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EDITORIAL: Toomey speaks truth to power

The Dispatch Editorial Board
Sen. Pat Toomey, R-Pa., departs after the Republican Conference held leadership elections, on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Nov. 10, 2020. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

Thumbs up to U.S. Sen. Pat Toomey for standing up for the republic he serves.

Now, it might seem odd to laud a public official — one sworn to uphold and defend the U.S. Constitution — for abiding his oath. But times have changed.

Our democracy itself is under attack from a president, and by extension his political agents, looking to overthrow an election loss.

On Monday The Associated Press reported President Donald Trump continued his pressure campaign on swing state Republicans when he repeatedly called Pennsylvania House Speaker Bryan Cutler, R-Lancaster, and urged him to override the voters and name the Keystone State for Trump. Trump has pulled the same stunt in Georgia, Michigan and Arizona.

And, on Tuesday, the U.S. Supreme Court refused to hear a challenge to Democrat Joe Biden's victory in Pennsylvania. Even a court that's been significantly reshaped by Trump and Senate Republicans wanted nothing to do with the coup being attempted by the president's apostles in Pennsylvania.

But throughout all the lawsuits, conspiracy slinging and general undermining of democracy, Toomey, R-Pennsylvania, has held fast. He's among just a handful of congressional Republicans who have recognized Biden's victory at the polls.

And he this week rightly called Trump's quest to override voters "completely unacceptable," reported The Philadelphia Inquirer. 

Too often, Toomey has sat by and watched as Trump smashed the rails on which the republic functions. But this moment poses a clear threat to the future of of the United States' democratic experiment.

While Trump's quest won't be successful, it will set a precedent under which a free and fair election is a matter debate should an especially depraved politician lose. 

Toomey clearly recognizes the danger and is speaking truth to power. Right now, that in and of itself is noteworthy.

Thumbs down to people behaving poorly and posting it on Facebook.

The massive social media outlet must be a source of nightmares for Northeastern School District Superintendent Stacey Sidle.

This past summer, then-principal Scott D'Orazio decided to post a meme on his personal page — amid nationwide outrage over yet another killing of a black man at the hands of police — dubbing the Black Lives Matter movement a "leftist lie."

On Tuesday, the district's school board ratified a separation agreement with D'Orazio, though officials have refused to release the details. But, that same night, another district official was accused of slinging hate, which showed up on Facebook. 

That's when residents said photos of school board member Eric Hornberger tossing hatchets through a photo of Gov. Tom Wolf were circulating on Facebook. Complicating matters, Wolf is a resident and taxpayer of Northeaster School District.

Think what you want about Wolf's politics or his handling of the COVID-19 outbreak, but behavior such as this is unbecoming of an elected official and downright threatening.

Eric Hornberger