The ultimate Trump tweet I suppose:
OK I ‘m going to imagine I’m David Brooks for a minute.
Wow that new intern really is hot . . . Oh sorry where was I?
Oh yes drafting up this piece about the fundamental moral choices facing Americans at this moment.
On the one hand:
By raving constantly that the election was rigged against him, Trump is doing something totally predictable — indeed everybody predicted it — and yet still shocking. Doing so trashes arguably the most important informal norm of the entire system: that presidents who lose elections accept the results.
Note this isn’t taking place in the context of a gray area election, where a relatively small number of votes in a single state determined the outcome. As Scott has pointed out, if all the GOP had to do was finesse the fact thatTrump lost Pennsylvania by say 12,000 votes, they probably would have been all in for stealing the election, and they probably would have pulled it off via their agents in the federal courts.
But this time around stealing it would require tossing out the vote in a minimum of three states that Biden is going to win by a combined total of around 100,000 votes (his margin is up to nearly 70,000 votes in Pennsylvania as the last ballots trickle in), and that was, apparently, too heavy of a lift.
On top of that it probably makes a least a little difference on the margin that Biden is going to win the popular vote by more than six million, when everything has been counted. (How long are going to live with the insanity of the Electoral College? Apparently indefinitely into the future, which is where we are all going to live the rest of our lives).
So Plan 9 didn’t actually get operationalized this time around, and “all” we have is the federal government’s refusal to cooperate with the transition to a Biden administration, which given that it’s taking place in the midst of a pandemic that’s now raging completely out of control, is pretty bad all by itself.
Side note: The Moderna vaccine is apparently also extremely effective — caveats for science by press release notwithstanding etc. How pathetic is it that we’ve been (sort of) battling this thing as a country for eight months, and now we only have to hang on for maybe four or five more, and we just can’t do it, because we want those baby back ribs? Here again the Trump administration’s combination of total moral degeneracy and total bureaucratic ineptitude is helping to literally kill us, although to be fair our crappy culture as a whole gets the lion’s share of the blame. COVID-related things won’t be as bad under Biden but they will still be bad because you can lead a horse to water but you can’t make a bunch of anti-science lunatics take a vaccine, etc., especially one for a virus developed by (((Bill Gates))) to take over the world. Just watch that is really going to be a thing.
Anyway, the glass half full is that while the Trump base is authoritarian and trending fascistic, it’s also for the most part extremely lazy and not very serious — no wonder they love their man! I mean Dear Leader is out there every day ranting about how the worst political crime in this nation’s history has just been committed, robbing them of their country etc. etc., and what are they doing? Basically nothing — that pathetic little spectacle in DC on Saturday just put an exclamation point on that.
If the GOP had really stolen the election, there would have been at a minimum millions in the streets, widespread strikes, and who knows what else. But with apparently few exceptions the 74 million (!) or so Americans who voted for Trump this time around are treating this like just another reality TV show that they really liked, and didn’t want to see cancelled. They’ll bitch about it on social media in other words, but actually turning off the TV and getting off the couch is a bridge too far.
The bad news is that the vast majority of those 74 million people were willing to vote for a man for president who they know is employing false pretenses to at least temporarily refuse to leave office! Think about that, or maybe don’t because it’s real early, but that is a sign of a truly degenerate political culture.
Relatively few of those 74 million are, apparently, sufficiently delusional to actually believe what Donald Trump says about the presidency being stolen, or at least their behavior would seem to indicate they don’t really believe that, or perhaps it would be more accurate to say many of them “believe” it in the most casual and un-serious way. But every single one of them was still OK with keeping Trump in the White House, knowing him to be what he is.
He got 11 million more votes this time around than last, even though last time the excuse was still there that maybe it was all schtick, and he was going to Become President once the election was over (I think Dana Bash is still expecting this to happen before January 20th tbf). This time there wasn’t the slightest doubt in any but the very craziest peoples’ minds — so maybe twenty-five million voters — that Trump is a totally unfit con man, but so what, he owns the libz and he puts on a good show, and that was enough for the fifty million non-delusional Trump voters (I’m back of the enveloping bigly here obvi).
So when it comes to that future in which we’re going to spend the rest of our lives, it’s all kind of an Escher drawing I guess.