Donald Trump issued his gravest threats to democracy yet last night, giving an appalling rant from the White House deceitfully alleging, without evidence, without detail, and without regard to the fundamental tenet of democracy that we must count all votes, that Joe Biden’s increasing vote totals are the result of fraud.
Sen. Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania, whose state is a key battleground in the presidential election, said “There’s simply no evidence anyone has shown me of any widespread corruption or fraud” to supported Trump’s claim Thursday of fraud in balloting.
“The president’s speech last night was very disturbing to me because he made very, very serious allegations without any evidence to support it,” Toomey told “CBS This Morning.”
He added: “I voted for President Trump. I endorsed President Trump. I want the next president to be the person who legitimately wins the Electoral College and I will accept whoever that is” [Matthew Daly, “GOP Senator: No Evidence to Support Trump Vote-Fraud Claims,” AP, 2020.11.06].
Maryland Governor Larry Hogan calls Trump’s wild claims indefensible:
Maryland GOP Gov. Larry Hogan, a potential presidential hopeful who has often criticized Trump, said unequivocally: “There is no defense for the President’s comments tonight undermining our Democratic process. America is counting the votes, and we must respect the results as we always have before” [Jonathan Lemire, Zeke Miller, Jill Colvin, and Will Weissert, “Biden Ahead in Georgia, Pennsylvania; Trump Attacks Process,” AP, 2020.11.06].
Alas, no South Dakota Republicans seem capable of showing such simple courage in defense of democracy. Just prior to Trump’s White House rant, Governor Kristi Noem said Trump is fighting “rigged election systems.” In a Tweet this morning, Noem tells states whose “elections aren’t FAIR and TRANSPARENT” to “demand change” and adopt South Dakota’s election laws… as if there is any state where dedicated local clerks, auditors, and registrars aren’t already doing their darndest to provide their neighbors with a free, fair, and transparent election.
Fellow election victor Congressman Dusty Johnson offers a cautious statement in favor of election integrity but declines to take on Trump’s fascism:
Donald Trump’s effort to undermine our faith in the results of this election represent a grave threat to our democracy. Republicans must not let the Trumps bully them into complicity with this public evil. Republicans have the same obligation as all of us: to reject Donald Trump’s effort to use baseless and false accusations to inflame conflict and and overturn the real votes of millions of Americans.
We’re not asking you to impeach, Republicans. We’re not asking you to repudiate four years of Trumpism and grovel in shame before us. We just asking you to defend the election, defend our votes, and defend the truth.