Patterico's Pontifications

12/30/2020

Sen. Hawley Plans To Object to Electoral College Vote Certifying Biden Win

Filed under: General — Dana @ 2:16 pm



[guest post by Dana]

Raise your hand if you’re surprised by this:

Missouri Republican Sen. Josh Hawley said Wednesday he will object when Congress counts the Electoral College votes next week, which will force lawmakers in both the House and Senate to vote on whether to accept the results of President-elect Joe Biden’s victory.

Hawley is the first senator to announce plans to object to the results, which is significant because both a House member and senator are required to mount an objection when Congress counts the Electoral College votes on January 6.

The objection will not change the outcome of the election, only delaying the inevitable affirmation of Biden’s victory in November over President Donald Trump. Democrats will reject any objections in the House, and multiple Republican senators have argued against an objection that will provide a platform for Trump’s baseless conspiracy theories claiming the election was stolen from him.

Anyway, I’m not wasting any more words on these yahoos. Trump and his fellow Congressional cohorts have pathetically disgraced themselves (and the Republican Party) to an irreparable degree. This move by Hawley will force Trump’s cohorts who are pro-actively working to overturn a legitimate election to come forward. And when they do, they should not be allowed to have their names fade into the woodwork after Biden is sworn in. Their names should be remembered, especially when they come up for re-election. Named and shamed.

Anyway, countering the crazy circus that never seems to end, this:

Everyone needs to take a deep breath. Yes, the President and far too many Republicans are *continuing* to engage in dangerous, anti-democratic behavior—despite having utterly failed to substantiate *any* of the claimed electoral improprieties. But it’s just not going to work.

First, even if a Senator like Hawley joins a House member’s challenge to a particular state’s electors, there’s nowhere near a majority in *either* chamber (let alone both) to sustain the challenge. All that will happen from these challenges is the process getting slowed down.

Second, no, that doesn’t mean that Republicans can “run out the clock.” Even if McConnell somehow allowed this nonsense to drag on for *two weeks,* we’d end up with Acting President Pelosi at noon on 1/20, not President Trump. And the Twelfth Amendment isn’t to the contrary.

Third, none of the (still pending) lawsuits are going to change any of this. #SCOTUS isn’t about to throw out certified electors, and neither Judge Kernodle nor the Fifth Circuit is going to somehow enjoin VP Pence from performing his *ministerial* duty of counting the votes.

I know emotions are raw and tempers are short, but I think it’s actually affirmatively *unhelpful* for folks to buy into any of the preposterous conspiracy theories being spread in right-wing social media. They’ve been wrong *from the start*; the actual *experts* haven’t been.

None of this is to excuse any of the indefensible behavior from the President or far too many elected Republicans at both the state and federal levels.

But there’s no necessary correlation between indefensible arguments and plausible ones. This is all just PR—and sore losing.

Exit question: What do Hawley (and fellow sore losers) get out of sacrificing their integrity and reputations for the biggest sore loser of all?

–Dana

138 Responses to “Sen. Hawley Plans To Object to Electoral College Vote Certifying Biden Win”

  1. Ugh.

    Dana (cc9481)

  2. Exit question: What do Hawley (and fellow sore losers) get out of sacrificing their integrity and reputations for the biggest sore loser of all?

    I don’t get it either.

    Granted, he likely cemented a “forever” Missouri Senate seat with this kabuki theater act… but, as a national figure? I don’t see him having a path now for POTUS, unless he’s thinking some long game. (ie, 2028 or 2032).

    whembly (c30c83)

  3. Running for President. Every time I see a politician standing with Trump over these crazy election claims, I know they think they’re going to be the next President.

    President Josh Hawley? How about Presidents Ted Cruz, Jim Jordan, Kristi Noem or Lindsay Graham? Hugging Trump so tight… while they plot to replace him.

    noel (9fead1)

  4. Before the election, Trump was an obnoxious poser. His actions since the election have made him the most dangerous President in American history. Unfortunately, the damage will continue after he leaves office, because Trump will continue to fire up his fans. The harm may even go on after he dies, because how could Uday or Qusay or Josh resist the temptation to continue the con?

    norcal (50c207)

  5. The Trump cult in 2024.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  6. Walmart apologizes to Hawley after calling him a sore loser
    ……
    After announcing his intention to challenge President-elect Joe Biden’s electoral victory Wednesday, Walmart’s Twitter account responded, “Go ahead. Get your 2 hour debate. #soreloser,” in a since-deleted tweet. Hawley later shared a screenshot of the tweet, calling out Walmart for what he called “insulting condescension.”

    “Now that you’ve insulted 75 million Americans, will you at least apologize for using slave labor?” Hawley wrote. “Or maybe you’d like to apologize for the pathetic wages you pay your workers as you drive mom and pop stores out of business.”

    Walmart’s Twitter account later apologized to the senator and said its earlier tweet “was mistakenly posted by a member of our social media team.”

    “We deleted the post and have no intention of commenting on the subject of certifying the electoral college,” it said. “We apologize to Senator Hawley for this error and any confusion about our position.”

    Walmart declined to comment on Hawley’s criticisms of the company’s labor practices.
    …….

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  7. If Hawley and others do this, then we’ll clearly know who the fascist wing of the GOP are, with Hawley as the lead goosestepper.

    Paul Montagu (77c694)

  8. Paul Montagu,

    Yes. Hawley, et al will be forced to come forward with a vote. And there will be no more hiding.
    As a result, there will forever be a record of it. Even after Trumpism wanes. Forced front and center, there will be no doubt about who is actively participating in the undemocratic effort to overturn an election.

    Dana (cc9481)

  9. I will be setting aside money for their next primaries, or for the Libertarian candidate if they survive that.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  10. Walmart declined to comment on Hawley’s criticisms of the company’s labor practices.

    1) Biden’s supporters don’t shop at Walmart.

    2) Walmart employees take home more money per hour than many union store employees. Yes, they may avail themselves of government programs, but so do the union store guys.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  11. BTW, unless Hawley said that in the well of the Senate, accusing Walmart of slavery is probably actionable.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  12. President Josh Hawley? How about Presidents Ted Cruz, Jim Jordan, Kristi Noem or Lindsay Graham? Hugging Trump so tight… while they plot to replace him.

    Nikki Haley is doing none of these things. Last heard from on November 6th, she said:

    “We all owe @realDonaldTrump for his leadership of conservative victories for Senate, House, & state legislatures,” Haley, seen as a possible 2024 presidential contender, tweeted. “He and the American people deserve transparency & fairness as the votes are counted. The law must be followed. We have to keep the faith that the truth will prevail.”

    Damning with faint support.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  13. Crazy Republicans and leftist Democrats. With all of the billionaires around the US, you’d think one or two of them could kick-start a third party for the center. God knows we need one.

    Yes, I know it would take a while, but it’s time.

    Please.

    noel (9fead1)

  14. Today would be a good day to sell Hawley futures on the betting exchanges.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  15. Hugging Trump so tight… while they plot to replace him.

    More like grabbing for every last grift while the grabbing’s still there. https://www.thedailybeast.com/ted-cruz-is-pocketing-the-money-hes-raising-for-georgia-gopers-hes-not-alone

    nk (1d9030)

  16. I will be setting aside money for their next primaries, or for the Libertarian candidate if they survive that.

    What makes this folly dangerous is the fact that it will *increase* the popularity of the people behaving irresponsibly, just as all of Trump’s worst transgressions against democracy and the rule of law did.

