Conservatives often knock liberals as “bleeding hearts” who rely on emotion over reason.
But U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Oshkosh, is flipping the script. Wisconsin’s senior senator said on NBC’s “Meet the Press” Sunday he’s worried about a “feeling” that the presidential election wasn’t fair.
“There’s this feeling that this election was stolen, that it’s not fair, that there’s all kinds of fraud,” Johnson said at the outset of the show.
Johnson and other fawning supporters of our self-absorbed and soon-to-be-former president may feel like President Donald Trump won reelection Nov. 3 — because Trump keeps claiming without evidence that he did. But the election results show definitively otherwise. Election officials across the country have carefully counted and, in Wisconsin and other swing states, recounted ballots. The accurate results survived some 60 legal challenges.
President-elect Joe Biden won the race for president. Trump lost. Those are the facts. Biden won Wisconsin by more than 20,000 votes, the national popular vote by more than 7 million ballots, and the Electoral College by 306 to 232.
Yet Johnson continues to damage our democracy and fuel public suspicion and distrust in our institutions based on his feelings and, more specifically, his fear of Trump’s scorn.
That’s cowardly and dangerous.
Enough with the conspiracy theories, Sen. Johnson. Trump may never admit defeat because of his delicate ego. But we’re confident the vast majority of Congress will confirm Biden’s victory Wednesday. Congress’ certification of the results is supposed to be a formality. And increasingly, honorable elected officials from both political parties are affirming they will follow the Constitution rather than the deceptions of a sore loser.
Trump’s false accusations about widespread voter fraud have been repeatedly debunked, often by fellow Republicans in states controlled by Republicans. Even Attorney General William Barr, one of Trump’s staunchest allies, said Biden won before abruptly leaving or being forced out of the administration.
Yet Trump persists with his falsehoods and threats, demanding Saturday that Georgia’s Republican secretary of state “find” more votes for Trump so he can win. The transcript of that call further highlights Trump’s desperation.
Thankfully, more Republicans are finding their backbones.
U.S. Rep. Mike Gallagher, R-Green Bay, released a statement Sunday with six GOP House colleagues noting that several key states where questions about voting procedures have been raised are controlled by Republican-run legislatures. Yet those states have certified their results for Biden.
“The text of the Constitution is clear,” Gallagher and the others wrote. “States select electors. Congress does not. Accordingly, our path forward is also clear. We must respect the states’ authority here.”
Former U.S. House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Janesville, issued a stronger statement Sunday: “It is difficult to conceive of a more anti-democratic and anti-conservative act than a federal intervention to overturn the results of state-certified elections and disenfranchise millions of Americans.”
Biden’s victory has been reinforced again and again for two months.
Johnson may prefer his feelings over the facts. The rest of Wisconsin’s congressional delegation should follow their oath to the U.S. Constitution on Wednesday and certify Biden’s clear win.