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Opinion Trump Is Getting More Desperate—And More Dangerous

06:15  21 november  2020
06:15  21 november  2020 Source:   theatlantic.com

President Trump's defeat may give Supreme Court a rest from personal, policy lawsuits

  President Trump's defeat may give Supreme Court a rest from personal, policy lawsuits Many cases tied to Trump's policies or personal entanglements are likely to become moot or, at least, undeserving of the Supreme Court's attention.Even in the autumn of his presidency, little has changed. The administration came before the justices the week after Election Day in hopes of dismantling the Affordable Care Act, perhaps the most celebrated achievement of his predecessor. Later this month, it will defend its plan to exclude noncitizens from the census count used to apportion seats in the House of Representatives.

As Trump ’s odds of success decrease, the risks that his ever more extreme efforts pose are increasing.

The problem is that Trump 's instincts are more likely to make him double down on the divisiveness, anger, pettiness and rage. He is, however, capable of a grand gesture or performance that would steal some of the attention his Democratic opponent Joe Biden will get when he announces a female

The good news is that President Donald Trump’s attempts to defy the results of the election and remain in office keep falling flat. In court after court, judges have ruled against the Trump campaign and tossed out its lawsuits. Today, Georgia certified Democrat Joe Biden as the winner of the state’s presidential electors, after a federal judge yesterday rejected a prominent conservative lawyer’s suit seeking to block certification.

Donald Trump in a suit standing in front of a cloudy sky © Mandel Ngan / AFP / Getty

The bad news is that as Trump’s chances grow dimmer and deadlines near, his attempts to steal the election and subvert democracy have become more dangerous. This is the paradox that defines this moment: As Trump’s odds of success decrease, the risks that his ever more extreme efforts pose are increasing.

Broncos DC Ed Donatell back home recovering after COVID-related hospitalization

  Broncos DC Ed Donatell back home recovering after COVID-related hospitalization Broncos defensive coordinator Ed Donatell required hospitalization after contracting the coronavirus, according to the team. The second-year Denver DC was hospitalized last week but discharged Sunday. Donatell, 63, has been battling COVID-19 symptoms since Oct. 31 and has missed the past three games. Donatell, who is in his third stint with the franchise, is one of a few Broncos staffers to have contracted the virus. Running backs coach Curtis Modkins did so in October, and offensive line coach Mike Munchak was in the team’s COVID protocol.

His pronouncements are getting more disturbed and destructive. He is telling senior citizens that they are not vulnerable to the coronavirus. What he fears most is being embarrassed and humiliated. After all, he has spent his whole life branding himself as smarter and stronger and richer than anyone

Since the striking victories of Democrats up and down the ballot in 2018, President Donald Trump has been flailing more and more wildly. He’s setting new records for the length of the government shutdown

In the first hours and days after the polls closed, the president argued that if all the legal votes were counted, he would win. Now he has moved to trying to have votes thrown out—asking state legislators or courts to just ignore the balloting altogether, flout the will of voters, and simply make him president. Incredibly, he and his aides have not even bothered to offer some other pretense. They are now openly explaining, in media accounts (albeit anonymously) and in court filings, that the point is to disregard voters’ wishes.

“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,” Reuters reported Thursday. “A senior Trump campaign official told Reuters its plan is to cast enough doubt on vote-counting in big, Democratic cities that Republican lawmakers will have little choice but to intercede.”

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The ones who haven’t are getting desperate and dangerous . And while some Trump administration officials ( most notably National Security Adviser Robert O’Brien) have acknowledged the inevitability of a Biden administration, sources familiar with Trump ’s thinking say the President refuses

Read More . Such numbers utterly contradict the message that Trump was giving hours before he was diagnosed with the disease himself, that the US was "turning the corner" and that "the end of the pandemic is in sight." The newly diagnosed patients will not have the state-of-the-art facilities

[David A. Graham: Trump’s real scandal is hiding in plain sight]

As usual, Trump is doing all this in plain sight. He summoned the Republican leaders of the Michigan state House and Senate to the White House today for a meeting. Both men, though allies of Trump, have publicly rejected the idea of legislators throwing out the vote and selecting a slate of electors, and legal experts agree that state law precludes the move—though it will be interesting to see what the leaders say after their meeting.

Earlier this week, Republican members of a board of canvassing in Wayne County, which includes Detroit, threatened not to certify the election over minor discrepancies, then reversed themselves. Trump then reportedly called one of the two Republicans, who tried (unsuccessfully) to reverse their reversal. They insist the president did not pressure them. Meanwhile, Trump’s legal team is trying to achieve the same result by slightly different means in Pennsylvania, asking a court to throw out the vote and declare the president the winner.

