New GOP Motto: Win Or Cheat

Among my favorite opinion writers is Frank Bruni writing for the New York Times.  His newsletter on Thursday takes a tongue-in-cheek look at the Republican Party’s new favourite toy:  election denial.  For months, they have been planning and plotting how to overcome their losses on November 8th and they will leave no stone unturned.  Never before in the history of this nation … and I hope never again, but … sigh.  Anyway, see what Frank says about it all …

Heads, Republicans win. Tails, Democrats cheated.

By Frank Bruni

27 October 2022

I appreciate little about Kari Lake, the Republican nominee for governor in Arizona, but I do thank her for her candor. For her transparency. For laying out and laying bare the double standard that she and other Republican candidates and leaders embrace:

A Republican victory in a tightly contested race means that Democrats’ desires or schemes to corrupt it didn’t pan out. Let freedom ring! A Democratic victory means that George Soros cast a magic spell over voters while a global cabal of socialists and pedophiles used space beams to scramble the results that voting machines spit out.

Those weren’t Lake’s exact words in a recent interview with Dana Bash on CNN, but that was the spirit of them.

Bash asked Lake about her crackpot insistence that the 2020 presidential election was stolen from Donald Trump — a fiction that happens to enjoy special favor in Arizona — and whether Lake was prepared to concede graciously if her Democratic opponent, Katie Hobbs, prevailed in the midterms on Nov. 8.

“I’m going to win the election, and I will accept that result,” Lake said, oracularly and obnoxiously.

Bash rightly pressed her. What if she lost?

“I’m going to win the election,” Lake repeated, word for robotic word, “and I will accept that result.”

I don’t know how you interpret that, but here’s my translation: The only outcome she will consider legitimate is her own victory. Anything else is potential grounds for a fresh round of rancor and a new cycle of conspiracy theories. She’s poised to pump more poison into the body politic. For Lake and too many other Republicans, there are just two possibilities: validation or victimization. There’s no such thing as losing fair and square.

Republicans are fashioning a politics without accountability. They’re rigging reality itself. And Lake’s interview with Bash was one of those moments that captured, in miniature, the broader dynamics and dysfunctions of its time.

Lake argued, for example, that the bogus issue of election integrity must be prioritized and addressed because many Americans believe it should be. See how that works? You sow the seeds of doubt. Then when doubt grows, you say: Look at all that doubt! It’s a garden, it’s a thicket, it’s a wild anti-Eden all its own. It must be tamed — and you know how? Elect Kari Lake. Bow to Ron DeSantis. Because they’re spotlighting that doubt. They’re boldly confronting it. They’re not letting evidence, or the lack thereof, get in the way of emotion.

A reasonable person might ask: If the system has been corrupted, if the counting can’t be trusted, why should we accept a win by Lake? Or by DeSantis? Or by any other Republican who is telling us how degraded the vote has become, how suspicious the returns are?

That’s my favorite part of their theatrical panic: how conveniently selective it is.

The same system that tallied fewer votes for Trump than for Joe Biden in 2020 also tallied more votes for many Republican senators and members of Congress than for their Democratic rivals, but Republicans didn’t emit so much as a peep of concern about those counts. The space beams, you see, operate with surgical precision.

I shouldn’t joke. This is no laughing matter. If enough Americans exalt feelings over facts, insist on their preferred version of events rather than the actual one, refuse to subjugate their personal wants to any public good and reject the processes and institutions that enable group decisions, we have chaos. We all lose.

And I, for one, am not prepared to accept that result.

17 thoughts on “New GOP Motto: Win Or Cheat

  1. Kari Lake will win because she is a far better candidate than Katie Hobbs. Lake will be a VP or presidential candidate in the next few years.

    Hillary Clinton laid the groundwork for a Democrat loss in mid-terms:
    Is she an election denier?

    The real proof is in the pudding. If you can stand a few moments of introspection, watch this ten-minute video. Prominent Democrat after Democrat contest the results in 2000, 2004, and 2016 presidential elections, basically any contest they lost. Stacy Abrams gets her licks in too for the election she lost by 50,000+ votes in 2018 (and will lose again in 2022). This video goes on for TEN MINUTES. This is not fake news; it is actual footage from the last TWENTY YEARS of Democrat claims. Democrats perfected the art of election denial long before Trump was even in politics. PLEASE WATCH THIS. PLEASE NOTE THE REAL DOUBLE STANDARD HERE.!

    Questioning an election should not be a sin. Democrats are allowed to question them as much as Republicans and Trump. What IS a problem though is calling the other side traitorous in 2020 for doing the very thing your side has done for TWENTY YEARS.

