It’s not that Congresswoman Yvette Herrell can’t learn from history. She simply prefers myths and self-serving deception to truth.

A Republican from Alamogordo, Herrell whined after she lost the 2018 election in New Mexico’s 2nd Congressional District.She saw herself as the favorite and considered the election a formality. Herrell gave a victory speech with thousands of votes still to be counted. She was humiliated when she ended up losing by 3,700 votes.

Desperate for a scapegoat, Herrell claimed Democrats cheated her, though she didn’t contest the election. Better to let a false claim linger than have to listen as it’s laughed out of court.

The 2020 election went much better for Herrell. She won the seat in the 2nd District by 20,000 votes, ousting freshman Democratic Rep. Xochitl Torres Small of Las Cruces.

Since Herrell got the result she wanted this time, she considered the election in the 2nd District to be a model of honesty.

But Herrell now has a complaint about a different election. What a shock that it didn’t turn out to her liking.

Herrell says she will object this week to the certification of the presidential election. Her candidate, President Donald Trump, lost to Joe Biden by decisive margins in the popular vote and Electoral College.

Trump and his lawyers have made unfounded claims of widespread voter fraud. Herrell has decided to join these loud complainers in one of her first acts in Congress.

“As a member of the U.S. House of Representatives, it is my duty to give the people a voice and ensure that legitimate concerns over the integrity of the presidential election are thoroughly heard and examined,” she said in a statement.

Biden’s victory over Trump already has been certified by every state and the Electoral College. Herrell and others whose rooting interest is with Trump want to keep alive the false claim that he was robbed of a second term.

Fair-minded members of Herrell’s own party have reviewed and rejected Trump’s claims of voter fraud.

Georgia’s top officials are Republicans. Their natural sympathies are with Trump, but recounts in their state affirmed Biden’s victory.

“We have now counted legally cast ballots three times, and the results remain unchanged,” said Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger.Trump’s supporters spent $3 million for recounts in the two most populous counties of Wisconsin. Their endeavor cost them more than money. Trump’s margin of defeat in Wisconsin widened by another 87 votes after the recounts.

Herrell also mentioned thoroughness, as if her side can distinguish itself in that category. The opposite is true.

Trump’s lawyers sued on the faint hope that a U.S. district judge in Pennsylvania would invent a reason to overturn Biden’s victory in that state.

The judge, Matthew Brann, rejected all of Trump’s claims.

“This Court has been presented with strained legal arguments without merit and speculative accusations, unpled in the operative complaint and unsupported by evidence,” Brann wrote in his decision.

Brann is a Republican. His courthouse is in Williamsport, Pa., part of a county that Trump carried with 70 percent of the vote.

From that backdrop of partisan politics, Brann sized up Trump’s lawsuit for the frivolous mess it was.

As a state lawmaker, Herrell on occasion complained about judges legislating from the bench. Yet she criticizes the review process in which Brann and other judges stuck to the law instead of throwing out valid votes to assist Trump.

The 2020 U.S. presidential election was unlike any in history.

It was a lopsided victory for Biden, but Trump calls himself the winner.

Trump didn’t complain about mail-in ballots in Florida, where he won, but he railed against them in Pennsylvania, where he lost.

“This claim, like Frankenstein’s Monster, has been haphazardly stitched together,” Judge Brann wrote of Trump’s objections to Pennsylvania’s mail-in voting system.

In her first week in office, Herrell will do what she can to keep Trump’s bitter strain alive.

For a freshman congresswoman, she understands Trump as well as anyone. He’s handled defeat with all the grace Herrell showed two years ago.

Ringside Seat is an opinion column about people, politics and news. Contact Milan Simonich at or 505-986-3080.

(56) comments

zach miller

Just would like to thank all the loud mouths for showing up to prove the premise of the article.

Trump's own FBI is the one who raised issues with the 2016 election. It wasn't a political problem drummed up out of nowhere in political discourse. There were arrests, guilty pleas, and of course pardons.

The DoJ is of the official position there was no fraud in the 2020 election. and so are the courts, and the states who own the sole authority of their own elections as per the constitution.

The only ones who have an issue are the ones in the white house.

well and the ones who repeat everything a seditious president says like its some special achievement to get to parrot a buffoon.

Khal Spencer

Good article in today's NY Times discussing this whole challenge thing.

"...Members of Congress can object, though their bids this time are expected to fail.

Under the Electoral Count Act of 1887, which was passed after the contested election of 1876 in which several states sent rival sets of electors, it is up to Congress to settle any disputes about state certifications.

