More than a month after the election, Idaho’s two senators and two representatives are still part of an undistinguished majority of Republican elected officials so cowed by the rants of the defeated president that they will not do the honorable thing and acknowledge that Democrat Joe Biden is the president-elect of the United States of America.

Defeated Republican incumbent President Donald Trump is still railing and tweeting bizarrely that he won election despite some 30 failed court challenges of the election in six states.

Of 249 Republican members of the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives, just 26 have acknowledged that Biden won, according to a Dec. 5 story in The Washington Post. A team of 25 reporters contacted aides for every Republican in Congress to find the data. Two said that Trump won, despite evidence to the contrary, and 220 would not say who won the election.

Idaho Sen. Mike Crapo has cloaked his lack of congratulations for the winner in a marble-mouthed smokescreen whose particulate matter includes legal jargon about Trump’s right to challenge the submission of any illegal ballots or ballot-counting operations. He has recommended that the courts continue to adjudicate matters until all states certify ballots.

After Sen. Jim Risch read the original story in the Post, which credited 27 Republican members of Congress with acknowledging Biden’s win and noted that Risch had done so in a November interview with the Spokane Spokesman-Review, he sent the Post a statement objecting to his inclusion in that group. “I continue to support the President’s efforts to ensure an accurate vote count in the Presidential election,” he said.

Rep. Mike Simpson has said nothing. His continuing silence is not just deafening, it’s damning.

Rep. Russ Fulcher has not changed comments in which he questioned the election results despite Biden’s clear win.

The Idaho delegation’s collective failure to acknowledge Biden’s win is like pouring acid on the metal of democracy. It weakens it by dissolving trust in elections and public officials.

True political leaders do not hide behind feckless silence or follow a shivering herd in times like these. They tell the truth. Idaho’s senators and congressmen have surrendered any right to be called statesmen.


“Our View” represents the opinion of the newspaper editorial board, which is made up of members of its board of directors. Remarks may be directed to editorialboard@mtexpress.com.

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