US Election: The Party after the After-party
November 8, 2020 10:33 AM   Subscribe

 
Sigh. While dems and the left definitely need to work to better serve their constituents, I sure do wish we could celebrate for a whole weekend before getting back to work.
posted by nushustu at 10:44 AM on November 8 [27 favorites]


And some after-care for all the Dems NOT in the news today: With the election over, here are ways to take care of yourself, and your community
posted by invincible summer at 10:44 AM on November 8 [1 favorite]


Thanks for this post!

Right so I’ll take the plunge. A bit of background- I used to be a union delegate for a creaky, slow moving, conservative union. This union never stood up to the bosses, they were obsessed with the idea of partnership with them and would often elevate maintaining that partnership over the needs of the rank and file members. This union also was technologically in the stone age. I used to beg them for simple things like adequate data collection and analysis or the ability to vote online, and they would resist and resist.

The rank and file members of this union got fired up and mobilized, mostly via social media, a few years back. They were able to push the union leadership to keep fighting when the leadership wanted to capitulate. And due to that we made some massive gains. But it was bitter
to have to fight the bosses and our own union at the same time.

In response to this, rather than capitalizing on this momentum and leveraging it to engage members to fight for better working conditions, the union brass resisted all attempts at reform. They shut out all the activists and tried as hard as they could to take things back to the way they were. So the union has been hemorrhaging members (including myself).

When your cause is righteous, when you have the backing of your most vocal members, you can either raise people’s collective aspirations and fight. Or you can box them out in a completely fruitless attempt to go back to the way things were. In this instance my old union chose the latter. Why? Because leadership was more comfortable playing nice with the people trying to oppress us.

I guess what I’m saying is that what AOC had to say tracks exactly with my experience. I hope the Dems quit trying to court the center and the folks on the other side, and fight for our righteous causes.
posted by supercrayon at 11:07 AM on November 8 [198 favorites]


I think we can court the center! We can do it in ways that are actually effective and build a consensus platform on issues that affect everyone! More than 70% of rural adults have a smart phone. QAnon has been highly effective at using digital platforms to reach the exact demographics that centrist democrats claim they must be courting.
posted by muddgirl at 11:18 AM on November 8 [16 favorites]


I sure do wish we could celebrate for a whole weekend before getting back to work.

I think that's reasonable if that's what you need! This thread will still be here on Monday. For those who are excited and energized to keep the discussion moving forward, I think it's also good to have a space to keep the momentum up. There's strength in the fact that we've got a diversity of approaches and styles -- something that I also think plays directly into the theme of this discussion.
posted by biogeo at 11:26 AM on November 8 [28 favorites]


Someone in the previous thread wondered what evangelical pastors would be preaching this morning. I was with family who were watching their service from home. The pro-Trump pastor who last week had a bunch of stuff in his sermon that seemed to be informed more by Fox News than the Bible preached this week on "God works in mysterious ways" and how to cope when bad things happen.

Not a single word of defiance or hint that maybe the election wasn't over or any mention of the election at all. It was the least bad sermon I've ever heard him preach (and ironically had a few bits worth something to me coping with loss in the middle of rejoicing about the election).

Seemed like a good sign.
posted by straight at 11:26 AM on November 8 [16 favorites]


from the NYT:

Biden’s transition team launches its official website and social media accounts.

President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr. and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris took a public-facing step toward building their administration on Sunday, launching a website for their transition team.

The website, BuildBackBetter.com, outlines four immediate priorities for the Biden-Harris administration: the coronavirus pandemic, the recession, climate change and systemic racism.

Mr. Biden will announce his Covid-19 task force on Monday. As a candidate, he repeatedly criticized President Trump for mishandling the pandemic, making the issue a focal point of his campaign. On Saturday, the United States recorded more than 100,000 new coronavirus cases for the fourth consecutive day.

As part of its effort to present transition plans to the public, Mr. Biden’s team also launched Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts using the handle @Transition46.
posted by chavenet at 11:30 AM on November 8 [10 favorites]


Action?! On four of the most crucial topics of our lifetimes?! I'm getting (more) shivers...
posted by PhineasGage at 11:37 AM on November 8 [13 favorites]


I am still recovering so not really feeling the fighting spirit right now, myself, but -

AOC is right and it is so frustrating when people want her to be quiet in situations like this, especially in contrast to someone like McCaskill or Manchin. It's basically saying that someone who has only been good at something for a short time should listen to someone who has been terrible at something for decades. Which is maybe not the sage advice establishment Democrats seem to think it is.

In Hypernormalisation, Adam Curtis makes the argument that the neoliberal worldview is inherently technocratic - it doesn't see social systems as things that can be changed or improved in themselves. The existing system is assumed to be ideal as-is and challenging that assumption deeply taboo, so all the energy goes into tweaking the system for efficiency. That the system might be oppressive, harmful or even outright evil doesn't compute at all in this worldview. I think there is something to this and it is a major factor in why we continue to have these clashes between comfortable career politicians and leftists agitating for positive social change.

There is a major disconnect in Democrats' ability to communicate with and reach people. Republicans have gotten very good at that, but what they actually say is either lies or an appeal to white supremacy. Even in the other thread, lots of people threw up their hands in response to this dichotomy being pointed out - as if there is only a choice between lying and appeals to white supremacy or failing to communicate. No. There are millions of people who are desperate to hear words of comfort, wisdom, solidarity - and concrete promises to help. Not to tweak or means test or drag out the status quo but to fucking throw it away because it is broken and does not serve the majority of people. It is a parasitic, vampiric system established for the benefit of a minority of sociopaths. It is quite literally destroying our planet. What people want to hear is: "We can build something better together." Or, if that's too far beyond us now (as I think it is): "We can help each other through this."

I just don't understand why most Democrats are such cowards. There is a real, genuine mortal terror among establishment Democrats of speaking like this. Practical barriers are often the excuse internally among Democrat voters - we are told by the more well-off members under the same tent that we cannot have nice things because of Republican obstructionism. That is true - but Democratic leaders don't repeat it. They don't acknowledge it except in passing moments of frustration that they seem to regard as shameful. But that's just it - telling people you want to help and here's how, but McConnell et al keep shooting it down on principle, and repeating that, is key here.

AOC understands what Republicans are. Warren and Sanders and a few others do, too. Biden, Feinstein, Pelosi, McCaskill - they don't or they can't because recognizing it means shattering the myths about the US that ruling and upper-middle class whites cling to. But more and more people in the US have never had the luxury of believing in that mythology in the first place. Evoking it does nothing to reach them. Repeating the names of dead gods that none of us have heard of and then scolding us for that while we struggle to survive in an increasingly hopeless world, hugging our actual fascist enemies during an actual plague - that stuff needs to stop.
posted by Lonnrot at 11:38 AM on November 8 [158 favorites]


Also: A Court Evangelical Surrenders:

One of Trump’s most diehard evangelical supporters (Robert Jeffres) has called Joe Biden “the president-elect."
posted by straight at 11:39 AM on November 8 [5 favorites]


Ezra Klein at Vox: “Trump is attempting a coup in plain sight”:
That this coup probably will not work — that it is being carried out farcically, erratically, ineffectively — does not mean it is not happening, or that it will not have consequences. Millions will believe Trump, will see the election as stolen. The Trump family’s Twitter feeds, and those of associated outlets and allies, are filled with allegations of fraud, and lies about the process (reporter Isaac Saul has been doing yeoman’s work tracking these arguments, and his thread is worth reading). It’s the construction of a confusing, but immersive, alternative reality in which the election has been stolen from Trump, and weak-kneed Republicans are letting the thieves escape.
posted by Going To Maine at 11:40 AM on November 8 [19 favorites]


OK, I'll likely regret this. But does anyone have a link to the recent demented "speech" or statement Don gave yesterday? Apparently it was off the rails, even for Don. I sort of want to hear/see it but I really don't want to start googling Don's poison.
posted by SoberHighland at 11:41 AM on November 8 [3 favorites]


Here's a transcript of the outgoing president's statement
posted by chavenet at 11:43 AM on November 8 [9 favorites]


On the subject of "reaching across the aisle"...

Assuming, as seems likely, Republicans end up controlling the Senate (Though it is not certain! If you can donate or volunteer for Raphael Warnock, Jon Ossoff, or Stacey Abrams's Fair Fight, please do! We could still win this!), it is still not written in stone that Mitch McConnell must be the majority leader for the Republicans. I think the establishment Democrats should be working the back-room deals right now to convince as many of their Republican colleagues as possible to vote against him. This is also a long shot, as McConnell was pretty effective at stealing two additional Supreme Court seats for Trump, but I think it's also clear that he's overplayed his hand and may not have much left to offer the Republicans. Reform of the judiciary is now a major talking point for establishment Democrats, which may even cost them the advantage they'd won. By making it clear that they may be willing to work with Republicans, but not a McConnell-led Senate, and offering some good old-fashioned pork-barrel incentives, there could be a slim chance of replacing McConnell with someone slightly less odious.
posted by biogeo at 11:48 AM on November 8 [13 favorites]


CNN exit polls 2020
posted by Brian B. at 11:48 AM on November 8 [7 favorites]


As a digital marketer, reading the postmortems that AOC has published gives me hives. If I failed like some of these marketers do, I'd be fired. But Democratic leadership seems to be resistant to looking at the actual data. I've seen that in clients too. People hate to be wrong and they will drive their businesses into the ground rather than do something new. (Ask me about the hotel that refused to have a website for their property in 2008 and didn't know why they weren't getting bookings.)

I have been in New Zealand for most of the year. The question I am asked over and over again by Kiwis is "why do you have such old people running your country?" Not just by young people. I've had several senior citizens ask me that. The Democratic House leadership is all over 80. The Senate is in the same ballpark. Compare that to NZ. Jacinda Ardern is 40, so is Rawiri Waititi, David Seymour is 37, James Shaw and Marama Davidson are positively ancient at 47, and Judith Collins is an outlier at 60. But it's not just NZ. The US is a gerontocracy, and it desperately needs a shakeup. (This is not to say "old people can't do good work." But you need diversity of ages, as well as races and backgrounds.)
posted by rednikki at 11:56 AM on November 8 [99 favorites]


🎶“I am free”.🎵
Big mood.
posted by Pirate-Bartender-Zombie-Monkey at 12:07 PM on November 8


Also, hard agree on AOC's criticism of Democrats' marketing strategy in general. Blaming the progressive wing of the party for the losses in swing districts is just stupid. Yes, run candidates that are more moderate in districts where progressivism is unpopular, and then build their brand up as moderates. If the mere existence of progressives within the party is enough to trash the moderates' campaigns, you sucked at campaign messaging for them.
posted by biogeo at 12:12 PM on November 8 [63 favorites]


The question I am asked over and over again by Kiwis is "why do you have such old people running your country?"

This answer is a bit glib, but the word "senate" literally comes from Latin for "old people."
posted by biogeo at 12:13 PM on November 8 [40 favorites]


I hope Biden picks some of the low hanging fruit that he can do with a snap of his pen.

Like reschedule marijuana. Even if one doesn't want to look to Canada to see how it's hardly a problem (at least compared to any alternative) it's defacto legal in many states already. It would immediately benifit a good chunk of people who are currently awaiting trails for possession and I'm guessing eventually lead to the release of many people from prison.

And restore the protections to the wilderness areas that Trump tassed to industry. Go so far as to make Bears Ears an actual national park on the same footing as Yellowstone (here that would be a class A park, I don't know what they call it in the USA). I understand parks are harder than monuments which is why Clinton took that route but he should at least try. Reprotect the Arctic national wildlife refuge in Alaska and Lower Rio Grande Valley national wildlife refuge in Texas.

Stop expanding the stupid border wall with Mexico and tear down at least some of it that is dividing habitat.
posted by Mitheral at 12:19 PM on November 8 [32 favorites]


And the protections stripped from Tongass National Forest just last week.
posted by Rumple at 12:35 PM on November 8 [10 favorites]


I'm not one to back bipartisanship until we decisively right the ship, but someone in one of the election threads here suggested that Biden nominate Susan Collins to Secretary of Agriculture, so that a) he's officially being bipartisan, and b) we get a democrat installed in her seat. I am 100% here for that.
posted by Mchelly at 12:39 PM on November 8 [51 favorites]


Those exit polls tho...

People who thought "Candidate's positions on issues" were more important than "Candidate's personal qualities" broke 52-to-47 for Trump. People who thought personality was more important went 66-30 Biden.

Married people went for Trump - but people with children went for Biden. I'd love to see stats for married with & without children. But women with no children went stronger for Biden than either men or women who had children, huh. However, all those numbers were in the upper 40s to low 50s ranges.

The income break was $100,000-$199,999 went for Trump - After $200k, it swung back to Biden, but at lower levels. (47-43; I dunno what happened to the other points there.)

It looks like education wasn't as big a factor as last time. College degrees mostly broke for Biden (Associates only went Trump), but people without were split 49-49, skewing toward Biden.
Age split: 45 and up went for Trump.

Hard split issues (70% or above):
Whether your family finances are better now than 4 years ago
Opinion of the US economy
White evangelical christian
Abortion rights
Approve of government - yes went strongly for Trump
Most important issues: Race Inequality, COVID, Healthcare = Biden; Economy, Crime & Safety = Trump
Obamacare

Other split issues:
Coronavirus - People who think it's not important went for Trump, 87%. People who think it is, went for Biden at 53%.
Climate change: "Serious problem"= 68% Biden; not a problem = 84% Trump.

The Trump ticket was a full package tailored to his audience. Biden's supporters were anti-Trump but less attached to his specific message.

...we have GOT to fix that. Part of why the damn disinformation campaigns work so well, is that moderates and progressives look at our leaders and say "they're not working on the stuff that matters most to me."

And we can either get the leaders to change tracks, or convince people that what the legislatures and execs are working on, is what's important to us. But as long as we're failing to connect those dots, fascists will continue to siphon off people who have one hot-button issue in their camp, and then convince them that the rest of the fascist ticket is in their interests.
posted by ErisLordFreedom at 12:43 PM on November 8 [25 favorites]


What measures are in place (if any) to stop the present incumbent burning the place down. ?
He also has the nuclear football, is known to have recently been on steroids and as a crazed narcissist is probably liable to try and break as much as possible.
posted by adamvasco at 12:44 PM on November 8 [5 favorites]


Our protection against nuclear football stupidity has always been, "How cooperative are the agents assigned to carry it?" If they hand it over on request but refuse to help him remember the codes or find things in the binder, we should be fine.
posted by ErisLordFreedom at 12:47 PM on November 8


that Biden nominate Susan Collins to Secretary of Agriculture

She has to actually want the job. And if the Senate does stay with the GOP, she'd not get confirmed anyway.
posted by 922257033c4a0f3cecdbd819a46d626999d1af4a at 12:53 PM on November 8


> I'm not one to back bipartisanship until we decisively right the ship, but someone in one of the election threads here suggested that Biden nominate Susan Collins to Secretary of Agriculture, so that a) he's officially being bipartisan, and b) we get a democrat installed in her seat. I am 100% here for that.

It's hard to imagine that Collins would campaign as hard as she did in the second most expensive Senate campaign in history just to fuck off to a cabinet post with only as much power as Biden chooses to cede to her. If the GA runoffs don't go well for Democrats she'll basically be the clinching vote for every piece of legislation, which would probably make her more powerful as an individual than McConnell or Biden. I'd love to get her out of the Senate and give Democrats control, but it seems very unlikely to me.

John Kennedy of LA looks like the best shot to me. Former Democrat, voted against some of Trump's court nominees and his attempt to ease sanctions against Russia... He's up for reelection in 2022 and the seat would be hard to hold, but getting two years of Senate control on the cheap is certainly worth looking into.
posted by tonycpsu at 12:53 PM on November 8 [8 favorites]


According to the Guardian, some US correspondents were reporting that the Fireworks last night were in celebration of the election of Joe Biden (although Fireworks Night is technically the fifth, that was a Thursday - the public displays will be on the nearest Saturday night), which shows a remarkable level of cultural self-absorption.
posted by Grangousier at 12:53 PM on November 8 [11 favorites]


There are a couple of items I think are true regardless of moderate vs. progressive leanings:

1. The Party organizations will almost invariably support the incumbent in the primaries. It's up to challengers to find the right supporters and messages to win the primary on their own, the way AOC and others have done.

2. The Party sucks eggs in the digital world. A rich friend got "special insider briefings" on what the national organizations (DNC, etc.) were doing as their 'digital strategy' and almost immediately decided to stop all donations there and give to external groups.
posted by PhineasGage at 12:54 PM on November 8 [26 favorites]


I hear people saying a lot that Democrats are bad at messaging and Republicans are good at it and I am very interested in digging deeper into this.

From what I can see, most of the GOP messaging has to do with appealing to emotions and oversimplification. An example would be from the CNN exit polls linked above where the vast majority of Trump voters said the condition of the nation's economy was "excellent" or "good" where the vast majority of Biden voters said it was "not so good" or "poor". What I am seeing conservatives saying about the economy is basically this:

- the stock market is rallying
- Q3 GDP growth is 33%

With maybe a few other odds and ends thrown in. Of course, Democrats would (rightly) say that these don't tell the whole story and that there is a lot of nuance that is being missed. Things like: the stock market is not a good indicator of an overall economy and GDP growth was good because it had contracted so much earlier in the year. Plus a ton of other things that are being ignored by these two indicators. Republicans are willing to skip the nuance and Democrats are not. When I do see Democrats skip the nuance on any issue, I see a bunch of other Democrats jumping in to correct and "Well, actually..." them. I see this happen all the time. Wanting to be accurate and intellectually honest isn't a bad thing by any means, but I'm not sure it helps in the messaging war.

Unfortunately, most things aren't black and white and there is nuance, and once you start having to account for this, your message isn't as strong, which means it doesn't appeal to people's emotions as well, which means people don't get hooked in as easily. I do see lots of polls showing that people care more about things like COVID and healthcare than they do about things like Russia, and I do see Democrats mostly sticking to the messages of COVID and healthcare. This while the GOP can't move past things like Hunter Biden's laptop or Benghazi, which are things that most people don't care that much about, but which does prop up the bigger message that conservatives try to get out, which is that Democrats are crooked and corrupt. Which again is an appeal to emotion.

I guess I'm just trying to figure out how Democrats can get better at messaging if they're not willing to be intellectually dishonest to appeal to emotion. I'm very interested in hearing other viewpoints, because I've been hearing for years how we need to get better at messaging and not having a clear idea of what exactly that means.
posted by triggerfinger at 1:00 PM on November 8 [16 favorites]


> I guess I'm just trying to figure out how Democrats can get better at messaging if they're not willing to be intellectually dishonest to appeal to emotion. I'm very interested in hearing other viewpoints, because I've been hearing for years how we need to get better at messaging and not having a clear idea of what exactly that means.

"Intellectually honest nuanced appeals to logic" vs. "intellectually dishonest appeals to emotion" is a false choice. Consider all of the following:

* Republican environmental policy is devastating to our air, water, and climate

* Republicans are trying to to take away a woman's authority over her body

* Republican economic policy is forcing people out of their homes and destroying their lives

* Republican foreign policy has alienated us from our allies and aligned us with murderous tyrants abroad

None of these are intellectually dishonest, all have some appeal to emotion to them.
posted by tonycpsu at 1:07 PM on November 8 [65 favorites]


Those exit polls tho

Are the exit polls actually meaningful? Som many people voted by mail/drop off/absentee and even if you try to capture those people in your data with phone calls etc. reponses are going to have the selection bias that exists for polling.

She has to actually want the job. And if the Senate does stay with the GOP, she'd not get confirmed anyway.

Wow, what a ringing endorsement that would be. Your fellow senators think you'd be fine wielding the power of that office but would be worse at being in cabinet than DeVoy or Wheeler.
posted by Mitheral at 1:12 PM on November 8 [1 favorite]


Exactly! Emotions aren't inherently unintelligent. They follow their own sui generis form of rationality; their aptness can either fit or fail to fit the world. Don't disavow them; harness them.
posted by Beardman at 1:12 PM on November 8 [15 favorites]


I gave to Ossoff, Warnock and Fair Fight using this handy link.
posted by rouftop at 1:17 PM on November 8 [17 favorites]


People who thought "Candidate's positions on issues" were more important than "Candidate's personal qualities" broke 52-to-47 for Trump.
...we have GOT to fix that. Part of why the damn disinformation campaigns work so well, is that moderates and progressives look at our leaders and say "they're not working on the stuff that matters most to me."


Total agreement that we have to fix it, but I don't know if we even understand where it's going wrong.

I know solid progressive people who were complaining a month or two that if instead of chasing the center with Kasich endorsements the Biden campaign would just get behind decriminalizing marijuana then he'd have all the support he needs. Harris had already gotten on that train and announced it. I mentioned this. I was met with disbelief ("I don't think that's true") and moved goalposts ("well, full on legalization, or just decriminalization?"). And that's leaving aside the wisdom of making weed a centerpiece: would the cheers of millions of millenials/youngers be enough to offset older swing state voters who might be scared of "dope"?

I don't know if the problem is messaging, or a fundamental issue with trust, or if there is a fine line that Democrats have to walk not to lose Wisconsin. Do other people know?
posted by wildblueyonder at 1:19 PM on November 8 [4 favorites]


Even that reads as a false dichotomy to me - in the US, especially, since there are only the two parties to choose from. Why would Wisconsinite voters place fear of legalized marijuana ahead of, say, desire for public rural healthcare?

That's one of things that I think progressive candidates offer - a vision of the future that does, in fact, attempt to maintain a coherent set of principles. It makes things easier to advocate for when you don't have to explain the contradictions in your platform.
posted by sagc at 1:25 PM on November 8 [3 favorites]


Anne Applebaum writes, "Trump Won’t Accept Defeat. Ever."

Trump will now shield himself from the reality of defeat by pretending it didn’t happen. His personal need to live in a perpetual fantasyland, a world where he is always winning, is so overpowering that he will do anything to maintain it. In his narcissistic drive to create this alternative reality, he will deepen divisions, spread paranoia, and render his supporters even more fearful of their fellow citizens and distrustful of their institutions. This is a president who never had America’s interests at heart. Do not expect loss to change him.

posted by I_Love_Bananas at 1:26 PM on November 8 [18 favorites]


None of these are intellectually dishonest, all have some appeal to emotion to them.

Okay, then what do we need to do to be better on messaging these things? Because these are obviously not resonating with millions of people. "Republican economic policy is forcing people out of their homes and destroying their lives" is a perfect example where the people who complain most bitterly about tax hikes on the wealthy are people who would not be affected at all and would probably see indirect benefits. So why do they hate it so much? Because conservatives have been telling them forever that tax hikes on the wealthy = redistribution, which = socialism/communism, which brings up all sorts of scary images about the USSR. The conservatives that I know are genuinely afraid of this. It's all based on disinformation, but it's been successful in scaring them.
posted by triggerfinger at 1:29 PM on November 8 [6 favorites]


in general, it seems that none of the high level campaign people in the Democratic party will suffer any consequences from failure in elections. they'll keep getting work and spending campaign money and taking their cut. they are rich enough to be personally insulated from Republican policies. there's no particular reason why they should care about winning, except I guess some kind of sense of personal honor -- but frankly the kind of person who becomes a political operative can't care much about that. the goal is just to look busy and make sure the donations keep coming in. maybe this is too cynical but it doesn't seem like it.
posted by vogon_poet at 1:31 PM on November 8 [10 favorites]


I think it's worth examining more closely the factors behind AOC's success. On one hand she is clearly incredibly well liked even outside of her district, which indicates that people all over the country are looking for someone like her. On the other hand, progressive politics in NYC isn't as popular as it sometimes feels like people make it seem.

It is pretty common in the democratic primary in NYC for the race to be between a progressive candidate and a more establishment candidate. I would recommend anyone who is curious about how people in NYC feel, to take a look at the precinct level results for these races. My favorite thing to do is to compare results with the subway map, sometimes you can even make out subway stops in these precinct-level results. (I would say more, but I'm not sure how comfortable I feel expressing my political opinions on a website that is majority white.)
posted by chernoffhoeffding at 1:34 PM on November 8 [11 favorites]




I have to admit, the "Trump won't admit defeat, ever" narrative scares the pants off me. I had more trouble sleeping Saturday night than I did the week before.

I get that all the lawsuits filed so far have been ridiculous or affect vanishingly small numbers of votes. But I'm not sure why everyone is so sure a Supreme Court bought and paid for by Trump and McConnell can't do something horrible.

Mitt Romney putting a conciliatory face on things on CNN while adding "unless the election is overturned, of course..." doesn't make me feel any better about it.
posted by invincible summer at 1:44 PM on November 8 [4 favorites]


I think it's worth examining more closely the factors behind AOC's success. On one hand she is clearly incredibly well liked even outside of her district, which indicates that people all over the country are looking for someone like her. On the other hand, progressive politics in NYC isn't as popular as it sometimes feels like people make it seem.

I don't know how many times this has to be repeated, but AOC is explicitly not advocating everybody run a NYC progressive's campaign. Quite the opposite, in fact. While she does spend some time talking up progressive policies and clearly wants the party to pull left, her main point is that every candidate should run a campaign tailored to their district or state. Clearly, re-running Robby Mook's disastrously horrible plug-and-play national campaigns and telling the Democrats as a whole they have to move one way or another isn't working, and the Democratic leadership signaling that they're going to keep ignoring that is terrifying.
posted by Glegrinof the Pig-Man at 1:50 PM on November 8 [58 favorites]


There are lots of things that help advance progressive causes in government and legislation. Getting good progressive candidates into safe Dem seats. Helping Dems from whatever wing of the party win competitive seats in election campaign season. Getting progressive policies into the party platform. And if you are elected to a legislature, doing the work, which includes building alliances with politicians outside the progressive wing.

Mostly, progressive policies are popular enough with the general public. I think there's always some improvement that can be made in the area of crafting messages that appeal to non-policy wonks. But in general, even more ways in which campaigns can learn from each other about campaign execution and tactics - not in a routine 'roll out the same campaign everywhere' approach, but how to identify a winning coalition of voters and create a campaign that will reach them. Everyone's winning coalition is different but the principles are the same and the universe of good tactics is not that big.
posted by plonkee at 1:52 PM on November 8 [2 favorites]


Exit polling has to be taken with a Prius-sized grain of salt this year, but a couple of things really jump out at me from Brian B.'s link above:

As triggerfinger points out, the divide based on economic outlook is significant. The actual beliefs are pretty bell-shaped (13% "Excellent"; 35% "Good"; 31% "Not so good"; 19% "Poor") but the Trump/Biden split is much sharper. Going just from "Good" to "Not so good" represents about a 40-point swing to Biden. There's another smaller swing if you go further to "Poor". Among the people who have positive opinions of the economy, the difference is tiny.

COVID: a similar split there on whether our efforts to contain it are going "well". Questioning about the importance of the recent spike is a little more complicated, but basically anyone downplaying its importance was overwhelmingly in favor of Trump.

The two issues above seem to highlight the effectiveness of Republican/Trumpian messaging among their base. I didn't get the impression that "the economy is bad" was a central talking point of the Biden campaign, except mostly indirectly when talking about downstream effects of Trump's COVID response. So basically, if the messaging convinced you that Trump was doing good things, then you voted for Trump. If it didn't, your support for Biden was proportional to how bad you thought things were going.

Income: <$30k, $30-50k, $50-100k, and >$200k all went significantly for Biden. Trump's sweet spot was $100-200k. Though the balance probably flips back at some threshold higher than $200k, that's a very small number of votes. I'd love if there was some data on political contributions to cross-reference against this, as well as a breakdown on wealth rather than just income.

Supreme court: people who cared about appointments broke in favor of Biden, which was a real surprise to me. My understanding is that Republicans normally have a lot more engagement on that issue, because they've made abortion such an effective wedge and they have people name-dropping Roe v. Wade on a weekly basis to much of their base. Maybe it's that Republicans feel temporarily satiated by Trump getting three (!) appointments without having to compromise with the Dems, while liberals are angry about the same (especially after losing RBG who had stardom status)?

"View of Biden" vs. "View of Trump": here's where the polarization is most evident, though I'd love to see the results of this question in previous elections for comparison. The question wasn't "do you prefer Biden or Trump", it was about their view of that candidate. 98% of people answered each of those questions, and in both cases it was 90%+ alignment between a favorable view and voting for that person. My interpretation is that almost everyone had a favorable view of only one of those two candidates, and that almost everyone with an unfavorable view of both candidates still "held their nose" and voted for one of them.

I could imagine that Clinton vs. Trump had similar polarization in their favorability, because the GOP had spent decades demonizing Clinton. But my instinct is that a lot of people felt both Romney and Obama were qualified but preferred one or the other. Same with McCain and Obama. Same with Kerry and Bush. Definitely with Bush and Gore, given how inundated we were at the time with jokes about them being equally boring.

The fact that a compromise candidate, a centrist like Biden didn't reverse that trend reinforces to me the perception that Trumpism is a cult. No one likes Trump unless they're devoted to him or the cause. The cause demands that you disregard all information that makes you doubt the cause. Everyone outside the cult, who sees how terrible things are, favors Biden. They may support him to different degrees, but that's a good thing!

It's just unfortunate that the cult has grown to 60+ million people.
posted by Riki tiki at 2:04 PM on November 8 [8 favorites]


none of the high level campaign people in the Democratic party will suffer any consequences from failure in elections

Is that not equally true of GOP campaign people? If it is, it doesn’t explain the difference in messaging success.
posted by clew at 2:08 PM on November 8 [1 favorite]


[Folks, I know it feels like we're maybe seeing the light at the end of the tunnel but doom predictions still not ok.]
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 2:10 PM on November 8 [17 favorites]


Riki tiki: Income: <$30k, $30-50k, $50-100k, and >$200k all went significantly for Biden. Trump's sweet spot was $100-200k.

IIRC that was total family income, so that $100K-$200K bracket probably includes a lot of families with $65K+$45K sort of income levels.

The urban-rural divide was less stark than I would've expected from the dominant imagery. Biden got 45% of the rural vote, and Trump got 37% of the urban vote.
posted by clawsoon at 2:22 PM on November 8 [8 favorites]


Excellent twitter thread by N. K. Jemisin, unrolled here:

https://threadreaderapp.com/thread/1325545838500843524.html
It's not that the right is better at storytelling. It's that their stories are simpler, more viscerally satisfying. "A Black woman stole your job!" "They want your guns!" Easy, reductive us vs them, you in danger girl level stuff. Even when it's not true, it provokes a reaction.
This intro bit has been said before, but the rest of the thread is so cogent. If I could do it I'd print it out and staple it to every DNC office wall.
posted by Chef Flamboyardee at 2:27 PM on November 8 [57 favorites]


When I do see Democrats skip the nuance on any issue, I see a bunch of other Democrats jumping in to correct and "Well, actually..." them.

Well, at the risk of self-parody, I'm about to do this for the CNN exit poll.

Actually I'm really happy to see this data and I think it's extremely useful to think about, but there are some really massive caveats to keep in mind when thinking about it. As Mitheral pointed out, differences in voting method complicate things: they indicate that exit polling data was collected from mail-in and early voters, but the differences in exit polling collection method could itself play a role in the type of results they get. This doesn't make the data useless but should cause us to be cautious with using it.

More fundamentally, in my opinion, though, is the way the results are broken down doesn't really do a good job addressing potential correlations in the various survey and demographic variables. A simple and pretty easy-to-understand example is from the age demographics and the marital status. There's a clear correlation between age and vote, with younger voters more likely to vote for Biden and older voters for Trump. There's also a clear, though slightly weaker, correlation between marital status and vote, with single voters more likely to vote for Biden and married ones for Trump. However, it seems very likely that there's also a relationship between age and marital status, though this is not reported: older voters are probably more likely to be married, and younger voters are probably more likely to be single.

So, is it true to say that married voters are more likely to vote for Trump? Well, yes, strictly speaking. But that might only be because more of them are older, and it's age that actually is the better explanatory variable. In fact it could be that once you control for age, marital status doesn't factor in at all, or it could even drive things in the opposite direction! So while one might naively look at these results and come up with a story like "Democrats are not doing a good job of reaching married people with their messaging," this may not actually be true. Maybe married people are actually more receptive to Democratic messaging than single people within their age cohort, but the fact that older people are so much more likely to support Trump and are also more likely to be married means that when you look at the population as a whole, it appears as if Democrats are failing to reach married people.

Now I think most of us are probably more interested in the answers to questions like the relationship between what voters think of the economy and how they voted, but the exact same issue applies. When the only tool for reporting results is "what fraction of this group voted Biden vs. Trump", it's extremely difficult or impossible to actually interpret what that means in a way that might inform policy or activism.

What you really want is something that tells you how much each factor explains voting decision while controlling for all other factors. And good tools for this exist, such as generalized linear modeling. And I'm sure the stats nerds that did the polling and prepared the reports ran these tools and have looked at the results. But the gap in statistical literacy between what the average person gets from their education and what is actually required to understand these models, even for well-educated people, is so large that it's almost impossible to communicate what the polling data should actually tell us without asking people to sit through a 10-minute explanation first that no one wants. Hell, just look at the length of this comment; I'll bet a pretty good fraction of folks here just noped out of it after a brief skim.

So anyway, the exit polling results are really interesting and worth looking at, but without some way of understanding which factors are actually driving differences in voting pattern, you cannot actually draw any conclusions from them.
posted by biogeo at 2:28 PM on November 8 [21 favorites]


I don't know how many times this has to be repeated, but AOC is explicitly not advocating everybody run a NYC progressive's campaign. Quite the opposite, in fact. While she does spend some time talking up progressive policies and clearly wants the party to pull left, her main point is that every candidate should run a campaign tailored to their district or state.

To add onto this: she explicitly pointed out that it's insane to have an afterthought digital strategy during a pandemic, door-knocking was huge for the Squad, and most of the places that do digital really well are banned by the DCCC because they've done jobs for insurgent candidates. She was deliberately trying to pour water on the idea that the Democrats need to shift ideology to win more votes.
posted by Merus at 2:28 PM on November 8 [48 favorites]


I was (and remain) extremely skeptical of Biden-Harris, to the point I didn't post here the last few weeks because I didn't want to get eaten alive.

*However*, the transition plan has moved me from "skeptical Vince Mcmahon" to "intrigued Vince Mcmahon" on the "Vince mcmahon reaction gif" chart. This seems like a pretty solid set of priorities and whoever put together the public health section knows what they are talking about. I don't know if they can do them all but they've got the metaphorical map and course right.
posted by Ghostride The Whip at 2:33 PM on November 8 [30 favorites]


From darkstar's post in the earlier thread:
Some of the first things President Biden can, and will, do by Executive authority, almost immediately:
1. Establish a Covid task force with science-based solutions, in a federally led initiative.
2. Rejoin the Paris climate accord.
3. Rejoin the WHO. (The World Health Organization, not the rock group. Although, come to think of it...)
4. Repeal the Muslim travel ban from many countries.
5. Reinstate DACA.
6. Reinstate guidance on allowing transgender students to use the restrooms, locker rooms, etc. that conform with their gender identity.
7. The article doesn’t state it outright, but Biden is on record supporting revoking the ban on transgender persons serving in the military.
posted by PhineasGage at 2:41 PM on November 8 [19 favorites]


All those things are good, but it's now evident that there ought to have been more legislative protection for them. Presidents shouldn't have the power to screw things up the way Trump did.
posted by Joe in Australia at 3:06 PM on November 8 [32 favorites]


The thread Chef Flamboyardee links above is very good. I especially liked this part:

The great non-voting masses of America have fallen prey not only to voter suppression, but also the stories told by GOP/billionaire think tanks: voting is meaningless, both sides are bad, doesn't matter who's in charge, life will always suck. This is a narrative we must counter.
And the way to do it is NOT with messages of conciliation toward fascists, or unity with bigots. Not by handwaving consequences because trials and equality are too hard. The way to do it is to SHOW people (don't tell!) that who they vote for matters. That justice is possible.

posted by triggerfinger at 3:07 PM on November 8 [24 favorites]


New ballots counted in AZ. "Biden's current statewide lead: 20,102 (Up from 19,348)" Nate Silver: "Trump needed to win these big but Biden won them. Unless I'm missing something (always possible) this is very negative for Trump's chances of winning AZ."
posted by cashman at 3:12 PM on November 8 [9 favorites]


it's now evident that there ought to have been more legislative protection for them. Presidents shouldn't have the power to screw things up the way Trump did.

I think that is really what shocked run-of-the-mill not-really-that-civically-minded Americans who nonetheless were centrist to left. It didn't occur to a lot of people how much a combination of Executive Orders and a totally craven and conscience-less Senate could really run this country into the ground and quickly, with very little recourse. So many cries of "Wait, can he DO that?" were followed by "Well who is going to stop him?" That said, he did lose an awful lot of lawsuits that could have made things worse, but it never should have gotten to that point.
posted by jessamyn at 3:15 PM on November 8 [44 favorites]


Q3 GDP growth is 33%

I'm curious how much GDP growth is covid-19 testing.
posted by srboisvert at 3:17 PM on November 8 [2 favorites]


Yah, I'm +100 on the AOC critique.

That said, I saw a couple days ago a completely WITHERING post-mortem of the NC state-level races from a group that sounded like they've been doing a lot of long-game, on-the-ground organizing. (I'm now struggling to find the post, though...)

Meanwhile, the Republicans who organized REDMAP did some extremely effective parachute-organizing to win local elections. (basically, by badmouthing dems in very specific, locally relevant ways.)

My feeling right now is that there's a lot of work starting towards getting people elected at lower levels, but that the formula hasn't really come together yet. And there's an insane amount of cult-like animosity towards dem candidates that makes it hard to get started...
posted by kaibutsu at 3:25 PM on November 8 [6 favorites]


It's not that the right is better at storytelling. It's that their stories are simpler, more viscerally satisfying. "A Black woman stole your job!" "They want your guns!" Easy, reductive us vs them, you in danger girl level stuff. Even when it's not true, it provokes a reaction.

100% true, but this truth should terrify us. What's the old chestnut? "For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong." But you can blast out a lot of reductively-dumb answers in very little time. If the counterarguments to those messages are complex and nuanced (which: of course they're complex and nuanced, because we don't live in a 2nd-grade mathematics textbook), then it's going to take a whole lot more time and effort to refute the GOP's lies than it is for them to make new ones up on the fly. Have you ever tried to argue with your Trump-ist uncle at Thanksgiving? As a pure numbers game, it's a losing prospect. When you factor in the ~45% of the electorate who are actively opposed to listening to anything more complicated than a Dan Brown novel, now we have a real problem. It's kind of like the marketplace of ideas has been recast, only now John Stuart Mill is a heroin addict trying to sell the bazaar tentpoles for scrap metal.
posted by Mayor West at 3:33 PM on November 8 [13 favorites]


Honestly, maybe the thing to do in the truly cult areas is run or finance independent candidates to get around the anti-dem prejudice. Just start getting 'sensible independents' in the outlands, who happen to support things like gerrymandering and electoral reform, because they're so non-partisan...
posted by kaibutsu at 3:39 PM on November 8 [6 favorites]


straight: I was with family who were watching their service from home. The pro-Trump pastor who last week had a bunch of stuff in his sermon that seemed to be informed more by Fox News than the Bible preached this week on "God works in mysterious ways" and how to cope when bad things happen.

I'm watching this sermon right now. It started out the same way - don't worry, be calm, stop watching Fox News, trust in the Bible instead, God has it under control - but then a few minutes later called back to that "stop watching Fox News" bit and continued it with "start watching Newsmax".

And as I continue watching, it's descending into straight-up "fraud everywhere".
posted by clawsoon at 3:58 PM on November 8 [6 favorites]


It's not that the right is better at storytelling. It's that their stories are simpler, more viscerally satisfying. "A Black woman stole your job!" "They want your guns!" Easy, reductive us vs them, you in danger girl level stuff. Even when it's not true, it provokes a reaction.

I mean, there is incredibly effective storytelling out there that isn't right-wing. Unfortunately for the centrist/liberal wing of the Democratic party and the incredibly wealthy donors that rely on them, that incredibly effective storytelling belongs to the left-wing traditions of solidarity and collective resistance (the labor movement, women's movement, the civil rights movement, and every anti-colonial movement out there all fall under this history).

"Your life sucks because the system is rigged by the incredibly powerful against you" resonates with a whole lot of people in America. The question is, is it going to be Republicans who get to those people first and tell them they should blame "globalists"/immigrants/women/people of color/trans people for their troubles?
posted by Ouverture at 4:13 PM on November 8 [47 favorites]


"If you're so right about everything all the time, how come you lose so goddamned always?"
posted by bartleby at 4:31 PM on November 8 [1 favorite]




If the counterarguments to those messages are complex and nuanced (which: of course they're complex and nuanced, because we don't live in a 2nd-grade mathematics textbook), then it's going to take a whole lot more time and effort to refute the GOP's lies than it is for them to make new ones up on the fly.

Or as I like to say ...

--Liberals are great at framing complex problems; not so great at crafting solutions.

--Conservatives deny the existence of complex problems.
posted by ZenMasterThis at 4:56 PM on November 8 [1 favorite]


It’s like how so many people compare national budgets to balancing a household checkbook. It is completely stupid, but if you don’t realize that, it gives you a feeling of superiority.
posted by snofoam at 5:01 PM on November 8 [14 favorites]


Republicans will poison your entire town and not care when it hurts or kills you
Republicans will make it impossible for you to get medical care
Republicans will make it impossible for your kids to get a college education
Republicans will take the taxes you pay and give that money to their rich friends

There's plenty of simple stories like that to tell. I almost never hear Democrats tell them. That's why the Lincoln Project hit a nerve, even though they're completely untrustworthy.
posted by emjaybee at 5:06 PM on November 8 [89 favorites]


I want a billion-dollar program to reunite all the families ripped apart in all the border horrors. I realize some of those people have probably died, but I want every effort made to reunite everyone who can be reunited. And if a billion dollars isn't enough, then god damn it shovel in more money and hire more people for the job.

This regime committed crimes against humanity and we have to do everything we can to mitigate that suffering. Immediately. This needs to start with actions of compassion and care on day one.

And fire every single motherfucker who "just did his job" to facilitate all those crimes. Prosecute if at all viable, too.
posted by scaryblackdeath at 5:15 PM on November 8 [39 favorites]


it's now evident that there ought to have been more legislative protection for them. Presidents shouldn't have the power to screw things up the way Trump did.

Plan:
1) Biden makes numerous extensive executive orders.
2) House writes up better legislative protections for activities that belong under the legislative rather than executive branch.
3) Biden continues to throw around progressive executive orders like confetti.
4) House submits "Limitations on Executive Orders" bill to the Senate.
5) Senate is damn well aware that passing such a law limits their own presidents in the future, but
6) Biden leaks a few drafts of orders they really don't want to pass.
7) Senate passes limitations on exec orders.

...I wonder how many other areas could be used as wedge issues where the president & the House combine to push the Senate into doing things that block at least one of them.
posted by ErisLordFreedom at 5:16 PM on November 8 [18 favorites]


I'd also like to see Biden and Pelosi show a list of popular policies that have passed by the Democrats in the House and blocked by the Republicans in the Senate. "You want x. We passed a bill that does that, and you can't have it because Mitch McConnell said no."
posted by kirkaracha at 5:22 PM on November 8 [35 favorites]


[Comment deleted - please be mindful about picking up other people's crappy language and just pulling it into here.]
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 5:35 PM on November 8


I am sorry if this doesn't belong here. But.

On another forum.

I was for Biden from the beginning. From the beginning of a huge thread. I was always for Biden. And I got a shitload of sleepy Joe. Too old. Dementia. And all the rest.

But I was right.

Sorry. Just had to say it. :)
posted by Splunge at 5:41 PM on November 8 [7 favorites]


"Your life sucks because the system is rigged by the incredibly powerful against you" resonates with a whole lot of people in America. The question is, is it going to be Republicans who get to those people first and tell them they should blame "globalists"/immigrants/women/people of color/trans people for their troubles?

Yes! This message resonates with people because it’s right. It’s just that the wrong people get blamed. Vulnerable marginalized people who are suffering the most often get blamed (cruel irony).

I really believe in the power of raising people’s collective aspirations. Medicare for all is now part of the national dialogue. It’s been fifteen years since I’ve lived in the states, but when I lived there it was unthinkable. Completely unthinkable to have universal healthcare of any kind (despite having medicare and the VA system). It was met with the kind of derision you’d get if you suggested giving everyone a letter to Hogwarts.

Democrats now talk about jobs. Jobs jobs jobs blah blah blah. Obama liked to brag about the number of employed people growing under his tenure, which was true. But the unfortunate truth is that not all jobs are created equal and a lot of jobs suck.

Rather than jobs jobs jobs jobs blah blah generic nonsense, why not we will fight for

Federally mandated paid parental leave
Federally mandated minimum vacation and sick days
An end to union busting by assholes like Jeff Bezos

Instead of education education education blah blah blah why not we will fight for

An end to student debt
A federal loan system that does not charge interest on student loans
Free community college

Instead of healthcare healthcare healthcare blah blah blah, we will fight for

Women’s absolute autonomy over their reproductive rights
Medicare for all
Decriminalization of recreational drugs (this should be a health problem not a law and order problem)

These are popular with many people. They’re simple to understand. They give people something specific to rally around. Will every single one of these be won? Maybe not.

But move the needle on the national conversation. Make people believe that the government can actually do things, and can actually benefit normal people. Make these positions the default and act like it’s crazy that anyone would think differently. Shift the overton window left continuously and stop letting the fucking Republicans set the agenda and then just reacting to what they’ve said.

And for craps sake, stop the revolving door between the Democratic party and fans of The West Wing. That shit is a tv show, and the shake hands at the end of the day horseshit was dead the minute all those “very fine people” took to the streets chanting blood and soil. Enough.
posted by supercrayon at 5:54 PM on November 8 [55 favorites]


Btw none of that 👆👆👆 is radical. I’m just trying to meet people where they are, and American politics (not Americans, don’t get it twisted) is so rightwing that these are the positions of center-right parties in other countries. There’s a lot of work to be done to shift the national dialogue leftward and bring it even close to sanity. Not going to be achieved by continuously capitulating to evil cowards (aka shitty white people) in the hopes they’ll stop oppressing everyone.
posted by supercrayon at 6:13 PM on November 8 [16 favorites]


There's plenty of simple stories like that to tell. I almost never hear Democrats tell them. That's why the Lincoln Project hit a nerve, even though they're completely untrustworthy.

Agreed, the collegial bipartisanship is killing the Democrats and the leadership is too sheltered to even realize it. If Democrats just started telling the truth about what Republicans have done and will do to Americans, it would be incredibly powerful and galvanizing.

If Republicans truly need to be defeated, why do Democratic politicians keep hugging and praising them?
posted by Ouverture at 6:29 PM on November 8 [12 favorites]


I have to admit, the "Trump won't admit defeat, ever" narrative scares the pants off me.

Me too. Yesterday, I was SO SO relieved and happy. Today, I'm getting more and more anxious. I expected Trump to reject the results, but I'm scared that mainstream Republicans aren't disagreeing with him. It's another "surely this" moment, we all know how those go, and this time the stakes are our entire democratic system. I know he can be dragged out of the office if he doesn't concede, but if Republicans band together saying he's right not to, it won't be that simple. I really hope that they start breaking ranks soon, or I'm scared that this win won't stick.
posted by daisyace at 6:34 PM on November 8 [4 favorites]


I hold out hope that Trumpism only works for Trump. So his refusal to concede and slink away means a number of GOP politicians will feel the need to stay in his good graces thus linking themselves to an unpopular person.
posted by mmascolino at 6:39 PM on November 8 [3 favorites]


I'd also like to see Biden and Pelosi show a list of popular policies that have passed by the Democrats in the House and blocked by the Republicans in the Senate. "You want x. We passed a bill that does that, and you can't have it because Mitch McConnell said no."

They should be banging the shit out of this drum in Georgia. "Here's all the stuff we tried to do for you and Mitch wouldn't even consider it let alone reconcile. Don't let Mitch stop us from FOO again." Where foo is pandemic relief or taxes on billionaires or M4A or whatever. There is a stack of bills on Mitch's desk to answer for absolutely every "why didn't they do this?" question that could be asked. Accent that we wanted to prevent evictions and get food to people affected by the pandemic but Mitch keeps going on vacation.
posted by Mitheral at 6:44 PM on November 8 [17 favorites]


A journalist wrote a Twitter thread explaining what he saw in Florida in 2018. It completely backs up AOC. And also backing that up, a progressive female Democrat won the Miami mayoral election. In fact, progressives performed strongly at the city level.

In other news, the administrator of the GSA, a Trump appointee, refuses to sign the letter that provides Biden with transition resources. Gonna be interesting to see what happens.
posted by rednikki at 6:45 PM on November 8 [27 favorites]


"why do you have such old people running your country?"

I dimly recall wags in pre-Revolutionary Mexico referring to their legislature as the Museum of Natural History.
posted by doctornemo at 6:49 PM on November 8 [10 favorites]


For my current book project I've been thinking a lot about climate change politics.

Biden's win suggests he has the capacity to do a great deal. But the limitations of that win, and the Republican strength revealed thereby, make me narrow down what Biden can do.

Yes, he can put people who think climate change is real into governmental positions. He has emit executive orders in high numbers.

But if the GOP retains control of the Senate, that's a strong limit on doing anything that costs serious money - i.e., a Green New Deal, launching a geoengineering project, a Manhattan project for carbon sequestering, etc. It also limits Biden's foreign policy when it comes to treaty-making - and that's going to be needed, down the road, if international cooperation is going to occur at the scale needed to actually take climate change seriously.

What options does that leave us with, if we think climate change is an existential threat?

And look, there's my copy of the new Kim Stanley Robinson, arriving tomorrow...
posted by doctornemo at 6:59 PM on November 8 [1 favorite]


but I'm scared that mainstream Republicans aren't disagreeing with him.

This was all but confirmed in my mind when GWB congratulated Biden/Harris well over 24 hours after the networks called it (following several days where the outcome had been readily apparent).
posted by triggerfinger at 7:02 PM on November 8 [2 favorites]


Former PM of Australia, Kevin Rudd: The petition by 500,000+ Australians for a #MurdochRoyalCommission is being noticed around the world. It's underlined by Fox News's disinformation during the US presidential campaign, including efforts to delegitimise Biden's win. I was asked about it by @FareedZakaria on @CNN. https://t.co/fnbgt2h6j5

The corrosive effect of Fox News is something the Biden admin will have to contend with. Even if he revamps the whole election system, reinstates the VRA, gets statehood for DC and PR, this disinformation machine is not going away, and it is radicalizing people. And it's scary how good they are at it. They don't have to win elections to cause a great deal of harm to our country.
posted by triggerfinger at 7:10 PM on November 8 [18 favorites]


if Republicans band together saying he's right not to, it won't be that simple

It really will be. On Jan 20th, Biden will be sworn in and he can run the country out of Doug and Kamala’s spare bedroom in Brentwood. Hell, it would save the Dodgers and Lakers a trip out to the east coast. What the “The Republicans!” do literally does not matter, beyond Federals crimes they might happen to commit by abetting a private citizen (which is what Trump will be 1/20/2021 12:01PM EST even if all levels of the US government literally no nothing between now and then) in the commission of his crimes.

“Conceding” is for honor and dignity. It has absolutely nothing to do with the actual transition of power.
posted by sideshow at 7:24 PM on November 8 [19 favorites]


John Kennedy of LA looks like the best shot to me. Former Democrat, voted against some of Trump's court nominees and his attempt to ease sanctions against Russia... He's up for reelection in 2022 and the seat would be hard to hold, but getting two years of Senate control on the cheap is certainly worth looking into.

From a primary? LA went 58% Trump. Also, it would need to be a big offer to get him to hop. Attorney General?
posted by leotrotsky at 7:32 PM on November 8 [2 favorites]


This was all but confirmed in my mind when GWB congratulated Biden/Harris well over 24 hours after the networks called it (following several days where the outcome had been readily apparent).

GWB HATES Trump, but still gave him a window to do the decent thing and concede first.

That congratulations was a boot kick and a signal to the rest of the party.
posted by leotrotsky at 7:37 PM on November 8 [32 favorites]


They should be banging the shit out of this drum in Georgia. "Here's all the stuff we tried to do for you and Mitch wouldn't even consider it let alone reconcile. Don't let Mitch stop us from FOO again." Where foo is pandemic relief or taxes on billionaires or M4A or whatever.

Biden spent the whole election defending him himself from accusations that he wanted to do things like this and, now that he's won, half the party is screaming that they should never mention these things again.

They (the corporate wing of the party who is currently in the driver's seat) don't want to do these things. At most, they want to fundraise off the notion that the Republicans stopped them from doing it and to keep the saps they keep disappointing voting for them.
posted by Reyturner at 7:38 PM on November 8 [5 favorites]


"Your life sucks because the system is rigged by the incredibly powerful against you" resonates with a whole lot of people in America. The question is, is it going to be Republicans who get to those people first and tell them they should blame "globalists"/immigrants/women/people of color/trans people for their troubles?

Paranoid populism never ends well, regardless of who’s drumming it up.
posted by leotrotsky at 7:41 PM on November 8 [3 favorites]


Paranoid populism never ends well, regardless of who’s drumming it up.

What is paranoid about the simple truth about most people's lives?

And what is going so well about the current moment for most people in America?
posted by Ouverture at 7:49 PM on November 8 [13 favorites]


Ain't paranoid if it's true.
posted by emjaybee at 7:51 PM on November 8 [17 favorites]


If Dems are looking for a motivating message that doesn't require much nuance, but which is powerful and deals with one of the core problems in the US body politic, a good one is:

One person, one vote, one value.

Until the gross imbalance in representation caused by the combination of the electoral college and the Senate is fixed there will be no serious sustained progress in repairing the state of the US.

----------

The petition by 500,000+ Australians for a #MurdochRoyalCommission

Worth noting that it is the biggest response to a parliamentary petition in our history.
posted by Pouteria at 7:57 PM on November 8 [15 favorites]


100% true, but this truth should terrify us.

The advantage that we have is that a lot of the left's simple stories have the benefit of also being true. Not all of them, but enough. We can end homelessness by just putting people in homes. We can get people medical care by just not charging them for the doctor. We can make votes matter by making the rules simpler.

A lot of the stories the left has is how we achieve things that people want, and do it in a way that's fair, and people are hardwired to like "fair". It's a reflex we develop very early.
posted by Merus at 8:13 PM on November 8 [2 favorites]


I'm way older than AOC. And her well-grounded ideas are the best thing I've heard in this country in a long time. Hers is almost the only political voice I've listened to during the miserable reign of the fetid failure. She's very well plugged-into what's going on in daily life.

The DNC lost to Trump in 2016. LOST to TRUMP! What more is there to say about a talent that stupendous?
posted by Twang at 8:39 PM on November 8 [49 favorites]


I've never been optimistic about Biden having the right approach for our times, but I'd also ask: What's the evidence the Democrats underperformed or incompetent?

- If you think it's the polling: We now know the polling was wrong. You can't say "Biden should have won by 8 points (because polls) and he's only winning by 3, so he's down five points." The objective fact is the polls were wrong. They tried to predict the actual vote, not the "vote if the Democrats knew what they were doing," and failed.
- If you think Trump is self-evidently incompetent and malicious so it should have been a landslide: Well, sure, me too, but we're obviously wrong about it being self-evident because 48% of the people didn't find it evident at all.
- If you think the Democrats chased the wrong voters or don't understand turnout: They got more votes than anyone ever before.

And so on.

Also, as for the naive bit about working with Washington Republicans, I do worry that it's sincere. It's one of the things I've worried about Biden all campaign. But there is literally no profit in saying anything else at this point. (And also, if Dems don't take the Senate my worry about him not packing the court or pushing to eliminate the filibuster are moot.)

“I offered to help every single swing district Democrat with their operation. And every single one of them, but five, refused my help,” [AOC] said. “And all five of the vulnerable or swing district people that I helped secured victory or are on a path to secure victory. And every single one that rejected my help is losing.”

Is she saying only five Democrats one in swing districts? That seems unlikely, given the Democrats are retaining at least some of their 2016 gains. Or am I misreading this?
posted by mark k at 8:43 PM on November 8 [3 favorites]


Regarding paranoia, sometimes ("vast, right wing") conspiracies are true . . .
posted by flamk at 8:51 PM on November 8 [1 favorite]


She's saying that there were N swing districts where N > 5, that only 5 candidates in those N districts accepted her help, and that those 5 are winning or have won. It's a more compelling argument if we know what N is, but it's pretty damned compelling even if we assume N = 6.
posted by tonycpsu at 8:52 PM on November 8 [2 favorites]


But she's also saying "every single one that rejected my help is losing" which I assume means the wins are 5, and losses N-5?
posted by mark k at 8:56 PM on November 8


That's how I took it, yes.
posted by tonycpsu at 8:57 PM on November 8 [1 favorite]


What's the evidence the Democrats underperformed or incompetent?

