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Rabu, 16 Desember 2020

US election: Republicans finally abandon Donald Trump’s futile challenge - The Australian

Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell at the US Capitol in Washington on Wednesday: ‘The electoral college has spoken’ Picture: AFP)
Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell at the US Capitol in Washington on Wednesday: ‘The electoral college has spoken’ Picture: AFP)

The Republican Party has finally abandoned Donald Trump in his futile quest to overturn Joe Biden’s election victory.

It took a month, but Republican Senator majority leader Mitch McConnell’s acknowledgment of Biden’s victory on Wednesday (AEDT) amounts to a party-wide signal to surrender to reality.

This leaves only Trump himself and a shrinking band of acolytes to keep up the pretence that the November 3 election outcome was fraudulent and that Biden will somehow not become president on January 20.

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Even so, Trump shows no sign yet of backing down in his increasingly lonely fight.

The President was tweeting about there being “tremendous evidence” of “voter fraud” even after McConnell conceded in the Senate that “the electoral college has spoken. So today, I want to congratulate president-elect Joe Biden.”

United States Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has publicly recognised Joe Biden as the President-elect – and for the first time acknowledged President Donald Trump’s election loss.

McConnell’s concession, which came a day after the electoral college made Biden’s win official, with a 306 to 232 vote, was hardly a noble moment for the party’s elder statesman.

McConnell’s silence over the past month despite the failure of more than 50 Trump-backed court cases alleging electoral fraud, has helped enable Trump to continue to trash faith in America’s democratic election process.

Polls show the growing damage which Trump’s campaign is causing, with no less than three quarters of those who voted for the President believing the election was illegally stolen from him.

Until now, McConnell’s silence also set the example for his Republican colleagues that they should play along with the President’s campaign regardless of its lack of merit.

With the electoral college having now voted, McConnell had little choice but to call Biden the president-elect.

Supporters of US President Donald Trump march on Pennsylvania Avenue to protest the outcome of the 2020 presidential election. Picture: AFP
Supporters of US President Donald Trump march on Pennsylvania Avenue to protest the outcome of the 2020 presidential election. Picture: AFP

Other Republican senators are also belatedly breaking ranks to declare Biden the winner. By conceding a Biden victory now, McConnell is also trying to avoid a Senate Republican challenge to the electoral college results at a joint sitting of congress on January 6 where the electoral college votes will be formally counted.

This challenge would be easily defeated by the Democrats and it would also force each Republican to make what for them would be an excruciating choice in public between loyalty to Trump or respect for the democratic vote.

McConnell is trying to head off such a public embarrassment, which leaves Trump with no viable political options to continue his quest to overturn the result.

More legal lawsuits alleging fraud are likely to be filed in the courts in the weeks ahead.

But the Trump team have already fired their best legal shots and they have been roundly defeated at every step by courts across six states.

The question now is how Trump will respond to losing the support of his party on election fraud.

Donald Trump has waged a futile battle to overturn the November election result. Picture: AFP
Donald Trump has waged a futile battle to overturn the November election result. Picture: AFP

It seems likely that Trump plans to leave office without ever conceding that Biden is the legitimate winner.

But without even his own party behind him anymore, the President’s claims seem increasingly futile.

Right now, he looks more like a sore loser than a wronged ¬martyr. Trump risks tarnishing the better parts of his presidential legacy with such an ignominious exit from office. But that is the way he is heading.

Cameron Stewart is also US Contributor for Sky News Australia

Some of the signs outside the White House. Picture: AFP
Some of the signs outside the White House. Picture: AFP

Washington Correspondent

Cameron Stewart has been The Australian’s Washington Correspondent covering North America since early 2017. This is his second US posting, having previously been The Australian’s New York correspondent the lat...

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https://news.google.com/__i/rss/rd/articles/CBMimQFodHRwczovL3d3dy50aGVhdXN0cmFsaWFuLmNvbS5hdS93b3JsZC91cy1lbGVjdGlvbi1yZXB1YmxpY2Fucy1maW5hbGx5LWFiYW5kb24tZG9uYWxkLXRydW1wcy1mdXRpbGUtY2hhbGxlbmdlL25ld3Mtc3RvcnkvNzc0OWVhNWU4YzFiMzlkOGNhZGM5NDExODdjNDhiZjHSAZkBaHR0cHM6Ly9hbXAudGhlYXVzdHJhbGlhbi5jb20uYXUvd29ybGQvdXMtZWxlY3Rpb24tcmVwdWJsaWNhbnMtZmluYWxseS1hYmFuZG9uLWRvbmFsZC10cnVtcHMtZnV0aWxlLWNoYWxsZW5nZS9uZXdzLXN0b3J5Lzc3NDllYTVlOGMxYjM5ZDhjYWRjOTQxMTg3YzQ4YmYx?oc=5

2020-12-16 10:23:00Z
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