Herold. Azterodt. Mudd. Powell. Arnold.
Make room for company.
Giuliani. Graham. McConnell. Cruz. Bannon.
For those whose American history lessons have expired, that first bunch was convicted of a plot to facilitate the act of a charismatic assassin, John Wilkes Booth.
The second bunch of plotters?
They are following a similar actor.
Instead of taking out one person as Booth did with this derringer, today’s conspirators seek to blow up democracy itself.
Lincoln was elected by American voters to guide them through a tragically tumultuous era. Joe Biden was elected to end one.
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Observe Donald J. Trump and fellow plotters as they seek to keep the tumult going, to subvert the will of those voters.
For a day or two it appeared that it was just a pout — Trump’s “delusions about the vote count,” in the Washington Post’s phrasing. The Post quoted one GOP strategist observing that Trump wanted a “participation trophy” and shortly would be done with his histrionics.
No. This wasn’t about delusions. This was about a calculated plot against America and anyone who ever voted.
It’s a plot against U.S. fighting forces bellying across the beaches of Anzio and the black sands of Iwo Jima.
It’s a plot against paratroopers, faces painted black, air-dropping into the Ardennes woods.
What Trump and his schemers now attempt is an assault and an insult.
It’s an assault on our singularly defining institution: the vote. It’s an insult to the amazing volunteers who made the 2020 election (how possible?) proceed with stunning dispatch.
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Trump appeared the early morning of his extenuated whipping to express shock at how late-coming numbers had eviscerated his red mirage advantage.
The performance was a Trump-stylized masterpiece.
Trump knew exactly what was coming down and what he would do next in an effort to counteract the voters’ verdict on him.
Reporting in the New York Times lays it out: “the culmination of a years-long strategy by Trump to use the power of the executive branch, an army of lawyers, the echo chamber of conservative news media and the obedience of fellow Republicans to try out his most audacious exercise in bending reality: to turn losing into winning.”
John Heilemann explained as much on MSNBC. In October Steve Bannon told him all about the political heist planned by Team Trump to sabotage the election results.
This involved appealing to Republican-led legislatures to overturn voters’ verdict and choose their own electors.
This involved turning to the Trump-seeded Supreme Court to adjudicate any close call.
The problem for Trump, of course, is that the election wasn’t close. By his own 2016 boast, it’s a landslide,
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Hence, we aren’t talking about rightful challenge to votes still in doubt. What we are watching, says Pennsylvania Sen. Bob Casey, is a “constitutional crime.”
Americans of color – and Americans of conscience – should observe how in the frantic effort to overturn the results of the election the administration has sought to throw out the votes of black and brown Americans.
The front-end suppression of these votes has been the Republican way for years, but only now do we see the tactic plied at the back end of an election.
Trump lost. With his actions in these raw moments, he is going down as the biggest loser in American history.
He wants to be president regardless of what the people say. What a fool. Too many have contributed too much to this enterprise to let him succeed. The last act plays before us. History will afford no curtain call.