Note to my subscribers and readers: It is difficult to remain impartial and unemotional on a day like this, when the very fabric of our Republic is ripped and torn by domestic terrorists who believe President Trump’s increasingly fantastical claims that the election was stolen from him and were incited to act by Trump himself. At least four people have died, according to the District’s police. The Constitution prevailed, but not unanimously.
A day that began with questions as to how Vice President Mike Pence would act with respect to his responsibilities under the Twelfth Amendment ended with questions as to how Pence would act with respect to the Twenty-fifth Amendment. The Twelfth Amendment defines his role in counting electoral votes. The Twenty-fifth Amendment defines his role in removing the president from office. On a shameful day that an angry mob temporarily overran the U.S. Capitol, the Constitution and our Republic prevailed.
“These are the things and events that happen when a sacred landslide election victory is so unceremoniously & viciously stripped away from great patriots,” President Trump said in a tweet, which was later removed by Twitter, hours after a throng of his supporters invaded the U.S. Capitol. “Go home with love & in peace. Remember this day forever!”
He was, of course, talking to the mob who temporarily occupied the U.S. Capitol, interrupting the normally ceremonial joint session of Congress to count electoral votes.
Three states into the certification process and as expected, U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R) was the upper chamber’s signatory to the first objection to electoral votes, joining U.S. Rep. Paul Gosar (R-Ariz.). The joint session of Congress recessed so that each chamber could debate the merits of the objection.
On the Senate floor, Cruz said he was not arguing for setting aside the results of the election but instead advocating for the formation of an “electoral commission” based on the model of the election of 1876 “to conduct a 10-day emergency audit.” The audit is needed, he argued, to assuage the “39% of Americans” who believe the election was rigged. The narrative of a rigged, stolen election has been largely driven by President Trump and his allies, and it is unlikely the findings of any government tribunal would settle the matter with those voters so long as the lie lives.
Within moments of his objection being filed, Cruz’s campaign sent a fundraising plea asking for “emergency support right now … a generous contribution now to show that you have my back in this fight” (Emphasis mine.). As those fundraising appeals continued to land in inboxes and on cell phones through the afternoon, a mob spurred by the President forced the Capitol into lockdown.
Earlier in the day, Atty. Gen. Ken Paxton (R) addressed the gathering of Trump supporters at the “Save America Rally” on the White House Ellipse. “One of the great things about the state of Texas is that we did not quit,” Paxton said, referring to his lawsuit seeking to overturn other states’ election results. “If you look at what Georgia did, they capitulated, they consented.” Hours after his speech, he retweeted a conspiracy theory about a “’bus load’ of Antifa thugs” infiltrating Trump’s supporters to conduct “false Trump flag ops.”
At the rally, Trump said he would never concede and never give up the fight. He added that he expected Pence would “do the right thing” while presiding over the joint session. “If Mike Pence does the right thing, we win the election,” Trump said. And if Pence does not win the election for Trump? “I’m going to be very disappointed in you,” he said, as if speaking to Pence directly.
The Vice President released a statement moments before the joint session began, making clear he would fulfill his constitutional duty and not claim authority to reject electoral votes. Trump was indeed disappointed.
“Mike Pence didn’t have the courage to do what should have been done to protect our Country and our Constitution, giving States a chance to certify a corrected set of facts, not the fraudulent or inaccurate ones which they were asked to previously certify,” Trump tweeted shortly before the Capitol was stormed. “USA demands the truth!”
An attempted coup ensued. Inspired by the president, a throng of domestic terrorists attacked the seat of the Legislative Branch of government. It was disgraceful, disgusting, dangerous and completely avoidable.
Hours later, after order was restored and the chambers restarted their separate deliberations, Gosar – the Arizona Republican objecting to his own state’s presidential election but curiously not his own election to Congress – tweeted that he would proceed “on behalf of Arizona” with his objection. “Leftist violence – or any violence – will not deter our mission for truth and transparency.” Quite the pivot, there, transforming a pro-Trump mob into a leftist group, just like Paxton had insinuated earlier. This notion had already spread quickly across social media.
In the Senate, Cruz was joined by just five colleagues, two of whom have been U.S. Senators for three days, in the vote to sustain his objection to Arizona’s electors.
In the House, Rep. Chip Roy (R-Austin) remained one of the Republicans’ most vocal opponents of objecting to the certification. “I will not be voting to reject the electors,” he told his colleagues. “If this is my political death warrant, so be it” he said. Roy, who was once Cruz’s chief of staff, added, “I swore an oath to uphold the Constitution of the United States, and I will not bend its words into contortions for political expediency and then claim I am honoring that oath.”
Others took a different path. Rep. Lance Gooden (R-Terrell) remained convinced that objecting was necessary. “Mob riots don’t suddenly make this election secure,” he tweeted. Earlier in the day, he tweeted that he will “CONTINUE to fight for our great President.”
I’ve been asked if I’m joining those who are now backpedaling on objecting to the electoral college certification.
While I’m disgusted with what I saw today, mob riots don’t suddenly make this election secure.
YES, of course, I’m still objecting.
— Lance Gooden (@Lancegooden) January 7, 2021
I have officially OBJECTED to the certification of the Electoral College.
I did this for the sanctity of our elections.
I did this for my constituents in Texas.
I did this for the future of America.
And I will CONTINUE to fight for our great President @realDonaldTrump!
— Lance Gooden (@Lancegooden) January 6, 2021
Gooden was not alone in voting to sustain Cruz and Gosar’s objection. A total of 121 House Republicans – a majority of the caucus – voted to sustain Cruz and Gosar’s objection to the Arizona electors. Within the Texas delegation, he was joined by U.S. Reps. Jodey Arrington (R-Lubbock), Brian Babin (R-Woodville), Michael Burgess (R-Lewisville), John Carter (R-Round Rock), Michael Cloud (R-Victoria), Pat Fallon (R-Prosper), Louie Gohmert (R-Tyler), Ronny Jackson (R-Amarillo), Troy Nehls (R-Richmond), August Pfluger (R-San Angelo), Pete Sessions (R-Waco), Randy Weber (R-Friendswood), Roger Williams (R-Austin) and Ron Wright (R-Arlington).
Early this morning, after riding a Metro train with a group of Trump supporters, Gooden tweeted he “will be the voice of MILLIONS of Texans who have been disenfranchised by this RIGGED & STOLEN election.”
Today I will be the voice of MILLIONS of Texans who have been disenfranchised by this RIGGED & STOLEN election.
If we allow the Democrats to steal THIS election, they will steal EVERY election moving forward!
Not on my watch!
I WILL OBJECT!
— Lance Gooden (@Lancegooden) January 6, 2021
A fire burns as long as it is given oxygen.
– Jeff Blaylock, Publisher of Texas Election Source
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