Wednesday, December 30, 2020

The Democrats Made Me Do It!

Hawley is not challenging the election outcome; he's grandstanding to force an investigation. 

1) Unless Mo Brooks makes the same objection about Pennsylvania in the House, this doesn't trigger the provisions of the Electoral Count Act (per the plain language of the ECA.  But Congress could write new rules concerning how objections must be stated.  See below.).  Hawley has to coordinate with Brooks, and I don't think he wants to.

2)  Hawley is plainly stating he's negotiating.  If McConnell gives Hawley what he wants, i.e., the power to start an investigation (provided McConnell has that power after January 5th), will Hawley stand down?

3)  Hawley is predicating this on the 2004 and 2016 objections (anybody else remember those?) of Democrats, which he says were widely praised (again:  anybody?  Bueller?  Ferris Bueller?).  He's looking for attention and an angle to continue this discussion after the inauguration.  But he's not contesting Biden's election.  He's swatting at even less substantial shadows than Trump and Powell and Lin Woods.  His complaint is with Twitter and Facebook (shades of Sec. 230!).  He's aiming this directly at McConnell's poison pills, in fact, in an attempt (probably; most likely) to get McConnell to abandon that effort so the $2000 checks can flow to Missouri.  Hawley doesn't want to prematurely attack Section 230; he just wants to talk about the "bias" of Twitter and Facebook against conservatives some more.  Especially since he represents Missouri, and Biden is gonna be POTUS.

4) Not to be overlooked is the possibility the House and Senate adopt new rules (they can do that!) regarding how the joint session mandated by the 12th Amendment is handled.  They could adopt rules that subtly undercut the power of the Electoral Count Act, including that the objections in House and Senate must be the same in all respects, and setting rules for how such objections are submitted and recognized.  Lots of ways the Dems can play with this, or McConnell, for that matter.  And no matter how many objections force debates in each house, it's a foregone conclusion, because the Democratic House is not going to vote to sustain an objection to Biden's inauguration (and that's where the rules enter.  The rules could allow a voice vote on all objections, with cloture of debate made a similarly simple matter.  The ECA just says each house must debate up to 2 hours; it's doesn't set that as a required minimum.  And voice votes speed the plow and move the process along.)

Wheels within wheels within wheels.  This may not even be a speed bump on January 6th, which is why Hawley's announcing it now.  He doesn't want to win the objection; he wants the leverage.


  1. Any country that would put up with this as even a theoretical possibility is a country which has rocks in its heads and more than just cracks in its foundations.

  2. We really got to go to direct election of the President. This creaking relic of slave states needs to be discarded along with the "3/5ths of a person" monstrosity.