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Fifty-fifty America: A take a look at the dysfunctional US, post-election, with Trump refusing to concede

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President-elect Joe Biden is projecting the authority and function of an incoming chief government, naming a coronavirus activity power and vetting candidates for high positions for his administration. But for the present president, Donald Trump, the election is “not over.”

Lines from Dylan Thomas, a poet Biden is understood for quoting, are extra acceptable for Trump as a tussle between the incoming and the outgoing darkens the skies over America.

“Do not go gentle into that good night, Old age should burn and rave at close of day; Rage, rage against the dying of the light.”

Trump is raging all proper, however his world is more likely to finish “in a whimper” and never with a “bang”, to summon one other poet. He has 217 electoral votes to Biden’s 290, which is well past the profitable whole of 270.

As you learn this together with your morning cuppa, the American capital is making ready for a “Million MAGA March” by Trump supporters. “Make American Great Again,” the slogan made well-known by him in 2016, stays the anthem. A brand new group referred to as Stop the Steal, echoing the president’s declare the election was being stolen from him, will be a part of palms. So far no proof of widespread election fraud has emerged. A counter protest by the Them/They Collective, a homosexual satisfaction organisation, referred to as “F*ck MAGA” is deliberate close to the Supreme Court on the similar time.

The 50-50 America might be on full show because the nationwide nightmare continues. Former army generals and officers are nervous that Trump’s unfounded claims are endangering nationwide safety. Retired General HR McMaster, Trump’s former nationwide safety advisor (there have been a number of), stated displaying “weakness or division” at a time of presidential transition provides benefit to “malign actors like Iran and the Communist Party of China.” More apocalyptic eventualities embody Trump ordering all troops again from Afghanistan and Iraq.

The Democrats are involved that Trump gained’t concede and permit a dignified transition so Biden can start receiving the categorized nationwide safety briefing historically offered to a president-elect. But the key service started offering further cowl as outcomes got here in and secured the airspace over Biden’s house in Delaware. The state is a no-fly zone for the Ray-Ban Aviator man — Biden’s signature sun shades are a pop-culture factor.

But “Joe Cool” must be affected person because the twists and turns of the 2020 election play out. Washington hasn’t seen a turbulent transition resembling this shortly. Trump aides instructed Politico he was “unlikely to concede, he is unlikely to invite Biden to the White House (tradition), and he’s unlikely to attend Biden’s inauguration.” To be truthful, many Democratic Party lawmakers refused to attend Trump’s inauguration too. They referred to as him “illegitimate” — such was the shock of Hillary Clinton’s defeat by the hands of a political upstart they thought-about unfit, unseemly and unqualified.

Trump by no means had a honeymoon and he’s decided to disclaim Biden one. The 10 weeks between voting day and inauguration on January 20, 2021, might be tough, could also be even harrowing sufficient to suck the lifeblood out of common folks. The reduction felt by Biden supporters per week in the past shortly gave strategy to worry of what Trump may do. Wild theories flew round. Many Americans “got a feeling we’re not in Kansas anymore” however in some distant nation the place energy flows from locations aside from the poll field, not the magical, fantastical land Dorothy discovered “over the rainbow” within the American basic, Wizard of Oz.

Triple Challenge

That Trump would make life tough for Biden was a given. But Biden is shifting alongside, fielding calls from overseas leaders, receiving briefings from specialists and designing methods to work with a divided authorities. The blue wave didn’t come. Republicans gained seats within the House of Representatives and will hold management of the Senate, making life tougher for the president-elect if it weren’t so already — a galloping pandemic, a battered economic system, a healthcare disaster and disgruntled Trump voters he should assuage.

The Biden individuals are doing what they will to take cost. This week, they introduced “agency review teams” of about 100 volunteers who will assist the transition and work with every authorities division as a form of liaison officers for incoming political appointees. More than 20 Indian American names have been noticed within the groups, together with professors and former administration officers. Former surgeon-general Vivek Murthy is the co-chair of the coronavirus activity power. Murthy, the primary Indian American to carry the excessive place of surgeon common, is aware of Biden properly.

A brand new president has leeway to nominate his individuals to an estimated 4,000 federal authorities jobs. This non permanent military of political appointees can typically be an issue, as Biden is discovering out. A bit recognized Trump appointee in just a little recognized authorities company has refused at hand over the keys — actually. Emily Murphy, head of the General Services Administration, must formally log out on paperwork for the Biden group to entry authorities buildings and obtain $6 million in funds. But she gained’t.

Back in 2000, when Al Gore misplaced to George W Bush after a contested end in Florida and a Supreme Court judgment, it took 37 days for Americans to get the ultimate outcomes. It was solely in mid-December that Bill Clinton’s man on the GSA signed the papers. Every transition has its share of horror tales. Clinton’s aides eliminated the “W” key from scores of laptop keyboards once they left the White House to rub it in to George W Bush. Gore ought to have been president was the message from outgoing Democrats.

