Take a Deep Breath: Trump is Not Going To Cheat His Way Back Into the Presidency

And to convince you, here’s an hour-long presentation on the matter by and actual lawyer who specializes in constitutional law, who is (incidentally) also a conservative. In addition to what he says here, if you go to the actual YouTube page, there’s supporting material in the descriptions there. This is long — almost an hour — but I found it interesting and informative, and you can put it on in the background, like constitutional ASMR:

John ScalziThe “too long, didn’t listen” version of this is that, barring an actual coup with tanks in the streets, every single avenue Trump and his dimwit cronies have to try to steal this election breaks down in the House of Representatives, which, remember, has a Democratic majority, and which has legal (and court-tested) ways of avoiding an electoral vote tie, dealing with states overriding the popular vote of their citizens to offer up a slate chosen by the legislature, and so on. Barring the tanks, it’s just not going to happen. The worst case scenario, such as it is, is an acting president Pelosi. But faaaaaaaaaaaaaaaar more likely (like, 99.99999999999%) would be Joe Biden being president, like he’s supposed to. And no scenario where Trump is still president at 12:01pm, January 20, 2021.

(Also, there will be no tanks in the streets. The military can’t wait for Trump to fuck off, y’all.)

This doesn’t mean that Trump and his dimwit brigade aren’t attempting a coup (that is to say, to subvert the will of the voters and the purpose of the electoral college, and illegally steal the presidency); they totally are. Thankfully, they’re bad at it, and also, as noted above, it doesn’t matter, because at the end of any move they make is Speaker Pelosi lifting a middle finger to them all, and Joe Biden as the next President of the United States.

So, yeah. Deep breaths, everyone. January 20 is coming.

94 Comments on “Take a Deep Breath: Trump is Not Going To Cheat His Way Back Into the Presidency”

  1. I couldn’t agree more. I have been studying this. Advanced constitutional law was my specialty when I was in law school. I will check out your video because to me it isn’t too long and I will listen. In fact, I will probably enjoy it immensely (even though it has been almost 30 years since I graduated from law school) and I’m way out of date now.

    One last thing. I do hope Trump and his ilk try a coup. I would love to see him in prison, where he belongs.

  2. I dunno. He’s got two months and all the powers of an increasingly unchecked presidency. Failure in the courts? Okay. How about a nice little war and the assumption of wartime powers? Martial law? Then quietly arresting the opposition on charges of sedition?

    Has he got people who will round up his opponents? It looks that way. The thing that worried me in the summer is that Trump sent unidentifiable federal agents into Portland with orders to detain citizens without charge. The orders were illegal, but the agents obeyed them, and suffered no consequences.

    I never expected Trump to cling to power through constitutional means. But cling to power he will, by any means necessary. So I’m not going to breathe easier until somebody else is in the Oval Office on January 20.

    We’re now quite used to things that used to be unthinkable. A coup is just another leap into the darkness. And you don’t need tanks, just unscrupulous people with badges and guns.

  3. Folks:

    I can’t stop you from obsessing over worst-case scenarios. That’s not actually my job. But I can say there is literally nothing, constitutionally speaking, that allows him to stay in office a second after 12pm, January 20th, and literally nothing he can do, constitutionally speaking, to avoid being a single-term president at this point (I mean, he could run in 2024. But he would have to win. And that’s four years away).

  4. ::(Also, there will be no tanks in the streets. The military can’t wait for Trump to fuck off, y’all.)::

    I can’t imagine WHY, given how Trump has shown NOTHING but the highest respect to the US Military…. 😇

  5. I think most of you think Trump has more get-up-and-go than he does.

    Being a Dictator is hard work, Man! And if Trump’s about anything, it’s about doing nothing besides selling shit to people….

  6. That warning above is sobering, indeed. (Except the part about “dumb-ass founders.” Every nation should have such dumb-asses. They simply didn’t foresee everything, hundreds of years into the future. But yeah, in the present day, it seems pretty dumb to give the lame duck two months in which to wreak havoc, as is happening now.)

    I just watched the first episode of “Rise of the Nazis” on PBS. The parallels to what the Republicans are doing to us in this present day are chilling. Hitler was knocked out of power, briefly. But we all know how that turned out.

    As long as the Republicans remain allied with Trump, we are in peril.

  7. A correction, if this goes to the House, the vote is state based and not majoritarian. Each state delegation gets one vote, there are more states with a majority of Republicans iin their delegation then states with a Democratic majority. If (big iff) it goes to the House, Trump can and will win.

  8. Eric Smith:

    You should actually watch the video, this is addressed and the short version is: if that happens, Biden is president.

    In a general sense: folks, please watch the video before correcting it or me, that would be great.

  9. My lingering fear is what would happen if an actually competent would-be-autocrat were in the White House. Trump consistently sabotages his own efforts by saying the quiet part out loud. For example, when he preemptively thanks the Supreme Court, he makes it very hard for that court to rescue him (if, in fact, there had been a legal avenue to get on its docket). Not impossible — some justices have seemingly no regard for their court’s institutional integrity — but difficult.

  10. The problem begins with these utterances:

    “Take a Deep Breath: Trump is Not Going To Cheat His Way Back Into the Presidency”

    and

    “I have been studying this. Advanced constitutional law was my specialty when I was in law school.”

    The problem with Democrats and Progressives in this country is that they can’t think(!), they can’t envision(!), they can’t allow for any scenario that keeps Trump in power, and that in the end the US Military will kick him out because they don’t like him. You’re wrong on every level. The US Military will follow the orders of their Commander-In-Chief.

    Trump has shown one thing repeatedly. He has shattered EVERY NORM in US Politics. The Republicans, similarly, have shown one thing repeatedly. They do not care what you all think is good and proper. Deny the legitimate President of the United States Barack Obama a hearing on his Supreme Court pick? CHECK. Ignore the law and acquit a law braking President Trump? CHECK. Force a Supreme Court pick through with just days remaining before an election? CHECK. Gerrymander the hell out of States so that they can keep power in State Legislatures and guarantee themselves power in Congress? CHECK.

    Nothing you say matters. Even if it’s the law. Even if you say it can’t happen.

    Republicans CAN and WILL do everything in their power to keep POWER. And will they throw away the Constitution and everything that is decent? OH YES, they WILL. There is not a single Republican that has any virtue left.

    And we already know that Donald Trump has no morals, period.

    Will he (and they) do anything in their power to stay in POWER. Yes.

    And instead of laughing their moves OFF, you should be preparing people to understand that the moral collapse of the Republican Party is so complete at this point that they would not hesitate to stoop down low enough to start a civil war. They care nothing for your words, for normalcy or for law. And apparently, over 70 Million Americans have bought into their depravity.

  11. They tried the courts, and it is failing. The votes will be certified. They will try to subvert the electors but that will fail too. They will vote for Biden. Congress will certify that the electors voted for Biden. Yes there will be shenanigans but it is clear Trump has checked out. He is going for donations and the possibility of running in 4 years. Also the GOP wishes to win 2 more seats in the Senate, so getting everyone spun up is crucial. It is politics in America and nothing has changed. The only difference is you are seeing it live and (gross) with sweaty hair dye on a confused and angry man.

  12. Giorgio S. Germanos:

    “The US Military will follow the orders of their Commander-In-Chief.”

    Well, except the Joint Chiefs of Staff very recently poured cold water on that.

