Democrats and their mainstream media allies express dismay, if not alarm, over a poll that shows 58 percent of Republicans don’t believe Joe Biden was elected legitimately. However, Byron York points out that in the Fall of 2017, the same pollster found that 67 percent of Democrats said Trump was not legitimately elected.
Given the drumbeat of unfounded claims by mainstream media outlets of Russian collusion in the election of Trump, as well as supposed “voter suppression,” I’m surprised that even more Democrats didn’t view his election as illegitimate.
It’s true that, unlike Trump in 2020, Hillary Clinton won the popular vote in 2016. But if Democrats believe in the Constitution, they must, perforce, acknowledge that Trump’s victory was not rendered illegitimate by the fact that he lost the popular vote.
It wasn’t just rank-and-file Democrats who wouldn’t accept the result of the 2016 presidential election. A number of Democratic congressmen objected to the tally of Electoral College votes. One of them was my congressman, Jamie Raskin, an influential member of the Dem caucus who led the second Trump impeachment.
To his credit, then-vice president Biden wasn’t having it. But neither was then-vice president Pence in 2021.
2017 wasn’t the first time modern-day Democrats tried to obstruct the certification of a Republican presidential victory. In 2005, Sen. Barbara Boxer and Rep. Stephanie Tubbs objected to George Bush’s electoral votes in Ohio, forcing their fellow lawmakers to leave their joint session and debate whether to reject the state’s electoral votes.
Yet, following the objections to certifying the 2020 result, some House and Senate Dems refused even to speak with Republican colleagues who objected. They also engaged in other infantile measures to demonstrate their displeasure. So reports the Washington Post.
According to the Post, congressional Dems blame some of their Republican colleagues for the rioting at the Capitol on January 6. Or at least they pretend to. Conflating objecting to certification — something Democrats have done in the past — with promoting an “insurrection” is so absurd that it’s difficult to believe the Dems are sincere.
Nonetheless, the Post reports that House Democrats have gone so far as to pass a rule requiring members to go through metal detectors out of an alleged fear that Republicans pose a threat to the physical safety of Democrats. In addition, a handful of House Democrats vote against any legislation whose main sponsor is a Republican who opposed certifying Biden’s election. This practice extends to noncontroversial matters such as naming post offices.
In the Senate, Chris Coons, who masquerades as “bipartisan,” went more than six months without saying a single word to the eight Senate Republicans who voted against signing off on Biden’s win. Another masquerader, Amy Klobuchar, says she thinks about the January 6 “every time I see or work with” a Senator who didn’t sign off.
As ridiculous as all of this is, I’m not sorry if Democrats have become more overtly and rudely hostile towards, and less likely to work with, Republicans on Capitol Hill. The two parties have radical, and probably irreconcilable, differences about what America is and what it should be going forward.
These differences aren’t just between, say, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Marjorie Taylor Greene. They extend to Coons and Klobuchar on the one hand and nearly every Senate Republican on the other.
Given this profound ideological divergence, there’s no good reason to expect members of one camp to get along with, or respect in any deep sense, members of the other. If they do, that’s okay. If they don’t, that’s okay too. It might even be preferable, since bipartisan legislation on matters of significance often produces more harm than good.
Who cares, for example, whether Chris Coons says hello to certain Republican members? I doubt that any Republicans lost sleep over the snub. If any did, that’s a worrying sign.
My only objection is to the claim that this lack of courtesy and comity has anything to do with Democrats favoring democracy and Republicans being its enemy. The two parties differ so fundamentally these days that even their conceptions of democracy, or at least what they say about it, can’t be reconciled.