Thursday, December 31, 2020


I wish I could agree with Ruth Marcus about the upcoming congressional challenge to the Electoral College results:
... while irresponsible, [it] is not necessarily a terrible development. It forces a vote that will have the salutary effect of requiring [Republican members of Congress] to decide — and to put on the record — whether their loyalty is to President Trump or to the Constitution. Better to know than to guess. Better to inflict some accountability rather than to enable dodging.

Put another way: Any vote that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) fervently wishes to avoid is one I’m for. Put every member of the House and Senate on the record, and let them reap the consequences, for good and for ill, in the short term of political fallout and in the long view of history. Those who vote against certifying Biden’s victory can explain it to their grandchildren.
The problem is, they anticipate no negative consequences, and they're probably right:

Maybe the numbers will be lower in the Senate. We can hope. I'm not optimistic.

Meanwhile, in the streets...
Protests planned in support of President Trump on Jan. 6 are multiplying by the week.

Four seemingly competing rallies to demand that Congress overturn the results of the presidential election, which their participants falsely view as illegitimate, are scheduled on the day Congress is set to convene to certify electoral college votes....

Formal rallies are planned most of the day and will draw pro-Trump demonstrators to the Washington Monument, Freedom Plaza and the Capitol. But online forums and encrypted chat messages among far-right groups indicate a number of demonstrators might be planning more than chanting and waving signs.

Threats of violence, ploys to smuggle guns into the District and calls to set up an “armed encampment” on the Mall have proliferated in online chats about the Jan. 6 day of protest. The Proud Boys, members of armed right-wing groups, conspiracy theorists and white supremacists have pledged to attend.
Do we know that Trump won't participate? It's true that on November 14 he just drove by the lightly attended "Million MAGA March" on his way to the golf course. But this is different.

This is a comment that was posted here a few days ago:
My prediction? Pence opens the ballots, Biden is elected president. There will be a floor show, of course (two drink minimum, btw), there might be some zany hijinks, but Biden is president-elect and everyone goes home....

And you know something? Come 2024, no one will remember this nonsense....
I hope it's forgettable -- although we should never forget what the Republicans are doing. I hope turnout in the streets is small, violence is isolated and contained, and the protest in Congress looks like a sore losers' hissyfit.

I hope there's some accountability, as Ruth Marcus expects. But I can't imagine a single Republican losing support for this act of sedition, because so many voters in red and purple states consider it an article of faith that Democrats are the dangerous radicals, and that a vote for Republicans is a vote for patriotism, normality, and stability.

I've grown tired of waiting for Americans to grasp the extent of the GOP's radicalism. I've grown tired of waiting for Democrats to make a habit of pointing out that radicalism. The most I can hope for is that we get through the vote-tallying process with minimum damage to our country.

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