    Further, if you are going to claim a problem with the election, bring the receipts. This standard should be held to both sides. Don’t tell me the vote in Georgia is being suppressed and then ignore the 2022 voting totals (for primaries and early voting) which are far outpacing any prior election for both Democrats and Republicans.

    Tell me also exactly WHO is having their vote suppressed. Show the evidence. Put their faces on TV.

    Tell me also why the Democrat party consistently talks only of blacks who have their vote suppressed by voter ID laws? Voter ID laws should suppress votes of people who are not authorized to vote. Nobody else. That’s what they are designed for. How is it that these laws are targeted to certain ethnic groups? I don’t see the connection. Please explain this for an uninformed conservative like me.


    • Interesting viewpoints. A couple of rebuttals from an independent and former Republican and Democrat voter. It is OK to raise a contention over a close election. I agree with that point.
      – Yet, what the former president did went far beyond and still does contesting the election. Trump had hired over 1,000 attorneys by September, 2020 to help him contest an election, nay sayed the mail-in process, put his own person in charge of the USPS to hamstring the postal department, and spoke of being cheated bef0re the election. Then, he proceeded with about 65 lawsuits to cite foul, winning only one court case in PA. He also lost every recount, audit and review of election results. It should be noted many of the people over seeing this process and court cases were Republicans.
      – Further, he would not stop contesting and instigated an insurrection on the Capitol building. Whether his involvement was moderate or significant, January 6 insurrection does not happen if another president is in the White House. This is where the word sedition comes into play.
      – As for Kemp/ Abrams, I remember Brian Kemp’s name as he was Secretary of State in GA when he ran for governor. And, as such he oversaw the purging of voters before the election. I remember his name as this is at best a blatant conflict of interest and at worst gross cheating. In my view Abrams was right to call foul.
      – As for 2000, Al Gore and George Bush were both right to get to the bottom of the Florida portion of the election. It was very close and there were issues involved. But, after contending the election until the SCOTUS vote, Gore did something that Trump has still failed to do. He conceded.

      In my view, trying to compare different circumstances to rationalize some behavior is disingenuous. Christopher Krebs, the head of election cybersecurity, said the 2020 presidential election was the most secure in history leaving significant auditable trails. Trump fired him as he did not like that messaging. AG Bill Barr investigated Trump’s claims in December, 2020 and told Trump his election fraud claims were BS using the actual word to his face. Trump fired Barr as he did not like the messaging.

      Again, it is OK to contest a close election. But, like Trump’s niece said in November, 2020, her uncle will burn it all down to avoid losing the election. That is an eerily accurate metaphor in my view.

      That is what this old fart thinks. Keith

      Liked by 2 people

      • It’s wonderful that we agree on the point that elections can be contested. You are more fair minded and gracious than many of your compatriots here.

        You set the standard also in your response. Hiring 1,000 lawyers represents chicanery on Trump’s part? From Molly Hemmingway’s Rigged:
        – In 2012, the Obama-Biden campaign bragged about recruiting 18,000 lawyers to serve as poll watchers
        -In 2020 Biden bragged of hiring 600 lawyers for his litigation strategy

        Marc Elias, the Democrat election super litigator claimed to hire 40,000 lawyers to institute election reforms prior to the 2020 election. From WE THE ACTION:

        -WE THE ACTION is nothing more than a trolling site to hook in eager Democrat-progressive attorneys, who want to “Join thousands of lawyers fighting for progress” and “put their skills to their best, highest use” to “protect our democracy.” It claims to have a “community of lawyers” which is 40,000+ strong!

        In 2016, absentee and mail-in ballots were 33 million (of 140 million). In 2020, the number rose to more than 100 million (of 159 million). Does this provide an opportunity to cheat?

        Jimmy Carter and James Baker in 2005 in their joint election report, called out mail-in balloting as a problem.

        Ballot harvesting is a particularly reprehensible practice that has been legalized in California. Read about it. It is a huge problem and offers countless opportunities to cheat.

        State legislatures are the ones given the authority by the US Constitution to manage elections. In PA, the governor and the courts changed election laws in violation of the US Constitution. This case should have gone to the Supreme Court but did not. You decry the Court and call them rouge when they rule against you in Roe V Wade (and many other cases), but you hail their decision in this instance; their rejection validates your claim in this instance.

        Mark Zuckerburg poured in 400 million into the elections in several battleground states. Wisconsin gave his team unprecedented access to manage the election. He gave to many districts but gave far more in battleground states and far more to Democrat leaning districts.

