Republican Congressman Mac Thornberry, of Texas, slammed his fellow Republicans for a “mindless sort of obedience” to Donald Trump and for supporting the president’s “bogus” election challenges, saying it “undermines our institutions.”
“Congress was created to be and meant to be a separate independent branch of government – not one in which its members take their direction from a president of either party,” he told The Dallas Morning News in an interview. “So there are deeper undercurrents that do damage our system.”
Thornberry’s forceful critique came in response to the failed lawsuit led by Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton – and then backed by 126 House Republicans – that sought to nullify some 10 million votes in four crucial swing states that secured victory for President-elect Joe Biden.
Thornberry, who is retiring at the end of his term, was among the GOPers who didn’t support the legal effort, which challenged the election protocols in Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin amid Trump’s baseless claims that the election was stolen from him.
“It was a totally bogus legal argument to say that one state has standing to complain about the way another state runs its elections,” Thornberry said. “They could do it just as easily to Texas, and you start getting this back and forth that undermines our whole system.”
He opined that most of his fellow Republicans who signed the amicus brief supporting the Paxton-led lawsuit “really didn’t think about it that much.” Instead, he said, “it was, ‘OK, this was a way to support Trump. I’m going to do it.’”
“And it’s that mindless sort of obedience – and to some extent it happens in both parties, but it’s more evident now in the Republican Party – that No. 1, doesn’t do credit to the individuals, but secondly, it undermines our institutions,” he conluded.