As the votes are counted


in Politics

Nearly half of Americans prefer an incompetent authoritarian to a Democrat who was selected primarily for being able to appeal to moderates.

Even before we know the election results, this is establishing the contours for US politics in the years ahead. For instance, everybody knows that president Trump has lawsuits on hold while he is in office. If he does lose and leave office, and then suddenly faces a barrage of lawsuits about taxes, corruption in office, and other misdeeds, it’s probable that much of the country will see it as political retribution and interpret it as a sign of authoritarianism on the other side, or legitimation to prosecute their own political opponents.

A lot will turn on the senate, which is still too close to call. A Biden presidency with a tied or GOP senate won’t be able to implement much of a mandate, disappointing supporters on the left and emboldening the strategy of obstruction which already blocked president Obama’s attempted final supreme court nominee before helping to force through Trump’s.

Our fond hopes that the US electorate would rebuke and renounce Trump are already dashed. Americans have chosen to say that his conduct is within the acceptable bounds of politics, making it more of a template for the future. Watching from a country as vulnerable to US instability as Canada, it’s hard not to be afraid.

{ 16 comments… read them below or add one }

. November 4, 2020 at 9:30 pm

A Large Portion of the Electorate Chose the Sociopath
America will have to contend with that fact.

. November 4, 2020 at 9:31 pm

“The moment every Donald Trump opponent has been waiting for is at hand: Joe Biden seems to be taking the lead. So why am I not happy?

I am certainly relieved. A Biden victory would be an infinitely better result than a Trump win. If Trump were to maintain power, our child-king would be unfettered by bothersome laws and institutions. The United States would begin its last days as a democracy, finally stepping over the ledge into authoritarianism.

A win for Biden would forestall that terrible possibility.

But no matter how this election concludes, America is now a different country. Nearly half of the voters have seen Trump in all of his splendor—his infantile tirades, his disastrous and lethal policies, his contempt for democracy in all its forms—and they decided that they wanted more of it. His voters can no longer hide behind excuses about the corruption of Hillary Clinton or their willingness to take a chance on an unproven political novice. They cannot feign ignorance about how Trump would rule. They know, and they have embraced him.

Sadly, the voters who said in 2016 that they chose Trump because they thought he was “just like them” turned out to be right. Now, by picking him again, those voters are showing that they are just like him: angry, spoiled, racially resentful, aggrieved, and willing to die rather than ever admit that they were wrong.”

. November 4, 2020 at 9:34 pm

“My greatest fear, aside from an eventual Trump victory over the coming days, is that no matter the outcome, both parties will rush to draw the wrong lesson from this close election. The Republicans will conclude that just a bit more overt racism (but less tweeting about it) will carry the day the next time. They will see the exit polls that called for a “strong national leader,” and they will replace the childish and whiny Trump with someone who projects even more authoritarian determination. They will latch on to the charge that democracy is a rigged game, and they will openly despise its rules even more than Trump has.

The Democrats, for their part, might look at this near-death experience, and, as they sometimes have in the past, conclude that moving left, including more talk of socialism and more social-justice activism is just the tonic they’ll need to shore up their coalition. Some Democrats tend to believe that almost every election confirms the need to lurch to the left, when in fact the 2020 election should be a reminder that Trump would have beaten anyone left of Biden.”

. November 5, 2020 at 11:19 am

Trump, because he is Trump, will not simply go quietly into that good night. Instead, he is likely to refuse to ever concede the race to Biden, or to use the laughable notion that counting all legally cast votes was somehow an abrogation of democracy. That victimhood, which has always sat at the center of Trump’s personality, will fuel calls among his loyal supporters to run a sort of shadow presidency over the next four years and, yes, to possibly even run again for president in 2024.
Whether or not Trump ultimately pursues a third presidential bid is an impossible question to answer right now, but he will keep the possibility out there for as long as possible in order to exert massive influence over the Republican Party and, as importantly, to keep himself in the news and relevant.

alena prazak November 6, 2020 at 11:36 am

I think that a Biden government will be a transitional one leading to a transfer of power to the younger generation. Step by step, power will be shared with the younger people who will live in this world. That is not to say that it will be easy as DT has won himself quite a support group, but I would like to think that his days of negative influence are receding.

. November 6, 2020 at 4:12 pm

In sum, if the results we have hold, Joe Biden will win the election and preside over a divided Congress. A chastened and anxious Democratic caucus will continue to hold the House. A triumphant Senate Republican caucus will obviously destroy his major legislative agenda. Biden will assuredly turn to policy by executive action, just as Barack Obama did late in his legislatively stymied administration. When he does, Republicans will do all they can to send those actions to a 6–3 conservative Supreme Court Biden will be unable to pack or meaningfully reform. In defeating Trump, Democrats will have avoided their worst-case scenario. Instead, they will have won the worst possible Biden victory, a political situation that will be a nightmare all its own.

