opinion

Chasm growing between Trump, MI Republicans

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Donald Trump is digging the trench between himself and any critical-thinking Michigan Republican a little deeper.

Elected Republicans who aren’t buying his complaint that the 2020 election was stolen from him are no longer just “weak.” They need to face a primary election, according to Trump.

This now includes the entire 20-member Michigan Republican Senate caucus, which is standing behind a fellow member who concluded no substantial fraud existed in Michigan’s 2020 election.

“Hopefully, American Republican Patriots will primary the RINO State Senators in Michigan who refuse to properly look into the election irregularities and fraud, which took place in Detroit and much of the rest of Wayne County, in the 2020 Presidential election. The challengers will have great and powerful MAGA support,” Trump wrote Monday.

The former president has ambushed the pejorative “RINO” (Republicans in Name Only) — originally used by right wing conservatives to describe moderate or center-right Republicans — to mean anyone who doesn’t buy his disjointed conspiracy claim.

This presumably means state Sen. Ed McBroom, R-Vulcan, a teetotaling church choir leader who spent a half year looking into the conspiracy claims. He’s a RINO?

In Trump’s eyes, yes, because McBroom, with a critical eye, found out:

— Those boxes of absentee ballots pulled into the TCF Center in Detroit at 3 p.m.? They were just ballots picked up at various Detroit drop boxes that hadn’t been tallied yet. A picture circulated allegedly showing ballots being secretly delivered late at night was, in reality, a WXYZ-TV photographer hauling his equipment.

— Computers connected to the Internet? To the extent any of the computers at the TCF Center in Detroit were connected to theInternet, no evidence has been produced showing any computers were tampered with.

— Simple numbers dispute claims that more people in Detroit voted than are registered voters in the city. The 250,138 votes in Detroit is less than 50% of the registered voters in the city. 

Antrim County? First of all, more people live in Delta Township than in Antrim County. 

Second, to blow up the clerk’s well-documented screwups in a rural Michigan county as the smoking gun of a national conspiracy involving Dominion software is like claiming McBroom’s report is bad because of a typo or two (not that I found one).

This probably means Sen. Lana Theis, too. She’s on the committee that put its name to the McBroom report.

She penned legislation to ban critical race theory in schools and transgender women from participating with women high school sports. She’s now a RINO?

Sure, election workers didn’t follow the rules 100%. But to get from here to widespread voter fraud — when the results and the pollbooks, by and large, match — takes a logical leap that can only be bridged by a government skeptic’s over-imagination.

Yet, Trump wrote this weekend about “mass evidence that has been accumulated which shows voter fraud at a level that is virtually beyond comprehension.”

Could he have meant at a level so small, that it can’t be comprehended? 

Judges across the state has thrown out these claims for lack of any proof. In fact, U.S. District Judge Linda Parker may sanction the attorneys who brought the flimsy claims into her federal courtroom.

Slowly, non-lemming Republicans are coming around on Trump for overplaying the sore loser card.

Take Tony Daunt, a Republican member of the Board of State Canvassers, and one of the most conservative people you’re ever going to meet, for example. After hearing McBroom explain his report Tuesday, Daunt said it’s unfortunate Trump continues to “spout lies” that the election was rigged.

“I just want to thank you, the committee, for having the courage to do this report, to put the information out there without leaning on the scales, for having the courage to stand up against the malignancy that is Donald Trump and the people who lacked the courage to stand up to him for the last six months,” Daunt said.

More Republicans may slowly do the same.

(Kyle Melinn of the Capitol news service MIRS is at melinnk7@gmail.com.)

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