As Joe Biden’s path to the 270 electoral votes he needs to become the next president of the United States of America becomes clearer, Republicans are pulling out ever-more bizarre and desperate tactics to try to stop democracy in action.
Dozens of angry Trump supporters in states like Michigan, Arizona, and Nevada — Biden has flipped Michigan and Arizona blue thanks to the tireless work of organizers, and is getting close in Nevada — are converging on vote-counting centers to express their anger and dissatisfaction with the results. In Nevada’s Clark County, an unhinged conspiracy theorist in a “BBQ BEER FREEDOM” shirt crashed an election press conference, screaming, “The Biden crime family is stealing this election! The media is covering it up!” In Detroit and elsewhere, protestors shouted “Stop the count!” in an apparent attempt to subvert the democratic process because it doesn’t please them. “Election defenders” have been intimidating people who are working hard, often through the night, to count votes.
Meanwhile, the president has been pulling out all the last-ditch efforts to try and keep himself from losing, from falsely claiming victory before all the votes have even been counted and alleging voter fraud to demanding a recount in Wisconsin that will most likely prove fruitless for him anyway to — what else? — sending COMPLETELY UNHINGED ALL-CAPS TWEETS saying he “hereby claims” several states he has not won. (Reminder: This is not a kingdom.)
Trump has also waged lawsuits in Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Georgia this week, trying to lay the groundwork to contest the outcome in these battleground states as he slips behind. While the latter two states have not yet been called, Trump’s lead in both has significantly narrowed as more mail-in ballots from urban areas come in, something that was predictable since an avalanche of Democrats voted by mail during the pandemic, and cities are predominantly Democratic. The lawsuits demand better access for campaign “observers” to ballot-counting sites, and raise concerns about absentee ballots.
Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro told CNN that Trump’s lawsuit was “more a political document than a legal document.” Shapiro said, “There is transparency in this process. The counting has been going on. There are observers observing this counting, and the counting will continue.”
It’s crystal clear why Trump and his supporters are demanding to stop vote counting, going to court, and otherwise throwing tantrums: They are losing, and they can’t bear it. And instead of contending with actual issues within the GOP — like the fact that their policies are extremely unpopular with the general public, that they completely fucked up the response to a global pandemic and hundreds of thousands died, and the rising tide of white supremacist extremist groups among them — they are yelling and screaming. It’s very hard to come to terms with the fact that losing means not enough people like you — even when you claim to be everyone’s “favorite president” — but that’s the reality in a democracy.
Then again, this entire sad circus proves even more that democracy was never a priority for Republicans to begin with. Their first priority always has been and always will be seizing and maintaining power. And, unfortunately for America, they’re not doing a bad job of that: This election gave Republicans continued control over the U.S. Senate, power over redistricting, and they benefit from a conservative majority on the Supreme Court, to boot. But, they’re still not happy. They want it all — including the presidency.
But, the people have spoken. Predictably, though, Trump is terrified to lose, and his cult of supporters is terrified of losing their leader. Well, you can’t always get what you want.