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Checkmate

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Looks like Trump’s only conceivable means of stealing the election — to just have multiple Republican legislatures appoint pro-Trump electors and hope the Supreme Court allows them to change the law unilaterally and ex post facto — is being foreclosed by Republicans in the tipping point states:

Republican leaders in four critical states won by President-elect Joe Biden say they won’t participate in a legally dubious scheme to flip their state’s electors to vote for President Donald Trump. Their comments effectively shut down a half-baked plot some Republicans floated as a last chance to keep Trump in the White House.

State GOP lawmakers in Arizona, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin have all said they would not intervene in the selection of electors, who ultimately cast the votes that secure a candidate’s victory. Such a move would violate state law and a vote of the people, several noted.

“I do not see, short of finding some type of fraud — which I haven’t heard of anything — I don’t see us in any serious way addressing a change in electors,” said Rusty Bowers, Arizona’s Republican House speaker, who says he’s been inundated with emails pleading for the legislature to intervene. “They are mandated by statute to choose according to the vote of the people.”

Biden will become president on January 20. This doesn’t mean that we should be complacent about the Electoral College, which continues to lie around like a loaded weapon ready to produce an even more undemocratic outcome than 2016. It’s also not great that as long as the Supreme Court is the way it is it’s not enough for Dems to merely win; they need to win out of election theft range. And can we talk again about how clueless you had to be to criticize Biden for expanding the campaign to Georgia and Arizona? The Biden campaign in fact deserves a lot of credit for recognizing Trump’s best chance would be to have it come down to a close contest in Pennsylvania, making an Electoral College cushion critically important. (I think the gutsy and correct decision by Fox to call Arizona for Biden on Election Night and tell Trump to piss up a rope when he complained was also probably an important event; it certainly got me a foot back from the ledge.)

Anyway, unfair as it is, Biden did what he needed to do, and he’s going to be the next president.

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