Friday Reads: No One Wants to Tell King Lear the TruthPosted: November 6, 2020
Meantime we shall express our darker purpose.
Give me the map there.
KING LEAR, Act One, Scene One
Good Day Sky Dancers!
Just a few more days–if not today–and we will have a definitive answer to the 2020 presidential election. Control of the Senate will likely have to wait until a Georgia runoff in January. There are some really big omens for the future elections given that some traditionally red states have turned into battleground states and Ohio and Florida are likely just part of the red wedge. There is still a blue wall it just doesn’t include Ohio any more.
As you can see, I’m in mind today of King Lear and his Great Stage of Fools. And why wouldn’t I think of the mad king as we wait these months until January?
Facing a disappearing pathway to victory, President Donald Trump offered little indication on Friday he was prepared to concede defeat, leading those around him to wonder who might be able to reckon with a leader who has given virtually no thought to leaving the White House.
Even as vote totals now show him trailing former Vice President Joe Biden in key battlegrounds, Trump has not prepared a concession speech and in conversations with allies in recent days, he has said he has no intention of conceding the election, people familiar with the matter said.
So far he has been bolstered in his stance by those closest to him, including his senior advisers and his adult sons, who have mounted an aggressive effort in the courts to challenge the results and have pressured other Republicans into defending him.
Top aides, including his chief of staff Mark Meadows, have not attempted to come to terms with the President about the reality of what is happening. Instead, they have fed his baseless claim that the election is being stolen from underneath him.
The House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy has also fed this delusional take on the election. This is from ABC News “House GOP leader defends Trump’s call to stop vote count”.
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy on Wednesday attempted to explain the president’s rhetoric demanding “all voting stop” after Tuesday — referring to vote counting – but McCarthy insisted he meant only that new votes should not be cast after Election Day.
“The people vote, up until Election Day, not the days after,” McCarthy told reporters. “That’s exactly what the president was expressing.”
During his remarks from the White House early Wednesday morning, Trump argued for all “voting to stop,” asserting Democrats would use mail-in ballots to steal the election.
“We want all voting to stop. We don’t want them to find any ballots at four in the morning and add them to the list, OK?” Trump said.
With President Trump on the verge of losing reelection, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) didn’t have to tweet this on Friday morning:
But he did. McConnell wasn’t saying exactly what Trump has been saying — that the election is fraudulent because Trump is losing. The first part of his tweet is in line with exactly what is happening: Votes legally cast are being counted.
But then McConnell used language that mirrors what the president has been using: “illegal” “observe,” don’t count certain ballots. And because of that, it’s very easy for the president and his supporters to read what they want to hear from McConnell’s tweet: That even top Republicans think the results that could soon give Democrat Joe Biden the presidency aren’t legitimate.
“If you count the legal votes, I easily win,” Trump said at the White House on Thursday night. “If you count the illegal votes, they can try to steal the election from us.”
Meanwhile, the minions of the Mad King are up to this:
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel:
Is Trump campaign urging Pennsylvania supporters to mail late ballots?
And from Justin Baragona at The Daily Beast: “Newt Gingrich: Bill Barr Should Arrest Poll Workers”. WTF?
Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich seemingly demanded on Thursday night that Attorney General Bill Barr use federal agents to arrest election workers in Pennsylvania and that election results in the state should be tossed.
With former Vice President Joe Biden getting closer to an electoral victory as mail-in votes in Pennsylvania continue to break heavily for him, President Donald Trump threw a televised tantrum on Thursday and doubled down on his baseless claims that the election is being stolen from him and he’s the rightful winner.
“If you count the legal votes, I easily win. If you count the illegal votes, they can try to steal the election from us,” Trump said. Team Trump, meanwhile, continued to file and threaten lawsuits in states where the president is trailing or could potentially lose.
Fox News host and informal Trump adviser Sean Hannity devoted the bulk of his Thursday night broadcast to proposing a new strategy to the president and his campaign: demand that Pennsylvania, the tipping point state, just re-do its election.
After selling Trump-boosting Sens. Lindsey Graham and Ted Cruz on the idea, the Fox News star then checked in with Gingrich, asking him about the focus of one of the Trump campaign’s recent lawsuits.
“Let’s see. Pennsylvania, Michigan, Wisconsin, all of them, a lot of them mention partisan observers are permitted to be present when ballots are counted,” Hannity stated. “But we get report after report that they are not being allowed to observe. Is that a violation of law? And how do you remedy that?”
“My hope is that President Trump will lead the millions of Americans who understand exactly what’s going on,” Gingrich fumed. “The Philadelphia machine is corrupt. The Atlanta machine is corrupt. The machine in Detroit is corrupt. And they are trying to steal the presidency. And we should not allow them to do that.”
Did the Russians give Komprat to Trump on these folks are they just all naturally grifting, lying, thugs?
Nancy Cook from Politico writes this: “Trump prepares to launch a second term early, even without winning. He may fire department heads like the FBI’s Chris Wray and Pentagon chief Mark Esper. He could sign base-pleasing executive orders. He might resume travel.” BTW, Esper submitted his resignation letter today. Biden is going to spend his first weeks undoing all those executive orders I’m sure.
President Donald Trump has struggled to convince the country he already won the election. So he’s just going to do the next best thing: Act like he’s starting his second term early.
Trump and his aides have settled on a plan for him to take full advantage of his existing perch at the White House to look as presidential as possible, according to three people briefed on the strategy. He may fire a few Cabinet members and top aides, including FBI Director Christopher Wray and Defense Secretary Mark Esper. He could sign a slew of base-pleasing executive orders. He might even resume his travel schedule. Meanwhile, Trump’s team is planning to mount even more legal challenges and cast evidence-deficient aspersions on the integrity of ballots.
CIA Director Gina Haspel is supposedly next on the chopping block.
Given all the waiting and confusion since Election Day, news consumers would be rightfully perplexed about why some outlets declared Joe Biden the winner of the 2020 presidential election on Friday morning while others held off.
Insider and our partners at Decision Desk HQ called the race for Biden while many other outlets had not.
DDHQ President Drew McCoy, a longtime campaign analyst, told us why he felt comfortable with the call.
Since the 2012 election, DDHQ has been calling everything from national races to local contests. It gained a more prominent reputation nationally in 2014 when it was the first service to call House Majority Leader Eric Cantor’s upset defeat in his reelection bid.
Ultimately, it came down to when Pennsylvania would no longer be winnable for President Donald Trump as votes from Philadelphia and other precincts continued to be tallied.
So why the call? “Because the data led us there,” McCoy said.
“Obviously we’ve known for a while that Philadelphia was counting votes. We knew what they had,” he continued. “Homework led us to a benchmark. We weren’t going to simply call it if, you know, Joe Biden had a 20-vote lead or something like that. It had to be a substantial lead that met certain benchmarks.”
While there are still more votes to count in Pennsylvania, McCoy said that a particular batch that came out on Friday morning pushed Biden over the top.
So, we’re assuming we’re looking at a President Biden and a Vice President Harris and we’re just waiting to see what it takes to pry him out of the People’s House and what crazy things a Mad King losing it can do.
What’s on your reading and blogging list today?