By Jen Lewis
Many readers of The Blue Review will be on the edges of their seats when they’re reading this newsletter on the Tuesday of the Georgia run-off elections or on the Wednesday of the joint session of Congress. The Georgia stakes are high and without clear victors in the polling; the outcomes of the normally ministerial Joint Session, potentially satisfying or devastating.
Many readers are reluctant to admit how deeply they hope for an even break in the Senate as a result of the election of Georgia Democrats Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff. Democrats could win both seats, splitting the senate with Vice President Kamala Harris as tie-breaker, making the next four years a time of implementing a Democratic platform.
Many no longer mention the potential negative consequences of a January 6 maneuver to overturn the outcome of the Biden-Harris election, knowing that political chicanery alone cannot overturn the will of the people for whom “neither snow nor rain nor heat nor rain nor gloom of night” –nor risk of COVID-19–stayed completion of the exercise of their constitutional right and duty to vote.
The PTSD of the 2016 election still affects even confident Democrats who will mark the new era of the Biden-Harris administration only when the inauguration has actually happened.
In uncertain times, we can take comfort in numerous facts, bolstering a reality that is grounded in certainty and reality:
- We know that we can trust the reality that the 81 million voters for the Biden-Harris ticket will be heard. Again, if necessary.
- The 10 living former secretaries of defense (Ashton Carter, Dick Cheney, William Cohen, Mark Esper, Robert Gates, Chuck Hagel, James Mattis, Leon Panetta, William Perry, and Donald Rumsfeld) penned a Washington Post January 3 editorial calling for an end to efforts to undermine the legitimacy of the 2020 presidential election and affirming that the U.S. military cannot determine the outcome of the presidential election.
- Every governor has certified his or her state’s electoral college count, and that total is 306 for Biden and 232 for Trump.
- The Electoral College Act specifies the roles—and the limits to the roles—of Congress and the Vice President at the January 6 Joint Session, and violating the Acts procedures would guarantee another fight in the courts. And even Trump-appointed judges, on throwing out specious lawsuits, have favored the rule of law over chaos created by repeating false claims of voter fraud.
- We have a functioning government divided between federal and state authority that protects the electoral process.
- As the bipartisan Voter Protection Project puts it, the 2020 presidential election was fair, secure, and free. For those who want plenty of details, see the VPP’s new Guide to Counting Electoral College Votes and the January 6, 2021 Meeting of Congress at https://voterprotectionprogram.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/01/VPP-Guide-to-Counting-Electoral-Votes.pdf
These high-stakes days sometimes may feel uncertain. However, the facts are certain: Biden and Harris were elected and the old administration will leave. Eventually.