Supporters of President Elect Biden have been justifiably worried by Trump’s persistent insistence — without evidence — that the election was stolen, and his refusal to concede. The worries deepen when we see him putting his cronies into the top civilian posts at the Pentagon, or pressuring elected Republicans at all levels to back him up, or blocking the head of the General Services Administration from acknowledging Biden’s victory and starting the official transition, or denying Biden access to intelligence briefings.
All this and more justifies worry. It may yet turn out that Trump will occupy Washington, DC, arrest opponents, and install himself as President for Life. Or something like that. Or it could well turn out that Trump manages to tie up enough state certifications of electoral votes to throw the election into the House of Representatives, where he would have an advantage because each state would have one vote. There are other nightmare scenarios, and I do not downplay them.
All his life he’s been able to brazen his way through setbacks; why shouldn’t it work this time?
But consider a more pedestrian scenario. Suppose Trump is just behaving as he’s always behaved in refusing to acknowledge defeat. All his life he’s been able to brazen his way through setbacks; why shouldn’t it work this time? Suppose Trump is just the same vindictive Mafia Don that we’ve come to know and despise. So he’s just settling scores with people like former Secretary of Defense Mark Esper, who stood up to him.
Suppose he so resents being beaten by Joe Biden, of all people, that he just wants to stick it to Joe any way he can. So throwing a monkey wrench into the transition machinery is his way of sticking his finger in Joe Biden’s eye.
We have noticed over the four years of his presidency that he systematically flouts any rule or convention that others try to use to constrain him. Suppose he is doing just that to the transition, defying convention one more time.
Suppose he is just displaying his lack of class, one more time.
I will not be surprised if Trump manages to finally let the transition proceed according to law, but never admitting that he lost. I will not be surprised if, on January 20, President Biden/’s first act will be to order the Secret Service to dislodge the former president from the Oval Office and escort him off the property.
Trump is just confirming what we have known for four years: that he is spectacularly unfit to hold this high office, that he is perfectly willing to damage the country in service of his personal interest, that his very sanity is seriously in doubt, that he has no respect for our constitutional institutions except as they may serve him, that he is, in short, by far the worst president ever to hold the office.
That’s bad enough. What’s worse is that nearly half the country thinks he walks on water.
They—and we— await the Second Coming.