Thank God for the Rule of Law

Man-made laws are a mixed bag. Motivations range from desire to build a better society to desire to pander to a constituency, increase personal power, settle a score, or cover up wrongdoing. Even when well meant, laws often bring unintended consequences.  

Rule of law, though, is better. As an alternative to the rule of mere men, it’s a rare and precious blessing. A portion of the Oxford English Dictionary definition captures what I mean by the term.

… the principle whereby all members of a society (including those in government) are considered equally subject to publicly disclosed legal codes and processes.

Events of the past four years, especially the last four weeks, have exposed the fact that many who ought to be the most devoted and disciplined in support of the rule of law have lost sight of its value and importance.

Rule of law is God’s invention.

When God organized ancient Israel into a nation, He chose to do more than put Moses in charge and rule through him. He provided words etched in stone (Exodus 32:16). Eventually He provided the entire Torah (Pentateuch), and Moses and later rulers were expected to apply it to the needs of the nation—and also obey it themselves.

We might argue that Hammurabi introduced the rule of law first. Regardless, its invention was an act of God’s gracious providence in the world (James 1:17). By providing a written law to Israel, God made that clear.

Rule of law points to greater realities.

Decrees from autocrats and oligarchies inspire people to look no further than the arbitrary will of humans. They’re the ones in control and we do what they want.

Rule of law separates authority from personality, basing it outside the people in charge. But it does even more: it appeals to moral principles that are bigger than us—even all of us collectively.

In Israel’s case, those principles included “you shall be holy” (Exod. 22:32; Lev. 11:44, 19:2, 20:26) as well as principles such as the rightness of being kind to foreigners (Lev. 19:34, Deut. 10:19), respecting other people’s property (Exod. 20:15), and taking responsibility for unintended harm (Exod. 21:33, Deut. 22:4).

From a natural law perspective, the rule of law points to a transcendent order built into creation itself. From a biblical perspective, it points to the Transcendent Orderer who created. Either way, though secularists may try to deny it, law points beyond the merely human.

Of all people, Christians should treasure and zealously uphold the rule of law!

Rule of law seeks wisdom.

Legal proceedings privilege facts and reasoning over the passions of the moment, and it’s a blessing to all of us that they do. Scripture reveals that this elevation of careful though over emotion is characteristic of wisdom.

  • Whoever is slow to anger has great understanding, but he who has a hasty temper exalts folly. (Prov. 14:29)
  • Whoever trusts in his own mind is a fool, but he who walks in wisdom will be delivered. (Prov. 28:26)
  • An intelligent heart acquires knowledge, and the ear of the wise seeks knowledge. (Prov. 18:15)
  • If one gives an answer before he hears, it is his folly and shame. (Prov. 18:13)
  • The one who states his case first seems right, until the other comes and examines him. (Prov. 18:17)
  • The heart of the righteous ponders how to answer, but the mouth of the wicked pours out evil things. (Prov. 15:28)
  • But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere. (James 3:17)
  • By me [wisdom] kings reign, and rulers decree what is just; (Prov. 8:15)

The conflict over the 2020 presidential election result boils down to one question: Will the political right honor the rule of law—in most cases, long-standing state laws—or will we be ruled by our passions? The latter is the path of folly but also the path of instability and oppression. The fact that the left demonstrated the same tendencies (though on a far smaller scale) in 2016 only underscores the point. If the right doesn’t champion the rule of law, who do we think we should leave that job to?

Many conservatives believe claims of large scale election fraud and efforts to keep Donald Trump in power are honoring the rule of law. But there’s a fundamental problem with that view: the rule of law includes due process and the burden of proof placed on accusers. Accusers are required to prove that their accusations are true using credible evidence (which is not the same as “someone saying what we want to hear;” see Prov. 19:28).

Any attempt to shift the burden of proof from “innocent until proven guilty” to “guilty until proven innocent” is a direct assault on the rule of law. It’s not how we do law in America—and that reality is a blessing to all of us every day we live here.

Rule of law resists idolatry.

