Joe Biden’s election as president will be affirmed by the Electoral College vote today.  Thanks to the fact that we still have an independent judiciary, Trump’s coup attempt has collapsed. Trump had apparently assumed, or hoped, that “his” judges were as bereft of integrity as he himself.  Instead, Republican as well as Democratic-appointed judges laughed the Trump legal teams out of court.

The attempt by a sitting president to overturn his election defeat is completely unprecedented in American history—a unique assault on democracy. But if Trump’s immediate objective—his retention of power—has been frustrated, he has nonetheless succeeded in establishing a narrative—the stolen election—that he and his co-partisans will utilize to delegitimate the Biden administration and its agenda.  It’s a narrative that does great damage to our democracy by falsely casting doubt on the bedrock assumption of free and fair elections.

You would think that the president-elect would have something to say about this, but Biden has remained largely silent. Maybe, in his wishful self-image as a national unifier, he wants to avoid divisive rhetoric; maybe he doesn’t want to get into a verbal slugfest with the president.  Or, hopefully, maybe he’s just been waiting for the right moment. The electoral college vote is surely an opportune moment.  Biden needs to tell the American people that Trump’s attempt to steal the election is abominable and un-American. Most Trump voters won’t believe him, but it still needs to be said. It is the moral responsibility of the President of the United States to tell the people the truth, and the most important truth of American politics right now is that our democracy has been critically threatened by an unscrupulous, malignant narcissist occupying the White House. (I also think it is morally incumbent upon Nancy Pelosi and the House Democrats to pass an impeachability resolution, as I proposed in my last post.) Failure to tell that truth loudly and clearly would in effect serve to normalize Trump’s post-election behavior, suggesting that it’s just a new departure in hardball politics and we’ll have to get used to it.

Biden’s continued silence would be politically inept as well as morally remiss. You don’t refute lies by ignoring them.  It is past time to launch the truthful counter-narrative that it was Trump and the Republicans who sought to steal the election.  That the Republican Party and its cult leader have made themselves  enemies of democracy.  If even a small minority—say, 10%–of Trump voters can be made to recognize the fraudulence of Trump and his enablers, the Democrats win by landslides in 2022 and 2024.

The 2020 election is over but Trump has already launched the campaigns for 2022 and 2024.  It’s time to begin the counter-offensive.  What do you say, Joe?




  1. Jeffrey Herrmann December 14, 2020 at 6:20 pm

    Biden would be wise to make a statement of the sort you suggest. Truth needs to be spoken.
    The open question is whether a large enough proportion of the American people are susceptible to belief in Hair Twittler’s version of the Dolchstosslegende — “the Dems stole the election” is not unlike “We didn’t lose the war. We were stabbed in the back! — to destabilize the country. It worked for the Nazis in the 1930s. Will it work for Hair Twittler in America?

  2. Al wegener December 15, 2020 at 10:17 am

    He heard you, Tony, and gave a great talk Monday night.

    • tonygreco December 15, 2020 at 10:56 am

      It was a good speech. I would have liked it to be stronger still, explicitly fixing prime responsibility on Trump for lying endlessly and promoting belief in his lies.

  3. Donald December 16, 2020 at 9:04 am

    The blatant Republican lies began with Nixon’s “southern strategy,” (remember Spiro Agnew) and have morphed into a separate set of beliefs which has created an alternate fact free reality. Perhaps the truth needs to be spoken but the pull of the simplistic alternate reality advocated by republicans is strong in several constituencies.

    If the strongest response we can muster to republican intransigence is “The truth must be spoken,” we will never win over Trump voters.

  4. Mel Brender December 16, 2020 at 5:15 pm

    For similar reasons, the massive number of Republican Congressmembers who signed onto the Amicus Brief of the Texas Supreme Court case should not escape censure for their actions, which were, as has been pointed out, seditious.

    I’m not sure what practical remedies there are. In extremis, I think the Speaker of the House could actually impede their taking of their seats in the new Congress. At the very least they should be required to sign a document stating their regret for violating their oaths of office, and for attempting to overthrow a legal election. But I keep forgetting that we’re living in a Bizarro world where it will be the Democrats who will be instructed to play nice.

  5. Arnie B December 23, 2020 at 4:08 pm

    I really like hearing Joe Biden’s low key answers to reporters questions. His earnest answers about including all Americans in his plans is so refreshing after Trump’s bombast. I even like that he stutters a bit

    I’m glad we will be having a somewhat “dull” president.

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