It’s way too late for Republicans to redeem themselves now. They should all be voted out.
According to Axios, Biden has a plan to “assert control” if the networks declare him the mathematical winner:
If news organizations declare Joe Biden the mathematical president-elect, he plans to address the nation as its new leader, even if President Trump continues to fight in court, advisers tell Axios.
Why it matters: Biden advisers learned the lesson of 2000, when Al Gore hung back while George W. Bush declared victory in that contested election, putting the Democrat on the defensive while Bush acted like the winner.
So if Biden is declared the winner, he’ll begin forming his government and looking presidential — and won’t yield to doubts Trump might try to sow.
- Biden’s schedule for Tuesday includes a clue to this posture: He “will address the nation on Election Night in Wilmington, Delaware.”
Biden campaign manager Jen O’Malley Dillon told reporters Monday that even if all the votes aren’t counted tonight, the campaign should have “a very good sense of where we’re headed”:
- “We’re not really concerned about what Donald Trump says. … We’re going to use our data, our understanding of where this is headed, and make sure that the vice president is addressing the American people.”
To show momentum, Biden may begin transition announcements quickly, starting with senior staff appointments.
That way, core aides won’t have to worry about their own jobs, but will immediately be able to get to work.
At The New York Times, Peter Wehner writes that even if we can rid ourselves of Trump, we’ll be dealing with the people who bought into his insane conspiracy theories for a long time to come: Trump Lives in a Hall of Mirrors and He’s Got Plenty of Company.
If Donald Trump loses his re-election bid, there will be a lot of ruin to sort through. But his most damaging and enduring legacy may well turn out to be the promiscuous use of conspiracy theories that have defined both the man and his presidency.
The president’s cruelest policies, like intentionally separating children from their parents at the border, can at least be ended, although their devastating effects will reverberate for decades. It’s less clear what the half-life is for his conspiracy theorizing, which fundamentally distorts the way people think about politics, our country and reality itself.
There have been so many conspiracy theories it’s easy to forget some of them, and this list is hardly exhaustive, but it includes Mr. Trump claiming that Barack Obama wasn’t born in the United States and that Bill and Hillary Clinton were behind the death of their former aide Vince Foster; suggesting that Ted Cruz’s father was involved in the assassination of President John Kennedy and that MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough was involved in the death of a staff member nearly 20 years ago; retweeting claims that SEAL Team 6 didn’t kill Osama bin Laden in 2011; insisting that Ukraine was hiding Hillary Clinton’s missing emails and that Mr. Obama wiretapped Mr. Trump’s phones; and promoting QAnon, a far-right conspiracy theory that believes, as Kevin Roose put it in The Times, that “the world is run by a cabal of Satan-worshiping pedophiles who are plotting against Mr. Trump while operating a global child sex-trafficking ring.”
There was a time when popularizing such crazed machinations would have caused one to be cast to the outer fringes of American politics; in the case of Mr. Trump, it helped elect him and has created a cultlike devotion among tens of millions of his supporters. And because of Mr. Trump, conspiracy theorizing is now a central feature of the Republican Party and American politics.
Read the rest at the NYT.
One more before I wrap this up from Jordan Weissmann at Slate: Do Not Lose Sight of the Fact That Every Aspect of This Is Absolutely Insane.
Maybe the polls are right, and Joe Biden is on course for a dominant 7 or 8 point win over Donald Trump. He could pick up a couple of decisive swing states that are supposed to finish counting votes on Tuesday night—North Carolina and Arizona, for instance—and short-circuit the president’s plan to first claim victory, then sue his way to a second term. There’s a chance that Democrats will eke out a Senate majority, too, so that they can actually govern come January, and deal properly with the deadly plague that’s reshaped our lives and crippled the economy. Perhaps there won’t be any violence at voting places, and people will be able to cast their ballots without getting hurt. Knock on wood.
But even if this election does bring an orderly end to the Trump era, do not for a second forget that absolutely everything about it, and the year that has led us to this point, has been utterly, incalculably insane, a 50-car pileup of reminders that we are a broken society with a broken political system that seems ever-more untenable, whether or not we are doomed to spend four more years with our addled president.
It is insane, for starters, that he even has a shot of pulling this race out. Nobody, least of all Trump, believes that he will win the popular vote. It is not even a discussion at this point. But we’re all trapped in a mad house erected upon the Electoral College, an anti-majoritarian barbarism that, according to conventional wisdom, now requires Democrats to win by at least 3 percent to have a shot at the White House and drives otherwise sensible Americans to spend sleepless nights and precious emotional energy freaking out over early voting patterns in Miami-Dade.
Other countries—the ones we like to think of as our peers, even if they see us more like a tragic, strung-out uncle these days—don’t do this to themselves. In normal, advanced presidential democracies, the candidate who gets the most votes actually wins. We’re the only one where the person who comes in second can still somehow end up in charge. There is nogoodargument for it, in this year of our collective misery 2020. It is nuts.
It is also pure lunacy that after four years of family separations, tax cuts for the rich, transparent corruption, and deadly ineptitude, more than 4 in 10 Americans are apparently ready for another round of Trump. We are literally living through one of the worst-case scenarios experts anticipated when he was first elected: A pandemic that has killed 231,000 Americans, thanks in no small part to the White House’s botched response, and is set to ravage the country for months more, since Republican leaders seem to have mostly decided to let COVID rip and hope for the best. This a man who caught a deadly pathogen because he wanted to look tough and felt silly wearing a mask, turned a White House Rose Garden party into a superspreader event, and ended up dragging the country through a week of steroid-fueled psychodrama as doctors blasted him with experimental treatments to save his life, then somehow concluded that, hey, the disease wasn’t so bad after all. Since then, he’s moved on to talking openly about firing Dr. Anthony Fauci, the most trusted disease expert in America, after the election as payback for criticizing the administration’s response.
So the day of decision is finally here. I’m cautiously optimistic, but I’m not making any assumptions–not after what happened in 2016. If all goes well, we should have some idea who the winner late tonight. If Trump really does try to declare a premature victory or contest the results, I think the best response would be to mock him. He has been looking weak and whiny at his ridiculous rallies. He is clearly exhausted; maybe he’ll decide to take his ball and go home to one of his golf resorts and wallow in self-pity. I can only hope that’s how this ends.
How are you all doing? Please check in with us today. As Dakinikat wrote yesterday, we’ve been doing this together for a very long time now; we can help each other get through what’s coming–whatever it is. We’ll have a live blog up later tonight when the returns start coming in. Take care, I love you all!