In the question of whether or not Nancy Pelosi will forcibly remove Iowa Congresswoman Marianette Miller-Meeks (R) from her seat and replace her with Democrat Rita Hart, we’ve already learned that the Speaker probably isn’t afraid to use “brute political force.” She hasn’t exactly been shy about it, either. When recently asked if such a result could even be possible, Pelosi said that she could “see a scenario” where that happens. But it’s not going to be a walk in the park. The Democrats hold the majority in the House, but the margin of their majority is in single digits. She can’t afford to lose many Democrats from her caucus and there isn’t a single Republican vote out there in favor of doing this. The path got a bit rockier recently when another vulnerable Democrat signaled that he couldn’t support the plan to overturn the election results. (Washington Examiner)
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is facing growing opposition from within her party regarding efforts to overturn the results of an Iowa congressional election that a Republican won by just six votes.
On Monday, Minnesota Rep. Dean Phillips became the first congressional Democrat to voice firm opposition to the push to have the House Administration Committee investigate the election and decide whether freshman Republican Rep. Mariannette Miller-Meeks did indeed win the election.
“Losing a House election by six votes is painful for Democrats. But overturning it in the House would be even more painful for America. Just because a majority can, does not mean a majority should,” Phillips said in a tweet.
Phillips’ choice of words has a sort of Jurrasic Park feel to it, but he gets the message across effectively.
Losing a House election by six votes is painful for Democrats. But overturning it in the House would be even more painful for America. Just because a majority can, does not mean a majority should. https://t.co/pXaOYBIMue
— Rep. Dean Phillips 🇺🇸 (@RepDeanPhillips) March 22, 2021
Ed Morrissey already went over why the “optics” of this are so incredibly awful. At this point, even CNN is asking questions, so you know that the Democrats are playing with fire. But this isn’t really a question of optics in the usual sense when we discuss American politics. Bad optics is when someone casts a vote that flies in the face of positions the member has espoused on the campaign trail. Pelosi it talking about overturning a certified election and ejecting a member whose victory wasn’t even challenged in court back in her home state.
That brings the comment from Dean Phillips back into focus in terms of what Pelosi could do and what she should do. Each chamber is the final arbiter of accepting election results and seating its members. That’s beyond dispute. But if they’re going to overturn one, they need to provide a reason that’s pretty much bulletproof or the majority will wind up looking like some sort of banana republic mob.
So what rationale can they cite in this case? Election fraud? Nope. As per the Democrats, that doesn’t exist. Flaws in the certification process? Nope. As I already mentioned, Rita Hart didn’t even challenge it in court. She simply went straight to the speaker and asked Pelosi to declare her the winner after the results had been certified. What else is left? That the election was “too close?” Now we’re just being silly.
Yes, the election was beyond the point of simply calling it “close.” But probability and statistics tell us that sometimes that happens. We’ve had elections in the past that had to be decided by drawing cards or flipping coins. Simply wishing that there had been a more decisive winner does not provide a rationale for the action being considered. Removing Miller-Meeks just because she can is the sort of thing we expect to see in Venezuela when things aren’t going Nicolas Maduro’s way.
And what does Pelosi really gain if she manages to pull this off? She would expand her majority by a single vote. Instead of a 219-211 margin, she would have 220-210. If there are any truly contentious bills coming to the floor where she’s in danger of losing members of her own caucus, how often will the vote really be close enough for that to matter? Probably never. Most of the time, if the whip count looks that close, the majority will pull the bill until they can shore up their prospects.
In other words, if she decides to pull the trigger, Nancy Pelosi will be doing this for no other reason than to “own the cons.” And she will have to answer for that sort of dictatorial maneuver, even when speaking to the most Democrat-friendly media outlets in the country. Good luck with that.