Expect at Least Three Objections Tomorrow

AZ, GA, and Pa are on the table.

Via WaPo: Sen. Cruz to object to Arizona electors who certified Biden’s win when Congress counts the votes.

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) plans to formally object to the certification of electors from Arizona during Wednesday’s joint session of Congress, according to a person familiar with the matter, ensuring that the duly certified results from a third state will be challenged by a GOP senator.

[…]

Sen. Kelly Loeffler (R-Ga.), who faces a runoff election Tuesday to keep her seat, plans to object to results from her home state, and Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) has pledged to contest the outcome in Pennsylvania.

For Cruz and Hawley, this is about positioning for 2024 (as is Tom Cotton’s decision to not object, since that is the only way to get his name out on this topic, I suspect). For Loeffler, it is about today and a last-minute maneuver to try and bolster support for her election.

Cruz has probably won the short-term game here, insofar as Arizona comes first in the alphabet, so he will get the chance to grandstand the most. Plus, he brought 10 whole Senators with him!

Plus, you know, he’s just asking questions:

Cruz, however, argued in a late Monday interview that his focus was not about attempting to overturn the results of the election, even as other Trump allies in Congress continue to falsely assert that the president won reelection.

“My view is Congress should fulfill our responsibility under the Constitution to consider serious claims of voter fraud,” Cruz told conservative host Mark Levin on Monday evening.

Cruz added: “And that’s why I assembled a coalition of 11 senators that we are going to vote to object to the electors — not to set aside the election, I don’t think that would actually be the right thing to do — but rather to press for the appointment of an electoral commission that can hear the claims of voter fraud, hear the evidence and make a determination as to what the facts are and the extent to which the law was complied with.”

Although in his joint-statement on this topic, he is arguing that such a commission would be able to making findings to advise states where the slates were challenged:

We should follow that precedent. To wit, Congress should immediately appoint an Electoral Commission, with full investigatory and fact-finding authority, to conduct an emergency 10-day audit of the election returns in the disputed states. Once completed, individual states would evaluate the Commission’s findings and could convene a special legislative session to certify a change in their vote, if needed.

So, he is asking for a delay of certification (which is a process in the Constitution) and is holding out the potential for new elections or the choosing of alternative slates. So, yes, this would be setting aside the election in those states.

Of course, what evidence might be submitted, I do not know. Clearly, all of Trump’s lawyers aren’t a good source, since they were unable to conjure any evidence in roughly 60 court cases. Lou Dobbs apparently can’t provide it:

“Eight weeks from the election and we still don’t have verifiable, tangible support for the crimes that everyone knows were committed,” Dobbs said.

“We know that’s the case in Nevada,” he added. “We know it’s the case in Pennsylvania and a number of other states, but we have had a devil of a time finding actual proof.”

The rhetorical pretzel above is breathtaking, I must say.

Back the Cruz and friends statement,

The 2020 election, however, featured unprecedented allegations of voter fraud, violations and lax enforcement of election law, and other voting irregularities.

It is true that there has been an unprecedented number of allegations made, but note that the passage says noting about the level of evidence provided.

Look, a bunch of people on your street can assume that the guy at the corner is a drug dealer. He can be accused of dealing, selling, and manufacture. Accusation after accusation can be made, indeed, unprecedented allegations of a drug kingdom can be made. Affadavits can be signed that a car was sighted visiting the house late at night or that weird smells emanated from the house). But if there is no evidence of deals being done, no proof of plants or chemicals, nor one microgram of illegal drugs being found on his property, you don’t take him to court.

We can’t make allegations and then, with nothing, hold a trial wherein the guy has to prove he is innocent.

This would defy the fundamental core of our legal system of innocent until proven guilty.

It is a perfect illustration of the fact that you can’t prove a negative. You can’t ask the guy to prove he isn’t a drug dealer any more than you can ask Arizona to prove there wasn’t any fraud. Either you have an argument based on evidence, or you’ve go nothing.

It also defies the basic logic of any argument, that one needs evidence, not suspicion, not belief, not a gut-feeling, not the sense that “everyone knows,” to build that argument.

