2020 USA presidential election

634 posts / 0 new
Last post
NDPP

Biden Runs to Trump's Right on Israel in Florida

https://mondoweiss.net/2020/09/biden-runs-to-trumps-right-on-israel-in-f...

"The Biden campaign is going to do anything it can to win Florida, including pandering to Jewish voters who are considering Trump due to Israel."

josh

From the above article:

And Biden is actually to Trump’s left on Israeli annexation — against it– and on the Iran deal — he would restore it.

melovesproles

I really hope Trump loses the election but Biden is the archtype of a losing Democratic candidate. The dictionary example. The loser stink is strong. And the fact that the Liberal media thinks Trump calling WW1 soldiers "suckers" is front page material is a bad bad sign. If this was a sports match, you would think they were deliberately trying to throw the game.

josh

Less than two months from election day, Roger Stone, the President's longtime informal advisor—whose sentence he commuted—is urging Trump to seize power by having federal agents physically block voting.

https://twitter.com/juliaioffe/status/1304884995367071744?s=20

NDPP

The Jimmy Dore Show

https://youtu.be/q9zKOpKmv4k

"Biden says he will increase the military budget."

 

The Jimmy Dore Show

https://youtu.be/js5t_loxiEw

"Democrats performative political theatre will be the end of us all."

kropotkin1951

josh wrote:

From the above article:

And Biden is actually to Trump’s left on Israeli annexation — against it– and on the Iran deal — he would restore it.

How is imperialism of either variety of the duopoly any kind of "left." Amazing that you believe fascism lite as presented by Biden is left wing. I hope the US falls into a civil war and splits into three or four countries. Imagine a world without US hegemony and endless war. I do and it does not include change coming from the most corrupt elections in the Western world. After Citizen's United even the most ardent supporters of the US must realize that it is not a democracy, because in a democracy billionaires are not allowed to buy politicians openly.

NDPP

More on the 'fantastic irrelevance of the American duopoly' and 'a United States that will resemble Brazil'.

USA Political and Economic Collapse

https://youtu.be/dZ8aW58JCnA

Chris Hedges discusses with economist Rick D Wolff, the economic and political collapse of the American empire. 'Trump and Biden are figureheads, the heads of parties that are only about the careerism of politicians and not the social issues we face as a nation. And that's never been clearer than today..."

Misfit Misfit's picture

The Democrats are trailing in Florida! Trump is winning the Latino vote. Technically the Dems have a slight lead in Florida but they are losing the Latino vote which could cost them the state.

https://www.google.ca/amp/s/www.nytimes.com/2020/09/12/us/politics/trump-scandals-woodward-midwest.amp.html

And the Dems are sliding in Nevada.

The Latino vote in Florida is very disturbing given Trump's last four years in office.  I cannot fathom why the Latino's are not connecting with the Democrats in that state.

 

josh

Arthur and Frank explained they’re not followers of QAnon. Frank says she spends most of her free time researching child sex trafficking, while Arthur adds that she often finds this information on the Russian-owned search engine Yandex. Frank’s eyes fill with tears as she describes what she’s found: children who are being raped and tortured so that “the cabal” can “extract their blood and drink it.” She says Trump has seized the blood on the black market as part of his fight against the cabal. “I think if Biden wins, the world is over, basically,” adds Arthur. “I would honestly try to leave the country. And if that wasn’t an option, I would probably take my children and sit in the garage and turn my car on and it would be over.”

https://time.com/5887437/conspiracy-theories-2020-election/

josh

Misfit wrote:

The Democrats are trailing in Florida! Trump is winning the Latino vote. Technically the Dems have a slight lead in Florida but they are losing the Latino vote which could cost them the state.

https://www.google.ca/amp/s/www.nytimes.com/2020/09/12/us/politics/trump-scandals-woodward-midwest.amp.html

And the Dems are sliding in Nevada.

The Latino vote in Florida is very disturbing given Trump's last four years in office.  I cannot fathom why the Latino's are not connecting with the Democrats in that state.

