Tiffany’s support of Texas lawsuit was disappointing
American democracy and constitutional government was balanced on a razor’s edge last week as the United States Supreme Court was asked to take up an unprecedented challenge brought by the Texas Attorney General.
Witnessing a Texas politician attempting to disenfranchise millions of voters in Wisconsin, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Georgia, by reversing an election because he didn’t like its outcome was disturbing enough. Seeing our newly elected Rep. Tom Tiffany actively supporting those efforts was both disturbing and disappointing.
Tiffany was the only member of the Wisconsin congressional delegation to join more than 100 of his Republican congressional colleagues in filing an amicus brief supporting the Texas lawsuit. The lawsuit continued the unsupported allegations of fraud and election irregularities which election-deniers have claimed, for the past two months, to be the only way that President Donald Trump could have lost his re-election bid. These claims persist even after U.S. Attorney General William Barr went on record stating there was no evidence of fraud and the Department of Homeland Security stated this election the most secure in American history. Recounts, vote audits and the many checks and balances in the election process have failed to yield any smoking gun which would indicate election fraud at the level implied by election-deniers.
Tiffany, who campaigned as a Trump supporter both in last spring’s special election and the fall general election, is entitled to feel disappointed by the president’s loss in Wisconsin. There are many in northern Wisconsin who share his disappointment. This, however, does not warrant leaving reality behind and diving down the conspiracy-theory rabbit hole. Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. To date there has been no evidence of fraud existing on the scale to warrant overturning the will of the voters.
In statements to media outlets, Tiffany spins the lawsuit as being “about the integrity of our system.” He is quoted by National Public Radio stating, “Every legal vote must be counted, credible complaints of fraud and irregularities must be investigated, and legitimate legal challenges must be heard and addressed by our independent judiciary.”
In his statements, Tiffany seems almost honorable in his attempts to undo the election and subvert the will of the people to attempt to allow Trump to maintain power. If so, it is the honor that is shared by Brutus as he stabbed Caesar.
Election integrity should be of paramount concern to all Americans. In supporting the Texas lawsuit, Tiffany fed into those who would seek to undermine faith in the election system. A system he helped shape during his years in the state legislature.
At best, Tiffany’s actions in going on record in support of the lawsuit were those of a freshman congressman answering the call for support by the leader of his party in an effort he knew in his heart was doomed to fail. At worst, Tiffany’s actions raise serious concerns about his understanding and commitment to his oath of office to uphold the Constitution of the United States.
Fortunately for American democracy, the U.S. Supreme Court recognized that Texas has no standing in challenging another state’s election results and tossed the case. It will take longer to overcome the disappointment in politicians, such as Tiffany, in using the constitution and fundamental faith as yet another political football.