— Nick Bryant (@NickBryantNY) December 15, 2020
Alas, U.S. Reps. Bruce Westerman and Rick Crawford, Sen. Tom Cotton and Attorney General Leslie Rutledge haven’t heard the song. And a so-far undetermined number of the 33 members of the Arkansas Legislature’s Crackpot Caucus that joined in challenging the democratic process.
Frank Lockwood of the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette surveyed the congressional delegation following the Electoral College vote Monday and found only Sen. John Boozman and Reps. French Hill and Steve Womack prepared to accept that Joe Biden will be the next president. Westerman and Crawford said they were taking a wait-and-see approach. Cotton wouldn’t respond at all.
I foolishly credited Westerman yesterday with the possibility he’d retained a shred of integrity based on a comment he issued after the U.S. Supreme Court thoroughly rebuffed a Texas effort, joined by Arkansas, to deny voters participation in the election in four Biden states. He seems to have taken back this statement. The books are not closed after all.
French Hill, in accepting the outcome, gave Donald Trump far too much credit, saying Trump had said he’d abide by the vote of the Electoral College. Surprisingly, that’s accurate. Trump made the remark in his famous “tiny desk” appearance. Based on his Twitterstorm in the last 24 hours along with other activities, it’s clear that was but another Trump lie.
Never forget that on bizarre tiny desk night Trump said he would leave office if the Electoral College voted for Joe Biden.
That happened today…pic.twitter.com/TwgNNhnk0q
— Rex Chapman🏇🏼 (@RexChapman) December 14, 2020
Elsewhere in the paper, Attorney General Leslie Rutledge also continued to refuse to accept Biden’s victory. Governor Hutchinson is characterized as accepting the outcome. But I think it more precise to say Hutchinson was quoted Sunday in the New York Times as saying Biden would likely become president-elect after the electoral college vote. (He did use the phrase Nov. 29 on Fox News Sudnay, however.) I asked his press office last night if he’d now utter the words President-elect Biden(as he did for Donald Trump in 2016 long before the Electoral College voted in a tighter election) and got a response noting the Times and Fox interviews this morning. Perhaps he’ll be speak the words aloud to an Arkansas audience at his coronavirus briefing today.
By the way, Joe Biden was definitive last night about the assault on democracy by Republicans including members of Congress from Arkansas and Rutledge. Good speech that needed saying.
.@JoeBiden‘s speech tonight, per @mviser, was to date his “most forceful defense of the election — and his own legitimacy as president — as well as his most complete denunciation of Trump’s fraudulent claims.” https://t.co/paLioRWBtR
— Seung Min Kim (@seungminkim) December 15, 2020
And, though Cotton, Westerman, Crawford, Rutledge the Crackpot Caucus and, of course, Trump aren’t accepting the outcome, one player on the world stage is:
Incredible. Russian President Vladimir Putin congratulates Joe Biden and calls him “president-elect,” and though he was weeks behind other leaders, he still acknowledged reality sooner than many Congressional Republicans. https://t.co/T2LbWTdUO4
— Steve Inskeep (@NPRinskeep) December 15, 2020
And enjoy the Biden victory clip: