Today saw the far right converge on the capital to make a visible show of support for the man who is currently still President, Donald Trump. Among the luminaries were Alex Jones (who led a caravan from Austin), Jack Posobiec (OANN correspondent/Pizzagate inventor) and Enrique Tarrio (Proud Boys leader). With such a stellar cast you can imagine the philosophical discussion flowed freely from every street corner, and it did, with people insisting Trump really won the election but had it stolen by “illegals” and “the fake news media”, along with a not-inconsiderable contingent of religious fundamentalists who demanded Trump outlaw “homo marriages”. Running street battles between militant Trump protestors and similarly militant counter-protesters (ranging from BLM to antifa to simply angry Biden supporters – given that DC voted overwhelmingly for Biden, there was no shortage of these) that went on into the night, with the District police for the most part keeping the two factions mostly apart. Trump found the whole thing positively peachy and drove through in a motorcade (although he didn’t leave his car, because, well, he’s lazy and that takes effort).
Today’s protest was about the only good news for Trump. His attempt Friday to float yet another conspiracy theory — this one a doozy about a brand of voting machines being manipulated (by all-powerful George Soros, because you can’t spell “QAnon” without “anti-Semitism”) to change millions of votes — was immediately debunked by Trump’s own department of cyber security; the head of that department, Christopher Krebs, a former executive at Microsoft, fully expected to be fired immediately for his trouble. (He still has his job, but the weekend is young.)
It is also increasingly getting difficult for Trump to find lawyers willing to litigate his ridiculous claims; in Pennsylvania Porter Wright asked to withdraw officially Friday, and Jones Day is said to be under increasing pressure from its clients as to why it’s helping to enable all this. At any rate most of the lawsuits have already been dismissed; one legal commentator (Justin Leavitt, a Loyola law professor on CNN) memorably said “The Trump campaign keeps hoping it will find a judge that treats lawsuits like tweets. Repeatedly, every person with a robe they’ve encountered has said, ‘I’m sorry, we do law here.’” According to the New York Times’ exhaustive tally, there is currently one suit active in Michigan (the one with 200 accounts of Karen being stared at by a poll worker), two suits in Pennsylvania, which combined only affect 3000 ballots, and one suit in Georgia challenging the legality of mailed ballots identical to ones which similarly failed elsewhere. But I’m sure Rudy Guiliani will get RIGHT ON THAT.
Meanwhile, the US continues to suffer record-setting hospitalization from COVID-19 which threatens to make everything else completely irrelevant. Among the high profile victims this weekend were the governor of Nevada, and Republican governors who previously resisted mask mandates and other risk mitigation shutdowns abruptly reversed course as hospitals around the country report being close to the breaking point. The Trump administration (which is still refusing to give Biden’s team any access to current planning) Friday took credit for Pfizer’s vaccine development and complained that New York would have to approve its distribution because Gov. Andrew Cuomo is on the record as not trusting Donald Trump on vaccine development. Gosh, I wonder why. (Cuomo for his part said Trump was lying.)
Notably, Trump during that press statement (his first appearance in a while, where he forgot to dye his hair) almost referred to the incoming Biden administration but caught himself. That reality distortion field is hard to maintain.