If at least one member of the House and Senate raise an objection about a state’s results, it must be considered, immediately halting the joint session so members can return to their respective chambers and debate the challenge for up to two hours. Then a vote — decided by a simple majority — is held to determine whether to throw out that state’s results. That has not occurred since the Reconstruction Era, and with Democrats controlling the House and many Senate Republicans opposed, it will almost certainly fail...."

Carolyn DM

LMAO!! The title of this article couldn't be more perfect!! Pandering to the loudmouths like Mr. Trumpf, who are all mouth with not a shred of proof!!

Edwina Gardner

Ms. Herrell has joined the class of people who vow to restrict the sanctity of the American vote. She is all for restricting, nullifying, destroying the vote ..... but not for her or for Trump. Under the guise of fraud, they want to destroy elections by "the people". They don't want us to vote for principles....because they lose every time. They want us to vote for their selfishness. They know "better".

joe martinez

chuckle...Milan's piece is intended to deride Herrell; she's an R donchu know? But the comments are mostly about the show Rs are about to engage in Wednesday. I'm sure they, congress people, know it will have no effect on the election; but to determine what their intent is requires mind-reading. Only liberals are capable of that. But I do get a perverse pleasure from seeing liberals get their undies in a twist over it all.

Angel Ortiz

Seriously Jose!? The GOP has become a group of sore losers. Herrell is now just being a good girl and following the herd. Donald lost. Time for him and the ultra right GOP to accept it and move on. My guess is that we'll see more militia types protesting in their camo gear and assault rifles. Sad and demented.

Khal Spencer

As Michael said below, the Dems pitched tantrums in 2016 to deny Trump his win, but Joe Biden put the gavel down on that nonsense.

"WASHINGTON — One by one, the Democratic lawmakers stepped to the microphone on Friday, holding on to their letters and an impossible dream: denying the presidency to Donald J. Trump, two weeks before his inauguration.

And one by one, Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. — presiding over a joint session of Congress to validate the Electoral College results in Mr. Trump’s victory — turned back their challenges with a stoic message, pounding his gavel without hesitation.

“It is over,” Mr. Biden said at one point, as Republicans rose to their feet to cheer. After weeks of fitful grumblings about the long-shot maneuvers that might obstruct Mr. Trump’s path to the White House, the proceedings on Friday appeared to close the book. "

This kind of reminds me of when Democratic Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid changed the rules on judicial confirmations and when the GOP took over, the chickens came home to roost. Don't ever set a precedent you don't want to live by when the other team has the ball.

Mike Johnson

Let me share some of the objections and challenges raised by Democrats in 2001 and 2005 as the votes were tallied in Congress: 2001: "20 House members in the Democratic protest was led by Black Caucus members who share the feeling among black leaders that votes in the largely African American precincts overwhelmingly carried by Gore were not counted because of faulty voting machines, illicit challenges to black voters and other factors. But while the House Democrats knew that their objections would not be accepted, some of the lingering bitterness from the 2000 election filtered through the elaborate proceedings. Words like "fraud" and "disenfranchisement" could be heard above the din of Republicans calling for "regular order.""It's a sad day in America," Rep. Jesse L. Jackson Jr. (D-Ill.) said as he turned toward Gore.""There comes a time you have to take your destiny into your own hands, no matter what is being said by whom," said Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.).""We will never get over this," said Rep. Corrine Brown (D-Fla.) -- and vowed to challenge Bush's Cabinet choices and appointees. They also criticized Senate Democrats, who they said had courted African Americans' votes and were obligated to object to Bush's victory."Democratic U.S. Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee of Texas spoke about the "millions of Americans who have been disenfranchised by Florida's inaccurate vote count"

And from 2005:In January 2005, Democratic U.S. Rep. Stephanie Tubbs Jones of Ohio told a joint session of Congress that "the objection today is raised because there [were] irregularities across this country with regard to voting, and we as a Congress have an obligation to step up to the plate and correct them."Also during the 2005 session, Democratic U.S. Rep. John Conyers of Michigan said, "We're here because not a single election official in Ohio has given us any explanation for the massive and widespread irregularity in the state, no explanation for the machines ... that recorded [then-Democratic presidential nominee John] Kerry votes for Bush." Nothing really new this year, still a bunch of sore losers in denial.

Russell Scanlon

All the examples you cited from Florida to Ohio, were actual examples of GOP voter suppression and had there been a fair and complete recount in 2000, Gore would have won. So thanks for the clarification.

