It’s only okay to question an election outcome if you’re a Democrat. Stacey Abrams was exhibit A. Nancy Pelosi is exhibit B.
Earlier this month, the Democratic speaker gave the House Administration Committee her blessing to move forward with a probe into failed candidate Rita Hart’s challenge in Iowa’s 2nd Congressional District. Hart lost the race to freshman Rep. Mariannette Miller-Meeks by six votes, a result certified by bipartisan state election officials after multiple recounts.
“Well, it was six votes,” Pelosi said on ABC’s “This Week” several days ago, dismissing criticism from Ohio Republican Rep. Jim Jordan, who highlighted Democrats’ double-standards over objecting to election results. “It was six votes and our candidate, Rita Hart… asked for this process to begin. What the committee did, the House Administration Committee, was very narrow to take the process to the next step and see where it goes from there.”
An honest investigation will keep Miller-Meeks in the House. Hart’s appeal, made directly to the partisan lower chamber rather than through state avenues for challenging an election result, rests on 22 ballots the campaign claims were improperly rejected. According to the Democrat’s campaign, Hart would carry the race by nine votes if all were counted. Bipartisan panels of election workers, however, have already scrutinized the ballots in question, and determined their invalidity under Iowa law.
But don’t expect an honest investigation conducted by Pelosi’s deputies. The chair of the House Committee performing the review is California Rep. Zoe Lofgren, who also served as an impeachment manager for President Donald Trump’s first sham impeachment.
After Democrats exploited the January crisis at the Capitol to vilify all who dared even question the integrity of an election with historic turn out via unreliable mail-voting, Pelosi, who finds herself presiding over the weakest majority of her speakership by just eight seats, now seeks to overturn the results of the Iowa House race herself.
The same strategy worked for Abrams, who, despite not winning in the Georgia governor’s race in 2018 claimed she did anyway, launched a nationwide elections group in the process, and became a star-studded media favorite who muscled her way into consideration for vice president despite not having actually won any statewide contest. On the other hand, even some Democrats have come out to oppose Pelosi’s desperate power grab to expand her majority.
At this point, Reps. Susan Wild of Pennsylvania, Chris Pappas of New Hampshire, and Dean Phillips of Minnesota have each come out against the House taking up Hart’s challenge. North Carolina Democratic Rep. David Price didn’t do Pelosi any favors on Fox News this weekend, either.
“I don’t think there’s the slightest chance” that Democrats will unseat Miller-Meeks, he said.
Democrat @RepDavidEPrice: “I don’t think there’s the slightest chance” Democrats will vote to overturn the state-certified results in #IA02. Sore loser @RitaHartIA is losing support by the day. pic.twitter.com/ShmUS4EXC1
— Mike Berg (@MikeKBerg) March 21, 2021
In Iowa, the group of Democrats supporting Hart’s challenge is smaller than that on Capitol Hill. Democratic Rep. Cindy Axne is the only federal or statewide Democrat in the state supporting Hart and Pelosi’s movement to disenfranchise its voters. In January, however, Axne refused to work with any Republicans who supported objections to the November election.
This is from NBC News last week:
Rep. Cindy Axne, a Democrat from Iowa, tweeted Jan. 25 about her desire to secure bipartisan accomplishments.
But the next day, Republican Rep. Jason Smith of Missouri responded – posting an image of an email between their offices. The subject line of the Jan. 11 email appeared to ask if Axne wanted to co-sponsor a bill on ‘kidney insurance.’
A staff member in Axne’s office appeared to reply, ‘I hope you are ok and managing. Our office is declining to work with your office at this time given your boss’s position on the election.’
Consistency would warrant Republicans offering Axne the same treatment, but they won’t, because most of them are grown ups.
Democrats in Congress first welcomed Miller-Meeks with open arms before partisan policy battles began to play out under the new Biden administration. Pelosi herself conceded the Republican’s win in December, choosing to seat the new congresswoman with the rest of the House members in the 117th Congress on Jan. 3. The House speaker even awarded Miller-Meeks a flag flown over the Capitol to celebrate the election.
As a 24-year military veteran, I am especially honored and humbled to receive this flag flown over the U.S. Capitol on the day I was sworn in to serve the people of Iowa’s Second Congressional District. #IA02 pic.twitter.com/kyhKgrwgQa
— Rep. Mariannette Miller-Meeks (@RepMMM) March 18, 2021
As Pelosi navigates three months into the new Congress, however, the House speaker has likely found leverage far more difficult to maneuver in a slim majority hampered by a far-left faction making negotiations harder to move legislation that’s also passable in a 50-50 Senate.
Pelosi appears to have found a simple solution permitted by a complicit media: steal a seat.