    Dave (1bb933)

  17. In other words, the GOP is in a vicious cycle.

    Dave (1bb933)

  18. you’d think one or two of them could kick-start a third party for the center.

    They will make the same mistake everyone does and focus on the presidential race, which cannot be done until they build a base. Generally these runs are ego-based runs for Mr Big, with no thought to building a lasting party.

    The Republicans won 13 House seats and 3 Senate in 1854 (consolidating to 45 H and 11 S as minor parties joined). In the election of 1856, the GOP had 18 Senate seats and 90 House seats. They lost their first try at the WH that year, losing PA, IN, NJ and IL — states that Lincoln would carry next time. They took the majority in the House in 1858, all before Lincoln ran in 1860.

    The key to a new party is local organization (along with a fracturing major party). Forget the Presidency — until the party has some heft in Congress it’s not going to work.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  19. What makes this folly dangerous is the fact that it will *increase* the popularity of the people behaving irresponsibly

    Hunh? My giving money to their opponents will encourage them? Please show your work.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  20. Damning with faint support.

    This is someone trying to walk the tightrope and not offend anyone. But by doing this, she exposes her weakness.

    Dana (cc9481)

  21. But by doing this, she exposes her weakness.

    I would say that it exposes the party’s weakness: Everyone is all “you’re for us or against us” and that is a formula for a party split.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  22. It won’t matter. Trump will not be alive in 2024.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  23. Hunh? My giving money to their opponents will encourage them? Please show your work.

    The folly I was referring to was that of the GOP coup supporters. Sorry it was ambiguous and came across as a criticism of your comment.

    I was agreeing with you (to some extent) but pointing out that if there were a price to pay for Hawley, Cruz, etc, Trump would not have received almost 75M votes.

    Allahpundit more cogently makes the same point I was trying to, and yours too:

    My selfish impulse is that it’s fantastic. For two months, the creatures in McConnell’s caucus have bitten their tongues as the president of the United States hamhandedly tries to overturn an election, and not just in court. He’s leaned on state legislators to stage a soft coup on his behalf by rejecting the results of their states’ elections on November 3 on a pretense of fraud that he can’t prove. Now, thanks to Hawley’s blind ambition to be president someday by pandering relentlessly to MAGA fans, every one of his colleagues will be forced to go on the record in a floor vote on January 6. No more hiding. That’s what McConnell’s been fearing, knowing that anyone who votes to accept a state’s results will enrage MAGA fans while anyone who votes to reject them will enrage everyone else. Too bad, I say. We elect them to take votes, so let ’em vote. They don’t get to avoid taking a position on Trump’s final travesty.

    Republican politics in 2020 is mostly an exercise in making enemies’ lists and now, thanks to Hawley, all sides will have a new list of enemies at the ready. Trump and his supporters will resolve to primary any GOPer who accepts Biden’s victory. The rest of us will resolve that anyone willing to coopt congressional certification of a presidential election to cater to conspiracy theorists is unfit for office. What’s not to like about this outcome?

    But…

    It’s vice-signaling, essentially. Hawley calculated, correctly, that signaling a little vice on a big stage would advance his career in the new GOP, so he’s going to do it regardless of what it might mean for his colleagues and for America’s civic culture. That’s the incentive system [Tim] Alberta means. You can’t fix a country where vice-signaling is the smart move politically.

    Read the whole thing. Allahpundit thinks Hawley’s cynical attack on democracy will backfire.

    Dave (1bb933)

  24. Trump would not have received almost 75M votes.

    Yes, of course. The question is whether another candidate can make the case that they would be better at dealing with the core issues that got Trump those 75M votes, without having to sign onto what will be seen later as (at best) a quixotic attempt to change the results.

    I have to believe that many of those votes were despite Trump, the man, rather than because of him.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  25. R.I.P. Dawn Wells, 82.

    Mary Ann snatched off Gilligan’s Island … by Covid.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  26. Allahpundit thinks Hawley’s cynical attack on democracy will backfire.

    In time Trump will die, be jailed, or become too ill to run. His supporters will look somewhere else. Perhaps they will look to the craziest candidates (e.g. Kelli Ward), but that would just mean the GOP was becoming a third party and would create all kinds of room for a saner party on the right.

    I have to think that the bulk of the GOP is sane, and is capable of defending itself. Even the crazier than Trump Democrats managed to settle on boring old Joe. What they will need to find is a candidate that was able to work with Trump without becoming Trump. So far, there’s damn few.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  27. Icy posted that hours ago.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  28. Now, will the Senate try to expel Hawley?

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  29. @28. But I didn’t.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  30. @28. Hey Kevin: Richard Nixon is still dead. Reagan, too! 😉

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  31. Of course, there are some places where Hawley is a hero.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  32. Hey Kevin: Richard Nixon is still dead. Reagan, too!

    And yet both would govern today better than Trump.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  33. @26-
    Tina Louise still lives!

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  34. As I said in the post:

    This move by Hawley will force Trump’s cohorts who are pro-actively working to overturn a legitimate election to come forward. And when they do, they should not be allowed to have their names fade into the woodwork after Biden is sworn in. Their names should be remembered, especially when they come up for re-election. Named and shamed.

    Here’s the thing though: I think for Hawley to make the move and take the risk signals that he knows he will have any number of Congress members join him in the vote to object. While he may be flattering Trump to stay in his good graces and fortifying his future in politics, he has to know that if he stands alone in this, when Biden assumes office and Trump is aimlessly wandering the grounds of Mar-a-Lago, he has to know that any future run at the presidency will be undone. This desperate sucking-up and un-democratic behavior will stick to him like glue. As it should.

    Dana (cc9481)

  35. Lol. I should’ve read 32 before I commented. But seriously, I stand by mine.

    Dana (cc9481)

  36. If the polling is correct that 70% of republicans believe the election was stolen, then who and how are they going to be shamed?

    J. M. (ae9309)

  37. 37. They’re not. Just like the Trump supporters promising “We’ll vote ’em out of office!” neither know nor care what awaits politicians in forced retirement.* Neither side in the pro- or anti-Trump argument is clothing itself in glory at this point. If you really dislike Trump, the best thing you can do is ignore him. In the end, politicians aren’t going to upset the apple cart, and being ignored is probably the worst punishment one can inflict on celebrity-hound Trump.

    *Cushy K-street lobbying jobs

    Gryph (f63000)

  38. You know Hawley and Trump are virtually guaranteed a fundraising haul from this.

    Dana (cc9481)

  39. 39. In reference to my post upthread at 38, that is an equally valid way of looking at this. Even when politicians manage to stumble into doing the right thing, it’s never done selflessly.