FILED UNDER: Campaign 2020, Democracy, US Politics, Voting
Steven L. Taylor
About Steven L. Taylor
Steven L. Taylor is a Professor of Political Science and a College of Arts and Sciences Dean. His main areas of expertise include parties, elections, and the institutional design of democracies. His most recent book is the co-authored A Different Democracy: American Government in a 31-Country Perspective. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Texas and his BA from the University of California, Irvine. He has been blogging since 2003 (originally at the now defunct Poliblog). Follow Steven on Twitter

Comments

  1. Jay L Gischer says:

    I come from the land of Sasquatch, also known as Bigfoot. Electoral fraud is a lot like Sasquatch.

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  2. Gustopher says:

    Cruz has probably won the short-term game here, insofar as Arizona comes first in the alphabet, so he will get the chance to grandstand the most.

    An enterprising Republican should object to Alabama having merely 9 electoral votes, when Pennsylvania, Arizona and Georgia clearly should give votes to Alabama, just so they can grab the spotlight from Ted Cruz.

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  3. Kathy says:

    If all what the Trumpublicans claim were so, then why didn’t Al Gore simply hand himself the presidency in 2001?

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  4. gVOR08 says:

    It is true that there has been an unprecedented number of allegations made, but note that the passage says noting about the level of evidence provided.

    “Where there’s smoke, there’s fire.” is generally a valid rule. But not when people who want you to believe there’s fire own a smoke machine.

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  5. CSK says:

    So…Lou Dobbs knows a crime was committed, he just can’t find any evidence that it was committed.

    Not only is there no smoking gun, there isn’t even a bullet-riddled corpse.

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  6. An Interested Party says:

    Cruz added: “And that’s why I assembled a coalition of 11 senators that we are going to vote to object to the electors — not to set aside the election, I don’t think that would actually be the right thing to do — but rather to press for the appointment of an electoral commission that can hear the claims of voter fraud, hear the evidence and make a determination as to what the facts are and the extent to which the law was complied with.”

    While he’s pressing for that commission, perhaps he should also ask for another commission to prove that his father wasn’t involved with the JFK assassination, after all, that’s just asking questions too…meanwhile, at least we do know that there doesn’t need to be a commission to ask where Ted Cruz’s cojones are…he gave them to Trump years ago…actually, the way that so many Republicans have perfected the bowing and scraping to Trump shows that there needs to be a testosterone booster that sorely needs to be distributed among their ranks…

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  7. gVOR08 says:

    @An Interested Party:

    a commission to ask where Ted Cruz’s cojones are…he gave them to Trump years ago…

    Argument from facts not in evidence. Who says Cruz ever have any?

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  8. Kathy says:

    I guess if trampling reproductive rights, and impoverishing tons of people, and denying equal rights to minorities on the basis of race, sex, gender identity or sexual identity, all based on faith and belief and no evidence, then stealing the presidency is small potatoes.

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  9. OzarkHillbilly says:

    But Steven, I know Ted Cruz’s father was on a grassy knoll in Dallas on Nov 22, 1963. My 3rd Cousin’s ex’ brother in law saw him there. Also, they are dealing crack out of Josh Hawley’s office, and having wild gay sex parties at Gym Jordan’s apartment.

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  10. CSK says:

    @An Interested Party:
    The really sad part of this isn’t just that Cruz et al. are doing this solely to placate the Trump fan club. The really sad part is that, sooner or later, Cruz and his cohort will do or say something, no matter how slight, that will incur the lifelong wrath of the Trumpkins. And all their efforts to grovel to this crew of idiots will have been for naught.

    Look at Tom Cotton. Yesterday he was a hero. Today he’s the devil incarnate.

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  11. An Interested Party says:

    …wild gay sex parties at Gym Jordan’s apartment.

    I do hope that someone has alerted Child Protective Services…

    Who says Cruz ever have any?

    True…if he had any, he wouldn’t be kissing the ass of the man who insulted his wife’s appearance, which leads to the following observation…

    @CSK: The lengths that some people will go to to acquire and/or maintain political power is a truly disgusting spectacle to behold…

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  12. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @CSK: The really sad part is that,

    No, that’s the really funny part.

