Congress also collapsed. House and Senate Republicans bear the brunt of the blame. Some were It’s okay with Mr. Trump’s authoritarian tendencies. Others hated his actions, but did nothing substantial to counter those risks. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell delivered an impassioned speech against Mr. Trump’s actions after January 6, but he did not vote for the convictionperhaps fearing the wrath of the Republican base.
More surprisingly, Democratic leaders in the House and Senate did not act as if the very survival of American democracy was at stake, even though leading global experts on democratic backsliding and transitions to authoritarianism have been sound the alarm.
President Biden said it well in his Jan. 6 birthday speech about Mr. Trump and his allies holding “a dagger to America’s throat, to American democracy.” But we need action, not just strong words.
These are the three principles that should guide action for democratic institutions and the rule of law in the future.
For starters, Democrats shouldn’t try to go it alone to preserve free and fair elections.. Some Democrats, like Marc Eliasone of the top Democratic election advocates, is ready to quash the possibility of finding Republican partners because most Republicans did not stand up to Mr. Trump, and even the few Republicans who did not support the program of Democratic voting rights, such as the passage of the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act.
Flying solo is a big mistake. Democrats can’t stop the subversion of the 2024 election results alone, especially if Democrats don’t control many state houses and either house of Congress when Electoral College votes are counted. on January 6, 2025. Why believe that any legislation passed only by Democrats in 2022 would stop subversive Republican action in 2024? A coalition with the minority of Republicans willing to defend the rule of law is the best way to try to erect obstacles to a stolen election in 2024, even if those Republicans do not side with Democrats on the right to vote or other matters. Remember, it took Republican election workers, elected officials, and judges to stand up against a coup attempt in 2020.
Other Republicans might find it in their own interest to work with Democrats on anti-subversion legislation. Minority Whip Senator John Thune recently signaled that his party might support an overhaul of the Voter Count Act, the arcane old rules Congress uses to certify state Electoral College votes. While Mr. Trump tried unsuccessfully to get his Republican Vice President Mike Pence to throw the election at him or at least throw him into chaos, Republicans know it will be Democratic Vice President Kamala Harris, not Mr. Pence, who will preside over Congressional certification of Electoral College votes in 2025. Perhaps there is room for a bipartisan agreement to ensure both that vice presidents do not go rogue and that state legislatures cannot simply submit alternative voter lists if they are not satisfied with the election results.