. November 8, 2020 at 2:36 pm

It was evident by midnight that a call wasn’t likely that evening, and Trump hadn’t decided whether to address his guests — and the nation — until he saw Biden make a short statement from Wilmington calling for patience.
Unwilling to cede the spotlight, Trump announced on Twitter that he would make his own statement. Intense deliberations followed between the President and his advisers over what he would say when he emerged in the East Room, according to people familiar with the matter. Trump’s speech came around 2:30 a.m. ET. While teleprompters were set up for him to read from, he appeared to ad-lib much of his speech.

. November 8, 2020 at 8:19 pm
R.K. November 8, 2020 at 9:06 pm

It’s still possible for the democrats to win a senate majority, or get to a 50% tie where the VP can cast a deciding vote.

. November 9, 2020 at 7:04 pm

The fact that the election was closer than pre-election polls indicated might be used as an indictment of Biden. It shouldn’t be.

Compare how Biden is doing to Democratic House candidates in each of these states. If Biden were a weaker candidate than average, these Democrats should, on the whole, be outrunning Biden.

The opposite happened: Biden is outrunning the House Democrats in all these pivotal states.

More to the point, Republican candidates for the House are actually getting more votes than their Democratic counterparts in all these states. As of this writing, the margin is less than 10,000 in Arizona, while it’s over 90,000 in Georgia, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.
(Note: Democrats and Republicans had a candidate on the ballot for each House race in these states.)
In other words, it seems quite conceivable that the baseline Democrat may not have actually won the states that he or she would have needed to win the Electoral College.

The pattern of Biden doing better than Democratic House candidates was seen in the national House and presidential popular vote, as well. This matched pre-election polling in which Biden’s lead over Trump was larger than the Democratic advantage on the generic congressional ballot.

. November 9, 2020 at 10:04 pm

Cohen, who pleaded guilty in 2018 to lying to Congress and to various financial crimes, including making an illegal contribution to Trump’s Presidential campaign, has faced questions about his credibility. But he affirmed, “I have heard that Trump people have been speaking to lawyers all over the country, taking their temperatures on this topic.” One of Trump’s personal attorneys, the Supreme Court litigator William Consovoy, has initiated legal actions across the nation challenging mail-in voting, on behalf of the Republican Party, the Trump campaign, and a dark-money group that calls itself the Honest Elections Project. And a former Trump White House official, Mike Roman, who has made a career of whipping up fear about nonwhite voter fraud, has assumed the role of field general of a volunteer fleet of poll watchers who refer to themselves as the Army for Trump.

Cohen is so certain that Trump will lose that he recently placed a ten-thousand-dollar bet on it. “He’ll blame everyone except for himself,” Cohen said. “Every day, he’ll rant and rave and yell and scream about how they stole the Presidency from him. He’ll say he won by millions and millions of ballots, and they cheated with votes from dead people and people who weren’t born yet. He’ll tell all sorts of lies and activate his militias. It’s going to be a pathetic show. But, by stacking the Supreme Court, he’ll think he can get an injunction. Trump repeats his lies over and over with the belief that the more he tells them the more people will believe them. We all wish he’d just shut up, but the problem is he won’t.”

. November 9, 2020 at 10:17 pm

“Several former Trump associates worry that, if Biden does win, there may be a period of tumult before any transfer of power. Schwartz, who has written a new book about Trump, “Dealing with the Devil,” fears that “this period between November and the Inauguration in 2021 is the most dangerous period.” Schwartz went on, “If Biden is inaugurated President, we’ll know that there’s a new boss, a new sheriff in town. In this country, the President is No. 1. But, until then, the biggest danger is that Trump will implicitly or explicitly tell his supporters to be violent.” (Trump has already done so implicitly, having said at the first debate that the Proud Boys, an extremist group, should “stand by.”) Mary Trump predicted that, if Trump is defeated, he and his associates will spend the next eleven weeks “breaking as much stuff on the way out as they can—he’ll steal as much of the taxpayers’ money as he can.””

. November 13, 2020 at 9:38 pm

Even without the Senate, Democrats can get a lot done | US & Canada | Al Jazeera

. November 22, 2020 at 4:25 pm

US election results: Why Trump increased support among non-whites – BBC News

. December 8, 2020 at 4:42 am

Because, at best, Democrats will have 50 seats — come January 6. Which means that if Manchin sides with Republicans on ANY vote, Democrats lose that vote. Heck, even a tweet or an off-hand statement expressing disapproval for a Democratic agenda item from Manchin could force his party to recalibrate its legislative strategy.
Which makes Manchin a very, very powerful figure in Washington over the next few years — especially if his party winds up sweeping both seats in Georgia next month.
And makes it impossible to realistically imagine that any sort of progressive dream will be coming true no matter the outcome in the Peach State.

. February 1, 2021 at 8:05 pm

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