What do Al Gore, Hillary Clinton, Stacey Abrams, and Bill Nelson have in common? Each asked the voters for important positions of leadership and promptly proved themselves unworthy of those offices when the answer was “No.” It isn’t necessary, of course, to revisit Gore’s reluctant acceptance of reality or Clinton’s querulous hypocrisy. The tawdry details of those episodes are well known. But the long-term harm they wrought on the republic merits consideration. The extent of that damage was clearly demonstrated Friday, when Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams finally admitted that the laws of mathematics could not be overcome by frivolous lawsuits.
The Friday non-concession speech Abrams inflicted on the citizens of Georgia was easily one of the most disgraceful political performances of the century thus far. She grudgingly acknowledged that Brian Kemp will be the Peach State’s next governor, but went on to accuse him — without evidence — of voter suppression during his tenure as secretary of state. Even worse, her bitter diatribe included a promise to file additional lawsuits in order to “pursue accountability in Georgia’s elections and integrity in the process of maintaining our voting rolls.” Abrams pledged to fight mythical “mismanagement of this election and to protect future elections from unconstitutional actions.”
None of these charges have any basis in fact. In reality, the worst “crime” she accused Kemp of committing — the removal of dormant registrations from the voter rolls — has already been ruled constitutional by the Supreme Court. The real problem is no more complicated than the inability of Abrams to garner enough votes to win the election. It was obvious that the Democrat’s bid was a lost cause on Election Day. Kemp’s lead was, as Mark Steyn phrases it, “beyond the margin of lawyer.” But Abrams was still in denial when asked by a Sunday morning talking head, “Is he the legitimate governor-elect of Georgia?” Her response was utterly irresponsible. The Daily Caller reports:
The law, as it stands, says that he received an adequate number of votes to become the governor of Georgia. And I acknowledge the law as it stands. I am a lawyer by training and I have taken the constitutional oath to uphold the law.… What you are looking for me to say is that there was no compromise of our democracy and there should be some political compromise in the language I use and that’s not right. What’s not right is saying that something was done properly when it was not.
Sadly, Abrams was not the only Democrat whose weekend “concession” was less than dignified. Sunday, Florida Senator Bill Nelson finally gave in to the facts but insinuated that his loss of the Senate seat he has occupied for 18 years was somehow caused by election malfeasance on the part of his Republican opponent. The Sunshine State’s governor, Rick Scott, emerged victorious from the election and two laborious recounts during which Democrat election officials like Brenda Snipes of Broward County oscillated between illegal manipulation of ballots and breathtaking incompetence. And in the midst of all this chicanery and chaos, Nelson accused Scott of skullduggery:
It’s obvious that Scott cannot oversee this process in a fair and impartial way.… And, thus, he should remove himself from any role in the recount process so the people can have confidence in the integrity of the election. Given his efforts to undermine the votes of Floridians, this is the only way that we can ensure that the people’s votes are protected.… The reason he’s doing these things is obvious: He’s worried when all the votes are counted, he’ll lose the election.
Nelson’s Sunday concession began on a more dignified note, and it would have been fine if he had confined his comments to the text of this Tweet. Unfortunately, he included a video wherein he descended into the kind of demagoguery and innuendo that characterized the tirade quoted above: “There’s been a gathering darkness in our politics in recent years. My hope today can be found in the words of John F. Kennedy, who said civility can guide us through that darkness to a safe and sane future.” He failed to note that the sainted JFK was not averse to a little vote fraud himself.
For Democrats like Nelson, the Kennedy era represents the good old days when Republicans were disinclined to draw attention to Democrat fraud. When, for example, Kennedy “won” the 1960 presidential election with a little extra help from corrupt Illinois and Texas Democrats, the Republican who actually received the most legitimate votes refused to contest his loss because it would have undermined voter confidence in the system. That gentleman, his name was Nixon, was by no means perfect. He did, however, understand that some things are more important than winning or losing.
This is more than one can say about Stacey Abrams or Bill Nelson, who would have the voters believe that a malevolent miasma of corruption pervades our polity and is being exploited by Donald Trump and his deplorable supporters to rob us of our “rights.” This irrational worldview can be traced back to Hillary Clinton’s “vast right-wing conspiracy” and Al Gore’s ravings in the aftermath of the 2000 election. It’s the source of the left’s shrill demands that we eliminate the Electoral College, dilute the influence of the Senate, and meddle with the structure of the Supreme Court.
This is the platform of a moribund party awash in dark money yet bereft of genuine ideas for improving the lives of average Americans. And, if gaining power over all three branches of government requires destroying the credibility of our electoral process, the Democrats are for it. Not one called for Abrams to stop accusing Brian Kemp — without evidence — of voter suppression. Not one asked Bill Nelson to stop accusing Rick Scott — without evidence — of meddling with the Florida ballot count. Not one gives a damn about dignity or democracy. All they care about is power — and that is dangerous.