No Longer Just Funny Or Pathetic -- Trump Is Endangering National Security

[ Posted Wednesday, November 18th, 2020 – 17:15 UTC ]

President Donald Trump is the lamest of lame ducks right now. He is so lost in his fantasy that he somehow didn't lose the election to Joe Biden that he has almost completely stopped even any pretense of doing his job. He rouses himself out of his funk to occasionally fire someone who has annoyed him in some way, but that's about it, really. Otherwise his time is consumed by all the sour grapes served up at his giant pity party.

Of course, whether Trump concedes to Biden or not is really immaterial. Trump can refuse to do so right up to 11:59 on the morning of January 20, and he will still cease to be president one minute later. Concessions have no legal value at all, in other words, they are merely a polite tradition. So why would anyone have expected Trump to do the polite and gracious thing?

However, Trump's royal snit is also having real-world consequences. He has refused to allow the transition of power to move forward, which doesn't just impact Joe Biden and his team, it affects all of America. By refusing to allow an ascertainment that Biden won, Trump is endangering our national security, plain and simple. Which is exactly what he swore an oath not to do.

Normally, the incoming administration would already be getting briefed by and have access to all the departments of the federal government, to guarantee the smoothest handover of power possible. This would include getting the same top-secret Presidential Daily Brief that the sitting president receives. Donald Trump may not care about the P.D.B. -- it has been reported from multiple sources that he largely ignores them anyway, even after he forced his team to dumb it down to just cartoons and pictures -- but Joe Biden will. Presidents are supposed to be briefed on all threats to national security and all issues foreign and domestic on a daily basis. Since Trump is too sulky to even bother reading them, you'd think he wouldn't care if someone else actually did so. But all Trump really cares about is nursing his own hurt feelings.

Immature and childish hurt feelings are not a sufficient reason to endanger the country, however. And more people need to say so, in no uncertain terms. The most obvious example is the pandemic response effort, because Biden will be responsible for getting new vaccines out as quickly and efficiently as possible. Right now, he can't even see the data on where this effort stands and what the plans are for the next few months. Biden's team has been barred from contacting the government scientists to coordinate their efforts. This is nothing short of criminal indifference. Any delay or inefficiency as a direct result of the transfer of power is going to mean more Americans are going to die. But Trump just doesn't care.

So far, most of his party has not called on Trump to stop throwing his tantrum and give the Biden transition team access. They are all terrified that Trump will take to Twitter and rip into them, firing up his base of hotheaded GOP voters. This is rank cowardice, obviously. But by continuing to enable this shameful behavior, all those senators and congressmen are also violating their oaths of office. This is beyond shameful or cowardly, it is downright dangerous.

The lame-duck Congress also has important things it really should be doing, but the Republicans are proving to be just as lame as the president in this regard. Talks have completely broken down over another coronavirus relief bill, because neither the White House nor Mitch McConnell is interested in sitting down at a table with Nancy Pelosi -- whose House already passed such a measure half a year ago. And on top of that, yet another government shutdown deadline is fast approaching. If Congress doesn't get its budgetary act together by December 11, the government will once more grind to a halt. So it's not like they don't have anything they should be doing right now -- it's just that they're so terrified of Trump's wrath that they're incapable of doing much at all.

As more time goes by, this is getting more and more serious. And that's even before you consider the foreign policy aspects of it (which are truly frightening, as the 9/11 commission pointed out a long time ago). It has been over two weeks since Election Day. Donald Trump's petulance has gone on long enough. There are only nine weeks to go until he leaves office (whether he walks out with some shred of dignity or is carried out kicking and screaming by Secret Service agents). Every day that goes by without Joe Biden being fully briefed and having full access to the government he is about to lead is time lost. And the more this time is frittered away to assuage one man-baby's ego, the less safe we all are.