    Gryph (f63000)

  40. BTW, unless Hawley said that in the well of the Senate, accusing Walmart of slavery is probably actionable.

    Do you mean for libel? If so, no. It’s hyperbole, not a provably false statement of fact.

    lurker (d8c5bc)

  41. Hawley has blind ambition and everyone knows what lane he’s in. This is a smart political move. Everybody knew where he stood already – why not own it? In process he has opportunity to kneecap all his fellow Republican Senator rivals. Those who vote with him will be seen as Johnny come lately, and those who don’t can make wipe out any hope of getting any MAGA voters in the primary. Hawley owns that lane now. The GOP has no leadership, only artful tacticians like McConnell.

    tla (30834b)

  42. Wisconsin’s Ron Johnson was weeks ahead of Hawley, tla. So was Tommy Tuberville (snicker). Hawley is the fifteen minutes of fame du jour.

    nk (1d9030)

  43. BTW, I heard a great aphorism today, that relates to Pence’s role on January 6: “In the corridors of power, the Vice President is the broom closet.”

    nk (1d9030)

  44. 41. The standard for defamation in the United States of America is “reckless disregard for the truth.” Given that Walmart relies heavily on Chinese factories for its supplies of goods in virtually every department, and given that slave labor acceptance is arguably a matter of policy for the CCP, accusing Walmart of relying on slave labor would not constitute a reckless disregard for the truth if I were sitting on a jury in that matter.

    Gryph (f63000)

  45. Senator Josh Hawley explained his decision by saying that Democrats did that in the past elections. I thought I’d never see the day when Barbara Boxer is cited as an example by him and other GOP critters in Congress to justify what they plan on doing. I think its safe to say that most of us here have a low regard for the former CA senator, and given 100 or so GOP members of Congress plan on doing, I’ll view them with the exact same level of regard that I view Boxer.

    This is absolutely pathetic.

    HCI (92ea66)

  46. 46. Not only that, but if Barbara Boxer’s example is followed it won’t matter worth a hill of beans. In order to invoke the ECA, objections must be in writing and submitted to the President of the Senate in advance. I’m not aware that Hawley or anyone else has done that.

    Gryph (f63000)

  47. Vladeck has a good thread on Hawley’s upcoming fascist takeover attempt.

    Paul Montagu (57a8b8)

  48. Paul,

    Vladeck’s thread is in the post!

    Dana (cc9481)

  49. Ach, I missed that!

    Paul Montagu (57a8b8)

  50. “In the corridors of power, the Vice President is the broom closet.”

    I would have said the water closet.

    Dave (1bb933)

  51. The Worst Predictions of 2020
    ……..
    “If he loses, Trump will concede gracefully”

    PREDICTED BY MICK MULVANEY, NOV. 7

    Less than two hours after the AP called the race, the Wall Street Journal published an op-ed by former Trump White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney arguing that Trump would “act and speak like a great president should — win or lose,” meaning that he would concede humbly if he lost.
    ………

    Rip Murdock (e7189f)

  52. And yet both would govern today better than Trump.

    Trump isa Reagan Creation, Kevin; ‘Dick Nixon before he dicks you.’

    “Impeach With Honor.”

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  53. Let’s say that Hawley and 5 other Trumpbots are running for the nomination. Plus one candidate that calls them fools or worse. Trump took the nomination with about 30% against fractured competition; who’s to say it can’t work the other way?

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  54. DCSCA, with all due respect your #53, equating Reagan with Donald Asswipe is moronic.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  55. Trump took the nomination with about 30% against fractured competition; who’s to say it can’t work the other way?

    It’s a charming thought.

    I think Cruz has no chance. The true believers still hate him, and pretty much everybody else hates him too.

    I’m afraid Cotton has the best mix of insensitivity and revanchism to appeal to the cult, plus he’s in a completely different league than Trump, intellectually, so he could very likely run a well-organized and effective campaign.

    For the same reasons, he would also be extremely dangerous if he got into office.

    I know very little about Hawley, but he does not seem impressive at all.

    Dave (1bb933)

  56. he interesting thing about what Hawley said is that he doesn’t say there was ballot fraud but only that Pennsylvania violated its own rules.

    That’s not like what Giuliani says.

    Sammy Finkelman (b78e49)

  57. 57. The idea that there was ballot fraud is not mutually exclusive with one or more states having violated their own rules. The complaint boils down to states having violated their own rules, thus facilitating massive ballot fraud.

    Gryph (f63000)

  58. When it comes down to it, I mean really down to it, what kind of a President does not take care in advance that we have fair and orderly elections when his own reelection is at stake? And now he cries and whines and demands lawyers and politicians pull his chestnuts out of the fire? What a loser! What a buffoon! What a weakling! And this mook is supposed to keep us from being invaded by China and Mexico? He couldn’t defend us from Liechtenstein.

    nk (1d9030)

  59. 59. Trump thought his lead would be cheat-proof. It wasn’t.

    Gryph (f63000)

  60. Vice president Mike Pence has cancelled a multi-day trip to Israel that was to take place after January 6 and before January 20, for unstated reasons, which to me indicates that he expects a break with President Trump after January 6, or maybe the break has already taken place. (Trump could be holding that trip over his head)

    Sammy Finkelman (b78e49)

  61. 37. J. M. (ae9309) — 12/30/2020 @ 5:36 pm

    If the polling is correct that 70% of republicans believe the election was stolen, then who and how are they going to be shamed?

    With time. When the chief backers of that claim stop saying it. When, as they say in the UK, the penny drops.

    Sammy Finkelman (b78e49)

  62. 62. That’s a pretty bold assertion to make these days: that politicians are even capable of feeling shame. By the time that penny drops, China will have steamrolled us without firing a single shot.

    Gryph (f63000)

  63. Sammy, it seems to me he is just preparing for the January 6 certification to be dragged out over multiple days,

    By law, each state whose votes are challenged will require two hours of debate, followed by votes, in both chambers.

    Dave (1bb933)

  64. 64. But that’s all assuming that objections aren’t overruled. It just can’t happen out of the blue. It needs planning.

    Gryph (f63000)

  65. Jonathan Pollard’s hero’s reception by Netanyahu might have something to do with it, too.

    nk (1d9030)

  66. 66. I could never understand why Bibi wasn’t a little more discreet about that whole mess.

    Gryph (f63000)

  67. But that’s all assuming that objections aren’t overruled. It just can’t happen out of the blue. It needs planning.

    What is required is that someone rises to object, and presents a letter signed by a member of each chamber at that time.

    If they present a written objection signed by a member of each chamber, then by law the House and Senate adjourn to their respective chambers, debate the objection for two hours, and then vote on it.

    If there are objections to the votes of multiple states, the same process is repeated each time.

    Two tellers shall be previously appointed on the part of the Senate and two on the part of the House of Representatives, to whom shall be handed, as they are opened by the President of the Senate, all the certificates and papers purporting to be certificates of the electoral votes, which certificates and papers shall be opened, presented, and acted upon in the alphabetical order of the States, beginning with the letter A; and said tellers, having then read the same in the presence and hearing of the two Houses, shall make a list of the votes as they shall appear from the said certificates; and the votes having been ascertained and counted according to the rules in this subchapter provided, the result of the same shall be delivered to the President of the Senate, who shall thereupon announce the state of the vote, which announcement shall be deemed a sufficient declaration of the persons, if any, elected President and Vice President of the United States, and, together with a list of the votes, be entered on the Journals of the two Houses. Upon such reading of any such certificate or paper, the President of the Senate shall call for objections, if any. Every objection shall be made in writing, and shall state clearly and concisely, and without argument, the ground thereof, and shall be signed by at least one Senator and one Member of the House of Representatives before the same shall be received. When all objections so made to any vote or paper from a State shall have been received and read, the Senate shall thereupon withdraw, and such objections shall be submitted to the Senate for its decision; and the Speaker of the House of Representatives shall, in like manner, submit such objections to the House of Representatives for its decision; and no electoral vote or votes from any State which shall have been regularly given by electors whose appointment has been lawfully certified to according to section 6 of this title from which but one return has been received shall be rejected, but the two Houses concurrently may reject the vote or votes when they agree that such vote or votes have not been so regularly given by electors whose appointment has been so certified.

