November 12, 2020

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ON THE RECORD.....

America, I’m honored that you have chosen me to lead our great country. The work ahead of us will be hard, but I promise you this: I will be a President for all Americans — whether you voted for me or not. I will keep the faith that you have placed in me. — President-elect Joe Biden tweet

This election is about so much more than Joe Biden or me. It’s about the soul of America and our willingness to fight for it. We have a lot of work ahead of us. Let’s get started. -- VP-elect Kamala Harris tweet

“For all the talk in GOP circles about the genius in the president’s political orbit, dumping on mail-in and absentee balloting for months will go down as one of the dumbest political decisions of all time.” — Jake Sherman

“Trump is unlikely to ever concede in the traditional sense, allies said — giving the sort of gracious, magnanimous speech the nation has come to expect at the end of even the most hard-fought presidential contests. Trump is expected to continue to baselessly claim, as he has done for several days now, that the election was stolen.” — Washington Post

“This fucking virus, what does it have to do with me getting reelected?” — Trump, quoted by Politico.

“I’d put their heads on pikes, right, I’d put them at the two corners of the White House as a warning to federal bureaucrats.” — Former Trump adviser Steve Bannon suggesting beheading Dr. Anthony Fauci and FBI Director Christopher Wray.

The end of the Trump Presidency is, by any measure, a signal moment in modern American history. These four years have wrought tragic consequences; there is no question that another four would have compounded the damage immeasurably.” — David Remnick

“If you count the legal votes, I easily win. This is a case where they’re trying to steal an election.” — Trump whose presidency was born in a lie about Barack Obama’s birthplace appeared ending his in a lie about his own faltering bid for re-election.

"What a sad night for the United States of America to hear their President say that. To falsely accuse people of trying to steal the election, to try to attack democracy that way with his feast of falsehoods. Lie after lie after lie.” — Jake Tapper

What the President is doing is startling. This is sowing doubt, confusion, mistrust. This hurts all of us regardless of how one voted. This undermines our country and all the decent, hardworking people working the polls. — Maria Shriver

“What the president needs to do, frankly, is put his big boy pants on. He needs to acknowledge that he lost. And he needs to congratulate the winner.” — Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney (D)

"That is the president of the United States. That is the most powerful person in the world. We see him like an obese turtle on his back flailing in the hot sun, realizing his time is over.” — Anderson Cooper on Trump's baseless claims that the election is being stolen from him and he’s the rightful winner.

“There are a lot who are just silent. And then there are some — I mentioned Ted Cruz — who are like the Japanese soldiers who come out 30 years after the war — out of the jungle — and say, ‘Is the fight still going on?’ — Fox News host Chris Wallace.

The total lack of action from virtually all of the “2024 GOP hopefuls” is pretty amazing. They have a perfect platform to show that they’re willing & able to fight but they will cower to the media mob instead. Don’t worry. @realDonaldTrump will fight & they can watch as usual!." -- Donald Trump Jr.

“Where are Republicans! Have some backbone. Fight against this fraud. Our voters will never forget you if your (sic.) sheep!“ -- Eric Trump

“Let this grim era of demonization in America begin to end here and now.” — Pres-elect Joe Biden

"I’m serious when I tell people the odds of me running for higher office and the odds of me just going off trying to start a homestead somewhere – they’re probably the same," — Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y.

Since early Tuesday morning, Twitter has stepped up its effort to fact-check the president, labeling 38 percent of his 29 tweets and retweets with warnings that said he made misleading claims about the electoral process. — The New York Times.

"The stolen-election fantasy is the new birtherism, right down to the racist incantations about “Philadelphia.” — Evan Osnos

“What America has to understand is that we are about to enter Covid hell. It is happening.” — Dr. Michael Osterholm, a newly appointed coronavirus advisor to President-elect Joe Biden, as cases continue to surge above 100,000 per day,

Georgia, thank you. Together, we have changed the course of our state for the better. But our work is not done. Join me in supporting @ReverendWarnock and @ossoff so we can keep up the fight and win the U.S. Senate http://GASenate.comStacey Abrams

“I want to say to all those people who don’t believe that Americans actually got out and voted, let me say this to you, when you-know-who was elected four years ago, Hillary Clinton didn’t say, ‘Hey, wait a minute, this doesn’t feel right, stop the count.’ She didn’t say, ‘This isn’t right.’ She didn’t say any of that. So all of you, suck it up. Suck it up like we sucked it up.” — Whoopi Goldberg 

 “What is the downside for humoring him for this little bit of time? No one seriously thinks the results will change. He went golfing this weekend. It’s not like he’s plotting how to prevent Joe Biden from taking power on 20 January. He’s tweeting about filing some lawsuits, those lawsuits will fail, then he’ll tweet some more about how the election was stolen, and then he’ll leave.” — Senior Republican official

“HOW CAN I SPEAK TO Q???? MY FAITH IS SHAKEN. I FOLLOWED THE PLAN. TRUMP LOST!!!!!!!!!!! WHAT NOW?????? WHERE IS THE PLAN???” — QAnon follower who has lost faith that Trump and his allies would soon vanquish a cabal of “deep state” child abusers and Satan-worshiping Democrats, exiling some to the U.S. detention facility in Guantánamo Bay, Cuba.

“Zero. Nada. Niente. Zilch. How many words — what else do you need me to say?” — New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, when asked by Howard Stern if he had any interest in joining Joe Biden’s cabinet.

“When you have public figures like [former chief strategist Stephen K.] Bannon calling for your beheading, that’s really kind of unusual.” — Dr. Fauci.

WATCH: The descent of Donald Trump. Editorial cartoonist Ann Telnaes tracks the downward trajectory of Trump, starting with his Trump Tower escalator ride.
https://www.washingtonpost.com/graphics/opinions/2020/11/03/amp-stories/descent-trump/

WATCH: Weekend Update: Rudy Giuliani on Trump's Election Lawsuits - SNL https://youtu.be/1LmFVEi5Jd0

WATCH: Biden Victory Cold Open - SNL: https://youtu.be/vJYL4Osyipc

WATCH: Samantha Bee: Dreams DO Come True! https://twitter.com/jerrysaltz/status/1325444238126034944

WATCH: Election Week Cold Open: Kate McKinnon, as Hillary Clinton, sings singing a somber rendition of Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah.": https://www.nbc.com/saturday-night-live/video/election-week-cold-open/3424949

WATCH: “It is happening.”Meanwhile in 2018… -- The Daily Show: https://twitter.com/TheDailyShow/status/1325951831667699712

