Tuesday, November 10, 2020

Fighting Election Results, Trump Employs a New Weapon: The Government

I know most Trump supporters hate the New York Times, but if you want to beat your enemy, you need to know him. And sometimes the Old Gray Lady serves it up for us on a platter.

I love this piece:

WASHINGTON — President Trump, facing the prospect of leaving the White House in defeat in just 70 days, is harnessing the power of the federal government to resist the results of an election that he lost, something that no sitting president has done in American history.

In the latest sign of defiance, the president’s senior cabinet secretary fueled concerns on Tuesday that Mr. Trump would resist handing over power to President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr. after legal challenges to the vote. “There will be a smooth transition to a second Trump administration,” Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said.

Mr. Trump’s attorney general has at the same time authorized investigations into supposed vote fraud, his general services administrator has refused to give Mr. Biden’s team access to transition offices and resources guaranteed under law and the White House is preparing a budget for next year as if Mr. Trump will be around to present it.

The president has also embarked on a shake-up of his administration, firing Defense Secretary Mark T. Esper as well as the heads of three other agencies while installing loyalists in key positions at the National Security Agency and the Pentagon. Allies expect more to come, including the possible dismissals of the directors of the F.B.I. and the C.I.A.

But the rest of the world increasingly moved to accept Mr. Biden’s victory and prepared to work with him despite Mr. Trump’s refusal to acknowledge the results. Speaking with journalists, Mr. Biden called the president’s actions since Election Day “an embarrassment” that will not serve him well in the long run. “How can I say this tactfully?” Mr. Biden said. “It will not help the president’s legacy.”

The standoff left the United States in the position of the kind of country whose weak democratic processes it often criticizes. Rather than congratulating Mr. Biden and inviting him to the White House, as his predecessors traditionally have done after an election changed party control, Mr. Trump has been marshaling his administration and pressuring his Republican allies into acting as if the outcome were still uncertain, either out of faint hope of actually overturning the results or at least creating a narrative to explain his loss.

The president’s efforts to discredit with false claims both the election results and the incoming Biden administration is in many ways the culmination of four years of stocking the government with pliant appointees while undermining the credibility of other institutions in American life, including intelligence agencies, law enforcement authorities, the news media, technology companies, the federal government more broadly and now election officials in states across four time zones.

Throughout his presidency, Mr. Trump has tried to condition much of the American public not to believe anyone other than him, with evident success. Although the evidence shows there was no widespread conspiracy to steal the election in multiple states that Mr. Trump has invented, at least one poll showed that many supporters accept his claims. Seventy percent of Republicans surveyed by Politico and Morning Consult said they did not believe the election was free and fair.

“What we have seen in the last week from the president more closely resembles the tactics of the kind of authoritarian leaders we follow,” said Michael J. Abramowitz, the president of Freedom House, a nonprofit organization that tracks democracy around the world. “I never would have imagined seeing something like this in America.”

Mr. Abramowitz doubted there was much danger of Mr. Trump overturning the election. “But by convincing a large part of the population that there was widespread fraud, he is seeding a myth that could endure for years and contribute to an erosion of public confidence in our electoral system,” he said.

Mr. Biden has proceeded without waiting for Mr. Trump’s concession and spoke on Tuesday with the leaders of Britain, France, Germany and Ireland.


matism said...

Nothing will change for the better until then!!!