We covered the electoral saga in Iowa's Second Congressional District rather closely, as Democrats pondered whether they'd try to steal a seat won by Mariannette Miller-Meeks. The votes were counted, re-counted, then unanimously certified by a bipartisan panel. Miller-Meeks prevailed by six votes, out of hundreds of thousands cast in the district. Under the laws of the state of Iowa, based on the choices of IA-02 voters, she was the victor, and Democrat Rita Hart was the loser. Rather than challenge the result in Hawkeye State courts, Hart chose to take her appeal directly to Speaker Nancy Pelosi and the Democrat-controlled House of Representatives. Polling in the district has broken heavily against this move, and even liberal newspapers that endorsed Hart denounced her efforts and called on her to concede. She has not.
When Pelosi seated Miller-Meeks, and the new Congresswoman was sworn in, it seemed like the misadventure might finally be over. Not so. A Democrat-controlled House committee recently took an affirmative step in the direction of overturning the result in a partisan power grab, and Republicans are now on high alert. They've launched a petition at PelosiSteal.com, and major players within the party are sounding the alarm. If Democrats are going to try to rob the GOP of a legitimately-won election in order to pad their razor-thin majority, they cannot go through the process without intense, painful scrutiny. Miller-Meeks joined my radio program yesterday to explain the unfolding attack on democracy from her perspective. As I note in the tweet below, her disposition and tone are far more controlled than mine might be under similar circumstances:
Yesterday, I interviewed IA-02's @RepMMM (great Twitter handle btw) about House Democrats' ongoing machinations to potentially steal the seat she won. She was calmer and more composed than I would have been: https://t.co/9Z8xyBqQUN— Guy Benson (@guypbenson) March 18, 2021
"I was ahead on election night. I was ahead at the official county canvass of all 24 counties. All of these ballots were examined. And then in the recount, [there] is a three person bipartisan board, eyeballs on these ballots that were considered illegitimate under Iowa law -- and she could have appealed to the Iowa courts, but did not, because under Iowa law, these ballots would have been tossed out. She knew that she would lose. So, yes, strategically, they felt better to appeal to the House Committee on Administration and Congress, which is a majority of Democrats. So it changes it from an election process."
The Democratic chairwoman of the committee now in control of this scheme averred last week, "the American people deserve to know who actually won this election." We already know who won. It was the woman who received more votes after both the initial tabulation and the recount, who was certified the winner by her state, and who is a sworn-in and voting member of Congress: Mariennette Miller-Meeks. The Wall Street Journal's editorial board penned a scathing editorial on the subject, exposing what Democrats are actively entertaining:
If House Democrats wanted to avoid inserting themselves into an after-the-vote-is-counted election dispute, they would have said merely that the state process had to be respected. That imperative ought to have been especially evident after Jan. 6. But Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Thursday that a full House vote reversing the outcome was a possibility. Democrats may not have the large majorities they had in 1985 and 1938, but their current narrow majority is united, willful and determined. The party is on the precipice of creating a precedent, for the first time in a generation, that a partisan majority in Congress can disregard state officials and redo a close election count according to its own preferences. All their high-minded talk about respecting the voters seems to apply only when Donald Trump is challenging the results. This blatant Democratic power play would inspire more partisan bitterness—and further erode voter faith in elections.
"The last time the House reversed a state-certified election result was in Indiana’s 'bloody eighth' congressional district in 1985," the editors explain, referencing a brazen act of electoral theft that we've discussed previously. "The last time it replaced a sitting Member with his opponent was in 1938. In both cases the House was under Democratic control," they continued. Amazingly, the Democrat-created precedent is for Democrats to overrule elections they'd lost. If they think they can get away with it again, they'll try. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell blasted House Democrats' machinations in a floor speech this morning:
"I remember distant days, long ago, way back through the mists of time, when Democrats said it would be wrong for Washington D.C. to overturn a state-certified election result. No, wait a minute. That was two months ago. Two months ago, every Democrat, cable news channel, and liberal newspaper was melting down over some Republicans’ efforts to dispute state-certified election results here in Congress. I vocally opposed those efforts myself. But right now, as we speak, Speaker Pelosi and Washington Democrats are literally trying to overturn a state-certified election result here in Congress...This time, the Republican won and the Democrat lost. So Speaker Pelosi and Washington Democrats have set out trying to overturn the result from here in Congress...Naturally, now that Democrats stand to benefit, the concept of Washington D.C. overturning a certified election has gone from a massive outrage to a minor afterthought for much of the national media. This is happening at the same time that House and Senate Democrats are pitching a massive takeover of all 50 states’ election laws."
That last bit is a swipe at HR 1, a truly heinous, partisan "voting rights" bill passed out of the House. Democrats are trying to build momentum for the Senate to nuke the filibuster in the name of passing that legislation, which would be disastrous on several levels. On that front, I'll leave you with the thoughtful and restrained Yuval Levin describing the danger of what Congressional Democrats are plotting: "Democrats genuinely fail to see how dangerous H.R. 1 itself is to public confidence in our elections. But can you imagine a more effective way to persuade Republicans to lose trust in our democracy than to have the narrowest possible Democratic majority in Washington take over key election-administration rulemaking in every state and impose new and often looser rules involving voter registration, ID requirements, eligibility, ballot harvesting, early voting, drop-boxes, mail-in voting, locations and hours of polling stations, voting by felons, campaign donations, and more?" His piece his measured, and not a partisan jeremiad against one party. It's worth the full read.