Wednesday, November 11, 2020


This NBC story suggests what I think is the best we can expect from the president:
There is a growing expectation among President Donald Trump’s advisers that he will never concede that he lost re-election, even after votes are certified in battleground states over the coming weeks, according to multiple people familiar with the president’s thinking.

“Do not expect him to concede,” one top aide said. More likely, the aide said, “he’ll say something like, ‘We can’t trust the results, but I’m not contesting them.’”

Another adviser said that after the legal battles and recounts, the closest the president is likely to get to a concession is, “he’ll acknowledge the results and that we’ll never know how accurate they are.”

“But we’re not there yet,” the adviser said.
How did I imagine Trump's acknowledgment of defeat might go a few days ago?
"The courts have spoken, and while I reject the corrupt process that led them to conclude that Joe Biden won this election, which I actually won by a lot, I will nevertheless agree to leave the White House as requested on January 20. But this is not over. I will never abandon the fight against the corrupt swamp creatures whose traitorous acts led to this outcome. It may take some time, but I will destroy them."
It appears that's more or less what he's going to say -- if he ever reaches that point at all. I'm still not convinced it will happen.

Charlie Pierce is right:
... the current effort by virtually the entire upper echelons of the Republican Party to question the results of the election may have begun as an attempt to mollify the president* and keep him from lighting the Oval Office on fire.... It might also be true that the Republicans don't want to toss the president* overboard before the double-runoff in Georgia. However, things can take on a life on their own. If you push something like this long enough, it begins to roll downhill of its own momentum. Sooner or later, all things seem possible, or at least worthy of further exploration. This president*'s run through the Republican nominating process in 2016 is proof enough of that.
My biggest concern is that the Trump electorate -- which we now know is larger than even Republicans imagined it was -- is dug in, and probably will never believe the election was legitimate.
Polling from the Economist and YouGov looked directly at the extent to which Trump voters accepted his false assertions. Asked whether they thought that president-elect Joe Biden had legitimately won, about 6 in 10 respondents said he had. Among those who voted for Trump, 86 percent said he hadn’t. Asked whether Trump should concede, the numbers were similar: 8 in 10 Trump voters said he shouldn’t....

More than three-quarters of Trump voters think that there was enough fraud involved to have influenced the outcome.
Yesterday I had some fun imagining that Republican officials and judges who reject Trump's claims and certify state victories by Joe Biden could face recriminations from Trump voters in future elections. But think about another way: They may keep this delusion alive because they'd rather destroy democracy in America than put their own careers at risk.

I can also imagine Biden being inaugurated while Republicans simply refuse to acknowledge that the presidency has changed hands -- they'll never refer to Biden as president, they'll boycott his inaugural and his State of the Union address, they'll claim that any executive order bearing his signature has no basis in law because he's illegitimate, and they won't give a hearing to any of his appointees.

Even if nothing like that happens in Washington, I think something similar will happen in deep red states -- Biden's authority simply won't be acknowledged. nothing he does will be treated as having force of law.

And it will certainly happen among the populace. At minimum, I guarantee that the presidential portrait in the majority of rural post offices in America will still be Trump's a year from now.

I don't know how far this will go. I don't think we should be sanguine. The system might not work.



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