Amid a variety of legal challenges that could block Donald Trump’s inauguration as president, Democrats have largely remained passive, Professor David S. Cohen argued in a New York Times op-ed he wrote with Slate senior editor Dahlia Lithwick on Dec. 14.
Citizens are protesting, submitting petitions and urging electors to vote against Trump, legal experts contend that Russian interference in the election could prompt the courts to give the election to Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton and Green Party nominee Jill Stein has fought for recounts in Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin, the essay observes.
“The Democrats have grudgingly participated from the sidelines, but only because public perception forced them to,” Cohen and Lithwick wrote. “Contrast the Democrats’ do-nothingness to what we know the Republicans would have done. If Mr. Trump had lost the Electoral College while winning the popular vote, an army of Republican lawyers would have descended on the courts and local election officials. The best of the Republican establishment would have been filing lawsuits and infusing every public statement with a clear pronouncement that Donald Trump was the real winner. “
In the 2000 presidential election, the essay recalls, Republicans were forceful in their efforts to sway the disputed outcome in favor of George W. Bush, heedless of “the possibility that their theories might lose or look foolish in retrospect,” Cohen and Lithwick wrote.
Instead of leaving the results of the 2016 election to academics and local organizers to resolve, the authors argued, “Democrats should be fighting tooth and nail.”