The problem was, Todd wanted to focus on more fundamental questions, such as the credibility of Crenshaw’s party: “Why should anybody believe a word you say if the Republican Party itself doesn’t have credibility?” At that, Todd showed a clip of Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.), who last week was ousted from the No. 3 spot in the Republican House leadership for her insistence on shouting down Trump’s claims that the 2020 election was stolen from him. “For Republicans to be in a position where we can stop those policies, we’ve got to be able to tell people, ‘You can trust us. You can trust us to be based around conservative principles and to reject the lie and to protect the Constitution,’ ” said Cheney during the clip.
Speaking of this “big lie” about the election, Todd noted that Crenshaw was among the 125-plus lawmakers who signed a friend-of-the-court brief backing up the lawsuit from the Texas attorney general seeking to overturn the election results in four crucial swing states. The suit claimed that Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin had made hasty changes to election procedures without the approval of their state legislatures. The remedy it advised was galling: Throw the decision to the state legislatures themselves. And disenfranchise millions of voters.
Somehow, Crenshaw blamed the media for dramatizing the lawmakers’ brief. “You guys in the press painted that as some extreme action and, of course, it wasn’t. That amicus brief was a simple question of the Supreme Court in saying, ‘Can you please speak to this question of whether, of whether process changes in the election last minute, not approved by the legislature, can be deemed constitutional?’ It was a question,” said Crenshaw. He noted, correctly, that he didn’t vote to decertify the election in Congress.
There was more media-blaming in Crenshaw’s arsenal. “We’re five months into President Biden’s presidency, and there is a time to move on. And look, the — you guys in the press love doing this, and I, and I get it, right? The press is largely liberal. They’re largely . . . pro-Democrat,” said the lawmaker, prompted Todd to declared that there’s “nothing lazier” than pulling out the old media-bashing card in such a bind.
As the Erik Wemple Blog has argued before, and again, people such as Todd should be using all their polemical resources to keep the national debate focused on the “big lie,” its perpetrators, its aftermath and its consequences. The expiration date on that mission is whenever the 147 Republican decertifiers sign a retraction of their votes. Yet Todd on Sunday advanced a just-as-compelling peg for this line of questioning: Former President Trump is still pushing the “big lie,” as evidenced on by his blog; he remains the leader of the party — a guy who Sen. Lindsey O. Graham (R-S.C.) said the Republicans couldn’t win without.
After Crenshaw requested to debate other issues, Todd advised, “We would love to see that. Contact the former president about that situation.”
There are those who say that decertifiers, as well as those who supported the Texas lawsuit, don’t deserve space on mainstream interview programs, much less the longest-running show in TV history. Yet that approach lets a lot of people off the hook. As we’ve argued before, it’s far better to invite them on air, interrogate them about the president’s election lies and refuse to move on. Which is pretty much what Todd did.