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Sen. Mitch McConnell: "I want to congratulate President-elect Joe Biden."

Accepting reality, McConnell ends long validation of Trump attacks on democracy

The wall of Republican appeasement and enabling cracked big-time on Tuesday, when Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell declared he was through with supporting President Trump's crusade to subvert American democracy by discrediting the election he lost.

It took 38 days after the outcome became clear for McConnell, who will be the most powerful Republican in the nation next year, to publicly accept the will of the people with the words, "Today I want to congratulate President-elect Joe Biden."

The senator said his unprecedentedly long wait — which has fueled the baseless but impassioned view of tens of millions of fellow Republicans that the contest was stolen — was ending because "the Electoral College has spoken" and finalized the result Monday evening.

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President Trump tweeted he will intervene in the last-minute Texas lawsuit seeking to overturn results in four battlegrounds won by Joe Biden.

Democracy regains some order in the courts but Trump vows to press on

Two extreme long-shot lawsuits are still sitting at the Supreme Court, a day after it waited just minutes before dismissing the first challenge to the presidential election it looked at.

There was not a word of dissent, from President Trump's three nominees or any of the other justices, as the court declined Tuesday evening to consider a bid by Pennsylvania Republicans to overturn Joe Biden's clear victory in the state.

Hours later came the deadline set by federal law for states to lock down their election results, and their assignments to the Electoral College, and make them almost totally immune from further challenges. While that essentially locked in Biden's election as the 46th president, it did nothing to stop Trump from continuing to falsely claim he won another term — or to prevent almost all his fellow Republicans in authority from appeasing the unprecedented effort by a president to delegitimize democracy with baseless conspiracy theories about voting fraud.

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Attorney General William Barr, perhaps the most influential of President Trump's loyal supporters, said there's no evidence of substantial voter fraud.

Trump persists in ignoring democracy's realities, even as Barr abandons him

All six states where President Trump contested his defeat have finalized results showing he lost, fair and square. Forty lawsuits have gone nowhere for lack of evidence anyone cheated. The administration's top election security official was willing to sacrifice his job for concluding this "election was the most secure in American history."

And now the Cabinet member most influentially loyal to the president the past two years, William Barr, has reported that his Justice Department has not uncovered any evidence of the widespread voter fraud Trump alleges — and has seen nothing that might alter the outcome of an election clearly won by Joe Biden.

Under any normal American democratic circumstances, such a clear conclusion from the attorney general delivered four weeks after Election Day would be the belt encircling the suspenders holding up the elastic waistband pants. Instead, the ousted president declared Wednesday: "We will win!"

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"We can take heart from President-elect Joe Biden's calm and patient approach to the election, and to governing," writes McMahon.

To the victors: It's incumbent on us to avoid the spoils

McMahon is an adjunct associate professor of applied economics and political science at the University of Vermont and an international democracy and governance consultant.

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