 

Maybe because Cuban-Americans are Republicans who always vote Republican?  And the rich Venezuelas vote Republican?  You don't find such a large grouping among Latinos in any other state.

laine lowe laine lowe's picture

I was going to say the same, Josh. Latinos of Mexican and Puerto Rican backgrounds vote very differently than those from Cuba and more recently, Venezuela. Back in the 80s, refugees from Central Amercia to Canada also had a similar divide - those from Nicaragua were ardent anti-socialists while those from El Salvador cherished assassinated Archbishop Oscar Romero as much as Black Americans continue to cherish Martin Luther King Jr.

Aristotleded24

Misfit wrote:
The Democrats are trailing in Florida! Trump is winning the Latino vote. Technically the Dems have a slight lead in Florida but they are losing the Latino vote which could cost them the state.

https://www.google.ca/amp/s/www.nytimes.com/2020/09/12/us/politics/trump-scandals-woodward-midwest.amp.html

And the Dems are sliding in Nevada.

The Latino vote in Florida is very disturbing given Trump's last four years in office.  I cannot fathom why the Latino's are not connecting with the Democrats in that state.

Deportations actually increased under Obama, and Biden served as his VP. Also in the Democratic Primary the Latino vote went largely to Sanders, and Biden has done nothing to actually win over those voters (or anyone else who supported Sanders in the Primary, for that matter).

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

“Mass Voter Disenfranchisement”: GOP Ramps Up Assault on Voting Rights Across U.S. Ahead of Election

With just seven weeks to go before the U.S. presidential election, the battle for the White House is increasingly being fought in courts across the country. From Wisconsin to Florida, Pennsylvania to Colorado, judges are making major rulings deciding who gets on the ballot, how a record number of mail-in ballots are handled and distributed, and who ultimately gets to vote on November 3. Ari Berman, senior writer at Mother Jones and author of “Give Us the Ballot: The Modern Struggle for Voting Rights in America,” says Republicans are carrying out a nationwide attack on voting rights aimed at keeping a shrinking white minority in power. “This is the Republican Party’s game: Don’t do anything for the American people, make it as hard as you can to vote, and then put in place judges who will then uphold those new voter suppression laws.”

NDPP

The Jimmy Dore Show

https://youtu.be/XcGGGvRJTfs

"The Russia-Gate used to stop criticism of Biden."

melovesproles

Everyone knows how this will play out. It's going to come down to the Republicans' ability to disenfranchise POC's votes vs the Democrats' ability to turn out the vote in a small number of key swing states. 

The problem is no one doubts the ability of the Republicans to disenfranchise voters. Biden on the other hand is the weakest Democratic candidate in my lifetime (I was too young to remember Carter's campaign so I don't know if that would be comparable. Seems pretty weaksauce in hindsight.) Fuck anyone who tries to blame the left for this. It was the DNC and the centrists who wanted to run this sadsack. We're all hoping that the sheer awfulness of Trump turns out voters and American democracy is robust enough to fight off the Republican disenfranchisement campaign. But how can anyone paying attention not be extremely pessimistic?

Michael Moriarity Michael Moriarity's picture

Scientific American endorses a presidential candidate for the first time ever. Of course, that's probably just because they're liberal elitists. The first 2 grafs of a long editorial:

Scientific American wrote:

Scientific American has never endorsed a presidential candidate in its 175-year history. This year we are compelled to do so. We do not do this lightly.

The evidence and the science show that Donald Trump has badly damaged the U.S. and its people—because he rejects evidence and science. The most devastating example is his dishonest and inept response to the COVID-19 pandemic, which cost more than 190,000 Americans their lives by the middle of September. He has also attacked environmental protections, medical care, and the researchers and public science agencies that help this country prepare for its greatest challenges. That is why we urge you to vote for Joe Biden, who is offering fact-based plans to protect our health, our economy and the environment. These and other proposals he has put forth can set the country back on course for a safer, more prosperous and more equitable future.

NDPP

No Matter Who Americans Vote For The Duopoly Always Wins (and vid)

https://twitter.com/TheSpinReport/status/1305556129934536704

"How do you spin Empire?"

NDPP

Breaking: House Democrats Set to Give 850,000 Acres of Nevade Wildlife Refuge to USAF for Proposed Military Bombing Range

https://twitter.com/MaxBlumenthal/status/1306311505986584578

"But how else are we going to save the children of Syria?"

 

Democrats' Climate Change Lies

https://www.blackagendareport.com/freedom-rider-democrats-climate-change...

