Congresswoman Elise Stefanik is lying to us. There’s no other way to say it. Her preferred candidate lost the presidential election and now she is trying a variety of maneuvers, unseen in modern American political life, to undo the November 2020 presidential election. Elise Stefanik is willing to lie and cheat to steal this election away from Joe Biden.
On Sunday January 3rd, Congresswoman Stefanik released a video than ran 1 minute and 50 seconds to explain why on January 6th she will object to the votes of the Electoral College, certified by the states, that show Joe Biden lawfully won the presidency. Her video is amazing because in it she packs in five major lies. Real whoppers. In this video Elise Stefanik looks straight into the camera and with a big smile on her face she tells lie after lie. That’s a lot of deception in just 110 seconds.
The lies that Elise Stefanik tells are astounding. First, Stefanik tells us she’s “acting to protect our democratic process” and then lies about the legal process under the U.S. Constitution for a member of Congress regarding certifying the votes of the Electoral College. She lies about Article 2 of the U.S. Constitution and the 12th Amendment, saying that she has a constitutional duty to act if she thinks there’s something wrong with the election. Click here for the text of Article 2 and click here for the 12th Amendment. There is nothing in the text of either one about challenging the results. Congress acts as a tie breaker.
Here’s Stefanik’s second lie. She says “Tens of millions of Americans are rightly concerned that the 2020 election featured unprecedented voting irregularities.” Polls since the November election have shown that almost half of all Republicans surveyed do not believe the results. The main reason that there is public concern, however, is that President Trump and Elise Stefanik have been lying to the American people about this election. Trump started lying before the election and has lied all day, every day, since the election.
Think about where we are now. Stefanik has been lying about the election and even joined in a lawsuit to take away the votes and disenfranchise 20 million fellow Americans in four states, which was tossed out by the U.S. Supreme Court. With the world’s biggest megaphone, President Trump has lied about the election non-stop for the last two months. These lies have been amplified daily on FOX News, NewsMax, and One America News Network, and social media, and many other right-wing media outlets. This historic effort to deceive and distort has been very successful.
But only in an Orwellian world could a teller of lies cite as evidence for the truth of her lies the fact that some people believe her lies. People believing lies is not evidence. A lot of people believing the same lie doesn’t make it true.
Ironically, Stefanik voted on January 3rd to uphold as legitimate the elections of members of the House of Representatives from swing states, even though at the same time she was maintaining that somehow the votes for president in those same states and congressional districts were flawed, full of “irregularities.” Her bluff was called, her position shown to be nonsense.
Here’s Stefanik’s third lie. She complains about “Unconstitutional voting overreach by unelected state officials and judges ignoring state election laws.” This statement is also nonsense. The reality, of course, is that the facts of the 2020 Presidential election have been litigated dozens of times in the 60-some lawsuits that Stefanik’s compadres brought and lost in the last two months. Many different judges, from those who were voted-in by the citizens of their county or state, to those appointed and approved by Democratic and Republican Governors and legislatures, to those federal judges appointed by Presidents from Ronald Reagan to Donald Trump, all ruled against the Trump legal challenges about voter fraud or voting “irregularities.” Even the Supreme Court, with three Trump judges, and six conservative Republican judges, ruled twice against Trump.
Seriously, how is it “judicial overreach” when 60 different courts all reach the same conclusion? How does losing 60 cases and winning one minor case (and that one case disqualified a small number of mail-in ballots in Pennsylvania, that were mailed by Election Day, but failed to reach appropriate offices within 6 days as required by state law) somehow constitutes “judicial overreach”? It’s a pitiful excuse for Stefanik to complain about “judicial overreach” when her side lost in court 60 times. When your team has 1 win and 60 losses, blaming the refs doesn’t cut it.
Here’s Stefanik’s fourth lie. She spoke of “A fundamental lack of ballot integrity and ballot security.” Once again, she says this without presenting a shred of evidence. If Stefanik, or anybody on Trump’s legal team, had evidence about a “lack of ballot integrity and ballot security” that would withstand scrutiny in a court of law, don’t you think they would have used it? Does it make any sense whatsoever that the Trump legal team found all sorts of evidence about the “lack of ballot integrity and ballot security” but decided not to use this vital evidence in court?
In the stunning 1-hour-long phone call last weekend from President Trump and his staff to pressure the Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger and his staff to overturn the election in Georgia, which was recently released (transcript here – read it), most of the nonsense that Stefanik and her compadres cite as evidence was shredded by Georgia officials. (And the people who did the shredding were all Republicans!) At one point Raffensperger says “Well, Mr. President, the challenge that you have is the data you have is wrong.” The Georgia officials talked about a hand recount “that got virtually the same result” as the machine tally, debunking stuff about Dominion voting machines. They talked about successfully defending the Georgia election results in court. The stuff about dead people voting was debunked. A Georgia investigation found two cases. The stuff about ballot stuffing was debunked. It never happened.
