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Defying the Odds

Defying the Odds
New book about the 2016 election.

Friday, December 11, 2020

Texas Lawsuit

In Defying the Odds, we discuss Trump's dishonesty and his record of disregarding the rule of law.  His legal challenges to the election of Joseph Biden have toggled between appalling and farcical.    But his base continues to believe the bogus narrative.

Daniel Dale and Tara Subramaniam at CNN:

President Donald Trump filed a brief at the Supreme Court on Wednesday that featured some of the same false and misleading claims Trump has been making on Twitter.

The brief asks the Supreme Court to allow Trump to intervene in support of a lawsuit filed by Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton. Republican attorneys general of 18 other states are supporting Texas as well. They are asking the court to invalidate the election results in Georgia, Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania, all of which were won by President-elect Joe Biden.
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The brief says, "President Trump prevailed on nearly every historical indicia of success in presidential elections. For example, he won both Florida and Ohio; no candidate in history—Republican or Democrat—has ever lost the election after winning both States."

Facts First: This is false. Richard Nixon lost the 1960 presidential election to John F. Kennedy even though Nixon won Florida and Ohio.

Also, it would merely be an interesting fact, not evidence of fraud, if Trump was indeed the first candidate to lose an election while carrying Ohio and Florida. Different candidates build different geographic coalitions.

Ross Ramsey at The Texas Tribune:

Paxton said this week that the changes in the four states he named potentially fouled the election and turned the results on their head. He offered no evidence that any fraud took place.

Paxton’s lawsuit was missing some pieces, as The Texas Tribune’s Emma Platoff pointed out in her story on the filing. The Republican attorney general said in the lawsuit that changes made to voting procedures in those states had the effect of “weakening ballot integrity” and resulted in voter fraud. But he didn’t detail any such fraud.

He also made no such allegations against Texas, where Gov. Greg Abbott modified election procedures without consulting the Legislature, like adding a week to early voting and citing the pandemic’s need for social distancing as justification.

The case was also missing a fact-checker. As retired legal reporter Lyle Denniston pointed out this week, Paxton wrote in his lawsuit that 72 Electoral College votes were at stake. For the record, Georgia and Michigan each have 16 votes, Pennsylvania has 20 and Wisconsin has 10. That’s 62 votes.

Jonah Goldberg:

It is an act of cynical, unpatriotic, undemocratic hypocrisy unrivaled in American history, a pure power play on behalf of a president whose disregard for the very Constitution these people have long claimed to adore is total. It is shameful. Infuriatingly shameful.