Ted Cruz Is a Big Fan of the “Compromise of 1877”

Christopher Brown/ZUMA

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Ted Cruz, who doesn’t have Louie Gohmert’s excuse of being a moron, says he will vote to delay the Senate’s confirmation of Joe Biden’s presidential victory. Here’s part of his reasoning:

The most direct precedent on this question arose in 1877, following serious allegations of fraud and illegal conduct in the Hayes-Tilden presidential race. Specifically, the elections in three states — Florida, Louisiana, and South Carolina — were alleged to have been conducted illegally. In 1877, Congress did not ignore those allegations, nor did the media simply dismiss those raising them as radicals trying to undermine democracy. Instead, Congress appointed an Electoral Commission — consisting of five Senators, five House Members, and five Supreme Court Justices — to consider and resolve the disputed returns. We should follow that precedent.

For those of you who slept through history class, here is the briefest possible explanation of the Hayes-Tilden race:

  • Democrat Samuel Tilden won the popular vote but received only 184 electoral votes—one less than a majority.
  • Results from three Southern states (plus one elector from Oregon) were in dispute.
  • Republican Rutherford B. Hayes agreed to end Reconstruction, withdraw federal troops from the South, and hand back control of the Southern states to their white leaders if Democrats agreed to declare him the winner.
  • Democrats agreed to this and voted to award all the disputed electoral votes to Hayes. He won 185-184.

This was one of the most disgraceful and explicitly racist episodes in American history—and Cruz knows it. I suppose he figures that none of his followers know or care about this, but it’s contemptible that he’d look to the Hayes-Tilden race for any kind of guidance on anything.

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