At another point it was explained that Trump lawyer Rudi Giuliani had doctored video footage in order to raise questions about election workers:
Raffensperger: You’re talking about the State Farm video. And I think it’s extremely unfortunate that Rudy Giuliani or his people, they sliced and diced that video and took it out of context. The next day, we brought in WSB-TV, and we let them show, see the full run of tape, and what you’ll see, the events that transpired are nowhere near what was projected…
Click here to read a point by point take down by another Georgia Republican election official about bogus allegations of voter fraud by President Trump. But even when the lies are clearly revealed to be lies, Elise Stefanik remains undeterred in repeating them.
Stefanik knows that lying to her constituents is not a crime. She knows that lying on FOX News is not a crime. She knows that lying on a video that she posts online is not a crime. She knows that lying in a speech in Congress is not a crime. Stefanik knows that lying in a publicity stunt is not a crime. But what’s amazing is that when Stefanik’s compadres, or she herself along with other Republican members of the House of Representatives, actually get to a court of law, where it is illegal to lie, they somehow never manage to present the evidence about voter fraud or voting irregularities that in their public comments they assure us exists. Why is it that Stefanik and her side has failed to produce any compelling evidence that would hold up in court?
I voted in November in-person in Blue Mountain Lake in Hamilton County. Nobody asked me for an ID. My signature in the election books from years ago looked nothing like my signature in 2020. I voted just as tens of millions of other Americans voted, in a neighborhood voting location, staffed by volunteers, and overseen by professionals appointed locally. Other members of my family voted by absentee ballot, wary of COVID19.
I started voting when I was 18 years old in 1980. In my first three presidential elections I was 0-3. By 2020, my record in backing winning candidates for President stands at 5 wins and 6 losses, hardly spotless and full of heartaches, but when my side lost I advocated and protested against the policies of the men who won, but I never urged that we should try and upend their elections and deny the results.
Unfortunately, Elise Stefanik is not alone in telling big lies about the 2020 presidential election. She has lots of company in Congress. Elise Stefanik did not start her career in Congress this way. A few years backed she preached moderation and bipartisanship. But now, Elise Stefanik has made a choice to be the kind of politician who lies to her constituents no matter the damage that her lies will cause to our democracy or to our ability to self-govern.
In 2012, Stefanik worked as a campaign aide to Paul Ryan, the former Speaker of the House and candidate for Vice-President. Ryan doesn’t think much about the lying and antics of Stefanik and other members of Congress to try and reject the votes of the Electoral College. Ryan said:
All our basic rights and freedoms flow from a fidelity to the Constitution and rule of law. This principle is not only fundamentally American but a central tenet on conservatism. Under our system, voters determine the president, and this self-governance cannot sustain itself if the whims of Congress replace the will of the people. I urge members to consider the precedent that it would set.
Efforts to reject the votes of the Electoral College and sow doubt about Joe Biden‘s victory strike at the foundation of our republic. It is difficult to conceive of a more anti-democratic and anti-conservative act than a federal intervention to overturn the results of state-certified elections and disenfranchise millions of Americans. The fact that this effort will fail does not mean it will not do significant damage to American democracy.
The Trump campaign had ample opportunity to challenge election results, and those efforts failed from lack of evidence. The legal process was exhausted, and the results were decisively confirmed. The Department of Justice, too, found no basis for overturning the result. If states wish to reform their processes for future elections, that is their prerogative. But Joe Biden’s victory is entirely legitimate.
Paul Ryan is calling out Elise Stefanik and other members of Congress for their dishonesty that he clearly sees as an effort to sabotage our democracy and our history of free and fair elections.
Stefanik’s fifth lie is about why she is doing this. She ends her video by stating that she is committed to “restoring the faith of the American people in our elections.”
Help me understand this. How does lying about the election help to restore “the faith of the American people in our elections”? Who lies to uphold the U.S. Constitution? How does lying protect the peaceful transition of power in America? No one lies to uphold the rule of law. No one lies to protect the rights of Americans to vote.
People who tell lies do it for themselves because they think that telling the lie will help them. Stefanik is not doing this out of principle, she’s doing this because she thinks there are political opportunities and rewards. Elise Stefanik is lying because she thinks it will help her climb higher in the Republican Party in Washington, D.C. Elise Stefanik is lying to all of us in the 21st Congressional District in New York because she thinks it will help her career, and she doesn’t care what her lies do to us.
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