For months before the election, pundits predicted there was no way Trump would concede and the constant rhetoric about mail-in ballots leading to massive fraud would serve as an excuse for him to not accept the results and to delay starting the transition.
And here we are.
Trump has posted dozens of conspiracy theories, flagged by Twitter, all of which are completely devoid of factual basis. Biden has a large margin in the Electoral College and won several swing states by huge numbers. In order for Trump to win, literally hundreds of thousands of ballots would need to be fraudulent.
So that’s exactly what the president is claiming.
This is of course, bullshit. So far there have been fewer than 5 cases of attempted voter fraud and zero cases of a fraudulent ballot being cast.
Trump has now lost or withdrawn THIRTY FOUR court cases over the election. As each argument has been swatted down, they’ve simply predictably moved on to the next.
Initially the suits focused on issues with the counting process itself. They solicited 234 pages of affidavits which included such egregious issues of poll workers being rude, a pollworker being large which was intimidated (yes, really), and someone saying it was suspicious that people in the military were voting for Biden. Needless to say, this was tossed out.
Once it became obvious they were losing every single lawsuit over the counting process, they pivoted to the next step – asking the courts and legislatures to just ignore the vote entirely. In multiple states, the Trump campaign has asked the courts to simply ignore the ballots entirely and declare Trump a winner. Trump is directly intervening to stop the certification of results so that sympathetic legislatures can declare him the victor. In Wayne County, Michigan, where Detroit is located. The two Republicans on the canvassing board said they would not vote to certify the results. They went so far as to say they’d certify the results in the cities outside of Detroit – which happen to be overwhelmingly white whereas Detroit has a huge black population. It turns out one of these board members for over a decade has been posting conspiracy theories about Democrats and racist memes about Obama. After a large public outcry, the Wayne County board voted to certify the results.
Then Donald Trump personally called them. After which both Republicans published affidavits saying they were forced to vote to certify the results and they wanted to “rescind” their certifications. Luckily, that isn’t a thing and there is no mechanism for them to change their votes. But to underline the danger here, the president is directly intervening with local officials pleading with them to reverse an election he decisively lost.
As Trump openly asks the Michigan legislature to simply ignore the election and appoint electors who will name him president, Trump reached out to two state Republican leaders and invited them to the White House. They discussed the election there. Both men, Lee Chatfield and Jim Lilly spent the night in DC after the meeting. They of course stayed at the Trump Hotel. Michigan taxpayers paid for their representatives to patronize the president’s private business as he was asking them to instigate a coup in his favor.
Conspiracy theorist lawyer Sidney Powell has joined Trump’s legal team after an exodus of more legitimate lawyers. She is claiming that a software company has flipped hundreds of thousands of votes nationwide. Recounts have compared paper results to the computer tallies. This is an insane lie. She’s blamed Hugo Chavez, who died 7 years ago, in part for this process. Why? The partial owner of one voting machine company is a Venezuelan immigrant. As part of this conspiracy theory, she says the US military has seized a computer server from a voting company in Germany that proves massive fraud nationwide. She has presented no evidence of this and there are the slight problems that we don’t send election data overseas, the company in question does not have any offices in Germany, and the US military does not conduct police raids in foreign countries we aren’t hostile towards.
This is not the fringe babbling of a crackpot. This is the president’s lawyer. The Republican Party itself sent out the video of her making these claims on their own social media.
The head of the GSA, the organization which kickstarts the transition process, is refusing to name Biden the apparent winner. Until she does so, he cannot access ANY government resources including information about the pandemic and the disease. She’s a Trump loyalist. One of her first official acts was to look into the conflict of Trump renting the building for his DC hotel from the government while also overseeing this government. This was explicitly forbidden by the lease. She resolved the conflict by declaring there wasn’t a conflict.
Meanwhile, Trump has ceased doing the job of the president other than a mass number of firings. He’s spent every weekend since the election golfing. This morning, the heads of the G-20 states held a Zoom meeting about the global pandemic response. Donald Trump skipped it to golf.
Four of the top Pentagon officials, including the Secretary of Defense, have been replaced with Trump loyalists. A court ruled that Acting DHS Secretary Chad Wolf’s appointment was illegal and therefore his orders were invalid. Trump has addressed this by appointing a new head of DHS for an afternoon, assigning Wolf to a new role, and then removing the temporary Secretary to re-appoint Wolf to the role. This, like so many other Trump actions, is an end-around to avoid seeking the required Senate confirmation for his subordinates. This will absolutely be challenged in court, but the point here isn’t validity – it’s simply chaos. The head of the DHS cybersecurity division which oversaw election security publicly stated that the election was secure, free of direct interference, and that no votes were electronically changed. In short, all of the president’s conspiracies about winning by a landslide were lies. He was repaid by getting fired, along with one of his deputies.
This isn’t limited to Trump. Lindsay Graham has called multiple Secretaries of State and in the case of Georgia’s, pressured him to throw out ballots which would swing the election to Trump there. (Georgia has since certified the election for Biden. So far, none of these efforts have succeeded.)
Trump is going to do as much damage to the country as he possibly can before leaving office and for the same reason he ran in the first place – spite.
And as he does this, elected Republicans simply stand by and watch. They are fine with burning the system to the ground. They are fine with the mass numbers of dead from the virus. And all of this because they know how unpopular their actual stances are and they think the chaos will help them retain power. None of this for them is about the 2016 election. This is a dry run for future elections. They are seeing what their supporters will go along with as far as fraudulently reversing elections they lose.
And the answer is anything at all.