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Sunday, November 29, 2020

The 20-day coup (and counting)

Everyone is sharing the Washington Post story on Trump's 20-day attempted coup, so here it is. It does not change my overall pessimism about how close we came or where we now stand. A few notable things:

• While the story describes the fringiest of the fringe taking control in the White House and the campaign, no one (other than some lawyers) walked away or spoke out against what he was doing. Most at least humored or appeased him. No one went on the record for this story. All of which enabled the narrative about fraud and a stolen election as much as Rudy's direct insanity.

• In her letter releasing transition funds, GSA head Emily Murphy insisted she delayed her decision and released funds "independently," without direct or indirect pressure from anyone, including the White House. The Post states that it happened only when Trump, after "prodding," "agreed to permit the General Services Administration to formally initiate the Biden transition." Someone is not telling the truth.

• The article's narrative is that this was a 20-day thing, running from Election Day until GSA acknowledged the transition on November 23. But Trump's effort to undo the election did not end on the 23d. Or now. The efforts continue--through his interviews on Fox News, his GOP allies in Pennsylvania seeking to change state law to override the popular vote, and the constant din of allegations of fraud, stolen elections, and illegitimate successors that have undermined Biden, likely irrevocably.

• Even with this new information, no one in the GOP establishment has spoken out. The story as they see it is "he just didn't have the facts to make the argument," rather than "he is genuinely trying to pull down democracy."

Posted by Howard Wasserman on November 29, 2020 at 03:12 PM in Howard Wasserman, Law and Politics | Permalink


Mere pessimism is the optimistic reaction, alas.

Posted by: Steven Lubet | Nov 30, 2020 6:49:46 AM

Howard, unfortunately you are correct. Senator Blunt (Missouri) also demonstated today that he's an invertebrate. The members of our unifromed services put their lives on the line to protect and defend the Constitution and our elected officials are terrified to speak or act in the defense of the Constitution. A truly reprehensible situation.

Posted by: Paul Sonnenfeld | Nov 30, 2020 2:35:03 AM

I wish it weren’t the case, but I think you’re 100% right that pessimism is called for under the circumstances.

Posted by: hardreaders | Nov 29, 2020 7:50:31 PM

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