"...Our lives do depend on bringing about change but that won't happen if Biden is the man in the White House. Supposedly progressive Democrats stole the language of the Green Party, the party they otherwise scorn, and claim they will initiate a Green New Deal.

But the Democrats who promote a watered down version are openly thwarted by their leadership. Their progressive wing is not serious and the establishment doesn't even pretend until the west coast is ablaze and then climate change is all they have. Climate change did not begin after Donald Trump was inaugurated. Pretending that one wing of the duopoly will behave differently than it has in the past is adding insult to one's own injury. The least we can do is call out the scoundrels as the sky turns red."

NDPP

Nancy Pelosi's Political Priorities (and vid)

https://twitter.com/partynxs/status/1306015487273377792

"If this capitol crumbled to the ground, the one thing that would remain is our commitment to aid for Israel."

 

Aristotleded24
NDPP

"I'm referring anyone who wants to virtue signal and voter shame leftists for not wanting to vote for Joe Biden to this excellent clip from Jimmy Dore..."

https://twitter.com/Anarch_King/status/1306428230610624512

NDPP

'One of the Most Callous Sentiments Ever Uttered By US President'

https://www.commondreams.org/news/2020/09/17/one-most-callous-sentiments...

"Trump falsely says COVID-19 death toll not so bad 'if you take the blue states out.'..."

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

Court Halts “Drastic Operational Changes” at USPS, Warning of Widespread Disenfranchisement

A federal judge in Washington state has temporarily blocked the U.S. Postal Service from new operational changes that have slowed down mail delivery ahead of the election. Judge Stanley Bastian accused President Trump and Postmaster General Louis DeJoy of being “involved in a politically motivated attack on the efficiency of the Postal Service.” He also said the changes created a “substantial possibility many voters will be disenfranchised.”

On Thursday, Trump continued to cast doubt on mail-in voting. In a tweet, he wrote, “the Nov 3rd Election result may NEVER BE ACCURATELY DETERMINED, which is what some want.” Twitter flagged Trump’s tweet and provided information about how voting by mail is safe and legal.

Pondering

NDPP wrote:

"I'm referring anyone who wants to virtue signal and voter shame leftists for not wanting to vote for Joe Biden to this excellent clip from Jimmy Dore..."

https://twitter.com/Anarch_King/status/1306428230610624512

That's BS from the first words. Biden didn't create Trump. The Republican Party created Trump by cynically promoting hate and ignorance. The left most certainly did not say nothing during Obama's terms.

Biden is definitely better than Trump. A bump on a log would be better. The left is rising within the Democrats.

There are lots of reasons to condemn the Democrats. Few people are voting for Biden. Most are voting against Trump.

 

NDPP

BREAKING: US Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, 87 dies of pancreatic cancer. President Trump is expected to put forth a nominee to fill RBG's seat in the coming days, multiple sources close to the president and with direct knowledge of the situation tell ABC News.

NDPP

RBG Death Means Two-Headed Uniparty Will Threaten Americans with Removal of Civil Rights

https://twitter.com/caitoz/status/1307146950521704448

"The opportunistic galvanization process has already begun before Ginsburg's body is even cold...Be mindful of those who try to route your energy into a political establishment that has never served you and never will."

Pondering

I read the article and followed a link to this https://medium.com/@caityjohnstone/how-to-defeat-the-empire-3bfdd468f439

She is way too naive. She thinks the alternative is to tear down the whole system and doing anything else is a waste of time. Beginning with:

Our psywar is fought with the goal of using our unprecedented ability to circulate information to continue to kill public trust in the mass media, not with lies and propaganda, but with truth. If we can expose journalistic malpractice and the glaring plot holes in establishment narratives about things like war, Julian Assange, Russia etc, we will make the mass media look less trustworthy.....

....Without an effective propaganda machine, the empire cannot rule. Once we’ve crippled public trust in that machine, we’ll exist in a very different world already, and the next step will present itself from there. Until then, the attack on establishment propaganda should be our foremost priority.

We tried that, it led to Trump. It led to believing it is all "fake news" turning people towards conspiracy theorists.

Undermining trust in government as an entity let to Trump, the non-politician sent to the White House to drain the swamp.

Voting for Biden does nothing to undermine the revolution and the Supreme Court crisis underlines just how important this is for the rights of women and minorities. BLM will erupt with more violence which Trump will crack down on mercilessly. He has already encouraged violent white supremists to attack BLM protests. They want a race war that black people will lose, and they will lose.

