This busy election season doesn’t seem to ever end as the number of votes moves up slowly. But where the count is going is now clear: the remaining votes in Georgia and Philadelphia are all in heavily democratic areas. Joe Biden is well on his way to become the next President of the United States.
One way to gauge the likely outcome of the vote count is to listen to Republican anger. Donald Trump gave a press conference Thursday night setting out his allegations that the election was stolen from him, which have no factual basis. “If you count the legal votes, I win easily,” said Trump said. “If you count the illegal votes, they can try to steal our vote.”
Trump sounded exhausted during the speech, which paradoxically was sluggish to deliver, even if it was a messaging fire. “I’ve been talking about mail-in votes for a long time,” said Trump. “It really destroyed our system. It’s a corrupt system and it makes people corrupt, even if they are not inherently, but they get corrupt. It’s too easy.” Trump added, “Detroit and Philadelphia, easily known as two of the most corrupt political places in our country, cannot be responsible for determining the outcome of a presidential race, a very important presidential race.”
The most disturbing part of the briefing came when Trump discovered that his supporters were becoming violent because they were not allowed to enter a counting room. Trump said, “You put a piece of paper on all the windows so you can’t look in and the people who are banned are very unhappy and get a little violent.” It’s hard to read these comments just as a threat.
Trump’s comments were a farrago of lies. During a fact check, the AP written down“One claim after another actually had no basis, like his allegation that election officials in Pennsylvania and Detroit were trying to ban election observers from polling stations.”
Some of Trump’s former allies have resisted Trump’s allegations of evidence. The Fox News report page has was relentless If one insists, there is “no evidence” of the corruption Trump claims, although the cable side has often expressed views in support of the president.
Former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie was the most prominent Republican to break with Trump. “We didn’t hear about any evidence today,” Christie said told Abc news. “Something like that just ignites without informing it. And without information, we cannot allow inflammation. “
But Christie’s mild reprimand was lonely. With rare exceptions, the overwhelming message from Republicans and the right-wing media has supported Trump’s claims.
Lindsey Graham, Senator from South Carolina went on Fox News says, “I’m here tonight to stand with President Trump.” Graham claimed the Philadelphia elections were “crooked as a snake”. Graham also suggested Republican lawmakers in Pennsylvania cast the votes and decide who should receive the state’s electoral votes.
Former House Majority Leader Newt Gingrich on Fox News called on Attorney General Bill Barr to arrest Pennsylvania election workers. “You are watching an attempt to steal the United States Presidency,” Gingrich said said.
House minority leader Kevin McCarthy has aligned the results of Congress with those of the President. “They didn’t beat a reigning Republican and lost 15, and President Trump won that election,” he said told Fox News. McCarthy added“What is very interesting here and shows more of the fraud: Not a single Republican incumbent has lost … How would President Trump lose in such an atmosphere?”
As Politico Reporter Tim Alberta summed it up Thursday night: “The last three hours on Fox News has been a parade of fire-breathing Republicans rioting and raving about dark rooms and ballots and lack of transparency … and it’s evident that none of them actually knew the details of what was going on happens. ”
This campaign to delegitimize election results is unlikely to prevent Joe Biden from becoming president. As my colleague Elie Mystal has convincingly argued, Trump’s litigation is too ridiculous to achieve its intended goals, even in the most likable courts. You can use the courts to steal a close choice, but Biden’s eventual victory is unlikely to be close.
The real endgame is not to change the election results, but to give Biden a poisoned goblet, a victory tainted by corruption allegations that tens of millions of Americans who voted for Trump will believe. Trump is preparing a myth stabbed in the back so that he and his supporters don’t have to recognize the legitimacy of Biden’s presidency.
These unfounded allegations of corruption and election theft run the risk of inciting violence. Trump is aware of this risk, as demonstrated by his own remarks. But he’s clearly ready to see others get hurt in order to save his ego – and maybe pave the way for a political comeback in 2024.
The WPVI in Philadelphia on Thursday evening reported that “the police are investigating an alleged conspiracy to attack the Pennsylvania Convention Center in Philadelphia,” where the votes are counted.
Trump’s final for the election is clearly developing: he will win and tarnish the waters by suggesting that the votes against him were fraudulent. This could provoke sporadic political violence, but it will also make Trump a martyr for a just cause. Biden is close to securing the presidency, but Trump is already working hard to undermine the next administration.
There has long been hope among anti-Trump forces that Republican leaders would break with him in a moment of crisis. With a few negligible exceptions, this has not yet happened. A republican break with Trump is also unlikely. The myth of the stolen elections is on the way to becoming the republican gospel.