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Opinion | Trump recording exposes his foolish enablers

“We’ve all now heard a desperate and maniacal president say a bunch of quiet parts out loud.”

Then-President Donald Trump at the White House.

The election fraud has been discovered. After two months of wild accusations and failed court cases, finally, over the weekend, actual proof of election fraud related to the 2020 presidential election was unearthed and presented for all the world to see. 

It came in the form of an audio recording, which captured President Donald Trump repeatedly threatening and coercing Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger to “find” enough votes to overturn the results. President-elect Joe Biden won Georgia by a little less than 12,000. 

That result has withstood countless audits, including hand recounts and voting machine audits, in every Georgia county. Dozens of allegations of fraud have been investigated and found frivolous or overstated. And dozens more legal challenges have failed, almost all of which, the courts found, lacked a shred of credible evidence of fraud. 

Raffensperger and Gov. Brian Kemp, both pro-Trump Republicans, have backed the election results, saying they have investigated thoroughly and found no evidence of fraud or illegal activity. Trump’s own attorney general, William Barr, and the Department of Justice, which investigated claims of fraud or irregularities in Georgia’s election, also found no evidence. 

And yet, here we are. With the president calling Raffensperger a “child” and repeatedly pressuring him to alter the election results. 

And even worse: There are elected Republicans — a whole bunch of them in Alabama — still defending Trump, still raising questions about the election results, still pretending that there is a realistic case to be made for widespread voter fraud. 

Fools. 

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Oh, sure, I could be kinder and gentler. I could spend several paragraphs analyzing the psychology behind what these people are doing and how they’ve been so totally and comically owned by a rather low-skill con man. I could even, as TV pundits so often do, pretend as if there’s some savvy level of political gamesmanship taking place here.  

Fools is easier and most accurate.

Because that’s what they are. No matter if they’ve genuinely been hoodwinked by this lunatic in the White House or if they’re fully cognizant of the dangerous, absurd game they’re playing and are simply using it to shore up votes in coming primaries. 

They are fools. 

If you believe that Donald Trump and his brand of hateful, ignorant, shallow, self-serving politics will transcend his presidency and carry forward into future elections, you are a fool. I’ve seen this playbook, with its plays better run by a better player — George Wallace — and it does not last. It does not move voters later, primarily because its execution requires a level of acting and self-righteousness that few people can emulate. 

Certainly, Mo Brooks and Tommy Tuberville and the rest of the Alabama Trump brigade lack the charisma and ego to pull it off. Unfortunately, they also lack the intelligence to know this. 

They weren’t even smart enough to see this obvious ending — the one where they’re left holding an empty bag and exposed as fools — coming like a great big freight train.

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Their gullibility and cheap ambition have left them out on a limb, committed to defending an obvious crook. A man who is on tape seeking to undermine a free and fair American election simply because he lost. A man who was openly encouraging a state’s top election official to “recalculate” and “find” enough votes to swing the election. 

And they cannot backtrack now. Because there is no new evidence that the fraud they’ve claimed doesn’t exist. There’s nothing new here, except we’ve all now heard a desperate and maniacal president say a bunch of quiet parts out loud. 

So, to backtrack for Tuberville, Brooks and the gang would be to admit that they ignored the clear and overwhelming evidence that was there all along. That they ignored state elections officials when they repeatedly told everyone that the fraud allegations had been investigated and proven untrue. That they ignored facts and truth and basic common sense. That they used racist dog whistles and idiotic stereotypes to undermine the integrity of an American election simply because the results weren’t to their liking. 

And mostly, to backtrack now would mean they’d have to admit that they lied to voters, because it was easier to sell people what they wanted to hear than it was to actually be a good, hard-working public servant. 

So they’re stuck with this mess and exposed as the fools they are. And I hope it ruins them. I hope no one ever again takes them seriously, in politics or business or their personal lives. I hope they are shunned and marginalized. 

Because the fools who would knowingly peddle lies, with the express intent of damaging the country, its elections and democracy itself, deserve nothing less.

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Josh Moon
Written By

Josh Moon is an investigative reporter and featured columnist at the Alabama Political Reporter with years of political reporting experience in Alabama. You can email him at [email protected] or follow him on Twitter.

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