This will not cause Americans to rise up and revolt against the system. It will cause Americans to demand more power for police to protect them and even the military to squash sedition.

The grand majority of people just want to go about their lives in peace. Americans still think the US of A is the best country in the world. They are proud to have the most powerful military in the world.

Another Trump presidency is dangerous.

 

NDPP

Every American presidency is dangerous. As is Canadian collaboration with it. Just ask Libya etc.

 

Supreme Court Fight Exposes Bipartisan Hypocrisy

https://www.moonofalabama.org/2020/09/supreme-court-fight-exposes-bipart...

"...Four and a half years ago the situation was inverse. Then President Obama nominated Merrick Garland to replace the deceased Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia. The Republican led Senate blocked the decision. Mitch McConnel's argumentation back then was the opposite of his current one. The same holds true for Joe Biden. Contrary to his current position, then VP Joe Biden argued in 2016 that the Senate should proceed with the Garland nomination. His problem though was that he had earlier argued differently. While McConnell flip-flopped on the issue, Biden exceeded his hypocrisy by flip-flopping to then flip again.

Neither of them has principles. Neither of them is serious in their arguments. That is because they are just two slightly diverging [old white] men serving the same unitary oligarchy. The only question left is if McConnell will shepherd Trump's nominee through the Senate confirmation before or after the November 3 elections. Whatever way he chooses it is likely the US Supreme Court will soon have a solid conservative majority.

As much hagiography as Ruth Ginsburg is now receiving it is her and the Democrats' fault that this is happening. Ginsburg should have retired when she was urged to do so. In summer 2013 then President Barack Obama invited Ginsburg for a talk. It was seen as a request for her to retire. The details are not known but Ginsburg rejected whoever Obama had in mind. In consequence important court decisions like Roe v Wade are now in jeopardy. Democrats should rue this but are unfortunately unlikely to learn from it."

Michael Moriarity Michael Moriarity's picture

In another thread, discussing the pros and cons of the Canadian Charter's notwithstanding clause, I commented that U.S. progressives might be wishing for a notwithstanding clause of their own. Well, I just found out that such a thing is in fact lurking in Article 3 of their constitution.

Christopher Jon Sprigman wrote:
Perhaps the most powerful argument for jurisdiction stripping is that the Constitution clearly permits it. Article III, section 1 of the Constitution gives Congress complete discretion on whether to create the lower federal courts, a power that Congress has used from the founding to limit lower courts’ jurisdiction. And Article III, section 2, clause 2 explicitly empowers Congress to make “exceptions” to the Supreme Court’s appellate jurisdiction—that is, to pick and choose for approximately 99 percent of the Supreme Court’s total docket what cases the Court has the power to hear. As I explain in a law review article, to be published in December in the New York University Law Review, under its Article III authority, Congress can remove the Supreme Court’s appellate jurisdiction over particular cases, or particular issues, largely without constraint.

Aristotleded24
NDPP

Joe Biden Torpedoes Bernie Sanders in Pitch to Wisconsin Voters Worried About Socialism...

https://www.mediaite.com/news/joe-biden-torpedoes-bernie-sanders-in-pitc...

"Former VP Joe Biden rather bluntly invoked his Democratic primary victory over Independent Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders when he was asked to allay Wisconsin voters' alleged worries about socialism, saying 'I beat the socialist!'

 

"The Democratic Party is less a political party in pursuit of  particular policy goals than a professional association organized to defend and advance the careers of its most valued members." - Osita Nwanevu -

NDPP

MSM promotes yet another CIA press release as news

https://twitter.com/caitoz/status/1308590070933250049

"The Washington Post, whose sole owner is a CIA contractor, has published yet another anonymously sourced CIA press release disguised as a news report which just so happens to facilitate longstanding CIA foreign policy.

In an article entitled 'Secret CIA assessment: Putin 'probably directing' influence operation to denigrate Biden,' WaPo's virulent neoconservative war pig Josh Rogin describes what was told to him by unnamed sources about the contents of a 'secret' CIA document which alleges that Vladimir Putin is 'probably' overseeing an interference operation in America's presidential election.