In other words, this is no longer just funny or pathetic. It is deadly serious stuff. Donald Trump and every Republican who is enabling his bad behavior are putting the national security of the United States of America at grave risk. More people are going to die if this continues. It's time for every Democrat -- and every Republican with any shred of self-respect or loyalty to their oath of office -- to not only put it in these stark terms, but to demand that it end immediately.

-- Chris Weigant


Follow Chris on Twitter: @ChrisWeigant


29 Comments on “No Longer Just Funny Or Pathetic -- Trump Is Endangering National Security”

  1. [1] 
    John From Censornati wrote:

    Which is exactly what he swore an oath not to do.

    He lies sometimes.

  2. [2] 
    James T Canuck wrote:

    If we're all honest with ourselves, there's nothing startling about Trump's indifference to all things, not Trump at the best of times, why the worst of times would be any different.

    It's the truism behind all nihilistic implosions, indifference to the suffering of others to the point of personal satisfaction at the chaos left in the wake of their perceived injustice of personal setback. It's clinical to the point of mediocracy, which is a cliche for Trump and his life-long downward slog in business and in life.

    It's a poorly-timed coda, but again, Trump only amazes when he somehow can't make the bar he himself placed so low. It's flabbergasting to watch, and luckily our penance will be served before too long

    But at what cost? While Trump is pocket-pool with GOP lawmakers, (which at any other time would lend a certain carnival-like mood to an otherwise long and chilly winter) most of the US would prefer he swung the axe and exited stage creepy along with that utter shower of a family.

    Personally, I think Trump is playing silly buggers more to solidify himself in the annals of the American right-wing experience than he is trying to hamstring Biden. His profile suggests he's more likely to accept defeat if and when he realises Biden didn't beat him, the entirety of his own support let him down unutterably and therefore his persecution of them will be slow and all-encompassing. He's too lazy to run again, he'll wring as much pleasure from lauding his grip of the GOP base over the party and go back to cheating his friends out of golf wins and his children out any moral compass usually forged between parent and child.

    His final act of nausea will be to inflict one or other of his vile sons on the US in a failed attempt to create a political dynasty.


  3. [3] 
    John From Censornati wrote:

    Fun Fact: November 18 is the anniversary of the Jonestown death cult massacre.

  4. [4] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    He lies sometimes.

    you don't say...

  5. [5] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Biden's got this.

  6. [6] 
    James T Canuck wrote:


    ...And fools rush in where Angels fear to tread.

    I sensed a cunning trap, subtly weaved into that seemingly innocuous remark...


  7. [7] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    I'm thinking about these two senate elections in Georgia and I'm wondering if there are enough people in that state who have been really suffering through this health/economic crisis so that Democrats have a chance to control the senate, albeit by only a tie-breaking vote by vice president Harris?

    I mean, aren't the days of loving divided government over?

  8. [8] 
    James T Canuck wrote:

    [7] A quaint notion, but wrong direction. Georgia is crucial only for Moscovy Mitch and his hope he can control the Trumpian farce. Strange as it sounds in a democracy, the real prestidigitation is achieving the most baffling balance between the least objectionable version of the truth and utter bullshit for voter consumption.

    The longer this (perceived) awkward power vacuum continues, the more Biden should allow this soap-operatic joke to play out. I think the risk/reward ratio is heavily skewed in Biden's favour if all about him don't lose their heads, he's the old hat here, he knows how things work well enough to find the coffee machine one the first day.

    He might pause long enough to have that obscene building fumigated before moving in, but how long can that take?


  9. [9] 
    James T Canuck wrote:

    *Clarification; By 'fumigated' I was referring to the general usage of the word, not the English, 'American revolutionary contextual application'. Although to my mind, it would settle a few scores and lay claim to a better understanding going forward.


  10. [10] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    I mean, aren't the days of loving divided government over?

    not on wall street. partisan gridlock is good for business.

