The party that has spent decades bleating about “personal responsibility” seems to be having a difficult time applying that mantra to its own actions.
Numerous Republicans spent weeks after the election promoting Donald Trump’s desperate lies about how the election was stolen despite so little evidence of their claims that the administration’s own attorney general resigned weeks early after telling the defeated president that the Department of Justice could find nothing to back up his assertions of massive voter fraud that would have resulted in a different outcome.
Those repeated public lies — given a final push by the losing president and his allies at a January 6th rally — led to the unprecedented storming of the Capitol Building by a violent MAGA mob determined to overturn the certification of the electoral college vote in favor of its overwhelming victor, Joe Biden.
Still — in spite of the horrendous consequences of their lies — some Republican Senators are continuing to defend their heinous rhetoric as justified rather than seditious,
Count Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) among that number.
Rather than hanging his head in shame as he should have when confronted with his false assertions about the presidential election, Senator Paul became indignant when George Stephanopoulos, the host of ABC‘s This Week, asked him to acknowledge that the election was not, indeed, stolen from Donald Trump.
“This election was not stolen,” Stephanopoulos stated plainly before asking the libertarian senator: “Do you accept that fact?”
Senator Paul was not initially willing to answer that question directly, instigating a remarkable back and forth exchange with Stephanopoulos who was persistent in trying to force the weasely politician to acknowledge reality.
“The debate over whether or not there’s fraud should occur,” Paul rhetorically wriggled. “But, yes, were there people who voted twice? Were there dead people, illegal aliens who voted? Yes. And we should get to the bottom of it.”
Presumably, Senator Paul’s mention of aliens voting in numbers sufficient to overturn the election results was meant to refer to human non-citizens, but even if he did mean beings of extraterrestrial origin, the notion would be no more ludicrous than it otherwise is.
Stephanopoulos did not let the Kentucky Senator’s words go unchallenged.
“I have to stop you there,” The ABC host said. “No election is perfect. But there were 86 challenges, they were filed by President Trump and his allies in court. All dismissed.”
“There were counts and recounts,” Stephanopoulos continued as Senator Paul attempted to interject. “The Department of Justice, led by William Barr, said there’s no widespread evidence of fraud. Can’t you just say the words: This election was not stolen?”, he demanded.
“What I would suggest is if we want greater confidence in our elections — and 75% of Republicans agree with me — is that we do need to look at election integrity and we do need to see if we can restore confidence in the elections,” Paul responded, as if the fact that other deluded partisans agreed with him somehow added credibility to his false claims.
Stephanopoulos replied by offering the primary reason that so many members of the GOP don’t accept the legitimacy of the election results.
“Well, 75% of Republicans agree with you because they were fed a big lie by President Trump and his supporters who say the election was stolen,” Stephanopoulos countered. “Why can’t you say it was a fair election?”, he challenged the senator.
“I think you make a mistake,” Paul shot back. “Hey, George! Georgie, where you make a mistake is that people coming from the liberal side like you, you immediate say everything’s a lie instead of saying there are two sides to everything. Historically what would happen is if I said I thought there was fraud, you would introduce someone else who said there wasn’t. But now you insert yourself in the middle and say that the absolute fact is that everything I’m saying is a lie.”
Yes, this man will be among those determining the outcome of the impeachment of a man who incited an insurrection against Congress that put his life as well as that of the other members of Congress in grave peril.
Stephanopoulos remained persistent in his challenges to Senator Paul, resulting in a loud and impassioned exchange.
“I said what the president said was he said was a lie!” Stephanopoulos corrected Paul. “Hold on a second! He said the election was stolen. This election was not stolen. The results were certified in every single state after counts and recounts!”
“You’re saying there was not fraud and it’s all been investigated,” Paul replied. “And that’s just not true.”
“That’s not what I said, sir,” responded Stephanopoulos. “I said the Department of Justice found no evidence.”
“You said it’s all a lie!” Paul screamed.
“Let me finish my point,” Stephanopoulos begged.
“You say we are all liars!” Paul repeated. “You’re just simply saying we’re all liars.”
“I said it was a lie that the election was stolen,” Stephanopoulos affirmed.
That Senator Rand Paul can still not bring himself to admit that President Joe Biden won a free and fair election after every court where the issues presented by Donald Trump’s admittedly incompetent team of lawyers were evaluated and found devastatingly wanting in their validity is shameful and raises questions about his own complicity in what is proving with each passing day to have been a carefully planned coup attempt by right-wing plotters.
With many Americans already clamoring for the expulsion of Republican Senators Josh Hawley (R-MO)and Ted Cruz (R-TX) because of their rabble-rousing of the insurgents at the Capitol, perhaps Senator Rand Paul’s display of an equally repugnant refusal to admit that Trump’s claims of a stolen election are lies should qualify him to be added to that list.
You can watch the entire testy exchange between ABC’s George Stephanopoulos and Senator Rand Paul in the video excerpt below.
Original reporting by David Edwards at RawStory.
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Vinnie Longobardo is the Managing Editor of Occupy Democrats. He's a 35-year veteran of the TV, mobile & internet industries, specializing in start-ups and the international media business. His passions are politics, music, and art.