By Kenneth Tiven in the USA
What appeared to be opposition to a peaceful transition between the Donald Trump administration and the incoming Joseph Biden Administration in Washington has shifted to what some observers are calling outright destruction of the American federal government.
There is an uncomfortable sense that this is much like German dictator Adolf Hitler ordering Paris to be destroyed– burned to the ground– as the Allied Forces closed in to liberate it from four years of German occupation in World War 2.
German General Dietrich von Choltitz refused to do this saying he did not want to go down in history as the man who destroyed the “City of Light”, then Europe’s most celebrated city.
No Republican politicians now in office have opposed Trump fighting election results where he lost the popular vote by more than 5 million and received a considerable beating in the Electoral College.
With nine weeks left in office, Trump is firing senior people, embedding political appointments in permanent jobs at federal agencies, making policy and military decisions on his own on the fly and generally leaving as many “political” landmines as possible for the incoming Democrats.
The federal government’s efforts to manage the Covid-19 crisis have all but ended, leaving the states to deal with a Third Wave that has engulfed huge sections of the country. The death toll is now 250,000 and the daily national infection rate above 150,000. Hospitals are full in most locations.
Trump’s position is that his warp speed efforts have brought vaccines almost to the deliverable stage for which he deserves credit. Of course, if there is no cooperative transition the delivery mechanism for this will be slowed by hiccups as government leadership changes.
All of this deliberate, an attempt to impede the new administration and help Republicans gain in the 2022 midterms elections and in 2024 when Trump hints he will run again.
For the moment the Trump legal team efforts have largely embarrassed the president, not that he appears to worry, perhaps waiting for “his” Supreme Court to ride to the rescue.
Judges across the nation have forced suits to be withdrawn for lack of evidence, while the better law firms have recued themselves from representing the president.
Meanwhile, Trump’s campaign has sent more than a dozen daily emails and many more tweets alleging irregularities and claiming they won the election. Twitter has posted warnings on numerous presidential tweets: For example:
Trump: The Great State of Michigan, with votes being far greater than the number of people who voted.
In Detroit, there are FAR MORE VOTES THAN PEOPLE. Nothing can be done to cure that giant scam. I win Michigan!
Two Republican election officials in Michigan would not agree to certify the votes from Detroit. After a national outcry, the four-person election commission, two from each political party, voted again, this time unanimously accepting the results in a state where Biden won by about 150,000 votes.
Biden and running mate Kamala Harris are busy selecting people for cabinet and other senior positions. Indications are that there will be more women of competence and colour in this administration than ever seen before in US political history.
Trump fired his Secretary of Defense via Twitter last week and replaced him with an acting Defense chief, which avoids any Senate Confirmation. And he has unilaterally decided to withdraw troops from Afghanistan and Iraq, which complicates these global issues for Biden.
He also fired the US government’s head of cyber security for saying the election was the fairest in US history as well as debunking election conspiracy theories floated by Trump. Loyalty trumps truth.
It is anticipated that Biden will use as many acting cabinet officials as he thinks necessary to get the expertise he wants to bypass any lack of Senate cooperation from Mitch McConnell and a potential Republican majority there. That, in turn, depends on two Senate races in Georgia, which have gone to run-offs because third party Libertarian candidates garnered enough votes to keep major candidates below that state’s requirement of 50.1% to be declared the winner.
There is this irony in the president’s loss. Some research into why Trump did better with certain low income groups pointed to the one-time $1200 per adult stimulus checks given out early in the pandemic with Trump’s name embossed on them. This never got repeated because Republicans in Congress opposed the amounts the Democrats wanted to give out. Had the GOP been as generous to lower income demographics as they are to rich people they might have retained the White House. Pennywise and job foolish, you could say.