Former Georgia state representative Stacey Abrams is in an enviable but difficult position. Two years after her loss in the Georgia governor’s race she has been instrumental in the voter registration effort that helped deliver the state’s sixteen electoral votes to Joe Biden. As a result, odds are that the job of chairman for the Democratic National Committee would be hers for the asking. From that platform she could expand her efforts to get Democrats to register and vote all over the nation. But she has to consider if that opportunity is worth giving up the chance to run for governor again in 2020.
Abrams lost the 2018 governor’s race by a small margin amid allegations her opponent, then secretary of state Brian Kemp, had unlawfully purged hundreds of thousands of minority voters from the rolls without notifying them. Biden’s victory as the first Democrat to carry Georgia in the presidential race since 1992 indicates a strong possibility Abrams could succeed in a challenge against Kemp in 2022; that chance may have increased in the aftermath of Kemp’s defense of the state’s electoral process and refusal to interfere with the awarding of the peach state’s electoral votes to Donald Trump, potentially alienating a significant portion of the state’s Republican voters.
With the gubernatorial race only two years away, Abrams would not be able to take the DNC job while preparing to make her second stab at the governor’s mansion. If she has any ambitions for federal elective office the state’s highest office would look better on her resume than the party chairmanship, which more often goes to someone who is no longer looking to run for public office. Stacey Abrams has some long, hard thinking ahead of her to choose between those two jobs.
In the aftermath of Donald Trump’s electoral defeat by Joe Biden the president has filed dozens of lawsuits in numerous states trying to get the results overturned so he can be declared the winner. He has succeeded in a few instances, but the number of votes affected in those cases hasn’t been anywhere near enough to change the outcome of any state’s results. The majority of his attempts have been met with steadfast denial of his motions by the courts, even in federal courts presided over by judges he himself appointed to their positions. In every instance he has expressed his intention to appeal to higher courts, all the way to the Supreme Court if necessary. This course of action appears to be completely irrational to most observers until we consider just how successful Trump has been in the past with these kinds of tactics.
Donald Trump has lived his life doing exactly what he wants, when he wants and how he wants. If someone takes issue with his behavior he will usually bury his opponent in lawsuits, filing claims and motions, often without actual merit; he relies on his ability to continue paying lawyers to generate so much litigation against his adversaries that they eventually give up, either dropping their claims altogether because they’ve run out of money to continue fighting, or agreeing to settlements for amounts far below the value of the claim just so they can get on with their lives. It is because this strategy has worked so well for him in the past that he is pursuing it in his election challenges. The problem is that he doesn’t realize that this is a different kind of ball game than before.
If Donald Trump’s post-election adversary were Joe Biden personally, his scorched earth ploys might have a chance of succeeding. Biden certainly doesn’t have the financial resources to defend against all the litigation Trump is throwing at the issue, and it’s unlikely the DNC would be able to commit sufficient resources to help him overcome all that much. But the fact is that since the election is over Biden doesn’t have to defend anything, and Trump has to fight against the federal and state governments who have a vested interest in defending the integrity of the election process. Their combined resources are more than sufficient to beat back Trump’s efforts at every turn, and no amount of unsubstantiated claims of fraud will be able to cause any of them to raise the white flag and declare him the winner just to shut him up.
Donald Trump has been beating the bass drum of election fraud for the entirety of his presidential campaign, stating that the only way he would lose is if the election were rigged. Early on he came out in criticism of states’ allowing absentee ballots to be cast by mail, claiming without any proof that such a system was vulnerable to massive fraud. And when the state of Georgia was called for Joe Biden he claimed that the entire Georgia election infrastructure was corrupt, disregarding the fact that it was entirely run by the Republican party. Now we have a significant portion of Trump-supporting Republicans encouraging other Trump supporters to boycott the January Senate runoff races; some are claiming that the races are rigged and that voting in them will only help enable even more fraud, others are saying the Republican candidates Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue have not done enough to support Trump in his efforts to overturn the state’s election results and hand the victory to Trump. Even with full participation by voters from both parties these races are expected to be very competitive; if a significant number of Republican voters heed the calls to boycott the elections it will likely hand the victories to Democrats Jon Ossoff and Rev. Raphael Warnock, giving them a 50/50 split in the senate, which would allow Vice President-elect Kamala Harris to cast the deciding vote on any ties. It would appear that for the Republican party in Georgia, Trump’s attempts to discredit the election system in the state has succeeded a tiny bit too well.