But 2020 is just not like 2000 and Trump’s authorized challenges gained’t reverse the end result as a result of Biden’s victory margins in battleground states are overwhelming in comparison with Bush’s lead of 537 votes over Gore. The writing on the wall is evident however the Republican management is afraid to take a stand in opposition to Trump. They worry Trump’s wrath and energy to wreck their careers with a flick of a Tweet. They have to look at their coattails for the 2022 mid-term elections and their very own presidential bids in 2024. They know Trump instructions the loyalty of 70 million voters nationwide. That’s only a truth, nevertheless impolite.

The high Republican within the Senate, Majority chief Mitch McConnell, and Trump’s most essential ally over the previous 4 years has publicly supported his choice to file lawsuits and ask for recounts however stopped in need of following the chief to a degree of no return and say the election was “stolen.” Others are doing related balancing acts.

Republicans really feel they need to humour the president in his hardest second — he has turn into “the one thing he hates the most: a loser,” The Washington Post reported. Senate Republicans are calling their Democratic colleagues privately to convey their finest needs to Biden, in response to Senator Chris Coons, a detailed pal of the president-elect and desirous of being his Secretary of State.

Trump is litigating not solely 2020 but additionally 2016 when the Democrats alleged that “Russian collusion” helped him win. In the final weeks of his presidency, Trump desires to declassify info that has since apparently been unearthed which rebuts these claims. He fired Defence Secretary Mark Esper this week through Twitter partially as a result of Esper opposed the transfer since it might compromise sources. Esper was in New Delhi final month for the India-US 2+2 dialogue.

Reports say Trump could hearth CIA Chief Gina Haspel and even FBI director Christopher Wray for a similar motive — not being loyal sufficient. Two high Pentagon officers overseeing coverage and intelligence resigned following Esper’s firing. Since the November three election, even the officer answerable for producing the local weather change report was proven the door, together with the deputy administrator of the US support company. Trump will most likely maintain the file for the variety of senior officers fired in a single time period.

A small step off the loyalty highway, and the axe falls. Who would have imagined the phrase “purge” within the context of American democracy? But that is the state of play 10 days after a historic election however one which was nearer than anybody predicted. Some of the enjoyment the Democrats needed to really feel was instantly tempered as outcomes poured in. A Congresswoman who gained her seat narrowly in opposition to a Republican contender instructed the social gathering caucus she didn’t need any extra discuss of “socialism” and “defund the police.”

The Left’s heroine, Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, clapped again with an interview to The New York Times. Do extra door knocking and use extra digital media and could also be you’ll do higher, the younger chief suggested.

Saving or Stealing?

Meanwhile, Trump supporters are in mourning, making an attempt to course of the loss. They gathered in small numbers in small pockets from Minnesota to Arizona carrying placards that stated “Stop the Steal”. Trump has launched a brand new political motion committee referred to as “Save America” purportedly to defend the election however it really will fund his new political endeavours, when you learn the advantageous print. Small donors most likely don’t know as they half with hard-earned cash to “save” democracy. They consider the present should go on.

So far, Trump attorneys haven’t gained any instances within the six states they focused and investigative reporters have debunked the remainder, together with the declare a large number of “dead” individuals voted. The rating is 0-12 as of now. Even if just a few thousand votes throughout the battleground states are discovered to be invalid — one of many many causes cited by the Trump marketing campaign for his loss — they’re hardly sufficient to tip the steadiness in opposition to Biden. His lead is within the tens of 1000’s.

As the Trump marketing campaign exhausts authorized avenues, states’ officers are within the means of certifying outcomes to ship “electors” to state capitals on December 14 when they are going to forged their votes for the winner of that state. The outcomes are then signed and sealed and despatched out, together with a set to Vice President Mike Pence, who additionally serves as president of the US Senate. The US Congress will meet on January 6, 2021, for a joint session to depend the electoral votes and declare the official winner. Yes, technically the outcome is just not “official” but. But the custom of The Associated Press and main cable networks declaring a winner has lengthy been in place. They “call” a state in a candidate’s favour solely when traits turn into clear. Counting continues to be on however 99% of the votes have been tabulated.

Between now and inauguration, Americans will stay anxious. One half doesn’t belief Trump to do the appropriate factor and the opposite half feels Biden shouldn’t be taking the oath. The file turnout solely proved the deep divide.

This democratic train value an unprecedented $14 billion in personal cheques by the wealthy and in small donations by the center class. But Republicans and Democrats had did not go a second stimulus bundle on the time of writing regardless of a second wave of the pandemic raging by means of the nation.

Seema Sirohi is a columnist based mostly in Washington DC.


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