The Bullshit hits the fan edition
In this edition: (1). Trump cajoles, bullshits, threatens Republicans to avoid his single-term fate; (2). A fact-check finds Trump’s claims wanting; (3). Hypocrisy is the real winner of this election; (4). 10 former secretaries of defense warn against the military getting involved; (4). Nancy Pelosi kept control over the weakened Democratic majority in the embattled House; (5). Georgia runoffs and the COVID-19 relief package
Want to overturn a certified election? Remember: Flatter, frighten, lie, beg
The president expressed his desire to “find 11,780 votes” during an hour-long call with Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, a Republican.
A Washington Post obtained recording reveals Trump pleading, flattering, threatening the secretary of state to be his own personal election genie. The most encouraging thing about Trump’s corruption is that it is nearly out of office.
A BBC report fact-checked six of the claims made by Trump during the call, unsurprisingly finding them to be unable to substantively prove their allegations: that there was rampant fraud this election, unjustly denying Trump a second term. During his single term tenure, President Trump has proven a willingness to machine gun spray lies from the bully-pulpit. Despite what his supporters claim, the Trump has not substantiated his claims and has instead thrown accusations of fraud and malpractice at the wall in the hopes of escaping becoming a single-termer, the first this century.
In fact, Trump has been cajoling, threatening, and begging Republicans generally. Senator Tom Cotton was told Republicans will “NEVER FORGET!” those in the party who refuse to close ranks on an electoral college challenge, shortly after Cotton let slip that he would not be joining in on the challenge of certified electoral votes. Former House Speaker Paul Ryan has called it “undemocratic and anti-conservative”, which in the old-fashioned meaning of conservative it would certainly be.
Some Republicans, like Senators Cruz and Johnson, have reportedly offered support for the challenge. In the face of these things, the support has revealed some rank hypocrisy, such as when the Republican Congressman from Texas Chip Roy highlighted that any attempt to de-legitimize the presidential results would also open up Congressional election results since it is in fact the same election and ballot process that returned both results, leading a representative from Arizona to claim his election results were fair and only the presidential results were under suspicion.
To coup or not to coup?… It’s NOT the question.
No less than ten former secretaries of defense signed an opinion piece published in the Washington Post to warn against trying to bring the military into the attempt to dispute the election results, a move they say would be dangerously “unlawful” and “unconstitutional”. Gen. Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and others, have echoed similar sentiments. It should be unsurprising that Trump does not command the respect or trust of the military required to implement a coup, even if it is alarming that this fact has become relevant.
The Senate and the House reap the whirlwind
Of course, President Trump did sign the COVID-19 relief package. The package was something of a faceplant for Democrats in the legislature who somehow managed to negotiate the bill down to $900 bil. It will not be nearly enough, and Democrats in the legislature have said there will be more to follow.
Speaking of which, Nancy Pelosi kept control over the weakened Democratic majority in the embattled House, winning reelection for speaker by a slim margin.
This all happens in the lead up to the runoff elections in Georgia in which the Republicans hope to secure two Senate seats. This election will establish the tone and tenor of the incoming Biden administration, and despite the fact that Trump has gone to Georgia, Republicans are concerned he may be endangering their control of the Senate.