Monday, January 18, 2021

Where Trump Erred

It wasn’t just Democrats who reveled in the storming of the Capitol last nearly two weeks ago. Many members of the NeverTrump right thrilled to the realization that they would be able to use the events of January 6 to show that they were right all along.

So, I would expand John Hinderaker’s point, from the Powerline blog (via Maggie’s Farm):

But the mini-riot at the Capitol last week finally gave the Democrats the opportunity to claim that their longstanding opposition to everything Trump, including nearly all of his successful policies as president, has been vindicated.

Hinderaker makes a subtle point about the claims of election fraud. We do not know whether such fraud existed, but we do know, he says, that there was no way that the election results were going to be overturned by the courts. Doubtless, he knows far more about the courts than I do, and he is certainly not opposed to Trump, so I will grant credence to his observation that the cases that Trump’s lawyers filed never had a chance-- anywhere.

He adds a point that is well worth making, namely that Trump had lousy taste in lawyers. For some reason, beyond my ken, Hinderaker does not mention Rudolph Giuliani-- who certainly did not cover himself or the president in glory.

Obviously, President Trump has contributed to his own demise. Not by battling the Democrats for the last four years, not always in the most elegant way but usually effectively, but by his post-election behavior. But here, a distinction should be made. President Trump questioned the integrity of the election, and argued that he really won it, if only legal votes were counted. As I wrote here, I think the jury is out on that question.

There is no serious doubt that voter fraud is a problem, and Trump was right to highlight it. The Democrats are now trying to use Trump’s supposed disgrace to prohibit all discussion of election integrity, which is dishonest political opportunism. Conservatives want honest elections, and in the months and years to come, we must fight for them against Democratic opposition.

But Trump also indulged a delusional fantasy: the idea that Joe Biden’s apparent victory would be reversed, and that he would serve a second term. There was never a chance that this would happen. The many lawsuits that Trump and his supporters filed were doomed from the beginning. Whether their allegations were true or false was a complicated fact question that could not possibly be sorted out in 60 or 90 days. This fact was obvious to anyone familiar with litigation, but one of Trump’s faults is that he has lousy taste in lawyers. Exhibit A is Michael Cohen; Exhibits B and C are Sidney Powell and Lin Wood.

So, Trump stoked false hope that the election results would be overturned. It was, Hinderaker says, never going to happen. Besides, Trump did not show competence in hiring lawyers. 

Trump was justified in questioning the results of the election, and did a public service by highlighting the important issue of ballot integrity. But he led many of his supporters seriously astray when he propagated the idea that his lawsuits, some of which were frankly inept and all of which were hopeless, would miraculously give him a second term. Sometimes a president, like many others, needs to know where to find good legal advice.


Ares Olympus said...

I find it offensive to suggest anyone was reveling that the Capitol riots happened as they did, unless it is for "I told you so" rights.

Trump's Republican Party gained 10 seats in the House, and equal 10 Republicans voted for his impeachment. Trump could have basked in his 74 million votes, positioned himself as the champion of the Republican party for the next 4 years, with a narrow loss of 45k votes between 3 swing states. But that wasn't enough for his ego. He promised "The only way we can lose is if the election is 'rigged'", and because he keeps his promises, he demanded evidence the election was rigged. Why did he have such bad lawyers? Because no competent honest lawyer would take his case?

So what did his lies accomplish? He took in hundreds of millions of dollars in donations since the election which he can use to reward or punish (primary) Republicans in Congress for the next 4 years, and they are supposed to jump when he says jump.

And now X million people believe Democrats and RINOs conspired against Trump, and that the only way to get justice is through open riots through righteous delusions. And whether Trump in his heart wanted riots for him or not, clearly many wanted him to want the riots that they participated in.

And apparently even some of the Capitol guards believed and open some of the doors to let protestors inside the capitol, risking the lives of congress and protestors alike. And now the military itself has to remind and vet some of its brain-washed soldiers their allegiance is to the constitutionally elected leadership, not a sore loser lame duck president.

I'm glad Trump's idiotic "steal" failed. There was no guarantee it had to fail. Beyond that good fortune, it's all utterly shameful.

Whatever it takes for Trump's enablers to save face, now is the time. If the storming of the capitol isn't enough, nothing is enough to redeem them. Having a 100-0 vote for conviction in the Senate would be a good start to new unity for the country.

jmod46 said...

You have to know when to hold 'em, and more importantly, when to fold 'em.

370H55V said...

Harmeet Dhillon.

Anonymous said...

Within 10 years people will freely admit their role in stealing the election.

And no one will do anything.