Sunday, November 8, 2020

Notes on the presidential transition

Standalone updates to this site ended on November 8, 2020—after Joe Biden's victory became effectively impossible to legally contest, but too soon to chronicle Trump's last-minute incitement of an insurrection against the lawful government of the United States and the consequences of that action.

Good luck to us all.

What did Donald Trump do today?

Nothing, really.

Trump played golf again today, which may suggest an upper limit on how much of a threat to American democracy he perceives from the "ELECTION THEFT" supposedly being committed everywhere he is losing.

But that would be pretty thin gruel by the standards of this site. Speaking editorially and in the first person for perhaps the first time on this site, I never minded Trump playing golf. He did less damage there. And so even though it was an endless vein of hypocrisy, I tried not to resort to posting about golf unless I was in a hurry (which sometimes happened) or he didn't do anything worse that day (which never did). 

Today, of course, he also raved on Twitter about the election being stolen from him—but that, too, is already a bit tiresome to talk about. And with respect to the purpose of this blog—which long ago stopped being about voter outreach and more about creating a historical scrapbook—I'm not sure it matters if I record it here. (I'm not sure any of it mattered! But it gave me something to do.)

Trump can still do damage, and will. But the damage he'll do ranting about treason (technically, lèse-majesté) between rounds of golf is baked in. If you are still reading this—who are you, anyway?!—you'll have heard about it before you check this site, or you won't have because you sensibly avoided it. 

This site started on November 14, 2016, and there would be a nice roundness to stopping it exactly four years later. But for my part, enough is enough. Which is not to say there won't be more to come. After all, there have already been vengeful post-election firings. There will probably be pardons, although I'm more skeptical about that than some. (Pardons broad enough to make their grantees feel safe would remove any Fifth Amendment privilege against testifying about criminal conspiracies involving Trump, a fact which Trump's lawyers will surely know.) He may try to create a "Deep State" of his own, through a process known as burrowing, in which political appointees reinvent themselves as "career" bureaucrats, to do his will from beyond the political grave. 

Or he may, in his malignant insanity, outright demand that his followers start burning America down, and if so a few of them may try to obey. I sort of think he won't, and that we'll all be expected to be grateful in that case. [Ed.: Obviously, this proved too optimistic.]

But no matter how spectacular the tantrum he throws on January 21—and I think it's a safe bet that he will do everything in his power to make sure he's in the headlines that day—I can already tell you what this site will say on that day, and every day afterwards.

What did Donald Trump do today?

Nothing worth mentioning.