The fizzle (Update #5)

Updates

  1. Originally published, November 22, 2020, 10:08 am.
  2. November 22, 2020, 10:57 pm:
    • Republicans are starting to say the game is up, that Donald Trump should give up his ludicrous legal challenges and his pathetic legal team and concede. Apart from disavowing one lawyer, and in a pretty bizarre way that I guess is par for this particular course,[1] there is, of course, no sign that Trump is likely to comply.
    • Driving for Uber today managed not to be horrible, mostly because I got out early. But I made it back home four times between rides. That’s a hell of a lot, the rides I did get were mostly quite short, and it is clear the doldrums have indeed begun.
  3. November 23, 2020, 8:50 am:
  4. November 23, 2020, 10:45 pm:
    • Supposedly, it’s not a concession, but Donald Trump has given the go-ahead for the formal transition to a Joe Biden presidency to begin.[2]
  5. November 25, 2020, 8:34 am:
    • Perhaps my memory fails me. But it seems to me that by now, the campaign signs in people’s yards should be coming down (posters in public places, of course, take months to collect). I’m not seeing that, at least as much as I expect this time, perhaps because Trump has been so slow to concede in any form at all. And I’m remembering the right wing militia.[3]


So, today’s (November 22) the day. It’s the Sunday before Thanksgiving.

If the pattern follows last year, business will drop off a cliff today with the ridesharing. It’s already been ugly and though I’m mostly inclined to attribute this to the approach of winter, and indeed the approach of this day, it’s possible this year’s winter doldrums will be exacerbated by the fact more people are staying home, due to the pandemic.


Donald Trump

In an earlier issue (quoting an earlier issue), I wrote,

From the previous issue:

What is Donald Trump up to, really? Really, we don’t know. Fred Hiatt outlines three possibilities.[4] Personally, I just think Trump is batshit crazy, which most resembles Hiatt’s scenario #3, but I don’t know either. His scenario #1 is essentially the electoral college manipulation[5] I’ve been talking about, which I think could draw in armed militia groups.[6] At this point, scenario #1 is probably—only probably—the least likely, but Hiatt doesn’t rule it out,[7] and I think really, he’s right not to. Scenario #2 looks a lot like the parallel government idea that Jonathan Freedland put forth.[8] This, too, could draw in the militia groups.[9]

It’s still a bit early to make the call, but at this point, Fred Hiatt’s scenario #1[10] appears to be fizzling as even local and state Republicans mostly quietly decline Donald Trump’s demand to overturn the election results.[11] Even scenario #2[12] would be a costly endeavor with a questionable chance of success. That pretty much leaves Trump his Twitter account and whatever he can cobble together in various media deals and rallies.[13]

There’s one factor unaccounted for in all of this. Trump retains the support of a large portion of the population, including some—we don’t know how many or how well equipped—who’ve been preparing for civil war.[14] So far, I’m not seeing the rumblings that suggest something is really afoot. But as it becomes increasingly clear even to Trump’s most ardent supporters that he has lost, that still might change.

Meanwhile, the Times (of London) reminds us that Trump’s post-presidential woes aren’t limited[15] to his debts and probable tax liabilities.[16] Other legal battles also await.[17] And we really don’t know where he’ll be tweeting from.[18]

Right now, it’s gotta be looking pretty bleak for our delusional raging narcissist. But then I’ve underestimated him before.

Toluse Olorunnipa, Amy B. Wang, and Chelsea Janes, “Trump’s quest to overturn election runs into quiet resistance from local and state Republicans,” Washington Post, November 21, 2020, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/trump-michigan-georgia-pennsylvania-certify-votes-state-lawmakers/2020/11/21/1f410296-2b9e-11eb-8fa2-06e7cbb145c0_story.html

Philip Rucker, Ashley Parker, and Josh Dawsey, “Trump privately plots his next act — including a potential 2024 run,” Washington Post, November 21, 2020, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/trump-2024-rematch/2020/11/21/58ce87ac-2a8d-11eb-8fa2-06e7cbb145c0_story.html

