On Thursday, the Orlando Sentinel editorial board tore into Florida's congressional Republicans for indulging outgoing President Donald Trump's stunts protesting the legitimacy of the election, calling them a "national embarrassment" and a "danger to democracy."
"Having failed to convince voters that Donald Trump should get four more years, and having failed to get governors, legislatures or courts to overturn the election, Trump loyalists are pinning their hopes on Congress installing the losing candidate as the next president," wrote the board. "The showdown is coming on Jan. 6, when Congress meets in a joint session to count and formalize the electoral votes already certified by the states ... It ought to be a low-drama event but it won't be, thanks to Republicans like those representing Florida in the U.S. House."
"Most of them established their anti-democratic, pro-authoritarian bona fides by signing onto a lawsuit brought by Texas that unsuccessfully asked the U.S. Supreme Court to throw out 20 million votes in four states — Pennsylvania, Michigan, Wisconsin and Georgia," wrote the board. "A larger percentage of Florida's GOP delegation joined the lawsuit — 80% — than signed on from the Texas GOP delegation — 64%."
All told, there are reportedly dozens of Republican congressmen and congressmen-elect who are hoping to overturn the election by formally protesting in Congress.
The new scheme to object in Congress has no chance of working, noted the board. "Nevertheless, several representatives — including, natch, Florida's Matt Gaetz — have stated their intention to object. And Missouri Sen. Josh Hawley said Wednesday he will join them, despite Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's warnings against such a move."
"We asked Florida's GOP representatives, and U.S. Sens. Marco Rubio and Rick Scott, about those scenarios. Our questions should have been softballs, and their answers should have been, 'Military-run elections? Are you nuts?' Or, 'Invoking the Insurrection Act is absurd. This is the United States, not some tin-pot dictatorship.' Instead, they were silent," wrote the board. "Leading us to wonder just how far this state's Republican representatives in Congress are willing to go to keep Donald Trump in office."
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