    Again: Look, if you want to get spun up, I can’t stop you from getting spun up. Spin yourself all the way up, if you like. But the military ain’t following Trump down this particular hole. If I’m wrong, you can tell me so in the gulag. Short of that, it’s not something that’s going to keep me up nights.

  13. Here is a link as to why there is a gap between election and inauguration. I wouldn’t blame the “dumb ass” founders as the dates are not in the constitution. Congress has shortened it. http://law2.umkc.edu/faculty/projects/ftrials/conlaw/inaugurationconstit.html

    The point is made that transportation of ballots and the news thereof was slower in olden times, and it took time to bring in a new team from across the country.

    Someone once told me that counties are so small because there were only horses, no cars or busses, back in the day. I see no point in trying to enlarge counties now. To me that would be like trying to reform a certain city’s car worshipping road system. As the Bible says, “The sins of the fathers are visited on the children.” … I think of that slogan when citizens want to declare war or increase the deficit.

    As for further reducing the gap,,, ya, that might be doable.

  14. You know, I lived through a stolen election in 2000, and you did too. Gore got more votes than Bush, both nationally and in Florida, only to have the electoral process arbitrarily thrown out by five Republican supreme court justices using the same underlying logic that Trump is trying to use today.

    Is the situation different this time? Well yes, it appears radically different, and I agree that Trump doesn’t appear to have the right allies to succeed this time.

    That said, the Republican Party is blatantly supporting his lies and election fraud, while his followers openly call for him to overthrow the US government on TV. I really have to ask: faced with that: why are you talking about the US constitution.

    A coup doesn’t literally require tanks in the streets. A legal pretext, along with the other side rolling over, is sufficient. Just controlling enough police agencies while the military sits it out is also sufficient. Much has been said about the advantage Bush got just by having the media on his side, acting like Gore was a fool.

    In this case, Trump got stabbed in the back by Rupert Murdoch of all people, the old-school media is almost uniformly against him, and his opponent is basically an old-school arch-conservative who’s perfectly acceptable to basically all the traditional power blocks in DC and the States. So yeah, it’s not looking so hot for him right now.

    But seriously, the fact that this is even happening again, and one of the major political parties is evidently insane should really make you fear for the future. The next Trump won’t be hiring Rudy Giuliani to run his bullshit, and maybe their argument that all the ballots for the Democrat should be shredded will have just that tiny disguise of subtlety SCOTUS needs to issue a 6-3 ruling.

    Though really it’s not going to matter because his side has already won, and will continue to win through gerrymandering and the Senate for the rest of your lives.

  15. I started to get my breathing under control when the Trumped up lawsuits hit 1-13. I’m sure the states he wants recounts in can use the money, 3 mil for two counties in Wisconsin. There was another state that said, sure, we’ll recount, right after your 7.9 million dollar check clears the bank.

    When the votes are certified, I have no doubt that the states will be above board in every way, there is no out for Trump. He might try to stir up a Civil War, but I don’t think that will work, there aren’t that many Neo-Nazis around.

    I hope he doesn’t gum up the works too damn much, though.

  16. I could imagine (and in my late-night anxiety attacks, often do) the reactionary right wing facilitating the theft of this election, though realistically I agree it is unlikely to come to pass.

    I am far, far, FAR more worried about what this will mean for future elections. We have an incompetent grifter showing how it theoretically COULD be done, and there are a whole lot of far more competent grifters out there who do not give a tinker’s d*** about the Constitution and who are taking notes for next time.

    It’ll be a long two months. I don’t think that I’ll be quite brave enough to tempt the fates by baking that Schadenfreude Pie until the afternoon of January 20. And possibly not even then.

  17. Elladan said: “I really have to ask: faced with that: why are you talking about the US constitution.”

    Because there’s really only two ways this could play out: with tanks in the streets or through the laws. There’s no evidence that it’s going to play out in the first way, and you would need a hell of alot more than just fear and hyperbole to show otherwise. That leaves the Constitution and the law.

    The fact is that the majority of people voted for Biden. Trump does not have the backing in Congress to overturn that. He’s also lost all but one of the (~30) of the court cases he’s filed to deal with this. And there’s nothing the Supreme Court or any other court can do to force a “do over” election or make people shred ballots, or whatever it is you’re afraid is going to happen.

    There are plenty of things to be worried about besides who the next President is going to be. We’ve already had an election and it’s not going to be Trump, so maybe pick something else instead if you really want an outlet for your anxiety?

  18. The real problem is not that Donald Trump, quite likely the most incompetent president in American history, will pull off a coup. The problem is that a large proportion of the population of the country *wants* him to.

  19. You are absolutely correct of course, except I still think you’re going to have to see how much chaos and carnage he can create between now and January 20 (your system is really, really bad on this point, because nowhere else in the world gives the loser 2 and a half months to hang around before they’re forced to leave).

    But you have to be clear that they are attempting a coup — it is an amateurish, exceedingly bad attempt at a coup, but it is still an attempt at a coup. And that is dangerous, especially as many have noted, if the next Trump-type is actually better at this kind of thing (or at least not dumb enough to constantly tell everyone their plans).

  20. ::in the present day, it seems pretty dumb to give the lame duck two months in which to wreak havoc, as is happening now.::

    It used to be over a month more! Until ratification of the 20th Amendment in 1933, the Lame Duck President had until March 4th, when the new Congress met.

    Yeah — if you’re worried about the damage Trump can do between now and January 20th? Consider what he’d do if he had until March!

  21. I initially was worried too that Trump would bank on the Supreme Court to overturn the election results. There were even lawyers who laid out arguments Trump might use — from arcane process arguments that are likely something the Supreme Court might weigh in on to tendentious arguments that try to turn legal logic on its head (e.g. states that don’t mandate voter ID or periodically purge rolls have something to hide and are untrustworthy). Yet no election official or court has entertained these arguments.

    It also looks bad that Republicans are in charge of counting the votes in many places and defend the integrity of the vote count. They’ve even received death threats *from Trump supporters* for doing the right thing. When recounts are ordered, they’re finding more votes for Biden.

    If Trump’s only hope is a banana republic-style coup, it’ll look like something out of Looney Tunes. His most ardent supporters are the Yosemite Sams, Elmer Fudds and Wile E. Coyotes of the GOP, and will get the same results accordingly.

  22. Trump is nowhere near being able to pull his coup off. Unless three of the five Senators who have already acknowledged Biden’s victory vote to support Trump’s election anyway, Trump won’t even have a majority in the Senate, let alone the House.

    His fundamental problem is that the corruption of the Republican Party is not that far along, and so he has not gotten the support of Republican elections officials throughout the country, who have, with a couple of exceptions, certified accurate vote totals routinely, nor the support of Republican judges, who have followed the law, nor, mostly, the support of Republican state legislators who have refused to try to override the popular vote.

    The real danger is, as Colonel Snuggledorf noted above, with respect to future elections. The next Republican to attempt this will likely be more competent and the Republican Party will likely be far more supportive.

