What I dared not hope for may happen: Biden in the White House (my preference between the two major parties) with the Senate still in Republican hands. I will not support the QAnon Georgia Republican Senate candidate, but I may try to push David Perdue over the top in the January Georgia runoff.
My struggling local newspaper, always eager for free content that will interest readers, has a panel of Rapid Responders who it periodically polls with rather open-ended questions. One of two this week was “what are your take-aways from this election?” My (50 words or fewer) response, written in a sudden burst of late-night energy:
- The median American loathes Donald Trump slightly more than he/she fears The Squad and the rest of the Democrats’ Left.
- The Republican Workers Party is an emergent force to be reckoned with.
I stand by both.
The networks have just called the election for Joe Biden. Sic transit gloria MAGA.
The (Wall Street) Journal story is pretty incredible … but about what you would expect from a president whose mouth writes checks the rest of him can’t cash. Seriously, how is it that you spend months telling your supporters that you are going to fight this in court if you have to, but then half-ass the legal prep? When the GOP went down to Florida in 2000 to wage legal war in the Bush-Gore contest, they sent the lawyer equivalent of Seal Team Six. Now? The fact that Trump doesn’t take this seriously telegraphs to conservatives how seriously we should take him from now on.
Rod Dreher, MAGA Blues And Bitter Klingers | The American Conservative (emphasis added).
The one person who I won’t give the benefit of the doubt to is Trump himself. He is lying. He anticipated this scenario precisely so he could lie about the election being stolen. For months he told his voters that they should vote on Election Day—and they listened to him. Meanwhile, Biden voters didn’t. That’s why early votes went wildly for Biden and Election Day votes went wildly for Trump. We knew this would happen. We talked about this happening. Trump knew that the early votes would be for Biden. He said in advance that he would claim victory on Election Day if he was ahead before the early votes—which were cast first but counted last in many jurisdictions—were counted. He even telegraphed that he would claim those mail and absentee votes were fraudulent. And lo and behold, that’s precisely what he did. If he actually had the power to “stop the voting”—which really meant “stop the counting”—in those states, he would be guilty of the greatest example of mass voter fraud in American history. He tried—and is still trying—to commit voter fraud, and it is flatly outrageous and disgusting. He’s literally the one trying to steal the election, and—as is so often the case—he’s trying to do it by claiming his enemies are the guilty ones.
I could vent more. But if you can’t see the incredible shame of this series of events by now, you’re part of the problem.
Jonah Goldberg, Mandates, Clowns, Oh My – The G-File (emphasis added).
Just this morning, Nancy Pelosi said that Biden will have a bigger mandate than JFK. This is ridiculous for a bunch of different reasons, which I’ll get to in a second. But my point here is just to note that, having said Trump didn’t have much of a mandate with 306 Electoral College votes makes it much easier for me to say the same thing about Biden. If you went around yammering about how Trump had a massive mandate to do whatever he wanted, denying that Biden has a mandate is just that much harder.
As I’ve been saying to my Trumpy friends throughout the Trump era, think about your answer to the question: “What can the next Democratic president do that you won’t be a hypocrite for criticizing?”
The moment he takes the oath of office he will have already fulfilled his core mandate: to not be Donald Trump. His second most obvious mandate will be well on its way to fulfillment the moment he starts taking Anthony Fauci’s phone calls.
After that, everything else is up for negotiation …
Jonah Goldberg, Mandates, Clowns, Oh My – The G-File
Note these names as people never to trust again:
Senator Ted Cruz: “What we’re seeing tonight, what we’ve been seeing the last three days, is outrageous. It is partisan, it is political and it is lawless. We’re seeing this pattern in Democratic city after Democratic city, with the worst in the country right now is Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.”
Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich: “You have a group of corrupt people who have absolute contempt for the American people, who believe that we are so spineless, so cowardly, so unwilling to stand up for ourselves, that they can steal the presidency … No one should have any doubt: You are watching an effort to steal the presidency of the United States.”
Senator Lindsey Graham: “The allegations of wrongdoing are earth-shattering … So Senate Republicans are going to be briefed by the Trump campaign Saturday, and every Senate Republican and House Republican needs to get on television and tell this story.”