It’s easy to idolize a Queen Elizabeth or a Dear Leader Kim Jong-il, or a President Donald… or Ronald, or Barack or Joe. We’re constantly tempted to “put our trust in princes” (Psalm 146:3, 118:8-9).

It’s harder to idolize laws. It can be done (Rom. 10:2-4), but we’re much more prone to idolize people.

Where law is king (see Rutherford and Paine), power is distributed in written codes across regimes and generations. In the U.S., the law embodied in the Constitution spreads power across the legislative, judicial, and executive branches, and also spreads it across states. Though candidates and voters often act as though the President gets all the credit for national accomplishments, that’s not really how it works. U.S. presidents have substantial policy power, strong influence over what happens in Congress, and enormous cultural influence. But the rule of law ensures that achievements are the result of many individuals and groups working together.

It also has a way of throwing a wet blanket on our hero worship. We need that. We should thank God for it.

Rule of law is defining.

Given our national cultural decay, I think this is not overstatement: If we don’t have the rule of law, we don’t—as a nation, have anything. It’s ultimately all that keeps us from becoming Venezuela, Somalia, Russia, or China.

It’s also what makes all our other policy pursuits worthwhile. There’s no point in electing officials who are against murder if those officials are against the rule of law. This remains true if the murder we’re talking about is the killing of human children still in the womb.

This is a major shift in where we are as a nation, and one that many conservatives don’t yet seem to recognize. The rule of law used to be assumed on both the left and the right, but we can no longer take that commitment for granted—on the left or the right. Our first question about any potential president or legislator or judge can no longer be “are they pro-life”? Our first question must now be, are they pro-rule-of-law? Do they contribute to the strength of our national commitment to the rule of law or do they—directly or indirectly, through policy or rhetoric—weaken it?

Other things might be equally important to our national life. Nothing is more important.

Photo: Bill Oxford.

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There are 99 Comments

Bert Perry's picture

...but after watching Hilliary Clinton skate for her private server with hundreds of pieces of classified information, and after watching zero prosecutions for using FISA power to undermine a sitting President without as much as adequately vetting the "dossier" provided by that President's 2016 opponent, I would dare suggest that the "rule of law" seems to apply more than ever to "the rest of us" and not the "accredited elites."

(not the only examples I could come up with, but it shows a pattern....)

Aspiring to be a stick in the mud.

Aaron Blumer's picture

EditorAdmin

So the trick is to be part of the solution and not part of the problem. Nominating and electing candidates that have a pattern of trying to exceed their authority or making public statements/advocating actions that undermine rule of law clearly makes the problem worse.

But I do think the leaders we chose are only half cause of the problem. They're also half result of the problem. The attitude of the "elites" seems to be, increasingly, that whoever has power should use as much of it as they can get away with in pursuit of their goals. And this is also the way much of the electorate looks at it now. Everything is subordinate to "winning," and everything is weaponized for that purpose... principles are just rhetorical bludgeons.

Rejecting leaders (and parties) that think this way may not solve the problem but at least that way we know we're not making it worse.

Views expressed are always my own and not my employer's, my church's, my family's, my neighbors', or my pets'. The house plants have authorized me to speak for them, however, and they always agree with me.

Aaron Blumer's picture

EditorAdmin

I made a substantive change to a sentence.

Where it now says

If the right doesn’t champion the rule of law, who do we think we should leave that job to?

It formerly said "If..., who will?"

I wanted to change that because I know many of my friends/coworkers who are left or center left are very serious about rule of law. So while "who will?" might resonate with folks on the right who like to demonize everyone who is not one of them, that's not how I want to be. The answer to "who will?" would have been "Lots of people. But conservatives should be more motivated than anyone to own that job!"

Views expressed are always my own and not my employer's, my church's, my family's, my neighbors', or my pets'. The house plants have authorized me to speak for them, however, and they always agree with me.

Bert Perry's picture

I don't remember Jim Comey, Lois Lerner, or Bob Mueller ever appearing on my ballot.  Now we did indeed vote for, or against, those who did put the bureaucratic state in place, but I think at some level the bureaucracy has learned to take matters pretty much outside of the hands of elected officials.

