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Four days before Joe Biden’s victory in the 2020 election is officially certified by Congress in a ceremonial vote, there are at least 141 elected Republicans in that body who are still refusing to admit that Trump is out.

140 Republicans in the House of Representatives, plus Senator Josh Hawley of Missouri, have committed to formally objecting to the election results in a handful of battleground states won by Biden. It won’t make a difference to anything, except to waste about 12 hours of their colleagues’ time in pointless bickering.

In accordance with the Electoral Count Act of 1887, if at least one representative and one senator object to the slate of electors certified by any individual state, then both houses of Congress have to withdraw and debate for two hours. Then they each take a vote on accepting or rejecting the slate of electors. If both houses vote to reject the slate, those electors’ votes don’t get counted. …


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In the final hours before polls open on Election Day, a preponderance of hard data going back at least to the 2018 midterms is indicating strongly that President Trump is in for an enormous beatdown. Not a historic landslide, but it’s also not going to be close. Long-term polling trends and analysis of early voting patterns suggest that Trump is on a path to lose all the same states he lost in 2016, plus most of the battleground states that are close enough to go either way. …


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Less than a week out from Election Day, after Biden has led Trump consistently all year in nationwide and state-by-state polls, Democrats and Republicans who should know better are still trying to tell us the race is much closer than it looks. Among other things, they’re still clinging to the myth of the shy Trump voter: the idea that polls necessarily underestimate the real support for the President, because a certain percentage of Trump voters in every sample will lie out of embarrassment.

This is not happening. In all likelihood it didn’t happen in 2016 either. For one thing, the final national polls were quite close to the actual results, and in the states where polls were off, it was because most of the undecided voters broke for Trump at the last minute. And in those states, the final margins were so close that no amount of polling could have given us any certainty ahead of time anyway. But beyond that — as Trump never tired of telling us, either before or after he won — his rally crowds were always massive, and always much bigger than Clinton’s. The typical Trump voter in 2016 was extremely excited to vote for Trump, and extremely eager to show it. …


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On the night of Thursday, October 1st, 2020, Americans across the country went to bed in the ordinary world — the one exhibiting the barely tolerable levels of insanity to which we’ve all grown accustomed in the past four years.

On the morning of Friday, October 2nd, they woke up to the world where President Trump has COVID-19.

Not entirely by coincidence, October 2nd also turned out to be National Hot Take Day. And the hottest of all the hot takes on the left was that Trump had made the whole thing up. Clearly not content to let the QAnon followers have all the fun, a non-representative sample of formerly level-headed liberal voices on Twitter spoke up to point out the suspiciously convenient timing of a positive diagnosis for a President who was only a month away from a colossal beatdown in the polls, a leader who clearly had no earthly idea what he was supposed to do to pull out of his tailspin. Some were quick to point out that suddenly no one was talking about the Proud Boys anymore. Some brought up the fact that it could be really advantageous for Trump to miss out on the last two debates, after he crapped the bed in unprecedented fashion on his first try. …


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Photo by Darren Halstead on Unsplash

In 2020, the country that likes to think of itself as the greatest democracy in human history is led by a President who lost the popular vote. In the Senate, Republicans control 53% of the votes but they represent 48% of the population. This President who was rejected by a significant majority of Americans has now personally chosen more than a quarter of all the judges in all the federal courts in the country. …


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We all knew it was coming. We didn’t know what or how, but there had to be something.

In America, we know the type. The most outspoken, judgmental, moralistic leaders in the evangelical movement always seem to be the ones with the most embarrassing sexual secrets. Jimmy Swaggart. Paul Crouch. Ted Haggard. Tony Alamo. And now, Jerry Falwell Jr., the kingmaker. Falwell gave Trump the evangelical vote in 2016. His early endorsement made it acceptable — even right and good — for Bible believers to support a man who didn’t even know how to say the names of its books.

In the four years since Trump locked down the Republican nomination, through multiple sex scandals, incessant lying, greed and corruption, stoking racial hatred, victimizing defenseless refugees — through the gleeful daily exhibitions of every behavior and character flaw explicitly abhorred by the Jesus of the Gospels — Jerry Falwell Jr. not only defended this man, but raised him up as God’s anointed leader. The rhetoric only intensified over time. …


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On the same day that the World Health Organization warned that America could become the next epicenter of the coronavirus pandemic, President Trump suggested we should all get ready to go back to work in less than three weeks from now. Said he wanted “packed churches” on Easter Sunday, even.

Who knows whether it will happen. He changes his mind a lot. And governors could keep statewide lockdowns in place either way. Or people might keep staying home on their own. But if it does happen, a great many avoidable deaths will follow.

When the President made his announcement, the CDC had the total number of confirmed cases in America above 44,000, with 544 deaths. As plenty of outlets have already pointed out, that’s the smallest possible number of people who had been infected as of this time two weeks ago. From the time you catch the virus, it typically takes about two weeks to get sick, get tested, and get results. But many who carry the virus have mild symptoms or no symptoms, and don’t bother getting tested. For two weeks those people have been spreading the virus without realizing it. It’s possible there are hundreds of thousands of Americans who already have it. …


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Photo by Stephan Vance on Unsplash

With more than 100 million Americans under lockdown, and the number of confirmed coronavirus cases nationwide rocketing from 4,000 to more than 40,000 in a single week, it’s beginning to be a moment-by-moment struggle not to give in to fear. We haven’t had any good news yet; the news we’ve had keeps getting worse every morning. We still don’t have enough testing capacity; we’re still more than a year away from a vaccine; our doctors and nurses are running out of masks and gloves. …


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Photo by Lavi Perchik on Unsplash

Maybe with the exception of Apple, I have a stronger love-hate relationship with Costco than any other American business. Nobody else has their incredible deals on so many different brand-name products — but most places don’t charge an admission fee to go shopping, either. Nobody else beats them for gas prices — but nobody makes you wait in line for 20 minutes to fill up. Nobody has a store brand selling so many different kinds of top-quality products at such generic-label prices — but nobody makes single people buy 96 ounces of mayonnaise to get the deal. Nobody else has been selling a slice of pizza bigger than your head for $2 since before the turn of the century. …


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As the coronavirus frenzy reaches a fever pitch, there have been plenty of hot takes about Trump’s mismanagement, and how it’s sinking his chances of reelection. His approval numbers related to the epidemic are plummeting faster than the stock market. [Update: One poll did show his numbers going up significantly, during the week of March 16–20.] This is now becoming a true black swan event for Trump, worse even than Katrina was for George W. Bush. …

About

Adam Powell

May the best argument win. And let us shake hands when it’s done.

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