Finally, Donald Trump built his wall. It’s not the one on the border with Mexico, that he would have had to build with Mexican money. His wall is in Washington. It’s not made of brick or barbed wire, but the result is the same: it blocks the transfer of power to the new administration.
Two weeks after he lost the election, the President is pawing like an injured animal, he is sending out a barrage of tweets, he is threatening a military attack on Iran, he is disputing everything and everyone, and he is enacting a scorched earth policy around the new Biden administration.
The New York Times reported that last week the President summoned the leaders of defense and foreign policy to the White House, in order to examine the possibility of attacking the site where the Iranians are accumulating uranium. His idea was rejected, and he changed his mind, for now. But he continues to bristle at his defeat, and he refuses to concede Biden’s victory. No help, no concession, no handover, no briefing for the President-elect.
He seems convinced that the United States government is like one of his hotels where he hires and fires staff according to his mood. He doesn’t care about the oath to the Constitution, or respecting the centenary rules of American democracy. He continues to focus only on what can benefit him and how much he can discredit his opponents. For him, respect for the principles applies only to others. What’s worse is that the Republican leadership is silent, terrified by the power of the 73 million votes the president has won. And not only do they not speak, but they enable his absolutist vision of power. There’s no two ways about it, the boss of the Republican party is now Donald Trump. The others, those who closed their eyes and ears and saved him from impeachment in the Senate, are now trembling and helping him in his delusional plan to overturn the electoral result.
There are daily attacks on Biden’s victory, both from the president and from members of the GOP. Republicans are shaking in their boots because there will be a runoff election in Georgia on January 5th. These are for the Senate. Due to particular circumstances, both senators of this state ran at the same time on November 3rd in the general election, but there were candidates from multiple parties, a fact that led to the votes being scattered, and therefore neither Republicans nor Democrats passed the threshold of 50 percent of the votes. So, on January 5th there will be a runoff in which only the candidates who have garnered the most votes will stand, eliminating all the others. Hence, the clash between two Democrats and two Republicans.
Basically, there is a lot at stake. If the Democrats win, the Republicans will lose control of the Senate. If the Republicans win, Biden will have a hard time and the initiatives he would like to implement to get the country back on track would most likely be blocked. The Senate currently consists of 48 Democrats and 52 Republicans. If the Democrats were to win these two seats it would mean a stalemate: 50 to 50 and in this case the final vote would go to the President of the Senate who is Vice President Kamala Harris. The risk for Republicans is that Trump might order his loyalists, if the GOP shows little sympathy with his situation, not to vote for the two Republican candidates, an implied threat that has paralyzed elected officials from his own party. So the Republicans see no evil, hear no evil and speak no evil, indeed they defend him. Trump continues to plot and to file appeals in court that are promptly rejected because there is no evidence to back up the accusations.
Last night, in a rambling meeting with the press, his trusted lawyer Rudy Giuliani accused the manipulations of Hugo Chavez and George Soros in helping Biden win the elections. Nonsense that unfortunately, has a hold on the president’s diehard followers. So the poisoned rhetoric is meted out daily to the country with the aim of attempting to overturn the November 3rd result.
In recent days, Republican Senator Lindsey Graham, who had set himself up as the moral authority of the electoral mandate, called the Secretary of State of Georgia, Brad Raffensperger, a Republican and an honest person, on the phone, and suggested that he throw out a number of ballots that favored Biden. Today the senator denied the accusation. Brad Raffensperger confirmed it, with the consequence that he and his wife have now received death threats. Dr. Fauci and his family have also received death threats for defending the mandatory use of masks during the pandemic. Of course, no Republican defended him.
Last week Senator James Lankford, a Republican from Oklahoma, said he would intervene in the Senate if Biden was not provided with the national security updates drafted by the secret services by Friday, as has always been the case for elected presidents. Friday came and went and nothing happened, and Senator Lankford stated this morning that he had spoken not in court but with the General Services Administration, and that he was satisfied with the responses. He is the only one who knows what answers he received. The GSA is the body that provides the means to the elected president to proceed with the transfer of power from one administration to another. Well, the GSA has blocked this procedure for two weeks now, after Trump had ordered all federal agencies not to cooperate with Biden. Thus the GSA continues to prevent the transfer of power. Biden will receive national security briefings, but outside of government channels. In other words, he has to figure it out.
The President-elect, however, continues on his way. Yesterday he drew up the plan for economic recovery by linking it to the fight against the coronavirus which is raging in the country. He said that hindering the handover is counterproductive for the country because the plans to fight the pandemic cannot be prepared now and postponed to after the swearing in of the new administration– and in the meantime, thousands of Americans will be affected by the coronavirus.
Today Biden went on to prepare the list of possible top appointees in his administration. He named Jen O’Malley as his deputy chief of staff. Congressman Cedric Richmond, who is very popular in the House of Representatives, will be the coordinator between the White House and Congress.
Meanwhile, the defeated President leaves the White House only to play golf at his club in Virginia. He has canceled all the commitments made before the electoral defeat; the military decisions that he proposes, such as withdrawing troops from Afghanistan or bombing Iran, have been rejected by his own men. He is firing anyone in his administration who has not shown enthusiastic support for his decisions. He is making presidential decisions that harm the environment, and appoints loyalists to high administrative positions. Attitudes that, despite his claims of victory, make him a loser.
(Translated by Alessandra Loiero)