The “dirty dozen” of GOP traitors in the Senate now numbers 14, with Georgia Senators David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler announcing that they will vote to disenfranchise Georgia voters in the thrice counted, audited, and certified presidential vote and Electoral College vote in Georgia on Wednesday, thwarting the will of the voters in a fair and free election simply because their fascist “Dear Leader” demanded they do so. Their loyalty is not to country or the oath they swore to the Constitution, but to a sociopath third-rate mafioso.
This should be motivation enough for Georgia voters to vote these feckless GOP traitors out of office today in Georgia’s run-off election.
Vox reports, The 14 Republican senators who plan to reject the Electoral College’s certification (excerpt):
The night before the Georgia Senate runoffs, within a minute of one another on Twitter, both Republican candidates announced their opposition to certification. Republican Sen. Kelly Loeffler declared that she would vote against certification as her colleague Sen. David Perduetweeted out a clip from an interview where he says “I agree that I would [object]” and urges his colleagues in the Senate to join the effort.
As Cameron Peters explained for Vox, far from the whole GOP conference is on board with Hawley, Cruz, and the other senators’ plans to object to what is normally a perfunctory procedure.
Still, 14 Republican senators — about a quarter of the conference — isn’t nothing. The current roster of objecting senators is:
- Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO)
- Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI)
- Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX)
- Sen. Kelly Loeffler (R-GA)
- Sen. David Perdue (R-GA)
- Sen. James Lankford (R-OK)
- Sen. Steve Daines (R-MT)
- Sen. John Kennedy (R-LA)
- Sen. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN)
- Sen. Mike Braun (R-IN)
- Sen. Cynthia Lummis (R-WY)
- Sen. Roger Marshall (R-KS)
- Sen. Bill Hagerty (R-TN)
- Sen. Tommy Tuberville (R-AL)
In the House, more than
100 140 Republican members have announced their intention to object on January 6. While concerning, these numbers do not come close to the level necessary to actually reject the Electoral College vote.
Tom Nichols writes at The Atlantic, Worse Than Treason (excerpt):
Forget all the whispered denials and the off-the-record expressions of concern in private; ignore the knowing smirks on camera from GOP officials who are desperately trying to indicate that they’re in on the joke. Brush aside the caviling of the anti-anti-Trump writers who would rather talk about that time in 2017 when some Democrats objected to the Electoral College vote (and were gaveled down by Joe Biden himself).
This is sedition, plain and simple. No amount of playacting and rationalizing can change the fact that the majority of the Republican Party and its apologists are advocating for the overthrow of an American election and the continued rule of a sociopathic autocrat.
This is not some handful of firebrands making a stand for the television cameras. In 2005, one Democrat in the House and one in the Senate filed an objection to counting Ohio’s electoral votes, while insisting that they were not contesting the outcome of the presidential election itself. In 2017, a handful of Democratic members of the House objected to the electoral count. Because they lacked support in the Senate, then–Vice President Biden ruled the representatives out of order and declared, “It is over.” In both cases, the Democratic candidate had already conceded.
Today, the “sedition caucus” includes at least 140 members of the House—that is, some two-thirds of the House GOP membership—and at least
10 14 members of the Senate. Their challenge comes after weeks of insistence that the 2020 election was rigged, plagued by fraud, and even subverted by foreign powers. The president and his minions have filed, and lost, scores of lawsuits that ranged from minor disputes over process to childlike, error-filled briefs full of bizarre assertions.
Instead of threatening to gavel these objections into irrelevance, as Biden did four years ago, Vice President Mike Pence “welcomes” these challenges. Pence’s career is finished, but he could have stood for the Constitution he claims to love and which he swore to defend. However, cowardice is contagious, and no mask was thick enough to protect Pence from the pathogen of fear.
Perhaps the sedition caucus didn’t mean to go this far. Its members began by arguing that we all just needed to humor President Trump, to give him time to process the loss, and to treat the president of the United States as a toddler who was going home empty-handed. He wouldn’t be a dead-ender, they assured us, because that would be too humiliating. The Republican Party would never immolate itself for a proven loser.
But for Trump, there is no such thing as too much humiliation. The only shame in Trump world lies in admitting defeat. And so Trump doubled down, as anyone who had watched him for more than 10 minutes knew he would. And then he tripled, quadrupled, quintupled down. And just as they have done for the past four years, elected Republicans tried to convince themselves that if they supported this outrage, it would be the last time they would be required to surrender their dignity; that this betrayal of the Constitution would be the last treachery demanded of them. That if they complied one more time, they would be allowed to go back to their privileged lives far from the districts they claim to represent—places few of them really want to live after tasting life in the Emerald City.
It is possible that the sedition caucus knew that all these challenges would fail. It is possible that they know their last insult to American democracy, on Wednesday, will go nowhere, as well. This is irrelevant: Engaging in sedition for insincere reasons does not make it less hideous. Arguing that you betrayed the Constitution only as theater is no defense.
Indeed, shredding the Constitution purely for personal gain is perhaps the worst of the sins of the sedition caucus. It would almost be a relief to know that these Republicans really believe what they’re trying to sell, that they are genuine fanatics and ideologues who have at least paid us the respect of pitting their sincere beliefs against our own.