  23. SMH — The Trump Derangement Syndrome among most of you is so all-consuming, you’ve convinced yourself he’s at his Villain Lair inside a Volcano in the middle of the Mar-E-Lago Golf Course, ready to unleash the Plagues of Egypt….
    …when what he’s really doing is ordering new smartphones by the dozen, to make up for the ones he smashes every time he mistakes Jim Carrey and Maya Rudolph for Biden and Harris, doing this to him!
    https://media1.s-nbcnews.com/i/newscms/2020_45/3426863/201107-snl-er-1131p_51716b9f687abc28c883247252168532.png

  24. The problem is that a large proportion of the population of the country *wants* him to.

    As for whether Trump has maintained his full complement of adherents since the election: We’re about to collect a daughter from her liberal-arts college, an island of sorts in central Pennsylvania, small enough to maintain Covid safety (all students are being sent home for finals). When driving her there in August, we went up through Fulton County, which had the highest proportion of Trump voters in the state, both in 2020 (85.5%) and in 2016 (84.2%). I will be interested to see whether the number of Trump signs, flags, etc., that we saw in August has decreased or remained the same . . . or increased.

    The one good thing about the last four or five years is that we know more about what many of our neighbors really think. Whether they’ll continue to support Trump (even if they agree with him) is another matter; I suspect many of them are as exhausted by now as the rest of us.

  25. Stephen Turner, the Republicans have this bad habit of mimicking Trump. Almost all of them are “dumb enough to constantly tell everyone their plans.” Their villainy is performative. The GOP Congress must have streamed Austin Powers movies and pointed to Dr. Evil’s bad-exposition shtick, then said to themselves, “Ahh, so THAT’S how you’re supposed to do it.”
    I remember during the Trump impeachment when Louisiana Senator John Kennedy was on cable news. A GOP talking point had been that the impeachment was a sham because the Democrats are trying to overturn the 2016 election. Kennedy leaned into the talking point and basically telegraphed it: He said the next time a Democrat is president, the GOP will impeach to play the getback game.
    This is why we must set our eyes on 2022 first. DC expects the House to fall back to GOP control. Now imagine at least 218 Qanon cretins given the power to hold hearings, investigations and yes, impeachments. The majority of Republicans “trust the plan,” and will probably use their powers to investigate … *checks notes* … imaginary children who are imaginary victims of an imaginary pedophilia ring run by real Democrats.

  26. Somehow, strangely, attempted coups still unnerve me.

    Especially when one out of two major national parties, one that controls most state legislatures and is likely to take the US Senate, literally calls for one. (Check @GOP’s recent Twitter history…)

    I guess that makes me old-fashioned.

  27. The real danger in the actions of Trump and his apologists is not that a coup attempt will succeed, but rather that those actions are being used by a substantial minority of people to justify believing in a patent fiction – that Biden & the Dems ‘stole’ the election.

    When the reality of a Biden Administration is undeniable, I fear that their resolution of the resulting cognitive dissonance will be willful and open defiance of that Administration…and the Law.

    Democracy is the rule of the majority because the MINORITY is willing to go along with it. When a substantial portion of the minority does NOT acquiesce to the majority rule, the result is a state swinging between near violent street protests, severe crackdowns, and open rebellion. This is a very dangerous, unstable situation for any country.

    The last time it was this bad in the U.S. was 1859-1861, with the collapse of the Whig Party, the rise of the Republican Party, and the South feeling the viability of it’s social, economic, and political identity was under lethal threat.

    Today, as the Republican Party has become the Party of the South & white supremacy, they are the ones feeling an existential threat. Hence their blatant and hypocritical actions, justifying anything if it entrenches them deeper in power, regardless of the electorate. And they know the demographics are against them. Just as they were in 1860.

    Now, I am not saying that ‘Red’ states are going to try to secede. I do think it is possible that some ‘Red’ states, counties and groups of people will openly defy Federal authority, justifying it by claiming the illegitimacy of the Biden administration.

    That will put Biden on a thin tight rope, try to balance between too much reaction, triggering martyrdom, and too little, emboldening the defiance.

    And all the while, McConnell and his ilk will be actively trying to jar Biden offf-balance.

    And all the while, Xi, Putin, and others will be eating popcorn and laughing while America goes to war with itself.

  28. I don’t want to spoil anyone’s fun, but I agree with John on this. No worries.

    Want background? Coup is short for coup de ta (darn spell check) or “stroke of state” the first one being against the fledgling republic of France by Napoleon. Later the people tried again and had their second republic. It was Edward Luttvak in the 20th century who wrote a supposed “how to” manual, as a means for increasing one’s understanding of how some countries are vulnerable, while others, such as in North America, aren’t. Given that Coup De’tat has been translated into over 100 languages, I guess some people take the book literally.

    I will spare you the Too Long Didn’t Read version.

  29. Oh yes, I just remembered: Back during the Kennedy years I read the Reader’s Digest version of a U.S. story (of secret planning for a coup) called Seven Days in May. A well know thriller in it’s time. Perhaps it was inspired by followers of the autocratic General Douglas McArther being angry that he had been fired by President Truman. I dimly recall that Kennedy said it could only happen if the people had been subject to three disasters in a row.

    Forgive me if I don’t fearfully focus on Trump, but hey, I’m an academic.

  30. My current theory is all this theater with Giuliani doing all that talking and all the hopeless court cases and even putting up 3 million for a partial recount is it’s all meant to distract from what’s going on behind the scenes. Just what is Trump doing since he’s not doing the daily press conferences and such he was doing up until the election? Somehow embezzling billions in government money? Moving out all the antiques and artwork from the white house for black market sale? Is Biden going to arrive to a scaled up equivalent of what some tenants do when evicted or homeowners when foreclosed on with concrete filled plumbing and all the fixtures torn out?
    Is the place going to need a massive remodel on the scale of the Truman rebuild just to bring it back to livability?
    Are there going to turn out to be massive quantity of hardwired listening devices installed into the walls on a level that will require the same?
    That or he’s been spending days signing hundreds of pardons and commuted sentences that he’s going to publicize all at once. Dark web presidential pardon auction happening?

  31. Trump is the kind of person that can’t take a personal defeat because he never consider it to be his own fault.

    So if everything goes civil then Biden will be inaugurated even if Trump is probably holding out as long as he can. Then it’s of course possible that Biden won’t be in office for long due to health concerns. But that’s just a minor issue at this point even though some people might not want Kamala Harris to be president.

    What I have seen is that Trump has forbidden people to talk to the Biden team when it comes to Covid information and that is something I see as really worrying. I wouldn’t be surprised if they are already shredding all the information they have on Covid.

  32. Hi John, going to phrase this as politely as possible. But is Trump going to actually do any work until Jan 20th? Or is he going to drive your country downhill so he can blame Biden?

  33. I agree that Biden will take over from Trump.
    The only, but still grave, problem is that this take over is part of the grand relay race that is the US presidential system, and part of that is that the sitting president and the president-elect run in tandem for a little while to pass the baton in a way that makes this passing go as smoothly as possible – and we’ve all see on TV what happens if one of the runners fucks up.

    Trump basically stopped running when his part of the relay race was done*, which means Biden is not able to do what other runner/president elect has always been able to do: get up to speed in an organised manner and do his own thing afterwards.
    That would be a bit of a nightmare in normal times but in these times it’s a fucking nightmare.

    So yes, Trump will be gone soon enough but the manner of his passing will do a Hell of a lot of damage and cost a lot more lives.

    (That, of course, is not even taking into account the structural damage he and his enablers are doing to the institutions of democracy and the whole concept of elections as the accepted way of deciding who will form a new government.)

    *or kept the baton and kept running in a way that would get him disqualified as a runner – and will not keep him in the White House, if you want to leave this metaphor.

