Tuesday, November 10, 2020

The way it ends

[This Is The Way It Ends][ends] Take a moment to savor it writes Charlie Sykes at The Bulwark.

I just figured out who you were.

He’s gonna say Satan.

No, you’re the guy that runs into the 7–11 to get Satan a pack of cigarettes.

—The West Wing

So that’s the way it ends. Not with a fascist coup, but with Rudy Giuliani fumbling at a press conference held next to a shop that sells dildos. Here’s the lead in the Philadelphia Inquirer on the last day of the Trump campaign:

What began five years ago with the made-for-TV announcement of Donald Trump’s presidential ambitions from the escalator of his ritzy Manhattan high-rise ended Saturday with his aging lawyer shouting conspiracy theories and vowing lawsuits in a Northeast Philadelphia parking lot, near a sex shop and a crematorium.

The quote from West Wing came to mind Saturday, but it seems to explain so much of the Trump era. To be sure there has been real menace and genuine corruption, but it has all generally been executed by flunkies who are less likely to set the Reichstag on fire than they are to end up at the Four Seasons Landscaping Company.

So this ends not with a bang, but with a pathetic fiasco.

As Adam White writes this morning, “Trump finds himself with longshot arguments lacking any serious evidentiary support.”

Given Trump’s character and his constant complaints about the “rigged” election and mail-in ballots, all of this was completely predictable.

There will be tweets, press conferences, and lawsuits. But none of it will change the outcome. This isn’t Florida 2000. It was not even a particularly close election.

What will Republicans do? So far, they are sulking with Trump. With exception of folks like Mitt Romney and George W. Bush, Republican congressional leaders have refused to acknowledge the results of the election.

What? You were expecting moral courage from these guys?

Over the next few weeks, we’re going to see a lot of performative sycophancy and faux “He Fights” rhetoric. It’s what Trump’s fans expect. Republicans, who have spent the last four years cowering in fear of that base will be slow to risk angering them. Others will engage in fan service by cheering on the president’s futile tantrums.

There will be some recounts, but they won’t change the outcome. …

Two things to keep in mind.

(1) So, yes, it could still get ugly, and there will be awkward moments and the usual number of outrages. But it’s over. We’re not dealing with Satan, just the guys who run into the quickie mart to get him his cigarettes.

(2) “The Trump campaign has NOT committed to put up the $3 million required to pay for a recount in Wisconsin, per @AmyEGardner. It is an indication that they’re not super serious about pursuing one and that their announcements are mostly for show.” -Tweet from James Hohman.


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