As Democrats pile on GOP Sen. Josh Hawley of Missouri and a growing number of House Republicans who plan to object to the electoral college ballots when Congress meets in joint session next week, many are reminding their colleagues of an inconvenient fact.
Namely, that Democrats have objected to at least some electoral college ballots each of the last three times Republican candidates have won the presidency.
Democrats objected in 2000 and 2004 — both races that were won by GOP nominee and then GOP incumbent President George W. Bush — and again in 2016 with then-Republican nominee-Donald Trump defeated Hillary Clinton.
In January 2001, after Bush won a narrow victory over Democratic Vice President Al Gore, Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) rose to object to the slate of 25 electors from Florida, which were highly contested.
Gore, as president of the Senate, refused to accept Waters’ objection because it was not co-signed by a senator, as required by the Electoral Count Act of 1887.
In 2005, then-Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) along with Rep. Stephanie Tubbs (D-Ohio), both objected to then-President Bush’s slate of electors from Ohio. Both chambers adjourned for two hours, as required by the law, to debate whether to reject those electors, but neither did.
And in January 2017, Waters and several other House Democrats objected to the electoral ballots favoring Trump, citing “voter suppression as well as American intelligence showing that Russia tried to influence the election in favor of Trump,” CBS Los Angeles reported. Their objections were not co-signed by a senator, either.
In 2005, Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) praised his California colleague.
“Some may criticize our colleague from California for bringing us here for this brief debate,” said Durbin on the floor of the Senate, while nevertheless acknowledging that he would vote to certify Ohio’s electors for Bush.
“I thank her for doing that because it gives members an opportunity once again on a bipartisan basis to look at a challenge that we face not just in the last election in one State but in many States,” he added.
Also, Sen. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.), who was a member of the House at the time, lauded Boxer.
“I believe that Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA) and Representative Stephanie Tubbs Jones (D-OH) have performed a very valuable public service in bringing this debate before the Congress. As Americans, we should all be troubled by reports of voting problems in many parts of the country,” he said. “I have been particularly concerned about the lack of a verifiable paper record in connection with electronic voting systems. I am proud to be a co-sponsor of legislation to solve that problem.”
He did make it clear that he accepted the results of the electoral college.
“It would have been irresponsible to use the certification process to attempt to change that result. Doing so would establish a terrible precedent,” he added.
Nevertheless, both he and Durbin slammed Hawley last week after the junior senator from the Show-Me State announced he would join with House Republicans and object to electors from several battleground states on the grounds they unconstitutionally changed voting rules and procedures ahead of the Nov. 3 election.
“Sen. Hawley’s actions are grossly irresponsible. He’s attempting to undermine our democratic process, fuel Trump’s lies about voter fraud, and delay the certification of Biden’s win. In the end, this reckless stunt will fail, and Joe Biden will become President on Jan. 20, 2021,” Van Hollen said on Twitter.
Sen. Hawley’s actions are grossly irresponsible. He’s attempting to undermine our democratic process, fuel Trump’s lies about voter fraud, and delay the certification of Biden’s win. In the end, this reckless stunt will fail, and Joe Biden will become President on Jan. 20, 2021. pic.twitter.com/GrUpTqyWM9
— Senator Chris Van Hollen (@ChrisVanHollen) December 30, 2020
Durbin added on the platform: “The political equivalent of barking at the moon. This won’t be taken seriously, nor should it be. The American people made a decision on November 3rd and that decision must and will be honored and protected by the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives.”
The political equivalent of barking at the moon. This won’t be taken seriously, nor should it be. The American people made a decision on November 3rd and that decision must and will be honored and protected by the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives. https://t.co/eTGjg3C7NL
— Senator Dick Durbin (@SenatorDurbin) December 30, 2020
In a Dec. 30 statement, Hawley laid out his objections.
“I cannot vote to certify the electoral college results on January 6 without raising the fact that some states, particularly Pennsylvania, failed to follow their own election laws. And I cannot vote to certify without pointing out the unprecedented effort of mega-corporations, including Facebook and Twitter, to interfere in this election, in support of Joe Biden,” he said.
Conservative talker, former Justice Department official and constitutional expert Mark Levin also noted that Democrats have objected to the past three GOP presidents, while blasting some Republicans for criticizing Hawley.
2. Did you hear anything from the corrupt bastards in the media?
— Mark R. Levin (@marklevinshow) January 2, 2021
“Did you hear from the political reprobates [Sen. Mitt] Romney [Utah], [Sen. Ben] Sasse [Neb.] or [Rep. Adam] Kinzinger [Ill.] that the Democrats were destroying the Republic?” Levin wrote on Twitter. “Did you hear anything from the corrupt bastards in the media?
3. Meanwhile, the purposeful violations by Democrats of Article II, Section 1, Clause 2 of the Constitution, plus massive fraud perpetrated against the president, absolutely merit a showdown in Congress on January 6th!https://t.co/3Byeo2GFO8
— Mark R. Levin (@marklevinshow) January 2, 2021
“Meanwhile, the purposeful violations by Democrats of Article II, Section 1, Clause 2 of the Constitution, plus massive fraud perpetrated against the president, absolutely merit a showdown in Congress on January 6th!” he added.
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