Is the whole country going nuts?
Texas is suing Georgia, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Michigan because some Texas Republicans don't like the way most Georgians and the majority of folks in Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Michigan voted. They voted for Joe Biden rather than Donald Trump.
What's more, the Republican attorneys general in 16 other red states — including Tennessee and Alabama — joined in the lawsuit with Texas in a hail-Mary effort to bolster the desperate legal maneuvering to delay certification of the presidential electors in the four battleground states Trump lost.
In short, the red states are trying to block the votes cast in the blue states. It's nuts.
Basically giving up on the claims of widespread voting fraud (because there was none), this lawsuit takes aim at the way the sued states ran their elections: "Whatever doubt there is about fraud by voters or political operatives," the suit asserts, "there is no doubt that the officials of the Defendant States changed the rules of the contest in an unauthorized manner."
Dana Nessel, the attorney general of Michigan, told newscasters Wednesday that she didn't like the way Texas election officials changed their election rules in October to limit each of its counties to only one ballot drop box — even in the home county of Houston with 4.7 million people. But that's not Michigan's election officials' jurisdiction so Michigan hasn't sued Texas.
The lawsuit is likely to go nowhere, but it's embarrassing. Now instead of challenging votes, Trump and his henchmen are simply trying to cancel them.
Meanwhile back at the nation's Capitol, the head-shaking insults are more petty. Republican House members on the Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies are blocking the committee from recognizing the Biden win.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, Sen Roy Blunt of Missouri and House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy — all Republican members of the panel — squared off against the three Democratic members, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of California, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer of Maryland and Sen. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota.
Perhaps this is just the natural extension of Trump's delusion, but an out-sized number of GOP elected officials who should know better also are still holding out on publicly recognizing Biden as the president-elect.
As late as Monday, only 27 of the 249 Republicans in Congress had told The Washington Post or some news outlet that they believed Biden is in fact the winner of the 2020 election — more than a month after the former vice president's victory by more than 7 million votes nationally and a convincing electoral-vote margin, 306.
Astonishingly, 220 — 88% of Republicans in Congress — simply wouldn't answer the question of who won. These are men and women we have elected to make decisions and laws, but they Just. Wouldn't. Say.
Equally astonishing is that two congressmen, Reps. Paul Gosar of Arizona and Mo Brooks of Alabama, said Trump won.
Let's reiterate the math. Biden received 81.2 million votes to Trump's 74.2 million votes. And as of Wednesday, all 50 states had certified their elections, meaning the electoral commitments are set. Georgia has been certified and recertified three times.
But the political insanity we're watching is nothing compared to what's unfolding on the streets the Boise, Idaho.
A health commission there, meeting virtually Tuesday to decide on a proposed four-county mask mandate and other COVID-19 guidelines in a state staggering under an out-of-control virus surge, was ended early with no decision because of intense protests outside the health department building, along with separate protests outside the homes of some commission members. The Boise mayor and chief of police said the protests were threatening public safety.
The protesters told reporters they are anti-maskers who believe the virus isn't real or not that bad.
But like Biden's vote count, the numbers of our virus deaths and cases are hard to ignore.
Just in the past three days, we've had a daily equivalent of a Titanic sinking, a Pearl Harbor tragedy and a 9/11 attack. Since Dec 1, the daily COVID-19 death count in the U.S. has averaged 2,348, and on Wednesday it topped 3,000.
Sure, there's always been the contingent of selfish people who wouldn't wear masks because the same folks who told them they must stop at stop signs also told them they must cover their noses and mouths so as not to get or give a deadly virus.
But if that isn't nuts enough, now our Hamilton County Health Department has suspended contact tracing. Officials say the virus is too widespread and there is not enough time, money or workers to do the tracing.
We understand constraints but are we simply saying let's just wave the white flag, turn off all the traffic lights and call off all laws?
This, people, feels like chaos. But just because there's chaos all around us — modeled from the top down, we don't have to drive off the cliff because our leaders are. We know what is right. We know who won the presidency. And we know masks are a temporary means to a good end. Let's mask up and throw out the nuts — starting in Georgia.