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Electoral College Prepares To Ratify Joe Biden's Presidential Win

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

The Electoral College will vote today. There is no doubt Joe Biden has won the presidential election, and today, electors will ratify his victory. The Supreme Court on Friday rejected a bid from the Texas attorney general that was supported by President Trump to overturn the results of the election. But the president still fights on with baseless claims of widespread fraud. The Wisconsin Supreme Court is expected to rule today on the Trump campaign's latest election challenge. What purpose do these efforts serve, and what's the cost? We're going to get some perspective on that with Jonah Goldberg. He is the editor in chief of the conservative online magazine The Dispatch. Jonah, thanks for being here. Good morning.

JONAH GOLDBERG: Hey, it's great to be here. Thanks for having me.

MARTIN: So this is done, Jonah. Joe Biden won the election. The Supreme Court has shut the door on any path that President Trump had to try to overturn the election results. So what is he doing?

GOLDBERG: This is a hot mess, and it's very depressing for people like me. I know there are a lot of people out there who don't like the Electoral College, don't believe in the Electoral College, think it's an anachronism. But I don't. I like the Electoral College. I think it's good for America. And so did allegedly a whole bunch of my conservative colleagues, including most of the Republican Party for the last 50 years. And they are deliberately trying to essentially throw it away, throw the purpose of it away, in part from signing on to that ridiculous Texas lawsuit, which, you know, the Supreme Court slapped down. And they are undermining, you know, faith in democracy. They're peddling in conspiracy theories.

And today - if you believe the Electoral College, today is actually Election Day, and it's - you know, it's baked in. Biden's going to win it. And the Republican Party has bought into a fantasy that somehow there is a way to turn this thing around, and you can't.

MARTIN: So, I mean, the big question looking forward is how does your party - and it is still your party. You're still a Republican, I think, right?

GOLDBERG: Nominally, sure. Yeah.

MARTIN: How does your party survive this, I mean, when the Senate majority leader, Mitch McConnell, is essentially turning a blind eye to a fraudulent effort on the part of the president of the United States, a Republican, to overturn a Democratic election?

GOLDBERG: Yeah. So, look, I mean, I don't speak for the Republican Party, to be sure - and I think that's one thing most Republicans can agree on that point. But most Republicans I talked to think it can survive because they think that this will all be forgotten, like so much else has been forgotten. A lot of - depending on who you're talking about, I think in the case of Mitch McConnell, you know, his foremost concern is protecting his Senate majority. And so his eyes are entirely on the Georgia runoff, and they think they can put everything else out of mind until after that. I...

MARTIN: But President Trump - I mean, we have sources telling NPR that he's seriously considering another run. I mean, isn't - he still has a grip on this party.

GOLDBERG: He absolutely has a grip on this party. And the fundamental problem is in sort of game theory or "Aesop's Fables," there's this thing called Belling the Cat. It is in every mouse's interest that there be a bell on the cat so that they can hear it coming. But it's in no individual mouse's interest to put a bell on the cat. And that's why we got Trump in 2016 is because it was in none of the presidential wannabes' interest to take Trump out when they could have. And it's even a bigger problem now 'cause the Republican Party has built a better mousetrap, and it freezes in place this idea that Trump is simply waiting out in Elba rather than St. Helena. And he's going to come back and he's going to take what is rightfully his. And they are teaching millions and millions of people that the presidency was stolen from Trump. So, you know, it's terrible.

But I'm just telling you that the Republican Party has a capacity for self-delusion that I had not heretofore appreciated. And a very large number, with some exceptions - Mitt Romney, Ben Sasse, et cetera - they think that this is just sort of a game they can go on playing indefinitely, and I don't - I think this ends - I mean, I hope not. I pray not. But I think this ends - most likely scenario for me is that there's violence that comes because we're teaching people that democracy is being stolen. We're teaching people who own guns and think that this is a civil war in the making. And that's why this is so unbelievably irresponsible.

MARTIN: Jonah Goldberg, editor in chief and co-founder of The Dispatch. Jonah, thanks.

GOLDBERG: Thank you. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.