"Happy Days Are Here Again,
The skies above are clear again
Let us raise a glass of cheer again.
Happy Days Are Here Again!"
And another classic version of this anthem of the Greatest Generation, circa 1933, who went on to overcome the First Depression, crushed Hitler, repeatedly saved China, contained Stalinism, built universities and infrastructure, took us to the moon, began overcoming injustice and created the world's greatest era of peace and progress... and who adored Franklin Delano Roosevelt.
Play it. And thank you Philadelphia and the spirit of Ben Franklin.
And has anyone else out there noticed that the flag of the Restored United States, from The Postman, is being circulated as an image-meme that's so very apropos of right now?
Still, lest we forget... 100 most cringe-worthy moments from the ending 'presidency,' any one of which would have made nuclear steam vent from the ears of Foxites, if Obama had done it. Any one. And I remain willing to offer substantial Wager Stakes over any ten (randomly chosen) of Trump's 30,000+ registered lies. (The wager gambit really works; they run!)
== What will happen next? ==
Okay, I only have one of the best predictive records on the planet... which means you'd be a fool to bet your life or house on any one thing I say! Still, some glimmers in my crystal ball:
- First, nearer term... Some prominent republicans are backing Trump's lie-fulminations - without providing a scintilla of evidence - of electoral cheating by democrats (while there's huge amounts of cheating by his side, bet me on it.) In effect, jerks like Kevin McCarthy are calling for hot civil war. Any moment there may be a McVeigh copycat... or one that's stymied by an FBI sting.
Meanwhile, other Republicans are sounding surprisingly reasonable. There's one cynical reason why some top goppers are trying to quell the rage, instead of inciting.The powers behind the GOP may shrug off loss of the presidency, because they have the Senate and the Court, and now they can jettison their clown-liability, safe from liberal legislation. Also, they know the country is actually governed far better under democrats and hence their investments will do well, while McConnell's Senate majority prevents actual action. We'll see. Only...
- Some Electoral College scenarios. First expect attacks on the counts in GA and PA, not just because the Biden margins weren't huge (a legitimate reason for recounts) but especially since with both of them Joe gets 306 EVs, two more than Trump had in 2016 - and we can’t have that! Oh, he will fight like hell so Stacey Abrams doesn't whip him. (She's likely the next DNC chair... and what will the splitter yowl, then?)
- Ponder further. Even without PA and Georgia but with NV&AZ, Joe still wins with exactly 270. Alas, nail-biting then resumes, since would only take one faithless elector to throw the election to the House. I'll only believe the win when there's more of a margin than that! Only...
... only in fact I have to wonder if Old Two Scoops's current tantrums might cause the reverse… a number of Trump electors saying “enough” and switching. But to whom? To Biden in a bid to join a winning team? Unlikely. My best guess would be Paul Ryan, the annointed once and future prince-in-waiting. Note this may happen even - especially - if Biden crests 306.
- What will Trump himself do, the next two months? See some speculations at the end of this screed. Including the worst case.
- Again, do not fall for 'splitter' crap about a war between Democrats! Seriously, we are embarking on a journey of political (like physical) therapy from devastating injury. And so, the very first thing you should do is get to know some facts about past performance by coalitions of left and center democrats, especially how well they have negotiated and governed together in states like WA, OR and CA. Do not swallow the bullshit, Fox-Kremlin-generated story of a war between factions! They negotiate very well within blue state governments and Pelosi's 111th Congress did pretty good, all considered. Try learning more about all that than simplistic Facebook memes! You are better than that. We all need to be.
== Things Pelosi and Biden can do before January! ==
You know me. I will inveigh the next few months with dozens of proposals. I've done it many times. (See the extensive series of suggestions I published in 2008, the last time hope prevailed over treason; and yes, several would have armored us against Trumpism.) Alas, if history is any judge, I'll do it uselessly.
