by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, 2016 Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton and the mob, each in their own way, last week increased the risk that we will face a fairly grave constitutional moment.
Mrs. Pelosi, in an unscripted moment, with her usual charm, identified the president and his allies in Congress (one can only assume she meant all the congressional Republicans) as domestic enemies of the United States. For her part, Mrs. Clinton publicly advised Democratic presidential candidate Jose[h R. Biden not to concede the election under any circumstances. The mob attacked a U.S. senator in the street.
In ordinary times, these comments and actions would be remarkable enough and worthy enough of severe approbation. But in a presidential election cycle in which there is a very real possibility of a contested result, identifying the opposition as domestic enemies, counseling no concessions of any kind and assaulting an elected official merely because he is an elected official amount to material endangerment of the republic.
How likely is a contested election? In 1876, the election was close enough that it hinged on the votes (and the voting certification process) in three states: South Carolina, Louisiana and Florida. This year, vote counts may take weeks because of a surge in voting by mail and early in-person voting. …
… The timeline is a problem as well. By Dec. 14, just 41 days after the Nov. 3 election, states are required to convene their presidential electors and forward their certified results to the House. Think about that for a moment. In less than six weeks, states will have to count all the votes, settle the inevitable legal disputes over vote counting and forward the results to the House.