The national dialogue right now is so bizarre as to be out of a mind bending movie script, like The Matrix, as opposed to the traditionally calm post-election updates, which occur every four years during the interregnum, as one political star rises and another one sets. Donald Trump will not accept the results of the 2020 election. He is hell bent on overturning the election. That much is evident from the fact that he attempted to persuade two canvassers in Wayne County to rescind their votes certifying the election a few days ago and this afternoon he’s set to meet with state Republican officials from Michigan. For what? We can only infer that he wants to persuade them to ignore the popular vote results and install electors of their own in Michigan, who will vote for Trump.
Since all of Trump’s dialogue, not to mention his creature cantina legal team’s dialogue, has been about overturning the results of a free and fair election, this meeting with Michigan officials is the point of no return. It may seriously be time to impeach him — again — lame duck status and all, to stop this blatant erosion of norms. It’s a long time until January 20 and Trump is doing no small amount of damage. Esquire:
Now that Donald Trump, the President of the United States, is personally “reaching out” to members of a Michigan election board as part of a larger plot to simply throw out the results of an election he lost by a comfortable margin, maybe we can stop pretending this is just a public tantrum we can allow to burn out until he falls into a fevered nap. That his allies believe the president must be approached like a spoiled toddler is itself an indication of our national decline, and an indictment of all the lackeys who’ve worked so hard to make this state of affairs possible. But his campaign is also in court asking a judge to simply nix the election in Pennsylvania and give him the Electoral Votes. This is not just another meltdown to be managed, as we all try to dodge the toys he’s throwing out of the crib. He should be removed from office for crimes against the American republic.
I have said in private for some time that I believe Trump, if he is to actually leave office, may have to be impeached in the lame duck period. It’s often been met with eye-rolls, but there are a number of reasons to believe he simply will not leave willingly, even if it’s useful and necessary to call on him to resign. The first is that he may well face criminal jeopardy in multiple jurisdictions once he loses the immunity protections of the presidency. This guy has been crooked for a long time, and while a staggering number of the people around him have faced prison time, he has yet to see any real consequences. He does not intend to. He also owes a lot of people a lot of money, and it’s not clear he could make good even if he wanted to. (He does not.) Beyond the practical, there is the specter of his towering ego and his crippling fear of humiliation. His impulsive and shameless behavior, often bordering on nihilism, is driven in no small part by a primal urge to avoid paying the piper. It’s worked for him his whole life. This guy never pays his bills—to contractors or to the bank—and nothing ever comes of it. Why should that stop him now? […]
… even Trump’s more reluctant allies in the Republican Party are interested in using the lame duck to turn Biden’s entire presidency into the same. Trump’s destructive impulse has been highly useful in that regard: on the foreign-policy front, he is reportedly in the process of setting “so many fires that it will be hard for the Biden administration to put them all out.” He is also hard at work ransacking the federal bureaucracy to prevent Biden doing much of anything at all. Meanwhile, he’s not doing the actual job in any sense. His regime is doing nothing about the pandemic even as it explodes in severity. There will be no relief bill for businesses or local governments.
The man is doing nothing. If you check his public calendar since the election, he has nothing on it but lunches with Mike Pence and a few other top cronies and on the weekends he plays golf. All he’s accomplishing by staying in office is to sabotage Joe Biden and that is by design. Every obstacle that can be thrown in Biden’s way is being thrown. The GSA head who won’t turn over the office keys is just the tip of the iceberg.
And what about this Michigan meeting? Politico:
The scheduled meeting threatens two kinds of danger. At the largest level, it threatens the system of democratic presidential elections: If state officials start claiming the right to overturn elections because of vague claims about “fraud,” our democratic system will be unworkable. But in a more specific and immediate way, it threatens the two Michigan legislators, personally, with the risk of criminal investigation.
The danger to democratic elections is well understood. The Constitution authorizes state legislatures to decide how states choose presidential electors. For more than a century, every state legislature has chosen to do so by popular election. According to one school of thought, though, a state legislature could choose to set aside a popular vote if it doesn’t like the result and choose different electors instead. This is a pretty undemocratic idea, as well as one that misreads the history of election law: the National Review recently described it as “completely insane.” (State legislatures have the power to change the system for choosing electors in future elections, but not to reject an already conducted election just because they don’t like the result.) Nonetheless, the president is pushing for it. By so far refusing to go along with Trump, Republican state legislators have been standing up for the idea that fair, democratic elections are more important than any individual president. If Shirkey and Chatfield are reconsidering that view, they are playing with the possibility of throwing out the results of a free and fair election. That’s not something that the system comes back from easily. [emphasis mine]