After then-candidate Donald Trump issued an off-the-cup hypothetical about not respecting the election results, The New York Times hysterically compared him to a dictator. So it’s striking how accepting, even supportive, The Times is today of liberal Democrats who actually do fail to accept the disappointing results of free and fair elections.
On the front page of Monday’s New York Times, political reporters Glenn Thrush and Jeremy Peters’ blamed Republicans, not the Democratic candidates in Florida and Georgia who are actually refusing to acknowledge fair defeat, in “Vitriol Over Vote-Stealing Charges Sets a Troubling Tone for 2020”:
Yet to the combatants in both parties fighting over impossibly tight races for governor and senate, the 2018 election was less about revisiting past political traumas than about setting the stage for the bitter 2020 campaign ahead. The legal and political skirmishing in the state, Republicans and Democrats say, has been an ominous dry run for messaging and tactics about fraud and vote-stealing that threaten to further undermine confidence in the electoral system.
The acrimony in Florida followed a contentious, weekslong fight over voter suppression in Georgia, where the Republican secretary of state was overseeing a governor’s race in which he was also a participant. Those battles may foreshadow what 2020 will look like in other closely contested states, especially ones with increasingly diverse populations where conservative-dominated legislatures have tried to put more restrictions on voting while stoking paranoia over stolen elections.
And Democrats aren’t stoking paranoia over stolen elections? Somehow the Times blame was centered exclusively on Republican politicians, and not, say, Stacey Abrams, the losing candidate for governor in Georgia, or Sen. Sherrod Brown, her ardent defender:
The increasingly sharp tone -- evident in accusations of widespread fraud at the polls by Mr. Scott; the state’s Republican senator, Marco Rubio; and President Trump himself -- has created running room for politicians to act in an ends-justify-the-means way, strategists and political historians said.
Yet Thrush and Peters didn’t find troubling actual Democratic attempts to undermine the validity of the recent governor's race in Georgia:
A number of Democrats have also started to question the legitimacy of the electoral process in much starker terms. In addition to raising the usual questions about voter suppression and sinister motives by G.O.P. lawmakers, Democrats are flipping the script and using Republicans’ tactics against them.
Mr. Booker said last week that the governor’s race in Georgia was being “stolen” from Stacey Abrams, an African-American, by Brian Kemp, who as secretary of state pushed for the kind of strict proof-of-identity voting requirements that Democrats say are intended to disproportionately impact poorer and minority voters....
Senator Sherrod Brown of Ohio made the same claim, albeit more bluntly. “If Stacey Abrams doesn’t win in Georgia, they stole it. It’s clear. It’s clear,” he said. He further accused Republicans of rigging elections because “there’s way more of us than there are them," suggesting that Mr. Kemp’s purge of voter rolls was intended to boost his chances of winning.
Kemp didn’t “purge” any voter rolls., despite what the paper may claim. A Weekly Standard editorial argued:
....there is no evidence for this. Abrams and her allies point out that large numbers of people have been removed from voter rolls -- 1.5 million Georgians since 2012 -- but their contention that Kemp “purged” these names as secretary of state is false. The state’s “Use It or Lose It” law, passed in 1997 by a Democratic legislature and signed by Democratic governor Zell Miller, requires that voters who don’t vote or otherwise respond to requests from local voting offices to update their registration status be deemed inactive.
The paper unrolled the comforting liberal myth that Democrats are just wimps that don’t fight hard enough to win, which would surprise anyone who followed the 2000 election aftermath:
As Mr. Nelson and Mr. Gillum ended their campaigns over the weekend, Democrats began regrouping and assessing lessons learned -- and began fretting, yet again, that they had failed to match the Republicans’ intensity....During the 2000 recount, Al Gore was criticized for not fighting with the same hardnose tactics as Republicans, who employed an aggressive political and public relations component to accompany their legal efforts.