WATCH: Paula White, Trump’s “spiritual advisor” leading an impassioned prayer service in an effort to secure Trump’s reelection. The video went viral on Twitter Nov. 4. https://twitter.com/RightWingWatch/status/1324175651515949056

WATCH: "God, smash the delusion, Father, that Joe Biden is our president. He is not. Former congresswoman Michele Bachmann

LISTEN: Rep. Abigail Spanberger (D-Va.) criticizing her party's strategy during a Democratic caucus call, saying the election "was a failure" for House Democrats. https://wapo.st/3etAvmH

IN THIS ISSUE

FYI

1. Andy Borowitz: Trump Defends Lawsuits: “No One Knows More About Fraud Than Me”
2. Poll: Trump Voters Don’t See Biden as Legitimate
3. Trump solicits ‘election defense’ donations that also finance his new leadership PAC
4. Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick Offers Up To $1M Reward For ‘Voter Fraud Whistleblowers And Tipsters’
5. Biden’s victory positions America for a 180-degree turn on climate change
6. AG Barr’s voter fraud investigation prompts Justice Department official to resign
7. GOP fears conceding Trump loss would spark base revolt and loss of seats
8. Republicans, Not Biden, Are About to Raise Your Taxes
9. Trump Appointees Warned Not to Look for New Jobs
10. The post-Trump era begins
11. Facebook Has A Metric For “Violence And Incitement Trends.” It’s Rising.
12. Counties with worst virus surges overwhelmingly voted Trump
13. “She Is A Master”: Joe Biden’s Campaign Manager Told The Political Future—And Was Right
14. Management company owned by Jared Kushner files to evict hundreds of families as moratoriums expire
15. Biden plans immediate flurry of executive orders to reverse Trump policies
16. Trump Isn’t Paying for Wisconsin Recount
17. It’s going to be very, very scary: Before Biden takes office, a precarious 10 weeks for escalating Covid-19 crisis
18. Census takers say they were told to enter false information
19. Trump Jr. and Kimberly Guilfoyle make moves to expand RNC influence and possibly takeover, sources say
20. Biden will stop the border wall and loosen immigration again

OPINION

1. Ezra Klein: Trump is attempting a coup in plain sight
2. Timothy L. O’Brien: Why Trump Fears Leaving the White House
3. Richard Wolffe: Trump's refusal to concede follows his pattern of incompetence and delusions
4. Christian Schneider: Republicans Continue to Cower Under Phony Strongman
6. Zak Cheney-Rice: The Fate of the Country Rests on Georgia
7. Eric Lutz: Trump’s Republican Allies Are Going To Help Him Burn It All Down
8. Amanda Carpenter: Trump, the Pathetic Loser
9. Noah Bierman: Trump is not conceding, and is likely to fire foes, pardon friends
10. Ruth Marcus: Biden will inherit a mission impossible
11. Susan B. Glasser: Donald Trump’s Day of Reckoning
12. Michael J. Stern: Trump's huge vote total breaks my heart. I recognize this America and I wish I did not.
13. David Priess: An Embarrassing Presidential Display That Will Live in Infamy
14. Jonathan Chait: The End of an Error This country was always better than Donald Trump.
15. Matt Bai: Republicans: Unshackle yourselves from the Trump craziness
16. Dana Milbank: Trump is now sabotaging national security to soothe his bruised ego
17. David Remnick: The Biden Era Begins
18. Jonathan Chait: Why Trump and Republicans Are Plotting to Undermine Democracy

FYI

1. Andy Borowitz: Trump Defends Lawsuits: “No One Knows More About Fraud Than Me”

Donald J. Trump offered a full-throated defense of his election-related lawsuits on Thursday, arguing, “No one knows more about fraud than me.”

Trump ridiculed television commentators who have dismissed his accusations of election fraud, claiming that he has “much more experience in fraud than all of these beauties put together.”

“People forget that, right when I became President, I settled a twenty-five-million-dollar fraud case against me,” he said. “You can’t beat hands-on experience like that.”

“For my entire life, I have been drenched in fraud,” he said.

Trump said that, when his election lawsuits are argued in court, his special expertise will win the day.

“Fraud is my middle name,” he boasted. https://www.newyorker.com/humor/borowitz-report/

2. Poll: Trump Voters Don’t See Biden as Legitimate

A new Economist/YouGov poll of those who voted for Donald Trump found 86 percent said Joe Biden hadn’t legitimately won the election.

Asked whether Trump should concede, the numbers were similar: 8-in-10 Trump voters said he shouldn’t. https://docs.cdn.yougov.com/9j7sr0my95/econTabReport.pdf

3. Trump solicits ‘election defense’ donations that also finance his new leadership PAC

In the wake of the election, President Trump’s supporters have been peppered with texts and emails asking for donations to support legal battles contesting his loss to President-elect Joe Biden.

“We can’t allow the Left-wing MOB to undermine our Election,” one missive says. Another appeal asks donors to give to an “EMERGENCY Wisconsin Recount Fund,” which it claims was “just activated” to request a recount in the state.

A small portion of the donations would go toward these “election defense” funds to support recounts and lawsuits in several swing states.

But details outlined in the fine print show that the majority of each donation goes to a political action committee called Save America, which Trump set up in recent days and will allow him to support candidates and maintain political influence in Washington even after leaving office. https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/trump-donations-debt/2020/11/10/024e1c80-237b-11eb-a688-5298ad5d580a_story.html

4. Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick Offers Up To $1M Reward For ‘Voter Fraud Whistleblowers And Tipsters’

Texas Lt. Governor Dan Patrick announced Tuesday, Nov. 10, he will pay up to $1 million from his campaign account to incentivize, encourage and reward people to come forward and report voter fraud form anywhere in the country.

“Whistleblowers and tipsters should turn over their evidence to local law enforcement. Anyone who provides information that leads to an arrest and final conviction of voter fraud will be paid a minimum of $25,000,” said Lt. Gov. Patrick in a news release. https://dfw.cbslocal.com/2020/11/10/texas-lt-gov-dan-patrick-reward-for-voter-fraud-whistleblowers-tipsters/

5. Biden’s victory positions America for a 180-degree turn on climate change

Joe Biden, the projected winner of the presidency, will move to restore dozens of environmental safeguards President Trump abolished and launch the boldest climate change plan of any president in history. While some of Biden’s most sweeping programs will encounter stiff resistance from Senate Republicans and conservative attorneys general, the United States is poised to make a 180-degree turn on climate change and conservation policy.