And somehow, in our crazy, propaganda-addled society, this is accepted as 'news'..."

jerrym

The following Atlantic article, entitled "The Election That Could Break America", discusses plans that Trump already has in operation to steal the election. The Republicans already have legions of lawyers set to contest mail-in non-Republican ballots, because they already know the names of the vast majority of their voters. Thanks to extensive canvassing and computers they plan on contesting other ballots to run out the clock to December 8th so that under the Constitution state legislatures can then appoint electors to the electoral college. All six of the so-called battleground states, as well as others, have Republican dominated legislatures that could then pick the electoral college electors and thus the President. 

Conventional commentary has trouble facing this issue squarely. Journalists and opinion makers feel obliged to add disclaimers when asking “what if” Trump loses and refuses to concede. “The scenarios all seem far-fetched,” Politico wrote, quoting a source who compared them to science fiction. ...

There is no version of the Interregnum in which Trump congratulates Biden on his victory. He has told us so. “The only way they can take this election away from us is if this is a rigged election,” Trump said at the Republican National Convention on August 24. Unless he wins a bona fide victory in the Electoral College, Trump’s refusal to concede—his mere denial of defeat—will have cascading effects. ...

lot of peopleincluding Joe Biden, the Democratic Party nominee, have mis­conceived the nature of the threat. They frame it as a concern, unthinkable for presidents past, that Trump might refuse to vacate the Oval Office if he loses. They generally conclude, as Biden has, that in that event the proper authorities “will escort him from the White House with great dispatch.”

The worst case, however, is not that Trump rejects the election outcome. The worst case is that he uses his power to prevent a decisive outcome against him. If Trump sheds all restraint, and if his Republican allies play the parts he assigns them, he could obstruct the emergence of a legally unambiguous victory for Biden in the Electoral College and then in Congress. He could prevent the formation of consensus about whether there is any outcome at all. He could seize on that un­certainty to hold on to power.

Trump’s state and national legal teams are already laying the groundwork for postelection maneuvers that would circumvent the results of the vote count in battleground states. Ambiguities in the Constitution and logic bombs in the Electoral Count Act make it possible to extend the dispute all the way to Inauguration Day, which would bring the nation to a precipice. The Twentieth Amendment is crystal clear that the president’s term in office “shall end” at noon on January 20, but two men could show up to be sworn in. One of them would arrive with all the tools and power of the presidency already in hand. ...

“We are not prepared for this at all,” Julian Zelizer, a Prince­ton professor of history and public affairs, told me. “We talk about it, some worry about it, and we imagine what it would be. But few people have actual answers to what happens if the machinery of democracy is used to prevent a legitimate resolution to the election.” ...

Just under a year ago, Justin Clark gave a closed-door talk in Wisconsin to a select audience of Republican lawyers. He thought he was speaking privately, but someone had brought a recording device. He had a lot to say about Election Day operations, or “EDO.”

At the time, Clark was a senior lieutenant with Trump’s re­election campaign; in July, he was promoted to deputy campaign manager. “Wisconsin’s the state that is going to tip this one way or the other … So it makes EDO really, really, really important,” he said. He put the mission bluntly: “Traditionally it’s always been Republicans suppressing votes … [Democrats’] voters are all in one part of the state, so let’s start playing offense a little bit. And that’s what you’re going to see in 2020. That’s what’s going to be markedly different. It’s going to be a much bigger program, a much more aggressive program, a much better-funded program, and we’re going to need all the help we can get.” ...

Of all the favorable signs for Trump’s Election Day operations, Clark explained, “first and foremost is the consent decree’s gone.” He was referring to a court order forbidding Republican operatives from using any of a long list of voter-purging and intimidation techniques. The expiration of that order was a “huge, huge, huge, huge deal,” Clark said.

His audience of lawyers knew what he meant. The 2020 presidential election will be the first in 40 years to take place without a federal judge requiring the Republican National Committee to seek approval in advance for any “ballot security” operations at the polls. In 2018, a federal judge allowed the consent decree to expire, ruling that the plaintiffs had no proof of recent violations by Republicans. The consent decree, by this logic, was not needed, because it worked.

The order had its origins in the New Jersey gubernatorial election of 1981. According to the district court’s opinion in Democratic National Committee v. Republican National Committee, the RNC allegedly tried to intimidate voters by hiring off-duty law-enforcement officers as members of a “National Ballot Security Task Force,”. ...

