A presidential election is terribly difficult to steal.
But that is essentially what members of Congress, including Tennessee Republican U.S. Sens. Marsha Blackburn and Bill Hagerty and Tennessee U.S. Reps. Chuck Fleischmann, R-Ooltewah, and Scott DesJarlais, R-Winchester, are alleging. Blackburn and Hagerty are among a group of at least 12 senators who plan to object to the Electoral College certification of votes for President-elect Joe Biden during a joint session of Congress on Wednesday.
Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, has said he will lead an objection to the certification unless there there is agreement for an emergency 10-day audit of the results by an electoral commission.
The objections are expected to force votes in the House and Senate, neither of which is expected to prevail. Thus, in slightly more than two weeks, Biden will be inaugurated as president.
So is this the last act of a desperate President Donald Trump and his party who want to hold on to power or a sign of the widespread distrust in the federal government and its systems?
The answer is yes. And sadly, it's not an either/or question.
After dozens of lawsuits and court battles, Trump and his team have not been successful in overturning the election or even getting judges — including many of those he appointed — to agree that alleged fraud in voting in various battleground states was enough to change the results in those states.
The president, according to a recent leaked voice audio, even asked Georgia's secretary of state "to find 11,780 votes, which is one more than we [need to win]."
That's a lot of fraud to find when nothing coming close to that has been found up to now, and it's no phone call Trump ever should have made in the first place.
Yes, there was fraud across the country, depending on how the term is defined. Truth be told, there is fraud in every election. But it has not been shown to be so commonplace as to give the president the re-election he and the 75 million-plus people who voted for him so desire.
The election is now two months in the rear-view mirror. Wouldn't it make sense that somewhere in those 60-plus days, if a serious breach had occurred, a Trump-sympathetic judge would have agreed to hear further arguments or the evidence of a breach would have been so obvious the state's results wouldn't have — couldn't have — been certified?
We would like nothing more than for a Republican presidency to continue. We believe it would allow the country to recover from the economic shutdowns faster than it will under Biden. We would prefer it over the ruinous plans a Democratic administration could render, even if it doesn't have the power of a vice-presidential tiebreaking vote in a 50-50 Senate. We feel a Republican administration is more in line with the thinking of a majority of Americans, even if they didn't care for the man who headed that administration the last four years.
But we said immediately after the election, if there is fraud, prove it. Many allegations have been made, but so far they haven't been proven to be a game-changer.
While we strongly believe the country would benefit from a thorough examination of the election, from top to bottom, we don't believe the 10-day audit Cruz has in mind would change anything. What could it find that hasn't been found?
With that said, the Trump voters who worry that the election was stolen or have lost faith in the federal government to conduct a fair process aren't just conspiracy theorists. They're average, ordinary Americans who go to work every day, send their children to public schools, pay their taxes and try to do their best to help their fellow man.
But in the last four years they have watched Democrats, the national media, judges and the Deep State, among others, try to steal the presidency from its rightful holder. They've seen them try to deligitimize him beginning the night of his election, keep his Cabinet nominees from being confirmed, accuse him of conspiring with Russians, spoil his agenda, root out his income taxes, impeach him on political charges and attempt to thwart him as he battled a once-a-century pandemic.
So, a mere election? Sure, if the same cabal could do to Trump what it did to him over his term, his voters could believe something — a Democratic coup? state election administrators? judges? — might have fouled the waters during balloting.
But did they?
Nothing, we repeat, has been proven that would have changed the results. In the past week, Fleischmann has said in a radio interview that Trump won the election. Blackburn said "allegations of voter fraud, irregularities and unconstitutional actions" have forced the senators to take the action they will take in challenging the certification of the Electoral College vote.
Perhaps they know something everybody else doesn't. Or perhaps they just want to reflect the distrust that has been engendered in the processes of government over the last four years.
At this point, though, it looks like an exercise in futility.
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