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.

16 thoughts on “Time to Get Serious

  1. I always thought that saying someone is having a meltdown was just a figure of speech. but Giuliani has shown me that that's not always the case.

    • Do NOT underestimate Rudy.  He is just setting up his insanity defense for when he is indicted next year.

      • Very good point. There was considerable speculation that Rudy broke a number of US laws in his dealings in Ukraine. The DOJ didn't charge, but the crimes are still there. Will Rudy get a pardon in advance of Trump's departure?

        • It will be interesting to watch how Trump dispenses his pardons on the way out the door. His history of granting pardons shows that they are only forthcoming if Trump receives a political benefit as a result of issuing them. The downside of his pardons is that the recipient of his pardons can't shed the admission of guilt that accompanies a pardon.

           So if Trump feels magnanimous in preemptively issuing pardons for his fellow criminals on his way out the door he'll be simultaneously bestowing upon them an admission of their guilt if they decide to accept his kindness.

           I don't know if Trump can even issue a preemptive pardon, but knowing Trump I wouldn't put it past him. The logic being that the effort to legally sort out a move like that would be greater than the benefit gained in pursing a conviction of whoever received a preemptive pardon. That's part of Trump's MO. Throw up a legal obstacle that provides discouragement to pursue the truth.

        • I'm no lawyer (so what do I know) but based on what I've read a federal pardon is dependent on the recipient admitting to actual crimes.  Rudy would have to admit to what he did to get that pardon.  Given the pattern of this thoroughly corrupt administration, they'd give him one without the confession, only to see the legality of it challenged later, that is, if democrats are not intrenched in "look forward, not back" mode.

  2. IMO, Trump would love if any Hail Mary pass is successful. When all else fails, he will petition the USSC to prevent certification on Dec 14. Which won't happen. Passing down decisions that are blatantly unconstitutional would result in riots. 

    The end game isn't keeping the White House – it's staying out of Riker's Island, New Yorks's most famous penitentiary. Trump would like immunity from federal prosecution – that's far less certain than the talking heads suggest. Trump hasn't been charged. The VP isn't necessarily aware of what crimes Trump might have committed. (Ford knew what Nixon had done – it had been investigated and documented.) 

    I haven't seen the question asked, much less the answer, how quickly NY might move in charging Trump. If the A/G declares Trump a flight risk and demands Trump's passport when he is charged, does that prohibit Trump from departing the country until he's been to arraignment and argued for bail and terms regarding flight risk? 

    There is a brass ring which the Democrats don't have the spine to grab. The US Constitution specifies that the POTUS can't be pardoned "in cases of impeachment." Trump was impeached. Any crimes associated with the Ukraine hustle aren't covered in a pardon. (Granted, it's a theory that hasn't ever been tested.)

    I'd expect Trump will go overseas to resign, possibly Indonesia. Trump had a meeting with the Indonesian minister after the election, while he was in the depths of his sulk. Was he lining up a place he believes will oppose his extradition? 

    • When all else fails, he will petition the USSC to prevent certification on Dec 14. 

      If the quality of the legal representation Trump has received thus far from Giuliani's "Elite Strike Force" the USSC will be facing a much taller order to do Trump a political solid than it did in Bush v. Gore, because there will be no evidence of anything.  In the 2000 FL recount battle, at least the Bush team did present evidence supporting their claims, giving the USSC a legal foothold, at least.  For the USSC to rule in Trump's favor and just award him the presidency would be so beyond the pale no one could henceforth credibly claim the US remains a "democracy."

  3. tRUMP is tRUMP. 

    His voters love him – maybe even worship him.  tRUMP is the leader of his tRUMP Cult, and those voters are his cult followers.

    tRUMP's voters are also the voters for every single Republican politician in every office in every single local, state, and national government position(s).

    And tRUMP is like Billy Mumy as the kid who controls – and terrorizes – the entire town in the Twilight Zone episode entitled, "It's a Good Life.".

    This is the spooky episode where if the kid didn't like you, you ended-up a sentient corn plant outside the town in less than a second.

    tRUMP is, not just head of the Republican Party, but the King of the RepubliKKKLAN KKKULT!

