President Trump’s chances of reversing the decision of the voters was always a long shot, but after today, any remaining chance of peacefully averting Joe Biden’s inauguration next month is so small as to be nonexistent. The man who sealed the deal was none other than Mitch McConnell.
The defining moment came today in the Senate when the majority leader said, “The electoral college has spoken. Today I want to congratulate President-elect Joe Biden.”
The few simple words carried a lot of weight. McConnell’s statement came at a point when very few Republicans had acknowledged Trump’s electoral loss, which was called by most news organizations more than a month ago. Despite a plethora of lawsuits and recounts, the Democratic candidate maintained his lead and was elected by the Electoral College on Monday.
McConnell’s statement is important for two reasons. First and most obvious, as a leading Republican, McConnell’s statement gives cover to other Republican officials to admit that Trump lost in a free and fair election. Many Republican senators will take their cue from the majority leader that Biden’s victory is a fait accompli.
Second and strategically more important, McConnell has signaled that he will not support challenges to the Electoral College vote when they are presented to Congress and the President of the Senate, i.e. Vice President Mike Pence, on January 6.
We don’t yet know what the makeup of the Senate will be at that point. The new Congress will be seated on January 3, but the Georgia runoffs will be held on January 5. With many absentee ballots expected in Georgia, those races may not be resolved when the vote tally from the Electoral College comes before Congress.
Without the Georgia seats, the Republicans will hold a 50-48 majority. Without McConnell’s backing, Republican senators hoping to contest the Electoral College will fall short of the votes to do so.
In my view as a constitutionalist and rule of law backer, this is a good thing, although many of my Republican friends will disagree. President Trump has not proved his case regarding election fraud. It is difficult to keep track of how many lawsuits the president’s legal team has lost, but one recent tally puts the number at 59.
That includes the Kraken cases and the recent Texas lawsuit, which was dismissed by the Supreme Court 9-0. In the order dismissing the case, the Court’s majority found that Texas had no standing to sue, but Justices Alito and Thomas said that they would prefer to hear the case but still would not grant relief. Translated, that means that Texas lost both it had no standing and because the suit had no merit. The Texas case, like most others, did not even include the fraud allegations that Trump’s legal team has been making in the media.
In the end, justice has been served. The president had a chance – about 60 chances – to make his case, but was unable to do so.
Mitch McConnell is right. The people have spoken and America officially has a president-elect. It’s time to move on.
Many will call McConnell a RINO and blame him for being insufficiently supportive of the president. That is not accurate. What Mitch McConnell did today was to acknowledge reality.
As Ben Shapiro is fond of saying, “Facts don’t care about your feelings.”
In this case, that underscores the truth that failing to acknowledge the facts surrounding the election and the legal battles that followed would not have changed the ultimate outcome.
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