Friday, July 31, 2020

Laurence Tribe and I Agree

“They’re trying to make it look chaotic but there’s a fail-safe mechanism built into the constitution itself,” Tribe said. “No matter how much dust he throws into the gears, at high noon on January 20th, 2021, if there has not been a new president elected, at that point, Nancy Pelosi, Speaker of the House become president of the United States.”

Tribe explained that “all of the enablers at that point would risk committing federal felonies if they were to exercise power, which they no longer have, because Trump would no longer be president.”

And all the nervous nellies who think that if Trump denigrates the electoral process, the republic will fall.  As if democracy were a fairy tale we all agreed on, a god we kept alive only by our "faith" in it, and if we collectively realize there is no Santa Claus, the whole thing goes "poof!"  If that's all it is, a collective delusion, then good riddance to it.

But the fact is, voter turnout in this country is a joke and always has been.  Why?  Probably because those people don't trust the electoral process or don't think it's fair or don't think it matters.  How do you think we got Trump in the first place?  And now, because of Trump's loose tongue (and what, did these pundits and pooh-bahs suddenly notice Trump says remarkably stupid things and the best course of action is to ignore him completely?), suddenly the foundations of the republic are built on sand and that sand is about to disappear because the national believe in the electoral bedrock is about to turn it into fairy dust?

Get real.

Trump will complain, his handful of supporters (it ain't 30% of the country, not by a long shot) will complain, and you know what?  That'll be status quo.  There's always been some group complaining that everything was illegitimate including daylight savings time and time zones, and that the earth is a sphere instead of a plate.  Get over it.  Civics is not pretty, and suddenly realizing democracy in America is a blood sport is not an excuse for retiring to the fainting couch in fear of the barbarians who've been living here too, all along.  What, you think Steve Bannon came here from Mars?

Cross the Hudson.  Get out of D.C.  Stop "bigfooting" places like Texas or Ohio or Florida. Hell, Molly Ivins tried to tell the NYT what Texas was like:  they didn't want to hear it.  Didn't fit their narrative.

Let the narrative die.  It's fiction anyway, just like the fiction that all will be well when we go back to believing in Constitutional Santa Claus.  The system was not supposed to put a clueless clown like Trump in the Oval Office, but it did.  And the system has survived it.  He's not a fascist dictator because he has no clue how to govern:  period.  And on January 20, 2021, if he's still in court declaring "HOAX" and "FRAUD!," his time runs out.  But he won't be in court.  He won't spend his own money on that process.  And if the DOJ tries to, by the time it gets to court it'll be 1/20/21, and the legitimate ethical question anyway will be:  why is the DOJ carrying candidate Trump's, lame-duck Trump's, water?

We will actually survive this.  There are worse consequences to the presidency of Donald J. Trump than what he said in a tweet.  Like the death and chaos and economic collapse the country is in right now.  Like the fact we were once a shining city on a hill, and now we're the international lunatic asylum.  Those should be our much bigger concerns.

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