But starting with the period up to January 20, let's be clear. President Elect Joe Biden (I feel shivers, just typing that!) has to follow law and tradition and not interfere with the current government of the United States. Even if Trump's tantrums turn dangerous, dealing with that is a task for the civil servants who have kept us safe for four years, and -- in-extremis -- Vice President Pence plus Congress. Joe Biden is a private citizen till January 20. (And one small reform would be to pull that back, by law, to January 5 or so.) Biden will work hard on transition so his administration hits the ground running... even at Ludicrous Speed! But until inauguration, actual action is in Pelosi's hands.
So. Top of the list that I'll offer maybe next week? There are bills Speaker Pelosi can put forward right away that might even pass against the raving objections of Mitch McConnell! Bills that would be political suicide for many GOP Senators to oppose! Especially the two senators who face run-off elections in Georgia. There's actually a long list of such bills that - while much less than what liberals want - would corner the corrupt McConnellocracy with lose-lose choices. Among these:
- A COVID relief bill? Sure, try that. Though I doubt Mitch would face defections there.
- How about a bill to immediately give medicare coverage to all CHILDREN, a move so guaranteed of parental enthusiasm that anyone opposing it would face toasting. Demand those Georgia senators decide now, risking ire from either those parents or Moscow Mitch.
- Imagine a bill putting new limits on Presidential powers -- including Biden's! It must be done anyway - incredible failure modes were revealed by a madman predecessor. Most of these Biden won't oppose! Like reasonable limits on war powers, or establishing procedures to rule on emoluments violations.
How about making it clear that Secret Service agents aren't personal servants!
Or passing rules ending the travesty of the Justice Department's Office of Legal Counsel 'advising' that sitting presidents cannot be sued or indicted or even investigated! Instead, ensure that Presidents can be "slow-indicted" or "slow-sued" without destroying their ability to perform vital functions, and above all they are not totally immune? Would GOP senators dare not to defect, break ranks, to hem in Joe Biden with such rules?
And with Biden consenting to them, won't this make dems look like non-partisan reformers? And would that also not put those two GA senators (and Murkowski) on the spot, at just the moment we want them to squirm?
Oh there are many of these reforms that don't have to wait for inauguration! Because they'll either get Senate defections to pass and get Trump's grudging assent... or make them look very, very bad and Democrats very good.
== So, what'll Donnie do now? ==
The short answer is "I don't much care what he does!" The civil servants and intel/FBI/military officers etc. who have kept this disease contained and minimized the harm for four years would not have survived concerted attack in a second Trump term. So, they saved us... and now we just saved them. Yay, us. I figure they'll manage another two months.
Still what'll old Two Scoops do do till the end, beyond raving and flouncing, chewing carpet and shaming himself? Author Rob Sawyer asserts: “My guess: within a week, Trump will have left the White House for good, relocating to Mar-a-Lago. And he’ll never make a concession speech.”
Bets? He loves saluting Marines and powerful men and beautiful women calling him sir. And he still has to poison the Resolute Desk.
What will drive him out is when civil servants realize he can no longer get wheels turning in time to actually fire them, at which point they simply ignore him. And soon his political appointees will drift away with armsfulla White House schwag and stationery.
So what happens when he commands a junket and Airforce One and Marine One develop 'engine troubles' so he can't use them as toys? And when the Secret Service stiffs overcharges from TrumpOrg and stops paying for use of golf carts? When staffers turn their backs and wander away from his tantrums...
...that's when he might go Mar-a-Lago for good. That is… until other troubles make him flee to the Black Sea dacha Vlad promised him.
The safest bet? Over the longer run, always bet on DT's egotism. If he stays out of jail or exile, he'll start a TV channel and rebuild his fortunes by selling tickets to rallies that feature bands and raging speech raves... Rant n' Roll! In which case, he may very well try to establish a new MAGAt party all his own. Do.
On the other hand... the instant a golf guest greets him with an "L" sign on the forehead, he'll head back to the White House with matches and lighter fluid.
== Next Time... many things including... Kamala! ==