Biden’s team already has plans on how it will restrict oil and gas drilling on public lands and waters; ratchet up federal mileage standards for cars and SUVs; block pipelines that transport fossil fuels across the country; provide federal incentives to develop renewable power; and mobilize other nations to make deeper cuts in their own carbon emissions. https://www.washingtonpost.com/climate-environment/2020/11/07/biden-climate-change-monuments/

6. AG Barr’s voter fraud investigation prompts Justice Department official to resign

Attorney General William P. Barr, wading into President Trump’s unfounded accusations of widespread election irregularities, told federal prosecutors on Monday that they were allowed to investigate “specific allegations” of voter fraud before the results of the presidential race are certified.

Mr. Barr’s authorization prompted the Justice Department official who oversees investigations of voter fraud, Richard Pilger, to step down from the post within hours, according to an email Mr. Pilger sent to colleagues that was obtained by The New York Times. https://www.nytimes.com/2020/11/09/us/politics/barr-elections.html

7. GOP fears conceding Trump loss would spark base revolt and loss of seats

Top Republicans in Washington are reluctant to call Joe Biden the president-elect publicly, fearing a rebellion by grassroots conservatives loyal to President Trump that would sink the party’s Senate majority.

Republican insiders privately concede Biden ousted Trump and dismiss suggestions voter fraud, ballot errors, or other issues would be uncovered sufficient to alter the election. But with the president claiming otherwise and two Georgia runoff elections set for January that will decide the Senate majority, plus midterm elections in 2022, most congressional Republicans are backing Trump. The move is purely transactional. https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/news/campaigns/gop-fears-conceding-trump-loss-would-spark-base-revolt-and-loss-of-seats

8. Republicans, Not Biden, Are About to Raise Your Taxes

The Trump administration has a dirty little secret: It’s not just planning to increase taxes on most Americans. The increase has already been signed, sealed and delivered, buried in the pages of the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.

President Trump and his congressional allies hoodwinked us. The law they passed initially lowered taxes for most Americans, but it built in automatic, stepped tax increases every two years that begin in 2021 and that by 2027 would affect nearly everyone but people at the top of the economic hierarchy. All taxpayer income groups with incomes of $75,000 and under — that’s about 65 percent of taxpayers — will face a higher tax rate in 2027 than in 2019. https://www.nytimes.com/2020/10/31/opinion/republicans-biden-taxes.htm

9. Trump Appointees Warned Not to Look for New Jobs

According to a senior administration official, John McEntee, director of the White House Presidential Personnel Office, is spreading the word throughout the administration that if he hears of anyone looking for another job they will be fired. https://twitter.com/jaketapper/status/1325870591619035138

10. The post-Trump era begins

Monday marked the beginning of the post-Trump era in American politics. To the extent that he still has political currency, it dwindles every day as Jan. 20, 2021 draws closer. Members of his own party are already suggesting his time is up. His staff is looking for new jobs. Markets are looking up, and analysts say it’s because of the expected calm in U.S. politics. In the U.K., government officials are now saying the Trump era was not good for them, and they vow to forge a good relationship with Joe Biden.

Around the wold and at home, Trump has been written off. https://www.politico.com/newsletters/playbook/2020/11/09/the-post-trump-era-begins-490845

11. Facebook Has A Metric For “Violence And Incitement Trends.” It’s Rising.

As votes were being tallied across the country to determine the next president, internal Facebook data shows that the company has seen a significant increase in what it calls “violence and incitement trends.” https://www.buzzfeednews.com/article/ryanmac/facebook-internal-metric-violence-incitement-rising-vote

12. Counties with worst virus surges overwhelmingly voted Trump

U.S. voters went to the polls starkly divided on how they see President Donald Trump’s response to the coronavirus pandemic. But in places where the virus is most rampant now, Trump enjoyed enormous support.

An Associated Press analysis reveals that in 376 counties with the highest number of new cases per capita, the overwhelming majority — 93% of those counties — went for Trump, a rate above other less severely hit areas. https://www.inquirer.com/politics/election/election-coronavirus-trump-biden-20201105.html

13. “She Is A Master”: Joe Biden’s Campaign Manager Told The Political Future—And Was Right

Jen O’Malley Dillon will not be showing up on cable in a ratty college sweatshirt like James Carville. Or brandishing a whiteboard like Karl Rove. Dillon probably won’t be appearing regularly as a talking head, period, unlike her predecessors as managers of winning presidential campaigns. But for steering Joe Biden across the 270-vote Electoral College line in his third run for the White House, in the middle of a pandemic, against a uniquely potent and craven incumbent president, Dillon deserves just as much fame and credit as those who have come before her. https://www.vanityfair.com/news/2020/11/joe-biden-campaign-manager-told-the-political-future-and-was-right

14. Management company owned by Jared Kushner files to evict hundreds of families as moratoriums expire

Westminster Management, an apartment company owned in part by White House senior adviser Jared Kushner, has submitted hundreds of eviction filings in court against tenants with past due rent during the pandemic, according to interviews with more than a dozen tenants and a review of hundreds of the company’s filings.

One of the Owings Run residents, described the eviction threats as “heartless” coming from a company owned by the president’s son-in-law.

“The way they’re treating us is just making us feel like we’re nothing. It feels like we’re … what’s the word … disposable,” she said. “They just want us gone so someone else can come in.” https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/2020/11/05/kushner-evictions-pandemic-westminster-management/

15. Biden plans immediate flurry of executive orders to reverse Trump policies

President-elect Joe Biden is planning to quickly sign a series of executive orders after being sworn into office on Jan. 20, immediately forecasting that the country’s politics have shifted and that his presidency will be guided by radically different priorities.

He will rejoin the Paris climate accords, according to those close to his campaign and commitments he has made in recent months, and he will reverse President Trump’s withdrawal from the World Health Organization. He will repeal the ban on almost all travel from some Muslim-majority countries, and he will reinstate the program allowing “dreamers,” who were brought to the United States illegally as children, to remain in the country, according to people familiar with his plans.

The coronavirus response has been foremost on Biden’s mind, and it is seen inside his campaign as a chief reason for his victory. He has previously said that even before the inauguration he would reach out to Anthony S. Fauci, the country’s top infectious-disease expert, asking him for advice. https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/biden-first-executive-orders-measures/2020/11/07/9fb9c1d0-210b-11eb-b532-05c751cd5dc2_story.html

16. Trump Isn’t Paying for Wisconsin Recount

The Trump campaign has NOT committed to put up the $3 million required to pay for a recount in Wisconsin. It is an indication that they’re not super serious about pursuing one and that their announcements are mostly for show. https://twitter.com/jameshohmann/status/1325150981005381632

17. It’s going to be very, very scary: Before Biden takes office, a precarious 10 weeks for escalating Covid-19 crisis

Even many public health experts who celebrated President-elect Biden’s win this week turned their immediate focus to the crisis it might create: A 10-week transition period during which Covid-19 cases and deaths skyrocket, and the outgoing Trump administration doesn’t take additional action to stop the surge.

