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America just dodged a GOP bullet from Trump's abuse of power as he does another PR stunt for COVID

4 min read

The Biden-Harris pandemic team is introduced today, covered live by MSNBC and CNN, and no one is covering the Trump “vaccine summit” event at the White House.


“100 million shots in the first 100 days.”

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Because skyrocketing downward is a thing as Trump lies again about losing: “Asked why the White House did not invite anyone from the incoming Biden administration to today’s vaccine summit, the President once again denied the outcome of the election:”  “Well, we're gonna have to see who the next administration is … hopefully the next administration will be the Trump administration … we were rewarded with a victory”. Trump is the only one at the Operation Warp Speed vaccine event not wearing a mask.

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— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) December 8, 2020

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— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) December 8, 2020

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— Acyn Torabi (@Acyn) December 8, 2020

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— Grace Panetta (@grace_panetta) December 8, 2020

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— The Recount (@therecount) December 8, 2020

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— Salon (@Salon) December 8, 2020

While many pundits continue to minimize this entire situation, sneering at people who use phrases like “attempted coup,” the grim reality of our current moment is that Trump got far closer to succeeding than many people would like to admit. He's only stopped now by the fact that too many people voted against him in so many different parts of America. Every indication suggests that if it were up to Republicans, who still hold a disproportionate amount of power, Trump might very well have been illegally installed for a second term in office.

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It's evident that what's holding Republicans back is not honor or decency, but a lack of options. There simply aren't legal processes to pull off what Trump wants, no matter what Newsmax or OANN might say, and state leaders know it. They are saying no to Trump not because they want to, but because, legally, they have to. Witness, for instance, what the Pennsylvania House speaker's spokesperson told the New York Times about the discussion with Trump: “Cutler made it very clear what power the legislature has and does not have.”

Missing, of course, is any mention of the importance of democracy or a robust defense of the right of Pennsylvanians to vote. Cutler sympathizes with Trump's desire to overturn a free and fair election, which is why he signed a letter to the state's congressional delegation asking them to object to the state's electoral votes. He just doesn't have the power to vacate the election results.

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Of course, not all of them are silent. A group of House Republicans, led by Jim Jordan of Ohio and Mo Brooks of Alabama, are publicly calling on Trump to continue fighting even after the Electoral College legally certifies the election for Biden next week. There has been no rebuke from the Republican leadership to these extremists, not even from leaders who hail from the states where Trump is trying to have legal votes thrown out. The Republican stance, on both the state and federal level, is clear: They wish they could help Trump overturn the election, but they just don't see a path forward. They were prepared to abuse their power as far as they could to help him, and have hit the wall

Unfortunately for Trump, time has run out. Tuesday is the deadline for states to certify their results, and next Monday the Electoral College will finally make Biden's win official. The results are clear, not because Republican leaders have any integrity, but because voters showed up in large enough numbers to render all these shenanigans effectively moot. Trump will leave office on Jan. 20, and the only people who deserve credit for that are Democratic voters and organizers, who made sure Biden's win was big enough that it couldn't be stolen away.

www.salon.com/…

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