"President Trump Remains the Most Powerful Man in the World,

but powerless to achieve what he most wants: to avoid leaving office as a loser."

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So says the subtitle to a New York Times story—and of course that's what democracy is all about, right? He might leave graciously; he might leave ungraciously; he might leave with litigation; he might leave without litigation; but he's going to leave, whether he's Ford or Carter or Bush Sr. or Trump.

The rest of the article includes some of the usual what-ifs and maybe-he-coulds, which would have seemed considerably more frightening (given President Trump's indubitably unusual and troublesome character traits) if they hadn't been brought out so many times before. But the subtitle captures the bottom line well: In the sweep of world history, peaceful but unhappy transfers of power have been very difficult to arrange, but somehow the British and we and then most of the rest of the West have gotten the hang of them.

That's bigger than one man, whatever his personality might be. And indeed, that the system works with the sore losers is ultimately a greater testament to it than its working with the gracious ones. True, it's not Jan. 20 yet. But my prediction is that (setting aside the surface matters related to the epidemic) it will be a Jan. 20 of an inauguration year much like any other.

NEXT: Hunter Biden Laptop Repairman Sues Twitter for Labeling the Documents "Hacked"

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  1. This would be an excellent opportunity to consider whether we should ever put that much power into one person again.

    1. Limited government, federalism, and separation of powers – at our moment of triumph? Never!

    2. That’s crazy talk!

      1. I’m listening to Sidney Powell on the radio right now, and either she is stark, raving, mad — or we really have a mess. She was a Federal prosecutor for a decade then so was Bill Weld* — her “90 second summary” sounds damn convincing.

        Evidence: https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/other/sidney-powell-shares-270-page-binder-of-documents-buttressing-election-fraud-claims/ar-BB1cgRyG

        This has not yet ended…

        * Lower case “p” — generic prosecutor and not official title.

        1. and either she is stark, raving, mad

          This may be the closest to actually getting it that you’ve ever been.

        2. I’m quite skeptical that there was enough fraud to turn the election, but the Maricopa board of Supervisors in AZ is making it harder for me to think everything was on the up and up.

          I can’t think of a legitimate reason why they would fight a subpoena from the Arizona legislature to audit their election.
          Their reasoning seems rather tenuous, citing both privacy concerns and that the legislature lacks authority to conduct an audit. But it’s clearly the legislatures authority to write the law on how elections are conducted, saying the can’t then audit the process makes no sense, especially since the Arizona constitution makes the legislature’s supremacy specific ” 7A. Charter counties continue to be political subdivisions of this state that
          exist to aid in the administration of this state’s laws and for purposes of self-government.
          Except as otherwise provided in this article the powers of the legislature over counties are
          not affected by this section and sections.”

          1. If one smoke detector in your house goes off, you might ignore it if you don’t see a fire. But if they *all* go off, ummm….

            There’s too many little things here.

            1. Bad analogy. Modern wired-in smoke detectors are linked together: when one goes off, they all automatically go off (sort of like the media). The idea being that every bedroom hears the signal. Duh. It’s a good design practice. I wired’em into my home last time I did a remodel with electrical upgrade.

              And thus, “all going off” is not indicative of “there is a fire” any more than “one going off” is.

              But sure, keep stretching.

              1. “Modern wired-in smoke detectors are linked together”

                Not always — sometimes they are wired into an actual fire alarm system which may or may not trip if just one goes off. The better systems will go to “pre-alarm” mode as it waits for something else to happen — it may sound noise in the building and may notify the FD but it won’t be an actual alarm.

                Likewise, a good system will tell you all the things that are going off (or which it has lost contact with, i.e. wires burnt through), but I digress.

                My analogy was to independent battery-operated smoke or CO detectors. Carbon Monoxide is a better analogy — you always should have three because while you pay attention to one going off, if two or more do concurrently, it’s for real…

            2. It’s probably just my wife cooking.

              But really, sure take a closer look, but I want some real evidence to convince me, not just “data science”, and my degree is in Quantitative Analysis.

        3. and either she is stark, raving, mad

          Yes.

    3. Right, as if there wasn’t that much power in one person before. This is utterly laughable, because the next president will be MUCH more powerful. And anyone who believes the above ought to be a lot more scared of Biden than they are of Trump when it comes to unfettered power.

      1. No, the Bite Her Arse Administration will be like the JQA Adm.

    4. The one thing I hoped would happen during the Trump Administration was for Congress to panic and take back much of the power they’d delegated to the Executive over the years.

      Instead, we got TrumpLaw ™ where things Trump did are magically bad for Reasons, but anyone else can do them.

  2. The talk of Trump trying to stay in office was just gaslighting by the media. No one seriously thinks the Secret Service is going to have to “evict” him from the White House on January 20th.

    The problem with the extended gaslighting campaign though is that it will all come to an end on January 20th and then what is the media going to do? They hyped this up for the last year on top of the whole “Trump is a dictator” thing so aren’t they going to look plain silly when absolutely nothing happens.

    1. The amusing thing was that even if Trump refused to leave, the Secret Service would remove him around Noon on Jan 20.

      At that point he would be trespassing in the White House and he has no more right to be inside, uninvited, than you or I do. The Secret Service gets rather testy about trespassers as they pose a threat to the President (who, of course, would be Biden). If Trump was too annoying, the Secret Service might even arrest him and see to it that charges were pursued just as they would do if you or I were trespassing in the White House and refused to leave.

      Those that thought otherwise were always suffering from serious TDS.

      1. Rampant speculation like yours is just more TDS.

    2. Ah yes, gaslighting by the media, with their able assistant Trump himself.

      Trump’s going to leave, but he’s trying his damndest not to.

      1. That you either don’t understand the difference between legal efforts to challenge an election outcome vs illegally refusing to leave office when the time comes, or are simply being your usual thoroughly dishonest self, should come as a surprise to….nobody.

        1. Trump is trying his damndest to stay in office; he’s already broken some laws to try and do so, and got impeached to boot for about the same thing.

          But even Trump’s legal efforts include a lot of lying and leaning on state governors to overturn the vote. He sucks and you should not defend him.

    3. No, no one really thinks Trump will have to be forcibly removed on Jan 20, but lots of us would love to see him carried out kicking and screaming. Just for that photo that would forever accompany any article or book about Trump’s presidency.

      1. Imagine an organized protest march on Jan 20th. I don’t know how the Park Police could prevent it, not with all the precedents that leftist protesters have obtained, and a lot of us would love to see the Thief in Chief not able to have his parade.

        1. Imagine a deliberate false flag op from the Proud Boys.

          Oh wait, we don’t have to, there have apparently been calls to dress up in Biden gear and riot.

      2. As much as I wish Trump were staying, it does make me feel better that he can leave office with his head held high as the most popular man in America:

        “President Trump has ended former President Obama’s 12-year run as the most admired man in America, edging out his predecessor in the annual Gallup survey released Tuesday.”

        1. You should check out Hillary Clinton’s accomplishments on that front!

    4. I’m willing to bet that Trump will never return to the White House from this vacation in Florida. Any takers?

      1. Doesn’t look like you’re winning any sucker bets today.

        Though I’d bet that he will fly around to some of his golf courses on Air Force One and rack up some more charges to the Secret Service for golf cart rentals and hospitality charges.

        And maybe try to have AF1 stranded in Florida at 11:59am on Jan. 20, 2021, because I do expect that he is that ineffectively petty.

    5. Trump had the GOP send alternate electors and is still entertaining people who suggest using the National Guard to force rerun’s in the state’s he lost or get Pence to screw with the counting of the ECVs.

      And this is in an election that he lost quite convincingly.

      Imagine that 2020 had been close in the fashion of Bush V Gore.

      Given their conduct in this election I’m far from confident that the GOP would have followed the direction of the Supreme Court, or that Trump would not have found a way to remain President.

    6. The talk of Trump trying to stay in office was just gaslighting by the media.

      Yes, once again Trump is being mistreated by the media reporting the things he says.

  3. All the media are the David Duke website, hate speech propaganda outlets for their tech billionaire owners. All except one are in violation of the journalism Code of Ethics. It requires that all sides of a story be presented. All media lie by omission, and are unethical.

    Brian Lamb of C-SPAN said, he counted stories to keep them balanced. That is the only ethical media outlet in the world.

    David Duke is the head of the KKK. He does not pretend to be fair. He is the chief of a hate group. He is actually more ethical than all journalists, in violation of their professional responsibility.

    1. No. The Journalism Code of Ethics does not require that all sides be presented. It requires fairness to accurately present differences where those reasonably exist. For example, a story on the moon landing does not have to state that some believe it was faked. Likewise media outlets doe not have to publish lies that politicians tell and they would also be quite free to identify them as lies.

      1. The view that the moon landing was fake is part of the story. What is self evident is just cultural indoctrination. Journalist should not assume anything is a given, and need to provide all sides of a story, according to their Code.

        Violations of this Code should open legal liability of the press. A defamation statute with that is needed.

      2. ” For example, a story on the moon landing does not have to state that some believe it was faked”

        It should — and then should include how some of our advanced telescopes can actually see the LEM lower stages that we left behind. Along with mentioning that all the radio transmissions were unencrypted analog which the Soviets were also able to hear, and that they would have called us on it were we faking it.

        Remember that there was analog TV broadcast from the moon.

        1. From the Code:

          – Diligently seek subjects of news coverage to allow them to respond to criticism or allegations of wrongdoing.

          When has the NY Times or Wash Post ever done that in any story about Trump?

          1. Every. Single. Time. that you see “we asked the White House for comment, and they didn’t respond.”

          2. I mean, they literally report those comment requests as part of the story on a daily basis. As set forth in the Code of Ethics. Look, this isn’t rocket science. It’s just so routine that you probably ignore it, then blame your own lack of reading comprehension on hallucinatory constructs about “the lib-y-rul MSM”.

      3. You are so frequently wrong, and less than completely honest, I thought I might assist. It’s the Society for Professional Journalists Code of Ethics: https://www.spj.org/ethicscode.asp

        These principles are typically not met, which is no great surprise.

        1. No where in that Code of Ethics does it say one must repeat lies and conspiracy theories.

          1. No where in that Code of Ethics does it say one must repeat lies and conspiracy theories.

            That’s a handy position when you’re in the habit of baselessly declaring things you don’t want to cover to be “lies and conspiracy theories”. Ask Hunter Biden.

    2. C-SPAN suspended Steve Scully after he admitted to lying about his Twitter account being hacked. Hardly the behavior of an ethical journalist.

  4. George W Bush was a very powerful president…and unfortunately a very terrible one too!! Had W lost Ohio and lost the Electoral College in 2004 while winning the popular vote by the 3 million votes he won it with—he would have figured out some way to steal the election.

  5. I have some well educated liberal friends who surprised me somewhat when they were visibly deeply concerned that “Trump Judges” would overthrow the election results.

    I explained to them that would not happen – Judges follow the law and if they don’t they will get bench-slapped from above. That’s their job. Of course, I was right (I do resist saying “I told you so” – but it’s not easy).

    What alarmed me was that they thought that Judges and Justices would implement their preferred policies rather than follow the law. Then I realized these individuals had experienced a lifetime of activist liberal judges attempting, sometimes successfully, to overrule the law to implement their “preferred policy” or make things “fair” so I then understood their confusion. For example, they really do want Judges to rule from their heart and promote their preferred policy if the results adhere to their preferences on matters such as abortion and the Second Amendment.

    It will be interesting to see how these friends react when the right employs the court playbook the left used against Trump. This included techniques such as seeking national injunctions galore and asking for EOs to be eviscerated because mind-reading judges speculated that the reasons for Trump’s travel EO(s) were evil. (That “evil thought” line of reasoning of course ignored that the EOs were dreadfully ineffective for the goal that the courts intuited Trump had and Obama had identified exactly the same countries, and more, for limitations because their governments were either unable to or unwilling to share data with us about those who wanted to enter the country).

    1. Roberts, Kavanaugh, and ACB are Bush loyalists that despise Trump.

      1. You do understand that judges aren’t “loyalists” right?

        1. Why not? They could be. There is nothing magical about being a judge that makes you in capable of being a loyalist or a partisan.

    2. What alarmed me was that they thought that Judges and Justices would implement their preferred policies rather than follow the law. Then I realized these individuals had experienced a lifetime of activist liberal judges attempting, sometimes successfully, to overrule the law to implement their “preferred policy” or make things “fair” so I then understood their confusion.

      mind-reading judges
      While this did not carry the day, intent and animus are both well-established things a judge must ascertain under the law; you may not like it, but it isn’t some illegitimate impossibility.
      You do realize you accuse your liberal friends of a thing, and then immodestly go and do exactly that thing yourself.

      1. When somebody is doing something within their lawful rights, “intent” and “animus” are irrelevant. Motive only starts to matter when people act unlawfully, and you’re trying to evaluate whether it was deliberate or inadvertent.

        By denying the President the right to do things another President could do, on the basis of ‘animus’, judges are effecting a kind of partial impeachment, and impeachment is a power reserved for Congress. So long as a President acts within his lawful authority, it really doesn’t matter, legally, what they hide within their hearts.

        1. That’s not the law since at least 1993.

          1. You’re going to claim that subornation of perjury is lawful unless done with bad motives?

            1. You’re kidding, right Brett?

              Whether or not something is perjury … depends on intent. (It’s criminal law, so that’s men rea for you).

              And you have to intend to suborn it!

              You just provided an example of a double intent crime. Which is kind of impressive. 🙂

          2. I heartily encourage many more laws to be overturned because of animus or becausd of illegal hidden intent. Or for that matter, self-serving hidden intent. Get rid of all of it. Goodbye rational basis.

            I’ll hold by breath.

        2. “When somebody is doing something within their lawful rights, “intent” and “animus” are irrelevant. Motive only starts to matter when people act unlawfully, and you’re trying to evaluate whether it was deliberate or inadvertent.”

          That’s not a correct statement of the law, generally.

          In most circumstances in the law, intent (or “animus” which is a term cribbed from a specific set of cases in conlaw) matters a great deal!

          The usual argument is whether you have some issue in which you don’t have to worry about intent. In other words, because of some immunity, some law, or some standard, intent doesn’t matter.

          Whether it’s “strict liability” and circumstances like that (when intent cannot mitigate) or the idea that the act itself will always be acceptable, regardless of intent (such as qualified or absolute immunity), it’s the exception, not the rule, that intent doesn’t matter in the law.

          Even in areas like contract law, the goal is to determine … the intent of the parties through the text.

          So this is a categorically strange statement to make.

        3. When somebody is doing something within their lawful rights, “intent” and “animus” are irrelevant. Motive only starts to matter when people act unlawfully, and you’re trying to evaluate whether it was deliberate or inadvertent.

          Your complete lack of ability to understand how little you know of the law continues to serve you ill.

    3. In the proper order:

      What alarmed me was that they thought that Judges and Justices would implement their preferred policies rather than follow the law. Then I realized these individuals had experienced a lifetime of activist liberal judges attempting, sometimes successfully, to overrule the law to implement their “preferred policy” or make things “fair” so I then understood their confusion.
      You do realize you accuse your liberal friends of a thing, and then immodestly go and do exactly that thing yourself.

      mind-reading judges
      While this did not carry the day, intent and animus are both well-established things a judge must ascertain under the law; you may not like it, but it isn’t some illegitimate impossibility.

      1. The “mind-reading” is of course nonsense; it required Twitter-reading, not mind-reading.

    4. “I have some well educated liberal friends who surprised me somewhat when they were visibly deeply concerned that “Trump Judges” would overthrow the election results.“

      You weren’t around in 2000 I presume.

      1. What law did the USSC overthrow to hand the presidency to GWB in 2000? Name the law, and point out how it was circumvented.

        1. Twenty years and they are still butthurt.

          Sad? Funny? Both?

          1. And yet nothing like the nonsense we have from the right, and the GOP itself, literally today.

        2. They stopped the (legally allowed) recount, then after the deadline had passed, held that it was too late to do finish the recount.

      2. What the supreme court did in 2000 was tell the Florida Supreme Court they could not override the legislatures authority.

        While it’s generally a principal that state supreme court’s are the last word on a states law and constitution, when the legislatures authority derives directly from the US constitution, then the State Supreme Court needs to conform to that, Florida’s didn’t.

