I woke up this morning at 5:30 with the expectation that we would know the election results. I let Lexi out, looked down at the tuner and asked myself, “Do you really wanna know?”
A quick glance revealed no real change from last night.
“What the hell,” I whispered at John Berman. (The family was still asleep.)
The banner at the bottom of the screen described the race as “razor thin.”
Looking at the totals, the gaps and the votes was discouraging. I’ve seen this movie. I had a recollection of the days when I was coaching high school cross country. I remembered those times watching one of my team steadily closing the gap on the leader; closer, closer and closer still, gobbling up distance with each yard. Hopes suddenly dashed by the realization that there’s not enough real estate left in the race. If the race had been 3.5 miles or even 3.2 miles instead of the official 3.1, she would’ve taken the race. I feel like there isn’t enough real estate of votes left for Biden to overtake Trump where he needs to.
An hour later Lexi and I were walking past the nearby wetlands. The rising sun lent a golden glow to the ground fog that hugged the reeds in a chilly wet embrace. Normally I would be running but the anxiety of the last few days has sapped my energy.
It occurred to me that I’ve had this feeling before. Back in 2010 when the Bush depression was hemorrhaging jobs around the country and at the company I was working for, I drove to work every morning wondering if my day would begin with an escort to the H.R. office. When I was finally let go the feeling was one of relief that the crushing tension had been finally relieved.
I had the same feeling when we were waiting for Cora’s biopsies after a scan had revealed a mass. Mass. I never did like that term. The doctor described the “mass” in terms of centimeters but the word describes something the size of a continent.
By the time Lexi and I had gotten to the shoreline of San Pablo Bay the feeling had turned to despair. It occurred to me that the world is walking on a tightrope of America’s making. A slight tilt to the left and we land in the cradle of a safety net. A lean to the right and we descend into Trump 2.0. You thought that Trump version one has been bad? I can’t even begin to imagine four more years of hell on steroids.
I reflected back on the words of Kamala Harris, “This is not who we are.” Really? The fact that 48% of the electorate has voted for a racist incompetent puts the lie to that notion. This is exactly who we are and we have a long way to go to make a correction. There can be no correction with a Trump reelection. And 2024? One of Trump’s spawn running for president? I guess I’m getting ahead of myself.
On CNN last night, Anderson Cooper, Van Jones and the rest of the panel were discussing just how well a President Biden could work with a Republican Senate. I turned to Cora,
“Yeah I’ll bet Biden will do better than Obama at working with a Republican Senate. Biden is a white man and McConnell and his racist gang will show Biden more respect.”
And suddenly yelling at the T.V. “What are you guys talking about? Can we wait until Biden wins before we start talking about how he’s going to do in the job? You’re going to jinx this.”
A short time later a Trump posse, some armed, arrived at the vote tabulation center in Phoenix. Inside the center CNN reporter Kyung Lah looked shaken as she reported that she and her crew would have to leave the building. She reported some time later from another location in Phoenix.
Overnight or in the wee hours Trump turned to Twitter and channelled his inner Christopher Columbus and in European explorer prose declared, “We have claimed, for Electoral Vote purposes, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania (which won’t allow legal observers) the State of Georgia, and the State of North Carolina, each one of which has a BIG Trump lead. Additionally, we hereby claim the State of Michigan,” Trump tweeted.
Which of course begs some questions.
Was he wearing a suit of armor like Hernán Cortés or one of those Sir Francis Drake 16th century frilly collars that looks like he’s poking his head through a dinner plate?
Did he plant a Trump flag on the beaches of Georgia and the shores of Lake Michigan?
Did he claim these states in the name of “Queen” Stormy Daniels?
(The tweet has since been flagged by Twitter).
During my marathon election watching I glanced in horror at the Halloween candy bowl. I’d tension binged about half the candy. Today I can’t look a Tootsie Roll in the face.
It’s mid-afternoon on the third day and the good ship Trump is taking on water and the family Trump is losing its collective mind. The president is tweeting “STOP THE COUNT,” meaning in the states where Biden is closing the gap while encouraging more counting in Arizona where HE is closing the gap.
A number of his tweets are being flagged by Twitter with the admonition, “Some or all of the content shared in this Tweet is disputed and might be misleading about an election or other civic process.” Ya think?
Clicking past the warning we find that the tweets are as might be expected:
STOP THE FRAUD!
ANY VOTE THAT CAME IN AFTER ELECTION DAY WILL NOT BE COUNTED! (This isn’t his call. States set their own election laws and if votes are postmarked by election day many states are allowed to count ballots received after election day.)
Don Jr. who is probably seeing drug rehab in his future when he isn’t seeing rainbow unicorns while on one of his binges went what might be termed “a bridge too far” on Twitter.
The best thing for America’s future is for @realDonaldTrump to go to total war over this election to expose all of the fraud, cheating, dead/no longer in state voters, that has been going on for far too long.
