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Opinion: Judge’s devastating question for team Trump


“You’re alleging that the two individual plaintiffs were denied the right to vote. But at bottom, you’re asking this court to invalidate more than 6.8 million votes, thereby disenfranchising every single voter in the Commonwealth. Could you tell me how this result could possibly be justified?”

On Saturday, the choose successfully answered his personal query by dismissing the lawsuit and saying, “this Court has been presented with strained legal arguments without merit and speculative accusations…and unsupported by evidence.”

The Giuliani courtroom look got here on the identical day two Republican members of the Wayne County Board of Canvassers quickly blocked certification of votes in Michigan’s most populous county, the place Biden outpolled Trump by greater than 332,000 votes. Both board members acquired a supportive name from the President afterward. It was additionally the day Trump fired Chris Krebs, the Homeland Security Department cybersecurity official whose sin, within the President’s eyes, was to declare there was no signal of systematic fraud on this yr’s election.

The Trump-Giuliani situation of a rigged election, which Joe Biden truly received with a convincing electoral faculty victory and a well-liked vote margin of greater than six million votes, appeared ripped from Lewis Carroll’s “Through the Looking-Glass,” the sequel to “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.” The Queen tries to steer Alice which you could consider unimaginable issues — and means that it helps when you observe. “Why, sometimes I’ve believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast,” she declares.

The alternative now’s “Donald Trump vs. democracy,” wrote John Avlon. For Republicans, “this is a test of whether you believe in our country more than a cult of personality. It’s a question of whether mindless hyper-partisanship will overwhelm any remaining sense of principle. This should not be a tough call … Which side are you on?”
In the Washington Post, Paul Waldman put it starkly. “No president in American history has ever before spent the end of his time in office trying to discredit our democracy, degrade the federal government and set Americans against each other,” Waldman wrote. The Republicans, “are finishing the Trump presidency the way they started it, with a show of complicity and cowardice.”
Several different legal professionals had withdrawn from representing Trump’s aspect within the case earlier than Judge Brann, so Giuliani made the argument. “Rudy did Rudy, ranting generally about stolen elections, fraud, the ‘dishonesty’ of Philadelphia, and ballots illegally cast, in a freewheeling presentation supported by no facts and having virtually nothing to do with the amended complaint that had been filed by his colleagues,” wrote Jennifer Rodgers.

“When questioned, however, about specific allegations, governing legal standards, and individual pieces of evidence, Giuliani was forced to back down in crucial ways, in part because he possessed no relevant evidence supporting his claims, and in part because he appeared unprepared and lacked command of the law and governing standards.”

Law professor Joshua A. Douglas wrote that “the damage to our democratic norms will outlast Trump’s time in office. Americans of all stripes must double down on our commitment to a democracy in which the losers graciously admit defeat and fight for another day. Lying about election fraud, as Trump and others have done, and turning a blind eye when a losing candidate personally reaches out to an election official, when the candidate does not like the results, cannot become the new normal.”

Truth vs. Trump

In Georgia, Republican Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger stated that Sen. Lindsey Graham, a Trump ally who’s chairman of the Judiciary Committee, prompt to him in a cellphone name that legally solid ballots could possibly be thrown out. Raffensperger had ordered a hand recount of the vote, and on Friday, Georgia licensed the outcomes as initially projected: an upset win for Biden within the traditionally crimson state.

Frida Ghitis noticed signs of an emerging split in the GOP. “On one side is the truth-denying, ethically imperiled practitioners of whatever-Trump-says-is-gospel. The other, invigorated by the challenge of defending democracy, is possibly much smaller or at the very least less noisy. Its members acknowledge reality, even when it says their party lost, and are fighting for high principles, including democracy. It is in this smaller segment of the party where Republicans may yet find redemption.”

When Jim Kolbe first ran for Congress in southern Arizona as a Republican in 1982, he misplaced by lower than 3,000 votes. The future 11-term congressman nonetheless remembers the painful second when he known as his Democratic opponent to concede — the step Trump is refusing to take.