Josh Glancy, “Beaten Trump may never be able to retire to his winter White House,” Times, November 22, 2020, https://www.thetimes.co.uk/edition/world/beaten-trump-may-never-be-able-to-retire-to-his-winter-white-house-353tc09h5


  1. [1]Miranda Bryant, “Trump faces pressure from Republicans to drop ‘corrosive’ fight to overturn election,” Guardian, November 22, 2020, https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2020/nov/22/trump-republicans-pressure-fight-overturn-election
  2. [2]Jeff Mason and Trevor Hunnicutt, “Trump finally gives the green light to proceed with Biden transition,” Reuters, November 23, 2020, https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-election/u-s-general-services-administration-allows-biden-transition-funds-to-begin-idUSKBN2830EB
  3. [3]David Benfell, “Bloody November,” Not Housebroken, October 13, 2020, https://disunitedstates.org/2020/09/08/bloody-november/; David Benfell, “Donald Trump’s ‘brown shirts,’” Not Housebroken, October 16, 2020, https://disunitedstates.org/2020/08/30/donald-trumps-brown-shirts/; David Benfell, “The very scary way to four more years,” Not Housebroken, October 16, 2020, https://disunitedstates.org/2020/09/25/the-very-scary-way-to-four-more-years/
  4. [4]Fred Hiatt, “Trump is putting this country through something unprecedented. Here are three scenarios,” Washington Post, November 15, 2020, https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/trump-wants-to-overturn-the-results-of-a-free-and-fair-election-theres-a-word-for-that/2020/11/13/cb94b77e-25b6-11eb-952e-0c475972cfc0_story.html
  5. [5]Max Boot, “What if Trump loses but insists he won?” Washington Post, July 6, 2020, https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2020/07/06/what-if-trump-loses-insists-he-won/; Rosa Brooks, “What’s the worst that could happen?” Washington Post, September 3, 2020, https://www.washingtonpost.com/outlook/2020/09/03/trump-stay-in-office/; Marjorie Cohn, “Trump’s Frivolous Lawsuits Are the Tip of the Iceberg in His Refusal to Concede,” Truthout, November 11, 2020, https://truthout.org/articles/trumps-frivolous-lawsuits-are-the-tip-of-the-iceberg-in-his-refusal-to-concede/; Eric Lach, “What Happens if Donald Trump Fights the Election Results?” New Yorker, August 21, 2020, https://www.newyorker.com/news/campaign-chronicles/what-happens-if-donald-trump-fights-the-election-results; Robert McCartney, “Here’s one way Trump could try to steal the election, voting experts say,” Washington Post, August 17, 2020, https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/heres-one-way-trump-could-try-to-steal-the-election-voting-experts-say/2020/08/16/b5bf0c2a-de66-11ea-b205-ff838e15a9a6_story.html; Timothy E. Wirth and Tom Rogers, “How Trump Could Lose the Election—And Still Remain President,” Newsweek, July 3, 2020, https://www.newsweek.com/how-trump-could-lose-election-still-remain-president-opinion-1513975
  6. [6]David Benfell, “Bloody November,” Not Housebroken, October 13, 2020, https://disunitedstates.org/2020/09/08/bloody-november/; David Benfell, “Donald Trump’s ‘brown shirts,’” Not Housebroken, October 16, 2020, https://disunitedstates.org/2020/08/30/donald-trumps-brown-shirts/; David Benfell, “The very scary way to four more years,” Not Housebroken, October 16, 2020, https://disunitedstates.org/2020/09/25/the-very-scary-way-to-four-more-years/; David Benfell, “Epistemology in the present U.S. political crisis,” Not Housebroken, November 14, 2020, https://disunitedstates.org/2020/11/12/epistemology-in-the-present-u-s-political-crisis/
  7. [7]Fred Hiatt, “Trump is putting this country through something unprecedented. Here are three scenarios,” Washington Post, November 15, 2020, https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/trump-wants-to-overturn-the-results-of-a-free-and-fair-election-theres-a-word-for-that/2020/11/13/cb94b77e-25b6-11eb-952e-0c475972cfc0_story.html
