Yesterday, I reported on Mitch McConnell deciding to acknowledge Joe Biden as ‘President-Elect’ (see Mitch McConnell Recongizes Joe Biden as ‘President-Elect,’ and the Conspiracies Fly). This followed the vote by the electors to essentially make things official, though there’s one more step via the House to truly finish certifying the election. Regardless, the vote of the electoral college was previously set as a demarcation point by most Republicans. That includes Trump himself, who did say the electoral vote would be the trigger for him to leave the White House when the time comes.
Regardless, Trump is not happy with McConnell for saying what he said, and he hit him late last night on Twitter.
Trump’s allies slam Mitch McConnell for congratulating Biden https://t.co/ak9nu6420L via @MailOnline. Mitch, 75,000,000 VOTES, a record for a sitting President (by a lot). Too soon to give up. Republican Party must finally learn to fight. People are angry!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 16, 2020
People are going to have different opinions on this. I personally understand the thought that you don’t want to give Joe Biden credit for anything. That’s basically where I am. He may have “won” via the process playing out the way it did, but the combination of media and tech interference in the election (i.e. the blatant quashing of the Hunter Biden scandal) and all the probable election fraud in many places leaves me to feel no need to congratulate him whatsoever. To the extent that he’s “legitimate,” it’s only on the technicality of the electors having voted the way they have, not because I actually believe he earned the office legitimately and fairly.
A lot of commentators on the right will disagree. They rattle off that Trump and his supporters are just being sore losers. I think that’s unfair and surrenders a premise that the left don’t deserve to have surrendered them. That’s specifically shown in how big tech companies censored election altering stories while the media cheered it on and refused to report damaging information on Biden. That was unprecedented at the level it occurred this cycle. What Trump faced simply was not a fair playing field, and what happened is something that people have been warning about for years while others on the right tried to ingratiate themselves to Silicon Vally. These realities have to be factored in before levying criticism about Trump’s current disdain for the process.
Regardless, I do understand why McConnell did what he did. I actually think he deserves credit for waiting this long. He’s been under pressure for weeks to fold and give into the media narrative that they get to crown the next president, not the electoral college. He didn’t do that and instead waited until what is basically the last moment to say what he said. McConnell is not perfect, but he’s done his best work under Trump’s tenure, and I think he held the line here as long as could be expected for someone in his position. He’s also who Republicans have to count on the next four years to hold the line. Turning on him now and giving him an excuse to shun the base isn’t a smart strategy.
With all the lawsuits but one having failed and the Supreme Court refusing to hear any of the other cases on appeal, there’s just no viable path forward from what I can see. Joe Biden is almost certainly going to be sworn in this coming January save some massive, unforeseen event. I don’t think McConnell is “giving up” by acknowledging that at this point. When reality bites you, you can’t just deny you’re bleeding.
(Please follow me on Twitter! @bonchieredstate)