Wednesday, January 6, 2021

electoral unvote

Right now an actual attempted coup is going on, as a mob storms the Capitol (not "protesters": protesters are not so violent). Clearly they are not interested in accepting Ted Cruz's proposal for an electoral commission to calmly and impartially judge the claims of irregularity.

In the meantime, though, I watched the Senate proceedings in the Arizona case as far as they went, before they were shut down (ironically, as a pro-objection senator was speaking). In an attempt to make some observations before either a) every other commenter in the world has had their say, or b) before our system of government breaks down completely, I'd like to focus on Cruz's speech. Cruz says that he doesn't want to overturn the vote certificates per se, just to appoint a commission to examine the "evidence." I put that in quotes because, of course, there is no evidence. The state executives, the legislatures, the courts have all had an opportunity to have their say, and they've all either rejected the case or declined the opportunity to try. So what could a commission do?

It was Pat Toomey, the senator speaking next, who in the course of what was otherwise an airy objection to making Congress the arbiter of state votes, made the substantive objection. What criteria would the commission use to determine fairness of election? And how on earth would they get this done in two weeks?

(Cruz got his inspiration from the electoral commission of 1877, whose replication was obviated by the electoral act of 1887, but let that pass. Let us also let pass that it was created because of some states submitting two competing certificates, something that hasn't happened today. That commission, by the way, had not two weeks but a whole month to do its work, and even that wasn't enough. Instead of coming to a conclusion on the merits, after weeks of partisan deadlock they fashioned a hasty dirty compromise by which the party of the North got the presidency and the party of the South got Reconstruction ended so that they could impose Jim Crow. (I'm not calling them "Republicans" and "Democrats" because they have nothing in common with the parties of those names today.))

Cruz says that if you believe the charges are false, you have nothing to fear from a commission. Yeah, right: that's like saying that if you're innocent you have nothing to fear from the police. But even if that's so: Cruz keeps harping on the 39% of people he says think there was fraud (which includes, he pointed out, a few Democrats: what he didn't point out is that they think the fraud came from Trump and the Russians), but does he really think a hastily-assembled commission could quell an opinion that the combined executives, legislatures, and courts of the states in question could not? Needless to add, the only reason these 39% are objecting anyway is because Cruz's allies goaded them into it by raising these specious charges in the first place. They make this stuff up, they prod people into believing it, then they use that belief as evidence that there's something really there.

No comments:

Post a Comment