Aspiring to be a stick in the mud.

Aaron Blumer's picture

EditorAdmin

Sure. I'm talking about where we have influence and how we should use it, not where we don't have influence and can't use it.

Views expressed are always my own and not my employer's, my church's, my family's, my neighbors', or my pets'. The house plants have authorized me to speak for them, however, and they always agree with me.

JD Miller's picture

I don't remember Jim Comey, Lois Lerner, or Bob Mueller ever appearing on my ballot.  Now we did indeed vote for, or against, those who did put the bureaucratic state in place, but I think at some level the bureaucracy has learned to take matters pretty much outside of the hands of elected official

I find it interesting that the case that Texas and 18 others states are bringing concerning the election has to  do with the rule of the law.  Many elected and unelected officials decided to simply change the voting law even though they had no authority to do so.  In other cases they chose to simply ignore the laws that were in place and no one stopped them.  Laws are important and not following them has put an election in question.  If we just allow people to ignore the law and we become a nation that selectively decides who has to follow the law and who does not, then we are in trouble.  I hope that even those of you who despise Trump can see how dangerous this is.  Even if you like the results of ignoring the law, what happens when the message is sent that laws are no longer important?  Stalin had a description for those who were useful to his gaining power, but had not thought out the full implications of enabling him.

Joel Shaffer's picture

 Many elected and unelected officials decided to simply change the voting law even though they had no authority to do so.  In other cases they chose to simply ignore the laws that were in place and no one stopped them.  

Specific examples and proof so that we know specifically what you're talking about? Links?  

TylerR's picture

Editor

It's fair to say many people have no earthly idea how difficult it is to change State laws. Agencies routinely hire legislative liaisons specifically to lobby their interests to lawmakers so laws have a chance of being updated or amended. Even then, it can take years. Or, you can do it via rulemaking and change the interpretation of the laws. 

Either way, it's hard. It requires compromise. It's much more complicated than the Looney Tunes version ("Great horny toads! I don't like them there laws! Imma not a gonna listen to 'em! Imma gonna change 'em!!!") regurgitated by Christians in thrall to partisan media.

Tyler is a pastor in Olympia, WA and works in State government. He's the author of the book What's It Mean to Be a Baptist?

Larry's picture

Moderator

Specific examples and proof so that we know specifically what you're talking about? Links?  

Joel, have you read the SCOTUS filing? That would be the best place to get the information you are looking for. It is available and you can see it for yourself. I have read part of it and skimmed through all of it. The Michigan parts were of particular interest. It is alleged that legislative requirements (the only constitutionally valid election law) was overridden by someone other than the legislature, thus violating the constitution and raising equal protection claims. Whether we think Biden won (as I do) or not (as others do), we should all be interested in this because this is not the last election. The law should matter.

As a side note, it is interesting to me the number of people who claim there is no proof and that claims are baseless yet have never looked for any proof or any evidence. The charges made (whether right or wrong) were significant and would take some time to determine their validity. Yet almost immediately we were told they were baseless. How did they know the claims were baseless before hearing them? 

Larry's picture

Moderator

It's fair to say many people have no earthly idea how difficult it is to change State laws.

It's actually not that hard to do it informally, which is alleged. If the law requires a signature or an address, and the vote counter or supervisor or court says, "Do not require a signature or address," then the law has been de facto changed by someone other than the legislature. It is at this point that the courts matter. 

Of particular interest is the PA case where the legislature changed the law earlier this year to account for COVID and did not add particular provisions that were then later added by people who were not the legislature. That is said to be a violation of Art 2 that gives election law only to the legislature. No law can be changed (whether explicitly or implicitly) by anyone other than the legislature. 

I find this all interesting not from a political viewpoint but from a legal one. Why do legislative laws matter if people can simply change the law by ignoring it? And if the courts won't enforce the law, why write a law? There's a lot more at stake than who is president for the next four years. 