    Dave (1bb933)

  68. 68. I know how the ECA works. The objections raised in 2016 weren’t planned out sufficiently to have been submitted in writing. If it’s the same this time around, the whole point is moot.

    Gryph (f63000)

  69. More:

    When the two Houses separate to decide upon an objection that may have been made to the counting of any electoral vote or votes from any State, or other question arising in the matter, each Senator and Representative may speak to such objection or question five minutes, and not more than once; but after such debate shall have lasted two hours it shall be the duty of the presiding officer of each House to put the main question without further debate.

    Dave (1bb933)

  70. Manufactured drama with absolutely nothing to do with what is good or best for the country

    AJ_Liberty (a4ff25)

  71. The objections raised in 2016 weren’t planned out sufficiently to have been submitted in writing. If it’s the same this time around, the whole point is moot.

    In 2016 (and 2000), no senator was prepared to object, and thus the legal hurdle was not met. It wasn’t a matter of planning, it was because no senator would agree.

    In 2004, a senator (and a representative) did object, and the legal requirement was met.

    That is precisely why Hawley’s announcement matters.

    Dave (1bb933)

  72. It’s fascinating that these guys will sell themselves (succesfully to many) as brave fighters for what is actually a tremendous act of cowardice that puts our future democracy’s success behind someone’s selfish ambition.

    Buy stock in defense contractors if you want to make a few bucks this week.

    Dustin (4237e0)

  73. Josh Hawley: When you don’t want to read press releases about the Kardashians.

    Josh Hawley: What, you want him to have to get a job or something?

    Josh Hawley: Because Missouri shares a border with Arkansas.

    nk (1d9030)

  74. Exit question: What do Hawley (and fellow sore losers) get out of sacrificing their integrity and reputations for the biggest sore loser of all?

    Pretty simple. There’s been a widely shared concern that, although Trump was too stupid and narcissistic to make happen the dangerous things he really wants to happen, what if a “Smart Trump” comes along? It might be as simple as being just as willing to baldly, unashamedly lie, but only when it advances goals.

    Hawley wants to be the Smart Trump.

    Purple Martin (bce78a)

  75. Not too long ago if you had told me Biden would win the nomination, I would have laughed in your face. He hadn’t won a single primary in his two previous runs for the presidency. If you had told me that as the Democratic nominee he would receive the most votes of any presidential candidate in history, I would have shaken my head, not possible. If you had told me I would vote for him, I would have spit and backslapped your face.

    Yet all three of these things happened. Biden did win primaries and the nomination. Biden did win more votes than any presidential candidate in history. And I did vote for him. Well, I didn’t actually vote for him, but rather against Trump.

    I could not vote for Hillary Clinton in 2016, so I went the Libertarian route, which is what I do when neither the Republican or Democratic party nominates an acceptable candidate; it’s a protest vote. However, this year I did not have that option. I voted Libertarian where I could, and Democratic where I had to, especially at the top of the ticket. First time in my life I’ve ever voted for a Democrat at the federal level.

    Biden did indeed win the most votes of any presidential candidate. While Trump did win the most votes of any Republican in history, he fell about seven million short of Biden in the popular vote. And Trump lost the electoral college, by a wide margin.

    Get over it. These Republicans who want to cling to Trump’s base need to look at the fact that it’s smaller than Biden’s. The Republicans fighting this us against them (the Democrats) battle are losing.

    I never thought I would see the day. I never ever thought I would vote for a Democrat. But yet here we are.

    William F. Buckley drove the John Birchers out of the GOP, and thankfully so. Who is there today to write for driving the Donald Trumpers out of the GOP?

    I see no one. The Republican party is dissolving into irrelevancy, because they have lost their moorings. It’s that simple; they are now a ship at sea, with no port to return to.

    This act Hawley is performing is just that, an act. Nothing he says or does will prevent Donald Trump’s removal from office at noon on Jan. 20. At that time, Biden will be sworn in.

    It’s pathetic, really, the ingratiation to Trump. Does the GOP not realize they lost the election? Or that there is nothing they can do to overturn it?

    Gawain's Ghost (b25cd1)

  76. By law, each state whose votes are challenged will require two hours of debate, followed by votes, in both chambers.

    Were I running the Senate, they’d not go home until it was done. There is nothing that gets people more upset than dealing with BS at 3AM.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  77. There is always the nuclear option for bypassing all of this.

    “Point of order! This is bullsh1t, and this house is not required to deal with bullsh1t!”
    Pence: “Um, no.”
    “I appeal the ruling of the chair!”
    Chair overturned 97-3

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  78. I hope this is all televised, particularly the Senate debate.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  79. GG, great comment and I also think back to myself ten years ago, if you had told me I’d vote for Joe Biden I would have rolled my eyes at the ridiculous notion. He isn’t even a great democrat.

    But here we are.

    I don’t think Hawley cares about the success of stealing the election. I don’t think any Trump fanatic really cares about the long term health of the GOP. They know this kind of thing is lucrative. Same reason all those slightly edgy conservative blogs sold out and are shameless and stupid today. That’s where the cash is.

    I hope everyone is having a great new year’s eve, but I am worried the drunk driving is going to be completely off the charts. Fewer traffic cops, lots of cops are getting rusty on traffic stops because of the year’s political events, weather is terrible which means people will want to drink a bit more, lazy cops will not want to get out in it, and of course, this idea that we’re at the end of some magically bad year justifying a huge party. I have this idea that next year ain’t gonna be a lot better.

    Dustin (4237e0)

  80. 52. All these predictions should have been seen to be wrong at the time they were made:

    Donald Trump, Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders will all get Covid — and it’ll kill one of them before Election Day

    Wrong because Covid didn’t spread that widely, and because Trump’s staff was on top of all medical developments, and because effective therapeutics often exist long before the Food and Drug Administration is ready to approve them, and even when it is not generally being made available even for compassionate use (because it would risk spoiling the clinical trial s where half the people enrolled get a placebo) it will be made available for someone like a president of the United States, provided his staff does not think the F.D.A. is the last word on the science.

    Biden’s staff might not have saved him, although on te other hand he hhad much less chance of contracting Covid.

    Kanye West will destroy Biden’s chances by siphoning off black support

    This totally misread Kanye West’s impact – and even his chances of getting on the ballot.

    The coronavirus will simply “go away”

    Wrong because William Farr’s Law of Epidemics didn’t apply – and also this only happens after an epidemic is let loose. If R0 declines because of lockdowns, and not herd immunity, it doesn’t apply.

    We’ll know who won the presidency by 10 on election night

    Wrong because the polls were wrong and were known to be very problematic. And why was Carville coy and say “who” wonn – he meant that Biden won.

    “If he loses, Trump will concede gracefully”

    This wasn’t an honest prediction – this was a hope, maybe a hope that Trump would hear this and listen. Perhaps it was Mulvaney’s way of trying to get more votes for Trump.

