Independent Evan McMullin Slams GOP Senator Mike Lee As A Fake Constitutional Conservative

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The Independent challenger for the Utah U.S. Senate seat, Evan McMullin, appeared on NewsNation’s Cuomo show(10/18/22) to discuss his surprising campaign, which has left incumbent Republican Senator Mike Lee’s campaign in a state of total panic. In his appearance on NewsNation, McMullin essentially called Senator Lee a fake constitutional conservative, given his efforts to overturn the 2020 elections.

Prior to 2022, political observers on both sides of the aisle considered Senator Lee’s seat a “safe” seat, which Republicans would easily retain. Current polls however, have led Lee’s campaign to rethink that stance, with the Senator making regular appearances on Fox News begging for money, and even an endorsement from fellow Republican Utah Senator Mitt Romney. Not a good look.

The problems Senator Lee appears to be running up against, and which his challenger Evan McMullin has brilliantly exploited, are his well documented efforts in assisting former President Donald Trump to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential elections, and especially as they relate to the fake elector scheme. McMullin recently confronted Senator Lee with the charge at their televised debate, a charge which seriously upset the incumbent Senator, prompting him to demand an apology from McMullin for supposedly lying about him.

Asked about the debate incident by NewsNation host Chris Cuomo, McMullin doubled down saying(video at 2:15): “The public record is what it is…nobody has to take my word for it, in fact I encourage everyone not to take my word for it. Go ahead and google Senator Mike Lee, or Mike Lee’s text messages to Mark Meadows, and you can find them, and you can read them, and you can see that Senator Lee urged the White House to find fake electors to overturn the election. He thought that offered the greatest opportunity for success for that goal. He urged the President to keep fighting, those were his words, despite having lost the election. He urged the White House to make time for Sydney Powell, the legal quack who was advising the President on a bunch of conspiracy theories intended to overturn the election. Senator Lee then went and spent hours and hours by his own account, 14 hours a day, calling into swing states, trying to unravel the election for President Trump, and that’s a matter of public record. Anyone can read those texts, and I encourage everyone to do that, and then to ask yourself the question: Is this someone who sounds like he is committed to defending the constitution?”

McMullin went on to tell host Cuomo that despite Senator Lee’s known habit of carrying around with the U.S. Constitution in his pocket as a sign of his commitment to upholding it, “You can’t be a constitutional conservative if you betray the constitution, and that’s what Senator Lee did in trying to find fake electors to overturn the election. He betrayed his oath to the constitution, and betrayed even I think, the idea of America. It’s a very dangerous thing, and he needs to be held accountable for it.”

Bottom line folks, it appears that whether or not Senator Lee/Republicans get to retain the U.S. Senate seat in Utah this November, rests on one simple question, and that is, how the good folks of Utah feel about Lee’s efforts to assist Trump in overturning the 2020 election results. If I was in Team Mike Lee, I would be very worried about (1) the very fact that this safe seat is somehow in play this season, and (2) the reluctance by fellow Utah Republican Senator Mitt Romney to endorse Lee. Reasonable political pundits will agree that given these two factors, an upset win by Independent candidate McMullin is quite plausible, and some polls even have him ahead already. Nobody has to guess who Yours Truly is rooting for in this hitherto unforeseen blockbuster Senate race.

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Is It Time To Go To Non-Partisan Primaries To Address Growing Polarization?

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A segment on MSNBC’s 11th Hour w/ Stephanie Ruhle(06/22/22) delved into the very interesting discussion as to whether, given the staggering levels of polarization in the country, we should change adopt a non-partisan primary voting system. Ruhle’s guest Nick Troiano, Executive Director of Unite America, says this change, which is already in place in several states, notably Alaska, would incentivize candidates to look for support beyond their party affiliation thus making them more likely to seek bipartisan solutions to problems. Unite America is a national organization trying to bridge the growing partisan divide by supporting political reforms and candidates who put people over party.

Troiano told 11th Hour host Ruhle(video at 1:22):“I think we spend a lot of time focused on who we elect, not enough time focusing on how we elect, because it’s the systems of our elections that are really pushing our parties further and further apart, and I think our politicians, as a result, are much more polarized than we the people. We’re not seeing the types of solutions and bipartisan policy making in Congress as the American people want and deserve, and the core reason of that is because of our system of partisan primaries. In the last election, it was only 10% of Americans who elected 83% of Congress, because the vast majority of our elections are decided not in the general election in November, but in the primary election, and that problem is getting even worse this election cycle after the latest round of redistricting. We’re going to have the least competitive elections of our lifetime. It’s going to lead to the least accountable Congress of our lifetime. So if we want different outcomes out of Congress, we have to change the process, and fortunately, there’s a growing movement to do that at the state level all across the country.”

Below are some of United America‘s suggested reforms

Troiano singled out the primary system in Alaska as the “best example” of what should be emulated nationwide, if we are going to address the growing polarization problem. He said: “Senator[Lisa]Murkowski was one of the 14 Republicans who voted to advance the bipartisan gun legislation. She’s the only Republican up for election this year, and what’s notable is that this is the first time where the Senator doesn’t face a partisan primary. She’s standing for election in front of all Alaskan voters because in 2020, Alaskans adopted a ballot measure that replaced both parties primaries with a single non-partisan primary. So all the candidates compete in one election, all the voters get to participate on that ballot, the top four finishers go to the general election and through an instant runoff, whomever wins the majority of support gets elected, and so it gives voters more voice and choice in elections, and it incentivizes candidates and leaders to campaign and be responsive to the whole constituency, not just the 10% who may vote in a partisan primary. Now imagine if additional states were to adopt this reform, we can have dozens of our elected leaders in Congress finally being able to be responsive to the majority of Americans and not the political extremes.”

Troiano also said non-partisan primaries would encourage more people to throw their hats into the political ring without fear of being labeled “spoilers”, something he acknowledged, keeps a lot of otherwise good candidates from both parties, on the sidelines.

Bottom line folks, non-partisan primaries is a very interesting suggestion indeed, which Yours Truly hopes, will be given serious consideration given the crippling levels of polarization in our politics today. Simply put, when the likes of Boebert(CO) and MTG(GA) start showing up in Congress, then reasonable people will agree, that the selection system is surely broken!!

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