Kudos to Sen. Ted Cruz of the great state of Texas, who is leading an effort by 12 U.S. senators to challenge Congress’ expected certification of Joe Biden’s “victory” in the 2020 election.
On Wednesday, Jan. 6, Cruz and his colleagues will propose that, instead of blindly accepting Biden’s reported 306-232 win in the Electoral College, Congress should create an “Electoral Commission” to investigate, in the course of just 10 days, the circumstances of the election in the disputed states. Depending on the findings of the Commission, those states would then have the option of reconsidering the disposition of their electoral votes.
In other words, Cruz and his team are calling for an election audit.
As they put it:
A fair and credible audit-conducted expeditiously and completed well before Jan. 20 would dramatically improve Americans’ faith in our electoral process and would significantly enhance the legitimacy of whoever becomes our next President. We owe that to the People.
Indeed we do!
The “Gang of 12” further note that, according to a Reuters/Ipsos poll, 39% of Americans believe “the election was rigged.” As many times as the Democrats and their creatures in the media may repeat the mantra that such beliefs are “baseless” and “unfounded,” such a widespread rejection of the legitimacy of a U.S. presidential election cannot stand, if our democratic institutions are to enjoy popular support and thus survive.
In addition to being right on matters of substance, moreover, Cruz and his colleagues are also being canny and astute. It would be pointless to ask the House and the Senate to vote to change the outcome of the election by rejecting the reported tally in the Electoral College. It would be pointless because a bipartisan majority clearly exists in both houses of Congress to evict Donald Trump from the White House, whether or not he was the legitimate winner of the 2020 election.
Cruz and the other 11 senators are not asking Congress to invalidate the recent election, however. They are merely asking that Congress do its due diligence by rapidly examining the evidence of irregularities and fraud proffered by the Trump campaign. Presumably, they also intend that the full resources of law enforcement will be brought to bear – for the first time since Nov. 3 – to investigate whether systemic malfeasance and/or fraud occurred.
Cruz thus aims to put the entire Republican Caucus in the Senate, and perhaps even a few Democrats, in an awkward position: Will they dare to oppose one last, good-faith effort to establish that the 2020 election was above board? Will they oppose a thorough, professional audit of the election results, when to do so means that the next president will take office and (presumably) serve for four years under a cloud of suspicion? What, precisely, would be the harm of waiting 10 more days to certify the outcome of the Electoral College?
Reasonable as these questions may be, there is little doubt that, in the end, fortified in their contempt for any and allegations of “fraud” by biased reporting and Beltway elitism, most House members and senators will vote down Sen. Cruz’s proffered resolution. That is a shame, because it is, in all likelihood, the only way that faith in our democratic institutions and processes could be restored.
The probable outcome of the bold gambit of the Gang of 12, therefore, will be to challenge Democrats and anti-Trump Republicans to show their collective hand, to confirm, once more, their animus for the current president, and their high-handedness in dismissing the notion that he could ever be the victim, rather than the perpetrator, of political dirty tricks.
Remember: Many of those congressmen and senators who roll their eyes at the idea that there could have been cheating in “the most important election of our lifetimes” nonetheless believed implicitly, based on a “dossier” composed of truly baseless calumny, that Donald Trump was an agent of an enemy state.
These elected officials may or may not pay for their arrogance and their lack of imagination at the ballot box – likely not, if future elections are as flawed as this one – but we will all pay for it in due course.
That’s because, as Cruz and his colleagues point out, “deep distrust of our democratic processes will not magically disappear.” No. Instead, it will fester.
As it does, Americans are bound to ask: If Congress is determined not even to look for electoral fraud, is it truly because they believe that none exists, or is it because they are afraid of what they might find?
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