  34. I understand; but I lack faith in the backbone of the house democrats to do what is needed in a crisis. It doesn’t help when I see people who should know better smirking and chuckling at the republican efforts to suborn the constitution; remembering how just four and a half years ago these same people not taking the threat of Trump seriously got us into this mess.

  35. All of this makes one assumption: that Trump will abide by the Constitution. Based on the last four yers, that proposition is, to put it mildly, doubtful.

  36. I think ultimately Trump’s efforts to show how cheating in this election caused him to lose will fail. Mostly will fail because the cheats were good at hiding their tracks. But, more important than that will be if he is able to demonstrate conclusively how certain key county and cities are and have been corrupt and have been steering elections results in their desired outcome. If enough courts agree then this may result in such corruption being eliminated. Everyone should be in favor of being able to trust that election results are accurate.

  37. A big problem is that Biden isn’t getting security briefings or other resources to start the transition because GSAEmily is refusing to release them until this is “all settled.” Celeste p on twitter has scripts to call your members of Congress to pressure her to allow the transition to start. Delay is dangerous.

  38. John,

    For me the concern isn’t an actual coup (tanks or otherwise), but the results of what he’s currently doing….namely undermining the election process and sowing doubt about this election. I also have grave concerns about what he can do outside the election issue to hinder Biden’s presidency (and with McConnell’s help my worries increase exponentially). And don’t even get me started about his approach to this pandemic.

    Seeing the rise of OAN and Newsmax with their off the wall support of Trump is frightening as hell.

    The cult of personality has never been stronger, and I really do fear for the state of our democracy. :(

  39. I agree, it isn’t going to happen- this time.

    I keep thinking back to the World Trade Center bombing in 1993, in which one of the highlights was a bomber getting nabbed by the FBI as he returned to the rental truck place to try to get his rental deposit back (the FBI had already traced the vehicle using the VIN on the axle).

    Eight years later, it wasn’t so funny.

    We are in the middle of a comically inept coup. But a third of the country thinks their neighbors are evil and an existential threat to America, and are happy to listen to whatever news source tells them so, and they’ve shown they’re perfectly willing to accept a strong man who has never read the Constitution if that’s what it takes.

  40. The problem at the moment isn’t that Trump’s dastardly plans will succeed. They are that he is actually, openly trying them, inviting Republican state legislators from Michigan to the White House today to see if he can get them to throw out the loss by 150,000 votes and appoint new electors that will vote for him. And the truly evil and disgusting thing is not that, because after all we know he’s a grifter who will do anything. No, it is the almost total silence from all but a handful of Republicans.

    “What’s the harm in indulging Trump’s fantasy?”

    The harm is what it does to the country. He has spent four years getting his supporters to doubt the press and the courts and the electoral system. What better way to leave than to hamstring the new administration by making your people believe the election was “rigged” or “stolen”? Meanwhile, we are headed for 200,000 people a day infected with Covid and Trump does nothing.

    Oh, my takeaway from the video was one point. Assuming there were objections in counting the electors from Arizona or any of the other “swing” states, with the House supporting one slate of electors and the Senate voting for the rogue Republican electors, the swing vote making the final decision would be the Governor, period. The Governors of Pennsylvania and Michigan and Wisconsin are all Democrats.

  41. The Military Times regularly polls both active-duty military and veterans. Among OLDER veterans, Trump is fairly popular. Among ACTIVE MILITARY and among YOUNGER veterans, Trump is NOT very popular. Aside from the ugly things Trump has said from time to time, people in the military are actually required to learn some History and Constitutional Law as part of their training. So active duty military tend to know MORE than most civilians about why Trump’s current behavior is so awful.

    I am worried about the longer-term issues: the fact that so many people think Trump *should* become a dictator is very concerning. What if somebody more competent comes along in 2024 or 2028?

    But were it not for COVID-19, the actual damage as opposed to sound and fury from Trump’s Presidency would not have been all that severe.

  42. [Deleted because it’s mostly going after another commenter. Fatman, if you can recast your comment without the personal attacks, go ahead — JS]

  43. Arguments based on what the law or historical precedent allow or don’t allow do not inspire any confidence in me. At the levels we are talking, the very top, law and precedent are entirely dependent on whether or not a relatively small number of people decide to respect them, or not. Every day of this epic clown-car-on-fire shit show that has been the Trump administration Trump and his minions, and the GOP leadership, have demonstrated that law and precedent means nothing to them. Trump himself doesn’t ignore law and precedent, he is actually willfully, disdainfully ignorant and incurious about such things.

    Nearly every day of the past 4 years I’ve heard confident statements about how such and such a law, the constitution, long held precedent, or some combination thereof, assured that Trump et al would not do X, and yet X they did, much more often than not.

    I want to take comfort in analyses like the one linked to in the OP, but the past 4 years have rendered me cautious of these kinds of assurances. However, my opinion, which is not worth much, is that Trump will indeed be a one term president and he will cause some serious damage in the 2 months before he leaves. I think the possibilities range from Trump humiliating himself like never before and losing a significant amount of support for the first time, to Trump inspiring some really nasty violence and the mother of all constitutional crises* as he fights “to the pain” to prevent being dragged out of the White House.

    * I know, I know. Pretty much his entire administration has been one long constitutional crisis, with his thoroughly duped supporters cheering him on every step of the way. I mean relatively speaking.

  44. The likelihood that Trump remains in the white house via actual legal means is slim to none.

    The likelihood that he uses said legal means anyway to convince a distressingly large chunk of the country that our election process is illegitimate, the next administration is illegitimate, and that anyone who pleadingly says otherwise is an enemy of the state? Well, that’s not merely likely, it’s actually already happened.

    He’s doing his best to dismantle the constitutional foundations of this country all to burnish his personal brand.”Not a loser!” is all her cares about. Like any con man he’s cultivating his mark, and his mark is a few million people. He wants them to finance whatever he does next, which I can only assume is “The Racist Grandpa Rambles Incoherently for Three Hours Show” on OANN.

    Case in point, here in Wisconsin his campaign has requested recounts in only two counties; both of which are such deep blue dem strongholds that there’s zero chance of it changing the outcome (unless, as one of his proxies suggested, _all_ absentee ballots get tossed as fraudulent). So…why bother? Because it casts doubt on those two counties in the minds of all the red-county denizens. It assures them that the election would have gone their way if it hadn’t been for those tricksy urban areas full of, you know, _those_ [wink] people.

    The terrifying thing isn’t Trump trying to cling to power in some sort of coup. The terrifying thing is what his legions do once he’s left. Maybe we won’t have tanks in the streets, but instead it’ll be a bunch of angry military cosplayers with poor trigger discipline and a frenzy of complaints about anyone with either a hint of melanin or political beleifs to the left of Franco. That’s scary as hell.

  45. Eric Smith – fortunately you have to watch less than 20 minutes of the video to get the guy’s take on contingent election. Frankly I was pretty unimpressed. His argument is 1) it’s not going to happen (well, yeah, but what if it does?), 2) if it does, we’ll know in advance and the Speaker can just use the Republicans’ claim of voter fraud to delay swearing in the Republicans (as if that weren’t as low-down a trick as anything the Republicans have tried to pull, and is likely to set off even worse extra-constitutional scenarios).
    (That’s leaving aside that his description of the election of the Speaker smells off to me. If the members aren’t yet sworn in when they vote for Speaker, then by what right are they voting for Speaker? But I may be missing something here.)
    Bottom line, I’m not comforted by this. And the only reason I’m not very worried about Republican legislatures just throwing out the popular vote and putting in electors of their own choice is because enough Republican legislative leaders have said they’re not going to try that.

