Cassidy is getting killed on social media as a result. He’s getting called every name in the book. When John Kennedy jumped on board with Ted Cruz, Tommy Tuberville, Josh Hawley and others in saying he would object to the report of the Electoral College, it put Cassidy in the spotlight, and Louisiana’s senior senator simply didn’t want open congressional warfare on his record.
The extraordinary Republican effort to overturn the presidential election was condemned Sunday by an outpouring of current and former GOP officials warning the effort to sow doubt in Joe Biden’s win and keep President Trump in office is undermining Americans’ faith in democracy.
Trump has enlisted support from a dozen Republican senators and up to 100 House Republicans to challenge the Electoral College vote when Congress convenes in a joint session to confirm President-elect Joe Biden’s 306-232 win.
“The 2020 election is over,” said a statement Sunday from a bipartisan group of 10 senators, including Republicans Susan Collins, of Maine; Lisa Murkowski, of Alaska; Bill Cassidy, of Louisiana; and Mitt Romney, of Utah. The senators wrote that further attempts to cast doubt on the election are “contrary to the clearly expressed will of the American people and only serve to undermine Americans’ confidence in the already determined election results.”
To be fair to Cassidy, the objection is not a bright-line question of conservatives and RINO’s. Tom Cotton is on Cassidy’s side, and nobody thinks Cotton is a RINO.
That said, it makes this ad Cassidy ran back in October during his re-election campaign not age particularly well…
Compare that to Kennedy’s statement, issued with the Cruz faction…
Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.) joined Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) in releasing the following statement in advance of Congress’s meeting on Jan. 6, 2021 to count the Electoral College votes.
Sens. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.), James Lankford (R-Okla.), Steve Daines (R-Mont.), Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) and Mike Braun (R-Ind.), as well as Senators-elect Cynthia Lummis (R-Wyo.), Roger Marshall (R-Kan.), Bill Hagerty (R-Tenn.) and Tommy Tuberville (R-Ala.) also issued the joint statement.
“America is a Republic whose leaders are chosen in democratic elections. Those elections, in turn, must comply with the Constitution and with federal and state law.
“When the voters fairly decide an election, pursuant to the rule of law, the losing candidate should acknowledge and respect the legitimacy of that election. And, if the voters choose to elect a new office-holder, our Nation should have a peaceful transfer of power.
“The election of 2020, like the election of 2016, was hard fought and, in many swing states, narrowly decided. The 2020 election, however, featured unprecedented allegations of voter fraud, violations and lax enforcement of election law, and other voting irregularities.
“Voter fraud has posed a persistent challenge in our elections, although its breadth and scope are disputed. By any measure, the allegations of fraud and irregularities in the 2020 election exceed any in our lifetimes.
“And those allegations are not believed just by one individual candidate. Instead, they are widespread. Reuters/Ipsos polling, tragically, shows that 39% of Americans believe ‘the election was rigged.’ That belief is held by Republicans (67%), Democrats (17%), and Independents (31%).
“Some Members of Congress disagree with that assessment, as do many members of the media.
“But, whether or not our elected officials or journalists believe it, that deep distrust of our democratic processes will not magically disappear. It should concern us all. And it poses an ongoing threat to the legitimacy of any subsequent administrations.
“Ideally, the courts would have heard evidence and resolved these claims of serious election fraud. Twice, the Supreme Court had the opportunity to do so; twice, the Court declined.
“On January 6, it is incumbent on Congress to vote on whether to certify the 2020 election results. That vote is the lone constitutional power remaining to consider and force resolution of the multiple allegations of serious voter fraud.
“At that quadrennial joint session, there is long precedent of Democratic Members of Congress raising objections to presidential election results, as they did in 1969, 2001, 2005, and 2017. And, in both 1969 and 2005, a Democratic Senator joined with a Democratic House Member in forcing votes in both houses on whether to accept the presidential electors being challenged.
“The most direct precedent on this question arose in 1877, following serious allegations of fraud and illegal conduct in the Hayes-Tilden presidential race. Specifically, the elections in three states—Florida, Louisiana, and South Carolina—were alleged to have been conducted illegally.
“In 1877, Congress did not ignore those allegations, nor did the media simply dismiss those raising them as radicals trying to undermine democracy. Instead, Congress appointed an Electoral Commission—consisting of five Senators, five House Members, and five Supreme Court Justices—to consider and resolve the disputed returns.
“We should follow that precedent. To wit, Congress should immediately appoint an Electoral Commission, with full investigatory and fact-finding authority, to conduct an emergency 10-day audit of the election returns in the disputed states. Once completed, individual states would evaluate the Commission’s findings and could convene a special legislative session to certify a change in their vote, if needed.
“Accordingly, we intend to vote on January 6 to reject the electors from disputed states as not ‘regularly given’ and ‘lawfully certified’ (the statutory requisite), unless and until that emergency 10-day audit is completed.
“We are not naïve. We fully expect most if not all Democrats, and perhaps more than a few Republicans, to vote otherwise. But support of election integrity should not be a partisan issue. A fair and credible audit—conducted expeditiously and completed well before January 20—would dramatically improve Americans’ faith in our electoral process and would significantly enhance the legitimacy of whoever becomes our next President. We owe that to the People.
“These are matters worthy of the Congress, and entrusted to us to defend. We do not take this action lightly. We are acting not to thwart the democratic process, but rather to protect it. And every one of us should act together to ensure that the election was lawfully conducted under the Constitution and to do everything we can to restore faith in our Democracy.”
We’ve been pretty outspoken in our belief the election was stolen, and we’ve also been pretty outspoken that the effect of a stolen election on the legitimacy of our republic is catastrophic. It’s hard to overstate the peril we’re in as a country with a Biden administration.
Do we expect anything of significance to happen on Wednesday? Not really. The Trump faction in the House and Senate will make a lot of noise, some good speeches will be given, there will be much rancor, but at the end of the day, there won’t be much more than maybe half of the GOP representatives and senators standing with Trump, and Biden is going to be green-lit for inauguration.
Which means essentially, objecting to the electoral college tally is a free shot. You aren’t making policy or deciding the election. Not really. You don’t have the numbers. And when the majority of the voters in Louisiana have a problem with the conduct of the election all you’re really doing is voicing their concerns.
Kennedy sees that, but it looks like Cassidy doesn’t. People will interpret that as Cassidy winning re-election and not having to worry about the people of Louisiana for the next six years, whether that’s fair or not.
But we’ve watched the histrionics over the COVID relief bill, paired as it was with the omnibus spending bill that avoided a government shutdown, and frankly we’re not surprised the Jan. 6 effort doesn’t have full support from Republicans on Capitol Hill. The Mitt Romneys and Lisa Murkowskis of the world notwithstanding, Trump gave lots of ammunition to his detractors when he blew up over the “waste” in the omnibus bill.
The dirty little secret, which we were made aware of at the time by people who were on Trump’s side, was that almost everything Trump raised hell about were items he himself had included in his budget request back in February of last year.
The $10 million for “gender programs” in Pakistan? Yep. That was in there. We’re told it was an Ivanka thing.
At some point you simply wear your people out. We think Cassidy’s decision is an example of that.
That said, what happens after Biden’s inauguration is going to now be at least partly on the heads of people like Bill Cassidy. They’re going to be blamed for allowing a Biden administration to take office and do the damage Biden will do. Maybe that’s unfair, but it’s what’s coming.