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The Success of Donald Trump's Election Coup is Not Inevitable

By Dustin Rowles | Politics | September 24, 2020 |

By Dustin Rowles | Politics | September 24, 2020 |


Two things happened late yesterday that were very, very alarming: First, Vanity Fair ran a piece outlining a plan that Republicans are reportedly plotting to bypass a Biden win. Basically, it involves Republican-controlled legislatures ignoring the popular vote in their own states.

Citing the president’s baseless claims of fraud, Team Trump could ask GOP-controlled state governments to choose electors, completely ignoring an unfavorable or uncertain popular vote, state and national Republican sources told Gellman.

“The state legislatures will say, ‘All right, we’ve been given this constitutional power,’” a Trump campaign legal adviser explained to the Atlantic. “‘We don’t think the results of our own state are accurate, so here’s our slate of elector.

This is a terrifying possibility, but it is worth noting that the states most likely to vote for Biden that have Republican legislatures are Arizona, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Florida. Trump has been pushing mail-in balloting in Florida, so it would be more difficult to claim fraud there (although, obviously not impossible for Donald Trump), while I would like to think that there would be a ton more pushback in those battleground states from voters if they sought to override the will of the people on the basis of voter fraud. I’m not saying it’s impossible — and from what we have seen of Wisconsin Republicans, not at all out of the question — but I’d be much more concerned about this plan if the contested states were in the deep South, where Republicans there would have no reservations about overturning the popular vote based on baseless claims.

Meanwhile, the other alarming thing — and you know it’s alarming because mild-mannered choad Nate Silver expressed concern — is that, when asked if he will commit to a peaceful transfer of power, Donald Trump said, “We’ll see.” That sounds bad. In context, it sounds even worse, because he is specifically citing mail-in ballots as the reason why he would not transfer authority. He’s basically telling those Republican legislatures to get ready.

That’s bad. That’s real bad, and if you are like me, you saw it, and you saw everything that’s happened in the last four years, and you saw the inevitability of Trump putting another justice on the Supreme Court, and you thought, “Welp. It’s basically a done deal.”

No, it’s not. There’s a really good thread here from former FBI Agent and CNN analyst Asha Rangappa that put it into perspective.

In other words, he only pulls this off if we let him. If Trump loses — and for him to lose in the Electoral College probably means he loses by at least 3-4 million popular votes — and if he tries to stay in power, he’ll face basically a combination of the BLM marches, the Women’s March, the Muslim ban protests, and the protests to prevent the overturn of the ACA all at once. We will storm the f**king gates, and not just the White House, but those any Republican-controlled State House that overturns the will of the people. For some of those GOP legislatures, it’ll be career suicide. It might go to the Supreme Court, but even a super conservative Supreme Court — with the exception of maybe Kavanaugh and Thomas — isn’t going to overturn election results based on meritless claims of voter fraud. They’re f**king textualists, not anarchists, and nowhere does it say in the Constitution that the outgoing President can ignore the results because he doesn’t like them.

Moreover, Trump is going to need a goddamn government to back his coup, and — especially if Democrats can gain control of the Senate — I just don’t see it happening. As long as we put up a fight, I don’t see the military or the National Guard protecting an illegitimate President. Maybe I’m hopelessly naive — and I’m sure some of our more defeatist readers will think so — but I just don’t see a weakened Donald Trump who loses the election by three or four million votes (or more) commandeering the entire government.

Source: Vanity Fair

In lieu of a header photo of Donald Trump, we use Kate Beckinsale, because she is more aesthetically pleasing, an for superstitious reasons.

Header Image Source: Getty Images