Cops bar pro-Trump Michigan electors from entering state house as electoral college meets

Via Brendan Gutenschwager, this is a little bit funny and a little bit sad in the same way that it would be if a team that lost a major sports championship showed up at the White House on the day Trump was set to host the winners and demanded to have some McDonald’s too.

What did these people expect would have happened if they’d gotten inside the building and made it to the senate chamber? Did they think their votes for Trump would have been accepted or recorded? Or were they hoping to simply make a scene until they were forcibly removed by security, a little MAGA passion play to show resistance as the electoral college votes?

It’s a perfect example of what I mean when I say this “alternate electors” thing today is a scam. It’s a show, nothing more.

By no means is this the saddest show of “alternate” electoral college activity lately. In Arizona a pro-Trump group called “AZ Protect the Vote” went to the trouble of creating a facsimile of the state’s official “certificate of ascertainment” — signed and notarized — and sent it to the National Archives in Washington in the hope, I guess, that it might be treated as an “alternate” slate of pro-Trump electors for Congress to consider. In their defense, I can’t think of a reason why their certificate isn’t just as valid as the “alternate” electors voting in person in various states today. It’s all fantasy. Whether the fantasy plays out in the form of a pretend vote or a pretend certificate is a detail.

And at least it’s a peaceful form of fantasizing. Elsewhere in Michigan today:

Michigan Republican legislative leaders pulled a GOP lawmaker from his committee assignments Monday after the lawmaker hinted he was part of a group that sought to disrupt or otherwise undermine the Electoral College vote slated to happen at the Capitol this afternoon…

Paul Miller, the radio host who interviewed [state Rep. Gary] Eisen, asked the lawmaker to elaborate on his comments several times. Miller said what the lawmaker described sounded dangerous. When Miller asked whether Eisen could ensure people would not get hurt, Eisen said no.

“No. I don’t know. Because what we’re doing today is uncharted. It hasn’t been done. And it’s not me who’s doing it…it’s the Michigan Republican Party,” Eisen said.

Meanwhile, next door in Wisconsin, the state supreme court dismissed what was at the time reportedly Trump’s last pending electoral lawsuit. (In the hours since, a new suit has been filed in … New Mexico, which Biden won by 11 points.) The opinion’s here, but I’ll save you the click and tell you that the case boiled down to a now familiar concept, laches. Whether or not Team Trump had a valid complaint about the state’s electoral procedures, said the court, the time for filing that suit was before the election, not after millions of Wisconsinites had relied on those procedures to cast their ballots. Erick Erickson made that point last week about Trump’s legal challenges in Georgia too:

The Trump campaign had no problem with any state’s voting protocols. They had a problem with the results and cynically grasped for reasons to challenge those protocols after the fact in hopes of overturning the results. Too late. In fact, as Andy McCarthy pointed out today, in some cases where a court has invited the campaign to produce evidence of actual fraud rather than just complain about the supposed unfairness of electoral procedures, the campaign has declined to do so. If this were a good-faith effort to challenge how states run their election, those suits would have been brought before Election Day. If it were a good-faith effort to prove fraud, those suits would be brought now. Why weren’t/aren’t they?

Here was the outcome this afternoon among Michigan’s actual official electors. I haven’t seen any statements yet from congressional Republicans acknowledging Biden’s apparent victory yet but maybe they’re waiting until this evening, when all 50 states will have cast their votes.