The new year started off with a bang as we now approach the January 6 certification of the states’ electoral tallies and find even more splintering among the Republicans over their own lost cause: Trump’s reelection to the presidency.
While Trump acts as if he is living in an alternate reality in which he won the election, his sycophantic party continues to encourage these delusional fantasies. GOP support for overturning the will of the voters takes many forms, some of which are listed below.
The “We Only Care About Power” Republicans: Beyond Kingpin Trump, this type is represented by the group of senators who will object to the certification of Biden’s electoral college win on January 6, despite the fact that there is no Constitutional basis for such action. Missouri Sen. Josh Hawley launched this effort, along with his cynical 2024 campaign for president, and 12 fellow senators swiftly joined him. The latest to throw her hat into the ring is appointed Georgia senator, Kelly Loeffler, who said she will also offer her own objection, perhaps focusing on disenfranchising voters in her home state.
These Senate Republicans are joined by as many as 140 members of the House of Representatives who also want to overthrow election results. One of these is Elise Stefanik who claims to be “acting to protect our democratic process.” Her words would make you burst into laughter if the tears don’t come first.
The “Heir to Trump” Republicans: Despite Hawley’s and Loeffler’s best efforts, however, the crown goes to no-longer-Georgia-senator David Perdue, who will be spared a public vote since his term ended on January 3. Perdue appeared on Fox News to encourage the Senate to object to Biden’s certification, falsely claiming that this is “something that the American people demand right now” and that “huge irregularities in Georgia … need to be investigated.” Perdue has been harping about “voter irregularities” since last month. Not lost on anyone is that Perdue has modeled himself after Daddy Trump, seeking to invalidate an election for his own gain.
The “I Do the Right Thing But I Still Want to Take Away Your Right to Vote” Republicans: Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger has emerged as the poster boy for this group. The instantly illustrious “Trump Tapes” put Raffensperger on the record(ing) for doing the right thing (refusing to “find 11,780 votes” for Trump) for the right reasons (Georgia’s voting totals were correct). But make no mistake about Raffensperger’s respect for the right to vote; he fought to limit mail-in voting, opened investigations into left-leaning voter registration organizations, and purged 300,000 voters from the roles. Raffensperger also kept quiet about the conversation in which Trump attempted to use mob boss tactics on him.
The “Let’s Pretend We Still Have a Chance” Republicans: This group comprises those Republicans who have yet to recognize Biden as the president-elect but haven’t expressed the desire to join their radical colleagues. Sen. James Inhofe, for one, plans “to hold off till Wednesday” to make his decision about the state certifications, while Trump’s buddy, Sen. Lindsey Graham, acknowledges that the voting commission the senators propose “has zero chance of becoming reality.” Could it be they are just trying to keep a low profile and avoid the wrath of Trump?
The “Trying to Pretend I’m Reasonable” Republicans: Epitomized by Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine who explained to Jake Tapper that the country needs to form a voter commission because many Americans are concerned about voter security. Tapper jumped in with the crucial correction, pointing out, “Because they have been lied to, Governor. They have been lied to by President Trump for weeks.” Which came first, the chicken or the egg? It doesn’t matter because for this type of Republican, there is only one correct answer: TRUMP.
The “All Bark and No Bite” Republicans: Mitt Romney was the only Republican who voted for Trump’s impeachment and once again he opposes Trump. Unlike most Republicans, Romney also is vocal about his thinking, even displaying his disdain for efforts to disrupt the election; he said, “The egregious ploy to reject electors may enhance the political ambition of some, but dangerously threatens our Democratic Republic.” Romney is currently joined by 21 other GOP senators who support certification of the election, all of whom made some form of public comment in support of Biden as #46 while doing nothing.
The “Justin Amash” Republicans: Rep. Chip Roy took action against the seditious nonsense in Congress. At the House swearing-in on January 3, he challenged the inclusion of lawmakers from states whose elections are “in question.” Roy argued that if we couldn’t trust a state’s elections for the president, how could we trust the election to select House members? Despite his logic, or perhaps because of it, only two Republicans — Morgan Griffith (VA) and Andy Harris (MD) — went on record as opposed to seating members in these states.
The “I Give Up” Republicans: Who represents this cohort better than Paul Ryan? While Ryan recently spoke up against the “anti-democratic and anti-conservative act” of attempting to overturn state elections, he already had thrown in the towel. Just last year, he broke his silence in Tim Alberta’s “American Carnage; the Politico journalist explained, “[T]he former speaker could not stand the idea of another two years with the president and saw retirement as the ‘escape hatch.'”
The “Biden Won” Republicans: These include members of Congress who are comfortable expressing unease about irregularities that may have taken place in the presidential election, like Sen. Tom Cotton. This gang also includes those who extoll the peaceful transfer of power, like Rep. Liz Cheney. Either way, Sen. Susan Collins is likely to be concerned and disappointed.
The “Old-Fashioned” Republicans: Think Steve Schmidt. Nicolle Wallace. David Jolly. Bill Kristol. Max Boot. Millions of American women. Many of this group are actually former Republicans, having left the party.
But perhaps we give the GOP too much credit for depth and complexity. Perhaps they are not as grand as we imagine. It may well be that Democratic Sen. Chris Murphy has it right. As he told Anderson Cooper on January 4, “I think you gotta understand that there are two sets of Republicans, some that are doing this for crass political reasons, but there are some Republicans that actually have given up on democracy.”
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