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  13. CSK says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:
    I meant it ironically, as I’m sure you are aware. 😀

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  14. DrDaveT says:

    @CSK:

    So…Lou Dobbs knows a crime was committed, he just can’t find any evidence that it was committed.

    The evidence of the crime is that Biden won. He’s real sure about that. What he can’t find is the mechanism, because it couldn’t possibly be that Biden got more actual votes than Trump…

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  15. becca says:

    @An Interested Party:
    “ The lengths that some people will go to to acquire and/or maintain political power is a truly disgusting spectacle to behold…”

    Apparently, nauseating the libs is what translates into “owning” them.
    Weird.

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  16. Kathy says:

    @becca:

    On one of his latter works, The Songs of Distant Earth*, Clarke posits a political system wherein the person most qualified to lead gets drafted to serve as president, whether they want to or not. I think there’s a part this is described as “we want someone we’ll have to drag kicking and screaming into the White House, but once there will do a good job.”

    Maybe it’s time we should consider that. Except for all elected positions.

    Of course, Clarke never explained how the decision is made.

    *I really should re-read that one. I lost my copy (ie I lent it to someone) shortly after reading it and never got back to it.

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  17. ImProPer says:

    “Eight weeks from the election and we still don’t have verifiable, tangible support for the crimes that everyone knows were committed,” Dobbs said.”

    Lou is much too humble. Thanks to people like him, there is lots of “verifiable, tangible support”
    for the crimes that everyone knows were, and continue to be, supported.

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  18. CSK says:

    @Kathy:
    That’s sort of akin to Adlai Stevenson or Gore Vidal or Douglas Adams* saying that those who really want to be president are automatically disqualified from holding the job.

    *I’ve seen the quote attributed to all three.

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  19. Kathy says:

    @CSK:

    Come to think of it, I think Clarke also referred to this system in “Imperial Earth.”

    This sounds more like something Adams would say. Stevenson ran two times, didn’t he?

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  20. dazedandconfused says:

    @CSK:

    Yes, but Lou Dobbs has started publicly admitting that evidence has not been found.

    Something has slipped in Lou, he should know better. Cruisin’ for an excommunication from The Church of Trump with stuff like that, Lou is. A person who has a much stronger stomach than mine could monitor Hannity for similar transgressions popping in here and there, and maybe find a few.

    Baby steps…

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  21. CSK says:

    @Kathy:
    Yes; in 1952 and 1956.

    @dazedandconfused:
    Good Lord, you’re right. There are boatloads of evidence. It’s just that those Commie judges appointed by Trump refuse to look at it.

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  22. Michael Cain says:

    @dazedandconfused:

    Yes, but Lou Dobbs has started publicly admitting that evidence has not been found.

    Fox is terrified of the Smartmatic and Dominion lawsuits. The talent has all been told what the official company line is (no evidence of fraud has been found), how often they have to repeat it, and in what format. Some are only being required to interview experts whose impartiality is played up, and the expert says no sign of any fraud. Dobbs seems to have been singled out for special treatment. My suspicions are he’s been told by Fox management that he will do as he’s told, or they will ruin him. Probably juicy stuff in the files that would come out during discovery.

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  23. CSK says:

    According to Marjorie Taylor Greene, Ms. QAnon herself, the evidence that the election was stolen from Trump is “overwhelming,” and it will be presented tomorrow, January 6.

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  24. ImProPer says:

    @CSK:

    “So…Lou Dobbs knows a crime was committed”

    More like crimes, and I’m sure he does, the evidence is virtually everywhere, but unfortunately it is his team that are committing them.

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  25. flat earth luddite says:

    Remind me, please. Exactly why we didn’t burn this sucker to the ground when I was young? Just so these Punky Brewster wanna-bees could? As Nero Wolfe used to say, Pfui!

    OTOH, if it’s a divided government, that gives me 4 years to find someplace a disabled, 66 y/o reformed luddite with no current criminal ties can relocate to. Hopefully someplace they speak English, as my German and Norwegian are rusty and other languages non-existent.

