November 11th, 2020 by Zachary Shahan
There is no doubt about it — we are living in concerning times when it comes to US democracy. Many of our historical norms, including some that extend back to the founding fathers, have been shattered under Donald Trump. Many laws have been broken under the claim, essentially, that the president is above the law — something that most would not agree with (since we have a president, not a king), but one which the US Attorney General and others behind him made the key matter of the Mueller investigation.
At the moment, we are genuinely getting into spooky territory. We will hopefully skate across thin ice, not collapse into freezing water, but what is absolutely clear is that Donald Trump and his most loyal rebels (aka traitors) are following the playbook that every authoritarian dictator has followed on his rise to undemocratic power. Trump just lost an election, and not by a small margin. At the moment, Biden is 20 electoral votes above the 270 threshold to win, and he is going to end up at 306 once they finalize Georgia (there’s no doubt about this to anyone paying attention to reality). Incidentally, that’s also the electoral vote total Trump got 4 years ago, and by this point in time in 2016, Hillary Clinton had already conceded days earlier and Trump and Pence had been welcomed into the White House to begin the transition.
Of course, Donald Trump lost the popular vote by more than 3 million votes in 2016 and he is currently down by more than 5 million in this election. Although that technically doesn’t matter (since we don’t have a true democracy in America), it does show that Trump doesn’t even have an ideological reason to say he won and he is significantly down from 2016, an election he essentially won by fewer than 100,000 votes in a few key swing states.
At most, a recount may result in a few hundred votes going in the opposite direction. Trump isn’t anywhere close to that in any of the states he’s down in, let alone in several of them (which is what he’d need in order to get to 270). Ballots are still being processed (because it takes days to process more than 150 million ballots), but Trump is currently down by:
- >12,000 in Georgia
- >12,000 in Arizona
- >20,000 in Wisconsin
- ~50,000 in Pennsylvania (expected to be much higher by the time all ballots are processed)
- >66,000 in Nevada
- >150,000 in Michigan
“Election officials in dozens of states representing both political parties said that there was no evidence that fraud or other irregularities played a role in the outcome of the presidential race”
— Mike Gwin (@MichaelJGwin) November 11, 2020
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.
— Oversight Committee (@OversightDems) November 10, 2020
— Marc E. Elias (@marceelias) November 11, 2020
As the Trump campaign files a federal lawsuit in Michigan, here’s a reality check: Joe Biden won 148,645 more votes there. Four years ago, Trump won the state by only 10,704 votes. A smart Michigan Republican I know literally laughed when I asked about the lawsuit tonight. Math.
— Jeff Zeleny (@jeffzeleny) November 11, 2020
Useful context about Bush v. Gore: In 2000, the entire election came down to the result in one state, and the difference in votes was incredibly small. This is not that. https://t.co/tObJLoKfRS
— Orin Kerr (@OrinKerr) November 9, 2020
Nonetheless, almost no Republicans in Congress have publicly acknowledged that Joe Biden won the election. Former President George W. Bush has, former presidential nominee Mitt Romney has, and a few members of Congress have, but the vast majority of Republican politicians will not concede that Biden won. This is an absurdity that we have never seen before, but it’s at the tail end of years upon years of complete lies. It follows lies about the economy, lies about Obama, lies about Hillary Clinton, lies about Joe Biden, lies about supposed socialism coming to eat your kids, lies about crowd sizes, lies about hurricane paths drawn on a map with a Donald Trump Sharpie, and lies about covid-19. One outgoing Republican Congressman thinks enough is enough and that people should just start telling the truth. Whether that might mean that they someday lose a seat in Congress and have to do other work, so be it — their job is to be public servants working on behalf of Americans, not public liars and professional conspiracy theorists.
Let me be clear — I don’t expect Republicans (or Democrats, for that matter) to completely stop spinning and misleading people. To some degree, the act of political persuasion is going to bleed over into misleading statements. It happens, and this world is not a saintly paradise.
However, given that things have gotten so ridiculous, I do think Republicans need to seriously consider the effects of continuous blatant lies year after year. The Republican Party is the only major political party in the world that denies clear climate science. The party has played with and pushed voodoo economics for approximately 40 years, leading to the unhappy voters who haven’t perfectly seen through those lies but who were unhappy enough with politicians screwing them to elect Donald Trump (a career con man who, incidentally, has screwed them even more). Many members of the party pushed birtherism nonsense for years, claiming that Obama wasn’t born in the United States, which — again — ushered in the horrendous Trump presidency.
Herman Cain, one of the top candidates for the Republican presidential nomination in the early days of the last round of Republican primaries, has died of of covid-19, after downplaying it like most other Republicans and contracting the coronavirus at a mostly mask-less Trump rally.
There are many other disastrous examples to point out, but the message is clear: ignoring reality has resulted in horrible, horrible outcomes. So, at what point is it more worthwhile for Republican politicians to realign with reality instead of pushing one falsehood after another, one laughable (but influential) conspiracy theory after another?
At what point is their oath to the Constitution and to the American people worth more than scoring a few political points with the most extreme portions of their voting base?
End of Day 7: Trump is down nearly 5 million votes and he and his allies are 0-12 in court.🥳
— Marc E. Elias (@marceelias) November 11, 2020
NO FRAUD. IT’S. ALL. A. LIE. https://t.co/LSHtbBBZwl
— John Farrell ☀️🌬🔋 (@johnffarrell) November 11, 2020
Sen. Chris Murphy: on Senate floor “There is an epidemic of delusion that is spreading out from the White House and infecting the entire Republican Party in the wake of this election.”
“President Trump didn’t win the election. Every single one of my colleagues knows this”
— Burgess Everett (@burgessev) November 10, 2020
The Trump legal challenges are:
a) Embarrassing bullshit
b) Unable to flip a single state to Trump even if some right-wing judge decides that they’re NOT embarrassing bullshit
There is zero excuse for Republican politicians to let Trump drag this out.
— Jon Favreau (@jonfavs) November 10, 2020
So that Erie postal worker made a bunch of sh!t up about voter fraud.
That means the only documented voter fraud in PA is *still* my dude in Luzerne County voting for Trump with his dead mom’s ballot.
“Audit” seems to be going well. 😆https://t.co/NsbOOCwdt6
— John Fetterman (@JohnFetterman) November 10, 2020
REUTERS/IPSOS POLL: About 80% of Americans, including more than half of Republicans, say Biden won presidential race
— Jesse Rodriguez (@JesseRodriguez) November 10, 2020
That’s the thing with coups, you don’t know for sure (from the outside) until it actually happens unless some insider tries to save his country or his ass when he realizes these clowns can’t execute so “I better cut a deal” .
— Fantasy Island (@pelotonattacker) November 10, 2020
The guy McMaster fired, and whose wife does PR for the Russian government. https://t.co/QPnTCEPR6W
— Mac Bowser (@ChiefBowser) November 11, 2020
An ideologue installed & protected by Kushner, Bannon & Gorka & whose wife did PR for the Russian govt. pic.twitter.com/WPHzhshO3o
— Marisa Fox (@marisafox) November 11, 2020
The fourth Defence official in 2 days:
Esper, Anderson, Kernan, and stewart gone.
A purging of high ranking military or civilian officials at defense and the elevation of strangely unqualified people to those positions is how dictatorships enforced by the military are born.
— KMH1976 (@KMH19761) November 10, 2020
— Roger Sollenberger (@SollenbergerRC) November 10, 2020
Houston, we have a problem. Is anyone going to stand up for American ideals and start telling the truth about important matters?
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