A cadre of Republican
United States Donald Trump-loving Senators said today that they will join an effort begun by extremist right wing members of the House of Representatives to object to the ceremonial acceptance of the November 2020 election results on January 6th, pointlessly turning what would ordinarily be a customary ceremony into a lengthy, embarrassing, and damaging spectacle.
The participants in the announced plot are Ted Cruz (Texas), Ron Johnson (Wisconsin), James Lankford (Oklahoma), Steve Daines (Montana), John Kennedy (Louisiana), Marsha Blackburn (Tennessee), Mike Braun (Indiana), and Senators-elect Cynthia Lummis (Wyoming), Roger Marshall (Kansas), Bill Hagerty (Tennessee), and Tommy Tuberville (Alabama).
“We do not take this action lightly,” the Republican senators’ statement, circulated by Ted Cruz’s office, said. “We are acting not to thwart the democratic process, but rather to protect it. And every one of us should act together to ensure that the election was lawfully conducted under the Constitution and to do everything we can to restore faith in our Democracy.”
The presence of the boldfaced line above (emphasis mine) demonstrates that these Republicans know what they are doing is wrong and harmful.
When a group like this goes to the trouble to preemptively deny the very thing that they are doing, it shows that they feel consciousness of guilt.
There should be consequences for this seditious behavior. The aforementioned senators are mostly learned men. Many are alumni of some of the most prestigious law schools in the country. And some, most notably Ted Cruz, have even been on the receiving ends of put-downs from the man whose corrupt, wretched regime they are now going to desperate measures to keep in place.
There was once a time when Cruz called Donald Trump “a pathological liar” and a “narcissist”. But no more. Cruz is now a full-blown Trump enabler.
Election officials say the 2020 presidential election was one of the smoothest in history. There is no evidence that suggests there is anything amiss with the results in what the Republican senators call “the disputed states”.
The problem for these Republicans is that the results did not favor their candidates, Donald Trump and Mike Pence. Their argument essentially boils down to, the process did not produce the outcome we wanted; therefore, there must be something wrong with the process, even though we can’t tell you what that is.
Lacking any evidence for their argument that the election results should simply be discarded, the Republican senators are demanding that the (nonexistent) fraud they believe exists be hunted down until it is found.
The ultimate goal is to create a mechanism for changing enough Electoral College votes to keep Trump in power. Never mind what the voters said and did.
“Congress should immediately appoint an Electoral Commission, with full investigatory and fact-finding authority, to conduct an emergency ten-day audit of the election returns in the disputed states. Once completed, individual states would evaluate the Commission’s findings and could convene a special legislative session to certify a change in their vote, if needed.”
If needed. Ha!
I’ve previously remarked here how Republican calls to honor the “will of the voters” are utterly lacking in sincerity given that Republicans don’t care one bit about the voters’ will when it goes against them.
But what we’re seeing now is more than just hypocrisy. This is part of an effort by enemies of the United States Constitution and American democracy to destroy our system of government. These Republicans are unwilling to condone or participate in a peaceful transfer of power from one administration to another because they do not want Donald Trump to leave office. They want his corrupt, evil regime to remain in place permanently. That is painfully clear.
Contrast the behavior of Trump, Pence, and these Republican senators with that of John McCain and Mitt Romney, the 2008 and 2012 Republican presidential nominees. McCain and Romney knew that they had been beaten.
They conceded, and they withdrew from the electoral arena with dignity.
They did not insist that the results must have been fraudulent because they didn’t win. In McCain’s case, this allowed for a peaceful and orderly transfer of power.
It’s easy to forget that even in 2008, there were some states with extremely close outcomes. For example, in 2008, Barack Obama won North Carolina by a sliver, 2,142,651 votes to 2,128,474 votes. Ditto in Indiana: Obama got 1,374,039 votes to McCain’s 1,345,648 votes. In Florida, Obama got just over 50% of the vote, with 4,282,367 votes to McCain’s 4,046,219 votes.
Did McCain cry “Fraud!” and demand that an Electoral Commission, with full investigatory and fact-finding authority, conduct emergency audits of the returns in these and other states? No — because he accepted that he had lost a free and fair election. He and his strategist Steve Schmidt (who is now a newly minted Democratic voter) understood that the election would produce a winner and a loser. It would be the job of the winner to govern. It would be the job of the loser to accept the result and support the peaceful transfer of power to the winner.
American democracy has endured (and yes, this system of ours is a democracy — a democratic republic, to be precise) primarily because power has repeatedly been peacefully and willingly transferred in the aftermath of elections.
We are still working on making elections as free and as fair as they can be in this country. It’s an ongoing project, to be sure, but the 2020 election saw broad and high participation. Joe Biden and Kamala Harris received a total of 81,281,888 votes, while Donald Trump and Mike Pence received 74,223,251.
And not only did Biden and Harris easily win the popular vote, they easily won the Electoral College, with 306 votes. That’s the same number Trump got, and he called it a landslide, even he won the three states that collectively put him over the top (Michigan, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania) by razor-thin margins.
Biden and Harris won back all three of those states and added Arizona and Georgia, two states Barack Obama never won, to their column.
In another era, this would have been considered a wholly uncontroversial election. But today’s Republican Party just doesn’t believe in democracy or republicanism. It believes in seizing and maintaining power and in practicing cult worship.
Abraham Lincoln and Teddy Roosevelt would be horrified by what the party they once led with courage and foresight has turned into.
A once mighty and admirable American institution — founded in part on the noble cause of ending slavery — has tragically disappeared. In its place is a conspiracy against the United States Constitution and American democracy.
This conspiracy will need to be defeated to secure the future of the United States. This democratic republic was entrusted to our care to keep.
And keep it, we must.