Ryan, McConnell Call For New Election in Wake of Russian Hack Revelations

House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said today the United States must hold the 2016 presidential election again because of the “tainting” of Donald Trump’s victory by “Russian efforts to help him win office and discredit our democracy.”

The two leaders acknowledged their call for a do-over is unprecedented, but revelations from U.S. intelligence agencies remove doubt that Russian President Vladimir Putin was involved in the election meddling.

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‘Democracy comes first’

“We are faced with a situation our democracy has never confronted before,” said the statement, released jointly by the House and Senate leaders. “A country whose interests are hostile to our own accessed and then disseminated private information with the express purpose of making one candidate look better to Americans than another. Such interference in our electoral process is tantamount to a declaration of war and must be responded to with the same resolve as if our country had been assaulted by military means.”

The two Democratic leaders in Congress, Nancy Pelosi (Calif.) in the House and Charles Schumer (N.Y.) in the Senate, released a separate statement saying they “concur fully” with the recommendation. “We applaud our Republican colleagues for putting partisanship aside and standing behind a recommendation that’s best for our democracy,” the statement said.

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Real winner?

A minority leadership aide said the Democrats issued a separate statement rather than join the Republicans as a way to ensure that Americans understand that Republicans, despite winning the White House, are the ones calling for a new election given the gravity of the findings.

Electoral experts said the proposal is indeed unprecedented but it would pass constitutional muster as long as a two-thirds majority in both chambers passed enabling legislation and President Obama, before he leaves office, signs it. “It’s a long shot, but it’s legal,” said Thomas Cooper, professor of constitutional law at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government. Cooper also said legislation can be passed to extend Obama’s term of office while new elections are held. Other alternatives include having Obama exit the White House on January 20, as planned, and appoint a “caretaker government” until the election is held. “All of these options are about doing what’s right,” Cooper said. “That’s the bottom line.”

Trump, speaking with reporters at Trump Tower in Nw York City, agreed. “If my legitimacy is questioned, we should allow the American people to vote again,” he said.

In another development, the House and Senate leadership said hell is freezing over, the world has stopped turning on its axis, and New England quarterback Tom Brady and NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell are yucking it up over a beer at Hooters in Newton, Mass. There were also reports of pigs flying, Donald Trump saying something nice on Twitter about the CIA, and ISIS has said it’s giving up the fight against the Great Satan. “We have decided we like Starbucks and do not want to continue fighting for a fundamentalist Islamic world order. Our way of life is not pleasant, no one is really happy, and it’s impossible to get a decent vanilla latte in the area we command, especially if you want to get one with almond milk.”

This is a work of satire. It is fictional news article not meant to be taken seriously. Photos (some modified): public domain and gs  (Creative Commons). Not necessarily an endorsed use of images.

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