There’s a story about Benjamin Franklin. Its said, just after the signing of the Constitution by the Convention delegates, he was asked what kind of government had been decided.
“A Republic, if you can keep it”, he replied.
The Library of Congress says this is a real quote, so I’m going with it, but either way, the message is clear.
Our republic is a fragile thing. Not something to be taken for granted. So when people do things that would damage faith or trust in the government we elect, that’s a big problem for the republic as a whole.
Just the other day I wrote about one group’s efforts to delegitimize government. Maybe that was too narrow. In reality, the modern GOP has worked to delegitimize all kinds of institutions, from journalism and civil liberties to actual liberty itself (unless its the 2nd amendment, then they’re cool with that).
It is through that effort, the modern GOP has spent 40 years creating an alternate reality.
That alternate reality and all the ugliness that comes with it, has been forced on the American public at large over the past four years.
The election, many hoped, would break the fever of this alternate reality manipulation game. Instead, it has turned up the heat.
And thus far, nearly all of our leaders have come up lacking the backbone to stand up to it, in the face of what could be, the biggest challenge to our republic since the 1860’s.
There’s been a lot of noise made about the President’s lack of a concession speech.
I’m not sure why anyone thought a malignant narcissist would concede. Surely you’ve abandoned all that “better angels” bullshit with this President by now.
Concession or not, 80% of Americans believe Biden won. That includes almost 60% of Republicans.
Just not the ones in Congress.
Where is Everybody
Mainstream media has also been more muted than one might expect. The constant barrage of attacks against institutions like CNN, the New York Times, and Washington Post, from this administration has weakened too much of journalism’s resolve to be that 4th branch, that check on government overreach.
But there are occasional exceptions.
Tuesday night, NYU professor Jay Rosen, turned me on to this great clip of Jake Tapper’s open. Its worth a listen.
The Mark has been Made
The President continues to fundraise on bullshit claims of election fraud. That fundraising is to fund his new leadership PAC and retire campaign debt, according to the fine print.
Finishing up a term full of grandstanding, gas lighting, and other fraudulent bullshit with a dishonest fundraising appeal, that also signs people up for a $100/mo. auto-draft, is 100% on brand for this White House.
But while the President gets in one last grift, some current and former GOP officials are accepting reality.
Yesgerday, Sen. Ben Sasse (R-NE) joined a very small list of Republicans who have acknowledged Biden won.
While the list is encouraging, statements from Secretary of State Mike Pompeo talking about a second Trump term aren’t.
And all of this, the kneepads and fluffery from folks like Lindsey Graham, Pompeo and Ted Cruz are in service of their own interests in reigning in Trump’s base in 2024.
This self-interest is the thing that could derail this transition. That could have a devastating impact on the lives of the nearly 150,000 people a day who are contracting COVID at the hands of Trump’s governing malpractice.
We’re in this together
Some GOP Senators are being more reasonable.
But with this administration, nothing will happen until the President’s fragile ego is inoculated from reality.
The Snowflake in Chief needs his emotional safe space.
In the mean time, the Biden transition is full speed ahead.
We’ll see if the White House comes around to reality.
But they’ve made it this far ignoring it. No reason to believe they’ll pull their head out of their ass now.