Trump hasn’t conceded yet. That’s not supposed to happen. We should be getting worried, because it’s not just one delusional madman in power, we’ve also got the Senate Majority Leader saying there’s
no reason for alarm over his intransigence, and when Moscow Mitch declares that there’s nothing to be worried about, it’s time to panic. We’ve got senators like Roy Blunt saying that Trump
may not have been defeated at all. The Secretary of State has announced
there will be a smooth transition to a second Trump administration.
Meanwhile, hordes of fanatics are building a defiant mob on social media. Trump is all about sucking up to his “fans”, so he’s going to continue to shy away from that graceful admission of defeat, if a narcissist like him were even capable of such a thing.
There’s also this:
Pentagon finally confirms near total decapitation of civilian leadership in the last 24 hours. Secretary of Defense Esper fired Monday, the top Pentagon Policy official, top Defense Department intelligence official, and chief of staff to the Defense Secretary all out today
— Ryan Browne (@rabrowne75) November 10, 2020
It’s a purge to pave the way to seizing military control.
You’d think the election is now over, with some continuing ballot counting in a few states that won’t be enough to overturn anything. The Republicans do have a trick up their sleeve, though — abusing our archaic electoral college to override the popular vote. Apparently, there is a convenient loophole in which a state legislature could override the appointment of electors to stack the deck, and Pennsylvania, as one example, is a state where the Republicans control both houses.
At Trump’s urging, the state’s legislature — where Republicans have majorities in both houses — purports to exercise its authority under Article II of the Constitution to appoint the state’s presidential electors directly. Taking their cue from Trump, both legislative chambers claim that the certified popular vote cannot be trusted because of the blue shift that occurred in overtime. Therefore, the two chambers claim to have the constitutional right to supersede the popular vote and assert direct authority to appoint the state’s presidential electors, so that this appointment is in line with the popular vote tally as it existed on Election Night, which Trump continues to claim is the “true” outcome.
The state’s Democratic governor refuses to assent to this assertion of authority by the state’s legislature, but the legislature’s two chambers proclaim that the governor’s assent is unnecessary. They cite early historical practices in which state legislatures appointed presidential electors without any involvement of the state’s governor. They argue that like constitutional amendments, and unlike ordinary legislation, the appointment of presidential electors when undertaken directly by a state legislature is not subject to a gubernatorial veto.
They’ve also got the Supreme Court in their back pocket.
While we were dreading the possibility of an October surprise, and marveling that their efforts were so pathetic, maybe we should be more concerned about a January surprise. There is precedent.
Indeed, refusing to wage a much more organized, public campaign to challenge Trump’s coup attempt is exactly the kind of strategy Democrats went with 20 years ago in Florida during the Brooks Brothers riot — and look how that turned out. We got an illegitimate Bush presidency that gave us the Iraq War and a financial crisis that ended or ruined millions of lives.
This time around it could be even worse — the end of whatever’s still left of American democracy.
Remember that empty, exhausted, defeated feeling we had as the lawyers took over Florida and nitpicked their way to effectively shutting down ballot counting, and the Supreme Court declared Bush the president? And then most of us resigned ourselves to accept it, saying that Bush couldn’t be so bad that it warranted our side disrupting democratic institutions in the way the Republicans were doing? Are you ready to feel that way again?