Well, Twitter thought that promoting civil war might be a bridge too far and flagged it. I gotta hand it to the Trumps. When they go on Twitter they end up with more flags than the U.N.
Eric Trump has tweeted something about an Election Defense Fund. I thought that Donald Trump was a billionaire. He can’t fund his own challenge? I know I wouldn’t send him a dime, if for no other reason than he would put it to some use other than his defense. But then again I wouldn’t piss on him if he was on fire.
Melania and Ivanka are staying below the Twitter radar and staying silent. I have a feeling that Ivanka is laying low because she’s going to be seeking office one day. Unless of course she gets convicted of a felony after they’ve been served an eviction notice to vacate 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.
3:45 P.M. Donald Trump is about to hold a news conference. As Samuel L. Jackson said in Jurassic Park, “Hold onto your butts.”
As expected an angry president stood behind the Seal of the President of the United States and claimed, without any evidence, that the election is fraudulent. He blamed “big money, big media and big tech,” for conspiring against him.
Trump claimed that THEY (whoever THEY are) wait to see how many votes THEY need and then THEY miraculously find them.
He accused volunteer poll workers of doing “bad things.” What poll workers are doing is drudge work for hours and hours without pay and only because they feel it’s their patriotic duty. It that’s a bad thing then more of us need to be bad. But then Trump knows nothing of patriotism.
The president assailed the most sacred right of the American people, the right that men and women have fought and died to achieve and preserve. People so cherished this right during this election that they stood in lines for hours, during a pandemic and often in foul weather, to exercise their right (and many of them were people of color who had to run a gauntlet of suppression attempts).
6:35 P.M. New numbers from Georgia show that Biden has closed the gap to within 2000 votes of Trump. Trump is claiming that the Democrats are stealing the election but the problem with that theory is that the governor, the secretary of state and the election supervisor in Georgia are all Republican. Say what you want about Republicans, but these three individuals are standing firm with the system, despite being in the same party as a pissed off, threatening POTUS. This is democracy the way it should be.
I might have expected Bill Barr to make an appearance but he’s been incognito. In fact most Republican governors and legislators are staying waaaay below the radar.
Eric Trump is calling for help to man the pumps on a ship that appears to be sinking. “Where is the GOP?! Our voters will never forget…” he tweeted. Wacky Rudi Giuliani chimed in, “NO, THEY WON’T!”
The answer, Rudi and Eric is that most of the GOP seem to be in the process of running to the lifeboats, pushing the women and children aside and letting familia Trump go down with the ship. If Trump loses it will be interesting to see how the GOP reacts to a lame duck incompetent embarrassment.
Early evening. On Hannity, Lindsay Graham rolled up his pants legs, grabbed a bucket and waded into the bilge to bail some of the rising water and to back his benefactor in the White House. Graham went so far as to agree with the notion that the Pennsylvania State Legislature should invalidate the delegates that the states’ voters selected, thereby disenfranchising an entire state. But maybe the most breathtaking statement from Graham was, “He (Trump) backed me, I’m backing him.” I suppose that I’m being naive in suggesting that maybe he should be backing the Constitution. After all that’s the oath that he swore.
9:45 and I was about to turn off the T.V. and head off to bed with my book about The Constitution when a story came on the news about Trump’s friend and confidant Steve Bannon. Seems he had his Twitter account suspended after suggesting on his podcast the beheading of Anthony Fauci and FBI Director Christopher Wray.
“Second term kicks off with firing Wray, firing Fauci, no, I actually want to go a step farther, but the president is a kind-hearted man and a good man,” said Bannon. He added, “I’d actually like to go back to the old times of Tudor England. I’d put their heads on pikes, right, I’d put them at the two corners of the White House as a warning to federal bureaucrats, you either get with the program or you’re gone.”
Of course that’s the Trump/Bannon formula. Make certain that men who are supposed to be independent of political partisanship “get with” the president’s program. Fealty to the king before duty to the country.
There’s been an interesting contrast that’s been going on over the last few days. Trump and his backers and surrogates have been raving about fraud, stealing elections and producing ersatz ballots. They’ve also been spreading conspiracy theories like the one about Republican voters being given Sharpies to fill in ballots because Sharpies allegedly don’t work on ballots (a myth). The evening ended with the suggestion of beheadings, but maybe Bannon was just speaking metaphorically.
Compare this with Joe Biden and his team who are stepping back and suggesting that all the votes get counted.
Finally, after all this talk about fraud and chicanery what’s going to be the reaction if suddenly Trump’s fortunes turn to his advantage and he gets his 270 electoral votes? I wonder if he and Graham and Ted Cruz and crazy Rudi and the family Trump are going to issue a joint statement, “Oh, well, you know that fraud stuff? We were just kidding.”