Expect chaos and revolution after the election, because this president is not going to make a peaceful, lawful transition.
Got your pantry stocked up? Bottled water? Plywood for boarding up your windows? Prepared to hunker down for a good long while? You might want to start getting ready now.
This is part of his re-election campaign, I suspect. “Vote for me, or I will fuck you up!”
I remember Trump whining about how the 2016 election was rigged when it looked like he wasn’t going to win. Polite suggestion to Mr. Trump: No premature whining.
Biden predicts military will intervene if Trump refuses to accept election loss (11th June 2020):
Marcus Ranum says
this president is not going to make a peaceful, lawful transition.
That’s OK; there’s a nice beautiful wall to put them up against.
Doc Bill says
Portland is a preview. If you think “It couldn’t happen here” then you are dead wrong. The only difference between that guy who was yanked off the street by unidentified Rambo Barbies and the disappeared in Argentina is that he was released, not buried in a mass grave.
You are dead wrong that “It couldn’t happen here” if you don’t realize that our Government recruited several hundred jacked-up Rambo wannabes, dressed them up in costumes, and they went into the streets willingly to beat, tear gas, pepper spray, pepper paintball and rough up an unarmed crowd.
Think about it! These are Americans beating up Americans with no impunity, no consequence, no accountability. Our Government is working overtime to dehumanize its own citizens by labeling them with any tag, it doesn’t matter: leftist, socialist, antifa, QAnon, communists, agitators (my personal favorite from the 60’s), anarchists and our President’s eloquent term “very bad people.” It eliminates what shred of guilt a Rambo Barbie has to view us as targets, not citizens, not people.
If Portland is anything to go by, we are in for some very bad times.
blf @ #2
All the signs say that Biden is right about the military (and many of the other professionals in the federal government.) Simply put, the career professionals don’t like Trump and have only continued to work for the administration in so far as it’s control of the federal government is legitimate. Once that power becomes illegitimate, they will oppose it. So expect that when Trump tries to resist handing over power, he will be opposed from within the government and (literally or figuratively) be shown the door.
Cross-posted from Mano Singham’s blog:
There’s a real danger Trump will do a Hitler if he loses and fails to annul the result: “If I’m going down, you’re all going with me!”. But Hitler could only refuse to end the war, and order the destruction of German infrastructure using puny explosives; Trump has a thermonuclear arsenal. Could we rely on those around him, or those who would actually need to turn keys to launch missiles, to prevent him launching it*? Not the former, I’d say — Mary Trump’s book apparently has a lot to say about Trump’s enablers, and the psychological mechanisms that keep them tied to him.
*At whom, one might ask. My guess would be Russia — hard to believe there’s not a layer of bitter resentment under his subservience to Putin, and the latter would have let him down by failing to intervene effectively enough.
I don’t think it will take the military to get Trump out of the White House. A single Secret Service Agent would be able to frog-march him out. I doubt anyone one else would lift a finger to prevent it.
Ray Ceeya says
Every time I think 2020 can’t possibly get worse it does. This won’t end on November 3rd. At best we can expect weeks of recounts and courthouse shenanigans. Trump is 100% going to dispute the results. Republicans are guaranteed to suppress the vote anywhere they have power. Russia is going to interfere. This is the new normal. We can’t simply win in November, we have to make it an overwhelming win. We need a Blue Tsunami not just a blue wave if there’s any hope for peaceful transition.
whheydt, don’t forget that Trumplethinskin has his cadre of actual Nazis, and they know that when he goes down, they’ll go down. This is not going to be pretty.
In the immortal words of Sarah Palin, “Don’t retreat; reload”
Are there no constitutional procedures in place to address the circumstances of the president refusing to give up office?
My impression as a European is that the proper checks and balances on executive power don’t appear to be working in the United States. Trump as president appears to be able to do any number of illegal things without suffering any consequences.
Biden, good liberal he is, will surely save us all by publicly declaring that the Stasi will not kidnap people so often while changing little in enforcer policy. So . . . go Biden, lesser of two evils!