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Germans were asked who was more dangerous : North Korea's leader Kim Jong Un, Chinese President Xi Jinping, Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah A similar YouGov poll was carried out in July last year, in which 48% of Germans surveyed said Trump was more dangerous than Kim and Putin.

But has it become more dangerous ? Not if you look at what's actually happened. President Trump may have stoked fears and churned up But Mr Trump has made the situation more dangerous by responding with fiery rhetoric, increasing the risk of accidental conflict with the reclusive and paranoid

A bizarre press conference yesterday at the Republican National Committee headquarters showed how chimerical the president’s legal case is. Rudy Giuliani harangued the press for not reporting that he has evidence of fraud, then refused to share the evidence with reporters. (Sidney Powell, another attorney, wouldn’t even share the supposed proof with friendly TV host Tucker Carlson, presumably because it doesn’t exist.) The lawyers offered a farrago of conspiracy theories—mysterious truckloads of votes arriving at counting centers, poll workers being instructed to ignore rules, shadowy foreign voting-machine companies futzing with the count to hand the election to Biden.

These ideas have all been comprehensively debunked, but they also make no logical sense, whether taken together or individually. Why would Democrats bother stuffing the ballot boxes with paper ballots if they could just change the totals later? Why would they bother fixing the presidential election while allowing Republicans to have a great night in House, Senate, and other down-ballot races? (The Pennsylvania suit asks that the presidential result be thrown out but has no problem with the commonwealth certifying all the other results that depend on the same ballots.) Why did Trump improve his performance relative to 2016 in the cities where fraud allegedly took place, even while losing ground in suburban counties where his campaign isn’t disputing the tallies?

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[Zeynep Tufekci: American’s next authoritarian will be more competent]

In another case, Trump lawyers argued that the Michigan results are invalid because the number of votes cast exceeds the number of voters in the precinct. But as the Trump-friendly Powerline notes, the lawyers appear to have confused Michigan and Minnesota precincts.

The Trump campaign’s initial strategy this month was to contend that some votes that were cast by mail should not have legally been allowed. This argument lacked grounding in law and sought to disenfranchise citizens who had followed the rules in casting their votes, but at least it offered some consistency and logic about which votes shouldn’t be counted. Since that failed, the president is now simply insisting without evidence that there is fraud and hoping that judges or legislators will toss the results wholesale in certain counties or states.

The Trump team’s tenuous claims would be laughable were they not so dangerous. First, there is always the outside chance that some enterprising legislators might actually try to discard votes, which would be a miscarriage of democracy. Second, the flimsiness of the claims is probably irrelevant. Polling suggests that huge portions of Republicans believe the election was rigged, and no number of debunkings is likely to convince them otherwise—this is motivated partisan reasoning, not thoughtful analysis. Besides, once the president has decided to place all his chips on simply circumventing the will of the voters, the strength of his argument no longer matters. What is important is brute strength. Luckily, he doesn’t seem to have it.

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[Jeffrey Goldberg: Why Obama fears for our democracy]

Nonetheless, most Republicans remain distressingly slow to challenge Trump’s claims. Early on, GOP lawmakers contended (anonymously, of course) that there was little harm in letting Trump throw his tantrum, since it would come to naught. This was a bad argument then, and it has not improved with age. As the president’s claims get more and more far-fetched, and his attempt to steal the election grows more overt, most Republicans are still remaining on the sidelines.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell appears to have concluded that Trump’s strategy probably won’t work, but that if it does, that’s fine. The few exceptions include the usual suspects, including Senators Mitt Romney and Ben Sasse. Other Republicans have tried to have it both ways, declining to condemn Trump or call Biden the president-elect, but also saying the administration should allow the transition to proceed, just in case. None of this rises to the challenge of the moment. Former President Barack Obama seems to have it right when he says these officials are going along with the subversion “not because they actually believe it, but because they feel intimidated by it.”

Although Trump is deeply unlikely to succeed in his attempted theft, he’s revealing weaknesses and softening up the system for a future authoritarian, who, as Zeynep Tufekci has written, is unlikely to be as bumbling as he is. Defeating Trump in an election was a straightforward enough task, and defeating him in court has proved even easier. But if he succeeds in undermining the system badly enough, it will mean that defeat at the polls just won’t matter next time.

Thousands rally in DC to support outgoing President Donald Trump, promote baseless allegations of 'voter fraud' .
Thousands of people were gathering in support of outgoing President Donald Trump in Washington, D.C., on Saturday to protest supposed "voter fraud".The rally – advertised by several names including Million MAGA March, Stop the Steal and March for Trump – started at Freedom Plaza to protest "voter fraud," to "show support for our President" and "demand a free and fair election," according to the Anti-Defamation League. Trump has refused to concede and leveled baseless allegations of voter fraud to falsely claim the election was stolen from him.

usr: 3
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