Election 2020: I'M MELTING!

Rudy Giuliani Rudy Giuliani'd.

Rudy Giuliani hair dye drip: What kind of color would run down your face  when you're sweating?

That could be the whole post, really. Guiliani, in his role as head of Trump's legal team, gave an unhinged 90 minute press conference where he and his henchmen Jenna Ellis and Sidney Powell gave what the Post termed "the craziest press conference of Trump's presidency", alleging that Biden oversaw a vast conspiracy to steal millions of votes from Donald Trump and thus the election. When the reporters present asked for evidence, Guiliani screamed "FAKE NEWS!" repeatedly, while Ellis snarked that reporters couldn't understand the law (note: most reporters have lost 40 fewer cases this past 2 weeks than the legal team they are covering) and Powell stated that it wasn't really time to produce "evidence". Guiliani claimed to have hundreds of signed affidavits that he refused to produce because the claimants feared for their lives. The core of the conspiracy was that a voting machine company, Dominion, was secretly in thrall to Communists, who presumably support Biden's presidency (this would come as a deep shock to anyone acquainted with actual leftists). Among the conspirators named repeatedly was Hugo Chavez of Venezuela. Chavez has been dead since 2013 - given the fact-free nature of everything else on display, this seems a minor quibble.

Most of the media concentrated on the spectacle of Guiliani's amateurish hair dye job melting onto his face as he spoke, but the content of his presentation was far more disturbing, as was the fact that it was being hosted by, and endorsed by the Republican Party. For the first time in over a century, a major American party is alleging a conspiracy to steal the election from its candidate by the other party. This is a bell that cannot be unrung, and its fallout will dominate Biden's presidential term. Democracy is under attack by one of the main parties that participate in it.

As part of that attack, Trump made an overt effort to subvert the ongoing certification of the vote in Michigan; it came out that Trump called the Wayne County election board members who waffled on certification personally, and also invited members of the Michigan state legislature to the White House for talks. As I write this, one of his invitees has stated that he supports a delay in Michigan's certification to investigate Trump's claims.

Biden's margin of victory is so large, and the calendar itself, make overturning the election results almost impossible at this point. (Georgia, for example, finished its manual recount today, with no change in the result.) Even if one or two states ignores the result of the election and switches its electors to a Trump slate - an outlandish and unconscionable betrayal of democracy - it would not change Biden's taking office in January.

According to CNN, that isn't the point. Apparently one of Trump's phone confidants gave CNN a window into Trump's thinking - this entire show, according to them, is simply revenge on Biden for the Mueller probe and Trump's fury at his 2016 "landslide victory" being impugned. If he can't have a clear electoral validation, no one else can either. It's pretty clear from the wording of the story that this friend tried to tell Trump that he was damaging his future financial prospects by dragging this to the bitter end, only to be told he was wrong, because 70 million people voted for Trump. (Over 76 million voted against him, but that is left unsaid.)

Trump is scheduled to appear tomorrow virtually before the most important summit in Asia, the APEC conference. It comes in the wake of China sealing a free trade deal among Asian countries pointedly excluding the US. Meanwhile, Secretary of State Pompeo is on a victory tour of the Middle East, visiting several settlements in Israel's occupied West Bank and Golan. (Israel for its part named Effie Eitam, a far-right settler spokesperson who has called Israeli Arabs a "cancer" and "we have to kill them all", the head of the Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial, showing that populist Trumpism is not limited to the US)

Meanwhile COVID-19 marches on. My own home county in Texas declared a "condition red" and asked everyone to stay home and avoid contact with anyone. This is fine. Who needs a functioning government, anyway?