Larry Thornberry had it right.
Over the weekend, Thornberry penned an excellent piece here at The American Spectator correctly identifying the Democrats’ efforts to subvert the Electoral College as an attempted coup against a duly elected president of the United States. It was, and it ought to be remembered as such.
And those involved shouldn’t be excused for having put forth such a pathetic effort at their craft. We can laugh — and we should — at the fact that for all their bluster, there were more faithless Democratic electors than Republican. That’s irrelevant, and that coup shouldn’t be forgotten.
Take a different Larry, for example — specifically Harvard law professor and general bonehead Lawrence Lessig, who has spent the past three years engaged in a variety of harebrained schemes that have looked more like attempts at self-promotion and shady fundraising than civic engagement.
There was Lessig’s disastrous foray into campaign finance in 2014; his Mayday PAC raised and spent millions on House and Senate candidates on both sides of the aisle who agreed to an agenda limiting “money and influence” from corporate lobbyists and other nefarious actors in the political process and won practically no races at all. Politico mocked Lessig in a piece entitled “How To Waste $10 Million,” after that year’s cycle ended.
Then, undaunted by his failure, Lessig commenced a presidential bid of his own in 2015. Oh, you weren’t aware he ran? Well, yes, he did — and in the process, he scammed donors out of a million bucks. He even managed to parlay about a month’s worth of media whoring into a pair of columns at the New Yorker about the experience, patting himself on the back for his efforts to expose the corrupt campaign finance system after he raised a million dollars as a presidential candidate for a month (yes, that is, in fact, ironic). And he got a Wikipedia entry, too!
At 0-for-2 in efforts at relevance outside of Cambridge, Lessig then launched his most recent scheme — tampering with the Electoral College.
The professor claimed last week that he had “as many as 20” Republican electors who were “thinking about” becoming faithless and abandoning their pledge to vote for Donald Trump. That was a lie and a scam, as well; Lessig formed an organization called The Electors Trust to facilitate “pro bono legal advice” for those GOP electors who agreed to violate their pledge and named a mid-sized Boston law firm, Durie Tangri, as the provider of that counsel. Assumedly he solicited a donation or two to finance the operations of that nonprofit — and surprisingly, had no actual Republicans to advise, contrary to his claims on national television.
Does it occur to anybody else that legal services are a thing of value? And does it occur to anybody else that offering a thing of value to an elected official — say, for example, a presidential elector — in attempting to influence that elected official in an illicit performance of his duties meets the definition of a bribe?
Black’s Law Dictionary thinks so. It says a bribe is…
Any valuable thing given or promised, or any preferment, advantage, privilege, or emolument, given or promised corruptly and against the law, as an inducement to any person acting in an official or public capacity to violate or forbear from his duty, or to improperly influence his behavior in the performance of such duty. The term “bribe” signifies any money, goods, right in action, property, thing of value, or advantage, present or prospective, or any promise or undertaking to give any, asked, given, or accepted, with a corrupt intent to Influence unlawfully the person to whom it is given, in his action, vote, or opinion, in any public or official capacity.
That those GOP electors, 304 out of 306 of whom had enough integrity to tell Lessig and his ilk to shove off, weren’t swayed by him doesn’t change the fact that Larry Lessig of Hah-vahd attempted to bribe presidential electors to negate the results of a presidential election.
This is also true of the corpulent fabulist Michael Moore, who offered a more tangible incentive — namely, that he would pay whatever fines might be charged to faithless Republican electors for violating their pledge under the laws of their various states. Moore said it was his “right” to offer that money; one wonders whether he talked to a lawyer in advance of popping off. It’s one thing to step up and pay those fines after the fact and another to offer that payment as an inducement for malfeasance.
And of course, there were the lesser lights who spent several weeks deluging Republican electors with letters, emails, phone calls and even attempts at personal contact demanding they refuse to vote for Trump and instead make Hillary Clinton the president. Things got so bad that electors in Pennsylvania attended the Electoral College meeting in Harrisburg Monday under police protection. That led to one of the best quotes of the entire election, by way of a challenge to the Democratic Party that it regain some shred of honor unto itself.
“I’m a big boy. But this is stupid,” Pennsylvania elector Ash Khare told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette after serving as the receptacle for thousands of harassing messages. “Nobody is standing up and telling these people, ‘Enough, knock it off.’”
Indeed. Nobody did. And nobody will — not until there are consequences to the disgusting way these people have carried themselves.
Maybe if an example is made, that might dissuade the worst of them from continuing to micturate on our electoral process. Again — that their efforts were a miserable, laughable and pathetic failure does not change the mens rea behind those actions. Something ought to be done.
Let’s start with Larry the Loser. If nothing else, a nice criminal charge might dissuade the dunce Democrats who keep giving him money for his various scams from repeating their error.
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