When Missouri Republican Sen. Josh Hawley announced on Wednesday that he would object to Joe Biden’s Electoral College certification on Jan. 6 he set up his GOP colleagues to have to make a perilous choice. They either have to side with Hawley and Donald Trump, the soon-to-be ex-Republican kingmaker, or fall in line behind Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), who has told his caucus not to dispute the Electoral College vote.
The Ivy League-educated Hawley apparently doesn’t understand the difference between the popular vote and the Electoral College vote. Last night on Fox News he said, “Somebody’s got to stand up here. You’ve got 74 million Americans who feel disenfranchised, who feel like their vote doesn’t matter and this is the one opportunity that I have as a United States senator to … stand up and say something. And that’s exactly what I’m gonna do.” By that logic, Hawley is stating that the will of the more than 81 million people who voted for President-elect Joe Biden should be ignored, as should the overwhelming majority that Biden won in the Electoral College.
Somebody has to stand up. 74 million Americans are not going to be told their voices don’t matter pic.twitter.com/DMa7sRyoAh
— Josh Hawley (@HawleyMO) December 31, 2020
Hawley’s move has been denounced as a seditious threat to democracy, a stunt that he only is undertaking to suck up to Trump and bolster his own potential presidential candidacy. Some of his GOP Senate colleagues are saying out loud that it has zero chance of success and are blasting him for the move.
Nebraska Republican Sen. Ben Sasse posted a lengthy statement on Facebook outlining his position on Hawley’s move. It reads, in part: “Let’s be clear what is happening here: We have a bunch of ambitious politicians who think there’s a quick way to tap into the president’s populist base without doing any real, long-term damage. But they’re wrong – and this issue is bigger than anyone’s personal ambitions. Adults don’t point a loaded gun at the heart of legitimate self-government.”
Even Trump loyalist Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wisc.) doesn’t think it’s going to work. He told CNBC on Thursday that while Republicans will complain about alleged voting irregularities before Congress certifies the election, they won’t be able to overturn the result in Trump’s favor.
“I can’t imagine any scenario in which any House Democrats will vote to reject Joe Biden electors. I think the result is inevitable,” Johnson said.
“There’s a lot of misinformation on both sides,” Johnson said. “Some people on our side think just one House member, one senator objects, it immediately goes to a vote of the states and then because we have more states in the House of Representatives, Trump can get re-elected. That’s not what happens.”
For sure that’s not what happens, if for no other reason than there are exactly the same number of states represented in both the House and the Senate – 50.