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[Commentary]: A Failed Coup Is Still a Coup

The United States Supreme Court on Friday refused to hear a lawsuit filed by Ken Paxton, the Republican attorney general of Texas, who along with seventeen other states – all of whom voted for President Donald Trump – sued Pennsylvania, Georgia, Michigan, and Wisconsin, which President-Elect Joe Biden won with significant margins, accusing them of rigging the election in favor of Biden.

So much for “the most important case in history,” comrades.

Photo by Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images

Paxton, who for the second time is under multiple indictments for securities fraud (and was somehow elected after the charges were filed, but has not yet had to face them), argued that Pennsylvania, Georgia, Michigan, and Wisconsin violated the Constitution because they adapted their respective voting procedures to the COVID-19 pandemic, and, therefore, the Court should throw out Biden’s victories and declare Trumpusha the winner.

Further, 127 House Republicans signed an amicus brief in support of the frivolous case.

Shortly after a majority of the nine Justices rejected Paxton’s petition because he and the seventeen attorneys general who joined the suit lacked standing to dictate how other states conduct their elections, Texas Republican Party Chairman Allen West issued a statement calling for Texas to secede from the Union:

The Supreme Court, in tossing the Texas lawsuit that was joined by seventeen states and 106 US congressman, have decreed that a state can take unconstitutional actions and violate its own election law. Resulting in damaging effects on other states that abide by the law, while the guilty state suffers no consequences. This decision establishes a precedent that says states can violate the US constitution and not be held accountable. This decision will have far reaching ramifications for the future of our constitutional republic. Perhaps law-abiding states should bond together and form a Union of states that will abide by the constitution.

The Texas GOP will always stand for the Constitution and the rule of law even while others don’t.

Really? The Texas GOP is standing for the Constitution? In what Universe? Trump and his Republican loyalists are smitten by the idea that any election they lose must be fraudulent. That is not the ideology of people who respect democracy. It is the battle cry of despots.

We need to have a serious discussion as a country about what to do with elected officials who use their offices to mount a coup against the Constitution, which they swore an oath to preserve, protect, and defend. How much more are we – the American people – going to take?

How much more can we take? How long will the Democratic Party – and sane Republicans – bashfully boo from the sidelines?

On its merits, Texas v. Pennsylvania was at best a joke and worst a seditious attempt at a coup. The fact that it failed is irrelevant and not an excuse to simply let it go.

Democrats along with Republicans who abhor their party’s abuse of federalist principles need to – in no uncertain terms and without equivocation or exception – condemn the treachery we have witnessed leading up to, during, and since the election.

Those responsible should face censure. They should be stripped of committee positions. And they should be forbidden from ever seeking public office again once their terms are up.

When Biden takes office, his Justice Department should hold each and every conspirator criminally responsible and charge them with sedition.

The Oxford Dictionary defines sedition, a federal felony punishable by fines and up to 20 years in prison, as “conduct or speech inciting people to rebel against the authority of a state or monarch.”

If the events of the last week do not meet that clear standard, then nothing is off limits, and we are in deep trouble.

The president is not stupid. He knows the walls are closing in on him. Trump’s twilight years will be consumed by civil and criminal lawsuits, asset seizures, and a political base with the attention span of a gnat – a poetic conclusion to a life of ostentatious criminality.

Thus, in the waning days of his presidency, Trump has more than demonstrated that he is ready and willing to scorch the Earth behind him.

Trump still enjoys unilateral authority over America’s gargantuan nuclear arsenal, which I have written about extensively.

Our survival – not just as a republic, but as a civilization and a species – may hinge on the dalliances of a sundowning 74-year-old sociopath with unfettered license – or motive – to initiate the apocalypse.

Setting aside the cataclysmic coronavirus pandemic, which thanks to Trump’s psychotic indifference has snuffed out 300,000 American lives and pulverized the economy, the president has gutted federal agencies and installed unqualified peons to carry out his mutinous orders – including at the Pentagon.

The final month of Trump’s historically miserable tenure will be dark and painful. The first 100 days of Biden’s will be arduous, albeit a bit brighter.

If this nation hopes to heal the fractures of the last four years, justice must be served. But, most of all, truth must prevail.

Working together, we can truly make America great for everyone.

Forty days until the inauguration.



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