If you were right, Trump would have been convicted in the Senate and removed from office. He and his enablers are utterly dependent on each other and they know that if he goes, they go with him – at best losing power, at worst, ending up in jail.
Ah, so you’re another fuckwit unable to distinguish between run-of-the-mill conservatism and fascism.
Ray Ceeya @8
If I have understood the American political system correctly a two thirds majority is necessary in both houses to put in place the constitutional changes necessary to ensure that the president can never again abuse the office in the way that Trump has.
Are we assuming the Secret Service and military won’t be on his side? Cool.
He won’t jump willingly when he loses. He’ll have to be putsched.
@14, Not quite. After a two-thirds majority in both houses of congress, the amendment must be ratified by three-fourths of the states.
There is an alternative, never used, mechanism, a convention. This alternative scares constitutional experts because it’s not limited to one subject (amendment), and could pretty much change anything. In addition, the choice of delegates to the convention is done on a state-by-state basis, with each state using its own mechanism — a recipe for shenanigans. There has long been a movement to have such a convention, with something like 28 of the needed 34 states supposedly having approved the idea, States Likely Could Not Control Constitutional Convention on Balanced Budget Amendment or Other Issues.
Let him accept or reject the election results, if he tries to stay in the White House after his term concludes, he’ll be criminally trespassed from the government property and he can explain himself in federal criminal court.
Marcus Ranum says
If the dems are able to grab power, the first thing they need to do is pass DC statehood and create more senate seats. They are probably too stupid to offer Puerto Rico statehood. They need to permanently disempower the republicans but they’re going to know that, to the people, they’re next so any reforms they pass will be backdoor’d. I see no path forward that is not endlessly the lesser of 2 evils.
Thank you for the clarification.
my guess if he does not win is of course he will sue he always sues some of the hard sore will go ballistic most will yell and cry but not take up arms, the politicians will weasel there own way forward. The military will support the constitution they know history, tradition and duty, and where their strength comes from.
He himself will end up on one of his foreign properties out of reach of the law, he wont go down he will just abandon the thing and tweet more bullshit and lies.
I’m concerned about how much of a fig leaf they’ll accept. If Trump disputes the result and the Senate and Supreme Court back him, then what?
Is there a transcript of that video to read somewhere? I cannot stand to listen to the incoherent ramblings of that ass.
R. L. Foster says
I need to disabuse those of you who believe that the Secret Service will somehow save the day. One of my wife’s cousins is married to an agent (no names, please) who is assigned to the presidential detail. It turns out he absolutely loves Trump. At a family gathering a few holidays ago he was expounding on how much the SS hated Hillary. His reasoning was mind-mindbogglingly petty. He said that she would always tell them to do this and to do that, “like the hired help.” Imagine that, a chief executive giving orders. But good old Trump would send them coffee and donuts and fast food and do other small favors along those lines.
So, face the sad truth fellow citizens. All it takes for the Secret Service to support a wannabe autocrat is a Starbucks and a burger.
Erlend Meyer says
Funny thing is; I heard the exact same thing 4 years ago.
Pierce R. Butler says
From blf @ # 2: “I am absolutely convinced they will escort him from the White House with great dispatch,” Biden said.
Biden’s already succumbed to banana-republic thinking. The job of removing a trespasser from the White House would fall to the Secret Service &/or DC police, not the military. (Perhaps unfortunately, in view of R. L. Foster’s report @ # 24.)
Aaron Blake has a piece up at WaPo listing four factors favoring Trump in November. The one that disturbs me most: in-person voting will likely be dominated by those “less concerned about the virus”, namely Trump Chumps. (Second most: Trumpistas will sabotage the Post Office sufficiently to block effective voting by mail.)
Personally, I’m a little disheartened to see that this particular conspiracy theory (which is exactly what it is) has gained the traction that it has. While I wasn’t surprised to hear of Bill Maher flouting it some time ago, as he’s not exactly the most critical of thinkers, I frankly can’t believe how often I’ve heard it mentioned from others whose opinions I generally respect.
