November 9, 2020 | revcom.us
Mainstream media and Democratic Party leaders treat the fight to drive Trump/Pence out as a done deal. They dismiss Trump’s multiple lawsuits in battleground states, many of which are specious and may be thrown out due to lack of evidence, and which wouldn’t affect enough votes to flip the election even if they won. They say that when Trump declares the election will be settled by (“his”) Supreme Court, he’s just blustering—that there is no way that the clear results of the election could be overturned by the Court or other institutions.
This is dangerous “happy talk.”
First and foremost, Trump repeatedly claimed before the election that the only way he could lose is if the election is “rigged.” And his attorney general, Bill Bar, asserted—without evidence—that mail-in ballots were susceptible to massive fraud. All this set the stage and provided the framework for Trump’s fascist social base to view Biden’s clear-cut victory as “proof” that the election was “rigged”!
And now influential Republi-fascists are driving this home: Trump insists he is the legal winner, claims massive fraud with mail-in ballots, and says that “This election is not over.” Don Jr. tweets that his dad should “go to total war over this election.” House Republican leader Kevin McCarthy says Republicans will “not back down from this battle.” And so far, no major Republican leader has called for Trump to concede (other than a few people like Romney and George W. Bush who were not pro-Trump to begin with).
So yes, the election was a big setback for the fascists, but they are scrambling to get back on the offensive and even may flip the election if possible.
The GOP’s “fraud” claims and weak-ass lawsuits serve a crucial political purpose:
The avalanche of fraud charges gain credibility by being heard in court. This helps create broad confusion, and further delegitimizes the election in the eyes of Trump supporters—many of whom were disoriented by a defeat they believed was impossible. And there are millions of fanatics living in a Q-Anon/Facebook/Fox News bubble, who only come up for air to fight off imaginary “antifa invasions,” lay siege to statehouses to defend their “right” to spread COVID, or intimidate poll workers.
Republi-fascists still control much of the institutional power in the U.S., and now they aim to reactivate their mass base to serve as shock troops and political cover for their moves.
Check out what Trump’s campaign manager said to supporters: “Just be at the ready at a moment’s notice. We may need your help and support on the ground, waving the flag and yelling the president’s name…” Ask yourself: “Be at the ready…” for WHAT?
If they can get this “Trump train” rolling again, there are enough loopholes in the U.S. electoral system to drive an election-stealing truck through.
Here are some avenues that are being advocated by influential fascists:
- Appointing pro-Trump electors in states that voted for Biden: As right-wing radio host Mark Levin tweeted—and Don Jr. retweeted: “Reminder to the Republican state legislatures, you have the final say over the choosing of electors, not any board of elections, secretary of state, governor or even court.” Trump ally Steve Bannon is also pushing this.
- Most of the battleground states that Trump lost have Republi-fascist legislatures. Think they wouldn’t do something that openly antidemocratic? Where have you been for the last 20 years?
- Whether doing this would be constitutional can be argued either way, but the “final answer” would come from the U.S. Supreme Court, with its 6-3 Christian-fascist majority.
- Recounts: Recounts are being called for in Georgia, Nevada and Wisconsin. Typically, recounts may change a few hundred votes—not enough to matter in this race. But America in 2020 is not “typical.” Already, poll workers in Las Vegas and Phoenix need armed security from angry Trump crowds. Imagine if there were thousands of fascists besieging polling stations, many armed, and poll workers relying on cops who “love Trump” for protection. What kind of “recount” might that produce?
- Currently, Biden has 279 electoral votes. If he lost Wisconsin’s 10 votes, that could lead to a tie. Then the winner would be selected by the House of Representatives, voting by delegation: New York’s 27 representatives and Utah’s four representatives would each get one vote. More state delegations are controlled by Republicans, so in this situation Trump would likely win.
- “Investigations” of fraud: The NY Times reports thatleading Republican legislators in Wisconsin and Pennsylvania are calling for “reviews” and “audits, searching for evidence of “fraud.”And the pro-Trump “True the Vote” organization initiated “a $1 million ‘Whistleblower Defense Fund’ to ‘incentivize’ witnesses to step forward with charges of malfeasance.” Again—a million dollars to “incentivize witnesses”!
- These “investigations” aim to build public support for interventions by fascist-controlled institutions—state legislatures, the Senate, the courts, etc.—and to provide legal cover for overturning the election.
- Intervention by Attorney General Barr and the Department of Justice (DOJ): According to Barton Gellman, an expert in executive power, Barr can use fraud allegations to “write a legal document that orders the federal government to treat Trump as president-elect.” Gellman adds that Trump could do the same thing with an executive order. “Whether government agencies would go along with orders like that, which are ordinarily binding but would be transparently unlawful now, remains to be seen.”
- Barr is under intense pressure from Trump allies to come to his rescue. Eric Trump tweeted “I truly hope the @FBI/@DOJ engages immediately.” The Times reports, “Newt Gingrich echoed the president’s son on Fox News, calling for the jailing of poll workers and more involvement from Attorney General William P. Barr.” Giuliani said to Fox News’ Maria Bartiromo there were 450,000 fraudulent ballots in Philadelphia—she responded: “Where is Bill Barr on this!” Fascist Texas Congressman Louie Gohmert chimed in: “Where’s @TheJusticeDept???”
Take This Seriously—and Take Action to Prevent It
It is not certain that the fascists will attempt any of these moves, and not certain that they will succeed if they do. But what is certain is that they have a lot of power, and they are determined to hold onto it and bring to fruition their nightmarish vision of America and the world.
It is therefore also certain that the “coalition of the decent” cannot leave the field of political battle—of mass nonviolent protests, of the public square and the public discourse—until the fascists are driven from power.