A truly consequential 48 hours

B. Jay Cooper
3 min readJan 5, 2021

The next 48 hours or so will be the most consequential political hours in the nation’s history.

First, we have the two special elections in Georgia that will determine control of the U.S. Senate and, largely, how successful legislatively President-elect Joe Biden will be.

Then, Wednesday we have the Republican challenge of electoral votes. That challenge will fail to change the election results.

The Georgia election, as they say, is what it is. Who wins is up to the voters in Georgia. And as the state’s election officials have demonstrated, they know how to run a fair election.

The Wednesday challenge is in the hands of senators and House members who will debate and vote. There is no way the November vote will be overturned but it will be indicative of what the Republican Party views itself as — at least in the minds of the current elected congresspeople — for years go come.

All the arguments have been presented and I won’t repeat them here. Bottom line, the challenges — while allowed by the Constitution — are frivolous and are seriously damaging our democracy, a democracy whose institutions have held up well in the face of serious challenges over the last four years and, especially, the last couple of months.

Republican senators and congressmen, who claim to be conservatives, aren’t when they challenge the sanctity of the people’s vote. Men and women who have been fierce defenders of the Constitution (this means you Vice President Pence) by challenging certified results from the states, are trying to supplant the will of the people with their own craven ambitions.

I have to believe that at least half and I hope more of those who have signed on to challenging the vote don’t believe they have a leg to stand on, nor do they believe in the argument they’ll be making. But they do it for opportunistic political advantage (standing out from the crowd among the Trump base) and to show (as if they haven’t demonstrated it already) fealty to Donald J. Trump and his base of voters.

President Trump appears to have convinced his public self that he really did win. In spite of evidence to the contrary, Trump continues to tout rumors of large numbers of dead citizens voting, illegal votes from out of staters, forged ballots and voting machines that vote the way they’re programmed to vote, even though there is no such program or WiFi capability for them to be hacked into.

B. Jay Cooper

Former deputy White House press secretary (Reagan and Bush 41) and former head of communications at Republican Natl Committee. My blog: bjaycooper.com.