Senate Republicans Can’t Be Bothered With Election Cheating

The Republican attorney general of Texas has filed a compelling case that details shocking evidence of election fraud in four swing states that Joe Biden allegedly won last month. The lawsuit, subsequently backed by 19 of Ken Paxton’s Republican counterparts, now sits before the U.S. Supreme Court.

Paxton’s pleading should erase any doubt that election officials—in some cases, unelected bureaucrats with no accountability to voters—in Michigan, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, and Georgia usurped the constitutional authority of their respective state legislatures to break the rules and tip the results in favor of Biden.

As I wrote here, “the suit asks the court to declare that the four states ‘administered the 2020 presidential election in violation of the Electors Clause and the Fourteenth Amendment’ and essentially nullify any presidential electors appointed in those states.” Doctored certification envelopes, lax signature verification, illegal distribution of mail-in ballot applications, and absentee votes processed before the legal start date are just a few examples of documented unlawfulness in the four defendant states.

Tens of millions of Trump voters are livid as new evidence of flagrant election abuses are revealed each day. Nearly three-quarters of Republicans do not trust the election’s outcome, according to a poll taken before the Texas filing. During a raucous campaign rally in Georgia last weekend headlined by the president, thousands of Georgians chanted “fight for Trump!” sending a not-so-subtle message to the state’s milquetoast incumbent Republican senators facing a contentious run-off on January 5: It’s time to buck up.

So what, exactly, are Republican senators doing in response to this pervasive outrage? Why, turning on their own supporters, of course—and at the same time begging those same voters to help the GOP keep the Senate.

“I read just a summary of [Paxton’s lawsuit], and I frankly struggle to understand the legal theory,” Senator John Cornyn (R-Texas), told CNN’s Manu Raju. Raju spoke with two dozen Republican senators about the Texas case and whether the president should finally concede. 

“Number one, why would a state—even such a great state as Texas—have a say-so on how other states administer their elections?” asked Cornyn, who has not read the full complaint. “It’s an interesting theory, but I’m not convinced.”

Senator Jerry Moran (R-Kan.) sounded more worried about America’s image abroad than the constitutional crisis here in his own country. “It is unhealthy for the well-being of our country, and our relations around the world, if we spend time debating the outcome of the election once the presidential race has been determined,” Moran told Raju. The two-term senator also warned that the country can’t debate the outcome “for the next four years.”

Moran, keep in mind, was a vocal supporter of Special Counsel Robert Mueller, demanding in 2018 that Mueller’s investigation proceed unimpeded “given the clear evidence of Russian interference in our elections.”

Yet no Republican betrayal is complete without the undynamic duo of Senators Mitt Romney (R-Utah) and Ben Sasse (R-Neb.). As votes were still being counted on November 6 and key states showed wild vote total swings from Trump to Biden, Romney warned that the president’s claims of a corrupted election were dangerous and “recklessly inflames destructive and dangerous passions.” (Another grating trait shared by Romney and Sasse is that they are major drama queens.)

The junior senator from Utah and two-time failed presidential candidate was the first Republican senator to congratulate Biden and Kamala Harris on their victory, commending the pair in a November 7 tweet as “people of good will and admirable character.” Sasse offered his salute to Team Biden three days later.

Both men refuse to acknowledge the verified testimony, documents, videos, affidavits, whistleblowers, independent news reports, and court filings that act as substantial proof of widespread election illegalities. Romney has blasted Trump supporters who believe the president’s complaints of fraud. Legal attempts to reconcile tainted elections are “simply madness,” Romney insists. Sasse took it a step further, describing the Texas lawsuit as a “PR stunt” and suggesting Paxton, who has been under investigation for five years, “looks like a fella begging for a pardon.”

If Republicans manage to hang on to the two Georgia Senate seats, backstabbers like Romney, Sasse, and Alaska’s Lisa Murkowsi will wield a lot of power over a slim majority. Democrats and the media will either easily lobby or shame them into supporting a number of “compromises” with their colleagues on the other side of the aisle

Senator David Perdue (R-Ga.), for his part, isn’t doing himself any favors as he seeks to keep his seat in Georgia. Perdue suggested in a recent interview that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) would find common ground with Joe Biden. 

“Here we have Biden and McConnell, who are ex-colleagues in the Senate, who are known negotiators, who, if Biden can get away from the extreme part of his party, he might make some deals,” Perdue opined. He later said that once “we get over the hurt feelings about the presidential election in Georgia in November,” Peach State voters would come out in droves to make sure the Senate stays red. 

(In fairness, both Perdue and Georgia’s other Republican senator, Kelly Loeffler, have asked Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger to resign and backed the Texas lawsuit.)

But like so many battles over the past four years, the president is fighting with little support from Senate Republicans. Most seem ready if not eager for Trump to vacate the Oval Office so they can play ball with Biden. A few—Ted Cruz (R-Texas), Ron Johnson (R-Wis.), and Rand Paul (R-Ky.) immediately come to mind—appear poised to fight until the bitter end. 

But there’s little reason to trust that this crop of Republican senators will provide a strong line of defense against the Biden/Harris team. This week’s news confirming federal investigations into Hunter Biden’s overseas racket is another reminder of how poorly the GOP Senate executed its political power; while Trump and his family went through hell, enduring numerous fruitless congressional investigations, the Bidens were let off the hook. No subpoenas, no humiliating hearings, no criminal referrals.

Ignoring, or even justifying, incontestable evidence of election fraud that might unfairly have swung the presidential election to Joe Biden is another slap in the face to Republican voters. Begging those same voters to help keep them in power is adding insult to injury.

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