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President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr: They dare not pronounce his name

If the two Republican incumbents Senators Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue lose, the Senate would be 50-50 and Democrats would win the majority – an assumption based on Senator Kamala Harris becoming vice president and chairing the Senate and being responsible for breaking tied votes.

Several weighed on candidates for Mr. Biden’s cabinet. Texas Republican Senator John Cornyn said President-elect’s choice to head the Office of Management and Budget, Neera Tanden, was “radioactive.” Mr Cornyn also lamented that Mr Biden’s team did not seek the Republicans’ ‘consultation’ before making the pick (which of course wouldn’t be necessary if Mr Biden had lost and was just spitting ).

Senator Charles E. Grassley, Republican of Iowa, jumped on twitter Wednesday to suggest some good candidates to be the next agriculture secretary “if Biden becomes president”. Vice President Mike Pence even made the trip to Capitol Hill to swear in newly elected Arizona Democratic Senator Mark Kelly, while Mr Pence’s boss continued to complain about the results in that state (which were officially certified on Monday).

When asked after Mr Kelly was sworn in if that meant he accepted the election results, Mr Pence did not respond to reporters.

Things get complicated when Republicans are asked directly if they accept the election results, as journalists have been urging them to do almost daily since November 3. Normally (how long before removing this qualifier?), This question would give some variation on the same obvious and widely accepted answer: “Yes”.

Alas, these are not normal times.

It hasn’t been a conventional presidency,” South Dakota Republican Senator John Thune summed up to reporters when asked why he and other Republicans had not raised concerns about the Repeated and false claims by the president that the election was “rigged” or “stolen.”

Since Mr. Trump was sworn in, Republicans have repeatedly verbally sought refuge in the “unconventional” nature of this presidency. It was sort of a general answer to questions about his latest inflammatory behavior. From day one, these statements implied a willingness to engage in “alternative facts,” as White House adviser Kellyanne Conway put it in defense of the false claim of Sean Spicer, then press secretary, that Mr. Trump drew the largest audience to ever attend a grand opening – period.