    Trump is going to dump Pence and run with Nikki Haley

    Even if you would suppose Trump would dump Pence how can Begala predict who would be the candidate in his place? This is possibly Begala making a long shot “prediction” – one of maybe many – hoping he turns out to be right and will be credited with having great insight and get hired.

    Covid-19 will kill roughly 500 — make that 5,000 — Americans, tops

    Wrong because SSARS-CoV-2 was not exactly like SARS and because you could see that the number was being slowly adjusted to reality..

    If the Senate acquits Trump in his impeachment trial, he’ll invite Putin to the White House in 2020

    </b? NO reason whatsoever, to make this prediction.

    Sammy Finkelman (b78e49)

  81. 79. Kevin M (ab1c11) — 12/31/2020 @ 8:54 am

    I hope this is all televised, particularly the Senate debate.

    It will surely be on C-Span and C-Span 2 (Senate and House) and livestreamed somewhere or the other, but the question is who else? CBS? NBC? ABC? What about radio? NPR? Bloomberg? Some talk radio or news stations?

    It will probably also be uploaded after the fact to YouTube

    Sammy Finkelman (b78e49)

  82. Ben Sasse has an excellent retort to Hawley’s fascism, and I’m pretty sure Dana didn’t already cover it.

    Paul Montagu (77c694)

  83. The Republican party is dissolving into irrelevancy, because they have lost their moorings.

    “It’s Donald Trump’s party now,” as the Trumpers say, and as the GOP officially declared in this year’s elections.
    They want us to believe it’s because DJT has been so brilliantly correct on policy and principle, but it’s primarily because of the most bizarre cult of personality I’ve ever seen in American politics, where a critical mass of the electorate imagines Donald Trump to be, in various ways, the opposite of what he actually is. The devotees think he’s the only honest man in D.C., the only one who truly and selflessly serves The American People, the only person who can defeat the eeeevil “establishment” and save us from communism.

    GOP politicians for the most part have believed it’s in their self-interest to play along. Many of the conservative media people and opinion leaders might also be making pragmatic calculations under the guise of exposing MSM “lies,” but it’s been stunning to see that there are apparently some True Believers among people I had thought were more intelligent and sensible than that.

    Radegunda (b6cc34)

  84. Good for Sasse; that’s an excellent fact-based rebuttal of Trump’s BS.

    But he should have been more vocal earlier.

    Dave (1bb933)

  85. I agree, Dave. I think he should have voted to impeach.

    With that, it’s good for the nation and for the Republican Party that the hands of elected members are being forced by Hawley’s move. They will be publicly exposed, for better or worse, and the American people will be able to decide whether they continue to serve and lead or not. But it’s a dreadful shame that the Party has come to this. No dignity, no integrity, and no reason to trust them. They wanted Trump, they submitted themselves to his corruption and derangement, and this is the outcome of putting their own political ambitions before the good of the nation and the American people.

    Dana (cc9481)

  86. C-Span and C-Span 2

    Not available on streaming services.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  87. Trump is going to dump Pence and run with Nikki Haley

    Nikki would have turned down, politely. “Sorry, I’d love to, but this is the year I wash my hair.”

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  88. Fewer traffic cops, lots of cops are getting rusty on traffic stops because of the year’s political events

    “You really gonna pull over that drunk black guy?”

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  89. I am worried the drunk driving is going to be completely off the charts

    Worse, they are amateur drunk drivers.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  90. I presume it will be on CNN, MSNBC, and the POTUS channel on Sirius/XM. I wouldn’t be surprised if it was on the legacy nets too.

    Rip Murdock (80e6b4)

  91. Sasse:

    But the crucial questions are: (A) What evidence do we have of fraud? and (B) Does that evidence support the belief in fraud on a scale so significant that it could have changed the outcome?

    Also: Was it organized fraud?

    … worries about voter fraud – are poison to self-government.

    Very very important, which is why it has to be gone into and not simply dismissed on the basis of authority. People need to know why certain things wouldn’t be successful, or would leave much more evidence if true.

    Yesterday Giuliani is at a state legislative hearing in Georgia and, besides making general claims about this being a dirty election and saying the question would be asked later what did you do about it, he brings forth a witness, whom he says invented QR codes, who claims that at that time he’s hacking into some election related computer that’s not supposed to be connected to he Internet. Allegation like that, which people don’t even understand what it would mean, or what he’s talking about, can’t simply be left hanging.

    Giuliani was also talking yesterday about being given permission to use a system for detecting if a mail ballot had been folded, because he said, (I missed this part but his argument seemed to assume) ballots that were mailed in Georgia had to be folded, while ballots that were added wouldn’t have been folded and unfolded before being run into the scanners. Never mind that, that adding extra ballots would be only part of a fraud scheme. For anything like that to have happened, someone would have had to attribute ballots down to the precinct level, with in many cases different ballot designs, and make sure no registered voter who really voted was used, so you wouldn’t have anyone who voted twice, and there must be some similarity at least to the signatures on file. Or if not that, somebody stole many real ballots – let’s say it was mail-in ballots that were intercepted and replaced – replaced with prepared ones, But where does he have any examples of duplicate votes? Or any evidence that any ballot snatching actually happened? (ballot snatching and substituting wouldn’t require fake signatures or risk duplicate votes)

    There’s another thing. Supposedly double voting because of similar names. It all falls apart when anyone drills down.

    Sammy Finkelman (b78e49)

  92. I’m watching Pinky & The Brain on Hulu

    They’re laboratory mice
    Whose genes have been spliced
    To prove their mousy worth
    They’ll overthrow the Earth

    and believe you me it’s more credible as well as more entertaining than Trump’s circus.

    nk (1d9030)

  93. Kevin M-
    I’m also certain the NYT, WaPo, and network news channels will cover the House and Senate debates on their websites.

    Rip Murdock (80e6b4)

  94. Erickson endorsed and voted for Trump.

    I hate the tit for tat of the present age and my view is that I’m a conservative and see no reason to behave like a Democrat or engage in their antics. Some disagree. I would hate for the ridiculous behavior of some progressives to be adopted by otherwise God fearing conservatives — a performative stunt to placate part of a base that refuses to accept reality.

    But the difference is that this current situation doesn’t involve a single Senator. Several Senators have hinted at objecting. It’s not a single nutty liberal like Boxer.

    Paul Montagu (77c694)

  95. This, from Ben Sasse’s Facebook post that Montagu linked to above is nothing less damning. Every Republican voter should know about this:

    “When we talk in private, I haven’t heard a single Congressional Republican allege that the election results were fraudulent – not one. Instead, I hear them talk about their worries about how they will “look” to President Trump’s most ardent supporters.”

    Some may have “hinted” at objecting, but not enough. And certainly, any ethical or legal question isn’t their priority. Self-preservation and their future in politics is the priority.

    Dana (cc9481)

  96. 89,90: if there is a run on long boy cans of Twisted Tea in your town, you best be holstered.

    urbanleftbehind (b5f309)

  97. I don’t care if 99 percent of Trump’s supporters demand it, they are betraying the Constitution if Senators vote with Hawley. And if 140 Republicans in the House vote to overturn this election, as CNN headlines suggest, I will drop my Republican Party registration, and never return.

    Trump loses 60 court cases while trying to prove vote fraud. The evidence simply is not there.

