Washington Post columnist Jennifer Rubin is calling for Republican members to be expelled for calling this week’s votes as “riot”. I rejected this challenge as unfounded from the start. However, remember this demand (made by others). Rubin wants to expel members who have joined the challenges allowed under federal law (for the same reasons Democrats put forward in previous elections). Indeed, she declares: “Every Republican is responsible for what happened on Wednesday, regardless of whether or not he participated in a seditious attempt to overthrow our democracy.” Republicans who resisted the challenge and denounced the violence should still be punished or blamed?
Rubin also objects to how these members used “disinformation” to incite violence, but continues to misrepresent both the law and the records. For example, it picks out personalities like Senator Josh Hawley (R-Mo.), Who previously stated he doesn’t believe Vice President Michael Pence has the authority to simply “send back” such votes.
Rubin explains that these members “knew the objections were unfounded. They saw the violent consequences caused by disinformation but doubled the Republican turmoil. “As is often the case in her columns, Rubin seems to reconstruct reality to fit her preferred conclusion. She accuses these members of “instigating” rioters by setting the same challenge that Democrats have posed in previous Republican presidential elections. It does not demand the expulsion of these democratic members.
In January 2005, Boxer joined former MP Stephanie Tubbs Jones to question George W. Bush’s victory over Democratic challenger John Kerry in Ohio. I worked for CBS in these elections and shared concerns about the voting irregularities. At the time, Boxer argued that Republicans were engaged in voter suppression that contributed to Bush’s victory. The leadership of the media and Democrats has been very supportive. Indeed, many who condemn the challenge today have given boxers high praise in 2004. There was no scream in the media about anti-democratic measures and the refusal to respect the election results. For example, spokeswoman Nancy Pelosi described the current challenge as an attack on democracy, but during the 2004 election campaign she praised Boxer’s challenge as a “witness to democracy at work”. This is not what some of our Republican colleagues have sadly called lightly. This debate is fundamental to our democracy. “
In particular, many Democrats such as Senator Chris Van Hollen, D-Md., Have made analogous complaints about electoral systems, insisting that “we as Americans should all be concerned by reports of electoral problems in many parts of the country.” Senator Dick Durbin also denounced the challenge earlier this year, but went to the Senate in 2005 to praise boxers. He stated: “Some may criticize our colleague from California for bringing us here for this short debate. I would like to thank her for this because it gives the members the opportunity to look at a non-partisan challenge that we will have to face not only in the last elections in one state but in many states. “
Furthermore, it is not a “riot” to apply federal law that allows such challenges. Riots are an attempt to overturn the rule of law. Indeed, these members stated that they wanted to highlight the voting irregularities just as boxers did in 2004. The application of such a law is not an invitation to riot. When liberal groups rioted at Trump’s inauguration, Rubin did not blame Democratic members who refused to recognize Trump as a legitimate president.
During Trump’s speech, I tweeted objections to his statements and defended those he attacked. I called the speech inconsiderate and wrong. Efforts to arm this incident against Republican members, however, are unfair.
Scariest of all, Rubin’s absurd standard proposed for expelling members:
Each chamber can enact a simple rule: “No member may retain a seat in an effort to overturn the results of an election, lodge frivolous lawsuits to do the same, or pressurize an election official to accept the results of an election to change . ”
Under this standard, any member who has filed a lawsuit classified by Rubin or others as “frivolous” can be expelled. Likewise, any contestation of votes under the Rubin Electoral Count Act is clearly viewed as a riot. . . unless you are a democrat. So we have seen a number of unsubstantiated complaints from Democratic members over the past four years. The lawsuits were dismissed. Would they also be expelled? Rubin is calling for federal law that allows for a completely subjective standard for expulsion of members.
Fortunately, the Washington Post cannot rewrite the constitution to allow such a mob rule. What Rubin proposes would pose serious constitutional problems as a majority party penalizes members for taking positions or filing cases it deems “frivolous” or seditious.
For full disclosure, I ran into Rubin for personally assaulting me over a theory I disapproved of in a column I did not write. I also challenged her in an equally bizarre column in which she wrote about my impeachment certificate with a clearly bogus report on a “concession” that attorney Norm Essen had revoked me, the exact same source she had used in a later column , in which the company was misrepresented in an appeal with Trump. This false report was never corrected by the Washington Post.
The reason such columns are printed is because in most mainstream media they are largely protected from contradiction. In isolated media like the Washington Post, readers are largely protected from opposing views. Rubin can misrepresent actual participation and is not subject to correction. This proposed standard of expulsion is an attack on freedom of expression and representation. However, it is welcomed by those who want to use this uprising to purge Congress and dispel opposing positions.