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Tipsheet

McConnell: By the Way, House Democrats Have Chosen a Conspiratorial Election Denier As Their New Leader

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Welcome to the show, kid.  Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell delivered a floor speech yesterday in which he offered a pointed welcome, of sorts, to New York Rep. Hakeem Jeffries, whom House Democrats unanimously selected this week as their new leader in the upcoming Congress.  As we've mentioned previously, Jeffries can be a conspiratorial hothead, an election denier, and an arsonist of governing institutions.  He's repeatedly suggested that President Trump's 2016 was "illegitimate," using the same smear to delegitimize the Supreme Court over rulings he dislikes.  McConnell mentioned these reckless partisan spasms in his remarks:

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“It has been one of the big, unfortunate ironies of the past several years: Many of the same individuals and institutions on the political left who spent the years 2017 through 2020 yelling about the importance of norms and institutions have themselves not hesitated to undermine our institutions when they’re unhappy with a given outcome. For example, the newly-elected incoming leader of the House Democrats is a past election denier who baselessly said the 2016 election was, ‘illegitimate’ and suggested that we had a, ‘fake’ president. He has also mounted reckless attacks on our independent judiciary and said that Justices he didn’t like have, ‘zero legitimacy.’ Unfortunately, when it comes to attacking our independent judiciary, the Democrats’ new leader isn’t an outlier, he’s a representative sample. In the last few years, we’ve seen my counterpart the Senate Democratic Leader threaten sitting Justices by name on the Supreme Court steps. We’ve seen President Biden and Attorney General Garland refuse to enforce federal law and put a stop to illegal harassment campaigns at Justices’ private family homes. And we have seen coordinated efforts by Democrats and the media to use smear campaigns to personally punish Justices whose legal reasoning they don’t like.

In reporting Jeffries' ascension as House Democratic leader, wire services Reuters and the Associated Press each failed to mention his conspiracies, election denialism, and anti-institution broadsides -- instead focusing on the historic nature of a black man becoming leaders of the caucus.  The news media has been positively fixated on election lies and 'misinformation' as a grave threat to democracy that threaten to upend cherished norms.  Oddly, their concern and outrage seems to be rather selective, as I pointed out on Twitter:

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Don't hold your breath.  It remains true that the self-appointed 'norms, institutions, and democracy' crowd doesn't actually have much meaningful fealty to any of the above, so long as undermining them serves a political purpose, in service of their own raw power.  Note what New Hampshire Democrats are doing to erode faith in an election outcome they don't care for.  Count all the votes, they scream, unless the votes result in a Republican win:

In New Hampshire at least, the Democratic Party seems eager to reclaim its place of dishonor as the cynical party that rejects the will of the voters. Not two weeks after the Democrats ran a national campaign saying that “our democracy is on the ballot,” New Hampshire Democrats sued the Secretary of State to stop counting ballots and disenfranchise voters. Here’s what Secretary of State Dave Scanlan believes happened during a recount of the Hillsborough District 16 race for House of Representatives: The number of voters didn’t match the original tally because a stack of 25 votes went uncounted (the people counting the ballots are volunteers, by the way). Because they were not all counted, the recount was incomplete. So, he reasoned, let’s keep counting. That’s when the Democrats sued. Without that stack of 25 votes, you see, their candidate would win. But with that stack of 25 votes, the Republican would win. New Hampshire Democrats literally sued so that the Secretary of State could not count all the votes. 

The plaintiffs “want this court to disenfranchise New Hampshire voters in the name of ‘finality’ and ‘fair elections’ to preserve an administrative error in a recount rather than allow the process to continue,” read a tersely worded memo aimed primarily at Democratic Sen. Donna Soucy, the ringleader of this sad affair. Superior Court Judge Amy Ignatius agreed straightaway that Scanlan’s explanation made sense and permitted the recount to continue, which the Democratic candidate lost. Gov. Chris Sununu, like most observers, was stunned by the Democrats’ behavior. “In an effort to subvert the will of voters, New Hampshire Democrat leaders engaged in appalling, hypocritical, and outrageous behavior to prevent all legal votes from being counted. I thank @NHSecretary Scanlan and the Court for protecting the voice of voters and integrity of our elections,” he said.

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In his speech, McConnell also mentioned another disturbing instance of insidious and disturbing illiberalism on the Left. There is an authoritarian rot in big law: "Earlier this week, a longtime female partner at a major law firm explained in an op-ed how she was forced out of the firm after she dared to enter into a ‘‘safe space’ for women’ and share her own personal views on the Dobbs ruling. As she tells it, simply being a woman who agreed with the five-justice majority of the Supreme Court was a fireable offense," he explained. "Some of her colleagues claimed that merely hearing her express a dissenting view caused them to, ‘[lose] their ability to breathe.’ This past summer, two wildly successful appellate litigators — including a former United States Solicitor General — were drummed out of another prominent firm because they won a Supreme Court victory for the Second Amendment. In their telling, they were basically told to either abandon their pro-Second-Amendment clients or hand in their badges."  Here is the first attorney mentioned relaying her story in the Wall Street Journal, describing the immediate backlash she faced after defending the Dobbs ruling:

The outrage was immediate. The next speaker called me a racist and demanded that I leave the meeting. Other participants said they “lost their ability to breathe” on hearing my comments. After more of the same, I hung up. Someone made a formal complaint to the firm. Later that day, Hogan Lovells suspended my contracts, cut off my contact with clients, removed me from email and document systems, and emailed all U.S. personnel saying that a forum participant had made “anti-Black comments” and was suspended pending an investigation. The firm also released a statement to the legal website Above the Law bemoaning the devastating impact my views had on participants in the forum—most of whom were lawyers participating in a call convened expressly for the purpose of discussing a controversial legal and political topic. Someone leaked my name to the press...Three weeks later I received a letter stating that the firm had concluded that my reference to comments labeling black abortion rates genocide was a violation of the antiharassment policy. Never mind that this view has been expressed by numerous mainstream commentators, black and white, including in these pages. My [counter] complaint was dismissed, my contracts with the firm were terminated, and other firms, wary of the publicity, blackballed me—all after an unblemished 44-year career.

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I'll leave you with another famous leftist election denier angling for yet another partisan reward for her democracy-threatening mendacity. An infamous conspiracy-peddling hyper-partisan liar becoming a powerful bureacrat at an influential agency that regulates communication? What could go wrong?

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