From a public health standpoint, the presidential election could not have come at a worse time. Health officials have long warned of a devastating winter, and case totals and deaths have spiked just as millions of Americans are set to congregate with their families over the holidays. President Trump’s persistent downplaying of the crisis, experts say, will continue to have deadly consequences — and as a result, leave Biden to inherit a country experiencing its worst Covid-19 crisis since the first recorded U.S. cases in late January. https://www.statnews.com/2020/11/07/biden-precarious-10-weeks-for-covid-19/

18. Census takers say they were told to enter false information

Two census takers told The Associated Press that their supervisors pressured them to enter false information into a computer system about homes they had not visited so they could close cases during the waning days of the once-a-decade national headcount.

Maria Arce said her supervisor in Massachusetts offered step-by-step instructions in how to trick the system. She said she felt guilty about lying, but she did not want to disobey her supervisors, who kept repeating that they were under pressure from a regional office in New York to close cases.

“It was all a sham. I felt terrible, terrible. I knew I was lying. I knew I was doing something wrong, but they said, ‘No, no, we are closing. We have to do this,’” Arce said. https://apnews.com/article/donald-trump-massachusetts-census-2020-98d187302fbcec5e422fa43522d51dfe

19. Trump Jr. and Kimberly Guilfoyle make moves to expand RNC influence and possibly takeover, sources say

Trump Jr. and his girlfriend, Kimberly Guilfoyle, make moves to expand RNC influence and possibly takeover, sources say. https://www.cnn.com/2020/11/10/politics/donald-trump-jr-kimberly-guilfoyle-rnc/index.html

20. Biden will stop the border wall and loosen immigration again

President-elect Joe Biden has pledged to put a swift halt to border wall construction and loosen immigration restrictions imposed by Trump.

Beyond the wall, the president-elect’s broader immigration plans represent a complete reversal of the Trump administration’s policies over the past several years — and he can accomplish much of it fairly easily.

Biden wants to expand opportunities for legal immigration, including family and work-based visas as well as access to humanitarian visa programs. Biden’s immediate moves would largely entail rescinding various actions initiated under Trump that barred immigrants from certain countries and curtailed legal immigration, including new restrictions on asylum and rules making it harder for poor immigrants to obtain legal status.

Biden also has vowed to prioritize the reunification of any families still separated under the Trump administration’s now-defunct “zero-tolerance” policy — which led to the separation and detention of more than 2,800 migrant families and children in 2018. https://www.politico.com/amp/news/2020/11/07/joe-biden-policies-immigration-border-wall-433627

21. Biden-voting counties equal 70% of America’s economy. What does this mean for the nation’s political-economic divide?

The stark economic rift that Brookings Metro documented after Donald Trump’s shocking 2016 victory has grown even wider. This time, Biden’s winning base in 477 counties encompasses fully 70% of America’s economic activity, while Trump’s losing base of 2,497 counties represents just 29% of the economy. https://www.brookings.edu/blog/the-avenue/2020/11/09/biden-voting-counties-equal-70-of-americas-economy-what-does-this-mean-for-the-nations-political-economic-divide/

22. Lame-duck Trump burrows loyalists inside government, starting with NSA

Perhaps as consequential as President Trump firing Defense Secretary Mark Esper via tweet on Monday, which has been widely expected for months, was the hiring of Michael Ellis to be the National Security Agency’s general counsel.

As one of the most controversial staffers in the White House over the past four years, Ellis has shown himself to be as much a staunch Trump loyalist as anyone else in the administration. But his new job means that he will no longer be a political appointee. Instead, as a civilian member of the senior executive service, he gets protections that will make it quite difficult for President-elect Joe Biden to fire him.

Burrowing down into what Trump derides as “the deep state” will give Ellis, a former Republican campaign operative, a powerful platform from which he could seek to complicate or undermine the incoming Democratic administration’s agenda. This is a preview of the sort of behavior from Trump that many on Biden’s transition team expect, and fear, during the lame-duck president’s final 71 days in power, even as he refuses to concede defeat. https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2020/11/10/daily-202-lame-duck-trump-burrows-loyalists-inside-government-starting-with-nsa/

23. Trump Tweets Erode Trust in Elections Among Supporters, Study Finds

Trump’s tweets questioning the U.S. election’s legitimacy are effective in shaping his supporters’ beliefs on that topic, while his tweets boosted his detractors’ confidence in elections, according to a study believed to be the first to estimate the effect of the president’s posts about voting. https://www.wsj.com/livecoverage/trump-biden-election-day-2020/card/Hb6kYrZyhGhaqgIoT5rH

24. The DAILY GRILL

Donald—I appreciate the free publicity for Borat! I admit, I don’t find you funny either. But yet the whole world laughs at you. I’m always looking for people to play racist buffoons, and you’ll need a job after Jan. 20. Let’s talk! -- Sacha Baron Cohen

VERSUS

Donald—you’re out of work and I know I offered you a job.
But your performance this past week was tragic and sad.
Offer rescinded. — Sacha Baron Cohen

 

These people seek absolute sameness, total uniformity. You’re happy with your corner coffee shop. They want to make you drink Starbucks every day from now until forever, no matter how it tastes. That’s the future they promise: everyone doing the same thing. — Tucker Carlson

VERSUS

Just as Tucker Carlson predicted: in Joe Biden’s America, everyone is forced to wear a mask and drink Starbucks. Life is good! — Ruth Glaser

TRUMP (Thursday night): "In Pennsylvania, partisan Democrats have allowed ballots in the state to be received three days after the election and we think much more than that and they are counting those without any postmarks or any identification whatsoever.”
THE FACTS: "Partisan Democrats" didn't ordain this. It was the state Supreme Court that ruled ballots mailed before the end of Election Day could be received up to three days later and still be counted. His accusation that mailed ballots without postmarks are being counted is also false.

TRUMP (Saturday morning): "Tens of thousands of votes were illegally received after 8 P.M. on Tuesday, Election Day, totally and easily changing the results in Pennsylvania and certain other razor thin states."
THE FACTS: This is groundless. Many states allow votes received in the mail after Election Day to be counted. It's not illegal. And Trump has presented no evidence that "tens of thousands" came in after poll closings.

TRUMP (Thursday night): "Our campaign has been denied access to observe any counting in Detroit."
THE FACTS: That's false. Absentee ballots were counted at a downtown convention center, where some 134 counting boards were set up. Each party was allowed one poll watcher per board, said City Clerk Janice Winfrey.