  46. He doesn’t really have a path to a money making cable tv show or getting nominated in ’24 (especially as he’ll be 4 years older then) , and neither do his kids. No, he (and they) are facing serious risk of bankruptcy, or conviction for tax evasion or bank fraud, if he has to leave the White House. He has nothing to lose by trying every possible gambit, and everything to lose if all of those gambits fail.

    It makes him very dangerous right now.

  47. Legally, Trump cannot win.

    However, he is doing terrible damage to the institution of democracy. For democracy to work, it has to be implemented fairly and people have to believe it is implemented fairly.

    Half the nation is now convinced that the process is fraudulent. And that isnt good.

    Everything ultimately is Fox New’s fault. Years spreading lies and propaganda and this is exzctly what it does. This wouldnt be a problem if Trump made absurd claims and the news all laughed at him. But good ol flat earth fox news will support whatever helps the rich.

    We need some standards in news channels again. This is ridiculous.

  48. I read OP and looked at the first 10 minutes of the linked item, and then sort of scanned the thread.

    OP and the video are focused on reassuring us that there is no way that Trump not leaving office is a legal outcome. “No way under our system” I think the video says.

    The problem is that it’s not clear what “our system” is these days. We have the example of four years of Trump and his appointees just ignoring the law and not suffering any consequences. The scenario I worry about is not what the law allows, but how long Trump can just ignore the law without someone putting a stop to it.

    I do still believe, deep down, if it gets to the point where he tries to order tanks into the streets to avoid being dragged out and stomped to death by an angry mob, the tanks will not come to save him. But I would rather things not get to that point.

  49. CNN and most of the the other major networks are just perpetuating this narrative to keep eyes glued to their networks or websites. For all the crap slung at FOX, the other networks also need to be taken to task for their constant airing of these lunatic fringe arguments by Rudy a/k/a ZORG and the rest of the Trumpista supporter for ratings or clicks.

  50. From T Greg Doucette’s video presentation, as to whether the House of Representatives stalls until there’s an obligate choice either of “election results accepted” or “President Nancy Pelosi”:

    … [I]n every single government, everywhere in the world, there is a last-resort Big Boss that makes the decision when everything else fails. Now, some countries decide, “We want to have a dictator, a king or a president do that.”…

    Wow. O_O

    … On reflection, what of it? That dictator might very well have been elected at some point! The Country Decided!

    Disquiet in spite of assurances that the country will indeed weather the interregnum, the Constitution remaining inviolate and Biden & Harris duly sworn in on the appointed day. Urgent problems remain. One, ongoing bitter divisions in the American electorate, to the point of competing versions of reality; and two, the potential for more skilled operators to exploit the system’s weaknesses in future.

  51. People keep mentioning the possibility that the denizens of the current White House will spend the interim “shredding documents>” i wonder how successful that can be in a digital age, where informatoin resides on local hard drives and servers. Would they be able to run down all the digital copies, or might there be loyal citizens who have kept their heads down and secured their own copies?

  52. I liken Trump to an obnoxious neighbor who is breaking multiple laws to be as nasty as s/.he can, everything from setting up massive spotlights aimed into your home to constantly blasting 100 dB music to writing hate mail in your grass with weed killer to calling out the SWAT on you. Sure, eventually you’ll be able to use the legal system to catch up with them, but in the interim they will make your life miserable.

  53. Our host is the voice of reason, and I for one need that, but I we all like to argue with him anyway.

  54. @ GARY:

    “But, more important than that will be if he is able to demonstrate conclusively how certain key county and cities are and have been corrupt and have been steering elections results in their desired outcome.”

    Wouldn’t hold my breath for that. So far Trump has failed to raise even mildly credible suspicion as to how state legislatures with rock-solid Republican majorities (PA, MI, WI, AZ, GA) steered election results toward a Biden win. Let alone mastermind this operation so immaculately as to leave zero evidence behind. Given the degree of competence Trump’s “legal team” has exhibited thus far, “demonstrating conclusively” is a pipe dream.

    Despite his appointment of three Dominionist stooges to the SCOTUS, I agree that Trump is unlikely to be preparing the ground for a banana-republic-style coup. Dictatorship takes effort, and sacrifice, and a lot of planning. Once you’re in control of everything, you’re also solely responsible for making sure things work. All conservatives want is to continue to hollow out the middle class and transfer public wealth into the pockets of the super-rich, while socializing any spillover costs and losses at the expense of said middle class. That’s been the plan since Reagan, and it’s still delivering results.

    Meanwhile, Trump has bigger fish to fry than to pursue tin-pot dictatorship. His crime empire is in financial and legal trouble, lawyers (even shitty ones) cost money, and there’s a huge pool of free $$$ just waiting to be tapped into. Seventy million rubes ripe for the fleecing (“donate $10 today to help Our Great President fight the corrupt stolen election”). A possible takeover of Newsmax, a well-established online platform for impotent old conservative males. Maybe a merger of OANN and Newsmax into Trump TV – a Breitbart-style outlet, except with an audience? As the “build the wall” scam showed us, the sky’s the limit.

  55. What you usually need to make a coup work is a military/security force which believes it is the ultimate guarantor of the state, and has this role written into the constitution. While there seems to be a significant number of Trumpistas in the nation’s police forces they don’t have critical mass, even if Homeland Security was a real praetorian guard for Trump and provided a core. However, watch this space for future developments. On a lighter note, I personally think that VP Harris will make a fine leader of a blue-ribbon panel dealing with domestic right-wing terrorism in this country.

  56. Indi Samarajiva calls the Framers “your dumbass founders”? The nerve! They were just regular white guys looking for lower taxes, cheap labor and the breathing space to invent their own version of The Way Things Oughta Be.

    Oh wait…

  57. Matt: “other networks also need to be taken to task for their constant airing of these lunatic fringe arguments ”

    Fox is presenting trumps lawsuits as legitimate. Cnn is presenting them as ludicrous. And if i have to explain anymore than that, then clearly you’ve already decided the innane “both sides” argument is where you’re camping out.

    GARY: “if he is able to demonstrate conclusively how certain key county and cities are and have been corrupt”

    A whole lot of bullshit can hide behind the word “if”. It is an argument from ignorance fallacy. “If all this true, and we have zero evidence to prove it true, then my conclusion is valid” is not a good way to find truth.

    GARY: “Everyone should be in favor of being able to trust that election results are accurate.”

    Everyone should be confident the world is round. Yet flat earthers insist on being stupid. Trust based on evidence is easy. The problem is Trump is claiming fraud with zero evidence. And those who choose to follow him have made clear evidence doesnt matter to them.

  58. I’m with those more worried about Trump’s supporters than about Trump himself.

    “…you don’t need tanks, just unscrupulous people with badges and guns.”

    Agreed 100 percent.

    Don’t forget the complacent, the desperate graspers at false hope and the starry-eyed believers in the better angels of our nature.

    Enough of us tune out what’s happening and glide off to sleep in the false glow of the “it can’t happen here” nightlight and the coup attempt will be all the more successful for the smarter, more legally savvy version of Trump.

    There’s also the little matter of the not insubstantial horde of bath-salt zombies who greedily gulp up Trump and his lackies’ conspiracy theories.

