Look, it would be bad if, hypothetically, only 27 congressional Republicans were willing to state that they could tell for sure who had won the election, and that it was Joe Biden. That would be frustrating and alarming! But fortunately, we do not live in that world. Although only 27 Republicans in Congress have said they are positive about the election in literal, out-loud words we can hear, saying the words out loud or emitting a statement to that effect are only two of the ways you can show what you think.
For everything else, there are Tacit Acknowledgments! Sure, no one has said anything, but they didn’t have to! You can also stare off into the middle distance in a certain way as you dodge reporters, or tweet something full of Easter eggs for devoted fans. There are so many other subtle cues that show that actually, our system is not under strain and the results of the election are being acknowledged from sea to shining sea.
You just have to believe in them enough, and then you will start seeing them everywhere! For instance:
Rep. Mo Brooks (R-Ala.) said that “this is the worst election theft in the history of the United States.” This is not unsettling, but rather a tacit admission of confidence in the results. “Worst election theft in the history of the United States” here means “poorest attempt to thieve an election that has ever happened; most disappointing failure to steal the election possible.”
Sen. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) referred to Biden as the president-elect, but then her staff said she misspoke, which was a tacit acknowledgment that we’re only doing tacit acknowledgments.
Kellyanne Conway has sold a book about her time in the Trump administration, which implies that there will be an end to it.
When Sen. Mike Braun (R-Ind.) said of voter fraud that “when you just say that there’s nothing there, you’re going to have half the country uncertain about what just happened,” he blinked several times rapidly in succession! This could spell “Y” in Morse code, which would be an affirmative answer to the question “Do you accept the results of the election, Y/N?”
Rep. Paul Gosar (R-Ariz.), when asked whether he’d support Biden as president, replied, “No, never!” But in the classic Gilbert & Sullivan song “I Am the Captain of the Pinafore,” “No, never,” means “Hardly ever!,” which means, “Yes, definitely!” Clearly an allusion!
Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) simply declined The Post’s request for comment on whether he acknowledged that Biden was the winner; he didn’t decline to say that Biden was the winner, he just declined to say anything at all. That’s positive, especially when you think of the many terrible things Tom Cotton has not declined to say!
Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.) beseeched the Supreme Court to hear a challenge to the Pennsylvania results, saying, “Ordinarily, the U.S. Supreme Court would stay out of election disputes, especially concerning state law. But these are not ordinary times.” Probably this was because he hoped the Supreme Court would hear the case and say it was bad.
The attorneys general of 17 other states are supporting the Texas attorney general’s lawsuit trying to stop certification of the election results of several states Trump did not win. This sounds like they’re trying to overturn the election, but it also presupposes that the current election results would not result in another term for Donald Trump!
Vice President Pence has declined to call Vice President-elect Kamala D. Harris to congratulate her only because of his religious commitment never to congratulate a woman to whom he is not married, not because he doesn’t accept the results. He did not react to a crowd shouting, “Stop the steal!” because he was busy thinking silently about how wrong they were.
And Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said, “The future will take care of itself." Describing the future in non-apocalyptic terms is certainly a tacit acknowledgement that Donald Trump will not be president.
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