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Republicans are still going full speed ahead with their attack on America’s democracy, despite the dangerous consequences of this behavior as seen in the nation’s capital on Wednesday.
Ahead of the madness in D.C., GOP senators in Pennsylvania launched their own upending of standard operating procedures on Tuesday by deciding to block the swearing in of newly elected Democratic state Sen. Jim Brewster, reports CNN.
Brewster is now unable to win the seat in the Pennsylvania legislature he is legally entitled to, because Republicans there are steadfastly contesting his election win—despite the fact that it has been confirmed by the state’s Department of Elections.
The Republican candidate who lost to Brewster, Nicole Ziccarelli, has challenged his victory on the basis that a little over 300 mail-in ballots counted in the election did not have a handwritten date on the outer envelope, according to AP. Though the state Supreme Court ruled that this was not enough of a reason to throw out the votes, Ziccarelli’s soreness at losing led her to escalate the situation by filing a lawsuit in federal court—arguing that she would win by 24 votes if the ballots were thrown out. She also petitioned the Pennsylvania Senate with a complaint asking them to judge the election.
That complaint is what seems to have led Republican state senators to pass a motion to block Brewster from taking his seat on Tuesday and then ultimately seize control of the swearing-in proceedings after the motion was denied by Pennsylvania’s Lt. Gov. John Fetterman.
The intense sequence kicked off when GOP state Sen. Ryan Aument introduced the motion to not seat Brewster until “such time as the Senate had the opportunity for further consideration of the contest petition.”
When Fetterman refused to recognize the motion, Aument charged, “It is your duty to put a motion properly before this body. If you continue to refuse to perform your duties, the Senate will proceed to replace you with the interim president pro tempore.”
At the same time, Senate President Pro Tempore Jake Corman, a Republican, approached Fetterman at the front of the chamber before addressing the body as the new presiding official.
As Corman began to speak, though, Democratic state Sen. Anthony Williams offered a fiery retort, announcing loudly: “Mr. President, I totally object to this.”
“This is inappropriate. You are breaking the Constitution and the laws of the commonwealth and violating the oath of office you have actually taken. There is nothing about this day that is appropriate; nothing. We will not lay down and roll over because you got former folks on that side of the aisle. This is about Pennsylvania, not Democrats or Republicans,” Williams said.
“This is not about simply winning, it’s about protecting our democracy. That’s what this is.”
Williams can then be heard yelling, “We will not participate in this farce,” as the Republican majority began a roll call to officially remove Fetterman from presiding.
With this kind of thuggish behavior by elected officials—fueled by a paper-thin claim by one of their party mates that they lost an election, a claim that the courts have disagreed with—is it any wonder that the fools who vote for them felt emboldened to break into the U.S. Capitol?