But we are, in the main, dealing with people who are far worse than true believers. The Republican Party is infested with craven opportunists, the kind of people who will try to tell us later that they were “just asking questions,” that they were “defending the process,” and of course, that they were merely representing “the will of the people.” Senators Josh Hawley and Ted Cruz are not idiots. These are men who understand perfectly well what they are doing. Senator Mitt Romney sees it clearly, noting that his GOP colleagues are engaged in “an egregious ploy” to “enhance political ambition.”
People of goodwill across the United States want some sort of road map to oppose this cold-blooded attack on the Constitution, but none exists. As James Madison warned us, without a virtuous people, no system of checks and balances will work. The Republicans have gone from being a party that touted virtue to being the most squalid and grubby expression of institutionalized self-interest in the modern history of the American republic.
Nichols is wrong. the Constitution does provide a remedy — the 14th Amendment, Section 3. The Sedition Party can be removed from office and disqualified from ever holding office again:
No person shall be a Senator or Representative in Congress, or elector of President and Vice President, or hold any office, civil or military, under the United States, or under any state, who, having previously taken an oath, as a member of Congress, or as an officer of the United States, or as a member of any state legislature, or as an executive or judicial officer of any state, to support the Constitution of the United States, shall have engaged in insurrection or rebellion against the same, or given aid or comfort to the enemies thereof. But Congress may by a vote of two-thirds of each House, remove such disability.
The New York Times reported in December, As two-thirds of House Republicans support the Texas election suit, a Democrat called them ‘traitors.’
With nearly two-thirds of House Republicans supporting Texas’s lawsuit seeking to overturn the election in the U.S. Supreme Court, a Democratic House member on Friday called the Republicans “traitors” and urged the House’s Democratic leadership not to seat the Republicans when the 117th Congress convenes in January.
The congressman, Bill Pascrell Jr. of New Jersey, cited a Reconstruction-era passage of the 14th Amendment disqualifying elected officials who “have engaged in insurrection or rebellion” against the United States.
“The actions of any of our colleagues to demolish democracy, regardless of party affiliation, must be repudiated in the strongest possible terms,” Mr. Pascrell said in his letter. “The fate of our democracy depends on us.”
Section 3 of the 14th Amendment, known as the disqualification clause, was originally enacted to limit the influence of former Confederates in the Reconstruction era. It has been used occasionally since. Victor L. Berger, a member of the Socialist Party of America, was repeatedly prevented from taking his seat by a House resolution after winning election in 1919 because he had been convicted under the Espionage Act.
Note: In 1910, Victor Berger was elected as the first Socialist to the U.S. House of Representatives, representing a district in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. He was not reelected in 1912, 1914 or 1916, but won election again in 1918. In 1919, Berger was convicted of violating the Espionage Act for publicizing his anti-interventionist views [in World War I] and as a result was denied the seat to which he had been twice elected in the House of Representatives. Wisconsin promptly held a special election to fill the vacant seat, and on December 19, 1919, elected Berger a second time. On January 10, 1920, the House again refused to seat him, and the seat remained vacant until 1921. The verdict was eventually overturned by the Supreme Court in 1921, and Berger was elected to three successive terms in 1922, 1924 and 1926.
The disqualification clause in the 14th Amendment therefore is not dead-letter law for long dead Confederate traitors, many of whom were relieved of disqualification by a blanket act of Congress in 1872, and again in 1898. It was invoked by the Congress as late as 1920. As the Legal Information Institute says, “Although the clause was written in the context of the Civil War, it would theoretically still apply for members of future rebellions or insurrections against the United States.” That moment has now arrived with the crypto-fascist “GOP Clown Car Coup” against the lawful government of the United States.
Tom Nichols continues:
The real solution will come after all of these schemes fail. Voters must not take the bait and try to tinker with hasty legal and constitutional fixes. These, too, will fail to contain a party that is determined to destroy legal and moral norms in the pursuit of raw power. The better course is to turn our attention to the business of governing, while vowing to drive every member of the sedition caucus out of our public life, both through the ballot box and by shunning their enablers.
The members of the public and the institutions of American life should shroud these seditionists in silence and opprobrium in perpetuity: no television interviews, no sinecures at universities or think tanks, no rehabilitating book tours, no jokey late-night appearances, no self-serving op-eds.
The sedition caucus is worse than a treasonous conspiracy. At least real traitors believe in something. These people instead believe only in their own fortunes and thus will change flags and loyalties as circumstances require. They will always become what they pretend to be, and so they cannot—and must not—be trusted ever again with political power.
Congressman Bill Pascrell Jr. (D-NJ) is correct. Every Republican who votes on the record on Wednesday to disenfranchise the voters of select swing states, including Arizona, in pursuit of this seditious “GOP Clown Car Coup” to end American democracy and to impose Donald Trump as the first tinpot dictator of a crypto-fascist GOP authoritarian banana republic needs to be sued for removal and disqualification from office under the disqualification clause of the 14th Amendment.
Presumably, these lawsuits would be brought by state attorneys general.
It would take two-thirds of each chamber of Congress to overturn a court’s conviction.