It's not the polling. It includes signals like this:
Right now Biden is losing Zapata County, #Texas, which is 95% Hispanic, by 5 points. Clinton won here by **33**. Shaping up to be a very poor performance for Biden in heavily Democratic South Texas.
Nothing to do with polls, but with the actual election results.
posted by Ouverture at 8:59 PM on November 8 [15 favorites]


This story by Katelyn Burns talks about the entire Press Conference Of Stupidity: The Trump legal team’s failed Four Seasons press conference, explained .
The idea that multiple states, some of which are controlled by Republicans, conspired to illegally rob Trump of an election win is ridiculous. And the Four Seasons press conference was a real emperor-has-no-clothes moment: A presidency that began with Trump’s descent into a golden lobby ended in a landscaping company’s parking lot, with the press packing up and leaving instead of staying and listening to nonsense.
posted by mephron at 9:01 PM on November 8 [5 favorites]


Whether Trump accepts the election results or not is of zero concern to me.

Because we've cracked the code. I think all of us have, allies and enemies alike.

Here's the secret, the piece we were missing all along: what Trump says is never interesting or important.

I'm sure many of you will be rolling your eyes at this.
Like duh. Of course he's foolish and irrelevant. Even his supporters don't take what he says seriously. But there's been an inflection point in who knows that for sure, and that changes things.

The press was the last to figure it out, but they got there in the end. Now that we all know for sure, we can move forwards confidently, start figuring out what we need to do next. We don't have to worry about the dog barking next door, now that we know it can't do anything differently than it did yesterday or the day before or the day before that.

Always smoke, never fire with this guy. It's high time we took care of our own business and stop chasing him as he dashes naked and screaming through Candyland.
posted by springo at 9:02 PM on November 8 [17 favorites]


The reason Democrats had diminished success with Hispanic voters is NOT that Democratic candidates weren't progressive enough.
posted by PhineasGage at 9:04 PM on November 8 [15 favorites]


"To the extent that fundamentalism impedes change, there is good reason to oppose it. To the extent that revisionists are bound by the same authoritarian worldview and moral order, they legitimize the fundamentalists' agenda of going back to moral purity......the problem with tolerating viewpoints that are themselves intolerant is their aim is to do away with tolerance altogether" - Alstad/Kramer "The Guru Papers"

I have haven't watched network TV in 30 years outside of a glance here and there. I watched yesterday after the networks began calling the election. The elevation of Biden began and I thought, "Oh, they're doing the saintly, Catholic B.S. again."

AOC's slamming of the establishment is spot on. A truism for me is that "There is enough to go around for everyone." Almost every person of color or financial station I mentioned that to has agreed. That is real. People understand that.

Two months ago, I am on the street sleeping out of the back of my car. Elevating words or Joe's story isn't going to do it for me. I am hurting. People are hurting. We need help. Show up.

So I wish that the established Dems cut the performative selfless, sacrificing for the people, legacy building BS and be openly selfish (in the best sense of the word), raise expectations, and demand and get more for the people that they represent.

Go AOC

(P.S. John Legend, Chrissy Tiegen and Wil Arnett stopped by the street party yesterday)
posted by goalyeehah at 9:06 PM on November 8 [26 favorites]


I think supercrayon's story about his union is illustrative of the dynamics facing the Democratic party now, and it doesn't make me optimistic that the Democratic leadership is going to change unless they suffer decisive electoral defeats, not to Republicans, but to primary challenges. AOC herself was the product of a successful primary against a powerful incumbent. I wouldn't count on the power of incumbency to protect progressives like AOC either. Every member of the squad, including AOC, faced a primary challenge. I think part of the reason progressives rallied to Markey's defense in Massachusetts was the perception, which may or may not have been true, that he was being primaried from the right for working with AOC on the Green New Deal.

Basically, I think people tend to continue doing what made them successful, and for many Democratic and Labor leaders, those practices and views were forged long ago in a different time. In a way, I can't say I blame the necessarily: why change what has worked for you your entire life. And really, it has worked for them personally so far. Biden did decisively win the primary and narrowly the general election. The "centrist establishment", for lack of a better word, still controls the party.

Its structural too, and its part of a self-reinforcing pattern. One thing I noticed in those exit polls, and that I've noticed in every election since 2004, is that young people decisively break to the left. This tracks with demographic changes Democrats hope to bring them victories across the sun belt because non-white immigrants tend to skew younger than the white majority, but the pattern leads to a disconnect between the party leadership and the "millenial" and "gen z" voters voting for them. It gets worse when party leaders tend to promote individuals who look and think like them, which just reinforces the disconnect. The final piece of the cycle is that leadership sticks with strategies that engage the older voters most similar to them, who continue to vote for them in primaries, which keeps them in power because voting is a learned behavior so primary voters tend to be older.

Yes, I know older black voters are a huge exception to this, but overall the pattern still leads to a party leadership culturally and economically connected to mostly white wealthy suburban voters with college degrees. Its no surprise then that party messaging is geared to attracting those voters, as well as the odd Archie Bunker type "white working class" voter still alive in some post industrial PA mining town. The end result is a party leadership that wants to continue to fight battles on the electoral terrain of the 80's and 90's, which is when many of them were in their physical and intellectual primes, which then results in a party whose cultural base is white collar suburban professionals, regardless of surrounding cultural messaging or perceptions otherwise.

Last, it doesn't help that policies that will truly help and address the concerns of economically and culturally marginalized voters run counter to the interests of those who fund the campaigns of both parties. Worse, although some wealthy suburban might understand these concerns at an intellectual level, the visceral immediacy and empathy is lacking. Because many Democratic leaders came of age when television and micro-targeted campaigns were all the rage, they may not even understand how to run a campaign such as AOC's. Worse, such a campaign and the policies that go along with it might very well run counter to the economic interests of Democratic leadership and those who aspire to rise to those positions by following in the footsteps of their political mentors. I don't think the average voter, even in the suburbs, understands how wealthy many politicians really are, and in many cases how they acquired that wealth. Here again, AOC has spoken many times about the social and institutional pressures to "play by the rules", not to mention the economic pressures of affording rent in DC.
posted by eagles123 at 9:24 PM on November 8 [20 favorites]


If Democrats just started telling the truth about what Republicans have done and will do to Americans, it would be incredibly powerful and galvanizing.

The problem with that, is that a lot of Democrats have done the same things. It's not just the Republicans who have dodged labeling white Christian terrorism for what it is. It's not just Republicans who decided to block strong unions. It's not just Republicans who fought to keep minimum wages low. It's not just Republicans blocking women's equal pay or access to health care, education spending, and internet reform.

And so on. The reason Democratic legislatures, as a group, are unwilling to push the narrative of "here's all the damage Republicans have done," is they really hate having to admit "and here's how we were part of that," much less "but we're going to stop now."

The only way to solidify the Democratic Party message is to actually pick some ideals and build a platform from them, instead of starting from "what's the most progressive agenda we can support without alienating the majority of our Boomer members?" Especially since that approach usually means, "of course, we're not going to prevent anyone from working against aspects of the agenda, as long as it's only on their one or two pet issues."

We don't need every Democratic district to set its policies to match AOC's or Alameda County in California. But we do need every Democratic legislator to be able to say, "THIS is how I am supporting our core agenda, how I am enacting our core values."

Since the DNC doesn't have any notable control over who registers as a Democrat, much less who gets elected... start with money. Politicians working against the agenda don't get funding, and don't get the endorsement, and the DNC may support their challengers.

Stop pretending that "this D got elected last time" means that Democratic ideals are being enacted. (And sans-undertale-onna-pogo-stick, stop pretending campaign plans don't need a strong digital plan. "But the locals are almost all Boomers" doesn't mean they're immune to Twitter propaganda. Kind of the reverse.)
posted by ErisLordFreedom at 9:32 PM on November 8 [20 favorites]


Nothing to do with polls, but with the actual election results.

You mean with the election results in South Texas? This is like the definition of cherry picking. There are areas where he did better than Clinton and areas where he did worse. It is true if you only look at the ones where he did worse, he did worse.

OK I guess, but I would propose that overall performance is probably best assessed by overall results?
posted by mark k at 9:33 PM on November 8 [3 favorites]


OK I guess, but I would propose that overall performance is probably best assessed by overall results?

Okay, sure. Overall, Trump seems to have done better with voters of color (not just Cuban-Americans!) and worse with white voters. Biden was the opposite.

That Trump was able to do this despite facing such immense headwinds in so many ways should be terrifying for Democrats who still subscribe to a hollow form of identity politics that has no basis in material conditions.

Imagine how well a Republican fascist without Trump's overt baggage could do in these places in just 4 years.
posted by Ouverture at 9:37 PM on November 8 [17 favorites]


The claim that Trump had "immense headwinds" begs the question. Most world leaders have not suffered from the Covid pandemic, regardless of response. The economy is doing amazingly well given the situation, thanks to the massive shutdowns. The main headwind Trump has is that he is Trump, which doesn't seem to turn off people the way I think it should. This is basically what I started with: We all think Trump is self-evidently bad, but this is objectively false. It's not self-evident.

If Biden squeaked by with low turnout I would have been very open to the idea that ramping up the base could have led to a landslide. Biden was my last choice among the credible candidates FWIW and I expected him to be uninspiring, so I went in assuming there'd be lots of room for someone to do better. But the Democrats shattered turnout records, and are 10+ percentage points above the 2008 Obama run. The problem isn't how many votes they got but how many votes Trump got.
posted by mark k at 10:00 PM on November 8 [22 favorites]


>The economy is doing amazingly well given the situation

https://fred.stlouisfed.org/series/MZM shows $4T of new money was ginned up by the Fed since February, $20,000 per adult . . . hope you got your share of that helicopter money drop!
posted by Heywood Mogroot III at 10:20 PM on November 8 [7 favorites]


The Rio Grande Valley/South Texas is also an odd place. I think there is probably some unknown nuance to Dem performance there yet to be gotten.
posted by emjaybee at 10:26 PM on November 8 [1 favorite]


$20,000 would change my life at the moment, as is probably true for most everyone here. How much of that $4T is now sitting in offshore banks? $3T?
posted by maxwelton at 10:58 PM on November 8 [8 favorites]




hope you got your share of that helicopter money drop!
uh, yeah I'm not gettin any zero interest loans at any amount, $10 or $10M. I'm not getting PPP loans forgiven.

that could available for all of us. fair's fair.
posted by j_curiouser at 11:27 PM on November 8 [4 favorites]


This is scary
yes it is. "Will no one rid me of this meddlesome priest?" but way stupider and with trucks and camouflage. all of the intentional protester collisions? no charges yet. then the damn guns, maybe.
posted by j_curiouser at 11:34 PM on November 8 [2 favorites]


> This is scary: Trump plans to revive campaign-style rallies as he pursues legal challenges to election results
Wonder how he could do that while being pursued by debt collectors.
posted by runcifex at 11:36 PM on November 8 [5 favorites]


AOC herself was the product of a successful primary against a powerful incumbent.

Primary elections are very different from general elections, not least in that they don't get you any closer to having a Democratic government. I acknowledge that AOC is smart, articulate, and personable; she was and is a great candidate. People like that should be out winning seats from the Republicans.
posted by Joe in Australia at 11:55 PM on November 8 [2 favorites]


History makes me pessimistic about Biden's chances to achieve any kind of real change.

2008: Obama wins with 365 electoral college votes, increases Democratic majorities both in Senate and House. Inherits failing economy.

2020: Biden projected to win 279 but significantly less than Obama. Possible tie in Senate, losses but Democratic hold in the House. Also inherits failing economy.

2010: Obama passes Obamacare/ACA; an improvement but pretty far from universal health care. Under attack for the next ten years and counting.

2010 elections: Democrats lose significant Senate seats and lose House in historic Republican shift.

Biden's got less of a mandate than Obama and he may already have one hand tied behind his back.
posted by meowzilla at 12:10 AM on November 9 [3 favorites]


In other news, the administrator of the GSA, a Trump appointee, refuses to sign the letter that provides Biden with transition resources. Gonna be interesting to see what happens. - posted by rednikki

Meanwhile, the refusal to acknowledge Biden’s win is hamstringing his ability to get his team in place. Emily Murphy, a Trump appointee at the General Services Administration, the agency in charge of signing the paperwork that gives a new administration access to office space and equipment as well as $9.9 million authorized for a presidential transition, has refused to sign paperwork enabling Biden and his team to begin the transition process. Once the transition begins, the new administration can begin to process disclosure and conflict-of-interest forms and get up to speed with ongoing government projects. But the GSA is refusing to allow a transition before Trump agrees that one is in order. Normally the transition begins the day after the election is called. - Letters from An American, Nov. 8, 2020

In previous toadying, Murphy's been reliably tight-lipped about the agency's oversight of the Old Post Office Building lease to the Trump International Hotel (one of Trump's better-known conflicts of interest). Murphy, testifying in January before a House Transportation and Infrastructure panel: When pressed by Rep. John Garamendi, D-Calif., to confirm that GSA has no idea how much spending by foreign governments contributes to the income and profits at the Trump hotel, Murphy said, “that’s correct.” On foreign expenditures she said, “The only thing I know is what I've read in the paper.” Garamendi noted that foreign spending is considered an emolument.
posted by Iris Gambol at 12:34 AM on November 9 [10 favorites]


Trump plans to revive campaign-style rallies...

Was there any doubt about this? Republicans used him to secure the next generation in the courts and can now safely discard him. There's no chance SCOTUS will crown him Chancellor just to stop his tantrum. The question is if he can influence the senate races in Georgia, which are the only political races right now. He's too narcissistic to care about that. He'll mention it between personal grievances at best.

Just quit caring about what he can do from now to 1/20. He's going to do whatever he can and there's no way to change it. Care about 1/5, where we choose if McConnell is the senate majority leader. It's entirely possible to win. The presidential vote was basically tied there, so there are enough voters... but are there enough engaged voters willing to push back against Trumpism even when he's gone? It's an extreme uphill battle, but it can still be won.
posted by netowl at 12:41 AM on November 9 [15 favorites]


The kind of real change that I expect Biden not to have any problems with achieving is a switch back to sanity. For us others not to have to wake up every day to a new level of Can't-Even Believe it, psychologically dystopian, craziness.
posted by Namlit at 12:45 AM on November 9 [15 favorites]


There's no chance SCOTUS will crown him Chancellor just to stop his tantrum.
You have way more faith than I do. Barr has disappeared and most Senate Republicans have been silent. That makes me nervous.
posted by rednikki at 12:50 AM on November 9 [21 favorites]


From electoral-vote.com:
Ironically, Trump's petulance and foot dragging, which have played a significant role in how things have unfolded this week, may have been the best thing for the country. If there was some amount of pro-Trump tension that had built up among those of his supporters who are prone to violence, then releasing all of that at once on Tuesday night might have led to violence in the streets.
I think they're right about that. I was wondering why the crazy Trump-train violence I was expecting didn't happen.

Now I'm thinking the longer Trump takes, the more his supporters will have resigned themselves to it, and the less surprised and angry they'll be, when he finally capitulates... So maybe this is a good thing.
posted by mmoncur at 1:35 AM on November 9 [10 favorites]


“Conceding” is for honor and dignity. It has absolutely nothing to do with the actual transition of power.

Denying legitimacy to this process is a kind of signalling that goes well beyond mere etiquette. And as you can already see, it works by contagion, from figures not congratulating domestically and internationally (China, Russia, Mexico...), to functionaries taking their cue from that, a dark ripple effect that trips up things that you wouldn’t expect (this WTO meeting reschedule, for example), and all the while the institutional media opts to treat it as a kind of bizarro “election overtime” rather than reporting it as the coup attempt it is.

Maybe try lending the broad chorus of Cassandras at least an ear: the institutions that only barely held up under the strain of this shitshow is not where I’d so eagerly lay blind trust, just yet.
posted by progosk at 1:59 AM on November 9 [13 favorites]


Barr has disappeared and most Senate Republicans have been silent.
Barr could quite literally start arresting people, and have at least Qanon behind him. He's done nothing. He's disappeared because he's not going to get behind a Reichstag fire (presumably because he thought it would fail, no matter how much he wanted it).

Trump wants a coup, and after a huge tantrum will get nothing. So forget about the loser, and focus on the next battle.
posted by netowl at 2:17 AM on November 9 [4 favorites]


Emily Murphy, a Trump appointee at the General Services Administration, the agency in charge of signing the paperwork that gives a new administration access to office space and equipment as well as $9.9 million authorized for a presidential transition, has refused to sign paperwork enabling Biden and his team to begin the transition process.

I have read that Biden's camp considered this a possibility, and have money set aside for the transition. I don't suppose that helps with the information and access point though.
posted by plonkee at 2:22 AM on November 9 [6 favorites]


I have read that Biden's camp considered this a possibility, and have money set aside for the transition. I don't suppose that helps with the information and access point though.

They explicitly started fundraising for the transition/inaguration a month ago and have about $300 million from donors.
posted by srboisvert at 2:49 AM on November 9 [2 favorites]


Primary elections are very different from general elections, not least in that they don't get you any closer to having a Democratic government. I acknowledge that AOC is smart, articulate, and personable; she was and is a great candidate. People like that should be out winning seats from the Republicans.

Name a single powerful member of the Democratic Party who won a seat from the Republicans.
posted by srboisvert at 3:01 AM on November 9 [9 favorites]


Is the concession denial also about preventing access to info that transition would mandate? I can image there's a fair amount of legal scurrying afoot to ensure that backs are covered before White House admin is open to incoming scrutiny.
posted by freya_lamb at 3:58 AM on November 9 [1 favorite]


Keep a lookout on White House chimneys this winter.
posted by basalganglia at 4:03 AM on November 9 [6 favorites]


Stephen Colbert's (abridged) election night special (possibly non-geolocked alt link, if you can stand watching an innumerable series of clips) is posted on the CBS web site and it's worth watching for the Election Knight Rises Our Cartoon President intro alone, IMO, both because it's hilarious (though it actually features Trump as the Jack Nicholson Joker from the Michael Keaton Batman, which was good but I'd have also loved to see a Gritty/Bane treatment people have mentioned from memes—but bonus points for an appearance of the “Corn Pop” length of chain) and actually does a good job of capturing the mood of election night. Someone should annotate all the cultural and political references in it for posterity.

Then at about 20:20 is Now when it comes to panels, it's important to have quality, but the most important thing is quantity...I will not sit here to be out-quantitied by CNN, so tonight I am proud to introduce our new segment: Stephen Colbert's Showtime Election Special 2020 The Most Election Night Panel Ever featuring
  • John Dickerson
  • Michael Bennet
  • James Carville live from the 1993 documentary The War Room
  • Andrew Yang
  • Neil deGrasse Tyson, whose election night prediction was, Tonight, I predict the universe will die of heat-death in 10100 years.
  • Julius Erving
  • Madeleine Albright
  • a used Ski-doo salesman on meth from Florida
  • Bryan Cranston
  • the fly from Mike Pence's head, voiced by Gilbert Gottfried
  • Method Man
  • RuPaul
  • Ethan Hawke via hidden camera
  • The Tootsie Pop owl
  • George Takei
  • six of Santa's reindeer
  • somebody in a Sia wig that may or may not be Sia
  • five teenagers who are either named Joe or Donald
  • and Doris Kearns Goodwin, who tries to sell Colbert a timeshare
Colbert's ending monologue has been reported widely in bits and pieces, but I think it's worth repeating in full, filmed in up-close COVID video-call style:
Well, folks, it looks like we've reached the end of the show and we still don't know who won. We've been waiting for this for so long, it feels like Christmas Eve, and not just because of the judgmental fat guy with the red hat.—but because we're all up late wondering if tomorrow morning we're going to get the present we've been begging for: a boring president.

Like you, I'm exhausted; not just from tonight—although, yeah—but from the past four years. I've been on high alert since early in the morning November 9th of 2016. My blood pressure is within normal range—for a truck tire. You could roll my aorta over a gravel road, and I wouldn't feel a bump. For four years, Trump has kept this entire nation's emotional meter hovering over in the red zone. And every time you think you can take your foot off the gas, a caravan of Trump trucks tries to run you off the road.

So I understand your stress. I do. But I'm going to say something a little controversial, so don't get mad at me. It's actually a good thing we don't know who won yet. (audience boos) Stop! Stop that! You don't exist! Stop it! The truth is, the reason it's taking so long to declare a winner is because we have had such massive voter turnout. Going into tonight, many were predicting the highest rate of voter turnout since 1908.

The point is, this year, millions of you braved the pandemic, an army of poll watchers, even the Post Office, just to make sure you got to vote. And each and every one of those votes deserves to be counted whether they are votes for Joe Biden, votes for Donald Trump, or write-in votes for “Boobs Boobs boobs Post Malone Rulez!”

But we've been able to wait for of this moment since November of 2016 and many of you waited for hours to make your voices heard. So I know we've all got what it takes to wait just a little bit longer. But still, we all deserve some small taste of that satisfaction we crave; so in closing tonight, please enjoy this brief montage of things that feel as satisfying as you want this to.

(Video montage of puppies having their tummies rubbed, dirty things being cleaned, things fitting into place exactly, a lady taking her bra off under her sweatshirt and dropping it on the floor, a Tetris hard drop, Andy Dufresne crawling out of the sewer pipe and extending his arms to the lightning-filled sky in The Shawshank Redemption, Tony Stark snapping his fingers in the Infinity Gauntlet while Thanos crumbles to dust, and other things, set to the national anthem.)
And there's a jazz version of “My Country, 'Tis of Thee” by Jon Batiste and Stay Human, and a whole bunch of other good stuff.

See also metabaroque's links to Colbert–Biden interviews.
posted by XMLicious at 5:06 AM on November 9 [8 favorites]


Trump is a cornered rabid weasel threatening to run up the leg of Uncle Sam's pants. The transition will be a shitshow (at best) until the Republican-controlled Senate publicly buys in to Biden's victory and tells Trump to go away for the sake of democracy in America.
posted by pracowity at 5:06 AM on November 9 [3 favorites]


This video is titled "Can Trump steal the election" but really the part that talks about the future of voter suppression should be the focus. That starts at 4 minutes in (the video is 6:52 long).
posted by cashman at 5:17 AM on November 9 [3 favorites]


Name a single powerful member of the Democratic Party who won a seat from the Republicans.

Joe Biden!
posted by Huffy Puffy at 5:48 AM on November 9 [28 favorites]


Name a single powerful member of the Democratic Party who won a seat from the Republicans.

Joe Biden!


And funnily enough, Bernie Sanders:
Sanders won the seat with 65% of the vote. His win marked the first Republican loss for this seat in 144 years, ending the longest single-party Senate winning streak in history.
He also pulled off a similar feat for a Republican-held House seat in 1990.
posted by Ouverture at 6:08 AM on November 9 [26 favorites]


The stock market isn’t the economy, but it’s still an indicator that bears a little watching. It went up when it was clear Biden would win. Now Pfizer’s vaccine shows extremely good initial phase 3 results, and Dow futures are up *1,700*.

That’s gonna stick in Trump’s craw.
posted by azpenguin at 6:08 AM on November 9 [11 favorites]


Also Chuck Schumer beat Al D’Amato in 1998.
posted by Huffy Puffy at 6:12 AM on November 9 [2 favorites]


The stock market is the part of the economy that matters if you're a rich Republican making lots of money on the market, so at least the Republicans can't complain about that part of the election.
posted by pracowity at 6:15 AM on November 9 [1 favorite]


Also Chuck Schumer beat Al D’Amato in 1998.

And endorsed Sanders in his 2006 Senate run. An up-and-comer Senator and community organizer from Chicago also campaigned for Sanders. I wonder what happened to him...
posted by Ouverture at 6:16 AM on November 9 [4 favorites]


...as I recall, he won an election for a Republican-held Senate seat.
posted by Huffy Puffy at 6:17 AM on November 9


Yes, I know older black voters are a huge exception to this, but overall the pattern still leads to a party leadership culturally and economically connected to mostly white wealthy suburban voters with college degrees.

I'm really sorry but who are you to say this? I guess this is true in the sense that leaders in all spheres of life are more connected to wealthy white people with college degrees, because of racism. But maybe before dismissing older black voters as an exception, you could try to consider why they feel the way they do first. And btw young black voters, and more generally young voters of color, are not a monolith.
posted by chernoffhoeffding at 6:24 AM on November 9 [7 favorites]


I watched yesterday, for the nth time, the vid taken when the presidential medal of freedom was bestowed upon J. Biden. I think that he really comes across as the exact opposite of the 45th President, being capable of empathy, authentic, genuinely humorous. And I think that the sentence that he quotes at the end of the vid sums it up in a nutshell : "You carried your own burden and very soon, your symptoms of creeping privilege disappeared" (Seamus Heaney).
So, congrats !
posted by nicolin at 6:39 AM on November 9 [1 favorite]


> Ezra Klein at Vox: “Trump is attempting a coup in plain sight

> Anne Applebaun writes, "Trump Won’t Accept Defeat. Ever."

Mary Trump on the end of Uncle Donald: all he has now is breaking things — The president will be having ‘meltdowns upon meltdowns’, according to his niece, who sees poetic justice in the lies and cheating now coming back to bite him; The Guardian, Mary Trump (as told to Jude Rogers), Nov 8, 2020:
This is how the most colossal and fragile ego on the planet deals with losing the US election: he does not deal with it at all.

My uncle’s speech late on election night wasn’t just entirely mendacious from beginning to end. It was also deeply dangerous. It’s one thing for random Republicans to call a legitimate election into question, but this was the head of the government. The consequences of that action should not be underestimated.

This is what Donald’s going to do: he’s not going to concede, although who cares. What’s worse is he’s not going to engage in the normal activities that guarantee a peaceful transition. All he’s got now is breaking stuff, and he’s going to do that with a vengeance.

He’ll be having meltdowns upon meltdowns right now. He has never been in a situation like this before. What’s interesting is that Donald has never won anything legitimately in his entire life, but because he has been so enabled by people along the way, he has never lost anything either. He’s the kind of person who thinks that even if you steal and cheat to win, you deserve to win....
Trump is telling us the truth (as he believes it), and will use his presidential powers, allies, supporters, and resources to challenge, deny, delay, delegitimize, vilify, and obstruct Biden’s election, transition, and inauguration. In his mind, he’s on a mission from God.
posted by cenoxo at 6:50 AM on November 9 [5 favorites]


A stat I haven't seen elsewhere, from National Review: "Among those who had served or were serving in the military, Trump’s support declined from 61 percent to 52 percent." It's the biggest category-of-voter loss of support I've seen so far.
posted by clawsoon at 7:02 AM on November 9 [11 favorites]


If the Senate goes 50-50, what happens to Mitch "the Grim Reaper" McConnell's power to kill all Democratic legislation (and nominations) by not even bringing it to the floor? I realize the Vice President can "break a tie," but with no Majority Leader, who then would hold the power to bring legislation (and nominations) to the floor? I can't seem to find this information anywhere.
posted by jabah at 7:23 AM on November 9 [1 favorite]


The stock market isn’t the economy, but it’s still an indicator that bears a little watching. It went up when it was clear Biden would win. Now Pfizer’s vaccine shows extremely good initial phase 3 results, and Dow futures are up *1,700*.

That’s gonna stick in Trump’s craw.


It’s also going to be used as an excuse by Republicans to do nothing on stimulus/unemployment assistance for the millions and millions of us still out of work, so at best it’s a double edged sword.
posted by esquandolad at 7:25 AM on November 9 [2 favorites]


Just like in 2016 the majority leadership and committee chair positions go to the tie-breaking party. These two races are tough but to quote the president-elect they're "a big fucking deal"
posted by cmfletcher at 7:29 AM on November 9 [1 favorite]


I realize the Vice President can "break a tie," but with no Majority Leader, who then would hold the power to bring legislation (and nominations) to the floor?

In a 50/50 Senate, of the tie-breaks would be to select the majority leader. The position won't be vacant, it would have a Democrat. Probably Schumer. And they'd have the normal authority of Majority Leader.
posted by tclark at 7:30 AM on November 9 [2 favorites]


If the Senate goes 50-50, what happens to Mitch "the Grim Reaper" McConnell's power to kill all Democratic legislation (and nominations) by not even bringing it to the floor? I realize the Vice President can "break a tie," but with no Majority Leader, who then would hold the power to bring legislation (and nominations) to the floor? I can't seem to find this information anywhere.

The last time we had a 50/50 Senate was in 1953. At that time, Democrat Truman's Vice Presidential seat was held by Dem Alben W. Barkley, and the Democrats were held to be in control of the Senate. I imagine the Democrats will be defined as the Majority party again if this happens again.
posted by sciatrix at 7:31 AM on November 9 [1 favorite]


David Dayen, The American Prospect: Hope Lives in Georgia
The combination of a ticket that could get out low-propensity Democratic voters, the absence of Trump as a turnout magnet, and the possibility of making the race a referendum on economic salvation for millions could even the scales of the normally skewed runoffs in the Peach State. The candidates should have no problem fundraising, with Democrats fired up to take the Senate. And the momentum in Georgia is on the side of those who just broke through at the presidential level.

None of this makes the runoffs a slam dunk for Democrats; if I had to set a betting line I’d make them the underdogs, in a high-pressure environment with the whole nation descending on the state. Still, Warnock and Ossoff aren’t big underdogs. With some smart strategy—like hiring Chuck Rocha to make sure Latinos turn out again—and capitalizing on the long-term, multi-racial organizing efforts that have transformed the state, they could deliver the Senate to the Democrats.
posted by tonycpsu at 7:33 AM on November 9 [2 favorites]


I'm not sure why I thought the 2016-20 20 senate was 50/50, the rest of that statement is correct though.
posted by cmfletcher at 7:34 AM on November 9


Mark Kelly, husband of Gabby Gifford, was elected in Arizona over Trump favorite McSally. Gifford survived a shooting while speaking to her constituents to be a genuine inspiration to the party. There have been a whole host of really inspiring leaders for the Democratic party. The Arizona seat was a crucial gain.
posted by effluvia at 7:47 AM on November 9 [18 favorites]


I just want to tell us all good luck. We're all counting on us.
posted by cheshyre at 7:49 AM on November 9 [3 favorites]


At this time, I would want to go to the White House with a bowl of shredded cabbage in a dressing, along with a platter of pigs-in-blankets and mini-quiches.

Because I would like to show him how to be a slaw and hors d’oeuvre proponent.
posted by mephron at 8:57 AM on November 9 [2 favorites]


The last time we had a 50/50 Senate was in 1953

No, it was 50/50 during the first half of 2001. Jim Jeffords (VT) flipped to caucus with the Democrats in may 2001. Don't really expect anything like that to happen these days.
posted by logicpunk at 9:06 AM on November 9 [1 favorite]


What is stopping a slew of Dems from temporarily relocating to Georgia and voting for the two Dem Senate candidates? Asking for a nation.

(ETA: Besides COVID-19)
posted by riverlife at 9:08 AM on November 9


What is stopping a slew of Dems from temporarily relocating to Georgia and voting for the two Dem Senate candidates? Asking for a nation.

Been thinking about this.

1) It looks VERY suspect, echoes of carpetbagging. Bad news.
2) It is VERY expensive. That's going to be like thousands of dollars per vote, minus whatever blowback you get from 1).

I say, spend that money donating to the voting registration organizers and campaigns, and get both a better rate of return, and show more respect to the people who actually live there.
posted by notoriety public at 9:11 AM on November 9 [17 favorites]


Republicans are masters of messaging especially in the south. They know people don't vote at random.

It is pretty much summed up with LBJ and Lee Atwater's thoughts that you can scare southern white voters by telling them they could have violent or extended contact with scary minorities if they vote Democrat. This is why their messaging on the following have been so strong:

Border security - Even refugees could be dangerous welfare cheats who are also going to take away high paying jobs somehow. Kidnapping kids makes sense.

Property taxes - The wrong kind of person could get help through your taxes.

Gun rights - You need all the guns to defend yourself against the wrong kind of people.


I've been reading about the messaging for years and border security and gun rights are becoming huge "single issue" matters. Some white people have pretty much told medical and psychological researchers they will risk a slow painful death or shitty wages if they can hold onto their "power" by owning a crappy rifle and asking family for medical funds via Go Fund Me.

Deadly individualism is risk management against the wrong kinds of people and values.

Gender is becoming an issue. Women don't see the current status quo as good to the degree men do.
(Both of these links were before 2016, which should tell you how serious the messaging issues are)

I'm unaware of any single issue that drives Democrats like this.

Also, I hope pollsters will break down groups rather than group them into a huuuge group like Latinos when it comes to voting. That will help with messaging.
posted by Freecola at 9:21 AM on November 9 [7 favorites]


President Trump drives Democrats like that, to the tune of a record 74 million votes, against. What's harder to figure out is how to garner support for Democrats within the the 70 million that voted for the current President, and how to drum up voters in Georgia the next few months, and if there'll be any way to use it to stop a red wave in 2022.
posted by fragmede at 9:35 AM on November 9


What is stopping a slew of Dems from temporarily relocating to Georgia...

If it's that easy, there's nothing stopping a slew of Republicans from doing the same thing. And they'd have the higher ground by saying they did it only because the Democrats were trying to skew the election.
posted by pracowity at 9:40 AM on November 9


I feel like the voters are there in GA, the thing to do is broaden access. Make sure the polls are available, the machines are working, the biggest number of polling places are accessible, and work with employers and others to ensure people have the day off to vote. It'll be January in Georgia, so chilly but probably not frigid or snowy.

But I feel like I'm just going to keep donating money to Abrams' fair fight, because it's like it being 4th down on the 10 yard line in a tie game with 10 seconds left, and you've got Justin Tucker. Or like it's match point and oh look, it's Serena serving to clinch it. One free throw clinches it and it's Steph at the line. Like this is what she does.

Which means we need to figure out how they're planning on cheating in a way that can't be prevented.
posted by cashman at 9:46 AM on November 9 [6 favorites]


It’s also going to be used as an excuse by Republicans to do nothing on stimulus/unemployment assistance for the millions and millions of us still out of work, so at best it’s a double edged sword.

The excuse they're going to use for that is just telling their caucus that a stimulus would help Biden and so they aren't going to do it. They refused to do a stimulus that would have greatly helped the country, because they didn't actually want to help anyone in the first place. They gave no excuse for that. But when it came through to jam through a new Supreme Court "justice" they had no problem going forth at all.

Also, I do truly hope things turn around for you.
posted by azpenguin at 9:50 AM on November 9 [2 favorites]


nothing stopping a slew of Republicans from doing the same thing

Granted, and that thought nearly kept me from posting my question. But as we are not returning to normal, to the before times, and as things have most definitely changed, why not start a gofundme or somesuch and fund such a political project (move x amount of people to/from GA over next 2-3 months) just as we've previously funded political candidates? The idea that it'll look unseemly, like carpet-bagging, I mean, Republicans will find loud fault with Democrats regardless, whether what Democrats do is right or wrong. The media will portray Democrats as being in disarray regardless. The notion that it disrespects Georgians ... as a long-time resident of a forever Red state, if Dem voters had parachuted in and flipped it Blue, I would've felt grateful and elated, not disrespected, so opinions can vary.

In any case, as the fascists among us are not going away quietly, we need to begin to think and act far more creatively, politically speaking. Innocent as the dove, wise as the serpent. No more naive as the infant.
posted by riverlife at 9:56 AM on November 9 [1 favorite]


> Now Pfizer’s vaccine shows extremely good initial phase 3 results, and Dow futures are up *1,700*.

That’s gonna stick in Trump’s craw.


Who can say how that man's thought processes actually work, but in terms of his public utterances I would never underestimate his ability to take credit for the work of others. I wouldn't bat an eye if he called a press conference to announce that he was the driving force behind the Apollo program. Not many people know that!
posted by The Card Cheat at 10:03 AM on November 9 [3 favorites]


Trump: Hey Mikey, I'll resign and you pardon me.
Pence: OK, boss!
Trump: I resign.
Pence: ...
posted by kirkaracha at 10:04 AM on November 9 [5 favorites]


I am less concerned with it being evil, than I am concerned with it being inefficient. If the Republicans decide to inefficiently try to bus in the votes, so to speak (which they are always claiming that the Democrats do), LET THEM.
That's a prime attack ad to be running against them right there. LABEL them carpetbaggers, and amplify the blowback.
posted by notoriety public at 10:05 AM on November 9


Caring about this is mostly just a quirk of mine but: "carpetbagging" was a propaganda term invented by ex-confederates to delegitimize people who didn't serve the interest of white Southerners after the Civil War, and is still used for that purpose when discussing the Reconstruction Era. I'm getting weird vibes seeing it tossed around, especially in this context of an election in a southern state.

I do think the "move to Georgia" thing is totally impractical. You could move 100,000 Democrats to the state and if the act alienates even 2% of voters you've accomplished nothing.
posted by mark k at 10:10 AM on November 9 [18 favorites]


It is pretty much summed up with LBJ and Lee Atwater's thoughts that you can scare southern white voters by telling them they could have violent or extended contact with scary minorities if they vote Democrat.

Do you mean Nixon? You can say a lot of things about LBJ as a southern politician as but I'm not sure lumping him in with Atwater is something I've heard before.
posted by Rumple at 10:15 AM on November 9


I think that's about this LBJ quote:

"If you can convince the lowest white man he's better than the best colored man, he won't notice you're picking his pocket. Hell, give him somebody to look down on, and he'll empty his pockets for you."

posted by cmfletcher at 10:20 AM on November 9 [6 favorites]


Running (successful!) attack ads against Republicans that make them look bad is not the same thing as winning. For one, fascists don't care what we think of them nor how we portray them. Further, successfully making Republicans look awful is no guarantee that we win anything. And, when it comes to fascists the question is existential: did we win, or did they win? If they win, it is far beside the point what our ads were successful in portraying them as. My moving x-thousand people to/from GA over the next few months gofundme notion may seem fanciful, but it's the kind of idea that's in the right ballpark of what we're going to have to be doing on the regular til the Sith are vanquished: Be aggressive, not reactive, be creative, be surprising, and come at them on a thousand fronts. This can (should!) all be done in Love. I've said my piece, I'll hang up and listen.
posted by riverlife at 10:22 AM on November 9


Moving is expensive. Instead of moving here, think about how many actual Georgian voters you could support by donating all that money to help get out the vote. A lot more than your one vote.
posted by hydropsyche at 10:25 AM on November 9 [19 favorites]


I think that's about this LBJ quote ....

Ok but I'm pretty sure LBJ didn't implement that as a strategy or think of it as a good thing. I mean, he was the architect of the Democrats losing the South, after all.
posted by Rumple at 10:27 AM on November 9 [2 favorites]


That wasn't LBJ's strategy, it was him pointing out the political appeal the southern at the time democrats used. LBJ was an asshole for a lot of things but he was well ahead of many of his colleagues when it came to civil rights.
posted by cmfletcher at 10:30 AM on November 9 [12 favorites]


Here’s an interesting thought from Reddit:

However, there is another option to strip Mitch McConnell of his power for good: priority recognition.

According to Article I, Section 3, Clause 4 of the Constitution, the Vice President is also the President of the Senate. The Majority Leader is not a position that exists anywhere in the Constitution. The reason that the Majority Leader has near-dictatorial powers to control floor votes is because of a tradition that dates back to 1937. The tradition is that the Vice President gives the floor leaders priority recognition. Most notably, this is not a rule in the Senate.

As President of the Senate, Vice President Harris could give any senator priority recognition. That senator could then decide on all legislation that is brought before the entire Senate. Even with a minority in the Senate, Vice President Harris could simply give Chuck Schumer priority recognition. He could decide what is voted on and what isn't.

This would change everything. Without Mitch McConnell to hide behind, the moderate Republican Senators would be forced to vote down every Cabinet member, bill, resolution, everything that Harris would want done. Without McConnell, anything even remotely popular with at least two senators would pass. Including getting a cabinet assembled.

edit: I see some debate as to what the Senate rules do and due not permit. I encourage everyone to read this article on the actual written rules and why the Majority Leader is so powerful today. It should be noted, however, unlike the House of Representatives, a large part of the Senate rules is tradition. As Mitch McConnell will gladly tell you, tradition is not written rule.

edit2: Also, This wouldn't be the first time Schumer has done something like this. And yes, while there's the possibility of rule changes, they cannot change the Constitution. At the end of the day, Madame Vice President Harris is President of the Senate. Period. Not Mitch McConnell.

posted by leotrotsky at 10:32 AM on November 9 [60 favorites]


How Stacey Abrams paved the way for a Democratic victory in 'New Georgia' - "Years of get-out-the-vote efforts spearheaded by Abrams and a legal onslaught against voter suppression from legions of community groups and activists, are behind the Democratic shift, experts say. Aiding these efforts are seismic changes in the formerly agrarian state's population - it has grown by over 30% since 2000, as newcomers flocked in from out of state, including liberal whites and people of color."
Abrams' gubernatorial race shone a spotlight on voter suppression in the state, after she sued her opponent Brian Kemp, also the secretary of state in charge of elections, alleging he used voter roll purges, shuttered precincts, voting equipment failures and late absentee ballots to target Black voters, who lean Democratic.

But her push to get more registered Democrats in the state started years before. She co-founded the New Georgia Project in 2014, a year after the Supreme Court gutted the Voting Rights Act, removing safeguards and reducing federal oversight of states.

The project identified the “New American Majority – people of color, those 18 to 29 years of age, and unmarried women” as key to Georgia’s future. Since 2014, it has registered 500,000 Georgians to vote, a spokesperson said.

After the 2018 election, she and former campaign manager Lauren Groh-Wargo also started Fair Fight, an anti-voter suppression group, and sued not just her opponent, but brought voter protection efforts to over a dozen U.S. states.

Abrams’ team identified the need to tap into Georgia’s pool of Black voters, which make up 33% of all registered voters, the largest of any battleground state. But Democrats also need to reach out to about 1.7 million new voters, including young Georgians and those new to the state who are twice as likely to vote Democratic than Republican.

Voter turnout in Georgia was more than 74%, Kemp's office said this week, boosted by early voting by Black Georgians, up 40% from 2016.
posted by kliuless at 10:32 AM on November 9 [15 favorites]


As President of the Senate, Vice President Harris could give any senator priority recognition. That senator could then decide on all legislation that is brought before the entire Senate. Even with a minority in the Senate, Vice President Harris could simply give Chuck Schumer priority recognition. He could decide what is voted on and what isn't.

jesus it would be exactly in character for democrats to overturn tradition in order to give more power to chuck-fucking-schumer, wouldn't it
posted by logicpunk at 10:48 AM on November 9 [2 favorites]


edit2: Also, This wouldn't be the first time Schumer has done something like this. And yes, while there's the possibility of rule changes, they cannot change the Constitution. At the end of the day, Madame Vice President Harris is President of the Senate. Period. Not Mitch McConnell.

Ugh. Other than breaking ties, the President of the Senate has as much constitutional power as the Senate Majority Leader, which is to say, none.

This is a good Aaron Sorkin sort of take, in that he could dramatize someone seizing the floor and making a great speech while slimy people fume impotently and the American people come around. But in practical terms it's nearly irrelevant.
posted by mark k at 10:49 AM on November 9 [3 favorites]


Esper is out. Didn't he resign last week? Yeah, he kinda did.
posted by valkane at 10:54 AM on November 9 [2 favorites]


As President of the Senate, Vice President Harris could give any senator priority recognition. That senator could then decide on all legislation that is brought before the entire Senate. Even with a minority in the Senate, Vice President Harris could simply give Chuck Schumer priority recognition. He could decide what is voted on and what isn't.

So is this true, or not?
posted by cashman at 10:57 AM on November 9 [3 favorites]


I see some debate as to what the Senate rules do and due not permit. I encourage everyone to read this article on the actual written rules and why the Majority Leader is so powerful today. It should be noted, however, unlike the House of Representatives, a large part of the Senate rules is tradition. As Mitch McConnell will gladly tell you, tradition is not written rule.

Whether this is at all feasible via rules-lawyering, it is a dangerous precedent... but we live in an age of dangerous precedents now.

But after watching opposing state legislatures play the "okay, you've won the Governor's seat, but before you assume it we will pass laws to strip away 90% of the power of the office and keep it for ourselves" game, as well as McConnell's and the GOP's SCOTUS Calvinball, I would cackle like a hyena on MDMA if this was even threatened.
posted by delfin at 11:00 AM on November 9 [6 favorites]


Oh, and Ben Carson has it. The Doctor who wouldn't wear a mask.
posted by valkane at 11:00 AM on November 9 [11 favorites]


Thoughts and Prayers, Dr Carson.
posted by glaucon at 11:01 AM on November 9 [3 favorites]


Ugh. Other than breaking ties, the President of the Senate has as much constitutional power as the Senate Majority Leader, which is to say, none.


I think the point is who decides what gets an up or down vote.
posted by leotrotsky at 11:03 AM on November 9 [1 favorite]


I stand behind my general take of baffle and crush the fascists, but smarter MeFites than I (thanks notoriety public, cashman, mark k, hydropsyche, kliuless) have led me to reconsider my Move 100,000 Californians to Athens stance and instead contribute to Stacey Abrams' New Georgia Project. People on the ground have already demonstrated their awesomeness, and with support will do so again.
posted by riverlife at 11:06 AM on November 9 [5 favorites]


Major congratulations to Mark Esper upon receiving the highest civilian honor the Federal Government can confer (being fired by Donald Trump)
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 11:07 AM on November 9 [12 favorites]


Barr has disappeared and most Senate Republicans have been silent. That makes me nervous.

Me too. But I think the Republican Coup Plan A has fallen through and there is no Plan B. Trump is still following Plan A, but no one is especially eager to follow him. The party is in a confusion right now. Just before/after Trump announced victory and declared the election fraudulent, a lot of prominent Republicans were echoing the Trump victory + Democrat election fraud narrative. This hasn't gotten the expected traction, though, and the media reactions to Trump's declaration of victory took a lot of wind from Republican sails. Most people did not see Trump as a triumphant strongman dictator but a pathetic sad sack manchild loser whining about how he won, he totally won, they cheated him out of winning, count it again, no stop don't count those, only count my votes. He had one job to do - appear confident and in command during Republicans' overt seizure of power - and he fucked it up. If he'd made the announcement earlier, if he'd bothered to practice his lines the night before, if the media had responded to this the way they have to every other moment in his presidency, we would be in a different reality right now. Thankfully, enough people were prepared, the concept of a red mirage and the necessity to continue counting votes past election night were understood well enough.

I think Republicans, as a party, really genuinely planned on all of this going the other way. Now they don't know quite what to do. There is a quiet schism happening. Trumpists will continue following RCPA, while many others will position Trump as the fall guy so they can hold onto their own power. What the Supreme Court does when all this inevitably gets kicked up to them is really anyone's guess. Barrett and Kavanaugh are the wildcards - I think Barrett is a fascist True Believer and Kavanaugh is a crony at heart, but I doubt the other justices are willing to risk the entire structure of power holding them in place for Trump's sake. McConnell has spoken against RCPA (despite being all aboard a week earlier). Bush's congratulations to Biden is also a nudge to Republicans to accept reality. This is not over and left to their own devices Republicans will be back with another, better fascist coup in a few years, but I think it is unlikely now that this one will succeed.

So I am a lot less worried about this than I was. But I remain worried about Trump's base. They're melting down right now and while I imagine most of the violent rhetoric is empty talk, I do still expect to see political violence from Trumpists. I think the risk of that is lower now than it was, but not by much. The US has multiple significant problems that will tear it apart if they are not dealt with.
posted by Lonnrot at 11:09 AM on November 9 [13 favorites]


I think the point is who decides what gets an up or down vote.

It's whoever the Senate rules says gets it, and the Senate rules can be changed by a simple majority. There is nothing in the Constitution that gives that power to the VP.
posted by mark k at 11:10 AM on November 9 [1 favorite]


So, to be fair, the observation that under current rules the Senate President can do some stuff has some value. But it's extremely limited.

If she tried to this sort of thing often, the second the negative press she gets for Republicans by forcing a vote exceeds the negative press they'd get for changing the rules, they'd change the rules. And the last big rules change--eliminating the filibuster for Supreme Court justices--didn't make anyone even bat an eyelash. So that's sort of the top cap on impact this will have, one bat of an eyelash.
posted by mark k at 11:15 AM on November 9 [1 favorite]


Axios is reporting that Trump is privately discussing 2024 run.
Why it matters: This is the clearest indication yet that Trump understands he has lost the 2020 election to Joe Biden — even as the president continues to falsely insist that he is the true winner, that there has been election fraud and that his team will fight to the end in the courts.
posted by PhineasGage at 11:21 AM on November 9 [5 favorites]


This general sense that we can celebrate the election and plan for the future accordingly seems wildly premature. Trump is not going to concede. He’s going to refuse to allow any transition. His congressional lapdogs are urging him on or sitting quietly waiting for him to tell them what to say. Half the country believes the election was stolen, and therefore will be willing to support anything he does to save democracy. Placing any faith in the Supreme Court seems ludicrous. Trump's a vicious psychopath whose only thoughts are for himself and whose basic instinct is to incite chaos and violence. The likelihood of Trump doing something horrendous seems very high. I desperately hope I'm wrong but it doesn't feel like it.
posted by Jackson at 11:26 AM on November 9 [6 favorites]


They're talking like he's just gonna fire everybody, including FBI, etc. Can you imagine being the guy that they go to: "You're the new lead at x-Agency." "What, for like two months?"
posted by valkane at 11:27 AM on November 9


The impression I get is that the congressional Republicans won't fight all that hard for him now that it's clear he lost. In many ways it serves them better to obstruct the fuck out of a Biden presidency and then try to run someone who can actually be managed. Trump was never their choice, because Trump doesn't play by their rules. They worked with him to the extent possible during his administration and they loved what he let them get away with, but even they can see he's a dangerous moron and now, given the chance, many of them are already washing their hands of him and his antics.
posted by showbiz_liz at 11:30 AM on November 9 [3 favorites]


Militarydotcom reporter Gina Harkins: The kicker on this Esper story, wow.

“Who’s going to come in behind me? It’s going to be a real ‘yes man.’ And then God help us.”
posted by cashman at 11:32 AM on November 9 [7 favorites]


This is the clearest indication yet that Trump understands he has lost the 2020 election to Joe Biden

On the other hand, he's never committed to only serving two terms...
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 11:33 AM on November 9 [4 favorites]


Half the country believes the election was stolen

I'd be interested in seeing some polling numbers on this. Even if half the U.S. voted for Trump, I'd imagine (and hope) that not all of them are completely detached from reality. How the next couple of months play out will depend a great deal on whether it's 10% or 49% that actually think the election was "stolen".
posted by Crane Shot at 11:34 AM on November 9 [3 favorites]


Barrett is a fascist True Believer and Kavanaugh is a crony at heart, but I doubt the other justices are willing to risk the entire structure of power holding them in place for Trump's sake.

Serious question: SCOTUS judges are appointed for life, so how does it benefit any of them to extend any loyalty to him? He never extends loyalty to anyone, nor is there any loyalty he CAN pledge to them, now that they're seated.
posted by ZenMasterThis at 11:36 AM on November 9 [13 favorites]


“Who’s going to come in behind me? It’s going to be a real ‘yes man.’ And then God help us.”

I'm somewhat reassured that Christopher Miller was confirmed as director of the National Counterterrorism Center by a unanimous Senate voice vote. I don't think that happens if you're a partisan hack.
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 11:46 AM on November 9


SCOTUS judges are appointed for life, so how does it benefit any of them to extend any loyalty to him?

In the case of Justice Thomas, it really helps his wife's paycheck.
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 11:48 AM on November 9 [9 favorites]


Axios is reporting that Trump is privately discussing 2024 run.

God, when are journalists going to stop falling for Trump's "Look, a squirrel! Talk about something besides my failure" brain farts? Someone-slash-I should make a list of all of these credulous reporters so as not to be lulled into taking them seriously once Trump is gone.
posted by rhizome at 11:48 AM on November 9 [13 favorites]



I'm somewhat reassured that Christopher Miller was confirmed as director of the National Counterterrorism Center by a unanimous Senate voice vote. I don't think that happens if you're a partisan hack


On the other hand, what makes him so special that Trump was able to add a confirmable person to his administration?
posted by rhizome at 11:51 AM on November 9 [1 favorite]


Maybe Trump's more interested in punishing Esper then getting a real yes-man for 71 days.
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 11:53 AM on November 9 [1 favorite]


As President of the Senate, Vice President Harris could give any senator priority recognition. That senator could then decide on all legislation that is brought before the entire Senate.

If this is true, even if temporary, that'd be amazing. Even if it only works for a day or two.

Also, why would she need to appoint Schumer? Appoint Warren. Or Duckworth. Or someone else, whose focus is on "slam legislation and appointees through as fast as possible before someone changes the rulebook again."

We are all damn well aware that "this shocking breach of tradition cannot stand" has zero impact anymore beyond a three-day memefest.
posted by ErisLordFreedom at 12:00 PM on November 9 [5 favorites]


Maybe Trump's more interested in punishing Esper then getting a real yes-man for 71 days.

This is like studying photos of the Politburo during the Cold War to figure out what's going on. It's American Kremlinology.
posted by Joe in Australia at 12:01 PM on November 9 [14 favorites]


Or possibly just regular Kremlinology
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 12:03 PM on November 9 [27 favorites]


Re: the Senate rules question, here are comments I just received from someone I know who used to be a Supreme Court clerk and now teaches law (who must, for obvious reasons, remain anonymous):
Yes, it is accurate that the current practice by which the Senate Majority Leader can completely control the Senate's agenda with respect to legislation and confirmations is an artifact of Senate custom, rather than a hard Senate rule.

In other words, suppose Democrats don't win both Georgia Senate runoffs and Mitch McConnell remains majority leader. Suppose the House passes a broad COVID emergency relief package, but that McConnell doesn't like it because it's too big / generous to hospitals and working families and does not provide enough money to businesses. (The CARES Act, for example, included $1.1 trillion for small and large business relief, but only a few hundred billion in direct payments to individuals). Under the Senate custom, McConnell could shield all of his members from having to vote on the bill by refusing to bring it to a floor vote. BUT the only reason he can refuse that floor vote is because the Presiding Officer of the Senate (the Vice President) has a custom dating to 1937 of giving first priority or recognition to the Majority leader to make motions when the Senate conducts its business. (Thus, if all the Senators showed up and Schumer made a motion to bring a vote on the COVID bill, and McConnell made a motion to discuss some trivial matter, McConnell's motion would get first recognition, and would continue to until he runs out of motions, which he never would).

This first priority rule is usually not a big deal, in particular when the same party controls the Senate and White House. But in periods of divided gov't, it matters immensely. But there's nothing (save for Senate tradition / custom) stopping Kamala Harris as VP from recognizing Schumer, some other senator, or even doing a random number assignment each time there are multiple motions at the same time. (One can imagine the latter being much more fair and politically saleable than just calling on Schumer). This, in other words, is different than the filibuster, which would require a 50+1 vote to eliminate b/c it's cloture rules are a part of the rules.

It's hard to overstate how big a deal this norm shift would be. Obviously McConnell and others would decry it as hardball. But the alternative is itself hardball. (Imagine, for example, that Justice Breyer decides to retire on Jan. 21. If Republicans control the Senate, the priority recognition rule would allow McConnell to refuse to allow a floor vote on a replacement for 4 years or however long! That's huge b/c it would insulate his members from having to cast a very unpopular vote against even the most moderate replacement).

posted by PhineasGage at 12:07 PM on November 9 [37 favorites]


Philadelphia Mefites: in the mock booking video for Four Seasons Landscaping, what word does Christine Nangle say after "Seasonal"? (10 seconds in)
posted by Rumple at 12:19 PM on November 9 [1 favorite]


I haven't watched the video but I'm assuming it's "jawn" or "Wawa"
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 12:21 PM on November 9 [10 favorites]


Philadelphia Mefites: in the mock booking video for Four Seasons Landscaping, what word does Christine Nangle say after "Seasonal"? (10 seconds in)

"seasonal color"?
posted by mrnutty at 12:23 PM on November 9 [7 favorites]


Definitely "seasonal color," and I hope I never meet Christine Nangle in person because I have an overwhelming urge to hug her like she's part of my family.
posted by gladly at 12:31 PM on November 9 [2 favorites]


I haven't watched the video but I'm assuming it's "jawn" or "Wawa"

I have no idea what you're getting at.
posted by cmfletcher at 12:36 PM on November 9 [1 favorite]


I submit that the four seasons landscaping thing is the greatest thing to happen this year.

