On the one hand, there’s a coup, on the other, a deadly pandemic. But one bright spot in the news today—aside from Democratic wins in Georgia, of course—is that the junior Senator from North Carolina found within himself something that looks like a spine.

Thom Tillis did not jump onto the election subversion bandwagon that several of North Carolina’s delegates decided to cruise to some ignominious end before marauding Proud Boys stormed the Capitol and unceremoniously interrupted the vote counting.

Citing the Constitution, Tillis correctly stated in a press release that it isn’t Congress’s job to certify elections. That, folks, is left up to the states, and the states certified Joe Biden’s win because Biden won in the Electoral College and, also, he won the popular vote by a margin of some 7 million.

Tillis’s stance isn’t as brave as it is smart—because, honestly, who wants to be held up as an accessory to this nightmare? The guy who seized the opportunity to tout his championing of voter ID laws in North Carolina during his days in the state legislature actually came pretty close to admitting that there isn’t any evidence of the kind of large-scale voter fraud that President Trump insists lost him the election.

Always a team player, though, Tillis did sprinkle in some delegitimization of Biden’s win.

“I share the concerns of many Americans regarding the lack of security of widespread mail-in voting and the partisan actions of activist Democratic lawyers who succeeded in making questionable changes to the voting process while Americans were already casting their ballots. Even if it wasn’t enough to change the outcome of the election, irregularities and fraud are never acceptable and they should be investigated and prosecuted when appropriate.”

It’s going to be a long six years.

Follow Editor-in-Chief Jane Porter on Twitter or send an email to jporter@indyweek.com.

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