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View from the Kitchen
In the first two Presidential elections (1788 & 1792), George Washington had no serious opposition. He declined to run a third time. The third Presidential election in 1796 was a fierce and bitter battle between John Adams, who belonged to the Federalist Party and Thomas Jefferson, a Democratic-Republican. Adams won and became President. This was NOT considered a transfer of power because Adams was already Vice-President and was the obvious successor to Washington. In other words, the power was not transferred from one opponent to another. It was kind of inherited.
In 1800, Jefferson ran again for President against the incumbent Adams and won. As you can imagine, there was no love lost between the two. They really hated each other. Even so, according to a recent article in the Pittsburgh Gazette:
"Adams did nothing to thwart or contest the orderly transition of power to Jefferson — the first democratic transition by an elected head of state to a political opponent in world history. In time, the two men even repaired their shattered friendship."
This was our FIRST PEACEFUL TRANSFER OF POWER. This has become
a crucial aspect of our democracy which has never been violated -- or even challenged -- until now.
I remember during the 1992 Presidential election campaign, quite a few people feared that Bush Senior would not willingly hand power over to Clinton if Clinton won. I even talked to people who were considering voting for Bush, in order to avoid the possibility of trouble. Talk about being unclear on the concept of democracy! As it turned out, Bush was gracious in defeat.
Which brings us to the present case. President Trump refuses to concede the election, which Biden won both in the Electoral College and the popular vote.Trump fired the Secretary of Defense and filled the Department with his slimy loyalists. There seemed to be no cracks in the wall of Republican support for Trump's delusion of victory. The Secretary of State actually declared publicly that Trump would continue as President.
This was causing me to worry --- until I read the paper this morning --that everything was moving toward a coup. You may call me a crazy alarmist (or an alarming crazy person), but with an intransigent President solidly backed by the Republican party, a very base base of 70 million slavering for victory, and a Defense Department filled with submissive lackeys --- frankly, I was worried about things devolving into a civil war. Because that's what happens when the defeated incumbent leader refuses to leave. And we KNOW, if push came to shove, who already owns most of the guns.
It seemed like, after saying for over 200 years with some feeling of security, "It can't happen here!", it was finally happening here.
Yesterday, I was REALLY SCARED.
But, thank the goddess, on the front page of today's New York Times:
So it turns out that officials in the cabinet-level Department of Homeland Security were responsible for the security of the Presidential election. And, even though they were appointed by the Trump administration, for some strange reason they are honest and competent people. They took securing the election very seriously and worked very hard at it, which included testing systems in all 50 states to make sure everything was A-OK. They did a damn good job!
AND THEY'RE PROUD OF THE JOB THEY DID.
THEY'RE NOT BACKING DOWN!
Kinda weird, huh? Who woulda thunk it?
So, strange as it seems, our democracy's ass was saved by...
First among them is Christopher Krebs, Director of the Department of Homeland Security's cyberagency:
"Krebs had led the charge to secure election machines, registration systems and tabulation systems across 50 states, sending experts to help and testing systems for vulnerabilities.
Mr. Krebs also argued that his agency had to counter the 'hacking of minds as well as infrastructure,' and he created a 'rumor control' page in his agency's federal government website. It has repeatedly contradicted Mr. Trump, explaining why mail-in ballots do not lend themselves to fraud, and how states assure that the dead do not cast ballots.
Mr. Krebs, a former Microsoft executive with a quick wit and a willingness to resist political pressure, did not back down when these efforts created a backlash in the White House. And he was praised in public recently by the acting secretary of homeland security for the "rumor control" effort." -- NY Times
So, faced with strong and emphatic support of the election results from TRUMP'S OWN CABINET, the Republican wall cracked.
Gov. DeWine of Ohio said it was time for Trump to concede.
"Several Republican senators have begun, in measured tones, to say...that it is time to recognize Biden will soon be certified as President."-- NY Times. Senator Grassley suggested (certainly in measured tones) that Trump should concede at the latest on Dec. 13, the day before the Electoral College votes.
At least as important as the Senators caving to reality was this editorial in the Las Vegas Review-Journal:
"The president does a disservice to his more rabid supporters by insisting that he would have won the Nov. 3 election absent voter fraud. That's simply false."
You see, this paper is owned by Republican mega-donor Sheldon Adelson. And when the NY Times calls him "mega", they mean MEGA! Adelson donated $75 million to Trump's campaign. I'd say when someone, who gave you $75 million to do something, tells you to call it quits --- it's time to quit.
THE TIDE HAS TURNED!
Bloggelinis, I cannot express how relieved I am. Yes, the future looks rocky. But now I really do believe that the winner of the election, the candidate of the Democratic Party -- Joseph Biden,will take office on January 20, 2021.