We are told that 74 million people voted for Donald Trump and that we have to consider their feelings. After all, the argument goes, he got more votes than any Republican president in the history of the country; even more than Reagan.
We are told that the reason the overwhelming majority of Senate and House Republicans have not publicly acknowledged Joe Biden’s win is because of the two Georgia runoff elections in January. Not to worry, though, once both are concluded, the dam will break and the congratulations will come pouring in.
We are told that the litany of state and federal judges who have thus far dismissed Trump’s baseless lawsuits is proof positive that the system is working and that we should all rest easy. This is all in the bag.
Excuse me while I call bullshit.
So 74 million people voted for Trump. So what? 80 million people voted for Biden. That’s a difference of six million votes, a greater margin than in 2012, when Barack Obama bested Mitt Romney. I didn’t hear a peep out of Romney’s supporters. Nor did John McCain’s supporters carry on so when he lost by an even bigger margin in ’08. I’ve seen enough Super Bowls in my lifetime to know that the losing team doesn’t get to hoist the Lombardi Trophy. They shake hands with the winners, go back to their locker room, get dressed and go home. And while their fans may be disappointed, they don’t get to hang out at the fifty-yard line demanding a do-over.
Runoff elections or no, there is simply no excuse for Republicans treating Biden as though he were a door-to-door salesman peddling housewares. The man ran a successful campaign, he won the election, he should be given the same respect that every winning presidential candidate has received going back to Adams. What the GOP is doing here is shameful and history will not soon forget their cowardice.
And, yes, it’s gratifying to know that the judiciary hasn’t been compromised yet, but why haven’t there been any sanctions imposed on Trump attorneys for wasting the courts’ time with these frivolous and outlandish claims? How ridiculous does an attorney have to be to earn the wrath of a judge these days? Why are Rudy Giuliani, Jenna Ellis and Sidney Powell (AKA, Moe, Larry and Curly) still allowed to practice law? If this conduct hasn’t earn them a disbarment, I don’t know what would.
What the hell is going on here? A would-be autocrat refusing to concede an election he clearly lost; the most gullible group of morons this side of a pro-wrestling match falling for yet another of his cons; a spineless political party too afraid of its own shadow and willing to enable his most egregious conduct; and a besieged judiciary holding out our last, best hope of remaining a functioning democracy. If I hadn’t seen the events of the last three weeks play out in front of my very own eyes I would never have believed them. The words “pinch me” do not begin to suffice.
Here we stand, with two and a half weeks to go until the Electoral College meets to certify the winner of the 2020 election, and more than 70 percent of Republicans believe the whole thing was rigged. And I’m supposed to feel sorry for these people? I’m supposed to be patient while they process their grief and come back from the Twilight Zone?
For 240 years we’ve held elections in this country, and for 240 years we’ve had winners and losers. The winners compliment their opponents for a hard-fought campaign while the losers congratulate their opponents and accept the results. Even during the Civil War we managed to do this.
Now we’re supposed to suspend all that because Trump’s supporters don’t like the outcome? What next, a rehab center replete with a 24-hour cable news channel devoted exclusively to every crank conspiracy theory from the Loch Ness monster to those aliens at Roswell? Maybe we could tuck them in at night with a cookie and a glass of milk while we’re at it.
Double screw that!
I have no compassion in my heart for crazy people who are too stupid to know they’re getting played, and who threaten harm to poll workers and secretaries of state who are only doing their jobs. They don’t deserve compassion, they deserve handcuffs and a cold jail cell. It’s time to start calling this what it is: a deliberate attempt to subvert democracy. Period!
Maybe Joe Biden believes he can turn the page once he takes the oath of office, but if I were his attorney general, I wouldn’t be so magnanimous. The worst mistake Gerald Ford ever made wasn’t his failure to know that Poland was under the sphere of Soviet domination; it was his pardoning of Richard Nixon. That ill-fated decision set a dangerous precedent. It allowed grifters like Trump to believe they could win the presidency and commit any egregious act they chose to without paying a price. Ford’s short-sightedness is the reason we’re in this mess right now.
If the nation survives the next 54 days, the incoming administration must enact reforms that ensure a repeat performance never again occurs. Trump will almost certainly run in 2024. The imperial presidency that allowed him to get away with murder must be dismantled, even if that means hamstringing Biden as well. There was a reason the framers invented three separate and co-equal branches of government: they did not want the executive to behave like an emperor, much less an emperor with no clothes.
To some extent, we’ve been fortunate. For all his braggadocio, Trump is really quite clumsy and obvious. He’s telegraphed his every move. If he were a bit less inept, he might’ve pulled it off. Who knows? He still might. The next autocrat, though, won’t be nearly as clumsy or as obvious, you can count on that. And make no mistake about it, there will almost assuredly be a next autocrat. Like the old saying goes, if at first you don’t succeed, try, try again.
Now that Trump has exposed all the cracks in our system, it is only a matter of time before the world’s oldest, living constitutional republic is brought to its knees. Rome had its day of reckoning; it will be no different with the United States.