Gohmert’s plan is particularly preposterous, in that it would entrench into American law the idea that the incumbent vice president is permitted — perhaps even obliged — to veto the results of any presidential election whose outcome he dislikes. Instead, as president of the Senate, the vice president has a purely ministerial role presiding over the counting of electoral votes by Congress. If Richard Nixon could serve this function after his own heartbreaking loss in 1960, surely Mike Pence can sign off on this year’s results.
That almost no Republican senators have shown any interest in actively pursuing these ploys is a testament to their good sense, which makes it all the more disappointing that Josh Hawley has volunteered to join Brooks in objecting. President Trump has taken aim at the majority leader, Mitch McConnell, for acknowledging that Joe Biden is the president-elect, and at the assistant majority leader, John Thune, for observing that the Mo Brooks plan is destined to “go down like a shot dog.” In Trump’s estimation, McConnell’s statement shows that he does not know how “to fight,” while Thune’s shows that he is “weak.” There is, indeed, a great deal to admire about politicians who give their cause their all. But there is nothing strong or admirable about seeking to overturn the result of a presidential election.