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Opinion | Do you still believe?

“Marshall’s involvement in an anti-democratic heist of a legal election is an embarrassment to himself and to Alabama.”

Attorney General Steve Marshall speaks on a proposed rewrite of the state ethics laws. (Chip Brownlee/APR)

I’m pretty chill with Christmas music. I mean, I’m not going to play it in July like some people. But around Christmas, yeah. There’s a song from a new album by Dolly Parton. It’s not directly a Christmas song but, instead, a song about these trying times. It’s called “I Still Believe,” and it’s on her album A Holly Dolly Christmas.

Why write about a Christmas song? Well, with all of the chaos that is 2020, it’s appropriate. These are the first two stanzas of the song:

Even though we’re walking through the valley of death
Scared, and wondering what happens next
Uncertainty, division, anger, and unrest
I still believe

Questions of what, and why, and when
What is it, what happened, when will it end?
These are strange and crazy times that we’re living in
But I still believe

Yeah, right? We’ve got an angry, sore-loser president literally attempting a coup. The COVID-19 pandemic is out of control here in Alabama and across the nation. It’s worse now than it ever has been, and the scientists and doctors tell us it’ll get even worse in the coming weeks and months. There still are protests as a deputy in Ohio killed another young Black man at his home.

Though it carries little enforcement, at least Gov. Kay Ivey extended Alabama’s mask mandate until next year, though I often see folks where I live in Birmingham not wearing masks while they’re out. Wear a mask.

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And now we learn that our own attorney general, Steve Marshall, is joining in on Donald Trump’s coup attempt. As reported Thursday by APR‘s Eddie Burkhalter, “Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall Wednesday signed on to a brief in support of a lawsuit filed by Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton that asks the U.S. Supreme Court to toss election results in Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.”

This is an unfounded GOP effort to overturn an election fairly won by President-elect Joe Biden. In more than 50 court cases, the Trump campaign has lost all but once, and that win was on a minor issue that wouldn’t have affected the election outcome.

Trump’s Attorney General Bill Barr even declared there was no election fraud that rose to a level that would have altered the election. The U.S. Supreme Court, with three conservatives appointed by Trump, refused to even consider a case filed by Pennsylvania Republicans that wanted that state’s results overturned.

Marshall has no business getting involved in this scam by the Texas attorney general, who is under criminal investigation and probably positioning himself for a pre-emptive pardon from Trump. The Associated Press reported in November that the FBI is investigating Paxton because he allegedly illegally used the power of his office to benefit a political donor.

Now Marshall is going to use his office to benefit an accused GOP colleague in another state? Marshall should stay in his lane and certainly not use state resources to further baseless charges that there was massive voter fraud in this presidential election.

It’s odd, is it not, that the Democratic Party voter fraud was so massive that Republicans gained seats in the Democratic-controlled U.S. House and — unless two Democrats defeat Republican incumbents in Georgia’s U.S. Senate runoffs on Jan. 5 — will maintain control of the Senate as well.

The presidential election has been certified by every state and the District of Columbia, with Republican and Democratic election officials refuting bogus claims of fraud. Widespread voter fraud simply does not exist, and Marshall’s involvement in an anti-democratic heist of a legal election is an embarrassment to himself and to Alabama.

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Near the end of her song, the amazing Dolly Parton leaves us with this:

I believe to my very core
We’ll walk again in the sunshine
By the seashore (I still believe)
That we’ll dance (we’ll dance), and we’ll sing (we’ll sing)
And be happy again
You know our hearts, you know our needs
You see our fear, you hear our pleas
We come to you on bending knees through it all
I still believe

Whatever form your faith takes, Parton’s message is perfect for this trying time of turmoil.

Joey Kennedy
Written By

Joey Kennedy, a Pulitzer Prize winner, writes a column each week for Alabama Political Reporter. You can email him at [email protected] or follow him on Twitter.

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