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  26. Michael Cain says:

    @CSK:

    According to Marjorie Taylor Greene, Ms. QAnon herself, the evidence that the election was stolen from Trump is “overwhelming,” and it will be presented tomorrow, January 6.

    I wait with bated breath to hear something — anything — beyond the hearsay and fantasy that has been brought forward thus far. First thing, I want to see Cruz’s written objection citing something specific in Arizona.

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  27. Jax says:

    @Michael Cain: /snarky voice: According to my second cousin whose parents live in Arizona, the fraud is obvious because her parents received ballot applications in the mail without requesting them. And HER cousin’s husband is a poll worker in Nevada, and THREE PEOPLE WITH THE SAME ADDRESS came in to vote together, but they weren’t related! She got a little snotty when I mentioned roommates all have the same legal address, and it would make sense that if they’ve been quarantining together, they would go vote together. “Where there’s smoke, there’s fire!” she says. Also, she’s totally comfortable with going full Benghazi and investigating this all the way into 2024, if necessary…..or until Trump wins, whichever comes first.

    These people, man…….

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  28. dazedandconfused says:

    Marjorie knows. True believers already know the evidence is overwhelming and indisputable (believe me!), they do not need it to be presented.

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  29. CSK says:

    @Michael Cain:
    Tomorrow they’ll be saying the evidence will be presented on January 20, and when it’s not presented on January 20….

    I think even the Trumpkins are starting to get fed up with this constant bait and switch.

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  30. Teve says:

    @flat earth luddite: you’re an English speaker, so the cliches—Spanish and French are the easiest for you to learn.

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  31. Gustopher says:

    @Jax:

    Also, she’s totally comfortable with going full Benghazi and investigating this all the way into 2024, if necessary…..or until Trump wins, whichever comes first.

    Biden is really going to need a few people in charge of generating daily outrages to keep the far right from getting too fixated on anything, and so the NYTimes will not spend three months running stories about Hunter Biden’s Laptop on the first page and how there are still questions.

    I’m more than halfway serious. Flood the zone with bullshit. Keep the target moving and it’s hard to hit. That’s what Trump did, and what Obama really didn’t do.

    I think I found the perfect comeback for Anthony Scaramuchi, if he wants to switch parties. Or perhaps there is a Democratic version of him, although he does seem rather singular.

    Or maybe a team of people all named Al — Al Franken, Al Sharpton, etc. Might see if Al Gore wants to join, although he doesn’t really have the Gadfly component we need.

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  32. Teve says:

    @Jax: i just had a mandatory 1-hr traffic class and for 15 mins the instructor and 3 other attendees started babbling about how Covid is bullshit, and if you have the flu they call it covid, and how come we’re not worried about a hundred other viruses that are even worse, and no politician has the right to tell me I can’t make a living and…while I just stared at the clock.

    Lots of people are just fuckin clueless nitwits.

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  33. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Teve: I’d have to get up and leave. Then go to court and tell the judge he needed to hire some sane people for it.

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  34. CSK says:

    Cleta Mitchell has resigned, effective immediately, from her law firm, Foley & Lardner. Apparently the firm was displeased that she broke their rule against getting involved in presidential election disputes.

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  35. Jax says:

    @Gustopher: Yeah….Hunter Biden’s laptop. She was droning on and on about it, so I asked her how she felt about Ivanka’s fast-tracked Chinese trademarks and Trump’s Chinese bank account? “Well, I don’t know anything about that, I’ve never heard about it.” Told her when she started caring about Trump family corruption, I’d care about Hunter Biden. And hey, at least Biden wasn’t going to make Hunter a Senior White House Adviser OR put him in charge of Peace in the Middle East!

    It was not a good conversation with my cousin. 😐

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  36. Kathy says:

    @CSK:

    I’ll go practice my yawning.

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  37. JohnSF says:

    @Kathy:
    I’m pretty sure I remember reading somewhere, a long time ago, Clarke talking in an interview about this.
    Saying he based it on the ancient Athenian concept of selecting certain officials by lottery.
    (Also used in for some offices in medieval Florence IIRC.)
    Said something like:“Anyone who wants the office is by definition unsuited to hold it.”

