Now We Have to Fight Trump’s Tin-Pot Coup and Biden’s Worst Instincts

November 13, 2020
By Naomi Klein

Republicans keep finding new ways to tell us that they don’t believe in democracy, and we should believe them.

THE CHORUS OF Republican voices echoing manufactured claims of mass election fraud hasn’t petered out yet. So, is it:

  1. A grift to raise cash for Donald Trump?
  2. A ploy to goose aggrieved Republican turnout in Georgia’s high-stakes Senate runoffs?
  3. An elaborate scheme to flatter a nuclear-armed narcissist into gradually accepting the reality that he is what he most fears: a loser?
  4. An attempt to preemptively drain the Biden-Harris administration of perceived legitimacy, in an effort to clip its wings and then use its ineffectiveness to secure big Republican wins in the midterms?
  5. An actual, thought-through, coordinated plot for Republican-controlled state legislatures to use the pretext of public concerns over voter fraud — concerns methodically manufactured out of thin air through sheer force of repetition by Trump and his minions — to claim a constitutional “duty” to override their states’ certified election results and instead directly appoint Republican presidential electors? In short, is what we are witnessing the prelude to an Electoral College coup? As David Sirota first reported, a harrowing paper by Ohio State constitutional law expert Edward Foley warned about this precise scenario last year, explaining how state legislatures could attempt to claim this kind of constitutional cover in order to override certified election results.

My take? A through D are definitely happening, while the risk of E being a real threat is very slim. But slim isn’t nil and given the stakes, that’s makes it enough to deserve some attention.