Trump and the GOP Intensify Their Assault on Democracy


This week’s signal is the extraordinary, chilling attack on democracy that the Trumpified Republican Party is now pursuing.

Since the November 7 election, despite all evidence to the contrary, Trump has repeatedly claimed he won the election. that “legal votes” were cast for him and fraudulent votes for his opponent; and that he has no intention of conceding President-elect Joe Biden – even though Biden has 306 electoral college votes to Trump’s 232 votes. Trump’s attorneys have filed numerous lawsuits allegedly suspending the counting and certification of votes in key states like Pennsylvania and Michigan, but more realistically intending to simply cloud the water in advance of the official confirmation of the vote in each state. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Vice President Mike Pence and Trade Advisor Peter Navarro have all said they work on the assumption that there will be a second term for Trump. Attorney General Bill Barr has given federal prosecutors permission to search for election fraud on fishing expeditions. Government agencies are being asked to prepare a budget for next year that assumes that Trump is still president and that his political priorities will continue to dictate government policy. The General Services Administration has refused to initiate the process necessary to begin a change of president. Biden has been frozen out of national security briefings and planning sessions on Covid-19. White House staff have reportedly been told that if they look at job advertisements that could be useful for a post-Trump era they will be fired.

As if all of this wasn’t bad enough, Trump last week thoroughly cleaned up the civilian leadership of the Department of Defense, also started flushing intelligence services, and is said to have thought of firing the CIA and FBI chiefs. In any case, the replacements for the purged men and women are extreme Trump loyalists installed by John McEntee, the 30-year-old White House chief of staff (and the same official who reportedly threatens White House staff to look for jobs in administration after Trump).

McEtee’s key selection criterion appears to be nothing more than absolute, undeniable loyalty to Trump-the-Person and not to the Constitution. As a by-product of finding people so morally malleable, a recent appointment has a long, unsavory track record of spreading conspiracy theories as well as racist and religious Bigotteries. Given Trump’s very public efforts to invoke the Insurrection Act as early as June and unleash the U.S. military against domestic protesters, these personnel changes should set off alarm bells across the government and the population.



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