    5. It will be interesting to see how these friends react when the right employs the court playbook the left used against Trump.

      Indeed. Every nominee will now require a cloture vote. And every EO issued by Biden will of course have a lawsuit alleging violations of APA. There will be no circuit judges confirmed. There will be no blue slips returned. There will be an impeachment in 2023 after Team R takes the House, in 2022. There will be leaks; many of them. Cabinet members will be confronted publicly, in restaurants while they eat with loved ones, and viscously harassed.

      In short, the behavioral deviance that Team D normalized for the last four years will be applied to them. Ruthlessly.

      1. You are badly overgeneralizing.

        How many Trump nominees required a cloture vote?

        There have always been leaks – every Administration, probably back to George Washington.

        How many cabinet members have been confronted and harassed? I remember the Sanders incident, but that was a case of servers not wanting to wait on her. I wouldn’t want to either.

        1. Funny you ask = How many Trump nominees required a cloture vote? Answer: Seventy-nine (yes, 79). In the previous four administrations, there were 17 in total.

          Nah, I do not think I am overgeneralizing. Rather, I am correctly pointing out various means that were used by Team D in the recent past. They were fine with doing it. Now the shoe will be on the other foot. We shall see how fine they are with being on the receiving end of those same tactics.

      2. If the GOP keeps it’s majority which is pretty likely, I wouldn’t see why they would need any cloture votes. Vote the problematic nominees down without delay, and confirm qualified mainstream nominees without undue delay too. If you have the votes then delaying tactics are a lot of effort for no purpose.

    6. Why do you bother peddling such transparent lies?

      The first google hit for “Hillary concession speech” is her Nov. 9 full concession speech. It’s unambiguously a concession speech.

      Abrams Nov. 18 speech said “I acknowledge that former Secretary of State Brian Kemp will be certified as the victor in the 2018 gubernatorial election.” while blasting the obstruction and removal of qualified voters from the rolls. Semantic bleating to the effect of ‘but but but she didn’t use the C-word!!1!’ is remarkably weak cover for the fact that Trump *still* hasn’t uttered the words “Biden won”.

      1. Argh. It’s a poor craftsman who blames his tools, but I really should stop using an iPad. This was intended for Dr.Ed’s transparent lies about concession speeches, below, and reason.com apparently got confused when I also tried responding to this thread.

    7. “I have some well educated liberal friends who surprised me somewhat when they were visibly deeply concerned that “Trump Judges” would overthrow the election results.”

      There are those on the other side from your liberal friends (Trump among them) who are surprised that the “Trump Judges” did not overthrow the election results. And then there’s Louie Gohmert who is, as we write, off trying to get a “Trump Judge” to do just that. Have you read his filing? He has a bunch of random gobshites from Arizona who claim to be “electors” tagging along. It’s probably true that anybody can claim to be an elector just as anyone can claim to be the emperor of the known universe and all it contains, but making such a false claim in a court filing should be dangerous fun.

      Of course, you did observe that your friends are “well educated” and we are currently discussing Louie Gohmert and Kelly Ward, et al. The problem, likely, is not that these people were not subjected to environments conducive to education. More likely is that they are by nature among the uneducable.

  6. “…given President Trump’s indubitably unusual and troublesome character traits…”

    When I read this, I came up with a good parlor game. You take someone famous (better if they’re infamous) and you come up with a really delicate and charitable way of defining their behavior.
    So, Trump = indubitably unusual and troublesome character

    To start us off, there are a few samples:
    Jack the Ripper = a curious approach to blood-letting
    Mao = a controversial technique to using (re)education as a means of social change.
    OJ Simpson = an unfortunately permanent solution for getting over failed relationships
    Lori Loughlin = a novel way to help familial members achieve scholastic achievement.
    Hitler = somewhat regrettable views on how to properly express concern with some religions, cultures, sexual orientations, etc..

    I’m calling the game: Are you having a Temper TanTrump? [tm]
    Local rules: In spite of the game’s name, there are no points awarded for any politician serving (or who has served) within the United States.

    1. To crib from Kevin Williamson: Jack the Ripper = Peaceful pedestrian until violence erupted involving a nearby prostitute.

      I also like: KKK Types = Unconventional views on race relations.

    2. Is that akin to describing riots as “mostly peaceful protests”?

      1. As opposed to describing mostly peaceful protests as riots?

  7. “… the hang of them”? Isn’t that what we’re trying to avoid?

  8. The nation dodged a bullet when Biden won decisively. The size of the popular vote victory, the overall size of the turnout, and Biden’s surplus of electoral votes, added up to an overwhelming display of sovereign power by the People. That was power sufficient to cow would-be Trump supporters who might otherwise have been emboldened by a hairs’ breadth Biden victory.

    Until imposing Biden vote counts were in, there was no way a sentient follower of American politics could be reasonably confident that the Republican Senate, on its record, or the Supreme Court—given Alito, Thomas, and Kavanaugh, plus at least two Trump-leaning wild-cards in Gorsuch and Barrett—would not go astray. With a narrower Biden advantage, and even more vociferously-made allegations of corruption at the polls, there were too many ways for opportunism to deliver a result comparable to the shock of Bush v. Gore. That catastrophic decision had to color every speculation, and probably will continue to do so in any similar such crisis in the future.

    Even optimists—as they contemplated the full dimensions of the electoral chaos which no one could say would not descend—were reduced to hopes shaded by outright desperation—such as shaky faith that American military leaders would during a crisis find the courage to uphold their oaths to the constitution in defiance of a corrupt chain of command.

    Anyone willing so soon to forget those kinds of dark reflections, and instead interpret the last months’ events as a sunny tale of institutional triumph and security, is not merely whistling, but tap-dancing past the graveyard. What saved this nation—assuming it is saved—was a display of sovereign power so great that it deprived even would-be corruption of any scope to act.

    The structural insecurities in the American political system remain; the need to fix them ought to be treated as an ongoing emergency. What purpose can be served by minimizing that undeniable reality?

    1. Sometime in the future when the next more conservative of two candidates is elected, you or someone like you and the media will throw an epic fit about the worst most evil President in history and go on a years long passionate tirade about how we have to pull out all the stops to foil this unprecedented threat. And then after that when another more conservative of a pair is elected you or someone else like you and the media will throw another fit and another epic years long tirade about the unprecedented threat from the worst most evil President in history and on and on it will repeat.

      1. You mean like you lot are now? About how Biden and Harris are super evil and not at all boring politicians?

        Perhaps, but the difference will be that we won’t declare the election was fixed regardless of all fact and reason.

        1. Perhaps more like Democrats were in 2016.

          1. Has ever been thus.

            Difference is the Internet makes political of us all.

        2. “we won’t declare the election was fixed ”

          Sure, Gaslightro.

          Just like in 2000, 2004, and 2016 where significant numbers of Dems brayed long and hard about the Supreme Court or Diebold or the Russians.

          1. Significant numbers doing a lot of work here.

            And incomparable to the actual GOP politicians and leadership’s antics.

            1. And incomparable to the actual GOP politicians and leadership’s antics.

              Yeah, it’s not like the DNC tried to overturn an election in 2000 (and are still whining about it), or use the impeachment process in an attempt to overturn the 2016 election.

        3. Historical policy and planned policy versus perception of the secret meaning of tweets, there’s a difference. Biden is the greater evil, and that’s saying a lot, given Trump’s ego, preening, and overall chaotic destructiveness.

          1. Biden is the greater evil

            LOL.

            Vintage GOP – rationalizing whatever your side does by demonizing the other side.

    2. “Biden won decisively”

      The hell he did — Trump did and did so decisively that Bite Her Arse had to shut down counting until they could fabricate more ballots.

      Much like the 1960 election, 50 years from now, historians will concede that Bite Her Arse stole the election. Which they did.

      1. It’s a fantasy to pretend this was a decisive election either way. It came down to less that, IIRC, 100K votes in several states. That’s a close thing, not decisive.

        1. No, Brett, 7 million votes is decisive. It only looks close because the electoral college is an optical illusion that makes it look like the GOP did far better than it actually did.

          1. It would be decisive if we had a different political system. ‘It was a crushing victory under the rules I think we should replace the actual rules with.’ impresses nobody.