TylerR's picture

Editor

This election madness is the perfect capstone to the Trump era. Large segments of the American Church have gone stark raving mad. Election conspiracies abound, lapped up by people who want to believe "they" have done some unspeakable evil.

I just watched James White earlier this week suggest the various COVID vaccines are designed by "them" to control us and make us docile. It's all part of the Great Reset, you see. Perhaps the ultimate irony with White's descent into madness is that, despite his well-known aversion to eschatology, he is now just as alarmist as the most wild-eyed dispensationalist.

I am sick of the whole thing. It's sad. Thank God indeed, for the rule of law.

Tyler is a pastor in Olympia, WA and works in State government. He's the author of the book What's It Mean to Be a Baptist?

Larry's picture

Moderator

This election madness is the perfect capstone to the Trump era. Large segments of the American Church have gone stark raving mad. Election conspiracies abound, lapped up by people who want to believe "they" have done some unspeakable evil.

This is true. What is equally remarkable is the almost total lack of curiosity about the election by some who claim to love the truth. How can one love the truth but be so determined not to know it? How can one love the rule of law and be so determined to avoid knowing if the law was violated? I can see that coming from unbelievers but when it comes from the church, it is more disturbing to me. 

TylerR's picture

Editor

Probable cause is why I'm not concerned! Predication ...

I must also point out that these absurb allegations are often deemed "credible" because ordinary people have little idea of how things actually work in local and state government. No idea. It's easier to refer to "government" as this monolithic menace, rather than understand it for what it is. It's also quite convenient to impugn civil servants because of the political whoredom of the elected officials they serve.

Government is a collection of civil servants just like me who are not robots or droids. They're Christians, black, white, Muslim, and everything in between. They have all sorts of personal feelings on a whole host of issues. Government exists at local, county, State and Federal level. It is well-nigh impossible for a coordinated effort to happen (like, say, stealing an election) without a conspiracy involving untold thousands of individuals.

It's intriguing to me the same people who decry government as a collection of boobs who couldn't pour pee out of a boot with instructions written on the heel have no issue believing in a vast, well-orchestrated and impeccably funded left-wing conspiracy that exists at local, county and State levels to deny President Trump his re-election.

When one waves a hand and says "the government" has done wrong, you are impugning the thoughts, integrity and intentions of thousands of civil servants. The casual ignorance of these kinds of statements also show the person leveling the charge has no idea how the a real government bureaucracy works. It's no skin off his back, because he doesn't have to prove them. He just makes idle accusations.

The WA Secretary of State (a Republican) has had to issue a statement because the GOP gubernatorial challenger (who lost badly) claims the WA election was stolen. She has repeatedly called for proof, not social media pontifications or other stupidity. None has been forthcoming. Yet, the GOP loser continues his irresponsible diatribe and his followers believe him. It is pathetic. It is sad. It is dangerous. 

It should be no surprise that we're in this situation when, just now, a pastor I follow on social media shared a ridiculous news story from a site called rebelnews.com. Does anyone with a functioning brain cell really think one can trust anything this site has to offer? Just the other day, another pastor I know shared a story from constitutionsoldier.com. These are men who have the care of souls for a congregation! When even shepherds are as gullible as children, anything is possible.

Tyler is a pastor in Olympia, WA and works in State government. He's the author of the book What's It Mean to Be a Baptist?

Larry's picture

Moderator

What kind of research or investigation have you done to know whether there is probable cause or predication? 

To me, one of the problems is dogmatic declarations that have no basis in investigation. Again, the lack of curiosity is interesting.

It seems to me there is not much doubt that elections laws were changed by people other than legislatures. The issue is whether or not that will be taken up and whether or not there is any remedy at this point. I think Biden won, though it seems there are some interesting irregularities. I am more interested in the bigger questions about election law. 

