Senator Shelley Moore Capito tossed in the towel on the presidential election this week.
Her statement was carefully phrased, and it included a hint of ambiguity, but the meaning was clear. Consider this line in the prepared statement:
“While some irregularities and fraud have been found and should be punished, there is no indication that these are widespread enough to call into question the outcome of the election [emphasis added],” Capito said.
That is what Republicans like Capito who supported Donald Trump and praised him for his accomplishments must inevitably acknowledge.
Joe Biden won, Donald Trump lost.
Capito protected her flank with a qualifier. “I have been clear that President Trump—like any candidate for office—has the right to request recounts and to raise legal claims before our courts.”
But the very next line in the statement provides a pathway toward the finish line. “However, at some point, the 2020 election must end. The window for legal challenges and recounts is rapidly closing as states certify their results in the coming days,” Capito said.
From what I read, Trump knows he has lost even though the challenges continue. However, he is not the type to admit defeat, and I do not think he will concede. Trump is, at heart, a salesman and he is likely planning his marketing strategy for the post presidency.
That is up to him, but the country is moving on, at least most of the country.
Conspiracy theories abound about the election being stolen. They are the fuel that propels social media platforms, generating clicks and followers. Many willingly go down those rabbit holes in search of what they believe is the “truth” that the mainstream media are willingly ignoring.
However, the rest of the country is moving on because that is what we do. The Republic, despite the political polarization, self-propels forward. Our country will not stay rooted in the last thing for very long because we are always looking to the next thing.
That goes for our media as well as our politics. You can already see it in the conservative media, which has turned its focus more to Biden’s cabinet appointments rather than trying as hard to perpetuate the allegation of a “stolen election.”
Back to Capito’s statement.
“I will respect the certified results and will congratulate our nation’s new leaders, regardless of the policy differences I might have with them,” she said. “As with any administration, I will look for common ground in the best interest of our state and our country,” she said.
As I have written before, Capito is a cautious politician and not prone to unforced errors. Capito’s statement, albeit carefully worded, makes clear she knows who won the election and that it is time to get back to governing.