There is no mechanism for a sitting president to hold on to office after losing the election. Legal challenges could be filed, but they would be limited in scope to specific instances of voter fraud, if that could even be proven. As far as the idea that he just won’t go: what do you even mean? He’ll hunker down in the oval office and bar the door, surrounded by his loyal secret service? Even if he did, he wouldn’t be “running the country” anymore. Consider the number of people across all governmental departments that would need to be willing to support his unlawful act and the constitutional violation it would represent.
I’ve heard this conspiracy theory in various forms for what seems like at least the last year or so, and not once have I heard a single explanation as to how this could even be remotely possible.
Yes there is. It’s called “I’m in charge. If you don’t like it, talk to the guys with guns.”
So, what we’re really discussing is whether or not enough proto-nazis will line up behind Trump to make a grab for power viable. So far, it seems there have been quite a few people willing to stake their reputations and careers on Trump’s success. Is that enough? I don’t know. It’s enough to make me worry, though.
Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says
If Trump doesn’t leave the White House if Biden wins the election, it amounts to a coup de etat. Also known as treason. Not sure if it still has the death penalty for the principles and co-conspirators, but definitely a problem for any SS agent not trying to actively arrest/remove the coup leader.
The only difference between a coup d’etat and a defense of the Republic is whether you win.
Then how was trump able to get away with all his other constitutional violations?
The good news is that i dont think he has the militsry support to do this. Marines love Mathis and are with him. The national guard despite their actions in tue protests dont seem to favor him either. I remain optimistic but it is a possibility.
Re: Seette (#27):
That’s a fair point. But last time roughly 50% voted for Trump though. You might want to split hairs you and argue that this doesn’t necessarily mean that 50% of civil servants voted for him, and that’s true. However, since then Trump & Co. has also spent four years firing and replacing people, particularly in leadership positions. Those might well choose loyalty over a lawful power transition. And their underlings, no matter how they felt about a hypothetical president unelect, might favour stable employment over rebellion.
In any case I wouldn’t expect a clear-cut “nope” coming from the US bureacracy if things go strange after the election. Well, stranger. Especially if the results are as narrow as last time.With Trump-appointed leaders all over the place, it’d be easier to purge the ranks of the civil service of those unwilling to work for Trump than the other way around.
@27: Consider the number of people across all governmental departments that would need to be willing to support his unlawful act and the constitutional violation it would represent.
The military has been infiltrated with right wingers for years. Trump has put his people in power in pretty much all parts of the government. If anyone below the level of institute head likes him, I am unaware of that person, but as for upper management, they’d support him. And middle management would support upper management out of habit and lack of other alternative. So, I don’t think you can count on the bureaucrats and/or the Pentagon to save you from a Trump coup.
P.S.: I’d just like to note how people are now, four months before an election, thinking about what the military will do and where it’s various branches might stand. Among first-world nations and “western democracies”, the US truly are unique. Sure, the question may turn out to have been a pointless overeaction, but generally speaking, it’s the sort of question no one should have thought to raise in the first place.
“…he wouldn’t be “running the country” anymore…”
Well, I suppose you could say he really isn’t running the country now, it’s more or less running itself– maybe not quite as bad as a chicken with it’s head cut off, but not a pretty sight all the same.
Trump will do what Trump does, sow division, spew bullshit, and generally make a mess of things. Imagine what you’re seeing now only three or four times worse. While people fumble around at the top with courts or whatever trying to figure out what’s going on (“like you’ve never seen before”) guess how hot it would get on the streets.
That’s one way to look at it, anyway.
I have to believe he’ll be deposed when he loses in November–either by his own volition, by the military, the SS–whomever. If there’s a cliff up yonder, I’m not gonna spend my few remaining days pining over the inevitable plunge into the sea. My mental health can’t afford it anymore.
Pierce R. Butler says
We vote on November 3 for a president to be inaugurated on January 20. Assuming Biden can reasonably declare victory on Nov 4, that leaves eleven weeks for the Trumpistas to make mischief – and I doubt they’ll limit themselves to prying off Js and Bs from White House computer keyboards.