“Failure to concede an election when the outcome is certain and beyond doubt undermines the very foundation of our democracy — the public confidence that elections decide who will guide the country or the state or the city,” Kolbe noticed. “Pointless disputes over fictional ‘fraud’ only fuels disinformation, increases distrust in our constitutional form of government, and weakens trust in their leaders and the very process of holding elections.”

Covid-19 Thanksgiving

The Covid-19 information couldn’t be worse: The variety of new instances across the US hit a single-day document this week, and the day by day dying toll is rising.

But the Covid-19 vaccine information couldn’t be higher: There are two vaccines in improvement that seem like 95% efficient.

Getting from the terrible now to the hopeful future is a leap — and with Thanksgiving coming this week, there’s an actual threat that extra journey by Americans will unfold the virus even sooner.

Future-tense hope is complicated by the fact that the future is a fragile place, cognitively,” wrote Robert Sapolsky, an knowledgeable on human conduct. “Sacrificing immediate pleasure (a big gathering at Thanksgiving, for example), for a bigger future gain (less sickness and death) is tough for humans.”
Writers have lamented the unwillingness of some Americans to make sacrifices within the pandemic, however we should not be all that stunned, wrote historian Nicole Hemmer. Even the “greatest generation” wasn’t totally on board with the restrictions enacted throughout World War II. “Personal sacrifice for community benefit is incredibly difficult,” Hemmer identified.

“Americans sacrificed during the war, as they do today, for a wide range of reasons: altruism, food shortages, poverty, regulations, social pressure. The sort of sacrifices Americans made during WWII were, as often as not, mandatory and resented. They required not just laws but extensive propaganda campaigns, severe social sanctions, and regular exhortations that a little sacrifice on the home front would save countless lives on the frontlines.”

On Monday, David M. Perry wrote, “We know extra lockdowns are coming, however this time, we might prioritize youngsters over bars, eating places, figuring out, sports activities and socializing in our properties. It’s time to keep schools and day cares open — and shut almost everything else down.”

But on Thursday, the nation’s largest public college system, New York City, closed its college buildings and moved to totally on-line studying, attributable to a rising common of Covid-19 instances — whereas indoor eating and gymnasiums remained open.

Jill Filipovic wrote that there is loads of blame to go round for America’s insufficient response to the pandemic. “With positive test and hospitalization rates increasing, and winter and the holidays looming, there is every reason to believe that things will get much, much worse before they get better. Unfortunately, our elected officials have failed us at nearly every level, from the White House to governors and city mayors — and not just in the red states where Covid-19 denial thrives, but in blue cities and states as well.”

For extra on Covid-19:

Susan Blumenthal and Emily Stark: The best way to make masks work against Covid-19

What Emily Murphy is not doing

On the day after the 2016 presidential election, Denise Turner Roth, the top of the US General Services Administration within the final years of President Barack Obama’s second time period, formally “ascertained” that Donald Trump had received.

“My determination,” she wrote for CNN Opinion, “was based mostly on a number of components: a assessment of the outcomes reported by each state, the key information organizations that known as the election for Trump, Trump’s clear margin of victory and the absence of voting irregularities or fraud. Once I gave the go-ahead, members of our administration were able to coordinate with President-elect Trump’s team to make sure an orderly switch of energy.”

But this yr, almost three weeks after the election received by Joe Biden, GSA administrator Emily Murphy is refusing to determine his victory. That is stalling the transition in worrisome methods, Turner Roth wrote. “The federal government comprises some 100 agencies and some 3.5 million employees. None of them can start cooperating with a new administration until the GSA makes its official ascertainment.”

Murphy “has single-handedly created chaos, inefficiency, and ineffectiveness, all while steadfastly refusing to respond to the American people, who, after all, have spoken through the ballot box,” wrote Jill Filipovic.

For extra on the election:

Fatima Goss Graves and Kristin Rowe-Finkbeiner: The next big job for White women who oppose Trumpism

Hold Trump accountable?

