Programming note: On Monday I'll be joining Chris Kenny on Sky News Down Under to talk about the US "election". That's at 5pm Eastern Daylight Time in Oz - which is 1am in New Hampshire or, for non-Australians and non-Granite Staters, 6am Greenwich Mean Time, if you want to work it out from there. Hope you'll dial us up.
Even in a country with a ludicrous, anachronistic three-month "transition period", power drains very quickly, as it has drained, remorselessly, in the twenty-four hours since the networks pronounced the election over. It will drain further over the next day, until various courthouses from Philadelphia to Vegas open on Monday morning. The President better have a very strong case when he lays his complaints before them, and not the usual amateur-hour crap from Jared, who should be nowhere near the post-election "legal strategy", never mind in charge of it.
One of the notable features of the last five days is that Rupert Murdoch, in particular, is so over Trump: Having declared Arizona early on Tuesday night, the Murdoch properties have moved on to call for the President to "stop the 'stolen election' rhetoric" and "concede gracefully". His loudest voices on Fox have been relegated to Cameo, and those still on air are strangely muted or - what's the word? - "pivoting", as daintily as they can.
This isn't anything to do with Murdoch's "liberal daughters-in-law"; this is Rupert himself, whom Trump declined to court and whose network he insulted on air even on election morning. That night, after the Arizona decision, Jared Kushner called Murdoch to complain. Rupert took the call; he would not take a call from Jared today.
So, having called the election, the media have advanced to the soft-focus puff-pieces. Mr Murdoch's New York Post:
DOTUS-elect: Meet the future first dogs, Champ and Major Biden
Power drains: States certify election results, not the media. But the only world leader observing the niceties is the one supposedly paying for the wall:
Mexico's president won't congratulate Biden on election win until legal challenges over
"We don't want to be imprudent," says Mr Obrador.
Ha! No such reticence from Boris, Justin, Angela, Modi in India, SÃ¡nchez in Spain, Mitsotakis in Greece, etc, etc, all of whom are offering "good luck and all the best" and "looking forward" to "future cooperation" and "working together" to "tackle the challenges ahead of us". Even Bibi's got with the programme:
Congratulations @JoeBiden and @KamalaHarris . Joe, we've had a long & warm personal relationship for nearly 40 years, and I know you as a great friend of Israel. I look forward to working with both of you to further strengthen the special alliance between the U.S. and Israel.
Unlike do-nothing presidents of both parties, Trump moved the embassy - and now Netanyahu's moved Trump, right off the speed-dial.
The Great Inversion that attends every Republican/Democrat transfer is well underway, the only difference being the Covid twist: Trump's rallies are "superspreader events"; Biden's maskless masses taking to the streets is simply the spontaneous joy of a liberated people. Four years ago, Trump's clear decisive election-night victory was the result of Russian machinations; now Biden's shifty, protracted election-week victory is something no responsible citizen with a care for the health of our democracy should ever question the integrity of. In November 2016 the media urged the people to "resist"; in November 2020 Americans are ordered to "unite".
It's not clear what grounds for unity exist between those who believe a Tuesday-night victory was stolen in the early hours of Wednesday morning and those who believe it's time to move on to taking names for the "Truth and Reconciliation Commission" - although this bloke may be on to something:
Jared Kushner you vacuous dainty preening overpromoted nub of mediocrity, squeezed like an entitled smear of toothpaste into a silk suit...
I understand why Trump came to rely on Jared ...because (with the exception of Kellyanne, Corey and a couple of others) everyone around him apart from his family f*cked him over. But Jared is now said to have raised at least twice with Trump the possibility of his "concession".
Why would he do that? They're coming for him, and they're coming for you. The Washington Post's recovering "conservative" Jennifer Rubin:
It's not only that @realDonaldTrump has to lose, his enablers have to lose. We have to collectively burn down the Republican Party. We have to level them. Because if there are survivors....they will do it again.
"Survivors"? There's that ol' Churchillian magnanimity in victory. My advice is to take Ms Rubin and her chums at their word.
As Chuck Schumer announced, now it's on to Georgia, which did such a sterling job with the presidential vote and is now expected to do the same for the Senate run-off.
I joked yesterday that the malfunctioning software that transferred thousands of Trump votes to Biden - Dominion Voting Systems - sounded oddly Canadian. In fact, it is. But, declining to follow the example of Toronto Dominion Bank ("TD - America's Neighborhood Bank"), it does not market itself south of the border as "DVS - America's Neighborhood Election Software". So, as usual, the much vaunted "checks and balances" are, like the guns at Singapore, pointing the wrong way: It's illegal for a foreigner to give a C-note to a presidential candidate, but the same foreigner is free to install his voting software in thirty-three states plus Puerto Rico.
This song is one almighty interstate pile-up of bum rhymes (and the occasional f-word) but the guy does get his point across:
What about pallet-less states? Why have North Carolina and Alaska not been called?
If the lawsuits go nowhere, what should Trump do? He's never been a "normal" president, and he wasn't elected to be one. Does he really want to mope around in the Oval Office until January 20th for a "peaceful transition of power" that he himself was denied (by among others Joe Biden)? Even if they never succeed in gaoling him, they will surely use the "peaceful transition" to put in place a couple of decades' worth of litigation-without-end. Come to that, can he even trust the Secret Service agents they'll assign to him?
He will never be a "normal" former president - because they are determined to exclude him from those ranks. If I were Trump and the litigation goes south, I would pardon Michael Flynn, Roger Stone and others and then get on a plane to one of my overseas resorts to play a little golf. After forty-eight hours, I would resign the presidency, having first ensured that Mike Pence would issue any necessary pardon.
I think the American people would enjoy Pence as president for a couple of months, and Pence would do the tedious interregnum shtick better than a justifiably sour and embittered Trump. And, if nothing else, it would oblige the Dems to re-order all their T-shirts, because Joe would now be the "47th president". The political "norms" of contemporary America are mostly garbage: No founding father would have contemplated for a moment a two-year presidential campaign, and, if you'd suggested it, they'd have cried in unison, "Come back, George III, all is forgiven." It's a total waste of time, energy and money, culminating in a three-month "transfer of power" that the Deep State uses very effectively to ensure that as little as possible actually gets transferred.
But it's impossible to change unless a sorely traduced guy with nothing to lose goes and blows it up. That would be a grand public service.
Go for it, Mr President - and then run in 2024 as the 21st-century Grover Cleveland.
~Steyn Club members are welcome to weigh in in the comments. But this is not an "open thread", so please stay on point.
We opened The Mark Steyn Club over three years ago, and I'm thrilled by all those SteynOnline supporters across the globe - from Fargo to Fiji, Vancouver to Vanuatu, Surrey to the Solomon Islands - who've signed up to be a part of it. My only regret is that we didn't launch it eighteen years ago, but better late than never. You can find more information about the Club here - and, if you've a pal who might be partial to this sort of thing, don't forget our special Gift Membership.
Oh, and if you're seriously chafing under the prospect of election fraud and attendant litigation without end, there's no better cure than booking a berth on our Third Annual Steyn Cruise sailing the Med next year - and with Conrad Black, Michele Bachmann, John O'Sullivan and Douglas Murray among our shipmates. We'll be attempting some seaboard versions of The Mark Steyn Show, Tales for Our Time, our Sunday Poem and other favorite features. If you're minded to give it a go, don't leave it too late: as with most travel and accommodations, the price is more favorable the earlier you book - and, if the post-election goes south, you'll surely be grateful for a break from Kamala.