Abbreviated pundit roundup: The attacks on our democracy continue

We begin today’s roundup with sobering analysis by Barton Gellman at The Atlantic on the widespread attempts to attack our democracy at the local level: 

“The democratic emergency is already here,” Richard L. Hasen, a professor of law and political science at UC Irvine, told me in late October. Hasen prides himself on a judicious temperament. Only a year ago he was cautioning me against hyperbole. Now he speaks matter-of-factly about the death of our body politic. “We face a serious risk that American democracy as we know it will come to an end in 2024,” he said, “but urgent action is not happening.”

For more than a year now, with tacit and explicit support from their party’s national leaders, state Republican operatives have been building an apparatus of election theft. Elected officials in Arizona, Texas, Georgia, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Michigan, and other states have studied Donald Trump’s crusade to overturn the 2020 election. They have noted the points of failure and have taken concrete steps to avoid failure next time. Some of them have rewritten statutes to seize partisan control of decisions about which ballots to count and which to discard, which results to certify and which to reject. They are driving out or stripping power from election officials who refused to go along with the plot last November, aiming to replace them with exponents of the Big Lie. They are fine-tuning a legal argument that purports to allow state legislators to override the choice of the voters.

Ed Kilgore has more on the fight for democracy in state legislatures across the country:

Believe it or not, for all the litigation over the election coup, the U.S. Supreme Court never squarely contradicted the sovereign-state legislature theory, instead dismissing lawsuits aimed at overturning the award of electors on procedural grounds (either standing to sue or mootness). One justice who might have gone along with the Trump constitutional theory about legislatures, Amy Coney Barrett, recused herself from a key decisionon Pennsylvania’s state-court-extended mail ballot deadline because she wasn’t on the Court when the case was originally argued.

So of the two radical constitutional theories Trump advanced to overturn his defeat, one (the unconditional power of the veep to reject certification of electors) won’t be available to him in January 2024, since Kamala Harriswill be in the seat occupied by Mike Pence in 2021. But the other, the legislative-supremacy theory, could come back with a vengeance, assuming Republicans hang on to control of legislatures in the states where Biden had the narrowest margin of victory (an easy assumption to make given the likely Republican tide in 2022 and the gerrymandering GOP legislatures are conducting to entrench their majorities). 

George Packer at The Atlantic looks at how we can and should prepare ourselves for the worst:

There is no easy way to stop a major party that’s intent on destroying democracy. The demonic energy with which Trump repeats his lies, and Bannon harangues his audience, and Republican politicians around the country try to seize every lever of election machinery—this relentless drive for power by American authoritarians is the major threat that America confronts. The Constitution doesn’t have an answer. No help will come from Republican leaders; if Romney and Susan Collins are all that stand between the republic and its foes, we’re doomed.

Mark Jacobs at The Chicago Sun-Times makes a sobering point:

Don’t count on the courts to stop Republican criminals. Coup plotter Steve Bannon was indicted on fraud charges last year, but was pardoned by co-conspirator Trump. It’s obvious that Trump has committed crimes (see 11,780 votes, obstruction of justice in the Mueller probe, misuse of funds in the Ukraine extortion plot and tax charges against the Trump Organization). In many ways, our justice system is failing to meet the moment. 

And The Washington Post editorial board sums up our grave problem:

Democracy works because people of good faith oversee the votes and respect the outcome of free and fair elections. Increasingly, the Republican Party threatens this foundational principle.

From Daily Kos at Read More. This article is republished from DailyKos under an open content license. Read the original article at DailyKos.

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