WHEN WILL IT BE SAFE TO BREATHE?
Safe Harbor passed. The first step in getting the electoral votes counted. I breathed a small sigh of relief. Within days, the State of Texas led by Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton filed a lawsuit with the Supreme Court asking it to overturn the presidential election results in the five states where Biden won with a close margin. Quickly 126 Congresspeople from 19 Republican-dominated states joined in and filed Amicus Briefs supporting the suit. The Supreme Court summarily dismissed the suit. I breathed a sigh of relief. Sixty of 61 lawsuits filed by the Trump campaign were rejected. I breathed a sigh of relief. The Electoral College met and votes were counted. Biden 306, Trump 232. I breathed a sigh of relief.
On January 5, the Georgia Senate race for which I had made nearly 1000 phone calls and wrote 100 postcards took place. Late in the evening, Rapheal Warnock was declared the winner in his race and Jon Ossoff was leading in his. By mid-morning on the 6th, Jon Ossoff was declared the winner in his. A slim Democratic majority was secured in the Senate. I did a little jig and I breathed a sigh of relief.
On January 6, 2021, Congress was to meet to simply count the votes. But nothing is easy here. In advance of the vote, 10 Senators, led by Ted Cruz and Josh Hawley and 138 Congress people indicated they would challenge the election results. They were supporting the big lie that they knew was a lie–that Donald Trump had won the election. They were committed to putting party over country and to overturn the election results, and thereby dealing a death blow to our democracy. Congressman Louie Gohmert from Texas went even farther by appealing to the Supreme Court to upend the Constitution and to allow Pence to change the election results. The Supreme Court rejected this case as well. On the morning of January 6, the Senators and Congresspeople were undeterred. Ted Cruz introduced his challenge to Arizona with reference to 1876 and the case of Rutherford B Hayes and how it was settled. He failed to note that the result of this election commission was the end of Reconstruction and the beginning of Jim Crow. We know how well that worked out. Incredible to reference this as a good precedent to follow–but then the white supremacists like Cruz have no bottom.
Meanwhile, Trump was leading a rally on Pennsylvania Avenue and revving up his base to go to the Capitol and “fight like hell.” Telling them he would go with them, he promptly retreated to the White House to watch it on television. Mayhem, blood shed, vandalism, mob mentality full of grievance and hate descended on the Capitol.
One would think that this would have awoken the Republican Congresspeople from their deep spell and they would have dropped their efforts to overturn the election. But it did not. Only a handful of the previous supporters of overturning the election results changed their minds. In the end, 8 senators and 139 congresspeople, now known as the Sedition Caucus, voted to overturn the election results. In the end, Joe Biden was confirmed as President-Elect. I’m not yet breathing a sigh of relief.
Inauguration Day is tomorrow, January 20, 2021. Washington, DC is awash with military personnel protecting the Capitol, the Mall and the Inauguration. We’ve had to wonder whether any of the active duty personnel are sympathetic to the lost cause of sedition and the very real threat of white nationalism whose stink is permeating everything. I am hopeful that soon, I can breath a sigh of relief. Next up is Trump’s 2nd Impeachment hearing. This time in the Senate, the Democrats will be leading. But it is entirely unclear and probably unlikely to find 17 Republican Senators who will vote to convict. If they do, there will likely be more violence from the mob. If they don’t, our democracy will most assuredly be in a downward spiral over the long term.