I think Rudy got stuck in an alternate dimension. He's now living fulltime in a mockumentary.
posted by chaz at 12:37 PM on November 9 [20 favorites]


Today's The Daily sure is letting a random woman just ramble out conspiracy theories.
posted by OnTheLastCastle at 12:43 PM on November 9 [1 favorite]


Color makes sense. I tried to hear it as "Jawn" but then googled. Thank you, highly skilled and golden-eared linguists.
posted by Rumple at 12:46 PM on November 9


This first priority rule is usually not a big deal, in particular when the same party controls the Senate and White House. But in periods of divided gov't, it matters immensely. But there's nothing (save for Senate tradition / custom) stopping Kamala Harris as VP from recognizing Schumer, some other senator, or even doing a random number assignment each time there are multiple motions at the same time. (One can imagine the latter being much more fair and politically saleable than just calling on Schumer). This, in other words, is different than the filibuster, which would require a 50+1 vote to eliminate b/c it's cloture rules are a part of the rules.

It's hard to overstate how big a deal this norm shift would be. Obviously McConnell and others would decry it as hardball. But the alternative is itself hardball. (Imagine, for example, that Justice Breyer decides to retire on Jan. 21. If Republicans control the Senate, the priority recognition rule would allow McConnell to refuse to allow a floor vote on a replacement for 4 years or however long! That's huge b/c it would insulate his members from having to cast a very unpopular vote against even the most moderate replacement).


I'm still unclear as to whether this could continue indefinitely or if McConnell could solve it via a change in Senate rules via a simple majority

1. It would be worth it to spend on the COVID relief package alone. I have to think you'd probably peel off a few senators up for re-election in 2022.

2. I wonder, purely through first priority, you could stave off a rule change indefinitely? Could you prevent Republicans from bringing a vote to the floor for a rule change?
posted by leotrotsky at 1:05 PM on November 9 [1 favorite]


Axios is reporting that Trump is privately discussing 2024 run.

If I was Trump I would do exactly this for two reasons 1) extend the grift for another 4 years. They skimmed a lot of cream of the Republican donors for the past 5-6 years. Keep going! 2) A fig leaf PR move of legal protection. Now you can continue to paint all investigations and prosecutions as politically motivated hatchet jobs. Even if it lawyers and judges don't buy it, enough of the public might. Then the Democratic party and the judicial civil service will hesitate because they don't want to look like it might be true.
posted by srboisvert at 1:12 PM on November 9 [2 favorites]


I realize that this was 90 million years ago in politics years, but if we want to talk about marketing a progressive policy agenda, I’d suggest revisiting Senator Paul Wellstone’s 2001 book The Conscience of a Liberal. (Not the Paul Krugman book of the same title.)

It’s been a while since I read it myself, but I seem to recall it was pretty thoughtful about what stories to tell.
posted by snowmentality at 1:12 PM on November 9 [2 favorites]




Here's an unsolicited update from my own personal Trumpverse resident: My boss. [cw: political violence]

I worked with my boss today, the first time since Election Day when it was way to early to know anything, obviously. He surprised me, because he wasn't all like, "THEY STOLE THE ELECTION" which is what I was expecting. His position, instead, was, "They are all idiots for thinking it's over. It's not over. No results have been certified yet," which is (again, suprisingly, considering the source) correct.

So for a brief moment I was starting to think he was actually touching down into reality.

But I was wrong. He went on to say that the real problem here is that the media shouldn't be allowed to "call the election," and that the only way to fix this problem was through bloodshed. Yes, that's right. He told me that "we need to start executing media people. They're what's causing all this. The liberal media lies all the time. They've got all those idiots thinking Biden won. There's no way to fix this without killing some of them, unfortunately."

I don't really know what else to say about all that but there you go, MeFites.
posted by glonous keming at 1:17 PM on November 9 [22 favorites]


That's beyond even Trumpverse, keming. It just sounds like your boss is a f*cking fascist.
posted by leotrotsky at 1:25 PM on November 9 [17 favorites]


Fox News is liberal media?
posted by mazola at 1:25 PM on November 9 [2 favorites]


Typical of the last week's post-Election Freeper posts.
posted by snuffleupagus at 1:29 PM on November 9 [1 favorite]


Axios is reporting that Trump is privately discussing 2024 run.

If I was Trump I would do exactly this for two reasons 1) extend the grift for another 4 years. They skimmed a lot of cream of the Republican donors for the past 5-6 years. Keep going! 2) A fig leaf PR move of legal protection. Now you can continue to paint all investigations and prosecutions as politically motivated hatchet jobs. Even if it lawyers and judges don't buy it, enough of the public might. Then the Democratic party and the judicial civil service will hesitate because they don't want to look like it might be true.


If you were Trump you'd do it for exactly one reason, so you never have to admit that you lost, but instead are only a temporarily embarrassed future President.
posted by leotrotsky at 1:30 PM on November 9 [11 favorites]


Fox turned liberal as soon as they said a single word that wasn't deferential to Dear Leader. That's how it works.

Every time Chris Wallace is on, the usual suspects flood Twitter with howling about how he's a Trump-hater and the network is full of Trump-haters and they only watch OANN now. Which doesn't explain how, if they're boycotting Fox, they know that Wallace is on.
posted by delfin at 1:33 PM on November 9 [8 favorites]


Are we 100% sure "Four Seasons Total Landscaping" isn't a Fountains of Wayne song?

"Sir, sir. Calm down. We can help you. We can help you. What you need to do now is employ the radical tantrumic shit"

"The, The radical... yes, uh, wha-, what do you mean by that?"

"You know. Full media entry, frequent tweetstorms, while maintaining consistent apparent litigation in the courts"

"Oh. Oh! Yeah, yeah! That's a great idea! Thanks a lot. Thanks for your time! #MAGA"
posted by leotrotsky at 1:35 PM on November 9 [1 favorite]


Jesus. That Trumpverse story shook me. I’m sorry you have to work under that asshole, keming. I can’t imagine it. Fuck, man. Fuuuck.
posted by Don.Kinsayder at 1:44 PM on November 9 [4 favorites]


When I say 'Fox News is liberal media?' I feel as if I'm saying 'the Germans bombed Pearl Harbour?'
posted by mazola at 1:45 PM on November 9 [4 favorites]


I do think the "move to Georgia" thing is totally impractical. You could move 100,000 Democrats to the state and if the act alienates even 2% of voters you've accomplished nothing.

If it happens, it'll have happened organically; perhaps one of the consequences of Covid and working-from-home in information-based industries could be that a gradual flow from the coastal strongly-liberal cities, now that the work that is done there can be done anywhere with an internet connection and the draws of a cosmopolitan metropolis, such as public spaces, events and such, are diminished by coronavirus restrictions. There are more people pricing out cheaper, more spacious places to live than shoeboxes in New York or the Bay Area, and some of those will end up in the more walkable, liberal-ish cities in states that, until now, have reliably returned Republican senators.

Of course, even in that case, it's not unlikely that the usual suspects will claim that Soros is bussing in these laptop-and-latte homebuying hipster couples in, just as he did the Antifa supersoldiers.
posted by acb at 1:48 PM on November 9 [1 favorite]


Breaking News: Senator Mitch McConnell threw his support behind President Trump’s refusal to concede the election, declining to recognize Joe Biden's victory. (New York Times)
Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the top Republican in Congress, on Monday threw his support behind President Trump’s refusal to concede the election, declining to recognize President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr.’s victory as he argued Mr. Trump was “100 percent within his rights” to challenge the outcome.

Even as he celebrated the success of incumbent Republican senators who won re-election and the winnowing of Democrats’ House majority, Mr. McConnell, the majority leader, treated the outcome of the presidential election as uncertain, and hammered Democrats for calling on Mr. Trump to accept the results.

“President Trump is 100 percent within his rights to look into allegations of irregularities and weigh his legal options,” the Kentucky Republican said, delivering his first comments since Mr. Biden was declared the winner. “Let’s not have any lectures about how the president should immediately, cheerfully accept preliminary election results from the same characters who just spent four years refusing to accept the validity of the last election.”

Mr. McConnell did not contradict Mr. Trump’s false claims that the election was stolen from him, instead endorsing the president’s vow to pursue a bevy of lawsuits in key swing states aimed at handing him a victory. He said that “this process will reach its resolution” and that the nation’s legal and political system “will resolve any recounts or litigation.”
posted by syzygy at 1:50 PM on November 9 [9 favorites]


Fuck Mitch McConnell. What a turd.
posted by sucre at 1:53 PM on November 9 [25 favorites]


Ok Mitch. Some people, when they hit bottom, keep digging.
posted by riverlife at 1:54 PM on November 9 [4 favorites]


...from the same characters who just spent four years refusing to accept the validity of the last election.

In what universe??? This is peak Trump's mirror.
posted by muddgirl at 1:56 PM on November 9 [6 favorites]


If you were Trump you'd do it for exactly one reason, so you never have to admit that you lost, but instead are only a temporarily embarrassed future President.

Also, when the chickens come home to roost, Deutsche Bank want their money back, and you're being prosecuted for everything from the emoluments issue to rape accusations, you can turn around and say that you're being persecuted for your convictions, and a nominal 27% of the population will back you.
posted by acb at 1:59 PM on November 9 [2 favorites]


I don't really know what else to say about all that

TO: hr@mycompany.com
SUBJECT: my manager is saying people need to be executed
posted by Mikey-San at 1:59 PM on November 9 [54 favorites]


McConnell is a pretty astute political actor, he doesn't just say stuff without considering the meaning and consequences. He's signaling that he's on board for Coup Plan B. This is kind of dangerous.
posted by theodolite at 1:59 PM on November 9 [10 favorites]


Mitch doesn't care about any truth; only what he can do. So of course he'll say the election was stolen for any Democratic candidates that were elected but that the GOP candidates all won with no impropriety at all. He might concede that the Democratic conspirators were merely incompetent where the GOP won but even that lie would be acknowledging too much.

SCOTUS judges are appointed for life, so how does it benefit any of them to extend any loyalty to him? He never extends loyalty to anyone, nor is there any loyalty he CAN pledge to them, now that they're seated.

Kennedy stepping down was, IMO, shady as f*ck. It is possibly that the Trump organization has significant knowledge of what went down that would lead to Kavanaugh's impeachment.

Fox turned liberal as soon as they said a single word that wasn't deferential to Dear Leader. That's how it works.

Has Trump or one of his mouthpieces called FOX or some of their anchors "Socialists" yet. That is when you'll know they are REALLY out.
posted by Mitheral at 2:01 PM on November 9 [3 favorites]


Fox turned liberal as soon as they said a single word that wasn't deferential to Dear Leader. That's how it works.

“Liberal“ is to the MAGAts what “Jewish” was to the Third Reich. (They, for instance, decided that German blackletter typography was Jewish, and thus banned, around 1942 or so. Most people who aren't Nazis would contend that there is no specific connection between blackletter typography and Judaism.)
posted by acb at 2:01 PM on November 9 [5 favorites]


I almost linked to examples but figured we were all aware that there are a lot of Trumpists making similar comments calling for bloodshed. But if you're not aware that that's a thing that's happening right now, that is definitely a thing that is happening right now.

Anyway, my optimism was premature. McConnell's back on the Republican Coup Plan A train. So rather than a quiet schism between self-serving opportunists and doomed diehard Trumpists, Republicans are likely to double down on rejecting the election results and try for their fascist autocracy after all.
posted by Lonnrot at 2:02 PM on November 9 [3 favorites]


Trump was “100 percent within his rights” to challenge the outcome.

He is within his rights. But he's also virtually certain to lose or, at best, to achieve a Pyrrhic victory that does not change the ultimate outcome. Fighting tooth and nail until the electoral votes are officially counted in Congress in January—amid an ongoing global health crisis—is the height of narcissism and people will die because of it.

As usual McConnell is a vile human being whose only god is power. But this confirms my fears that Trump will never concede and that the Republican party is going to give him all the space he needs to create the conditions for violence.

I don't think the Supreme Court will do anything that would call the election into question. I think there are only three justices that would go that far, given the facts (e.g. late-arriving ballots were consistently set aside in Pennsylvania and so Biden pretty conclusively won without those even being counted). But a loss at the Supreme Court runs the risk of inciting violence because Republicans are not saying "the President can pursue his legal options, but we must in the end respect each state's election laws and the decisions of the voters and the courts." They're saying "the President can pursue his legal options...and I am pointedly not saying what happens next if he loses."
posted by jedicus at 2:05 PM on November 9 [5 favorites]




McConnell and the other Republicans are doing whatever they can to keep their base riled up for the Georgia run-off.
posted by PhineasGage at 2:08 PM on November 9 [7 favorites]


McConnell and the other Republicans are doing whatever they can to keep their base riled up for the Georgia run-off.

That's my read on the situation, too.
posted by tclark at 2:11 PM on November 9 [5 favorites]


I think Phineas has it, but I don’t see Trump voters turning out for an election where Trump isn’t on the ballot. Also, does Trump care about Georgia runoff if he’s not going to win?
posted by leotrotsky at 2:12 PM on November 9


Pa House GOP members tomorrow will "call for a legislative-led audit of the 2020 election and demand election results not be certified, nor electors be seated, until the audit is complete," per news release.

This was the plan all along, as outlined in that Atlantic article:
Jake Corman, the state’s Senate majority leader, preferred to change the subject, emphasizing that he hoped a clean vote count would produce a final tally on Election Night. “The longer it goes on, the more opinions and the more theories and the more conspiracies [are] created,” he told me. If controversy persists as the safe-harbor date nears, he allowed, the legislature will have no choice but to appoint electors. “We don’t want to go down that road, but we understand where the law takes us, and we’ll follow the law.”
They're going to delay and quibble until December 8 and then oops! what a mess! who can say who won!! sorry but we have no choice but to give PA's votes to Trump!
posted by theodolite at 2:17 PM on November 9 [6 favorites]


Georgia senators seek Secretary of State Raffensperger’s ouster

No evidence provided to back up claims of election irregularities
posted by Fleebnork at 2:18 PM on November 9 [3 favorites]


Pa House GOP members tomorrow will "call for a legislative-led audit of the 2020 election and demand election results not be certified, nor electors be seated, until the audit is complete," per news release.

This seems to be in response to the announcement on Friday by the PA Secretary of State that she (a Democrat) had ordered an audit. The Republican PA House and Senate leaders seemed to support that, but I guess they realized that running their own audit would give them a chance to invent some excuse to...I don't know. Throw out tens of thousands of ballots cast before Election Day? Try to order a do-over?

The Republican PA House and Senate leaders went from "Pennsylvania lawmakers have no role to play in deciding the presidential election" to "the results cannot be certified until we have played our role" in just a few weeks.
posted by jedicus at 2:20 PM on November 9 [8 favorites]


>This is scary
Jane Mayer's article "Why Trump Can't Afford to Lose" in The New Yorker has a good roundup of Trump's various legal troubles and the possibilities of dodging them through pardons. There's a bit near the end that seems depressingly plausible: that Trump will be such a dangerous horror for the next two months, holding civility and norms and who knows what else hostage, that state-level prosecutors like Tish James and Cyrus Vance will back away from the pardon-proof cases they've been building against Trump, just to get him to concede. Stuff like continued campaign rallies & increasingly violent rhetoric might fall into that category. It's like the bargaining phase of grief but all he'd have to bargain with would be an agreement not to keep breaking shit.
Joe Lockhart, who served as Bill Clinton’s press secretary, suggested to me that, if Biden narrowly wins, a chaotic interregnum could provide an opportunity for a “global settlement” in which Trump will concede the election and “go away” in exchange for a promise that he won’t face charges anywhere, including in New York. Lockhart argued that New York’s legal authorities [i.e., James & Vance] are not just lawyers but also politicians, and might be convinced that a deal is in the public interest.
I'm someone who thinks pursuing charges against such prominent lawbreakers is *also* in the public interest, very veryvery much, and I'm guessing I'm not alone in that hereabouts. But I think we'll see this kind of thing floated more ("willing to concede in certain conditions," etc.), and analyzing the tradeoffs involved will be a flavor of bothsidesism for the next few weeks.

Whole Mayer article is worth reading--some good interviews with experts about presidential pardons, for instance, and some details about Ford/Nixon I hadn't read before. (Apologies if it's been linked before, there've been a lot of threads since it was published last week, 60 years ago in subjective time.)
posted by miles per flower at 2:34 PM on November 9 [2 favorites]


My math is a little addled right now, but with Nevada called for Biden he only needs one of Pennsylvania or Georgia or North Carolina or Arizona, right? And Trump needs to win all of them?
posted by clawsoon at 2:35 PM on November 9 [2 favorites]


> Joe Lockhart, who served as Bill Clinton’s press secretary, suggested to me that, if Biden narrowly wins, a chaotic interregnum could provide an opportunity for a “global settlement” in which Trump will concede the election and “go away” in exchange for a promise that he won’t face charges anywhere, including in New York. Lockhart argued that New York’s legal authorities [i.e., James & Vance] are not just lawyers but also politicians, and might be convinced that a deal is in the public interest.

Fuuuuuck this. If the choices are cut Trump a deal or hope the military shows up to the White House with tanks and escorts him out, give me the fucking tanks. If a President can do what Trump's done without facing justice once he becomes a private citizen, then he's not really a President, he's an Emperor.
posted by tonycpsu at 2:38 PM on November 9 [38 favorites]


It's the deal that America has made with a number of its client dictators who became inconvenient.
posted by clawsoon at 2:42 PM on November 9 [4 favorites]


Am I expressing too much gloom in thinking that they only reason we haven't seen widespread violence is that a lot of people believe Trump will triumph in the end? I was so relieved when I saw the Trumpers merely protesting by shouting and not actually rioting. But once the Electoral College casts their votes, is that when the riots happen? Jan 20th? I don't know if I should be expressing these fears here so mods can delete this if I shouldn't. But I'm trying to get a read on what's going on from the Trump base and to gauge my feelings accordingly. I hope it's a super small minority that wants to do actual harm.
posted by NotTheRedBaron at 2:44 PM on November 9 [3 favorites]


Meanwhile the fascists carry on.
US to send asylum seekers home to Cameroon despite 'death plane' warnings.
Move by the Trump administration comes despite reports that other deportees have gone missing since being repatriated.
posted by adamvasco at 2:45 PM on November 9 [3 favorites]


My math is a little addled right now, but with Nevada called for Biden he only needs one of Pennsylvania or Georgia or North Carolina or Arizona, right? And Trump needs to win all of them?

All four have Republican-majority state legislatures, and the three states where Biden is currently ahead don't have state laws requiring electors to vote for the popular vote winner. So unless I'm mistaken I think they can try to pull this scam in GA and AZ too. I don't think this is likely to work but it's the only way Trump can stay in office short of declaring himself king.
posted by theodolite at 2:45 PM on November 9 [6 favorites]


Am I expressing too much gloom in thinking that they only reason we haven't seen widespread violence is that a lot of people believe Trump will triumph in the end?

It might be as simple as the fact that Trump hasn't given a direct order for violence yet.
posted by clawsoon at 2:46 PM on November 9 [4 favorites]


I don't really see what incentive the state-level prosecutors would have to honor such an agreement. Sure, make it, and then the instant he's out of office go ahead and prosecute him anyway. Prosecutors are never under legal obligation to honor the agreements they make, and only do so for the sake of the process and to ensure that people are willing to deal with them in the future. A president holding the country hostage is exactly the sort of condition of duress where I'd think they'd have absolutely no qualms throwing that agreement out.
posted by biogeo at 2:47 PM on November 9 [6 favorites]


I hope it's a super small minority that wants to do actual harm.

A super small minority of 70 million people is a LOT of people.
posted by tclark at 2:47 PM on November 9 [6 favorites]


To clarify, I meant a super small minority of Trump's base.

edit: sorry, totally misread what you wrote. Carry on.
posted by NotTheRedBaron at 2:48 PM on November 9


> Fox turned liberal as soon as they said a single word that wasn't deferential to Dear Leader. That's how it works.

Right, but this sort of thing seems like a much stronger play than I expected:
Fox News cuts out of McEnany

Cavuto: "Whoa, whoa, whoa. I just think we have to be very clear: she's charging the other side as welcoming fraud and illegal voting, unless she has more details to back that up, I can't in good countenance continue to show you this." pic.twitter.com/0koLBJasl9

— Lis Power (@LisPower1) November 9, 2020
I'm not saying Rupert Murdoch is a resistance hero or anything, and there are probably some commercial / financial incentives for them to not want political instability right now, but the extent to which Fox has been deplatforming their guy has been very surprising.
posted by tonycpsu at 2:56 PM on November 9 [20 favorites]


I don't think this is likely to work

This is the part I don't understand - why, exactly, is it not likely to work? Literally dying for some reassurance here, because I don't see any reason it wouldn't work other than "political norms" that the Trump cabal has never followed anyway.

If Republican state legislatures are not prohibited by law from selecting republican electors in spite of the popular vote in the state, why would they not do that to retain power? They've shown they'll do literally anything to retain power - why is this a step too far?

It can't be because they fear rioting in the streets, because if this summer proved anything it's that they're perfectly happy to tear gas, arrest, and beat down peaceful protestors.

Every time this topic comes up, I feel like we end up at "this is unlikely" or "the Supreme Court probably won't rule in his favor" without any rationale for why it's unlikely or why they wouldn't. It all seems predicated on viciously partisan Republicans who are actually in control of these states and courts suddenly acquiring souls and consciences -- and I can't imagine why anyone expects that to happen.
posted by invincible summer at 2:57 PM on November 9 [19 favorites]


My math is a little addled right now, but with Nevada called for Biden he only needs one of Pennsylvania or Georgia or North Carolina or Arizona, right? And Trump needs to win all of them?

That's correct, but I for one am not completely sold on a Biden victory in Arizona yet. Overall the votes are not breaking hard enough for Trump, but they're not far off, and there are ~5 times as many votes left to count as Biden's current margin.

The most "clear-headed" theory for Trump is that Arizona flips legitimately and Georgia and PA are somehow invalidated. In the case of PA that would plainly be completely illegitimate and grounds for open revolt.
posted by jedicus at 2:58 PM on November 9 [3 favorites]


NotTheRedBaron, my hope was that events would move slowly enough now to continue sucking the air out of the entire US fascist movement such that the political violence would be instances of individuals carrying out mass shootings or bombings, rather than anything more organized or wide-scale. I am already letting go of that hope as it looks like Republicans are continuing with their plan to openly seize power regardless of law. The recent spat of no-explanation firings of people from high-level defense/energy positions (with Wray and Haspel possibly next) also makes me nervous, although that could be nothing more than a temper tantrum.

But yes, from what I am seeing, there are a lot of Trumpists who believe Trump will still triumph in the end. Even if most of them have no plans to do violence, enough of them will feel desperate enough to be dangerous. That is a worry I am going to have to keep carrying for a while longer at least.
posted by Lonnrot at 3:01 PM on November 9 [3 favorites]


"the Supreme Court probably won't rule in his favor" without any rationale for why it's unlikely or why they wouldn't

Roberts wasn't Trump's nominee, and neither Roberts nor Gorsuch have been rabid partisans on the bench. Gorsuch is conservative, but he is not a McConnell-style "all that matters is that Republicans are in power" partisan. And the situation in PA is just completely different from Florida in 2000. The count isn't even remotely close, and the contested ballots were set aside from the count the whole time and have not factored in to Biden's clear victory there.

But if this drags on for weeks and Trump's supporters become increasingly convinced that somehow the Supreme Court is going to save Trump and then the Court doesn't? I think that could lead to violence. This is the danger in not having a clearly delineated declaration of victory and concession.

The recent spat of no-explanation firings of people from high-level defense/energy position

One of those was just because they had run out of time under the Vacancies Reform Act, and another appeared to be shuffling the chairs since they remain at the same agency in a different position. Separately, the Defense Secretary had seen the writing on the wall for a long time, and his break with Trump has more to do with the administration's handling of BLM protests and its resistance to renaming military bases.

I read at least a couple of articles prior to the election indicating that Trump was planning to fire a fair number of people even if he won and had only been holding off until after the election to avoid negative press. So I'm not reading too much into these. I will be more concerned if he starts firing people who attempt to cooperate with the Biden transition or who indicate something other than total commitment to Trump's plan to fight the results of the election.
posted by jedicus at 3:12 PM on November 9 [2 favorites]


Does Trump have any experience ordering an army of violent goons around? Or has he always just ordered an army of lawyers around to get what he wants?
posted by clawsoon at 3:31 PM on November 9 [3 favorites]


> This is what Donald’s going to do: he’s not going to concede, although who cares. What’s worse is he’s not going to engage in the normal activities that guarantee a peaceful transition. All he’s got now is breaking stuff, and he’s going to do that with a vengeance.

> Militarydotcom reporter Gina Harkins: The kicker on this Esper story, wow. “Who’s going to come in behind me? It’s going to be a real ‘yes man.’ And then God help us.”

If what this Foreign Affairs piece from June says is true:
How to Prevent a War in Asia: The Erosion of American Deterrence Raises the Risk of Chinese Miscalculation
(Paywalled, unfortunately... or maybe not? Now I can see the whole thing in my logged-out browser.) Trump casually creating a short period of chaos on the military side of things during the interregnum may be more dangerous than he's capable of understanding. (...not that he'd definitely care if he did understand, anyways.)

The article, as I read it, says that although China still invests substantially less in “conventional” military capabilities (conventional for superpowers, anyways) its military is calibrated down to the lowest level for cutting apart the U.S. military. This balancing of forces through non-standard bespoke-America-sucker-punching methods results in uncertainty on the part of military analysts on both sides over who would actually come out on top in a confrontation within China's sphere of influence.

At the same time, another shear is created by the fact that within China there's a society-wide perception that the U.S. is a declining global power, while China is destined to become more dominant. But in the U.S. we have a less uniform geopolitical narrative and on average don't see ourselves declining as much as the PRC viewpoint would hold.

Then, there are lots of military objectives Chinese leadership would really like to accomplish, such as conquering Taiwan.

So all combined, it's a situation where China has incentives to take risks which the U.S. diplomatic, political, and military establishment may not anticipate properly because our perception of the balance is at odds with theirs. China's approaches to countering U.S. military strength seem to be focused on causing confusion and inability to coordinate by interfering with communications and command structure, so I would worry that Trump clumsily pursuing personal revenge in the upper echelons and pre-confusing everything might create an irresistible opportunity that would precipitate a decision on China's part, particularly if they anticipate losing the advantage when Biden takes office.
posted by XMLicious at 3:35 PM on November 9 [4 favorites]


I'm not saying Rupert Murdoch is a resistance hero or anything, and there are probably some commercial / financial incentives for them to not want political instability right now, but the extent to which Fox has been deplatforming their guy has been very surprising.

The only ride or die here is Trump and his idiot clan. A drawn out political uncertainty does nothing but tank the economy. The folks who own shit don’t like chaos, it affects their earnings.
posted by leotrotsky at 3:37 PM on November 9 [11 favorites]




If Republican state legislatures are not prohibited by law from selecting republican electors in spite of the popular vote in the state

My understanding is that it is prohibited by law. What I'm not clear on is what the formal consequences would be if they decided to disregard their own state laws. But we'd be talking about two to three (depending on whether Arizona flips) separate state legislatures (coordinating to?) defy their own state laws to essentially end all pretense of free and fair elections in their states forever. If they try it and it doesn't work, then they've caused all that damage to their own states and their own reputations for nothing. If they try it and it does work, they would have caused all that damage and probably much more for the sake of . . . Donald Trump? Pwning libs? When republican state politicians in a purple state would probably fare much better in a stable democracy, running against whatever's happening in a Biden presidency?

It doesn't put my mind totally at ease, but it would be quite a needle to thread.
posted by lampoil at 3:44 PM on November 9 [8 favorites]


If they try it and it doesn't work, then they've caused all that damage to their own states and their own reputations for nothing. If they try it and it does work, they would have caused all that damage and probably much more for the sake of . . . Donald Trump? Pwning libs? When republican state politicians in a purple state would probably fare much better in a stable democracy, running against whatever's happening in a Biden presidency?

Standard caveat, these are not bright people, and things can get out of hand.

That said, I wonder how much of this is pure Kabuki to pander to the rubes.
posted by leotrotsky at 3:48 PM on November 9 [3 favorites]


Well, here we go, right? This is it?
WASHINGTON (AP) — Barr authorizes DOJ to probe 'substantial allegations' of voting irregularities despite little evidence of fraud.
By “this is it” I mean, flexing the muscle of all the appointees to find it and try and get it to the Supreme Court.
posted by Brainy at 3:48 PM on November 9 [9 favorites]


@abfrancois:
So this was the endgame to get to SCOTUS: invoke Bush v Gore to allege that PA’s entire mail in system resulted in an equal protection violation. He’s not arguing fraud anymore. He’s arguing that PA, as a state, cannot certify its votes. Also, if you click on original tweet, it contains link to the complaint. The complaint is long but the key part is in Relief Requested section (pp 82-83 or so). This is where they ask what they want the court to do & what they ask is for PA to not certifying the results.
@carriesheffield: BREAKING: Trump campaign files PA lawsuit, alleges “'two-track' system resulted in voters being held to different standards depending on how they chose to exercise their right to vote." Read filing here: (pdf)
posted by Golden Eternity at 3:51 PM on November 9 [13 favorites]


> If they try it and it does work, they would have caused all that damage and probably much more for the sake of . . . Donald Trump? Pwning libs? When republican state politicians in a purple state would probably fare much better in a stable democracy, running against whatever's happening in a Biden presidency?


It's about dominance, and about expressing contempt for the suffering of {liberals, PoC, queers, "globalist elites", etc.}

It's not about faring better in a stable democracy.
posted by sebastienbailard at 3:54 PM on November 9 [6 favorites]


Do we have any clue where Biden's legal team is in all of this? I haven't seen a peep out of his campaign about it, which is probably the most appropriate thing for them to do -- but I'm curious. I remember reading something about them gearing up for a tough legal fight, but it would be great to see some proof of that.
posted by invincible summer at 3:57 PM on November 9 [4 favorites]


Of course, I'm not suggesting it's unlikely because they just respect democracy too much. I'm suggesting it's logistically a tall order.
posted by lampoil at 3:59 PM on November 9 [1 favorite]


It's a logistical nightmare and I think they had a week of second thoughts and cold feet but yeah, it looks like Republicans really are going to go ahead and try to break US democracy so they can have a white supremacist fascist autocracy instead. Genuinely uncertain where all this is going besides "more chaos." I am at least certain that is part of the intention.
posted by Lonnrot at 4:17 PM on November 9 [17 favorites]


> Do we have any clue where Biden's legal team is in all of this? I haven't seen a peep out of his campaign about it, which is probably the most appropriate thing for them to do -- but I'm curious. I remember reading something about them gearing up for a tough legal fight, but it would be great to see some proof of that.

When your enemy is executing a false movement, never interrupt him. I am certain that Biden's lawyers are doing lawyer things behind the scenes, but there's no reason for them to be out there distracting from the buffoonery of Trump's tantrums and belly laugh-inducing legal filings until a judge takes one of them seriously.
posted by tonycpsu at 4:20 PM on November 9 [7 favorites]


"So we’re really gonna waste two months on a coup that will fail in court just like all their other failures, while nothing is done about COVID skyrocketing sending the entire nation back into lockdown in winter without economic stimulus because the bitch can’t accept he’s a loser" -- Aaron Stewart-Ahn, twitter
posted by valkane at 4:24 PM on November 9 [26 favorites]


Well, those two days I didn't feel filled with dread and foreboding were nice. Guess it's back to horror and rage and insomnia again.
posted by stillnocturnal at 4:25 PM on November 9 [70 favorites]


I’ll note also that it’s actually important to the legitimacy of the system for this to not merely be Biden’s lawyers vs Trump’s lawyers. It’s Trump and his supporters vs democratic processes and having a Biden person speak up every time the Trump people do something undermines that narrative. So I will expect them to stay quiet unless asked directly (while of course working to help argue against cases.)
posted by R343L at 4:26 PM on November 9 [5 favorites]


The Sneaky Plan to Subvert the Electoral College for the Next Election. Just in case you haven't seen it. It's a plan to subvert the electoral college into a popular vote system without changing the constitution (or the comprise-itution as it were).
posted by zengargoyle at 4:29 PM on November 9 [1 favorite]


Michael Ellis, newly appointed NSA General Counsel, is one of the alleged leakers of classified intelligence reports to Devin Nunes (the leak that kicked off the unmasking / Obamagate 'scandal').

Foreign Policy has a solid piece (published last month) about Ellis and Diplomacy (the game).
posted by syzygy at 4:31 PM on November 9 [4 favorites]


My understanding is that so far Biden’s legal team doesn’t really have a lot of work to do because trumps lawyers are making lots of public statements but are not doing much in the courts.
posted by interogative mood at 4:32 PM on November 9 [2 favorites]


And what Trump's team appears to be doing is (no surprise) thoroughly useless: from Abed A Ayoub, legal and policy director for the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee - This is from the Court of Appeals in the State of Michigan. The Donald Trump Legal Team cannot even file appeals the right way. They have reached shit show level of legal competency at this point. This is the most basic of tasks - filing an appeal accordingly. (The image of the letter shows that the court won't even take the case because it's missing crucial supporting paperwork & previous court filings. Like, SUPER-basic "This is how you get fired from a law firm for being a fuckup" stuff.)
posted by soundguy99 at 4:45 PM on November 9 [26 favorites]


I wonder how much of this is pure Kabuki to pander to the rubes.

One singular rube methinks
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 4:52 PM on November 9 [4 favorites]


Barr's new memo said that investigations “may be conducted if there are clear and apparently-credible allegations of irregularities that, if true, could potentially impact the outcome of a federal election in an individual State.”

This is a 100% and 180 degree opposite of the Justice Department's own rules for Federal Prosecution of Election Offenses (300 page PDF). The pertinent rules are on page 84 in a section entitled "Non-interference with Elections".

"The Department does not have a role in determining which candidate won a particular election, or whether another election should be held because of the impact of the alleged fraud on the election. In most instances, these issues are for the candidates to litigate in the courts or to advocate before their legislative bodies or election boards."

And the bottom line: "Accordingly, overt criminal investigative measures should not ordinarily be taken in matters involving alleged fraud in the manner in which votes were cast or counted until the election in question has been concluded, its results certified, and all recounts and election contests concluded."

The rules say don't investigate if it might influence the outcome of the election.
The rules say don't investigate until the election has been certified and concluded.

Barr's memo directly violates both of these rules of his own Justice Department.

Barr is working for the Fuhrer.
posted by JackFlash at 5:06 PM on November 9 [46 favorites]


I sense some valid concern here about how things will shake out, but I'm cautiously optimistic.

From my reading of history, when the rotten props holding up petty dictators finally rot out, they tend to fall fast & hard, and everyone who was on his side will turn against him. If I'm wrong, then I'm wrong, but I hope not.
posted by ovvl at 5:10 PM on November 9 [2 favorites]


We need people to be disbarred over this shit. They're literally trying to destroy our government.
posted by cmfletcher at 5:13 PM on November 9 [33 favorites]


And what Trump's team appears to be doing is (no surprise) thoroughly useless

My anxious paranoid brain suspects this is really irrelevant to their... strategy if we can credit them with that. The point is to keep a bunch of legal balls in the air to enable you to send limitless increasingly abusive campaign fundraising emails to your sucker supporters. If you're able to get in front of the right corrupt R judges that can hand you an election along the way, it's icing on the cake, wouldn't be the first time Trump has oopsied himself from a lucrative grift into a presidency
posted by aiglet at 5:15 PM on November 9 [4 favorites]


Barr's memo directly violates both of these rules of his own Justice Department.

If this is the case, and if Biden's team is staying out of it for now, this would seem to be something Pelosi and other Democrats in Congress could pile onto -- right?

It sounds like this may be time to start calling our congresspeople.
posted by invincible summer at 5:17 PM on November 9 [3 favorites]


If this is the case, and if Biden's team is staying out of it for now, this would seem to be something Pelosi and other Democrats in Congress could pile onto -- right?

Well, they could but to what effect? The Justice Department rules are written by the Justice Department. Barr just says "I've written new rules. What are you going to do about it? Welcome to the new Reich."
posted by JackFlash at 5:24 PM on November 9 [2 favorites]


So Barr has basically gone all in, and is saying a sitting president can't be voted out? Or he's saying he gets to choose, not the voter? Or he's trying to do what Trump is asking of him, even though he knows it will fail?

These gangsters are gonna fail. My wife just told me to settle down, because "all Trump companies either fail, or get cancelled by NBC."
posted by valkane at 5:30 PM on November 9 [14 favorites]


So my gut feeling is that the Barr memo and Trump campaign's PA lawsuit are intended to provide cover for the PA state legislature to engage in shenanigans regarding the appointment of electors, which would make the actual number of fraudulent votes, or the outcome of any court cases, irrelevant--the point is to make it seem like there are enough problems with the administration of the election that the legislature needed to step in to make things right. Can any legal / Pennsylvania experts weigh in on whether this is too far-fetched? The PA majority leader reportedly denied that this would happen a few days ago, but I see no reason to take him at his word.
posted by Dr. Send at 5:30 PM on November 9 [5 favorites]


They've shown they'll do literally anything to retain power - why is this a step too far?

If they send the wrong electors the protests against will make BLM protests look like a high school sit in; the state will be forced to back down or go full fascist and if so civil war is defacto declared.
posted by Mitheral at 5:30 PM on November 9 [17 favorites]


If they send the wrong electors the protests against will make BLM protests look like a high school sit in; the state will be forced to back down or go full fascist and if so civil war is defacto declared.

Do you think they care? They already showed in Lafayette Park that they are willing to bring in the National Guard to suppress protests. And Trump just today fired the Defense Secretary who angered Trump by telling him that he did not support using the Insurrection Act to deploy federal troops domestically. Do you think that is just a coincidence?

They are putting the pieces in place.
posted by JackFlash at 5:41 PM on November 9 [11 favorites]


Even if the PA legislature tries to approve an alternate slate of electors, they can't get past the Democratic governor. If they don't send a slate of electors to Congress to appoint, Biden still wins the EC. By a plain reading of the Electoral Count Act, winning the EC requires a majority of the EVs from the electors who are appointed. So even with PA out of the picture, Biden has 290-20 out of 538-20 = 270/518 EVs which is still an electoral college majority. (Assuming he has 290 firm EVs currently which could be at 306 once GA is called.)

Laurence Tribe explains more here. It's just not a winning strategy for the Trump team. They could try to invalidate the mail-in votes and flip PA, but there's just no legal route which gets them there. Plus they would need to "flip" other states in addition to PA to get an EC majority. I just don't see how it happens at this point, but then again, it is 2020...
posted by un petit cadeau at 5:44 PM on November 9 [15 favorites]


I read Barr’s memo as taking zero actual action; but protecting himself from Trump’s ire. Investigations MAY be conducted if, is very different from saying they should or must investigate. And they may only investigate if there are some significant outcome affecting level of fraud. And of course DOJ investigations take months....
posted by interogative mood at 5:49 PM on November 9 [7 favorites]


SCOTUS judges are appointed for life, so how does it benefit any of them to extend any loyalty to him?

They aren't and wouldn't be. But they are loyal to the GOP project, and a republican president, any republican president (with Joe Biden running a close second) is better than a democrat president because it's more power for them. Worse case scenario, they "work with" congress to impeach him again and then they have president Pence. If they can game the system to keep the office, they'll game the system. I see no reason why they'd lose any republican voter support apart from the center-right Lincoln Project types, who I doubt would end up costing them any elections in the future. This is why they have gotten everything they ever wanted for the last 4 years.
posted by Reyturner at 5:53 PM on November 9 [3 favorites]


If we get past all this and Biden gets into office, can we still impeach Trump again even if he is no longer in office?

The purpose at that point would be to get a conviction, so he would not be allowed to hold public office again (and his fundraising for a 2024 election campaign would be clearly fraudulent).
posted by rochrobbb at 5:57 PM on November 9 [2 favorites]


Thanks, un petit cadeau! I think the best case scenario is that the McConnell, Barr, and the rest of the GOP are thinking about the Georgia runoffs, assuming that losing trump's base by conceding the election would cost them in those races. But it's also easy to think of worse-case scenarios, and I find it hard to dismiss the possibility that they're up to something more sinister, which doesn't rely so much on winning disputes using the kinds of settled jurisprudence that Laurence Tribe is talking about.
posted by Dr. Send at 5:59 PM on November 9


And to clarify my above comment, I don't mean "settled" jurisprudence so much as "actual" jurisprudence--in other words, based on the suits they've filed, they don't seem too worried about winning on the actual merits of their legal arguments.
posted by Dr. Send at 6:02 PM on November 9 [1 favorite]


Do you think they care?

I guess I have to believe that even they don't want to live in '82 Lebanon, '77 Rhodesia, '92 Sarajevo or '68 Vietnam. Possible I'm overly optimistic; guess we'll find out.
posted by Mitheral at 6:03 PM on November 9 [8 favorites]


What Barr and McConnell are doing is genuinely scary to me.

Do we have any clue where Biden's legal team is in all of this?

This is what I am pinning all my hopes on right now: Bob Bauer, the head of Biden's legal team, who is, as far as I can tell, the absolute best in the (political law) business.

Reuters: A bit of Bauer's family history provides some perspective on his willingness to do battle again. His father, also Robert Bauer, was questioned during the McCarthy hearings in 1953 by chief counsel Roy Cohn, who later represented Trump when he was a young real estate developer.

The elder Bauer worked at Voice of America at the time and pushed back on accusations programming was not sufficiently anti-Communist, according to a memoir by his wife, Maria Bauer.

He went on to a career in the U.S. foreign service, but the injustice of the McCarthy era stayed with him.

"One way to get my father going later in life was to bring up McCarthy and Roy Cohn," said Bauer, whose father died in 2003.


From Politico:
“In Donald Trump's case, you have to separate fantasy from reality,” says Bob Bauer, former Obama White House counsel who is helping head up Biden’s voter protection program. “You don't want to help him elevate his more fantastic pronouncements by overreacting to them because that's what he wants you to do.

“He wants everybody to chase him into fantasy land, and that helps him to control the narrative."


@chrissmithnymag:
@JoeBiden lawyer #BobBauer to me on 11/5: "There would be no basis for the Department of Justice to become involved. The conduct of these elections is the responsibility of the states...This is a state matter, not a matter for the Department of Justice.


Interviewed by Maddow, he does not seem worried.

What Barr and McConnell are doing is scary, but I believe in Bob Bauer.

@asharangappa
Reupping this thread. Yes, what we are witnessing are the last throes of a dying regime. It’s now an information war. Don’t play into it. Repeat the facts: Biden has won. After all the (yes, legal) votes are counted, he will still have won. And Trump will leave, as he must.

posted by triggerfinger at 6:04 PM on November 9 [38 favorites]


but protecting himself from Trump’s ire.

Also insulating himself if the US Attorneys take him up on it. So now they can be pressured to do it, but Barr gets to say "oh I didn't order it." Pretty standard bureaucrat accountability-avoiding.
posted by ctmf at 6:06 PM on November 9


Is there any information from the office of my new crush, Penn AG Shapiro? The legislature may be a bunch of vile shitbags, but it seems like the AG, lt. governor, and governor are pretty good guys.

Ugh. It was nice to have two days where my stomach wasn't churning with agony.
posted by kitten kaboodle at 6:07 PM on November 9 [4 favorites]


I think all they're trying to do is instigate enough anger and confusion on both sides to start a civil war, honestly.
posted by ctmf at 6:08 PM on November 9 [3 favorites]


I read Barr’s memo as taking zero actual action; but protecting himself from Trump’s ire.

Why would Barr be afraid of Trump if he believes that Trump lost the election and is going to be gone in 70 days, along with Barr himself?
posted by JackFlash at 6:09 PM on November 9


> I believe in Bob Bauer.
Me too. His confidence in this interview back in October is reassuring.

What I do worry about is
1. the hashtag-stop-the-steal folk are rallying again in state capitols this Saturday. Friday was a shitshow in Salem, OR.
2. "bullet in the communists' heads" folks realizing that they can get a list of registered Democrats from Secretaries of State.
In my darkest imagination, it's not that far from Trump Trains of pickups to technicals
posted by ASCII Costanza head at 6:29 PM on November 9 [4 favorites]


Republicans only have half a losing party unless they can appease Trump and his base. I think they know they can’t overturn the election, but they are trapped and their only option is to use the stolen election narrative to keep their horde engaged.
posted by snofoam at 6:37 PM on November 9


1. the hashtag-stop-the-steal folk are rallying again in state capitols this Saturday. Friday was a shitshow yt in Salem, OR.

Fun fact: the outgoing Republican Oregon Secretary of State fired the Elections Director via text message Thursday night. SoS didn't immediately respond when asked for comment, but news articles have noted that the ED sent a letter to the two SoS candidates (incumbent didn't run for reelection) describing IT issues and trouble with mismanaged funds.
posted by bassooner at 6:43 PM on November 9 [1 favorite]


Sorry -- just to be clear, it's now Bill Barr vs Bob Bauer?
posted by chortly at 6:44 PM on November 9 [6 favorites]


Sorry -- just to be clear, it's now Bill Barr vs Bob Bauer?

That’s what I read in the most recent Bob Loblaw Law Blog.
posted by esquandolad at 6:49 PM on November 9 [67 favorites]




I think all they're trying to do is instigate enough anger and confusion on both sides to start a civil war, honestly.
posted by ctmf at 6:08 PM on 11/9


My gun-toting cousin in Wisconsin is already talking about it.
posted by mefireader at 6:50 PM on November 9 [1 favorite]


Biden Beseeches Bob Bauer to Build Back Better By Blocking Bill Barr's Barratry
posted by tonycpsu at 6:53 PM on November 9 [19 favorites]




But it’s more probable that Republicans will remain silent even if Trump continues to fuss and largely refuses to cooperate with Biden’s people in the interim, says Julian Zelizer, a historian at Princeton University.

Well, that article's already out of date.
posted by dirigibleman at 7:02 PM on November 9 [4 favorites]


Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the top Republican in Congress, on Monday threw his support behind President Trump’s refusal to concede the election,...

To the surprise of nobody.
posted by Pouteria at 7:14 PM on November 9 [1 favorite]


To the surprise of nobody.

Biden? How's that bi-partisanship thing workin' for you.
posted by JackFlash at 7:19 PM on November 9 [14 favorites]


On the twitter, they're saying the only reason McConnell is playing along is because Trump has threatened to pull support for the Georgia run-offs. I mean, it's a theory.
posted by valkane at 7:20 PM on November 9 [2 favorites]


Was thinking about this earlier: what are the chances, if any, that current Republican efforts to appease Trump are also an effort to stymie a 2024 Trump run as an Independent?
posted by Ahmad Khani at 7:22 PM on November 9 [1 favorite]


2024 Trump run as an Independent?

I think that's the white-hot potato the Republicans are juggling right now. If they anger Trump too much, they have the risk of him running Trump Party in 2024 and destroying their chances. If they appease him they can either get him to run in 2024 as Republican (win or lose) or just plain go away.
posted by mmoncur at 7:27 PM on November 9 [7 favorites]


Yeah, it seems obvious to me, but I haven't seen it discussed in any media so I figured I was missing something.
posted by Ahmad Khani at 7:29 PM on November 9


More likely they think if Trump admits defeat, a big fraction of their side gets depressed and stays home Jan 5 in Georgia.
posted by ctmf at 7:31 PM on November 9 [2 favorites]


someone needs to be whispering in donnys ear that he could found a 3rd party. (or 4th? 5th? if you count libertarian/green at all)
posted by lalochezia at 7:31 PM on November 9 [2 favorites]


I mean, it's a theory.

It's not a convincing one. I'm going to believe my lying eyes on this one. I'm genuinely afraid that at this point, everything is exactly what it looks like.
posted by Lonnrot at 7:38 PM on November 9 [8 favorites]


After 4 years newspaper still struggle to describe Trump's lawlessness and dishonesty in plain terms. Browsing the papers they seem to be trying to convey that the challenges are baseless but doing it poorly.

I'll cut them some slack for not jumping to "formulates plans for a coup" quite yet (though that would be accurate), but I think they they could go straight to plainer headlines such as "Trump seeks ways to ignore outcome of vote"

This is unprecedented in the US. I have no idea what the danger level is now and whether I should be trying to calm myself down or stress other people out.
posted by mark k at 7:39 PM on November 9 [6 favorites]


I am definitely on Team Sound The Alarms right now, FWIW, but I don't want to needlessly freak anybody else out. We can still be calm, about this. But, yes, I think it is a coup.
posted by Lonnrot at 7:41 PM on November 9 [13 favorites]


Barr's memo directly violates both of these rules of his own Justice Department.

Barr is working for the Fuhrer.

_____

Biden? How's that bi-partisanship thing workin' for you.

I really hope that they come to the realisation that you can (hmm, just maybe) try to deal with Repubs willing to play the "democracy" game. These other people trying to engineer a coup are enemies of the state, and need to be held accountable. No more ratfucking!
posted by Meatbomb at 7:45 PM on November 9 [1 favorite]


ctmf By Jan 5 the Electors will have voted so Biden will be unquestionably President Elect by the time the runoffs happen.

The only other alternative is that Trump really does get some states to break their own state laws, ignore the election, and substitute a pro-Trump slate of electors. In which case we're probably looking at a civil war so the runoffs will be sidelined.
posted by sotonohito at 7:48 PM on November 9 [8 favorites]


If they appease him they can either get him to run in 2024 as Republican (win or lose) or just plain go away.

The guy will have lost the popular vote twice in a row already by then, and the GOP will be going 1 and 7 for popular vote tallies since 1988. Do we think the RNC will be so hard up for candidates that they will give it to the country's most prominent impeached loser?
posted by ricochet biscuit at 7:54 PM on November 9 [2 favorites]


No, but I think they'd bribe him with the possibility to get him to play ball. Then he'd lose the primary and there's nothing he could do about that.

Also, the idea that anyone would let Trump be elected as their party's candidate sounds EXACTLY as ridiculous to me today as it sounded in 2016, so who knows...
posted by mmoncur at 7:58 PM on November 9 [3 favorites]


…yes?
posted by Ahmad Khani at 7:59 PM on November 9 [2 favorites]


Do we think the RNC will be so hard up...

...it's not a question of being hard up for candidates, it's a question of being so afraid of tweets and the occasional psychotic follower.

History thus far has shown that yes, they will be that afraid. They've sold out every supposed principle, why would we expect them to change course? The average GOP politician is a spectacular coward, why should we expect them to do anything other than prostrate themselves before Bossman and, in turn, threaten everyone that isn't Bossman? They're literally the weenie sidekicks of the class bully.
posted by aramaic at 7:59 PM on November 9 [3 favorites]


I don't think is any "give" in this case. I don't think the RNC wanted to "give" Trump the nomination in 2016. Unless the RNC has some way of barring people from running in the primary the members have the ability to decide (poorly). God knows shame isn't going to deter Trump from trying.
posted by Mitheral at 7:59 PM on November 9 [3 favorites]


I'm not freaking out but I'm perfectly willing to do my part in a general strike if they don't get this handled quickly.
posted by cmfletcher at 8:02 PM on November 9 [5 favorites]


the country's most prominent impeached loser?

I get what you're saying, but Trump is God Emperor to all the Q-anon 4chan folks, so...

And again, I will argue that no one else who is "smarter or better" within the Republican world has the same charisma and ability to talk to idiots in parking lots like Trump. I know you're all afraid of that ex-marine and that ex-ambassadress, but you know what, only monster-trump is the truck that can stir up the folks with the red hats.
posted by valkane at 8:04 PM on November 9 [3 favorites]


Well, those two days I didn't feel filled with dread and foreboding were nice. Guess it's back to horror and rage and insomnia again.

It was about 36 hours for me. Sunday night, an Evangelical pastor was stalking through my tweets. In response to a Jemele Hill item I RT'd, he sent us the most vile reply. Then immediately blocked me, because that's what those weak broken little men do.

Then today I found out that at my mother's nursing home, which has been ravaged by covid the entire year, 14 staff members tested positive last week alone.

(And the rest of my immediate blood family are such malignantly narcissistic #Cult45ers, they'd love their big white Nazi Daddy to stay in power, no matter how many of us he kills.)

Covid's also kicked the ass of a friend of mine for about 3 weeks, who was only getting paid to stay home because she had a bunch of vacation days.

I cannot think of a punishment harsh enough for that sociopathic piece of shit. I really can't.

I'm not thrilled about some of the names out there that biden's recruiting. But I still cling to the dream of 1/20/21.
posted by NorthernLite at 8:05 PM on November 9 [20 favorites]


SCOTUS judges are appointed for life, so how does it benefit any of them to extend any loyalty to him?

Well, there are options to remove supreme court justices... Supreme Court Shenanigans! (about 9 minutes in, Surprise, congress can remove supreme court judges. "The Judges shall hold their Offices during good Behavior." )

Precedent is not Law!
posted by zengargoyle at 8:07 PM on November 9 [2 favorites]


get some states to break their own state laws, ignore the election, and substitute a pro-Trump slate of electors.

Given that this is illegal, might the threat of going to prison help to deter whoever decides these things from playing along? I'm assuming it would be up to the DOJ to prosecute (?) which Bill Barr won't do, but in the event it fails, presumably the Biden admin would? Just wondering if it comes down to it, whether lower level officials would be willing to put their skin on the line.
posted by triggerfinger at 8:08 PM on November 9 [2 favorites]


Joe Biden graciously met with VP-elect Mike Pence at the White House just two days after the election in 2016.

Where is Mike Pence a week after the election in 2020? That sanctimonious sack of shit.
posted by JackFlash at 8:20 PM on November 9 [20 favorites]


That sanctimonious sack of shit.

He was a radio host.
posted by valkane at 8:31 PM on November 9 [6 favorites]


Probably smugly reading Matthew 23 and thinking about how much it applies to the people he hates.
posted by biogeo at 8:32 PM on November 9 [1 favorite]


W.K. Winecoff:
Trump out-performed his polls (even the Fox polls) by 5+ points.
The GOP picked up ~ a dozen House seats that the polls said they wouldn't.
The GOP held onto at least 2-3 Senate seats that the polls said they wouldn't.
The GOP held onto at least 4-5 state governments that the polls said they wouldn't.
This is the second consecutive election in which this has happened, with many of the pivotal races being in jurisdictions that the GOP controls.
So why the hell is the GOP the party whining about (non-existent, according to all the evidence we have now) fraud? Given all that we know about their *actual* attempts to delegitimize the election via voter intimidation, racialized gerrymandering, brazen disenfranchisement, phony ballot dropboxes, the sabotage of the Postal Service, and -- yes -- occasional outright fraud, why isn't the *GOP* under a cloud of suspicion?
Asking for 7.5 billion friends.
posted by monospace at 8:40 PM on November 9 [57 favorites]


Pence attended a meeting of that coronavirus task force he's said to lead, tried to hitch a ride on Pfizer's coattails, and went on vacation (to Sanibel, Florida).
posted by Iris Gambol at 8:40 PM on November 9 [5 favorites]


Sometimes I worry that Trump has a plan that could actually work. Then I remember that his idea for rooting out election fraud was to have a press announcement in a landscaping company parking lot, and then open a hotline so that hopefully anonymous people would call in with evidence...

(You can report fraud online too! I already did my part by reporting that an orange-skinned man with tiny hands was hiding in a large building on Pennsylvania Avenue and plotting a nationwide conspiracy to stop votes from being counted. I hope they catch him!)
posted by mmoncur at 8:52 PM on November 9 [12 favorites]


I don't know much about this group, but it seems like it has a lot of potential:
People for Democratic Party Reform

I think it formed in the past six months and has done a lot of work already. I wish I had time to be involved in it.
posted by NotLost at 8:54 PM on November 9 [3 favorites]


As they say monospace, the best defense is a good offense (i.e. go on the attack concerning voter fraud so folks don't start really looking into why the Republicans did better than expected...)
posted by gtrwolf at 8:55 PM on November 9 [7 favorites]


@eroseSCS: These are the lawyers who filed a lawsuit for Trump literally asking for the court to invalidate an election, and this is where you can file a complaint against them: (link)
posted by Golden Eternity at 8:57 PM on November 9 [5 favorites]


You know shit is hitting the fan when even Tucker Carlson is on Fox calling for the lies to stop.
posted by azuresunday at 9:02 PM on November 9 [7 favorites]


"because we have to?" Oh please, Tucker.
posted by Golden Eternity at 9:06 PM on November 9 [2 favorites]


> You know shit is hitting the fan when even Tucker Carlson is on Fox calling for the lies to stop.

