Patterico's Pontifications

11/23/2020

Do GOP Senators Keeping Silent About Trump’s Shenanigans Desrerve to Be Re-Elected?

Filed under: General — Dana @ 10:02 am



[guest post by Dana]

Carl Bernstein names Republican senators whom he claims have privately expressed their disdain at the behavior and actions of President Trump. However, most have remained silent in public. It’s good to know who they are when re-election time rolls around:

Political reporters in Washington, D.C., have been saying a lot of Republicans in Congress privately despise President Trump, but few have publicly criticized him — and likewise, few have publicly acknowledged his defeat to President-elect Joe Biden. Carl Bernstein, one half of the journalistic duo that uncovered President Richard Nixon’s Watergate scandal, named 21 names on Sunday night, saying that in private conversations, these Republicans senators “have repeatedly expressed extreme contempt for Trump” and his fitness to be president.

The 21 senators he named include names you would expect, but also some surprises, like Sen. John Cornyn (Texas), Sen. Rick Scott (Fla.), and Senate Majority Whip John Thune (S.D.). The other 18 GOP senators are Rob Portman (Ohio), Lamar Alexander (Tenn.), Ben Sasse (Neb.), Roy Blunt (Mo.), Susan Collins (Maine), Lisa Murkowski (Alaska), Mitt Romney (Utah), Mike Braun (Ind.), Todd Young (Ind.), Tim Scott (S.D.), Marco Rubio (Fla.), Chuck Grassley (Iowa), Richard Burr (N.C.), Pat Toomey (Pa.), Martha McSally (Ariz.), Jerry Moran (Kansas), Pat Roberts (Kansas), and Richard Shelby (Ala.).

There are, however, Republican senators willing to make public stands when it comes to Trump. We know that Sen. Romney has been publicly vocal about Trump for quite some time, including breaking from his party and voting to convict the President on one of two charges, abuse of power. He was not hesitant about publicly claiming that the President needed to be removed from office. Along with Romney, a few Republican senators have been willing to publicly criticize Trump for his post-election shenanigans:

Sens. Susan Collins of Maine, Mitt Romney of Utah and Ben Sasse of Nebraska, each of whom has been critical of Trump in the past, were the only Republicans to tackle the president’s actions head-on.

“There is a right way and a wrong way for the incumbent President to pursue his rights to contest what he perceives as election irregularities,” Collins said in a statement. “The right way is to compile the evidence and mount legal challenges in our courts. The wrong way is to attempt to pressure state election officials.”

She added, “The states should proceed to certify their election results as scheduled.”

Romney, in comments late Thursday, was harsher.

“Having failed to make even a plausible case of widespread fraud or conspiracy before any court of law, the President has now resorted to overt pressure on state and local officials to subvert the will of the people and overturn the election,” he said. “It is difficult to imagine a worse, more undemocratic action by a sitting American President.”

Trump, perhaps illustrating why Republicans fear his wrath, fired back in a tweet that Romney is a “RINO” — a Republican in name only — who got “slaughter[ed]” by Barack Obama.

Sasse said in a detailed statement that whenever Trump’s lawyers have had a chance to allege voter fraud in court, they have backed down “because there are legal consequences for lying to judges.” The senator singled out a Thursday news conference by Trump lawyer Rudolph W. Giuliani, calling it a farce that provided no evidence of electoral malfeasance.

A few other senators have now publicly acknowledged Joe Biden as the President-elect, and encouraged President Trump to stop undermining democracy with a “pressure campaign” to change the election it o outcome:

There is no doubt that the vast majority of the senators who have chosen to remain silent have done so to protect their political futures. Self-preservation is a top priority. They are far less concerned with the undermining of U.S. elections than they are about positioning themselves for a re-election win when the time comes. Especially those in tough districts. But what does it say about an elected official who chooses to ignore a sitting President of the United States’ Herculean efforts to undermine our democracy, and harm the electoral system while constantly – and falsely – asserting that the election was “rigged” and that Biden could have only won through illegitimate means? If these elected officials cannot make a public stand against something as unprecedented and important as a sitting president waging a losing battle over an election outcome by making baseless claims of fraud and having them repeatedly rejected by the courts, why would voters trust them to stand up for, well, anything that concerns them?

After all, the futile efforts by our deluded President are not without likely long-term impacts on future elections:

Justin Levitt, a Loyola Law School professor who specializes in election law, called the Trump lawsuits dangerous.

“It is a sideshow, but it’s a harmful sideshow,” Levitt said. “It’s a toxic sideshow. The continuing baseless, evidence-free claims of alternative facts are actually having an effect on a substantial number of Americans. They are creating the conditions for elections not to work in the future.”

–Dana

165 Responses to “Do GOP Senators Keeping Silent About Trump’s Shenanigans Desrerve to Be Re-Elected?”

  1. Our votes are worth more than this. Publicly standing up against wrong – no matter the professional risk – should be a risk that elected officials are willing to take on behalf of the people they represent.

    Dana (6995e0)

  2. This might be an unpopular opinion with a lot of commenters here, but given the circumstances I think the majority of the GOP is doing reasonably well in slowly breaking from President Trump. I know a lot of people here wanted to see them tell him to fold his tent, pack it up, and hit the road on November 5, if not November 3, but I think that all in all most of the people named above have let the process play out appropriately and are now making it clear that there will be a new administration come January 20.

    JVW (ee64e4)

  3. I also think Trump is acting in a very petulant manner, but the idea that his actions will somehow become the norm for a Presidential election loser is vastly overblown.

    JVW (ee64e4)

  4. JVW, the sitting president of the United States just went to court to disenfranchise every voter in the sixth most populous state, on the basis of zero evidence.

    How is anything short of demanding his immediate resignation “doing reasonably well”?

    Dave (1bb933)

  5. I also think Trump is acting in a very petulant manner, but the idea that his actions will somehow become the norm for a Presidential election loser is vastly overblown.

    The fact that you are prepared to minimize and excuse what’s going on proves exactly the opposite.

    Dave (1bb933)

  6. JVW,

    My concern is that self-preservation wins the day for the vast majority of GOP senators. We are now three weeks out from the election. How many of Trump’s claims been proven thus far? Has he made any move toward ensuring a smooth transition of power? Has he been steadfastly focused on making sure the Biden transition team is up to date on everything necessary, including Biden and his security briefings? At what point are he and his sycophants simply stonewalling the inevitable?

    Why are only five senators willing to go on record and say what needs to be said. Not just for the sake of the nation, but for their own integrity as well.

    Dana (6995e0)

  7. The coup is still underway in Pennsylvania:

    Republicans ask Pennsylvania court to issue emergency order to immediately block vote certification

    Republicans in Pennsylvania are asking a state court to step in on an emergency basis to stop the vote certification there. The move comes just hours before most counties are expected to officially certify and Secretary of State Kathy Boockvar signs off.

    The lawsuit was filed by GOP Rep. Mike Kelly and others on Saturday. It alleges that Pennsylvania’s allowance of universal, no-excuse mail-in balloting was unconstitutional. The lawsuit seeks an immediate halt to the certification process and an invalidation of all mail-in ballots.

    Now, with 65 of the 67 counties in the state expected to have meetings shortly to certify their election results, plaintiffs are asking the state board to immediately issue an injunction, writing: “the Court must intervene immediately in order to prevent further, irreparable injury from the resulting wrongs of an election conducted pursuant to an unconstitutional and invalid mail-in voting scheme.”

    Philadelphia County is expected to meet Monday or Tuesday, depending on this pending lawsuit. According to the Washington Post, Berks County does not intend to certify until Wednesday.

    This year there were 2,612,091 mail-in ballots cast for the general election in Pennsylvania.

    They couldn’t convince a judge to disenfranchise all 7 million PA voters, so now they’ll settle for 2.6 million…

    Disgusting.

    Dave (1bb933)

  8. JVW,

    I continually feel like we should be expecting more from our elected officials. The bar should be raised for them, and they should not be allowed to “hide-out”. So far, we have five senators who have publicly stepped forward. That means that the vast majority are remaining silent. I don’t think that speaks well for them. Not with what we’ve consistently seen happen to Trump’s complaints in the courts.

    Dana (6995e0)

  9. If you like your virus, you can keep your virus:

    The Michigan State Board of Canvassers is meeting now to vote on certifying the state’s election results, a step that would formally grant President-elect Joe Biden the state’s 16 electoral votes.

    Norman Shinkle, one of the Republican members of the board who CNN has previously reported is likely to vote against certification, is not wearing a mask. Shinkle appears to be the only person in the room not wearing a mask.

    Death cultists gonna death cult.

    Dave (1bb933)

  10. Trump attorney Lin Wood tells Republican supporters NOT to back GOP candidates in the Georgia runoff election because they’ve ‘failed’ to help the President’s fight to overturn the election

    Good advice. Like Rudy when he was US Attorney and mayor, Lin Wood was admirable in his defense of Richard Jewell, but he has really gone rogue.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  11. I’m of the opinion that a 50-50 Senate in which the median vote is Senator Manchin is unlikely to be a hotbed of radicalism.

