The efforts of a desperate President Donald Trump and a cowed Republican party will reach a crescendo on Wednesday as more than 100 GOP lawmakers say they’ll attempt to contest the results of the presidential election in a last-ditch, destined-to-fail effort.
It’s a ploy that Washington Post columnist Paul Waldman described as “a fitting end to the 2020 election: pointless, insincere, performative outrage, promising the eternally aggrieved GOP base a victory Trump can’t deliver, contemptuous of the majority of Americans, and propped up by Republicans whose opinion of their own voters could barely be lower.”
And that was before reports emerged over the weekend of an hour-long call Trump had with Georgia officials pressuring them to “find” him more votes. And in an ominous sign for the months and years ahead, the National Guard will be deploying troops to D.C. to prepare for potentially violent protests surrounding Wednesday’s vote.
Of course, not everyone in the Republican party has bowed down to Trump’s fever dream.
Alaska U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski issued a pair of statements over the weekend opposing the attempted coup and U.S. Rep. Don Young, one of the first to acknowledge President-elect Joe Biden’s win, grabbed headlines with a call for bipartisanship on Sunday as he gave the oath of office to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
“I’ve been in this House longer than anybody else,” Young said. “I’ve served with you longer than anybody else that served with you. I love this institution. I will be honest, I do not like what I see. It’s time we hold hands and talk to one another.”
Murkowski, who’s been frequently critical of Trump (though with mixed results at the final vote), called on her colleagues to uphold the will of the voters in both a personal statement and a group statement from several Republican senators.
“I swore an oath to support and defend the Constitution of the United States and that is what I will do January 6—just as I strive to do every day as I serve the people of Alaska. I will vote to affirm the 2020 presidential election. The courts and state legislatures have all honored their duty to hear legal allegations and have found nothing to warrant overturning the results,” she said in a statement released Saturday. “I urge my colleagues from both parties to recognize this and to join me in maintaining confidence in the Electoral College and our elections so that we ensure we have the continued trust of the American people.”
Whether their words amount to action or if it’s the equivalent at yelling at storm wall of a hurricane has yet to be seen but the fact that the majority of Senate Republicans have either outlined support for the coup or have not taken a position is telling about the direction of the party.
Among the 19 GOP senators tracked by Washington Post to have either offered an unclear or no answer about where he stands on Wednesday’s vote is Alaska U.S. Sen. Dan Sullivan.
Sullivan’s silence on Trump, frequently conveyed with a “I haven’t seen the tweet,” has been a hallmark of the last four years. And Columnist Dermot Cole, a harsh critic of Sullivan, excoriated Sullivan for his latest round of silence.
“That he refused to do so is a disgrace. He is contributing to a dangerous situation that puts the country at risk by promoting false claims that the election was stolen from Trump,” Cole wrote. “That Sullivan has nothing of substance to say to Alaskans is in keeping with his practice of keeping quiet in the corner for as long as possible, only sometimes allowing his underlings to make mealy-mouthed statements of inconsequence on contentious issues. … Sullivan made no statement to Alaskans, but he mentioned to Politico that the coup is ‘very dubious.’ That’s all he’s got to say about the effort to overturn the will of the voters? Not good enough.”