What Now?! – 11/22/2020

“President Trump’s effort to overturn the election results is about to smash into reality: a gauntlet of battleground state deadlines that are poised to extinguish his increasingly desperate attempts to hold onto the presidency,” Politico reports.

“Michigan is due to certify its state results Monday. Arizona and Pennsylvania counties must also finalize their results the same day. On the heels of Georgia’s certification of Joe Biden’s victory on Friday, the series of administrative deadlines stands to all but formalize Biden’s win by officially affirming the results in enough contested states to put him over the 270-electoral-vote threshold.”

“A lawsuit brought by President Trump’s campaign that sought to block the certification of Pennsylvania’s election results was dismissed by a federal judge on Saturday evening,” the Washington Post reports.

Rick Hasen: “In a total loss the the Trump campaign, a federal district court in Pennsylvania has dismissed the most serious case brought by the campaign and denied the campaign a motion to file an amended complaint.”

“The judge just excoriates this suit, which those of us in the field have called ridiculous from the start.”

“The heads of the Republican National Committee and Michigan Republican Party issued a joint statement Saturday calling for Michigan’s state canvassing board to delay certification of the results of the election, marking the latest attempt by party leaders to intervene in the state’s electoral process,” the Washington Post reports.

“In the letter — signed by RNC Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel, who is from Michigan, and state GOP Chair Laura Cox — the officials ask the canvassing board to adjourn for 14 days and allow for a ‘full audit and investigation’ before they convene to certify the state’s election results, a procedural step that is set to take place on Monday afternoon.”

Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson has already rejected this call for a delay, saying: “Not sure who needs to hear this but under state law (MCL 168.31a) audits can only be conducted after the State Canvassers certify the election. This is b/c election officials do not have legal access to the documents needed to complete audits until the certification.” So the election will be certified on Monday, no matter what Trump’s lackeys demand.

James Fallows: “More than a year ago, I argued in these pages that if Donald Trump held virtually any other position of responsibility in modern society, he would already have been removed from that role… If any of them had demonstrated the impulsiveness, the irrationality, the vindictiveness, the ceaseless need for glorification that all distinguish Trump, responsible authorities would long ago have suspended them. The stakes—in lives, legal exposure, dollars and cents, war and peace—would be too great to do otherwise.”

“At the time of that comparison, the main case against Trump involved his temperamental, intellectual, and moral unfitness for the job. But since then we’ve moved into the realm of manslaughter. Yesterday nearly 2,000 Americans died of COVID-19. By Thanksgiving Day, another 10,000 to 15,000 will have perished. By year’s end, who knows? And meanwhile the person in charge of guiding the national response does nothing.”

“Republicans in Congress are engaged in a risky but calculated bet that once President Trump has exhausted his legal challenges to the election, he will come to grips with his loss to President-elect Joe Biden,” the APreports.

“But the opposite is happening.”

“As one Trump court case after another falls by the wayside, Trump is doubling down on efforts to disrupt the election outcome. Rather than accept the reality of the vote, the president is using the weight of his office to try to squash it. He summoned Michigan state lawmakers to the White House on Friday after personally reaching out to GOP officials ahead of next week’s deadline to certify election results. Others from Pennsylvania may similarly be invited in.”

Washington Post: Trump suffers twin defeats in effort to reverse Biden’s victory in key states.

“California capped a week of unprecedented coronavirus spread, with officials unsure how much worse it will get while placing hope that new restrictions could help slow infections as the holidays approach,” the Los Angeles Times reports.

“The staggering rise in cases caught many off guard, with long lines at some testing facilities and worries about whether Thanksgiving will cause even more people to be infected.”

“The U.S. passed 250,000 confirmed deaths from COVID-19 this week, a figure that is truly vast — too vast, perhaps, for us to comprehend,” Axiosreports.

“The psychic numbing that sets in around mass death saps us of our empathy for victims and discourages us from making the sacrifices needed to control the pandemic, while it hampers our ability to prepare for other rare but potentially catastrophic risks down the road.”

“President Trump has driven senators into retirement and tweeted wayward Republicans into primary defeat during four years leading the GOP. Now, as a lame duck, he’s launched a new campaign against GOP election officials who won’t bend to his will,” Politico reports.

Trump’s drive to discredit the results of an election he lost has put him at odds with the Republican elected officials and administrators who oversaw the vote in key states — and called it what it was: a free and fair election. Being at odds with Trump doesn’t go over well in today’s Republican Party, and Trump has turned their political bases against them, even unleashing threats from his most rabid supporters.

New York Times: “It is as if the vast machinery of diplomacy, business and lobbying has suddenly been recalibrated for the Biden era. Mr. Trump, by far the dominant world figure for the past four years, is increasingly treated as irrelevant.”

“Bank trade groups have begun meeting with Biden aides in anticipation of new fights over regulation. Foreign diplomats assuming a sharp turn in American foreign policy are retooling their agendas. Corporate executives, who are usually allergic to political statements, are saying out loud what most of Mr. Trump’s supporters have so far refused to acknowledge.”

“The Biden transition team is weighing attorney general contenders led by Lisa Monaco, who held key national security posts in the Obama administration, and Sally Yates, who gained fame when she was fired by President Trump,” Bloomberg reports.

“The choice of either would help President-elect Joe Biden achieve his goal of having women represented at the highest levels of his administration.”

“Monaco and Yates both had extensive careers inside the Justice Department and previously held positions that required Senate confirmation. But her history of tussling with the Trump White House might make Yates’s approval harder if the Senate is still controlled by Republicans.”

Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp (R) certified results showing Joe Biden won the presidential race over Donald Trump, “bringing the state one step closer to wrapping up an election fraught with unfounded accusations of fraud by Trump and his supporters,” the AP reports.

The presidential @POTUS Twitter handle will automatically transfer to President-elect Joe Biden the moment he’s sworn in at noon on Inauguration Day — whether or not President Trump has conceded, Politico reports.

New York Times: “Deaths nationwide were 18 percent higher than normal from March 15 to Nov. 7. Altogether, the analysis shows that 326,000 more people than normal have died in the United States during that period, a number that may be an undercount since recent death statistics are still being updated.”

“I’m not terribly popular with my party in the state of Utah. But that consequence is nowhere near as great as the consequence of violating your own conscience.” — Sen. Mitt Romney (R-UT), quoted by the Salt Lake Tribune, on his criticisms of President Trump.

“The founders would be absolutely horrified because this is what they always worried about.” — Presidential historian Michael Beschloss, in an i interview with NPR, on President Trump’s efforts to subvert the vote.

Sen. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), a stalwart supporter of President Trump, on Friday referred to Joe Biden as the country’s “president-elect,” a comment her staff later said was a mistake, the Tennessean reports.

She was asked whether she had been in contact with Biden to congratulate him, as president-elect, on his victory.

Said Blackburn: “I have not spoken with the president-elect. We did have the vice president come to the floor, the vice president-elect come to the floor this week to cast a vote. I was presiding at the time. Didn’t get to speak with her.”

Delaware politics from a liberal, progressive and Democratic perspective. Keep Delaware Blue.

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