A new poll shows 70% of Republicans don’t believe that Democrat Joe Biden was elected president in a “free and fair election.” Yet some Republican elected officials are eager to act as if he did. Just what would cause a GOP office-holder to put his head on the chopping block and court the wrath of President Trump’s fervid grassroots supporters? The Republican version of the same longing for pre-2016 politics personified by Biden fires the adamant refusal to accept that two presidential elections in a row have now firmly cemented the GOP as an America First working-class party as molded by Donald Trump.
The Politico/Morning Consult poll merely reflects what is obvious to even the most casual observer. The Republican base overwhelmingly stands behind Trump in his fight to expose voting irregularities that he claims are responsible for the election being stolen from him. Meanwhile, the dominant media establishment continues to follow the same familiar playbook it has leaned on throughout all previous attack operations against the president. The strategy was used during the hysteria over Russian election interference, the Ukraine affair and the impeachment circus that followed, as well as the battles against Trump’s Supreme Court nominees.
First, the media frame their loaded narrative as unassailable fact. Then they get “authentic” Republicans to soberly back that biased framing. Touches of regretful acquiescence often accompany the performance.
Favored Elephant Status
And here we are again with the Great Election Mess of 2020. Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich is perfect big-box media casting to shoot down voting fraud concerns from a “Republican point of view.” “It does appear that Joe Biden will win Arizona,” Brnovich told Fox Business Network on Nov. 11. “There is no evidence; there are no facts that would lead anyone to believe that the election results would change.” Brnovich went on to dismiss allegations of voter fraud as minute and inconsequential, much to the satisfaction of Fox host Neil Cavuto, a star at the once allegedly conservative network that on election night outrageously called hotly contested Arizona for Biden.
Brnovich has proved a true tower of jelly in his handling of fraud suspicions. In response to reports that voters were given Sharpies to fill out their ballots – which were then unable to be processed by voting machines – the AG wrote a stern letter to local Maricopa County election officials. He received a reply claiming that there were no problems. End of investigation.
Unsurprisingly, Brnovich became the toast of corporate media for his words and actions. But as these propagandists posing as journalists hail their latest example of Republican bravery, an examination of Brnovich’s record reveals him to be a Jeff Flake/John McCain Arizona Republican who has displayed strident opposition to Trump in the past, especially on the linchpin issue of immigration.
Brnovich is a former McCain intern who maintained tight ties to the long-serving senator right up to the latter’s 2018 death. Brnovich served as director of the Goldwater Institute’s Center for Constitutional Government from 2003-2005. The Goldwater Institute is a free-market organization heavily funded by the Trump-loathing Koch Brothers that currently features George W. Bush-era relic Grover Norquist on its board of directors.
Before being elected to Congress, Flake served as Executive Director of the Goldwater Institute in the 1990s.
In Sept. 2015, Brnovich co-authored an article for the Federalist Society with Notorious Never Trumper and veteran Bushie Linda Chavez, bashing Trump’s border-security agenda. “His only solution to illegal immigration is to build a higher wall and deport 11.3 million illegal immigrants already here, along with their estimated 4 million U.S. citizen children,” the article lamented.
As Arizona Attorney General, one year later, Brnovich was placed in the position of having to defend SB 1070, the state’s tough anti-illegal immigration law. It must have been oh-so-sad for Brnovich to completely cave on the issue, as he played the role of good Republican loser to the T.
Brnovich was feted by The New York Times in a straight news article reporting on the attorney general’s move to limit law enforcement ability to detain suspected illegal aliens in Arizona. The paper observed:
“The opinion was the first time that a Republican elected official in Arizona had moved to clarify the limits of the stringent state law, known as S.B. 1070, that was aimed at identifying, prosecuting and deporting undocumented immigrants.”
“Arizona’s once-feared immigration law, SB 1070, loses most of its power in settlement,” read a headline in The Los Angeles Times, referencing Brnovich’s climb-down, which the AG naturally spun as a victory for those fighting to crack down on illegal immigration.
Trotted out again in 2020, Brnovich proved just as pleasing to friendly media outlets.
“If indeed there was some great conspiracy, it apparently didn’t work,” Brnovich told a smiling Cavuto on Fox Business. “What really happened and came down to was people split their ticket. People voted for Republicans down-ballot, but they didn’t vote for President Trump or [Sen.] Martha McSally. That’s the reality. Just because that happened doesn’t mean it’s fraud.”
Talking Tough About Giving Up
Another Republican “hero” of the moment is Sen. James Lankford (R-OK). Lankford went into full macho mode on Nov. 11, warning that he would “get involved” if the Trump administration did not immediately begin sharing intelligence with Biden to “prepare” him to become president.
It’s not hard to uncover Lankford’s motivations here. Quite simply, he is more closely aligned with Biden than Trump on the global trade issues that are most dear to his heart.
Lankford is a model pre-2016 Republican, having served as a close congressional ally of former Republican House Speaker and current K Street lobbying titan John Boehner before winning his Senate seat in 2014.
He has repeatedly stated his support for the scuttled Trans-Pacific Partnership trade pact and has resorted to colorful language to mock Trump’s use of tariffs to protect American workers.
In June 2019, Lankford was among a group of GOP senators who warned Trump officials at a closed-door lunch meeting that any attempt to enact further tariffs against Mexico would lead to blowback on Capitol Hill. Trump “is trying to use tariffs to solve every problem but HIV and climate change,” Lankford was widely quoted as telling administration staffers at the meeting.
In Sept. 2017, he was just as bold in defending illegal aliens who would be affected by Trump ending the DACA program created by Barack Obama. “We as Americans do not hold children legally accountable for the actions of their parents,” Lankford declared, sounding indistinguishable from progressive Democrats on the issue.
“The Legislative and Executive Branch should put aside passivity and partisanship and finally modernize our immigration laws,” he stated in pushing for immigration reform.
He was among the band of Republican senators who strove to curry favor with Black Lives Matter Marxist revolutionaries during the Summer of George Floyd by calling for Columbus Day to be eliminated as a national holiday and replaced by Juneteenth, a day that marks the freeing of slaves.
“Throughout our history, we have strived to become a more perfect union and Juneteenth was a huge step in attaining that goal,” Lankford said in early July.
“We should celebrate these strides on the federal level while remaining cognizant of the impact the existing 10 federal holidays have on federal services and local businesses. We can reduce these impacts by replacing Columbus Day as a federal holiday with Juneteenth, America’s second independence day.”
Make no mistake. The Loser Party is eager for Trump to quietly call it a day and exit stage right so it can go back to engaging in all those delightful defeats and humble concessions that so infuriated the party’s grassroots for 30-odd years.
Read more from Joe Schaeffer.