On Saturday, eleven current and future Republican senators announced in a joint statement that they would object to the Congressional certification of President-elect Joe Biden’s victory at next week’s electoral college to give outgoing President Donald Trump an unelected second term.
The statement – led by Texas Senator Ted Cruz – also calls for the creation of an electoral commission modeled on a similar committee convened in 1877. The commission will “conduct a 10-day emergency review of the election results in the contested states. ”
Citing “unprecedented allegations of electoral fraud, violations and lax enforcement of the electoral law, as well as other voting irregularities,” the letter also argues that states should be allowed “to evaluate the Commission’s findings and convene a special term to amend to certify their right to vote. ” vote if necessary. “
While there were unprecedented allegations of electoral fraud in the days following the 2020 elections, the judicial system, state-elected officials, national security officials, and election officials have all found them to be unfounded. Still, Cruz and the other members of the group – Sens. Ron Johnson, James Lankford, Steve Daines, John Kennedy, Marsha Blackburn, and Mike Braun, and elected Senators Cynthia Lummis, Roger Marshall, Bill Hagerty, and Tommy Tuberville – care differently.
Lummis, Marshall, Hagerty and Tuberville were elected in November and have yet to be sworn in. However, they will take place on the Sunday before a session of Congress dedicated to certification of votes on January 6th.
In their plans to object to certification, the eleven lawmakers join Missouri Senator Josh Hawley, who announced his own objection plan last week, and a sizeable majority in the House Republican Conference, led by Trump supporters like Rep. Louie Gohmert, they said they would do the same.
“74 million Americans are not being told their votes don’t matter,” Hawley said of his December 30 effort, ignoring the fact that Biden won the election by more than 7 million votes over Trump. In the US system, their voices have the same weight.
Ultimately, the Republican plan to object will go nowhere. Although a bicameral group of Republicans can successfully object to the certification of the results, having a Democratic majority in the House of Representatives means that efforts there will ultimately fail – and they may not have much of a chance in the Senate either, where the No. Republicans 1 and 2 in the chamber – Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Majority Whip John Thune – have spoken out against it.
“In the Senate it would go down like a shot dog,” Thune told reporters in December 2020. “I just don’t think it makes sense to go through them all when you know what the end result will be.” Be.”
Other Republicans, including Sens. Mitt Romney and Ben Sasse, have criticized Hawley’s plan. And in a statement on Saturday, Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) spoke out decisively against the legislature’s objection plan.
“I took an oath to support and defend the United States Constitution,” she said, “and I will do so on January 6th – just as I strive every day to serve the people of Alaska.” I will be voting to confirm the 2020 presidential election. “
Senator @LisaMurkowski (R-Alaska): “I took an oath to support and defend the United States Constitution, and I will do it on January 6th – just like I want to do every day when I meet the people serve in Alaska. ” I will vote to confirm the 2020 presidential election. “pic.twitter.com/P2JYIXXahD
– Sahil Kapur (@sahilkapur) January 2, 2021
Ted Cruz’s “electoral commission” would investigate fraud that has been repeatedly shown to be non-existent
The “Electoral Commission” plan, supported by Cruz and 10 of his colleagues, is nonsense. For one thing, the commission they have called for has no precedent in modern times and no realistic prospect of being convened. Furthermore, the statement is based on a series of false claims by Cruz and his colleagues that reflect similar – and equally unfounded – electoral fraud rhetoric to that heard repeatedly by Trump.
Election day – November 3, 2020 – is now 60 days ago. During that time, Trump and his Republican allies at every level of the state and federal judicial system have filed and lost at least 60 election-related lawsuits for electoral fraud and other deficiencies – and they have not proven their case at every turn.
Recounts in battlefield states like Georgia and Wisconsin – both won by Biden – have shown no evidence of large-scale fraud or irregularities that could have affected the election result. In all 50 states and Washington, DC, election results were carefully checked by state officials and confirmed to be correct.
In short, 60 days of intensive scrutiny has given exactly zero reasons to believe the letter’s false claim that “the allegations of fraud and irregularities in the 2020 elections are worrying” – and there is no reason to believe that there is a ” Electoral Commission “would apply a different result.
It is true that there have been fraud allegations like never before, but as MSNBC’s Chris Hayes pointed out Sunday, these were misleading efforts by Trump, backed by his allies like Cruz, to discard the legitimate election results.
Cruz and his allies cite the results of these efforts in their statement Saturday that the widespread belief in the existence of electoral fraud – a kind of skewed argument “where there is smoke, there is fire” – calls for the creation of an electoral commission.
“The Reuters / Ipsos poll tragically shows that 39% of Americans believe the elections have been rigged,” the group said on Saturday. “This belief is shared by Republicans (67%), Democrats (17%) and Independents (31%).”
This is an accurate reporting of the survey results – but leaves out the likely reason for this widespread belief.
In reality, the Republican grassroots have been inundated with evidence-free rhetoric of electoral fraud from all corners of the right-wing universe – from Trump’s Twitter feed to Fox News to dull speeches by Republican senators – almost continuously since Trump’s defeat. There is a direct link between Cruz’s rhetoric and the problem he diagnosed: As Hayes put it on Twitter, “You spent months lying to people and telling them the election was stolen. Now turn around and cite the fact that many people believe them is evidence! ”
Ultimately, Saturday’s statement is just the latest attempt to keep Republicans in office against the will of the people. Given that any certification challenge can be resolved by a majority vote, and that there are more than enough opponents to these challenges in both the House and Senate, Cruz’s plan is unlikely to work.
Biden stands ready to be re-elected as the next president on January 6, before his inauguration on January 20. However, if Cruz and his colleagues are just as seriously concerned about “deep distrust of our democratic processes” which they contend “poses an ongoing threat to the legitimacy of subsequent administrations”, they deserve their own role in disrupting confidence in the electoral process a review .
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