An all-out civil war has broken up in the Republican Party over Donald Trump’s attempted coup after his election loss. Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR) became the first Republican senator on Sunday night who is actually a supporter of President Donald Trump’s agenda to oppose a challenge of the electoral college, calling it a “perversion of the Founders’ intent to have the states run elections, not Congress.”
“The Founders entrusted our elections chiefly to the states — not Congress. They entrusted the election of our president to the people, acting through the Electoral College — not Congress,” Cotton said. “And they entrusted the adjudication of election disputes to the courts — not Congress. Under the Constitution and federal law, Congress’s power is limited to counting electoral votes submitted by the states.”
The Arkansas Republican said he believes the election challenge could create dangerous precedents that Democrats would all but certainly use in the future when it benefitted them politically.
“If Congress purported to overturn the results of the Electoral College, it would not only exceed that power but also establish unwise precedents,” Cotton said. “First, Congress would take away the power to choose the president from the people, which would essentially end presidential elections and place that power in the hands of whichever party controls Congress. Second, Congress would imperil the Electoral College, which gives small states like Arkansas a voice in presidential elections. Democrats could achieve their longstanding goal of eliminating the Electoral College in effect by refusing to count electoral votes in the future for a Republican president-elect. Third, Congress would take another big step toward federalizing election law, another long-standing Democratic priority that Republicans have consistently opposed.”
Vice President Mike Pence, who said through a spokesman he welcomes the challenges, will oversee the joint session of Congress at which this challenge will take place. The challenges will ultimately fail because after House members object to the certification of a state’s slated electors then senators uphold the challenge, the two chambers of Congress retreat and debate and then vote on the challenges. Democrats control the House majority, and even though their majority is slimmer than before November’s elections, it is impossible to see any Democrats breaking ranks. Meanwhile, in the Senate, there were already — before Cotton’s statement — more than enough Republicans opposed to the challenges to stop a majority in the GOP-controlled Senate from succeeding. Therefore, the attempted coup will fail.
Because of that fact, Cotton says he will not back the challenges.
“Thus, I will not oppose the counting of certified electoral votes on January 6,” Cotton said. “I’m grateful for what the president accomplished over the past four years, which is why I campaigned vigorously for his reelection. But objecting to certified electoral votes won’t give him a second term — it will only embolden those Democrats who want to erode further our system of constitutional government.”