            1. Well, when the actual rules turn a 7 million vote win into a cliffhanger, I think it’s legitimate to point and laugh at the actual rules.

              1. Well, when the actual rules turn a 7 million vote win into a cliffhanger, I think it’s legitimate to point and laugh at the actual rules.

                What needs to be pointed to and laughed at is the sort of ignorance that leads one to claim that there was a “7 million vote win” in an election where the winner is not decided by popular vote.

          2. There is no national vote.
            There is nowhere in the US where Biden won by “7 million votes” – it simply did not happen, not even in California.

            These bizarre assertions about something that doesn’t exist being “decisive” just go to show that you aren’t dealing honestly with the elections that took place, in 2000, 2016, or 2020, but instead ranting about something entirely in your head.

            1. Toranth, the 7-million could well have been decisive. I think it in fact decided the election outcome. With only a 1.5 million vote edge for Biden, it’s quite likely the nation would have seen some kind of Bush v. Gore moment over again, from Trump’s Supreme Court supporters. The 7-million number made Trump’s justices quail, just as he said they did.

              The Thomas–Alito–Kavanaugh bloc are getting undeserved credit now, as sober institutionalists. You have to be pretty dim to suppose that’s what they actually are.

              1. The largest difference in any of the 51 elections that took place was in California, which was about 6 million.

                Again, talking about “7 million votes” is entirely irrelevant because there is no place that 7 million votes was the margin of victory. There is no national popular vote!

                Suggesting that “Trump’s Supreme Court supporters” would be happily approving his lawsuits if only California had been more equal is rather absurd. Can you present any evidence for this claim?

                1. Toranth, of course there is a national popular vote, and it is carefully measured during every presidential election cycle. The electoral college process has pride of place, formal legitimacy, and technical power to effect election outcomes. None of that means the national popular vote—which is the best index of the will of the nation’s sovereign People—is powerless, or does not affect political outcomes.

        2. It’s a fantasy to pretend this was a decisive election either way.

          It’s a fantasy to pretend otherwise. It was, in Trump’s words, an EC landslide.

          1. Based on ballot box stuffing in four cities…

            1. Dr. Ed is not only racist but a liar. “Black people’s votes don’t count” is not a position a decent person would want to express in 2020. (Or any time, really.)

          2. Bullshite — Bite Her Arse only has support in a few key geographic areas while vast stretches of America are still overwhelmingly Trumpland. That does not build a mandate for Bite Her Arse.

            1. Oh STFU, Ed.

              You live in some alternate reality. Your crap really gets tiring. There was no ballot stuffing.

              only has support in a few key geographic areas while vast stretches of America are still overwhelmingly Trumpland.

              Yeah. The geographic areas where people actually live. Or are you of the “one acre one vote” school of democracy.

              1. THIS is ballot box stuffing:

                “Ryan says they found that 6,962,607 total ballots were reported as being cast, while DoS/SURE system records indicated that only 6,760,230 total voters actually voted.

                Among the 6,962,607 total ballots cast, 6,931,060 total votes were counted in the presidential race, including all three candidates on the ballot and write-in candidates, according to Ryan.

                He says the difference of 202,377 more votes cast than voters voting, together with the 31,547 over- and under-votes in the presidential race, adds up to a discrepancy of 170,830 votes, which is more than twice the reported statewide difference between Donald Trump and Joe Biden.”

                https://wjactv.com/news/local/pa-republican-lawmakers-analysis-finds-presidential-election-numbers-dont-add-up

                1. So I guess you are discounting the various courts’ rulings and the explanation offered by election officials to the analysis of Representative Ryan and his colleagues. Especially, the part in which they stated that all the Sure information on voting history had not been uploaded yet. And that the certification of the results was not based on the Sure system data. Jeez, it is almost like you aren’t interested in the actual information.

        3. “100K votes ”

          42,000 in three states, then a 269-269 tie.

          1. Exactly what Dems said 4 years ago…70,000 votes total, and that was what gave Trump the victory. Big whoop.
            Whining about it when your candidate got absolutely crushed in the nationwide vote reminds me of the guy who complained after his team lost the baseball game, “If not for those 2 bad pitches (which led to 2 grand slams); we would have won 1-0, instead of losing 8-1.”

            1. I’m just sad that it was not a 269 tie. That would have been something to behold, since the mere fact Trump won’t concede drives you guys batty.

              “nationwide vote ”

              No such thing. Its 50 votes.

        4. No, Brett. Not, “several states.” Too many states.

          With the electoral college, even a landslide win is likely to leave a few states pretty close on the popular vote. Problem is, when the election is decisive, flipping one or two of those states wouldn’t change the outcome. For instance, in this case.

          It was not a landslide, as Trump claimed when an identical electoral count went his way. But it was decisive for Biden, especially given the staggering turnout, and Biden’s imposing popular vote margin over a Trump campaign that also turned up record vote totals. Trump did better than anyone thought he could do, and got walloped anyway.

          Trump is now a one-term President, who got impeached, and lost reelection by an embarrassing margin, and then departed amidst an unprecedented show of classless petulance. History will summarize that as: Donald Trump, America’s most embarrassing presidential loser.

          I’m amazed there is anyone who still wants to ride that train all the way to the end of the line.

          1. “I’m amazed there is anyone who still wants to ride that train all the way to the end of the line.”

            With Louie Gohmert as the engineer.

            1. Drivin’ that Trump Train, high on cocaine…
              Louie you’d better watch your speed!

              1. Trying hard to prevent Matt Gaetz from being named the dumbest member of congress.

                1. Trying hard to prevent Matt Gaetz from being named the dumbest member of congress.

                  Is he the one who thought Guam might capsize? Or that there are 2 Vietnams? Or that U.S. astronauts planted a flag on Mars? Or was baffled and terrified by an apartment kitchen garbage disposal?

                  Oh, wait….

                  1. Everybody makes mistakes occasionally, and questioning if it’s a good thing to grind up and flush kitchen waste (and cocaine, if you’re Larry Kudlow) down the drain the first time you learn that there are such things as “insinkerators” is not even a mistake, it’s a good question on first instance. But, to file the lawsuit that Gohmert filed requires a cosmic level of stupidity. I’m surprised that it did not cause a singularity and tear a whole in the space-time continuum. All of us who are aware have been diminished by just knowing that a member of our species is so bereft of the attributes that our Creator has attempted to imbue us with. Our faith has been shattered. How is it possible for an omnipotent, omniscient, and omnibenevolent Creator to hose it up so badly? It’s almost as if God is just another dumb fucking Republican.

                    1. oy, whole vs hole!

                    2. Oog, I forced myself to read the whole Gohmert complaint. It cost me brain cells I shall never recover. The factual misrepresentations concerning the actions of the “Arizona Legislature” (hint: a doc signed by a couple Arizona LegislaTORS is not the same as a formal action by the Arizona LegislaTURE) should subject the lawyers signing the doc to sanctions.

                    3. I read a good deal of it but someone called my doctor who staged an intervention as my blood pressure was getting dangerously high. The first thing I couldn’t get over is the characterization of random Republicans as “electors” in the electoral college context. None of these people was appointed to be an electoral college elector in the manner as prescribed by any legislature of any state. None of them has any more right to self-declare as an electoral college elector than does my dog Stella, maybe less.

                      So far, I’m unware of any sanctions in any of the 60+ bogus lawsuits that Trump and his square dancers filed. Perhaps that string of luck will end with one of the two recent filings — Gohmert and Himself. As mentioned before, filing these suits appears to be dangerous fun.

    3. Republicans must imitate the Democrat cheaters. At 3 AM back up the trucks with millions of warmly printed, unfolded ballots with a single name checked off.

      1. We might have to resort to that — but telling the truth also helps.
        The latest on Reverend Raphael Warnock, running for US Senate in Georgia, involves him being sued for child abuse at his summer camp.

        See: https://freebeacon.com/2020-election/camper-recounts-abuse-at-warnock-church-camp/

      2. How many times have we asked for proof? How many times have you refused to present any? How many times between now and January 20 do you intend to write this crap?

