It is considered bad form to begin an essay with a dictionary definition. But I’m making an exception in order to be crystal clear about the meaning of the word “sedition” before we go any further. Sedition is “the crime of creating a revolt, disturbance, or violence against lawful civil authority with the intent to cause its overthrow or destruction.”
An attempt to overturn the results of a free and fair election that your side lost using demonstrably fictitious accusations of fraud, long after the courts have ruled against you dozens of times, meets the definition of sedition.
Sedition describes the congresswoman-elect from Colorado’s Third Congressional District who says she will “object to the Electoral College results on January 6th”, when she told her hundreds of thousands of Twitter followers that “we need THE PEOPLE to put pressure on Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, New Mexico, Nevada, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania state legislatures to rescind their certifications.”
State legislatures do not have this power.
The “pressure” Lauren Boebert is referring to has in recent months been delivered by individuals carrying assault rifles and sending violent and horrific death threats to local and statewide elections officials, many of them fellow Republicans.
“Seditious” accurately describes Douglas County Clerk and Recorder Merlin Klotz calling on Vice President Mike Pence to declare the elections “illegal” in Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, New Mexico, Nevada, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania. President-Elect Biden won each of these states respectively by 10,457, 11,779, 154,188, 99,720, 33,596, 20,682, and 81,660 votes. For context, in 2016, Donald Trump won the decisive states of Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania by 10,704, 22,748, and 44,292, respectively.
Just as state legislatures have no power to overturn the results of the elections the voters decided in each of their states despite the wishes of the proprietor of Shooter’s Grill, the Vice President has no constitutional authority to disregard the results and count pro-Trump electors in states Joe Biden won. Regardless of what Clerk Klotz posts on Facebook, the Vice President cannot reject the will of millions of American voters and overturn the results of an election because he did not like the outcome.
Yes, there is an obscure mechanism for Congress to overturn the results of an election. One member of the U.S. House and one member of the U.S. Senate may submit a written objection to a state’s results. Then, each chamber of Congress must vote to concur or reject the objection. Since the House is controlled by Democrats, even if this ridiculous motion somehow passed the GOP controlled Senate, the attempted coup would end with a simple majority vote of the lower chamber, to the sound and fury of many more Trump fundraising emails, no doubt. Hey, if you can’t be president anymore, hundreds of millions of dollars transferred from the bank accounts of gullible suckers to the pockets of Trump, Inc. isn’t a bad consolation prize.
Regardless of the fact that this seditious coup has no chance of succeeding, expect Colorado’s newest congressional delegate to join with former Auburn football coach and Alabama Senator-Elect Tommy Tuberville to attempt to overturn the 2020 election that brought the Tipton Toppler herself to power as one of her very first acts in office. It’s an insult to the good people of the West Slope and Southern Colorado to have their newest representative focus on performative partisan political theater instead of providing families and businesses the resources and support they need to weather this hopefully final stage of the coronavirus pandemic.
How can we fairly label these acts seditious, you ask, if a constitutional process for overturning the results of a presidential election actually exists? Simple: the justification for such an extraordinary action initiated only twice before in all of American history, unsuccessfully both times, is nonsense. Trump and his dwindling circle of sycophants have filed dozens of lawsuits in state and federal courts all over the country in an attempt to overturn the 2020 election and got beaten like a gong over and over.
So, despite desperate tweets from pistol-packin’ politicians and seditious lies from Republicans, grifters and scam artists, President-Elect Joe Biden will be sworn in as the 46th President of the United States in 2021. As many Trump voters reminded me over the past four years, facts don’t care about your feelings, my president is your president too, and you lost, so deal with it.
Ian Silverii is the executive director of ProgressNow Colorado, the state’s largest progressive advocacy group.
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