Defying the Electoral College is a line that some Republicans won’t cross: conservative
Never Trump conservative Peter Wehner, a former speechwriter for President George W. Bush, has made no secret of his view that Donald Trump, as president, has debased the Republican Party and did it with the blessing of countless Republicans. Wehner has repeatedly slammed the many GOP politicians who lack the courage to stand up to Trump, but in an article published by The Atlantic on January 4, the right-wing activist stresses that for some Republicans, Trump crossed a line when he refused to accept the Electoral College results for the 2020 presidential election.
"In a fittingly corrupt capstone, later this week a majority of Republicans in the House and at least 10 Republicans in the Senate will likely join an effort to subvert democracy by opposing the certification of (President-elect Joe) Biden's election — a scheme Vice President Mike Pence has voiced support for," the 59-year-old Wehner laments. "The Trump presidency, especially its denouement, ranks among the most debasing eras in the history of American politics."
But Wehner goes on to say that when it comes to 2020's Electoral College results, at least some Republicans have the decency to do the right thing and acknowledge Biden as president-elect.
"It is surely significant and contemptible that this week, as in the weeks before it, we're likely to see a majority of Republicans in the House and nearly a quarter of the Republicans in the Senate try to subvert democracy in a way no one has ever quite done before in the United States," Wehner explains. "But this also needs to be said: we have at long last found an ethical line that at least some Republicans in Congress won't cross in order to stay in the good graces of Donald Trump. Finally, Mitt Romney won't be standing alone. Others are joining him, and a few are distinguishing themselves by a plainspoken commitment to democracy over partisan advantage."
Wehner adds, "Speaking out at this very late hour hardly qualifies these Republicans, other than Romney, as profiles in courage. On the basis of the track record of Republicans in elected office over the past four years, I have little doubt that if Trump had beaten Biden, almost none would have stood up to him, regardless of his transgressions. But in less than 20 days, Trump will be an ex-president, and sedition is something that makes most of even today's Republicans think twice."
The Republicans who have vowed to contest the Electoral College results during a joint session of Congress this Wednesday, January 6 range from Sen. Ted Cruz and Sen. Josh Hawley in the U.S. Senate to Rep. Mo Brooks in the U.S. House of Representatives. And the Republicans who are publicly opposing their efforts and acknowledging Biden as president-elect include Senate Majority Leader Mitch Connell, Sen. Ben Sasse and Sen. John Thune in the Senate to Rep. Adam Kinzinger in the House.
"You may despair because of what the Republican Party stood for during the Trump era," Wehner writes. "In that case, you should hope that it becomes something very different and something much better in the years ahead. Getting the GOP to where it needs to be is going to take principled, visionary and ethical leaders. But it's also going to take some tainted figures coming along for the ride, assuming they are willing to lend a hand."
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