Wednesday, September 23, 2020

Well What Are You Going To Do About It

Those of us who lived through 2000 know that the press will just treat the day to day developments as equally valid competing legal claims, with the balance of bias leaning towards the powerful, as always.
Trump may test this. According to sources in the Republican Party at the state and national levels, the Trump campaign is discussing contingency plans to bypass election results and appoint loyal electors in battleground states where Republicans hold the legislative majority. With a justification based on claims of rampant fraud, Trump would ask state legislators to set aside the popular vote and exercise their power to choose a slate of electors directly. The longer Trump succeeds in keeping the vote count in doubt, the more pressure legislators will feel to act before the safe-harbor deadline expires.

To a modern democratic sensibility, discarding the popular vote for partisan gain looks uncomfortably like a coup, whatever license may be found for it in law. Would Republicans find that position disturbing enough to resist? Would they cede the election before resorting to such a ploy? Trump’s base would exact a high price for that betrayal, and by this point party officials would be invested in a narrative of fraud.
"To a modern democratic sensibility." Well, yes, very modern.

And the judges, well, [gestures]. There are no referees coming to save us.