Thursday, January 07, 2021


This surprised me:

(According to The New York Times, "The statement had to be released through an aide’s Twitter account since the president’s own had been suspended for encouraging the crowds that ransacked the Capitol." In fact, the statement didn't have to be released on Twitter at all. There used to be things called press releases, and presidents were able to make them public long before Twitter existed. We've become so used to thinking of Twitter as the official presidential communication channel that we've forgotten it's not supposed to be that.)

Scavino's tweets have inspired headlines such as the following:
* Bloomberg: "Trump Pledges an Orderly Transition to a Biden Presidency"

* The Washington Post: "Trump Promises ‘Orderly Transition’ to Biden Administration, One Day After Inciting Mob to Storm Capitol"

* The Wrap: "Trump Refuses to Concede, but Promises ‘Orderly Transition’ to Joe Biden Presidency"
But Scavino's tweets don't promise an orderly transition to a Biden presidency. They just promise an orderly transition. They concede that the election results weren't what Trump wanted, but they don't concede that Biden will be president.

I realize I might be splitting hairs:

But remember what Trump said on December 22, when he was threatening to veto the COVID relief bill:
"Send me a suitable bill, or else the next administration will have to deliver a COVID relief package, and maybe that administration will be me, and we will get it done," he said.
If he referred to "the next administration" as possibly "me," he might imagine a "transition" to himself.

What probably happened is that someone (Javanka?) browbeat Trump until he reluctantly conceded that he had to acknowledge the outcome of the vote-counting process in Congress, and needed to say something about a peaceful transition. But I suspect he folded his arms across his chest and steadfastly refused to say that Biden will be inaugurated on January 20. I'm sure he still can't admit to himself that he's run out of ways to try to finagle awin. I think he also believes that after a few days of bad press, he'll be able to go right back to contesting the election.

Trump rarely makes concessions, and even when he does, he eventually walks them back. In 2016, he admitted that the Access Hollywood tape was genuine, and made a public apology of sorts. A year later he told at least two people that he thought the tape was fake. Also in 2016, Trump acknowledged that Barack Obama's birth certificate is genuine. A year later, he was questioning it again.

So even if he's saying now that he wants the transition to a Biden presidency to be orderly, he might not say it for long.

No comments: