On Saturday, after extra-cautious vetting of incoming vote counts, the press officially anointed Joe Biden and Kamala Harris President and Vice President-Elect of the United States. Chaos ensued, though admittedly not the kind I, a seasoned cynic, expected.
Across the nation, a spontaneous celebration filled the streets as the psychic weight of Trump was collectively—officially!—lifted from our necks. Yeah, MAGA types mobilized too, grumping angrily around state capitals in their military cosplay and fascist fetish gear, screaming conspiracy theories that ranged from stolen votes and lizard overlords to yarns about dorky computer moguls injecting children with microchips for nefarious yet nebulous reasons.
It was the first time in four years their narcissistic nationalistic hubris orgies didn’t feel like a too-personal affront to humanity’s evolution.
— Joe Biden (@JoeBiden) November 9, 2020
With just a single headline I’d been, at least temporarily, cured of my visceral disgust for their outpourings of vainglorious outrage. I ignored or even rejoiced in their chanting masses of misplaced pride as I scrolled through social media feeds dominated by dancing in the streets. Decency, common sense, science… It seemed it’d actually won. Trump would be packing it in, choking on his own vile discharge, headed to an afterlife rife with civil litigation and criminal investigations, karmically relegated to Tweeting from golf courses at his own expense.
For that all-too-brief segue between post-election vote count ulcer farming and whatever a suddenly brighter future holds it became easy to smugly shake my head at the hate herd’s tiki torches, Punisher skulls, geriatric flags from the losing side of history, and thin blue lines. Fuck your feelings, indeed! The algorithm was righting itself, and, as anyone raised on Star Trek & Wars knows, good had vanquished evil.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 10, 2020
Of course, today victory weekend is in the rearview, plotting future super spreader status, and we’re back in the thick of a divided, dystopic nation.
Trump is, naturally, refusing to concede, blabbering on about stolen elections and voter fraud. This isn’t surprising: he’ll keep doing that until he’s walked out of the White House one way or another in January, pockets bulging with Presidential silverware and ‘Don wuz here’ freshly carved into an Oval Office desk his hateful barrage of executive order signing already defiled beyond salvation. But he’s on the outs, right? Even Fox News, the Murdoch family’s right-wing propaganda machine, referred to Biden as president-elect.
It’s becoming awkward that very few Republicans will do the same.
Instead, they’re falling in line spouting conspiracy theory rhetoric and insisting the ‘truth will come out’ on every available airwave. Even as Kushner and Melania try to figure out how to make Daddy Donnie face the truth everyone has known since… Well, since the 80s, but, in this case, since Saturday: that he’s a yuge loser, legions of lawyers are sharpening their teeth to dig into the GOP’s deep pockets and our nation’s bloated legal system.
Wait, didn’t Biden win, fair and square? Yes. Of course, he did. But this is 2020, and if there’s one thing we all know, it’s that truth is just one perspective, and the real truth depends on your social media biosphere.
So, off to court we go.
No fewer than ten Republican-controlled states jointly filed a thinly veiled politically motivated brief with the U.S. Supreme Court today, demanding it review a Pennsylvania State Supreme Court ruling from September allowing three days past last Tuesday’s election day for the receipt and counting of mail-in ballots. Now, that even if the conservative-majority top court overrules the order—and voids the votes—Biden’s lead of 45,000 votes in the PA is likely still decisive. In fact, his leads in all the potentially contested states are considered decisive. Despite multiple forthcoming suits seeking to, if nothing else, shed doubt on our nation’s electoral process, many in Trump’s legal team seems to see the writing on the wall.
The battle for the integrity of the election is far from over. Multiple states have filed challenges. We’re ready to take action as well. But we need you in our fight to defend election integrity & the Constitution. Join us – sign & RT now. https://t.co/Z70gRrrhvk
— Jay Sekulow (@JaySekulow) November 11, 2020
‘I need to tell everybody this: that this is not a simple task. It’s a tall order… It’d be a miracle, in one sense, because everything has to line up, but you don’t stop fighting until there’s a point where the courts rule against you,’ Trump lawyer Jay Sekulow admitted to Politico. ‘You have to line up a lot of dominoes, as we say, would have to fall in the right direction for that to happen.’
So, could this tantrum of sore loser legal hysterics reverse Biden’s status as the next president of the United States? Almost certainly not. But it does lay a foundation for Republicans to continue manipulating their pathetic base herd of angst sheep. They’re gonna need to keep all these incel ‘free thinker’ ‘patriots’ distracted while they cast about for a more charismatic candidate to run in 2024.
That’s the real threat, folks.
It’s imperative that Dems not get complacent now that they’ve seemingly restored some sense of order. Standing around forming intelligible sentences won’t be enough to keep a tide of hate from drowning these United States like so many climate change oceans under a more organized authoritarian – fascist, nationalist, racist – character. Reversing what Trump has wrought won’t stop Trumpism and its festering normalization of the worst parts of ourselves. Even once all the election legalese is laid to rest, the real fight will just be starting.
Today, President-elect Joe Biden took part in separate congratulatory calls with the leaders of France, Germany, Ireland, and the United Kingdom. pic.twitter.com/vCyAVVF3qw
— Biden-Harris Presidential Transition (@Transition46) November 10, 2020
Speaking of ‘real threats,’ just today Commandante Donny ditched Defense Secretary Mark Esper, who, most notably, refused to consider deploying the military onto U.S. streets to deal with protestors. He’s been replaced with Trump toady Chris Miller (nope, not the skater, don’t worry). Now experts worry Trump, lashing out in his final days, could also fire the heads of the CIA and FBI as he settles scores and does his best to create chaos, all while pursuing what amounts to a legal coup attempt to retain the presidency.
Installing lackies in top defence positions isn’t new for Trump, but for a delusional narcissist who insists on loyalty above all else, it’s a scary and curious time to be shaking things up like this. What will he do in the next couple months, especially as, almost certainly, his legal challenges to Biden’s victory are tossed aside? Deploy troops in the streets? Invade Iran? Spill state secrets and undercut national security?
All of this, and more, is beyond possible.
“I think there is a lot that’s going to happen over the next 75 days as Trump carries out vendettas, settles scores and tries to position himself for his next act,” former CIA director John Brennan told NBC News. “He is a totally unprincipled, unethical individual. I don’t think anything is beyond him, and that’s very scary to say.”
Very, very scary.