    But on the question of the cowardice of Republican senators, what this situation really seems to reveal is their utter despair at the thought of being able to explain their positions thoughtfully to their voters. Senators have power, but it’s not clear many people listen to their voices much in the ocean of slanted news, internet conspiracy theories, your best friend’s facebook post and partisan pundits with a financial incentive to keep stirring the pot.

    Of course that is being generous. Maybe they are just cowards.

    Victor (4959fb)

  12. McSally’s history is instructive. Her 2018 campaign had her winning the nomination over 2 other candidates who were totally Trumpists. She lost the general because enough Trump partisans stayed home or voted for the Democrat.

    She was then appointed to fill McCain’s seat and she made nice with Trump, since not making nice was fatal in AZ. She lost again because 1) Trump’s people never forgive a slight and 2) she was up against a candidate who made her pay with the middle for siding with Trump.

    The answer here is that Trump’s toxic legions are irrational single-issue voters who will suicide against any GOP candidate who does not kiss the ring. And kissing the ring screws them with the center.

    Now you might say, “But Principle!” but that doesn’t really matter much in a system where principle is fairly uncommon. Of the Senators listed, Romney is able to be principled as he has a sinecure seat and also doesn’t really care all that much about getting re-elected anyway.

    WHen voting against some of these less-principled folk you really have to ask yourself two things:

    1) Is the opponent principled herself? and
    2) Are those “principles” ones I would stand for in my own party?

    Bernie Sanders has principles.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  13. Trump set on veto of defense bill over renaming bases honoring Confederates

    So this is where Trump will make his “principled” stand. Not quite San Juan Hill.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  14. Shorter: Most Republicans who are not assured of re-election are keeping silent, since they cannot support Trump but don’t want to paint a target on their backs. Until they have to, like Toomey, who kept silent until forced to defend PA vs Trump.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  15. We are living in interesting times, JVW. I’m with you all the way.

    felipe (023cc9)

  16. I will note that last week, John Cornyn and Ted Cruz publicly made comments about the election outcome and lawsuits:

    “It will probably be Joe Biden,” U.S. Sen. John Cornyn told reporters on Monday, offering his strongest pushback yet to the president’s assertions. “I haven’t seen anything that would change the outcome.”

    U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, who has described Trump’s legal challenges of the election results as an “uphill battle,” has yet to go so far. But Cruz has voiced frustration with the president’s legal team. For Cornyn and Cruz, the final weeks of Trump’s term have resumed the same rhythm that has held for much of his presidency.

    Dana (6995e0)

  17. Not quite San Juan Hill.

    And the wrong side for Little Round Top.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  18. Lawfare is a double edged sword. Trump is not wielding that sword particularly well, but I blame those who employed it against him only slightly more effectively the past four years, thereby putting it in his hands.

    beer ‘n pretzels (042d67)

  19. I’m of the opinion that a 50-50 Senate in which the median vote is Senator Manchin is unlikely to be a hotbed of radicalism.

    Nor will it be one that dumps the filibuster. If it did we’d have the spectacle of VP Harris voting to overturn her own ruling.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  20. Trump Supporter Accused of Breathing on Protesters Charged With Assault

    Since the election, I’ve seen more and more mask-hostility here. Where before there was no one unmasked in stores, we now have people taking their masks off after betting past the bouncer. They all have that redneck vibe about them.

    Do you suppose there is a meme about “making them pay” for voting out their hero?

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  21. So this is where Trump will make his “principled” stand.

    A traitorous loser wants our military bases named after other traitorous losers.

    Makes total sense.

    Dave (1bb933)

  22. Lawfare is a double edged sword. Trump is not wielding that sword particularly well

    He’s holding the wrong end.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  23. Toomey already announced that he won’t run for re-election in 2022.

    So he’s a typical Profile in Courage.

    Dave (1bb933)

  24. Whitmer, courts could take action if Board of State Canvassers fails to certify
    …..
    Legal experts do not expect the courts would fail to order the board to certify the election since Michigan election law is so clear on the board’s legal obligation to do so. If the two Republican members of the State Board of Canvassers fail to certify Michigan’s election results, legal experts expect lawsuits filed in the Michigan Court of Appeals would result in the court ordering the board to certify and expect an order would be upheld by the Michigan Supreme Court.
    …..
    But even if the courts did not force board members to comply with the law, experts say that Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has the authority to take action against board members refusing to certify the results.

    Under state law, the members of the Board of State Canvassers are required to certify election results if the Michigan’s 83 counties have canvassed and certified theirs. The members of the Board of State Canvassers are executive officers and Michigan’s Constitution gives the governor the power to remove officers “for gross neglect of duty.”
    ……

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  25. Tricky Mitch.

    Many people say… Mitch got exactly what he wanted out of this election. McConnell keeps his title while Trump loses his.

    noel (9fead1)

  26. One Republican board member suggests he will certify Michigan votes

    One of the two Republican members of the Michigan Board of State Canvassers signaled that he will certify the election results.

    In his first public comments since the election, Aaron Van Langevelde gave a strong signal that he will vote to certify.

    “I think we are pretty limited today. I think we have a duty to do this,” Van Langevelde said.

    Dave (1bb933)

  27. Toomey already announced that he won’t run for re-election in 2022.
    So he’s a typical Profile in Courage.

    Romney virtue signals from the reddest state in the country. Courage.

    beer ‘n pretzels (042d67)

  28. These are the final spasms of this Presidency…..and they’re going to go out creating as much drama and scandal as they can muster. Some congressman are trying to figure out what will be Trump’s next play out of office, will FNC, Talk Radio, and the internet keep milking the drama, and will his base let it end or will they demand some sort of renewal of the Trump Show. My desire for clear GOP opposition to Trump and his schtick was rejected long ago…so I know I need to be patient for more of these officials to come around. They know where I stand and they don’t really care…I’m OK with that because I know where they were at when decency needed them….

    AJ_Liberty (ec7f74)

  29. Maybe he will beaten a 2nd time by a black man e.g. Burgess Owens in the ’24 primary.

    urbanleftbehind (2d42a9)

  30. Since the election, I’ve seen more and more mask-hostility here.

    When you say “here”, do you mean PP, or this country? With the exceptions like Gryph, I think most posters where masks because local regulations require it and they provide some protection from passing/receiving the virus. For me, I where a mask when I am out in public in a crowd or businesses require it, but not when I am outside and alone.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  31. I hope that is right, Dave. If certification boards start to think that they can veto an election, things could get ugly.

    noel (9fead1)

  32. They are far less concerned with the undermining of U.S. elections than they are about positioning themselves for a re-election win when the time comes. Especially those in tough districts. But what does it say about an elected official who chooses to ignore a sitting President of the United States’ Herculean efforts to undermine our democracy, and harm the electoral system while constantly – and falsely – asserting that the election was “rigged” and that Biden could have only won through illegitimate means? If these elected officials cannot make a public stand against something as unprecedented and important as a sitting president waging a losing battle over an election outcome by making baseless claims of fraud and having them repeatedly rejected by the courts, why would voters trust them to stand up for, well, anything that concerns them?

    This is indeed the question, but it begs others:

    Are their opponents more principled? Denouncing Trump is not much of a test for a Democrat. Do those Democrats object when one of their number is beyond the pale? How many of them objected when Biden said that Romney wanted to reinstitute slavery? This isn’t whatabboutism, it’s just a statement that principle is fleeting in politics.

    Do those others have principles in their normal day-to-day politics that are just as corrosive? The hard Left’s confiscatory plans and willingness to compel obedience to their moral imperatives could be called both principled and an attack on our freedoms.

    Are others invoking power that seem dictatorial and destructive of democratic norms right now? How many of their compatriots are objecting, or even tolerating others objecting to lockdowns that certainly destroy livelihoods but only maybe help with Covid (frankly you’d have to lock up everyone between 15 and 35 to have any real effect on careless transmission right now).

    Yes, I’d prefer that more senators would denounce Trump’s actions, which I abhor. But I would also prefer that we did not have a super-majority Senate and House.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  33. I guess this could be the whatabout response for the no-maskers of the muh freedoms stripe:
    https://www.boston25news.com/news/local/maine-family-says-man-intentionally-coughed-them-not-wearing-masks/2D66S3XGENGJ5L2OREEFFRILUU/

    urbanleftbehind (2d42a9)

  34. One Republican board member suggests he will certify Michigan votes

    The two members were pretty spectactularly doxxed by the media. I’m surprised that either is willing to stick their neck out. It’s lose-lose worse for them.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  35. Romney virtue signals from the reddest state in the country. Courage.

    Which means he can be primaried with absolutely no chance of the seat flipping parties, if he gets out of step with his constituents.

    Do you even think about the illogical nonsense you post?

    Dave (1bb933)

  36. From Dana’s main post:

    But what does it say about an elected official who chooses to ignore a sitting President of the United States’ Herculean efforts to undermine our democracy, and harm the electoral system while constantly – and falsely – asserting that the election was “rigged” and that Biden could have only won through illegitimate means?

