I'll conclude this posting with a reassurance about the U.S. Military (relax, will ya?) plus an attempt at humor -- what if a pathetic, shambling squatter refuses to leave the White House? But first, far more important political matters about our current fix, starting with this interesting article.
"Just two men will decide when the election challenge farce has gone on long enough. Rupert Murdoch and Sheldon Adelson, because are the only two Donald Trump needs to listen to. Sheldon’s campaign money and Fox’s stranglehold on Republican opinion are the mechanisms that made this entire experiment possible. They’re why sitting Republican politicians and the right’s politically ambitious stay in line."
True but incomplete! First, I have no proof that the Beijing politburo is the source of Adelson's many hundreds of millions donated to warping today's GOP into a tool for treason -- almost a billion dollars laundered through his preposterously profitable Macao casinos. But truly, is any other explanation remotely possible? Putin may own Trump's half a billion in older debt, coming due in 2021 and Trump's reason to scam working class donors a bit longer. But that Russian debt is another matter. The core point here is that anyone funded by Adelson is very likely a "Macao-ian Candidate."
Second: while this article sheds valuable insights, it misses the third leg on which foreign control of today's GOP rests. Blackmail. No amount of money can explain the perfect obedience of 75% of the top Republican political caste - the 3/4 who not only vote in disciplined lockstep with Moscow Mitch, or turn their states into cheatocracies, but slavishly toady to Trump to degrees that leave them without even a figleaf of dignity. Mere money and power are insufficient to explain that. Both are satiable - at least a bit. But blackmail is total. You are owned by the blackmail masters of the KGB.
Which leads again (and again!) to the one thing Joe Biden could do that'd make a transforming, seismic difference. The one and only thing. I've said it before and will repeat it till maybe someone passes the idea up the line, at least to Indianapolis's best son, Ron Klain.
== The deepest of McConnell's fears ==
Moscow Mitch has to hope that today's Union generals - leading Democrats - remain what they have always been... mere well-meaning betas, unable to see agile tactics. Because McConnell is so-toast if they wake up. For example, it's been suggested that Chuck Schumer approach half a dozen GOP senators - the non-blackmailed ones - with a deal: "We'll throw 49 Democratic votes behind a new Republican Majority Leader, so long as it's anyone but Moscow Mitch. Or Graham or Cruz or Rubio, since they are clearly blackmailed Russian stooges, too. But pick someone sapient and reasonable and we'll do this!"
Would it work? Maybe not. But Mitch fears it.
What he fears far more is about to happen... Their vaunted Senate and Court majorities will do nothing to prevent Joe's appointment of 10,000 skilled grownups to replace 10,000 corrupt lunatics and blackmailed Putin Shills — especially a sane and vigorous and honest Attorney General.
Consider history. When GW Bush entered office in January 2001, he shifted many agents of the state to opening every Clinton Administration file in search of 'smoking guns' and indictable crimes. In fact, they found (effectively) nothing whatsoever to impugn what was (til Obama) the most honest administration in the history of the Republic.
To the point: it can be agued that Bush's shift in agency emphasis away from terrorism to a wild goose chase, seeking Clinton dirt, contributed to our blindness before the 9/11 attacks... and hence was at minimum dereliction, or even treason.
In sharp contrast, what do you expect this time, even if Justice and other departments simply become "normal" again? Not even engaging in vendetta. (Though that's what Foxites will howl - and counter-memes must be ready!)
Simply by getting out of the way of stymied FBI, counter-intelligence, grand jury and state prosecutor investigations, such a new Justice Department will unleash a dike-breaking of massive proportions. Just the Deutsche Bank records alone will send scores to jail.
== An even greater fear ==
Mitch has openly stated that he will never confirm any Biden judgeships or even (yes, he said it) cabinet posts! And yes, this is reason why anyone not helping Democrats take the two remaining Senate seats in Georgia, January 6, is in effect aiding and abetting treason.
Of course odds are Mitch will stay as majority leader of the most tightly disciplined political machine ever, in US history. He no doubt expects Biden to use the technique Trump used, to stymie and effectively kill Congressional Advice & Consent -- "acting" appointments... thus weakening another fundamental of US democracy.
But there is a way around this, even if Moscow Mitch keeps his caucus blackmailed and terrified and in line.
Next time, as I begin my formal list of suggestions for the Biden transition and first 100 days, I'll go into more detail on what I think is a great idea by a blogger named "Daddy Batholemew." In brief: Biden should put forward two slates. First agency and department heads he wants to see confirmed - consisting of a broadly diverse array of highly competent, honest, decent (hence non-Trumpian) folks, including some best-elements from sane American conservatism (e.g. NASA Administrator Bridenstine).
The second, separate slate would consist of acting officers, all of them similarly honest and competent… but chosen to be offensive to deep-red mania!