JD Miller's picture

I provided a link below to an article right after the election showing how the governor and the court changed election law in PA.  They do not have the authority to do this.  We have sworn testimony before state legislatures from multiple states showing that election laws were violated by local officials when they would not let observers in.  Further signature verification laws were ignored.   Much of the evidence was provided to hearings held by state legislatures.  Some have called them "clown shows" in part because they were held in hotels instead of state capitals.  Part of the reason for holding them in hotels is because the conference rooms in many capitals do not allow for social distancing as well as rented venues in other locations would.  

https://thefederalist.com/2020/11/09/how-pennsylvania-democrats-deliberately-stoked-2020-election-chaos/

TylerR's picture

Editor

The war of internet links continues. File suit. Contact the state Secretary of State. Contact the county auditor. These officials will use reasonable standards to determine predication and probable cause. People are innocent until proven guilty. This is something the "lost cause" Trumpists seem to have forgotten. There is a presumption of innocence, not guilt.

I note that legal efforts to date have been shot down, sometimes scornfully. That is quite telling. Nevertheless, the "lost cause" mythos will continue to live on and it will be with us for quite some time. 

Tyler is a pastor in Olympia, WA and works in State government. He's the author of the book What's It Mean to Be a Baptist?

JD Miller's picture

Contact the Secretary of State?  LOL.  In many of these cases it was the Secretary of State that decided to and even ordered the law to be ignored.  If the county auditor is ignoring the law and preventing observers in or worse, then who do you contact if the Secretary of State will not even take your call or just responds like Tyler does and says we have auditors so you have no evidence?   Of course people are innocent until proven guilty, but the scripture says that where there are multiple witnesses, we must take the accusation seriously.  We have multiple witnesses giving sworn testimony.  To assume the courts have no bias is willful ignorance.  Most of these violations were taking place in select cities where the election auditors have a lot of power and little oversight.  That in itself is one of the major concerns.  Even a call for detailed audits and oversight gets mocking derision from some.  That is scary and a disregard for the rule of law.  

TylerR's picture

Editor

The "Secretary of State" is a large organization that likely employs several hundred, perhaps over 1,000 people. Who, specifically, do you mean when you charge that "the" Secretary of State has ignored laws?

You continue to deal in abstractions. This is often the way with people who have no facts. I see it every day. I've seen it every day for 18 years. Rod Dreher has a disturbing piece about Eric "Heil Trump!" Mataxas in which he marvels at the fideistic nature of Mataxas' blind devotion to the cause of Trumpism. There is much of that in these continued allegations of fraud.

I shall bow out now. There is little point engaging with fideistic faith. Thank God for the rule of law. Appreciate the article, Aaron.

Tyler is a pastor in Olympia, WA and works in State government. He's the author of the book What's It Mean to Be a Baptist?

Bert Perry's picture

The Supreme Court slapped down the Texas lawsuit as lacking standing.  So that's all but the weeping, I think.

Those of us who are deeply suspicious that there was widespread cheating--and I belong to that group--can now do little better than to take good looks at who voted, what their address is (addresses were), whether they're still alive, whether they're felons, and the like--and then when something is found, provide it to the state and to the media and more or less dare them not to do a better job with vote security.

And then we can work for lawmakers who will clarify election law to make very clear that excluding poll watchers is not just wrong but punishable, that you don't count votes between 10pm and 6am, etc..  When the left tells you that there is no vote fraud, just point to the # of felons, dead people, people at nonexistent or nonresidential addresses,  and such who have voted.

Aspiring to be a stick in the mud.

Andrew K's picture

TylerR wrote:

This election madness is the perfect capstone to the Trump era. Large segments of the American Church have gone stark raving mad. Election conspiracies abound, lapped up by people who want to believe "they" have done some unspeakable evil.

I just watched James White earlier this week suggest the various COVID vaccines are designed by "them" to control us and make us docile. It's all part of the Great Reset, you see. Perhaps the ultimate irony with White's descent into madness is that, despite his well-known aversion to eschatology, he is now just as alarmist as the most wild-eyed dispensationalist.

I am sick of the whole thing. It's sad. Thank God indeed, for the rule of law.


I've also been saddened by White's late dark ravings. I really miss the good old days of stories of Islam and Gnosticism.

