11. Pernicious idea to undercut “National Popular Vote Compact” states, at least for those with the Initiative.

    Asserting that this is necessary in the Age of Trump, a state initiative Constitutional Amendment that reads:

    “The slates of electors for President and Vice-President are to be chosen solely by the genuine popular vote of the citizens of this state, and may not be reassigned, altered of replaced (except in the case of death or disability) by any branch of this state’s government.”

    would be fun. Let them argue that they want the power to overturn the vote.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  12. the popular vote will include the undocumented

    it’s only a matter of time

    no one dares ask a democrat their intent, though only an idiot would believe their answer

    JF (e1156d)

  13. I’m glad Hewitt asked the question. It should be asked of every Republican candidate running for any level of government. Voters should know with whom their candidates’ loyalty rests.

    This is important and I don;t think any Republican running for an office where this matters can easily escape it. It’s the natural question at any debate.

    You notice nobody says yes. They try to avoid saying no. They differ by nuance.

    Sammy Finkelman (c49738)

  14. “I don’t think the election was fair…”

    This is a reasonable argument, given the unusual nature of the election of 2020. I don’t think it is valid, but it is not obvious whackadoodleland like some of the things you hear. It also might not satisfy the whackadoodle faction.

    There is a better case for this, btw, for districted elections where the massive mail vote was treated differently in different parts of the district, particularly as more liberal counties counted votes more liberally.

    In the case of the statewide elections though, Trump’s attempt to make day-of voting a litmus test of loyalty, and his hopeless attempts to invalidate mail votes, cost him several percent of his vote (those who just could not make it to the polls on that one day) and the election.

    He has no one to blame for this but himself.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  15. Kevin M (ab1c11) — 12/17/2021 @ 11:15 am

    I don’t understand why we can’t rely on the plain reading of the US Constitution. Time is not an issue . The issue is if somebody other than the state legislature made rules about an election. Those rules invalidate the election. It doesn’t matter if it was before or after. If we remember a number of lawsuits were made before the elections were finalized and the courts rejected them for I can’t remember the word and then after it was because of standing and they had a bunch of reasons not to hear the cases.

    It doesn’t matter. Were the elections constitutionally wrong? If a secretary of state makes a regulation that the state legislature did not give them the permission to make or did not make themselves then that invalidates the election of electors.

    The only time limit is when the house accepts the Electors. After that it’s too late.

    Tanny O'Haley (8a06bc)

  16. Tanny,

    Why do you argue that the state courts cannot interpret state law and the state constitution? Why do you think that their review can be limited to the text? There are other schools of thought on the Law. Some states, in the face of a pandemic, decided that the right of the people to vote had to be considered and the fact that the legislature did not so consider was to them a violation of the People’s rights.

    This may have been wrongly decided, and I think it may have been where they allowed counties leeway in procedures that penalized multi-county legislative candidates. But the federal courts did not agree.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  17. In the end, if Trump had told his supporters in September to vote by mail, he would have won the election, and possibly the popular vote. Until he accepts that, I have no patience for the whaddabouts.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  18. None of the candidates want to end up like liz cheney. 80% of republican primary voters agree with trump.

    asset (3d97d4)

  19. I’m glad Hewitt asked the question. It should be asked of every Republican candidate running for any level of government. Voters should know with whom their candidates’ loyalty rests. Such transparency is always a good thing.

    “Loyalty” is a transient.

    See Wendell Wilkie, John Connolly, Mike Pence [yes, the ex-VP]… or Ronald Reagan for details. Better still, peruse this astonishingly lengthy list. “Loyalty” to self-preservation and electability, not constituents, is all that matters to political party hack. You’ll choke on your coffee at the length of this list and the names on it:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_party_switchers_in_the_United_States

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  20. It’s an easy litmus as to whether a Trump supporter is a cultist.

    Gargling w/Clorox? No. More likely enraged at higher gas and food prices; supply chain issues etc.; the $85 billion in equipment abandoned and 13 dead service people in the Afghanistan disaster; the open border invasion, etc., etc., thanks to Brainiac The Incontinent.

