The Corner

Elections

It’s Not Republicans Who Are Reluctant to Accept Political Outcomes They Don’t Like

Eder Cedillo of Phoenix reacts as CNN projects Republican Senator Ted Cruz will win over Democratic challenger Beto O’Rourke in Phoenix, Arizona, U.S. November 6, 2018. (Lindsey Wasson/Reuters)

“Can Republicans relearn how to accept political outcomes they don’t like?” What in holy hell is the Washington Post’s Paul Waldman talking about? According to the piece, Matt Bevin’s (completely legal) request to re-canvass the Kentucky election portends an unwillingness by the GOP to accept the results the democratic process. Talk about projection.

We shouldn’t have to say more than “Stacey Abrams.” And it’s not just that the Democrat is a full-blown conspiracy theorist, it’s that leading members of her party enable her attacks on veracity of elections. Joe Biden claimed, without any evidence, that “voter suppression is the reason why Stacey Abrams isn’t governor right now.” Pete Buttigieg said suppression “racially motivated” in his remarks to the group that Abrams “ought to be governor.” And they’re not alone.

Abrams lost by 54,723 votes.

Waldman gives Abrams a pass for her recalcitrance, because, he notes, she “ended her campaign for governor of Georgia but pointedly refused to call it a ‘concession’ because, she said, it would grant the election, in which her opponent engaged in various forms of voter suppression, a legitimacy it did not deserve.” Well, yes, that’s the point, isn’t it? Everyone has a reason for why they don’t accept results. Democrats tend to rely on nebulous claims of “voter suppression.” But Abrams had legal avenues available to her, and they turned up nothing. Unlike Abrams, Bevin hasn’t argued that the results won’t be legitimate. “So why can’t they just let the process play itself out?

Then again, Georgia’s gubernatorial election is a trivial sideshow compared to 2016 presidential race they’ve never accepted as legitimate. Less than two months ago, Hillary Clinton was still telling CBS News that “Trump knows he’s an illegitimate president.” Earlier this year, she claimed that, “You can run the best campaign, you can even become the nominee, and you can have the election stolen from you.” Here you have the most widely known Democrat in the nation maintaining that the election was stolen from her. Putting your party above your country in this way is, as someone once noted, just “horrifying.”

At one point, 67 percent of Democrats believed that it was “definitely true” that the Russians had tampered with voting tallies to make Trump president though no such evidence exists. Though I can’t find any recent polls on the question, that number, after years of scaremongering about Russians, is almost surely higher today. None of this it to mention the Left’s continuous attacks on Electoral College, which not only helps corrode trust in the elections but the Constitution, as well. All because they didn’t get the political outcomes they prefer.

Historically speaking, Republicans probably need to win 40+ states for Democrats to accept election results without controversy. John Kerry, and surely he’s not alone, still believes that George W. Bush stole Ohio in 2004 with his sentient Diebold machines. Prominent Democrats believe Bush stole the Florida in 2000 (a contest we know W. indisputably won.) Al Gore, you may remember, refused to concede.

I know, I know, it’s different when Democrats do it.

David Harsanyi is a senior writer for National Review and the author of First Freedom: A Ride through America’s Enduring History with the Gun

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