Anyway, I recommend anyone interested give this a read. It's about China's understanding of the "rule of law," how they see it as linked to a Western model with universal human rights, and how they plan to export their own model to compete. I think you'll find it well worth your time. https://bitterwinter.org/xi-jinpings-and-the-rule-of-law-a-new-tool-of-c...

G. N. Barkman's picture

If the many election irregularities are understandable and trivial mistakes, such as will always happen in any election involving millions of voters (a reasonable assertion), why have nearly all the "mistakes" favored Democrats?  I've asked that several times, and no one has yet provided a reasonable explanation.  Laws of probability would expect half the mistakes to favor Republicans.  Has anyone documented election irregularities favoring Republicans?  This observation does not prove fraud, but the question deserves an explanation.  If none is forthcoming, the only conclusion I can draw is that deliberate fraud has indeed occurred, and it needs to be exposed and the perpetrators punished.  Dismissing this as "loonyism" without thoroughly investigating the allegations is problematic and smacks of partisan intransigence. 

G. N. Barkman

RajeshG's picture

The divine standard for investigations is that where there are 2 or 3 witnesses, authorities must investigate to determine whether illicit or unrighteous acts have been committed. Presently, there are hundreds of witnesses who under penalty of perjury have provided sworn testimonies that corrupt conduct has taken place in our elections.

In various states, either the governors or the secretaries of state or other election officials or all of them together are preventing investigations of the conduct of election officials in their states. When people have tried to confront these officials in courts about their misconduct, various judges are refusing to even hold hearings and are instead dismissing the cases.

Forensic examinations of the ballots in the disputed states would go a long way toward addressing the allegations but authorities are refusing to allow such examinations. This is unrighteous conduct and is preventing the issues from being properly resolved.

 

josh p's picture

Andrew K wrote:

 

TylerR wrote:

 

This election madness is the perfect capstone to the Trump era. Large segments of the American Church have gone stark raving mad. Election conspiracies abound, lapped up by people who want to believe "they" have done some unspeakable evil.

I just watched James White earlier this week suggest the various COVID vaccines are designed by "them" to control us and make us docile. It's all part of the Great Reset, you see. Perhaps the ultimate irony with White's descent into madness is that, despite his well-known aversion to eschatology, he is now just as alarmist as the most wild-eyed dispensationalist.

I am sick of the whole thing. It's sad. Thank God indeed, for the rule of law.

 

I've also been saddened by White's late dark ravings. I really miss the good old days of stories of Islam and Gnosticism.

 

Anyway, I recommend anyone interested give this a read. It's about China's understanding of the "rule of law," how they see it as linked to a Western model with universal human rights, and how they plan to export their own model to compete. I think you'll find it well worth your time. https://bitterwinter.org/xi-jinpings-and-the-rule-of-law-a-new-tool-of-c...

I also have given up on White. I have tried to turn him on a few times hoping to discover that he regained some balance but found otherwise. Such a wasted talent. I learned a lot from him through the years. I wish it was somehow illegal for Christians to be republicans (not really of course). Maybe they would start from scratch and form a principled party. Many Christians that I know can recite every possible election irregularity but how many are spending time reading their Bible or studying theology? 

JD Miller's picture

Rajesh wrote:

The divine standard for investigations is that where there are 2 or 3 witnesses, authorities must investigate to determine whether illicit or unrighteous acts have been committed. Presently, there are hundreds of witnesses who under penalty of perjury have provided sworn testimonies that corrupt conduct has taken place in our elections.

In various states, either the governors or the secretaries of state or other election officials or all of them together are preventing investigations of the conduct of election officials in their states. When people have tried to confront these officials in courts about their misconduct, various judges are refusing to even hold hearings and are instead dismissing the cases.

Forensic examinations of the ballots in the disputed states would go a long way toward addressing the allegations but authorities are refusing to allow such examinations. This is unrighteous conduct and is preventing the issues from being properly resolved.

