This was one of the better moments of House Minority Whip Steve Scalise’s career, even though it’s a shame he spent half of it trying to readjust the stupid mask Nancy Pelosi is making him wear. Scalise, who had kept quiet on the question of whether he would object to the certification of electors in the states where “irregularities” contribute to the perception by almost half the country that the Democrats stole the election, let loose with a vengeance before a mob of protesters broke up the proceedings today.
What’s happening today is historic, though not necessarily in a good way. Pro-Trump protesters, or maybe others who want to make the pro-Trump folks look bad, breached the Capitol doors and caused a ruckus inside the rotunda earlier, including fighting with Capitol police and shooting off fire extinguishers and even potentially shots fired, and now the building is on lockdown with a very, very large crowd hanging around. They’ve recessed the proceedings at the Capitol and evacuated Senate and House members and staff, and Washington, DC’s mayor Muriel Bowser announced a 6 p.m. curfew tonight (lots of luck on that, lady).
If and when these objections don’t produce an actual result in Trump’s favor, you could end up having an untenable situation in Washington.
Which is terrible but perhaps not unjustified. After all, a stolen election breaks the republic. And a broken republic has consequences. You don’t just destroy the public’s faith in its electoral system and move on like nothing has happened.
On Newsmax earlier today, Jordan Sekulow made an excellent point. He said that while all of the disruption and drama at the Capitol is foreseeable, if you’re looking for blame, at least on the Republican side, for all of this it’s not really fair to place it on Mike Pence. Or the Senators who haven’t signed on to object to the electors. Or the House members. Or the Supreme Court.
Sekulow said if you’re really looking for villains here, you need not go further than the state legislatures in Georgia, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Michigan and Arizona. In all of those states there are Republican majorities in the legislatures. In all of those states there was fraud, yes, but the real objection – and this is uncontrovertible – is that people other than the state legislature changed election laws which ultimately facilitated the fraud.
Accepting those mail-in ballots, for example.
Sekulow said that while the legislators kept waiting for the courts to intervene, it was a waste of time. They had the evidence of an election that was run contrary to laws they had passed – whether it was stolen in fact or not – and a majority in each of the legislatures in question.
They didn’t need help from the courts. They had the power to call themselves into special session and refuse to certify Biden electors based on the failure of election officials to follow the law. By not exercising that power they created the mess taking place on Capitol Hill today.
Sekulow was completely correct in saying so.
We might point out that the profiles in cowardice in those state legislatures were elected with institutional support from the GOP. The Party has an organization in place which is tasked with electing Republicans to state legislatures. That organization is the RSLC, and it’s run by a highly-paid political consultant named Austin Chambers.
Our readers might remember Chambers from his work in losing a hard-to-lose gubernatorial race in Louisiana in 2019 for Eddie Rispone. He’s also the campaign guru who lost David Perdue’s race in Georgia last night. It might be useful to recognize that based on the terrible performance of the state legislatures in those “swing” states with respect to the 2020 election and the handling of electors, some accountability for the RSLC in helping to elect worthless hack politicians who wouldn’t stand for the rule of law.
It’s a complete mess, but it’s what you get when leaders fail to lead and the rule of law isn’t followed.
It’s a shame, because what should have happened today was statesmanship by men and women like Steve Scalise. Instead it’s chaos.