    Nothing really. Let the process play out, that way there’s certainty that the Trump campaign did what they could.

    My concern is that self-preservation wins the day for the vast majority of GOP senators.

    Dana, unless they have “F you” money or in a safe seat, self-preservation takes precedent. These are politicians, not some moral authority.

    @2

    This might be an unpopular opinion with a lot of commenters here, but given the circumstances I think the majority of the GOP is doing reasonably well in slowly breaking from President Trump. I know a lot of people here wanted to see them tell him to fold his tent, pack it up, and hit the road on November 5, if not November 3, but I think that all in all most of the people named above have let the process play out appropriately and are now making it clear that there will be a new administration come January 20.

    JVW (ee64e4) — 11/23/2020 @ 10:09 am

    This is my sentiment as well.

    whembly (15c62b)

  37. Do these GOP senators who refuse to stop Trump deserve to be re-elected?

    No. And I did my part to punish one Senator for his failures, even though I am still a registered Republican. Unfortunately, way too many didn’t.

    noel (9fead1)

  38. The two members were pretty spectactularly doxxed by the media.

    They were? Their names are public record, and the Trumpnik’s wife signed on to the court case aimed at stealing the election, so I’m not sure to what extent you think they should be able to remain anonymous.

    Dave (1bb933)

  39. 7000 Hasidim singing and dancing at crowded maskless wedding of Grand Rabbi’s grandson.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LVroR67FRcA

    The Sunday night wedding capped a three-day affair, which began Friday night with four hours of festivities, and continued Saturday with Sabbath services, including a bris of an 8-day-old boy.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  40. They were? Their names are public record, and the Trumpnik’s wife signed on to the court case aimed at stealing the election, so I’m not sure to what extent you think they should be able to remain anonymous.

    They were not anonymous, but the media sure made certain that everyone knew their names. There’s a difference between obscurely “on record” and being named in the first paragraph in every MSM soty.

    Lots of things are public records. Who I donated to in ech election is a public record, but that does not mean it’s OK to use that to intimidate me, and these people were thoroughly intimidated. I am willing to bet they got death threats from both sides as a result.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  41. *story.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  42. No. And I did my part to punish one Senator for his failures, even though I am still a registered Republican. Unfortunately, way too many didn’t.

    So, you would rather vote for someone whose principles, if they have any, are diametrically opposed to yours because you’d like to feel good about yourself?

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  43. Some comrades talk about “lawfare” like they want us to forget that Roy Cohn’s slicked up boy toy, a/k/a Donald John Trump, probably holds the world record for lawsuits at around 4,000. He is the original boy named Sue.

    nk (1d9030)

  44. OTOH, I am debating whether to quit the GOP again. On the one hand, I am done with the Trumpist assh0les how have wrecked the party, but on the other hand I am unwilling to leave it to them. It will depend on the direction going forward and the RNC chairperson election will be instructive. I hope it’s a secret ballot.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  45. *how = who

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  46. probably holds the world record for lawsuits at around 4,000

    For individuals, perhaps. The ACLU may have the record though.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  47. This might be an unpopular opinion with a lot of commenters here, but given the circumstances I think the majority of the GOP is doing reasonably well in slowly breaking from President Trump. I know a lot of people here wanted to see them tell him to fold his tent, pack it up, and hit the road on November 5, if not November 3, but I think that all in all most of the people named above have let the process play out appropriately and are now making it clear that there will be a new administration come January 20.

    JVW (ee64e4) — 11/23/2020 @ 10:09 am

    My concern is what happens when someone who isn’t an incompetent clown tries the same thing. Trump’s a buffoon with clowns for lawyers. He’s barely creating a pretext that his claims have a legitimate basis and his political team is slooowly moving away from him.

    GOP leaders that apparently know better but are too timid to say that his claims are garbage are enabling this and making the situation worse in the long term.

    What happens if the next corrupt populist that tries this isn’t a clown represented by the likes of Sidney Powell and Rudy?
    What happens if both candidates try it in a closer election?

    Time123 (653992)

  48. Which means he can be primaried with absolutely no chance of the seat flipping parties

    Not a big chance of that, actually. Utah’s vote was probably not pro-Trump but anti-socialist. One wonders though what Mike Lee is thinking.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  49. Which means he can be primaried with absolutely no chance of the seat flipping parties, if he gets out of step with his constituents.
    Do you even think about the illogical nonsense you post?

    Romney. Utah. Yeah, OK Dave.

    beer ‘n pretzels (042d67)

  50. The two members were pretty spectactularly doxxed by the media. I’m surprised that either is willing to stick their neck out. It’s lose-lose worse for them.

    It is a legal (“shall”) requirement for the canvass board to certify the results (see post 26, and here); refusal to do so is akin to a mutiny against the Michigan Constitutuion.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  51. Senators John Cornyn (Texas), Lamar Alexander (Tenn.), Ben Sasse (Neb.), Roy Blunt (Mo.), Susan Collins (Maine), Lisa Murkowski (Alaska), Mitt Romney (Utah), Marco Rubio (Fla) and Richard Shelby (Ala.) Have said things in public.

    Maybe they haven’t said that Donald Trump never should have been president, or carrying on like this after the election is wrong, or is harming the public good or harming the Republican Party, but they have been quoted as saying he should concede.

    . We know that Sen. Romney has been publicly vocal about Trump for quite some time,

    But he, as well as Susan Collins and Ben Sasse is on Carl Bernstein’s list as apparently not expressing the full force of either their personal contempt for Donald Trump or their opinion of his unfitness to be president.

    Who’s not on this list? I guess someone who won’t say anything critical about Trump to a reporter in private – like maybe Mitch McConnell. Everybody else is holding at least something back.

    For that matter so is Joe Biden!

    He said: “How can I say this tactfully? I think it will not help the president’s legacy.”

    And another time while he said it was outrageous he also said that it was not up to him to question his motives. But he couldn’t figure out how “this man” thinks. He surely knows he lost.

    Sammy Finkelman (8a31dc)

  52. My concern is what happens when someone who isn’t an incompetent clown tries the same thing.

    Attempting to use state legislatures to overturn their state’s voters. Already happened in a number of states that have signed on to the execrable “Popular Vote Compact” that will, if enacted, leave a presidential election in tatters within my lifetime.

    This election is well and truly decided, and that’s obvious to all but the dead-enders. Trump would do better with Baghdad Bob than Giuliani anyway.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  53. I am debating whether to quit the GOP again.

    I am fighting the urge to register as a Democrat. Simply because it’s the only (admittedly futile and insignificant) step left on the table to express my disgust.

    But because nobody would care if I registered as a Democrat, there’s no point in doing it.

    Quitting the GOP was different, because remaining a member would have associated me with Trump, and now the sycophants who kowtow to him.

    Dave (1bb933)

  54. It is a legal (“shall”) requirement for the canvass board to certify the results

    Their actions are more than ministerial, at least from the law you linked to. If they consider the counting incomplete or otherwise flawed they can decline and await corrected returns. What is the penalty for voting No? Other than permanently being barred from such a position in the future.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  55. But because nobody would care if I registered as a Democrat, there’s no point in doing it.

    I don’t think anybody would be surprised.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  56. Attempting to use state legislatures to overturn their state’s voters.

    Kevin, in states where the PVIC has passed, it was passed and signed into by elected representatives, and it will be known to be operative *prior to* any election where it is in effect. You can criticize it as bad policy, but it is entirely in line with the principles of representative democracy.

    I think comparing that to “overturning” (their word) an election after the fact because you didn’t like the outcome, is shamefully dishonest.

    Dave (1bb933)

  57. The problem in “slowly breaking from President Trump” is that it means the transition process is, right now, stumbling because Biden is not getting money or access. Open pressure from Republican senators on the GSA and Trump might be enough to stop the obstruction. Playing for time, appeasing the base, protecting your butt; these are all not zero cost tactics. They are causing current real time harm. The Republican senators are being irresponsible.

    Victor (4959fb)

  58. Quitting the GOP was different, because remaining a member would have associated me with Trump, and now the sycophants who kowtow to him.

    Would it not be better to help rid the party of such, rather than abandon it to them?

    Alternatively help like minded people to form a successor party.

    Beginning the Process of Qualifying a Political Party (California)

    Whenever a group of electors desires to qualify a new political party, the group shall form a political body by carrying out the following two requirements (Elections Code § 5001):

    Hold a Caucus or Convention

    The group of electors must hold a caucus or convention at which temporary officers shall be elected and a party name designated. The designated name shall not be so similar to the name of an existing party so as to mislead the voters, and shall not conflict with that of any existing political party or other political body.

    Filing Notice with Secretary of State

    Following the convention, the group must file a formal notice with the Secretary of State. The notice must contain the following information:

    That the political body has organized,
    That the political body elected temporary officers,
    That the political body intends to qualify a political party pursuant to Elections Code section 5100 or 5151, but not both, and
    The names and addresses of the temporary officers of the political body.

