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The Fickle Finger of Fate Points; Republicans React

These excerpts come from the New York Times website at 9:30 p.m. local time, on Thursday, September 24, 2020:

“On Wednesday, Mr. Trump merged the two story lines involving the court and the legitimacy of the election. He said he expected voting disputes to be decided by the Supreme Court and urged a swift confirmation for a successor to Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Two leading Republican senators, Ted Cruz of Texas and Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, have echoed the president’s call for a swift action on his nominee, citing the court’s potential role in deciding the outcome.”

G. “’People wonder about the peaceful transfer of power,’ Mr. Graham said on Fox News on Thursday. ‘I can assure you, it will be peaceful.’

“’I promise you as a Republican, if the Supreme Court decides that Joe Biden wins, I will accept the result,’ Mr. Graham added.

’The court will decide, and if Republicans lose, we’ll accept the result.’”

Mc. “’The winner of the November 3rd election will be inaugurated on January 20th,’ Mitch McConnell, the Senate majority leader, wrote on Twitter early Thursday. ’There will be an orderly transition just as there has been every four years since 1792.’”

B. “’This isn’t the typical Trump outrage that comes and goes,’ said Brendan Buck, a former top adviser to House Speaker Paul Ryan, who stepped down in 2019. ‘Senators are stating their principle here because it’s obvious to everyone that he is, in fact, planning to dispute the results if he loses, no matter how lopsided. Calling him names isn’t going to stop him, but they are trying to save themselves some trouble later by making clear they’re not going to flirt with crazy conspiracies that make a mockery of our democracy.’”

Here is a boiled-down summary—I make a plausible inference here and there—of these three statements, each by an important Republican—Sen. McConnell (Mc), Sen. Graham (G) and Mr. Buck (B):

Mc. No matter what happens on Nov. 3, the winner will be inaugurated on January 20, 2021.

B. No matter what happens on Nov. 3,  Trump will challenge the election result unless he wins. Senate Republicans are making Constitution-supporting statements to prepare to meet any contingency and how it plays out.

G. No matter what happens on Nov. 3, Trump, if he loses, will challenge the election’s legitimacy. Then, all will be decided by SCOTUS. We Senators will do our part, before SCOTUS gets the case, by approving Trump’s SCOTUS nominee, thus giving him a foolproof 6-3 majority. Then, when SCOTUS declares Trump the winner, we’ll abide by SCOTUS’s decision and support a peaceful transition to Trump’s second term.

Isn’t democracy wonderful?

Update: This past weekend, The Intercept ran an article by Ryan Grim, entitled: “Trump Taps Amy Coney Barrett — Memo Lays Out Tactics for Opposition.” The tactics referred to are basically parliamentary devices for the Democrats to slow down the nomination process.

In the Arizona Senatorial race a Democrat is leading. If he wins, he would be seated on Nov. 30, raising the number of Democrats to 48. This might be enough to stifle the nomination entirely, if there are enough Republican breakaways.

So please call your senators to urge them to participate in these tactics. Sen. Bernie Sanders is circulating a petition to achieve the same end; it is addressed to his fellow members of the Democratic caucus. Also, the tactics would be more powerful if there were ongoing street demonstrations in D.C. to support them.

 

Gene Glickman is a retired college professor of music. He now conducts a progressive chorus, called “Harmonic Insurgence,” and makes choral arrangements for it and other choruses. He lives in Brooklyn, NY and can be reached at eugene.glickman@ncc.edu.  

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