    Throwing democracy away for the likes of Donald Trump? Just unbelievable. This is one of the most dangerous moments in American history. A New York City confidence man nearly ends the American experiment.

    noel (9fead1)

  98. Throwing democracy away for the likes of Donald Trump? Just unbelievable. This is one of the most dangerous moments in American history. A New York City confidence man nearly ends the American experiment.

    Well put. I will also cancel my Republican membership if that happens, but I wouldn’t rule out returning once sanity resumes.

    norcal (b4d7b1)

  99. 98. You speak as if this is an abrupt and unforeseen abandonment of the constitution. I’d argue that we haven’t really been following the constitution since 1913; all of the brouhaha over the election is simply laying bare what “we the people” can no longer continue to deny.

    Gryph (f63000)

  100. https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2020/12/cowards-are-destroying-the-gop/617534

    A longtime acquaintance of the Missouri senator explained to me Hawley’s actions this way: “Hawley never wants to talk down to his voters. He wants to speak for them, and at the moment, they are saying the election was stolen.”

    “He surely knows this isn’t true,” this acquaintance continued, “and that the legal arguments don’t hold water. And yet clearly the incentives he confronts—as someone who wants to speak for those voters, and as someone with ambitions beyond the Senate—lead him to conclude he should pretend the lie is true. This is obviously a very bad sign about the direction of the GOP in the coming years.”

    Think about this statement for a moment: The incentives Josh Hawley and many of his fellow Republicans officeholders confront lead them to conclude that they should pretend the lie is true.

    [Make that: Pretend the lie could be true since he isn’t saying it flat out – SF]

    ….What is happening in the GOP is that figures such as Hawley, along with many of his Senate and House colleagues, and important Republican players, including the former United Nations Ambassador Nikki Haley, are all trying to position themselves as the heirs of Trump. None of them possesses the same sociopathic qualities as Trump, and their efforts will be less impulsive and presumably less clownish, more calculated and probably less conspiracy-minded. It may be that not all of them support Hawley’s stunt; perhaps some are even embarrassed by it. But these figures are seismographers; they are determined to act in ways that win the approval of the Republican Party’s base. And this goes to the heart of the danger….

    ….single most worrisome political fact in America right now is that a significant portion of the Republican Party lives in a fantasy world, a place where facts and truth don’t hold sway, where “owning the libs” is an end in itself, and where seceding from reality is a symbol of tribal loyalty, rather than a sign of mental illness….

    ….Whether the Republican Party can be salvaged is very much an open question. I don’t know the answer. But here is what I do know: Patriotic Republicans and conservatives need to fight for the soul of the Republican Party, for its sake and for the sake of the nation. America needs two healthy and sane political parties. Trump’s departure on January 20 should open up space for at least a few brave and responsible figures to arise, to help ground the GOP in truth rather than falsehoods, reality instead of fantasy, and to use the instruments of power for the pursuit of justice….

    Sammy Finkelman (b78e49)

  101. 101. America does indeed need two healthy and sane political parties. Right now, it has none and there is no indication that either major political party is inclined to do the right thing in any given circumstance. And here we are.

    Gryph (f63000)

  102. French has a good takedown of Hawley’s bogus claim about the states not following their election laws.

    Paul Montagu (8b4ef4)

  103. Trump returned one day early from Mar-a-Lago possibly to lobby members of Congress (in person?) (to meet with some associates who will meet in person?)i

    Sammy Finkelman (b78e49)

  104. Wall Street Journal main editoriaL, Thursday, December 31, 2020:
    Trump’s Push to Turn 2020 Into 1876

    …Any challenge to Mr. Biden’s electors appears doomed, since upholding the objection takes a majority in both chambers…Hence the Trump crowd’s latest argument: that the power to invalidate electors rests with the joint session’s presiding officer—Vice President Mike Pence.

    A nub of truth here is that the Electoral Count Act might be unconstitutional…Reverting to the Constitution’s text, however, would be small help to Mr. Trump. The workings of the Electoral College were refined by the 12th Amendment, which says that the Vice President shall “open all the certificates and the votes shall then be counted.” Where does that language give Mr. Pence unilateral authority to set aside electors? This can’t be what the Founders wanted.

    In 1876, at least, there were competing electors that each claimed official imprimatur. In Oregon the Governor and the Secretary of State certified different slates. Florida’s outgoing Governor signed off on a group of electors, only to be reversed by the incoming Governor.

    None of that ambiguity exists now. Self-styled Republican shadow electors held their own gatherings this month in some states that Mr. Biden won. But it was a purely extracurricular exercise…

    …Republicans should be embarrassed by Mr. Trump’s Electoral College hustle. Mr. Trump is putting his loyal VP in a terrible spot, and what do Republicans think would happen if Mr. Pence pulled the trigger, Mr. Biden was denied 270 electoral votes, and the House chose Mr. Trump as President? Riots in the streets would be the least of it.

    Mr. Pence is too much of a patriot to go along, but the scramble to overturn the will of the voters tarnishes Mr. Trump’s legacy and undermines any designs he has on running in 2024. Republicans who humor him will be giving Democrats license to do the same in the future, and then it might matter.

    Sammy Finkelman (b78e49)

  105. Just as some Republicans voted for Biden because of the danger posed by Trump, Democrats should consider voting for any Republican who dares to counter the Trump narrative. That will contribute to having two healthy parties.

    norcal (b4d7b1)

  106. 106. You don’t actually think that will happen, do you?

    Gryph (f63000)

  107. All it will take is for Biden not to scare white people during the next two years and Trumpism will be a dirty word.

    nk (1d9030)

  108. And it will be fun watching all these grifters going: “Donald who?”

    nk (1d9030)

  109. At least 140 House Republicans to vote against counting electoral votes, two GOP lawmakers say

    The House Democrats should all vote “present”.

    Let them actually disenfranchise tens of millions of Americans on the basis of a lie.

    Dave (1bb933)

  110. At least 140 House Republicans to vote against counting electoral votes

    That leaves about 70 for the other Republican Party.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  111. You don’t actually think that will happen, do you?

    Well, they’ll want to, but there will be some issue that causes them to reconsider.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  112. Throwing democracy away for the likes of Donald Trump? Just unbelievable. This is one of the most dangerous moments in American history. A New York City confidence man nearly ends the American experiment.

    If you consider this a symptom and not a cause, that system you speak of isn’t as strong as it might be.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  113. By law, each state whose votes are challenged will require two hours of debate, followed by votes, in both chambers.

    Were I running the Senate, they’d not go home until it was done. There is nothing that gets people more upset than dealing with BS at 3AM.

    Kevin M (ab1c11) — 12/31/2020 @ 8:45 am

    I laughed good and hard at this one. Thanks, Kevin!

    norcal (b4d7b1)

  114. >What do Hawley (and fellow sore losers) get out of sacrificing their integrity and reputations for the biggest sore loser of all?
    They hope they are getting the support of Trump’s fanbois, who are at least 1/3 of the country and may be enough to push them to victory in 2024.

    aphrael (4c4719)

  115. I’ve voted for Republicans before. But at the moment, I think anyone in the party at the national level are irretrievably tainted by their support for Trump, and most state level Republicans are irretrievably tainted by their handling of the pandemic.