“For instance, I suspect Al Gore would be willing to be Acting Director of the EPA for awhile. I see Robert Mueller as Acting Attorney General? Might Hillary Clinton be Acting Secretary of State? Barrack Obama as Acting Director of National Intelligence? I kind of like Diane Ravitch as Acting Secretary of Education, Paul Krugman as Acting Secretary of Treasury, Anthony Fauci as Acting Secretary of Health and Human Services (although he is probably critically needed in the current Covid battles), Alexander Vindeman as Acting Secretary of Defense…”
Joe can make it explicit:
"If you go back to traditional Advice & Consent, including judgeships, you can replace these acting heads. I don't want to use the Trump method, nor do any sane Americans. But if you force me to... then take this fait accompli."
== And greater fear, striking past Mitch at Rupert... ==
It is suggested that Biden might restore the old Fairness Doctrine - requiring widely-viewed channels to offer dissenting opinions - and he might do it without legislation, by reversing an executive order issued by Ronald Reagan! Expect the Foxites to howl! But it can be done right. Visibly win-win.
Now consider if a new president actually created an empowered, Truth and Reconciliation Commission that included all sane interests, with some powers of clemency for testimony, backed by whistle blower rewards offered officially... or by some friendly billionaire… as I suggested in Polemical Judo? Giving the blackmailed a way to retire without jail, if they fess-up? Giving *henchmen* a chance to tattle profitably against some of the electoral cheats we've long (and recently) seen?
Are there Democrats who would have reason to fear light, as well? Sure. And giving such folks a gentle path out of DC would also seem a good idea, though in ways that were proportional and reciprocally fair, not the self-inflicted suicides we saw with Al Franken etc.
Above all, one and only one thing will make the greatest difference. Restoration of belief in the existence and utility of facts.
Yes that takes priority! Because every other wanted reform - like eliminating racism and fixing wealth disparities and ending treason will all proceed faster after that. Because facts have a liberal bias. See: The Fact Act.
And yes, soon we'll talk about the panicky flight to "Parler."
== Are you worried about a coup? ==
Calm down about the 'coup' thing, already! The US senior military officer corps is the 3rd most educated clade in American life, after University professors and medical doctors. To become a general or admiral you must have at least a PhD or three masters degrees. They are fact oriented and deeply upset over the strategic threat of climate change. There are a few crazy, Dr. Strangelove types, but most are desperately eager to return to respect-worthy civilian rule - it is a religion to them. They dread ever having to engage in politics... until they retire, and even then it is uncomfortable.
As for the pathetic Trumpian effort to stuff the DoD with shills and traitors? Well, the Officer Corps would not raise arms against legal authority. But they will "work to rule," following procedures with such meticulous slowness that it will drive Trump insane. (They have been doing this vs. his worst orders for 4 years.)
Suppose the mad right summons 'militias' to Washington? Bah. The police will be adequate to deal with those. If necessary, Maryland and Virginia will call up National Guard and we must hope the governors of those states have appointed good commanders. If so, that should be plenty.
Oh, I'm no polyanna, shrugging off all danger! Especially I do not preclude McVeigh type bombings and such. Against those we have to hope the FBI has deep undercover guys and that will at-best be hit or miss! We're still in 2020.
== Finally -- what about a Trump 'squatter'? ==
Okay, now for that "humor" about something pathetic, that I promised you. One unlikely but bathos-plausible path this might all take is not to a coup but to satire, with Trump refusing to go.
If so, he can't leave the White House to attend the Inaugural, because they'll just lock him out. So... supposing he tries to squat inside... want a fun scenario? Dig it. The Secret Service and White House Police have as TOP priority the sitting President; ex-presidents are secondary. On January 20 at 12:01pm, Biden gets the most and the top agents, while Trump gets a few of those on punishment detail.
So if Trump tries to squat, Biden marches in and personally frog-marches Trump out! If he does it right - grabbing the back of the collar and belt, then it's a matter of strength and skill, with the USSS guys peering like wrestling umpires to see to it no one is physically injured. And if Trump tries to wail on Joe - even a pathetic attempted punch - then priority sets in. Suddenly, he's a physical threat to the President and must be taken down and sat on, then hauled away. Oh, for that footage!
Of course Joe won't do that! No, instead he and Jill would go bunk with Kamala and Doug at the Naval Observatory while movers and FBI guys sift and then haul away anything Trump, including beds and the horrible curtains, from any room Trump happens not to be in at the moment. While he shambles about screaming, the new staff assembles to get to work in the Eisenhower Building, just fifty feet from the West Wing ...
...as the fumigators move in! Then, one minute before the flea bombs are set off, Trump's USSS detail steps in to protect his life by hauling him away... their job.
Is that it? Well, no. Strictly speaking, they have to let him go in the driveway, where the fumigation gases don't threaten him with harm. But at that point the Marine guards don't let him back in... so he wanders about outside, screaming. Ivanka and Jared can't drag him away because their fingernails might harm an ex-president, so there he stays, fed and given blankets...
...til Biden has the extra fences taken down from around the People' House and tours resume, with a new feature, the shabby, homeless, wandering ghost. Till he is hemmed in by fenced areas of lawn being fertilized by fresh manure in stages that drive him ever closer to the exit....
...at which point he is promised a nice airplane ride. And Wendys.