Georgia’s Brad Raffensperger refuses to rule out supporting Trump, even after death threats

Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger remains in a precarious spot in Republican Party politics. He has been singled out by Donald Trump and, indeed, the entire fascist wing of the party for his failure to comply with Trump’s post-election demands that he “find” enough votes to overturn Trump’s Georgia loss. To alter the vote totals of an American election would be both criminal and a betrayal of the country; Trump may yet face criminal charges for attempting to intimidate Georgia officials into doing so. Raffensperger is already facing a primary challenge from Republicans who are irate over his refusal to help topple the government. It’s looking unlikely, at this point, that his party will return him to the office next year.

It’s tempting to mark Raffensperger down as the courageous sort after he stood up for a principle as basic as: “No, I’m not going to fraudulently alter the votes in a United States election based on the say-so of a delusional, barking lump of self-regard.” But the man is still devoted to a Republican Party that backed, and continues to back, those treasonous demands. He was unwilling to go to prison to help the party cheat, but he has otherwise toed the party line; he very quickly endorsed state Republican moves to make voting more difficult, each premised on the same “election fraud” notions he previously swore did not happen.

If anything, this should cleanly demonstrate just what it is that his party now finds unforgivable. He’s fully on board when it comes to finding new ways to keep Americans from voting. But the Republican was unwilling to commit crimes to erase Joe Biden’s Georgia win, and for that his fellow Republicans consider him an enemy of the party.

That’s the background that Raffensperger now brings to television interviews. And while MSNBC’s Mehdi Hasan wrote that he was “stunned” after Raffensperger dodged question after question on whether he would support Trump’s reelection after Trump unleashed the whole of fascist America on Raffensperger and his family, it’s not so stunning if you remember that (1) Raffensperger is desperately trying to get back in good standing with his Republican Party and (2) Raffensperger is willing to remain silent as his party becomes a hoax-promoting, violence-provoking enemy of American democracy if that’s what it takes to meet requirement.

It ain’t that subtle, Mehdi. What we have here is a man who needs to be on the winning side of whatever happens, and whatever happens to the rest of you doesn’t enter into it.

Watch Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, who has been verbally abused & threatened by Trump, whose family got death threats from Trump supporters, *refuse* to rule out voting for Trump again in 2024, in an interview with me. I was stunned.pic.twitter.com/AGAYD89aXC

— Mehdi Hasan (@mehdirhasan) November 17, 2021

In the interview, Hasan repeatedly asks Raffensperger if Raffensperger would vote for Donald Trump to retake the presidency if the Republican Party again nominates the extortionist thug for the position. Raffensperger isn’t willing to answer either way, only saying he’s focused on his own reelection instead.

An incredulous Hasan: “This is a guy who incited violence against you and your family and you’re considering maybe voting for him? You’re not saying, tonight, no way am I ever voting for that guy?”

Yep! That’s exactly what Raffensperger is saying. You’re trying to get him to say that the man who led an attempted coup, the man who pressured him into falsifying election totals, the one who became so furious when Raffensperger and others refused to topple democracy for the sake of his own personal ego that he publicly marked Raffensperger as an enemy and unleashed, on his family and others, that large chunk of America that has been absolutely itching for the erasure of current government and the creation of a new one that would put violence-seeking white conservative men at the undisputed top of the nation’s power structure—you’re trying to get Raffensperger to say that man is unfit to be president on national television.

If Raffensperger were the sort of patriot who could unflinchingly say that members of his party who rely on hoaxes, thuggery, extortion, and mob violence should absolutely be condemned and rejected, he would answer the question speedily. But Raffensperger just told you he’s focused on his own reelection, not whether the country should be governed by autocrats, so there you go.

The last thing he’s going to do is condemn his party’s Dear Leader figure during his fight to convince the party that he is not, in fact, their sworn enemy.

Raffensperger’s been willing to tolerate the death threats because, again, his alternative is abandoning the party. In his personal hierarchy of needs, maintaining his own position of authority is of more importance than whether the party that has given him that authority has devolved into one that defends criminality in service to party goals.

There are Republican pundits who have abandoned the party and condemned Trump rather than be associated with such evils. The number of elected Republicans willing to do the same—how many have appeared? How many have told voters, “I will not be a part of this”?

We have now heard all we need to hear from Raffensperger. Journalists, pundits, and Democrats all focused their eyes on him when it was learned that he had rejected the Trump White House’s insistence that he needed to recount the votes by whatever new standard he could invent that would give Trump a win; the state of the Republican Party is so rancid that the sight of a single named official refusing Trump—after the whole party rallied around him to protect him from a litany of corruptions, and for years—was a man-bites-dog moment. The not-crackpot parts of the nation have been looking for heroes willing to condemn the party’s corruption: Could this, finally, be one of them?

We soon learned that the answer was no. No, being unwilling to go to prison in a far-fetched scheme to erase vote totals and write in new ones, a scheme that would never survive even a cursory audit afterwards, would not extend to condemning the myriad party officials who were furious when it didn’t happen. Raffensperger has been attempting to make nice with his party ever since, and if that means suggesting to television viewers that this whole attempted crime thing, the attempted overthrow of democracy, the deaths, the death threats, and the rest have still not definitively disqualified Trump from being the great Dear Leader other party thugs consider him to be … so be it.

We’ve got it. Brad is a company man, and this is all we’ll be getting from him. We can stop inviting him to display courage now; it will only get more humiliating for him and for his interviewers from here on in.

Read more at Daily Kos.