Khal Spencer

Great article about Florida, 2000 in the Atlantic.

a snippet.

VI. The Aftermath

A comprehensive review of the uncounted Florida ballots was conducted by two groups—first by The Miami Herald and USA Today, in conjunction with the accounting firm BDO Seidman; and later by a multi-outlet consortium of news organizations, including The New York Times and The Washington Post, in conjunction with NORC at the University of Chicago. The Herald investigation concluded that Bush would still have won, and would likely have widened his lead slightly, even if the Supreme Court had permitted the recount that Gore had sought. The review also determined that, had a full statewide recount of all disputed Florida ballots taken place, with each ballot reviewed from scratch and ballot counters using an inclusive standard, Gore might possibly have won by a few hundred votes. Gore had never requested such a statewide recount. The consortium came to similar conclusions.

Mike Johnson

Ha! The only clarification is that the Ds were as poor a losers, and off base and seditious in those elections as the GOP is today. Politicians are all alike, you need to admit the facts Mr. Scanlon.

Russell Scanlon

No mr Johnson. I will admit no such “facts”.

Khal Spencer

Kinda like the Trump supporters who don't admit to facts?

joe martinez

No worries mates. Dems own the state legislature and every statewide office. Redistricting will eventually make the southern district Dem too. Then will own all five congressional offices too. Our new senator will make New Mexico proud. Private industry employers are leaving Commie CA and moving to AZ or TX. Why do they skip NM? We are a great one-party state promoted by the New Mexican and Milan.

Jim Klukkert

Joe martinez- You would not know communism if it fell on your head! Is your mother proud of your ignorance?

joe martinez

look in in the mirror

Lee DiFiore

Wow jimbo, even for you this is a low blow.

Mark Stahl

The use of terms communist and socialist have pretty much been rendered meaningless today. They are tossed around as insults by the simpleminded.

joe martinez

kinda like racist

Stefanie Beninato


Khal Spencer

If the voters in NM don't like the GOP brand, they won't vote for it. I don't see any effort by the state GOP to move to the center, where about a quarter of the voting public lives as Independents. Stop trying to sell Edsels to a Toyota market. Try Hondas.

Randall Finley

Funny how wherever Democrats are in control they establish voting procedures that maximize opportunities for fraud.

Khal Spencer

Got something concrete to say or are you just spewing more B.S.?

Stefanie Beninato

Another lying hypocritical GOP member! What a surprise! What would be great if Nancy Pelosi refused to seat her because of Herrell's sedition. And is Harrell suggesting we recount the votes in the 2nd congressional district race too?

Khal Spencer

The Dispatch staff wrote a pretty good article on the present crisis this morning. I don't know if it is behind a paywall but suggest it as good reading.

One could excuse the Trump loyalists for chasing a chimera on a less critical issue but attempting to overthrow the election after over fifty courts have thrown out accusations of voter fraud is putting us into waters we have not sailed since 1860. With large blocs of GOP members, including this clown, trying to disinfranchise the presidential results even as they accept congressional results from the same states, and with the President calling Brad Raffensperger and essentially asking him to commit election fraud, its pretty bad.

Oh, and not to mention, ten former Secretaries of Defense, including Dick Cheney, putting an opinion piece in the Washington Post reminding the military to not engage in a coup d'etat, it gets worse. Now why did they do that? Dick Cheney, after all, isn't a raging liberal. I can't think of a flaming liberal in this bunch: Ashton Carter, Dick Cheney, William Cohen, Mark Esper, Robert Gates, Chuck Hagel, James Mattis, Leon Panetta, William Perry and Donald Rumsfeld.

Think about it.

Mike Johnson

Of course, if any conservative white man were to write something like this about a Democrat Native American woman, who is breaking racial and gender stereotypes by succeeding in a white man's world, they would be excoriated and ostracized for such a thing. Double standard much? Typical for this paper and this Op/Ed author.

Philip Taccetta

Mr. Johnson - the difference is obvious. Unbeknownst to republicans, there IS a difference between lies and the truth.

Mike Johnson

Really? What if I had repeated what Deb Haaland claimed in an interview not long ago that the white man killing all the bison is what caused "climate change"? Think I would be accused of being racist, misogynistic, etc? Is what she said the truth, or a lie?

Khal Spencer

As if LBJ didn't lie to us about Vietnam? More recently....

