The Orlando Sentinel‘s Editorial Board issued an apology on Friday for endorsing Republican Michael Waltz, a Congressman who on Thursday joined 105 GOP lawmakers in signing an amicus brief in support of a lawsuit asking the Supreme Court to overturn the 2020 election.
Texas, along with seventeen other states – all of whom voted for President Donald Trump – are suing the swing states of Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin, which President-Elect Joe Biden won with significant margins, accusing them of rigging the election in favor of Biden.
In the suit, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton (R), who is under multiple indictments for securities fraud, is asking the United States Supreme Court to dismantle democracy and install Trump for a second term.
For the record – and this cannot be repeated often enough – there is no evidence that the election was rigged for Biden. If anything, it was Trump who tried desperately to cheat and then lost anyway.
Of the 106 congressional Republicans who attached themselves to what has been described as a “surreal alternate reality,” 10 of them are from Florida, a swing state which Trump won.
If there were a model for how to retract an endorsement, the Orlando Sentinel’s mea culpa is it.
“We apologize to our readers for endorsing Michael Waltz in the 2020 general election for Congress. We had no idea, had no way of knowing at the time, that Waltz was not committed to democracy,” the Editorial Board wrote. “During our endorsement interview with the incumbent congressman, we didn’t think to ask, ‘Would you support an effort to throw out the votes of tens of millions of Americans in four states in order to overturn a presidential election and hand it to the person who lost, Donald Trump?’ Our bad.”
Waltz and his fellow signatories “want to undo 231 years of election tradition and norms so their guy, Donald Trump, can have another four years in office. And so the president won’t send out a mean tweet that might torpedo their chances for reelection,” wrote the Board.
If Waltz was paying attention,” the Board continued, “he would understand those alleged irregularities haven’t been ignored by the courts, nor by the states, nor by the Department of Justice. They simply haven’t stood up to scrutiny.”
The paper blasted Waltz’s cooperation in the bogus lawsuit as a “cowardly betrayal of American ideals,” adding that it hopes “the Court offers a decisive rebuke to this partisan attack on the same U.S. Constitution that Waltz and his fellow Republicans swore to uphold.”
The United States “teeters on the edge of constitutional disaster,” the Board said, “thanks to the likes of Waltz and these Florida members of Congress who also signed up to support the lawsuit brought by Texas: Gus Bilirakis, Mario Diaz-Balart, Neal Dunn, Matt Gaetz, Bill Posey, John Rutherford, Ross Spano, Daniel Webster and Ted Yoho.”
Although the Editorial Board endorsed Waltz because of perceived pragmatism and a willingness to work with Democrats, it went on to say that it should have discerned a “red flag” when Waltz tried to crash a congressional hearing during Trump’s impeachment.
“We should have taken that hyperpartisan, juvenile lapse in judgment more seriously, given it more weight. Because it really was a red flag, a sign that Waltz’s loyalty isn’t to the Constitution but to a president whose flaws are deep, profound and dangerous,” the editors said. “So is Waltz — dangerous. Should the Supreme Court go along with this gambit he supports and cast aside the votes of Americans in four states, the resulting civil upheaval could be disastrous. It could take generations for the nation to recover.”
Given that Waltz’s district is heavily Republican, the editors maintained that their endorsement did not have “much influence.” But they conceded that “endorsements also serve as a way to take stock of a candidate’s values and beliefs.”
It should have been obvious by now that holding onto power at any cost is the Grand Old Party’s modus operandi, and at least the Editorial Board is now recognizing it.
“We know what we didn’t then — that Waltz, a U.S. Army Green Beret who served his country — is willing to undermine the nation to ensure his political party remains in control of the White House,” it said.
“Every American should be appalled at the attempted usurpation taking place, and at the elected officials taking part in this terrifying fiasco and violating their oath to protect the country from enemies, foreign and domestic,” the Editorial Board concluded. “Everyone who supported Michael Waltz for Congress should feel a deep sense of remorse and regret. We do.”
Forty days until the inauguration.
What's Your Reaction?
Brandon is a political writer for the Hill Reporter specializing in current events, breaking news, and scientific discovery. Brandon holds a Bachelor of Music degree from Indiana University. He lives in New York City.