    This bears repeating; there are tens of millions of people who believe a reptilian, Satan worshipping, child eating pedophile has stolen the election.

    Still more, many among them being the “unscrupulous” types with “[badges] and [guns],” aim to “make[us]” (us specifically meaning folks on higher difficulty settings) “afraid of [them] again.”

    Also, I don’t think folks like the ones stalking and threatening Arizona’s secretary of state are going to quietly and graciously accept the “wrong” results of the election anymore than the cranks in Georgia will swallow the results of the recount.

    I don’t think these folks are above bombs (we know they’re down with mass shootings) or other “patriotic” shows of force if they don’t get what they want.

    Hospitals across the country are at or near capacity, Americans are dying in droves and we can’t get these people to do so much as socially distance or wear a mask.

    Hell, folks in Michigan plotted to kidnap and execute the governor for having the temerity to try and save lives.

    Why then, should we expect them to take pesky things like laws and the constitution seriously, particularly when they aren’t on their side and the power-hungry sharks they keep reelecting are content to watch it all burn for the sake of power?

    Why is Emily Murphey so terrified of a boss she’ll only have for two more months?

    How tough, moral and steadfast will officials be when their families and jobs come under serious threat? Pictures of your child, your child’s school and of your bedroom window at 3:00 am are compelling, don’t you think?

    I sure hope they’re tightening security for these folks.

    It’s all well and good to poke fun at Rudy’s melting hair and to crow about Trump’s excuses for lawyers being laughed out of court.

    It’s tempting to make scornful, condescending remarks at those with more reason than you to worry (Trump derangement syndrome, in deed, says the disabled black woman with the not so rich or famous spouse) handwave four years of right-wing lawlessness and quell “hysteria” with reassurances rooted in “objective” reality, but resting in the “certainty” that the dry-rotted guardrails we call laws will keep American democracy from landing headfirst on the rocks is precisely why the left gets accused of and dismissed for thinking in terms of what should be rather than what is. Scores of us sat stunned on November ninth, 2016 because we spent nearly the entire election cycle “safe “in the certainty that Trump would never, ever be elected to the highest office in the land. We shouldn’t forget that.

    We’ve spent four whole years horrified and outraged by “unprecedented” policies and behaviors; excuse me if I can’t hear the lullaby.

    I hope you all are right. I really do. I need to believe it so that I can sleep at night.

    Still, I’ll hold off on the bubbly and pie until such time as Biden is inaugurated and the results of the runoff in Georgia indicate a friendly senate.

    Either way, things are going to get dark and bloody before it’s all said and done, even if Biden and Harris are ushered into the white house in January.

  59. Here’s celeste P with suggestions about what to say to your MOC by if they are republican or democrat.

  60. Ivor – Why not both? Trump has lots of “work”* to do between now and Jan 20th, and he’s spent four years dragging the country downhill and will have to do it even faster. He’s got electronic documents to shred, people who know stuff to fire or pay off, pardons to arrange for people who can help him, backs to stab, 2024 campaign funds to grift, jailed immigrants to deport, a census to finish rigging, a dacha on the Black Sea to furnish, …

    [ Also, he’s got to finish his job for Q and implement The Storm to finally arrest all those Satanic child-sacrificers in Hollywood and put Hillary in jail for ordering pizza, or at least reveal to them that because there wasn’t time to list all their names individually, he actually had Double-Secret Agent Mueller declare the Entire City of Los Angeles to be felons last spring, and since they aren’t allowed to vote, he actually won California’s 55 electoral votes… ]**

    (*As Vlad Taltos said, “I don’t do ‘work’… but I have a friend who does.)
    (**There are reasons people pay Scalzi and not me to write fiction, as you can see from this example.)

  61. This may have been said above, I confess I didn’t go over all of the replies, but I don’t think he’s actually trying to steal the presidency any longer. I think he wants to burn down the country as much as he can so when Biden takes office he can point and say “look at the state of the country under this left wing radical socialist!” I think he wants to establish the narrative that this election was stolen and the entire administration is illegitimate.

  62. I’d read the fucking manual, but it’s either on fire or coated in shit and in the crapper. Sorry.

  63. I’m actually hoping he’ll flee the country… wouldn’t it be great? “Oh, you losers don’t deserve a great POTUS like ME, I’m gonna go live in the UAE next door to Dick Cheney!”

  64. Trump lost by 45,000 votes (GA + AZ), which is a whisker-thin margin in a supposedly civilized country. Of course, in any sane system, he’d have lost by 5 million, but that’s not the ‘merican way.

    It’s the fact he got 70 million people believing his bullshit, and the majority of the Republican voters thinking that he was “cheated”, which is the bigger issue. Trump’s not going anywhere, he’s found another source of funding from the dupes to keep funneling cash to his spawn, their paid consorts, and his failing hotels.

    Biden won’t be able to get jackshit done as McConnell will prevent him confirming anyone with the spine to go up against the Republicans to the Cabinet, then litigate the crap out of “acting” appointments to overturn everything else. Sally Yates as AG? A supreme court appointment? Changes to secure the election? Ain’t going to happen. And of course due to the usual inability of the Dems to get anything done, the debt limit comes up again early next year, so that will neuter any spending – it should have been abolished last time around but the Dems punted and gave the R’s a loaded gun to point at the next administration.

    Then the usual US attention span of goldfish public will give the House back to the Rs and impeachment of Kamala Harris will be next.

    I just hope things hold together for another 4 years or so, so we can make it to retirement and leave the US. If Joe has to step down, no way on earth will the USA elect a BIPOC woman as president.

  65. Well, I listened to the Youtube video. He did not make me feel any better. Granted, I don’t think that the Trump campaign is at all likely to manage to pull some sort of ratfuck that will end up with the electors of several states that went to Biden being assigned to Trump instead. So, I not particularly worried. However, if they did manage to pull it off, I’m not confident that the various methods the speaker said that would stop it would actually come to pass.

    He described the such a ploy by Trump Campaign as a “soft coup,” or manipulating the voting process to take power. If Trump’s people managed to get that to happen, the processes that he described that would stop it basically amount to a counter-coup. They are procedural loopholes that make the Senates refusal to vote on Merrick Garland look like tiddlywinks. It would involve throwing out vitually ALL norms of how Congress acts and ignoring the plain intent of how procedures are supposed to work. I don’t know if the Democrats would be willing to blow up Congress to do it. If they did it, and if it worked, the incoming Biden administration would be crippled beyond the worst nightmares of what we think they will face from the GOP now. Plus, there would be an astronomical increase in domestic violence from right wing groups and probably actual rebellions. The Democrats might not be willing to do that, even to stop another four years of Trump.

    This is especially true because once they took those steps, it is totally guaranteed that the GOP would do all that and more the moment that they held the House and a Democrat had won the Presidency and every time that it happened thereafter. Four more years of Trump has a good chance of destroying the U.S. Actually pulling the trigger on the tactics that fellow talks about is certain too. If not in 2021, then within the next few elections.

  66. It takes a lot of moral courage for a political party to stand for free, transparent elections and the rule of law when the free, transparent elections and the rule of law are going to take away your power. This is the litmus test that Republicans have hit repeatedly the last few decades. And they have failed the living crap out of it about 99% of the time.

  67. Trump teaches us only what history amply demonstrates: no piece of paper can shield a democracy from the consequences of its own preferences – and to the extent that the electoral college was (ostensibly) intended to do so, there is an added touch of irony.