      3. Repeating a lie doesn’t make it true. Despite what you, Trump, and Goebbels all seem to think.

    4. People keep citing the 2000 election as somehow stolen. Yet the media themselves conducted recounts, and no matter how they attempted to divine voter intent, kept arriving at the conclusion that Bush won. And won by more vote than the count that the Florida official count reported.
      What is it that SCOTUS is accused of in 2000, other than telling Florida that it must get on with tallying votes in the a priori manner described within Florida law. Selective ad hoc recounts of just some counties was otherwise designed to change the state total by looking only where the Gore yield might be highest.

      1. No, the media did discover that, if you counted spoiled ballots by assuming that they were intended to be cast for Gore if they had a vote for Gore and some other Presidential candidate, you could put Gore over the top.

        The problem was that doing that was unambiguously illegal, so nobody had been proposing to do it.

        1. Brett, are you sure you don’t misremember? A media account I read said they were not, “spoiled ballots,” but, “overvotes.”

          It said Gore ballots were disqualified when the voter checked the box for Gore, but then also wrote Gore’s name in on the write-in line—hence overvoting. It said there were several times more of those than needed to swing the election to Gore, but they were disqualified and thrown out, giving Bush the election.

          I suppose we could have read about different instances. It does seem pretty clear that whatever the Republican-administered rules in Florida might have said about overvotes and other issues, the ballots in Florida showed the state was for Gore, by an admittedly tiny margin.

          By the way, none of that has much to do with why I call Bush v. Gore a catastrophic decision by the Supreme Court. It was catastrophic because it took a large, lasting chunk out of the court’s legitimacy, by making the court look like it was lunging for partisan advantage, and doing so by means it had previously insisted it would not ever use.

          Until the Court takes action to repudiate Bush v. Gore, that decision will hang as a Sword of Damocles over this nation’s political process. That’s what makes it catastrophic.

          1. Overvotes are just a particular category of spoiled ballot, Stephen. You’re just playing the game of, ‘I really won because I would have won if the rules had been more to my liking.’

            You would rather we had a different election system. (I do, too, though not the one you want.) But we don’t.

            ‘I would have won if the rules were different!’ is the Democrats’ cry in many years.

            Trump’s cry this year is, instead, ‘I would have won if the existing rules had been followed!’ Maybe. I think probably not. But it’s a valid complaint, and the fact that we can’t get the courts to CARE that they weren’t followed is very troubling.

            1. Got it. You were burying the overvote results in a, “spoiled ballot,” super-category, to hide the overvotes. And to make them look all technically dirty all over.

              Can you please answer, what reason is there in an election to disqualify a ballot when a voter not only chooses a candidate’s name from a list, but also writes that same candidate’s name on the ballot, and doesn’t write any other name? What reason not to count that as one vote for the candidate, Brett?

              What in god’s name do you think an election is supposed to be? Is it a process to find out who voters prefer to put in office, or is it some kind of obstacle course to trip up as many voters as possible?

              And while we reflect on that, why shouldn’t a court decide election cases according to the former premise instead of the latter? If you think it is supposed to be the latter, on what political principle do you justify that—is it that government is empowered to frustrate the sovereign people in the exercise of their constitutive power? If that, who empowered government to behave that way?

      2. The problem was with perception. I was living in the Bay Area at the time. People were convinced that voting in Florida was suppressed by the Governer of Florida, who was George Bush’s brother. And the chad was another reason to complain. Not a legal issue, but an impression. How would Georgia currently be doing if their Governer was a Democrat who was related to Biden?

  9. Trump will exhaust every option he legally can to stay in office and and then leave when he fails. Just like many many other people before in history. And he has every right to leave in whatever legal fashion he chooses to do so.

    I could have told you this is what would happen in a one term Trump Presidency if you asked me in 2016. Its who he is. I’m not sure whats so shocking or unprecedented about this to all the mediaheads and people rolling on the floor convulsing over how another impudent trump tweet is the opening salvo of a supposed overthrow of the government.

    You think the proTrump election conspirators are embarrassing themselves, at least they have the excuse of shock. Kamalistas are still having a mental breakdown for some reason still babbling about the Russians and Trumpler as much as ever.

    1. You confuse legal with legitimate.

      Every legitimate option does not include lying to your base to delegitimize the required transfer of power to the next President.

      It also does not include calling governors to try and get them to overthrow the vote of their people.

      Nor leaning on Congress to do the same.

      Trump’s antidemocratic and un-American actions are not going to succeed, but that doesn’t make them legitimate.

      1. Because Obama did otherwise???

      2. “delegitimize the required transfer of power ”

        Unlike 2016.

        Russia! Hamilton Electors. Riots on January 21. Pussy Hat marches the next weekend. Resistance! litigation.

        1. January 20 riots.

        2. Yeah, this is demonstrably nothing like 2016.

          And if you can’t see that, I can’t help you.

          1. Its still aimed at the same thing. Disrupt the new term, whip up opposition.

          2. Yeah, this is demonstrably nothing like 2016.

            You’re right. I seriously doubt we’ll see any of this from Trump voters next month….

            https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2016/11/11/anti-trump-protesters-pepper-sprayed-demonstrations-erupt-across-us/93633154/

      3. There is no difference between legal and legitimate. Not when a US presidency is on the line.

        1. There is no difference between legal and legitimate

          Do you think the same thing about court packing? Jurisdiction stripping? Declaring martial law?

          Hiding behind it’s okay so long as it’s legal will bring down any country.

  10. Perhaps the last traditional inauguration.

    Dopey Joe and Kamalahoe will not be my pres. and his vice. Remember “Not MY President!”

    Good people ought to be armed as they will, with wits and Guns and THE TRUTH.

    1. Not my President has been a thing since…well at least Mark Twain. Not my personal cup of tea, but we contain multitudes.

      Not THE President is what y’all are trying to pull.

    2. Superstitious, gullible, bigoted, all-talk clingers such as Doug Huffman are among my favorite culture war casualties.

      They like the Volokh Conspiracy’s “god, guns, and gays” focus. I like watching those disaffected losers make America great by losing the culture war to better people.

    3. “Thief in Chief.”

      1. Thing is, you’ve pegged the needle on partisan crazy for so long, that won’t make a dent.

        1. Nixon/Agnew won in November of 1972 in a landslide.

          By August of 1974, both were gone…

        2. “He’s literally Hitler!” is a pretty tough act to follow.

  11. ” it will be a Jan. 20 of an inauguration year much like any other.”

    Aside from the Covid related changes. 🙂

  12. My bet is that Trump simply remains in Florida and just doesn’t return to the White House but at this point that’s almost beside the point. The massive damage he has done by leading a significant part of the country to believe the election was stolen, the mess he’s intentionally creating on his way out, the refusal to aid in the transition so Biden can hit the ground running, the talk of a military coup, the damage he has done internationally to our reputation by making us look like buffoons – short of literally burning the White House to the ground I don’t know how much more damage he could do. If he did force the Secret Service to evict him it would be nothing at this point.

    Everything he’s done since he lost has only confirmed how unfit for the office he is. And to think he was imposed on unwilling voters by the electoral college only makes it worse.

    1. It would have been a LOT harder to convince so may people that the election was stolen, if Democrats hadn’t insisted on violating election laws in so many states.

      I’ve said this multiple times: With political polarization and distrust at levels no seen since the runup to the Civil war, this was NOT a year to be making last minute, extra-legal changes. This was a year to cross every ‘t’ and dot every ‘i’, to obsessively obey every election law on the books, and turn transparency up to 11.

      The grocery stores were open, we didn’t really need to make massive changes to how we voted, Covid was just an excuse.

      But, no, Democrats demanded massive changes, demanded that all sorts of ballot security measures be waived, and they got the result: The losers don’t believe they lost honestly.

      And my bet is that Democrats are going to try to keep all these ad hoc changes in place going forward, instead of planning on a normal election in 2022. So it’s only going to be worse 2 years from now.

      1. Brett, I completely disagree with your version of the facts, but for sake of argument assume you’re right. So what? No matter how easy the Democrats made it, deliberately and intentionally making false claims the election was stolen just to undermine your successor is inexcusable. It’s America he’s undermining.

        1. In 2000, the media actually investigated and reported on election issues, showed the hanging chads on camera etc.

          Now today, there is a mountain of allegations, testimony and evidence regarding fraud and other improprieties, but from the start the media has only acted as if they are trying to convince people that they are actually doing a cover up. They just censor, deny, downplay, assert without explanation or evidence, and generally decline to investigate or report on anything unless it cuts in one direction.