  8. [8]Jonathan Freedland, “This is no conventional coup. Trump is paving the way for a ‘virtual Confederacy,'” Guardian, November 13, 2020, https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2020/nov/13/trump-coup-virtual-confederacy-race-legal-trumpian
  9. [9]David Benfell, “The pandemic’s fall surge in Allegheny County,” Irregular Bullshit, November 16, 2020, https://disunitedstates.com/2020/11/15/the-pandemics-fall-surge-in-allegheny-county/
  10. [10]Fred Hiatt, “Trump is putting this country through something unprecedented. Here are three scenarios,” Washington Post, November 15, 2020, https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/trump-wants-to-overturn-the-results-of-a-free-and-fair-election-theres-a-word-for-that/2020/11/13/cb94b77e-25b6-11eb-952e-0c475972cfc0_story.html
  11. [11]Toluse Olorunnipa, Amy B. Wang, and Chelsea Janes, “Trump’s quest to overturn election runs into quiet resistance from local and state Republicans,” Washington Post, November 21, 2020, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/trump-michigan-georgia-pennsylvania-certify-votes-state-lawmakers/2020/11/21/1f410296-2b9e-11eb-8fa2-06e7cbb145c0_story.html
  12. [12]Fred Hiatt, “Trump is putting this country through something unprecedented. Here are three scenarios,” Washington Post, November 15, 2020, https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/trump-wants-to-overturn-the-results-of-a-free-and-fair-election-theres-a-word-for-that/2020/11/13/cb94b77e-25b6-11eb-952e-0c475972cfc0_story.html
  13. [13]Philip Rucker, Ashley Parker, and Josh Dawsey, “Trump privately plots his next act — including a potential 2024 run,” Washington Post, November 21, 2020, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/trump-2024-rematch/2020/11/21/58ce87ac-2a8d-11eb-8fa2-06e7cbb145c0_story.html
  14. [14]David Benfell, “Bloody November,” Not Housebroken, October 13, 2020, https://disunitedstates.org/2020/09/08/bloody-november/; David Benfell, “Donald Trump’s ‘brown shirts,’” Not Housebroken, October 16, 2020, https://disunitedstates.org/2020/08/30/donald-trumps-brown-shirts/; David Benfell, “The very scary way to four more years,” Not Housebroken, October 16, 2020, https://disunitedstates.org/2020/09/25/the-very-scary-way-to-four-more-years/; David Benfell, “Epistemology in the present U.S. political crisis,” Not Housebroken, November 14, 2020, https://disunitedstates.org/2020/11/12/epistemology-in-the-present-u-s-political-crisis/
  15. [15]Josh Glancy, “Beaten Trump may never be able to retire to his winter White House,” Times, November 22, 2020, https://www.thetimes.co.uk/edition/world/beaten-trump-may-never-be-able-to-retire-to-his-winter-white-house-353tc09h5
  16. [16]Dan Alexander, “Trump Will Have $900 Million Of Loans Coming Due In His Second Term If He’s Reelected,” Forbes, October 19, 2020, https://www.forbes.com/sites/danalexander/2020/10/19/trump-will-have-900-million-of-loans-coming-due-in-his-second-term-if-hes-reelected/; Jane Mayer, “Why Trump Can’t Afford to Lose,” New Yorker, November 1, 2020, https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2020/11/09/why-trump-cant-afford-to-lose
  17. [17]Josh Glancy, “Beaten Trump may never be able to retire to his winter White House,” Times, November 22, 2020, https://www.thetimes.co.uk/edition/world/beaten-trump-may-never-be-able-to-retire-to-his-winter-white-house-353tc09h5
  18. [18]Jonathan Chait, “Trump Says He Might Leave the Country If He Loses. Does He Mean It?” New York, October 17, 2020, https://nymag.com/intelligencer/2020/10/trump-may-leave-country-if-he-loses-prison-criminal-prosecution.html; Josh Glancy, “Beaten Trump may never be able to retire to his winter White House,” Times, November 22, 2020, https://www.thetimes.co.uk/edition/world/beaten-trump-may-never-be-able-to-retire-to-his-winter-white-house-353tc09h5

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.