    And in a 2-party system, if one of the parties becomes committed to the destruction of the system, you have a problem that one election cannot solve. This we have seen before, and fought a civil war over. The main hope is that the Republican party is committed to nothing at all, and will abandon their white supremacist revolution (“Southern Strategy”) as soon as they see another path to oligarchy. When I was young, people were being murdered for registering black voters – and the only thing that was new, was the attempt made to register them.

    Meanwhile the pandemic rages throughout the country, and, as the saying goes, winter is coming.

    To be continued …

  68. I completely agree that the Cheetoh-Faced Numpty has no path to retain power. For what it’s worth, though, an election decided in the House would be fraught. In such a scenario it’s not one vote per representative. It’s one vote per STATE, and while Democrats have a majority in the House, Republicans control more state delegations. But it won’t come to that.

  69. Julie, we should be careful not to co-mingle scenarios.

    An election in the House would be in the case of a tie. That’s not going to happen.

    Why? Because Congress has to vote to accept electors, and THAT’S by one vote per representative.

  70. I agree with Kevin RS above..
    As Sarah Kendzior wrote at the beginning of the Trump administration, “the outrages are used to cover up the crimes”.

    While we all watch Rudy, agog, and doomscroll the GOP twitter account as it froths through its seditious farrago, Trump and his minions are busy looting government. Of course they’ve been doing this for the last four years, but it is accelerating now.

  71. I hear your logic, but that doesn’t change what’s going on with my endocrine system. Franky, I’m so spun up from enduring the last four years of attacks on not just me, and my people, but so many others, that I won’t feel safe until Biden is sworn in.

  72. I am having more severe trauma reactions to President-elect Biden’s codependent behavior than I have had to four years of the terrorists.

    His silence in the face of continuing treason and incitements to violence, his failure to take countermeasures, his claims that everything will be peaches and bacon with the Republicans come 2021, his reluctance to hold them the slightest bit accountable for their terrorism against America, and worst of all, his exhortations for us to put our physical safety in danger by trying to be NICE to the terrorists, while they are not even exhorted to stop talking openly about KILLING us.

    He has not filed in court for a writ of mandamus to compel Emily Murphy to certify the election results so that his transition team can effectively go to work.

    He has not sent the incoming State Department to meet with world leaders to mend fences and to reassure them that the Dark Lord will be held accountable and that his foreign policy will be erased and replaced with competent diplomacy once the grown-ups are in charge.

    He has not given fair notice to all oil and mining interests that the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge is not for sale, and that any attempt to auction off fake extraction rights is a confidence scheme that will NOT be recognized as valid by the United States of America.

    He has failed to answer the Republicans’ false and inflammatory whining about the election results with the far stronger claim that Donald’s continuing occupation of the White Supremacist House is a clear and present danger to the United States, nor has he loudly and angrily demanded that the occupant step down from the office IMMEDIATELY and turn himself in to the authorities to be prosecuted for his crimes.

    I am not certain which would be worse–if Joe fails to understand that what he calls the “loyal, friendly, cuddly opposition” is in fact a terrorist hate sect dedicated to the destruction of the United States—or if he DOES understand, and is simply intending to play Neville Chamberlain to the American Nazis

    I have been willing myself to get through the nightmare, strengthened by the belief that we will eventually wake up from this nightmare with the grown-ups in charge. The sight of the Democratic party returning to its unrepentant abuser to squander its momentary upper hand and allow it to commit more violence against it–and against us, their dependents–is more than I can handle.

  73. I want to know where all these soon-to-retire people are going when they leave the USA. Who is accepting non-productive immigrants from here? Have they found nations that will accept a chunk of cash in exchange for letting them in? (Not sarcasm. I want to know.)

  74. Granted, mindless panic and sleepless nights will not help, but the potential for harm of the current situation should not be ignored either.

    1. Trump is currently making sure to keep all options open by attacking election results:
    – at the least, if those actions fails, he will still have instilled doubt in the process in the mind of millions, and he will have ensured his successor has the worst start possible, so he can rant at how ineffective those liberals are.
    – and who knows, if there is the slightest chance that he wins, « sur un malentendu » as we say in french, he would take that too. He has defied the odds before.

    2. His current actions are weakening the faith in the democratic process, suggesting it can be perverted to ensure the will of those in power is preserved when the voice of the people does not match their interest. If it does not work this time for him, it will next time.

    3. Then as always, there are the actions that hide behind the theatrics. It’s the hallmark of a good con, that while we are all scrutinising the tweets and the press conference and the frivolous lawsuit, his government continues its actions.

    So, not panic, but vigilance. Democracy should never be taken for granted.

    And maybe admiral Naismith is right, it is time for more forceful reaction. Because so far measure and politeness has only resulted in more than 7mi votes for his agenda.

    Maintaining, strengthening, restoring democracy is gonna take a lot of effort.

  75. A comment above asks where these people leaving the USA will go. No need to leave. Remember when a “count them on your fingers” number of men got us to invade, liberate and occupy Iraq? Plus a project to “instil democracy?” Resulting in a “fiasco?” (Yes, that’s a book title)

    Without helping to instil ANYthing thing, those guys with their fancy university degrees—who, unlike us innocent blue collar soldiers, knew full well “democracy” could not be defined or instilled with a soundbite—all walked away, without penalty, without ever setting foot in Iraq to help. And they were all allowed to walk by the American people.

    Call it a cliche, but “history repeats.” Trump’s guys will similarly remain among us in America.

  76. @Admiral Naismith:

    Absolutely right.

    Biden’s “let’s all sing Kumbaya with our would-be murderers” approach to dealing with the right, Trumpists in particular, is part of a movement that some privileged democrats are trying to start in the name of “healing.”

    That he and others intend to persuade hole hearted proponents of eugenics, concentration camps, lynching and a genocidal approach to covid to see reason would be hilarious if it weren’t dangerously naïve.

    That they’d like Trumpists’ targets to participate in that farce and are willing to guilt them into doing so is beneath contempt.

    That Biden intends to take his cues from the Obama playbook turns my stomach. The steaks are far, far too high for him to try and coast in on moldering relationships in the senate.

    As far as many, many republicans and Trumpists (they’re not mutually inclusive) are concerned, Biden is the n*** loving (just look at his VP pick, they say) liberal who got spanked by a Kenyen socialist Muslim and opted to take orders from him for eight years.

    At worst, he’s a Satan worshipping lizard man of an election thief who eats and has sex with babies.

    He is going to be stymied at every. Single. Turn; the dearth of republicans willing to stand up to Trump post-election should be some indication of how things will be, whether or not they’re acting out of self-preservation.

    Those with the correct tribal markings (I can’t believe people don’t get that whites and white-adjacents are the only people who register as human on most Trumpists’ radar) can play behind enemy lines all they wish. Meanwhile, I and other targets will be fending off the most vengeful and violent among them and trying to keep our friends and loved ones safe from hate crimes.

    If Biden telegraphs to voters on higher difficulty settings that they should let deadly bygones be deadly bygones, if, after Georgia senate seats are secured by dems, he handwaves Trumpist fuckery in the name of republican cooperation, a ton of voters are going to be outraged.

    For all his talk of having black backs and wanting to restore the relative safety of American streets, he is still an old white man, one emblematic ofeverything this country aims to uplift and protect.

    His back-slappery with white folks and right folks is precisely why, for me, he was choice number six last year.
    @Admiral Naismith:

    Absolutely right.

