Americans have waited four years to see how far Donald Trump could push Republicans before they finally pushed back.
Now we have our answer: As far as he wants.
With less than six weeks remaining in Trump’s historically corrupt administration, the defeated president is desperately trying to overturn the result of the election by any means necessary. Not only are Republicans okay with his abhorrent behavior, they are tripping over themselves to provide assistance.
There is no bottom. There is no low point. There is no depth to which Republicans are unwilling to sink. America has two major political parties, one that supports democracy and another that seeks to subvert it.
This week, indicted Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton filed a lawsuit to have the will of the people overturned in four swing states -- Georgia, Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin -- that all went for Joe Biden. Within 72 hours, he was joined by the attorneys general of 17 more Republican-led states and 126 members of the House of Representatives. The GOP is straight-up asking the Supreme Court to invalidate our nation’s representative form of government as a show of fealty to Donald Trump.
In case there was any lingering doubt that the Republican Party is an extremist organization, that has now been eliminated. The base has been successfully radicalized to the point where they are ready to support autocratic rule, as long as their guy is in charge.
Americans as a whole, for the moment, reject this. Joe Biden leads the national popular vote by a margin of seven million; he won the electoral college by a decisive 306-232 count, and our government has called this election the most secure in U.S. history. Yet, to this point, only six Republican senators -- Bill Cassidy, Susan Collins, Lisa Murkowski, Mitt Romney, Ben Sasse and Pat Toomey -- have publicly acknowledged Joe Biden as the winner.
Scattered amongst the madness, there have been a few brave individuals who deserve credit for standing up to the wannabe dictator-in-chief. Our nation’s judges, many of whom were appointed by Republicans, have tossed out virtually every frivolous lawsuit Trump’s embarrassing legal team has thrown at them.
Republican governors in Arizona and Georgia -- as well as the secretary of state in Georgia -- have all withstood Trump’s relentless and baseless attacks. A few others, like the Republican governor of Maryland, have called on Trump to concede.
But these are the outliers.
More than a month since every major news organization called the race, a large swath of Republicans continue to sow distrust in democracy among their supporters and wage a futile fight to extend Donald Trump’s incompetent reign. Never before has one of this country’s major political parties attempted to stage a coup d’état against the democratically elected government.
This is the logical next step for a Republican Party that has been chipping away at democracy for years. Republicans have passed voter identification laws, restricted early voting, reduced polling locations and purged registered voters from the books, all in an attempt to depress turnout among people who historically vote for Democrats.
Voter suppression, mostly targeting communities of color, has been part-and-parcel of the Republican winning strategy for years. And it has been supercharged in the last decade by a conservative Supreme Court that invalidated key parts of the Voting Rights Act.
What we are now witnessing is an escalation to a whole new and dangerous level.
Hypothetically speaking, what would happen if this longshot attempt to overturn the election were to succeed? Would the 81 million Americans who voted for Joe Biden just roll over and accept four more years of Donald Trump? They most certainly would not.
Democracy-defending Americans would take to the streets by the millions. All those people who jubilantly celebrated when the media declared Joe Biden the winner will not accept one more day of a Trump presidency after Jan. 20, let alone four more years.
All of Donald Trump’s election fraud claims are fraudulent. There is no evidence to support them. Republicans know this to be true, yet they are fighting alongside him anyway, with no regard for the short-term or long-term consequences of their actions.
Republicans have had the power to rein Trump in since the start of his presidency, but time and again they have opted against it. We are now seeing the last four years of their complicity play out to its logical conclusion. No matter what Trump says or does, the vast majority of Republicans will support him.
America be damned.