President Donald Trump has turned a narrow electoral defeat into a bid for infamy.
His goal in the post-election interlude has been more and more explicitly to overturn the results of the election. Indeed, a couple of weeks ago he tweeted simply, “#OVERTURN.”
We now know, thanks to a recording of his phone conversation with Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger from over the weekend, how far he’s gone to pressure state officials to join him in this reprehensible goal. His hour-long lobbying of Raffensperger to declare him the winner in the state is among the worst things an American president has ever been caught saying on the record.
There is now no doubt that Trump lost Georgia. Both machine and hand recounts have confirmed a Biden victory of fewer than 12,000 votes. Trump has been agitating for a signature audit, and state officials examined a statistically significant sample of 15,000 absentee ballot envelopes in Cobb County. They found ten mismatched signatures, but the voters in question all vouchsafed for the legitimacy of the ballots when contacted by investigators.
Georgia has certified its results multiple times and appointed its electors in time to meet the “safe harbor” deadline under federal law, when they are supposed to be considered final and conclusive by the federal government. …
… The problem with Trump has always been his highly personal view of the presidency, wherein institutions, constitutional principles, and sheer propriety take a backseat to the felt needs of his ego.
At times in his presidency, this failing has been made to serve worthy ends, as when he stoked economic growth and confirmed record numbers of conservative judges as bragging points.
Since the election, though, this tendency has been particularly stark and unredeemed. His personal inability to accept the sting of defeat has led him, shamefully, to wage war on a legitimate election.