    It’s possible the Democrats could do something to lose me their support, and i remain open to third parties. But at this point, I think it’s unlikely that i’ll vote for a Republican again for any office *for at least a decade*, at least in part because anyone calling themselves a Republican is implicitly endorsing the Trump-era party by doing so.

    I’m an outlier. I don’t speak for the American public more broadly in any way, shape, or form. But the inability of the party’s elected officials to stand up to someone who is blatantly trying to end the republic before our eyes renders *all of them* unfit for public office, in my view, and the only thing that can change that (other than a serious, heartfelt, open and vehement apology combined with open discussion of what they did wrong and why and why they’ll do better in the future) is someone running against them who is even worse.

    I want there to be two functioning parties. One party rule is terrible. But it’s nowhere near as bad as rule by people who are willing to go along with what Trump has been doing since the election.

    aphrael (4c4719)

  116. Watergate gave us all of the “gate” controversies to follow. It was a big deal… until now.

    Compared to this, Watergate was just a spendy hotel. Trump’s actions are far worse, but overpriced hotels can be found in the middle of this story too.

    Time to come up with a new suffix that reflects the magnitude of this seditious plot.

    noel (9fead1)

  117. Trump’s overt criminal activity.

    It’s always amazed me. The genius of doing all of this scheming right out in the open. Like an overconfident mafia boss, he just walks down the street with his gang of goons and does what he wants. He says what he wants. Threatens when he wants.

    If done in secret, it would seem so much more… criminal.

    noel (9fead1)

  118. Gen Z Republicans see new era for party after Trump
    …….
    Thirty-one percent of voters ages 18 to 24 supported Trump in November, according to exit polls, down from 37 percent in 2016. The Generation Z bloc, born after 1996, makes up at least 10 percent of the U.S. population, according to a report by the Brookings Institution, and it will only grow as the next election approaches.

    (Cameron Adkins, a sophomore who is vice president of College Republicans at Columbia University) said he hopes the party can expand its reach by continuing to make priorities of core social issues, such as guns and abortion, while embracing a rapidly diversifying electorate by toning down its rhetoric around racial injustice, which research shows young people tend to be more tapped into.

    “ We should be attempting to expand our reaches, even if it does cost us” some of the more traditional Republican voters, he said. “I guess I’m willing to lose as long as we’re doing the right thing.”

    Clay Robinson, a leader with College Republicans at Arizona State University, also said he wants the party to focus more on inclusivity.

    “Our generation is much more concerned with social issues than, let’s say, economic issues or something different. I think it’s a sign that we really care about communities and the well-being of our people, not just their pocketbooks,” said Robinson, 19. “That’s a more holistic approach of what constitutes the health of every individual in the nation.”

    Several young Republicans specifically highlighted LGBTQ rights and climate change as essential to tapping into the Gen Z bloc, because Gen Zers are familiar with those issues.
    ……..
    …….. Sydney Salatto expressed frustration with lawmakers who she said turned their backs on Trump after his loss.
    ……..
    “I want to see a lot of people primaried and rooted out,” said Salatto, 22, the president of a conservative women’s organization at the University of Tampa. “I think that they’re just as bad as the Democrats.”

    Salatto said that the party is no longer “one coherent group” and that lawmakers who are distancing themselves from Trump are “not serving” their constituents.

    Still, despite the dissonance, all of the young voters said Trumpism is here to stay.
    ………

    Rip Murdock (45770e)

  119. 118. That’s the problem. Trump’s activity isn’t strictly criminal if by “criminal” you mean he violates the letter of the law. His years in Manhattan real estate development have taught him how to do things that look really bad and screw people over royally without actually getting in trouble.

    Gryph (f63000)

  120. In the cold, clear light of a new year … Hawley’s BS is sound and fury of no consequence. Biden will still be sworn in as President on January 20, and Trump will be a concern only for our counter-intelligence services and prosecutors.

    nk (1d9030)

  121. No credible allegations and baseless claims, and yet still, this:

    Two Republican members of the House of Representatives tell CNN that they expect at least 140 of their GOP colleagues in the House to vote against counting the electoral votes on January 6 when Congress is expected to certify President-elect Joe Biden’s victory.

    Dana (cc9481)

  122. The New York Times sees a split in the Republican Party – more than there is at this time. You have people trying to play it very sharp, and other people trying to dodge the issue, hoping maybe that it will eventually go away, while sticking to their duty. Probably only Donald Trump can force a split. As far as you can tell, he’ll probably continue to say he “wuz robbed” after January 20, comboned with the citation of all sorts of “evidence.”

    There is a big question: If the Republican Party will fission, what will be the sizes of the different proportions? And what do you do about the people who believe there was more than ad hoc individual election fraud? Forceful denial, or refusal to repeat details of allegations (like the major media does) is no way to convince anybody of anything.

    Sammy Finkelman (b78e49)

  123. The most logical explanation of where Trump is going with this are:

    1) fundraising

    And

    2) Allowing him to claim betrayal.

    If it is going to be like that, better to destroy the Republican Party. You might get a credible candidate for president as the chief alternative to the Democratic nominee, because Trump is not going to be one.

    Sammy Finkelman (b78e49)

  124. @Dana. In the Senate it’s a little bit different:

    https://www.nytimes.com/2020/12/31/us/politics/ben-sasse-election-results.html

    On the private conference call on Thursday with Senate Republicans…Mr. McConnell pressed Mr. Hawley to explain how he expected his objection to play out, according to a person familiar with the conversation. But Mr. Hawley was absent from the call and did not respond, prompting him to email members of the conference later, explaining that he intended to force a debate on the issue of election security and noting that the election had left many of his constituents at home disillusioned.

    Mr. Hawley’s objection will force the Senate to debate his claim for up to two hours, followed by a vote on Mr. Biden’s victory….Senator John Cornyn, Republican of Texas, said he was “curious to see” the evidence driving the objection, but expressed skepticism at the effort, noting that a slew of courts had already overturned challenges from the Trump campaign.

    “There’s a lot of things I don’t want to happen that happen,” Mr. Cornyn said. “So you just got to learn to deal with it. And I think this is one of them.”

    “I question why he is doing it when the courts have unanimously thrown out the suits that the president’s team have filed for lack of credible evidence,” said Senator Susan Collins, Republican of Maine. “Senator Hawley is a smart attorney who clerked for the Supreme Court so he clearly understands that.”

    Senator Ron Johnson, Republican of Wisconsin, who has questioned whether Mr. Biden fairly won the election and is often eager to wade into battles demanded by Mr. Trump, said he was supportive of Mr. Hawley’s effort but would not join him in objecting. He left open the possibility that he would vote to support the objection.

    “There’s no reason for more people to object,” Mr. Johnson told reporters. “All it takes is one. But I’ll support his efforts and support the efforts of the conference” to “hear the issues.”

    Sammy Finkelman (b78e49)

  125. There’s an interesting fact: The Department of Justice has sided with Pence against Gohmert:

    https://www.nytimes.com/2020/12/31/us/politics/justice-department-mike-pence-louie-gohmert.html

    The Justice Department asked a federal judge on Thursday to reject a lawsuit seeking to pressure Vice President Mike Pence to overturn the results of the election, pitting the department against President Trump’s allies in Congress who have refused to accept President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr.’s victory…

    …The Justice Department also made clear in its filing that it welcomed any comments from the federal judge in the case, Jeremy D. Kernodle of the Eastern District of Texas, that would clarify that Mr. Pence’s role in the election was purely procedural.