This year, with a judge no longer watching, the Republicans are recruiting 50,000 volunteers in 15 contested states to monitor polling places and challenge voters they deem suspicious-looking. Trump called in to Fox News on August 20 to tell Sean Hannity, “We’re going to have sheriffs and we’re going to have law enforcement and we’re going to have, hopefully, U.S. attorneys” to keep close watch on the polls. For the first time in decades, according to Clark, Republicans are free to combat voter fraud in “places that are run by Democrats.” ...

Republicans and their allies have litigated scores of cases in the name of preventing fraud in this year’s election. State by state, they have sought—with some success—to purge voter rolls, tighten rules on provisional votes, uphold voter-­identification requirements, ban the use of ballot drop boxes, reduce eligibility to vote by mail, discard mail-in ballots with technical flaws, and outlaw the counting of ballots that are postmarked by Election Day but arrive afterward. The intent and effect is to throw away votes in large numbers.

These legal maneuvers are drawn from an old Republican playbook. What’s different during this cycle, aside from the ferocity of the efforts, is the focus on voting by mail. The president has mounted a relentless assault on postal balloting at the exact moment when the coronavirus pandemic is driving tens of millions of voters to embrace it.

This year’s presidential election will see voting by mail on a scale unlike any before—some states are anticipating a tenfold increase in postal balloting. A 50-state survey by The Washington Post found that 198 million eligible voters, or at least 84 percent, will have the option to vote by mail. ...

Summer also brought reports that the U.S. Postal Service, the government’s most popular agency, was besieged from within by Louis DeJoy, Trump’s new postmaster general and a major Republican donor. Service cuts, upper-management restructuring, and chaotic operational changes were producing long delays. At one sorting facility, the Los Angeles Times reported, “workers fell so far behind processing packages that by early August, gnats and rodents were swarming around containers of rotted fruit and meat, and baby chicks were dead inside their boxes.”

In the name of efficiency, the Postal Service began de­commissioning 10 percent of its mail-sorting machines. Then came word that the service would no longer treat ballots as first-class mail unless some states nearly tripled the postage they paid, from 20 to 55 cents an envelope. ...

Trump’s crusade against voting by mail is a strategically sound expression of his plan for the Interregnum. The president is not actually trying to prevent mail-in balloting altogether, which he has no means to do. He is discrediting the practice and starving it of resources, signaling his supporters to vote in person, and preparing the ground for post–Election Night plans to contest the results. It is the strategy of a man who expects to be outvoted and means to hobble the count. ...

Trump’s systematic predictions of fraud appear to have had a powerful effect on Republican voting intentions. In Georgia, for example, a Monmouth University poll in late July found that 60 percent of Democrats but only 28 percent of Republicans were likely to vote by mail. In the battleground states of Pennsylvania and North Carolina, hundreds of thousands more Democrats than Republicans have requested mail-in ballots. ...

Trump, in other words, has created a proxy to distinguish friend from foe. Republican lawyers around the country will find this useful when litigating the count. Playing by the numbers, they can treat ballots cast by mail as hostile, just as they do ballots cast in person by urban and college-town voters. Those are the ballots they will contest. ...

The worst case for an orderly count is also considered by some election modelers the likeliest: that Trump will jump ahead on Election Night, based on in-person returns, but his lead will slowly give way to a Biden victory as mail-in votes are tabulated. Josh Mendelsohn, the CEO of the Democratic data-modeling firm Hawkfish, calls this scenario “the red mirage.” The turbulence of that interval, fed by street protests, social media, and Trump’s desperate struggles to lock in his lead, can only be imagined. “Any scenario that you come up with will not be as weird as the reality of it,” the Trump legal adviser said.

Election lawyers speak of a “margin of litigation” in close races. The tighter the count in early reports, and the more votes remaining to count, the greater the incentive to fight in court. ...

Both parties are bracing for a torrent of emergency motions in state and federal courts. They have already been skirmishing from courthouse to courthouse all year in more than 40 states, and Election Day will begin a culminating phase of legal combat.