    ‘We are a faith-based political party, but it’s a faith on the wrong person…’

    Faith based? Nothing unique about that. That’s an old advertising ploy- like Shell gasoline pitching it’s better because it contains Platformate. All gasoline contains Platformate.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  21. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_party_switchers_in_the_United_States

    People who switch AS OFFICEHOLDERS are different that citizens who switch parties. Sure, this let’s Trump off the hook, too, but I think that most everyone, over a lifetime, has reconsidered their positions or the ever-changing positions of the parties. The entire South switched parties in the 1960s, in both directions.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  22. > The issue is if somebody other than the state legislature made rules about an election.

    Is the legislature constrained by its state constitution? Does the Elections clause authorize the legislature of a state to regulate federal elections *in a way that violates the state’s own constitution*?

    If not, who determines if the state’s constitution is violated by the legislative act? Normally that power would lie with the state’s judiciary.

    If it *does* — on what basis do you conclude that it does? it would violate both practice and political theory of the day, and surely a violation of such would have been *explicitly declared* rather than being implicitly included.

    aphrael (4c4719)

  23. It doesn’t matter. Were the elections constitutionally wrong?

    I’ll start with a simple one:

    The Legislature passes a law that says “left-handed people may not vote.” There, the Legislature has set a rule for the election. Shortly thereafter, a left-hander sues to obtain her right to vote and the state Supreme Court agrees.

    Now the election is conducted under a judge-set rule. Is it invalid?

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  24. People who switch AS OFFICEHOLDERS are different that citizens who switch parties.

    No they’re not. You don’t have to be an officeholder as a prerequisite to being loyal to anything.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  25. Some time between March 1 and September 20 of next year, we will see how 800 out of 1,000 persons with telephones who call themselves Republicans to pollsters who call them out of the blue will translate into votes at the real polls. And we will have an even better idea on November 8. And I have a feeling that a lot of people will be feeling very foolish for having been scared by these false alarms who are all noise and no substance.

    nk (1d9030)

  26. It doesn’t matter. Were the elections constitutionally wrong?

    I’ll start with a simple one:

    The Legislature passes a law that says “left-handed people may not vote.” There, the Legislature has set a rule for the election. Shortly thereafter, a left-hander sues to obtain her right to vote and the state Supreme Court agrees.

    Now the election is conducted under a judge-set rule. Is it invalid?

    Maybe, your hypothetical has competing constitution rights.

    The right of the people as a whole to set the rules through their legislatures vs. the right of left handed people to vote.

    It’s reasonable for the courts to adjudicate this and balance the rights. In some cases (felons can’t vote)they will find the laws just. In others (black people cant vote) they will not.

    Time123 (9f42ee)

  27. @15, in many cases are he legislatures have delegated their authority to the executive branch and the rulings were based on the laws that did this. Legislatures don’t determine the arrangement of tables at the polls, the exact building where people will vote.

    The “only the legislatures can make a decision” is a gross oversimplification.

    Time123 (9f42ee)

  28. @9 JF, you really can’t wrap your head around the idea that someone might make decisions using a metric other then pure tribalism can you?

    Time123 (9f42ee)

  29. Hugh Hewitt has all the street cred of chewing gum stuck to the sidewalk.

    An endless Nixon apologist, ‘Hewitt returned to the Nixon Library as president and CEO of the Richard Nixon Foundation, the nonprofit that co-operates the Nixon Library with the National Archives and Records Administration. On his first day in the job, Hewitt announced that he would split his time between Orange County and Washington, D.C. and open a Nixon Foundation office in Washington.’ -source wikihughboyohboy

    Among his more futile forays into hilarious irrelevancy was his effort at hosting a forum at The Big Dick’s library in Yorba Linda on the 50th anniversary of the moon landing in 2019, trying to horn in on the spotlight by highlighting the Nixon Administration’s ‘contributions’ to the moonshot– which Nixon had nothing to do with [as advisor/astronaut Frank Borman repeatedly remidned him.] It was a brief briefing by Hugh and the Nixon WH crew. Apollo was a Kennedy/Johnson initiative from the ground up– and it was Nixon who cancelled the final three Apollo moon flights, after the hardware had already been purchased… remember, Hugh?