    The White House counsel, Pat A. Cipollone, and the chief of staff, Mark Meadows, were aware the Justice Department was filing on Mr. Pence’s behalf before it happened, according to two people briefed on the discussions.

    If Pence could and did object, all it would do is force a vote to overrule the chair, and we will have a vote anyway, but this time you would need both houses of Congress to accept the objected to Electors, which there will be, but the time for debate is not fixed by law or rule.

    The next step among the Trump partisans would be to argue that procedural votes in the House should be by states (no reason for that) or to declare rump the winner on the basis of a reduced electoral vote count, and dong anything they can to avoid leaving the office of president and vice president vacant at noon on January 20, 2021, because that would make the Speaker of the House, Acting president. If the Republican Party was unified in favor of a constitutional-like coup, then they could make Mike Pence president because then they could try having the Senate select the vice president, and Mike Pence would win 51-50 even if they lost both Senate seats in Georgia and the new Senators were seated, because Mike Pence, in this scenario wold vote for himself.

    Nothing of the sort, or even close to it, is going to happen in this election, but it is bad precedent for some future election, unless totally repudiated, and Trump is setting things up for cries of betrayal.

    Sammy Finkelman (b78e49)

  126. most state level Republicans are irretrievably tainted by their handling of the pandemic.

    most state level politicians are irretrievably tainted by their handling of the pandemic.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  127. Trump’s actions are far worse

    Trump’s comments leading up to, and his actions following, the election are high crimes. Even if you don’t think a conviction is possible, he still should be impeached for them. If for no other reason that the history books.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  128. Clay Robinson, a leader with College Republicans at Arizona State University, also said he wants the party to focus more on inclusivity.

    It would really help if women and non-whites were not routinely savaged for thinking like Republicans.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  129. I note that Rep Paul Mitchell, who had previously decided to retire due to Trumpism, has now resigned from the GOP and is serving his last days as an Independent.

    His letter to Ronna McDaniel says in part:

    Any candidate, including the president, is entitled to request recounts and pursue legal challenges they believe are appropriate if they possess evidence of wrongdoing. President Trump has undertaken or supported both of these options. Recounts have failed to significantly alter the vote outcome in any state and dozens of court cases have been summarily dismissed in both state and Federal courts across our nation.

    It is unacceptable for political candidates to treat our election system as though we are a third- world nation and incite distrust of something so basic as the sanctity of our vote. Further, it is unacceptable for the president to attack the Supreme Court of the United States because its judges, both liberal and conservative, did not rule with his side or that “the Court failed him.” It was our Founding Fathers’ objective to insulate the Supreme Court from such blatant political motivations.

    If Republican leaders collectively sit back and tolerate unfounded conspiracy theories and “stop the steal” rallies without speaking out for our electoral process, which the Department of Homeland Security said was “the most secure in American history,” our nation will be damaged. I have spoken out clearly and forcefully in opposition to these messages. However, with the leadership of the Republican Party and our Republican Conference in the House actively participating in at least some of those efforts, I fear long-term harm to our democracy.

    The stability and strength of our democracy has been an ongoing concern for me. I expressed strong concerns about the president’s response to Charlottesville, the anti-immigrant “send them back” rhetoric, and even the racist comments of my own colleagues in the House.

    I believe that raw political considerations, not constitutional or voting integrity concerns, motivate many in party leadership to support the “stop the steal” efforts, which is extremely disappointing to me. As elected members of Congress, we take an oath to “support and defend the Constitution of the United States,” not to preserve and protect the political interests of any individual, be it the president or anyone else, to the detriment of our cherished nation.

    As a result, I am writing to advise you both that I am withdrawing from my engagement and association with the Republican Party at both the national and state level.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  130. 128. I’m not sure Trump has crossed the line yet.

    Better reserve that for subverting the constitution. I’m not sure he’s there yet. He’s got to do something clearly unconstitutional, Or perhaps morally repugnant is enough.

    By the way, he can be impeached even after leaving office.

    Sammy Finkelman (b78e49)

  131. Judge dismisses Gohmert lawsuit seeking to stymie Biden electoral college count
    A federal judge in Texas has dismissed a long-shot lawsuit by Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Tex.) that sought to overturn the presidential election, saying neither the congressman nor his allies have legal standing to pursue the case.
    ……..
    U.S. District Judge Jeremy D. Kernodle issued an order dismissing the case because, he found, neither Gohmert nor his fellow plaintiffs have a sufficient legal stake in the process to justify the lawsuit. Kernodle was nominated to the federal bench by Trump.
    ……..
    In response to a Justice Department request to reject the suit, the Friday filing by Gohmert’s legal team accused the government of trying to “hide behind procedural arguments.” Gohmert’s lawyers contended that arguments made by the Justice Department and Congress — that the suit upends long-established procedures and that Pence is an inappropriate target for the suit — are unfounded.

    “They say that the Vice President, the glorified envelope-opener in chief, has no authority to preside over anything else or to decide anything of substance or to even count the votes in those weighty envelopes. He is only the envelope-opener,” Gohmert’s filing states.
    ……..

    Rip Murdock (45770e)

  132. How to start a new third party?

    If the financial resources are there, they could do an analysis of the states to see which region of the country was most receptive, then focus money and talent on those states to start. Get established and grow from there. Trying to do this nationwide would be quite expensive even on a billionaire’s budget.

    I think the key is boots on the ground. Ads without a local presence would be quite useless, in my opinion. Hire local. Lots of locals. Treat them with respect and pay them very well… for results.

    Look at the Lincoln Project and others. There is a lot of great leadership talent available right now too.

    It can be done. Even controlling a few Senate seats would be an enormous accomplishment. But that would be just the beginning.

    noel (9fead1)

  133. Third party…

    Think outside the box. Pay locals an average $100,000 salary to help start a third party? Sound crazy? Well, you’d have more than a few Republicans and Democrats at party headquarters wanting to jump ship, if you did. I know it’s a lot of money but there are 10,000 salaries like that in one billion dollars.

    Yes, it would take billions… but it can be done.

    noel (9fead1)

  134. Josh Hawley’s tenure in the Senate is illegal because he does not reside in Missouri like the Constitution says he must. He and his family live in Virginia. He only has an accommodation address, his sister’s home, in Missouri. Someone should bring a motion in the Senate to expel him.

    nk (1d9030)

  135. And somebody who has Twitter should point it out on Twitter too.

    nk (1d9030)

  136. which the Department of Homeland Security said was “the most secure in American history,”

    Now this line doesn’t help.

    Not only is this an argument from authority, without any further explanation, all they meant by that is that it was secure against outside tampering, particularly from outside of the country.

    They didn’t mean it was secure from fraud by insiders.

    Now some of the allegation did involve things that the Department of Homeland Security concerns itself with. Votes supposedly tabulated outside the country and so on. But it is false for many more reasons.

    Sammy Finkelman (b78e49)

  137. One member of the House of Representatives tried to finesse things this way:

    Congressman Thomas Massie (R-Kent.) tweeted on December 31 that he would vote to reject a state’s electors “if a majority of that state’s legislature formally indicates that we should reject that state’s electors.”

    Which, of course, hasn’t happened.

    But it’s not a good standard.

    They could more readily do it in a future election.

    Sammy Finkelman (b78e49)


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