Tuesday, December 22, 2020


In case you had any doubts, CNN tells us that this is happening:
Alabama GOP Rep. Mo Brooks and fellow House conservatives met privately on Monday with President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence as the lawmakers prepared to mount a long-shot bid in January to overturn the Electoral College results that made Joe Biden the official winner of the election....

Pence's involvement in the meeting is significant because he will preside over the joint session of Congress that would count the electoral votes that day.
I told you Pence would join Trump in this. He has to. Sure, we all know he's not crazy enough to win the 2024 Republican presidential nomination, even if no member of the Trump family runs, but for now he polls well when President Trump isn't included in the surveys. If Pence fails to back this challenge, his chances instantly drop to zero.

Also, as Axios reports, Trump is very focused on whether Pence will die on the "stolen election" hill:
A source who spoke to Trump said the president was complaining about Pence and brought up a Lincoln Project ad that claims that Pence is "backing away" from Trump. This ad has clearly got inside Trump’s head, the source said.

Trump views Pence as not fighting hard enough for him — the same complaint he uses against virtually everybody who works for him and has been loyal to him.

Pence’s role on Jan. 6 has begun to loom large in Trump’s mind, according to people who’ve discussed the matter with him.

Trump would view Pence performing his constitutional duty — and validating the election result — as the ultimate betrayal.
More from the CNN story:
Brooks told CNN on Monday night that they would seek to challenge the election in at least six battleground states....
"At least"? After Georgia, Arizona, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Nevada, and Michigan, all of which Biden won by less than 3%, where else could they challenge the results? The next-closest states were Minnesota and New Hampshire -- but Biden won them both by 7%.

It's likely that the challengers won't go beyond those six states, but I have a long-shot prediction for an additional state where they might issue a challenge:


No, really. After the 2016 election, Trump implied that the reason he lost the state (by 30 points) was fraud.

In September of this year, he suggested the same thing in an interview:
“I think I did win the popular vote in a true sense,” Trump told [Laura] Ingraham. “I think there was tremendous cheating in California. There was tremendous cheating in New York and other places.”
There was this a couple of weeks after the election:
“New reports claim that the real results of the 2020 U.S. election were found on a computer server that was seized by the U.S. military in Frankfurt, Germany,” an OAN personality said.... “In a recent tweet, a Virginia congressional candidate shared an electoral map that’s allegedly based on this data from that server. It shows a landslide victory for President Trump with a 410 electoral-college vote, including liberal strongholds California and Minnesota.”

Here is that “recent tweet” which constitutes one of the “new reports.”

And, of course, the conspiracy theorists believe that Smartmatic helped steal the election for Biden. Smartmatic actually had no involvement in the 2020 elections -- except for the fact that it helped Los Angeles County run its elections.

So while I don't expect a challenge of the California results (Trump lost by 29 this time), I won't be shocked if it happens, and I expect that at least one of the many speeches from the challengers will mention California (which has, y'know, all those brown people voting).

So who's likely to challenge? The CNN story tells us:
Brooks said the meeting was attended by a "double digit" number of lawmakers, but he wouldn't say if senators were part of the meeting....

Other GOP lawmakers have also confirmed their attendance at the meeting, including Arizona Rep. Paul Gosar, who told CNN: "We talked about a lot of things."

Texas Rep. Louie Gohmert, a staunch Trump defender, said this when asked if Trump urged him to object to the election results at the meeting: "He didn't urge anything, he didn't need to, I've been planning on objecting all along."

Rep. Jody Hice, a Georgia Republican who attended the meeting, tweeted: "I will lead an objection to Georgia's electors on Jan 6."

Sources told CNN that other members were there, including Ohio Rep. Jim Jordan, a prominent ally of the President who has been urging him to continue the battle.

So it'll be a big gang. And I bet they'll get at least one senator. CNN:
... several senators have not ruled out joining the effort, including Sens. Josh Hawley of Missouri and Rand Paul of Kentucky. And Trump has heaped praise on Alabama's incoming senator, Tommy Tuberville, for signaling he'd object to the results.

Another incoming senator, Kansas Rep. Roger Marshall, wouldn't say if he would join House conservatives' effort to contest a state's election results. Marshall was a signatory on the House GOP's amicus brief backing the Texas suit seeking to invalidate votes across several battleground states that the Supreme Court rejected earlier this month.
And this probably won't be resolved on January 6.
... if a House member and a senator object to six states' results, it would lead to at least 12 hours of debate, in addition to the time for casting votes on each of the motions, potentially prolonging the fight until the next day.
There's something to be said for empty, futile histrionics. They build tribal loyalty. They turn faits accomplis into permanent grievances. This dog-and-pony show will be obnoxious, but I wish Democrats had tried some of this tantrum-throwing during the past few years of judicial confirmations.

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