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  30. Another, probably more pertinent example: imagine the election code passed by the legislature has a provision which says that the polls close at 8pm sharp. Meanwhile, there’s another provision in another part of the code which says that anyone in line at 8pm is allowed to vote. Both were adopted in the same statute, and neither section refers to the other section.

    [This seems like an absurd example. But legislatures regularly pass statutes that are this badly drafted, and almost any lawyer with any experience has encountered them numerous times in their career.]

    May someone who gets in line at 7:58, but who has not voted by 8pm, vote? The legislature has said both that they *may* vote and that they *may not* vote. Can they vote? Who decides? *Any answer at all* involves someone other than the legislature deciding.

    aphrael (4c4719)

  31. Was “$85 billion in equipment abandoned” in Afghanistan? No.

    (If it had been, Donald Trump would bear much of the responsibility, since he was the one who surrendered to the Taliban.)

    Jim Miller (edcec1)

  32. https://dailycaller.com/2021/12/17/john-kennedy-grills-anne-traum-judicial-court-nomination/

    Another radical leftist that Biden is trying to put on the federal bench who won’t say that she’ll follow the law rather than let people off of criminal offenses due to social justice.

    Asked the question several times and wouldn’t answer.

    NJRob (49cc84)

  33. Wrong place. Sorry.

    NJRob (49cc84)

  34. Some think the presidential election of 1800 was the most important in American history — because the man who lost, John Adams, accepted his defeat, setting a precedent that lasted until 1860, and in every election since 1860, until 2020.

    The acceptance of the voters’ choice is essential to a properly functioning democracy.

    (Anyone who knows about that election will know that there were errors and mistakes (as well as great bitterness), but Adams accepted the loss anyway. And did a great service to the nation, and to democracy in the world, by his example.)

    Jim Miller (edcec1)

  35. Jim Miller @ 31,

    Link isn’t working.

    Dana (5395f9)

  36. Dana – Thanks. Here’s the correct link.

    Sorry about that.

    Jim Miller (edcec1)

  37. Gore did not accept his loss. Nor did Hillary.

    Claiming otherwise doesn’t change that fact.

    Even Kerry tried claiming fraud in Ohio.

    NJRob (49cc84)

  38. Gore did not accept his loss.

    He had by the time of the Electoral Vote count. Which he presided over. Still being the Vice President for another two weeks. And made Bush President.

    Nor did Hillary.

    Heh! The whole country could not believe Trump had won.

    nk (1d9030)

  39. Gore did not accept his loss. Nor did Hillary.

    Claiming otherwise doesn’t change that fact.

    Fact? Lol. Where do you get this twaddle? If Hillary didn’t accept that she lost, making a concession speech the morning after the election sure was a funny way to show it.

    A salient excerpt:

    “We have seen that our nation is more deeply divided than we thought. But I still believe in America and I always will. And if you do, then we must accept this result and then look to the future. Donald Trump is going to be our president. We owe him an open mind and the chance to lead.”

    lurker (59504c)

  40. Heh! The whole country could not believe Trump had won.

    More like the self-appointed vote counters at the TeeVee networks. Don’t really see them mentioned in the process in the Constitution. But then, airplanes, rocketships and women voters were overlooked, too. 😉

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  41. Here’s the new plan:

    The GOP sweeps the midterms, winning 10 seats in the Senate and 79 seats in the House. No, really. Then some Democrat Senators die somehow to give them their 2/3rds, or maybe some patriots kidnap some Senator’s kids and hold them hostage. Details.

    Then the House impeaches Harris and Biden and the Senate convicts them in that order, on charges of the most massive election fraud in galactic history, leaving Speaker Gohmert as President. President Gohmert then appoints Trump as Vice-President, the Congress confirms, and Gohmert resigns and is appointed Vice-President instead.

    Easy-peasy.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  42. And the best part? Trump can serve the last two years of the term they stole from him, and STILL run for re-election, which he has already won!

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  43. People who switch AS OFFICEHOLDERS are different that citizens who switch parties.

    That’s because they were chosen by other people on that basis. But sometimes it is very fair to the voters.

    Sammy Finkelman (c49738)

  44. setting a precedent that lasted until 1860

    Even then, Lincoln’s victory was “accepted” as such. The secession was not because they thought he had not won, but because they could not tolerate that he had.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)


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