If you took all of the lies out of Tucker Carlson's White Power Hour you'd have 59 minutes of ads for catheters and reverse mortgages and sixty seconds of Tucker with a punchable stare on his face saying nothing.
posted by tonycpsu at 9:06 PM on November 9 [19 favorites]


Tu... Tucker Carlson gave an impassioned appeal to honesty and unity and... and making [an] America I want to live in...? Bowtie Nazi said that? Not another, entirely unrelated person who by sheer coincidence shares the unfortunate name of "Tucker Carlson"? But Bowtie Nazi said that?

Be good to yourselves and those you love, friends, it's over.
posted by Lonnrot at 9:21 PM on November 9 [1 favorite]


Regarding that the GOP over-performed everywhere, I, without any evidence (because where would I get it?) think they absolutely cheated this election. I mean for everything to be off across the board like it is seems awfully suspect.
posted by maxwelton at 9:53 PM on November 9 [11 favorites]


5% shame factor.
posted by ctmf at 10:01 PM on November 9 [1 favorite]




Re: electors, all my questions about the whole thing have been answered in this Twitter version of an FAQ by a lawyer who says Trump's chances of getting all the way to the Supreme Court and the whole thing ending with "a dumber version of 2000" are 0.0%.
posted by triggerfinger at 10:24 PM on November 9 [9 favorites]


Bloomberg: Trump Adviser Leading Post-Election Legal Fight Has Coronavirus

In any other year, we could project how things will go, but clearly 2020 is refusing to let that happen. It's impossible to chart because key people might contract a dangerous virus at a most inopportune time.
posted by NotTheRedBaron at 10:25 PM on November 9 [3 favorites]


On the NBC News Now streaming this evening, they had their legal specialist on to give his opinion. I swear I wish I wrote it down, but he provided the best encapsulation of this whole mess.

He said, basically, that you can tell all of this is horse crap because of how their language changes once they get into the courts, where they can’t lie anymore. It’s all puffery and innuendo and wild ass accusations in front of the cameras, but once they write their legal arguments and talk to a judge, there’s nothing there.

And then he really stuck the knife in, saying that the legal strategy being employed by Trump’s lawyers isn’t a strategy intended to win any cases, but instead just designed to provide emotional support to a fragile client unable to come to grips with his loss.
posted by darkstar at 10:38 PM on November 9 [48 favorites]


If it's true that this is all "emotional support to a fragile client," then why would Lindsey Graham give up 1/6 of his net worth ($500,000) to a cause that is obviously BS? (Kompromat and true-believery aside.)
posted by archagon at 10:55 PM on November 9 [3 favorites]


There have been a number of questions above along the lines of, "Why would [insert Congresspeople, Bill Barr, etc.] toe the line for Trump at this point?" You have to remember that the Republican Party is the party of Trump at this point, by virtue of the sheer numbers of the electorate that voted for him. It will remain that way, for that reason, after Trump is gone.

This is the driving motivation for the cowardice you're seeing today. Mitch McConnell? Most immediately doesn't want to piss off voters into not showing up at the Georgia run-off, by publicly going against Trump. Bill Barr? A political appointee who doesn't want to be blacklisted from future Republican job considerations when this gig inevitably ends. "The guy who went against Trump" has very real consequences to these people who depend, directly or indirectly, on Republican votes/voters. And Republican voters are all in for Trump, more than they are for the Republican party.

In a way, it's slightly more comforting, to me. I don't actually think that these folks on the sidelines (with a few exceptions) are interested in actively fomenting a coup, unless they'd have a leg to stand on that brought more ill-gotten gain to their interests—which they don't. Biden has the votes. But yeah, they're going to weasel around in the meantime and cover their collective asses against Republican electorate backlash, however and whenever that proves necessary. That's the sense in which this election is not over for them.

The sickening thing, though, is that this isn't going to go away even after Trump does. You just can't get around the fact that the red-hot motivation of the Republican electorate is entirely due to Trump, and Trumpism. That's not going anywhere, as long as there are weasels to stoke it—including Trump himself. And you know he will. He doesn't need to be President to do it, and you can make a reasonable bet that he'll try to get back in that chair in 2024. "Why would the Republican Party run with that idea?" See above.

It's easy to have the misimpression that the vile Republican folks you see in the news every day are running the Republican party. The Republican party is ultimately run by the 70,000,000-headed hydra of voters who voted for Trump. I'm not actually sure how to unseat them at this point.
posted by Brak at 10:56 PM on November 9 [10 favorites]


archagon: If it's true that this is all "emotional support to a fragile client," then why would Lindsey Graham give up 1/6 of his net worth ($500,000) to a cause that is obviously BS?

He's not. A spokesperson for Graham has clarified that the money will come from his campaign account.
posted by RichardP at 11:10 PM on November 9 [19 favorites]


Nobody is sure at this point whether Trump will still get to be kingmaker for the Republican party for the next few years or whether the cultists will ditch him for being a loser. Until that's known no Republican is going to cross him and they will indulge his fragile snowflake ego.
posted by benzenedream at 11:32 PM on November 9 [5 favorites]


And then he really stuck the knife in, saying that the legal strategy being employed by Trump’s lawyers isn’t a strategy intended to win any cases, but instead just designed to provide emotional support to a fragile client unable to come to grips with his loss.

Also to help keep the GOP voters pissed off in Georgia for the runoff.
posted by PenDevil at 12:07 AM on November 10 [4 favorites]


On the NBC News Now streaming this evening, they had their legal specialist on to give his opinion. I swear I wish I wrote it down, but he provided the best encapsulation of this whole mess.

He said, basically, that you can tell all of this is horse crap because of how their language changes once they get into the courts, where they can’t lie anymore. It’s all puffery and innuendo and wild ass accusations in front of the cameras, but once they write their legal arguments and talk to a judge, there’s nothing there.
Yes, I really think it's time for the Democrats to start hammering hard on this. They've been letting the Republicans play offense and I think they need to stop ceding them the initiative. "Trump [is / isn't] a liar who makes stuff up" is greatly preferable terrain on which to fight than "Democrats [did / didn't] steal the election."

Some media-friendly surrogate -- maybe Buttigieg, he seems pretty adept at thinking on his feet and staying on message -- should be on every show that wants to interview a high-profile Democrat, making one point over and over: if the Trump campaign claim to have evidence of electoral fraud they need to present it, under oath, in a court of law, not on "Fox and Friends". But somehow whenever they accuse Democrats or "the deep state" of corrupt or scandalous behavior they never seem to produce evidence in a court of law, despite controlling the Department of Justice and having appointed the lion's share of judges. What are they afraid of if they have proof of what they claim? Or, if they can't show proof.. why are they claiming it?
posted by Nerd of the North at 12:31 AM on November 10 [32 favorites]


I'm just piping in to remind you guys that a lot of people across the world are inspired by Trump's defeat. Having followed both the American and the Indian news closely over the years, you see that the ways to make a democracy into an autocracy are pretty similar: convince the electorate that your election means you are above any kind of law or oversight, stack the courts with friendly judges (preferably on whom you have kompromat), make sure that TV tows the line, and hire an IT unit to spread the nuttiest conspiracy theories you can dream of (the latest: news of a Muslim conspiracy to make India Islamic, by seducing naive Hindu women and making them convert).

Which is why I'm rejoicing double this week. I know they say that American standing has dropped in the world, but here and elsewhere, the US is still a beacon of where the world is or 'should' be headed. After all, if you don't speak English and see how ridiculous Trump's America is, you are reliant on your local media to put things in perspective. And they don't do that. Trump is really popular with the Indian right wing, ever since the Muslim ban. During the last year, at rallies of our Dear Leader, you heard the slogan "Fir Eik Bar, Trump Sarkaar" (Once More, Trump to the Fore!). His ignoble departure would be a moral blow, I feel. Given Biden's vocal opposition to our government's new citizenship-stripping policies, I'm hoping all this has a more tangible effect as well.

So I'm celebrating, but a special bottle of rum is saved for Jan 20th!
posted by kolendra at 1:39 AM on November 10 [48 favorites]


the best defense is a good offense (i.e. go on the attack concerning voter fraud so folks don't start really looking into why the Republicans did better than expected...)

I’m curious to hear how the Democrats blatantly stole the election but decided to return Mitch McConnell to office.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 2:27 AM on November 10 [32 favorites]


I am mostly embarrassed by all this.

Like, here is the whole world congratulating the US on coming back to its senses and then we have the Justice department appearing to conspire to undo an election and skulking around like Scooby Doo villains. The truly frightening this is that we almost voted this guy in again and I am not sure the US would have survived this for four more years. As it is, there's a lot of repair work to do.
posted by vacapinta at 3:24 AM on November 10 [14 favorites]


Miller was brought in to replace Esper and has a significant counterterrorism record. Trump spent the last year calling anyone to his left Antifa, and making up fake terrorist claims about this non-organization, despite the FBI's complete lack of evidence.

If a Reichstag fire is coming, the pieces seem to be put in place for a violent coup.

I hope I'm wrong, but I have a bad feeling that legal channels are a stall so that Trump can get the other side of his plan in place. Stalling distracts Dems from defending the country from Trump's bullshit, no-evidence fraud allegations. I hope Biden has an ace up his sleeve, because his opponent is a snake with no morals and a grabbag of obligations to Russian oligarchs.
posted by They sucked his brains out! at 3:27 AM on November 10 [5 favorites]


I’m curious to hear how the Democrats blatantly stole the election but decided to return Mitch McConnell to office.

Presumably they would have stolen the Senate, had JFK Jr. and his crack team of techno-ninjas not stopped them.
posted by acb at 3:30 AM on November 10 [6 favorites]


Trump is making an appeal to a legal system he has made clear he has no regard for, an appeal to laws he has spent most of his life denigrating, if not outright ignoring. Court challenges are a distraction, unless they magically give him what he wants. If Dems do not get this and act quickly, our legitimate win is not going to be recognized.
posted by They sucked his brains out! at 3:46 AM on November 10 [2 favorites]


Remember when Rudy made his coup attempt in the parking lot of a landscaper, a crematorium and a sex shop? The one that felt like a Sacha Baron Cohen set-up? There was a guy who also spoke, a 'poll watcher' named Daryl Brooks.

He went to prison for three and a half years in 1998 for child sex offences, and again in 2008 for failing to pay $70000 in child-support to three women.

He's unrepentant and continues to claim innocence. And he doesn't live in Philadelphia.

So that's Rudy's man. His big witness at the Four Seasons. I don't know for sure, but I don't think convicted felons from another state can be poll watchers? So I believe him when he says they wouldn't let him in.

Anyway, just when you thought he couldn't sink any lower, turns out his witness is a convicted pedophile.

Just fuck off Rudy. Right? It's over, go away. Enough of this pathetic bullshit.
posted by adept256 at 4:04 AM on November 10 [24 favorites]


Mitch McConnell? Most immediately doesn't want to piss off voters into not showing up at the Georgia run-off, by publicly going against Trump.

Which will be a big factor in how much personal power Mitch will have for the next 2-6 years. This was discussed amongst "Republican-insider" Twitter & articles during the last couple months regarding the lack of another stimulus bill - you always have to consider Mitch's greed for personal power. He wants to stay Senate GOP Leader; obviously he'd prefer majority leader, but if minority leader is what there is he'll take it. So he never moved forward on a new COVID relief bill because there are enough cranks and True Believers amongst the GOP Senate who would have seen that as "appeasing" the Democrats, and he would see a serious challenge to his leadership position, in Jan 2021 if not sooner. The Georgia runoffs will determine which party controls the Senate, and until that gets settled he won't buck the most extreme Republican position too hard, in order to maintain his leverage for staying GOP Leader for at least the next two years, whether it turns out to be majority or minority leader.
posted by soundguy99 at 4:10 AM on November 10 [2 favorites]


I don't know for sure, but I don't think convicted felons from another state can be poll watchers? So I believe him when he says they wouldn't let him in.

They probably know all these claims are bullshit. Going 0-10 in court so far would be a clue to them, even. The game is to keep raising them, and create an atmosphere where Everyone Knows that there are "questions" and "irregularities" about the count, so as to create cover for anti-democratic actions and ratfucking from GOP lawmakers or Federalist Society packed courts. The question is how to fight that strategy.
posted by thelonius at 4:17 AM on November 10 [9 favorites]


The question is how to fight that strategy.

We could make them look ridiculous and unbelievable, but I'm not sure what we could add to their existing narrative to accomplish that...
posted by mmoncur at 4:31 AM on November 10 [3 favorites]


Anyway, just when you thought he couldn't sink any lower, turns out his witness is a convicted pedophile.

Today, in It's OK If You're A Republican...

I suspect that having a convicted child rapist as a witness is not an oversight but a feature. It sends a message, and the message says “we do what we want, because we have the power to”.
posted by acb at 4:45 AM on November 10 [3 favorites]


If the GOP wants to go to SCOTUS for help, do they have to work their way through lower courts first? Or can they just go straight to Roberts, etc?
posted by harriet vane at 4:47 AM on November 10


I think another consequence of the baseless claims of cheating and vote rigging will be to further hollow out the Republican party of people who are committed enough to do the business of democracy on their behalf. There are plenty of Republicans involved in carrying out the election process, plenty of them in positions of responsibility or accountability, and they are being directly attacked by their own party. For instance:

Al Schmidt, the official in charge of counting votes in Philadelphia reports receiving death threats. In his 60 Minutes interview Sunday, he was clearly incredulous that people were being threatened for counting votes in a democracy. Schmidt is a Republican.

Georgia Senators Perdue and Loeffler called for the Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger to resign, citing fraud but providing no evidence. Raffensperger is a Republican. He refused, and felt compelled to defend his partisan loyalty in his refusal letter. "I know emotions are running high. Politics are involved in everything right now. If I was Senator Perdue, I'd be irritated I was in a runoff. And both Senators and I are all unhappy with the potential outcome for our President...As Secretary of State, that is my duty, and I will continue to do my duty. As a Republican, I am concerned about Republicans keeping the U.S. Senate. I recommend that Senators Loeffler and Perdue start focusing on that."

These are the most high profile cases--but I have to imagine that in every fight they're trying to start, there are a whole bunch of loyal Republican workers who realize that they in particular are being baselessly smeared in order to rile up the low-information voters. The Lincoln Project and Republican Voters Against Trump are right there to receive them.
posted by Sublimity at 4:54 AM on November 10 [22 favorites]


No major US news outlet has picked up the Daryl Brooks story yet. Why?
posted by ZenMasterThis at 5:04 AM on November 10 [3 favorites]


Another legal expert I know said to me, "These lawsuits aren't going to work as legal efforts. The problem is that they are giving legitimacy to the claims of wrongdoing just by their very existence. I'm worried Trump then uses that to pull shenanigans with the state legislatures and electoral college."
posted by PhineasGage at 5:08 AM on November 10 [11 favorites]


triggerfinger‘s link helped me eventually get a couple hours’ sleep last night. I hope to God that lawyer is right. Most lawyers seem to be of that opinion.

But my nerves can’t take this. They’re pushing a Big Lie, saying over and over again “Republican observers weren’t allowed in” as though it were obvious settled fact instead of being blatantly, obviously false. The flying monkeys on Twitter have fully picked up that line and believe it unquestioningly. I hope to God the courts maintain enough of a grip on reality to deny it. The fact that I’m not confident of that is what frightens me. Guess I’m never sleeping again.
posted by snowmentality at 5:13 AM on November 10 [6 favorites]


If the GOP wants to go to SCOTUS for help, do they have to work their way through lower courts first? Or can they just go straight to Roberts, etc?

IANAL, but AFAIK technically they have to work their way through lower courts. This can happen pretty quickly, though.
posted by soundguy99 at 5:27 AM on November 10


Another legal expert I know said to me, "These lawsuits aren't going to work as legal efforts. The problem is that they are giving legitimacy to the claims of wrongdoing just by their very existence. I'm worried Trump then uses that to pull shenanigans with the state legislatures and electoral college."

Right, and losing in the courts up to then will itself be used in that narrative: the weak or corrupt courts have offered no relief, despite widespread fraud, "finding " illegal ballots for Biden, and the Republicanobserverswhowerenotallowedin, and now you, the State legislature and your slate of appointed electors, which is unconstrained by any law to be the electors for who the popular vote selected in your State, are the only ones who can keep the Democrats from getting away with stealing the election.
posted by thelonius at 5:33 AM on November 10 [3 favorites]


Lincoln Project Co-Founder Calls Republicans Casting Doubt on Election Results a 'Disgrace', Newsweek, Benjamin Fearnow, 11/9/2020:
Steve Schmidt, co-founder of the anti-President Donald Trump group The Lincoln Project, said Monday "there is no evidence" of widespread electoral fraud and Republicans continuing those claims are a "disgrace" to the Constitution and their own elected offices [Newsweek video interview].

Schmidt, a longtime GOP political strategist, reacted to Fox News cutting away from White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany railing against unfounded claims of "illegal voting" in a Monday press conference. Appearing on an MSNBC panel after McEnany's "no credibility" claim of rampant voter fraud, Schmidt said the Trump administration is conducting their "last outrage." The conservative Lincoln Project co-founder said "it's all coming to an end" for Trump as his team fails to find legitimate examples of widespread voter fraud in any state.

"The American people have rendered their verdict and they threw Donald Trump out on his ass," Schmidt said. "We ought to stop saying that 'if there is evidence,' there is no evidence [of voter fraud]! This is a fantasy. We're watching a conspiracy theory being woven in real-time...
Trump and company are not even bothering to hide their cunning plan: I imagine they’re thinking “What can the Dems do, throw us out of office?
posted by cenoxo at 5:36 AM on November 10 [6 favorites]


> This can happen pretty quickly, though.
I hope by that it means "the lawsuits are quickly and rightfully chucked out by the courts", which seems to be the case for now.
posted by runcifex at 5:47 AM on November 10


Is there a solid source for how the court cases are proceeding? I saw the one mention upthread about the one in Michigan being rejected for its lack of supporting documents, but I don’t even know how many states the cases are going on in.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 6:20 AM on November 10


DemocracyDocket.com has an Active Cases list that seems pretty reliable.
posted by harriet vane at 6:30 AM on November 10 [7 favorites]


My former colleague Brad Heath covers the federal courts for Reuters and is staying on top of stuff. @BradHeath

I think he had a hand in creating the Big Cases Bot on Twitter but that casts a wider net, pretty much anything Trump-related on the federal level, and a lot more. Worth following if you're a courts nerd.
posted by martin q blank at 6:52 AM on November 10 [5 favorites]


Just my opinion, but I could easily live without seeing Republican attempts at a coup referred to as "shenanigans". Shenanigans are more on the Bart Simpson, Dennis the Menace level of wrongdoing.
posted by Epixonti at 6:53 AM on November 10 [25 favorites]


Was Arizona officially called, or are they still counting (it's on the NYT map as blue today)?

And are there any updates on when we'll have final tallies from NC and Georgia?
posted by Mchelly at 7:02 AM on November 10


Heather Cox Richardson with a Monday, Nov 9 roundup (Facebook). I was going to quote from that but if you don't want to add to your terror and dread, avoid.
posted by Glinn at 7:05 AM on November 10


Was Arizona officially called, or are they still counting (it's on the NYT map as blue today)?
Not sure what you saw, but it's not blue on the NYT map right now. Biden up 14,746 votes as of last night.
posted by neroli at 7:12 AM on November 10 [1 favorite]


Now in AZ, I heard that they are pinning their hopes on getting votes of people from CA who own tax shelter property in AZ thrown out. Sounds pretty thin.
posted by thelonius at 7:17 AM on November 10


Oops - you're right. I saw it on the AP map.

Are there any projections when we'll have official counts from all three states?
posted by Mchelly at 7:17 AM on November 10


I actually feel more comfortable now with a knot of dread in my stomach, so I am following developments apace
posted by Countess Elena at 7:29 AM on November 10 [3 favorites]


Are there any projections when we'll have official counts from all three states?

These are the certification dates for the remaining relevant states:

Arizona on November 30th
Georgia on November 20th
Nevada on December 1st
North Carolina on November 24th
Pennsylvania on November 23rd

We might have official counts before then, but because of the ongoing Republican coup attempt, I expect it go to the wire and possibly beyond, depending on litigation and audits. December 8th is the "safe harbor deadline", and it's basically the last date at which the popular vote in each state can still change for electoral vote determination purposes.

Then the electors cast their ballots on December 14th. Finally, on January 6, 2021 Congress will meet and declare the actual, definitive winner.

During the count in the joint session of Congress it is possible for objections to be made to the inclusion of a state's votes. These can be debated for a maximum of two hours, but for the state's votes to be excluded the objection must be agreed to by both chambers. I expect Republicans to make a show of wasting time on this, but it's unlikely to work even with the very thin Democratic majority in the House (remember that the new Congress will have been sworn in already on January 3rd).
posted by jedicus at 7:29 AM on November 10 [19 favorites]


Georgia's counties have until Nov 13 to certify their vote. Then, Sec. of State Raffensperger has until Nov 20 to certify the statewide vote. After he certifies the vote, candidates in races with <0.5% difference can request a recount. There is no stated deadline for when that recount must be completed, but presumably (?) for the presidential race it will be done before the Electoral College vote on Dec 14.

On Dec 1, we will have runoff elections for state and local races where no one got 50%+1 vote. On Dec 5, we will have federal runoff elections for the same circumstances, except for the presidential race, which is explicitly excluded from the runoff legislation (which was passed in the 1960s to stop Black candidates and Black-supported candidates from winning races where there were multiple candidates).

(I've assembled these dates from several news sources and the Sec of State's webpage over the past few days. In a state that wasn't always actively trying to suppress the vote it would be easy to find a single link for you.)
posted by hydropsyche at 7:34 AM on November 10 [13 favorites]


In addition to reading Heather Cox Richardson, I follow Dan Pfeiffer’s posts. He can be equally scary but usually ends with a strategy or action plan, which gives me purpose and hope. In today’s post he suggests that refusal to concede the presidential election and to spread false claims about the legitimacy of the vote is intended to fire up the Republican base in Georgia – the Dem or Progressive strategy should be to GOTV in Georgia and officially flip the Senate. I just contributed to the campaigns for Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock through Act Blue (maybe I should have contributed to Stacey Abrams' Fair Fight?) but I'm open to other suggestions.
posted by kbar1 at 7:38 AM on November 10 [16 favorites]


Dammit. Typo. The federal runoff is Jan 5. I'm sure everyone who needs to know that knows it, since y'all are already all texting and sending us postcards constantly.
posted by hydropsyche at 7:45 AM on November 10 [1 favorite]


Wow! Dan Pfeiffer is terrific.
posted by Don.Kinsayder at 7:51 AM on November 10 [1 favorite]


Well worth a listen is the Mary Trump interview with Mueller She Wrote host AG. She's as witty as Tyrion gloating over his families downfall, getting drunker and funnier. She knows these people personally and is just enjoying some well-deserved shame-free schadenfreude.
posted by adept256 at 8:04 AM on November 10 [7 favorites]


(Have yourself an 'Orwell Moment' *sips real coffee, plots conquest of Eastasia.* mmmm...Dystopian to the last drop.)
posted by sexyrobot at 9:18 AM on November 10 [2 favorites]


Sorry -- just to be clear, it's now Bill Barr vs Bob Bauer?

Bill: Not Bad Bob Bauer…Bothersome Bob Bauer…Bob the Butcher Bauer?
Sidekick: No...no, just Bob.
posted by kirkaracha at 9:21 AM on November 10 [1 favorite]


I didn't get the propaganda, but checking google did alert me to this article;

Tom Morello Acknowledges Staggering Irony Of Trump Supporters Dancing To ‘Killing In the Name’

Back in June, the guitarist responded to an ex-fan who, in a since-deleted tweet, told Morello, “Music is my sanctuary and the last thing I want to hear is political BS when I’m listening to music.”

Morello responded by quoting the tweet, replying “What music of mine were you a fan of that DIDN’T contain ‘political BS’? I need to know so I can delete it from the catalogue.”


I remember someone tweeted at Tom that he should STFU and just play guitar because he didn't understand politics, and he replied, well, actually, I have a masters degree in political science from Harvard.

Paul Ryan once said he likes RATM. How does that even happen? He understands words, has he listened to the words? There are words Paul! They're saying something!

They're like people who go to an exhibition of renaissance art and all they remember is how great the tits were.
posted by adept256 at 9:21 AM on November 10 [51 favorites]


I don’t understand these games Republicans are playing. They had a chance, a moment that stretched from Saturday thru the Sunday political talk shows, to repudiate the Pretender.

They could have freed themselves from him... and they did not take it. Why???
posted by disentir at 9:22 AM on November 10


They are all very sick. Like spoiled children if they can't get what they want they will break it so no one else can play.
posted by snsranch at 9:25 AM on November 10 [1 favorite]


[Just a few commented deleted about a false alarm situation!]
posted by travelingthyme (staff) at 9:26 AM on November 10 [4 favorites]


Also... the Georgia runoffs. They need Trump's base.
posted by Dr. Send at 9:27 AM on November 10 [2 favorites]


Tom Morello Acknowledges Staggering Irony Of Trump Supporters Dancing To ‘Killing In the Name’

Some of those that work forces
Are the same that burn crosses


Perhaps those Trumpists proudly AGREE with this statement.
posted by ZenMasterThis at 9:30 AM on November 10 [7 favorites]




They could have freed themselves from him... and they did not take it. Why???

70 million people voted for him.
posted by dirigibleman at 9:34 AM on November 10 [5 favorites]


Some of those that work forces
Are the same that burn crosses


Remember that militia group that planned to kidnap Gov. Whitmer? They were brought down by an undercover cop. It must be really hard for these groups to figure out who's an undercover cop and who's just off-duty.
posted by adept256 at 9:37 AM on November 10 [43 favorites]


70 million people voted for him.
sigh.
posted by disentir at 9:37 AM on November 10 [1 favorite]


I'm often accused of catastrophizing but I am calm with this as it plays out and we await the final states to report. Why? Well i think about what it really means to take up arms in honor of Trump. It's one thing to cos play at a rally and be big and bold online, and it's a wholly other thing to literally surrender your way of life. These people covering their trucks with trump flags are not soldiers, and they surely won't be when and if the shooting starts. Civil war means the kids aren't going to school, your holidays are not happening, civil life is disrupted, businesses shutting down, people out of work, no one's buying the new iphones, etc. Like you are talking about the complete collapse of society, which I am not saying can't happen, but are these people really going to surrender their normalcy for this? 70 million people may have voted for him but 70 million people are not looking for civil war. And the Whitmer would-be-kidnappers are the ones who have been the boldest and are still so disorganized that they got caught. I'm more concerned about after the inauguration, when these monsters start organizing better. Trump has only failed because he is incompetent at everything except crime-ing, and that's mostly becasue other power structures have benefitted from his crimes and therefore let him get away with it. Someone more awful and more competent is standing back and standing by.
posted by archimago at 9:53 AM on November 10 [20 favorites]


I don’t understand these games Republicans are playing. They had a chance, a moment that stretched from Saturday thru the Sunday political talk shows, to repudiate the Pretender.

They could have freed themselves from him... and they did not take it. Why???

For one analysis, here’s Philip Bump at The Washington Post: “Are we really going to reject democratic elections to soothe Trump’s ego?”
The first answer is money. Those hourly emails that the campaign is sending are all fundraising pitches. And if you read the fine print on the fundraising page, you’ll notice how the money will be spent, divvied up between the Republican Party (which gets 40 percent of the contribution for its operating account) and something called Save America. The fine print used to be more explicit, with the other 60 percent going first to pay down the Trump campaign’s existing debt. Money above federal campaign contribution limits would then make its way to the Trump campaign’s recount effort.
(The other answers pbump suggests are power and ego. And of course, an explanation is not the same as a justification for engaging in a fumbling autogolpe, which is a ten-dollar-word I am going to have to remember.)
posted by Going To Maine at 9:59 AM on November 10 [7 favorites]


Civil war means the kids aren't going to school, your holidays are not happening, civil life is disrupted, businesses shutting down, people out of work, no one's buying the new iphones, etc.

Precisely. And who are the sides? Republicans vs. Democrats? I don't think so--the true maps of voter engagement, county by county, show such nuances of purple that you really couldn't do another 1861-style war between states. Plus, everyone I know is family, neighbors, coworkers, whatever with at least one Trump supporter. And whatever antipathy exists between them, it's hard to imagine it escalating all the way to bloodshed AND that that would happen on a massive scale.

I think we might have some Proud Boys trying to start something in a blue city, and law enforcement will be eager to show up to teargas protestors, but it's not going to lead to violence in the suburbs and Targets/Kohl's/Bed Bath & Beyonds under siege.
posted by witchen at 10:05 AM on November 10 [3 favorites]


Like you are talking about the complete collapse of society, which I am not saying can’t happen, but are these people really going to surrender their normalcy for this?

The Robert Evans take -which I mention not because I believe it will happen but because hearing about it this way changed my mindset- is that “civil war” these days is usually more synonymous with lots of small insurgent groups at odds with each other. To assume 70 million people will rise up against the feds. To assume that a bunch of random three percenter groups will try to takeover parts of scattered towns for a protracted period is… if not feasible, not necessarily as impossible.
posted by Going To Maine at 10:06 AM on November 10 [2 favorites]




> Right, and losing in the courts up to then will itself be used in that narrative: the weak or corrupt courts have offered no relief, despite widespread fraud, "finding " illegal ballots for Biden, and the Republicanobserverswhowerenotallowedin, and now you, the State legislature and your slate of appointed electors, which is unconstrained by any law to be the electors for who the popular vote selected in your State, are the only ones who can keep the Democrats from getting away with stealing the election.

Even if it isn't a winning legal strategy, framing Biden's win as illegitimate is a winning political strategy - look how much hay they made by framing Obama's win as illegitimate.
posted by sebastienbailard at 10:13 AM on November 10 [7 favorites]


Tom Morello Acknowledges Staggering Irony Of Trump Supporters Dancing To ‘Killing In the Name

Trump has been playing the not even subtle gay icon Y.M.C.A. to close out his rallies. A song that initially celebrated providing housing for the homeless.
posted by Mitheral at 10:15 AM on November 10 [3 favorites]


I think we might have some Proud Boys trying to start something in a blue city, and law enforcement will be eager to show up to teargas protestors, but it's not going to lead to violence in the suburbs and Targets/Kohl's/Bed Bath & Beyonds under siege.

I keep saying, the first time some dipshit uses someone's minivan as cover to take potshots at a cop in a Target parking lot is the moment that popular opinion slams hard against these idiots. One thing America is consistent about is that we'll both-sides and devil's advocate an issue to death while talking about it theoretically but the instant an ideology manifests as an inconvenience to suburban white people and big business the mainstream media and centrists of all stripes suddenly find the ability to take a stand against something. Sad but you can set your watch to it.
posted by jason_steakums at 10:16 AM on November 10 [6 favorites]


There's footage of them playing "Fortunate Son" at a rally a few weeks back. If there's anything we can take from Trumpism it's that words don't matter to the true believer.
posted by cmfletcher at 10:19 AM on November 10 [7 favorites]


A song that initially celebrated providing housing for the homeless.

Is there a citation for that? I mean, I can understand that as a superficial read, but it seems to discount the whole, uh, Village People / bathhouse culture / broader, winking context in which the song became popular.
posted by Going To Maine at 10:29 AM on November 10 [4 favorites]


Bloomberg News reporter Nicholas Wadhams on Twitter: @SecPompeo at a briefing just now: "There will be a smooth transition to a second Trump administration."
posted by neroli at 10:29 AM on November 10 [10 favorites]


Doesn't even have to be the suburbs. When they destroyed the Oklahoma City federal building in 1995, the outrage was such that many militias laid low for the next several years. They had been prominent, and frequently in-your-face, right up to that moment.

And that's what will probably happen if they massacre people now, even if it's in the heart of a place conservatives hate, like Chicago. Right now, these would-be militias are mostly limiting themselves to paintballs and pepper spray, with the occasional attempted murder by car. That's easily ignorable by the masses. Even though it shouldn't be. But when / if they kill hundreds, or even dozens, that's going to create an immense reaction.
posted by Teegeeack AV Club Secretary at 10:30 AM on November 10 [3 favorites]


@SecPompeo at a briefing just now: "There will be a smooth transition to a second Trump administration."

No matter what happens, I can guarantee that at least part of this statement will be false.
posted by theodolite at 10:31 AM on November 10 [34 favorites]


Is there a citation for that?

It's complicated (Wiki for what it is worth) and different members of the band have different interpretations of what the song was originally about plus there was a song writing credit legal fight to boot. I should clarify that the YMCA provided/provides for profit SROs not free shelter space.
posted by Mitheral at 10:38 AM on November 10 [2 favorites]


The Pompeo video is really odd. He says it kind of haltingly, his voice cracks a little, and he gives a strange, almost relieved-looking smile after he's done. It's like watching someone come out of the closet, except as a Nazi.
posted by theodolite at 10:38 AM on November 10 [13 favorites]


re: YMCA, listen to the Neil Cicierega cover (/mashup with Hans Zimmer's "Time") and the undertones about housing disowned gay youth become overtones. Seriously, it is an unexpectedly moving cover and it will make you cry.

More on topic: Republicans are attempting a coup. Please stop giving them the benefit of the doubt about this, or assuming there is a line that cannot be crossed here. I do not think Republicans understand what starting a civil war actually means, but they are acting like children playing with guns right now and it is an extremely fragile situation. Their actions are not about the Georgia run-offs or appeasing Trump personally, they are about power. They view this as their last chance to seize and secure power for generations to come. That some of them are bumbling idiots who have fumbled all this in genuinely comedic ways does not mean that what they are doing now isn't serious or dangerous. I think jedicus' list of dates above is something we all need to be keeping an eye on. We knew that this transition would be a Process, and Republicans are not backing down from that unfortunately.
posted by Lonnrot at 10:41 AM on November 10 [40 favorites]


The Pompeo video is really odd

He looks terrified and ashamed.

Good. He should. Let's eat him.
posted by sciatrix at 10:47 AM on November 10 [39 favorites]


That some of them are bumbling idiots who have fumbled all this in genuinely comedic ways does not mean that what they are doing now isn't serious or dangerous.

"We never believed in Hitler; we only may reproach ourselves for having believed too little in a potential Nazi danger, as long as it disguised itself as a farce."--Franz Schoenberner, Confessions of a European intellectual.
posted by No Robots at 10:48 AM on November 10 [19 favorites]


(More seriously, I am texting my DSA neighborhood group and beginning to make my this is not what democracy looks like, pal plans. God fucking dammit.)
posted by sciatrix at 10:49 AM on November 10 [9 favorites]


@SecPompeo at a briefing just now: "There will be a smooth transition to a second Trump administration."

This is sedition and should be dealt with as such.
posted by They sucked his brains out! at 11:09 AM on November 10 [52 favorites]


Pompeo does not look ashamed to me.

He looks smug.

Watch a longer cut of that press conference he looks to me to be waiting for the opportunity to slip that phrase in.
posted by calgirl at 11:20 AM on November 10 [9 favorites]


Well I guess it's a fucking war now.
posted by glonous keming at 11:25 AM on November 10 [10 favorites]


SFGate had a recent article: Why Trump is so obsessed with 'Y.M.C.A.'. Among other things, it discusses Victor Willis's position about whether it's a "gay song" or not.
posted by Lexica at 11:31 AM on November 10 [4 favorites]


Re: Pompeo, my instinct is "attempt to distract while some immediately nasty/stupid thing happens"
posted by runcifex at 11:34 AM on November 10


Cote d'Ivoire held a very tense election on October 31 - the incumbent was running for a 3rd term that was probably not constitutional, and opposition candidates suggested their supporters boycott. I've been watching the news from Cote d'Ivoire in particular pretty closely, including a statement from the US Embassy in Abidjan (i.e., the US State Department, i.e., Mike Pompeo) which says (among other things):
The United States calls on Cote d'Ivoire's leaders to show commitment to the democratic process and the rule of law. We urge all parties, groups, and individuals to engage in inclusive dialogue to find peaceful solutions to their disagreements and to heal national divisions. Grievances related to the presidential election should be resolved peacefully and transparently through legal processes.
Earlier in October (right before Trump decided not to participate in the debate), the State Department released a statement:
The United States is committed to supporting free, fair, inclusive elections. The conduct of elections is important not only for Africans, but also for defenders of democracy around the world. We believe all sides should participate peacefully in the democratic process. Repression and intimidation have no place in democracies.

The right to peaceful assembly and freedom of expression and association are at the heart of a functioning democracy. Adherence to these democratic norms and to the rule of law allows all citizens to engage in political dialogue and support their choice of candidates, parties, and platforms. We will watch closely the actions of individuals who interfere in the democratic process and will not hesitate to consider consequences – including visa restrictions – for those responsible for election-related violence. As long-time partners to the nations of Africa, we care about the region’s democratic trajectory and are committed to working constructively with international and regional partners.
Fuck Pompeo and the secure complacency and sense of superiority of the global north and the ways our prejudices play out in ways that materially harm the rest of the world, and the ways our hypocrisy makes everyone unsafe.
posted by ChuraChura at 11:38 AM on November 10 [24 favorites]


[One post removed... doom predictions still not OK. ]
posted by loup (staff) at 11:45 AM on November 10 [4 favorites]


If mike pompeo murdered a person to steal their car, the murder wouldn't be a distraction. If he steals something while attempting to murder the united states, it's not a distraction.
posted by StarkRoads at 11:45 AM on November 10 [3 favorites]


No! Its my 50th birthday and Pompeo isn't allowed to steal my day!
posted by kiwi-epitome at 11:47 AM on November 10 [19 favorites]


Re: Pompeo, my instinct is "attempt to distract while some immediately nasty/stupid thing happens"

With respect: he's telling us what the nasty/stupid thing happening is.

Also happy birthday kiwi-epitome! Or... condolences? Happy-despite-trying-circumstances. That one works.
posted by Lonnrot at 11:49 AM on November 10 [2 favorites]


“The False Hope of a Biden Presidency,” Louis Allday, Ebb Magazine, 10 November 2020
posted by ob1quixote at 11:50 AM on November 10 [3 favorites]


Watching Biden's live talk and Q&A right now. Twice reporters have asked him about Pompeo. The first time was part of a long, convoluted question, and he skipped over the Pompeo part. Second question was also a multi-parter, and Biden answered the fist part, paused, then said, "Secretary Pompeo," smiled, and laughed. And went to the next questioner.

While I'm seriously angry/terrified about Pompeo's comments, Biden's laugh-it-off was awesome and probably the right response.
posted by martin q blank at 11:53 AM on November 10 [28 favorites]


Laughing this off is not an appropriate response. It is a potentially deadly mistake.

If Republicans dealt in pure distractions the way they are so often presented as doing, the ACA thing would be the distraction while all the knives coming out in just-joking court cases and the looming dates for playing elector switcheroo would be the terrible thing. Unfortunately, Republicans' "distractions" always intend collateral damage, so dropping the feint to focus on the attack would still result in people getting hurt. But the scale of the damage the latter would cause is... horrifying to think about.

This is not a joke. We can and should tell jokes and be as kind and calm as we can throughout, but this really is a very dangerous situation for the US and the world and it really is happening. It requires an actual serious response.
posted by Lonnrot at 12:00 PM on November 10 [22 favorites]


I’m done overreacting to every damn fool thing Trump says.

Joe Biden will be sworn in as President on January 20, 2021. Probably in front of the Capitol, if weather/crowd management permits it.

None of this stupid shit is going to change that.
posted by Huffy Puffy at 12:08 PM on November 10 [18 favorites]


I thought Biden did really well with the Q&A especially considering Trump's pressers.. laughing about Pompeo was fine. Pompeo says insane crap all the time. When and if it's time to get serious, I'm sure Biden and his team will respond seriously. I still haven't seen any major evidence brought to light about the GOP election issues.
posted by Chickenring at 12:08 PM on November 10 [4 favorites]


Laughing this off is not an appropriate response. It is a potentially deadly mistake.

Disagree. Trump, Pompeo, and all their cronies deserve nothing but disdain for this stunt. There is nothing they can do to prevent Biden from assuming office on January 20. No need to give their scheming undue credence by treating it seriously. They and everyone who surrounds them are indeed a joke.
posted by Ben Trismegistus at 12:09 PM on November 10 [10 favorites]


Maybe you're right. But I do like belittling these guys in public, because it probably drives them crazy. Maybe couple it with a phone private call to Pompeo with the force of the soon-to-be president behind it, because he does need to publicly recant that statement.

A decent, ethical administration would fire Pompeo on the spot, but... well, you know.
posted by martin q blank at 12:10 PM on November 10 [1 favorite]


I find that Ebb Magazine article highly suspect, as it uncritically repeats some pretty disgusting and baseless Trumpian smears of Biden that have nothing at all to do with criticizing him from the left.
posted by snowmentality at 12:10 PM on November 10 [17 favorites]


I also liked the last question and answer:

"How do you expect to work with Republicans if they won't even recognize you as president-elect?"

"They will." Pauses, smiles. "They will."
posted by martin q blank at 12:16 PM on November 10 [13 favorites]


Re the "false hope of a Biden presidency", the true hope is that HE ISN'T TRUMP and that's important.
posted by Lexica at 12:18 PM on November 10 [7 favorites]




They can plan all they want, but they won't be able to IMPLEMENT a budget because he WON'T BE THE PRESIDENT IN FEBRUARY.
posted by tiny frying pan at 12:22 PM on November 10 [8 favorites]


A decent, ethical administration would fire Pompeo on the spot

And meanwhile THIS administration has instructed federal agencies to prepare for Trump's February budget. Pompeo is not off-message here.
posted by Pseudonymous Cognomen at 12:22 PM on November 10 [1 favorite]


I'm getting to the point where I seriously hope Biden's team has already quietly gotten military leaders onto his side.
posted by azuresunday at 12:23 PM on November 10 [28 favorites]


Official who once called Obama a ‘terrorist leader’ takes over Pentagon policy
The departure of James Anderson, acting undersecretary of defense for policy, potentially paves the way for Anthony Tata to take over the policy shop.
posted by adamvasco at 12:34 PM on November 10 [6 favorites]


>it's not going to lead to violence in the suburbs and Targets/Kohl's/Bed Bath & Beyonds under siege

if the Republicans subvert the popular vote with their Rehnquist Option, the big box retail stores left standing to defend will be few and far between
posted by Heywood Mogroot III at 12:35 PM on November 10 [1 favorite]


Biden is doing the right thing in projecting confidence, but this shit is scary. And seriously undermining the position of the US at international level. Vladimir must be thrilled
posted by bitteschoen at 12:36 PM on November 10 [19 favorites]


I feel like we should be seeing promises of cake words by this point. Unfortunately for me, I can't avoid assuming there actually is a needle that Trump can thread into a reelection, as far as throwing everything to the courts goes.
posted by rhizome at 12:36 PM on November 10


Trump White House Still Vetting for Job Openings For a Second Term That’s Not Happening
In yet another sign that the president is for now refusing to initiate a smooth, orderly transition of power to President-elect Joe Biden, Donald Trump’s White House is continuing to vet possible political appointees for a second term—despite the fact that there isn’t going to be one.

According to two sources familiar with the situation, as well as written communications reviewed by The Daily Beast, the White House Presidential Personnel Office (PPO) is still in the process of vetting candidates for job openings in various parts of the federal government, positions that the White House intended to fill by early next year. The office, which is tasked with staffing the federal agencies, is headed by Trump uber-loyalist and purge-overseer John McEntee. And it is still contacting listed references and conducting background checks, even though major networks called the 2020 presidential election for Biden on Saturday.
posted by bitteschoen at 12:40 PM on November 10 [3 favorites]


What is making people like Pompeo and Barr this desperate? This is political suicide at best, career-ending incarceration at worst.
posted by nicoffeine at 12:43 PM on November 10


I'm getting to the point where I seriously hope Biden's team has already quietly gotten military leaders onto his side.

Yes - Biden projecting confidence publicly is only one part of the equation. He and his people are surely working on ensuring transition behind the scenes, and wouldn't be projecting such ease without deeper reason... (surely... right?)
posted by marlys at 12:45 PM on November 10 [6 favorites]


"wouldn't be projecting such ease without deeper reason... (surely... right?)"

This is the piece I'm most worried about. If establishment dems are still just operating on faith that the system will work itself out, we're all fucked.
posted by azuresunday at 12:48 PM on November 10 [18 favorites]


Look guys, it's only November 10. States are going to certify their results and electors are going to vote. Nothing in Trump's legal challenges passes the laugh test, and no recount in history has changed results to an extent that would make a difference here. Biden has already started transition work, and has money set aside from the campaign fund to pay for it.

Pompeo and Barr are currently covering their asses to avoid dealing with an angry Trump for the next two months, but that is going to begin to shift. Mitch McConnell is no dummy, and he knows that the Republicans' single biggest pitch to win the two Senate seats in Georgia is to say that Senate control is required to counteract the radical leftist policies of the Biden Administration. That strategy won't fly if they are still insisting that Trump is the rightful president. So I think they're going to let him rage for a bit and then the party leaders are going to start breaking away from him. That's my guess.
posted by Ben Trismegistus at 12:49 PM on November 10 [7 favorites]


What is making people like Pompeo and Barr this desperate? This is political suicide at best, career-ending incarceration at worst.

They're set for life and they know that subsequent administrations never prosecute previous ones.
posted by rhizome at 12:49 PM on November 10 [4 favorites]


Institutions will not save us, even though institutions are saving us right now.
posted by kirkaracha at 12:52 PM on November 10 [2 favorites]


subsequent administrations never prosecute previous ones.

Generally I'm a fan of reconciliation, but I would make an exception for literally trying to nullify a democratic election. There has to be a price for undermining our very foundations as a country.
posted by nicoffeine at 12:52 PM on November 10 [36 favorites]


There's at least one elected Republican official who is telling Trump to knock it off. OK, it's MA Gov. Charlie Baker, who'd be considered the ultimate RINO west of the Berkshires, but he is still the most popular governor in the country or something. The Boston Globe reports:
"What this president is doing at this point in time is not in the best interest of this country," Baker said during his regular State House press conference. "The administration needs to move forward and cooperate with the president elect's transition team immediately."

Citing the health crisis, Baker said he “can’t think of a worse time to stall a transition than amid a deadly pandemic."
posted by adamg at 12:54 PM on November 10 [17 favorites]


> What is making people like Pompeo and Barr this desperate? This is political suicide at best, career-ending incarceration at worst.

There's the unlikely but still possible opportunity to exercise power as fascists instead of just having cushy sinecures as corporate vice presidents in some boardroom somewhere. And if it isn't successful, it still smears and weakens Biden just like the Birther Libel smeared and weakened Obama.

And until the electoral college meets, they have the legal shield to fling as much shit as they like.
posted by sebastienbailard at 12:55 PM on November 10 [4 favorites]


Thank you metafilter for this thread.

As for the safety of America from further damage by the Trump administration, the administration’s willingness to lie and its facility with dishonesty is what is scariest at this moment. I expect fabricating evidence for frivolous lawsuits is something Donald Trump excels at. Barr, Pompeo and McConnell are in position. The woman in GSA who won’t let Biden in is in position. I see this as a dangerous situation. It would be great if someone on the Democratic side would identify the violations and charge public servants who are serving Trump as if he were a king rather than serving the American people, in whose interest they are mandated to serve.
posted by ponibrown at 1:00 PM on November 10


Q: what are resignations about? Like, I can imagine them making sense in a world where dignity and legitimacy are important to power, but these things are clearly unimportant to the essentially shameless Trump administration and his supporters. Staying in your position and making every effort to act lawfully and erect every obstacle to being dismissed or replaced seems like a better idea. Leaving just gives license to the people who are happy to cooperate, right?

Or am I -- in typical progressive fashion -- overstating the power that an individual might have to stick around and resist?
posted by wildblueyonder at 1:01 PM on November 10 [1 favorite]


I was a year old when Y.M.C.A was released. I probably heard it for the first time about 10 years after it was released, when I was 11.

Even I know that it was queer. Maybe not as queer as "In the Navy", but it's damn queer (and that's why I love it).
posted by jb at 1:01 PM on November 10


Regardless of Pompeo's and other's reasonings, he's moving from "delusions" to "sedition." At least the "Let's just wait and see" chickenshit is built on a (cowardly) foundation. If they still insist that Trump won after states certify results, they will have nakedly, openly positioned themselves as subverters of democracy and traitors to the republic. If one cares about that sort of thing.
posted by Lord Chancellor at 1:04 PM on November 10 [4 favorites]


This is “owning the libs” ratcheted up to 11. We knew the transition period would be rough, worried about the nuclear football, Trump starting a war etc. This is more terrifyingly mundane. McConnell et al are deliberately keeping Trump’s base riled up for the Georgia run off *and* to stymie Biden’s transition in hopes that he makes an error the Republicans can capitalize on due to not having access to the federal vetting process or the daily threat assessments. Biden has a phenomenal number of hires to place in the next couple months. George W Bush fell behind due to the prolonged election dispute and it can be argued that it affected his inaction in the months before 9/11. The Bill Clinton transition was notoriously bogged down for months after he took office. At least Biden, with his decades of experience in Congress and the WH, is the most prepared to deal with this obstruction.
posted by TWinbrook8 at 1:05 PM on November 10 [4 favorites]


Can we please not refer to Emily Murphy as "the chubby blond"? It is offensive. Thank you.
posted by marlys at 1:11 PM on November 10 [20 favorites]


Joe Lieberman is on MSNBC defending Pompeo's remarks and Trump's court fillings and refusal to concede.

Folks, this is where we must all refuse to even be in the room with a TV showing MSNBC for at least a month. They must comprehend the severity of their misjudgment.
posted by delfin at 1:11 PM on November 10 [6 favorites]


[One post removed for violating the Community Guidelines. Please don't use "chubby" as an insult.]
posted by loup (staff) at 1:13 PM on November 10 [7 favorites]


Pompeo is doing the ignore the bullshit, Donald is still president so don't fuck with us, "cause"

clinging to historical reasoning propels him to send out definitive maybes because transition time is the time for other countries to "test" America: tear down the lame duck placard. Because really, without the PDB for P-E Biden that sorta stalls his transition limiting his scope to establish him as a future C&C and on the diplomatic circle. To concede, now, would at least be a huge factor in transition, esp. the markets.
posted by clavdivs at 1:14 PM on November 10 [1 favorite]


CNN citing Fox - "White House is firing top officials"
US defense official confirms: chief of staff Jen Stewart replaced by Kash Patel, a former Devin Nunes staffer who worked to discredit the Russia investigation. Also out, Vice Admiral Joseph Kernan, ret Navy SEAL who was Undersecretary of Defense for Intelligence.
posted by cashman at 1:15 PM on November 10 [3 favorites]


wildblueyonder...In the case of the DoJ resignation, when someone as respected as they supposedly were resigns, it also acts as an alert to others that things are about get really, really bad, and possibly treasonous.

Leaving now is the only safe move in this situation.
posted by Thorzdad at 1:23 PM on November 10 [6 favorites]


All the major newspapers (NYT, WaPo, etc.) have a red box at the top of their web pages when there's breaking news, in order to attract the attention of the reader. Sometimes it says "BREAKING"; other times it says "LIVE" or "LIVE UPDATES." Before the pandemic, this box was hardly used at all, except for a major story such as oh no there's a thunderstorm coming to this area soon. Now, with breaking tidbits all day every day, they've had to break the category into subgroups, such as "LIVE ELECTION UPDATES" or "BREAKING PANDEMIC NEWS."

The Boston Globe, beyond exhausted like everyone else, has changed their box back into one "THE LATEST." As in, here's the latest stupid shit that just happened, we don't care about categorizing or trying to get your attention anymore. Changing the box color to purple is too much for us right now.
posted by Melismata at 1:24 PM on November 10 [6 favorites]


At the end of the day the Joint Chiefs have publicly declared that they will respect the decision of the Supreme Court and Congress - as they should - which is really the end of it. Post-Trump SCOTUS will be a massive roadblock for progressive policy and social justice for at least twenty years but they maintain some basic standards and there is no readily available fig leaf for claiming that Biden lost. Unsurprisingly, the military takes chain-of-command deadly serious (literally), and Biden is going to be the new commander-in-chief on January 20th.

Everything else, no matter how messy, is just froth from political operatives trying not to get blacklisted by the Cult of Trump, or the administration's hardcore sadists enjoying one last leisurely torture session of the left's collective psyche before they lose that power for good. Best bet is to just ignore it and let Biden's team handle the situation like professionals.
posted by Ryvar at 1:27 PM on November 10 [11 favorites]


Seeing Biden's reactions reported in the press (I am much more a text than video person), I feel like Biden's response is just about perfect. Biden says Trump's actions are 'an embarrassment' but won't impede transition effort (CNN, via MSN):
Biden called Trump's refusal to concede the election that he lost "an embarrassment" that "will not help the President's legacy." But he also told reporters Tuesday in Delaware that he believes Republicans will eventually acknowledge his victory.

The Trump administration's refusal to initiate the transition process "does not change the dynamic at all in what we're able to do," Biden said.

"We don't see anything that's slowing us down, quite frankly," Biden said.

...

[on McConnell, Pompeo, Loeffler, Perdue:]

Biden chalked their actions up to fear that failing to abide Trump could hurt them politically.

"I think that the whole Republican Party has been put in the position -- with a few notable exceptions -- of being mildly intimidated by the sitting President," Biden said.
I mean, that's perfect.
  • You're not hurting me, man, but you're embarassing yourself, and hurting your own legacy.
  • Yeah, cooperation would have been nice, but whatever. We're still going ahead full steam.
  • Kind of sad that so much of the Republican Party has been mildly intimidated by this guy. He's not worth being scared of, but you know, apparently some people intimidate easily.
I absolutely think the man who just lost would LIKE to cause as much havoc as he can, and I absolutely believe he has sycophants who will try to make that happen. But I agree with Biden's advisor who noted that Trump wants to make everyone follow him into fantasyland. It's essential to be prepared to deal with whatever dirty tricks they try to pull - but from a messaging standpoint, it seems really smart to say "we'll be taking office really soon now, and we're doing everything we need to do, while those guys flail embarassingly."
posted by kristi at 1:31 PM on November 10 [72 favorites]


Biden is also disadvantaged by not being a ruthless sociopath. The Republicans are, and are quite willing to kill and torture hostages to get what they want. If Moscow Mitch wants him to pass, say, a tax cut for the rich or a law mandating gender as being assigned at birth or something, he can make it a condition for allowing through a law that releases desperately needed money to save lives or otherwise preventing cruel, absurdly pointless suffering, and thus keep driving the legislative agenda from opposition.
posted by acb at 1:32 PM on November 10 [3 favorites]


While I have a slight fear that the transition won’t occur, I’m more concerned that the Republican party is collectively helping to perpetuate a myth that the fix was in this election. It’s shockingly destabilizing for the country. It seems like the Biden team’s refusal to engage with that reality has worked throughout this election, will probably continue to work, and might work better than bluntly confronting this coup attempt head-on. But I do fear that “2020 was stolen” will become a fixed talking point in 2022 and 2024, maybe pushing us over the autocracy threshold in the future.
posted by Going To Maine at 1:40 PM on November 10 [8 favorites]


I hope that Biden will take the opportunity to do everything Republicans haven't been doing, like taking a sane approach to "stimulus" (income support), unemployment, pestilence, and taxes on the rich, and thus eviscerating the Republican party of registered voters. I truly think that if you do the things for the people, the people will want more of you, and that a lot of Republicans are susceptible to conversion.
posted by rhizome at 1:59 PM on November 10 [3 favorites]


You know how there's nothing that really makes SCOTUS decisions enforceable except public belief in them. It's also the same for the Presidency. It's vitally important that the TV networks (including Fox) have projected Biden as President-Elect. It's important the world leader of all the major democracies have congratulated him on his election. It's important that Biden projects himself as the President with a mandate to deliver. That includes being dismissive of Republican efforts to prevent his inauguration. It includes all the trappings of Presidential power he can muster (eg the logo he is using, isn't the Biden-Harris campaign, its the Office of the President Elect). He has staff who can worry about the details of baseless legal challenges, and I'm sure that they are.

It is also important that America has considered itself to have had democracy over the last 240 years. In most places where successful coups take place democracy has not been so well thought of. Most American judges do not want to be responsible for dismantling democracy and subverting the will of the people. It's notable that the people in charge of the elections in each state are not undermining the vote even when they are Republicans.

The Republicans are probably attempting a coup (some genuinely and some not) where the failsafe is a mandate to undermine the Biden presidency over the next 4 years. Confidence that counting the votes shows Biden has won will go a very long way to preventing the coup from being successful. It will also help with claiming a mandate.
posted by plonkee at 2:02 PM on November 10 [23 favorites]


@RepCohen:
Not to say I told you so but....
They are putting their efforts in propaganda so that legislators will send Trump electors despite election results.Deny Biden-Harris 270 in Electoral college.
Then it goes to the house.They have the votes.
Defense Sec.move is to put down protests
posted by Golden Eternity at 2:12 PM on November 10 [10 favorites]


Isn't this usually the point where other developed nations threaten sanctions?
posted by cmfletcher at 2:13 PM on November 10 [11 favorites]


At the end of the day the Joint Chiefs have publicly declared that they will respect the decision of the Supreme Court and Congress - as they should - which is really the end of it.

