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.
Trump isn’t going quietly into that good night for, to him, good reasons: his narcissistic ego, the belief he cannot be a loser and the jeopardy he’ll be in legally and financially on January 20 at noon.
And leave us not forget the serious potential for violence Wednesday from those who say they are Trump supporters but really are just using him for their own violent purposes. And the President will go to speak to those “supporters” which will only stir them up more as he attacks what will then be going on a mile or so away in the Capitol. A march on the Capitol is likely to follow. Hard to imagine that won’t become violent.
These truly are dangerous times with the Proud Boys, a gang of violent folks who are plotting how to sneak guns into the District of Columbia, leading Wednesday’s rally. Then again, we have a newly sworn in Republican congresswoman who says she will carry her pistol with her in the Capitol.
Today’s elections will be controlled by the voters in Georgia and what they think is right for their state.
Wednesday’s election challenges will be political warfare over an election that’s been over for weeks — and every one of those congressmen knows it.
The institutions of our democracy will continue to control our democracy.
The potential violence Wednesday, I hope, will be controlled too.