As Republican lawmakers refuse to stand up to President Donald Trump in public, they continue to express their disdain for him behind closed doors. And their reluctance to call out the president's electoral lies, according to a scathing op-ed published Monday by The Washington Post, poses a massive threat to U.S democracy.
"Republican so-called leaders in Congress continue to quail before this bullying, indulging Mr. Trump's toxic lies about a stolen election," the publication wrote. "Privately they speak of the president as though he were a petulant toddler who can't face the hard truth all at once; or they argue that so many voters are suspicious of the results that Mr. Trump should have time to challenge them, unsuccessfully, in court."
By not being truthful and pushing back against Trump's claims, Republican leaders are giving hope to Trump's supporters that still believe the election results could be overturned. The false sense of hope casts doubt on the integrity of America's democratic systems, which could leave a dark cloud over the country for decades to come.
Despite losing several post-election lawsuits in court, Trump is still pushing his baseless claims, inspiring movements like Saturday's Million MAGA March where the president's supporters marched in Washington D.C. to contest the outcome of the election.
"But why are so many people suspicious in the first place?" the publication wrote. "Because Mr. Trump has been sowing doubt about the nation's democratic institutions since before the election, and his enablers excuse and amplify his lies. As Mr. Trump has lost case after case in court since Election Day, his claims that the vote was rigged have only gotten more brazen."
While The Post places the blame for Trump's post-election hijacking squarely on the president's shoulders, the op-ed noted Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell "has been counting votes a long time":
"He knows Mr. Trump lost, as do his colleagues. The longer they cower, the longer they fail the most basic test that some officials at the state level at least are passing, the more American democracy will be damaged.
Although the president still refuses to accept the outcome of the election, he has lost to Biden 306 to 232, which is the same Electoral College margin Trump won by in 2016. However, at that time, he considered the win a "landslide."