Democratic norms prevailed Monday: The Electoral College confirmed that President-elect Joe Biden did indeed win the Nov. 3 election. The Republican members of Minnesota's congressional delegation who tried to subvert the will of the American people last week should take note.
The Electoral College confirmation comes after courts spanning several state and federal jurisdictions (including the Supreme Court, twice) either declined to hear a case or ruled against all but one of 60 disparate, desperate lawsuits intended to overturn a free and fair election that gave Biden the same number of electoral votes as President Donald Trump won in 2016 and the most votes of any U.S. presidential candidate, ever.
The most legally egregious of these efforts (affronts, really) was a Texas lawsuit that sought to overturn the results in Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin — four states that Biden clearly won, as multiple recounts reaffirmed. (Of course the litigation wasn't targeted toward any states that Trump won, like Texas itself.)
But Lone Star state Republicans were not alone in backing this disgrace to democracy. North Star Republican Reps. Tom Emmer, Jim Hagedorn and Pete Stauber were among the more than 100 House GOP members who put party over country, let alone lies over truth, by supporting the effort. Rep.-elect Michelle Fischbach had indicated that if she were already in Congress she would have been complicit in trying to overturn the election, too.
All four had no qualms claiming they were duly elected on Nov. 3, even though Minnesota took some of the same common-sense measures to make voting safe during the deadly pandemic that they found so unfair in other states.
The result should have been the cause for celebration, not litigation: National turnout was up significantly. Minnesota once again led the nation in voter participation, and for this state's Republicans in particular it was a relatively good election. Fischbach flipped the Seventh District seat, and the party gained seats in the state House, narrowing the slight DFL majority.
The embarrassing fealty to Trump displayed by the four representatives should be deeply disappointing to all Minnesotans. But unfortunately, it's not surprising. Their blind loyalty was among the reasons why Emmer, Fischbach and Hagedorn did not earn the Star Tribune Editorial Board's endorsement this year.
Stauber did win our endorsement, based in part on his occasional willingness to buck Trump on issues including the president's obsessive assault on the Affordable Care Act. But Stauber, like his Minnesota GOP colleagues, couldn't bring the same discipline and character he mustered on a policy issue to a more profoundly fundamental issue like voting in swing states.
Emmer, Hagedorn, Stauber and Fischbach have apparently passed their most recent loyalty test from Trump by joining his campaign to overthrow a 7-million-vote election defeat. However they choose to represent their constituents over the next two years, their collective failure to uphold democratic norms in 2020 should not be forgotten.