Soon to be ex-Majority Leader McConnell, today, an hour before Trump supporters stormed the Capitol:
We're debating a step that has never been taken in American history, whether Congress should overrule the voters and overturn a presidential election. I've served 36 years in the Senate. This will be the most important vote I've ever cast. President Trump claims the election was stolen. The assertions range from specific local allegations to constitutional arguments to sweeping conspiracy theories.I supported the president's right to use the legal system. Dozens of lawsuits received hearings in courtrooms all across our country, but over and over, the courts rejected these claims, including all-star judges whom the president himself has nominated. . . .
The Constitution gives us here in Congress a limited role. We cannot simply declare ourselves a national board of elections on steroids. The voters, the courts, and the states have all spoken. They've all spoken. If we overrule them, it would damage our republic forever. This election actually was not unusually close.
Just in recent history, 1976, 2000, and 2004 were all closer than this one. The Electoral College margin is almost identical to what it was in 2016. If this election were overturned by mere allegations from the losing side, our democracy would enter a death spiral. We would never see the whole nation accept an election again. Every four years would be a scramble for power at any cost.
The Electoral College, which most of us on this side have been defending for years, would cease to exist, leaving many of our states with no real say at all in choosing a president. The effects would go even beyond the elections themselves. Self-government, my colleagues, requires a shared commitment to the truth and a shared respect for the ground rules of our system. . . .
We cannot keep drifting apart into two separate tribes with a separate set of facts and separate realities. with nothing in common except our hostility towards each other and mistrust for the few national institutions that we all still share.
The framers built the senate to stop short-term passions from boiling over and melting the foundations of our republic. So I believe protecting our constitutional order requires respecting the limits of our own power. It would be unfair and wrong to disenfranchise American voters and overrule the courts and the states on this extraordinarily thin basis. And I will not pretend such a vote would be a harmless protest gesture while relying on others to do the right thing. I will vote to respect the people's decision and defend our system of government as we know it.
Not that I want to carry water for Mitch McConnell, a son of a bitch if there ever was one, but I like to give credit where credit is due, and parts of this speech are magnificent.