Wednesday, December 02, 2020


Politico reports that it won't be over even when it's over:
Rep. Mo Brooks (R-Ala.) has been telling colleagues and allies that he plans to challenge the Electoral College votes when Congress officially certifies Joe Biden’s victory on Jan. 6, as long as a Senate Republican joins him in the long-shot effort....

Brooks confirmed his plans in a phone interview, adding that he is still considering objecting to the vote-counting process even if no one joins him — though he acknowledged that would be more of a symbolic protest....

“In my judgment, if only lawful votes by eligible American citizens were cast, Donald Trump won the Electoral College by a significant margin, and Congress’s certification should reflect that,” Brooks said. “This election was stolen by the socialists engaging in extraordinary voter fraud and election theft measures.”
It should have been obvious to everyone that this would happen. Here's why it will still be possible for Republicans to do this even after the Electoral College electors vote for Biden:
Although the Electoral College casts the official vote for president on Dec. 14, it’s up to Congress to certify the results a few weeks later. And federal law gives individual members of the House and Senate the power to challenge the results from the floor....

An obscure 1887 law called the Electoral Count Act, and several subsequent updates, spell out the process, setting Jan. 6 after a presidential election as the official certification date....

On that day, the House and Senate meet in a joint session at 1 p.m....

If a single House member and a single senator join forces, they can object to entire slates of presidential electors. They must do so in writing and provide an explanation, though there are no guidelines on how detailed it must be.

If they do, the House and Senate must retreat to their chambers and debate the outcome for up to two hours before voting on the matter. Each state’s electors are certified separately, meaning lawmakers bent on challenging the results have multiple chances to force lengthy delays.
Oh, they're definitely going to drag this out, because there's no downside for them. There's no sensible-centrist voting bloc that's sometimes willing to vote for Republicans but is likely to be appalled at these endless efforts to deny the obvious.

As I read the law, the challenges simply fail unless both houses of Congress uphold them. The House will reject them. I'd love to think the Senate would also reject them, but I think the vote will be close.

Who'll be Brooks's Senate partner in these challenges? I think he'll have several: Rand Paul, Tom Cotton, Ron Johnson, Ted Cruz (who wants that GOP nomination in 2024), Josh Hawley. I think Brooks will have allies in the House, too: Matt Gaetz and the newly sworn-in Marjorie Taylor Greene are the first names off the top of my head, but I'm sure you can think of others.

This will be a real test. We're told that "mainstream" Republicans are maintaining the charade that Trump has a legitimate grievance because they want to keep Georgia Repuiblican voters energized in advance of the upcoming Senate runoffs. But the Senate runoffs will take place January 5 -- a day before this ceremony.

It's quite possible that by January 6 at 1:00 P.M. there'll be a murky result (or two) in the Georgia elections. It's possible that mail votes will still be uncounted, and that news organizations will be unwilling to call one or both races, despite Republican leads in same-day voting. Or one or both Democrats could be leading.

If the Georgia contests have led to anything other than two clear Republican victories by midday on January 6, Republicans will be crying foul again. On the other hand, if Republicans win these contests, there'll be at least some people in the GOP arguing that this is a center-right nation and Georgia is clearly a red state and how could Donald Trump have lost to a guy who spent the campaign in his basement and had no boat parades?

Very Smart People are telling you that Mitch McConnell, Lindsey Graham, and the rest of the GOP "mainstream" will drop this stolen election talk as soon as the polls close in Georgia. I have my doubts. Maybe they'll switch to "Yes, Joe Biden won, but we have serious problems with our elections," but I'm not even sure they'll even go that far. At best, I think we'll get "Yes, the electors have voted, but we need to let the process play out." And we'll see how many "mainstream" Republicans vote to endorse the objections.

No comments: