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Former Washington Journalist
Contributor on The Bipartisan Press
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Republicans are backing Donald Trump’s baseless and nearly unprecedented decision not to accept Joe Biden as the anticipated, lawful 46th president of the United States merely for crass political purposes, according to journalists and Democrats.
More than a week after Election Day–and days after Pennsylvania’s 20 electoral votes put Biden over the top as president-elect–Trump and his campaign is continuing to fight the results in court, despite the fact that so far those legal actions have gone nowhere.
“We have to move forward. There’s processes to move forward. I think they’re basically just stalling and giving the rhetoric they’re giving right now if they think that appeases President Trump as he exits and gives him a better feeling,” said Sen Joe Manchin, a Democrat from the red state of West Virginia which went for Trump overwhelmingly. “I don’t know what they’re playing to. I really don’t. It’s time to move on. I think people within the White House know that, I think people within the family structure know that.
“They’re just scared, I guess, to go tell him the facts of what we’re dealing with and how we’re going to go ahead and transition peacefully,” Manchin added.
Biden himself on Tuesday allowed that it is “embarrassing” for Trump to continue not to accept the results of the election.
Republicans, however, are looking to play to Trump’s loyal base–particularly with the short-term political calculus of dual Senate run-offs in Georgia coming up January 5 which will decide who holds the Senate majority, according to Yamiche Alcindor, White House correspondent for the PBS Newshour and a contributor for MSNBC.
“Well, President Trump doesn’t want to face the biggest thing that he has feared his entire life, and that is that he’s a loser of this election. And I’m hearing that Republicans are going to stick by him,” she said. “I had a pretty long conversation with a number of Republican officials. They said this: ‘ What are we supposed to do? He’s the leader of the party. He’s someone who found new voters, 5 million or so new voters to come out and back him in this election.’ He has a hold on these voters and they’re very worried their base is going to abandon them in 2022 or 2024.
“Mitch McConnell is very, very worried about those two Senate seats down in Georgia. He wants to win both of those runoffs so that he does not want to compromise any sort of relationship with the president or his Republican voters rather,” she added, referring to the Senate majority leader. “So what we’re seeing is a GOP that is absolutely circling the wagons around Donald Trump. I will say, though, that most of the people I talked to said, ‘Of course he’s going to lose. Of course he’s not going to be president next year. But it still holds true that he’s going to be the person who’s the leader of our party, and as a result we’re kind of handcuffed to him.’
“So really, they are handcuffed by the politics of this and are not going to be moving on, not going to be challenging the president until Mitch McConnell and others see that it has to happen, and we’re not sure when that could happen,” Alcindor said.
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