As the never-ending Trump temper tantrum of this post-election drags on, and as my initial joy of electing a capable man and woman for president and vice president devolves into anxiety and fear, I am beginning to wonder if I made the right decision.
Don’t get me wrong. As a lifetime Democrat, I am thrilled that Joe Biden and Kamala Harris were elected by a clear and decisive vote. Yet, the rather milquetoast response by the president-elect to what was clearly a blatant act of sedition on the part of Donald J. Trump and his flat-earth enablers has been discouraging.
If Biden is not willing to go toe-to-toe with gloves off to oppose this despicable attempt to overturn a fair election, how will he deal with the myriad of bare-knuckle fights that await his four-year term in the Oval Office?
When Michelle Obama tossed out her tidy little soundbite at the 2016 Democratic Convention of “when they go low we go high” I winced while the audience cheered. The Republicans have long since abandoned any courtesies. Play fair? Please. From the impeachment of Bill Clinton to Mitch McConnell’s antics regarding Supreme Court justices and his refusal to allow votes on a passel of bills that might actually help American citizens, the Republicans have been blazing this trail to the dark side for decades.
They play dirty, they discard norms, they own the language (what is the counter phrase to “pro-life”? “Pro-death”?) and now with OANN and Newsmax’s popularity soaring, they outright oppose facts.
Now, if you think I’m overreacting, and that what the Trump team in its transparent attempts to try and overturn the will of the voters was somehow within the bounds of law, read these three statutory definitions of sedition:
- To conspire to overthrow or destroy by force the government of the United States or to level war against them;
- To oppose by force the authority of the United States government; to prevent, hinder, or delay by force the execution of any law of the United States; or
- To take, seize, or possess by force any property of the United States contrary to the authority thereof.
Pay special attention to number 2. The summoning by Trump of Michigan’s Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey and House Speaker Lee Chatfield to the White House by Trump has to be seen as opposing the authority of the United States. You know, the election. The will of the people. Can you guess what the meeting was about? Biden won Michigan by a huge margin of 150,000 votes and fortunately Michigan certified the election victory to Biden.
I’m not a Constitutional attorney, but isn’t the lack of concession and the delay in turning over transition funds by the Trump administration delaying the execution of law?
Biden’s response to the meeting of Michigan officials at the White House and the casting aside of any normal transfer of power?
“It’s just outrageous what he’s doing,” Biden said. No need for an exclamation mark.
Outrageous? How about “criminal”? It’s almost as if Biden is sitting in a library carrel trying to adhere to the “please be quiet” signs. Shouldn’t he be screaming from the rooftops in UPPER CAPS!? Our very democracy continues to be at stake. Shouldn’t the president-elect be calling out the names of each and every spineless Republican senator that continues to refuse to acknowledge his win in the electoral college? Does Biden really believe that “going high” in these feeble pushbacks with the senators will lead to bipartisanship later on? It won’t.
Why not launch lawsuits? Last I heard there were no shortage of lawyers in Washington DC willing to go after Trump. Why not have Speaker Nancy Pelosi initiate impeachment hearings today? If McConnell can seat a Supreme Court justice in a matter of weeks why can’t the Democrats impeach Trump in the next few weeks?
(Odds are that if a Supreme Court justice retired or died during the current lame duck session a new conservative judge would be installed by January 20, 2021, or before.) Biden needs to douse any embers of this and any future coup attempts immediately.
The real danger is that although Trump’s quixotic and bizarre lawsuits that allege voter fraud have thus far been thrown out of courts they have set the stage for distrust in the outcome of the Georgia senate runoff elections next January.
Additionally, the lame duck president’s scurrilous actions have created a 2024 comeback for Trump or a Trump-like demigod. Will the passive Biden simply be a pleasant placeholder until then?
When one contemplates another four years of Trumpian autocracy the word outrageous seems inadequate. Actions taken today could prevent that from becoming inevitable.Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the editorial position of The Globe Post.