December 14, 2020

A Shadow Presidency?

January 20th won’t silence Donald Trump.

Now what?

Last week, we had hopes for a Hail Mary from Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton — a pleading with the U.S. Supreme Court that the fraudulent electoral processes in Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin “suffered from significant and unconstitutional irregularities” and violated the Constitution’s Equal Protection Clause, and that the results in those states should therefore be negated.

No dice. “The State of Texas’s motion for leave to file a bill of complaint is denied for lack of standing under Article III of the Constitution,” said the 51-word order from the Supreme Court. “Texas has not demonstrated a judicially cognizable interest in the manner in which another State conducts its elections. All other pending motions are dismissed as moot.”

Thus, as predicted by National Review’s Andrew McCarthy and others, the High Court refused to take up the case because each of the 50 states is entitled to make its own electoral laws, not because it deemed that the issues raised in the suit don’t have merit. Issues such as the national ramifications of improper state election corruption and the necessity of equal protection under the laws for all citizens most certainly do have merit. Illegal electoral practices in any state’s national-office elections impact every state and all Americans.

Here, though, even Justices Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito, who issued a statement saying they’d have heard the case, said they would “not grant other relief” — which means the nine justices would’ve shot it down (perhaps) unanimously.

Rudy Giuliani says the Trump legal team isn’t finished, but the window of opportunity continues to close. And legal doors keep getting slammed in their faces.

Isn’t there a judge somewhere who smells a rat? Someone who sees what the rest of us see? That Joe Biden couldn’t possibly have gotten all those votes legally, especially in the Democrat-controlled urban centers where voter turnout was at a North Korea-like 90% and Republican vote counters weren’t allowed to observe the vote-counting process?

A post-election Politico poll found that 79% of Trump supporters believe the election was stolen. What’s remarkable, though, is that 21% of Trump supporters apparently think it was on the up-and-up.

All that aside, barring some sort of last-second extraordinary measure — say, a nationwide march on Washington followed by a declaration of martial law and a call for new elections in Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin — President Donald Trump won’t prevail.

The Electoral College meets today to cast their votes for president and vice president. Nothing leads us to believe that they won’t vote for Joe Biden and Kamala Harris. Tick, tock.

As John Hinderaker writes at Power Line, “There is no way that the Trump campaign’s various legal challenges, whether meritorious or not, will be resolved in time to make a difference. Which means that Joe Biden will be inaugurated under a cloud. Close to one-half of Americans will believe, likely correctly in my opinion, that he did not actually win the election. Legal proceedings will continue, but perhaps more important, enterprising authors will write books about the election. Some will argue that the Democrats stole the presidential race, others will try to defend Biden’s ‘win.’ … The debate will go on, with partisans on both sides mostly believing what they want to believe.”

But then what? What actually happens on January 21 and for the rest of 2021 if Biden is inaugurated? What happens for the rest of Biden’s four-year term, whether he actually serves it out or not?

South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham says, “[President Trump] has a lot of sway over the Republican Party. If he objects to anything Biden [does], it would be hard to get Republicans on board. If he blessed some kind of deal, it would be easier to get something done. In many ways, he’ll be a shadow president.”

A shadow president, eh? Democrats gave Trump no peace whatsoever during his four-year term. Maybe Trump will repay the favor. Perhaps he and his staff will fire off a contrarian tweet and a one-pager whenever Biden announces a new policy or signs an executive order. If ever Biden ventures out of the White House, Trump might just follow him and hold his own impromptu rally and presser. He may start his own TV network so he and his guests could vigorously oppose, berate, and deride our illegitimate president every night during prime time. He could extend his “Trump” and “MAGA” clothing business to include a “They Stole It” line and an “Electoral Reform Now” line. How might the rest of us resist? Do we refuse to pay our taxes on April 15? (Asking for a friend.)

In addition to sharing some thoughts from fellow conservatives, whose analyses vary from restrained bitterness to all-out civil disobedience, Hinderaker pulls no punches: “For the sake of what is left of our country,” he says, “we should #Resist the Biden administration and the Democrats every step of the way for the next four years.”

Even Rush Limbaugh is wondering what’s next. “There cannot be a peaceful coexistence of two completely different theories of life, theories of government, theories of how we manage our affairs,” he says. “We can’t be in this dire a conflict without something giving somewhere along the way.”

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