Time to Get Serious

Here’s where we stand: By my calculation, if state election certifications continue on schedule, after Monday, November 23, enough states will have certified to put the election out of reach for Trump. There won’t be enough uncertified, “contested” states left to flip that would give Trump 270 Electoral College votes.

That doesn’t mean he’ll give up, of course. Michigan Republicans haven’t given up, either:

The Michigan and national Republican parties have asked the Board of State Canvassers to delay certification of the state’s election results in a bid to investigate “anomalies and irregularities” alleged to have occurred in Michigan’s Nov. 3 election.

Michigan Republican Party Chairwoman Laura Cox and Republican National Committee Chairwoman Ronna Romney McDaniel asked the state to conduct a “full, transparent audit” before certification, noting other states like Georgia “have taken discretionary steps” in determining their results.

The Board of State Canvassers is scheduled to meet Monday to consider certification.

The request from Cox and McDaniel came the morning after Michigan Republican lawmakers met with President Donald Trump at the White House for an hour.

The Michigan delegation insists that they didn’t fly to Washington for a one-hour meeting to discuss the election with Trump, only “covid relief.” Sure.

The Michigan Attorney General is considering criminal charges against Republican officials who try to block certification. Also, the Legal Defense Fund of the NAACP has filed a lawsuit against Trump and his campaign for attempting to disenfranchise Black voters in Detroit.

You can find no end of commentary on what a joke the Trump Legal Team has become. Just today, Aaron Blake at WaPo pointed out that one of Giuliani’s affadavits supposedly documenting voting irregularities in Michigan was actually full of data about Minnesota. I’m serious.

See also David Atkins, Washington Monthly, Trump Is Staging a Comically Incompetent Coup.

Living through it as we all are, it is difficult to keep in perspective how astonishingly bizarre it is. From Rudy Giuliani’s hair dye dripping down his cheek and wiping snot all over his face with a handkerchief, to Sidney Powell’s repeatedly weird promises to “release the kraken” (now a QAnon meme near you) and invocations of the long deceased Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez as somehow in on the conspiracy, to Jenna Ellis stridently vouching for the delusions of a man she once called an “idiot” who “really cannot be trusted to be consistent or accurate in anything,” it seems more like tragicomic soap opera material than living history.

Certainly there have been other absurd episodes in American history. But I don’t know of anything this ridiculous that was allowed to continue for so long at the highest levels of government. It’s way past time for Trump to produce solid evidence of wrongdoing or shut up. It was way past time a couple of weeks ago. The farce continues, and the world is watching. Incredulously. The nation must get serious and put a stop to this. But how?

It really ought to be the role of senior Republican senators to take on the Barry Goldwater role and tell the “president” the game is over. But so far nearly all of them are making excuses for Trump and refusing to call Biden “president elect.”

Possibly the worst part is that Trump hasn’t given himself a graceful way to get out of this mess. I can’t see his end game. I still think it’s entirely possible that he packs up and gets out of Washington before the inauguration. Trump may turn the keys over to Pence, with instructions to pardon him. I just don’t see him conceding and going through the traditional transition ceremonies. The only thing he can accomplish at this point is undermine the Biden administration. Which may be the real plan.