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EDITORIAL: Rep. Dawn Keefer — gone fishin'

The Dispatch Editorial Board
State Rep. Rep. Dawn Keefer, R-Franklin Township, and other GOP state lawmakers called for the formation of an investigatory committee Tuesday, Nov. 10, 2020, of voting in Pennsylvania,  following a slew of lawsuits filed by President Donald Trump's campaign claiming, without evidence, widespread fraud. Photo by Lindsey O'Laughlin

State Rep. Dawn Keefer has joined the Republican fishing expedition. Too bad neither she, nor any of the other sycophants, have any bait and tackle.

Keefer, R-Franklin Township, stood Tuesday with more than a dozen of her Republican colleagues and called for a "bipartisan" audit into the results of this past week's election.

There isn't any evidence of fraud, errors or wrongdoing, she admitted. 

The fact is, Republicans throughout swing states, and in Congress, are attempting to do the impossible — prove a negative — all because one 74-year-old man is throwing a temper tantrum. (#sad)

State officials say there was no fraud in the Nov. 3 election. Local officials, including plenty of Republicans, say the vote counts are accurate, including those that show former Vice President Joe Biden with a healthy, 48,000-vote lead over Trump.

Even Trump's attorneys have been forced to debase themselves in front of federal and state judges and admit that there isn't a shred of evidence supporting Trump's insistence that only a vast, multilayered conspiracy could deny him of a second term.

And yet, here we are, with Keefer demanding a probe that, if successful, would disenfranchise thousands of Pennsylvanians. 

Any reasonable Republican knows deep down that Trump lost in Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin. The outstanding votes simply don't exist to change the results.

Even in an extreme case, a recount may change the results by a couple thousand votes. Trump is down by 48,000 in Pennsylvania.

But the president refuses to accept reality, a constant theme throughout an administration otherwise known for inconsistency and disorganization.

Now, we have Georgia's two U.S. senators calling for the resignation of their state's secretary of state, also a Republican, just because he insists vote counting is above-board. 

We have Senate Majority Leader Mitch Mitch McConnell practicing rhetorical gymnastics in a tortured effort to avoid offending Trump. 

We have U.S. Attorney General Bill Barr upending established policy to probe an ongoing vote count simply because Trump demands fealty above all else. 

The country has ground to a halt because a single man is pouting on public property.

Meanwhile, the coronavirus is roaring back throughout the country. Pennsylvania is smashing records for new infections, and the state budget is expected to be a disaster. And the world is looking on as its lone superpower can't even pull off a smooth election.

This is what happens when a major political party abandons any pursuit of ideas and surrenders itself to a cult of personality. By and large, Republicans know Trump lost. But with a single tweet he could undermine an election, including two runoffs in Georgia, which could decide control of the U.S. Senate.

And Trump's takeover of the GOP is so complete — the party's platform this year declared only its support for Trump — that the likes of Keefer are servants to Trump and his agents sitting atop state parties.

So Rep. Keefer and her colleagues in the Legislature will no doubt continue their theater. If only Pennsylvania had lawmaker interested in addressing real problems.