Georgia GOP Sen. Kelly Loeffler locked herself into an impossible political position Wednesday when she signaled she hadn't ruled out objecting to the election results on Jan. 6, when Congress meets to officially tally the votes from the Electoral College.
“I haven't looked at it,” Loeffler told reporters Wednesday, according to Atlanta Journal-Constitution journalist Greg Bluestein. “January 6 is a long way out and there’s a lot to play out between now and then,” she added, while also refusing to acknowledge that President-elect Joe Biden won the race.
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Loeffler may have simply been bluffing in a nod to tantalizing Donald Trump's rabid base, but walking back that potentiality will be next to impossible without thoroughly galvanizing the right wingers against her.
Loeffler's Democratic challenger, Rev. Raphael Warnock, was quick to respond, tweeting, "Say it with me @KLoeffler: @JoeBiden and @KamalaHarris won the election. It’s disrespectful to Georgia voters to say anything else."
Warnock's retort was also targeted at motivating the Democratic base to action on Jan. 5 over the continued refusal of Loeffler and her GOP counterpart Sen. David Perdue to recognize the rightful winners of the state's presidential contest: Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris, who will become the first woman and person of color to serve as the nation's second in command.
Loeffler's gambit comes just one day after GOP Senate Leader Mitch McConnell finally conceded Biden had emerged victorious. McConnell's acknowledgement came after Senate Republicans had underwritten Trump's all-out assault on U.S. election for more than five weeks, but it still drew a rebuke from Trump in the wee hours of Wednesday morning claiming he won the election "by a lot."
"Too soon to give up. Republican Party must finally learn to fight. People are angry!” Trump added.
Following McConnell's concession to Biden Tuesday, the GOP Senate leadership team had explicitly implored members of their caucus not to contest the election results during congressional certification on Jan. 6—a doomed bid that would require at least one GOP senator to join forces with a Republican representative from the lower chamber. Loeffler clearly decided Trump's tweet had left her little choice but to continue spinelessly paying lip service to his fascist fantasies and those of his supporters.
It's not much a surprise, frankly. Loeffler—who has repeatedly leveraged her Senate post to profit off the nation's pandemic crisis—is nothing if not an opportunist.
The only real surprise these days is when Republican lawmakers take a stand in favor of our democracy instead of attacking it. But doing that involves the type of integrity that virtually ensures someone will also have to renounce their membership in the Republican party. Loeffler’s only saving grace is that congressional certification takes place one day after the Jan. 5 runoff. By then, she’ll have dropped Trump’s voters like a hot potato to get back to placing more impeccably timed stock trades for profit.
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