Hanging Up On Trump
Trump Launches a GOP Civil War
Last summer, the Republican Governor of Arizona, Doug Ducey, told reporters that he had a new ringtone on his phone. Whenever the president or vice president called, he said, his phone played “Hail to the Chief.”
Back in July, he explained:
"I've got a relationship with the president and when there's a need in Arizona, I talk to him directly," Ducey said during a July 9 press conference. "We've had so much outreach personally from both the president and the vice president that I had to change the ringtone on my phone. And it rings 'Hail to the Chief,' because I didn't want to miss another phone call directly from the White House to help the state of Arizona."
On Monday, Governor Ducey held a short ceremony to certify Joe Biden’s defeat of Donald Trump in Arizona, awarding the state’s 11 electoral votes to the former vice president. He also certified the election of Democrat Mark Kelly to the U.S. Senate.
“I will be signing official documentation today that will be hand delivered to the secretary of the U.S. Senate so Arizona’s newest senator can be sworn into office as swiftly as possible,” Ducey said Monday.
And then, as the governor signed his name to the official results, his cell phone rang to life.
It was playing “Hail to the Chief.”
As local reporters watched, Ducey pulled his phone out from his pocket,— and without answering — set it down and continued signing.
An iconic moment?
Not surprisingly, Trump did not take it well. He called into the hearing Rudy Giuliani was holding. “Arizona will not forget what Ducey just did,” Trump told the crowd.
Trump’s attack on the Republican governor of Arizona follows his attack on the Republican governor of Georgia, setting off a GOP civil war in both states.
What could possibly go wrong?
Welcome to the Countdown Journal. There are 7 days until the Electoral College’s “Safe Harbor” date; 13 days until Electoral College votes are cast; and 50 days until Joe Biden is inaugurated.
As of Monday, all of the key swing states that Trump had been contesting — Arizona, Wisconsin, Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Nevada — had all certified Biden’s victory.
In other words, the 2020 election is over. Again. And Trump still lost.
We have reached the-president-is-retweeting-someone-called cat-turd-about-voting-fraud stage of Election Trutherism.
How crazy is all this? Via Akiva Cohen: DNC brief in Sidney Powell’s Georgia case:
But, naturally, the Grift remains strong. Via the Wapo:
President Trump’s political operation has raised more than $150 million since Election Day, using a blizzard of misleading appeals about the election to shatter fundraising records set during the campaign, according to people with knowledge of the contributions….
This seems perfectly normal. Via the Bulwark.
On Monday President Trump’s campaign lawyer and former U.S. Attorney Joe diGenova said that fired Trump cybersecurity chief Chris Krebs should be executed for saying that the election was the “most secure in United States history.”…
“Anybody who thinks the election went well, like that idiot Krebs who used to be the head of cybersecurity [for Trump]. That guy is a class A moron. He should be drawn and quartered. Taken out at dawn and shot,” diGenova said.
Josh Hawley seems… confused.
Appearing on Tucker Carlson’s show, Hawley was asked about Biden’s appointment of Janet Yellen to be his treasury secretary. He reiterated his concerns about Biden appointing so many “corporate liberals and warmongers.”
Our colleague, Tim Miller pointed out the uh, bait and switch:
After Hawley tried to clarify his flip-flop, I felt the need to weigh in:
This is important. Yes, National Review has gone from Never Trump, to Trump is Great, to Maybe Another Four Years of Trump. But it’s a good sign that the venerable conservative magazine is calling Trump’s attack on the election a “disgrace.”
Trump’s most reprehensible tactic has been to attempt, somewhat shamefacedly, to get local Republican officials to block the certification of votes and state legislatures to appoint Trump electors in clear violation of the public will. This has gone nowhere, thanks to the honesty and sense of duty of most of the Republicans involved, but it’s a profoundly undemocratic move that we hope no losing presidential candidate ever even thinks of again.
Getting defeated in a national election is a blow to the ego of even the most thick-skinned politicians and inevitably engenders personal feelings of bitterness and anger. What America has long expected is that losing candidates swallow those feelings and at least pretend to be gracious. If Trump’s not capable of it, he should at least stop waging war on the outcome.
Mentally Seceding From The Union
In October, Michael Gerson recognized that Trump was trying to talk Republicans into “mental secession.” If anything, he was too optimistic: The mental secessions had already occurred, among Republicans and Democrats alike. We live and govern ourselves less as a single nation than as two rival nations on contested lands. At any given moment, one nation is in power, while the other spends four years enduring it, resisting it, and looking forward to regime change.
Mental secession results from the way we live. We increasingly segregate ourselves geographically into communities of shared values, as Bill Bishop documented a decade ago in The Big Sort. And we segregate ourselves intellectually, relying heavily on politically or culturally inbred sources of information. No wonder a presidential election’s losing side sees the winners like foreign occupiers—the two sides live in different worlds.
It never happened.
This is awesome.
There Aren’t Serious-Enough Consequences for Those Trying to Break American Democracy
Donald Trump will not serve a second term. The litigation launched by his campaign and the Republican Party to overturn the election results has no chance of preventing Joe Biden from swearing the oath of office on January 20—as Trump himself seemed to haltingly recognize last week after his administration finally allowed the presidential transition to begin. But even though the worst has not come to pass, Trump and his team are doing lasting damage to American democracy as the president struggles to come to grips with the reality of his loss. And yet, these lawyers and officials will likely face no real consequences for their actions—and if they do, those repercussions will not be enough to address the scale of the problem.