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Continued efforts disturbing

When Rep. Matt Gaetz said recently on Twitter that the Republican Party is now the party of Trump, he couldn’t have been more correct. After approximately 60 failed lawsuits in state and federal courts, pressure placed on state lawmakers by the president of the United States to put forth faithless electors (Electoral College electors who do not represent the candidate who won a majority of a state’s voters), and weeks of pointless, COVID-spreading protests in D.C. and in battleground states like Wisconsin and Arizona, now we have Rep. Louie Gohmert of Texas suing VP Mike Pence! Why? To try to get a federal judge to say that Mike Pence as vice president has the unilateral authority to throw out any state’s slate of electors when Congress certifies the Electoral College results on Jan. 6.

This lawsuit will, of course, be tossed as well. No federal judge is going to side with an argument that says vice presidents have the sole authority to toss out the results of a presidential election contest. But to add insult to injury, Rep. Mo Brooks of Alabama and others (likely including West Virginia Rep. Alex Mooney) plan to contest the Electoral College results in the House, and Sen. Josh Hawley of Missouri now says he’ll join them in the Senate. All this will accomplish is forcing each congressional house to adjourn to its respective chamber for up to two hours and discuss this, delaying the inevitable. The Democrat-controlled House and probably a fairly large number of Republicans in both the House and Senate are going to vote to certify these results and at 12:01 p.m. on Jan. 20, 2021, Joe Biden will become the 46th president of the United States.

This sad state of affairs does cause at least two serious concerns, though: the potential violence and destruction that D.C. and certain state capitals may be facing at the hands of right-wing wannabe militia types (they are not militia) on and after Jan. 6; and the fact that the Republican Party is showing its willingness to disregard the legitimate, legally cast votes of the over 7 million more Americans who voted for Biden over Trump. I say “at least two serious concerns” because there is a lot more that I don’t have the page inches to discuss (i.e. the prevalence and success of right-wing propaganda and lies and widespread belief in blatant conspiracies and fiction).

We can have a functioning democracy, or we can have massive disinformation and the manipulation of virtually all of the members of one of two major American political parties. We can’t have both.

Eric Engle

Parkersburg

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