What goes around comes around. Ask the batch of Idaho Republicans — both in elected office and in the GOP leadership — who now have to eat their words about rigged elections.
Don’t take our word for it.
Here’s what CBS News has to say about it. CBS says someone is an election denier if they meet even one of the following criteria:
l They flat out said the 2020 election was stolen.
l While they didn’t say the election was stolen, they repeated the claims of others.
l They got behind some kind of an audit into the 2020 results.
l They supported Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton’s proposal to toss aside President-elect Joe Biden’s victories in four battleground states, thereby throwing the election to the U.S. House of Representatives, where the rules gave the GOP the upper hand. The Supreme Court blocked the move.
l They voted against certifying Biden’s Electoral College wins in the House or Senate.
l They dodged answering the question about whether Biden was legitimately elected.
By that score, Gov. Brad Little is on the list. At the very least, the governor supported the Paxton maneuver.
Attorney General-elect Raul Labrador is a triple threat. He supported the Paxton brief. On the afternoon of the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol insurrection, he texted former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows that he “believed in (former President Donald) Trump and I would probably object to the certification today.” And during his debate with Democratic attorney general candidate Tom Arkoosh, Labrador said, “What I say is that the election was stolen in plain sight.”
And certainly Congressman Russ Fulcher, R-Idaho, is an election denier. After the violence of Jan. 6 subsided, Fulcher returned to the House and voted to decertify Biden’s victories in Arizona and Pennsylvania.
By that same set of standards, Lt. Gov.-elect Scott Bedke might qualify as an election denier. He encouraged Attorney General Lawrence Wasden to back the Paxton legal brief.
But there’s no doubt about Idaho Republican Party Chairwoman Dorothy Moon. Both as a state legislator and failed candidate for Idaho secretary of state, Moon was a major proponent of the “big lie.”
“Everyone was in shock. A lot of us,” she said in her debate with the ultimate winner for secretary of state, Ada County Clerk Phil McGrane, who respects the election process. “Based on polling, President Trump should have been reelected.”
All of which must sound more than a little ironic considering the events of last week.
According to the unofficial results posted on outgoing Secretary of State Lawerence Denney’s website, Democrat Karma Metzler Fitzgerald had defeated Republican Jack Nelson for a House seat in Legislative District 26 by 383 votes. District 26 includes Blaine, Shoshone and Jerome counties — and the clerk’s office in Jerome County noticed all of the votes it had counted were not reported by the secretary of state’s webpage.
Nothing nefarious about it. It was more of a miscommunication. But when the batch of 700 votes was added to the statewide tally, Nelson had prevailed by 83 votes.
The losing Democrats took it in stride.
Fitzgerald told the Twin Falls Times-News she would request a recount but would stand by the outcome.
“I’m of course devastated,” Fitzgerald said. “I would have been very proud to represent this district, and I’ll still continue to work hard for the community.”
Now imagine if the shoe were on the other foot. Say a Democratic county clerk discovered a mistake on the Democratic secretary of state’s webpage that benefited a Democratic legislative candidate over a Republican.
And say the losing candidate was not merely your run-of-the-mill Republican, but an acolyte of the Idaho Freedom Foundation and a good buddy of professional insurrectionist — and Moon’s apparent choice for governor — Ammon Bundy.
Do you really think Moon and her election denial colleagues within the Idaho GOP would have respected the facts — or would they have cried about a “rigged election”?
Are you kidding? — M.T.