    Upon receipt of the above notice, the Secretary of State will notify county elections officials of the name of the political body, its intent to qualify as a political party, and whether it intends to qualify for the next primary election or for the next presidential general election. (Elections Code § 5002.)

    A political body is entitled, upon request to the Secretary of State, to have counted toward its qualification as a political party, affidavits of registration in which voters disclosed a preference with the political body prior to the date the political body filed the above notice. This request must be made within the first 70 days after filing the notice. (Elections Code § 5003.)

    There are additional steps to become ballot qualified, of course.

    https://www.sos.ca.gov/elections/political-parties/political-party-qualification

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  59. I don’t think anybody would be surprised.

    Why?

    I am one of the most conservative commenters on this blog in economic and national security issues. Certainly moreso than you (which is fine, but you’re the one throwing stones).

    On social issues, I am very much a centrist.

    Dave (1bb933)

  60. it is entirely in line with the principles of representative democracy.

    Done, as it was here, without hearings or public comment, as the first act of a new governor it was hardly democratic. I even question it being representative as it is patently not in the state’s interest to subsume itself into the megastates’ decisions. New Mexico would not be seen and meaningful or worth bothering to listen to in a urban-cominated election.

    This was done to assist the national party, not New Mexico and greatly devalues the votes of New Mexicans in a presidential election. It is an usurpation.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  61. Do GOP Senators Keeping Silent About Trump’s Shenanigans Desrerve to Be Re-Elected?

    Ask Lindsey Graham and John Cornyn.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  62. The only reason that the Compact vote was not controversial is that it has no immediate effect. Wait until it comes into effect 30 seconds before a pesidential election and you’ll hear the screaming. Part of why I say that any close election conducted under such an arrangement will be challenged at every level. Starting with the Compact being illegal.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  63. But, Dave, this is why I am actually surprised you still call yourself a Republican. I am having trouble remembering the last Democrat idea you opposed or Republican (not just Trump) idea you supported.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  64. What is the penalty for voting No? Other than permanently being barred from such a position in the future.

    They can be removed and replaced immediately by the Governor.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  65. They can be removed and replaced immediately by the Governor.

    Well, OK then. What’s the big issue?

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  66. . “It’s a toxic sideshow. The continuing baseless, evidence-free claims of alternative facts are actually having an effect on a substantial number of Americans.

    Over the past weekend I had some relatively short conversations with 2 or 3 people who told me some bits and pieces of what is being said. They thought I was the ignorant one. But it’s not coming drectly from Trump as from what’s on the radio and the like.

    Now, one person, who works on Election Day at the polls told me that some Sephardic Jews complained that their names were not on the list of voters and yet they voted last year, and she saw a bit of that at her table too. Of coursee that’s not the same thing as any allegations coming from Rudy Giuliani. We don;t hear it elsewhere, but there was a closely contested State Senate race in the 22nd State Senate district (population in 2010, approximately 307,356) with advertisements on citywide television against the Democratic incumbent as being responsible for changes in criminal justice law paid for by an independent expenditure group, although you’d probably attribute it to his oppoenent.

    In a low level election like that, it is possible things might be done by someone working at the Board of Elections. Somebody might try to remove some voters he deemed likely to support the Republican. But notice, it’s completely different from anything alleged anywhere else. It could also have a different explanation related to incompetence maybe.

    Counting of the mail ballots only started the Tuesday after Election Day because in New York State in person voting takes absolute precedence over absentee ballots and requesting an absentee ballot does not remove you from the poll site list so they have to wait until the polls are closed and they have the record of who voted, plus they wait some more till the deadline for postmarked ballots to arrive so they don’t have to do counting two times and also risk identifying who a person whose ballot arrived late voted for)

    After two weeks, State Senator Andrew Gounardes over Republican challenger Vito Bruno with a lead of 2,500 votes and 1,800 absentee ballots remaining to be checked fr eligibility as of 5 pm on Nov. 18, which was the third day of counting (I guess they are all part time, selected by the district leaders of both major parties, so they work only one or two days a week, and every absentee ballot has to be carefully checked for signature and against the list of people who voted in person and maybe the Social Security Death index or something if someone objects, and approved.)

    Just two years ago, through the miracle of gerrymandering and a coalition with some Democrats (who broke up the coalition and nevertheless mostly got defeated in primaries) The Republicans had a working majority in the New York State Senate and now the Democrats are on the verge of having a veti proof majority.

    There were a number of victories in State Senate races, but in other down ballot races, like Congress, the Republicans made gains in New York State like they did most anywhere.

    So, maybe something went on with the Sate Senate races..

    Sammy Finkelman (8a31dc)

  67. Just a data point: there are two Republicans who have held national office in the last 4 years that, if I lived in their states, could get my vote.

    If it came down to any of the others vs. Satan himself, I would vote third party.

    john (cd2753)

  68. @3. The on-the-outs The Lincoln Project is irrelevant.

    Bigly.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  69. Obviously I have no dog in this hunt, but I don’t think it’s unreasonable to at least expect senators to come out and say that they can’t judge another stat’s system but that they have confidence at least in their own state’s election system and those running that system.

    Nic (896fdf)

  70. So, maybe something went on with the State Senate races..

    Republicans may have stayed home if they were 1) disenchanted with Trump, or 2) saw no point in voting for President in NY. This affects close down-ballot races.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  71. @65. It’s a hard sell to pitch yourself as a ‘Republican’ if you sold out and betrayed your own party nominee and vigorously supported the opponent; a Dem- especially one like Biden. Mutinous dogs end up barking and howling aboard a powerless SS Lincoln Project.

    “You’re learning that you don’t work with a captain because you like the way he parts his hair; you work with him because he’s got the job, or you’re no good!” – Barney Greenwald [Jose Ferrer] ‘The Caine Mutiny’ 1954

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  72. Picture this:

    In 2023 the last required state joins the Popular Vote Compact and it takes effect. Citizens and parties in several states sue, both in state and federal court with a variety of complaints (defending the state voters’ decisions, objecting to an “illegal” compact, etc). Many of these are still in the works as the election nears.

    One candidate assumes that the PVC will be in effect and campaigns for the popular vote in the urban centers which favor her. The other candidate campaigns for the electoral vote in flyover-country which supports her.

    The election is close, with one candidate narrowly winning the old-style electoral vote and the other narrowly winning the popular vote. One state that signed the compact reneges, not wanting to cast its votes for a popular vote winner who was trounced locally. One state legislature that did not sign the compact chooses to send their electoral votes to their party’s popular vote winner, ignoring their state’s actual vote. Another non-signing state has a near-tie.

    Hilarity ensues.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  73. Biden Expected to Pick Janet Yellen, Former Fed Chair, as Treasury Secretary

    Could do worse.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  74. Well, the Captain here is sure that Michigan stole his strawberries.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  75. @74 the PVC is blatantly unconstitutional and even the courts would hold a very dim view of it.

    However, what *might* be kosher is if the EV were apportioned per winner of the state’s congressional district (and 2 EV representing the senators are still awarded in state’s popular vote).

    Fun fact, had that system been in placed for 2000 election Gore would’ve clearly won. Also, in 2012 Romney would’ve beaten Obama.

    whembly (15c62b)

  76. They were not anonymous, but the media sure made certain that everyone knew their names. There’s a difference between obscurely “on record” and being named in the first paragraph in every MSM soty.

    Lots of things are public records. Who I donated to in ech election is a public record, but that does not mean it’s OK to use that to intimidate me, and these people were thoroughly intimidated. I am willing to bet they got death threats from both sides as a result.

    The notion that the fellow who threatened not to certify the election is entitled to anonymity is not reasonable.

    Patterico (115b1f)

  77. @79

    The notion that the fellow who threatened not to certify the election is entitled to anonymity is not reasonable.

    Patterico (115b1f) — 11/23/2020 @ 1:08 pm

    Agreed.

    But, doxxxing their families was despicable.

    whembly (15c62b)

  78. But what does it say about an elected official who chooses to ignore a sitting President of the United States’ Herculean efforts to undermine our democracy, and harm the electoral system while constantly – and falsely – asserting that the election was “rigged” and that Biden could have only won through illegitimate means?

    I think this understates what Trump has done, which is attempt to steal the election with lies. If he succeeded, the people who voted him out would be left with no option to remove him other than force. That would be very bad.

    Patterico (115b1f)

  79. Agreed.

    But, doxxxing their families was despicable.

    What, specifically, are you calling “doxxing”? Noting the lawsuit filed by the guy’s wife? That is no doxxing, and calling it doxxing is not reasonable.

    Patterico (115b1f)

  80. . It’s a hard sell to pitch yourself as a ‘Republican’ if you sold out and betrayed your own party nominee and vigorously supported the opponent…

    It’s a hard sell to pitch your party as ‘Republican’ if they sold out and betrayed the Party’s longstanding values, principles and integrity by backing someone like Trump.

