The chief obstacle to ending the ridiculous Republican refusal to accept President Trump’s November defeat is Alabama congressman Mo Brooks, who is threatening to challenge the electoral vote when Congress rubber-stamps it on January 6. So far, Brooks has been unable to find a senator to join him in that futile gesture, which under the Electoral Count Act of 1887 is all that’s necessary to force a two-hour debate and a vote in each house on a motion to overturn the results. Among those who would very much like to avoid this scenario is Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell:
So any senator choosing to take the fateful step in Brooks’s direction is risking the wrath of Mitch and of other Republican colleagues who don’t want to be forced to go on record favoring or opposing Trump’s delusions of a “landslide win.” Who would be that dumb? Maybe another Alabama Republican, as al.com suggested?
“I think that he [Tommy Tuberville] and Ted Cruz are the two best candidates to do this,” said Stan McDonald, Tuberville’s campaign chairman, during an interview on WVNN-radio in Huntsville on Tuesday. “I don’t know yet if or when he will do this. He’s very seriously considering it.”
There’s video available of Tuberville hinting he might take this step in an appearance in Georgia, saying “You see what’s coming; you’ve been reading about it in the House. We’re going to have to do it in the Senate.”
And Tubs is getting some encouragement from hard-core conservatives back home; one publication said he could become a “national hero to Trump supporters” if he steps out to back Brooks. It sure would brand him for a good while, since it would be his very first act as a U.S. Senator (he and other new members of Congress will be sworn in on January 3, just three days before the vote Brooks wants to trigger).
Now, as someone who grew up in Georgia, I might be guilty of a tendency to look down on Alabamans (Georgians tell “Alabama jokes” just as Alabamans tell “Mississippi jokes”). But there’s more specific evidence that Mo Brooks and Tommy Tuberville may have been spawned in the shallow end of the gene pool. Here’s an observation I made about Brooks when he made a speech identifying everyone to the left of him with that famous “socialist” Adolph Hitler:
Brooks conducted something of a master class in stupidity in suggesting that the entire news media and every member of one of the two major parties was consciously engaged in a “big lie” strategy, presumably by reporting on the Mueller investigation, and compounding the ignorant smear with the old right-wing chestnut of calling Hitler a leftist (“another Socialist”).
Tuberville, of course, was Donald Trump’s instrument for vengeance against Jeff Sessions for the sin of failing to block what became the Mueller investigation. Tubs thwarted the former attorney general’s effort to reclaim his old Senate seat in a Republican primary. Aside from that, Tuberville spent so much time on the 2020 campaign trail espousing slack-jawed theocratic views that I described him as “Roy Moore without the creepy taste for young women.” Here’s an example of his deep thinking:
“This world and our country has lost it,” the former Auburn University head football coach said. “Thank God, and I do thank God every day that we got Donald Trump elected two years ago. I could not imagine where we would be today had he not got elected.”
He then remarked that he wanted the government to “quit spending money.”
“We took prayer out of the schools in the mid-’60s. [Since] we did that, it’s really gone down hill,” Tuberville lamented.
So all in all, there is a comfortable consistency in the two Alabama extremists coming together to make their colleagues go on record as to their ultimate fidelity to Donald Trump and to every crazy right-wing conspiracy about godless socialists you can imagine. And if Tuberville demurs, maybe the supreme opportunist Ted Cruz will step up to the challenge to put the finishing touch on his craven subservience to the man he once called a “pathological liar.”