        In Atlanta, they stopped counting and told everyone (media and election judges) to go home and then started counting again.

        In PA and Michigan, Republican election watchers were denied access during vote counting. Do you remember cardboard sheets put up in Michigan? They had to go to court to be allowed to watch from 100 feet.

        There’s many more examples, but let me address other points.

        Krebs said it was the cleanest election ever the day after the election. Sure, it was his job to make it fair, so that’s what he would say. He gets quoted a lot, but his knee-jerk response makes me suspicious. I would have fired him too.

        Abrams lost Georgia by 55,000 votes, 2 percentage points. Trump lost Georgia by 11,000 votes, less than 1 percentage point. Why is her claim more legitimate than Trump’s? What is Abrams record of court cases from the 2018 election? Is it better than Trump’s record? That’s your standard for legitimacy.

        Gore conceded, but his party never did. Did you watch the video I provided. On and on and on about the illegitimacy of 2000, 2004, and 2016 elections from Democrats.!

        I would be happy to continue this conversation if you would like. There were myraid of reasons to suspect the 2020 results.


        • Thanks for your comment. To rationalize the former president’s behavior on multiple fronts with these other examples is again disingenuous. The former president has three more legitimate indictments that are forthcoming on top of the civil tax fraud case for his company underway and the criminal case he was just indicted for. These other folks did not instigate seditious activities against Congress nor did they take classified documents to an unsecure location that had been breached only a few years before. Then there is Trump’s GA meddling which he has to answer for. The other point on Kemp is he had a conflict of interest at best as he led an effort to purge voters from the GA rolls to help him win. The differential was surprisingly as small as it was in light of this blatant cheating. B

          You’re reading from a different hymnal than I am. As an independent, I do not like that a former president continues to push something he knows is not true and has failed miserably at proving. He cannot lose any more than he has. Too many believe his bogus claims, yet choose not to believe that an insurrection occurred at the impetus of the former president. I do not care which party he came from or represents, we cannot have happen what happened. Full stop. I knew for months that Trump would contest the election, so it was not a surprise. What is a surprise is the number of sycophants who have rationalized his behavior.

          Again, thanks for your comments. That is what I believe, so no further rebuttal is needed, as your points are understood. Keith

          Liked by 1 person

  2. Pingback: New GOP Motto: Win Or Cheat — Filosofa’s Word | Ned Hamson's Second Line View of the News

  3. Thank you for sharing!.. what we are witnessing is change taking place and desperate elements of society, in this country and the world, trying to prevent change… technology is making changes in the way we do things and thinking… covid (and others too numerous to mention) has people making changes in the way they live and work… climate is doing likewise… 🙂
    The key is for everyone to work together and not overreact to the Trump’s or their actions.. 🙂

    Until we meet again..
    May love and laughter light your days,
    and warm your heart and home.
    May good and faithful friends be yours,
    wherever you may roam.
    May peace and plenty bless your world
    with joy that long endures.
    May all life’s passing seasons
    bring the best to you and yours!
    (Irish Saying)

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Jill, this is only the latest vintage of ways to cheat. Both sides have cheated in the past, but my last former party cheats like mo-fos. The ALEC fueled cookie cutter voter id laws, where the state leaders filled in the blanks and passed them, the precision-like gerrymandering that was so good, even Republicans regret it as it allowed too many extreme folks in their elected ranks and the continual voter suppression tactics are key tactics. Much of the previous vintage evolved out of winning the 2010 midterms in a census year and using the redistricting process.

    The former president laid the groundwork for the current vintage with his election denial, which he has failed miserably at proving, but that did not matter. Governors saw it as a chance to squelch the increasing demographics working against them and ran with it. Even Bolsonaro in Brazil will be using this ploy.

    To me, that will be how Donald Trump’s legacy will be remembered most – lying, bullying and cheating. But, I could have told you that in 2016 before the election based on his long, well-documented history of so-doing.


    Liked by 3 people

    • It seems that the GOP understands all too well that they don’t stand a snowball’s chance in hell of winning in a completely fair and honest election. After all … they don’t even HAVE a platform. Their platform is whatever Trump says it is on any given day, or what McCarthy rants about on a given day. So, if you know you can’t win honestly, you have two choices: a) try to fix the problems, try to become a better, more people-centric party, one who is attuned to such things as the environment, income inequality, etc., or b) cheat. They have chosen option B.

      Last update I got, Lula had pulled slightly ahead of Bolsonaro … my fingers are crossed, but I believe that Bolsonaro won’t take a loss lying down and will make as much fuss and chaos as he possibly can if he loses.


Comments are closed.