TRUMP (Thursday night): "The election apparatus in Georgia is run by Democrats."
THE FACTS: No, the state's elections are overseen by a Republican, Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger.

TRUMP (Thursday night): "If you count the legal votes, I easily win. if you count the illegal votes, they can try to steal the election from us."
THE FACTS: This is baseless. Neither Trump's campaign aides nor election officials identified substantial numbers of "illegal" votes, much less the mammoth numbers it would take to ruin an easy win by Trump in an election where more than 140 million people voted.

TRUMP (Thursday night): "We were winning in all the key locations by a lot, actually. And then our number started miraculously getting whittled away in secret." — Thursday night.
THE FACTS: He has no foundation to make this accusation. The change in fortunes he speaks about is explained by the nature of vote counting in the states, not by any sudden surge of malfeasance that others have not seen. And it does not happen in "secret" any more than his initial leads developed in secret.

TRUMP (Thursday): "ANY VOTE THAT CAME IN AFTER ELECTION DAY WILL NOT BE COUNTED!
THE FACTS: Not true. Despite the tweet shout, votes received in the mail after Tuesday were counted in many places, and legally. Roughly 20 states allow for late-arriving ballots.

TRUMP: "STOP THE COUNT!"
THE FACTS: Trump wanted counting stopped only in undecided key states where he was ahead and Biden might catch up, not the reverse. A variety of Trump's advisers insisted the president wanted a full and fair count, only to be flatly contradicted by his tweets and other statements.

TRUMP: "We want all voting to stop." — statement to supporters in the White House early Wednesday morning.
THE FACTS: This was not a coherent demand or complaint. Voting stopped everywhere on Tuesday, Election Day. Voting had even stopped in Hawaii, where the clock is five hours behind Washington, when he appeared in the East Room after 2 a.m.

TRUMP (Thursday tweet): ”IF YOU COUNT THE LEGAL VOTES, I EASILY WIN THE ELECTION! IF YOU COUNT THE ILLEGAL AND LATE VOTES, THEY CAN STEAL THE ELECTION FROM US!"
THE FACTS: He presented no calculation to back this up, or evidence of late votes or illegal ones.

TRUMP (Wednesday tweet): "We have claimed, for Electoral Vote purposes, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania (which won't allow legal observers) the State of Georgia, and the State of North Carolina, each one of which has a BIG Trump lead. Additionally, we hereby claim the State of Michigan if, in fact ... there was a large number of secretly dumped ballots as has been widely reported."
THE FACTS: Presidents don't get to "hereby claim" election victories. No candidates for office do.

TRUMP (Thursday night): "For the first time ever, we lost zero races in the House. I was talking to (House Republican leader) Kevin McCarthy today. He said he couldn't believe it: zero races. Very unusual thing. Zero."
THE FACTS: Far from zero. Republicans lost more than 200 House races. But no GOP incumbents lost their races in counting so far.

25. From MEDIA MATTERS (They watch Fox News so you don't have to)

Fox’s prime-time programming on Wednesday was a vile slurry of innuendo and conspiracy theories, as the network’s hosts parroted viral social media lies to their audience of millions in an effort to delegitimize the election results. Thursday night’s shows, which followed Trump’s deranged and lie-filled performance before the White House press corps, were even more unhinged and reckless. The hosts promoted nonsensical and unverified claims of voter fraud and cast doubt on the legitimacy of the results, floating as remedies a “do-over” election in Pennsylvania and Republican state legislators ignoring the results in favor of Trump. “I can factually tell you tonight, it will be impossible to ever know the true, fair, accurate election results,” Fox star and Trump operative Sean Hannity claimed. “Americans will never be able to believe in the integrity and legitimacy of these results.” https://www.mediamatters.org/fox-news/fox-news-propagandists-and-gop-leaders-are-pushing-country-toward-abyss

OPINION

1. Ezra Klein: Trump is attempting a coup in plain sight

The Trump administration’s current strategy is to go to court to try and get votes for Biden ruled illegitimate, and that strategy explicitly rests on Trump’s appointees honoring a debt the administration, at least, believes they owe. One of his legal advisers said, “We’re waiting for the United States Supreme Court — of which the President has nominated three justices — to step in and do something. And hopefully Amy Coney Barrett will come through.”

If that fails, and it will, Mark Levin, one of the nation’s most popular conservative radio hosts, is explicitly calling on Republican legislatures to reject the election results and seat Donald Trump as president anyway. After Twitter tagged the tweet as contested, Trump’s press secretary weighed in furiously on Levin’s behalf.
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. https://www.vox.com/2020-presidential-election/2020/11/7/21554114/trump-election-2020-voter-fraud-challenge-recount-biden

2. Timothy L. O’Brien: Why Trump Fears Leaving the White House

Although Trump has over the years juggled, among other difficulties, ho-hum grades, the threat of personal bankruptcy, sexual assault accusations, an intensive federal investigation and an impeachment, he has plowed ahead relatively unwounded and unencumbered by regret. Wealth, celebrity and the presidency have kept him buoyant. All that insulation has also meant that he hasn’t learned from his mistakes. Every personal and public reckoning has been postponed or shunted aside.

Now, however, Trump is staring at two threats that loom after he leaves the White House in January. One is financial, the other legal. Neither is entirely under his control. And both may help explain, along with his perennial inability to accept losing, why Trump won’t acknowledge that President-elect Joe Biden is going to succeed him and why he has enlisted the Republican Party to help him gaslight Americans about the outcome of the presidential election.

Trump and the patchwork of businesses he houses inside the Trump Organization are saddled with more than $1 billion in debt, which Dan Alexander of Forbes has helpfully tallied. A portion of that total has been divulged over the past few years in the president’s personal financial disclosures, on file with the Office of Government Ethics. The New York Times recently revealed that Trump has personally guaranteed at least $421 million of the debt, with more than $300 million coming due within four years.

In other words, Trump is on the hook for a lot of money that he may have to scramble to repay in a Covid-19-battered economy in which his industries — hotels, leisure, urban real estate — have been particularly pummeled. Forbes estimates his assets are worth $3.7 billion; Bloomberg News pegs them at about $3.2 billion. He’s not going broke. But if the economy continues to struggle in coming months, those valuations will be tested. And much of what Trump holds isn’t liquid, meaning he may be hard-pressed to sell assets quickly if he needs to raise funds. Among Trump’s most valuable holdings, for example, are minority stakes in two properties controlled by Vornado Realty Trust. Rumors of fire sales might further depress the value of his portfolio. https://www.bloomberg.com/opinion/articles/2020-11-11/why-trump-fears-leaving-the-white-house

3. Richard Wolffe: Trump's refusal to concede follows his pattern of incompetence and delusions

The Trump administration has been living in a state of denial for the last four years. They claimed the pandemic would disappear like a miracle. That climate crisis was an exaggerated fiction. They said the world respected Donald Trump. And Rudy Giuliani really intended to stage a press conference at Four Seasons Total Landscaping.

