It is at one time a high and noble charge, but also and quite often a political burden. Will two of our best and brightest in the U.S. Congress act in the spirit of their oaths to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution?
That means both Steve Scalise and Garret Graves.
We urge them to put politics aside, support the orderly process of democracy and count the legal Electoral College votes cast for President-elect Joe Biden.
To participate in the protest against the vote of the people for Biden is demeaning to Scalise and Graves, both capable and articulate conservatives. We are particularly concerned that these two, among Louisiana's Trump-backing GOP delegation, can be swayed by the politics of the moment.
Scalise, the congressman representing suburban New Orleans, has been one of President Donald Trump’s most vociferous defenders against all his many enemies. And he is a member not only of the House but also its leadership, the No. 2 Republican in the chamber.
Graves is one of the most productive members of Congress from any state. The Baton Rouge congressman has also defended the president many times.
They sully that track record if they vote against the will of the nation.
Only an idiot believes that the president has evidence of widespread voter fraud sufficient to overturn the large majority for Biden.
Sadly, some of Louisiana’s Republican members of Congress fall into that category, cravenly ignoring their sworn oaths and seeking political advantage with die-hard Trump backers in the ordinarily ceremonial counting of the electoral votes.
That’s not what high office means. It requires duty above self.
We remember the wisdom of the late John Hainkel, of New Orleans, who told members of the Legislature facing a tough vote: “If you can’t explain this vote back home, you don’t deserve to be here.”
Scalise and Graves are trusted by their constituents. They can explain an honorable vote.
Nor is today’s protest vote excused by the fact that some Democrats have done it before. In 2005, as the law allows, the Ohio electoral votes were protested by a senator and a congresswoman. By large majority vote, both Senate and House put aside that silly objection.
It would be a schoolyard argument to say that it’s OK because somebody else did it, too.
What statement is made once all this is over? It is that the self-interest of Donald John Trump is the highest law in the land.
Do Scalise and Graves really want to put their names to that roll of dishonor? We plead with them not to do so.
This is a protest that should not occur in the first place. Count the votes.