Shorter Rich Lowry: if a Republican concedes after losing a fair election, it is outrageous for a Democrat not to concede an election that involved not only rampant vote suppression but one of the candidates literally being in charge of the election and repeatedly making self-interested decisions, because these cases are identical:
I don’t think National Review’s Rich Lowry is a stupid person, but he asked a deeply stupid question Friday night, after Stacey Abrams ended her campaign to become Georgia’s first black and first female governor with a fiery non-concession speech, which nonetheless acknowledged that Secretary of State Brian Kemp will be the next governor. Lowry posed on Twitter:
Stacey Abrams has failed the Martha McSally test. Will any of the same commentators who praised McSally’s grace upbraid Abrams for a lack of it?
Martha McSally didn’t have to run against a candidate who was making the rules governing their election and who bent every one of them in his favor. She didn’t see her opponent purge more than a million voters—most of them clearly members of her base—in the year before their election. She didn’t see him close 214 polling places in six years—mainly in areas where her base voters resided. She didn’t see him put 53,000 absentee ballots into limbo because of tiny inconsistencies—a missing hyphen in a name, or a missing middle initial—70 percent of whom, again, would have almost certainly been McSally voters.
She didn’t find that on Election Day, in the heart of her geographic base—in Abrams’s case, Atlanta—700 voting machines were mysteriously wrapped up and unused, while lines to use the inadequate number of machines stretched for blocks, making her voters wait four hours or more. She didn’t see her opponent lie about doing those things—and, in fact, accuse McSally of being the actual cheater—in the days before her election. And McSally wasn’t forced to get the backing of four federal judges to make sure all the votes were counted in her election, because her opponent, who made and enforced the voting rules, opposed efforts to do just that.
Oh, and one more thing: Republican Martha McSally may well be appointed to Arizona’s other vacant Senate seat by the Republican governor when Jon Kyl steps out of his caretaker role early next year. Democrat Stacey Abrams won’t be appointed street sweeper by Georgia’s new Governor-elect Brian Kemp, who rigged the rules to help himself and still only won by just over one point.
In fact, Stacey Abrams, or anyone like her, will not hold statewide office in Georgia until her state is purged of the remaining racism, discrimination, and corruption in the way it conducts its elections. And that’s what she intends to devote the next part of her career to accomplishing. In her not-a-concession speech, Abrams announced the formation of Fair Fight Georgia, to “pursue accountability in Georgia’s elections and integrity in the process of maintaining our voting rolls.” And she committed the group to filing a federal lawsuit against the state of Georgia for its “gross mismanagement of this election and to protect future elections from unconstitutional actions.”
Abrams’s reaction to the stolen election was entirely appropriate, and she is a major political talent.