Can't the President remove the Joint Chiefs? And any other military official that will not let him sic the military on the people?

I'm really trying to be confident and not worry, but it's not easy.
posted by triggerfinger at 2:15 PM on November 10 [6 favorites]


Sorry to interrupt, but here's that election-themed steamed hams meme you requested.
posted by box at 2:41 PM on November 10 [7 favorites]


Haley Talbot on Twitter: "CIA Director Haspel departs the Hill after meeting with Mitch McConnell for roughly 20 minutes," did not answer questions.
posted by Lonnrot at 2:42 PM on November 10 [5 favorites]


> I’m more concerned that the Republican party is collectively helping to perpetuate a myth that the fix was in this election.

Me too. On January 21, he'll be yapping birther shit about VP Harris, drain the swamp & lock 'em up and the stolen election tirelessly. Let's hope Fox doesn't put his calls on the air anymore. OANN, Parler & Gab will certainly be amplifying him it & it'll be the 1994 Contract with America and the 2009 Tea Party, but worse. Every following election will be accompanied by cries of fraud and every Democratic candidate will have their eligibility called into question. I wish the RNC would resist, but they didn't in 2009.

I'm hoping that AUSA-SDNY prosecution and divorce proceedings will keep him quiet but I'm not hopeful that ignoring him will work. News is Entertainment now.

> sic the military on the people?

I'd be more worried about A.G. Barr sending in the US Marshalls, not as an attempted coup, but to punish those who voted "wrong." Bob Bauer was very confident that they wouldn't be able to send them into physically stop vote counting or seize ballots, but "quelling insurrection" has already been done in Portland. There aren't enough forces to occupy every chocolate city at once, but a week of hell for each is doable. I think they'd have a much harder time federalizing the National Guards or using even reserve military.

Huh, there aren't that many: 94 marshals, 3,953 deputy marshals and criminal investigators, but the Federal Bureau of Prisons has 37,480 employees, some of whom were helped instigate in the Lafayette Park police riot.

I'd volunteer with the National Lawyers Guild to be an observer, but they require friends to vouch for you to keep out agents provocateur and I'm a dang hermit. Guess I can help with the independent journalism part.
posted by ASCII Costanza head at 2:43 PM on November 10 [7 favorites]


There's at least one elected Republican official who is telling Trump to knock it off. OK, it's MA Gov. Charlie Baker...

One of the hardest things for me to come to grips with, as a Democrat transplant to Massachusetts, is having this weird sensation of actual respect for a Republican governor. Whatever else you want to say about Baker, he hates Trump with the heat of a thousand burning suns. I like that about him.
posted by invincible summer at 2:50 PM on November 10 [2 favorites]


It is also important that America has considered itself to have had democracy over the last 240 years. In most places where successful coups take place democracy has not been so well thought of. Most American judges do not want to be responsible for dismantling democracy and subverting the will of the people.

Here’s the thing, though. Trump and Co. have been broadcasting the idea for months that a Biden win means that said coup is being attempted, and that Trump’s efforts constitute the fight for democracy.

They’ve laid the groundwork. In addition to the black-is-white messaging, they’ve saturated the federal judiciary with judges who hew to Trump. He’s unleashed Barr to “find” rampant voting fraud. Now, he’s making sure there’s no one left at the Pentagon who will say “no” to active-duty troops marching against US. citizens (who will be painted as supporters of the failed liberal coup and, thus, traitors).

Shit is about to hit the fan unless there are still calm heads left who have Trump’s ear, who might be able to walk him away from this insanity. I kinda doubt any such unicorn exists, though.
posted by Thorzdad at 2:51 PM on November 10 [8 favorites]


stymie Biden’s transition in hopes that he makes an error the Republicans can capitalize on due to not having access to the federal vetting process or the daily threat assessments

Yeah, they might fuck up and hire a Russian asset they were warned not to hire by an earlier president.
posted by kirkaracha at 2:51 PM on November 10 [9 favorites]


I’m really trying to be confident and not worry, but it's not easy.

I think being worried is honestly a fairly healthy response - it is worrying, since some bad stuff is possible. But at the same time, as plonkee notes, there are large institutional (and international) forces pushing back on the narrative. Further, there’s no real evidence of a single smoke-filled room of smart people managing some massive conspiracy of power these past four years: it’s been a lot of small-timers doing small-time crime on a big scale, plus the Republican party pushing for Republican goals and trying to hold it together. It’s a very scary dance between some weird partners, and a lot of things could happen, but that hardly makes them inevitable, or even “likely”. It just makes it possible. It’s a good time to be on your toes, and seventy days is a long time to inauguration.
posted by Going To Maine at 2:55 PM on November 10 [13 favorites]


Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney, chair of the Committee on Oversight and Reform:
BREAKING NEWS: Erie, Pa. #USPS whistleblower completely RECANTED his allegations of a supervisor tampering with mail-in ballots after being questioned by investigators, according to IG.

Here are the facts: Richard Hopkins is a USPS employee in Erie, Pa. He signed a sworn affidavit with allegations of ballot tampering/fraud and went public through Project Veritas. #USPS IG began investigating last week.

#USPS IG investigators informed Committee staff today that they interviewed Hopkins on Friday, but that Hopkins RECANTED HIS ALLEGATIONS yesterday and did not explain why he signed a false affidavit.
posted by cashman at 3:02 PM on November 10 [31 favorites]


Miss the Impeach-o-meter? Here's the Coup-o-meter.
posted by Melismata at 3:06 PM on November 10 [10 favorites]


Very informative Reddit thread here keeping track of the ongoing Republican coup attempt along various axes (misinformation, court cases, Barr's memo). It is quite detailed and well-sourced - and somewhat optimistic, so may offer some hope to those seeking it right now.

That being said, it does not ease my fears much, but I think it is helpful to look at ways in which the situation can be peacefully recovered as well as potential risks. It is a mistake to write anything off out of hand, right now.
posted by Lonnrot at 3:07 PM on November 10 [15 favorites]


It is also important that America has considered itself to have had democracy over the last 240 years

No it really hasn't? Apparently you don't talk to many right-wingers; "the USA is a republic, not a democracy" is a standard talking point from people too fucking stupid to understand what words mean. And the USA was not in any sense founded as a democracy--the Founders feared democracy as mob rule; only white male property owners could vote in most places, and the profoundly undemocratic nature of the Senate and the Electoral College are by design, not accident.

Relevant to the current political moment, a study which finds that increasing "ethnic antagonism" erodes Republicans' commitment to democracy (in other words, democracy stops being useful when they can no longer use it to maintain white supremacy).
posted by Pseudonymous Cognomen at 3:14 PM on November 10 [7 favorites]




@ZachGorchow: The Trump campaign says it will file this newest litigation, which alleges equal protection violations in Wayne County, in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Michigan, not the Eastern District, the latter of which includes Wayne County.
posted by Golden Eternity at 3:36 PM on November 10 [1 favorite]


Invincible summer: Baker may hate Trump with the heat of a thousand burning suns, but he's still a fucking chickenshit who shared with the public that he left his vote blank for the presidential race. And endorsed Susan Fucking Collins. Don't get too caught up in that respect, and vote the motherfucker out when his turn comes around.
posted by Sublimity at 3:36 PM on November 10 [10 favorites]


Op-ed from one of Nevada's best and widely respected attorneys, a Republican, who is an expert in elections law and puts what is happening now in the state in stark relief.

The current cries of voter fraud are the fraud
posted by Sublimity at 3:44 PM on November 10 [16 favorites]


>"the USA is a republic, not a democracy" is a standard talking point from people too fucking stupid to understand what words mean

that quoted text is a doozy of a:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thought-terminating_cliché
posted by Heywood Mogroot III at 3:45 PM on November 10 [8 favorites]


BREAKING NEWS: Erie, Pa. #USPS whistleblower completely RECANTED his allegations of a supervisor tampering with mail-in ballots after being questioned by investigators, according to IG.

WaPo paywalled, but apparently he was paid $130k by Republican donors.
posted by jason_steakums at 3:53 PM on November 10 [19 favorites]


Post-election personnel shakeups initiated by the Trump admin:

DoD Undersecretary of Defense for Intelligence and Security: Ezra Cohen-Watnick
  • One-time aide to General Michael T. Flynn
  • Suspected of having leaked intelligence documents to Devin Nunes
NSA General Counsel: Michael Ellis
  • One-time Chief Counsel to Devin Nunes
  • Suspected of having leaked intelligence documents to Devin Nunes
Chief of Staff to the Secretary of Defense: Kashyap (Kash) Patel
  • One-time aide to Devin Nunes
  • Suspected of being a back channel for Ukraine policy and intelligence information
  • Replaces Jen Stewart, who resigned yesterday, and who was purportedly going to facilitate the DoD transition with Biden's team
DoD Acting Undersecretary of Defense for Policy: Anthony Tata
  • Retired Brigadier General & Frequent Fox News contributor
  • Claimed that Barack Obama is a Muslim and "terrorist leader"
  • Promoted a conspiracy theory asserting that the CIA sought to assassinate Trump
Acting Secretary of Defense: Christopher C. Miller
  • Special Forces soldier and commander in Iraq and Afghanistan
  • NSC Counter Terrorism Advisor
  • Director of the National Counterterrorism Center (appointed by Trump & approved by the Senate)
I have read speculation that these appointments (excepting that of Miller as Acting Secy of Defense) embed the appointees into positions that carry civil service protections, which would make them harder for Biden to terminate. If anyone has more insight into that, I'd appreciate your sharing it.

It's concerning to me that 3 Nunes / Flynn lackeys are moving into top spots in the DOD and NSA. If Nunes and/or Flynn are spies, embedding these operatives into these positions seems like it could be a favor to Putin and/or Erdogan.

Tata just seems completely unhinged.

I haven't found much dirt on Miller. The only thing that comes to mind with him is that Trump has been hot to officially declare Antifa and BLM protestors domestic terrorists.
posted by syzygy at 3:55 PM on November 10 [20 favorites]


From that Reddit discussion Lonnrot posted:

10 things you need to know to stop a coup

Preventing a Disrupted Presidential Election and Transition, which is was written by the Transition Integrity Project.

Hope for the best, and that Biden's admin is well prepared. Anticipate the worse, keep an ear to the ground, and be prepared to take to the streets.
posted by Mister Cheese at 4:01 PM on November 10 [9 favorites]


Asha Rangappa on twitter seems to think that the personnel moves are associated with hiding evidence of more criminal behavior in the intelligence arena (similar to the Ukraine phone call etc.). Remember that Michael Ellis was the WH attorney who decided the Ukraine readout needed to be moved to the classified server.

I have read speculation that these appointments (excepting that of Miller as Acting Secy of Defense) embed the appointees into positions that carry civil service protections, which would make them harder for Biden to terminate.

I'm not sure you can get civil service protections that way -- if the President moves them around that quickly, I suspect they're political appointments. But I don't know for sure.

That new EO with the Schedule F category (which allows for a policy-related civil service position that has no civil service protections) doesn't go into effect until just before the inauguration.
posted by suelac at 4:16 PM on November 10 [5 favorites]


I forgot to include a link to this Inside Defense article, which covers in more detail several of the appointments I mentioned in my personnel shakeups comment.
posted by syzygy at 4:16 PM on November 10


Dahlia Lithwick at Slate explains "The Real Threat of Trump’s Ridiculous Coup Attempt."
Republicans are extending their position that Democrats in power are illegitimate to suggest that Democrats voting shouldn’t count either.
posted by PhineasGage at 4:17 PM on November 10 [13 favorites]


I think being worried is honestly a fairly healthy response - it is worrying, since some bad stuff is possible. But at the same time, as plonkee notes, there are large institutional (and international) forces pushing back on the narrative.

We have just spent four years watching events confirm over and over and over that "Institutions Will Not Save You" is an entirely accurate rule in this place and time.

My comfort, such as it is, draws from the fact that the Republican Party itself does _not_ benefit from a Trump Coup. Trump himself does. His array of criminals, family members and check-both-boxes who cling to him will benefit. The media figures who are more carnival barkers than journalists (the likes of Hannity / Dobbs / Levin / etc.) benefit. Whoever has influence over Trump and whom he fears will benefit greatly. But the Republican Party functions just fine -- arguably better -- from a state of deadlock, in which the Democrats can be blamed for everything that could or will possibly go wrong from there on out. Trading four years of conservative Democrat governance now for eight years of smarter-than-Trump fash starting in 2024 isn't a terrible bargain for them.

Mitch knows that. Barr knows that. The majority of the GOP knows that. Big business and donors know that. The rest of the world knows that.

Are they in more danger of losing personal power and influence if they completely throw American democracy into the dumpster and explicitly enable Trump to seize unitary power, horrifying Democrats and "moderate Republicans" alike, or if they decline to go along in full or actively assist in the power grab? "Trump was robbed of his rightful term" works just fine as a get-the-vote-out motivator for THEM, _if Trump is not POTUS at the time_.

This is one of those games where if there was a secret ballot, so to speak, Trump would be out on his ear in a heartbeat... but people on the right fear the repercussions of standing against him openly or being perceived as doing so. King, swing, don't miss.
posted by delfin at 4:22 PM on November 10 [2 favorites]


Biden's lead in Georgia has now increased to 14,149 votes.
posted by cashman at 4:26 PM on November 10 [11 favorites]


> BREAKING NEWS: Erie, Pa. #USPS whistleblower completely RECANTED his allegations of a supervisor tampering with mail-in ballots after being questioned by investigators, according to IG.

WaPo paywalled, but apparently he was paid $130k by Republican donors.


I'm guessing that wasn't enough to counter a loss of pension and maybe an acquisition of prison time? Like maybe he didn't think things through.
posted by rhizome at 4:27 PM on November 10 [3 favorites]


WaPo paywalled, but apparently he was paid $130k by Republican donors.

Well there's some jail time.
posted by ctmf at 4:35 PM on November 10 [5 favorites]


His Go Fund Me has been suspended.
posted by TWinbrook8 at 4:36 PM on November 10 [11 favorites]


Post-election personnel shakeups initiated by the Trump admin:

DoD Undersecretary of Defense for Intelligence and Security: Ezra Cohen-Watnick
NSA General Counsel: Michael Ellis
Chief of Staff to the Secretary of Defense: Kashyap (Kash) Patel
DoD Acting Undersecretary of Defense for Policy: Anthony Tata
Acting Secretary of Defense: Christopher C. Miller


Obviously Trump's been told by the Russian "bankers" he's indebted to that in the remaining time, loot the file cabinets
posted by mikelieman at 4:37 PM on November 10 [2 favorites]


New @Reuters /@Ipsos poll of 1,363 U.S. adults (Nov. 7-10):

Who won the 2020 election?
Biden - 79%
Trump - 3%
Not yet decided - 13%

72% say the loser should concede defeat, 60% believe there will be a peaceful transition.
posted by Ahmad Khani at 4:39 PM on November 10 [21 favorites]


If you can't get the Joint Chiefs to agree with you, get Political Officers right next to them. Wonder if the new appointees know how to use a firearm?
posted by ctmf at 4:40 PM on November 10 [2 favorites]


I'm guessing that wasn't enough to counter a loss of pension and maybe an acquisition of prison time? Like maybe he didn't think things through.

Loss of job, loss of pension, and prison time.

aka future Trump advisor.
posted by Ahmad Khani at 4:40 PM on November 10 [2 favorites]


civil service protections

Someone correct me if I'm wrong, but the way I understood it is: Civil service protections only protect their paycheck & pension. It doesn't mean they get to keep their current responsibilities. They can be rotated to a windowless office where their only responsibility is filling out the crosswords.

If that's true, then having them in a civil service position doesn't really mean anything beyond the paychecks. They can't do active damage in a Biden administration beyond being unpleasant for their department's coworkers.
posted by Teegeeack AV Club Secretary at 4:41 PM on November 10 [4 favorites]


BREAKING NEWS: Erie, Pa. #USPS whistleblower completely RECANTED his allegations of a supervisor tampering with mail-in ballots after being questioned by investigators, according to IG.

WaPo paywalled, but apparently he was paid $130k by Republican donors.


And he went public through Project Veritas? PLEEEEEASE tell me that James O’Keefe’s fingerprints are on this!
posted by darkstar at 4:49 PM on November 10 [9 favorites]


For anyone who's interested, Four Seasons Total Landscaping has been recreated in Second Life.
posted by CrunchyFrog at 4:50 PM on November 10 [9 favorites]


Who won the 2020 election?
Biden - 79%
Trump - 3%
Not yet decided - 13%



Wow...finally something that broke through the 27% crazification factor.
posted by darkstar at 4:52 PM on November 10 [26 favorites]



Invincible summer: Baker may hate Trump with the heat of a thousand burning suns, but he's still a fucking chickenshit who shared with the public that he left his vote blank for the presidential race


I'll remind you that FEMA still controls the distribution of medical supplies right now. Baker went so far as to publicly praise Trump at a time when PPE was critically short in MA.

He's up for re-election in 2022, and I'm going to let his actions be judged when he is not under duress.
posted by ocschwar at 5:01 PM on November 10 [1 favorite]


Don't worry, sublimity - I did not and will not vote for Baker, or any other republican. I know too well what happens to even the moderates when they run for higher office and get pushed further and further into crazytown.
posted by invincible summer at 5:03 PM on November 10


So what's so special about the sum of $130,000? That's the same amount Trump paid Stormy Daniels.
posted by kristi at 5:15 PM on November 10 [4 favorites]


For anyone who's interested, Four Seasons Total Landscaping has been recreated in Second Life.

That’s VR Chat, dang it. (Someone linked it earlier.)
posted by Going To Maine at 5:17 PM on November 10 [2 favorites]


I'm wondering how much the noise they made today was related to knowing that the USPS IG was going to announce that their star "witness" lied.
posted by jason_steakums at 5:18 PM on November 10 [3 favorites]


That's the same amount Trump paid Stormy Daniels.

I wonder if that amount is some sort of banking or reporting threshold.
posted by Miko at 5:20 PM on November 10 [2 favorites]


Mar-a-Lago Will Need to Tear Down Its Presidential Helipad Once Trump Leaves Office - People

hehehe.
posted by valkane at 5:21 PM on November 10 [1 favorite]


So what's so special about the sum of $130,000?

two millennia of inflation; 30 pieces of silver only comes to about 735 bucks these days.
posted by StarkRoads at 5:27 PM on November 10 [1 favorite]


Ya, well Trump is legally enjoined from using maralago as his residence or even sleeping there more than a handful of times a year and you can see how much of an effect that has had. He even used it as his official residence when voting.
posted by Mitheral at 5:32 PM on November 10 [4 favorites]


How is James O’Keefe not in jail by now?
posted by freecellwizard at 5:34 PM on November 10 [9 favorites]


I found this really reassuring (to the degree that anything is): Trump Is Trying to Overturn the Election, but I’m Not Panicking—Yet [The Nation]
posted by Mchelly at 5:38 PM on November 10 [19 favorites]


We have just spent four years watching events confirm over and over and over that “Institutions Will Not Save You” is an entirely accurate rule in this place and time.

My comfort, such as it is, draws from the fact that the Republican Party itself does _not_ benefit from a Trump Coup. Trump himself does

“Institutions will not save you” is a great line that Masha Gessen introduced into the lexicon, and fundamentally we are still at the mercy of individual actors and their own ethics, that’s certainly true. But institutions are also not completely useless in this world, either, and I wish that we could balance that out as well - for instance, the GOP is itself an institution, and the above framing put some degree of faith in it it being so self-serving as to preserve us. institutions might not save the country from autocracy, but perceptions of institutional response can certainly give us signals about where the world is and about how to scope our fears.
posted by Going To Maine at 5:42 PM on November 10 [3 favorites]


From the Transition Integrity Project: they had "narrow Biden win" and "Clear Biden victory." Which is this?
posted by jenfullmoon at 5:48 PM on November 10


Would the enterprising USPS employee also be at risk for being a federal employee while also taking a bribe?
posted by rhizome at 6:00 PM on November 10 [2 favorites]


Oh that dude's life is ruined. The question is can the bribERS be touched.
posted by ctmf at 6:03 PM on November 10 [2 favorites]


The Lieutenant Governor of Pennsylvania:
John Fetterman@JohnFetterman · 2h
Hey, Governor Patrick- it’s your counterpart in Pennsylvania.

I’d like to collect your handsome reward for reporting voter fraud.

I got a dude in Forty Fort, PA who tried to have his dead mom vote for Trump.

I’d like mine in Sheetz gift cards pls.

ps. The Cowboys blow.
Chuck Lindell @chucklindell · 5h
Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, one of the biggest Trump boosters in Texas, says he'll pay up $1 million to encourage and reward those who report voter fraud. If info leads to arrest/ conviction for voter fraud. expect at least $25,000, he says.
posted by sebastienbailard at 6:03 PM on November 10 [37 favorites]


FYI: Just in case like me you couldn't tell whether Fetterman's tweet was sarcasm; Forty Fort, PA is a real place.
posted by Mitheral at 6:08 PM on November 10 [6 favorites]


Invincible summer: Baker may hate Trump with the heat of a thousand burning suns, but he's still a fucking chickenshit who shared with the public that he left his vote blank for the presidential race. And endorsed Susan Fucking Collins. Don't get too caught up in that respect, and vote the motherfucker out when his turn comes around.

Baker also used the distractions last week to quietly change the criteria for Covid risk while no one was looking. Previously 121 towns were in the "Red" zone, and now only 16 are. Congratulations kids, even though rates are doubling every two weeks, your town is now "Green" and it's ok to resume in-person learning! Plus they quietly deleted the map that showed case rates per town. It's pure Trumpist manipulation of the math to justify continued reopening, from the Republican that Democrats love to love.
posted by chortly at 6:12 PM on November 10 [7 favorites]


for instance, the GOP is itself an institution, and the above framing put some degree of faith in it it being so self-serving as to preserve us.

Touche, but I do not view the GOP as an institution in that same sense, to approach this from a degree of pathological wordsmithing. Let me see if I can rephrase myself out of this hole.

The GOP certainly puts its self-serving nature on the table in blatant ways. Like "we're not even going to pretend to listen to statements, much less admit testimony or evidence during Trump's trial" or "we're going to engage in blatant hypocritical behavior and cram Barrett onto SCOTUS the month before an election." But they are not an institution in the sense of acting as a part of a functioning whole, with respect for the other parts of that whole; they have no interest in any institution but themselves.

Some had hopes that the independent counsel investigation of Mueller would remedy things somewhat. Or that the Democrats would find ways to meaningfully oppose the GOP agenda. Or that existing laws and regulations and procedures and norms would prevent Trump's GOP from abusing everyone else horribly. That's how I understand "institutions will not save us" because those institutions have at least some sense of wanting to save us, so to speak; and if they tried, they failed.

If the GOP decides to slip Trump out the back door and lock it before he realizes it, they are not doing so with anyone else's welfare in mind but their own and that of the monied interests that control them. A rogue agent, so to speak. And that will last only until they feel that they are more advantageously served by disdaining norms and process and sanity once more.

I mean, if it happens long enough to eject Trump successfully, GOOD. But we will get back to President McConnell in short order.
posted by delfin at 6:16 PM on November 10 [3 favorites]


Now that Madame Robots is inclined to allow travel to the United States, I am definitely making sure that our triumphal tour includes a stop at the Sheetz in Forty Fort.
posted by No Robots at 6:24 PM on November 10 [6 favorites]


NYT home page top headline: Election Officials Nationwide Find No Fraud
posted by neroli at 6:31 PM on November 10 [14 favorites]


Yesterday a friend who is the child of a Holocaust survivor mentioned it was the anniversary of Kristallnacht. She is glad her father recently passed and isn't here to see history at risk of rhyming.
posted by PhineasGage at 6:31 PM on November 10 [7 favorites]


Four years ago, two days after the election, Michelle Obama graciously hosted Melania Trump at the White House for tea and a tour.

Where's Melania now? Has she spoken to Jill Biden.

No she has not, because she is a no class shitheel just like her husband.
posted by JackFlash at 6:55 PM on November 10 [58 favorites]


If there's a connection between this false affidavit and Veritas/O'Keefe do PA voters like me and my friends have a civil rights case?
posted by cmfletcher at 6:58 PM on November 10 [3 favorites]


Forty Fort

As has already been observed, it sounds like it was named by Internet vote
posted by thelonius at 7:01 PM on November 10 [5 favorites]


I thought it was a line from an Eminem song.
posted by valkane at 7:05 PM on November 10


Go look up PA town names, it's not even top ten.
posted by cmfletcher at 7:09 PM on November 10 [8 favorites]


Sorry if this was mentioned upthread but

The Pompeo video is really odd. He says it kind of haltingly, his voice cracks a little, and he gives a strange, almost relieved-looking smile after he's done. It's like watching someone come out of the closet, except as a Nazi.
posted by theodolite at 1:38 PM on November 10
[10 favorites +] [!]


He says there will be a peaceful transition while shaking his head no == lying sack of shit.

He smiles after because of duper’s delight

That video is weird to watch because your subconscious recognizes that he’s incongruent as fuck. All my body alarms were ringing after that one too.
posted by St. Peepsburg at 7:13 PM on November 10 [12 favorites]


our triumphal tour includes a stop at the Sheetz in Forty Fort.

Just be aware.
posted by 922257033c4a0f3cecdbd819a46d626999d1af4a at 7:16 PM on November 10 [7 favorites]


jenfullmoon, we're closer to "narrow Biden win." There is clear and sufficient evidence for a Biden win but there has been enough of a time lag in counting it out that Republicans are able to sow doubt successfully and the margins were narrower than many hoped. It isn't the blowout Biden win that would have made a Trump victory being decided look outrageous. We slid into the nightmare scenario today, I think, but we can still slide back out. Events are not linear or locked in.

This does have to be taken seriously, though. I don't know exactly what the path for that looks like but it's going to have to include something more than blowing it all off. Pompeo is not kidding or hyping the fans for a 2024 run. Republicans are serious.
posted by Lonnrot at 7:21 PM on November 10 [4 favorites]


The Pompeo video is really odd.

I know we're all civic minded folks here but it's worth mentioning that as secretary of state mike pompeo has no legitimate role whatsoever in the internal affairs of these United States. It's none of his goddamn business how the election turns out one way or any other.
posted by StarkRoads at 7:23 PM on November 10 [36 favorites]


"Trump all but told us that he wasn’t a president for cities like Detroit and Philadelphia. They said, “Fine.” Voters whom he spent his presidency erasing have sealed his fate, and now he feels entitled to say that the election didn’t count." -- Jamil Smith, Rolling Stone.
posted by valkane at 7:25 PM on November 10 [20 favorites]


@joshtpm:
GOPs started out humoring Trump, trying to give him time to accept the inevitable. But as he’s pushed forward, they’re getting more comfortable with the idea of convincing state legislatures to throw out the results of vote and just vote to give Trump the electors.

Late last week they wldnt touch it, remained silent. Since then more and more have publicly embraced the theory of a stolen election and said elector nullification is on the table. The more it’s normalized the more open to it they seem to be.
posted by Golden Eternity at 7:26 PM on November 10 [13 favorites]


Thanks, Josh, but my blood pressure is already high.
posted by valkane at 7:30 PM on November 10 [2 favorites]


Laura Ingraham is interviewing some lady with altered voice talking about a van in a parking lot of a polling place where people were falsifying mail-in ballots. It's like Art Bell or something. I guess FOX News has decided to go along with it now.
posted by Golden Eternity at 7:31 PM on November 10 [5 favorites]


My god. It's going to be like UFO sightings now with the ballot fraud. Actually, someone will probably say they saw aliens vote at some point.
posted by perhapses at 7:35 PM on November 10 [3 favorites]


Perhapses, you have seen last Saturday’s weekend update, right?
posted by susiswimmer at 7:38 PM on November 10


I haven't but that is getting ready to change.
posted by perhapses at 7:40 PM on November 10


From the Transition Integrity Project: they had "narrow Biden win" and "Clear Biden victory." Which is this?

Well, if you want to compare 2016 to 2020 in the key states:

Pennsylvania: Trump won by 44 thousand. Biden won by 48 thousand.
Michigan: Trump won by 11 thousand. Biden won by 46 thousand.
Wisconsin: Trump won by 23 thousand. Biden won by 20 thousand.

It's absurd for people to claim that the Biden victory is too narrow to call a week after the election. In 2016 the election was called the next day and in two days they were executing the formal transition. This time the counting took a couple days longer because of the mail-in ballots, but the results have been clear since Saturday.
posted by JackFlash at 7:45 PM on November 10 [40 favorites]


@WillMcAvoyACN : " At this time there are more verified cases of fraudulent claims of voter fraud than there are verified cases of voter fraud."
posted by Mitheral at 7:46 PM on November 10 [39 favorites]


I keep seeing that “10 ways to stop a coup” article. A friend notes that they use Germany in 1920 as an example - and that yeah, they stopped the coup by electing a centrist government, but it only gave the far right time to regroup and come back not 20 years later with something much worse.
posted by anshuman at 7:48 PM on November 10 [5 favorites]


the weird thing about Weimar Germany was that the socialists had to put the Zentrum -- center-right Catholics -- as Chancellor for them even though they were the larger party in the coalition.

Zentrum threw them under the bus after the Reichstag Fire [on the Enabling Act vote] anyway.
posted by Heywood Mogroot III at 7:55 PM on November 10 [4 favorites]


Ya I know he’s got no say in it. It just makes me angry that a grown ass man who also occupies a critical role in government bold lies to my face like my fukkin 5 year old taking an extra cookie before my very eyes after I said no and then has the audacity to smile about it after like he’s oh so smart to have pulled a fast one on me like that and his evaluation of me is that I’m too stupid to see that he’s just making up the bullshit as he talks along acting like words no longer have meaning.
posted by St. Peepsburg at 8:03 PM on November 10 [20 favorites]


Yeah, I'm a big fan of history, but this ain't Weimar... this is stupid fucking shit America. And If we dodge this fascist bullet? I'ma gonna kiss the sky. And pray and vote for education, because that's the only thing that can solve this problem.

Ignorance is the enemy. Get that kid to read, and maybe, they can decide what is right.
posted by valkane at 8:06 PM on November 10 [11 favorites]


Lawyer Marc E. Elias: "Today in court, a Pennsylvania judge asked a lawyer for Trump point-blank whether he was alleging fraud. (Full transcript here)"
THE COURT: I understand. I am asking you a specific question, and I am looking for a specific answer. Are you claiming that there is any fraud in connection with these 592 disputed ballots?

MR. GOLDSTEIN: To my knowledge at present, no.

THE COURT: Are you claiming that there is any undue or improper influence upon the elector with respect to these 592 ballots?

MR. GOLDSTEIN: To my knowledge at present, no.
posted by cashman at 8:08 PM on November 10 [43 favorites]


It just makes me angry that a grown ass man who also occupies a critical role in government bold lies to my face

Both Pompeo and Pence are evangelical christians. I think that sort of lying on behalf of what they consider a righteous cause is a hallmark of their religion.
posted by JackFlash at 8:09 PM on November 10 [17 favorites]


Both Pompeo and Pence are out of a job, because god doesn't play dice.
posted by valkane at 8:15 PM on November 10 [1 favorite]


Paul Ryan once said he likes RATM. How does that even happen? He understands words, has he listened to the words? There are words Paul! They're saying something!

They're like people who go to an exhibition of renaissance art and all they remember is how great the tits were.
posted by adept256


An ultra-conservative former Australian Prime Minister (Howard) once said he likes Bob Dylan, but only for the music, not the words.

Let that sink in.
posted by Pouteria at 8:32 PM on November 10 [9 favorites]


Leonie Moyle @SpeciationLab · Nov 9
This is just to say

I have booked
the presser
that was at
Four Seasons Total Landscaping

and which
you were probably
hoping
for the Four Seasons

Forgive me
they were available
so cheap
and so close
posted by sebastienbailard at 8:49 PM on November 10 [11 favorites]


A solid WaPo story By Amy Gardner, Tom Hamburger, Jon Swaine and Josh Dawsey on the state of things: "As states press forward with vote counts, Trump advisers privately express pessimism about heading off Biden’s win." The article ends with this:
Said one adviser of the president who speaks to him regularly: “He wants to sow discontent in the public that the election was illegitimate, so he can say he didn’t lose.”
Republicans are willing to destroy the country to feed Trump's narcissism.

And see this article by David A. Fahrenthold, Elise Viebeck, Emma Brown and Rosalind S. Helderman for a more detailed round-up of Republican allegations, most of which were extremely flimsy to start, and and all of which have fallen apart under scrutiny: "Here are the GOP and Trump campaign’s allegations of election irregularities. So far, none has been proved."

I believe these article are not behind a paywall.
posted by jedicus at 8:53 PM on November 10 [16 favorites]


He lost like a dog.
posted by valkane at 9:21 PM on November 10 [6 favorites]


I get what your saying, but, stop insulting dogs. They understand defeat.
posted by Windopaene at 9:37 PM on November 10 [23 favorites]


Hey everyone, a friendly reminder that tomorrow is a good day to call your representatives and tell them this is all very not good.
posted by Going To Maine at 10:03 PM on November 10 [9 favorites]


I'd really like to see the descriptions of the trump lawsuits in the media shift from:

"they have produced no evidence"

to something more like:

"they knew that they had no evidence."

A mere lack of evidence is something that might be fixed. Filing a lawsuit when you know you have no evidence is bad faith, and shows that you're just abusing the system. It might seem too partisan for the media to say, but we've now seen at least two transcripts where lawyers admit, on questioning from judges, that they have no evidence of the thing they're claiming. That means they knew they had no evidence when they walked into court that day, when they held the press conference beforehand, when they brought suit in the first place. That shit needs to be highlighted, over and over.
posted by mabelstreet at 10:14 PM on November 10 [35 favorites]


Tomorrow's NYT Front Page

Will it move the needle? Who's to say.
posted by revmitcz at 10:18 PM on November 10 [3 favorites]


LOL. These people think Drudge and Fox News are liberal sellouts at this point.
posted by Rhaomi at 10:26 PM on November 10 [2 favorites]


As of 7 hours ago, Biden is up by more votes than the estimated number of uncounted ballots in Pennsylvania.

https://alex.github.io/nyt-2020-election-scraper/battleground-state-changes.html (Which pulls from the NYTimes)

Currently he is as 45,616 votes ahead with 43,508 votes remaining to be counted.
posted by khedron at 11:08 PM on November 10 [13 favorites]


Lawyer Marc E. Elias: "Today in court, a Pennsylvania judge asked a lawyer for Trump point-blank whether he was alleging fraud. (Full transcript here)"

That site (Democracy Docket) doesn't actually provide the full transcript - it's a 3-page extract that only starts on page 10 of the original. Which is frustrating - is there some legal reason they can't publish the full thing? I tried searching for it through the Montgomery County courts site but their search interface seems to be down and this page implies that transcripts aren't free.
posted by trig at 3:47 AM on November 11


this page implies that transcripts aren't free.

That's my understanding, that transcripts -- by a court reporter -- aren't free, like court opinions and decisions often are.

Despair is a sin. After a week, Joe Biden is 5 million votes ahead, and Donald Trump is 0 for 12 in court. Keep the faith. Keep the change. And keep watching the skies.
posted by mikelieman at 4:16 AM on November 11 [11 favorites]




Republicans are willing to destroy the country to feed Trump's narcissism.

I keep thinking of Lakoff’s strict father model, but with a really abusive strict father (/husband).
posted by anshuman at 4:58 AM on November 11 [2 favorites]


A couple of tear-it-all-down firings that may have escaped the MeFi radar: Craig Maclean, NOAA’s chief scientist, a week before the election, and now Michael Kuperberg, head of the program that produces government's most definitive scientific report on climate change.
posted by progosk at 5:06 AM on November 11 [8 favorites]


A couple of tear-it-all-down firings that may have escaped the MeFi radar: Craig Maclean, NOAA’s chief scientist, a week before the election, and now Michael Kuperberg, head of the program that produces government's most definitive scientific report on climate change.

This is the start of the purge of scientists that I feared would come with a second Trump term. If Trump has another term, they'll get really fine-grained - right now it's just the people at the top, but it will be the rest of NOAA, EPA, NSF, etc. They've been signaling it for a while now. We're not going to have a useful scientific infrastructure left in the end. This will have enormous knock-on effects for universities and business.

The MAGAs and the Nazis both have this obsession with/longing for death, we have to understand that. For the ones who are still rational, they're stupidly thinking that they can privatize and co-opt scientific infrastructure and get the same results that they get from independent bodies, but most of them unconsciously just want to end the world. They'd burn down hospitals if they could.
posted by Frowner at 5:33 AM on November 11 [19 favorites]


Well, if you want to compare 2016 to 2020 in the key states:

Pennsylvania: Trump won by 44 thousand. Biden won by 48 thousand.
Michigan: Trump won by 11 thousand. Biden won by 46 thousand.
Wisconsin: Trump won by 23 thousand. Biden won by 20 thousand.


Biden is winning Michigan by 146 thousand, not 46 thousand.
posted by lampoil at 5:36 AM on November 11 [16 favorites]


I've read "Trump did better with all groups except white men, therefore white men must have been taken in by SJWs while everyone else is wise to them." But I'm thinking that a better explanation is that Clinton did better than Biden with everyone but white men, and Biden did better than Clinton with white men but worse with everyone else.
posted by clawsoon at 6:00 AM on November 11 [11 favorites]


Occam's razor: nobody took exit polls of the mail in and early voters.

THAT is why the exit polls look so weird about which demographic did what.
posted by ocschwar at 6:09 AM on November 11 [10 favorites]


ocschwar: Maybe, but they did try (autoplay video, sorry) to capture early and mail-in voters:
Exit polls include those who vote absentee or early in two ways. The first is by conducting phone polls among those who have voted absentee or early. Second, in some states with a high proportion of early in-person voters, exit polls are conducted in the weeks leading up to Election Day as these voters leave the polling place. Data from the telephone polls and early voter exit polls are combined with the Election Day exit poll to provide a complete picture of all voters, regardless of when they voted.
posted by clawsoon at 6:16 AM on November 11 [3 favorites]


The US Department of Homeland Security has a website that is fact checking election fraud rumors.
posted by glaucon at 6:29 AM on November 11 [15 favorites]


> The US Department of Homeland Security has a website that is fact checking election fraud rumors.

This is great. I used to work closely with DHS CISA staff at my last job. When I left in July, there were some early signs of Trumpiness propagating through the org chart, but the director was doing a really good job of running interference on it (see this Politico magazine piece detailing the heroic efforts of an understaffed but critically important agency.)

I don't know if Chris Krebs was directly involved in the decision to create that page, but it seems like the kind of thing he'd at least have to sign off on, and his Twitter bio makes him look as close to a resistance hero as one could possibly look from a position that could easily be eliminated by a single Trump tweet.

Chalk one up for the so-called Deep State.
posted by tonycpsu at 6:41 AM on November 11 [10 favorites]


As states press forward with vote counts, Trump advisers privately express pessimism about heading off Biden’s win (WaPo)
...even some of the president’s most publicly pugilistic aides, including White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, Republican National Committee Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel and informal adviser Corey Lewandowski, have said privately that they are concerned about the lawsuits’ chances for success unless more evidence surfaces, according to people familiar with their views.

Trump met with advisers again Tuesday afternoon to discuss whether there is a path forward, said a person with knowledge of the discussions, who, like others interviewed for this report, spoke on the condition of anonymity to describe internal discussions. The person said Trump plans to keep fighting but understands it is going to be difficult. “He is all over the place. It changes from hour to hour,” the person said.
posted by bitteschoen at 6:51 AM on November 11


Guess what happens when you type loser.com into your favorite search engine!
posted by Orange Dinosaur Slide at 7:06 AM on November 11 [11 favorites]


I think all this fascist bluster from pompeo, mcconnell, et al is coming from a deep-seated fear of an unredacted meuller report (and associated federal and state lawsuits.) As this drags on, it will become clearer who exactly is balls-deep in russia. I guess they're probably thinking that if they've already committed treason, they might as well go for the whole pie.
posted by sexyrobot at 7:08 AM on November 11 [11 favorites]


In for a kopek, in for a ruble... as it were.
posted by davelog at 7:17 AM on November 11 [3 favorites]


I had this brief sudden clear vision that sometime in the next eighteen months we are going to be discussing the news that Trump has fired his whole legal team and will be representing himself in court because, “Nobody know more about criminal law than I do.”
posted by ricochet biscuit at 7:21 AM on November 11 [11 favorites]


The idea that the Mueller report had clear, irrefutable, easy-to-understand bits that nailed the entire Republican leadership for treason far beyond what we already know, but Mueller didn't bother to put it in the summary or complain about it when it was redacted . . . well, I'd bet against it.

There are so many already exposed crimes Trump & co did commit, and so much fundraising money for McConnell under the current path, that I don't think we need to hypothesize about anything new. Indeed, personally I think saying there must be something else minimizes the existing crimes, as if they weren't enough.
posted by mark k at 7:27 AM on November 11 [7 favorites]


I'd wager there's enough to get several appointees in criminal court now that the entire executive branch isn't functioning under assumed immunity.
posted by cmfletcher at 7:30 AM on November 11


For sure there is a "those who ride tigers dare not dismount" thing going on.
posted by mark k at 7:35 AM on November 11 [17 favorites]




GA Secretary of State just made a good point in that press conference.

Asked (I think) why Georgia is so much delayed in being able to wrap up the vote count compared to other states, he said that, well, Georgia is in the same position in this process as Florida and Texas. They are also still counting absentee ballots. It’s just that the vote tallies in those states aren’t close, so all eyes are on GA right now. I thought that was good to put things into perspective.

Ugh, and just now he went on to praise AG Barr, so fuck him.
posted by darkstar at 7:53 AM on November 11 [5 favorites]


Actually, this has been one of the more entertaining episodes of the election aftermath, how the GA Senate Republican candidates and Trump dead-enders have completely savaged the reputation of the conservative Republican Secretary of State in GA in their attempt to undermine confidence in the vote and keep the base stirred up.

I mean, it can’t compare to the Four Seasons episode, but still.
posted by darkstar at 7:55 AM on November 11 [2 favorites]


For sure there is a "those who ride tigers dare not dismount" thing going on.

Donald Trump has gone through his entire life with a "future tiger snack" sign on his back and managed to bluff and bluster his way into being President of the United States despite it. Hopefully the months and years ahead remind him he's in the pen.
posted by graymouser at 7:57 AM on November 11 [2 favorites]


Being in the pen might do that.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 8:01 AM on November 11 [4 favorites]


Asked (I think) why Georgia is so much delayed in being able to wrap up the vote count compared to other states, he said that, well, Georgia is in the same position in this process as Florida and Texas. They are also still counting absentee ballots. It’s just that the vote tallies in those states aren’t close, so all eyes are on GA right now. I thought that was good to put things into perspective.

New York State didn't even START counting its one and a half million absentee ballots until yesterday. But, well, our vote for president doesn't fucking count, ever, at all, so no one cares.
posted by showbiz_liz at 8:03 AM on November 11 [5 favorites]


I’m really hoping he aggressively turns on the GOP in a burn it all down narcissistic rage before slinking off.
posted by leotrotsky at 8:06 AM on November 11 [2 favorites]




In for a kopek, in for a ruble... as it were.

Better to hang for a sheep than for a lamb. And once you've incontrovertibly betrayed your country to the point where you may hang for it, you may as well have some fun, play generalissimo, wear a chest full of medals and use your ill-gotten power to settle some scores.
posted by acb at 8:14 AM on November 11 [3 favorites]


For what it's worth, I was at a doctor's office this morning and they had one of the morning shows on (I think maybe Good Morning America?). They covered the story as, President Trump is still delaying his acceptance that Biden won the election, even though they showed no evidence of fraud. That people close to him believe that he will accept the results eventually. And then immediately segueing to President-Elect Biden says that this won't have an effect on a smooth transition.

This was as mainstream and bland as a TV news program as you can get, and the overall tone was that Trump's actions were an interesting mystery but that it would pass soon enough.

There wasn't even a tiny indication, in wording or in tone, that Trump had any reason or grounds to believe he could change the election results. I think that's a good sign.
posted by Mchelly at 8:21 AM on November 11 [28 favorites]


The USPS worker who signed an affidavit accusing a supervisor of ballot tampering, and then recanted his accusation when interviewed by postal investigators, has RECANTED his recant.

National Turd James O’Keefe has tweeted out a video allegedly showing the postal worker saying that he was pressured to water down his original affidavit accusations by signing a second affidavit he didn’t understand.

Via dKos:
When shit got real and it came to lying to investigators from the U.S. Postal Service's Office of Inspector General, Hopkins got cold feet. Officials told both The Washington Post and the House Oversight Committee that he recanted in a signed affidavit, saying that he had lied. And then in a video tweeted out by O'Keefe, Hopkins recanted his recanting. Which probably had more to do with trying to preserve the $136,000 he'd raised on a GoFundMe page by Tuesday evening. If so, it was in vain. GoFundMe’s Bobby Whitmore told the Post the money raised on the site was "not disbursed and Hopkins never had access to the funds."
I can’t imagine a judge is going to look too kindly at this sort of affidavit-to-accuse, then affidavit-to-recant-the-accusation, then video-to-reject-the-recanting shenanigans.
posted by darkstar at 8:24 AM on November 11 [20 favorites]


The problem is there are a significant number of Americans who don't watch Good Morning America, but rather get their "news" from Fox (where the tone is still mixed) and the farther, uglier corners of the mediasphere and social media.
posted by PhineasGage at 8:25 AM on November 11 [1 favorite]


Remember, every O’Keefe fake scandal to date involves doctored video - ACORN, Planned Parenthood, all of it.
posted by freecellwizard at 8:42 AM on November 11 [14 favorites]


There have only been a couple of post-election approval polls, but Trump's approval continues to rise, including polls conducted November 8th - 10th. His approval is now near the early-pandemic-peak, which was basically the highest it had ever been during his term. The attempted coup is not producing a popular backlash. That's very dangerous. I expect the Republicans to push further and further, and by the time opinion swings back (if it ever does) it may be too late.

It's like the pandemic: we can't wait until hospitals are actually overflowing before taking preventative measures. We have to look at history and trends and act now. The Biden campaign and DNC need to be filing lawsuits and counterclaims in every remotely plausible jurisdiction. Democratic PACs need to be blanketing radio, TV, and online with ads congratulating Biden on his victory and talking about the Biden administration's plans to benefit each audience. They are going to have to work overtime to steer the momentum in the other direction.
posted by jedicus at 8:48 AM on November 11 [9 favorites]


Why do we need to start panicking about these poll results when the numbers have been so obviously wrong before? This could easily be a drift in the number of conservatives picking up their phones.

From one of the Twitter threads detailing interviews with Trump voters most of them disapproved of his post-election whining and didn't expect him to do anything concrete about it. he did not seem to be converting people to anti-antifa (yet).
posted by benzenedream at 8:52 AM on November 11 [5 favorites]


This being Veterans Day, Biden and the Democrats need to gather weapons and ammo and get off the beach (before they get bogged down in the sand).
posted by cenoxo at 9:05 AM on November 11 [2 favorites]


@awprokop
PA's state senate majority leader, Jake Corman (R), has said for months that the state legislature plays no role in appointing electors, according to PA law.

But now, facing "pressure" to overturn the results, he's hedging that statement, saying that's in "normal circumstances"


@BillKristol:

I'm alarmed.

(earlier, via threadreader)

More on DOD, based on further conversations with well-informed former Trump officials:
1. NSA Robert O'Brien also key; he urged removal of Esper, putting in Miller and Patel.

2. Having total loyalists not just at Sec Def but at DOD Policy and Intel is a big deal.

3. Re Miller, Patel, Tata, Cohen-Watnick, Ellis (new general counsel at NSA): "None is remotely qualified for the job he holds." But that's doesn't matter to WH. Along with Ratcliffe at DNI, we're getting close to Trumpist control or attempted control of the "power ministries."

4. Who knows whether intentions are mostly petty, or domestic election interference, or unimpeded decisions in foreign policy (latter could range from military force to military withdrawals, and from pro-Putin to pro-MBS). But, I'm told, both Esper and Milley are truly worried.

5. The removal of Haspel at CIA and/or Wray at FBI would of course be key. Along with Ratcliffe at DNI and Cohen-Watnick overseeing entire Pentagon intel structure, we'd then have almost unimpeded Trumpist control of our intelligence agencies, with everything that implies.

posted by snuffleupagus at 9:08 AM on November 11 [7 favorites]


> This being Veterans Day, Biden and the Democrats need to gather weapons and ammo and get off the beach (before they get bogged down in the sand).

It's also worth noting that today is Death/Duty Day, which honors the 2700+ soldiers who died in the few hours between the signing of the armistice and the official cease-fire. This is more relevant to today's situation than I care to think.
posted by davelog at 9:23 AM on November 11 [6 favorites]


dKos: Follow the money: Trump's refusal to concede is a scam in the purest form of the word
The biggest reason that Donald Trump won’t concede is the simplest. It’s the same reason that has driven every decision of Trump’s life: money.

...From the night of the election, Trump supporters have been receiving emails asking them to donate to the “Official Election Defense Fund” or the new “Save America PAC.” Some supporters report that they have received up to 18 solicitations in a single day asking for money for one or both of these projects.

Trump voters are being told that these funds are going to support an “emergency recount” of votes in Wisconsin. Or that they are being used to present “proof” of voter fraud in court. Only Trump’s campaign has not actually asked for a recount in Wisconsin, much less ponied up the $3 million that’s required. And it’s certainly not what Trump’s actual attorneys are saying in actual courts.
Every day that Trump keeps this scam going, he rakes in more money from his most gullible fringe of dead-enders.
posted by darkstar at 9:32 AM on November 11 [12 favorites]


Hopefully it's just grift. But you don't really need to put in ringers at DoD and NSA and etc for that...
posted by snuffleupagus at 9:34 AM on November 11 [9 favorites]


Hopefully it's just grift. But you don't really need to put in ringers at DoD and NSA and etc for that...

You do if you're about to start selling off US intelligence assets.
posted by vacapinta at 9:37 AM on November 11 [17 favorites]


There are more mundane grifts that can be associated with the staffing purges. It could just be a final F.U. to the officials that stymied him. Or a final reward for his loyalists, as they get a moment of “glory”, boost their incomes (and pension basis), and get to put the role on their resume later when applying for lobbyist jobs.

Not to say that it’s not more nefarious, but it can also be explained by simpler forms of corruption, petulance and patronage.
posted by darkstar at 9:44 AM on November 11 [3 favorites]


I totally understand the fear of something big and evil being done but I just can't get over the fact that at this point, you'd be asking people who definitely know better to destroy something they are fully aware they'll be known for destroying forever on behalf of a guy who wants to be dictator but couldn't actually succeed in rigging the election his first try. I think we see this in that postal witness who has recanted. When you arrive at the moment of truth, Trump as he is now is not sufficient to push people over the line, especially not when he has lost so clearly. Every day brings a bigger vote margin. By the time certifications take place the margins will be so large that it'll probably be a fait accompli. This is shaping up to have primarily been a close election because of the count delay, not the actual results.
posted by feloniousmonk at 9:50 AM on November 11 [2 favorites]


A significant crack in the dam: Robert Jefferies, pastor of Dallas's First Baptist church, accepts Biden as President-Elect. Writing:
“It’s always easier to submit and to pray for someone when he was our preferred candidate. But the rubber really meets the road when the person who takes office is not the one we supported. Here is our chance to show that Christians are not hypocrites.”
Jefferies is one of the more prominent Evangelicals. If they crack, then there's no hope left for the coup.
posted by Teegeeack AV Club Secretary at 9:50 AM on November 11 [7 favorites]


Mar-a-Lago Will Need to Tear Down Its Presidential Helipad Once Trump Leaves Office

No need! He put one of his helicopters up for sale in August.
posted by JoeZydeco at 9:51 AM on November 11


Here is our chance to show that [Evangelical] Christians are not hypocrites

Third time Fifty-third time anyway, this time's the charm!
posted by echo target at 10:03 AM on November 11 [7 favorites]


The problem is that it’s such a stupid coup. That doesn’t matter if it works, of course, but it feels somehow insulting to our collective dignity.
posted by Going To Maine at 10:05 AM on November 11 [9 favorites]


I'd guess the loyalists he inserted will shout "fraud" the minute they get comfy in their new posts, and initiate bogus investigations. The headlines must then attribute the accusations to NSA / FBI honchos. However, the optics of it will look terrible to anyone outside the base (unlike, for e.g., when Cheney lied about WMDs). But they could be enough to provoke a faithless elector scenario. I can't imagine they're not shooting for that, given it's their most realistic of all the long-shots, from my perspective. Weren't there several faithless electors even in 2016?
posted by kolendra at 10:05 AM on November 11 [2 favorites]


Perhaps Trump’s coup attempt is just stupid enough to work. As the sitting President, could he issue a ‘national emergency’ executive order to suspend/stop (as he sees it) Biden‘s ‘illegal’ election process? What laws might prevent him from doing this?
posted by cenoxo at 10:10 AM on November 11 [1 favorite]


there were anti-Trump faithless electors in 2016, false allegations that actual voting machines had been hacked by the Russians, grifters fundraising off of court cases to get recounts.

the White House and Clinton campaigns weren't really pushing it however -- the scenario now seems to me to be somewhat more concerning as there seems to be actual power behind it. but it also seems like this Republican reaction is, at least in part, just the psychological response people have to their champion losing the election, in our new polarized media environment.
posted by vogon_poet at 10:12 AM on November 11 [2 favorites]


The bright side of this (if such a thing can exist) is that it’ll surely act as a fresh and vivid reminder that none of the those republican a*****oles can be trusted and there’s no point in trying to appease any of them.
posted by WaterAndPixels at 10:16 AM on November 11 [2 favorites]


This is not just grift and I feel like a kindergarten teacher in this thread with the continual re-orienting away from normalizing the ongoing fascist coup. If there is profit in the coup, Trumpists will seize on that, but the point of the coup is to secure power, full stop. Laws, rules, unspoken norms - none of these matter to fascists. Right now they are contesting the results of the presidency but not the Senate or House because they lost the former but won the latter - even though these were the same election, on the same ballot.

It doesn't matter. It doesn't matter that Biden won by a demonstrable and irrefutable margin. It doesn't matter that Republicans are unlikely to flip Democratic state electors. They are putting pieces into place for simply declaring a Trumpist Forever Regime and violently suppressing protests and pushback. It doesn't matter that this would split the military in response. That may be seen as beneficial. We are dealing with fanatics, not rational intelligent people. Worst of all is that a little under half the US population want this. Panic is not helpful, but I am sorry, this is not a problem that will go away if we wait long enough or ignore it. It is a social infection and it is near terminal.

Yes, they are idiots and have bungled many aspects of this. Yes, following their plan would have disastrous results for their side, too. I would hope that the military would step up and refuse to play along, but I have no faith in the hallowed institution of the US military (lol) here. They have a lot of experience enabling exactly this scenario and very little deescalating away from it. Again, it does not matter that the fascists are fools; fools can do considerably more harm than educated people when given a dangerous instrument they don't understand how to use safely.

This is a legitimately dangerous and frightening situation. The CISA Rumor Control page glaucon linked is helpful. The media reinforcing Biden's win and displaying election results clearly and accessibly is helpful. Shrugging this off, downplaying it or ignoring it is actively dangerous.
posted by Lonnrot at 10:16 AM on November 11 [29 favorites]


He's put one of his helicopters up for sale

From the ad, among other gauche items:

Headliner & Window Panels in Cream Ultra Suede
Cabin Seats covered in Ecru/Almond Leather with Gold Seatbelt Fittings

So the inside of his helicopter looks like his Trump Tower living room. It's a wonder it can get off the ground.
posted by JackFlash at 10:16 AM on November 11 [3 favorites]


Perhaps Trump’s coup attempt is just stupid enough to work. As the sitting President, could he issue a ‘national emergency’ executive order to suspend/stop (as he sees it) Biden‘s ‘illegal’ election process? What laws might prevent him from doing this?

That doesn’t seem dumb enough, honestly. At present, that seems like the sort of obvious, red flag event that everyone would call a coup and get into the streets about. But the vote counts are certified in December, and there’s plenty of time to degrade the discourse further until then.
posted by Going To Maine at 10:16 AM on November 11 [1 favorite]


Re oschwar's and clawsoon's discussion above regarding exit polling and absentee voters, I think the problem isn't that absentee voters are ignored in exit polling, but rather that they are polled by a completely different method from that used at polling places, typically in much lower numbers, and then the two data sources are "merged."

