With apologies to Doris Kearns Goodwin, for hitching a ride on her widely acclaimed “Team of Rivals,” which chronicles Abraham Lincoln’s leadership brilliance.
Now, however, the nation is witnessing a full-frontal attack on American Democracy and, yes, the Constitution of the United States by a shameless Team of Revilers, partisan hacks who revile the very notion of an American government of the people, by the people, and for the people.
Shame on them all.
So just who are the varsity members of this abhorrent Team of Revilers. The Chief Reviler of the 2020 election and of the American citizens of both parties, who turned out in record numbers to support the candidate of their choice is, of course, President Donald J. Trump, who demanded that only votes counted by midnight on November 3rd be allowed. Notice, he demanded only votes counted, not votes cast by November 3rd. Votes cast are always counted for days following the day of an election. He outrageously declared victory on the evening of the election when tens of millions of votes were still being counted and after the tide had turned against him.
“Stop the counting!” he demanded, as the vote-counting began to cast a pall over his re-election fantasy. To Donald Trump, there were only those who supported him and those who were conspirators to steal the election. His was a disgraceful performance unparalleled since 1860 when three candidates for President (John Breckinridge, Stephen Douglas, and John Bell) lost to Abraham Lincoln, causing confederate revilers of an American election to attempt to destroy the nation.
Trump’s lawyer and anointed consigliere, Rudy Giuliani, is leading the so-called legal effort to subvert the election. It was a breathtaking performance Friday when Giuliani demanded that the courts grant Trump a fishing license to search for so-called election fraud, a word the Trump’s legal hit squad eschews under oath in court because there are stiff penalties for lying. Giuliani offered evidence of nothing other than what cheap hair coloring does under the heat of floodlights. So closely did he seem to be channeling the late Joseph McCarthy with his wild, unsubstantiated allegations that we waited for him to wave a list of 67 communists who worked in the Pennsylvania Bureau of Commissions, Elections and Legislation, which oversees the Commonwealth’s electoral process. Instead, he channeled Cousin Vinnie.
Trump legal-team associate, Sydney Powell, was also there claiming, without a shred of evidence, that massive amounts of communist money was behind the Biden conspiracy to steal the election, throwing in all the hobgoblins, including Venezuela, Cuba, China, George Soros, the Clinton Foundation and maybe, we presume, even Ichabod Crane. Appropriately, the federal judge in front of whom this farce played out has already thrown the case out of court, his disgust with President Trump’s Team of Revilers plainly evident.
Vice President Mike Pence seems a somewhat reluctant participant in the reviler’s farce, but a participant nonetheless. He sanctimoniously, with a straight face, flew to Atlanta, Georgia, to demand that every legal vote be counted and that every illegal vote be eliminated, especially, we presume, every illegal ballot that is being alleged without evidence. Well, he got his wish. Georgia meticulously counted every vote again, by hand, and, other than a negligible number of votes discounted for routine irregularities, confirmed Biden’s win there. Trump single-handedly managed to turn Georgia blue. We await Pence’s congratulatory nod to President-elect Biden’s election victory in the Peach State now that every legal vote has been counted and every illegal vote has been eliminated.
Lindsey Graham weighed in at the last moment to join the Team of Revilers. According to Georgia Republican Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, Graham, who is Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, called him to strongly hint that he should find a way to eliminate votes from areas that went for Biden. Graham apparently called other Republican election officials in other close-call states.
Senator Ted Cruz has weighed in more as a member of the junior varsity Team of Revilers, stating that he believes Trump has a path to victory. He too, intones that every legal vote should be counted and that every illegal vote should be eliminated. No one disagrees that only legal votes should be counted. But the reality is that there are irregularities, mistakes, and, perhaps, real cases of voter fraud here and there in every election. Someone may cast a vote for their recently deceased spouse, who is still on a voter roll somewhere. There are appropriate recounts, especially in close elections. They invariably toss out some votes but never really change the reality of an election where someone wins a precinct or a county or a state by a substantial number of votes.
What this Team of Revilers is doing is a national disgrace. They are not working to ensure that every legal vote is counted and every illegal vote is eliminated. They are trying to mandate eliminating vast swaths of votes in individual battleground states that Trump lost. They are trying to subvert the will of the people, not protect it.
One just has to watch and listen to President Trump’s rantings, or Rudy Giuliani or their cohorts to comprehend the ludicrous and dangerous game they are playing. As the pandemic rages out of control, they impede the transition of power. They slap at the truth on Trump’s behalf, as Trump slaps at golf balls at his nearby Virginia golf course. Their audacity is breathtaking to behold as the nation watches the tangled web they weave as they practice to deceive (thank you, Sir Walter Scott).
Most reprehensively, they are working hard to impugn the integrity of really altruistic American election workers, Democrats, Republicans, and Independents, who have worked long hours in truly dedicated fashion to proudly play a role in American Democracy. This Trumpian Team of Revilers cloak themselves in the flag and simultaneously rip at the very sinews of American Democracy.