This is really what the rule of law should be about.  I find it strange that some on this site still mock such thought.  This issue of the rule of law is not just a political issue, but a Biblical one.  The last sentence reminds me of how many stories I have heard of criminal behavior being hidden within the church.  I have to wonder how many on here who do not want an investigation of our election would also block investigations of child abuse in the church.  I really hope there is not a connection, but I do hope that readers of SI would take more seriously the Biblical principle of 2 or 3 witnesses.

Kevin Miller's picture

G. N. Barkman wrote:

If the many election irregularities are understandable and trivial mistakes, such as will always happen in any election involving millions of voters (a reasonable assertion), why have nearly all the "mistakes" favored Democrats?  I've asked that several times, and no one has yet provided a reasonable explanation.  Laws of probability would expect half the mistakes to favor Republicans.  Has anyone documented election irregularities favoring Republicans?  This observation does not prove fraud, but the question deserves an explanation.  If none is forthcoming, the only conclusion I can draw is that deliberate fraud has indeed occurred, and it needs to be exposed and the perpetrators punished.  Dismissing this as "loonyism" without thoroughly investigating the allegations is problematic and smacks of partisan intransigence. 

I'm sure if the Republicans had won the election, the Democrats would be documenting the election irregularities that favored the Republicans. Right now it's the Republicans that are pointing out irregularities, so why do you think Republicans would point out any that favored Republicans?

TylerR's picture

Editor

Generally, you can define probable cause as "facts and or circumstances which would make a reasonable and prudent person believe a crime has been committed." This is typically the standard regulatory and law enforcement bodies use for opening an investigation. It isn't the standard for substantiating a case and forwarding it; it's the standard for opening a case.

Not one single person on this thread (no, not one), has gone beyond the level of abstractions. This is understandable, because not one single person here has any personal knowledge of any illegal act. But, even though it may well accomplish nothing, I will break down one portion of a statement above to illustrate reality for those who are outraged:

Has anyone documented election irregularities favoring Republicans? 

I don't know. Do you? Are you referring to a specific county? A specific State? This was a nationwide election. What are you talking about, exactly?

This observation does not prove fraud, but the question deserves an explanation. 

You're assuming something you don't even know yourself. Thus, unless you have some predication (which you have not identified), you are whistling in the dark.

If none is forthcoming,

Do you realize you're demanding people prove you're wrong? This flips presumption of innocence on its head. You have begun with a presumption of guilt. This is not a Communist state, Comrade Barkman!

the only conclusion I can draw is that deliberate fraud has indeed occurred,

Where? In what jurisdiction? By whom? What is your basis for this conclusion, for which you have not presented any evidence?

and it needs to be exposed and the perpetrators punished. 

You demand an investigation about something you can't explain, against people whom you can't identify, in a jurisdiction you can't pinpoint, and you presume guilt ... so why do we even need an investigation?

Dismissing this as "loonyism" without thoroughly investigating the allegations is problematic 

Why? It will remain looneyism unless and until you can go beyond abstractions. The Courts have not been persuaded, nor have the various county officials and Secretaries of State for the jurisdictions in question. Even the Notorious ACB joined her colleagues in denying TX's ridiculous suit.

and smacks of partisan intransigence. 

Not at all. I refer you to everything I just mentioned. It's fine to toss around accusations in an armchair. It's another thing to deal with the real world, with statutes and standards of proof. I've done it all my life. There ain't anything here, boys and girls. If you continue to have this fideistic faith that great fraud occurred, then you're calling into question the entire legal structure of society in multiple jurisdictions. This doesn't seem like a wise, prudent or warranted move. But, to each his own, I suppose ...

For those who are interested, Eric "Heil Trump" Mataxas appears to have gone mad. Behold his parody video "Biden Did You Know?"

Tyler is a pastor in Olympia, WA and works in State government. He's the author of the book What's It Mean to Be a Baptist?

G. N. Barkman's picture

Wouldn't it be advantageous to the Democrats to point out voting irregularities that favored Republicans?  That would support their contention that all the irregularities are understandable human errors that occur in any election.   