This merger requires a bunch of assumptions, which may not be nearly as rigorously tested as the assumptions underlying the individual polling methods. As Nate Silver (I know) explains:
6. Exit polls may have problems calibrating results from early voting. Contrary to the conventional wisdom, exit polls will attempt account for people who voted before election day in most (although not all) states by means of a random telephone sample of such voters. However, this requires the polling firms to guess at the ratio of early voters to regular ones, and sometimes they do not guess correctly. In Florida in 2000, for instance, there was a significant underestimation of the absentee vote, which that year was a substantially Republican vote, leading to an overestimation of Al Gore’s share of the vote, and contributing to the infamous miscall of the state.
This makes me very wary of early pronouncements about voter demographics, such as the statistic that 55% of white women voted for Trump, which I first heard the day after election day. It spread like wildfire, often in articles making the point that white women are more pro-Trump now than in 2016. (See, e.g. this November 4 article in Essence magazine.)

But by the day after Election Day, we still didn't have any idea, in most of the swing states, how many absentee ballots had been cast, so it seems unlikely that pollsters could have known the appropriate ratio to use in combining the phone polls with the in-person election day polls. Without that ratio, the demographic data can't be used in a combined form, even if the two methods were each reliable. This might be further complicated by the fact that in-person voting this year skewed in favor of Trump, and absentee in favor of Biden. I don't think anyone would be surprised to find that white women (and most other demographics) who voted in person on Election Day this year favored Trump. The question is how that was balanced out by absentee voters, and we don't have that data. It would've been far more useful to provide the demographic data for the two types of polling separately, but Edison isn't sharing its (likely proprietary) data that way.

Most of the articles, if they cited a source, cited a New York Times article for the 55% stat. The article itself made clear (albeit in a smaller font size than the statistics) that the preliminary exit polling data couldn't make the kind of fine distinction that other articles were making. The unidentified NYT author explained that "The numbers on this page are preliminary estimates from exit polls conducted by Edison Research for the National Election Pool." (Bolding in original). They even cautioned that "The polls are not precise enough to distinguish between, say, 53 percent support or 50 percent support from a certain group." In other words, there wasn't enough precision to come within a three-point margin.

But none of that gets carried along with the statistic when it gets used. For example, the opening line of the Essence article linked above was "More white women voted for President Donald Trump in 2020 (55%) compared to the 53% (or 52% some polls found) who voted for him in 2016, according to the New York Times exit poll." As just noted, however, that's a distinction the exit polls are not precise enough to make, according to the cited NYT article.

Because the stat is so damn clickable, though, it continues to get cited, for the same unsupported conclusion. Although we're much farther along in the count (and thus potentially could have adjusted the ratio based on actual numbers of absentee ballots), Teen Vogue ran an article just yesterday subtitled "White women have to answer for backing the Republican nominee yet again," linking to the same NYT stat to claim that Trump's support among white women had increased by two points since 2016. Today's Chicago Tribune features an opinion piece entitled "Black women and Latinas are poised to start a political revolution without white women," making the same point about white women purportedly getting more pro-Trump than four years ago. Most often I've seen the stat cited without attribution, and used to make the same unsupported point. Ask yourself if that's how you've seen it.

If it's not a reliable statistic, it isn't very useful to the left going forward in building coalitions for, say, the January runoffs in Georgia. So cui bono? It's a message that is getting amplified not only by folks on the left, but also by groups that would hate for the left to build any kind of coalition, and would rather maintain the "dems in disarray" trope. As right-wing tool factory Spiked put it last Thursday, "After spending the last few years lambasting white men, the woke mob has turned its attention to a new target: white women." No doubt this stat is viral on right-wing social media as well. It's a divisive message to lob at the left because it carries with it the subtext that all of the solidarity you thought you saw from white women over the summer was a lie--they were getting more conservative that whole time, because statistics. It's a message that isn't based on reliable stats, and one we should stop spreading.
posted by mabelstreet at 10:19 AM on November 11 [4 favorites]


> This is a legitimately dangerous and frightening situation. The CISA Rumor Control page glaucon linked is helpful. The media reinforcing Biden's win and displaying election results clearly and accessibly is helpful. Shrugging this off, downplaying it or ignoring it is actively dangerous.

QFT. I understand why MeFi has a policy against speculative doom predictions, but I do think there needs to be space to come at this attempted coup from a non-skeptical viewpoint. No matter how much we may think that "Biden's got this" or that institutions really are saving us this time, the news and links being posted to bad people doing bad things is factual and not at all speculative. They really are trying to overturn the results, and they control some but not all of the levers of power to make that coup successful. It's fine to note that what they're doing has performative aspects, or may be in part a money grab, or may be in part just a way to throw sand in the gears for Biden's transition, but we also thought Trump was just trying to have some fun and pump up his book sales back in 2016 and look at where that's gotten us.

Gaming out next steps and our reaction to them is not doomsaying.
posted by tonycpsu at 10:25 AM on November 11 [41 favorites]


Gaming out next steps and our reaction to them is not doomsaying.

It's true - I'm pretty freaked out by all this, but I also want to know what's going on. Since the bottom of this thread has veered pretty far afield from the original topic, it might be worth creating another FPP more targeted to this shambling and hopefully doomed coup attempt.
posted by invincible summer at 10:32 AM on November 11 [26 favorites]


In case you needed more reason to doubt the reliability of the NYT/Edison election day exit polling data for white women, consider that the same stats showed support for Trump among Black women more than doubled--from 4% in 2016 to 9% in 2020. I mean, maybe that's possible? But we know enough is dubious on the technical side to make this result, like the one for white women, unreliable.
posted by mabelstreet at 10:45 AM on November 11 [2 favorites]


I think there might actually be 5 votes on the Supreme Court for overturning precedent regarding Article II, Section 1, Clause 2:
Each state shall appoint, in such manner as the Legislature thereof may direct, a number of electors
(emphasis added). Gorsuch and Kavanaugh have indicated they favor a hyper-literal reading of "Legislature" to mean the legislature and legislature alone (i.e. no veto, little or no state court oversight). I have no doubt that Alito, Thomas, and Barrett would follow them, since Gorsuch is, believe it or not, the "swing justice" now.

This matters a lot because PA and other key states have Republican majorities in their state legislatures. They could pass a bill substituting loyal Trumpist electors, then take the resulting veto to the Supreme Court, where the Court holds 5-4 that the legislature can act alone (possibly even 6-3 if Roberts decides it's better to give the decision "legitimacy" by joining the majority).

I think that, more than anything, is the plan for the Trump coup. And that means that vote certifications in favor of Biden won't matter. What will matter is a hyper-literal interpretation of the Constitution, how the state legislatures select electors, how those electors vote, and how Congress counts those votes. I see a real path to a Trump "victory"—and a national crisis worse than anything since the Civil War.
posted by jedicus at 10:47 AM on November 11 [27 favorites]


If there is profit in the coup, Trumpists will seize on that, but the point of the coup is to secure power, full stop.

But the point of this grift is to finance this coup, and it's not even good grift. They obviously can't afford good lawyers anymore. And I don't even think those rubes are falling for the *after we pay off the election that FoPOTUS is heavily invested in part, at the bottom of the plea for more lawyer money. I honestly think he might actually be literally broke at this point. None of this bodes well for the success of any attempted coup, which is why looking at this grift is so revealing. The sheer volume of these pleas for cash leads me to believe they are nowhere near filling up the thermometer.
posted by sexyrobot at 10:48 AM on November 11


Some thoughts on this election and it's subsequent fallout compiled from Timothy Snyder, Professor of History at Yale University. (Separate article here)

1. This election will determine the future of our republic. Here are some principles for the preservation of freedom that I wrote nearly four years ago, when all of this was beginning. I share them again now in admiration of Americans who protest for justice and work for truth.

2. Democracy is precious and exceptional.

3. Democracy is undone from within rather than from without.

4. The occasion to undo democracy is often an election.

5. The mechanism to undo democracy is usually a fake emergency, a claim that internal enemies have done something outrageous.

6. A tyrant cares about his person, not the Republic.

7. A tyrant fears prosecution and poverty after leaving office.

8. Donald Trump faces criminal investigations and owes a billion dollars to creditors.

9. Donald Trump has said all along that he would ignore the vote count.

10. What Donald Trump is attempting to do has a name: coup d'état. Poorly organized though it might seem, it is not bound to fail. It must be made to fail.

11. Coups are defeated quickly or not at all. While they take place we are meant to look away, as many of us are doing. When they are complete we are powerless.

12. American exceptionalism prevents us from seeing basic truths.

13. Biden voters are wrong to see a Biden administration as inevitable.

14. In an authoritarian situation, the election is only round one. You don't win by winning round one.

15. Peaceful demonstrations after elections are necessary for transitions away from authoritarianism, as in Poland in 1989, Serbia in 1999, or Belarus right now.

16. It is up to civil society, organized citizens, to defend the vote and to peacefully defend democracy.

17. Dance after the wedding, not before. Take responsibility, Americans.

18. Republicans endorsing the claim of fraud endanger the Republic.

19. Calling an opponent's victory fraudulent risks assassination, as in Poland in 1922.

20. Creating a myth of a "stab in the back" by internal enemies, as Republicans are helping Trump to do, justifies violence against other citizens, as in interwar Germany.

21. Persuading your voters that the other side cheated starts a downward spiral. Your voters will expect you to cheat next time.
posted by glaucon at 10:49 AM on November 11 [43 favorites]


I think Roberts knows if they flip this election his legacy is toast. His court will be seen as a partisan sham.
posted by cmfletcher at 10:52 AM on November 11 [6 favorites]


god help us if we rely on Dallas evangelical leaders and Roberts to save us. I have a stomachache.
posted by lazaruslong at 10:53 AM on November 11 [9 favorites]


> Gorsuch and Kavanaugh have indicated they favor a hyper-literal reading of "Legislature" to mean the legislature and legislature alone
From what Mchelly linked upthread:
The states get to choose how they will determine their own electors, but that determination has to be made before the election. A state with a Republican legislature—let’s say, Pennsylvania—could have decided to choose electors based on a simple vote of the legislature. In fact, Republican legislators contemplated doing such a thing. But they didn’t. [...] They can’t change the method of picking electors after the election has taken place. [...] It can’t say that a vote for Biden’s electors was actually a vote for the Pennsylvania legislature to choose the electors. This is an election, not a Groupon.
posted by runcifex at 10:54 AM on November 11 [7 favorites]


They obviously can't afford good lawyers anymore

Are you subtweeting Jones Day?

NYT: Growing Discomfort at Law Firms Representing Trump in Election Lawsuits
posted by snuffleupagus at 10:59 AM on November 11 [3 favorites]


In case you needed more reason to doubt the reliability of the NYT/Edison election day exit polling data for white women, consider that the same stats showed support for Trump among Black women more than doubled--from 4% in 2016 to 9% in 2020. I mean, maybe that's possible? But we know enough is dubious on the technical side to make this result, like the one for white women, unreliable.

In addition to the issue of calibrating the amounts of early and absentee voters relative to those who vote on Election Day, we also need to consider that the margin of error of the estimate for a subgroup (here, Black women) in a sample like this is pretty considerable compared to the overall estimate. That happens when you stratify multiple times, even when you're starting with a large sample. I don't know the exact numbers, but I wouldn't be surprised if 4% was within the MoE for this subgroup in the other poll, and vice versa. Not sure if we can draw any definitive conclusions in this particular instance.
posted by un petit cadeau at 11:00 AM on November 11 [1 favorite]


but most of them unconsciously just want to end the world

A more useful way of looking at it is they don't want to end the world, they want to end the United States of America. The world will go on. It's an 80s corporate raid, and they have their golden parachutes. How can we take those away and give these people some skin in the game? Take away their option/plan to just helicopter away from the flames in the end?
posted by ctmf at 11:00 AM on November 11 [4 favorites]


They can’t change the method of picking electors after the election has taken place ...

Says who? Not Kavanaugh or Gorsuch.

I'm astonished that there are still people who say such and such "can't happen" after it keeps happening.
posted by JackFlash at 11:09 AM on November 11 [30 favorites]


But, well, our vote for president doesn't fucking count, ever, at all, so no one cares.

I know it feels like that, but really it does matter. To the extent you're representative of New York as a population, your brothers and sisters out there already have your back. And even if you're not representative, your vote gets counted. Even if they count your vote #1 first, same result.
posted by ctmf at 11:11 AM on November 11 [2 favorites]


Your vote for President counts because the larger the margin of victory in the popular vote, the more legitimacy is ascribed to that person's win.

As far as the doomsaying, I think my red line is when he goes to actually nullify election results. He can shuffle the lawn chairs on the Titanic all he wants, but the moment he grabs the steering wheel to turn it away from the iceberg, it's time to peacefully hit the streets in numbers too large to ignore.
posted by thebotanyofsouls at 11:13 AM on November 11 [1 favorite]


I've always maintained we shouldn't be in the Middle East either, but a hasty withdrawal during a lame duck period is bound to end poorly for everyone involved.

Jonathan Swan, Axios: Divisive Pentagon hire may rush troop withdrawals before Trump's exit
President Trump's newly installed acting Pentagon chief is bringing on a senior adviser in a sign the administration wants to accelerate the withdrawal of U.S. troops from the Middle East before the end of his presidency in January, three people familiar with the move told Axios.
posted by monospace at 11:16 AM on November 11


The states get to choose how they will determine their own electors, but that determination has to be made before the election.

I think that's the best we can hope for in this case, which is that Gorsuch, Kavanaugh, et al. sign on to a compromise opinion that says that "Legislature" means "legislature" but that the method can't be changed after the date specified in 3 USC 1.

Here are the relevant bits from Article II:
[The President shall] be elected, as follows: Each State shall appoint, in such Manner as the Legislature thereof may direct, a Number of Electors ...

The Congress may determine the Time of chusing the Electors, ... which Day shall be the same throughout the United States.
The statute that sets the "Time of chusing the Electors" is 3 USC 1, which is what defines Election Day. The question is whether "in such Manner as the Legislature thereof may direct" can include changes after the fact. The conservatives on the Court could, theoretically, decide that the state legislatures' power in this regard is totally unlimited, possibly even by their own state constitutions.
posted by jedicus at 11:20 AM on November 11 [2 favorites]


I think we need to recognize that dealing with a problem calmly is not the same thing as normalizing it. You can't normalize something that is so bat-shit crazy and unprecedented. You can, however, laugh it off publicly and control the narrative by communicating that none of us take it seriously.

I have no doubt that Biden - a seasoned political operative if ever there was one - has people working behind the scenes to assess and respond to every potential eventuality, whether that's an attempt to replace electors or whatever. After all, Trump's legal challenges so far have amounted to nothing, and the voices of people in his own party asking him to accept defeat are growing.

But I don't believe that Trump has generated the political capital or the personal loyalty to pull off a coup. Most Republican politicians who won reelection have nothing to gain from retaining Trump at the price of our democracy. Mitch McConnell (that conniving son of a bitch) will be more than happy to block Biden's agenda for the next four years until Nikki Haley or Ted Cruz or whoever gets a chance to run. The powerful hedge fund managers who control and fund the GOP are not going to support Trump if it means tanking the Dow due to political instability. And he's made enough enemies in the military that I don't see him succeeding there either.

Yes, I may be wrong. But it's not normalizing or downplaying the danger to suggest that this is all just a front for Trump to continue to grift for a little while longer before sulking off into a $100 million book deal.
posted by Ben Trismegistus at 11:37 AM on November 11 [20 favorites]


[Several comments deleted for violating both the Guidelines and Content Policy. Please try to keep the conversation focused on the subject and avoid name calling. ]
posted by loup (staff) at 11:37 AM on November 11 [9 favorites]


jedicus, that's my reading too and so far I'm unwilling to surrender a large portion of my spoons to the "nah let's just tear up the election retroactively and send in 20/N Trumpers" hypothetical doom situation in PA/elsewhere legislature. I just feel that there are already enough problems to worry about and this particular one is not able to shift the weight balance on the worry-board.
posted by runcifex at 11:46 AM on November 11 [2 favorites]


When someone claims voter fraud, we rightly demand to see the evidence rather than take the claim at face value.

When someone claims that the Supreme Court is going to to overturn the election results, we should do the same.
posted by lumpy at 11:49 AM on November 11 [3 favorites]


The conservatives on the Court could, theoretically, decide that the state legislatures' power in this regard is totally unlimited, possibly even by their own state constitutions.

I don't think it's coherent to argue that the legislatures, who are creatures of the respective states' constitutions, are authorised to make decisions which contradict those constitutions.
posted by Joe in Australia at 11:49 AM on November 11


The idea would be that the Supremacy Clause nullifies state law that is contrary to the Constitution and powers reserved to the Federal government.
posted by snuffleupagus at 11:53 AM on November 11


Well but the theory is, the US constitution gives them that authority, so state constitutions can't limit it.
posted by ctmf at 11:53 AM on November 11 [1 favorite]


Are you subtweeting Jones Day?

(I don't know what 'subtweeting' is :/) My point was these, I'm sure expensive but obviously not talented, lawyers are basically spending the week standing in front of judges saying "welp, we got nothing. No evidence. Nothing." Clarence Darrow they a'int.
OTOH, it is kind of hard to make a case when there just isn't one.
posted by sexyrobot at 11:53 AM on November 11


I think one of the reasons why it's taking so long for the coup to register among the populace is that, when most Americans think of a "coup", they think of armed folk storming the government building or whatnot. They don't think of a coup as happening slowly but surely from within. (The "can't happen here" mindset - not to mention the folks who'd love to see a coup as long as someone with same skin color/religion/extremist mindset is on top - doesn't really help either).
posted by gtrwolf at 11:55 AM on November 11 [10 favorites]


> I see a real path to a Trump "victory"—and a national crisis worse than anything since the Civil War

no, the crisis following the execution of the Rehnquist Option would be worse than the Civil War. We're looking at Sherman's March to the Sea x 100
posted by Heywood Mogroot III at 11:56 AM on November 11 [1 favorite]


David Dayen, The American Prospect: Biden’s First Appointees Are a Mixed BagThe transition’s agency review teams look good for financial regulation; they look bad for the agency that controls practically all regulations.
posted by tonycpsu at 11:56 AM on November 11 [1 favorite]


>When someone claims that the Supreme Court is going to to overturn the election results, we should do the same.

here ya go!
posted by Heywood Mogroot III at 11:58 AM on November 11 [9 favorites]




Heywood, that's was clever. I chuckled. Enjoy the favorites.

FWIW, the current issues and composition of the court are much different than they were in Bush v. Gore, and the suggestion that the Supreme Court's decision are solely based on partisan politics is not supported by the decisions issued over the past term.

If the Dems actually had rigged the election, they would control the Senate. And if the Supreme Court was just a tool of the Republican party, the NY state prosecutors would not have obtained Trump's tax returns, DACA would have ended, etc.
posted by lumpy at 12:25 PM on November 11 [2 favorites]


Also the ruling in Bush v. Gore was to uphold the certified Florida election results.
posted by Huffy Puffy at 12:40 PM on November 11 [3 favorites]


Nov. 11 Washington Post opinion column: Time is running out for Trump — and Republicans who coddle him

As of this writing, the Republican Party has not suffered permanent damage to its integrity and reputation because of President Trump’s post-election rampaging. This will not be true much longer. [...] Coddling proponents plead that an enraged Trump will jeopardize the chances of victory in the Georgia runoffs. But that is true only if party leaders do not speak up, explaining to voters what the real facts are. Do we in the GOP not trust our own base enough to absorb the truth? They will find out in due course anyway if Trump’s election litigation indeed crashes into reality. Once in court, state or federal, before judges appointed by Republicans and Democrats, actual witnesses will have to raise their right hands and tell the truth, and then face gale-force cross-examination from lawyers for President-elect Joe Biden’s campaign. It’s one thing to tweet; it’s another thing to testify.

Who is going to explain that to Georgia’s voters? Republican leaders should lay that groundwork now and not cede the field to a president whose interests directly contradict the party’s. Otherwise, they will rue the day they stood silent. [...] For the good of America, the 2020 election needs to be brought expeditiously to the conclusion that all logic tells us is coming. National security requires that the transition get underway effectively. These are Republican values. We will acknowledge reality sooner or later. For the good of the party as well as the country, let’s make it sooner.

Written by John 'I sleep at night' Bolton.
posted by Iris Gambol at 12:45 PM on November 11 [4 favorites]


[Bolton:] As of this writing, the Republican Party has not suffered permanent damage to its integrity and reputation because of President Trump’s post-election rampaging.

I mean, not any more permanent damage to its integrity and reputation than it already suffered after four years of full-throated support for Trump. I don't share Bolton's optimism that there was anything left to damage.
posted by Two unicycles and some duct tape at 12:56 PM on November 11 [8 favorites]


As of this writing, the Republican Party has not suffered permanent damage to its integrity and reputation because of President Trump’s post-election rampaging.

Of course not, they earned the damage by supporting Trump in the first place.
posted by tiny frying pan at 12:58 PM on November 11


Some of Donald Trump’s advisers now say he will likely never concede that he lost the presidential race, according to NBC News.

NBC reports:
‘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.

In the meantime there is also growing frustration inside the White House — what allies described as ‘embarrassment’ as well as ‘uncertainty and doubt and confusion’ — over the president’s refusal to acknowledge the election result and chart a path forward.

‘This is unsustainable,’ another aide said.
Although a concession is considered a hallmark of the peaceful transfer of power, Trump does not have to concede to clear the way for Joe Biden’s inauguration.

Regardless of Trump’s efforts to spread baseless concerns about the integrity of the election, Biden will be sworn in as the next president on January 20.
posted by Ahmad Khani at 1:14 PM on November 11 [9 favorites]


3 USC 5: states have to decide how to choose electors before the election:
If any State shall have provided, by laws enacted prior to the day fixed for the appointment of the electors [which was established in 3 USC 1 as "election day"], for its final determination of any controversy or contest concerning the appointment of all or any of the electors of such State, by judicial or other methods or procedures, and such determination shall have been made at least six days before the time fixed for the meeting of the electors, such determination made pursuant to such law so existing on said day, and made at least six days prior to said time of meeting of the electors, shall be conclusive, and shall govern in the counting of the electoral votes as provided in the Constitution, and as hereinafter regulated, so far as the ascertainment of the electors appointed by such State is concerned.
3 USC 15: how Congress, which is who decides, decides which set of results to count if there are multiple sets of electors reporting from a state:
...[each house votes separately]...But if the two Houses shall disagree in respect of the counting of such votes, then, and in that case, the votes of the electors whose appointment shall have been certified by the executive of the State, under the seal thereof, shall be counted....
posted by Huffy Puffy at 1:16 PM on November 11 [1 favorite]


Adam Klasfeld has a Thread on Twitter live-tweeting one of the lawsuits, in Michigan:
"Watch Live: Judge Hears Lawsuit in Michigan That Seeks to Overturn Election Result."

I'll be covering live-tweeting

The plaintiffs' lawyer said they're not seeking to void the results today, but that's his demand in their complaint."
There are currently 12 tweets that sound about how you would expect this to be sounding. Here are the (current) final 3:
Attorney David Fink: "What we have to look at is the absurdity of the whole claim."

"Donald Trump received 5,000 more votes in Detroit in 2020 than he did in 2016. There was no complaint in the 2016 election."

Fink: "The courts are not supposed to get involved in the middle of an election, in the middle of the vote."

"Their remedy is a recount. To get to a recount, you have to have a certified election."

"Ironically," he adds, they're asking to block certification.

Fink slams the illogic at the heart of the plaintiffs' legal demand:

If they win, the judge blocks certification—which ultimately prevents them from getting the audit and recount that they supposedly want.
Watch it live on YouTube here.
posted by cashman at 1:21 PM on November 11 [1 favorite]


President Trump's newly installed acting Pentagon chief is bringing on a senior adviser in a sign the administration wants to accelerate the withdrawal of U.S. troops from the Middle East before the end of his presidency in January, three people familiar with the move told Axios.
you know, this is the first thing i’ve seen that made it seem not a coup. trump’s boss has told him that he’s got to pull u.s. troops out of the middle east before he’s out of office lest some grim consequence happens, and trump is therefore firing all the military staff who object.

but also nah he’s trying to throw a coup.
posted by Reclusive Novelist Thomas Pynchon at 1:24 PM on November 11 [5 favorites]


Naveed Jamali @NaveedAJamali
I strongly suspect that the minute the Biden team is given access to agencies for transition, they will find mismanagement and even criminality. As such I believe Trump et al are contesting the vote to clean house as best as they can. That’s it.
7:31 AM · Nov 11, 2020·Twitter for iPhone
2.6K Retweets 505 Quote Tweets 12.8K Likes

Naveed Jamali @NaveedAJamali
·5h
That’s why I say this is not a coup. The corruption and mismanagement was not exclusive to Trump. Rather, he created an environment for his subordinates to do the same.

Naveed Jamali @NaveedAJamali
·5h
My guess is that Mitch has given them till the vote is certified. At this point I would guess Trump, who hates losing, may even consider resigning before the vote is certified.
posted by Ahmad Khani at 1:29 PM on November 11 [10 favorites]


Some thoughts on this election and it's subsequent fallout compiled from Timothy Snyder, Professor of History at Yale University.

In a brief May 2017 video, he talked about his book on Tyranny. The video ends with him saying "What I would say is that our institutions were set up for a moment just like this one. But they'll only protect us if we enliven them and we support them"

So if we're following that line of thought, and obviously assuming there is still time to do so, what institutions would you think we can enliven and support? Obviously journalism and media is an institution that is instrumental here. How can we best support them right now? Our elected officials, specifically the ones that are saying the right things - how can we best support them right now? It seems like communicating daily to individuals in these institutions that we support the obvious results and they should continue to as well, could be helpful, enlivening, and heartening. And with regard to media, not just channels we watch. And with elected officials, not just ones we like.

I think that's something we can do and get friends to do right now. Because otherwise, I think you see people waiting and watching because there isn't much else to do that doesn't involve violence.
posted by cashman at 1:29 PM on November 11 [4 favorites]


Craig Caplan @CraigCaplan
Senator Pat Toomey (R-PA): "It does appear as though Joe Biden is likely to be certified as the President-elect relatively soon. And so, I think it'd be better if we did begin a transition process that we've had in the past. My guess is that will begin relatively soon."
12:01 PM · Nov 11, 2020·Twitter Web App
posted by Ahmad Khani at 1:30 PM on November 11 [6 favorites]




Here is a long and very detailed 2019 law review article, gaming out many, many possible scenarios in very readable narrative format — and creepily prescient, except that it posits Warren as the Democratic candidate. Long story short: It is possible for everything to go to hell, of the type where both Trump and Pelosi claim to be president, and the military has to decide who to obey, and/or the Supreme Court gets to decide the election by itself, but a whole lot of things have to happen first. Basically, all three of PA, AZ, and GA would have to either flip back to Trump or be contested to the point where the governor and the legislature send votes from two competing slates of electors to Congress. In that case, both the House and Senate must vote, as separate bodies, by standard majority rules (i.e. not one vote per state in the House), to accept one of the slates of votes. All of the Republicans in the Senate would have to vote to accept the Trump electoral votes in all three of those states, and all of the House Democrats would have to vote to accept the Biden slate. Then it could go to hell — Congress deadlocks, Trump and Pelosi both get themselves inaugurated and claim presidential authority, SCOTUS can decide the winner, the military has to pick a side.

With the GOP’s current attitude towards norms, I’m expecting them to try and push it to that extent — anything they can claim is technically legal, they’ll do. I hope I’m proven wrong.
posted by snowmentality at 1:35 PM on November 11 [9 favorites]


> Senator Pat Toomey (R-PA): "It does appear as though Joe Biden is likely to be certified as the President-elect relatively soon. And so, I think it'd be better if we did begin a transition process that we've had in the past. My guess is that will begin relatively soon."

Toomey's already announced that he's retiring in 2022, so he's able to speak more freely than most of his GOP colleagues. The fact that he didn't speak sooner and can't say anything more forceful than "golly gee, it'd be really swell if the outgoing President could follow the law" shows what spineless sack of shit he is even when he's speaking freely.
posted by tonycpsu at 1:37 PM on November 11 [15 favorites]


The proud boys have stopped pretending and have decided to be open white supremacists.
posted by cmfletcher at 1:38 PM on November 11 [5 favorites]


The proud boys have stopped pretending and have decided to be open white supremacists.

So now they have a 'Proud Goys' splinter group? That's right, schism it up, motherfuckers, get back to us next week when you'll probably be the 'Peoples Front of Judea.'

Also, were they ever pretending?
posted by sexyrobot at 1:46 PM on November 11 [15 favorites]


This bandying about of electoral college hard ball by Rs is the kind of thing that increases my worries.
posted by Going To Maine at 1:47 PM on November 11 [2 favorites]


@atrupar: “The anger out there in these red states is so deep and palpable that GOP legislators may have a difficult time seating Biden electors” — Fox News is laying that groundwork for Republicans to invalidate the election results and install Trump in office for another 4 years

Joe Biden is likely to be certified as the President-elect relatively soon

I thought he is not officially President until January 6th when EC cast their votes in Congress. I guess it is usually certified by individual states well before this?
posted by Golden Eternity at 1:50 PM on November 11


Also the ruling in Bush v. Gore was to uphold the certified Florida election results.

To be clear, the Supreme Court first issued a stay on the recount in order to run out the clock on certification and then when they had the certified result they wanted, they said it was too late to correct.
posted by JackFlash at 1:53 PM on November 11 [9 favorites]


I thought he is not officially President until January 6th when EC cast their votes in Congress. I guess it is usually certified by individual states well before this?

Philip Bump at The Washington Post: “What comes next in the process of Biden becoming president” (A timeline)
At some point from Nov. 4 to Dec. 14: The results of the election in each state are certified. This is itself generally not a big deal. Delaware, for example, has already certified Biden as the winner — not surprising, given that it’s where he lives. This year, though, Trump and his allies have already suggested that they will try to interrupt the certification in some states, like Pennsylvania. Republican officials in Georgia have been under enormous pressure to somehow reconsider Biden’s apparent win in the state. On Wednesday morning, Georgia’s secretary of state announced that a hand recount would be conducted. It’s unlikely to affect the results.
More pbump: “More than 8 in 10 Trump voters think Biden’s win is not 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.
posted by Going To Maine at 1:59 PM on November 11 [5 favorites]


So, Biden's win was not legitimate? Then all those Republicans should resign, since their winning names were on the same ballot.
posted by Melismata at 2:01 PM on November 11 [20 favorites]


The anger out there in these red states is so deep and palpable that GOP legislators may have a difficult time seating Biden electors”

Electors are already selected. The campaigns select them before election day. They're chosen from the deeply partisan faithful for each party. Even in previously-red Georgia, the bluest-of-blue Democrat Biden-supporting electors have already been chosen. So what's the actual argument here?
posted by invincible summer at 2:01 PM on November 11 [4 favorites]


Electors are already selected. The campaigns select them before election day. They're chosen from the deeply partisan faithful for each party. Even in previously-red Georgia, the bluest-of-blue Democrat Biden-supporting electors have already been chosen. So what's the actual argument here?

Explainer: What happens if the U.S. election is contested?
Normally, governors certify the results in their respective states and share the information with Congress.

But some academics have outlined a scenario in which the governor and the legislature in a closely contested state submit two different election results. Battleground states of Pennsylvania, Michigan, Wisconsin and North Carolina all have Democratic governors and Republican-controlled legislatures.
If this happens it is possible Biden doesn't get 270 EC votes in both House and Senate in which case it may fall to the House to vote, but on a 1 vote per state basis, which would favor Trump if all of the GOP gets behind it.
posted by Golden Eternity at 2:05 PM on November 11


i am so tired of all this
posted by glonous keming at 2:05 PM on November 11 [53 favorites]


So what’s the actual argument here?

To quote more pbump:
Dec. 8: If there are any disputes over the slate of electors — such as disputes over who won the election — they must be resolved by Dec. 8 to ensure that the process can move forward. If there’s any controversy after this point, things get tossed to Congress.

How might controversy arise? Well, let’s say that the results of the vote in a state favor Biden but that Republicans in the state legislature are sympathetic to Trump’s claims that those results are suspect. There’s no evidence at all in any state that the results should be considered in that way, but that’s no guarantee that legislators won’t be sympathetic to it. And under the Constitution, the authority for appointing electors falls to the state legislature.

One legal adviser to the Trump campaign described the thinking to the Atlantic’s Barton Gellman earlier this year: “The state legislatures will say, ‘All right, we’ve been given this constitutional power. We don’t think the results of our own state are accurate, so here’s our slate of electors that we think properly reflect the results of our state.’ ”

A state could end up with two slates of electors in that scenario, and those slates could both survive the Dec. 8 deadline.
posted by Going To Maine at 2:08 PM on November 11 [2 favorites]


Also, were they ever pretending?

Like when they put a Black guy in charge? Who Basic Shitman is now attacking?
posted by snuffleupagus at 2:10 PM on November 11 [1 favorite]


The majority in the Supreme Court's 7-2 decision to stop the recount in Bush v. Gore included Breyer and Souter. Although the ultimate 5-4 decision broke along ideological lines, the 7-2 decision to stop the recount did not.

The argument that the Supreme Court stopped the recount to get the certified result that they want is not supported by the facts.

I am sorry that my contribution is to nitpick a relatively minor point in the discussion. But, like many of us, Metafilter is one of my main sources of information and analysis, and I think it's important for us all to try to stay grounded in reality through all this insanity.
posted by lumpy at 2:15 PM on November 11 [10 favorites]


CNN/Cillizza: 6 lawsuits Donald Trump is going to have to deal with when he leaves office

President Donald Trump will return to just plain old Donald Trump in 71 days.

And in case you forgot, there are at least a half dozen ongoing cases involving him -- and placing him in various levels of legal jeopardy -- still pending.

posted by darkstar at 2:18 PM on November 11 [4 favorites]


CNN: NASA chief Jim Bridenstine won't stay on under new president
...his comments to Aviation Week confirmed his desire to exit the role even if he is asked to stay. Bridenstine positioned his decision as one that would serve NASA's best interests.

"What you need is somebody who has a close relationship with the president of the United States. You need somebody who is trusted by the administration.... including the OMB [Office of Management and Budget], the National Space Council and the National Security Council, and I think that I would not be the right person for that in a new administration," Bridenstine told Aviation Week.
posted by darkstar at 2:27 PM on November 11 [1 favorite]


CBS: Biden plans sweeping reversal of Trump's immigration agenda, from deportations to asylum policy
While the COVID-19 public health crisis and its impact on the U.S. economy will preoccupy President-elect Joe Biden during his first weeks in office, the incoming Democratic administration is also expected to quickly start dismantling President Trump's immigration agenda.
posted by darkstar at 2:34 PM on November 11 [8 favorites]


My understanding was that if the election wasn't certified, the House runs out the clock, and boom, President Pelosi. I'm not sure I want to be dissuaded of that though, not right now.
posted by inpHilltr8r at 2:38 PM on November 11 [6 favorites]


MetaFilter: Boom, President Pelosi.
posted by tonycpsu at 2:42 PM on November 11 [18 favorites]


I've been reading a LOT about this for the past several days. I'm not a lawyer or an expert in constitutional law - I've just been reading a lot of analysis from a lot of them lately.

Based on that, my understanding is that the 1-vote-per-delegation rule only applies in the event of a contingent election under the 12th Amendment. IF there were a contingent election, Dems would lose.

But in the event of two separate slates of electors being sent, there wouldn't be a Contingent Election (no candidate with absolute Electoral majority). The problem would be with choosing which set of Electors would be counted -- there would be an excess of electors, not a deficit. So Congress would instead be operating under the Electoral Count Act, the 20th Amendment, and the Presidential Succession Act - not under the 12th Amendment.

Selecting between two different sets of Electors would require agreement between the House and Senate before the electoral count could proceed. The Senate could vote for this hypothetical set of state-legistlature-selected Electors, but the House would vote against it because Democrats. Unlike a contingent election – where the House chooses the President and each state gets 1 vote apiece – resolving disputes over which set of electors to recognize is done by a plain majority vote of each chamber.

The last line of 3 USC §15 says "No votes or papers from any other State shall be acted upon until the objections previously made to the votes or papers from any State shall have been finally disposed of."

The House is majority Democrat; the House would never agree to this hypothetical set of electors that went against a state's popular vote. Since this dispute wouldn't be resolved, the counting of electoral votes could not proceed, and if that happens on Jan 20, the Speaker of the House would become Acting President. Right now that's Pelosi.

@gregdoucette, a Never-Trump conservative lawyer, has been engaged in a days-long Q&A on this basically since the election, and has gone a long way toward helping me sleep at night. The thread I linked is just one small part of it.
posted by invincible summer at 2:42 PM on November 11 [27 favorites]


I mean, all of that depends on the rule of law being upheld, and this is the year of our lord 2020, so... ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Still makes me feel a little better. For now!
posted by invincible summer at 2:45 PM on November 11 [11 favorites]


The majority in the Supreme Court's 7-2 decision to stop the recount in Bush v. Gore included Breyer and Souter. Although the ultimate 5-4 decision broke along ideological lines, the 7-2 decision to stop the recount did not.

Again you are mistaking the facts. The initial stay of the recount was 5-4 with Stevens, Souter, Ginsberg and Breyer dissenting. That's what stopped the recount in progress, a 5-4 decision.

The court then ruled 7-2 that the recount procedure in place was flawed, with two of the seven, Breyer and Souter, in favor of a fixing the flaws and proceeding with the recount. The court then ruled 5-4 that recounting could not proceed, even if fixed, because they had run out the clock.

So it was the same 5-4 split throughout with the Republican majority objecting to a recount under any circumstances. It is right-wing revisionism that misstates the 7-2 decision in a lie about bipartisanship. Breyer and Souter did not agree that there should be no recount.
posted by JackFlash at 2:54 PM on November 11 [19 favorites]


WaPo: No, the ‘Hail Mary’ plan for Trump isn’t going to work

So what would happen if the state [PA] legislature did decide to send in its own slate of electors?

It’s important to note just how rogue this would be. It would be in defiance of not just the will of the voters, but also of its own law designating the governor as the party who certifies the electors on the basis of the popular vote.

This alone is highly unlikely at best, especially with the very clear popular vote outcome we saw there. And if they did do this, it probably wouldn’t stand up in court.

But let’s say that it did hold up in court. What would happen in essence is that two separate slates of electors would arrive in Congress, one for President-elect Joe Biden (certified by the governor, in accordance with the state’s popular vote outcome) and one for Trump (certified by the state legislature and not in accordance with the popular vote).

At that point, each chamber of Congress would deliberate over the two slates of electoral votes. It’s possible, as Edward Foley notes, that the Senate actually could end up picking the Biden slate if just a handful of GOP senators who have already declared Biden the winner joined Democrats in doing so. That would give it to Biden.

But let’s say the Senate picked the Trump slate, and the Democratic House picked the Biden slate. There’s one reading of federal law that holds that the slate picked by the governor is the operative one in such a situation. That, too, would give it to Biden.

However, there’s still another reading of federal law that holds that in this scenario, both slates would get tossed out.

The article goes on to spell out how many highly unlikely things would all need to happen together for this to work. It's well worth reading. It also should be noted that this was written after consultation with PA AG Josh Shapiro's office. I will say that it sounds like they have their shit together and this article made me feel better about the whole electors issue.
posted by triggerfinger at 3:03 PM on November 11 [22 favorites]


Based on that, my understanding is that the 1-vote-per-delegation rule only applies in the event of a contingent election under the 12th Amendment. IF there were a contingent election, Dems would lose.

Not necessarily. There are no doubt other ways to finagle the correct result from a situation like that, but the most obvious is that the last "court" to settle disputes about US House elections is the US House itself. So the current House can announce investigations into the elections of enough Republican MCs in the right states such that the House that meets in early January to decide who's gonna be President has at least 26 Democratically-controlled state slates.

They don't even have to award the seat to the Democrat in those races, just delay seating the Republican until after January the whateverth.
posted by GCU Sweet and Full of Grace at 3:21 PM on November 11 [5 favorites]


The worst thing is that Trump loves this. No one knows what he'll do next! Tune in and see.
posted by thelonius at 3:25 PM on November 11 [7 favorites]


Erica De Bruin (author of How To Prevent Coups d’État) in The Washington Post: “No, Trump is not attempting a ‘coup.’ Here’s why the distinction matters”:
What does this amount to? Because Trump is attempting to remain in power, rather than remove someone else from it his efforts come closer to what scholars call an attempt at a “self-coup” — or, using the Spanish term, an autogolpe — in which a head of state attempts to remain in power past his or term in office.

But when you look at other self-coups, the limited nature of Trump’s actions (so far) becomes apparent. As one analysis of autogolpes in Peru, Guatemala, and Russia puts it, they involved situations in which “a president closes the courts and the legislature, suspends the constitution, and rules by decree until a referendum and new legislative elections are held to approve broader political powers.” They also, as a rule, require the approval of the armed forces.
posted by Going To Maine at 3:33 PM on November 11 [2 favorites]


So what I'm hearing here is that if Trump screws around and the states delay certification long enough, the whole thing gets thrown to Congress, where each state has a vote and therefore Trump wins, is that right? So they're just trying to run out the clock?
posted by Frowner at 3:34 PM on November 11


Mississippi Republican calls for his state to ‘succeed from the union’ after Biden victory

"If at first you don't succeed, keep on suckin' 'til you do succeed."
posted by kirkaracha at 3:39 PM on November 11 [1 favorite]


If a state sends two slates of elector votes (say, the governor/secretary of state appoints one slate based on the popular vote, and the legislature sends another slate) then Congress stops counting until they decide which slate to pick. If both houses decide the same, that's the one that counts. If they differ, the governor's slate wins. If, say, the House doesn't vote, then the count stops and we could potentially wait until January 20, when the office of the President becomes vacant and the Speaker resigns from the House and the Speakership to become Acting President.

You only get a contingent election if, at the end of the count, nobody has a majority.
posted by Huffy Puffy at 3:40 PM on November 11 [2 favorites]


I think it's a horrifying prospect if it has to go that far, but there's a certain deliciousness if Pelosi became Acting President by, basically, pulling a McConnell on the Senate. " We learned it from you. We learned it from YOU!"
posted by notoriety public at 3:44 PM on November 11 [8 favorites]


Agreed, notoriety public. Even more amusing, the House can elect a new Speaker if they so choose, and that Speaker does not have to be a sitting congressperson.

Technically... they could elect Joe Biden as Speaker.

(not in a million billion years would it ever go this far. but still pretty hilarious to game out.)
posted by invincible summer at 3:48 PM on November 11 [6 favorites]


@brett_mcgurk: With the sudden changes at DOD, Esper should tell the American people exactly what he meant by this in his exit interview: “Who's going to come in behind me? It's going to be a real 'yes' man. And then God help us.”
posted by Golden Eternity at 3:49 PM on November 11 [2 favorites]


This isn't potential presidential coup related news, but there seems to be some local Florida election weirdness. There's evidence suggesting that several state level legislative candidates were plants fueled by dark money. In my state senate district, the Republican candidate won by 31 votes and the NPA candidate had 3600 votes and has falsified his address.
posted by JustKeepSwimming at 3:51 PM on November 11 [18 favorites]


Per the WaPo here are some of the affidavits filed in court in Detroit by Republican lawyers. It gives you a flavor for the "fraud" they are claiming:

"Workers were using the PA system to make announcements. It was loud. 'This was very distracting to those of us trying to concentrate.' The person complaining was a poll watcher not a poll worker.

"A woman poll watcher said a 'man of intimidating size' had followed her too closely."

"A poll watcher noticed that when absentee ballots came in from military personnel, many showed votes for Democrats. He found that odd."
posted by JackFlash at 3:51 PM on November 11 [23 favorites]


I wonder about the the rules in the House and if Pelosi could block such a vote from ever happening. I guess what worries me is Pence and McConnell would try to take over the process. Maybe this is where SCOTUS should get involved if it should come to that, but they could just elect to stay out of it. In that case, you might have a situation where the Senate declares Trump the winner but the House refuses to do so under any normal process, and then I suppose you could have two inaugurations on January 20th. One for Trump and one for Biden.
posted by Golden Eternity at 3:52 PM on November 11 [1 favorite]


> Erica De Bruin (author of How To Prevent Coups d’État) in The Washington Post: “No, Trump is not attempting a ‘coup.’ Here’s why the distinction matters”:

I haven't read de Bruin's work, but is it required that autogolpes engage all of the mechanisms of a coup before being able to classify it as an "attempted self-coup"? You don't go to jail for attempted homicide simply by loading your gun, but loading the gun is part of it. I just wish these academic jargon police were as aggressive at combating right-wing disinformation as they are with their pedantry against left-wing hyperbole.
posted by tonycpsu at 3:55 PM on November 11 [9 favorites]


So we now have tens of millions of people who are rejecting objective reality, even when other Republicans or Fox News are the messengers. I think these people are lost to us, and I don't think they're coming back. What I'm seeing conservatives say to each other on my Facebook is alarming.

Is there anyone who has put forward how we start to fix (if possible) a society where such a significant number of people are rejecting reality in favor of crackpot conspiracy theories? Facebook is a big part of it, but only a part. Reinstating the Fairness Doctrine would only be a part. I'm desperate to find people who are putting forward ideas and solutions to this, because I'm very worried that there are none.
posted by triggerfinger at 3:57 PM on November 11 [12 favorites]


Pence and McConnell can declare whatever they want, but the law says the House chooses the President - either under the 12th amendment if there's a contingent election (not the case here) or the 20th + Electoral Count Act + Presidential Succession Act if there are separate slates of electors for a single state (extreme outlier 0.001 possibility in this case).

Pennsylvania's already said they are not going to overturn the will of the voters by sending a legistlature-selected set of electors, and Biden's lead in Pennsylvania is outside the automatic recount margin at this point. Nevada has been called for Biden and Arizona's republican AG today said the state was going to Biden and there was no evidence of any fraud there. We've also had new R-senators (Oklahoma) say it's time to begin Biden's transition today, so cracks are already appearing in Trumps dystopian fraud wall.

I'm much less worried now about a coup, and more worried about how to deal with the Trump Cult going forward. The GOP has engineered a situation where the people in deepest need of education in this country have been conditioned to automatically distrust the party that wants to give it to them for free. How we overcome that... I do not know. But until we do, the country is going to keep getting dumber, and this situation is going to keep getting worse.
posted by invincible summer at 4:04 PM on November 11 [28 favorites]


How we overcome that... I do not know.

We scream from the rooftops, in every encounter in person and otherwise how much Republicans are to blame for Trump’s loss.

Twist their rage towards the GOP
posted by glaucon at 4:09 PM on November 11 [3 favorites]


Can Trump actually stage a coup and stay in office for a second term? - The Guardian
posted by valkane at 4:11 PM on November 11 [2 favorites]


jedicus:

Gorsuch and Kavanaugh have indicated they favor a hyper-literal reading of "Legislature" to mean the legislature and legislature alone

It's not totally off the wall

They are probably looking at a Supreme Court decision , McPherson v. Blacker, 146 U.S. 1 (1892)

where the court refers to

" on the 28th of May, 1874, a report was made by Senator Morton, chairman of the Senate Committee on Privileges and Elections
In this report it was said:

"The appointment of these electors is thus placed absolutely and wholly with the legislatures of the several states. They may be chosen by the legislature, or the legislature may provide that they shall be elected by the people of the state at large, or in districts, as are members of Congress, which was the case formerly in many states, and it is not doubt competent for the legislature to authorize the governor, or the supreme court of the state, or any other agent of its will, to appoint these electors.

This power is conferred upon the legislatures of the states by the Constitution of the United States, and cannot be taken from them or modified by their state constitutions any more than can their power to elect senators of the United States.
Whatever provisions may be made by statute, or by the state constitution, to choose electors by the people, there is no doubt of the right of the legislature to resume the power at any time, for it can neither be taken away nor abdicated."

The court did not explicitly concur, but did rule that the legislature could select electors any way it chose.
posted by yyz at 4:12 PM on November 11 [2 favorites]


As if you needed any other evidence that Real Clear Politics is anything other than a Breitbart clone, they have now reversed Pennsylvania and list it as undecided, giving Biden only 259 electoral votes. Even though Biden has increased his lead in Pennsylvania to over 52,000 votes, well out of recount range, they are basing their decision on Republican claims of fraud.
posted by JackFlash at 4:14 PM on November 11 [6 favorites]


Is there anyone who has put forward how we start to fix (if possible) a society where such a significant number of people are rejecting reality in favor of crackpot conspiracy theories? Facebook is a big part of it, but only a part. Reinstating the Fairness Doctrine would only be a part. I'm desperate to find people who are putting forward ideas and solutions to this, because I'm very worried that there are none.
posted by triggerfinger at 7:57 AM on November 12 [+] [!]


I'm seeing the same thing, and while I can't comment on specific solutions, one thing that gives me a little hope is the antitrust lawsuit against Google. Facebook is "too big to fail" and refuses to effectively moderate, over and over, even as it is proven to be the primary channel for incitement of genocide in other countries.

Short-term, I know that's not a solution, but I imagine in the next year or two, this is going to become a more prominent issue. We KNOW the problem is that they won't fact-check or hire enough moderators, and we know they can afford to. The only possible solutions to that are to force them to moderate or to break them up, and forcing them to moderate is a free speech minefield. I think sooner rather than later, especially under a Democratic president & with the whole TikTok silliness, we'll see some sort of version of the Fairness Doctrine updated for moderation guidelines + antitrust suits.

I can't think of anything else that would break the back of the thing. Facebook (and true, Twitter) owns all the soapboxes. That part has to change.
posted by saysthis at 4:19 PM on November 11 [2 favorites]




The problem I see is that even if Facebook and Twitter stepped up and started hard-core moderating in as responsible a fashion as possible, we'd then have a situation where corporations are in charge of curating news -- essentially, deciding what is true and what is not. I'm not sure how comfortable I am with that.

There's also no guarantee that they would agree across the board. For instance, I am sure that what Parler considers to be a misleading statement would be very different from what Twitter considers misleading.

It is, as my dad would say, "a real pickle."
posted by invincible summer at 4:28 PM on November 11 [1 favorite]


Well, we've seen what happens when nobody takes responsibility for curating news, which rapidly devolves into very irresponsible people doing it themselves.
posted by notoriety public at 4:39 PM on November 11 [8 favorites]


For anyyone thinking we can go back to a supposed golden age of authoritative media, I highly recommend Martin Gurri, a former CIA analyst specializing in the relationship of politics and global media, and his book The Revolt of the Public: And the Crisis of Authority in the New Millennium.
posted by PhineasGage at 5:02 PM on November 11 [5 favorites]


Pennsylvania's already said they are not going to overturn the will of the voters by sending a legistlature-selected set of electors

Dang, I can't find it now, but I think I saw a tweet where a GOP leader in Pennsylvania started to waiver on this, now saying "unless there were problems with the election" or something, but I can't find it. I do see that the state AG says it is impossible, because they can't change their rules after the election. God, I hope so.
posted by Golden Eternity at 5:25 PM on November 11


Twist their rage towards the GOP

Despite all our rage we are still just reloading this page

:|
posted by snuffleupagus at 5:37 PM on November 11 [63 favorites]


Despite all our rage we are still just reloading this page

Smashing Trumpkins
posted by cashman at 5:40 PM on November 11 [42 favorites]


Thread reader
The Biden-Harris Transition Team released names of people who are on their "agency review teams," which will prepare Biden and his Cabinet for their administration.
Let's examine some of the individuals who are notable because of their backgrounds
posted by adamvasco at 5:47 PM on November 11 [3 favorites]


The worst thing is that Trump loves this. No one knows what he'll do next! Tune in and see.

Yeah, but when did he last speak? Thursday? He's running out of things to say. More importantly, he's running out of things he can say.
posted by sexyrobot at 5:49 PM on November 11 [4 favorites]


Yeah, but when did he last speak? Thursday? He's running out of things to say.

He's been unusually quiet. I think he is still in the denial and depression stages (exacerbated by his dexamethasone rebound). I expect him to withdraw to Mar-a-Lago soon. It's the only place he can be surrounded by fawning sycophants. They are stuck with their $200,000 memberships.
posted by JackFlash at 6:12 PM on November 11


Timothy Snyder, Professor of History at Yale University

He's on MSNBC currently.
posted by cashman at 6:12 PM on November 11


The texts I get from the current president's campaign are now asking for $10 instead of $35. Wonder if the money's drying up.
posted by StarkRoads at 6:28 PM on November 11 [5 favorites]


They're rolling the tube.
posted by snuffleupagus at 6:32 PM on November 11 [2 favorites]


I have to wonder if all of Trump's claims of voter fraud and a stolen election will cause any of the voters that the GOP needs in Georgia to just sit out the special election.
posted by triggerfinger at 6:33 PM on November 11 [6 favorites]



I have to wonder if all of Trump's claims of voter fraud and a stolen election will cause any of the voters that the GOP needs in Georgia to just sit out the special election


I'm really hoping so. I'm also hoping that Trump's current grift (along with the other grifts that are drafting on it, like Kristi Noem's) end up sucking away vital funds.

Maybe that's too optimistic, though.
posted by palmcorder_yajna at 7:08 PM on November 11 [2 favorites]


Wait, wait, y’all! We haven’t heard from Rand Paul yet!

Via dKos: Rand Paul owns self once again over election security
Sen. Rand Paul, the Kentucky Republican probably voted most punchable by his colleagues in the Senate, had another embarrassing self-own on Twitter this week. "One way of determining fraud in mail-in ballots would be to examine a random sample of a few thousand to find the rate of fraud," he wrote. "If fraud rate is low, voters may be convinced of the elections legitimacy. If the fraud rate is high, then every mail-in ballot should be examined."

"Guess what?" half of Twitter informed him—those are called "risk-limiting audits" and Kentucky already has that law on the books. What's more, the House passed legislation to make those audits federal and Republicans blocked them from coming to the Senate floor. Republicans who are now shouting "fraud" in fact have made a hobby out of blocking election security legislation as stand alone bills or as part of larger packages over the last two years.
posted by darkstar at 7:32 PM on November 11 [60 favorites]


Poor man suffers round-the-clock from Rand Paul seizures.
posted by riverlife at 7:52 PM on November 11


Leo Volf @leVVOLF · Nov 10

if the biden campaign managed to coordinate hundreds of thousands cases of voter fraud across state lines, imagine their covid response!
posted by sebastienbailard at 8:08 PM on November 11 [51 favorites]


Relevant news from AZ, Cannel 3 TV tonight:

1. Martha McSally has not conceded the Senate race yet, though Mark Kelly leads her by 79,000 votes, with only 25,000 votes remaining to be counted. McSally has made no public statements since Election Day. Kelly has been spotted in the US Senate building getting ready to move in.

2. Trump narrowed the race slightly with a vote drop today. He now trails Biden by 11,000 votes. He is not expected to catch up to Biden. AZ anticipates completing all vote counting by the end of the week.

3. The AZ Attorney General (Republican Mark Brnovich) made a statement saying that he had looked into the 1000+ election complaints that had poured into his office since Election Day, and reaffirmed that there was no evidence of any irregularities or fraud. He specifically addressed “SharpieGate”, confirming that no one’s vote had been affected by using Sharpies on their ballots.
posted by darkstar at 8:17 PM on November 11 [35 favorites]


if the biden campaign managed to coordinate hundreds of thousands cases of voter fraud across state lines, imagine their covid response!

Indeed, but I think he better also hire Hillary Clinton, who in 2016 was the logistics magician who could transport millions of immigrants into the US in a matter of weeks, if I recall correctly.
posted by ctmf at 8:57 PM on November 11 [12 favorites]


I'm really hoping so. I'm also hoping that Trump's current grift (along with the other grifts that are drafting on it, like Kristi Noem's) end up sucking away vital funds.

I'm pretty sure Noem is a Trump University grad.
posted by ZenMasterThis at 9:31 PM on November 11 [1 favorite]




Part of what's frustrating here for me is that it's not clear what I can do now. There's plenty of people saying don't let this happen, but I'm not a judge, a congressperson, really I have no power at all. It sucks that we're talking about what to do, this is over of myriad reasons why I'm flabbergasted people voted for him. But does it cover down to get out into the street? Is there evidence how the prior justified protests helped? It I guess if a question of is it feasible for enough people to actually make a difference here.
posted by Carillon at 10:31 PM on November 11 [18 favorites]


Hey, it's been five straight days since Trump has spoken publicly. Isn't that lovely? I could get used to this.
posted by adept256 at 10:48 PM on November 11 [37 favorites]




Good, that'll make it easier to tax the shit out of them on their way out the door.
posted by rhizome at 12:49 AM on November 12 [8 favorites]


Metafilter: Despite all our rage we are still just reloading this page

sorry, irresistible.
posted by progosk at 1:36 AM on November 12 [21 favorites]


Oklahoma Republican Senator James Lankford said yesterday he will step in if Biden isn’t allowed access to the intelligence briefings.