    Dana (6995e0)

  81. @83 Just so that I’m clear… is this a purity test? Or, an anti-Trump test that you’re advocating for?

    whembly (15c62b)

  82. @82

    Agreed.

    But, doxxxing their families was despicable.

    What, specifically, are you calling “doxxing”? Noting the lawsuit filed by the guy’s wife? That is no doxxing, and calling it doxxing is not reasonable.

    Patterico (115b1f) — 11/23/2020 @ 1:13 pm

    Whoops, I got my states mixed up. Sorry. I agree with you there, that’s not doxxing and also reiterate that I agree with you that those positions shouldn’t be held anonymous.

    I was thinking of this:
    https://www.freep.com/story/news/politics/elections/2020/11/19/wayne-county-canvassers-doxxed-threatened/6340324002/

    whembly (15c62b)

  83. @ whembly,

    Just so that I’m clear… is this a purity test? Or, an anti-Trump test that you’re advocating for?

    Neither. What I am saying is, the GOP backed Trump and continue to support him today in spite of his unprincipled words and behavior. There has been little to no collective push back and criticism of his unprincipled behavior, no matter how egregious. This has subsequently weakened and diminished the stature of the Republican Party and will take years to remake and regain its prior stature.

    Dana (6995e0)

  84. @77. Ahhh, but who ate them? That’s where he has them; and he’ll prove it with-with- geometric logic, state-by-state… one-by-one. 😉

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  85. @83. Really?!?! See 1972: Richard Nixon won in a landslide.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  86. @86. ‘This has subsequently weakened and diminished the stature of the Republican Party and will take years to remake and regain its prior stature.’

    Welcome to 1964. Glorious.

    Turns out ‘conservatives’ are fairly ‘thin-skinned’ and jump ship when the winds blow the other way around them; witness George Will and Lincoln Project types:

    “[T]his is called the Republican Party, it’s not called the Conservative Party.” – Donald Trump, ABC News, 5/8/16

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  87. The fact that you are prepared to minimize and excuse what’s going on proves exactly the opposite.

    I would respond to this assertion if it weren’t so fantastically ridiculous on its face.

    JVW (ee64e4)

  88. My concern is that self-preservation wins the day for the vast majority of GOP senators. We are now three weeks out from the election. How many of Trump’s claims been proven thus far? Has he made any move toward ensuring a smooth transition of power? Has he been steadfastly focused on making sure the Biden transition team is up to date on everything necessary, including Biden and his security briefings? At what point are he and his sycophants simply stonewalling the inevitable?

    Yeah, I get this. I suppose that I liken President Trump to a child in the toy store who has been told that he’s not going to get a toy, so he’s throwing a huge fit in the middle of the store embarrassing himself and embarrassing his parents (GOP Senators). I guess a lot of you would prefer that the parents pick the brat up off the floor, paddle him on the butt, and march him out of the store. I don’t blame you; I’m kind of a fan of old-fashioned parenting myself. But these parents are acting like modern progressive parents and just allowing the brat to tire himself out with his whining and his silly little performance, and they know that once he realizes he is not getting the toy then he’ll have no choice other than to get up off the floor and leave. The key is, of course, that mom and dad have to hold the line in not giving him the toy.

    Nor am I concerned about the whole transition deal. One thing we know about Joe Biden is he is going to bring in a whole slew of longtime Washington hacks who will get up and running in no time, and Washington is full of non-appointed bureaucrats who run the show behind the scene anyway. It wouldn’t surprise me one bit to learn that there is actually a fair amount of transition quietly taking place already.

    JVW (ee64e4)

  89. But, Dave, this is why I am actually surprised you still call yourself a Republican.

    I demand a retraction of this libelous charge!

    :-)

    I haven’t called myself a Republican since the day after the June 2016 CA primary.

    I am having trouble remembering the last Democrat idea you opposed or Republican (not just Trump) idea you supported.

    Well, I haven’t studied the Green New Deal, but I’m pretty sure if I did, I’d oppose it.

    I opposed the repeal of the CA non-discrimination amendment, and said so clearly.

    I opposed the increase to the minimum wage and rent control.

    The GOP platform this year was (literally) “Whatever Trump wants.”

    For the last 10 months, it has been obvious to me that the pandemic is the most important issue facing the country. To say my view has been vindicated would be a colossal understatement. The national Republican Party – thanks to its deranged leader – has failed the country more profoundly and shamefully than any group of politicians since the antebellum southern Democrats.

    And the comparison doesn’t end there. When the southern Democrats didn’t like how an election turned out, they decided to destroy the country. Faced with the same problem, today’s Republicans have decided to do the same. They’re openly trying to steal the election, or at best look the other way and pretend it’s not happening.

    I will admit changing my view on one issue, and that is taxation. This year the government spent $3T more than it took in. During “the greatest economy in history“ we were running $1T annual deficits approaching 5% of GDP. As I’ve argued a number of times, and backed up with hard numbers, it is no longer remotely plausible to suggest that discretionary spending cuts have any prospect of bringing the budget under control, and I think borrowing more and more, instead of paying for things, simply reinforces the delusion that it’s all free stuff. We have an unfunded welfare state. Unless we get rid of or pare back the entitlements, we should pay for them.

    Dave (1bb933)

  90. But these parents are acting like modern progressive parents and just allowing the brat to tire himself out with his whining and his silly little performance, and they know that once he realizes he is not getting the toy then he’ll have no choice other than to get up off the floor and leave

    Allowing the bad behavior to continue without restraint, and to whatever extent the tantrum-throwing child wants to take it, ignores the possible damage to future elections and the election system itself.

    Dana (6995e0)

  91. It wouldn’t surprise me one bit to learn that there is actually a fair amount of transition quietly taking place already.

    I hope so.

    Dana (6995e0)

  92. I suppose that I liken President Trump to a child in the toy store who has been told that he’s not going to get a toy, so he’s throwing a huge fit in the middle of the store embarrassing himself and embarrassing his parents (GOP Senators).

    This analogy doesn’t work. In yours, the kid is ultimately powerless and is at the mercy of his parents. The GOP IS Trump at this point, and he has all the power over his party.

    johnnyagreeable (35219d)

  93. It wouldn’t surprise me one bit to learn that there is actually a fair amount of transition quietly taking place already.

    Would it surprise you if it weren’t? If the GSA blockade actually was having a real effect? If not having $10 million in transition money and not having official access to real time intelligence was actually a problem? Would that surprise you?

    I love the assumption that despite every actual clear obstacles put in people’s paths things will just work out anyway. You really do believe in the deep, very deep, undiscernable, state. Republicans rely on other people being reasonable to save themselves from their own stubborn negligence.

    Victor (4959fb)

  94. However, what *might* be kosher is if the EV were apportioned per winner of the state’s congressional district (and 2 EV representing the senators are still awarded in state’s popular vote).

    Considering that this is what NE and ME do, I bet you’re right.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  95. Allowing the bad behavior to continue without restraint, and to whatever extent the tantrum-throwing child wants to take it, ignores the possible damage to future elections and the election system itself.

    I’m more sanguine about it. Sure, there’s a hardcore coterie of Trumpists who are going to think their guy got screwed out of the election no matter what, but they would feel the same way even if their guy had conceded and wasn’t mucking about in various courts. It’s just like there are still people on the left (the witless Joy Reid for instance) who to this day believe that the U.S. Supreme Court actually somehow awarded votes to George W. Bush and “flipped” the election, or else have some highly implausible story about voter suppression or vote tampering. But I have faith that a lot of Trump supporters, once this stuff gets shot down in court and once Republican politicians start paving the way for a Biden administration, are going to come to the determination that their guy lost.

    JVW (ee64e4)

  96. This year the government spent $3T more than it took in. During “the greatest economy in history“ we were running $1T annual deficits approaching 5% of GDP.

    Just imagine what the deficit would be if we were paying 5% on the debt. Back in the 80’s people were all upset about the $2 TRILLION!!1!! debt. Seems quaint now.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  97. If not having $10 million in transition money and not having official access to real time intelligence was actually a problem?

    Because if there’s one thing that Joe Biden’s campaign suffered from it was the lack of money. Gosh, it was so hard for them to find people willing to fund a candidate challenging the massively popular Donald J. Trump.

    JVW (ee64e4)

  98. Further, JVW, the parents in your scenario aren’t doing their job. Not really. They are depending on someone else to fix the situation (in the scenario: the child). But the difference is, we elected them to do their jobs, and in fact, we are paying them do so.

    Dana (6995e0)

  99. The Empire Strikes Back:

    John Kerry has been named special presidential envoy for climate change on the National Security Council — aka “climate czar” — by US president-elect Joe Biden.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  100. @92. One thing we know about Joe Biden is he is going to bring in a whole slew of longtime Washington hacks who will get up and running in no time, and Washington is full of non-appointed bureaucrats who run the show behind the scene anyway. It wouldn’t surprise me one bit to learn that there is actually a fair amount of transition quietly taking place already.

    Place some sugar cubes on the picnic table and the ants start-a-coming.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  101. The notion that the fellow who threatened not to certify the election is entitled to anonymity is not reasonable.

