The focus here this weekend has been on the seditious actions being taken by at least a dozen Republican senators in spite of Moscow Mitch’s begging them not to challenge the purely ceremonial counting the electoral college votes. But in fairness we have to acknowledge that some GOP senators have remembered their oaths of office and are saying they will not go along with this latest assault on our democracy.

Lisa Murkowski (R-AK): Issued this statement on her website today:

“I swore an oath to support and defend the Constitution of the United States and that is what I will do January 6—just as I strive to do every day as I serve the people of Alaska. I will vote to affirm the 2020 presidential election. The courts and state legislatures have all honored their duty to hear legal allegations and have found nothing to warrant overturning the results. I urge my colleagues from both parties to recognize this and to join me in maintaining confidence in the Electoral College and our elections so that we ensure we have the continued trust of the American people.”

Pat Toomey (R-PA): In a set of tweets collected by the CBS Philadelphia affiliate, he said:

“I acknowledge that this past election, like all elections, had irregularities. But the evidence is overwhelming that Joe Biden won this election. His narrow victory in Pennsylvania is easily explained by the decline in suburban support for President Trump and the president’s slightly smaller victory margins in most rural counties,” Toomey added. “I voted for President Trump and endorsed him for re-election. But, on Wednesday, I intend to vigorously defend our form of government by opposing this effort to disenfranchise millions of voters in my state and others.” [emphasis added]

Mitt Romney (R-UT):  From MSN Business Insider:

Sen. Mitt Romney of Utah has ripped into Republicans who are threatening to protest the Electoral College vote.

“This is madness. We have a process, recounts are appropriate, going to the court is approp & pursuing every legal avenue is appropriate, but trying to get electors not to do what the people voted to do is madness,” Frank Thorp V of NBC News quoted Romney as saying.

A representative for Romney confirmed his statement to Business Insider.

Ben Sasse (R-NE): In a Facebook post to his constituents, Sasse wrote:

All the clever arguments and rhetorical gymnastics in the world won’t change the fact that this January 6th effort is designed to disenfranchise millions of Americans simply because they voted for someone in a different party. We ought to be better than that.  If we normalize this, we’re going to turn American politics into a Hatfields and McCoys endless blood feud – a house hopelessly divided.

That’s more than enough votes right there, combined with 48 Democrats, to defeat any challenge. I have a reasonably high degree of confidence that these senators (and we only need 2) will follow through. Some other senators have dropped (typically) less definitive hints:

John Thune (R-SD): Several days ago Thune said that any challenge to the electoral college would “go down like a shot dog.” That caused Trump to label him a RINO and to urge Gov. Noem to challenge Thune in 2022 (she has declined). Thune hasn’t issued any statement since the latest challenge was announced.

Mitch McConnell (R-KY): Moscow Mitch was desperately trying to stop any senator from issuing a challenge and thereby forcing senators go on the record over whether they were loyal to the Constitution or to the Trump-GOP. (This is the tightrope they’ve been pretending for the last 4 years wasn’t there.)  Romney told CBS that McConnell had called this vote “”the most consequential vote,” adding that “I see that as a statement that he believes it's a — it's a referendum on our democracy.” That isn't really all that much of a clue, but my thinking is that MM has had it with Trump, his chaos, and his repeated shafting of McConnell’s negotiations.

Those are all the GOP senators I know about right now who have taken stands or dropped hints that they will vote against any challenge to the electoral college votes this Wednesday. If you know of any more, please add them.

  • January 3, 2021