For me, the toughest part of the 2020 election has been that it never seems to end. Counting enough votes to determine a winner took a week when it usually only takes a day. With past presidential elections, it was possible to not really think about it much between Election Day in early November and the Inauguration in mid-January. This time, however, I ended up reading about the whole procedure in between. I was never aware of when states certified their vote counts or which day the Electoral College voted before. But these were all newsworthy since soon-to-be-former President Trump has challenged the election results every step of the way. The next step in this process will happen today; Congress will vote to certify the Electoral College results. This past weekend, a group of 11 Republican senators led by Ted Cruz released a statement that they plan to object to certifying the results. This won't succeed in overturning the election since they don't have enough support. But it's been a long couple months, and I think this is starting to make me insane. Therefore, I've decided to steal one of Bill Simmons' old gimmicks and hand out movie quotes to break down this story. Now, I realize this is silly, and I assure you I've selected a movie with the proper tone and nuance...Mean Girls! Let's do this! Also, here are the recent headlines.
One time she punched me in the face... it was awesome.
This one goes to Senator Ted Cruz. He finished 2nd to Trump in the 2016 Republican Primary, and as part of that campaign, Trump claimed Cruz's father was involved in the Kennedy Assassination. Now, he's a loyal Trump supporter and is leading this push in the Senate to overturn the 2020 election. I don't know how to explain this, so moving on...
If you're from Africa, why are you white?
Oh my God, Karen, you can't just ask people why they're white.
The senators involved in this are showing a dangerous ignorance of history. Their statement calls for rejecting the Electoral College results and appointing an Electoral Commission to investigate claims of voter fraud, citing the 1876 election as an example. It's missing some very important context, though. The 1876 election was disputed over claims that black voters in three southern states had been intimidated and prevented from voting. Congress appointed a 15-member commission to resolve this. However, it wasn't resolved through recounts or holding a new election with better oversite at the polls. Instead, the Democrats (at that time the party controlling the South) agreed to accept Republican Rutherford B. Hayes as president in exchange for the withdrawal of all remaining federal troops from the Southern states. This ended post-Civil War Reconstruction, gave southerners back full control of their state and local governments, and contributed to the expansion of Jim Crow laws. No one should be citing the 1876 election as an example of how government should work!
And none for Gretchen Wieners, bye.
The senators who plan to reject the election results may think that showing their loyalty to Trump will win them support from him and his base. However, it's important to remember that praise from Donald Trump only lasts as long as someone is unquestioningly loyal. He'll turn on anyone who disagrees with him once, regardless of past support. For example, former Attorney General Bill Barr was one of Trump's closest allies. But after he stated that there was no evidence of voter fraud and accepted the election results, he was pushed out of his job fairly quickly. This was such a serious offense that he couldn't be allowed to keep his job through the last month of the administration. The House and Senate members voting against certifying the election, while knowing privately that there was no fraud, are selling their souls for short-term political gains.
There's a 30% chance that it's already raining!
I'm giving this one to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. He's urged his fellow Republican senators to vote in favor of certifying the election results, but they don't appear to be listening. It's now too late. McConnell has spent the last 4 years refusing to publicly disagree with Trump or call out any of his conspiracy theories. He seemed to make the political calculation that he could use Trump to get what he wanted, such as conservative judges and taxes cuts. But McConnell was never going to be able to maintain control, and now his party will be split between its establishment and those who are loyal to Trump.
I will keep you here all night.
We can't keep them past four.
I will keep you here until four.
On the other side, I'm hoping the Democratic Party leaders will take this seriously. In recent years, it seems like establishment Democrats have tried to brand themselves as being more civil than their opponents. In this case, that won't be sufficient. I'm not suggesting that they need to play dirty, but they should give a strong response. Call this what it is: an attempted coup. The fact that it won't succeed is irrelevant. The main reason for that is Democrats control the House. They should pass laws to prevent this from happening again when they gain control of the White House and the Senate later this month. This behavior can't be allowed to become normal. Otherwise, in the future if the opposition party of an incoming president controls Congress, the election really could be overturned.
Wow, this got grim by the end, so adding a couple more quotes for fun.
I don't hate you because you're fat. You're fat because I hate you.
That one is for former New Jersey Governor / beach bum Chris Christie.
And of course, for Rudy Guiliani:
Coach Carr, step away from the underage girls!