We have seen the spectacle of Republicans in Congress going along with efforts to overturn the elections, the latest example being the 127 members of the House of Representatives who signed on the lawsuit filed by the Texas attorney general with the US Supreme court that was summarily tossed out. Some Democrats are fed up with this behavior and have decided to fight fire with fire.
Democratic Rep. Bill Pascrell on Friday charged that some of his Republican colleagues shouldn’t be sworn in for the next session of Congress, accusing them of violating the U.S. Constitution and attempting to “demolish democracy” by backing President Donald Trump’s effort to overturn the November election, which he lost to President-elect Joe Biden.
n a letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.), chair of the Committee on House Administration, the New Jersey congressman specifically condemned the more than 100 House Republicans who are supporting a lawsuit filed by Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton that aims to block the four key battleground states of Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin—all of which Biden won—from voting in the Electoral College.
“Stated simply, men and women who would act to tear the United States government apart cannot serve as members of the Congress,” writes the longtime Trump critic.
Today I’m calling on House leaders to refuse to seat any Members trying to overturn the election and make donald trump an unelected dictator. pic.twitter.com/icTmGKCpuR
— Bill Pascrell, Jr. (@BillPascrell) December 11, 2020
Pascrell urges Pelosi and Lofgren to exercise their power to figure how they can respond to these alleged constitutional violations and, if possible, refuse to seat incoming members who, in his words, are “seeking to make Donald Trump an unelected dictator.”
The congressman was far from alone in condemning the behavior of GOP officials who have rallied around Paxton’s long-shot lawsuit and other legal challenges to Biden’s decisive victory. Earlier Friday, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) also slammed supporters of Trump’s attempt to sow doubt about the security of the election.
“House Republicans are spending critical time when people are starving and small businesses are shuttering trying to overturn the results of our election,” Ocasio-Cortez tweeted, “but please tell us more about how ‘both sides are just as bad.'”
Fellow Squad member Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) said Thursday that “they are attempting a coup in broad daylight and it should not be treated as anything less.”
Republicans have got used to doing the most outrageous things while still clinging on to legitimacy. In the senate, Republican majority leader Mitch McConnell has not hesitated to use his majority to violate all manner of norms, while Democrats in the House of Representatives where they have the majority have hesitated to pursue similar tactics. This effort by Pascrell is likely just meant to show that two can play at this game of using the constitution and the law in futile ways just to make a political point. It is long overdue for people to call out Republicans for their obscenely anti-democratic behavior.