As of this writing it looks likely that Joe Biden will win Nevada and Pennsylvania, and it also looks possible that he will win GEORGIA, where he’s behind by only 600 votes with a few thousand still to be counted. Arizona remains too close to call. The voting story of this election is clear. Many Democrats voted by mail and many Republicans voted on Election Day. The Election Day votes posted automatically whereas the mailed-in votes had to be opened, reviewed for authenticity, and then scanned, a process that takes a long time, especially when a state (like Pennsylvania) isn’t allowed to process mail votes when received but must wait until election day to begin. So Trump got off to an early lead in states like PA and now Joe Biden has been catching up as the legitimate and legal mail-in votes are counted. In fact, it’s quite possible that news agencies will call PA for Biden in the wee hours (which would mean game over for Trump–in a normal world). Joe is on the verge of winning between 279 and 306 electoral votes.
Sadly but predictably, Trump held a short presser last night and spewed a damaging torrent of outright lies and distortions, saying that he won all the legal votes and if he loses it will be because the democrats cheated. But even Fox News wasn’t agreeing with his lies, instead reporting the actual results as they came in. In fact, Rupert Murdoch’s New York Post tweeted a story titled: “Downcast Trump makes baseless election fraud claims in White House address.” A broad range of political commentators and public figures voiced their outrage at Trump’s blatantly Fascist stance, including Stephen Colbert, who choked up in rage and grief when describing Trump’s disgusting desecration of our most cherished institution, voting. And let’s be very clear about one thing: Trump is advocating Fascism. We need to start using that word, because that’s what this is. From Merriam-Webster:
Fascism: a political philosophy, movement, or regime (such as that of the Fascisti) that exalts nation and often race above the individual and that stands for a centralized autocratic government headed by a dictatorial leader, severe economic and social regimentation, and forcible suppression of opposition.
The huge and disturbing question remaining is, will Trump’s cult of supporters grudgingly accept the clear results of the election when all of the major news agencies report them, or will they act out against our election system or….? Trump’s extreme comments were profoundly unAmerican and damaging to our institutions and traditions, but that’s sadly what we’ve come to expect from him. The extreme fringe is undeterred. Newt Gingrich seemed last night to call for insurrection by suggesting that AG Bill Barr should send federal agents to PA to arrest election workers. And Leader McConnell refused to comment on Trump’s presser, giving his consent through silence. But other Republican leaders like Mitt Romney reiterated that “counting every vote is at the heart of our democracy…Have faith in democracy, our Constitution, and in the American people.” Trump continued his tirade long after midnight on Twitter, beseeching the Supreme Court to step in and throw out 600k ballots in PA, which he deems were not “legal.” This is now his big word, “legal,” as in “election day votes are legal but mail in votes are not legal.” Trump is increasingly frantic and isolated, lashing out and destroying the legitimacy of any institution in his way. We need Republicans to abandon the Trumptanic and uphold the Constitution–but their fealty to it remains in doubt.
Our best hope is that Biden can win in enough states to pad his victory and make it legally impossible for Trump to change the result, while at the same time demonstrating to Trump supporters that this election, like every other election in 230 years, was conducted properly with both Republican and Democratic representatives overseeing every ballot counted.
We should see a winner declared soon. Stay calm, stay confident, and push for every ballot to be counted.
Have a nice weekend.