Georgia is on everyone’s mind

by Chuck Malloy
| November 16, 2020 10:09 AM

Idaho GOP Chairman Tom Luna has issued to his party’s faithful a call to arms to help with something that Republicans can control — the Georgia Senate runoff elections that will decide the party majority in the upper chamber.

Luna also is promoting the wild-goose chase to keep President Trump in office for a second term (more on that later). But the Senate races in Georgia will decide whether a President Biden has checks and balances on the legislative end.

If Republicans retain control, Biden will have to work with party leaders — which is something that Biden promised to do. If Democrats take the Senate and end the filibuster — as Sen. Elizabeth Warren and others are promoting — there would be no reason for Biden to give Republicans the time of day.

Luna is asking Idaho Republicans to help with the cause. “It is imperative that Republicans hold the U.S. Senate,” he wrote. “Republicans must do everything we can to support GOP victory in Georgia.”

Idaho Sen. Jim Risch, for one, thinks the odds are with Republicans for winning in Georgia. All Republicans need is to win one of those two races to retain a Senate majority, and the party is highly motivated to win both.

“Of course, anything can happen in an election,” Risch says.

If it goes the other way, then Democrats will control both chambers in Congress. That, mixed with a Biden presidency and abolishing the filibuster rule in the Senate — which would allow for bills to be passed by simple majority instead of the current 60-vote requirement — could open doors wide for Democratic progressives. We could see the biggest surge of liberal bills since the Great Society era.

Risch has outlined other possibilities if Democrats win, including statehood for Washington, D.C. and Puerto Rico and packing the Supreme Court with liberal justices to counter today’s conservative majority. Statehood for Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico could lock up a Democratic majority for a long time.

Those are the sort of things that can happen when one party has total control. Democratic Party dictatorships are no better, or less evil, than the GOP variety. So, there’s more than peaches at stake in those Georgia Senate races. Yet, Republicans seem to be more obsessed with keeping Trump in power even though he clearly lost the election.

Talking with Idaho Secretary of State Lawerence Denney, the chances of the president prevailing are next to none. Denney is a staunch Republican, for sure, but his priority as secretary of state is to ensure fair elections in the Gem State. Over the years, he has attended numerous conferences and developed working relationships with other top election officials (from both parties) who share the same goals.

“From the secretary level, I think my counterparts in all states are good honest people,” he said. “From a personal perspective, the system is a lot better than how it is portrayed. I don’t know of a better system — if we follow the rules.”

Denney says he sees no evidence suggesting that rules are not being followed. There are isolated instances in any election, such as people trying to vote twice, and appropriate actions taken to handle those situations. But as Denney says, those irregularities — while concerning — don’t change the outcome of an election.

“For there to be massive fraud, there also would have to be massive collusion,” Denney says. “Elections are the foundation of this country. If you find massive fraud and massive collusion, then somebody needs to answer for that.”

Denney is no fan of vote-by-mail, in which ballots are automatically sent to all registered voters. But that is his personal view. He does not question the integrity of elections in Washington, Oregon or other states that employ vote-by-mail.

“My counterparts are happy with it, and there are safeguards for that system,” Denney says.

Denney says he will not acknowledge a winner in the presidential race until legal challenges are resolved. If it all works in favor of Biden, “then he will be declared the winner and he will be my president, too.”

If nearly half the nation and most Republicans in Congress think that Trump is president after Jan. 20, then our country is in serious trouble. Maybe half the country could be called the United Republican States of America — and Trump can be president for life.

• • •

Chuck Malloy, a longtime Idaho journalist and Silver Valley native, is a columnist with Idaho Politics Weekly. He may be reached at ctmalloy@outlook.com.