But there’s also how this was said.
"This needs to occur so that regardless of the outcome of the election, whichever way that it goes, people can be ready for that actual task."

Say it with me everyone: Biden won, and they’re still not saying that
posted by glaucon at 3:24 AM on November 12 [17 favorites]


New Trump Lawsuit Seeks to Overturn Obama’s 2008 Election [satire], Andy Borowitz, New Yorker, 11/11/2020.

[Alternate link]
posted by cenoxo at 4:17 AM on November 12 [2 favorites]


Regarding legislatures choosing electors:

In general, yes they can. South Carolina did this in every election up to the Civil War. Colorado was the last state to do this in 1876--they had just become a state, and didn't have time to organize a presidential election.

The question is: when can a legislature do this? Can a state legislature pass a law that says electors will be chosen by popular vote, then hold that popular vote, then turn around and say "no, we changed our minds"? That has never happened, although Florida threatened to do this in 2000. That was never tested, because Gore conceded before the Florida legislature could try it.

If it were tested in court, a legislature choosing to change the law after an election might be upheld, might be struck down, or might be judged a "political question" that the courts don't decide. Example: SCOTUS might say that it's up to Congress to accept or reject a slate of electors, they could wash their hands of the issue.

So far, as people have noted, the Republican majority leader of the Pennsylvania state senate is on record saying they won't try, although he calls choosing electors by popular vote a "tradition", which sounds like a bit of a weasel-word out to me. (And as people will point out, the value of this statement depends on how trustworthy you find Pennsylvania Republicans to be.)

Note that since the likely electoral vote should be 306 Biden to 232 Trump on Dec. 14, assuming current counts hold, it would take three states to override the popular vote to steal the election, not just Pennsylvania.
posted by gimonca at 4:20 AM on November 12 [1 favorite]


New Trump Lawsuit Seeks to Overturn Obama’s 2008 Election

Wasn't that the core message of the Trump presidency: annihilating all evidence of the Obama administration, and erasing the stain of America having had a Black president by literally appointing the lowest white man to the office after him?

I'm surprised that 45 hasn't moved to renumber his predecessors, removing Obama and inserting Jefferson Davis into the sequence to keep the count unchanged or something.
posted by acb at 4:47 AM on November 12 [2 favorites]


If I’m not mistaken, isn’t Borowitz a satire writer, not unlike the onion?

Might be an idea to flag things as satire when relevant so that we can enjoy the joke and not have people take it seriously and throw gasoline on the fires of discontent, already in progress. Just a thought.
posted by kabong the wiser at 5:08 AM on November 12 [10 favorites]


2020, when Poe's Law went into overdrive.
posted by bcd at 5:11 AM on November 12 [4 favorites]


He lost his lawyers in Arizona.... https://www.reuters.com/article/snell-maricopa-idUSL1N2HY005
posted by WaterAndPixels at 5:12 AM on November 12 [14 favorites]


I'm pretty sure Borowitz is satire, and normally I love linking to satire, but Trump has broken everything and I absolutely cannot tell reality from satire anymore. So we should label satire in this thread, or refrain from posting it.
posted by mmoncur at 5:16 AM on November 12 [7 favorites]


He lost his lawyers in Arizona...

Apparently there are some things even high-priced lawyers won't do (in this case I'm guessing it's working on contingency for a broke campaign).
posted by ZenMasterThis at 5:49 AM on November 12 [8 favorites]


[ I've put a "satire" label on that Borowitz link.]
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane (staff) at 5:53 AM on November 12 [14 favorites]


The UN currently has an event being streamed that is described as "Reimagine the UN Together Challenge: Dragons’ Den", but the URL is: https://ideas.unite.un.org/main/Page/buildbackbetterchallenge, and they even setup a short link of https://bit.ly/un-buildbackbetter.

You can watch it at live right now at http://webtv.un.org/ if you are so inclined, but I found both the fact that they are using that as the URL slug, but do not mention the phrase on the page to be telling.
posted by bcd at 6:48 AM on November 12


>"Regarding legislatures choosing electors:

In general, yes they can. South Carolina did this in every election up to the Civil War. Colorado was the last state to do this in 1876--they had just become a state, and didn't have time to organize a presidential election.

The question is: when can a legislature do this? Can a state legislature pass a law that says electors will be chosen by popular vote, then hold that popular vote, then turn around and say "no, we changed our minds"? That has never happened, although Florida threatened to do this in 2000. That was never tested, because Gore conceded before the Florida legislature could try it. "


In general, this is far too much of a simplification, and cites examples too old to be relevant.

Greg Sargent in the WaPo explaining why this won't happen and/or won't be upheld in the courts even if it's attempted - especially in Pennsylvania, which Trump can't win without.
In all states, legislatures have “directed” that electors are appointed in accordance with the popular vote by passing laws to that effect. [. . . ]

So what would happen if the state legislature did decide to send in its own slate of electors?

It’s important to note just how rogue this would be. It would be in defiance of not just the will of the voters, but also of its own law designating the governor as the party who certifies the electors on the basis of the popular vote.

This alone is highly unlikely at best, especially with the very clear popular vote outcome we saw there. And if they did do this, it probably wouldn’t stand up in court.
Here's the article linked in the WaPo explaining why state legislators acting alone in choosing electors won't hold up in court - citing the Supreme Court cases of Smiley vs. Holm (1932), reaffirmed in Arizona State Legislature v. Arizona Indep. Redistricting Comm’n.(2015), and at least tangentially reaffirmed by Bush vd. Gore in, of course, 2000.

Or, if you can prefer it, here's an 3 minute Instagram video from Neal Kaytal (former Acting Solicitor General of the US) explaining the same.
posted by soundguy99 at 6:52 AM on November 12 [13 favorites]


Joe Biden's coalition is whiter, wealthier – and will not stick around

That article, like all the rest, ultimately relies on the Edison Research polling from election day, when no one knew how many absentee ballots would come in--a crucial flaw in their model. See this article.
posted by mabelstreet at 7:22 AM on November 12 [8 favorites]


I don’t know whether to smile or cry over the “satire” label: I thought it would be self-evident. I apologize for any confusion.

How far we have fallen with a man like Donald Trump as President.
posted by cenoxo at 7:43 AM on November 12 [26 favorites]


bcd > 2020, when Poe's Law went into overdrive.

Poe’s Law (WP):
...without a clear indicator of the author's intent, it is impossible to create a parody of extreme views so obviously exaggerated that it cannot be mistaken by some readers for a sincere expression of the views being parodied....
Sign of the times.
posted by cenoxo at 8:00 AM on November 12 [4 favorites]


It's a real conundrum. Engaging Trump's bullshit legitimizes it and speculation makes it seem like there's uncertainty over what's going to happen next. We've all had a laugh about the Four Seasons fiasco, but the fact that we all did just goes to show how all these attention grabbing fucks grab a lot of fucking attention.

The transfer of power is fraught under any circumstances, which is why we have the democratic process to provide assurances and manage expectations. To stir up controversies surrounding that process as Trump has done upsets those expectations and leaves the public imagination vulnerable to all sorts of murky propositions. Such is the Power of Positive Thinking.

How to respond? Meeting the controversies head-on defeats the purpose. Because while the controversy is imaginary (counterfeit - fake - total bullshit), the conflict that ensues trying to dispel it is real. Except the purpose of the process is precisely to avoid conflict about the process in the first place.

There is a fine line between defending the democratic process by letting it play out, and betraying it by letting it be subverted. We know the process is not without its problems and we know that Trump will try to obstruct and corrupt it every step of the way. We know institutions will not save us. None of this is normal.

Then again the transfer of power is never normal, really. It's always fraught. Except it's the democratic process that works the miracle of peaceful transition and makes it appear normal. It enjoins us in the promise of a common future rather than entrapping us in the Skinner box that is Trump Circus. We count the votes and decide our own futures, not some gasbag authoritarian. That's the kind of normality, that's the kind of certainty, that should never be in doubt.
posted by dmh at 9:37 AM on November 12 [14 favorites]


Right now I am listening to Kara Swisher interviewing Fetterman:
“There is no enchanted village in Pennsylvania full of 50,000 Trump voters that we haven’t heard from already,” he says. “It doesn’t exist.”
I decided to transcribe a bit where Fetterman responds to the suggestion that Pennsylvania's legislature could ignore the results when choosing electors:
It's just not gonna happen. Because at the end of the day they know -- like, there is not one person there that believes any of this. It's just singin' for their dinner because they saw how popular Trump was. And Trump delivered and preserved their lead in the majority. I mean, so, I'm sure they feel like they owe him this, you know, this last full measure of devotion to the President, to kind of go through the theatrics of this. And no matter what the Pennsylvania legislature does with this doomsday scenario -- which I know won't come to pass -- math is math. And math was favorable to the President in 2016 and math was his ultimate undoing in 2020. And that's the state of play, whether it's in Pennsylvania or elsewhere.
What really caught my ear was a Pennsylvania politician sliding in the stiletto of "last full measure of devotion"!
posted by brainwane at 9:48 AM on November 12 [22 favorites]


"singin' for their dinner" tho
posted by ctmf at 9:54 AM on November 12 [5 favorites]


As a Pennsylvanian I'm so proud of John Fetterman. I feel like he's our collective older brother who's ready to kick anyone's ass who double-crosses us.
posted by pilibeen at 10:14 AM on November 12 [13 favorites]


The UN currently has an event being streamed that is described as "Reimagine the UN Together Challenge: Dragons’ Den", but the URL is: https://ideas.unite.un.org/main/Page/buildbackbetterchallenge, and they even setup a short link of https://bit.ly/un-buildbackbetter.

You can watch it at live right now at http://webtv.un.org/ if you are so inclined, but I found both the fact that they are using that as the URL slug, but do not mention the phrase on the page to be telling.


yeah the phrase is generic enough that it's actually in use for various campaigns around the world. apparently some of the right-wing conspiracy theory dinguses think that this is proof of international cabal blah blah blah
posted by lazaruslong at 10:30 AM on November 12


It really wasn't until today that I became fully confident there is zero chance the GOP will be able to steal the election. Phew.
posted by Golden Eternity at 10:46 AM on November 12 [2 favorites]


If memory serves, the holding in Bush v. Gore was explicitly limited to its facts and meant to be non-precedential.
posted by snuffleupagus at 10:48 AM on November 12


Not to pick on any specific commenter here, but maybe could we please stop citing any prior legal case or political situation as demonstrating why a Republican state legislature or the Supreme Court won't do something heinous? That's the whole point of this era: so much of this is unprecedented. As the past four years have shown us, just because certain norms used to apply has almost no bearing on what is happening now.
posted by PhineasGage at 10:54 AM on November 12 [13 favorites]


Further interesting notes from the Fetterman interview: he is against abolishing the Electoral College (saying that the EC gave us Obama and JFK), and one of his all-time favorite movies is the 1998 satire Bulworth.

The Karl Rove piece in the WSJ (published Wednesday night) is interesting for how it says "the president's efforts are unlikely to move a single state from Mr. Biden's column, and certainly they're not enough to change the final outcome."
There are only three statewide contests in the past half-century in which recounts changed the outcome: the 1974 New Hampshire Senate race, the 2004 Washington governor's contest, and the 2008 Minnesota Senate election.

The candidates in these races were separated, respectively, by 355, 261 and 215 votes after Election Day.

These margins aren't much like today's. Mr. Biden led Wednesday in Wisconsin by 20,540 votes, Pennsylvania by 49,064, Michigan by 146,123, Arizona by 12,614, Nevada by 36,870 and Georgia by 14,108.

To win, Mr. Trump must prove systemic fraud, with illegal votes in the tens of thousands. There is no evidence of that so far. Unless some emerges quickly, the president's chances in court will decline precipitously when states start certifying results, as Georgia will on Nov. 20, followed by Pennsylvania and Michigan on Nov. 23, Arizona on Nov. 30, and Wisconsin and Nevada on Dec. 1. By seating one candidate's electors, these certifications will raise the legal bar to overturn state results and make it even more difficult for Mr. Trump to prevail before the Electoral College meets Dec. 14.
posted by brainwane at 11:00 AM on November 12 [4 favorites]


Only if we also quit trying to debug their half-assed election-stealin’ plan for them.
posted by Huffy Puffy at 11:02 AM on November 12 [10 favorites]


saying that the EC gave us Obama and JFK

What? Obama won in 2008 and 2012 by a massive popular vote margin. JFK won in 1960 by a much more narrow margin, but he did win the popular vote.
posted by jedicus at 11:05 AM on November 12 [11 favorites]


I've been hatereading some of these ridiculous anti-vote cases in Pennsylvania and came across a Pennsylvania Supreme Court case so on-point that I'm surprised I haven't seen it cited in the media yet. In Gollmar's Election, Gollmar won the Allegheny County sheriff's election by 251 votes. After the election, the loser provided affidavits alleging that there had been over a thousand fraudulent votes in the election, that there had been partisan disqualification of some of the loser's voters, and some of the ballots had been stolen by masked robbers (!). The goal of the suit was to disqualify the results of certain entire voting precincts (which is also the only way that Trump could get the courts to turn the Pennsylvania vote in his favor and which is the requested relief in some of the anti-voting suits). The court sums why the challenge is of no merit:
It was never the intent of the statute nor the policy of the courts to encourage election contests without allegations of specific fraud to warrant such action. The sanctity of the ballot should be guarded jealously, and where charges are made which if sustained by proof would show the honest will and intent of the electorate to have been thwarted as to the office involved and would change the result, the court will not hesitate to direct the necessary inquiry to right the wrong, difficult, and expensive though it may be. But where the contest is predicated on charges which do not specify fraud with precision and clearness, the court cannot lend itself to a seemingly futile and fruitless inquiry, engaging the parties in protracted litigation, casting doubt on the title to public office, involving the disfranchisement of many honest voters, not only as to the office involved but all the other offices voted for, and conceivably tainting the title of other elected officers unconcerned in the contest. If so many voters were illegally assisted as in this proceeding it is charged, if so many unqualified voters were permitted to cast a ballot, if intimidation was practiced, it seems to us it is not too much to require petitioners to declare that these votes were cast for the successful candidate, or to name those or some of those who gave or accepted illegal assistance, or to name those guilty of intimidation of voters and wherein intimidation was practiced. [. . .] When a contest is once instituted, it must rest on something more than general allegations, inferences and innuendoes. If all the averments of contestants' petition were sustained by evidence, it would prove only that ballots were accepted from persons who had no right to vote, thus subjecting the boards to prosecution. If the averments were that ballots improperly marked had been counted for respondent, or that ballots marked for contestant had not been counted, it would not be necessary to particularize as to names or be precise as to numbers, for the ballots themselves would disclose the fraud. But when, as here, the illegality consists of what some persons did or did not do, specification as to the identity of such or some of such persons is essential. It is obviously impossible to meet such charges otherwise.
posted by vathek at 11:08 AM on November 12 [17 favorites]


Soon, blue fraudulent info exclamation points will be the new blue checkmarks.
posted by Going To Maine at 11:28 AM on November 12


You can't really map historical votes onto different conditions (IE:EC vs popular vote). Campaigns would have been conducted differently and turn out would have been different.

Besides even if the EC does give more desirable results on occasion it is both fundamentally undemocratic and has an unhealthy distortion effect on the entire process.
posted by Mitheral at 11:35 AM on November 12 [5 favorites]


Trump’s attempt to overturn the election result is ramping up. Here’s what comes next
Republican state officials involved in the counts have insisted they’ve found no fraud, and there are no solid plans among GOP state legislators to change the outcome. To assess whether Trump’s ploy to overturn the election results is successful, keep an eye on whether any of these change in the coming weeks.

...

But there may be one more catch. Supreme Court Justices Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh recently embraced a legal theory that, in Gorsuch’s words, “state legislatures — not federal judges, not state judges, not state governors, not other state officials — bear primary responsibility for setting election rules.”

If three other Supreme Court justices agree with this line of thinking, they could potentially grant partisan state legislatures far more leeway to do what they want with elections, without having to worry about governor's’ vetoes, secretaries of states, or elections boards.
It really seems like all it would take is enough MAGA state legislators and judges, but they don't have critical mass.
posted by Golden Eternity at 12:00 PM on November 12 [3 favorites]


I was worried with Arizona, Georgia and Wisconsin all potentially within recount territory. What would happen if Trump managed to reverse all three? He would still lose the electoral college count (Biden 270, Trump 268).

Even then (from this source):

Arizona will only provide an automated recount if the final margin is within 0.1%. No requested recounts allowed. So this would have to narrow to less than 0.1%. (It's at 0.3% now).

Georgia recounted can be requested in the margin is within 0.5%. (0.3% margin as of now)

Wisconsin does not have an automatic recount. It has requested recount if within 1%. (The margin is 0.8%)

Pennsylvania can have a county by county recount, no margin limits, if three voters file a grievance. Trump is currently 54,000 votes behind, so it is unlikely that this will make a difference.

Edited to say that Georgia is 16, Wisconsin is 10, and Arizona is 11. Losing all three would make the vote 269 to 269.
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 12:00 PM on November 12


Georgia have said that they will do a recount but they don’t expect it to change the outcome. (When that announcement was made they may have believed the final tally would be closer than it currently stands.)
posted by plonkee at 12:07 PM on November 12 [1 favorite]


Meanwhile, in Detroit: [twitter]
The Trump campaign has filed a wide-ranging lawsuit challenging the counting of votes in Wayne County (Detroit) not just in a federal district court in Michigan, but in the U.S. Court of Federal Claims in D.C. — which has *no jurisdiction* in such cases:
posted by ctmf at 12:23 PM on November 12 [5 favorites]


In past weeks, states that have voted for Trump typically made up the top 15 in COVID new weekly case rates per million population. This week, Wisconsin and Minnesota have joined the top 10 and Illinois is at number 11.
The 9 states with the lowest rates of new cases are those that voted for Biden. The 10th is Louisiana.
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 12:24 PM on November 12 [1 favorite]


Another useful covid correlate is "distance from Sturgis, South Dakota". Heckofa Job, Governor Noem!
posted by benzenedream at 12:35 PM on November 12 [9 favorites]


If you look at the per capita colored map, it's like a blast radius from South Dakota.

But it's not great anywhere.
posted by ctmf at 12:39 PM on November 12 [8 favorites]




Is it too much to hope that judges will start sanctioning lawyers over these spurious cases?
posted by sebastienbailard at 12:45 PM on November 12 [9 favorites]


the U.S. Court of Federal Claims in D.C. — which has *no jurisdiction* in such cases:

I want to see some lawyers get sanctioned for all this bullshit. This is ridiculous.

Everyone deserves access to legal advice, but that advice must include the possibility of telling the client that their claims are bullshit and you refuse to file.
posted by suelac at 12:45 PM on November 12 [12 favorites]


> Is it too much to hope that judges will start sanctioning lawyers over these spurious cases?

In case this question wasn't rhetorical: very much so.
posted by tonycpsu at 12:46 PM on November 12




President Trump is reportedly challenging the 2020 election results primarily just as "theater," as he puts on a "performance" for his supporters despite knowing he will not begin a second term in January.

My sense is that it's all to prevent the TV from referring to him as a person who has lost something, but I'm still scared of the courts.

Is it too much to hope that judges will start sanctioning lawyers over these spurious cases?

I believe this is going to be yet another thing the president can do if they want, AKA another presidential power (or privilege, or right, as the case may be) that should be eliminated.
posted by rhizome at 12:52 PM on November 12 [1 favorite]


Trump bans Americans from investing in 31 companies with links to Chinese military [Axios]

I must be confused on how executive orders work. I thought they were binding on executive agencies, like an order from the boss on policy. How can an executive order ban a private person from... well pretty much anything?
posted by ctmf at 1:14 PM on November 12 [6 favorites]


GOP Sen. Lankford: ‘I will step in’ if Biden doesn’t start receiving intel briefings (USA Today, Nov. 12) Sen. James Lankford, an Oklahoma Republican, said he will intervene on Friday if the Trump administration doesn’t start allowing Biden to receive what's known as the president's daily brief, a summary of the most urgent and credible national security threats. [...] "This needs to occur so that regardless of the outcome of the election, whichever way that it goes, people can be ready for that actual task," Lankford told Tulsa radio station KRMG-AM on Wednesday.

“If that’s not occurring by Friday, I will step in,” said Lankford, who sits on the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee. A bevy of other Republican senators, including Sens. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C.; John Cornyn, R-Texas; and Ron Johnson, R-Wis.; agreed. "If in fact he does win in the end, I think they need to be able to hit the ground running," said Cornyn, who sits on the Senate Intelligence Committee. "I just don’t know any justification for withholding the briefing."

posted by Iris Gambol at 1:14 PM on November 12 [6 favorites]


I must be confused on how executive orders work. I thought they were binding on executive agencies, like an order from the boss on policy. How can an executive order ban a private person from... well pretty much anything?

It's an executive order under authority delegated by statutes that can restrict private citizens because they were enacted by Congress. In this one:

By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, including the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (50 U.S.C. 1701 et seq.) (IEEPA), the National Emergencies Act (50 U.S.C. 1601 et seq.), and section 301 of title 3, United States Code...


Presidential executive orders commonly have a direct effect on individuals.
posted by snuffleupagus at 1:23 PM on November 12


I've heard everything from "it's just theater" to "next we try getting some faithless electors" from reporting sourced from anonymous aides, and I don't think it's helpful to parse the statements of bad-faith actors. All we really know is their actions.
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 1:25 PM on November 12 [11 favorites]


I have to believe that the people that prepare the president's daily brief are really excited that there might be someone that actually reads the work that they have produced.
posted by Quonab at 1:33 PM on November 12 [30 favorites]


Hey, it's been five straight days since Trump has spoken publicly. Isn't that lovely? I could get used to this.

Yeah, he's talked himself into a box. His next statement will either be concession (not likely), or sedition. The coup is the next time he talks, but seeing as all his court cases keep getting thrown out, and the number of GOP backing Biden, it's sure to be a hot mess of failure. But yeah, probably tonight or tomorrow...
posted by sexyrobot at 1:34 PM on November 12 [2 favorites]


Does the executive order ultimately benefit McConnell/Chao/Foremost Group in any way?
posted by Iris Gambol at 1:45 PM on November 12


I wonder if they'll be getting identical PDBs. I remember seeing a piece that they had to trim it down and add pictures due to attention span issues.
posted by cmfletcher at 1:58 PM on November 12 [4 favorites]


Biden’s PDBs won’t have the color by number section.
posted by orange ball at 2:01 PM on November 12 [19 favorites]


they had to trim it down and add pictures due to attention span issues

I do think they'll be quite a bit more substantial than these.
posted by witchen at 2:02 PM on November 12 [1 favorite]


FWIW, for those who are worried about a coup, Heather Cox Richardson (who generally seems level-headed and like a good judge of what things signify) seems to be regarding the whole non-concession business as pure bluster. I'm still vigilant, but it really looks like a lot of hot air.
posted by jackbishop at 2:56 PM on November 12 [4 favorites]


Even if it's mostly a pile of manure (and there's solid precedent for it being such, from a bullshit artist such as 45), piles of manure have been known to spontaneously combust.
posted by acb at 3:06 PM on November 12 [12 favorites]


> I have to believe that the people that prepare the president's daily brief are really excited that there might be someone that actually reads the work that they have produced.

Wasn't Jared selling secrets to the Saudis?
posted by sebastienbailard at 3:18 PM on November 12 [4 favorites]


I'm not really in on the whole "he hasn't said anything in x days". If we're going by that metric, 99% of us on here have never said a word to each other. Trump has been talking every single day. He had tweets just today alleging some craziness and tagging his far right news lackeys. He hasn't been silent at all.

I'm glad things are trending positively these last couple of days and I hope it continues.
posted by cashman at 3:25 PM on November 12 [1 favorite]


In the letter published by Heather Cox Richardson for November 9th, she reminded readers that:
Trump’s strong suit has always been distraction, and that he has always used the presidency as a money-making venture, I wonder if we need to factor those characteristics in when we think about his unprecedented and dangerous refusal to admit he has lost this election.

She expressed concern that the refusal to concede might be a distraction for the unauthorized sale of arms to the UAE, Saudi Arabia and Jordan. Maybe, maybe not . . . but I agree that it is a sleight of hand for something nefarious.
posted by kbar1 at 3:27 PM on November 12 [3 favorites]


If you'd like to watch David Kallman make arguments yesterday before Hon. Timothy M. Kenny of the Third Judicial Circuit of Michigan, there's an unlisted YouTube video. Ruling is supposed to be out tomorrow, maybe at court's News & Announcements page. I don't remember how I found the video. It does seem kind of odd that it's unlisted. Kallman is a crank, but he was given a chance to make a cogent legal argument. I can't disagree with this point that recounting ballots that should not have been accepted is no cure, but the claim that almost 3 million ballots (nationwide) should have been rejected is madness.
posted by ASCII Costanza head at 3:31 PM on November 12 [3 favorites]


"Tweeting" and "speaking from the white house" are two totally different things.
posted by sexyrobot at 3:46 PM on November 12 [2 favorites]


At least, they used to be.
posted by Marticus at 3:58 PM on November 12 [6 favorites]


President Trump is reportedly challenging the 2020 election results primarily just as "theater," as he puts on a "performance" for his supporters despite knowing he will not begin a second term in January.

I remain convinced that those who introduced the term kayfabe into the political lexicon 4 years ago understood Trump better than any of the DC pundit set.
posted by CheeseDigestsAll at 4:02 PM on November 12 [14 favorites]


"Tweeting" and "speaking from the white house" are two totally different things.

The talk (online and on tv) has been that he hasn't been talking. He has. If he wasn't saying anything at all, that might be noteworthy. But I hope it doesn't need to be argued on Metafilter of all places that posting comments online is in fact speaking.

Regardless, the AP has now debunked the latest nonsense Trump tweeted.
posted by cashman at 4:03 PM on November 12 [3 favorites]


I have often thought that Trump knows what kayfabe is and what it means but doesn't know how to spell it. Thus, when he wanted to use it as a one word "fake news" style tweet, what he spelled was "covfefe."
posted by Joey Michaels at 4:04 PM on November 12 [15 favorites]


Heather Cox Richardson (who generally seems level-headed and like a good judge of what things signify) seems to be regarding the whole non-concession business as pure bluster.

The thing is, she also includes stuff like:
No one is quite sure what this purge means, but people are worried. General Barry McCaffrey, a retired four-star general, told MSNBC he was “alarmed” at the shake-up.
If it's just bluster, General McCaffrey (ret.) is a dick for not saying so, and at any rate this "maybe yes, maybe no," perspective should be addressed in the article.
posted by rhizome at 6:19 PM on November 12 [1 favorite]


I have often thought that Trump knows what kayfabe is and what it means but doesn't know how to spell it. Thus, when he wanted to use it as a one word "fake news" style tweet, what he spelled was "covfefe."

The original covfefe tweet read “Despite the constant negative press covfefe” — not quite a one-word tweet.
posted by snowmentality at 6:49 PM on November 12 [5 favorites]


Trump Won Florida After Running a False Ad Tying Biden to Venezuelan Socialists (ProPublica, Nov. 12, 2020) A Trump video targeting Florida’s growing Venezuelan American population falsely claimed that Venezuela’s socialist regime wanted Biden to win. But President Nicolás Maduro has said that he opposed both candidates.

"In Florida, where President Donald Trump gained crucial support among Latino voters, his campaign ran a YouTube ad in Spanish making the explosive — and false — claim that Venezuela’s ruling clique was backing Democratic nominee Joe Biden. YouTube showed the ad more than 100,000 times in Florida in the eight days leading up to the election, even after The Associated Press published a fact-check debunking the Trump campaign’s claim."

Pew Research on Florida's voter registration breakouts; "There are 915,000 Hispanic registered voters in Miami-Dade County, or 37% of the state’s Hispanic total."
Miami-Dade state attorney wants ballot audit after backlog found at mail facility (Tampa Bay Times, Oct. 30).
Thousands Of Miami-Dade Voters Head To The Polls On Election Day To Make Their Voices Heard (CBS Miami, Nov. 3, 2020) More than one million voters cast ballots either by mail or during the two-week early voting period which may be why many polling locations across the county were pretty quiet on Tuesday. [...] Miami-Dade Supervisor of Elections Christina White expects about 200-thousand people to vote in person on Tuesday. [...] When it’s all said and done, election officials expect a record 80% of all registered voters in Miami-Dade to cast a ballot. As the state’s largest county, Miami-Dade could be a potential deal-breaker for one of the presidential candidates.
Miami-Dade Hispanics helped sink Biden in Florida (WaPo, cached link, Nov. 4, 2020)
posted by Iris Gambol at 6:51 PM on November 12 [10 favorites]


Apropos kayfabe, I found this commentary on Twitter from Jared Sexton compelling.

For the non-twitter folk: essentially, pro-wrestling has two modes: "work" (which is fake and play-acting) and "shoot" (which is for real). It is not uncommon that as "work" goes on, the players in the drama start to actually believe and get emotionally involved, at which point they are in "shoot" mode, even if they didn't intend to be. Sexton's contention is that the refusal to concede/fraud claims are intended as "work" -- they are kayfabe -- but there is a high risk as they go on that they will take on a life of their own, especially since there is no path to de-escalation, the more it goes on, the hard the participants need to push to maintain the drama. And this is not an accident, seeing as how Trump has been in the pro-wrestling world. And arguably this is also the story of his ascent to the presidency in the first place.
posted by i_am_joe's_spleen at 7:44 PM on November 12 [23 favorites]


Oh and also importantly, the marks (the audience) have a big contingent of people who think it's real, or who want to badly enough that they behave as if it were real.
posted by i_am_joe's_spleen at 7:47 PM on November 12 [7 favorites]


Finally, CNN is calling Arizona for Biden.
posted by perhapses at 8:26 PM on November 12 [19 favorites]


For the non-twitter folk: essentially, pro-wrestling has two modes: "work" (which is fake and play-acting) and "shoot" (which is for real).

Reminds me of saying, "Conservatives take Trump seriously but not literally, while liberals take him literally but not seriously". Maybe when playing with fire, as Trump and the Republicans are doing, things can get more than a little confused.
posted by vac2003 at 8:31 PM on November 12 [7 favorites]


The saddest thing about this entire fraudulent fraud escapade is that it is highly unnecessary.

Trump loves the rallies and the public attention, but he hates the actual nitty-gritty of doing the job. He hates the criticism he receives from most directions. He is an old, portly man with questionable eating habits and, possibly, some neurological damage from one source or another. He simply wants to be surrounded at all times by people who will give him money and/or declare him the Greatest Man in the World.

Well... he has that opportunity, in spades.

All he has to do is do what many felt he was trying to do the first time in 2016 -- come in second, swear up and down that he had been robbed of what was rightfully his, and glue his name to a multimedia propaganda venture that would make Fox News sound like Mother Jones and rake in money from hardcore conservadrones. One pinch news, three parts conservative talking points, two parts rabble-rousing, two parts TV evangelism (complete with constant entreaties for money), it would be nothing but Trump, Trump, Trump twenty-four hours of the day.

And they've even done the hard work for him already, in that OANN is a thing and he's promoted it far beyond any reasonable measure as President. He could move in tomorrow and just make it his own, kind of like what he did with the Republican Party, and rake in money hand over fist from the faithful. He could go on tours of the nation rallying just like he does now, with the usual gang of idiots following him from city to city until the last one drops from COVID. It'll be one long 2024 campaign tour, or at least that's what the banners will say, whether he plans on going through with it or not.

"But he'll be on trial as soon as he's out of office." Nonsense. This is America; rich and famous people do not face consequences unless they have screwed over richer and more famous people than themselves, with occasional exceptions for C-listers like Martha Stewart. He has more than enough knowledge in his addled little skull to sell intelligence to any community he likes for profit -- and may need to do so to keep certain parties from calling in his debts. So long as the Saudi agent or Russian diplomat he spills to doesn't turn out to be CIA with a wire, he's in like Flynn.

He could do all of that right now without openly shitting in the Oval Office nest. He could take the loss without even acknowledging it as a legitimate loss, play-act the high road as many before him have and mumble something about "the best interests of the country," then pivot to excoriating everyone who is Not Him the moment Biden takes office and maybe have another book ghostwritten for him and have 70 million Americans treat him like Elvis until that one fatal Big Mac kicks in.

But he won't.

Because either he is just that petty that he must enact both immediate and long-term revenge...

...or "burn it down on your way out" is being whispered in his ear by his backers.
posted by delfin at 9:09 PM on November 12 [11 favorites]


Don't you think that Trump is trying to gain time to allow some level of obfuscation regarding the records of his own administration ?
posted by nicolin at 12:22 AM on November 13 [7 favorites]


Don't you think that Trump is trying to gain time to allow some level of obfuscation regarding the records of his own administration ?

Uhh, doesn't he have official time to do any of this anyway, until January? He's still the Prusidud, he can do whatever he pleases (as it seems).
No, I think this is all about a crunched ego. He's not able to stand there and say 'okay I give up'. It's a kind of non-performance anxiety.
posted by Namlit at 1:26 AM on November 13 [1 favorite]


"But he'll be on trial as soon as he's out of office." Nonsense. This is America; rich and famous people do not face consequences unless they have screwed over richer and more famous people than themselves

OTOH, there are many different sets of consequences. Even if he is federally pardoned, or it is accepted tacitly that you do not prosecute an ex-President for crimes committed whilst in office (hence the emoluments thing is retroactively OK, and so on), there are state tax problems, fraud charges, rape allegations and more. Nobody has the power to wave all those away.
posted by acb at 1:52 AM on November 13 [4 favorites]


This is America; rich and famous people do not face consequences unless they have screwed over richer and more famous people than themselves

Well hopefully those richer people immediately call in Trump's loans on 00:01 Jan 21 2021.
posted by PenDevil at 2:11 AM on November 13 [6 favorites]


Peak Trump's America, which is unfortunately still like 97% just America America:
After an incarcerated firefighter was nearly killed on the frontlines, California delivered him to Ice
Bounchan Keola is facing deportation to Laos after helping to fight the Zogg fire


California officials have transferred an incarcerated firefighter who suffered a near-death injury on the frontlines of a major blaze this fall to US immigration, and he is now threatened with deportation to a country his family fled three decades ago.

Bounchan Keola, 39, had just two weeks left in his prison term when he was crushed by a tree while battling the destructive Zogg fire in northern California on 2 October and airlifted to a hospital...
┈┈┈┈
He showed up to school without lunches and with clothes from Goodwill, he recalled, and was relentlessly bullied for being Asian and poor. He finally found community and protection when he met other Khmu youth in nearby Richmond, but that led him to start drinking in middle school, and he soon got caught up in gang violence. When he was 16, he was riding in a car with friends, and he and a group of them ended up shooting out of the vehicle at someone running toward them, afraid it was a member of a rival gang, he said. Two people were shot and one died...
┈┈┈┈
Meanwhile, his family, who lives in Pinole about 22 miles north-east of San Francisco, were making plans for his release. His sister, Thongsouk Keola, 36, said she took a week off work and planned to stay at a hotel near the prison so she could be outside waiting for him on the morning of 16 October.

But two days prior, Ice agents told Keola their agency would be picking him up instead. His stomach started churning, he recalled.

He rang his sister and told her not to bother coming.
May we not forget the things we swore we would fix during the darkest days.
posted by XMLicious at 3:53 AM on November 13 [33 favorites]


Finally, CNN is calling Arizona for Biden.

NBC News now as well. And the AP is over there like hey yall, what's up.
posted by cashman at 3:59 AM on November 13 [3 favorites]


Well hopefully those richer people immediately call in Trump's loans on 00:01 Jan 21 2021.

That's not how these loans work, they have a defined term as long as none of the covenants have been breached which of course they may have been they cannot be "called in". The problem he will face is that, like many real estate speculators, many of these are non-amortising loans so when they expire, there is substantial principal to pay back. Usually that gets done by refinancing, many of them will come due between now and 2024, but:
-The pandemic may have made some of them substantially less valuable, we'll see if that is still an issue by 2022 when large amounts of them come up.
-He may now be so toxic that some banks just don't want to lend to him, especially if he's still selling his "I was robbed" message by then and contemplating a 2024 run. Nobody wants the scrutiny that DB is getting now.
posted by atrazine at 5:06 AM on November 13 [1 favorite]


I think a hypothetical Trump tv channel is going to have a tough time making it work. OANN isn't even carried by Comcast, Charter, or Dish Network (their biggest carrier is AT&T, which Trump has beef with), and Fox News probably feels about Trump like Vince McMahon felt about Hulk Hogan--when you start acting like you're bigger than the business, the business has to show you it isn't true. Twitter isn't going to be so accommodating with a Trump who's not actually president. Not saying it's impossible, but I think trump.tv.ru is a lot more likely than Channel 45.
posted by box at 5:28 AM on November 13 [3 favorites]


OANN isn't even carried by Comcast, Charter, or Dish Network (their biggest carrier is AT&T ...)

Even OANN's demographic knows how to stream these days.
posted by ZenMasterThis at 5:40 AM on November 13


If they have Minions memes, they can have links to web pages with embedded video streams.
posted by acb at 5:57 AM on November 13


It's not just the streaming, though--like, I'm trying to imagine Trump TV like someone's pitching it to me, and I just don't see it. What does the broadcast day look like? 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and you don't have the rights to The Apprentice reruns. Who are the advertisers? What do you do when FNC starts blackballing people who appear as panelists? Who, having seen Trump's record across the last four years and the last forty, would invest in it?

The audience is deep, but it isn't that wide. Fox News is the most-watched tv channel, but it's usually less than 8 million viewers. Limbaugh has 15.5 million people listening weekly, which sounds a little bit more impressive, but then again APM's Marketplace has 14.8 (and it's a half-hour instead of three). In terms of number of listeners, Kai Ryssdal is bigger than Mark Levin, Glenn Beck, and Hugh Hewitt.

Not saying it can't be done, because it can, but if mainstream news and social media sites decided to deplatform him, he'd need an art-of-the-comeback to make Trump TV happen.
posted by box at 6:20 AM on November 13 [2 favorites]


I'm sure he can pick up all of NRA TV's assets and programming on credit.
posted by davelog at 6:27 AM on November 13


It's not just the streaming, though--like, I'm trying to imagine Trump TV like someone's pitching it to me, and I just don't see it.

Going to be a lot easier/different if it's not a cable network, or barely carried, and has its presence online. Talent would be cheaper, and the reach via Facebook would make viewership less relevant. Sure, you'd need to abandon the Fox News-watching base (which inevitably includes a waiting room or hotel lobby where you least expect it), but it would build on the already "too online" approach. And if Facebook shuts you down, there's always Parler.
posted by hijinx at 6:40 AM on November 13


Question: Where is the best place to throw money at to help Democrats win the runoffs in Georgia? Fair Fight?
posted by SansPoint at 6:44 AM on November 13


Question: Where is the best place to throw money at to help Democrats win the runoffs in Georgia? Fair Fight?

Fair Fight organized a donation page that splits donations three ways between Fair Fight and the two Democratic campaigns.
posted by jedicus at 6:48 AM on November 13 [25 favorites]


The thing about a Trump network is, it would mean letting other on-air personalities take center stage. Which Trump's ego couldn't deal with, so he'd likely hire people he thinks won't overshadow him (and bland-down the content), and possibly fire them if they does. Or he'll put himself into most of the content, and it will get tiresome to watch - even his fans have their limits.

And if he's not happy with the ratings, he'll cut ties anyway and if possible take it off the air.

I say let him have it.
posted by Mchelly at 7:40 AM on November 13 [3 favorites]


Donald Trump keeps baselessly claiming voter fraud in cities. But suburbs actually lost him the election
President-elect Joe Biden fared about the same in Philadelphia, Detroit and Milwaukee as Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton did in 2016. Trump actually won more votes in Philadelphia and Detroit than he did four years ago.

Instead, Biden narrowly carried Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin by widening support in what's become a new Democratic stronghold: the suburbs and exurbs around cities.
posted by tonycpsu at 7:45 AM on November 13 [6 favorites]


5 minutes ago Geraldo Rivera tweeted:
"Just had heartfelt phone call w friend @realDonaldTrump who said he's a "realist" who'll do the"right thing" But he wants to see "what states do in terms of certifiction (etc)" He sounded committed to fighting for every vote & if he loses, talking more about all he's accomplished"
posted by cashman at 7:55 AM on November 13 [1 favorite]


The Trump campaign has lost another law firm, this time in Pennsylvania.
posted by jedicus at 7:57 AM on November 13 [5 favorites]


new Democratic stronghold: the suburbs and exurbs around cities.

Ya win once, and it's a stronghold
posted by StarkRoads at 7:58 AM on November 13 [7 favorites]


Re: networks.

Fox is increasingly dependent on negotiating very high fees from cable providers, as their ad dollars have been declining due to advertisers avoiding buying ads from fascists. More info here.
posted by kaibutsu at 8:05 AM on November 13 [6 favorites]


> certifiction

That's a hell of a typo.
posted by zeptoweasel at 8:14 AM on November 13 [24 favorites]




"Just had heartfelt phone call w friend @realDonaldTrump who said he's a "realist" who'll do the"right thing"

Wow, Geraldo, that's the biggest act of sycophancy since Jimmy Fallon fondled Trump's hair.
posted by mmoncur at 8:21 AM on November 13 [10 favorites]




jedicus: "Question: Where is the best place to throw money at to help Democrats win the runoffs in Georgia? Fair Fight?

Fair Fight organized a donation page that splits donations three ways between Fair Fight and the two Democratic campaigns.
"

I'm not even American but I seriously consider making a donation.
posted by nicolin at 8:37 AM on November 13 [2 favorites]


From Dahlia Lithwick at Slate, "Trump’s Refusal to Concede Is Not a Legal Problem. It’s a Political Problem." (2020/11/12):
It is easy to think that what is happening in America this week is a purely constitutional crisis or some kind of a crisis of law itself. After all, Republicans in state legislatures and the Trump campaign are declining to concede that the election is over and that they lost; they are filing lawsuits around the country that are being bounced like superballs out of their various courtrooms; and they are turning on their own Secretaries of State as they make demonstrably false, empty claims about rampant election fraud. But it’s not in fact a crisis of law. The law is managing the lawsuits precisely as it ought to: Taking them seriously enough to reject them outright. As elections lawyer Marc Elias continues to tweet, 0-12 is a pretty sound legal outcome 9 days post-election.

The better way to describe what is taking place is that we are in a political crisis. The following is what is currently happening in the GOP-lead government: There are firings at the Pentagon, a persistent refusal to allow Joe Biden and his transition team to have access to security briefings, and mealy mouthed contentions by the Republican leadership that the president has some kind of “right” to file endless meritless lawsuits rather than participate in an orderly and peaceful transition of power. It’s not simply that there is a last-minute looting effort to enrich Trump’s 2024 presidential campaign or to froth up the base in time for the Georgia runoff. The GOP is actually presiding over a dismantling of an effective national security system and a functional federal bureaucracy. For fun. Even with the tiny feints at concern for the damage being wrought, the past week has evinced a GOP that will take more joy in peeing on the carpets on the way out than in handing over the reins of leadership in a way that would put country first. Construing what has taken place in the days since the election was called for Joe Biden as a legal problem obscures that the authentic breakdown here is in politics, not in law.
posted by mhum at 8:39 AM on November 13 [25 favorites]


TrumpTV was his original plan in 2016 when he accidentally won. Google "TrumpTV 2016" and you'll get endless pages of articles from October 2016 with people confident he would lose and that would be his parachute. It was so serious that the CEO of Sinclair Broadcast Group was ready to step down to go run it. And then oopsie barely enough people in the right places marked him down and here we are 4 years later.
posted by msbutah at 9:00 AM on November 13 [4 favorites]


It’s still an illegitimate power grab, even if Republican operatives are only doing it to protect Trump’s fragile ego. -- TNR

Oh, shit, sorry golden eternity!
posted by valkane at 9:05 AM on November 13 [1 favorite]


That comment from Golden Eternity is making me feel better.
posted by valkane at 9:07 AM on November 13


This thread about Parler surprised me in many ways. I'd assumed it was just the next Gab, but it seems there was a lot more planning and likely foreign influence from the very start.
posted by bcd at 9:07 AM on November 13 [14 favorites]


I'm not even American but I seriously consider making a donation.

Non-US nationals can't contribute to US political campaigns or political action committees such as Fair Fight.
posted by jedicus at 9:08 AM on November 13 [7 favorites]


Romancing the Runoff is helping non-US folks donate to Fair Fight Action (the org that can take international donations and is connected to Fair Fight), Black Voters Matter Fund, and New Georgia Project.
posted by brainwane at 9:53 AM on November 13 [8 favorites]


More than 130 Secret Service officers are said to be infected with coronavirus or quarantining in wake of Trump’s campaign travel"

That's about 10% of the entire security force out sick. They have also been protecting Biden and Harris since the Democratic Convention in August. I wonder if they have to draw straws to decide who gets to cover Biden vs Trump.

They are said to be willing to take a bullet for the president but I doubt they expected the bullet to be fired by the president.

And its not just risking agents' lives. It risks their families as well.
posted by JackFlash at 9:56 AM on November 13 [31 favorites]


Trump campaign drops Arizona lawsuit requesting review of ballots after finding that the margin of victory for the presidential contest in Arizona could not be overcome.

Third Circuit REJECTS Republican lawsuit challenging Pennsylvania ballot receipt deadline. (Twitter link, sorry; here's one to the actual opinion)
posted by invincible summer at 10:59 AM on November 13 [10 favorites]


Trump campaign drops Arizona lawsuit requesting review of ballots after finding that the margin of victory...

More like after getting absolutely sink-into-a-hole-in-the-ground embarrased at the hearing yesterday. Check out the live tweet threads of it.
posted by ctmf at 11:14 AM on November 13 [1 favorite]


Check out the live tweet threads of it.

Yeah, that was a thing of beauty. :D
posted by invincible summer at 11:15 AM on November 13


Check out the live tweet threads of it.

Links? Thanks.
posted by ZenMasterThis at 11:18 AM on November 13 [1 favorite]


Here's some reporting on the hearing from AZ PBS with some choices quotes. Another case of paper thin "evidence" collapsing completely under even modest scrutiny.
posted by jedicus at 11:22 AM on November 13


Adam Klasfeld live tweet of it edit: continuity linkage seems to be broken, see his profile page for all the tweets
posted by ctmf at 11:26 AM on November 13 [2 favorites]


Pengazi
posted by Ahmad Khani at 11:30 AM on November 13 [6 favorites]


jedicus: "I'm not even American but I seriously consider making a donation.

Non-US nationals can't contribute to US political campaigns or political action committees such as Fair Fight.
"

I gather it would be considered as foreign interference, and I fully understand. Sometimes it just hurts to feel helpless.
posted by nicolin at 11:34 AM on November 13 [4 favorites]


No recount coming in Pennsylvania as ballot counting nears completion (USA Today, Nov. 13) Secretary of State Kathy Boockvar has determined that she will not be ordering a recount for any race, including president. No one was defeated by one-half of one percent based on the unofficial results, according to a news release. [...] Counties are continuing to adjudicate and count the approximately 100,000 provisional ballots cast on Election Day, the news release states. About 40,000 had been counted or partially counted as of midday Friday. More than 28,000 military and overseas ballots also came in to be counted.

PA Elections Summary site:

BIDEN, JOSEPH ROBINETTE JR (DEM) 49.86%
Votes: 3,400,711
Election Day: 1407589 Mail: 1973527 Provisional: 19375

TRUMP, DONALD J. (REP) 48.99%
Votes: 3,341,535
Election Day: 2728810 Mail: 590199 Provisional: 22033

JORGENSEN, JO (LIB) 1.15%
Votes: 78,356
Election Day: 53268 Mail: 24527 Provisional: 547
posted by Iris Gambol at 11:35 AM on November 13 [5 favorites]


Nicolin, I just donated a chunk to FairFight because you can't. :)
posted by invincible summer at 11:36 AM on November 13 [12 favorites]


Georgia called for Biden by CNN and NBC News! NC called for Trump by CNN.
posted by cashman at 11:36 AM on November 13 [10 favorites]


ABC has called GA as well. Guess we're waiting on the Associated Press now.

Trump supposed to be speaking at 4:00pm. (There is a separate meeting about coronavirus they were having, so it's related to that, but obviously he'll be asked about or talk about the election)
posted by cashman at 11:40 AM on November 13 [3 favorites]


Sometimes it just hurts to feel helpless.

Hey, I get that. But don't worry, you're not! The struggle to preserve democracy and advance good governance for human flourishing is a global one. Take that energy and invest it in the best politicians in your home country. We are all going to need to work together to solve the problems facing us. We need as a world to get to a place where people outside the US aren't waiting with bated breath for the results of Senatorial elections in Georgia.
posted by biogeo at 11:47 AM on November 13 [6 favorites]


Law firm attempting to block Biden's win in Pennsylvania leaves controversial Trump campaign case, Katelyn Polantz, CNN, Updated 9:52 AM ET, Fri November 13, 2020.
posted by cenoxo at 11:51 AM on November 13 [1 favorite]


Today, Dan Pfeiffer (Crooked Media) interviewed Stacey Abrams (Fair Fight) about how Joe Biden won Georgia, the power of on the ground organizing, Jon Ossoff, Raphael Warnock, and how Democrats can win the Georgia runoffs. As always, Abrams is brilliant and inspirational.
posted by kbar1 at 11:52 AM on November 13 [1 favorite]


> Hon. Timothy M. Kenny of the Third Judicial Circuit of Michigan

The decision is in
Perhaps if Plantiffs' election challenger affiants had attended the October 29, 2020 walk-through of the TCF Center ballot counting location, questions and concerns could have been answered in advance of Election Day. Regrettably, they did not and, therefore, Plantiffs' affiants did not have a full understanding of the TCF absent ballot tabulation process. No former challenges were filed. However, sinister, fraudulent motive were ascribed to the process and the City of Detroit. Plantiffs' interpretation of events is incorrect and not credible...

the Plaintiffs' petition for injunctive relief is DENIED. The Court further finds that no basis exists for the protective order.. that motion is DENIED.... The motion for an independent audit is DENIED.
posted by ASCII Costanza head at 12:00 PM on November 13 [25 favorites]


It feels like a Wayne's World meme is required there.
posted by Grangousier at 12:07 PM on November 13 [2 favorites]


ASCII Costanza head, thanks for the link!!

From that decision:

It is not surprising that many of the votes being observed by Mr. Sitto were votes cast for Mr. Biden in light of the fact that former Vice President Biden received approximately 220,000 more votes than President Trump.

lol
posted by snowmentality at 12:12 PM on November 13 [30 favorites]



the Plaintiffs' petition for injunctive relief is DENIED. The Court further finds that no basis exists for the protective order.. that motion is DENIED.... The motion for an independent audit is DENIED.


...what you've just said is one of the most insanely idiotic things I have ever heard. At no point in your rambling, incoherent response were you even close to anything that could be considered a rational thought. Everyone in this room is now dumber for having listened to it. I award you no points, and may God have mercy on your soul.
posted by leotrotsky at 12:21 PM on November 13 [21 favorites]


C-SPAN — WATCH LIVE ON NOVEMBER 13 | 4PM ET | C-SPAN.ORG
President Trump News Conference on Operation Warp Speed
President Trump provides an update in the White House Rose Garden on Operation Warp Speed.
posted by cenoxo at 12:24 PM on November 13


I did a quick search and saw it shared here upthread, but this piece by lawyer Elie Mystal is the best thing I've seen on the post-election shenanigans and I want to encourage everyone to read it: Trump Is Trying to Overturn the Election, but I’m Not Panicking—Yet. It is both reassuring and hilarious.
posted by exogenous at 12:24 PM on November 13 [3 favorites]


President Trump provides an update in the White House Rose Garden on Operation Warp Speed.

This is the pivot. "Yes, I lost but look at all the great things I did."

He's trying to rehabilitate his image for his post-politics grift.
posted by JackFlash at 12:30 PM on November 13


There was a vaccine announcement this week, let's see how much he milks it.

Might need an extra tub of Bag Balm.
posted by rhizome at 12:37 PM on November 13


He can try to pivot but he won't stick to the plan. As soon as the election is mentioned he's going to double down on secret vans and rigged machines.
posted by cmfletcher at 12:42 PM on November 13 [2 favorites]


I hope someone asks about his health plan again.
posted by rhizome at 12:53 PM on November 13 [5 favorites]


Even if he mentions the election, Trump will blame anyone/everyone else for his defeat, but he will not, cannot utter the words “I lost.” If we’re lucky, he’ll just get sullen and walk off.
posted by cenoxo at 12:58 PM on November 13


Even if he mentions the election, Trump will blame anyone/everyone else for his defeat, but he will not, cannot utter the words “I lost.” If we’re lucky, he’ll just get sullen and walk off.

I'd like to see his loss used as an assumption in questions from reporters, "Now that you've lost the election by over 5 million votes, including the traditionally red states of Arizona and Georgia, how does that impact your legacy?"
posted by leotrotsky at 1:01 PM on November 13 [11 favorites]


Is this shit happening? all that c-span link gives me is some nice lady telling people what's what. Anybody gots the links?
posted by valkane at 1:11 PM on November 13


Hasn't started yet. The picture in picture on c-span is the rose garden podium.
posted by cmfletcher at 1:12 PM on November 13 [1 favorite]


The funny thing is that the news sites don't even really mention that it's happening? I have to google for "youtube cnn" just to have a chance of catching it live.
posted by rhizome at 1:13 PM on November 13


If anyone's having trouble with CSPAN streaming (I am), here's The Independent's stream on YouTube.

