MEMO: Electoral College Certification Protest Is The Latest Step By Republicans To Ignore American People For Their Own Personal Gain
TO: Interested Parties
FROM: Accountable Senate War Room
DATE: January 6, 2021
RE: Electoral College Certification Protest Is The Latest Step By Republicans To Ignore American People For Their Own Personal Gain
The efforts of congressional Republicans today—an attempt to overturn a democratically-held election in which President-elect Biden won both the Electoral College and the popular vote by more than eight million votes—is unprecedented, extreme, and dangerous. But looking at the trend of the Republican Party in the last few years, it is not necessarily surprising. Americans across the country will be watching closely and will not support this latest attempt to subvert our democratic principles and obstruct and reject the incoming administration. And once we get beyond this embarrassing episode, they will want to see an end to the obstruction and will oppose any attempts by Republicans to sabotage the incoming administration or delay President-elect Biden from staffing his government.
A futile charade and troubling sign of what’s to come
Despite the certain failure of the Electoral College certification protest this week, the lengths some Republicans are willing to go to destabilize our democracy and subvert the will of the people is troubling. The American people resoundingly voted for President-elect Joe Biden and his promise to clean up the mess the Trump administration left, stop the prioritization of corporations and special interests over working families, and rebuild an economy that works for everyone — not just those at the top. Instead of allowing for a smooth transition, the Trump administration and its Senate allies have made it harder for President-elect Biden’s administration to hit the ground running.
HEADLINE: Reuters: “Biden: Trump aides setting ‘roadblocks’ for his transition team” [12/28/20]
HEADLINE: Washington Post: “Biden accuses Trump appointees of obstructing transition on national security issues” [12/28/20]
HEADLINE: NPR: “Biden’s National Security Adviser: Pentagon Hasn’t Granted Meetings Since Dec. 18” [12/29/20]
HEADLINE: Roll Call: “Budget process, COVID spending being undermined by OMB, Biden transition says.” [Roll Call, 12/30/20]
HEADLINE: Washington Post: “Republican plan to stall certification of Biden’s win could hurt future election security, experts say” [Washington Post, 1/4/21]
As our country faces a public health crisis, an economy crippled by the pandemic, and a massive cyberattack, it has never been more important that the incoming president is able to fully and speedily staff his Cabinet and administration. Instead of listening to the American people and working to ensure a smooth transition of power, Senate Republicans spent the last few weeks threatening to obstruct President-elect Biden’s nominees and are expected to do everything in their power to delay, obstruct, and smear the incoming administration’s team.
HEADLINE: The Independent: “Senate GOP vows to block quick assembly of Biden’s Cabinet…” [The Independent, 12/17/20]
Barrasso: “Republicans plan to make President-elect Joe Biden’s Cabinet nominees “run the gauntlet” at their confirmations if they keep their Senate majority in January, their conference chair said Sunday.” [Politico, 12/20/20]
“Sen. Tom Cotton is pushing his fellow Republicans and moderate Democrats to oppose Xavier Becerra’s nomination as HHS secretary…Cotton is considering using his own funds to run anti-Becerra ads in states with competitive Senate races in 2022.” [Politico, 12/22/20]
HEADLINE: KHN: “Senate Republicans Throw the Brakes on Timing for Becerra Hearings.” [KHN, 12/8/20]
HEADLINE: Bloomberg: “Republican threatens ‘brawl’ over Biden’s EPA, Interior picks.” [Bloomberg, 12/18/20]
How we got here: power over democratic principles
In some ways, today’s desperate attempt to overturn a democratically-held election is a long time coming for the Republican Party. As Republicans’ popularity on a national level wanes — a Republican has only won the popular vote once in the last eight presidential elections — a segment of the Republican Party has moved away from running on policy positions and is instead solely focused on winning re-election and holding onto power, no matter the cost. This includes a concerted effort to gerrymander state legislative and congressional seats across the country to give themselves outsized representation in government, which has been deemed illegal in many states. And while President Trump is not the cause of this phenomenon, never has it been clearer than over the past four years as congressional Republicans repeatedly discarded their claimed conservative values to do Trump’s bidding.
There is no more perfect example of this than the 2017 Republican tax bill. Congressional Republicans who claimed to be lifelong fiscal conservatives blew up the deficit for a massive tax cut for corporations and billionaires with little benefit to working families. The legislation is unpopular with the majority of Americans, but gave a massive windfall to the corporations and special interests that these Republicans rely on to fund their campaigns.
Now we’re seeing a group of Republicans throw away the very core of our democratic principles all in the name of Trump and Trumpism. Our democracy only survives because of the peaceful transfer of power. It cannot be overstated: what the president and his supporters in Congress are engaging in borders on an attempted coup. Though they know they will not be successful today, this sets a dangerous precedent for future elections. But the American people will not stand for this. These congressional Republicans have gone so far that the business community and even the Koch network is urging them to drop the sham protest and certify Biden’s electoral win. Now the American people will hold accountable the Senate Republicans who continue to deny President-elect Biden and his administration.
Attempting to overthrow a democratically elected government is a shameful, undemocratic, un-American charade –– as would be any attempt to follow through on their threats to obstruct President-elect Biden’s incoming administration. The American people have spoken. They want President-elect Biden to undo the harm caused by President Trump, get the pandemic under control, and rebuild the economy, and they will not stand for Republican senators who get in the way.