The National Review, the country’s preeminent conservative magazine along with the highly influential Wall Street Journal Editorial Board criticized the group of eleven GOP senators led by Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) who announced over the weekend their plans to object to the certification of the presidential election results when Congress formally counts the electoral votes this week.
In the joint statement from the 11 GOP Senators, the group cited a “long precedent of Democratic Members of Congress raising objections to presidential election results,” and pointed to the 2005 challenge when a “Democratic Senator joined with a Democratic House Member in forcing votes in both houses on whether to accept the presidential electors being challenged.”
“On January 6, it is incumbent on Congress to vote on whether to certify the 2020 election results. That vote is the lone constitutional power remaining to consider and force resolution of the multiple allegations of serious voter fraud,” the joint statement from the 11 GOP senator said. “At that quadrennial joint session, there is a long precedent of Democratic Members of Congress raising objections to presidential election results, as they did in 1969, 2001, 2005, and 2017. And, in both 1969 and 2005, a Democratic Senator joined with a Democratic House Member in forcing votes in both houses on whether to accept the presidential electors being challenged.”
The Conservative publication slammed the group for mounting a challenge by citing former Sen. Barbara Boxer (D–CA) who in 2005 joined a House Democrat in objecting to the Ohio Electoral College vote that gave former President George W. Bush a second term.
“The Cruz group cites the precedent of 2005, when Senator Barbara Boxer joined objecting House Democrats to force a debate over whether to count George W. Bush electors from Ohio, the state that provided Bush’s margin of victory,” the National Review wrote. “It has always been axiomatic that Republicans shouldn’t emulate the former progressive senator from California, and never more so in this case. If the Cruz-led objectors somehow actually got their way, they’d trample federal law and state sovereignty and blow a hole in the hull of American democracy.”
“Barbara Boxer shouldn’t be a conservative role model,” the publication added.
In 2005, Boxer joined Rep. Stephanie Tubbs Jones (D–OH) in objecting to electoral votes from Ohio, citing voting irregularities in the Buckeye State. In joining the Ohio Democrat, the move according to Boxer was meant “to cast the light of truth on a flawed system which must be fixed now.”
The debate came to light due to the “relentless efforts of a small group” of the Green Party, Liberal Democrats, and advocates of changing the voting system because of its long lines, lack of uniform policies on provisional ballots, and the allocation of voting machines all argued since Election Day that the state and the electoral vote was rigged for President Bush.
However, Boxer and Jones's challenge failed by a vote of 267–31 in the House and 74–1 in the Senate.
The eleven GOP senators led by Cruz includes Sens. Marsha Blackburn (TN), Mike Braun (IN), Steve Daines (MT), Ron Johnson (WI), John Kennedy (LA), James Lankford (OK), as well as Sen.-elects Bill Hagerty (TN), Cynthia Lummis (WY), Roger Marshall (KS) and Tommy Tuberville (AL).
The group said they would vote against accepting the election results until there is a 10-day audit.
“Congress should immediately appoint an Electoral Commission, with full investigatory and fact-finding authority, to conduct an emergency 10-day audit of the election returns in the disputed states,” the statement reads. “Once completed, individual states would evaluate the Commission’s findings and could convene a special legislative session to certify a change in their vote, if needed.
The conservative magazine brushed off the 11 GOP efforts as an improper manner to “examine underhanded electoral practices.”
“The Cruz eleven realize that their effort isn’t going anywhere. Both houses of Congress would have to vote to uphold objections to electors. Neither will, and neither should,” the publication wrote. “If all they want to do is signal that they are upset that Biden won, this isn’t the manner or the forum to do it. Nor is this the proper way to examine underhanded electoral practices that did not alter the outcome, or to propose election reforms, however, needed.”
The Wall Street Journal editorial board on Sunday issued a scathing op-ed condemning the 100 House Republican and at least a dozen GOP Senators as a “stunt,” warning the move will cause lasting damage to the party and the nation.
“The Electoral College gambit won’t work this week because House Democrats won’t go along, but imagine if Republicans ran the House and did. Eighty-one million Americans who voted for Mr. Biden would be disenfranchised by an insider scheme. The political response would be volcanic, and understandably so,” the editors wrote.
The Journal’s editorial board also deemed the Republican attempt “unconstitutional,” saying the law does not give Congress “the ability to second-guess” the decision from state electors.
“But the cost of this showboating will be more political cynicism, and a precedent that Democrats are sure to exploit in the aftermath of some future close election,” the editors wrote.
Former Speaker of the House Paul Ryan (R-WI) blasted Congressional GOP actions as “anti-democratic and anti-conservative.”
“Efforts to reject the votes of the Electoral College and sow doubt about Joe Biden’s victory strike at the foundation of our republic. It is difficult to conceive of a more anti-democratic and anti-conservative act than a federal intervention to overturn the results of state-certified elections and disenfranchise millions of Americans,” Ryan said in a statement.
“The Trump campaign had ample opportunity to challenge election results, and those efforts failed from lack of evidence,” the statement continues. “The legal process was exhausted, and the results were decisively confirmed. The Department of Justice, too, found no basis for overturning the result. If states wish to reform their processes for future elections, that is their prerogative. But Joe Biden’s victory is entirely legitimate.”
In a bipartisan statement Sunday, four moderate Republicans joined several Democratic senators telling the dozen GOP senators and the dozen GOP House members believe it’s time to move on, arguing that Congress must fulfill its responsibility to the voters and certify the election results.
“The voters have spoken, and Congress must now fulfill its responsibility to certify the election results,” the statement reads co-signed by Republican Sens. Susan Collins of Maine, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, Bill Cassidy of Louisiana, and Mitt Romney of Utah.
In a separate statement, Romney criticized Cruz, calling the move “an egregious ploy” that “dangerously threatens our Democratic Republic.”
“The egregious ploy to reject electors may enhance the political ambition of some, but dangerously threatens our Democratic Republic. The congressional power to reject electors is reserved for the most extreme and unusual circumstances. These are far from it. More Americans participated in this election than ever before, and they made their choice,” Romney said in a statement on Saturday.
For each objection signed by members of both chambers, the House and Senate will debate the issue for about two hours in which both chambers will then vote on whether to sustain or overturn the objection. If the dissidents in the House and Senate challenge multiple states, the normal proceeding would prompt a marathon debate on the floor that would spill into the wee hours of January 7.