    Is reporting that uses their full names several times in the first few paragraphs normal? Is reporting that will almost assuredly lead to death threats (and ramps up the stress level) ethical?

    I agree that these folks need to be fired and think what Trump is doing is despicable. But if these minions’ refusal just means the governor needs to sign a form replacing them (and can do so prior to the vote) as I’m told here, then why the clumsy intimidation?

    It seems as if this is done more for the benefit of the others.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  102. The Republican senators primarily represent the states that President Trump carried; not jumping ship now is remaining true to the voices of their constituents.

    The Republican senators know that the President’s efforts to throw out illegal votes will amount to virtually nothing, but they also know that there are huge numbers of the President’s supporters out there, and they will need their votes in 2022 and 2024. If they say nothing, they avoid pissing off a whole bunch of their constituents and reduce the chances of primary challenges in their next elections. They’ll go along with the flow, because that is what makes the most sense for them politically.

    I get it: a lot of the writers and readers here want the GOP to thoroughly repudiate the President, but there are something like 73 million voters out there who voted for him. The vast majority of Republicans, at least to some extent, supported President Trump. Unless you want to totally destroy the Republican Party, in some fantasied hope that a new, stronger GOP will arise phoenix-like from the ashes to save the day in 2022 and 2024, you’ve got to either support the Republican Party as it is today, or plan on enjoying the new socialism imposed by an all-triumphant Democratic Party.

    Remember; you can vote your way into socialism, but you have to shoot your way back out.

    The Dana in Kentucky (facd7c)

  103. Mr M asked:

    Is reporting that uses their full names several times in the first few paragraphs normal? Is reporting that will almost assuredly lead to death threats (and ramps up the stress level) ethical?

    The normal journalistic standard is to use the title and full name in the first instance, unless it is someone so well known that the first name can be dispensed with, and then refer to the person in question solely by his last name in the rest of the article. Any responsible editor would edit out a writer who referred to a person by his full name more than once in an article.

    The Dana in Kentucky (facd7c)

  104. What Trump is doing here is more than an attack on deomcracy. It’s scorched earth against the Republican Party, the electoral college, the voting system AND nearly everything that isn’t Donald Trump.

    Except, of course, its really the Donald that will take most of the hits, in time. Even if he resigns, there is no way he’ll get that pardon, no way that Biden will call the dogs off, or NY state, or the IRS.

    Trump is burning every last bridge that he can see and when he wants help there will be no one left who cares. Maybe Melania, but at the rate he’s going, he’ll probably dump her, too.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  105. Per CNN:

    The Trump administration has informed President-elect Joe Biden that they are ready to begin the formal transition process, according to a letter obtained by CNN

    Dana (6995e0)

  106. It’s a hard sell to pitch your party as ‘Republican’ if they sold out and betrayed the Party’s longstanding values, principles and integrity by backing someone like Trump.

    What are those values? Not only Nixon in ’72 but Dole in ’96, McCain in ’08 all had divergent views on said values. Nixon implemented wage and price controls. Dole had no problem with taxes. McCain didn’t really believe in free speech. Even Reagan signed one of the first laws to allow abortions as governor.

    There was a wing of the party — low taxes, free trade, global intervention, Christian morality that prevailed from 1980 until 2016, with a few hiccups, but there were other wings that were becoming increasingly disaffected. Trump inspired them, and the Democrat’s disaffected, but it was more the rise of the isolationist, nationalist, statist wings, while still giving lip service to the moralists whom Trump honored in the breech.

    Going forward, the GOP will have changed. Some things will revert, some won’t, and in 20 years those GOP values will be different than they were in 2012. And whatever they are, they will call them “principles.”

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  107. Any responsible editor would edit out a writer who referred to a person by his full name more than once in an article.

    And looking back online at those articles, they did. But I swear they hadn’t done so yesterday.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  108. John Kerry has been named special presidential envoy for climate change on the National Security Council

    I guess Biden wants to kill that then. But I suggest his first stop be Germany where he demands they use less coal and more nuclear.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  109. The Trump administration has informed President-elect Joe Biden that they are ready to begin the formal transition process

    With all deliberate speed. I’m guessing that Trump got read the riot act by some of those quiet se3nators.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  110. @109: Apocalypse hardest hit.

    beer ‘n pretzels (042d67)

  111. @110. Buchanan to Perot to Palin to Trump.

    The pattern is there– and growing.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  112. Mr M wrote:

    Even if he resigns, there is no way he’ll get that pardon, no way that Biden will call the dogs off, or NY state, or the IRS.

    A whole lot of Republicans have spent the last four years hoping that the odious Hillary Clinton and her minions would be getting fitted for their orange jumpsuits, but that never happened, nor was there even any vigorous investigation toward that end. Although there will be a few outliers, most sensible Democrats won’t want to go after President Trump this way, because it would open the floodgates for criminal investigations of outgoing parties.

    The Dana in Kentucky (facd7c)

  113. @114. Biggest winner: Kamala Harris. Soundly rejected as a contender for her party’s CIC nomination, Biden plucked her from the reject pile for the heart-beat-away-spot chiefly for her gender and skin tone. Mayor Quimby is more qualified for the gig.

    Biggest losers: Barr and Pompeo. One for reputation; the other for both reputation and chances of getting the GOP nod in 2024. Consolation prize: possible Kansas senate seat. If South Carolinians can’t separate the wheat from the chaff, Kansas won’t either.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  114. Trump surrenders

    .

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  115. DCSCA wrote:

    John Kerry has been named special presidential envoy for climate change on the National Security Council — aka “climate czar” — by US president-elect Joe Biden.

    Well, of course he has!

    Since he left office, the former Secretary of State has taken long, fossil fueled flights to the World Economic Forum in the hoitiest and toitiest of ski resorts, Davos, Switzerland, to lecture the attendees — many of whom arrived on private jets, because they’re just to important to fly commercial with the riff-raff — on saving the world from global warming climate change. Former Vice President Joe Biden has promised to rejoin the 2015 Paris agreement, but, thus far, 19 out of the 20 G20 nations which signed the stupid thing have failed to meet their CO2 reduction goals.

    President Barack Hussein Obama had the agreement written up in terms which did not require either Senate ratification as a treaty, or a Congressional-Executive Agreement. I would like to see Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) simply take up the agreement after Mr Biden reinstates it, declare it to be a treaty, and subject it to a ratification vote, one which would result in rejection.

    One thing a lot of recent Presidents, both Democrats and Republicans, have done is to sign treaties but never submit them to the Senate for ratification. But I know of no reason that the Senate couldn’t simply take up such a treaty, on its own, and consider it for ratification.

    The Dana in Kentucky (facd7c)

  116. GSA chief Emily Murphy has sent a letter of ascertainment to the Biden campaign, basing her decision, it seems, on Michigan;s certification of election results. This doesn’t seem to have the opposition of Trump, although he is still continuing with his cases

    Sammy Finkelman (8a31dc)

  117. President Trump:

    I want to thank Emily Murphy at GSA for her steadfast dedication and loyalty to our Country. She has been harassed, threatened, and abused – and I do not want to see this happen to her, her family, or employees of GSA. Our case STRONGLY continues, we will keep up the good fight, and I believe we will prevail! Nevertheless, in the best interest of our Country, I am recommending that Emily and her team do what needs to be done with regard to initial protocols, and have told my team to do the same.

    Dana (6995e0)

  118. The delay was not serious as far as the vaccines were concerned, because it is not like they had no plans.

    The vaccine will be sent out on December 11 or 12, as soon as the FDA says go. There is actually no excuse for further delay.

    There is a third vaccine, from Astra Zenica. also called Oxford and tested in England. This one has more manufacturing capacity and works on a different principle than the first two. It requires only standard refrigeration. It is said to be only 70% to 90% effective but I wonder if that is because they looked for asymptomatic cases and Pfizer and Moderna did not.

    The White House press Secretary claimed their published plan was good enough but this has also been compared to a hospital shift taking over from another one. Of course this is 8 1/2 weeks out anyway.

    They;re predicting a sharp increase in the number of deaths by Jan 20 but I think that’s without the antibodies and without the vaccines. In California a week or so ago, new cases were going up by 9% every day.

    Half doses seem not only equally effective but ore effffffective than full doses of the vaccine.

    https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-020-03326-w

    A regimen consisting of two full doses given a month apart looked to be just 62% effective. But, surprisingly, participants who received a lower amount of the vaccine in a first dose and then the full amount in the second dose were 90% less likely to develop COVID, compared with participants in the placebo arm.

    Sammy Finkelman (8a31dc)

  119. @121: Well, sure, that’s what a wannabe dictator would say.

    beer ‘n pretzels (042d67)

  120. Well, one growing demographic should thank their lucky stars Trump found places in his administration for Sara Huckabee Sanders and Emily Murphy.

    urbanleftbehind (2d42a9)

  121. @121: Well, sure, that’s what a wannabe dictator would say.

    beer ‘n pretzels (042d67) — 11/23/2020 @ 4:27 pm

    I don’t think this is about accepting defeat as much as it is the President finding a way to not upset norms too much by hiding behind a girl. He can allow the transition to start but is blaming a girl for having made the decision. Further, it allows him to let the transition begin without losing the support of his base who believe, along with him, that he was cheated out of the presidency.

