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Clown Show or Coup D'état? Why Not Both!

By Dustin Rowles | Politics | November 11, 2020 |

By Dustin Rowles | Politics | November 11, 2020 |


For those of you who cannot help but to consume too much social media, there is a growing rift on the side of Biden supporters between those that believe the clown show simply has to exhaust itself before we can move on, and those who believe that a coup is imminent. This tweet sums up the current mood:

You can honestly find evidence to support either side all up and down Twitter right now:

I’m sure this is leaving you all feeling very, very unsettled, understandably so.

Here’s what I think is happening: A clown show is trying to overthrow U.S. democracy. It won’t work. It won’t even come close to working. As Steve Bannon says, they’re trying to “flood the zone with shit” and then sow doubt into the vote counts, and then somehow block Secretaries of State from certifying results, and then convince state legislatures to select pro-Trump legislators, and then — ironically! — subvert the Electoral College.

It’s not going to work. It’s an impossible task, and this guy is in charge of it:

It didn’t get that much attention, but ironically — again — the Republican party tried to pull something like this off in 2016 in order to avoid seating Donald Trump by convincing electors to “vote their conscience.” It went to the Supreme Court, which ruled that states could enforce their faithless elector laws, meaning that electors had to vote the way their states voted and not “as their conscience dictates.”

Not every state has faithless elector laws (33 do), but working around those would be next to impossible, not to mention working against Democratic Secretaries of State in Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, and Michigan and a Republican Secretary of State in Georgia who seems pretty hellbent on honoring the results of the election. If you haven’t seen it, this excerpt from a piece in The Nation is both comforting and funny!

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Look: The President can’t even get the Supreme Court to toss Obamacare, and he’s been trying really hard! It’s very unlikely he’s going to be able to convince them to overthrow an election, especially as every single court case seems to go against Trump. For all the court-packing that Trump has done, he remains really really bad at lawsuits. Trump seems to believe that all of these federal judges will show loyalty to him because he chose them, but that’s the whole point of lifetime appointments. They owe Trump nothing, and there’s nothing he can do about it if they rule against him. He can’t fire them. He can’t muck up their next election.

And JFC: The Civil unrest that would ensue if Trump somehow miraculously pulled this off (he will not) would be next level. I mean, look: There are some nasty people out there, and plenty would fight for Trump, but they’re woefully outnumbered. I mean, only 3 percent believe that Trump actually won (and do they really?!). Trumpists will own the libs on Facebook for their President, but how many are willing to shed blood?

So, why hasn’t the GSA signed the goddamn piece of paper and allowed Biden to move ahead with the transition? And why aren’t the various departments starting to work with Biden? And why is Trump firing DoD officials and installing loyalists?

Look, I’m not 100 percent positive, but my opinion is this: Trump (and the rest of the GOP) know in their heart of hearts that Trump is toast (and Trump is even diverting most of the money he’s raising for these lawsuits to his post-Presidency PAC, because he’s a grifter). He may be trying to gain some leverage and work a deal with the Biden Administration, as Axios suggests, but I’m more inclined to believe this: Trump has been putting corrupt loyalists into positions of power for four years. They’re partisan, they’re amoral, and they’re often inexperienced or incompetent hacks. And you know what happens when the Biden Team gets in there and starts going through the books? They’ll be witness to all their grift and corruption. I think the Trump administration is engaged in an all-out effort to cover-up their messes before the next guy comes in. I think that the head of the General Services Administration (GSA), Emily W. Murphy — a Trump loyalist — is as corrupt as any of them, and she’s terrified of the Biden team going through her books.

That’s what I think is going on, and those people are going to put off the transition as long as they possibly can because a lot of those officials are going to want to be as far away as possible when Team Biden comes in. That’s what’s really going on.

So, hang in there, folks. It’s going to be a long, shaky, unsettling 70 days, but Democracy will come out the other side of this.

Dustin is the founder and co-owner of Pajiba. You may email him here, follow him on Twitter, or listen to his weekly TV podcast, Podjiba.

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