Biden calls for unity in Atlanta after McConnell acknowledges Democrats’ 2020 presidential victory

One day after the Electoral College affirmed his victory in the 2020 presidential election, President-elect Joe Biden gave a speech full of clichés and platitudes at a drive-in rally in Atlanta, Georgia, in support of Democratic Party candidates Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock for the upcoming Senate runoff election on January 5.

In his fifteen-minute speech, Biden barely mentioned the catastrophic circumstances facing Georgia residents and people across the US arising from the coronavirus pandemic and the murderous response of both the Democrats and Republicans.

President-elect Joe Biden, center, at the end of a drive-in rally for Georgia Democratic candidates for U.S. Senate Raphael Warnock, left, and Jon Ossoff, Tuesday, Dec. 15, 2020, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

Biden offered no program of action or emergency measures to stop the rapid increase in the number of people dying from the pandemic in the US. He noted, “We just passed 300,000 deaths due to COVID,” while accepting that the escalation of deaths would continue.

The President-elect gave sympathies for “all of you who have lost a loved one or have gotten sick or are suffering from the disease” and then quickly moved on to extol the “good news” of the vaccine approval—an important breakthrough that cannot by itself solve the health catastrophe facing society—and called for votes for the Democrats Ossoff and Warnock.

While he never mentioned the fact that President Trump was continuing to engage in a coup plot to overthrow the results of the 2020 elections—with the ongoing support of a substantial section of the Republican Party—Biden reiterated the primary message he delivered on Monday evening, “It’s time for us to leave the angry, bitter politics of division behind us.”

Biden joked that, “Maybe your Senators were just confused,” in reference to the two Georgia Republican candidates David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler, who supported President Trump and the State of Texas in a submission to the US Supreme Court aimed at invalidating millions of votes in Michigan, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Georgia. Neither Perdue nor Loeffler have yet recognized Biden as president-elect, even though the case was refused by the high court on the grounds that Texas had no standing to bring it.

The fact is that Trump and his supporters are continuing to claim that the election was “stolen” even after the Electoral College met on Monday and officially secured Biden’s 2020 election victory with 306 electoral votes over Trump’s 232 votes.

Rejecting this outcome, Trump posted numerous tweets on Monday and Tuesday claiming that he had actually won a landslide victory due to “problems being found with voting machines” and that there was “tremendous evidence pouring in on voter fraud.”

Trump also posted a link to an article published by Breitbart News that quotes Representative Mo Brooks (Republican of Alabama) stating: “I’m quite confident that if we only counted lawful votes cast by eligible American citizens, Donald Trump won the Electoral College, and we should not be counting illegal votes and putting in an illegitimate President of the United States.”

President Trump is also spearheading the offensive against Republicans who have declared Biden the winner of the electoral and popular votes and also defended poll workers and others involved in counting ballots during the 2020 elections.

Trump retweeted, for example, a post by far-right Atlanta attorney Lin Wood that depicts Georgia’s Republican Governor Brian Kemp and Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger as wearing face masks adorned with the Chinese national flag and saying, “He gave @BrianKempGA & @GaSecofState every chance to get it right. They refused. They will soon be going to jail.”

Meanwhile, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell acknowledged Biden as president-elect in a speech from the Senate floor on Tuesday. McConnell listed off the “accomplishments” of the Trump administration over the past four years—including praise for Trump’s handling of the coronavirus vaccine and the “economic prosperity” that existed before the pandemic hit—stating, “The electoral college has spoken.”

McConnell congratulated Biden who he said was “no stranger to the Senate.” The Senate Majority Leader also glommed himself onto the identity politics of the Democrats saying, “all Americans can take pride that our nation has a female vice president-elect for the very first time.”

A report in the Washington Post said that McConnell and “other GOP leaders” spoke with Senate Republicans by phone on Tuesday afternoon and urged them “not to join a long-shot effort led by conservatives in the House to challenge the electoral college results when Congress formally tabulates the vote Jan. 6.” The content of the call was confirmed by “three officials familiar with the call who spoke on the condition of anonymity.”

Other Republicans, such as Senator Ron Johnson (Republican of Wisconsin) are hedging their support for Trump by acknowledging Biden as president-elect while participating in ongoing efforts to overturn the election results. In an interview published Tuesday, Johnson told the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel that he does not plan to be the senator to object to Biden’s victory because, “something would have to surface that would call into question the legitimacy of the election.”

At the same time Senator Johnson, chairman of the Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee, is moving forward on Wednesday with a hearing to investigate “election irregularities” in the 2020 elections. Johnson told the Washington Post that the hearing would go ahead even though he “accepts the electoral college vote,” because, “A large percentage of the American population don’t view this election as legitimate.”

While the corporate media presents Biden’s response to the Electoral College vote as a “scathing attack” on Trump’s refusal to concede the election, the reality is the president-elect is deliberately concealing from the US public and people around the world the extreme fragility of American democracy.

That it took five weeks after the major news organizations declared the 2020 election for Biden—a procedure that has been in place for US presidential races going back to the end of the 19th century—for the leading Republican in the Senate to acknowledge the result is a measure of the decay of democracy in the US.

As the World Socialist Web Site explained following Biden’s extraordinary speech on Monday marking his official victory in the Electoral College, “The principal concern of the Democrats is the growth of opposition to the profit system, deepening economic and social inequality, and the homicidal back-to-work and back-to-school campaign being waged by the entire political establishment and both corporate-controlled parties.

“American democracy is not ‘true and strong;’ it is at death’s door. The defense of democratic rights is inextricably connected to the independent political mobilization of the working class against capitalism and the entire rotting edifice of bourgeois rule.”