The indelible stain of Republican sedition


William Saletan/Slate:

Trump Is Finishing Russia’s Smear Campaign Against America

In 2016, Putin had a plan to discredit U.S. elections. In 2020, Republicans are executing it.

When Trump won, the Russians popped Champagne and suspended their plan.

Now the plan has been revived. But this time, Putin doesn’t have to execute it, because Trump and the GOP are doing that for him. Almost every day—and on some days, almost every hour—Trump denounces the election as “rigged” and “fixed,” with “late night ballot ‘dumps,’ ” “massive evidence of widespread fraud,” and votes secretly manipulated “through machines.” On Saturday, at his rally in Georgia, Trump claimed that Democrats had “stuffed the ballot boxes” with votes from “dead people” and “illegal aliens.” He called it “the largest fraud in the history of our country,” and he urged Americans to reject Biden. “You can’t ever accept when they steal and rig and rob,” Trump told his followers. On Thursday, he said Biden would be “an illegitimate president,” and he quoted a supporter who called the election a “coup.”

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Dan Balz/WaPo:

Republican officials have followed Trump along his dangerous and destructive path

Many Republicans have been silent as Trump has pursued his baseless claims. When a team of Washington Post reporters contacted all Republicans in Congress, just 27 said Biden had won. Two others actually said Trump was the winner, while 219 either gave no answer or were not definitive.

Such acquiescence has been ruinous for elected officials who have sworn an oath to the Constitution. These lawmakers have been complicit in perpetuating falsehoods about the election by failing to refute or rebuke the president.

Newt is pissed off that people vote:

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Vox:

A Wall Street Journal op-ed about Jill Biden pairs virulent sexism with academic elitism

The article has been roundly criticized for attacking Biden for using the title “doctor” before her name.

The piece, “Is There a Doctor in the White House? Not if You Need an M.D.” by Joseph Epstein, an emeritus lecturer of English at Northwestern University, is ostensibly a foray into an ongoing debate over whether only medical doctors can claim the title, or whether it can also be used by PhDs or others with doctorates, such as Biden, who has a doctorate in educational leadership. (Many publications, including Vox, follow the Associated Press stylebook, which reserves “Dr.” for medical doctors.)

Epstein’s op-ed, though, went beyond this argument to specifically belittle Biden’s credentials and her field of study, beginning with addressing Biden — who is 69 — as “kiddo.” In the op-ed, he describes her decision to use the title of doctor as something that “sounds and feels fraudulent, not to say a touch comic.” He also dismisses her doctoral dissertation, about keeping community college students enrolled, as “unpromising,” though he does not make clear whether he has read it.

Many women in academia struggle to be addressed with the same respect given their male colleagues. And community colleges have long fought a stigma that the education they offer is inferior to their four-year counterparts.

Epstein’s op-ed played into both of those tropes — and struck a justifiable nerve.

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WaPo:

In challenging election defeat, Trump cements his control over the Republican Party

From libertarians to moderates to far-right conservatives, Republican officials across the country are bending to Trump’s will and engaging in performative displays of loyalty in an unprecedented attack on the peaceful transfer of power.

WaPo:

Coronavirus vaccines can have side effects. That typically means they’re working.

Scientists will also be vigilant for severe allergic reactions. Last week, two health-care workers in the United Kingdom who were among the first batch of people to get the vaccine after it was authorized developed anaphylaxis, a severe allergic response.

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