Recently, members of the Pennsylvania state legislature sent a letter to the state’s Congressional delegation urging them to “object, and vote to sustain such objection, to the Electoral College votes received from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.” The Republican majority leader in the state senate, Senator Kim Ward, was not asked to sign on to that letter, which probably tells you a great deal about how she is perceived by her colleagues. When asked by the New York Times whether she would have signed on to the letter if asked, Ward responded by saying, “If I would say to you, ‘I don’t want to do it,’ ” Ward told the Times, “I’d get my house bombed tonight.”
Yes, that is correct. The Republican majority leader of the Pennsylvania State Senate, speaking to the New York Times stated that if she refused a request to sign a letter protesting election fraud she believed she would be violently attacked by supporters of the President.
Let that sink in.
We are perhaps used to the slander coming from the left, which brands members of the MAGA movement as deplorables, chumps and right wing extremists. This wasn’t a statement by a progressive Democrat, however. This was a statement by the leader of the Republican Party in the upper chamber of the Pennsylvania legislature.
Nor should we infer from this statement that Senator Ward’s opinion is hers and her alone. She was just voted in less than a month ago by the Republican majority in the Senate as their leader. This is the woman the Republicans in the state senate just decided they wanted to represent them and to lead them. She speaks for all of them.
Since the election a month ago, Senator Ward’s public statements are devoid of virtually any commentary on electoral fraud or the need for an investigation into the possibility that the election results in Pennsylvania were the product of criminal activity.
Ward has tweeted any number of times about how happy she is she got elected majority leader using the fun hashtag #girlpower.
Ward has also issued a statement along with other establishment types in the House and the Senate promising that in the next session, which does not begin until January, there will be an investigation, which we are assured will result in lessons learned that will be incorporated into future elections, but obviously will have no impact on the results of the election we are still trying to decide.
In this statement Ward and the other signatories bizarrely promise “We as leaders of the Senate and House have set into motion a major legislative initiative that will be pursued with the same resolve shown over the last eight months in taking on the Governor’s unilateral pandemic actions.”
Given that the legislature has stood impotent while Governor Wolf has run roughshod over the rights and liberties of the citizens of the Commonwealth, that strange assurance is far from comforting.
Her only comment of any length on the entire election controversy appears to be in a post on her Facebook page from December 5th. Apparently feeling pressure from “what is being thrown around on social media and some talk shows,” Ward devoted several paragraphs to explaining at length why there was nothing she could do about any of the issues raised by allegations of electoral fraud and assuring us that “it’s a case for the courts and law enforcement at this juncture.”
This is the face of the Republican Party in Pennsylvania. Your state representatives and senators may assure you at all those fundraisers and townhalls that they are fighting for you when they go to Harrisburg. Their definition of “fighting” and yours may be radically different, however.
People talk all the time about how broken the “system” is. That misstates the problem. Saying the system is broken implies it is designed to serve the interests of the people and it just needs some repair.
That’s not true at all.
From the standpoint of people like Kim Ward the system is working just fine. Her big focus this past legislative session was on making sure information on the residences of people diagnosed with COVID-19 was disseminated to law enforcement and first responders. She wasn’t fighting an unconstitutional abrogation of personal liberty by the state. She was working to make it more efficient.
Ward’s not walking away from the election controversy, because she truly believes President Trump lost. She’s walking away, because she doesn’t have any problem with his defeat. Business as usual and the status quo are apparently just fine with her.
No rational person is suggesting that the result of a free and fair election should be set aside. If a full inquiry into what just transpired shows Donald Trump lost fair and square, then Joe Biden should take his seat in the Oval Office. We can stomach losing. What we can’t stomach is not fighting in the first place.
Kim Ward and all the people who voted to anoint her will be showing up in their districts soon, speaking to their constituents and telling the usual stories about the vigor with which they work on their behalf. Let’s hope those constituents don’t simply accept those vague assurances. Let’s hope there are some tough questions.
And, most of all, let’s hope people remember at election time what just transpired.