Although you probably won't read much about it in the New York Times or Washington Post, support for President Trump pressing ahead with demands for recounts, or otherwise contesting the outcome of last week's election, appears to be growing among top-ranking Republicans.
Lindsey Graham, Ted Cruz and others raised questions about various irregularities (which actually aren't all that uncommon in American elections) earlier, and the GSA, the component of the federal government bureaucracy that oversees transfer of power and all that comes with it (moves in and out of the White House etc), said earlier that there would be no transfer of power until a "clear winner is clear based on the process laid out in the Constitution."
Now, Sen Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, arguably the most powerful Republican in Washington (perhaps even moreso than President Trump), has finally spoken up, and he's backing President Trump.
Sen. McConnell said Monday that Trump has every right not to accept the final results based on little more than media reports, and that President Trump is within his right to request vote recounts and file legal challenges to address irregularities, he said in opening floor comments.
The Kentucky Republican, who fended off a well-financed Democratic challenger, added, with perhaps a touch of sarcasm, that last week’s election "appears to have been free from meaningful foreign interference".
Earlier, McConnell said before the vote that "all legal ballots must be counted, all illegal ballots should not be counted,” and McConnell said again Monday on the Senate floor that "the process must be transparent."
The implications of these comments are momentous, and they drive home the fact that, as we wait to hear more from President Trump and the rest of the GOP establishment, this happy-go-lucky straightforward transition being priced in by the market hasn't been finalized quite yet. The markets now appear to agree, as US equities slipping headed into the close after what has been a wild ride higher since this morning's vaccine news. With minutes to go, the VIX is green for the day, and small caps might be headed for one of their biggest intraday reversals ever.
Meanwhile, the MSM is already explaining away McConnell's comments as more aggressive rhetoric meant to fire up the base in Georgia ahead of the Jan. 5 runoffs, where two GOP stalwarts will again defend their seats.
Based on my convos with Rs over wknd, most everything McConnell does from here on isn't about January 20th (inauguration day & working with Biden) but January 5th (the Georgia run-off elections). To win the latter, Rs believe the base must be stoked, esp in a fast-changing state.— Robert Costa (@costareports) November 9, 2020
McConnell needs those seats to preserve his majority, and President Trump's legacy. All the more reason to put up a fight.
After all, with more Republicans stepping up with criticisms and complaints, perhaps there's more "'there', there" than the American people were led to believe.