There’s a pattern in here somewhere. Oh yes. It’s a pattern of snort-inducing lies, incompetence and delusions.

As the sun sets on Trump, our unnaturally bronzed soon-to-be ex-president is clinging on to the summer of his power with every tweet he can muster. He absolutely, defiantly, categorically will not concede the election, or allow his officials to work on a transition.

This is a shame because it makes him look a pathetically sad loser with a paper-thin skin, which he has been forever. But it’s a shame for his many ardent defenders whose job would be so much easier if they were defending someone with a shred of decency, integrity or maturity. https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2020/nov/11/trump-refusal-concede-follows-pattern-incompetence-delusions

4. Christian Schneider: Republicans Continue to Cower Under Phony Strongman

Donald Trump is obviously not Stalin: he doesn’t conduct show trials, send his political opponents to gulags, or starve millions of his own people to death.

In a way, though, that makes the embarrassing post-2020 election obeisance of Republican politicians even more confounding. If they rightly acknowledge Trump’s election loss was not due to vote “fraud” and concede Joe Biden will, in fact, be president on January 20 next year, the worst they will suffer is an angry tweet from the president.

And yet they trot right out, single file, humiliating themselves in order to soothe the “very touchy and proud” adolescent in the Oval Office. Newt Gingrich, a man who knows how elections work, said Trump fell to a “corrupt and stolen election.” On the Senate floor, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Trump is “100 percent within his right” to pursue recounts and litigation.

According to one particularly odious pro-Trump commentator, Biden is “not the president-elect” because Real Clear Politics had yet to officially call a handful of states. (This is a heretofore unknown requirement spelled out in the version of the Constitution read exclusively by people with undetected natural gas leaks in their homes.) https://thebulwark.com/republicans-continue-to-cower-under-phony-strongman/

5. Jonathan Chait: The GOP’s Future Leaders Are Endorsing Trump’s Election Fraud Lie

Trump’s claims that he actually won the 2020 election and will somehow prevail upon the courts to overturn the results stand zero chance of proving true. Not unlikely. Not remote. Zero.

Yet watching the Republican Party absorb Trump’s ludicrous accusations has been depressingly instructive. It replicates the process by which Republicans accepted Trump in the first place. It also reflects, in miniature, the process by which the party has surrendered to kookery over several generations.

Even to refute the accusations of fraud is to grant them more dignity than they deserve; heroic efforts have been made by journalists at papers like the The Wall Street Journal and the Washington Post. The Trump campaign seized on “suspicious” changes in zip codes for a few thousand Nevada voters, who turned out to be members of the military. It asserted that its observers had been denied access to vote-counting in Pennsylvania, then admitted in court that the observers had been permitted to observe after all. https://nymag.com/intelligencer/2020/11/trump-election-vote-fraud-lie-giuliani-four-seasons-myth-biden-won-2020.html

6. Zak Cheney-Rice: The Fate of the Country Rests on

It’s no exaggeration to say that the fate of the United States — and, in a lot of ways, the world — rests on what happens in voter precincts across the state of Georgia less than a week after we say good riddance to 2020. On that day, Georgians will decide the partisan makeup of the U.S. Senate. If Democrats Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock both defeat Republican incumbents in their runoff elections, the legislative body will have 50 Democrats and 50 Republicans by the end of the month, with Vice-President Kamala Harris as the tie-breaking vote. This would be good. But if even one of them loses, things will get really ugly, really fast. Republicans will keep control of Congress’ upper chamber, with current majority leader and practiced obstructionist Mitch McConnell in the driver’s seat. The implications could not be more dire. A Biden White House has little hope of appointing progressive judges, expanding health-care access, or reforming law enforcement — let alone packing the Supreme Court or pursuing a climate agenda commensurate to the scale of the crisis — with a Republican majority blocking the way. What’s more, the structural advantage that the GOP enjoys in the distribution of Senate seats probably means a decade-long drought for Democrats, if not more. That means the cost of defeat in either one of these races is likely the difference between a productive Biden presidency and one so ineffectual that the 2022 midterms — and likely the 2024 election after that — are poised to be Republican bloodbaths. https://nymag.com/intelligencer/2020/11/fate-of-the-country-rests-on-senate-runoffs-in-georgia.html

7. Eric Lutz: Trump’s Republican Allies Are Going To Help Him Burn It All Down

The entire premise of Donald Trump’s life is that he has never once been defeated. His project, and that of those around him, then, has been to maintain that illusion. This hasn’t always succeeded. He’s lost plenty of things—money, court cases. But never before has he faced the kind of public humiliation he seems poised to with Joe Biden’s victory. How does someone who delights in calling others “losers” react to becoming a loser himself, in the most concrete sense of the word? How does the most vainglorious man in America bring himself to accept defeat and ?

The answer, of course, is that he doesn’t. Unable to face the reality of his circumstances, he is doubling down on his delusions—that the world is conspiring against him; that he’s the big, strong winner he’s always claimed to be. He wants to convince his supporters, the courts, and himself that he is both victim and victor and has made clear that he’ll burn everything to the ground to do so. This is unsurprising. If his decades of public life have taught us anything, it’s that he simply can’t help himself. But the aides and allies who have enabled him these past four years are not bound by his paranoias and neuroses. They’re making a choice. And while some who have stood by him now seem to be taking tentative steps backward, others are sticking, enabling him still as he tries to take a blowtorch to the foundation of democracy. https://www.vanityfair.com/news/2020/11/trump-republican-allies-ted-cruz-lindsey-graham-burn-it-all-down-election-2020

8. Amanda Carpenter: Trump, the Pathetic Loser

On Thursday night, staring down the abyss of defeat, President Trump marched into the White House briefing room and did what he has always done when backed into a corner. He unfurled lies. He claimed everything is “rigged” against him. He inflated his accomplishments to vertiginous heights.

All while the votes against him in decisive battleground states ticked higher and higher, a silent metronome in the background relentlessly counting toward his political demise.

While Trump’s bluster might have been enthralling in the past—or at least hard to look away from, like a car accident—this time, the television lights made his typical bronze glow look like mortuary makeup. He was a political dead man walking. Everyone knew it. Even him. His tone was grave, which only made his lies all the more loathsome.

