Hawley’s claim that past Democratic objectors “were praised by Democratic leadership and the media” leaves a lot out. In his statement, he notes now-Speaker Nancy Pelosi offered supportive words to the 2004 objectors, such as, “The Members of Congress who have brought this challenge are speaking up for their aggrieved constituents, many of whom may have been disenfranchised in this process. This is their only opportunity to have this debate while the country is listening, and it is appropriate to do so.” But he doesn’t cite any 2016 examples, nor any examples of media praise in any year.
Hawley also does not mention that when the 2004 challenge was voted on by the House and Senate, it lost by huge margins: 267-31 in the former and 74-1 in the latter (Boxer being the lone vote to accept her own objection). Moreover, Pelosi, along with most Democrats, joined the majority and voted to accept the Electoral College result, showing her praise had its limits.
Another major difference is that in 2000, 2004 and 2016, the losing candidate had already given a concession speech. (Although Hillary Clinton continues to dwell on Russian shenanigans in 2016, calling the election “not on the level,” she nevertheless conceded shortly after her defeat was clear.) In 2000, the person ruling the complaints from House members as out of order was the Democrat who lost the election, Al Gore, who as vice president of the nation and president of the Senate was presiding over the joint session of Congress. In 2016, it was sitting Vice President Joe Biden enforcing the rules and accepting the outcome.
This year, the incumbent president along with Vice President Mike Pence have refused to concede and have cast baseless doubt on the election’s integrity.