Mail-in ballots will have plenty of flaws for the Trump lawyers to seize upon. Voting by mail is more complicated than voting in person, and technical errors are common­place at each step. If voters supply a new address, or if they write a different version of their name (for example, by shortening Benjamin to Ben), or if their signature has changed over the years, or if they print their name on the signature line, or if they fail to seal the ballot inside an inner security envelope, their votes may not count. With in-person voting, a poll worker in the precinct can resolve small errors like these, for instance by directing a voter to the correct signature line, but people voting by mail may have no opportunity to address them. ...

During the primaries this spring, Republican lawyers did dry runs for the November vote at county election offices around the country. An internal memo prepared by an attorney named J. Matthew Wolfe for the Pennsylvania Republican Party in June reported on one such exercise. Wolfe, along with another Republican lawyer and a member of the Trump campaign, watched closely but did not intervene as election commissioners in Philadelphia canvassed mail-in and provisional votes. Wolfe cataloged imperfections, taking note of objections that his party could have raised. ...

The electoral combat will not confine itself to the courtroom. Local election adjudicators can expect to be named and doxed and pilloried as agents of George Soros or antifa. Aggressive crowds of self-proclaimed ballot guardians will be spoiling to reenact the “Brooks Brothers riot” of the Bush v. Gore Florida recount, when demonstrators paid by the Bush campaign staged a violent protest that physically prevented canvassers from completing a recount in Miami-Dade County. ...

Trump’s strategy for this phase of the Interregnum will be a play for time as much as a concerted attempt to squelch the count and disqualify Biden votes. The courts may eventually weigh in. But by then, the forum of decision may already have moved elsewhere. ...

The interregnum allots 35 days for the count and its attendant lawsuits to be resolved. On the 36th day, December 8, an important deadline arrives.

At this stage, the actual tabulation of the vote becomes less salient to the outcome. That sounds as though it can’t be right, but it is: The combatants, especially Trump, will now shift their attention to the appointment of presidential electors.

December 8 is known as the “safe harbor” deadline for appointing the 538 men and women who make up the Electoral College. The electors do not meet until six days later, December 14, but each state must appoint them by the safe-harbor date to guarantee that Congress will accept their credentials. The controlling statute says that if “any controversy or contest” remains after that, then Congress will decide which electors, if any, may cast the state’s ballots for president. ...

We are accustomed to choosing electors by popular vote, but nothing in the Constitution says it has to be that way. Article II provides that each state shall appoint electors “in such Manner as the Legislature thereof may direct.” Since the late 19th century, every state has ceded the decision to its voters. Even so, the Supreme Court affirmed in Bush v. Gore that a state “can take back the power to appoint electors.” How and when a state might do so has not been tested for well over a century.

Trump may test this. According to sources in the Republican Party at the state and national levels, the Trump campaign is discussing contingency plans to bypass election results and appoint loyal electors in battleground states where Republicans hold the legislative majority. With a justification based on claims of rampant fraud, Trump would ask state legislators to set aside the popular vote and exercise their power to choose a slate of electors directly. ...

The Trump-campaign legal adviser I spoke with told me the push to appoint electors would be framed in terms of protecting the people’s will. Once committed to the position that the overtime count has been rigged, the adviser said, state lawmakers will want to judge for themselves what the voters intended. ...

In Pennsylvania, three Republican leaders told me they had already discussed the direct appointment of electors among themselves, and one said he had discussed it with Trump’s national campaign. ...

Republicans control both legislative chambers in the six most closely contested battleground states. Of those, Arizona and Florida have Republican governors, too. In Michigan, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin, the governors are Democrats. ...

In Arizona, Secretary of State Katie Hobbs, who oversees elections, is a Democrat. She could assert her own power to certify the voting results and forward a slate of Biden electors. Even in Florida, which has unified Republican rule, electors pledged to Biden could meet and certify their own votes in hope of triggering a “controversy or contest” that would leave their state’s outcome to Congress....

Rival slates of electors could hold mirror-image meetings in Harris­burg, Lansing, Tallahassee, or Phoenix, casting the same electoral votes on opposite sides. Each slate would transmit its ballots, as the Constitution provides, “to the seat of the government of the United States, directed to the President of the Senate.” The next move would belong to Vice President Mike Pence.

This would be a genuine constitutional crisis, the first but not the last of the Interregnum. “Then we get thrown into a world where anything could happen,” Norm Ornstein says.

https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2020/11/what-if-trump-refus...

Pages