Joe Biden and Kamala Harris are indisputably the next president and vice president of the United States. The “Blue Wall,” painted red and shattered by Donald Trump in 2016, has been rebuilt, and as President-Elect Biden, and Vice President-Elect Kamala Harris both said in their victory speeches Saturday, Nov. 7: “This is the time to heal in America.”
Yet, despite the historic number of popular votes cast for the Biden/Harris ticket and their ticket gaining 279 electoral votes, as states continue to count, Donald Trump has continued to show his ill-mannered, boorish contempt for democracy by refusing to accept defeat.
Instead, Trump and his campaign have continued to pour fuel on the fire of conspiracy theories plaguing this year’s election. Rather than a phone call to begin the peaceful transition of power, they continue to make unsubstantiated claims of voter fraud and ramp up their threats of lawsuits that will lead to a supposed Trump victory.
As of this morning, Nov. 8. Trump administration appointee to the General Services Administration, the agency in charge of federal buildings, that also signs off on access to government funds, and office space to the president-elect’s transition team, Emily Murphy had refused to do so.
“An ascertainment has not yet been made,” Pamela Pennington, a spokeswoman for GSA, said in an email to the Washington Post, “and its Administrator will continue to abide by, and fulfill, all requirements under the law.”
With U.S. democracy pushed to the edge of collapse on Election Day, should U.S. voters be worried about Trump’s inability to accept his one and done term?
So far, the writing on the wall says, “No, we will get through this rough transition period. But it won’t be easy.” And until there is an official call—votes certified in all states, transmitted to presidential electors, and the final official constitutional confirmation is made—expect a fight.
The frivolous lawsuits
Trump’s strategy of filing a flurry of lawsuits challenging the Biden/Harris win isn’t about upholding the law or ensuring transparency throughout the voting process. It’s about providing Trump with a viable off-ramp for a loss he can’t accept and is about giving his supporters something to be angry about.
Since his lead diminished in the days following Nov. 3, Trump has continued to promise legal action as part of his refusal to concede the race—making pitches to donors for help in financing his court crusade.
But there’s one problem. There is no proof of voter fraud, or Election Day malfeasance.
In Michigan and Georgia, where the Trump Campaign filed two lawsuits on Election Day, both were almost immediately dismissed by state court judges for lack of legal standing and evidence of fraud.
In Pennsylvania, Trump appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court to intervene, citing massive mail-in ballot fraud and issues with poll watchers and election officials. Before the High Court said anything, the Pennsylvania Secretary of State ordered the segregation of mail-in ballots received after Election Day, to ensure there were no counting issues.
Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito, who oversees all emergency appeals for that geographic region, ordered officials to keep doing what the Secretary of State had already put in place.
And where’s the GOP in all of this? Shouldn’t they be calling for “law and order?”
Senior Republican legislators have all but remained mum, with few exceptions—those trying to continue currying favor with Trump.
“Don’t accept the media’s declaration,” Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) told Fox News host Maria Bartiromo on Sunday. “Don’t concede, Mr. President. Fight hard.”
But there’s more to it than just a division within the GOP. Senate control hangs on a Jan. 5 runoff in Georgia there to determine if that state’s two Senate seats will become blue, or will stay red, creating the possibility of a greatly weakened Mitch McConnell.
With Trump’s continued post-election antics and calls for action, he lends service to the GOP to rally its voting and fundraising base in a key state.
On a call with supporters Saturday, Nov. 7, Trump campaign manager Bill Stepien encouraged them to be ready to continue the fight for Trump, including standing by for rallies and demonstrations.
Again, this isn’t about fraud or a stolen election, it’s about delay tactics to stroke a self-made despot’s ego and delay the inevitable.
Along with his lawsuits, Trump also keeps waving at the U.S. Supreme Court to get involved. They did it once before in 2000.
But, in 2020 it’s not as likely. The best bet of the High Court getting involved rests in Pennsylvania, where Trump has tried twice and failed already. But the number of ballots being challenged there by Trump—those received after Election Day—is so small that it would not flip Biden’s lead, or drastically change the election’s outcome.
“Nothing that I’ve seen regarding the election raises a legal issue that could succeed. There is just is nothing there,” said Barry Richard, who represented George W. Bush in the 2000 Florida debacle that went before the U.S. Supreme Court. “When these kinds of lawsuits are filed it just breeds contempt for the whole legal system.”
Al Neal is People’s World associate editor for labor and politics. He is also the chief photographer for People’s World.