  11. [11] 
    John M wrote:

    Local Republicans in Michigan and elsewhere are now beginning to refuse to certify election results that Biden won as official, on the basis of minor voter problem allegations in black majority areas, while at the same time ignoring the same in white majority areas that went for Trump, and other Republican officials are backing them up.
    An attempt at disenfranchising thousands of voters in this way really crosses over the line to stealing an election by non-democratic means. If this happens, there is no democracy in American anymore.

  12. [12] 
    John From Censornati wrote:


    Calling this country a democracy is a stretch anyway, but I believe that this will be short-lived. The Dems are not without means of retribution. Congress can reject new members, for example. Escalation and mutual destruction is a huge risk. The Big Money puppet-masters don't like Fat Donny that much.

  13. [13] 
    John From Censornati wrote:


    I believe that the Democrats' chances depend very much on how much the orange one gets involved. So far, he's way too self-involved. He's not on the ballot and that's a drag for the GOP. He's attacking the GA secretary of state and that won't help the GOP either. Stacy Abrams and the Dems need to GOTV again.

  14. [14] 
    James T Canuck wrote:

    I had to laugh. Coming home from my kush-clatch I switched on a new-classic scene of Rude Guido sweating like a whore in church trying to explain why Michigan's should be vexed with their voting system. He invoked gospel-like untruths that their ballots were counted by dead Venanzuelan Marxist homosexual pedophiliacs in Nazi Germany...

    Am I missing something or was my joint too large for the time of day.

    Fucking sweaty, dirty mess that Guido is, surely the greater American experience has no truck with this bent narrative?

    Oh, wait...


  15. [15] 
    Chris Weigant wrote:

    JTC [14] -

    I missed it, but from what I'm already hearing it was one for the ages. Apparently, on the WH (or maybe the campaign's) official video feed, you can hear people making snarky remarks about the hair dye dripping down Giuliani's face during the presser.

    Personally, when I heard Rudy was taking over the whole legal effort, I breathed a BIG sigh of relief. I mean, he's not exactly Ted Olson or anything. As one late-night comic (Seth? Colbert? forget) put it last night: "Rudy Giuliani wants to be paid $20,000 a day for his legal efforts, but the Biden campaign said it may not be able to afford it."



  16. [16] 
    Chris Weigant wrote:

    Whoops... "C" key skips sometimes...


  17. [17] 
    James T Canuck wrote:


    Agreed. Rude has to be the last arrow in any warped quiver for all time henceforth.

    From this time forward, when a 'Hail Mary' is abandoned in the face of unassailable reality, it should be known colloquially as a Guiliani...

    Here's a laugh. I wanted to draw a line under the 'Trump v Hitler' narrative before it becomes cold.

    This fell into my lap, indulge me;

    It's looking more and more like Michigan is where Trump and his henchpersons will make their last stand, so to speak. I can't think there's another redoubt for the ever-shrinking conspiracy. To that end, and all its delicious entendre, I suspect the people of Michigan would sooner Trump attend a performance of “Wagner’s ‘Gotterdammerung,’ in a Detroit Parking Garage,” by Alex Ross, instead of performing his own version in their backyard.

    No shit, behold:

    I love how the universe just spits out zinger after zinger. Karmic lord.


    That my friends would be fitting.

  18. [18] 
    James T Canuck wrote:


    I'm curious, for the last four years, you've essentially been 'phoning-in' this columnal observation, in large part to the Trumpian farce.

    If nothing else, Trump has been a journalist's Christmases come all at once (over four years, err).

    I'm comfortable with a bit of partisan drift, personally. But when the dust settles, and if some self-serving political adventurer decides to use the Trumpian model for reference, be it left or wrong, I assume you'll be there, stoned, with your trusty putter, bleating loudly.

    I believe Liberalism is code by which enlightened people choose to see the world We Liberally-minded (reformed) people can't abide 99% of Trump's outrages, and nor can we abide it when employed by folks to which we are aligned, and more importantly, maligned with.

    The MDDOTW will get congested, I can feel it. When Trump is put out to pasture, the cover he provided for other politicians as the 'Grifter-in-Chief' will no longer cast his shadow over all other corruptions...

    I hope it gets messy because that's what it should be. The halcyon days of uniting against the common enemy, (Judean People's Front, for the Life of Brian) Trump, are almost over.



  19. [19] 
    Chris Weigant wrote:

    JTC -

    The only possible answer to that is:

    "Fuck off! ... We're the People's Front of Judea!"


    For those who don't know what we're talking about.


  20. [20] 
    Chris Weigant wrote:

    New column is up (just in time)...


  21. [21] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:


    not on wall street. partisan gridlock is good for business.

    Well, yeah, Wall Street loves the status quo and divided government will, ah, keep it that way. Heh.

    But, I was talking more about the average voter in Georgia and hoping that they have had enough of divided government and can clearly see that a Republican win of just one of those seats will be nothing but bad news for them, their lives and their livelihoods.

    It would be kinda like voting in your own interest if you vote Democratic in both senate elections, regardless of your party affiliation.

    Wait a sec ... how many wall street types and one percenters are eligible to vote in the great state of Georgia? Negligible, I'm hoping ... :)

  22. [22] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:


    He might pause long enough to have that obscene building fumigated before moving in, but how long can that take?

    Well, I'd be more worried about listening devices and other surveillance. Heh.

    The rest of your [8] I didn't understand - how it relates to voters in Georgia voting in their own best interests ... ??

  23. [23] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:


    So, you think Democrats have a fighting chance to get both Georgia senate seats?

  24. [24] 
    James T Canuck wrote:

    [22] It's perfectly simple. The people of Georgia, from Mitch's point of view, are nothing more than 'lifeline' to maintain any power in Washington. He becomes a parody of a Turtle, or some such recoiling reptile, in lieu of actual power to coerce events unless he keeps Trump from shooting out the hull in the 'Barge of the dead' that is the GOP...

    Mitch, rightly or obviously, has determined that Georgia is a heavy lift if Trump's truculence to co-operate without markers continues....And he's quite right to worry.


  25. [25] 
    John From Censornati wrote:


    I don't see why not. With Short Fingers depressing Republican turnout and Abrams increasing Dem turnout, they should have a chance. After all, who thought Biden would win GA even a few months ago?

  26. [26] 
    James T Canuck wrote:

    I like the juxtaposition between 'Short Fingers' depressing Republican turnout and Abrams increasing Dem turnout.

    It's got legs on its own.

    We can only watch and see how your characterisation plays out.


  27. [27] 
    Chris Weigant wrote:

    LizM -

    The thing about runoffs in GA is turnout. Turnout, turnout, turnout.

    Most runoffs get like 50% of the turnout the main election gets. So the question is: which side cares enough to turn out one more time?

    That's a tricky question this year. Previously, GOP voters were always the ones who turned back out. But previously, GOP voters always had a great day on Election Day, so they were still enthused.

    This time, (1) Trump will not be on the ballot, and (2) Biden won.

    Nobody knows how those 2 things are going to affect runoff turnout.

    Maybe all the Trump voters will be pissed off and go vote. And maybe there were just enough GOP voters who held their noses and voted for Biden, but also want to see a GOP Senate, which could shift the margin of victory.

    But then again, maybe there are a bunch of GA Dems who are overjoyed about finally winning a statewide race and see the chance to give Biden a Dem Senate. Maybe the flood of runoff votes will come from them.

    Again -- nobody really knows. But a WHOLE lot of money will be spent trying to boost turnout for both sides, that's for sure...

    Hope this helps...


  28. [28] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Yes, turnout is always the key. I hope Dems know what message will do that.

  29. [29] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Dems have to lay out in clear fashion just what a Republican controlled Senate will mean for the average Georgian, in other words. :)

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