Do you know what Mario Diaz-Balart (R-FL), Bryan Fitzpatrick (R-PA), Carlos Gimenez (R-FL), Chris Jacobs (R-NY), John Katko (R-NY), Young Kim (R-CA), Adam Kinzinger (R-IL), Nicolle Malliotakis (R-NY), Maria Salazar (R-FL), Chris Smith (R-NJ) and Fred Upton (R-MI) all have in common? Yes, they are all very conservative Republicans, but that isn't the answer that I'm looking for. That list of 11 Republican congressmembers all voted for H. RES. 72, "removing a certain Member from certain standing committees of the House of Representatives." The "certain member" was Marjorie Traitor Greene and the resolution passed 230-199, a bipartisan majority determining that she was behaving in manner reflecting non-creditably on the House.
Yesterday right-wing website, washingtonexaminer.com, which always gets inside info from fringe congressional GOPers, reported that House Republicans have already been drawing up lists of Democrats they want to kick off their committees in retaliation. It isn't likely that there will be a single Democrat who votes for something like that, although there well may be several Republicans how vote against it. Kerry Picket asserted that Ilhan Omar (D-MN) and Eric Swalwell (D-CA) are on the top of the GOP lists.
Picket wrote that Jim Banks, an Indiana extremist and chairman of the neo-fascist Republican Study Committee, told him that he could make a 'stronger case' to remove Swalwell from his committees than Ilhan. "Banks was one of two Republicans, the other being Rep. Jim Jordan of Ohio, whom Pelosi rejected from being on the Jan. 6 select committee. That panel is charged with investigating the events leading up to and surrounding the attack on the Capitol, an attempt by Trump supporters to stop the certification of election results in favor of President Joe Biden. Instead, Pelosi appointed two anti-Trump Republicans, Reps. Liz Cheney of Wyoming and Adam Kinzinger of Illinois."
Yesterday, Wall Street Journal Washington Bureau Chief Gerald Seib noted the potential for more Trump-inspired, democracy-killing dysfunction and chaos after the midterms. Austin crackpot Chip Roy already tried demonstrating how it could work. After Señor Trumpanzee started screeching that the election was rigged, Roy "moved that the House refuse to seat 67 of its own, newly elected members from the six states where Trump allies were claiming election fraud. Rep. Roy, a conservative Republican, actually opposed the efforts by some in his party to refuse to certify the election of President Biden. He was simply making the point that if the presidential election in those six states was marred by systemic fraud, so too were the elections of House members chosen at the same time. If the presidential vote was flawed, 'it would confound basic human reason' to seat lawmakers elected on the same ballots, he argued. The House overwhelmingly rebuffed Rep. Roy’s effort. Yet he actually pointed out a potential nightmare scenario that could come to pass, well before the next presidential election. Congress has to approve the seating of its own members, so what happens if, after the 2022 midterm elections, a Republican state legislature demands Congress refuse to seat some members duly elected in their states because of alleged voting irregularities-- or demands the seating of someone local election officials didn’t declare a winner? That would surely set off a cascade of challenges from Democrats seeking to block Republican members, setting off a slide into chaos. 'It’s the perfect example of how this would be weaponized,' says Benjamin Ginsberg, a longtime Republican election lawyer. 'And that would lead to an existential moment where no one could predict the outcome.'"
The scenario is frightening but no longer far-fetched, given what has been learned in recent days about efforts by former top Justice Department officials to pressure Georgia’s state legislature to convene to pick its own slate of presidential electors after the 2020 presidential vote was counted, and subsequent efforts by legislators there and elsewhere to take control of elections and their outcome away from the local election officials who have long handled them
It’s clear that local election officials, who form the backbone of American democracy, need more support. In the wake of the Trump team’s 2020 protests, some have received threats of violence and assassination. The wife of one official, in Pennsylvania, received an email warning of “HEADS ON SPIKES,” prompting her and her family to flee their home. In testimony before Congress two weeks ago, the Brennan Center for Justice said a survey it commissioned found that roughly one in three election officials nationally felt unsafe because of their jobs.
This comes even though an unprecedented postelection examination of the 2020 presidential vote has found no evidence of meaningful fraud that would have affected the outcome. Actually, the work of local election officials is examined routinely; the National Conference of State Legislatures says 34 states require a traditional postelection audit, while four more require a so-called risk-limiting audit that uses statistically based techniques to limit the chance of an incorrect outcome. Additional postelection audits and recounts in Georgia, Pennsylvania, Michigan and New Hampshire, as well as lawsuits in a dozen states, found no justification for changing election results.
Still, there are grounds for uneasiness about election procedures. Voting changed forever in the pandemic-era election of 2020, with the advent of far more early and mail balloting. Democrats make a mistake if they simply ignore legitimate arguments that safeguards are required to ensure this changed voting system is fraud-free.
And with a weak, craven hack, like Kevin McCarthy, a virtual political jellyfish, as Speaker, anything could go... including a breaking of the bonds between the states, although I guess McCarthy would have to move to Alabama, Mississippi or a Dakota.