Rita Hart’s decision to skip Iowa’s courts and ask Pelosi and the House Democrats to reverse the second district’s certified election results is causing fits for Iowa Democrats–and no more so than Rob Sand.
Having voted to certify Mariannette Miller-Meeks as the winner and having signed her certificate of election, Sand has until recently stayed completely silent on the issue. Which, of course, is not like Sand. He’s the type of guy to give his opinion on anything and everything.
For example, when the federal government decided to build a new courthouse in Des Moines, Sand–who has nothing to do with federal courthouses–called a press conference to give us his uninformed views. And when the federal court of appeals ruled on an election case from Minnesota, Sand took to Twitter to give his (incorrect) take on the case.
He later deleted the tweet but repeated his claim that the court’s decision about Minnesota law was “insane.”
So when Sand finds it politically beneficial to jump into an issue, even if he knows nothing about it and even if it’s about Minnesota law, he will. And usually through Twitter.
That’s what makes Sand’s silence on Rita Hart’s election contest so…shall we say, interesting. Sand likes to project the image of a guy who doesn’t play for one team or the other. The guy that just calls it like he sees it. But this one has got him tied into knots.
Sand was forced to break his silence yesterday when Simon Conway asked about the issue on the air. You could tell that Sand had been rehearsing his answer, but when the script didn’t go as he planned, Sand was audibly uncomfortable.
Conway asked Sand what he makes of Nancy Pelosi threatening to throw out Miller-Meeks victory, “with Rita Hart having not bothered the Iowa courts with her objections.” But instead of answering Conway’s question, Sand got angry and tried to lecture Conway about what an election certification means.
If a Republican had skipped Iowa’s courts, you know Sand would smugly take to Twitter to extol the virtues of Iowa’s court system and to decry the end of democracy. I think I can actually see the tweet in my head.
But this is a Democrat trying to steal the election, and as much as Sand likes to pretend he’s above all that red versus blue stuff, it really is all pretend.
Thankfully, Conway pressed on, asking Sand again: “Are you disappointed that she chose not to use the Iowa court system to challenge an Iowa election result?” Well…Sand didn’t really know, because, “I don’t know exactly what this was because I’m not that involved in it.” Not being “involved in it” has never stopped Sand before. He wasn’t involved in the presidential election, or the Minnesota case, or the federal courthouse move, or so many other things. You get the point.
Sand did say that his “first preference, all other things being equal, would be the Iowa court system.” But then he muddled on about how the courts didn’t have enough time to do a recount, ignoring the fact that Hart is making a legal challenge about 22 specific Iowa ballots. Surely a man who lives and breaths Twitter knows about these 22 ballots, even if he’s not “involved in it.”
In addition to his interview with Conway, Sand also gave a quote to the Des Moines Register, which says basically…nothing. Sand wrote that “the choice to appeal to Congress instead of state courts is a legal one.” Yes, and so? Is it a good one or a bad one? Texas’s choice to file a lawsuit over the presidential election was a legal one, but Sand wasn’t quiet about that.
Sand also told the Register that “Iowa politicians choosing to spread lies about [Hart’s election contest] and further undermine the legitimacy of our institutions proves that they didn’t learn any lessons from Jan. 6.”
What lies? Sand couldn’t be bothered to say.
But he’s right about one thing: the legitimacy of our institutions is at stake here and with an Iowa election, no less. Sand, though, is unwilling to take a stand. The man who has a comment on just about everything, the man who claims great legal knowledge, the man who claims not to be a partisan, the man who lectures others for not being clear enough: that man is opting out because he’s “not that involved.”
At least Treasurer Mike Fitzgerald is willing to take a stand, even if it’s a wrong one. He told the Register he thinks Hart’s challenge is just fine. If she wants to skip Iowa’s courts and present evidence to a partisan body controlled by her fellow Democrats, then “good for her,” he said.
But Sand won’t take a stand, and it has to leave Democrats wondering if they really want that kind of spinelessness in their leadership.