    Biden’s “let’s all sing Kumbaya with our would-be murderers” approach to dealing with the right, Trumpists in particular, is part of a movement that some privileged democrats are trying to start in the name of “healing.”

    That he and others intend to persuade hole hearted proponents of eugenics, concentration camps, lynching and a genocidal approach to covid to see reason would be hilarious if it weren’t dangerously naïve.

    That they’d like Trumpists’ targets to participate in that farce and are willing to guilt them into doing so is beneath contempt.

    That Biden intends to take his cues from the Obama playbook turns my stomach. The steaks are far, far too high for him to try and coast in on moldering relationships in the senate.

    As far as many, many republicans and Trumpists (they’re not mutually inclusive) are concerned, Biden is the n*** loving (just look at his VP pick, they say) liberal who got spanked by a Kenyen socialist Muslim and opted to take orders from him for eight years.

    At worst, he’s a Satan worshipping lizard man of an election thief who eats and has sex with babies.

    He is going to be stymied at every. Single. Turn; the dearth of republicans willing to stand up to Trump post-election should be some indication of how things will be, whether or not they’re acting out of self-preservation.

    Those with the correct tribal markings (I can’t believe people don’t get that whites and white-adjacents are the only people who register as human on most Trumpists’ radar) can play behind enemy lines all they wish. Meanwhile, I and other targets will be fending off the most vengeful and violent among them and trying to keep our friends and loved ones safe from hate crimes.

    If Biden telegraphs to voters on higher difficulty settings that they should let deadly bygones be deadly bygones, if, after Georgia senate seats are secured by dems, he handwaves Trumpist fuckery in the name of republican cooperation, a ton of voters are going to be outraged.

    For all his talk of having black backs and wanting to restore the relative safety of American streets, he is still an old white man, one emblematic ofeverything this country aims to uplift and protect.

    His back-slappery with white folks and right folks is precisely why, for me, he was choice number six last year.

  77. Not sure how that happened, but sorry for the double paste.

    Also, “steaks” should be “stakes.”

  78. I really appreciated Scalzi’s recommendation of Greg Ducette’s run-through. I learned a few things that seem to be both salient and provably correct.

    Not the Reddit Chris S. made the good point that the President-Eject “got 70 million people believing his bullshit”. Now that we have more metrics on the popular vote (than when I last tackled guesstimating a week ago), let’s try to put those 70 million Trump votes in full-electorate context:

    As I mentioned last time, the US Elections Project calculates the voting-eligible population to be 239,247,182. Popular vote number are of course still not-quite-complete, but let’s use Cook Political Report’s estimate a/o today to size up four factions:

    33.3% (79,827,486) voted Biden/Harris
    30.8% (73,793,739) voted Трамп/Пенс Trump/Pence
    1.1% (2,862,679) voted third-party
    34.6% (82,839,370 — the largest faction) didn’t vote

    Cook estimates that 156,483,904 valid votes have been so far recorded.

    Notice that the project popular vote margin is shaping up to be over six million. That’s historic.

    One can infer that the President-Eject’s hard core is well below that 30.8%, if one were able to distinguish voters who vote GOP just out of habit and family tradition, etc. It might be about 25% — to be sure a worryingly high amount of infection with QAnon / Newsmax TV / New Tang Dynasty / OANN disease, but not as bad as often asserted.

    Compare 2016, when US Election Project said the voting-eligible population was 230,931,921:

    28.5% (65,853,514) voted Clinton/Kaine
    27.3% (62,984,828) voted Трамп/Пенс Trump/Pence
    3.4% (7,830,934) voted third-party
    41.8% (94,262,645 — the largest faction) didn’t vote

    Total 2016 vote was officially 136,669,276, per the FEC.

  79. Now is the time to have some fun. I love going on far right sites like RHSDs site and get their hopes up. They really suck it up! I can’t wait to go back on Jan 20th to hear their wailing.

  80. I remain more worried about the next guy who tries all this. And there will be a next guy. They’ve seen how the GOP was 110% into supporting an authoritarian, how many Americans were fine with that, and how the militias, proud boys, et al were willing to take their weapons on the streets and provoke violence. Add in the police in many cities and states who don’t realize that “serve and protect” means ALL citizens, and you’ve got the makings of a very ugly stew.

    Within ten years we’ll got through this again, and this time it won’t be an emotional basket case like Trump with a grifting family and no impulse control. It will be a cold, hard person who knows where all the system’s weak spots are.

    And then we’ll find out what Americans are really made of.

  81. I’m going to be optimistic. That was a really good and informative video.

    As far as the future goes, there’s this continuing refrain that goes “what if we get a Trump that’s competent?” and I just don’t see it. Trump’s appeal wasn’t nationalism or populism per se, it was his norm breaking. He just wasn’t racist or xenophobic, he was rabidly racist and xenophobic.

    And the GOP has seen that while norm breaking may get you one term (due the quirks in our electoral college), it doesn’t get you two terms.

    Anyway, at least that’s my hope. If I truly thought that we have a future of endless Trump iterations, I’d move to Costa Rica or some such place.

    (And that brings up a question: what would have to happen to this country to make you leave it?)

  82. My two cents –

    The military will follow orders, even bad ones. Generally speaking, most people will. It takes a highly principled person to disobey orders, even immoral and unethical ones. (Read up on Hugh Thompson. He did. He and his crew. They were the exception not the norm at My Lai.) I am aware the Joint Chiefs recently issued a statement saying they won’t be part of an attempted coup but the only way to know for sure is to see what they do if given such orders. I base my two cents on 10 years serving active duty in the Army and in studying cults, sociopathic behavior and mob mentality for my bachelor’s degree. I highly recommend reading up on the Milgrim experiment to get an idea of what regular people will readily do to another if they feel their actions are sanctioned or necessary or for some obscure lofty reason – or if given a direct order.

    Now, having said all that – the “military” I am more worried about is the one Erik Prince has been putting together for the last four years. Where is he? What has he been doing?

    Why weren’t the people in camouflage and battle gear who grabbed protesters and tossed them into unmarked vehicles held legally accountable for their criminal actions? Where are they now?

    I think this attempted coup is a real threat. And no, I’m not all spun up in a tizzy. I don’t think the Democratic Leadership Team (Pelosi, Hoyer, etc) is up to the challenge and that’s not due to their ages – it’s due to them not taking this seriously. Just like they’ve done for four years.

    I also agree with another poster – Admiral Naismith. Biden should be raising holy hell right now in every area that is being tampered with. Legally of course. He should also be talking to the American public in no uncertain terms about all of this – instead of in wishy-washy sentences like “he is acting very irresponsible” (referring to trump).

    We have to be realistic about what we are watching occur in real time. I think things are going to get much worse in the next two months. I hope I’m wrong.

  83. @hand2mouse – between us, we’re citizens of three different countries, so after crossing off the US and the UK (gee, thanks Brexit) it leaves us with the rest of the EU to welcome our unproductive retired butts. Italy looks nice – they do have a corrupt/inept government but basically ignore it anyway and they are not as offensive as Trump in any case. Near Lake Garda looks a good option.

    @Rick Moen – the raw numbers look good, but the distribution and the electoral college is the huge issue. It’ll never be changed, you can’t open up the constitution to fix it as the R’s own all the crappy little states with land, so hold the majority, and they will jam through banning gay marriage, destroy the separation of church and state, ban abortion, and so on..