One would expect a man in his final hours to reveal his innermost, truthful thoughts while in such a terminal state. Trump, however, delivered the opposite of a deathbed confession. Feeble and stumbling, he kept pushing the Kool-Aid on anyone who would sip it.

Trump’s sycophants and enablers find all their dreams that his presidency would be the most consequential and important in American history crashing down around them. We should all remember Trump as he presented himself in this monumental moment. As a babbling, incoherent, conspiracist. Our greatest presidential embarrassment. https://thebulwark.com/trump-the-pathetic-loser/

9. Noah Bierman: Trump is not conceding, and is likely to fire foes, pardon friends

Pardons offer the president the most absolute power during his lame-duck phase.

The most prominent possibilities include former national security advisor Michael Flynn, who pleaded guilty in 2017 to lying to the FBI but later tried to withdraw his plea, and Paul Manafort, Trump’s 2016 campaign manager who was convicted of financial crimes.

Trump also may try to protect himself and the Trump Organization, his family-run holding company, from potential prosecution once he leaves office.

Federal and state prosecutors in New York are investigating alleged banking and insurance fraud, while the Internal Revenue Service has spent years auditing a $70-million deduction.

“He’s going to use [the lame-duck period] strategically to basically try to protect himself and his family and his money,” said Andrew Weissmann, a former top prosecutor in special counsel Robert S. Mueller III investigation into whether Trump’s 2016 campaign collaborated with Russia and obstructed justice.

That could include proactive pardons for Trump’s grown children, current and former employees, and other figures close to Trump, including his personal lawyer Rudolph W. Giuliani. Trump may also try to pardon himself, a power that has never been tested in court.

“Just how broad the pardons have to be depends on what the president’s worried about,” Weissmann said.

The pardons would not limit all of Trump’s potential exposure. They would cover only federal crimes, not the investigations now underway by New York State Atty. Gen. Letitia James and Manhattan Dist. Atty. Cyrus Vance. https://www.latimes.com/politics/story/2020-11-07/election-trump-lame-duck

10. Ruth Marcus: Biden will inherit a mission impossible

The closeness of the results underscores the alarming reality that a significant plurality of Americans supports the most disastrous, most dangerous president in our history. Biden has, wisely and appropriately, promised to govern as president for all Americans — that is, the opposite of Trump’s divisive approach. But even winning the popular vote does not erase the fact that Biden would inherit a country whose citizens are as angry and polarized as at any moment in a century and a half. https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/if-biden-wins-hell-inherit-a-mission-impossible/2020/11/04/48b1796a-1eda-11eb-ba21-f2f001f0554b_story.html

11. Susan B. Glasser: Donald Trump’s Day of Reckoning

Soon after Biden took the lead in Pennsylvania, a statement from the Trump campaign arrived in my in-box: “This election is not over,” the campaign’s general counsel, Matt Morgan, said. But it effectively was, and the question was no longer about the election’s outcome; it was what Trump would do about that outcome—the same question that has loomed over the race since Trump first told the American public that he would not accept any result except his own

Power ebbs away quickly in Washington. When a downcast Trump went to the White House briefing room, on Thursday evening, to insist that the election was being stolen from him, he did so alone. His two sons and campaign adviser Brad Parscale complained on Twitter that Republican Party leaders were absent from the fight—and threatened retribution. “Where is the GOP?! Our voters will never forget,” Eric Trump tweeted. A few Republicans, eager to claim Trump’s huge following in the Party, responded to the Trumps’ call for public reinforcement.

There is still great risk in a President defeated but not yet gone. Trump will remain in the White House until January 20th, in command of a vast executive branch and a wounded ego in need of validation and searching for justification. He is reportedly still considering firing senior officials in his government whom he considers insufficiently loyal, including the head of the F.B.I., Christopher Wray, and the Secretary of Defense, Mark Esper. Who knows what investigations he could order up, what last-minute executive orders he could issue? In the meantime, the pandemic rages on, and as the nation was consumed this week by the drama of the unresolved election, the number of covid-19 cases escalated to dangerous new levels. The two months between now and the Inauguration could prove to be a volatile, dangerous moment in Washington, and not just because Trump is likely to pursue spurious legal cases and refuse to concede. https://www.newyorker.com/news/letter-from-trumps-washington/donald-trumps-day-of-reckoning

12. Michael J. Stern: Trump's huge vote total breaks my heart. I recognize this America and I wish I did not.

This is going to be a scorched-earth column, so buckle up.

Yes, former Vice President Joe Biden squeaked out a victory. But we’ve still been slapped with the heartbreaking reality that nearly half our country voted to reelect President Donald Trump after spending four years watching him spew unbridled bigotry, engage in blatant corruption, and tell so many lies you’d need a magnifying glass to read The Washington Post's running list of false and misleading claims.

My best friend just called in disgust to say he did not recognize this country. Unfortunately, I do. It’s the same country that built itself largely on the backs of slaves who had their most basic human rights stolen and whose descendants, more than 150 years after emancipation, still carry the weight of the chains that held them down.

It’s the same country that closed its eyes to Matthew Shepard, beaten and broken and tied to a fence in rural Wyoming, where he was left to die … because he was gay.

And it’s the same country where you can see countless cellphone videos of people telling Latino Americans to speak English or "stay in Mexico" or “go back" to where they came from. 

When all is said and done, I fear Trumpism, and the ugliness it reflects, is here to stay. https://www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/voices/2020/11/05/half-america-supports-donald-trump-heartbreaking-column/6165245002/

13. David Priess: An Embarrassing Presidential Display That Will Live in Infamy

Last night, from a podium in the White House—the People’s House, provided to the president, at public expense, as living and working quarters—Donald Trump claimed without evidence that valid votes coming in for his opponent were “illegal.” He declared that “we can’t have an election stolen like this.” He stated that “we can’t allow silence, anybody to silence our voters and manufacture results.”

With these remarks, the president humiliated those who have coddled or appeased him for four years. And, in asserting that votes presumably for his opponent are illegitimate before they’ve even been counted, he sunk to a new low for the American presidency.

That, I will admit, is a bold statement. Because we’ve had some low moments in the history of presidential behavior.

But when it comes to actual voting in elections, even previous presidents willing to use dirty tricks during their campaigns haven’t resorted to the kind of sordid display that the world witnessed on Thursday night. Instead, candidates running for the nation’s highest office in tumultuous times (including on the eve of an actual civil war) have by and large let the process unfold and then graciously accepted the result and moved on.

Trump, instead, is positioning himself to play the victim, to go down kicking and screaming like a toddler being pulled away from his favorite cartoon.

