Trump’s lawsuits are all failing. Increasingly his effort to hold onto power has begun to look less like a legal battle (waged by clownish figures with grand claims but no evidence) and more like a naked extraconstitutional power grab.
President Donald Trump’s strategy for retaining power despite losing the U.S. election is focused increasingly on persuading Republican legislators to intervene on his behalf in battleground states Democrat Joe Biden won, three people familiar with the effort said.
Having so far faced a string of losses in legal cases challenging the Nov. 3 results, Trump’s lawyers are seeking to enlist fellow Republicans who control legislatures in Michigan and Pennsylvania, which went for Trump in 2016 and for Biden in 2020, the sources said.
It’s extraconstitutional because, while the state legislatures have the constitutional authority to decide how electors will be chosen, Congress has the constitutional authority to set the time of the “chusing” of those electors, and Congress chose “the Tuesday next after the first Monday in the month of November” which this year was November 3. State legislatures can’t decide on December 8 to adopt a new mechanism that awards the state’s electoral votes to their preferred strongman when said strongman did not receive the electoral votes as chosen by the voters on November 3.
There has been a division on the right, pre-existing Trump but brought into stark relief by his candidacy and then presidency. Before Trump, this division was harder to discern. The folks who advocated conservative principles but disdained unethical tactics were on one side, and the people who cited the example of supposed abuses of the rules by the left as a wafer-thin justification for throwing all rules out the window were on the other side. On the Internet, the latter group was more vocal and numerous. If someone like me from the former group said that the recently elected Democrat was a “good man” who was misguided but was doing what he believed best for the country, he was shouted down by the far more vocal latter group. If someone like me from the former group said that it is wrong to say of the president “I hope he fails” he was shouted down by the more vocal latter group.
Now that Trump has come along, it is easier to describe the two groups in terms of their relation to Trump, but complications still arise. The group of unprincipled worshippers of power, who praise Trump’s worst excesses, are Trump supporters — but not all Trump supporters are fairly so described. I have taken to calling the worst of this group the “Trump superfans” but even that is not completely satisfactory.
With Trump’s attempt to cast democracy aside, we now have a clearer division. Yes, there are the Trump critics and the Trump supporters; the Trump non-voters and the Trump voters. But within the Trump voter/supporter group there are still sane people who simply accepted a lot of bad aspects of Trump for the parts they liked, and some of those calculations were not irrational. But now we have a further division: the fever swampers who are screaming about a stolen election, and the people who have chosen to accept reality. I don’t have Trump’s talent for labeling, so until I hear a better name I will call the “Stop the Steal” crowd the Fraudsters: literally people who claim the election was stolen by fraud, but in reality people who are (knowingly or ignorantly) perpetrating a dangerous fraud of their own.
That amounts to a further division of the right, and a very clear one. Every person supporting Trump remaining in office at this point in time — the Fraudsters — are the worst of the worst, and should never be taken seriously in public again.
You know who these people are. They are the people who were most vocally shouting me down during the Obama presidency. They are the people I have banned from writing at this site and blocked on Twitter. Some of them edit widely read publications and others are bitter failures, but whatever their differences, the thing that unites the Fraudsters now is that they want Donald Trump to remain in power even though he lost an election.
This is a transparent banana republic style attempt to hold onto power despite a clear electoral rejection. The fact that it is hapless and doomed to failure does not make it any less reprehensible, and anybody complicit in the effort has forfeited any future claim on the attention of sane citizens.