The GOP’s False Equivalence On Past Election Challenges

Biden won the largest vote percentage obtained against an incumbent president since 1932 and a bigger percentage of the popular vote than any Republican president since George H.W. Bush in 1988.

The GOP is trying to make a false equivalence between its own current election challenge and previous (symbolic) Democratic challenges to the counting of the electoral votes in the Congress in 2001, 2005 and 2017. Let’s take a little trip down memory lane.

Al Gore conceded on December 13, 2000 and accepted the Supreme Court’s controversial decision in Bush v. Gore. In January 2001, a dozen House Democrats objected to awarding Florida’s 25 electoral votes to Bush. No Senator joined them. After a 25 minute debate, Gore, who was presiding in his role as Senate president, lowered his gavel to silence them and ruled their objections and parliamentary maneuvers out of order.

Shortly thereafter, Gore declared Bush to be the winner and said: “‘’May God bless our new president and new vice president and may God bless the United States of America.’’

In 2004, John Kerry conceded the day after the election. In January 2005, Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA) and Rep. Rep. Stephanie Tubbs Jones (D-OH) objected to awarding Ohio’s electoral votes to Bush. Boxer said: “Our intent was not to overturn the election in any way. Our intent was to focus on voter suppression in Ohio.” The challenge was rejected 74–1 by the Senate and 267–31 in the House.

In 2016, Hillary Clinton conceded in the early mornings hours after election day. President Obama fully cooperated in the transition.

In January 2017, only three Democratic House members objected to the apparent election of Trump. They were quickly gaveled down by then Vice President Joe Biden, who said: “It is over.”

In the 2020 election cycle, Trump hasn’t conceded. Instead, he’s claiming he won a landslide victory. The Trump Administration continues to refuse to cooperate in critical aspects of the transition.

On Wednesday, a minimum of 140 House Republicans plan to object to Biden’s election. Moreover, thirteen Senate Republicans plan to contest the outcome. There may be more. The proceedings are expected to last until the wee hours of Wednesday morning.

Any questions?

I’m a trial lawyer, a Democratic activist and a sports fan.