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Carlton Fletcher

“It seemed that he had fallen into someone’s wicked spell.”

— Carole King

I’ve basically rolled my eyes as conservatives, inspired by the talking heads and social media posters who have declared — with appropriate histrionics and even ALL CAPS posts! — that Joe Biden and Democratic government leaders are trying to “overthrow” ... oops, sorry, make that OVERTHROW! ... the American government, leading us all down that highway to hell known as socialism.

Biden and the Democrats are, they declare, trying to CHANGE OUR WAY OF LIFE! by altering some recently implemented government policies.

Were these folks not so overtly partisan, or even if they were paying just a little bit of attention, they would have discovered that the man many proclaim as the GREATEST PRESIDENT EVER!, Donald Trump, and some of his sycophantic followers put together plans to actually — and literally — throw out this country’s election process in favor of self-serving processes that would have made Trump president, one would assume, for life.

While confusion about the election filtered throughout the country — and especially in closely contested states like Georgia — a committee was convened by Georgia GOP Chair David Shafer. In that meeting, Shafer and a group of fellow Republicans approved a fake second slate of pro-Trump electors to be sent to Washington, on the grounds that Trump had really carried Georgia and that Biden’s victory was based on fraud.

With the recent publication of a memo from now discredited constitutional law professor John Eastman, who also served as a top legal advisor to Trump, the country learned of plans to subvert the election process and instead make Trump the winner of a race he lost by dozens of electoral votes and some 7 million actual votes.

In that memo, Eastman put together a scheme that would have had Vice President Mike Pence overturn the results of the presidential election and ensure that Trump stayed in office. Trump reportedly embraced the strategy wholeheartedly.

The key to Eastman’s plan was the creation of “competing slates of electors” in Georgia and six other supposedly “disputed” states. (And, thus the meeting Shafer held.) Legitimacy be damned, the plan relied on the falsehood that those separate slates of electors in the state could be said to exist. According to the plan, Pence would unilaterally announce to a joint session of Congress on the day that electoral votes were certified that “because of the ongoing disputes in the seven states, there are no electors that can be deemed validly appointed in those states.” Using that excuse, all votes cast in those states (some 4 million in Georgia) would be canceled and the states’ electoral votes would not be counted, thus reducing the total number of available electoral votes from 535 to 454.

“A ‘majority of the electors appointed’ would therefore be 228,” Eastman’s plan said. “(Without the seven states’ electoral votes) there are at this point 232 votes for Trump, 222 votes for Biden. Pence then gavels President Trump as re-elected.”

But Eastman and his co-conspirators did not stop there.

If their attempt to manipulate the electoral vote failed, a separate plan called for Pence to declare that since no candidate had a majority of electoral votes, the question of our next president would be decided by the House, with each state’s congressional delegation getting one vote. The candidate who had the most state delegations would be our next president.

“Republicans currently control 26 of the state delegations, the bare majority needed to win that vote,” Eastman wrote. “President Trump is re-elected there as well.”

Another element of Eastman’s plan was to illegally and unconstitutionally delay the electoral count and put pressure on Republican legislators to reverse the voters’ decision in their states, by which ruse Trump would be declared the winner.

Of course, since Pence would not — despite intense pressure — shirk his Constitution duties and illegally alter the certification of the electoral votes, the plan that was eventually utilized was a Jan. 6 insurrection that Eastman and his co-conspirators thought would force Congress to stop the vote count. Reportedly, even in the midst of the riot, as members of Congress were taking shelter in undisclosed hiding places, Trump and Rudy Giuliani were calling Republican senators, plotting how to delay the vote.

And now, even 11 months after the election, Trump reportedly called on Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger last week, asking him again to decertify the 2020 election, calling Biden an “illegitimate president” and urging Raffensperger to “announce the true winner.”

With Raffensperger unmoved, Trump has continued to vehemently endorse and support U.S. Rep. Jody Hice, one of the ex-president’s most ardent admirers and yes-men — and an advocate of overturning the election — to replace Raffensperger as secretary of state. If Hice wins, he would be the person in charge of subsequent state elections. Trump also has endorsed state Sen. Burt Jones, who demanded a special session of the state Legislature to officially replace Biden electors with Trump electors, in his race for lieutenant governor.

So, even with their MAGA blinders firmly in place, Trump’s most loyal foot soldiers, even though they’ve been told they shouldn’t (NOTHING TO SEE HERE!), would have to agree that the real attempt to subvert the American system and take over our government was perpetrated by their man and his allies ... were they to answer honestly. But getting even one of them to admit as much is about as likely as Georgia electing a black and a Jewish Senator during the same election cycle ... wait, HEY!

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