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Never Forget the Republicans Who Held Fast

There should have been more of them. Lots more. But a few did stand strong.
December 15, 2020
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Senator Mitt Romney (R-UT) (Photo by Zach Gibson/Getty Images)

The safety and security of the 2020 presidential election has been verified over and over, including by the top Republicans in the country. President Trump’s own attorney general confirmed that there was no fraud that would have changed the outcome, and former Trump administration top cybersecurity official Chris Krebs called it “the most secure election in American history.”

A great deal of attention has—for good reason—been paid to Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, who filed suit in an attempt to strip millions of Americans in four states of their vote. And Paxton was joined by attorneys general in 18 states won by Donald Trump. 126 Republican members of the House also filed an amicus brief, a clear violation of their oath office in which they swore to support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies foreign and domestic. We should not mince words: These people are enemies of democracy.

But we should also take note of the Republican attorneys general who chose to stay off the Paxton brief: Lawrence Wasden (ID), Daniel Cameron (KY), Gordon MacDonald (NH), and Bridget Hill (WY). Dave Yost (OH) filed his own brief, but did not endorse Texas’ remedy of legislative overthrow of the popular will. We should applaud these brave attorneys general, who, despite significant pressure, stood up for democracy while their Republican party attempted to disenfranchise millions of citizens.

Others also stood up against this autocratic attempt—and deserve our respect. Another amicus brief brought together 23 state attorneys general from across the country to condemn AG Paxton’s baseless lawsuit. Some Republican leaders were outspokenly critical of the Paxton suit. In addition to Georgia AG Chris Carr, Senator John Cornyn and Sen. Mitt Romney called the lawsuit for what it was: factually inaccurate, legally unsound, and an attack on our democracy.

This list should have been longer. Much longer.

But that only makes the courage of those who stood against it more admirable.

Paxton’s lawsuit was not only irresponsible, it was a waste of taxpayer dollars and resources. Courts are already clogged and should be dealing with other matters. The American people have spoken, and states have certified their election results. The people chose Joe Biden. It’s time to move forward as a country. These groundless attempts to undermine the will of the people are an embarrassing distraction when we need our leaders rebuilding our economy, beating COVID, and bringing our country back together.

We need more leaders to speak out and join the elected officials who refuse to accept Trump’s attempt to undermine the will of the people. We need to applaud those who stood on the right side of history and supported our election officials. Those men and women are the guardians of our democracy. We owe them our gratitude.

Donald Trump is Donald Trump. He is what we thought he was.

But what is new is the Trumpification of the Republican party. The GOP was once known for its support for the rule of law. Today, the majority of the party supports an utter fiction. They have abdicated their role as leaders and violated their oaths of office. When these men and women are written about in the future, may the first clause in their description be, “who attempted to overthrow the votes of millions of Americans.”

We must not forget.

Christine Todd Whitman

One of Gov. Christine Todd Whitman’s first jobs was at the Republican National Committee and went on to be the first female governor of New Jersey and Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency under President George W. Bush. She is a member of the Voter Protection Program Bipartisan Advisory Board.

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