Jerry Moran is showing the way forward for Kansas Republicans, simply by doing his job.
The United States Senator, who has a home in Manhattan, announced Tuesday that he would vote to certify the results of the Electoral College election of Joe Biden as the new president. That is the job of the Congress, as outlined in the Constitution.
It’s a sign of our mixed-up times that a Senator’s announcement that he was simply going to do what he’s supposed to do became a major news story.
That’s because the rest of the Kansas congressional delegation has, unfortunately, taken a completely different position. They’ve caved in to the political pressure from Donald Trump and his supporters. They’re calling for another investigation of the elections in battleground states, basically as a fishing expedition to find some credible evidence of problems with votes.
I say “another,” because there have been several recounts, investigations and lawsuits asserting that there was fraud. But there’s never been any evidence of it at all.
Sen. Moran put it about as well as anyone could in his announcement: “In every instance, the judgments were clear, and no judge or Supreme Court justice – including those appointed by President Trump – determined there was evidence sufficient to change the results of the election,” he wrote.
Keep in mind that Sen. Moran started his statement this way: “I am a conservative Republican.”
That is exactly right. Republicans in Kansas have stood for limited government and adherence to the Constitution. By taking this stance, Sen. Moran is reminding fellow Kansans what it really means to be a Republican. What it does not mean is following one person over the cliff because he lost the election. Even though that person is the head of the party, and (at this moment) the most powerful person on Earth. That is the way of monarchy or dictatorship, where loyalty to the person is more important than loyalty to the rule of law.
That, unfortunately, is the path chosen in this instance by Roger Marshall, the incoming senator, and by the Kansas delegation in the House, including Tracey Mann, the new member representing Manhattan. This is not at all encouraging; I presume they all know better but are trying to position themselves best for the next Republican primary in two or six years.
As you know, we endorsed Mr. Marshall and Mr. Mann in their races this fall, hoping they would help guide Kansas and the Republican Party in our state down a more reasonable path. So far, that’s not the way it looks. But of course there’s still hope; maybe they’ll learn on the job.
They don’t have to look very far for an example. Just listen to Jerry Moran, who closed his statement this way:
“Support of the institutions and legal processes established in the Constitution by those who founded this exceptional American Republic are necessary to preserve our most cherished American values. Voting to object to the electoral process without a constitutional basis to do so may be expedient and lead to short-term political benefits for some, but would risk undermining our democracy – which is built upon the rule of law and separation of powers. No victory for one’s cause today can be worth what we would lose tomorrow.”