For example, are there any precincts where Democrat poll watchers were excluded?  Are there any precincts where Republican officials declared the counting would stop for the night, sent everyone home, and then continued counting in the absence of Democrat observers?  Are there any precincts where voting machines switched Democrat votes to Republican?  Are there any places where Republican officials allowed ballots to be counted that did not meet the required standard of law?  Do you want me to go on?

G. N. Barkman

Aaron Blumer's picture

EditorAdmin

Looked away for a bit and this thread really got busy.

I know this isn't going to change minds among those deeply entrenched in the irrationality that now dominates the right but it remains true... and may help someone who is on the fence.

  • SCOTUS has rejected the Texas case for a reason
  • All the other lost cases have been lost for essentially the same reason
  • Many of those involved in bringing these suits know full well that they're a crock of rubbish. They have political and financial reasons for doing it anyway.
  • Note the large number of conservative judges, state and local election officials, and lawyers (i.e. those most likely to be best informed) who have rejected the stolen election nonsense
  • Note the significant number of nonpartisan conservatives who have rejected the big steal lie, even several who have been very Trump supportive most of the last four years (Byron York for example).

The 'evidence' is a few procedural technicalities here and there, a couple of other actual problems with little impact on the outcome, and a whole lot of bold and dramatic claims with nothing backing them. And a bit of wacky conspiracy babble in the mix.

Then these cases take this poor evidence and add poor legal reasoning on top and demand absurd remedies.

That's not how rule of law works.

Fortunately, there have been enough judges doing their jobs to sustain rule of law through this onslaught of deceit and ignorance...and self-serving manipulation.

It will be over soon, unless the zealots find ways to corrupt the electors. If they do, rule of law is very nearly dead in America. I think it's more resilient than that though. 

Views expressed are always my own and not my employer's, my church's, my family's, my neighbors', or my pets'. The house plants have authorized me to speak for them, however, and they always agree with me.

G. N. Barkman's picture

Reversing the results of the election is not my concern.  I believe Biden won.  However, a nation ruled by law is my deep concern.  Simply saying, "Even if there are irregularities, they are not sufficient to overturn the results" is not sufficient reason to refuse to investigate these irregularities.  Is no one to be held responsible for ignoring election laws in many precincts?  If so, you can be sure it will happen again, and again, and....     

The integrity of future elections requires confronting all known abuses of election law.  Will those who refused to let poll watchers do their job be called to account?  Will those who defied state election laws to accept ballots that were not qualified be held accountable?  Even if we are talking about only a few hundred ballots, shouldn't election laws be enforced, and violations punished?  And, is it possible that a more careful examination of a few hundred irregularities may turn up a good many more?  Maybe, maybe not.  But we will never know unless we are willing to do genuine investigation, and not sweep it all under the "it won't change the outcome" rug.

G. N. Barkman

Bert Perry's picture

Aaron, it was a lack of standing issue.  So the details have not really been addressed, and we're left with the question of why having one's votes cancelled by fraudulent votes (allegedly) doesn't constitute some kind of harm that the courts ought to remedy.  It may be the right legal decision, but it's still grating.

Other decisions were reached due to lack of evidence, and that's really because the system makes it extremely hard to eliminate fraudulent ballots once they're cast and counted the first time--it's a  feature of the secret ballot, really.  So Giuliani et al probably went in knowing they were attempting a moon shot with a science project rocket.

Regarding GN's question about "why does it all work out in favor of the Democrats?",  that's really because the suspicious activities and votes are coming from a few large, mostly Democratic cities.  And there's the crux of the matter; are the poll watcher exclusions, wee hours vote counting activities, and the like occurring simply because these cities don't plan well or like doing things at 3am, or is it because they're trying to hide something?

Having grown up an hour from Chicago and having gone to college an hour from Detroit, I know these big cities don't plan well, but I can't shake the suspicion that there's more going on than just that.  There's that "poll watcher exclusion" thing, really. 

And then you've got the lawsuits that the left has filed every time anyone gets going on examining whether voter rolls and such are clean--if you're committed to clean elections, why?  Wouldn't you rather see that problems were not found, and then gloat over it, if you're on the up & up?

Aspiring to be a stick in the mud.

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