Jim Klukkert

Good Day Philip Taccetta, Mike Johnson & Khal Spencer. For the sake of a more useful discussion might we agree that:

1. all people have their own versions of truth;

2. there are facts that are verifiable by such processes as the scientific method, and;

3. some folks deliberately mess with the facts by lying.

If we can agree on that, or whatever we can formulate by consensus, our discussions might be more useful. I think you all are quite bright, and though I understand how my anger and hurt tempt me to name calling and other displays, I hope that we can all endeavor to raise out level of discussion.

These difficult times demand our best, gentleman. Thank you!

Khal Spencer

Having been in this voting game since 1972, I recall Presidents lying or classifying on a host of things but generally government policies or activities that they either didn't want to fess up to, were keeping secret, or simply trying to make a silk purse out of a sow's ear. This is the first time I've seen a POTUS or significant members of Congress try to subvert an election.

One could make the argument that absence of evidence is not evidence of absence, but that falls apart pretty fast. Over fifty, I believe, courts have thrown out lawsuits challenging the election results. This is all a charade by GOP members who fear standing up to Trump or who are trying to align themselves with his base for selfish political reasons.

Its a little alarming when ten former Secretaries of Defense have to write a letter reminding the military to not engage in a coup d'etat, but that's where we are.

"As former secretaries of defense, we hold a common view of the solemn obligations of the U.S. armed forces and the Defense Department. Each of us swore an oath to support and defend the Constitution against all enemies, foreign and domestic. We did not swear it to an individual or a party."

I'd like to think of all this as so much bombast and politically self serving B.S. but it more reminds me of calling your wife a harlot (the other word I was going to use triggered the profanity filter). Some things cannot be walked back, whether in the home or in the Republic.

Mike Johnson

I fully agree with your list Jim. And I am not suggesting that this election was anything less than honorable and honest and fair. Biden won easily. However, I would like to remind all of us, including Milan, that members of Congress objecting to and challenging election results are quite common, yes they are ignorant sore losers and the facts are not on their side so they looked just as ridiculous as Yvette. The last time was in 2016, when a dozen or so Democrats in the House openly objected to and challenged Trump's election during the process of certifying the electoral college votes in the joint session of Congress, no D Senators joined then however. And as you recall, many members of the D delegation called Trump's election "illegitimate" (John Lewis, etc.), and 70+ D members boycotted his inauguration and started a 4 year long effort to "resist" his illegitimate Presidency, with Hillary joining the efforts. Do you recall Milan's Op/Eds about all that??? Neither do I.

Khal Spencer

Hi Mike. I agree with you that there are a lot of people out there who hide behind identity politics. But calling a spade a spade is honest, no matter whose oxen one is goring.

Mike Johnson

Khal and Jim, what I really find surprising, and a bit disappointing, is that Milan's highly partisan political Op/Ed is once again (it was a few days ago too) on the front page of this paper, above the fold. I know of no other newspaper that runs partisan political Op/Eds in such a manner, and I think that says much about this newspaper and their obsession with partisan politics, something any true journalist organization would surely object to doing.

Khal Spencer

When Phill Casaus writes an editorial or an analysis, its on the editorial page. Seems to me Milan's work is more commentary or analysis on the news rather than reporting. I think news belongs on the front page and that is nothing against Milan or Phill, both of whom I enjoy reading, whether or not I agree with all of their pieces. At minimum, I'd label these as commentary but honestly, that's what I always thought "Ringside Seat" meant.

As far as the editorial stance, the New Mex has careened pretty far left, as has KUNM. Which is why we get the Albuquerque Journal as well. I was actually a little surprised when this paper printed a Bloomberg piece on the Saturday editorial page excoriating the government of the Democratic People's Republic of California for creating a hostile environment that has individuals and businesses voting with their feet, as we used to say about the Eastern Bloc.

Sigh. Its Robin's paper and I guess she can do what she wants. There is always the Journal North.

Russell Scanlon

Actually it is “advanced” (post industrial) civilization that absolutely has caused climate change. So she really wasn’t really that far off—just a little more poetic. That’s just the facts. Now back to the subject at hand. . . .

Khal Spencer

I don't think you mean post-industrial as far as processes, since it is the industrial capacity of the developing world added to the previous emitters that are altering atmospheric composition, deforesting, etc.

Russell Scanlon

The GOP of today is a shadow of it’s once respectable former self as it is increasingly occupied by pandering crackpots like Herrell. I would say shame on them but obviously “Shame” (as well as honor, integrity, humility, decency, etc) are not concepts they can comprehend. This country really needs a Conservative party with principles and a strong foundation—instead we have Trump and his gang of reactionaries. Time to reset.

