In an Odd Period of Transition, Trump Makes It Even Odder
About Presidential Transitions
These transitions every four or eight years are fascinating, full of potential and danger. Most of the time, they go pretty smoothly. All parties seem to see the value in a smooth and graceful transition. I remember the Clinton team speaking with appreciation and admiration of the Bush team ensuring the best possible transition.
It is, nevertheless, a time of risk for the nation. If anyone is looking for an opportunity for foreign misadventure, this would be the time to spring it on us. That risk is present now on more than 1-2 fronts. What is happening in Hong Kong this week is likely an example. More will follow. Most administrations on both sides of a transition recognize this kind of danger. They forcefully remind all that there is “only one president at a time” and that the two teams are coordinating.
Then there is Trump and company. They engaged in inappropriate foreign discussions before their inauguration. Now they put the country at risk by refusing security briefings and transition meetings. I expect in the end, we’ll get this done in an acceptable manner, but as we so often say of this regime: It didn’t have to be this way.
While we wait for reality to catch up, a few quick notes to ponder:
- Measure the Victory: Trump definitely got more votes than many of us hoped or than most of us expected. Still, he lost by over 5 million votes. Biden took back blue states by way more than Trump had taken them. New states are steadily moving blue. Biden beat an incumbent by a margin not seen since 1929. This is an impressive, nationwide win.
- So-Called Republican Leaders Never Fail to Disappoint. It is WAY past time for Republicans to quit coddling Trump and move on to normalcy. If they continue to fail in this, they commit two terrible sins. One, they feed a lie about the reliability of our democracy; that is a cardinal sin. About 20% of the population things the election was not free and fair. That helps no one in the end.
Second, this would be lost opportunity. Trumpism (more onthat topic in a future blog) could begin to be starved. If only Republicans would find an ounce of courage and a bit of brains. They don’t have to disown Trump, just start ignoring him; bring forth others to lead. If they do not, he will be a millstone around their neck forever. The likes of Graham, Rubio, and Cruz will be their public voice. How dumb can one party get?
- What the Harris Nomination Means. I have said before that I was not a huge fan of Vice President Elect Harris. But I saw the wisdom in her selection, and I hoped to warm to her. That has begun, but her speech Saturday night really brought it home. Watching the expressions on the faces of little girls of color watching her melted my heart. I was reminded of something. How different and important something may be to someone whose life is different from my own. A little humility is a good thing.
And a Few More
- Reserving the John Mitchell Cell. Someone might wish to contact the Maxwell Federal Prison Camp in Montgomery, AL. Ask about John Mitchell’s old cell. Perhaps they could ensure it is vacant and spruce it up a bit. This might become a tradition, being the cell for convicted former Attorneys General. I know I would pay big bucks for a license plate made by Bill Bar.
- This is What an Out of Control Pandemic Looks Like. Vaccines look close and Biden has both a great team and a fine plan. But we are out of time. The virus is now like one of those out of control wildfires out West. The country missed the opportunity to contain it; now we are ablaze. Hundreds of thousands more will die before we get this thing under control. Criminal negligence, plain and simple. So many people in areas overwhelmed by this virus still voted for Trump. This is a monument to the limitations of our species.
- Changes at the Defense Department. Firings and putting in places people unqualified and ill-suited in DoD is troubling. It is hard to say what Trump has in mind, but none of it can be good. One rumor is that he plans to pull almost all US troops out of everywhere. The order might go out, but I expect the military will be smart enough to slow roll the logistics and run out the clock. More sinister would be an effort to use US troops in some domestic roll. Trump did not get the election riots he hoped for, so a tougher sell for him. But even if he attempts such, I am confident senior military leaders would refuse the orders. All those Homeland Security Forces, I am not so sure about.
Let’s Close with the Headlines
A good headline catches the reader’s attention and says in a few words what follows in the story. There were a lot of good ones this week. Here is a sample.
–Joe Biden Triumphs Over Trump, Says It Is ‘a time to heal’ Even as Trump Does Not Concede
–How Trump’s Erratic Behavior and Failure on Coronavirus Doomed his Reelection
–World Now Looks at How Biden will Reshape U.S. Policies After Turbulent Trump Era
–Trump Just Joined History’s Club of One-Term presidents, Rejected by the Americans They Led
–John Lewis’s Former District May Have Flipped Georgia Blue. It’s Seen by Some as Divine Revenge.
–Four years too late, the TV establishment puts Trump on mute
And my favorite: Our Long National Nightmare is Over
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