GOP election law expert: ‘My party is destroying itself on the altar of Trump’
With the 2020 presidential election now in the home stretch, some conservatives are hoping that President Donald Trump will lose to the Democratic nominee, former Vice President Joe Biden, on Election Day. One of them is Republican Benjamin L. Ginsberg, who spent 38 years practicing election law for the GOP. In an op-ed published by the Washington Post on November 1, Ginsberg argues that a Biden victory would be the best thing for his party — and Never Trump conservative Max Boot makes similar arguments in his Post column.
"President Trump has failed the test of leadership," Ginsberg declares in his op-ed. "His bid for reelection is foundering. And his only solution has been to launch an all-out, multimillion-dollar effort to disenfranchise voters — first by seeking to block state laws to ease voting during the pandemic, and now, in the final stages of the campaign, by challenging the ballots of individual voters unlikely to support him. This is as un-American as it gets. It returns the Republican Party to the bad old days of 'voter suppression' that landed it under a court order to stop such tactics — an order lifted before this election."
Some Never Trump conservatives have left the GOP to express their disdain for the president, including MSNBC's Joe Scarborough (a former Republican congressman), veteran columnist George Will and former Republican strategist Rick Wilson. But Ginsberg is still a Republican. And the attorney, now in his late sixties, stresses that he takes no pleasure in bashing a party he has been a part of for so long.
"These are painful words for me to write," Ginsburg laments. "I spent four decades in the Republican trenches, representing GOP presidential and congressional campaigns, working on Election Day operations, recounts, redistricting and other issues, including trying to lift the consent decree. Nearly every Election Day since 1984, I've worked with Republican poll watchers, observers and lawyers to record and litigate any fraud or election irregularities discovered."
Trump has repeatedly claimed that mail-in voting encourages voter fraud. But according to Ginsberg, one of the Republican Party's leading experts on election law, that is nonsense.
"The truth is that over all those years, Republicans found only isolated incidents of fraud," Ginsberg explains. "Proof of systematic fraud has become the Loch Ness Monster of the Republican Party. People have spent a lot of time looking for it, but it doesn't exist. As he confronts losing, Trump has devoted his campaign and the Republican Party to this myth of voter fraud."
Ginsberg also laments that Trump has a "compliant" Republican Party that is willing to mindlessly parrot his false claims.
"Trump has enlisted a compliant Republican Party in this shameful effort," the attorney explains. "The Trump campaign and Republican entities engaged in more than 40 voting and ballot court cases around the country this year. In exactly none — zero — are they trying to make it easier for citizens to vote. In many, they are seeking to erect barriers."
The GOP's "attempted disenfranchisement of voters," according to Ginsberg, underscores how intellectually and morally bankrupt his party has become.
"My party is destroying itself on the altar of Trump," Ginsberg emphasizes. "Republican elected officials, party leaders and voters must recognize how harmful this is to the party's long-term prospects. My fellow Republicans, look what we've become. It is we who must fix this. Trump should not be reelected. Vote, but not for him."
Similarly, Boot argues, in his Post column, that Trumpism has been so toxic for the GOP that a Biden victory on Election Day would be a blessing for his former party.
Boot writes, "As a lifelong Republican until November 9, 2016 — and as a foreign policy adviser to three Republican presidential candidates — it gives me no joy to write those words…. I have watched with incredulity the GOP's descent into collective madness."
The Never Trump columnist continues, "Many Republicans I know began by holding their noses and voting for Trump because of judges and taxes and their hatred of Hillary Clinton. Now, the whole Republican Party seems to inhabit the Fox News Cinematic Universe, an alternative reality where President Barack Obama spied on Trump and Joe Biden is a socialist who will let 'anarchists' and 'arsonists' run riot. The party has even become infected by the lunatic QAnon cult, whose followers believe Trump's opponents are blood-drinking, Satan-worshipping pedophiles."
According to Boot, "Republican mishandling of the coronavirus" has been disastrous for the United States — making it #1 in COVID-19 infections.
"America needs a sane center-right party," Boot argues. "It doesn't need an extremist party that undermines democracy, caters to White grievances, and rejects science and reason. The only way Republicans will come to their senses is if they see that the path they are on leads to electoral oblivion. That's why, even though I'm not a Democrat, I'm voting straight-ticket Democratic on November 3 — and for as long as necessary to make Republicans come to their senses. The GOP needs to be detoxified and de-Trumpified."