It's not hard to admit that this thoroughly vetted and contested election was free, fair, and decisive. If that costs a candidate the support of some Trump voters, at least Republicans can say they stand for democracy and the rule of law, rather than acting as servile foot soldiers for a deposed politician. — Anthony L. Fisher, Business Insider Politics Columnist
It's not hard to admit that this thoroughly vetted and contested election was free, fair, and decisive. If that costs a candidate the support of some Trump voters, at least Republicans can say they stand for democracy and the rule of law, rather than acting as servile foot soldiers for a deposed politician. — Anthony L. Fisher, Business Insider Politics Columnist
Arizona's ridiculous election audit should be the end of Trump's 'Big Lie' — if only Republicans had the courage to condemn it
  • Trump's "Big Lie" that he lost the election because of voter fraud continues in Arizona's ridiculous audit, run by a QAnon-friendly company Cyber Ninjas.
  • Republicans in Congress could demonstrate a commitment to democracy and condemn the Arizona audit fiasco.
  • GOP leadership either supports the audit or is so afraid of offending Trump that they're staying silent.
The vast majority of elected Republicans would really rather not talk about January 6 anymore.

Sure, they'll admit, a violent mob assaulted police and forced its way into America's citadel of democracy at the behest of then-President Donald Trump.

Ok fine, some of them were well-known neo-Nazis and neo-fascists with ties to the Trump administration.

Yeah, there were police officers, members of the military, and elected Republicans among the marauders who brought the traitorous Confederate battle flag into the Capitol.

But it's time to "move on," goes the GOP talking point.

There was a fleeting moment where it seemed like congressional Republicans might finally be willing to break with the president who disgraced their party and willfully undermined American democracy.

At the conclusion of Trump's second impeachment trial — the one where the 45th president was accused of incitement of insurrection — Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell gave a stirring speech in which he said Trump was "practically and morally responsible" for the attack.

McConnell also denounced the "intensifying crescendo of conspiracy theories orchestrated by an outgoing president … determined to either overturn the voters' decision or else torch our institutions on the way out."

But because Trump had left office a few weeks earlier, McConnell said the point was moot, so he voted to acquit.

And while McConnell had hinted at keeping an "open mind" to the idea of an independent bipartisan inquiry in the mold of the 9/11 Commission, he ultimately came out against a full accounting of the attempted insurrection on January 6.

To some extent, a political realist can understand why Republicans in Congress fear losing their seats to a Trump-backed insurgent, and how it discourages them from doing the right thing.

However, the Trumpist "election audit" happening in Arizona is an easy opportunity for Republicans to put an end to Trump's "Big Lie" that has effectively destroyed Republican confidence in elections and directly caused the January 6 siege on the Capitol.

Republicans, both local and national, could take a stand against the brain poison that is Trump's election fraud conspiracy theory.

... When the auditors claimed to have found evidence of a deleted database of ballots, Fann made the claim public, and Trump amplified it in a statement saying, "This is illegal."

The auditors later backtracked on their explosive fraud claims.

But the damage had been done, and this week some Arizona Republicans decided enough was enough.

Maricopa County Board of Supervisors Chair Jack Sellers said Fann's efforts were an "attempt at legitimizing a grift disguised as an audit." Another Republican on the board said, "This is creating a black eye to Arizona."

That's more courage than we've seen yet from most Republicans in Congress, who have largely ranged from silent acquiescence to avid support of the QAnon-linked Arizona audit.

The usual suspects of QAnon-friendly, "Stop the Steal" conspiracy theory-obsessed Republicans — Reps. Marjorie Taylor Greene, Matt Gaetz, Andy Biggs, and Paul Gosar — are fully on-board with the Arizona audit.

Rep. Elise Stefanik of New York, once considered a centrist, has risen to a leadership position in the GOP by prioritizing Trump loyalty above all else. She told former Trump advisor and Breitbart boss Steve Bannon earlier in May that she "fully supports" the audit, and asked, "What are Democrats afraid of?"

The more apt question is what are Republicans afraid of?

It's not hard to admit that this thoroughly vetted and contested election was free, fair, and decisive. If that costs a candidate the support of some Trump voters, at least Republicans can say they stand for democracy and the rule of law, rather than acting as servile foot soldiers for a deposed politician.


Mitch McConnell, for a brief moment, seemed like he truly wanted to move on and disassociate the GOP from the Big Lie. By staying mute on the Arizona audit, McConnell is allowing the lie — and Trump — to further infect his party.

The Senate minority leader could demonstrate actual leadership and denounce the Cyber Ninjas audit. Other congressional Republicans could follow suit — it would be the death knell for the Big Lie.

What are they afraid of?
Read the full article: https://www.businessinsider.com/arizona-election-audit-trumps-big-lie-voter-fraud-gop-condemn-2021-5