Wednesday, January 6, 2021

Will Georgia elections make Republicans drop Electoral College objections?

 A funny thing happened on the way to overturning the election. Two reasonably safe Senate seats in Georgia went down in flames last night. Probably the largest reason for the GOP disaster was President Trump’s attempt to overturn the election. The president both infuriated Democrats and moderates and suppressed Republicans with his claims of election fraud, which led directly to a perfect Democratic storm.

The question now is whether Senate Republicans will heed the shot across their bow by voters in the Peach State. The twin losses by David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler came within 48 hours of the two Republican incumbents announcing their support for the objections to the Electoral College. Cause and effect.

It seems that Republicans may have miscalculated on whether pandering to the Trump base at the cost of alienating moderates and enraging Democrats was a good bet. If it can happen in Georgia, there are a great many other Republican seats that are also in danger.

The Sedition Caucus led by Josh Hawley and Ted Cruz and reportedly numbering almost 150 Republicans may want to reconsider their options after seeing the fates of David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler.

Which do they fear more, Trump’s base in the primary or an angry electorate in the general election? Stir in the fact that the situation will have two years to marinate and it looks even worse. By 2022, Trump may not have nearly as strong of a hold on Republican voters.

The Republican position is untenable. The Constitution directs Congress to count the Electoral College votes. Nothing more.

The Electoral Count Act of 1887, the law which Republicans are misusing, does allow objections to the count on the grounds that the vote was not “regularly given” or “lawfully certified.” With respect to the 2020 election, all states have certified their votes so the only possible objection is that the electoral votes were not regularly given, a very vague phrase that means whatever the objectors want it to mean but is equally difficult to prove.

Whether the Republicans object or not, Joe Biden will be affirmed as the president-elect. The Republicans don’t have the votes to sustain their objections, and contrary to the president’s claims, Mike Pence does not have the power to throw out electoral votes.

The difference won’t be in the outcome of the presidential election. The difference will be in the damage that Republican Trump supporters do to the Republican Party and the possibility that some will be choosing to commit political suicide in their attempt to stay in Donald Trump’s good graces.

Advancing the notion that Congress has the authority to overrule the voters if it does not like election results is very dangerous. It is not constitutional and it is not conservative. Such ideas contain the seeds that could destroy America rather than making it great again.

From the Racket 

No comments: