Law Prof's 6 Weird Tricks To Install Trump In White House Forever: First, Only GOP States Count
The Washington Post's Bob Woodward and Robert Costa reportedly obtained a memo from Trump legal advisor John Eastman that outlined the scenario in which then-Vice President Mike Pence would throw out the election results on January 6 and keep Donald Trump president, to the apparent delight of an overwhelming minority of Americans.
Eastman isn't swimming in the same the bowl of Froot Loops as Sidney Powell and Rudy Giuliani, but his feet are milk-stained. He's the same guy who pushed the racist argument that Kamala Harris wasn't legally eligible to serve as vice president; as board chairman of the extremely extremist National Organization for Marriage, he had an awful lot of thoughts on homosexuality's "barbarism" and supported Uganda's kill-the-gays law; and he eagerly offered Trump a draft for the next Civil War.
The memo proposed that Pence would claim that there were multiple slates of electors for Arizona. However, only President Joe Biden's electors from that state were legitimate. If the fake electors Trump's cronies in Arizona put forward counted, then Democrats could've just sent fake electors from Florida and Texas. Participation trophies for everyone!
Election lawyer Marc Elias believes Eastman should be disbarred for sending this memo. We agree.
If he sent this, he should be disbarred. https://t.co/5649qcM6vR— Marc E. Elias (@Marc E. Elias) 1632192547.0
3. At the end, [Pence] announces that because of the ongoing disputes in the 7 States, there are no electors that can be deemed validly appointed in those States. That means the total number of "electors appointed" – the language of the 12th Amendment -- is 454. This reading of the 12th Amendment has also been advanced by Harvard Law Professor Laurence Tribe (here). A "majority of the electors appointed" would therefore be 228. There are at this point 232 votes for Trump, 222 votes for Biden. Pence then gavels President Trump as re-elected.
There was no “ongoing dispute" in seven states. Trump lost every legal suit he filed, plus a few extra ones, and the Supreme Court ignored his more pathetic pleas to overturn the election. It's also banana pants to think that Pence — who was on the presidential ballot and would directly benefit if Trump remained in office — could unilaterally reject the official Electoral College results. It's not like he's the Senate Parliamentarian. Besides, if the vice president were so empowered, Al Gore could've saved us a lot of trouble and declared on January 6, 2001: “The Supreme Court might've stopped the Florida recount, making Bush the technical winner, but we can change all that. You know why? Because I'm the president!"
Eastman predicted "howls of protest" from pouty Democrats when Pence subverted the Constitution, but he'd shut them up with yet another illegal tactic. He'd claim that because no one had the necessary 270 electoral votes (a lie), he'd drop the 12th Amendment on their asses and kick it to the House of Representatives, "where the 'the votes shall be taken by states, the representation from each state having one vote . . . .' Republicans currently control 26 of the state delegations, the bare majority needed to win that vote. President Trump is re-elected there as well."
The key to this election heist apparently was that Pence not ask permission but just bum rush the show and let “the other side" (i.e. Americans, specifically the 81 million who voted for Joe Biden) challenge this in court. You might think, “Wait, the courts already rejected Trump's bogus claims of election fraud, so they'll just as easily tell him to GTFOH," but implicit in this insidious plot is that Trump was betting on a violent response. Your common Democratic chumps like Joe Manchin and Dianne Feinstein might hug their Republican colleagues and compliment them on their well-mannered coup, but even relatively minor unrest in city streets would've proven sufficient justification for Trump to invoke the Tom Cotton-approved Insurrection Act. It's a long way to Tipperary, but a brief jaunt to martial law.
Sure, the military wouldn't have immediately gone along, but the police are full-blown MAGA. It might not have reached that point because Democratic leaders would've backed down, maybe tweeted some inspirational twaddle about how "today's events are disappointing but, as Martin Luther King said, the arc of the moral universe bends toward justice." That might seem harsh, but I've already seen folks on Twitter suggesting that the coup only got as far as it did because the Electoral College results were “close" and next time, we'll just have to win with larger margins. But even Mitch McConnell conceded that the 2020 election wasn't “close" by any historical measure. Besides, MAGA didn't embrace the Big Lie because it was plausible. Trump could claim he actually won California, New York, and Oregon in 2024. The man's bent.
Everything around us, everywhere on this planet is showing that there is nothing inevitable about our survival, muc… https://t.co/qcom5Lbms6— Professor Fleming (@Professor Fleming) 1632202293.0
In his famous “I Have A Dream" speech, Dr. King said, “We are confronted with the fierce urgency of now. In this unfolding conundrum of life and history, there is such a thing as being too late. This is no time for apathy or complacency. This is a time for vigorous and positive action."
That is the most relevant quote for this moment. The clock is ticking for us to hold every one of these motherfuckers responsible for their attack on democracy and forestall another coup. This is not a battle that we can win on the teeming fields of bipartisanship.
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Stephen Robinson is a writer and social kibbitzer based in Portland, Oregon. He writes reviews for the A.V. Club and make believe for Cafe Nordo, an immersive theatre space in Seattle. He's also on the board of the Portland Playhouse theatre. His son describes him as a “play typer guy."