Despite holding a narrow majority in the House of Representatives, the unsettling prospect of Republicans choosing our next president is becoming increasingly worrisome. This concern is amplified by their tumultuous leadership and blind allegiance to Donald Trump. Ironically, Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) could emerge as a key figure in this possible scenario.
In this nightmarish situation, where no candidate secures a majority of electoral votes, the pivotal decision falls into the hands of Congress. This decision is entrusted to individuals disapproved by a staggering 80% of Americans. These are the very figures accountable for government shutdown threats, tax cuts benefiting the top 1 percent, an unattended immigration crisis, and the staggering accumulation of over $33 trillion in debt. The unsettling events of January 6, 2021, when some of these legislators sparked a riot by refusing to acknowledge electoral slates, are still fresh in memory. The looming question remains: What could possibly go wrong?
While some may question the likelihood of such a scenario occurring, the potential emergence of a third-party run by “No Labels” increases the chances. No Labels, spearheaded by Sen. Joe Manchin, is contemplating a third-party ticket for 2024.
Whether No Labels nominates Manchin, or opts for unconventional candidates, the ticket is poised to be formidable. Why? Because No Labels is a solid organization with a big allies in Congress and excelling in fundraising. The group has already secured ballot space for its “unity” ticket in 11 states for the 2024 election. Additionally, there is a discernible public demand for an alternative to a Biden-Trump rematch, with over half of voters expressing a preference for a different choice.
While empathizing with No Labels’ bipartisan objectives, the potential consequences of failure and the subsequent implications is deeply troubling. Should No Labels decide to proceed, it could mark the most significant third-party run in decades. However, winning the crucial 270 electoral votes appears improbable, leading to the ominous prospect of a contingent election.
The ambiguous laws governing how Congress should execute this duty only amplifies this concern. The 12th Amendment provides only broad procedural directives, creating a potential avenue for legislative mischief. In the House, a slim Republican majority might strategically delay the selection of a president, while the Senate, possibly controlled by the same party, might expedite the choice of a vice president. The resulting chaos would leave a substantial number of voters feeling disenfranchised.
Compounding the ominous scenario is the stark reality that Jim Jordan (R-OH), an ardent ally of Trump, stands as a very real and alarming prospect to assume the role of the next Speaker of the House.
The looming threat of a chaotic contingent election highlights the potential for Republicans, even with a slender majority in the House, to play a decisive role in determining our next president. And their blind loyalty to Trump leaves no room for doubt about their preferred choice.