Fox News Hits a Dangerous New Low – The Atlantic
In what must surely be among the most noxious claims printed in recent years by the New York Times, he concludes that, “All of this to me points to the power of the white patriarchy and the coattail it has of those who depend on it or aspire to it. … Some people who have historically been oppressed will stand with the oppressors, and will aspire to power by proximity.”
Blow’s gross accusation follows “analyses” from several other writers blinded by staring incessantly through the same racial lens. Nikole Hannah-Jones of 1619-Project fame solves her conundrum by deciding that some minorities who support President Trump actually are white while The Root’s Michael Harriot explains that such support is how they become white. Washington Post reporter Eugene Scott says they “support white supremacy” and his colleague Karen Attiah describes them as “going along to get along” with white supremacists as a “survival strategy.” A befuddled Paul Krugman, perhaps looking backward through his binoculars, declares that he has “no idea what the true lessons are.”
Turn the binoculars around, and it is easy to see a realignment of working-class voters, regardless of race, toward the party that expresses an interest in their economic concerns.
The idea of conservatives as the vindicator of workers’ interests may sound strange, but only because we have forgotten what conservatism means. The market fundamentalism that we call “conservative,” celebrating growth and markets without concern for their effects on family and community, and trusting that the invisible hand will invariably advance the interests of the nation, is libertarian. Conservatives are moving beyond it. And experience now suggests that, as they do, a broad-based, multi-ethnic coalition of working families could be eager to join them.
Oren Cass, A Multi-Ethnic, Working-Class Conservatism – American Compass
(I made my Rapid Response before I read this, though I was already somewhat familiar with Cass’s thinking.
Bookend 1, a case for not reading or watching news.. Bookend 2, a case, essentially, that today’s news environment causes acedia. Between the two stands sanity.
I could add to these C.S. Lewis, who wrote of modern news as, basically, exceeding our design specifications – a similar very point to the second bookend.
Like my other diets, I broke my news diet during th’illiction, but hope to get back on track.
I suspect Trump is going to file lawsuits so he can blame incompetent lawyers or corrupt judges for his loss instead of admitting it’s on him alone.
Trump Isn’t Going Anywhere
“There is nothing about him that goes gently into the night.”
That threat — that the Trumps would undermine any future presidential candidate who didn’t support them in their hour of need — is only powerful if Trump himself can still draw eyeballs. Without Twitter, without the ability to get live television coverage wherever he goes, that power will be diminished. And without that power, what exactly does Trump have going for him to ensure the loyalty of ambitious Republicans?
The day the world stopped paying attention to Donald Trump
Peter Nicholas seems right, Joel Mathis too hopeful. The media have made millions if not billions off Trump, and are unlikely to un-person him if there’s more to be made.
A Twitter account belonging to President Donald Trump’s former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon was permanently suspended late Thursday after he suggested Anthony Fauci, America’s top infectious disease expert, and FBI Director Christopher Wray should be beheaded for failing to adequately back Trump.
Bannon actually said some thoughtful things in the distant past. His loss to the fever swamps, of which he was a builder, is a shame.
Blogging note: For years, I criticized the GOP for “Zombie Reaganism,” a resort to the Gipper’s tropes in changed times. I even created a category for it.
Say whatever else bad you will about Trump, but he was not a Zombie Reaganite, and he quickly suppressed it in the GOP. I haven’t needed that category for years. We’ll see if that holds with the GOP out of the White House.
And finally, one a more timeless topic:
The shift from church power to state power is not the victory of peaceable reason over irrational religious violence. The more we tell ourselves it is, the more we are capable of ignoring the violence we do in the name of reason and freedom.
William Kavanaugh, The Myth of Religious Violence
Out of the crooked timber of humanity no straight thing was ever made.
You shall love your crooked neighbour
With your crooked heart.
You can read most of my more impromptu stuff here or join me and others on micro.blog. You won’t find me on Facebook any more, and I don’t post on Twitter (though I do have an account for occasional gawking).