          1. Have you bothered to read the stories from the media on the allegations? Plenty of fine reporting an what allegations have been public showing they are lies or misunderstandings.

            But you don’t seem to check up on countervailing info these days.

            1. Yes, they cherrypick a few fringe claims to report on once they are able to debunk them, while ignoring the vast majority.

              1. *citations required.

                lots of them.

      2. This is goofily conspiratorial. I mean, there was this pandemic thing. You might think the world overreacted to it, but there’s no doubt that there was this world widely recognized thing that changed many, many operations. One of these were elections, many states adopted measures new to them but used for years in other states. And a guy who barely won last time closely lost this time. There’s nothing weird or baffling about any of this. What’s baffling is the need for so many conservatives to die on this hill, a strange cultish obsession with this guy.

        1. “There was this pandemic thing” doesn’t excuse executives and judges deciding, ‘Screw these election laws, we’ve got a better idea.’ It doesn’t excuse it even if they genuinely had a better idea. And they often had really terrible ideas, like just sending ballots out shelter smelter to people who didn’t request them.

          You want people who don’t trust you to begin with to believe they genuinely lost, not openly breaking the law is a good place to start.

          1. What you describe continues to not be what courts did.

        2. I don’t think the world over-reacted, I know it. I work construction, and on a farm, outside, no mask, and no NCoV. And if things settle, if the vaccines are effective, I will listen to chickenshit fucktards who were scared of the sky falling telling their war stories like I listen to REMFs tell stories about combat they never saw. Chicken Little asshats trying to feel important, making their nothing stories into hero tales. Yes, some of the righties are taking this too far, but can you blame them? Biden sucks, Harris sucks. Trump isn’t great, but the evil one knows is better than the shit with 47 years of policy and law running counter civil liberties, and a shit AG with no interest in freedoms except removing them.

      3. The grocery stores were open, we didn’t really need to make massive changes to how we voted, Covid was just an excuse.

        Paranoid bullshit.

        And my bet is that Democrats are going to try to keep all these ad hoc changes in place going forward, instead of planning on a normal election in 2022.

        Why not? Mail-in voting works fine. You don’t like it, because it means you can’t force urban voters to wait in line for hours to vote. Might lead to “decline.” Right, Brett?

      4. And Brett, you’re assuming they didn’t also cheat — I’m not.

      5. It would have been a LOT harder to convince so may people that the election was stolen, if Democrats hadn’t insisted on violating election laws in so many states.

        No. Election. Laws. Were. Violated. Anywhere.

        1. As a literal statement, this is trivially false. This would require that not a single election worker did anything wrong, even so minor as misdirecting someone to remain away from the polling place by more or less than the correct number of feet.

          In just one major example, four of seven PA Supreme Court justices agreed that election laws were violated. The difference is that four of them agreed that they had no intention to allow Trump to benefit from any remedy, instead promising that next election, they would start enforcing the laws.

          1. Taking refuge in pedantry is a tell.

            You also don’t appear to understand the PA court decision, or perhaps what judicial review is.

    1. It’s not paranoia when you have Republicans trying to get the courts to rewrite the Constitution so that the electoral vote counting can be screwed over by the mentally defective master of ceremonies Mike Pense while DilDon declares, “Never give up. See everyone in D.C. on January 6th,” and “Big protest in D.C. on January 6th. Be there, will be wild!”

  13. This is way too sanguine a view.

    Trump has done everything he could to overturn the results – far more than any other defeated candidate ha done, and on top of that he persists in his evidence-free claims of massive fraud.

    And of course he is doing damage. A large majority of Republicans believe the election was stolen, that there was all this fraud, that Dominion machines somehow robbed Trump.

    This malicious, dishonest, character is going to be around, adding his poison to our politics, even after Jan. 20. And Republican leaders in general are too spineless to call him out.

    1. Replace Democrat with Republican. Replace Trump with Gore, Kerry, or Clinton. Replace Dominion with Diebold.

      It’s all the same market, but if you choose to be a partisan hack for Democrats that’s on you.

      1. Nope. That’s BS.

        No defeated candidate has ever put on anything like Trump’s protracted tantrum, his endless lawsuits, his efforts to pressure state officials into overturning results, etc.

        The guy still hasn’t issued a concession.

        1. Neither did Hillary Clinton. Nor Stacy Abrahams.

          1. You’re a fucking liar, Ed.

            Clinton conceded the day after the election. She called Trump election night to congratulate him, and gave a speech the next day urging listeners to give Trump “”an open mind and a chance to lead.”

            Stop lying.

          2. Why do you bother peddling such transparent lies?

            The first google hit for “Hillary concession speech” is her Nov. 9 full concession speech. It’s unambiguously a concession speech.

            Abrams Nov. 18 speech said “I acknowledge that former Secretary of State Brian Kemp will be certified as the victor in the 2018 gubernatorial election.” while blasting the obstruction and removal of qualified voters from the rolls. Semantic bleating to the effect of ‘but but but she didn’t use the C-word!!1!’ is remarkably weak cover for the fact that Trump *still* hasn’t uttered the words “Biden won”.

        2. No defeated candidate has ever put on anything like Trump’s protracted tantrum, his endless lawsuits, his efforts to pressure state officials into overturning results, etc.

          Well, Andrew Jackson had an extended tantrum in 1824. And of course there was Hayes-Tilden in 1876. But if one has to reach back 150/200 years for examples, yeah, Trump is pretty unprecedented in the modern era.

      2. SBiB, you make a different point than you think – you had fringes saying that stuff in 2004. I know some who still believe it.

        But not the President, not Representatives, not state parties.

        The GOP’s fringe is not their fringe – they’ve radicalized their core.

        1. And the Dems were *so* accepting of a Trump victory in 2016…

          From declaring that “we are going to impeach that m*therf*cker” to the criminal things said about assassination, the Dem core were clear where they stood.

          1. You got one quote. That made headlines and was condemned by the party. And then probably your usual made up lies.

            Not comparable at all.

        2. “not Representatives”

          30 Dem reps and 1 senator objected to Ohio’s electoral votes.

          1. Procedural objections – they didn’t come out loudly through the end of December and declare the election was stolen.

            You’re really trying to analogize things that are not analogous, and it’s making you look pretty silly.

            1. “Procedural objections”

              You are committed to a false narrative, I’ll give you that.

              1. You think the objections in 2016 were intentionally trying to overturn the election?

                Or are you arguing that Trumps crap is insincere in it’s assault on the legitimacy of our republic?

                1. The so called “Hamilton Electors” were a direct attempt to switch the election to Clinton.

                  “assault on the legitimacy of our republic”

                  Hysterical hyperbole.

                  I don’t know what Trump thinks so i don’t know if he is insincere or not but some tweets and some hopeless law suits are not an assault on the republic.

                  1. You just switched from talking about Dem Reps to now just some liberals writing on the Internet.

                    This is why your parallel fails – it’s either not the same level of people or not the same level of action.

  14. that the system works with the sore losers

    Sore losers.

  15. Trump lost, that is a fact, but there are those who believe that the election was stolen from him, so this is directed at those people.

    You and Trump are convinced that the election was stolen by a deep state. Well if this is true, then that would mean that there is a coup that is about to succeed, and with it taking down our democracy. So what is Trump going to do about it? Nothing but tweet! He has the FBI, CIA, and military at his command and he is going to sit by and do nothing while our government is stolen. So not only do you get to watch your president get his second term stolen, but you also get to see how much of a ineffective wimp he is by letting it happen. This amuses me.

    1. Andrew Jackson got his revenge, and Trump will too.

      1. Lot’s of speculation about Trump’s future after he’s finally been exposed as the hopeless loser that he’s always been. He’ll probably fade pretty quickly when the msm stops paying attention and twitter bans him. The NY Post has already turned on him and the rest of the Murdoch empire is probably not far behind. In six months, if he hasn’t had more numerous and more serious strokes, if he’s still alive, he’ll just be a bad memory.

    2. You and Trump are convinced that the election was stolen by a deep state. Well if this is true, then that would mean that there is a coup that is about to succeed, and with it taking down our democracy. So what is Trump going to do about it?

