Donald Trump does not recognize the election. And thus prevents Joe Biden from getting used to it. How much longer can Trump do this? There is evidence of this – and even a date.
In the 90s comedy “Groundhog Day”, Bill Murray plays a self-centered weather presenter who keeps seeing the same day. At 6 o’clock “I Got You Babe” blares from the radio alarm clock and everything starts all over for him, his apparently pointless work repeats and repeats itself.
There is a switchboard in the White House that usually wakes presidents out of their dreams with a wake-up call. Donald Trump does not have to report every day whether the marmot Punxsutawney Phil predicts an early onset of spring or not. But Trump’s days have become increasingly similar since Joe Biden won the election.
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Trump gets up, Trump goes to play golf or works a little, but mostly Trump is raging on Twitter against the allegedly stolen election. How long does he want to continue doing this?
“He won because …”
Donald Trump knows he’s lost. The observers and many anonymously quoted employees are now pretty much in agreement. Trump also recently let it through publicly, albeit involuntarily.
On Friday, when Trump celebrated at his only press conference so far after the defeat for the progress of a corona vaccine, he almost gossiped. There will be no lockdown with his government, he said and then stammered: “Hopefully the, um, whatever happens in the future, who knows which government it will be, time will tell …”
On Sunday, Trump wrote on Twitter: “He won because the election was rigged.” When the first breaking news of the admission of defeat was sent, Trump obviously realized what he had done and sent several tweets afterwards. “I don’t admit anything at all!”
Deposition movements among the Republicans
It fits in with what the US media are reporting about Trump confidants in those unprecedented days in Washington. Trump’s great strategy to really prevent Biden from taking office – it just doesn’t exist. Trump just seems to be looking to see how far he can go and how long the Republicans will support him.
And that is exactly what could help estimate how long Trump can completely refuse to initiate the handover to Biden. Right now, any Republican who cautiously distances himself from Trump on the matter is still going to headline. That alone shows that there are still very, very few. But there are these headlines.
And even influential Republicans like Lindsey Graham who are inclined to Trump recently formulated when they would accept Biden as elected President: If Trump admits defeat, or if the lawsuits have failed in court and the states have certified the election results.
It will probably take a long time for Trump to really admit defeat without claiming that the presidency has been stolen from him. However, there is data for the lawsuits and the results.
December 8th could be decisive
By December 8th, all state litigation and recounts should be completed. It’s the so-called “Safe Harbor” deadline. By then at the latest, all states usually certify their election results, i.e. confirm them so that the electors can elect the president on December 14th. Usually a mere formality that could be important this year.
Most observers assume that Trump’s legal team around Rudy Giuliani has little chance of finding so much evidence of widespread electoral fraud to turn the result in one of the contested states. But if there were still legal disputes on December 8th, it could still get dirty.
If so, the parliament, which is dominated by Republicans in most of the contested states, could possibly simply set up its own electors, arguing that there was no legitimate result. In these states, this task actually falls to the governments – and in the states concerned mostly to democrats.
The scenario is even being discussed that the government and parliament simply nominate both electors because of the whole dispute, i.e. that there are two different groups from one and the same state. Trump electors and Biden electors. Either way, either the US Congress or even the courts would have to decide in the end.
It’s a very unlikely scenario. And even if Biden electors really become Trump electors in this way in one of the contested states, that would not be enough for Trump. Joe Biden won the election with 306 to 232 electors. To turn that around, Trump needs such an unlikely scenario in an unlikely number of states.
It’s practically impossible.
Joe Biden with economic advisors: The newly elected president does not want to be deterred by Trump’s blockade – and yet suffers from it. (Source: Kevin Lamarque / Reuters)
That is why it will actually become more difficult for many Republicans and also for Trump to completely refuse to hand over office by December 8 at the latest. Because that’s what it’s all about at the moment: the so-called “transition” from Trump to Biden. In any case, Biden will not be officially introduced to office until January 20th.
But so far, as the elected president, Biden has, unlike usual, no access to government information, offices and moneythat he is entitled to for this induction phase. For days, Biden was stressedly relaxed on this matter and said he did not want to complain about it. But on Monday his tone became clearer. “If we don’t coordinate, more people could die,” he said, referring to the rapidly increasing corona numbers in the USA.
The refined weather moderator
Biden should still have to wait a bit. Until the lawsuits become all too hopeless. Or until December 8th. Trump is in no hurry. He is busy collecting donations for his legal battle against the election, which he also uses to pay off campaign debts, as can be seen in the small print.
At the same time, he successfully throws himself into the pose of a resistance fighter for his supporters. On the weekend they marched through Washington by the tens of thousands for him. In the next presidential election in 2024, Trump could perhaps use her again as a voter. Or even beforehand as a viewer of a Trump television station.
Much seems possible. But sooner or later Trump will have to break out of his personal time warp of the same days with angry election tweets. In the comedy “Groundhog Day”, this happens when the self-centered weather presenter has become a better person over time.
But that’s Hollywood too.