    Dana (6995e0)

  122. Mr Pretzels wrote:

    Well, sure, that’s what a wannabe dictator would say.

    The Democrats spent four years screaming that the evil Donald Trump was a fascist authoritarian dictator, but then they have calmly accepted real dictators suspending their constitutional rights.

    The Dana in Kentucky (facd7c)

  123. Well, one growing demographic should thank their lucky stars Trump found places in his administration for Sara Huckabee Sanders and Emily Murphy.

    Moto-Moto concurs.

    nk (1d9030)

  124. I gotta remember to send Trump a thank-you note for not stealing my wallet, too.
    A bull-sh!tting clown
    Half-heartedly backing down
    With a half-hearted nod
    To the right thing he shoulda done
    Two weeks come and gone
    Don’t mean squat to me.

    nk (1d9030)

  125. Couldn’t you have said the same thing about Nixon after Watergate, Dana 106? Sometimes the country comes before the constituents. Undermining election results without a legal basis seems like one of those times.

    Note to beer n pretzels: There was a legal basis for the Mueller investigation.

    DRJ (aede82)

  126. @121: Well, sure, that’s what a wannabe dictator would say.

    If the dictator’s institutional supporters (the GOP Senators and other Party leaders) want it, then yes. That is what he would say to keep their support.

    DRJ (aede82)

  127. Although if JVW is right that cooperation already started, then this may be Trump acting magnanimous after the horse is out of the barn.

    DRJ (aede82)

  128. You will have to ask the 74,000,000 populist trump voters not the 5% never trumpets who have been run out of the party.

    asset (022d1d)

  129. Remember; you can vote your way into socialism, but you have to shoot your way back out.

    The Dana in Kentucky (facd7c) — 11/23/2020 @ 3:21 pm

    Sigh. That’s absolutely not true.

    nk (1d9030)

  130. Yeah, I’d say this is a dilemma.

    https://www.mediaite.com/tv/fox-news-identity-crisis-indulge-trumps-election-conspiracy-or-reject-it-and-watch-its-audience-flee/

    The Chinese have a saying, “May you live in interesting times.” These are disturbing times.

    What Trump is attempting here is shameful, but since when has Trump ever been shameless? It’s his party now.

    https://www.nytimes.com/2020/11/23/opinion/trump-republicans-election-2020.html

    For Republican Senators and Representatives not to repudiate Trump now is a disgrace.

    Gawain's Ghost (b25cd1)

  131. Were you responding to my comment, asset?

    DRJ (aede82)

  132. From GG’s report:

    To put it simply: Fox News is in a very uncomfortable bed of its own making. Telling its viewers that Trump is full of it and that the insane conspiracy theories he is pushing are meritless could prove lethal to the bottom line. The news division’s efforts to dispel these increasingly loony conspiracies have enraged viewers, driving them to outlets like Newsmax and OANN, where Trump is the true victor of the 2020 election.

    I suspect this is also where a number of reluctant GOP senator find themselves this afternoon. They have parrotted the Trump company line for so long, and now they have to figure out a way to finesse their acknowledgement that Biden is the next President. The question is, how many people are going to buy this sudden change of direction? And how many are going to forgive them for their fealty to Trump?

    Dana (6995e0)

  133. There was a legal basis for the Mueller investigation.

    If Barr were to appoint a SC to look into election fraud, jaywalking by congressional staff, or shoplifting at the Capitol gift shop, it would have the exact same legal basis.

    beer ‘n pretzels (042d67)

  134. DRJ wrote:

    Couldn’t you have said the same thing about Nixon after Watergate, Dana 106? Sometimes the country comes before the constituents. Undermining election results without a legal basis seems like one of those times.

    You could have, but remember the history: by 1974, when President Nixon was forced to resign, he had lost the support of Senate Republicans because he had lost support of Republicans in the country.

    The Dana in Kentucky (facd7c)

  135. If Barr were to appoint a SC to look into election fraud, jaywalking by congressional staff, or shoplifting at the Capitol gift shop, it would have the exact same legal basis.

    That just proves that you don’t understand…well anything, or you do and you know you are lying just for effect. It’s also pretty obvious that it is the latter.

    Colonel Klink (Ret) (1367c0)

  136. PS to 127. And check out Archer’s first girlfriend.

    nk (1d9030)

  137. Whoops, I got my states mixed up. Sorry. I agree with you there, that’s not doxxing and also reiterate that I agree with you that those positions shouldn’t be held anonymous.

    I was thinking of this:
    https://www.freep.com/story/news/politics/elections/2020/11/19/wayne-county-canvassers-doxxed-threatened/6340324002/

    So what is the part about doxxing families there? The comment about how your kids probably go to school x? Naw.

    Patterico (115b1f)

  138. @128. Meh. Looking back over the decades, the only one of these bastards who literally put money in my pocket was Trump w/his $1200 check. 😉

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  139. You could have, but remember the history: by 1974, when President Nixon was forced to resign, he had lost the support of Senate Republicans because he had lost support of Republicans in the country.

    Some, but only 3-in-10:

    Days before he resigned, a Gallup poll found that only 31 percent of Republicans thought Nixon should no longer be president.

    DRJ (aede82)

  140. I think it was the other way around, Dana. The Party members followed after the Party leaders told Nixon to resign.

    DRJ (aede82)

  141. So, you would rather vote for someone whose principles, if they have any, are diametrically opposed to yours because you’d like to feel good about yourself?
    Kevin M (ab1c11) — 11/23/2020 @ 11:14 am

    You made the same assertion about my motives when, like noel, I mentioned that I too hold Vichy GOP politicians accountable for enabling Trump. News Flash: Putting country over party isn’t evidence of bad faith.

    lurker (d8c5bc)

  142. It’s not fealty, Dana, it’s enthrallment. Being obsequious is bad enough, but being enthralled is worse.

    Gawain's Ghost (b25cd1)

  143. Brave Sir Rob Portman:

    States have now completed counting votes and most battleground states will have certified their election results as of this week. Some state recounts have been completed and those remaining are expected to be completed within the next two weeks. Based on all the information currently available, neither the final lawful vote counts nor the recounts have led to a different outcome in any state. In other words, the initial determination showing Joe Biden with enough electoral votes to win has not changed.
    I voted for President Trump, was a co-chair of his campaign in Ohio, and I believe his policies would be better for Ohio and the country. But I also believe that there is no more sacred constitutional process in our great democracy than the orderly transfer of power after a presidential election. It is now time to expeditiously resolve any outstanding questions and move forward.

    Paul Montagu (cbbfc4)

  144. JVW,

    This 2018 Guardian article is about Trump’s 2016 transition. I don’t know if it is right but it gave me a lot to think about regarding the importance and details of Presidential transitions. This section (which mentions the possibility of a pandemic) is especially striking:

    The US government employed 2 million people, 70% of them one way or another in national security. It managed a portfolio of risks that no private person or corporation was able to manage. Some of the risks were easy to imagine: a financial crisis, a hurricane, a terrorist attack. Most were not: the risk, say, that some prescription drug proves to be both so addictive and so accessible that each year it kills more Americans than were killed in action by the peak of the Vietnam war. Many of the risks that fell into the government’s lap felt so remote as to be unreal: that a cyberattack left half the country without electricity, or that some airborne virus wiped out millions, or that economic inequality reached the point where it triggered a violent revolution. Maybe the least visible risks were of things not happening that, with better government, might have happened. A cure for cancer, for instance.

    Enter the presidential transition. A bad transition took this entire portfolio of catastrophic risks – the biggest portfolio of such risks ever managed by a single institution in the history of the world – and made all the bad things more likely to happen and the good things less likely to happen. Even before Stier created an organisation to fix the federal government, the haphazard nature of presidential transitions drove him nuts. “We have a legacy government that hasn’t kept up with the world we live in, largely because of disruptions from bad transitions,” he said. “People don’t understand that a bungled transition becomes a bungled presidency.” The new people taking over the job of running the government were at best only partially informed, and often deeply suspicious, of whatever happened to be going on before they arrived. By the time they fully grasped the problems they were dealing with, it was time to go. “It’s Groundhog Day,” said Stier. “The new people come in and think that the previous administration and the civil service are lazy or stupid. Then they actually get to know the place they are managing. And when they leave they say: ‘This was a really hard job, and those are the best people I’ve ever worked with.’ This happens over and over and over.”

    DRJ (aede82)

  145. I am highly skeptical of the point made at the end of the excerpt quoted by DRJ at 148: That people always discover the old people were right after all.

    It’s natural, that after a long time of not changing things, people convince themselves that they’re doing things right.

    Is it the contention of the writer quoted above that’s there’s only one way to do things, which gets periodically rejected and then rediscovered?