Trump™ & Pence (or his replacement) may not have a lot of tactical inspirations, nor would I expect much from Jared K & Ivanka T. But with the likes of Stephen Miller, Kellyanne Conway, William Barr, Mike Pompeo, and perhaps Steve Bannon et alia brainstorming a Berzelius Windrip-style Trump-coup, we might have some serious troubles coming.
The easiest-to-imagine scenario includes provocateurs turning protests into riots, a flood of scary lies, declarations of national emergency, mobilization of right-wing “militias”, “enabling” legislation to commandeer police and media/communications/transportation systems; perhaps attempts to take over distribution of food, water, medicine; loyalty tests for troops and cops with immediate reassignment depending on results; possibly detainment of “enemies of the people” among politicians, activists, journalists…
Given a dramatic enough Reichstag fire equivalent, the spaghetti-spined state of most Democratic Party leaders, and the fact that most of us still think inside the boxes that our neofascist neighbors (& their extraterritorial allies) have dreamed of smashing and burning for years, I see a lot more grounds for concern than complacency in considering those 77 days (which, remember, I start off describing with a naively optimistic scenario).
I’m kind of tired of the clickbait articles on Trump refusing to leave. It is not up to him. Our system gives that decision to the EC and then the H- o-Representatives. And the House votes on the basis of one vote per state and not on the basis of the number of representatives. And right now there are more red states in the house.
So the election could be abysmally messed up but if the EC and the HoR gives the presidency to Biden then it doesn’t matter. The president becomes Biden.
So Trump could stay in the WH but would not be president. Just shut off the phones and his twitter and he will leave the building in 5 seconds.
So like I said, it is not up to Trump. It is up to everybody else in government and to the Secret Service and Capital police. And of course, the H-o-Representatives. And of course thru the whole process would be the SCOTUS.
Now the final decision could still be problematic, but it would be so because of the H-o-R and SCOTUS. Not Trump.
Doc Bill @4:
Why are you including QAnon in that list? They think Bunko Baby is the Messiah playing 5D chess and will make his move…any…second…now. And all those believers who’ve won primaries have been Republicans. The government is not using that tag (which was coined by the Q’s themselves) to dehumanize them. If anything, they support them.
If you want a somewhat probable conspiracy for Trump remaining in office I can think of a couple which would be legal even if they are blatantly non-democratic.
First, for about $4 billion you could offer every elector a $10 million bribe to be faithless. Clearly you wouldn’t do so in those states which have laws that electors will be replaced if they don’t cast their votes according to the state laws, but there are more than 270 electoral college votes which are not protected in that way. This could be done AFTER the election in November. The states which have fines for faithless electors usually have the fine set at about $1,000, so that wouldn’t be much of a deterrent. This would be an entirely bought election, Trump could only get 0% of the popular vote and still win the electoral college. In some states the electors themselves could be charged with a crime, but the results of the election would stand. The votes the elector’s cast would be legal.
Second, the selection of electors is determined by the laws of each state. The Federal Constitution only says that the states must select electors to the number assigned to each state. The individual state legislatures have determined that rather than having the legislatures of each state select the electors, that they will let the individual parties nominate electors and the legislatures will ratify those electors to be sent to the capital to vote for president (and vice) based on the popular vote. There is nothing stopping the state legislatures from deciding, for the 2020 election, to take that power away from the citizens and select electors of their choice. There are quite a few electors from states whose entire legislature and executive branch are controlled by republicans. I.e. The legislatures in these states could pass a bill decreeing their electors are those nominated by the republican party, and the governor could sign it, without any reference to the popular vote. That accounts for about 230 electoral college votes, and if you add in states which have a split party representation of the legislature but lean toward Trump (like Florida), you get to 273 electoral college votes. Trump would need to win some states, so a 0% of the popular vote is not possible in this scenario. You would hope that immediate recall campaigns would start in states which pulled this trick, but that wouldn’t stop Trump from getting the electoral college votes he needs to remain president. Again, this could be done after the results of the election in November.
