1. Is this a coup?
Here’s what happened in the United States last week: An opposition leader won the election, the incumbent president refused to acknowledge the outcome, declared himself the winner, and, without evidence of widespread fraud, the opposition accused. Sophisticated media showed anonymous witnesses telling uncontrollable stories of voting fraud, while international observers contradicted it. Armed supporters of the president gathered at some polling stations to seek redress.
The president then fired his critical defense minister and some senior officials, while the pro-foreign secretary expected a “ smooth transition to the Trump administration again. ” The leader of the opposition has been denied access to the information and funds that he is officially entitled to prepare for the transfer of the government.
If the above events occurred somewhere in South America or a former Soviet republic, it is likely that the international community has been discussing sanctions for a long time. Thus this word, “coup,” appears more and more in the serious American media, but behind it is an incredible question mark.
Of course, events took place in the United States, which is a country with long democratic traditions and strong institutions such as an independent judiciary and an army that is loyal to the constitution and not the president. So behind this unlocked question mark usually follows an assertion that these institutions will open Joe Biden on January 20. However, there is no doubt that America is currently sailing through uncharted political waters.
2. Is there any evidence of wrongdoing in the meantime?
Throughout the week, it was announced that one lawsuit after the other from the Trump campaign would not be accepted, as there is no evidence of fraud yet. For example, while Trump continues to tweet that Republican observers have not been allowed into polling stations in Pennsylvania, his attorneys in court have to admit that they don’t actually have any examples of this. A committee of election officials issued a striking statement Thursday that this was the safest election in US history. Already some Republicans have desperately turned to cash bonuses for advice leading to a Democrat vote-rigging demonstration.
The observation mission of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, which observed the elections, speaks in a preliminary report of the elections that were generally fair. The main concern for observers is the exact opposite of Trump’s claims. Not that it is very easy to vote fraud, but that it is very difficult for many disenfranchised groups to register as voters. The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe is also criticizing the hundreds of lawsuits Republicans have already filed before the election to make voting more difficult.
3. Does Trump have any other ways to stay in the courtroom?
In the United States, the president is not elected by the people, but by state-appointed electors. One scenario currently in circulation is that in states like Pennsylvania and Michigan – which voted for Biden but where Republicans maintain a majority in Parliament – the election results have become so controversial that they threaten a stalemate. Then the state parliament can step in and send Republican electors despite the outcome.
In Pennsylvania, some Republican representatives have speculated about this openly in the media, and are encouraged to do so on social media. In recent days, they have withdrawn this speculation, and in any case, the question arises as to whether such a scenario would legally hold. Before the election, there was still a lot of debate in that state about the validity of late postal votes, but this appears to be somewhat muted, given that there have not been any late postal votes.
Moreover, there are often only a few Voters are unbelieversVoters who vote for a candidate other than the one appointed to them. But in recent years, more and more countries have imposed sanctions, and Biden’s lead appears to be large enough not to worry about a few opponents.
Trump could also request a recount in states like Georgia and Wisconsin, but it seems unlikely that these will lead to a completely different outcome.
4. Why don’t Republicans speak out against their president?
Some are directly behind Trump, regardless of what he does. While others may feel embarrassed by their boss’s behavior away from the visuals of the camera, others wisely limit themselves to statements of a very general nature in public. They affirm that the president has the legal right to initiate proceedings, and that there is no official result until then. Hardly any major Republican congratulated Biden.
In doing so, they have to squeeze some uncomfortable corners, because the same Republicans have already celebrated at times their re-election, which came on the basis of the same ballot papers that, according to the president, massive fraud has occurred.
The truth is that the president, with his huge, loyal following, still has the power to make or break politics in the Republican Party. So no one wants to bother him. On January 5th, the second round of two pivot races will be held in the Senate in Georgia, which can determine who gets the majority there. Until then, Republicans will not want any fuss in their ranks. Maybe not after that.
Some Republican senators have advocated in recent days that Joe Biden should at least have access to Secret Service briefings to facilitate the transition. The Trump administration has so far refused to give Biden office space, money and all kinds of information, which the law provides.
5. What is Joe Biden doing in the meantime?
Biden has presented himself as the calm and effective alternative throughout the campaign, and he has nothing to gain from the mud battle with Trump at the moment. He is quietly preparing his government, sometimes allowing some policy intent to leak. Biden described access to public money as “beneficial but not necessary” for the transition. This week he appointed Ron Klein, a seasoned political official, as his new chief of staff. This is the first important position that has been filled.
While Biden himself keeps a place out of sight, one of his aides indicated a week ago that “the US government is fully capable of escorting unauthorized persons from the White House.”
But Biden would be anxious. The democratic constitutional state does not only consist of institutions such as the courts (which have not been really helpful to Trump yet) and formal procedures, such as the January 20 transfer of power. It is also backed by the citizens’ confidence in the system. This has been affected the most by Trump’s attacks on the election. A Morning Consult poll this week showed that up to 70 percent of Republican voters do not believe the election was fair. Biden will soon inherit a country more polarized than it actually was, and thus more difficult to govern.
6. When does Trump admit his loss?
Trump has even insisted that the 2016 election, which he won, was rigged – perhaps because he could not afford Hillary Clinton more votes nationwide. “Losing is never easy. Not for me,” Trump still philosophizing on Election Day. There is a chance that Trump will soon congratulate Biden in a generous speech on an honest and deserved victory, just as there is a chance that Trump will introduce an ambitious climate agenda in his final month – but if you have to invest your money in something, then anyway. Not in these two scenarios.
He actually signed that he would eventually leave Washington Post This week the people are in the Trump area. However, he does not have a detailed plan to stay in power. And he’s increasingly talking about contesting the 2024 election – an admission that they’re slipping through his fingers.
But he is likely to frown and struggle, as he continues to question the legitimacy of his successor.
All US states have their own timetable for determining election results, and their own rules about when, for example, there might be a recount. Once the election results are determined, the voters who ultimately elect the new president are appointed. Some important dates:
November 17: The last day for local governments in Wisconsin to post final election results. The Trump campaign wants a recount in this state. This can be requested up to 1 business day after receiving the latest results.
November 20: Georgia will determine the results of the elections, and a recount will be held for that period at its own initiative. If necessary, the candidate can request another recount.
November 23: Deadline for Pennsylvania, where Trump’s campaign casts a lot of doubt on the election, to determine the results.
December 8: On this day, internal disputes over the election results must be resolved by states, and then Congress can intervene.
December 11: California is the last US state to officially determine the outcome.
December 14th: The Electoral College vote. The electors meet in their state, and then send their votes to the Senate.
January 5th: Georgia will vote for the last two seats in the Senate in the second round.
January 6The House of Representatives and Senate hold a joint session to count the votes of the Electoral College and announce the winner in the elections.
January 20Inauguration of the new president.
Trump also escapes defeat
Anyone hoping that the Republicans will form a “elegant” party again after Trump must face this: his ideas will not go away. Although no one knows exactly what Trumpism is without Trump.