Probably going to regret watching this.
posted by Teegeeack AV Club Secretary at 1:15 PM on November 13 [2 favorites]


Looks like the worst wedding ever.
posted by valkane at 1:15 PM on November 13 [1 favorite]


Those empty chairs up front say everything,
posted by valkane at 1:16 PM on November 13


CSPAN now showing the podium in the Rose Garden.
posted by cenoxo at 1:17 PM on November 13


wow, even c-span couldn't watch an empty lectern.
posted by valkane at 1:19 PM on November 13 [1 favorite]


C’mon, man (as they say). Show your face! (Also LOL at the guy on the left taking a bunch of selfies.)
posted by sucre at 1:21 PM on November 13


This is what we wanted, lying liar Trump not to be covered? I did, but it sure feels bizarre.
posted by rhizome at 1:22 PM on November 13


Please let him finally announce the beginning of Infrastructure Week.
posted by eclectist at 1:25 PM on November 13 [9 favorites]


He's reading the Apprentice Script.
posted by valkane at 1:27 PM on November 13


"the leaders of other countries have called to congradulate .... us"
posted by joeyh at 1:27 PM on November 13 [2 favorites]


Gina Virus
posted by valkane at 1:27 PM on November 13 [1 favorite]


I’m sitting on the toilet watching this. Feels right.
posted by sucre at 1:29 PM on November 13 [4 favorites]


He's starting to crack, the script is having less and less of a grip on his attention with every second.
posted by rhizome at 1:30 PM on November 13


WHEN ARE YOU GOING TO ADMIT YOU LOST? should be the first question. If questions are allowed.
posted by valkane at 1:31 PM on November 13


what a fuckhead.
posted by valkane at 1:32 PM on November 13 [1 favorite]


"One of the most exciting...things."
posted by rhizome at 1:32 PM on November 13


Did he just announce that he plans to withhold the vaccine from NY because they want to go carefully with it?
posted by invincible summer at 1:33 PM on November 13 [2 favorites]


That is, indeed, what happened. At least he didn't start talking about Cuomo's 'bad ratings', but you saw it almost leave his lips
posted by eclectist at 1:34 PM on November 13


He did say "bad editorials."
posted by rhizome at 1:35 PM on November 13


I hope this isn't his "end of the union address." :/
posted by sexyrobot at 1:36 PM on November 13 [1 favorite]


"this administration will not go to a lockdown… but the next… well, we'll see what happens"
posted by Ahmad Khani at 1:36 PM on November 13


"....who knows what might happen in the future..."
posted by invincible summer at 1:37 PM on November 13


drugs, alcohol, it's terrible.
posted by valkane at 1:37 PM on November 13 [1 favorite]


I love how Trump called a guy up to an adjacent podicum and the dude went up to speak and has left his mask on. He's probably like nah son, way to close to you.
posted by cashman at 1:38 PM on November 13 [3 favorites]


this guy is terrified to be in a petri dish.
posted by valkane at 1:39 PM on November 13


So he's essentially pulling a Costanza here.
posted by mazola at 1:39 PM on November 13


I figured he wasn't going to take questions, and have hit my limit on Trumpworld for a lifetime, so I've turned it off. Ugh. What a disgusting showing.
posted by invincible summer at 1:39 PM on November 13


My six year old just said "He's wearing a mask - he should do that because Trump is there."
posted by The Shoodoonoof at 1:39 PM on November 13 [7 favorites]


Sounds like he thinks Cuomo is his likely opponent in 2024. (Aaaaaaaaaaaaa)
posted by joeyh at 1:39 PM on November 13 [3 favorites]


Where'd they find this french guy?
posted by valkane at 1:41 PM on November 13


With regard to the plans for a media empire, I would point out that as I have observed more than once, so much of this saga was played out several years ago with Rob Ford in Toronto. Ford and his brother, current Ontario Premier Doug Ford did with great fanfare launch a TV show called Ford Nation on the short-lived Sun News Network (a sort of cargo cult version of Fox News done with the budget of a high school play). It lasted one episode before Sun cancelled it. RoFo promised the show would be revived online; the following year, a bunch of short segments trickled out onto YouTube (with the comments disabled).
posted by ricochet biscuit at 1:45 PM on November 13 [4 favorites]


Moncef Slaoui, Moroccan-American-Belgian doctor and researcher — WP bio.
posted by cenoxo at 1:46 PM on November 13 [1 favorite]


Uh, France. 🎶Now what'd I miss?🎶
posted by cmfletcher at 1:46 PM on November 13 [2 favorites]


Sounds like he thinks Cuomo is his likely opponent in 2024. (Aaaaaaaaaaaaa)

He has Cuomo to worry about sooner than that, potentially. (oh god oh please)
posted by showbiz_liz at 1:46 PM on November 13 [8 favorites]


Army Man: "Webster's Dictionary defines warp speed as..."
posted by rhizome at 1:47 PM on November 13 [5 favorites]


CNN has broken off their live coverage.
posted by cenoxo at 1:49 PM on November 13 [2 favorites]


Donald Trump saved the world! According to this guy in a suit.
posted by valkane at 1:52 PM on November 13


"We're on track to a milestone to the final steps to getting approval for the final development of the distribution plan for the"...sounds a lot like "the vapors inside the rock from mars is similar to the kinds of vapors produced on earth by bacteria so maybe possibly..."
posted by sexyrobot at 1:54 PM on November 13 [1 favorite]


he thinks Cuomo is his likely opponent in 2024. (Aaaaaaaaaaaaa)
Dueling Queens accents? No, that's too cruel.
posted by Iris Gambol at 1:54 PM on November 13


...still on C-SPAN.
posted by cenoxo at 1:54 PM on November 13


Ughhh...it's both of them. Shoo, fly.
posted by sexyrobot at 1:55 PM on November 13


Mike Pence is the greatest suckdog I've ever seen.
posted by valkane at 1:56 PM on November 13 [2 favorites]


We're gonna move heaven and earth to make sure there are refrigerated trucks to store your dead.
posted by valkane at 1:57 PM on November 13 [1 favorite]


(The Independent livestream chat is ALL clown emoji.)
posted by sexyrobot at 1:58 PM on November 13 [2 favorites]


Page not loading -- Pence was supposed to be vacationing in Florida until tomorrow, is he in the Rose Garden right now?
posted by Iris Gambol at 1:58 PM on November 13


Per Pence, we are on track to deliver "tens of millions" of doses to Americans by the year's end. I call bullshit.
posted by Room 101 at 1:58 PM on November 13 [1 favorite]


LOL strategic clapping. What a wimpy loser.

Iris: yes
posted by rhizome at 1:59 PM on November 13 [1 favorite]


Coward.
posted by cashman at 1:59 PM on November 13 [1 favorite]


There he goes...
posted by cenoxo at 1:59 PM on November 13


yeah, he's all done.
posted by valkane at 2:00 PM on November 13 [1 favorite]


What, no Q&A? No questions, donny? W-where u going? *BAWK BAWK BAWK BAWK BAWK!!!" {does allllll the chicken dances from arrested development}
posted by sexyrobot at 2:02 PM on November 13 [3 favorites]


With regard to the plans for a media empire, I would point out that as I have observed more than once, so much of this saga was played out several years ago with Rob Ford in Toronto.

Did they have anybody like "needs a job" Megyn Kelly or "can't be hired anywhere else" Dan Bongino to run the place? Cuz that's a scenario I can imagine happening, and if you'll notice, Megyn has been in the news this week talking about how she doesn't want jobs she can't get anyway.

Also: WGN is on Comcast and they're kissing cousins with OANN.
posted by rhizome at 2:04 PM on November 13


Mike Pence is the greatest suckdog I've ever seen.


not much whats suck with u
posted by lazaruslong at 2:06 PM on November 13 [31 favorites]


What? Obama won in 2008 and 2012 by a massive popular vote margin

I guess the logic is the EC didn't take away those victories so we should be happy with it?
posted by pwnguin at 2:20 PM on November 13




"We're on track to a milestone to the final steps to getting approval for the final development of the distribution plan for the..."

Harkens back to the Bush era when he bragged about "dozens of weapons of mass destruction-related program activities."
posted by JackFlash at 2:28 PM on November 13 [3 favorites]


WaPo: "16 asst. US attorneys specifically assigned to monitor malfeasance in the 2020 election told AG Bill Barr in a letter today that they have seen no evidence of substantial voting irregularities and urged him to rescind his recent policy change."

From this tweet.
posted by cashman at 2:29 PM on November 13 [8 favorites]


Sometimes the google news algorithm puts together headlines in the shadiest ways:
Trump's TikTok Sell-By Date Extended By 15 Days (NPR)
TikTok will outlast Trump (Reason.com)
posted by sexyrobot at 2:32 PM on November 13


I wonder if his reticence in discussing his opinions of the election had anything to do with the Secret Service announcing that there were 120 less of them hanging around the white house. (...It's ok, they left Carl there to watch over things. Wait, isn't Carl blind? Oh no no no...just legally.)
posted by sexyrobot at 2:41 PM on November 13 [3 favorites]


More than 130 Secret Service officers are said to be infected with coronavirus or quarantining in wake of Trump’s campaign travel, Washington Post, Carol D. Leonnig & Josh Dawsey, 11/13/2020.

When the Commander in Chief is a Blue Falcon.
posted by srboisvert at 3:07 PM on November 13 [4 favorites]


With regard to the plans for a media empire, I would point out that as I have observed more than once, so much of this saga was played out several years ago with Rob Ford in Toronto. Ford and his brother, current Ontario Premier Doug Ford did with great fanfare launch a TV show called Ford Nation on the short-lived Sun News Network (a sort of cargo cult version of Fox News done with the budget of a high school play). It lasted one episode before Sun cancelled it. RoFo promised the show would be revived online; the following year, a bunch of short segments trickled out onto YouTube (with the comments disabled).

To be fair to them eh, Canada already had like a Rob and Doug show that was like totally hard to beat genius stuff eh so Canada like said to them take off eh. Good day.
posted by srboisvert at 3:16 PM on November 13 [3 favorites]


> I don't know if Chris Krebs was directly involved in the decision to create that page, but it seems like the kind of thing he'd at least have to sign off on, and his Twitter bio makes him look as close to a resistance hero as one could possibly look from a position that could easily be eliminated by a single Trump tweet.

I did not want this hypothetical to become a reality, but it's 2020, so...

Reuters: Exclusive: Top official on U.S. election cybersecurity tells associates he expects to be fired
WASHINGTON/SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Top U.S. cybersecurity official Christopher Krebs, who worked on protecting the election from hackers but drew the ire of the Trump White House over efforts to debunk disinformation, has told associates he expects to be fired, three sources familiar with the matter told Reuters.
CNN: Top DHS official ratchets up rebukes of Trump's false election claims
On Thursday, Chris Krebs, who runs the cyber arm of the Department of Homeland Security, re-tweeted an elections expert calling on people to ignore "wild and baseless claims...even if they're made by the president." It wasn't his own tweet, but it was a notable rebuke of Trump from within his own administration as the President refuses to concede the race to President-elect Joe Biden.

An hour later, Krebs' agency, the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, released a statement along with state and private election officials that was its most blunt rejection of the President's claims to date: "There is no evidence that any voting system deleted or lost votes, changed votes, or was in any way compromised," they wrote in a statement, with the line bolded for emphasis.
NYPost (exclusive, or I'd link to literally anyone else): DHS boss Chad Wolf defies Trump order to fire cyber chief Chris Krebs
Department of Homeland Security acting Secretary Chad Wolf is defying President Trump’s order to terminate election cybersecurity official Christopher Krebs, multiple sources tell The Post.

The White House on Wednesday evening instructed Wolf to fire Krebs after Krebs openly dismissed claims of voter fraud in the Nov. 3 election.

“He gave us a bunch of reasons why he didn’t want to do it and he said no,” a senior White House official told The Post about Wolf’s refusal.

“If anything, Chad is carrying Krebs’ water,” the source added.
posted by tonycpsu at 3:27 PM on November 13 [14 favorites]


How is Wolf still there? Judge rules Chad Wolf likely unlawfully serving as Homeland Security secretary and temporarily blocks some asylum restrictions (CNN, Sept. 15, 2020)

- What, no Q&A? No questions, donny?

Trump spoke for about 12 minutes altogether; last week, he spoke for 17 minutes (Nov. 5, "Remarks by President Trump on the Election" at whitehouse.gov) and did not take any questions.

Contrast: Toward the end of a question-and-answer session with workers at an advanced battery technology manufacturer, a woman named Doris stood to ask the president whether it was a "wise decision to add more taxes to us with the health care" package. "We are over-taxed as it is," Doris said bluntly. - Obama's 17-minute, 2,500-word response to woman's claim of being 'over-taxed' (WaPo, April 2, 2010) Obama started out feisty. "Well, let's talk about that, because this is an area where there's been just a whole lot of misinformation, and I'm going to have to work hard over the next several months to clean up a lot of the misapprehensions that people have," the president said. He then spent the next 17 minutes and 12 seconds lulling the crowd into a daze.

Hey, the stuff Trump's been rubber-stamping these last couple of days isn't cause for concern, right? Continuing states of emergency, separate from the China executive order, domestically and internationally? (Many US 'emergency' declarations are renewed annually, but Trump's skipped some before.)

[Incidentally, WTF is this "Proclamation on National Day of Remembrance for Americans Killed by Illegal Aliens, 2020," issued Oct. 30 to establish Nov. 1 as the Day: On this National Day of Remembrance, we pause to honor the memory of every American life so egregiously taken from us by criminal illegal aliens.[...] I call upon the people of the United States to observe this day with appropriate ceremonies and activities." Is he attempting to legalize the Purge?]
posted by Iris Gambol at 3:43 PM on November 13 [3 favorites]


Per Pence, we are on track to deliver "tens of millions" of doses to Americans by the year's end. I call bullshit.

Probably true in the most limited, literal sense. Pfizer expects to manufacture 50 million doses in 2020. Based on the number of doses ordered by various countries, I could believe that 20 million doses will be delivered in the US by the end of year (i.e. the lowest possible value of "tens of millions").

There's also a bit of sleight of hand using "doses" as the metric, since the Pfizer vaccine requires two doses to be effective. 10 million people is much, much better than nothing, but it's only 3% of the population. For a sense of perspective, that would be roughly enough for everyone over the age of 85.
posted by jedicus at 4:16 PM on November 13 [4 favorites]


> Per Pence, we are on track to deliver "tens of millions" of doses to Americans by the year's end. I call bullshit.

Probably true in the most limited, literal sense.

Postmarked by election inauguration day.
posted by XMLicious at 4:24 PM on November 13


Incidentally, WTF is this "Proclamation on National Day of Remembrance for Americans Killed by Illegal Aliens, 2020," issued Oct. 30 to establish Nov. 1 as the Day: On this National Day of Remembrance, we pause to honor the memory of every American life so egregiously taken from us by criminal illegal aliens.[...] I call upon the people of the United States to observe this day with appropriate ceremonies and activities." Is he attempting to legalize the Purge?

[Quietly adds this to google calendar so I can check the public agendas of every single republican to hang them with their hypocrisy next year.]
posted by srboisvert at 4:27 PM on November 13 [4 favorites]


Incidentally, WTF is this "Proclamation on National Day of Remembrance for Americans Killed by Illegal Aliens, 2020," issued Oct. 30 to establish Nov. 1 as the Day: On this National Day of Remembrance, we pause to honor the memory of every American life so egregiously taken from us by criminal illegal aliens.[...] I call upon the people of the United States to observe this day with appropriate ceremonies and activities."

Of course they picked Día de los Muertos. Of course.
posted by Epixonti at 4:33 PM on November 13 [5 favorites]


Incidentally, WTF is this "Proclamation on National Day of Remembrance for Americans Killed by Illegal Aliens, 2020," issued Oct. 30 to establish Nov. 1 as the Day:

*Sigh* It looks like Steven Miller got into the ether and cough medicine again. Yeah, that's from miller.
posted by sexyrobot at 4:53 PM on November 13 [10 favorites]


Trump Floats Improbable Survival Scenarios as He Ponders His Future — There is no grand strategy. President Trump is simply trying to survive from one news cycle to the next., New York Times, Maggie Haberman, 11/13/2020:
...“He knows it’s over,” one adviser said. But instead of conceding, they said, he is floating one improbable scenario after another [* below] A peaceful transition is not as much on Mr. Trump’s mind right now as for staying in office while he contemplates his uncertain post-presidency future.

There is no grand strategy at play, according to interviews with a half-dozen advisers and people close to the president. Mr. Trump is simply trying to survive from one news cycle to the next, seeing how far he can push his case against his defeat and ensure the continued support of his Republican base.

By dominating the story of his exit from the White House, he hopes to keep his millions of supporters energized and engaged for whatever comes next...
*Including such unlikely scenarios as:
  • Republican legislatures could pick pro-Trump electors in a handful of key states and deliver electoral votes he needs.
  • Insisting to aides that he really defeated Joseph R. Biden Jr. on Nov. 3.
  • Claiming that Dominion voting machines switched hundreds of thousands of his votes to Mr. Biden, citing a report he had seen on the fringe network ONAN OANN.
  • One of his favorite pastimes: creating a controversy and watching to see how it plays out.
  • Seriously announcing that he is planning to run again in 2024.
  • Instead of a peaceful transition, settling scores inside/outside the administration.
May none of the above occur, but as Trump repeated one of his favorite sayings during today’s COVID-19 Vaccine press conference, “Time will tell.
posted by cenoxo at 5:11 PM on November 13 [2 favorites]




"There is no grand strategy" means there are dozens of bad actors running around Washington trying to deny Biden the presidency and install themselves in a higher position of power. I mean, we've got another month of this at least. Part of me thinks Mitch is not content to simply sit and count votes, for example.
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 5:20 PM on November 13 [4 favorites]


A peaceful transition is not as much on Mr. Trump’s mind right now as for staying in office while he contemplates his uncertain post-presidency future.

Is that sentence supposed to....mean something? It seems to be actually defective. And accepting that it seems to posit some kind of contrast between the President participating in a normal "peaceful transition" vs. "staying in office while he contemplates his uncertain post-presidency future", why is anyone prepared to accept this sort of bullshit apologetics? Trump can contemplate his uncertain future, all he likes, in office, for another two months. We don't need his anti-democratic high crimes explained to us, we need them stopped.
posted by thelonius at 5:24 PM on November 13 [5 favorites]


WTF is "survive" supposed to mean for Trump? Thanks Maggie.
posted by rhizome at 5:24 PM on November 13



"There is no grand strategy" means there are dozens of bad actors running around Washington trying to deny Biden the presidency and install themselves in a higher position of power


I think it's worse than that: it's bureaucratic and policy anarchy. What's going on with administration staff while all the election hubbub is going on? We got a hint of what Miller is thinking about, how about the other evil mfers?
posted by rhizome at 5:28 PM on November 13


> Donald J. Trump @realDonaldTrump · 4h
>
> Will be having a press conference from the Rose Garden in 15 minutes.
Hugo Scheckter @HugoScheckter
( Replying to @realDonaldTrump )

Rose Garden Landscaping Company
posted by sebastienbailard at 5:30 PM on November 13 [8 favorites]


Claiming that Dominion voting machines switched hundreds of thousands of his votes to Mr. Biden, citing a report he had seen on the fringe network [(strikethrough)ONAN] OANN.

Oh my that’s a wonderful joke
posted by glaucon at 5:48 PM on November 13 [1 favorite]


Just an innocent Freudian typo, corrected for the reader.
posted by cenoxo at 7:28 PM on November 13 [3 favorites]


On this National Day of Remembrance, we pause to honor the memory of every American life so egregiously taken from us by criminal illegal aliens.

But... Columbus Day is already a thing...
posted by biogeo at 7:30 PM on November 13 [59 favorites]


Here's a fun thing nobody saw coming which is definitely surprising to all of us.

CNN: Stop the Steal's massive disinformation campaign connected to Roger Stone

It's a nice, long article detailing how the slogan and movement have been an organized grift by a who's who of Republican grifters. And um... Yeah, just putting that there.
posted by saysthis at 7:56 PM on November 13 [8 favorites]


AP FACT CHECK: Trump distorts on vaccine, state distribution, Associated Press; Hope Yen, Lauran Neergaard, Candice Choi; 11/13/2020.
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump on Friday wrongly claimed full credit for Pfizer Inc.’s announcement that its COVID-19 vaccine was robustly successful and suggested without evidence that a separate state review will cause a protracted delay for New York residents waiting for a vaccine.

A look at the statements, made during his first public remarks since his defeat by President-elect Joe Biden....
Details in the article.

Remember that truth, lies, distortion, exaggeration, and hyperbole mean nothing to Trump. At any given moment, he will use whatever words are necessary to make him look good. As in his past COVID-19 pressers reading off a list, he was pretty boring today. He gets more animated when he’s talking about his favorite subject: himself.
posted by cenoxo at 8:12 PM on November 13 [1 favorite]


I'm not telling anyone here anything we haven't thought about, but
"When people lose faith in the electoral process and don't think elections are clean and legitimate, they are much more willing to accept violence," said Steven Levitsky, a Harvard government professor and co-author of the 2018 book "How Democracies Die."
which is from the end of that Stop the Steal article linked by saysthis 2 comments above.
posted by glonous keming at 8:26 PM on November 13 [4 favorites]


> For a sense of perspective, that would be roughly enough for everyone over the age of 85.

top 3% earners ($330,000 and above household income) more like.
posted by Heywood Mogroot III at 8:38 PM on November 13 [3 favorites]


10 million people is much, much better than nothing, but it's only 3% of the population. For a sense of perspective, that would be roughly enough for everyone over the age of 85.

Or a mighty good chunk of the medical/care personnel, which is also critical to keep everything else from collapsing. We can try to isolate the elderly from the virus, but medical personnel has to come into contact with this virus its in their job.
posted by WaterAndPixels at 9:17 PM on November 13 [9 favorites]


Yes, it’s the New York Post, but you know, [gossip]: Internet reacts to Donald Trump’s new gray hair at live press conference, Ben Feuerherd, November 13, 2020.

You’ll wonder where the yellow went the next time you see the President. (with apologies to Pepsodent toothpaste.)
posted by cenoxo at 10:21 PM on November 13 [3 favorites]


‘Purely outlandish stuff’: Trump’s legal machine grinds to a halt -- politico
posted by valkane at 11:40 PM on November 13 [3 favorites]


(from that politico article:)

On Friday, in another Pennsylvania case, the Trump cause was torpedoed yet again: an appeals court upheld the state’s method of handling post-Election Day absentee ballots, which could add more votes to Biden’s total.

Yayyy!
posted by sexyrobot at 8:02 AM on November 14 [3 favorites]




Obama White House Veterans Urge Biden To Embrace Executive Action, Scott Detroit, NPR, 11/14/2020:
President-elect Joe Biden won the presidency in large part because he promised to be the anti-Trump on policy, temperament, tone and just about everything else. But two men who helped run the Obama White House are urging him to follow President Trump's example in a specific way: by unapologetically leaning on executive actions to implement key policies.

The advice from former Obama chiefs of staff Rahm Emanuel and Denis McDonough comes as Biden prepares to enter office with an agenda potentially stalled by a closely divided Congress — a much smaller House majority than expected and a 50-50 Senate, at best.

"There is — as President Trump himself has demonstrated with the consent, quite obvious consent of Republicans in Congress — an enormous amount of leeway for the president to institute executive action on things like immigration and energy and climate policy," said McDonough, who served as chief of staff for much of President Barack Obama's second term....
Will the first duty of each new administration be to purge the previous administration’s executive orders, then issue their own batch of them?

(NPR’s headline could have been phrased better: I did a double take on the term “Executive Action”.)
posted by cenoxo at 8:45 AM on November 14 [2 favorites]


At the point where on election night people went to sleep thinking It looks like Trump actually won with people then trotting out Bernie would have beaten Trump and then spending the next 4 days watching for the shift to Nope, Biden made it you do not "have a mandate".
posted by rough ashlar at 9:32 AM on November 14


> At the point where on election night people went to sleep thinking It looks like Trump actually won with people then trotting out Bernie would have beaten Trump and then spending the next 4 days watching for the shift to Nope, Biden made it you do not "have a mandate".

wat
posted by tonycpsu at 9:42 AM on November 14 [28 favorites]


> GOP leaders in 4 states quash dubious Trump bid on electors

Nothing is true and everything is possible, but this is the kind of news I needed to hear today.
posted by glonous keming at 9:45 AM on November 14 [7 favorites]


At the point where on election night people went to sleep thinking It looks like Trump actually won with people then trotting out Bernie would have beaten Trump and then spending the next 4 days watching for the shift to Nope, Biden made it you do not "have a mandate".

Everyone knew going in that Trump would be leading in a lot of states on election night but would likely lose them once mail-in ballots were counted. No one smarter than Donald Trump was surprised by that.
posted by octothorpe at 10:07 AM on November 14 [4 favorites]


So is there anything stopping those states from completing certification right now, before the deadline?
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 10:07 AM on November 14 [1 favorite]


Oh yeah, rushing to certify before the long-established deadlines would be a really smart thing to do. (LOL)
posted by PhineasGage at 10:24 AM on November 14


From invincible summer's AP link:

> Even if Trump won a single court fight, there’s another major roadblock: Congress would be the final arbiter of whether to accept electors submitted by Republican legislatures. If the Democratic-controlled House and GOP-controlled Senate could not agree on which electors to accept and who becomes president, the presidency would pass to the next person in line of succession at the end of Trump and Vice President Mike Pence’s term on Jan. 20. That would be House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, a Democrat.

Oh how beautiful would it be if, in his attempt to block a Biden presidency, Trump ended up ushering in a Pelosi one instead. Imagine.
posted by parm at 10:45 AM on November 14 [5 favorites]


I realize we're not being serious because we think it can't happen and it's impossible, but it would be beautiful for about a day. Afterward, the country would fracture into a million people saying the president was not elected and all the other things you can imagine without me typing them up.

I feel like we're part of one of those successful sports teams, typically found in the NFL, that are "bend but don't break" defenses. I just want to us to successfully hold the country together, win this championship, and have it be final. But I get the desire to have all this evil that comes from Trump come back to bite him in the ass even more than it has already. I also hope that all the horrible things he has said and done come back to him tenfold.
posted by cashman at 11:29 AM on November 14 [1 favorite]


There's an interesting article about a hypothetical close election that ends up with the Senate (led by Pence) invalidating all of PA's electors, and the House declaring a win for Warren, yet Pelosi declares she is acting president, and the courts get involved. It made me realize how much of this shit is not automatic.
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 12:33 PM on November 14 [1 favorite]


Ah...the 'Pelosiverse' theory...I think that might be Earth-256 from the Marvel comics.
posted by sexyrobot at 12:46 PM on November 14 [6 favorites]


Before the election, President Trump’s condemnation of basic public health measures constituted mass murder of his own citizens, with the motivation of perceived political gain. His refusal to co-operate with the transition team still constitutes mass murder of his own citizens, but now the only motive is spite.
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 1:11 PM on November 14 [4 favorites]


In Trump’s final days, a 30-year-old aide purges officials seen as insufficiently loyal
Over the past week, President Trump has axed his defense secretary and other top Pentagon aides, his second-in-command at the U.S. Agency for International Development, two top Homeland Security officials, a senior climate scientist and the leader of the agency that safeguards nuclear weapons.

Engineering much of the post-election purge is Johnny McEntee, a former college quarterback who was hustled out of the White House two years ago after a security clearance check turned up a prolific habit for online gambling.

A staunch Trump loyalist, McEntee, 30, was welcomed back into the fold in February and installed as head of personnel for the Trump White House.. Since the race was called for President-elect Joe Biden, McEntee has been distributing pink slips, warning federal workers not to cooperate with the Biden transition and threatening to oust people who show disloyalty by job hunting while Trump is still refusing to acknowledge defeat, according to six administration officials.

More firings are expected, White House and agency officials said, including a top cybersecurity official whose agency on Thursday disputed Trump’s unfounded claims of election fraud. While the motives are not always clear — is the White House pursuing last-minute policy goals or simply punishing disloyalty? — critics say the dismissals threaten to destabilize broad swaths of the federal bureaucracy in the fragile period during the handover to the next administration.
This is officially a Sopranos-style bust out. Burn it all down and collect the insurance money.
posted by tonycpsu at 1:14 PM on November 14 [21 favorites]


No one smarter than Donald Trump was surprised by that.

No one should have been surprised, but no one should've been surprised that Trump and Co. would attempt to parlay that Red Mirage perception into allegations of fraud. He advertised that loud and clear for months before the election actually took place.

Which is the foundation of modern conservatism -- perception is often more important than facts because one side has, quite often, successfully gotten away with painting facts as subjective and evidence as unnecessary.

Nothing is true and everything is possible, but this is the kind of news I needed to hear today.

Another comfort is that there is anything but a unified message on the Republican side. "Fraud" is their watchword, naturally, but they're all chirping different songs. The lawyers in court are being pressed for evidence of fraud and admitting that they have none, Trump himself is declaring that "Republican vote counters being denied access" (proven false in every case) means that he wins contested states by default somewhow "in accordance with our great Constitution," Michael Flynn's lawyer (one of Hannity's frequent fliers) announced on Lou Dobbs that she has "staggering statistical evidence" 'proving' that the Dominion voting machines were rigged and erased a Trump landslide, and Dobbs himself is angrily wondering why the Republicans don't simply "refuse to accept these results" and seize power outright.

Also, Dan Patrick declared that "all that has to happen is that if Arizona and Georgia flip, then SCOTUS can declare PA invalid and then Trump is President." Which is, er, drawing to an inside royal flush when one of your cards is a 4 of Clubs and another is from the Mars Attacks! trading card set.
posted by delfin at 1:51 PM on November 14 [17 favorites]


(Is the Mars Attacks! card the one with Giuliani's head sewn onto a dog?)
posted by sexyrobot at 2:29 PM on November 14 [7 favorites]


> How is Wolf still there? Judge rules Chad Wolf likely unlawfully serving as Homeland Security secretary and temporarily blocks some asylum restrictions (CNN, Sept. 15, 2020)

Update: Federal judge rules acting DHS head Chad Wolf unlawfully appointed, invalidates DACA suspension

Expecting the "Judge Garaufis has made his decision, now let him enforce it!" tweet from the President-unelect any minute now.
posted by tonycpsu at 3:17 PM on November 14 [10 favorites]


“How many divisions does the Pope the judiciary command?”
posted by acb at 3:48 PM on November 14


Minnesota GOP sent virus alert only to its side of the aisle. And in replies to the tweet where I saw it, people noted that this also happened in PA & OH.
posted by cashman at 3:53 PM on November 14 [15 favorites]


Thread of GOP elected officials and supporters who have contracted COVID. It goes on and on and on.

No schadenfreude, just sadness and anger.
posted by gwint at 5:12 PM on November 14 [12 favorites]




Trump concedes, sort of.
posted by waitingtoderail at 5:47 AM on November 15 [1 favorite]


waitingtoderail: "Trump concedes, sort of."

Good enough for me.
posted by octothorpe at 6:03 AM on November 15 [8 favorites]


Trump concedes, sort of.

Trump: 'He won because the election was rigged...'

Referee: 'Mr. Haynes, you've made your decision and you said you'll kick.'
posted by Cardinal Fang at 8:32 AM on November 15




On Kahylee's crowd estimates: If that's a Million people then Joe Biden won by 5.5 Billion votes instead of 5.5 million.
posted by They sucked his brains out! at 9:17 AM on November 15 [3 favorites]


"I concede nothing," Trump says shortly after appearing to acknowledge Biden won the election.
posted by faineant at 9:20 AM on November 15 [1 favorite]


It's going to feel like such a relief to not have to listen to shit that dude says any more.
posted by box at 9:36 AM on November 15 [36 favorites]


I'd love to know when that's going to happen, because yesterday thousands of people marched in DC in agreement with Trump that the election was stolen, and today his tweets are being reported as news again. And he will never shut up.

I'm serious about this (and despairing): Is there anyone we could call / write to / donate to, to (attempt to) get someone in a position of power to (attempt to) push Trump to give an actual concession? Because without that, I just don't see this as over, even when Biden's in office.
posted by Mchelly at 11:07 AM on November 15 [2 favorites]


Once Biden in installed at least, I hope the press stops amplifying Trump.
posted by NotLost at 11:25 AM on November 15 [7 favorites]


I'm imagining a parade of floats, marching bands, inflatable blimps and such going down Pennsylvania Avenue, everything spelling out messages like “YOU LOST, TIME TO LEAVE”.
posted by acb at 11:31 AM on November 15 [4 favorites]


While thinking just now of nice songs that the marching bands on Pennsylvania Avenue could play, I learned something I never knew - that Jools Holland played piano on Wayne County's 'Fuck Off'.
posted by Cardinal Fang at 11:36 AM on November 15 [3 favorites]


Once Biden in installed at least, I hope the press stops amplifying Trump.

Is Trump good for ratings (Y/N)?

Keeping him busy with lawsuits and his collapsing fraud empire will be the only way to keep Trump from reaching his cult.
posted by benzenedream at 11:57 AM on November 15 [7 favorites]


Once Biden in installed at least, I hope the press stops amplifying Trump.

According to Les Moonves, Trump is great for CBS ad revenue.
posted by They sucked his brains out! at 12:16 PM on November 15 [1 favorite]


Trump was great for ads in 2016. Probably was for 2020 too because of anxious people glued to the news. But a substantial portion of the news-watching audience, maybe a majority, are thrilled at the thought of a Trump-free future. Where the only Trump news reports is of his bankruptcy and / or trial. If they continue to give him heavy coverage in March of 2021 or later when he's done nothing newsworthy, they'll be taking a ratings risk.
posted by Teegeeack AV Club Secretary at 1:07 PM on November 15 [3 favorites]


I'd love to know when that's going to happen, because yesterday thousands of people marched in DC in agreement with Trump that the election was stolen, and today his tweets are being reported as news again. And he will never shut up.

Seventy million people agreed with Trump that he was the better choice over Biden in this Presidential election. Thousands showing up neither surprises me nor discourages me greatly; we know that these yahoos aren't going away any time soon, and neither are their enablers in conservative and social media. This was a simple show of strength, not so much in numbers (they got nowhere NEAR the intended million) but in anger and, secondarily, in force (the likes of Proud Boys looking for people to physically attack and spreading a white-supremacist message).

I'm serious about this (and despairing): Is there anyone we could call / write to / donate to, to (attempt to) get someone in a position of power to (attempt to) push Trump to give an actual concession? Because without that, I just don't see this as over, even when Biden's in office.

Short answer: No. Who is there to whom he would listen?

Trump's "concession" will be when he packs up his stuff (read as: steals everything that isn't nailed down) and vacates the premises, setting up his Rightful-President-in-Exile fortress at Mar-a-Lago. He knows that he lost. All of Washington knows that he lost. Even most of his faithful know that he lost. But it doesn't benefit him in any way to _admit_ that he lost, or that if he did, that it wasn't through corruption and cheating and fraud, and so he will reject that outright.

Perception over reality, so to speak. Because perception is all they need to keep the yahoo train running.
posted by delfin at 1:33 PM on November 15 [1 favorite]


What a piece of work. Maybe you could try to allow him to go on like that , and devote some godforsaken corner of the white house to his delusion, letting him believe that he's still the ruling president, the way the Portuguese did with Salazar at the end of the 60s.
posted by nicolin at 1:47 PM on November 15 [2 favorites]


WSJ: Parler Makes Play for Conservatives Mad at Facebook, TwitterProminent conservative donor Rebekah Mercer is among the company’s financial backers
The platform also has some deep-pocketed investors. Rebekah Mercer, daughter of hedge-fund investor Robert Mercer, is among the company’s financial backers, according to people familiar with the matter. The Mercers have previously financed a number of conservative causes. [...]

Ms. Mercer said in a separate post that she and Mr. Matze “started Parler to provide a neutral platform for free speech, as our founders intended.” She said the effort is an answer to what she called the “ever increasing tyranny and hubris of our tech overlords.”
Let's check in and see how Parler is embracing liberty and sticking it to those tech overlords...

MSNBC: Why Parler's facing the same constraints conservatives fled on Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube
But Parler may turn out to be, in the end, a false refuge. First — sorry, folks — Parler does censor. It removes users, regularly. It does not actually seem to tolerate hate speech, and because it’s a much smaller platform, it might even be more efficient in finding and exorcising it than the social giants. Oh, and the founders really, really don’t like trolling. This includes the sort of trolling that feeds the outrage cycles on Twitter, the trolling that includes scatology and expletives and “unrelated comments.” Also, dog poop. Parler doesn’t like dog poop.
Depsidase (Tumblr): Things I've seen Parler called today
posted by tonycpsu at 1:52 PM on November 15 [16 favorites]


The media's got Trump ratings locked in for a decade, covering his legal problems. 70 million people love him, but 74+ million love to hate him. Doesn't hurt them any to switch to "christ, what an asshole" coverage. That they are choosing to stick with him or at least not abandon him outright is just that, a choice.
posted by ctmf at 1:56 PM on November 15


Funded partially by the extremist Mercer family, Parler is also run by John Matze, who married into a Soviet-era connected Russian family and started Parler shortly after a visit to the country. Most of the initial userbase was made up of accounts that overlapped with Russian bots used to spread misinformation on other social media platforms.
posted by They sucked his brains out! at 1:58 PM on November 15 [6 favorites]


But Parler may turn out to be, in the end, a false refuge. First — sorry, folks — Parler does censor. It removes users, regularly. It does not actually seem to tolerate hate speech, and because it’s a much smaller platform, it might even be more efficient in finding and exorcising it than the social giants.


idk, people like this dude seems to still be allowed on parler despite actively and repeatedly calling for the murder of liberals, and journalists "...live on the air". Link does NOT go to parler or that actual dude, but is a twitter link to an anti-fascist person who outs nazis.
posted by lazaruslong at 3:16 PM on November 15


The media's got Trump ratings locked in for a decade, covering his legal problems. 70 million people love him, but 74+ million love to hate him.

I don't have any solid data for you, but I can guarantee a solid chunk of that 74+ million would love to never hear about Trump on the news again unless we absolutely have to. I hate hating him.
posted by wondermouse at 3:55 PM on November 15 [23 favorites]


Trump's "concession" will be when he packs up his stuff (read as: steals everything that isn't nailed down) and vacates the premises, setting up his Rightful-President-in-Exile fortress at Mar-a-Lago.

I won't be surprised if the "stuff" he has there is all from Rico's Furniture Rodeo and he just leaves everything there for the staff to throw away. Total jinglemail, he just walks out the front door in his suit and hair and never looks back.
posted by rhizome at 4:34 PM on November 15


It's going to feel like such a relief to not have to listen to shit that dude says any more.

I'd keep him and his ilk on a scanner, frankly
posted by JoeXIII007 at 4:51 PM on November 15 [2 favorites]


Trump's "concession" will be when he packs up his stuff (read as: steals everything that isn't nailed down) and vacates the premises, setting up his Rightful-President-in-Exile fortress at Mar-a-Lago.

I hope that the Secret Service has metal detectors and frisks everyone on their way out of the Whitehouse.
posted by octothorpe at 4:54 PM on November 15 [1 favorite]


Re Donnie's statements re Pfizer's vaccine, it would seem the Trumpists are now in a quandry ...

Trust Trump and get vaxx'd or ...
Trust QAnon and don't

posted by ZenMasterThis at 5:32 PM on November 15


Speaking of Parler, the home of Liberty and Free Speech and Freedom, did you know that if you want to be able to send messages on it to other users, you have to upload your Social Security Number or Tax Identification Number and a photo of your driver's license or state ID?

Which, of course, would never be misused by True Patriots[tm].
posted by delfin at 7:47 PM on November 15 [6 favorites]


Speaking of Parler, the home of Liberty and Free Speech and Freedom, did you know that if you want to be able to send messages on it to other users, you have to upload your Social Security Number or Tax Identification Number and a photo of your driver's license or state ID?

...I have not polluted my browser history with Parler and have no intention of doing so, and I believe you, but I am genuinely curious what their stated reasons for doing this are. That's more ID verification than Facebook wants. That's the kind of ID verification my bank wants. Why do they want this?
posted by saysthis at 7:57 PM on November 15


Al Franken's plan for how to deal with Trump is to give him the wrong nuclear codes and just leave him alone with the football. Then when he uses them they hustle him into an underground bunker full of frozen big macs and copies of Bloodsport. We tell him that we really took it on the chin with retaliation and it won't be safe to come out until about, oh, say, January 20th. At that point you arrest him for the attempted murder of 7 billion people.
posted by adept256 at 8:00 PM on November 15 [11 favorites]


Why do they want this?

Why else would grifters want information that grants access to your bank records?
posted by They sucked his brains out! at 8:06 PM on November 15 [1 favorite]


That's the kind of ID verification my bank wants. Why do they want this?

If I had to hazard a guess, I'd say it's because they are a Russian asset.
posted by valkane at 8:09 PM on November 15 [9 favorites]


"Why do they want this?"

I mean, I assume because they're gigantic scammers, but Parler's terms of service claim the right to go after USERS for any legal costs Parler incurs as a result of users' posts, and it may be to make it easier for Parler to sue you when they get sued (bold mine):
"You agree to defend and indemnify Parler, as well as any of its officers, directors, employees, and agents, from and against any and all claims, actions, damages, obligations, losses, liabilities, costs or debt, and expenses (including but not limited to all attorneys fees) arising from or relating to your access to and use of the Services. Parler will have the right to conduct its own defense, at your expense, in any action or proceeding covered by this indemnity."


The first part is bog-standard social media ToS stuff, but that second sentence is a total outlier and let's all start filing frivolous lawsuits against Parler due to comments that we don't like because Parler will then bill all those right-wing jerks for the legal fees.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 8:52 PM on November 15 [22 favorites]


Parler will have the right to conduct its own defense, at your expense

Well, that certainly is a kicker, isn't it?
posted by valkane at 9:08 PM on November 15 [3 favorites]


It is ironic that a company claiming to push Libertarianism depends on State enforcement of an egregiously abusive and coercive set of ToS. But then that's not what it's about.
posted by They sucked his brains out! at 10:22 PM on November 15


Parler's terms of service claim the right to go after USERS for any legal costs Parler incurs as a result of users' posts, and it may be to make it easier for Parler to sue you when they get sued

You have done something marvelous sir, madam, I don't know, boss, I like boss.

You have not only confirmed my biases, you have done it via a factual thing, that is facts, and the facts you have confirmed my bias with delight me.

Dear god, the depth and breadth of the right-wing grift, the money machine that is the authoritarian personality type, I fail to understand how this is not taught in grade school. I actually don't fail to understand that, oh my god, everything is terrible because of a minority of the population, I will be over here coping with the philosophical and moral implications of this.

Thank you for pointing that out. May Parler sue itself into non-existence sooner rather than later.
posted by saysthis at 10:26 PM on November 15 [4 favorites]


Honestly, from the outside it's truly exhausting and making our heads spin. Every day there's something madder and more (horrifically) fantastical; we feel like spinning tops, twirling toward the edge of the table flat Earth, where we'll fall off into space.
posted by unearthed at 11:35 PM on November 15 [1 favorite]


In the wake of a recent chat about slightly embarrassing youthful literary fixations, I stumbled on a timely appreciation of the Dragonlance books...
And then there’s the true star of the books: the world itself. A cataclysm has upended Krynn, turning once majestic cities into crumbled disasters. The cause of the cataclysm is a major theme in the novels: how power corrupts. It falls to the everyday people, the skillet-wielding waitress and other blue-collars of the fantasy world, to try and fight again the encroaching night.

It’s a bit of a spoiler, but Dragonlance presented one of the great lessons of life to me as budding adult: that evil turns upon itself. Good doesn’t really triumph; evil just betrays its own.
posted by jon1270 at 4:22 AM on November 16 [6 favorites]


So, what's next for Parler? Horrifying data breach, or terrifying secret owners?
posted by box at 6:11 AM on November 16 [1 favorite]


Al Franken's plan for how to deal with Trump is to give him the wrong nuclear codes and just leave him alone with the football...

I think they should just let him "count all the votes." Just put all the completed ballots in a big warehouse, set him up in a nice little office, with like, a button to press. Let him count them all. Maybe let him have Guiliani as a 'helper'.
posted by sexyrobot at 6:45 AM on November 16 [2 favorites]


Parler is going to have a hard time monetizing it’s users with traditional advertisers; its going to be scam central.
posted by interogative mood at 8:22 AM on November 16 [6 favorites]


@joebiden
Congratulations to NASA and SpaceX on today's launch. It’s a testament to the power of science and what we can accomplish by harnessing our innovation, ingenuity, and determination. I join all Americans and the people of Japan in wishing the astronauts Godspeed on their journey.

@realdonaldtrump
A great launch! @NASA was a closed up disaster when we took over. Now it is again the “hottest”, most advanced, space center in the world, by far!


Biden: NASA, SpaceX, science, all Americans and all Japanese, the astronauts, god.

Trump: me me me me me me meeee

Every time Joe isn't the world's biggest narcissist feels like a win but I have to catch myself. Behaving normally isn't anything remarkable, but look at what we've been conditioned to expect.
posted by adept256 at 9:57 AM on November 16 [16 favorites]


Vox, Oct. 19, 2016: Donald Trump's candidacy is a lesson to America on how to spot the signs of abuse
USA Today opinion, Oct. 3, 2018: Donald Trump is a classic gaslighter in an abusive relationship with America
Slate, Sept. 30, 2020: Donald Trump Is America’s Abusive Father

It's fine if he runs to the corner store for cigarettes, and never comes back.
posted by Iris Gambol at 11:01 AM on November 16 [10 favorites]


If it were happening in Turkey, we’d call Trump’s actions an attempted coup (Ece Temelkuran, Turkish journalist and political commentator / The Guardian)
...contemporary authoritarianism works not by explicitly oppressing the people, but by accelerating the moral rot of already weakened institutions.

...Make no mistake, this is an attempted coup. If it were happening in Turkey the world’s media would not think twice about calling it so.

...coups don’t always begin with a dramatic Reichstag fire, but through obscure and elusive machinations. Since the Americans might not know about our countries as much as we do about theirs, we can tell them that it has happened just like this here too – we trusted the institutions and were certain the leader wouldn’t dare.

...Even if he accepts reality and his electoral loss, Trump’s “movement” will see its task as running a parallel political reality for the next four years that will constantly threaten Biden’s legitimacy. Most importantly, through his recent appointments in the state apparatus and consolidation of anti-democratic loyalists, Trump is already engineering his own shadow state.
posted by bitteschoen at 12:38 PM on November 16 [15 favorites]


I must say, I love how boring Biden's twitter feed is.
posted by daybeforetheday at 12:39 PM on November 16 [8 favorites]


What if the coronavirus vaccine was distributed in order of which countries seem to care most about coronavirus.
posted by ctmf at 12:45 PM on November 16


I must say, I love how boring Biden's twitter feed is.

I was thinking last week how nice it was when I was able to forget to vote. It was absolutely a function of privilege, but at the same time...not Trump, not extremist judges, not concentration camps, not striving for one-party rule...
posted by rhizome at 12:51 PM on November 16 [2 favorites]


What if the coronavirus vaccine was distributed in order of which COUNTIES seem to care most about coronavirus?
posted by PhineasGage at 1:00 PM on November 16 [3 favorites]


My one and only contribution to the Parler derail: Requiring special characters in passwords is a form of tyranny!!
posted by Teegeeack AV Club Secretary at 1:10 PM on November 16 [6 favorites]


I have a crazy idea - what if the coronavirus vaccine was distributed according to the best science available from actual epidemiologists and medical experts, to front line health care workers and the most at-risk population, while the rest of us stay home until there's enough to distribute to us, regardless of political affiliation?
posted by mrgoat at 1:12 PM on November 16 [30 favorites]


From the WaPo's running updates a little while ago (sorry, no solid link). This will be telling, I think.
The Wisconsin Elections Commission announced Monday that the cost of running a statewide recount of ballots cast in the presidential election will be $7.9 million — a fee that Trump’s campaign would be required to pay upfront if he wishes to request a recount in the state...

The Trump campaign will have until 5 p.m. Wednesday to submit a petition asking for a statewide recount, as well as the $7.9 million payment...

Asked if the campaign would pay the fee and seek the recount, Jenna Ellis, a legal adviser to the Trump campaign, said, “The legal team continues to examine the issues with irregularities in Wisconsin and are leaving all legal options open, including a recount and an audit.”
posted by martin q blank at 1:50 PM on November 16 [6 favorites]


Requiring special characters in passwords is a form of tyranny!!

They may not be the most sympathetic example, though that is a legitimate UX issue. Presumably the audience skews older, and for people who grew up listening to the wireless and may have managed to avoid using computers until recently, password rules and memorisation may be hard. (Given that this is a hate-porn sewer, it's easy enough to just laugh, but imagine this for, say, telemedicine or grocery delivery apps.)
posted by acb at 2:05 PM on November 16 [2 favorites]


Requiring special characters in passwords is a form of tyranny!!

ragetypin' abcd1234 to own the libs
posted by They sucked his brains out! at 2:21 PM on November 16 [2 favorites]


$7.9 million?! Yeah, no.
posted by Don.Kinsayder at 2:35 PM on November 16 [2 favorites]


$7.9 million?!

Cash. In advance.

Green Bay and Eau Claire are still trying to get payment for city expenses incurred for Trump's rallies -- in 2016.

Two Wisconsin state legislators introduced a bill that would require campaigns to pay in advance for services provided for campaign events. Republicans defeated it. The party of personal responsibility, indeed.
posted by JackFlash at 2:49 PM on November 16 [26 favorites]


according to the best science available from actual epidemiologists and medical experts

In America? While we're dreaming, might as well throw in getting financial help from the government while we're all doing the right thing by staying home.

I'm being facetious; yes let's do all that!
posted by ctmf at 3:24 PM on November 16 [1 favorite]


"It’s Time to Start Killing the News Media Live on Air": Oath Keepers Private Chats Show Increased Desire for Post-Election Violence
By Unicorn Riot November 16, 2020
posted by adamvasco at 3:44 PM on November 16 [1 favorite]


Republican forum shopping: The Trump Campaign Can’t Find a Judge Who Will Ignore Facts — but It’s Trying (ProPublica, Nov. 13, 2020) Close to half of the two dozen or so cases brought since Election Day in key swing states have already been withdrawn or tossed by judges, with many of the rest seemingly destined for a similar fate. American politics may be notoriously divided, but inside the halls of justice, at least one example of unanimity seems to be prevailing: Whether the judges are liberal or conservative, working for state or federal courts, they’ve overwhelmingly demanded that the Trump and Republican plaintiffs deliver evidence to back their claims and they’ve been quick to reject what they consider baseless lawsuits. [...] One pattern has emerged in the fusillade of lawsuits: a frenzied search for a sympathetic judge. In each of four states — Pennsylvania, Michigan, Nevada and Arizona — the Trump campaign and its allies have filed a succession of suits that make essentially the same claims before several different state and federal judges.

“By now, we’ve seen this before, and we’re seeing it in multiple places,” David Fink, who is representing the city of Detroit and other municipal defendants in that case, told [Judge Timothy] Kenny during a hearing Wednesday afternoon. “In some ways, it’s starting to feel, in this courtroom at least, like Groundhog Day.” [...] Even though the campaign’s new federal lawsuit focused on Detroit, [Attorney General Dana ] Nessel observed, the suit wasn’t filed in the Eastern District of Michigan — the federal court that encompasses Detroit — but in the Western District of Michigan, where all five judges were appointed by Republican presidents.
posted by Iris Gambol at 3:58 PM on November 16 [3 favorites]


That Unicorn Riot article is something else... We’re teetering on the knife’s edge, I only hope that those right-wing terrorist wannabes continue to just keep those desires as simply twisted fantasies. (We really need the deprogramming chops like what was done to help the IRA back down and reintegrate back in the day.)
posted by rambling wanderlust at 4:00 PM on November 16 [5 favorites]


Reuters
Trump asked for options for attacking Iran last week, but held off.
posted by adamvasco at 5:36 PM on November 16 [1 favorite]


Watch, Trump is going to sue Wisconsin over the recount fee.
posted by rhizome at 5:47 PM on November 16


White House Orders Thousands Of U.S. Troops Withdrawn From Afghanistan And Iraq [NPR]
The White House will bring home 2,500 troops from Afghanistan and Iraq by the end of the year against the guidance of top military officials, a drawdown order that reduces the American presence by about a third, from 4,500 to 2,500 in Afghanistan and 3,000 to 2,500 in Iraq, according to a U.S. official.
posted by MrVisible at 6:02 PM on November 16 [1 favorite]


Trump will bring home 2,500 troops from Afghanistan and Iraq by the end of the year

Only Nixon could go to China.
posted by JackFlash at 6:06 PM on November 16


jimsciutto: New: The night before the hearing in Pennsylvania election lawsuit, Trump campaign lawyers withdraw from the case

seemslegit.gif
posted by tonycpsu at 6:31 PM on November 16 [2 favorites]


While Donald Trump focuses his attention (and ours) on his frivolous attempts to reverse the election he lost, Almost Every U.S. State Is Now Officially a Coronavirus Hot Spot, Foreign Policy Opinion, Laurie Garrett, 11/13/2020 [alternate link]:
The American COVID-19 crisis has reached catastrophic levels. With the White House fixated on election challenges and strange, ominous shake-ups in the Defense Department and national security agencies, the virus is out of control across the country—with 49 states simultaneously classified as hot spots. The spring and summer surges were geographically localized, first in the Northeast and Pacific coast, then in the South and Southwest.

With peaks confined geographically, it was possible for an overwhelmed hospital director or governor to reach out to counterparts in less-affected states for help, obtaining doctors, nurses, EMT personnel, laboratory support, equipment, coroners, even morticians. But this time, as the holidays and winter approach, almost every state is simultaneously struck, hospitals are breaking records every day for caseloads, and death counts are rising....
Red states indeed. True to form since the beginning, Trump continues to downplay, ignore, and distract America from the deadly damage of the COVID-19 pandemic.
posted by cenoxo at 6:38 PM on November 16 [4 favorites]


This just in:

Georgia's Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, who's overseeing the recount in Georgia right now, has just revealed that Senator Lindsey Graham and a handful of other Republican party leaders have been leaning on him to disqualify some of the ballots that support Biden, in a bid to throw the state back to Trump. Raffensperger is himself Republican, as it turns out, but was disgusted by the suggestion.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 6:43 PM on November 16 [20 favorites]


Trump is pushing hard to open up drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge; leases may be sold mere days before Biden inauguration.
posted by Mitheral at 6:53 PM on November 16 [4 favorites]


Trump aims to undermine Biden's legitimacy even as legal challenges fizzle - CNN

"Dan Eberhart, an Arizona-based energy executive and a Republican donor, said he's been invited to the Trump campaign's daily surrogate calls, during which campaign officials seek to explain the recount and legal strategy and "keep hope alive." But he listens in only every other day or so.

Trump's reluctance to concede, Eberhart said, was becoming tiresome. "I'm kind of over it," he said. "I view the Trump world as a melting ice cube at the moment."
posted by valkane at 7:08 PM on November 16 [4 favorites]


Here’s How Every Senator and Congress Member Has Responded to Biden’s Victory — Of 253 Republicans in the U.S. House and Senate, only 14 had acknowledged Joe Biden as president-elect a week after he was declared the winner.; Snopes.com, Dan MacGuill, Nov. 14, 2020 (Updated Nov. 16, 2020):
One week after all major news organizations declared Democrat Joe Biden the winner of the 2020 U.S. presidential election, only a smattering of Congressional Republicans have publicly acknowledged the former vice president’s victory over incumbent President Donald Trump.

According to new research by Snopes, just 14 out of 253 GOP members of the outgoing U.S. Senate and U.S. House of Representatives (the 116th Congress) have made a public statement accepting Biden’s victory, referring to him as the president-elect, or congratulating him and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris.

Only 6% of national Republican lawmakers have publicly acknowledged Biden’s victory, despite the Democrat’s garnering 306 electoral college votes — the same total as Trump in 2016, and one that the outgoing president frequently referred to as a “landslide” — and that represents an extraordinary departure from American political conventions....
The article (which will be updated as the count changes) contains a table of links to responses from each state's Congressional representatives.
posted by cenoxo at 7:10 PM on November 16 [6 favorites]


4 more years: Trump freezes 2024 presidential field - politico

"Those who’ve worked for Trump — Vice President Mike Pence, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and former United Nations Ambassador Nikki Haley — are in perhaps the toughest spot of all. Each would have to maneuver around the soon-to-be-former president after spending the last four years aligning themselves with him.

But some argue the three would benefit from the president freezing the 2024 field. Pence, Pompeo and Haley have used their roles in the administration to establish national profiles, build donor networks and deepen their ties to conservative activists. In the event Trump eventually decides not to run, they would start out a primary with advantages over others who are further behind organizationally."

“If Donald Trump wants the Republican nomination in 2024 that’s his,” said Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.), a staunch Trump ally. “That may leave a lot of thirsty presidential aspirants still thirsty. I say, ‘Stay thirsty my friends.’”
posted by valkane at 7:39 PM on November 16


How Every Senator and Congress Member Has Responded to Biden’s Victory —

How's this compare with 2016 and 2012? Is this a deviation from norms, or is the opposition normally quiet about the matter?
posted by pwnguin at 7:39 PM on November 16 [2 favorites]


Op-Ed: What broke the Republican Party? -- LA Times

"The Republican Party’s refusal to write a platform for 2020 was a watershed moment. Instead of issuing a traditional document, GOP leaders put out a memo essentially saying that their only goal was Donald Trump’s reelection. That move revealed the current Republican Party to be completely untethered from the one that governed during the Reagan and Bush administrations.

The post-election drama shows this break even more starkly. Trump has refused to concede the race, falsely claiming the election is rife with fraud. Republicans in Congress, including Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, and other GOP officeholders have overwhelmingly gone along with this, refusing to acknowledge President-elect Joe Biden’s clear victory and supporting Trump’s baseless legal challenges. The few prominent Republicans who have called on Trump to admit defeat, for the most part, have “former” in their titles."

"Some may wonder why the prominent Republicans who did endorse Biden and do recognize Biden’s victory seem to have so little influence on the party’s direction. The answer is simple. Those in the new GOP no longer see the Reagan-Bush Republicans as members of the same party."
posted by valkane at 7:46 PM on November 16 [6 favorites]


Another shake-up on Trump campaign legal team -- politico

"The game of musical chairs among lawyers pursuing President Donald Trump’s court challenges to the election results continued on Monday evening, as the campaign tried to replace the entire team handling the campaign’s federal lawsuit seeking to block certification of Pennsylvania’s results.

A court filing said Marc Scaringi, a Harrisburg, Pa., attorney, conservative talk radio host and former Senate candidate, was taking over the case. The move came just hours before a potentially make-or-break court hearing scheduled for Tuesday afternoon on motions by Pennsylvania state and county officials to dismiss the lawsuit."
posted by valkane at 9:59 PM on November 16 [1 favorite]


It’s the Goldilocks Legal Gambit: keep looking for just the right fit of attorneys who promise what you want to hear, and who bill you for every minute. Rinse and repeat until you run out of attorneys, promises, money, or time (countdown to January 20, 2021).
posted by cenoxo at 4:43 AM on November 17 [4 favorites]


How Every Senator and Congress Member Has Responded to Biden’s Victory —

How's this compare with 2016 and 2012? Is this a deviation from norms, or is the opposition normally quiet about the matter?


It's very much a deviation from the norms - usually by this point the loser has publicly conceded and all Congress members have had their office issue boilerplate "Congratulations to the winner and we look forward to working with the administration to make America even b