First the celebrations and the taunting have begun and will continue…
As soon as the news buzzed on their phones, Americans gathered spontaneously on street corners and front lawns—honking their horns, banging pots and pans, starting impromptu dance parties—as an agonizingly vitriolic election and exhausting four-day wait for results came to an end Saturday morning. And for all that joy, there was equal parts sorrow, anger, and mistrust on the other side, the AP reports. Among the reactions:
Just after the AP and other news organizations declared that Joe Biden beat President Trump, fireworks erupted in Atlanta. In Maine, a band playing at a farmers’ market broke into the Battle Hymn of the Republic. In Louisville, Kentucky, Biden supporters gathered on their lawns to toast with champagne. A crowd gathered in Black Lives Matter Plaza near the White House to celebrate Biden’s win, NBC Washington reports. “Bye bye, Donald Trump,” a woman said over and over in a megaphone. People chanted “Black lives matter” and sang “Na Na Na Na Hey Hey-ey Goodbye.” In Manhattan, they danced in the streets, banged cowbells, and honked their car horns. In Brooklyn, they chanted “the nightmare is over.” Lola Faleit, a 26-year-old human resources manager in New York City, said that “It’s surreal, I feel like I’m free from the clutches of evil. I feel less worried for my immigrant friends. In 2016, we woke up crying. Today we are celebrating.” Trump’s supporters have for days been protesting outside of ballot-counting operations, alleging without evidence that the slow-moving results were proof of cheating. “This isn’t over! This isn’t over! Fake news!” some of Trump’s supporters shouted as they gathered at the Georgia State Capitol after news organizations’ decision to call the election.
Some 75 Trump-supporting protesters had gathered Saturday morning outside the election tabulation center in downtown Phoenix, where the counting remains underway. Shortly after the news broke, Jake Angeli yelled, “This election has not been called! … They got their hands caught in the cookie jar and we’re going to the Supreme Court!” Trump activists were assembling in state capitols and calling for peaceful protests, the Washington Post reports. The rallies were in support of “Stop the Steal,” a group that got booted from Facebook for inciting violence and promoting misinformation.
We have our president-elect and now the real circus will begin….this should keep the media and pundits in lunch money for a couple of weeks….
Now that the AP has declared Joe Biden the next US president, what happens? And can President Trump, who is refusing to concede, take this to the Supreme Court? The Wall Street Journal offers a guide: First, states will let campaigns seek recounts or will conduct them on their own (looks like they’ll happen in Wisconsin and Georgia). Then states will choose their electors by Dec. 8 based on which presidential candidate won the popular vote. Finally, electors gather and vote in their state capitals on Dec. 14. A new US Congress will count the votes on Jan. 5, and the new president takes the oath of office on Jan. 20. But there are caveats and questions:
- Electors: For over a century, states have based their electors on the popular presidential vote—but what if they don’t? The Washington Post notes that states could change their rules, but doing so after Election Day would violate federal law. That battle could go to the courts and end up in the Supreme Court, where a 6-3 conservative majority would make its ruling.
- Electors, Pt. 2: Trump allies (like Sen. Lindsey Graham) say state lawmakers could cancel election results if they see possible fraud, and choose pro-Trump electors instead. But in Pennsylvania, the state’s Senate and House majority leaders wrote an op-ed saying the legislature has no role “in choosing the state’s presidential electors or in deciding the outcome of the presidential election.”
- Lawsuits: Republicans and Trump’s campaign have filed a few lawsuits, but the AP reports that “most are small-scale” and “do not appear to affect many votes.” Judges in Michigan and Georgia have already dismissed two of the suits. One case at the Supreme Court could exclude ballots that arrived in Pennsylvania after Election Day, but it seems there weren’t very many.
- ‘High hurdle’: Trump “would have to show that [state] rules are being violated in a very specific way that cause his campaign harm, and that’s a really high hurdle,” a professor at the London School of Economics tells the Huffington Post. “There’s very, very little historical evidence of fraudulent activity in US elections.”
- John Roberts: The AP adds that Chief Justice John Roberts, who tries to keep the high court away from messy politics, “is not likely to want the election to come down to himself and his colleagues.”
- The ‘faithless’: The Journal notes that individual electors could simply switch sides—it’s happened before. But 33 states have “faithless elector” laws that would invalidate at least some of those votes.
- If Trump won’t go on Jan. 20: “Donald Trump as the outgoing president has a contingent of Secret Service,” Columbia University professor Robert Shapiro tells LiveScience. “Biden goes to the White House and the Secret Service escorts Trump out. That’s what happens.”
- Codenames: The BBC looks at words we’ll “hear a lot of,” like president-elect, cabinet, and confirmation hearing. More interesting: Biden’s codename with the Secret Service is “Celtic,” and Kamala Harris apparently picked “Pioneer.”
I will return to posting my usual stuff……politics will get more boring as the days roll by…..
I Read, I Write, You Know
“lego ergo scribo”