Dan Crenshaw explains the electoral process in the Wall Street Journal in Republican’s Fight Isn’t in Congress:
Perhaps we should ask our Founders. They were not oracles, but they were borderline prophets. In Federalist No. 68, Alexander Hamilton lays out the purpose of the Electoral College, arguing that an independent and decentralized body of electors should elect the president. “The choice of several, to form an intermediate body of electors, will be much less apt to convulse the community with any extraordinary or violent movements.” According to Hamilton, the only people in America who should not be allowed to be named an elector would members of the House and Senate and any “other person holding a place of trust or profit under the United States.” Electors would “exclude from eligibility to this trust, all those who from situation might be suspected of too great devotion to the President in office.”
They sought to avoid the exact situation we saw on Jan. 6. Millions of Americans were falsely led to believe that the final say in the election of our next president lay with a single body, Congress. And so it was no surprise that thousands showed up to make their voices heard. But the belief that Congress has any say whatever in the “certification” of electoral votes has never been true. It has always been unconstitutional and against our Founders’ intent, as it was when Democrats attempted the same stunt in 2005.
The right of objection that members of Congress now invoke is derived from a misreading of the Electoral Count Act of 1887. It was passed in the wake of the disastrous presidential election of 1876, in which states certified competing slates of electors and sent both to Congress; a governor might send one slate and the legislature another. The 1887 law was meant to allow members of Congress to object to one of the competing slates of electors. But no state after the 2020 election has approved multiple slates, nor has any state legislature petitioned Congress to consider different electors. In fact, the law clearly states that so long as the final determination of electors is “made at least six days prior to the said time of meeting of the electors,” that slate of electors “shall be conclusive, and shall govern in the counting of the electoral votes as provided in the Constitution.” Thus the objections being considered on Jan. 6 had no legal basis.
The left that so opposed the Electoral College in 2016 should appreciate its genius today. They should also appreciate the nature of federalism with state and local governments that are not beholden to the president. The framers had a realistic view of human nature that they should not be trusted with concentrated power. It was as if they understood the possibility that just occurred.
Crenshaw makes the short list of possible candidates that can redeem the party.