Thursday, September 03, 2020


We should be able to beat President Trump in November. Joe Biden's lead may be down somewhat from its midsummer peak, but it's solid and enduring, and if it holds, it's large enough to enough to all but ensure an Electoral College victory -- if there's a fair election.

But the president is doing everything he can to gum up the works. He's putting stress on an already challenged electoral system by urging his voters to vote twice, illegally, in order to demonstate that the process is rigged. His loathsome attorney general, the worst person in American government apart from Trump and Mitch McConnell, responded to this last night by saying he didn't know whether double voting is illegal and insisting that vote by mail will inevitably lead to fraud.

So what happens if Trump wins again? I think the only limits on his power will be the limits of his own whims. He's already moving to defund cities that personally offend him.
President Trump is ordering the federal government to begin the process of defunding New York City and three other cities where officials allowed “lawless” protests and cut police budgets amid rising violent crime....

New York City, Washington, DC, Seattle and Portland are initial targets....

“My Administration will not allow Federal tax dollars to fund cities that allow themselves to deteriorate into lawless zones,” Trump says in the memo, which twice mentions New York Mayor Bill de Blasio by name....

Federal agencies must detail “all Federal funds provided to Seattle, Portland, New York City, Washington, D.C.” Also, within 14 days Attorney General Bill Barr must develop a list of “anarchist jurisdictions” that “permitted violence and the destruction of property to persist and have refused to undertake reasonable measures” to restore order. The memo does not require Barr to include the four cities, possibly for legal reasons.
Will the courts block this? Who the hell knows?
An effort by Mr. Trump to curtail funding to so-called sanctuary cities was challenged in court, but a federal appeals court ruled this year that the administration was within its rights to withhold some funds, although three other appeals courts have ruled that the administration did not have the authority.
If I'm paying taxes and my city isn't getting some of the money back in federal aid appropriated by Congress, then I don't want my tax dollars to go to D.C. anymore. But how will that happen? It can't happen unless the mayor or governors orders every employer in New York to stop withholding federal taxes from employees' paychecks.

This is just a small taste of what life under Trump will be like if he manages to cheat his way to reelection. He has no agenda except vengeance.

What can we do? We can try to tie him up in courts that, at least at the federal level, will be increasingly presided over by his hacks. That won't work.

I think there'll be serious secession talk if there's a Trump second term. It's hard to know where the physical lines will be drawn, because it's mostly urban areas dotted throughout the country that are disgusted by Trump -- for the most part, it's not particular regions or states.

But maybe the Northeast and the Pacific Coast will need to consider leaving America. I don't know how else we're going to survive, because Trump will want to crush us. I don't know what other recourse we have.

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