In calendar time, it’s less than three weeks since the election. In political time, it’s beginning to feel like an eternity.
President Trump has every right to pursue substantive court challenges and doing so does not undermine democracy, despite what the left insists. But at some point, much of the broad public’s patience will wear thin.
Tick tock, tick tock.
We haven’t reached that point, but it is rapidly approaching because key state deadlines come this week and the president’s legal team has not scored any court victories that can delay finality.
At its exhaustive press conference Thursday, the team, led by Rudy Giuliani, outlined a sweeping theory of a “national conspiracy” by Democrats to steal the election. A map highlighting Arizona, Nevada, Wisconsin, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Georgia was titled “Multiple Pathways to Victory,” as if this were a pre-election, get-out-the-vote event.
To support his charges, Giuliani cited mostly individual affidavits where voters and poll workers reported seeing or hearing about fraudulent activities. The sworn statements, even if true, did not seem to match the scope of the broad claims.
He was followed by lawyer Sidney Powell, who added a whole other dimension to the charges.
“What we are really dealing with here is the massive influence of communist money through Venezuela, Cuba and likely China and the interference with our elections here in the United States,” Powell insisted. “This is 1775 of our generation and beyond.”
Such language aims to stir the heart of patriots, but will ring hollow in a courtroom unless she has solid evidence. If she does, she’s done a great job of keeping it secret.
That’s not to say there wasn’t fraud and human error. Of course there was. That happens in most elections, and this one was especially vulnerable given the turnout (about 160 million voters) and the tsunami of mail-in ballots, which are easier to manipulate.
Also, Democrats invited suspicions by intentionally lowering safeguards, including barring GOP observers in urban areas, where they ran up big margins. Still, the overarching fact is that the Trump legal team hasn’t presented a provable claim that looks likely to overturn the results in a single state.
Even in traditionally red Georgia, several thousand ballots that were not counted initially were found in a recount, but the results cut only marginally into Joe Biden’s lead, which is now 12,670 votes, or 0.25 percent.
Republican Gov. Brian Kemp certified those results Friday, handing 16 electoral votes to Biden. Trump can demand another recount because the margin was so small.
The president’s hopes in Pennsylvania and Michigan are slimmer because the margins are greater, and Monday is the certification deadline in both states.
Tick tock, tick tock.
In her Friday briefing, White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany said the General Services Administration will certify the results at the “right moment,” which suggests internal talks are taking place about a formal transition process.
That’s good because Trump will pay a steep price if he appears to be stonewalling without hope of prevailing. Most immediately, he could undermine GOP chances in the two Georgia election run-offs, where control of the Senate is up for grabs. If Dems win both, they get all of Congress and the White House.
That would flip the current narrative of the election, which is that Trump had long coattails and, in defiance of predictions, led the GOP to major gains in the House and a narrow hold in the Senate. That could be undone in Georgia and pave the way for Biden’s left-wing policies and appointments, including to the federal courts.
Outside Washington, Dems are doing all they can to toxify Trump’s legacy, and he shouldn’t help them. The pernicious Barack Obama has a new book, and he and wife Michelle are making a Netflix film that slams the president.
The left’s cancel culture will try to erase Trump’s achievements on job creation, border security and foreign policy. Don’t be surprised if Biden gets credit for the historic sprint to develop the COVID vaccine. Anything that goes wrong will be Trump’s fault.
In other words, nothing has changed. Trump was spied on, sabotaged and impeached for purely partisan purposes, and the corrupt press corps rooted for failure. But it was the media that truly failed the American people by betraying their public trust — and Trump still got 10 million more votes than he got in 2016.
Whatever he does, the president must protect the Republican Party he recreated, one that is increasingly defined by women, Latinos and young black voters. It is the bulwark against chaos and disunion.
Almost by definition, one-term presidents are failures. Donald Trump defies the assumption. He secured the peace and kept the American dream alive for millions upon millions of people.