When the tumultuous transition is lastly over, incoming President-elect Joe Biden’s administration should make a fateful determination: Should it attempt to maintain Donald Trump accountable?

“Once the President leaves office, he will no longer have the immunity from prosecution he’s enjoyed for the last four years,” Joe Lockhart famous. “And regardless of by no means prosecuting a former president in our historical past, this time there is a strong case for breaking that norm. Holding President Trump accountable additionally will be the solely method to maintain our political events accountable.”
Biden, who campaigned on the promise he would heal the nation, will hear pressing cries from Democrats to analyze Trump, famous Charlie Dent, a former Republican congressman. “Not putting pressure on the US Department of Justice to prosecute Trump will be unpopular with a lot of the Democratic base,” Dent wrote, “but it may be necessary to steer the ship of state from turbulent and dangerous waters. It won’t be easy. The alternative will be more bitterness and the never-ending cycle of hostility that define today’s American political debate.”

Barack Obama’s finest vendor

The first quantity of Barack Obama’s presidential memoir bought almost 890,000 copies, together with pre-orders, on its publication day Tuesday, placing it on observe to be the top-selling e-book of the yr. Historian Jeremi Suri known as it a “sad and hopeful memoir” that exposed the previous President’s “passionate love for the United States.” The e-book confirmed the boundaries to what a president can accomplish “without cooperation from lawmakers and fuller participation from citizens.”

“Obama ran an exciting campaign on restoring equity and opportunity to Americans, but he spent most of his difficult presidency holding off one disaster after another,” Suri wrote. “His recollections of his first term in office are filled with repeated frustrations and regrets, born of the crises that repeatedly took him off track.”

“The truth is that Obama was never in a position to implement a transformative reform agenda like Franklin Roosevelt or Lyndon Johnson. He lacked the legislative super majorities they had.”

Obama’s presidency was at the least good, wrote John F. Harris in Politico. But he and his supporters had been aiming increased, for really historic accomplishments. “The intelligence and earnestness and self-probing mind are obvious on every page. But by the time the 700 pages of narrative conclude — with the remaining five years of his administration still awaiting a subsequent volume — it is clear that these traits don’t always lead to the kind of presidency he wanted.”

Whether the Obama presidency will finally be seen as nice in its affect on American historical past will rely partially on what comes subsequent. “The alternative to his reasonable, rational, relativistic way of thinking — the alternative to the pluralistic world he seeks — is an angry world driven by people who think like absolutists and haters and zealots,” Harris noticed.

Don’t miss


Enter Diana

Josh O'Connor as Prince Charles and Emma Corrin as Princess Diana in season four of Netflix's The Crown
Season 4 of the Netflix sequence “The Crown” brings the story into the Nineteen Eighties and spools by way of the British royal household’s extra unflattering current years. Prince Charles is “shoehorned by both his parents into a loveless marriage to young Diana,” Holly Thomas famous.

“Almost overnight, he is transformed from a pensive bachelor whose sister calls him ‘Eeyore’ into a dispassionate, inconsiderate and cruel failure of a spouse,” she wrote.

“In the time-honored fashion of British poshos, Queen Elizabeth (Olivia Colman) and co. manage to remain perpetually uncomfortable — physically, morally and emotionally. When they’re not trapping their children in tragic unions, they’re trudging up hills in the rain, ignoring the aesthetic disintegration of their palaces, or sacrificing loyal employees to save face. Their ingrained stiffness is matched only by the rigidity of their hair (Princess Margaret’s is the only mop that ever moves) — and by that of (Prime Minister Margaret) Thatcher, whose enormous, spherical coiffure may as well come with its own bio reading: ‘tough as the Queen, but with bigger brains.'”

The royal household’s public relations machine deserves credit score for resurrecting its picture prior to now decade across the youngsters of Diana and Charles — “the more accessible Princes William and Harry,” Thomas wrote. But the brand new season of “The Crown” is a “solid reminder that even comparatively recently, ‘The Firm’ was in a near-constant state of crisis — and begs the question of how much more controversy the family’s image can withstand.”

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