Thursday, November 24, 2016

The Time Between November 8 and January 20

People have been calling on Obama to go ahead and appoint Merrick Garland to the Supreme Court, without the Senate's confirmation. A couple of points:

* He would need to wait until the Senate was in year-end recess (they're not yet), and they would have to be in recess for 10 days before re-convening on Jan 3.

* Garland was a compromise appointment on Obama's behalf. Garland is a moderate. Like so much else that Obama has done, the Garland appointment was a conciliatory gesture toward the GOP, and that's a lot of the reason it was seen as so unreasonable on behalf of Senate Republicans that they refused to even consider Garland's appointment. I assumed that Hillary would be elected, and I wasn't upset by the Republicans screwing Garland over, because I hoped that Hillary would appoint someone more progressive. No offense to Judge Garland, but if Obama is able to make an appointment while the Senate is in year-end recess, and if he takes advantage of that opportunity, I'd like to see him appoint a 30-year-old black lesbian Communist in great physical shape, all 8 of whose great-grandparents are over 100 years old, all still alive and at least 6 of them not senile yet.

* Whether Obama will have the chance to make a recess appointment, and, if he has that chance, whether he will take advantage of it, and whether he will appoint Garland or someone to the Left of Garland, I can't say. I have not been good at all at predicting what Obama will do.

Well, look at Jill Stein go, raising money for a recount of the Presidential election in Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin. And look at Hillary's vote lead grow. Will enough more votes be counted for Hillary to win Michigan? I don't know, I don't know how many more votes are expected to come in, I can't find anybody even willing to guess. However, people seem to agree that the more votes come in, the more Hillary gains on Trump, but they also seem to agree that Michigan is the only state where Trump's ahead that could possibly flip to Hillary. That would give 248 electoral votes, still 22 shy of victory. If Michigan and Pennsylvania and Wisconsin all flip, Hillary wins. 2 out those 3 won't do it.

I do know this: the latest tally in Michigan is 2,279,210 votes for Trump and 2,267,373 for Hillary, a lead of 11,837 -- and shrinking, it seems -- for Trump. And I also know that Jill Stein has gotten 51,420 votes so far in Michigan. And I know what irony is, but I don't know whether Jill Stein does.

But you know what? Bygones. Not because I don't consider Jill Stein to be a colossal fool and screw-up -- I do consider her to be exactly that -- but because as far as I know, no time machines have been invented which would allow us to go back in time and somehow cause Jill to drop out, endorse Hillary and thus ensure Hillary's election. In the lack of such time machines, we can only face toward the future, and deal with it.

And in that future, I can't see any good reason to believe that Jill Stein or anybody else can put Hillary in the White House at this point with a recount. Especially since it was the Democrats who did such an intensive, exhaustive and convincing job of explaining to us why this election couldn't be rigged.

But you know what? Who knows. One thing this Presidential campaign has been is unpredictable. And if there is a possibility of re-counting, an Obama appointment to the Supreme Court could be a big help to the forces of sanity and humanity.

I can't predict how much more scandal will come out, tarnishing Trump's already heavily-tarnished brand, before Dec 19 when the Electors vote. I can easily imagine that enough more scandal will emerge that it will convince Trump's electors not to vote for him.

I don't think it's likely that Trump won't take office on Jan 20 (although who knows?), but Hillary's huge and growing lead in the popular vote will weigh heavily on a Trump Presidency. Steve Bannon will weigh heavily, unless Bannon suddenly decides that, Hey, you know what? He wants to spend more time with his family. Jill Stein's campaign for a recall may make no sense and be doomed to failure, but it could still cause Trump a lot of grief -- the same way that Stein's campaign for President made absolutely no sense and was doomed to failure, but still caused Hillary a lot of grief.

The way that Trump constantly lies and is abysmally ignorant -- more and more people will notice that. More and more people will see how little interested he is in working with anybody, or in helping anybody.

All of that will weigh on him.

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