    Every R pol will have to kiss his ass.  And follow every order.

    One slip, and tRUMP will turn you and your political hopes into a magic trick wherein he makes you and them disappear.  As an example to others, so he'll tell you it's just business.  But he likes the hurting part of… Well… Not just the business, but of everything.

    But tRUMP better watch it, because he can make some serious people seriously angry.

    I'm tRUMP, I don't skimp on my Food Taster.  Or my Cupbearer.

  4. How can we stop this tragicomic soap opera as David Atkins delightfully termed this debacle?  Well you really cannot for the same reason that a stake cannot be driven through the heart of "professional" wrestling.  A fight, even a fake one, has the ability to draw and hold a crowd's attention.  Even though the outcome is predetermined and the scenes rehearsed and scripted, people chose their favorite and root for them.  Some find it entertaining, Some swear it is a real fight.  Worst of all some spend time and money keeping it going.  I could never understand why some people would do that. 

    One day while playing golf, one of the group of guys started talking about faux wrestling.  So I asked the guy why anyone would watch that crap, it is just so lame.  He just smiled and replied, "It's soap operas for men". I never forgot his words. It is entertainment for some that requires little more than a working brain stem.  It is a vicarious life for those whose life is a bit too small.  Trump understands this, as faux wresting and Trump have quite the  history. It seems this notion is not new notion, as I found this link while writing this.  

    How professional wrestling perfectly explains Donald Trump's 'Superman' stunt – CNNPolitics

    So the Trump show (soap opera) will go on in one form or another.  His ratings are dropping as his supporting characters can't get their lines straight and  keep their make-up from running, but go on it will. The more it becomes a tragedy  it's comedic value increases, yet like watching faux wrestling it is really becoming just a waste of time.  We are down to less than 60 days. The details are in the side bar.

    • Yeah, that reminds me of the episode of the Beverly Hillbillies where Granny Clampett jumps into the ring to save Rebecca of Donnybrook Farm from being hurt by the Manassas Mauler. Poor Rebecca was only in the match because she wanted to save the farm from being foreclosed on.

  5. Don't look for a graceful end game.  Donald Trump is not a graceful person in any possible sense of that word. He is incapable of grace.

  6. I believe this chapter will end with Biden inaugurated in January 2021, but even with that, republicans have extended "2020" for possibly years to come.  They will use all the dust they kicked up over "fraud" to insist Biden's election is not legitimate.  The far right nutters will continue to swarm at rallies with their guns.  Racist hatred and bigotry, having been normalized, will continue to flourish in the name of "freedom."  It won't matter whether Trump leaves the US or not, he will continue to batter democracy from whatever perch he lands on, thanks to social media.  Should a former president, clearly hostile to the US, be allowed to travel to a foreign land and put US security interests at risk out of sheer revenge?  Will the democrats find the courage to pass a bill or issue an executive order (if its possible in this case) to give him something to think about and remove the former presidential secret service detail every ex president has if Trump decides to leave the country?

    Democrats, at worst, will enter a Biden era with the House and Presidency.  If democracy is to even have a chance at survival, its going to be dependent on them to be willing to use every legal means at their disposal to push back.  Otherwise, its just a matter of time.

  7. The only massive fraud in this election is that which is being perpetrated by Trump and his "legal team."

    I wish someone would say that.

  8. Just some Sunday thoughts:  Giuliani has been looking and acting very insane lately.  Methinks he has caught covid and it went directly to his brain and is munching away.  Trump can't leave the country because no other country would have him. It is not Don Jr. being groomed for a future presidency run, it is Ivanka.  As for Trump's end, I believe it was Shakespeare that said:  "You live by the sword, you die by the sword".

    • You really wonder about him. Charles Pierce called him a "legal rodeo clown" – that's why Pierce is a nationally known wordsmith. Rudy is probably also an alcoholic, which accounts for a lot of it. Who else would hold a press conference at "Four Seasons Total Landscaping" – it's just the kind of mistake a drug addict would make.

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