Do I think these scenarios are likely? No. But I am certain that this is they kind of advice that Roger Stone is giving Trump now. Don’t sweat the election until the results are in, and then target the electors directly.
Marcus Ranum says
He’s either an alzheimers’ patient or he’s had a stroke, ffs get a doctor in there and get him some care!
William George says
I’m not too worried about Trump. He has always been all bark and no bite. He’ll make a lot of noise. Leave when he’s supposed to. And then continue to make a lot of noise until he’s stuffed into the ground.
I am worried about his cultists both in government and among the public. They’ve already proven themselves violent and happy to burn everything down if they feel they’re not getting their way.
Maybe worth pointing out, Trump doesn’t have to physically sit in the WH to continue threatening the stability of the country. Let’s hope a nice big blue tsunami scours out the right wing but good.
Trump is an icon of the batshit crazy; his barking is inspirational music to their ears. It’s a package deal imo.
Susan Montgomery says
@41 I’d expect the GOP (not Trump, really. He’s the pitchman not the CEO) to keep teasing that they’ll cheat in order to goad someone into getting the UN or someone monitor the elections and thus using that as a conspiracy theory.
My internal response to this story as well as other recent ones: “AAAAAAAAAAAUUUUUGGGGGHHHHH!!!!!”
I want to call this year The Unfathomable Year, except: we’ve reached the point of “fathom-ability”; and prior years give stiff competition for the title. It’s bleak enough to want to lose one’s self in a parody…
It’s called “The Last Day.” It’s pretty bad, too.
(yes i am shamelessly promoting my trash writing)
Rather than holding on to power, I think Trump is more likely to die by his own hand, or by Putin’s.
its not that he won’t leave office, its that he just won’t shut the fuck up and go away.
He’ll be doing rallies for 4 years until the next election.
The only way to stop that is to impeach him in the time between when he loses office and when Biden is sworn in.
Trump’s coup attempt in November will be closely followed by the end of the negotiation period for Brexit – probably leading to a hard Brexit and serious shortages of food and medical supplies.
As the German Linke (Left) party politician Dietmar Bartsch put it – “Brexit is a right wing coup that the whole of Europe should be seeking to prevent”:
How does that old quotation go?
Treason doth never prosper,
What’s the reason?
If it prosper,
None dare call it treason.
If you aren’t in one yet, join a union. The IWW is always recruiting, and their General Defense Committees are operating in most major cities.
Tim Worth (formerly a senator from Colorado and now a Dem party guy) suggests that Trump could follow the past example of election fuckery and prevent electors from enough states being certified by Dec. 14 that no candidate can get the 270 electoral votes needed to claim victory. The contest would then be decided by the House of Representatives, but with each state delegation having a single vote–Wyoming same as California. Rethugs control 26 state delegations, Dems 23. Trump wins.
We cannot just beat Trump in November. We have to humiliate him and all his enablers. Then we have to investigate, indict and imprison anyone who broke the law.
The Vicar (via Freethoughtblogs) says
And if you think that the Democrats, who wouldn’t investigate the Bush administration for spending at least 2 trillion dollars and a million lives on the Iraq war, are going to actually do that, you’re crazy. At the utmost, Trump will be made the scapegoat for everything the Republicans are doing, and then only if he’s dead first — the Democrats really don’t want a precedent that elected officials can be held responsible for doing horrible things; Republicans get a de facto pass with the understanding that it will be reciprocal. Only procedural crimes can be permitted to be punished, and then only by Congress.
The democrats already investogated Trump and he wasnt even out of office yet when they impeached him. Jebus man.
I was also disappointed that the Dems did not investigate the crimes of the Rethugs in 2012, but that was 2012. This is 2020, and what with Trump slandering Biden and his whole family, things have gotten a little more personal, and I think Ol’ Joe is pissed. I know Congress has shifted.
The fact is that there isn’t a choice. We have to take 40% of the American people and rub their nose in their treason.
Gerald Ford pardoned tricky dicky (Nixon). Both were thugs (republicans). Unlike hair furor (Trump), ticky dicky hadn’t been impeached.