In Sunday’s paper Washington Post “Fact Checker” sought to downplay the “election denialism” of Stacey Abrams. She wasn’t a Liar to say she “won” her 2018 election for governor of Georgia, or to say it was “stolen from the people of Georgia. No, it was merely twisty rhetoric, no cartoon Pinocchios needed.
The headline: “Stacey Abrams’s rhetorical twist on being an election denier.” Like a good Washington Post Democrat, Kessler thinks it was just fine being an election denier – it was good politics for her – until Trump ruined it in 2020:
Abrams repeatedly questioned the integrity of Kemp’s victory as her rising stardom in the national Democratic Party in 2019 prompted widespread speculation that she might run for president.
But what might have appeared at the time as a savvy appeal to voters who felt disenfranchised looks different now that Trump and his GOP allies have taken election denialism to a dangerous new level. Today, the Republican Party is dominated by candidates who echo Trump’s false claims that the 2020 election was stolen, a trend that has undermined faith in election outcomes and destabilized American democracy.
This is the toughest Kessler gets: “Abrams played up claims the election was stolen until such tactics became untenable for anyone who claims to be an advocate for American democratic norms and values.”
But that’s not really true, either. Kessler ended with Abrams testifying in front of Sen. Ted Cruz in 2021:
“Brian Kemp won under the rules that were in place. What I object to are rules that permitted thousands of Georgia voters to be denied their participation in this election or to have their votes cast out,” she said, when questioned by Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) before the Senate Judiciary Committee on April 20, 2021. “My full language was that it was stolen from the voters of Georgia. We do not know what they would have done, because not every eligible Georgian was permitted to participate fully in the election.”
In reality, The Washington Post Magazine in May of 2020 was celebrating “The Power of Stacey Abrams” and suggested she could be a powerful running mate for Biden. She was compared to a "runway supermodel." The article by Kevin Powell included this passage: “Abrams chose not to concede to Kemp, because she believes voters were disenfranchised. She has said she went through all the stages of grief for 10 days and then got back to work. She has spent the time since leveraging the power she gained and deciding how she wants to use it.”
In that piece, Abrams said legally contesting the election would have been seen as selfish, so apparently it was wiser to just say her opponent was a “cartoon villain” who suppressed the vote.