While insulting Detroit, Wayne County and Michigan in an extraordinary rant in Washington on Thursday, Rudy Giuliani pulled out his starched white handkerchief two dozen times to wipe the dark, liquid ooze trickling down his doughy face.
Was this his hair dye or mascara mixing with his flop sweat as he lied once again on behalf of President Donald Trump and Trump’s refusal to accept the Nov. 3 election victory of Joe Biden?
Did these dark streams decorate the face of the former New York mayor because he is now so full of loose fecal material that it is pouring through his pores?
Or was he simply having a meltdown, like that of the Wicked Witch of the West in “The Wizard of Oz?”
Giuliani’s schvitzing added a sad-clownish visual to a sore loser’s escalating attack on an American election, an unprecedented and dangerous sabotage by Team Trump.
Among a half-dozen targets, the Great Lakes State is clearly in Trump’s sites and he is twisting local red arms to force his will.
On Tuesday, the president called two Republican canvassing board members — Monica Palmer and William Hartmann — to support their initial refusal to certify Wayne County votes.
On Thursday, Trump invited Republican leaders of the gerrymandered Michigan Legislature — Sen. Mike Shirkey and Rep. Lee Chatfield — for a Friday visit in the White House.
Might Trump urge them to defy the will of Michigan voters and send a renegade Republican slate of 16 votes to the Electoral College?
Such an attempt is not out of the question. And, even in defeat, Trump and his troops will have a fallback position that they can consider a victory on their own cynical terms.
At the very least, they are vandalizing Biden’s chances of uniting a divided nation. Worse, they are damaging a core American value — the belief of the citizens in the integrity and validity of elections.
By undermining the essence of our republic, Trump and the Republicans are salting the soil to kill future blooms of democracy. They are poisoning the well from which everybody drinks.
At least Trump remains in character. On his way out the White House door — after four, creepy, shabby years — this big-city grifter is trashing the joint.
In an effort to distract from Trump’s dirty tricks Thursday, Giuliani slandered – among others — Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson.
“It’s disgraceful what the government of Michigan did to its citizens,” Giuliani said. “Absolutely disgraceful.”
Giuliani claimed that vote totals in some Detroit precincts didn’t equal those originally processed. That was the original reason the Republican canvassers refused to approve the Wayne County results Tuesday (before they changed their minds, twice).
Someone reminded Giuliani that Benson ruled it illegal for them to flip-flop a second time, even with affidavits.
“She’s a Democrat!” Giuliani said of Benson. ”Do you think she has any credibility? Do you think anyone in that government has any credibility?”
Giuliani charged that Michigan used voting machines and counting software compromised by foreign nations and socialist enemies in Venezuela.
“If I were the governor of that state, I’d fire everybody involved in this election,” Giuliani said of Michigan. “They didn’t tell me my state was going to be embarrassed and made a fool of because I’m sending my votes of people in Michigan over to Germany to be counted by people who are allies of [Nicolas] Maduro and [Hugo] Chavez?”
Alongside Giuliani were several other Trump lawyers, including Sidney Powell.
“There are problems in Michigan,” Powell said. “Follow the money.” She spoke of “a massive influence of communist money.” She said an executive of the Dominion Voting Systems, which made the machines, made a special trip to Detroit for the stealing of votes.
Giuliani and Powell also spoke of irregularities in Milwaukee and Philadelphia which helped swing the “blue wall” states of Wisconsin, Pennsylvania and Michigan from Republican to Democrat.
But Giuliani’s boss singled out the Motor City for pointed attacks.
“Fraud in Detroit is rampant,” Trump tweeted Thursday morning, “and has been for many years!”
Michigan — a banana republic?
Giuliani elaborated, citing a disproved rumor that ballots were smuggled into Detroit’s TCF Center to be counted when election officials thought Republican observers had gone home for the night.
“It was thousands and thousands of ballots,” Giuliani said, “in garbage cans, boxes, paper bags.” He said there were “300,000 illegitimate ballots we can identify” in Wayne County.
Biden won the state by 157,000 votes.
“Three-hundred percent over-votes in some precincts,” Giuliani said. “The over-vote was so high, monstrously high, in about two-thirds of the precincts in the city of Detroit . . . They (Democrats) picked the places where they could get away with it . . . They made significant mistakes, like all crooks do.”
Defending her state in evening cable TV appearances, Whitmer noted that Trump’s target is an overwhelmingly African-American city and that Trump’s invitation to the Republican legislators is “really incredibly dangerous.”
She knows danger. In recent months, right-wing demonstrators stormed into Michigan’s Capitol building with rifles to challenge Whitmer’s emergency health rules during the Covid pandemic.
Some of those demonstrators were among the 14 men arrested last month in a plot to kidnap and murder Whitmer.
Governor Flags Potential Danger
Such events give the nation the impression that Michigan is becoming a banana republic. The four-person state board of canvassers could amplify that reputation Monday if it doesn't vote to certify all state election numbers.
Like Wayne County, the state board is divided with two Republicans and two Democrats. Certainly the Republicans feel the heat.
Further, small-town pols like Shirkey and Chatfield could be swayed and wooed when they sit in the Oval Office today with the large, loud, orange-faced, yellow-haired demagogue.
Trump used to run casinos. Might these two guys seek a jackpot?
“If they are going there to undermine the results of this election and to disenfranchise Michigan voters and to embarrass the state of Michigan, what they are doing is dangerous,” Whitmer said.
As for the state canvassing board, she said: “Don’t embarrass the state of Michigan any more than it already has been.”
Perhaps she understated the crisis of the moment. “Embarrassment” is when dark sweat floods down the sides of your face. A stolen election would undermine the state and the nation and be much worse than that.