“How can we possibly tell millions of Americans who registered to vote, who came to the polls in record numbers ... to simply get over it and move on?" said the congresswoman, unwilling to accept the results of November’s election.
The year was 2005, and Democrats were on the floor of the U.S. House trying to stop the Electoral College from selecting George W. Bush as president. The congresswoman, Stephanie Tubbs Jones of Ohio, argued that "numerous, serious election irregularities" in Ohio, caused "significant disenfranchisement of voters." Remember the crazy Diebold voting machine conspiracy theory?
Democrats had previously tried to stymie the Electoral College in 2001, after Bush narrowly defeated Al Gore.
''There is overwhelming evidence that George W. Bush did not win … the Florida popular vote,'' said Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson, a Texas Democrat. She said, according to the New York Times, that Bush should be ''on notice that without justice there will be no peace.''
In 2017, after Donald Trump’s shocking victory, Democrats again waged a congressional floor fight to stop certification of the Electoral College.
“I object because people are horrified by the overwhelming evidence of Russian interference in our election,” said Rep. Barbara Lee of California, as she and others attempted to toss the electors from Alabama, Florida, Michigan, Texas, Mississippi and the Carolinas.
Plenty of Democrats haven’t accepted the legitimacy of a Republican president since 1988! So spare me the whining about Donald Trump destroying democracy on his way out the door.
The Trump chapter is over
Nonetheless, it is clear: President Trump has lost the 2020 election. Yes, there are fishy things that deserve full investigation, like: how did at least two counties in Georgia forget to count several thousand votes?
But for Trump, this chapter is over. And that’s OK. Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose. And, with apologies to fictional minor league catcher Crash Davis, sometimes it rains. Trump’s reelection, in fact, was washed away by the nation’s white-collar suburbanites, who had seen enough — enough tweets, enough insults, enough coronavirus press conferences. They aren’t allowed to act like that at their offices, they thought, and don’t think the president should, either.
It was an incredibly close election, though. Trump turned out a massive group on Election Day, as non-urban dwellers stuck by their guy and brought friends to the polls. Trump defied expectations and once again deployed a special sauce that blinds pollsters to millions of people who have had it with the coastal elites and the media.
It's not a 'Trump vaccine': I took the COVID vaccine to show anti-vaxxers that science works
But what to do now if you are Trump? Pretty simple — have yourself the fastest political bounce back of all time. The stars have aligned for Trump to exit on a high note and well-position him for 2024 should he again seek the presidency.
The most recent jobs report (which didn’t get much notice) was excellent, showing a full point drop in the unemployment rate to 6.9% as job creation outpaced expectations. Trump truly built a resilient economy, even as the virus rages.
And then came news of the major leap forward in vaccine development, with two companies showing their drugs to be 95% effective. Trump’s leadership and bold congressional action have us on the cusp of the fastest vaccine in human history. It normally takes many years to do this, and Trump delivered in just a few months.
Focus on COVID-19
But as usual, Trump’s triumphs are overshadowed by the worst parts of his personality. Failing to concede the election and tweeting out crazy conspiracy theories relegated his good news to the back burner. Biden, who ran his campaign claiming to have a foolproof plan to control the virus, now says he doesn’t have enough information “to begin planning,” according to NBC News, a story made possible by Trump’s refusal to allow for a normal transition.
Biden’s duplicitousness aside, beating the virus is too important to mess around with. Trump should help Biden's transition and cement the delivery of a vaccine as the 45th president’s greatest achievement. And while he’s at it, Trump should work with his congressional allies to fund the government, pass the defense authorization bill and perhaps strike a deal on the next COVID-19 relief package.
That would be a heck of a December for Trump and set him up for the ultimate political revenge in January — helping Republicans win both Senate seats in Georgia. Delivering comeuppance to Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi, the two people most responsible for pushing the narrative of Trump’s illegitimacy, would be sweet, indeed.
It is folly for Trump or his lead attorney, Rudy Giuliani, to challenge the Electoral College the way crazy Democrats have done for two decades. Don’t stoop to their level, guys. Accept the results, score as many points as you can on the way out the door and prepare to make a dramatic comeback in 2024, if you are so inclined.
Scott Jennings is a Republican adviser, CNN political contributor and partner at RunSwitch Public Relations. He can be reached at Scott@RunSwitchPR.com or on Twitter @ScottJenningsKY. This column originally published in the Louisville Courier Journal.
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This article originally appeared on Louisville Courier Journal: Trump, Giuliani should accept election results. We've had enough crazy