Shame on him. Shame on his enablers. And, yes, shame on us for allowing such an unfit man to occupy the People’s House. https://thebulwark.com/an-embarrassing-presidential-display-that-will-live-in-infamy/

14. Jonathan Chait: The End of an Error This country was always better than Donald Trump.

The simple truth is that was all a mistake — a ghastly, deadly mistake, the toll of which will linger for decades. The precise causes have all been exhumed: bad decisions by Hillary Clinton, an easily manipulated press corps, the FBI, the GRU, the Electoral College sorting out the votes just so.

America, by and large, never wanted Trump to be president. The public opposed his presidency from the moment he took office, and he trailed Joe Biden in polls continuously. The first chance the country got to correct the mistake, we d him unceremoniously. He suffered the rare ignominy of becoming an incumbent president denied a second term, a category that over the last century includes Hoover, Carter, Bush and now Trump. Of this sad group, only Trump had the benefit of a growing economy.

And while Trump kept his reelection close in the Electoral College, the nation as a whole registered clear opposition. Biden’s margin in the popular vote – the most precise measure of a “people’s president” – is likely to swell to an Obama-like margin. Progressives have chosen to torment themselves with the fact that Trump’s supporters continue to exist, rather than allow themselves to absorb the extent of his repudiation.

None of this is to say that the Trump experience was a mere aberration or without meaning. Even those who did not suffer directly from his presidency have come away shaken and disillusioned. Not only was one of the worst human beings in this country entrusted with massive power, but he put his twisted psyche on constant display. https://nymag.com/intelligencer/article/biden-defeats-trump-election-2020-president-repudiation.html

15. Matt Bai: Republicans: Unshackle yourselves from the Trump craziness

Here you are, anxiously waiting for Donald Trump and his royal family to accept reality, not wanting to say anything that might upset him or his followers, because somehow the thing you fear most in the world — more than any virus, or God, or even transgender bathrooms — is the prospect of losing primaries.

I ask you: Is your political life so dear, your committee seat so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of servitude to a rage-filled, nativist mob?

You think you can avoid this fight just by backing down and letting events take care of themselves?

Already you’ve got an avowed QAnon follower coming to a table near you at the caucus lunches. These people believe — I mean, actually believe — that Democratic politicians are harvesting blood from babies. A couple of followers were arrested last week, heading to a vote-counting center in Philadelphia with an armload of guns.

Somebody’s going to get killed here. Are you really going to spend the rest of your political careers shackled to this craziness?

Or keep cowering, and let your actual treason echo through the ages. https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2020/11/09/republicans-unshackle-yourselves-trump-craziness/

16. Dana Milbank: Trump is now sabotaging national security to soothe his bruised ego

So this will be President Trump’s parting gift to the nation: He is deliberately sabotaging the national security of the United States.

His refusal to accept the results, even though it wasn’t a particularly close election, has taken an insidious new turn now that his political appointee in charge of authorizing the start of the Biden transition is refusing to give the okay.

The delay undercuts all aspects of government’s functioning and leaves the country needlessly vulnerable to security threats.

It’s understandable that current Republican officeholders don’t want to cross Trump by calling on him to concede.

But if they don’t insist that he at least authorize the start of a transition, they, too, are sabotaging our national security because of one man’s hurt feelings.
https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2020/11/09/trump-is-now-sabotaging-national-security-soothe-his-bruised-ego/

17. David Remnick: The Biden Era Begins

American democracy was on the ballot on Election Day, and although American democracy won, an occasion of immense relief, the margin of victory should not be exaggerated.

Joe Biden, the victor in the popular vote by a margin so far of more than four million, has won the Electoral College and will become the forty-sixth President of the United States. Senator Kamala Harris, the daughter of a Black father and an Indian-American mother, will make history as Biden’s Vice-President. Donald Trump, who will finish out his term as the most cynical character ever to occupy the Oval Office, was mendacious to the last, claiming victory before the ballots were counted and accusing an unknown “they” of trying to steal the election from him. He is sure to pursue his case, however misbegotten, in the courts and in the right-wing media. It would also come as no shock if he provoked civil unrest on his own behalf. If four years have proved anything about Trump, it’s that he is capable of nearly anything.

The unhinged, if predictable, spectacle of Trump’s press conference early Wednesday morning at the White House was outrageous even to some of his closest allies: here was an unstable authoritarian trying his best, on live television, to undermine one of the oldest democratic systems in existence. “This is a fraud on the American public,” he complained. “This is an embarrassment to our country.” As far as he was concerned, citing no evidence, “we have already won it.” Trump was willing, as always, to imperil the interests and the stability of the country to satisfy his ego and protect his power. On Thursday evening, Trump reprised this malign and pathetic performance, as he took to the White House pressroom to claim, again without proof, that he was being “cheated” by a “corrupt system.” Reading from a prepared text, he said that his vote was being “whittled down” as ballots were being counted. He spun a baseless conspiracy theory about dishonorable election officials, a burst pipe, and “large pieces of cardboard.” His words were at once embittered and deranged; his voice betrayed defeat. There has never been a more dangerous speech by an American President, and it remained to be seen if his party’s leadership would, at last, abandon him.

There can be no overstating the magnitude of the tasks facing Biden. If he survives whatever challenges, legal and rhetorical, that Trump throws his way in the coming days and weeks, he will begin his term facing a profoundly polarized country, one even more divided and tribal than the polls have suggested. It is a nation in which one half cannot quite comprehend the other half. He also confronts a country that is suffering from an ever-worsening pandemic, an ailing economy, racial injustice, and a climate crisis that millions refuse to acknowledge. https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2020/11/16/the-biden-era-begins

18. Jonathan Chait: Why Trump and Republicans Are Plotting to Undermine Democracy

Republicans had little success in teaching their voters to despise and fear Biden like they despised and feared Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama. Trump’s election fraud lies are doing that work for them now, whipping the base into a frenzy of anger and priming them to regard Biden as the beneficiary of a stolen election.

This is not a plot to steal the 2020 election. It is a decades-long campaign to undermine American democracy, which treats Democratic governance as inherently illegitimate.

Republicans played Russian roulette with American democracy by supporting the presidency of an aspirational authoritarian. They’ll continue doing so by supporting his paranoid attacks on the electoral process. The reason they’re willing to weaken American democracy is very simple: They don’t care about democracy. Republicans had little success in teaching their voters to despise and fear Biden like they despised and feared Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama. Trump’s election fraud lies are doing that work for them now, whipping the base into a frenzy of anger and priming them to regard Biden as the beneficiary of a stolen election. https://nymag.com/intelligencer/article/trump-election-fraud-biden-pennsylvania-lawsuit-voting-transition.html

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