How Long Can Biden Avoid Confronting Trump?

Refusing to admit his loss in the presidential election, Donald Trump continues to propose absurd conspiracy theories, filing angry lawsuits, pressuring state lawmakers to overturn the vote, and generally blocking the transition to the next presidency. On Sunday evening, Trump sent one of his typically nonsensical tweets and wrote: “In certain swing states there were more votes than people who voted, and in large numbers. Isn’t that really important? Stop poll watchers, vote for unsuspecting people, forge ballots, and more. Such monstrous behavior. We will win!”

The deadlocked transition becomes a major problem for Joe Biden as his employees are unable to meet their government colleagues or receive briefings. The Biden team is also not receiving federal funding to set up the offices it needs to fill the new presidency. On Friday, Biden took advantage of this unprecedented situation to raise funds. He tweeted, “Here’s the deal: Because President Trump refuses to admit and is delaying the transition, we need to finance it ourselves and need your help. If you can, help fund the Biden-Harris transition.”

Campaigns often turn to donors to help cover some of the cost of a transition. However, due to the special circumstances of 2020, Biden’s request for money met with conflicting responses. Finally, Trump bans medical experts within the government from speaking to the Biden team. This will slow down the new president’s ability to develop a Covid policy. It is not hyperbolic to say that people are going to die because Trump cannot admit that he has been defeated.

But Biden shied away from fighting Trump for these reasons. As Ben Smith noted in The New York Times“Some of President-elect Biden’s supporters” are frustrated “as he foregoes a confrontation over President Trump’s refusal to admit and delivers a stream of nominations and a fundraiser for the online transition without fanfare.” Biden prefers to staff his administration all the time rather than reacting to Trump’s clowniness. This is an understandable strategy.

Biden’s cautious approach to Trump’s sabotage of transition is in line with the president-elect’s larger theory of the political moment. Biden has long seen Trump as an outlier or an anomaly, a destructive force that somehow won the presidency and distorted the country’s natural development. According to this theory, once Trump resigns, he will lose his influence over the Republican Party. American politics will end its extreme polarization and return to pre-Trump times, forcing Republicans and Democrats to make concessions to rule.

Biden articulated this theory in the speech he gave in May 2019, in which he announced his candidacy. “The American people want their government to work, and I don’t think it’s too much to ask,” Biden said. “I know some people in DC say this is not possible. But let me tell you something and make sure you understand. The country is fed up with partition. You’re fed up with the fighting. You have the childish behavior Fed up. “CNN’s Chris Cillizza noted,” That belief – that Trump was an anomaly, a breakdown in the Matrix – underpinned Biden’s entire primary and general election campaign. He stood up as a candidate for change – to make things the way they were they were in the not-so-bad old days when Republicans and Democrats fought but eventually found ways to work together. “


Leave a Comment