Diane Denish

This is embarassing for New Mexico and for Herrell but no surprise. Her allegiance to Jim Jordan who refuses even the simplest of norms in the U. S. House (wear a jacket to a hearing) has her in his clutches. She will be much worse than we expected (as was Trump) and do as she is told. NM, not just Democrats, will remember that her first act trying to overturn an election that fair and accurate across the country.

Steve Fitzer

I agree: her first act will be an act of sedition. She is a shame and blight to NM. Torres small was so much better, now we will be stuck with someone who represents a tiny minority from far right militarized alamogordo and not new mexico true. It's also galling she rode in on the coat tails of her people when in fact she is a minion of the fossil fuel industry, one of the greatest enemies of indigenous people and lands and a prime perpetrator of what has happened to MMIW.

Khal Spencer

"...she rode in on the coat tails of her people..."

Huh? Its called an election, Steve. People of the 2nd CD voted for her which is not surprising, given its a pretty conservative district. It was that simple.

B. Rosen


Mike Johnson

Yes Di, Yvette can join sore losers like old Hillary....."Hillary Clinton dismissed President Trump as an “illegitimate president” and suggested that “he knows” that he stole the 2016 presidential election in a CBS News interview to be aired Sunday.


Russell Scanlon

One important fact you are omitting is that Trump also lost the popular vote in 2016. In fact, when you factor in the Jill Stein, etc. protest votes, it turns out that over 10 million people didn’t want Trump in the White House in 2016 (just like in 2020). And that is why one could question his legitimacy.

None of this changes the fact that the GOP is enabling Fascism.

Mike Johnson

Your "important fact" is totally meaningless and irrelevant Mr. Scanlon. We do not elect a President by popular vote, have you checked or read the Constitution lately? Educate yourself.

Khal Spencer

The Jill Stein voters didn't vote for Hillary, either and Hillary's popular vote majority came almost entirely from the People's Republic of California. Meanwhile, the president is elected by a majority of electors. Face it, the Dems blew it in 2016. Michael Moore, not exactly a Vladimir Putin operative, predicted it. Hillary Clinton was remarkably unpopular and her running mate was, to put it charitably, "meh".

Russell Scanlon

I’m not here to justify the electoral college or to respond to conjecture about Jill Stein voters. I am merely telling you that in both 2016 and 2020 Trump lost the popular vote by a substantial amount and that citizens could feel justified about being disenfranchised. And Californians are still Americans whether y’all like it or not. And AOC’s district probably has more voters than the entire state of Iowa. So in spite anyone’s snark or attitude about “liberals”, our nation has a structural problem in it’s governance.

Khal Spencer

Bottom line is that Trump won the election in 2016 and lost in 2020 following the rules in the U.S. Constitution, not the rules that liberals want to see changed. If folks don't like the rules they can change them. But your post is a little like complaining that the Buffalo Bills didn't beat the NY Giants because we couldn't move the goalposts a little closer for Scott Norwood.

Khal Spencer

I could care less if someone doesn't wear a jacket to a hearing. If that is the worst of it, the world will not end, Diane. Heck, the most formal I got in front of a graduate level class or at an UHPA Board meeting was an Aloha shirt, and Birkenstocks instead of flip-flops. The world kept turning.

Maybe the problem with our representatives is that they care more about three piece suits and blow dried hair than actually doing something useful for the Republic.

What's the difference between a suited up blow dried politician and a suited up blow dried used car salesman? One is only lying to you about a used car.

Mike Johnson

[thumbup] Well said Khal....I wonder if Di would like to hear what I think about the outfits AOC wears in Congress......

Khal Spencer

I wish all Congresscritters were as good looking as AOC...

Mike Johnson

Actually Khal, I prefer this one much better.......

Khal Spencer

Whether D or R, we need more real people and more women in congress and fewer men lawyers looking like cardboard cutout characters in their blue suits, blow dried hair, and omnipresent American flag pins.

Phillip Trujillo

Steve Pearce did so a long time ago and now Herrell has also joined the ranks of the Traitors.

Charles W Rodriguez

It's hard to know if people like Harrell are delusional or just playing to the cheap seats. The issue is that the cheapest seats seem to be in her district.

Dottie Butler

Herrell will enjoy her term in Congress immensely. She's sure that her constituents will approve of everything she does.

I doubt that she will author no legislation and will vote the Trump party line just like she's told.

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