The Electoral College likely votes for President-elect Joe Biden on Monday barring some kind of faithless elector scenario keeping him from 270. Such scenarios likely fail to happen, despite dreams from outgoing President Donald Trump and his most ardent sycophants.
Yet, Republicans remain split on what exactly happened and Trump’s failure in all but one post-election lawsuit. The fissure is most prevalent in Sunday talk show appearances featuring Louisiana Republican Congressman Steve Scalise and retiring Tennessee Republican Senator Lamar Alexander.
Alexander sees the election as over and done with and wants Trump to end his fight.
“It looks very much like the electors will vote for Joe Biden,” Alexander told NBC’s Meet the Press on Sunday. “And when they do, I hope that he puts the country first — I mean, the president — that he takes pride in his considerable accomplishments, that he congratulates the president-elect and he helps him get off to a good start, especially in the middle of this pandemic.”
Alexander wants Trump to do his best imitation of former Vice President Al Gore after the 2000 election instead of Stacey Abrams from 2018 (as an aside, Alexander bristled at NBC and Abrams in general, who never conceded her loss to Georgia Governor Brian Kemp).
“Al Gore took 37 days, I believe, to contest before he finally conceded. And then he made the best speech of his life respecting the result, which is what I hope the president will do if the electors vote for Joe Biden on Monday, which it is apparent they will.”
Scalise takes the opposite approach.
“Let the legal process play out…” he told Fox News Sunday. “If you want to restore trust by millions of people who are still very frustrated and angry about what happened, that’s why you’ve got to have this whole system play out. There will be a president sworn in on Jan. 20, but let’s let this legal process play itself out.”
His main worry falls along the lines of election integrity perception along with questions on ballot counting timelines.
“I think if you just discount the fact that millions of people wonder why in some states — Florida, Texas, large states — they had results by 10 o’clock that night, and then in other states it was days and weeks, and during those days and weeks you saw massive vote swings, that just seeds a lot of distrust. That’s got to get resolved.”
The best guess on why Scalise and Alexander have different opinions likely has to do with their positions. Alexander is retiring and, likely, out of any potential crosshairs from Trump or his supporters. Scalise is a high-ranking Republican who probably hopes to retain leadership assignments whenever the GOP retakes Congress. Trump’s spectre over the Republican Party remains large unless he ends up indicted and convicted or attempts some sort of new party under his helm. Loyalty over mean tweets or phone calls appears as Scalise’s endgame.
It’s doubtful Trump and his ilk end up winning their last-ditch lawsuits before the Electoral College vote. Time for him to finally concede, although it’s doubtful he’ll do so given his recent social media tantrums. So…expect more drama until 2024. Yay…not.