    Now the thing is there could be some things where people are doing things right, or where the average change could be for the worse. And people don;t realize where that is, or they come in with misconceptions, say about budgeting.

    Sammy Finkelman (8a31dc)

  146. The New York Times rn a sort of contest about predicting the preidential election results.

    The high school sophomore whom they say nailed it, didn’t.

    https://www.nytimes.com/2020/11/20/opinion/letters/biden-trump-election-prediction.html

    He did say 306 to 242, but I think is math is wrong. Also he gave Trump Georgia [16] and Biden North Carolina.[15] And gave Biden Idaho [4] and Trump, Nevada. [6] And I think it adds up to 303-235.

    And he was way off in the total number of votes cast.

    Like the NYT I don’t think saying the results would be known after a week instead of 4 days is an important miss.

    Sammy Finkelman (8a31dc)

  147. Sammy Finkelman (8a31dc) — 11/24/2020 @ 3:42 am

    I have had the experience of interim management and I agree, in part, with you, Sammy. Thhere is a certain amount of inertia in those that remain after each admin; Some of them remain because they prove themselves too valuable to replace, so naturally they resist fixing somethinng that they perceive as unbroken. But I agree that a crucial element to the success of an interim admin is full disclosure of current affairs and risks, if withheld, greatly narrow any chances for success to those areas where good information can be quickly developed and acted upon. Certain gatekeepers of crucial information, especially if a change in admin is perceived as a threat to them, might withhold it out of:

    misguided loyalty to the previous admin
    Pure spite
    Job security (this always backfires)

    This part is what stood out to me (bold mine):

    The new people taking over the job of running the government were at best only partially informed, and often deeply suspicious, of whatever happened to be going on before they arrived. By the time they fully grasped the problems they were dealing with, it was time to go.

    Naturally, the examples I give are those with which I have personally been presented. But Thanks to my Father, I was made aware of the possibility, and the ways in which they may be overcome. But my father was the wisest man I knew, and I was not a half-bad student.

    felipe (023cc9)

  148. DCSCA wrote:

    @128. Meh. Looking back over the decades, the only one of these bastards who literally put money in my pocket was Trump w/his $1200 check. 😉

    There were stimulus checks sent out in 2008 under the younger President Bush.

    Our $2400 stimulus check paid for 80% of the fence we had to put on the property. :) My wife, who hates President Trump and has said that he paints himself orange to hide the 666 on his forehead, was pissed off because the check had the President’s name on it. It was not directly deposited because we haven’t gotten a refund in 13 years.

    The Dana in Kentucky (facd7c)

  149. The Dana in Kentucky (facd7c) — 11/24/2020 @ 5:16 am
    Quite right, DIK, I remember that. But perhaps, DCSCA was not eligible to receive one then, but was eligible this time.

    felipe (023cc9)

  150. And he did it by paying only $750 into the U.S. Treasury! Talk about your seven loaves and seven fishes, eh!

    It’s our children’s money he gave you, and don’t come crying to me when they (our children) take it back from your Social Security, IRAs, and 401(k)s, and ship you to Oregon for your “retirement”.

    nk (1d9030)

  151. It was not directly deposited because we haven’t gotten a refund in 13 years.
    The Dana in Kentucky (facd7c) — 11/24/2020 @ 5:16 am

    Yep. I never got a refund after I started my own business because I never paid(quarterly) a penny more than need be paid.

    felipe (023cc9)

  152. nk (1d9030) — 11/24/2020 @ 5:41 am

    Heh! I must confess that I have made the “I supported you, and now you need to support me” speech. So I am all for it (taking our children’s money)! As for coming after our money, “let them try;” it will be a repeat of Wotan and Siegmund. We will smash the sword of their votes.

    I joke, of course! I really am. Stop looking at me like that!

    felipe (023cc9)

  153. * Errata

    https://www.nytimes.com/2020/11/20/opinion/letters/biden-trump-election-prediction.html

    He did say 306 to 232, but I think his math is wrong.

    He gave Trump Georgia [16] and Biden North Carolina.[15] reducing Biden’s margin by 1. And gave Biden Idaho [4] and Trump, Nevada. [6] reducing it by another 2. And I think it adds up to 303-235. I can’t think of any 3 Electoral vote Trump state he meant to give to Biden and can’t find one that he did.

    Sammy Finkelman (8a31dc)

  154. 148.

    the risk, say, that some prescription drug proves to be both so addictive and so accessible that each year it kills more Americans than were killed in action by the peak of the Vietnam war

    The drug Oxycontin) didn’t kill people.

    Saying so is really nothing more than a lie, designed to cover up errors in government policy.

    Stupidly cutting off the supply of people addicted to the drug, did kill people.

    That forced them to go to drug dealers, (What? Were they suddenly going to become non-addicted?) and the supply from drug dealers was more risky than it was in earlier years, because the federal government also successfully cracked down on heroin smuggling, resulting in the partial or total replacement of heroin by the much more concentrated fentanyl. Often sent in the mail from China.

    Fentanyl had many variants and each one had to separately be made illegal, with a time lag of about six months, I think.

    Another thing that killed people was weaning them off drugs. A high percentage of addicts, as was well known would happen, resumed taking opiods, but now what previously had been even an ineffective dose was now a toxic dose and resulted in an overdose. Even if they knew what dosage they were taking. Many addicts died right after coming out of rehab.

    Slowly, slowly, they made the antidote (Naloxone) more accessible.

    Opioid replacement was often to tied to time consuming and limited capacity programs.

    Sammy Finkelman (8a31dc)

  155. Maybe the least visible risks were of things not happening that, with better government, might have happened. A cure for cancer, for instance.

    With less government, maybe. Or with tweaks to government policy.

    And the word “risks” here is wrong. You’re dealing with certainties.

    One problem is high standards for research funding.

    Sammy Finkelman (8a31dc)

  156. 155, I’ll never forget the look of bewilderment I caused my mom to have when I replied “Your Welcome” to her news of getting a $2,300 refund from the IRS…nearly an exact match of the check I had to cut Uncle Sam that same spring.

    urbanleftbehind (b1fbb0)

  157. Speaking of shenanigans, Roger Stone’s effort is about Trump over Party, designed to help Democrats get a Senate majority.
    Stone owes Trump for his pardon, so I don’t see how this sabotaging of the GOP by Stone is being done without Trump’s tacit consent. I’ll be surprised if this president will actually set foot in GA to stump for Perdue-Loeffler.

    Paul Montagu (cbbfc4)

  158. I expected this to be the general situation, now and in the future, among the Trump-deprived Trumpkins, Paul. The sole purpose of a GOP Senate majority as far as they were concerned was to support Trump, and without Trump it’s a table leg without a tabletop.

    nk (1d9030)

  159. My schadenfreude will be at full bubble with all the Republican politicians who pandered to Trump’s nosepickers finding out what broken canes they are as they lean on them only to find themselves flat on their behinds.

    nk (1d9030)

  160. Re: article linked at 148, and what I write at 159

    The cure for cancer is where possibility of success seemed remote, not the risk of failure.

    Some agencies couldn’t hire anyone without 60 different people signing off on him.

    It’s probably ot the number of people involved, but the length of time it takes to hire, which is true even for Post Office or civil servants.

    Maybe also people knocked out of contention for all sorts of reasons.

    The Obama administration, instead of running with the work done during the Bush years, had simply started all over again.

    This is an argument against terms. Or it can be an argument against abandoning half finished work. But why do things take so long? In any case this has nothing to dowith atransition; it has to do with changing presidents and with that, all appointees.

    In 2010, Congress gave free office space and other resources to the nominees of the two major political parties immediately after the summer conventions.

    I didn’t know this.

    “The reason campaigns didn’t prepare is that they thought it would cost them politically: no one wanted to be seen measuring the drapes,” said Stier.“

    I think Thomas E. Dewey did that in 1948. Start to select appointees, that is. Not measure the drapes. But there is a legal problem too. Offering an appointment could be seen as a form of election bribery.

    Finally, in 2015, Congress required the sitting president to prepare in various ways to hand the government over to his or her successor.

    so, as recently as 2012, Trump wouldn’t have had to do anything,

    The fiasco of the rollout of HealthCare.gov was not an accident but a byproduct of bad management.

    And that took place four years after the election.

    Trump just discarded his ore-election transition work. He had never been involved with it. Maybe didn’t like his favorite people were not on list of possible appointees? Maybe this proves you ca’t set up a system.

    By the way, did the Department of Agriculture collapse? They managed. Where’s the anecdote about something going wrong? All that this says is that people wandered in the first day and they (it could be) didn’t understand what was going on or who did what.

    Sammy Finkelman (f2d620)

  161. I left the Republican party OFFICIALLY right after the 2016 convention. I have nothing in common with the Democrats and refuse to vote for ANY Republican that was an enabler to Trump. Anyone who says because of this I don’t have any say in what happens is WRONG. I’m giving up my right to vote NOT my right to free speech!

    Knickerbocker Slobberknocker (27d313)


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