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  38. Teve says:

    @JohnSF: there’s a similar old line about SWAT teams. How do you pick who’s going to be on the SWAT team? You have a meeting where you get all the cops together and you ask, who wants to volunteer to be on the SWAT team? Everybody who raises their hand, you write down their names, and then you make sure they never ever get on the SWAT team.

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  39. JohnSF says:

    @flat earth luddite:
    For non English languages the easiest 3 apparently are
    – Frisian
    – Afrikaans
    – Danish
    – also LOL: Lallans *ducks. runs*

    New Zealand would be the obvious choice, but I suspect the queue is a mile long.
    Canada?

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  40. JohnSF says:

    @Gustopher:
    Apparently the Mooch is associated with the Lincoln Project, so he might be up for it.

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  41. Teve says:
  42. Jax says:

    @Teve: I feel like every sane person in this country has been walking around the last four years, banging their heads on walls and screaming at Trump’s Twitter feed “You numbnuts, that’s not how ANY of this works!!!”

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  43. CSK says:

    @Teve:
    Simple: Trump doesn’t think any of the rules apply to him. It would be pointless for anyone to explain this matter to him, since he doesn’t listen and wouldn’t understand even if he did.

    Trump believes, and always did, that the presidency is something that can be run just like one of his crappy failed businesses.

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  44. Teve says:

    @CSK: there was a very telling moment in Trump’s call to Raffensperger where Trump says some absurd nonsense, and Raffensperger says no look you’re going on bad data, I can send you a link to the actual information, and Trump is like no, I’ve got a better link! He’s very obviously picking the information he likes best. That is basically the exact opposite of how smart executives behave.

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  45. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    Everybody who raises their hand, you write down their names, and then you make sure they never ever get on the SWAT team.

    Yeah. If only it worked that way in real life. 🙁

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  46. Jay L Gischer says:

    @Teve: See, now I just read that moment as Trump saying, “Don’t give me the facts! I’m telling you what I want you to do! And you aren’t getting it. I want you to get me more votes, dummy!”

    Except that really would result in prosecution. So he says stuff like “I’ve got a better link!”

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  47. Teve says:

    @Jay L Gischer: other people have said this and I have been kind of resistant to it, but I’m starting to come around to the idea that Trump has bullshitted for so long that his brain just doesn’t really make a distinction between true and false. If he wants to believe it, he just…does.

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  48. @CSK: “it is a well-known fact that those people who must want to rule people are, ipso facto, those least suited to do it. To summarize the summary: anyone who is capable of getting themselves made President should on no account be allowed to do the job.” “–Douglas Adams, from the HHG radio series.

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  49. Flat Earth Luddite says:

    @JohnSF:
    Lost previous answer in moderation (‘hogan, to ze cooler!’)

    Thanks, I’ll have to consider Denmark. Maybe Belize.
    Too old for NZ, too old/liberal for Australia/So. Africa, misspent youth precludes Canada. Family settled in ND in late 1880 from about 500 km north of Danes so maybe…

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  50. inhumans99 says:

    Up late, all the election news has me awake when I should be sleeping. I wonder, now that Loeffler, and possibly Perdue were defeated yesterday (after midnight as I type this out) does this mean some in the GOP might decide this last ditch effort to appease Trump is just not worth looking like an idiot for him and maybe we get less members of Congress who are willing to object to Biden’s electoral votes being counted?

    I mean…Loeffler is on the record as saying she was going to object, but umm…hello woman, you were voted out of Congress yesterday, whatever she wanted to say tomorrow should hold even less weight than usual. If I were McConnell I would be more concerned with starting the process of reaching across the aisle to try and salvage his relationship with Biden so maybe they can find some common ground to agree on when it comes to legislation, than I would be with letting the beyond quixotic attempt by a handful of loons..I mean Senators, to overturn the election continue unabated.

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  51. al Ameda says:

    @CSK:

    According to Marjorie Taylor Greene, Ms. QAnon herself, the evidence that the election was stolen from Trump is “overwhelming,” and it will be presented tomorrow, January 6

    As Bill Maher might say:
    I don’t know it for a fact – that Marjorie Taylor Greene donated her brain to landfill – but I just know it’s true.

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