      In fairness? Nothing. There is nothing he can do if the state legislatures, courts and the USSC doesn’t take up the case. It’s over.

      He has the FBI, CIA, and military at his command and he is going to sit by and do nothing while our government is stolen

      This is where you’re wrong. The FBI, CIA and military are NOT at his command, and never have been. They are loyal to the deep state. The FBI spent the last 4 years clearing Democrats of crimes, ignoring other crimes and trying to hang a completely disproven Russia conspiracy on a sitting president. There are military brass who admitted they purposely withheld information from the president regarding Syria.

      So not only do you get to watch your president get his second term stolen, but you also get to see how much of a ineffective wimp he is by letting it happen. This amuses me.

      What’s so ironic (and stupid) about the above sentence is this: you progs were the ones that were so sure Trump was a dictator that he’d do anything to stay in office. So when he DOESN’T act like a dictator (by not commanding the FBI, CIA and military to take over the government), you act like he’s a “wimp”.

      Is there any point of view where liberals are at least consistent? Or is it beyond their capabilities?

      1. Oh we were quite right that Trump wanted to be a dictator, but what we did not realize was just how incompetent he would be at it. A true, competent dictator would have the FBI, CIA, and military completely controlled by loyalists after 4 years. And I am not saying he is a wimp, I am saying that from the point of view of his die hard supporters he is a wimp.

        1. You are not being asked to agree here.
          But, if you want to know where others are coming from,
          Assume the election was a coup – call it theft of election. Assume the CIA and FBI were/are complicit and the Courts for whatever reason decline to intervene. Suppose the media is similarly complicit.
          Lot’s of assuming here, but, just assume.
          What would you do as president or as a citizen?
          1. Allow the theft/coup
          2. Fill in the blank …
          Everyone here is arguing because they disagree on whether an election was stolen. Where an election is stolen, I submit that legalities, at some point, become irrelevancies, especially if the Courts are compromised.
          The arguing is therefore pointless.
          1 or 2?
          Everyone knows you believe that Biden won and I decline to challenge you on this.
          Hopefully the “1, 2” above explains the vitriol in some of the comments.
          Finally, look if it was just democrats stealing an election, many here wouldn’t be as irate or invested if you will. But what many are seeing is not the democrats or republicans getting away with one – happens right – no, what they are seeing is a coup by foreign interests.

          1. Can you rephrase that using words that make sense?

            Thanks.

            1. Picky, picky, picky.

            2. They are saying two things. First, the entire system, the FBI, CIA, Congress, the military, all judges, and more, are all deep state out to get Trump. Second, with everyone out to get Trump there is nothing he can do.

  16. But my prediction is that (setting aside the surface matters related to the epidemic) it will be a Jan. 20 of an inauguration year much like any other

    I disagree and predict Trump will hold a rally decrying how the election was rigged at the very moment Biden takes the oath.

  17. This is all correct of course, but Trump should never actually concede, since this was not a free and fair and legal election, and fraud and other rigging was rampant.

    1. I’m curious.

      Trump lost the popular vote last time around. By three million votes.

      Trump has been unpopular throughout his Presidency. So unpopular that at no point during his Presidency was he ever more popular than Obama, Bush, Clinton (!), or Reagan.* The only President that is comparable to the unpopularity that Trump has had on a consistent basis throughout his Presidency is H.W. at the end, with the recession at all. Who, um, was also a one-term President. But H.W. was genuinely popular for most of his Presidency. You’d have to go all the way have to Carter and Ford to find a President who was so unpopular for so much of their Presidency as Trump (both of whom also didn’t have a second term). Despite the increased polarization of our times, Obama was always well north of Trump in popularity.

      And then there was a pandemic that Trump was generally considered to not have done a great job at. And the pandemic prevented him from campaigning and having his rallies as much as he wanted to (although more than, perhaps, was always wise). And, as you always say, the entire media was against him.

      So if you have a President that lost the popular vote last time around and barely eked out a few states for the electoral college, has been consistently and historically unpopular throughout his term, has been blamed (rightly or wrongly) for mishandling a pandemic, and has the entire “MSM” against him …

      why is it so unreasonable to think he lost an election?

      *I lied a little. Trump briefly surpassed Reagan at the nadir of his Presidency.

      1. It’s not unreasonable to think that Trump would lose an election. It is unreasonable to think that this election was “free and fair” or legal, or that there was not rampant fraud and other chicanery in this election.

        1. It is unreasonable to think that this election was “free and fair” or legal, or that there was not rampant fraud and other chicanery in this election.

          This is ridiculous bullshit. There is nothing to suggest the election wasn’t fine. Nothing, that is. outside of Trumpist fantasies about Hugo Chavez.

        2. That’s not really responsive. I am genuinely confused. Trump lost an election that he was likely going to lose. Right? And he lost the popular vote again, even more overwhelmingly than before.

          I keep seeing the assertion you make assumed as fact, but the evidence for it keeps changing. It’s … weird.

          1. It’s very weird unless he is arguing the election wasn’t free and fair and Trump would have lost even if it had been free and fair.

    2. Fine fine fine. He doesn’t have to “concede” he lost. Whatever “concede” might mean for you.

      Can he “acknowledge” Biden is the president-elect and will be sworn in on Jan. 20, 2021? Even if he still thinks “I wuz robbd!!1!”? Because that’s what’s American. What is Presidential.

      Or will he still be bleating “WE WON BY A LOT!” on Jan. 21?

      My vote is on attention-grabbing, ineffective, insecure, daddy-issues, I-was-born-rich-so-I-deserve-to-win, I’m-more-famouser-I-can-never-lose … bleating, even after Jan. 20.

    3. Literally the only fraud in this election was a handful of Trump voters who illegally cast extra ballots on his behalf. There has not been identified a single fraudulent Biden vote. Not one. It would take 7 million to make this “not a free and fair and legal election,” and you have so far found zero.

      1. Automatic mail in ballots, combined with ballot harvesting, already violates the secrecy of the ballot and makes this not a free and fair election. That’s just the tip of the iceberg.

        The drastic and sudden changes to the voting system were premised on the coronavirus, but this justification is completely and totally unscientific.

        Supporters of President Trump, when they attended public events, were routinely attacked and subject to violence, including by funded political operatives. In Democrat cities police were ordered to stand down during this violence.

        The Inter-Parliamentary Union for example gives various criteria for free and fair elections. “States should take the necessary measures to ensure that parties, candidates and supporters enjoy equal security.”

        Also that governments should “take all necessary and appropriate measures to ensure that the principle of the secret ballot is respected, and that voters are able to cast their ballots freely, without fear or intimidation.” Operatives were going around collecting ballots from people in nursing homes, prisons, housing projects etc, in some cases paying for it. Political intimidation through violence, social media censorship, employee firings, “cancellations” etc runs rampant.

        Ensure “equal opportunity of access to the media, particularly the mass communications media, in order to put forward their political views.” Social media censorship and banning prevents this. And of course, the mainstream media is fully propaganda.

        Also, “steps are taken to guarantee non-partisan coverage in State and public-service media.” Yet publicly funded media such as NPR is fully leftwing whacko.

        Also, “the transparency of the entire electoral process including, for example, through the presence of party agents and duly accredited observers.” Observers were excluded, kicked out, sent home only to have processes resume in their absence, etc. In the aftermath of lawsuits and investigations, the total opposite of transparency has been the norm. None of the allegations, testimony, and irregularities have been permitted to be meaningfully examined, all attempts are met with refusal and obstruction.

        Speaking of transparency, election systems in key districts were overtaken by private funding. Mark Zuckerberg donated some $500 million to key Democrat districts in swing states for election processes and systems. This was about as much as the federal government funded for elections in total. It came with strings attached that conflicted with election laws. The organization, CTCL, is of course a bunch of rabid progressives. The targeted nature of these public-private partnerships was politically calculated and politically discriminatory, creating different rules for different areas.

        Big tech monopolists undertook to fully weaponize all of their resources toward election interference. One of the ways is through censorship and banning, but also manipulation of the flow of information. Scholarly research such as by Dr. Robert Epstein shows that the effect is massive, even just for Google’s manipulation of autocomplete search suggestions, to say nothing of manipulated search results (Google blacklists and downgrades conservative media sources in its search results).

