A weekly window on the American political scene hosted by the Monitor's politics editors.

When Republicans push back on Trump

From ‘Fox & Friends’ co-host Brian Kilmeade to Georgia’s secretary of state, conservatives aren’t necessarily moving in lockstep with President Trump. That’s what democracy is about.

Brynn Anderson/AP
Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger speaks during a news conference on Nov. 11, 2020, in Atlanta.

Dear reader:
 
 On “Fox & Friends” Wednesday morning, co-host Brian Kilmeade offered some advice to President Donald Trump – a regular viewer.
 
 "It's in the country's best interest if he starts coordinating on the virus and starts coordinating on security with the Biden team," said Mr. Kilmeade.
 
 For now, President Trump isn’t showing any signs of relenting in his legal fight against the 2020 election results in key battleground states. As we’ve said before, he has the right to do that. But there’s also a major downside to the way Mr. Trump fights, including his torrent of tweets claiming the election was stolen – tweets that have no apparent basis in fact and deepen the nation’s political divide.
 
 Monitor reporter Christa Case Bryant wrote an excellent piece Monday exploring that terrain: the numerous so-far-unsuccessful Trump lawsuits and their potential political impact.
 
 “If what he has done is convince Republican voters and activists that ‘I didn’t really lose,’ that gives him a relevance that Jimmy Carter or George H.W. Bush didn’t possess,” says Henry Olsen of the conservative Ethics and Public Policy Center.
 
 The Kilmeade comment merely makes a practical suggestion: Proceed with transition activities as a protection to Americans, foremost on the pandemic and national security. Mr. Trump need not concede the election to take that step.
 
 Meanwhile, the president is digging in – literally. He’s canceled plans to spend Thanksgiving at Mar-a-Lago. More important, he’s fired Christopher Krebs, the administration’s top cybersecurity official, who fought election disinformation with this Rumor Control website. Mr. Krebs and other officials had declared the 2020 election “the most secure in American history,” contradicting the president’s claims otherwise.
 
 In Michigan, a Tuesday night GOP revolt over election certification in heavily Democratic Wayne County resolved within hours after a public outcry. But Republicans are still trying to block certification of results in other battleground states, including Arizona, Nevada, and Pennsylvania.
 
 In Wisconsin, the Trump campaign announced Wednesday it would fund a recount in two heavily Democratic counties. Then there’s Georgia, where Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger has withstood attacks from fellow Republicans, including Mr. Trump, over how the voting was conducted. Unofficially, Democrat Joe Biden is slightly ahead there, amid a hand recount of all 5 million votes.
 
 “We’re going to continue the process and, as a Republican, I think that I’ll probably be disappointed in the result,” Mr. Raffensperger told The Associated Press. “But as the secretary of state, I can be very comfortable in the counting of the ballots.”
 
 Let us know what you’re thinking at csmpolitics@csmonitor.com.

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