Politics The Proud Boys are a distraction from the real threat to American democracy
50 Portland Police Officers to Be Deputized as Federal Law Enforcement Ahead of Proud Boys Rally
Officers will continue to make arrests on state charges, but the cases are now sent to the U.S. Attorney's Office where federal prosecutors will determine with officers whether any of the cases warrant federal charges.Officers assigned to the specialized crowd control teams in the Portland Police Bureau (PPB) will be deputized early Saturday morning, Oregon State Police (OSP) Supt. Travis Hampton told The Oregonian/OregonLive. Governor Kate Brown tapped Hampton to lead police response with Multonmah County Sheriff Mike Reese under an emergency executive order, OregonLive reported.
As Election Day nears, some commentators warn that the country is threatened by a "Civil War" and that the election could " ." In one , President Trump declares himself the winner on election night on the basis of in-person voting even though the mail ballots, which likely will favor Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden, are still being counted. Far-rightwing groups clash with far-left groups in the streets, and America descends into .
Proud Boys Member, Who Shot Paintballs At Protestors, Arrested By Portland Police
The morning after Trump told Proud Boys to "stand down" during the presidential election, one of the group's members was arrested by Portland police.Sen.
Trump reinforced the doomsday fears during Tuesday night's presidential debate when he seemed to command the far-right extremist Proud Boys tofor further action. While no one should minimize the dangers of such racist hate groups, the Proud Boys are hardly a national underground militia ready to rise up at the president's order, overrun the polling places and blow up the mail ballot collection boxes.
According to the, there are likely no more than several hundred Proud Boys, who are often at demonstrations by counter protesters. To be sure, Proud Boys, some of whom promote white supremacist and anti-Semitic ideologies, have been convicted of . But if Trump commands the Proud Boys, he commands a rabble of belligerent imbeciles that any police department should be able to handle.
'Mailmen selling ballots. Dumped in rivers. Found in creeks': Trump makes unfounded claims about mail-in voting
From claiming mailmen are "selling the ballots" to arguing that mail ballots are being "dumped in rivers," Trump ramped up his assault on mail-votingTrump now says he 'doesn't know' Proud Boys group
Trump insisted in the debate that voting by mail is fraudulent, but he has no legal basis to stop the states from counting the mail ballots. According to a Washington Postof litigation over mail ballot voting deadlines and procedures, both Democratic- and Republican-appointed judges view Republican fraud claims skeptically, not least because the Republican lawyers cannot produce any evidence of mail ballot fraud.
So, focusing on the Proud Boys and their ilk misses the real threat to the democratic process, which is a much, much different group: the framers of the Constitution, who created the election doomsday machine known as the Electoral College.
Video: Organizers Considering Changes After Chaotic First Presidential Debate (CBS Miami)
A realistic strategy for Trump's legal team is not to try to stop the vote count directly, but to challenge or seek recounts of any initial vote tabulation in close races that favor Biden. Such challenges could delay a final tally until December 8, the so-called "" deadline for states to choose electors to vote in the Electoral College, after which the electors cannot be challenged in Congress.
Fact check: Analysis bashing Wisconsin's COVID-19 calculations is mistaken
Wisconsin's approach to calculating test-positivity is used by many other states and endorsed by Johns Hopkins as the most accurate methodology.Trump: 'I don't know who the Proud Boys are'
If no electors are chosen in a given state as that date looms (because the vote recounts and challenges are still underway), thenof the Constitution gives Republicans a means to end run the popular vote. Under Article II a state's legislature has the power to choose "in such Manner as the Legislature thereof may direct" the electors who will vote in the Electoral College (which meets on December 14).
The Proud Boys shouldn't scare Democrats. They should be scared by the fact that intop battleground states, Pennsylvania, Florida, Michigan, Wisconsin, Arizona and North Carolina, Republicans control both chambers of the state legislature.
Would one or more of these legislatures invoke Article II to choose a Trump slate of electors even if it meant abandoning its state's popular vote? That nearly happened in 2000 in Bush v. Gore, where a recount in several Florida counties was still underway as the state neared the safe harbor deadline for resolving disputes. The Republican majorities in the Florida State House and Senate were preparing pursuant to Article II toa slate of electors pledged to George W. Bush when the Supreme Court halted the recount on constitutional grounds and effectively gave the presidency to Bush.
By borrowing from the Florida legislature playbook in Bush v. Gore, swing state Republican-controlled legislatures could pre-empt the final vote tally and send slates of Trump electors to give him a majority of the Electoral College. A conservative Supreme Court (with a newly-confirmed Justice Amy Coney Barrett) could affirm their power to do so.
If that happens, it will be the second time in 20 years that the popular vote has been circumvented by a majority Republican-appointed Supreme Court to install a Republican president. Will we still be able to call ourselves a democracy?
Gregory J. Wallance, a writer in New York City, was a federal prosecutor during the Carter and Reagan administrations. He is the author of "America's Soul in the Balance: The Holocaust, FDR's State Department, and The Moral Disgrace of an American Aristocracy." Follow him on Twitter at @gregorywallance.
‘All the red flags’: Political analysts warn of U.S. election violence in November .
With President Donald Trump refusing to commit to a peaceful transition of power in the event that he loses the upcoming election and violent clashes already unfolding in a number of states, political analysts are uniquely fearful as November approaches. Asked last week to commit to conceding should the November 3 election go in favor of Democratic nominee Joe Biden, Trump again cited unfounded claims about mail-in ballots leading to widespread voter fraud in justifying his reluctance.