Sixty Days of Chaos?
A month ago, I wrote a piece titled “Sixty Days of Chaos Will Follow Election Day” in Dialogue & Discourse. President Trump’s reluctance to concede the election to Joe Biden makes a quick revisit to my predictions worthwhile.
Here are my predictions and comments on what has happened so far:
It is now a near certainty that Republicans will challenge election results even if the Democratic ticket wins in a landslide. Trump and Biden are both hiring lawyers and preparing for a lengthy legal battle, one that could put the 2000 election to shame. Expect challenges to millions of votes cast by mail. Also, expect allegations of ballot-box stuffing, stolen ballots, and more. All this is likely to last at least a month and perhaps longer if Trump declines to concede defeat.
I was right about the legal challenges (but who didn’t expect legal challenges?). It remains to be seen how long the legal challenges will last.
Members of the Proud Boys and Boogaloo may not vote themselves but will be out in force if Trump suffers a colossal loss. Riots and looting could be widespread, especially if Trump expresses support or encouragement for it. Protests against the election outcome could get violent if they conflict with the anticipated celebration of Biden’s win.
I was too pessimistic on October 11, but a major Trump rally is planned for Washington, DC, this weekend.
To date, the Proud Boys and Boogaloo have not been heard from. There has been no rioting or looting. And Biden supporters celebrated in front of the White House and hundreds of other places without being attacked by Trump loyalists.
My predictions get a D, saved from an F only because Trump has not yet conceded the election.
I’m hoping I continue to be wrong.
Expect dancing in front of the White House unless Trump sends in federal troops to stop it. Similar celebrations, some spontaneous and others organized by progressive groups, are likely across the country. Among those celebrating will be Black Lives Matter supporters, women’s rights, climate change supporters, and people just happy that the Trump era is over.
President Trump did not send troops in to disrupt celebrations in front of the White House. Even as the President himself returned to the White House from a round of golf, no protesters were run over.
Thus, I was too pessimistic once again. Celebrations of Biden’s win took place with no interference by the government or Trump loyalists.
Expect prominent announcements that will please Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren for Secretaries for Interior, Treasury, Homeland Security, Attorney General, and the EPA.
Also, expect an exceptionally diverse cabinet. Women could be the majority. People of color will also be well-represented.
Open questions include whether Elizabeth Warren would like to serve as Treasury Secretary. Could Eric Holder return as AG? What job will Susan Rice get? Also, President Biden will choose a teacher to head the Department of Education.
As of November 11, the President-Elect has not named cabinet appointees. This is not unexpected. Cabinet appoints typically occur closer to inauguration day. And the process of identifying cabinet nominees may have been delayed by the President’s refusal to acknowledge his loss and let a transition officially being.
More importantly, the closeness of the election and the possibility that Republicans will retain control of the Senate reduces the probability of Biden naming card-carrying progressives or sitting U.S. Senators to his cabinet.
A Quick Start
Rumors suggest the Biden transition team is already at work reviewing resumes for the thousands of Presidential appointees. Between now and election day, he will quietly step up the pace. Biden will send hundreds of nominees to the Senate days after Inauguration Day.
The President-Elect has announced an impressive Transition COVID-19 Task Force. The transition also appears to be moving ahead nicely in other areas. This prediction seems accurate.
A Democratic Senate
The anticipated scope of Trump’s defeat will give Democrats a majority in the Senate. Charles Schumer (D-NY) will become Majority Leader. Expect the Senate to hit the ground running. Major legislation, including another stimulus bill, some initial Green Deal bills, and similar legislation could be law by the end of February.
Control of the Senate is not yet decided and won’t be known until after the January 2021 run-off elections in Georgia.
I was wrong about “the scope of Trump’s defeat” helping the Democrats.
Disappearing Trump Voters
While Trumpism will, unfortunately, not be dead, it will be difficult in some circles to find anyone who will admit they voted for Trump. . . . The Republican party is already starting to realize the 2020 Trump campaign’s damage to their party.
President Trump received more than 70 million votes in the election. It is easy to find people among those 70 million who will admit voting for him. It is not difficult to find Trumpers who continue to believe he won the election.
Once again, my prediction missed the mark, unfortunately.
The Risk of Predictions
Predictions have a way of haunting those who make them.
I nailed this one. Enough said.