        As for the upcoming election as well as the past one, it is illustrative that Stacey Abram’s sister is a judge in Georgia. She just made a ruling that voters who should be removed from the rolls in Muscogee County won’t be removed, even though they’ve filed changes of address showing they moved away. The judge did not recuse even though Stacey Abrams is fundraising for the other side and Abrams’ own organization is litigating the same issues.

        The systemic mismanagement of voter registration databases and verification processes in key states such as Michigan and Pennsylvania alone makes the election not free and fair. Election integrity is generally lacking nationwide without meaningful verification of votes.

        These are just some generic points about what counts as a “free and fair election,” without even touching on the any of the fraud issues. Nor certain legal issues such as in PA.

        Whether an election is free and fair has nothing to do with who won. And it especially has nothing to do with the asinine fantasy of constructing counterfactuals about who might have won under various counterfactual circumstances.

        1. So this is just generalized whining based mostly on misunderstandings of the law and made up facts. No, mail in ballots do not make an election unfree or unfair. No, nobody was going around collecting ballots from prisons. No, supporters of President Trump were not attacked, though they were often attacking. No, a private company not allowing speech on its private property is not censorship — and of course the actual fact is that Trump, by dint of him being president, was allowed far more speech than he would have been otherwise. No, observers were not excluded. The allegations were all examined and found meritless. (We just had another result, with a Georgia signature audit, where the Trumpkin bullshit was exposed as more lies.) No, Zuckerberg did not donate to “key Democrat [sic] districts in swing states,” and no election laws were violated. No, Robert Epstein’s non-peer-reviewed joke of a study did not show any effect.

          No, Stacey Abrams sister did not rule that “voters who should be removed from the rolls in Muscogee County won’t be removed.” She ruled that you can’t strike people from the voter rolls by saying, “Look, I found a change of address form that might match this voter,” because COA forms are not actually proof that someone has moved. (We went through this in Nevada, where Trumpkins lost yet another lawsuit with the same bogus reasoning, failing to understand that only a permanent move — not forwarding one’s mail — makes one ineligible to vote.) No, there was no mismanagement of voter registration databases and verification processes in key states such as Michigan and Pennsylvania, systematic or otherwise.

          1. You just repeated everything I said along with adding the word “no,” so there is really nothing to respond to here. The facts are facts, you just don’t like it.

            The one thing you managed to say something of substance on is the GA case. “COA forms are not actually proof that someone has moved.” However, COA forms are generally the best indication that someone has moved, and any election system with integrity would have a process for examining that, if not simply removing them by default since registering is a simple matter. I am sure there may be reasons why the party in the case should have lost, and I haven’t looked at it, but it seems like the judge should have recused.

            The reason for fighting tooth and nail to keep dead people and moved people and the like on the voter rolls is, probably, just to facilitate all the fraud.

            1. If someone can argue by negation, it shows your argument is just ipse dixit and needs more support.
              Case and point: probably, just to facilitate all the fraud. That’s…not an argument. I continue to find it amazing you’re a lawyer.

              It also sounds like you think every election before this was also illegitimate, since a purge of voter rolls was not a policy before then either.

              1. If someone can argue by negation, it shows your argument is just ipse dixit and needs more support.

                Which was in part my point, and in part I’m just sick of the Trumpkin/conspiracy theorist methodology of just flaunting a million things without any factual underpinning and then saying, “here, disprove all of this.”

        2. This is just a stew of lies.

    1. Nutpicking.

      You have seen the prayer candles with Ginsburg’s face on them, right? Or Muellers?

      How about the cringy Leonard Cohen song on Saturday night Live after Clinton lost?

      1. I have not seen the Ginsburg prayer candles but your usual what aboutism is as usual beside the point. That Trumpism is not the world’s only cult does not change the fact that it is, for much of his base, a cult.

        1. “much of his base”

          One example does not = “much”.

          1. Look around you.

      2. “You have seen the prayer candles with Ginsburg’s face on them, right? Or Muellers?”

        What’s your point?
        https://celebcandle.com/products/donald-trump-celebrity-prayer-candle

        Perhaps that if RBG has cult, that means Trump has one too? Game, set, match.

    2. That’s something. Looks like Trump has lost about 150 pounds. Got to love the American flag diaper.

      1. His … hands … also got larger.

  18. The absolute certainty that some people have the Biden won without any funny business, never mind videos of ballot fraud occurring in Georgia, and testimony from innumerable witnesses, and a pile of evidence, combined with blithe ignorance that elections have been stolen in the past, combined with certitude that just 4 years previous that Hillary was robbed and Trump colluded with Russia to steal the election evokes the worst in human nature.

    Biden didn’t do it himself, he’s not smart enough to.

    America has entered its post-democracy phase.

    1. Because at each bit of evidence was easily debunked the day it is bandied about by the right – there is no there there.

      No one in 2016 said anything like the nonsense Trump is talking about regarding the vote numbers being incorrect.

      America has entered its post-democracy phase
      No, this is how the right is rationalizing itself going into a post-democracy phase.

      1. You’ve not looked very closely at the evidence. Hard to argue with videos of it happening fellow. Over half the country, including 1/3 of Democrats, thinks that there was fraud. Look up the Rasmussen polls on on this, including recent ones by The Economist.

        So, we have elections that don’t mean anything as the outcome is pre-determined. Post-democracy phrase indeed.

        1. According to an Economist poll, 60% of Americans believe the 2020 election had voter fraud, of that, 36% believe there was a lot of voter fraud.
          Only 29% believe there was no voter fraud and the remaining 11% are unsure.

          1. 65% of Americans believe that they are smarter than average.

            So that settles it!

            (Methodology: poll asks if you agree with the statement, “I am more intelligent than the average person.”

          2. That’s really bad evidence – a fallacy even!

            Do you have an anecdote that convinced you? Did you look for countervailing evidence?

          3. So what?

            Trump and his gang run around screaming about voter fraud, with zip evidence, but they scream so loud that a lot of people believe them.

            Then they argue, “There was obviously fraud, since so many people think so.”

            It’s utter bullshit, just like your claim to be a Sanders voter.

  19. I share the disappointment of those who expected a more intelligent response from the frequently percipient Mr. Volokh. A great majority of Republican voters now believe that any election they lose is ipso facto corrupt. As many have pointed out, if the outcome of the election had turned on the results from one state rather than four, one in which the state government was under the control of the Republican Party, it is far from impossible that Republicans would have “rammed” through an Electoral College victory for Trump. In 2000, five members of the Supreme Court turned the Constitution on its head to put George II in the White House. If you think it couldn’t happen again, it’s because you hate Democrats more than you love the law.

  20. “That’s bigger than one man, whatever his personality might be.”

    Of course. The concern is that approximately 1/3rd of the country no longer supports your view. Without the ordinary safeguards (like civic-minded sore losers giving concession speeches) the number may increase. It is not that one person is throwing a temper tantrum. Millions of people are.

    1. Not yet, but we will….

  21. I’m a Bernie Sanders supporter and the primaries were horribly rigged. The exit polls showed it clearly. But then I thought, “Well it’s not going to work. No one wants Biden. He’s a horrible candidate.” He has the lowest enthusiasm of any candidate in 30 years. He never had canvasing because you need volunteers to do that. He never had any.
    And then, suddenly in the middle of the night on November 3rd, as Trump is winning in a landslide, everything switches to Biden? There’s even video showing observers being sent home and ballots continuing to be counted, ballots in suitcases hidden under desks. It was all so sloppy.

    We have predetermined elections like in Russia. People will still vote, but it will have no relevance to who wins.

    1. I’m a Bernie Sanders supporter

      Sure you are.

      1. No, the Bernie Bros are pissed, and with good reason because they thought that the Democratic Party was — well — democratic.

        1. As opposed to, of course, the Republicans who kinda don’t seem into having a republic if they’re allowed to lose votes.

          Bernie supporters voted for Biden in pretty big numbers, so clearly they aren’t that pissed.
          What about the primary wasn’t democratic?

        2. It is, which is why — unlike in the general election — the candidate with more votes was proclaimed the victor.

          1. To be clear, I meant unlike in the general election in 2016. (That should go without saying, but there are batshit crazy people who think Trump got more votes than Biden, so I decided to clarify.)

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