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Like many Americans — maybe a majority — Thanksgiving looms large in my life.

Ten days before Thanksgiving 1965, when I was two, my father was wounded in Vietnam. He was medevacked to the US and we spent the holiday with him in a hospital in Valley Forge, PA while he was recovering from his gunshot wounds.

Growing up as an Army brat, we ate a lot of Thanksgiving meals in the mess hall — my father in his dress blues — as it’s a tradition for officers to be with their young soldiers, many of whom are far away from home for the first time. …


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Photo: Peruvian President Alberto Fujimori in 1995

Let’s start with the obvious.

In the twenty days since the presidential election, Donald Trump has engaged in a campaign unprecedented in American history to try to nullify the results of the vote, discard the will of the people, and cling to power in a banana republic-style self-coup. In the process, he is doing horrific and perhaps irreparable damage to one of the most fundamental tenets of our representative democracy, the peaceful transition of power.

in a reign rife with strong contenders, history may well remember this as the worst of Trump’s many many sins. (Close seconds and dishonorable mention: playing violin while a quarter of a million Americans died, kidnapping and caging innocent children, and destroying the whole concept of Truth.) …


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Photo: Trump at his golf course in Sterling, Virginia this month. (Reuters.)

Here’s a sentence most living Americans never expected to read:

While the odds of a coup d’état in the USA seemed to have abated over the past few days, the situation remains fraught.

In fact, if you want to get technical about it (and I do), we are literally in the midst of a coup right now according to the dictionary definition of the term: A defeated president is refusing to leave office, insisting that he won an election that it is clear he lost, and refusing to hand over the reins of power to his successor as duly chosen by the people. …


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Over the past week, we have wrestled with a problem well described by the Washington Post’s Margaret Sullivan:

How do you cover something that, at worst, lays the groundwork for a coup attempt and, at best, represents a brazen lie that could be deeply damaging to American democracy?

“You don’t want to fearmonger. You don’t want to underplay something this dangerous, either,” Noah Shachtman, editor of the Daily Beast, told me.

The trickiest part: “Figuring out whether these bogus accusations are actually dangerous to the republic or just the last, lame gasps of a doomed administration.”

Sullivan doesn’t answer the question, though she does deftly assess the state of…


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Hiroo Onoda, the last Japanese soldier to surrender following World War II — 1974. Photo: Kenzo Sato.

Did I speak too soon?

I am rarely accused of being a pollyanna, but earlier this week I took some guff from nervous friends on the progressive side (NB: a redundancy; I don’t have any “conservative” friends left) for writing that we as a nation had avoided a coup, albeit narrowly. This despite the fact, ahem, that I said in the second sentence of that essay that “the danger is not completely past.”

Deep breath, everybody.

I do still think we have avoided a self-coup by Trump. We need to act like it. We should not signal even for a moment that we will stand for any attempt to subvert the will of the people as expressed in the election. …


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Illustration: Edel Rodriguez

The first thing I want to say is, hallelujah.

The second thing I want to say is, the danger is not completely past.

It appears that we have, mercifully, avoided the worst case scenario that many (myself included) have been screeching like howler monkeys about for months and even years: a defeated Donald Trump using the power of his office, the slavish devotion of his followers, the complicity of the right wing media, and other levers both subtle and violent, legal and illegal, to cling to the presidency, even if it meant plunging this country into a constitutional crisis, to include fighting in the streets. …


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Hmmm, a lot to take in over the past three days, and we will get to the heart of it shortly. But first, after four years, I think we owe it to ourselves to take just one moment to celebrate a singular, long-sought reality:

Donald Trump will be a one-term president, ejected from office by the American people.

This, as Joe Biden once told Barack Obama about the ACA, is “a big fucking deal.” Biden is on track to win the popular vote by an even larger margin than Hillary did in 2016 — about 4 million votes. He will also receive more votes for president than any candidate in American history (though that is partially a simple function of growing population), about 73.6 million thus far to Trump’s 69.6. His final tally might approach 80 million. …


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On Sunday, Jonathan Swan of Axios — who conducted that brutal interview of Trump back in August — reported from White House sources what every savvy observer has long predicted:

On Election Night, regardless of the results, Trump will publicly declare victory as early as he can plausibly get away with. (And as we know, Trump’s assessment of what he can plausibly get away with is a lot more broad than anyone else’s. And he is usually right.) …


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I’d like to start by saying that it would almost be professional malpractice by the Russian intelligence services if they were NOT using Rudy Giuliani as a means to feed disinformation to Donald Trump.

Of course, the fact that Trump, the President of the United States, is a reliable spreader of disinformation on behalf of the Kremlin is itself appalling, but never mind. That The Spy Service Formerly Known as the KGB has entrée to him through a creepy, cousin-marrying, generally batshit former New York City mayor is a gift to them from the gods, who are clearly just as cruel as mythology taught us. …


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Donald Trump, as seen in the forthcoming remake of Last Year at Marienbad

This week, the second half of my interview with “Mister X,” a veteran Democratic operative currently consulting for the Biden campaign.

In Part 1, we discussed the state of the presidential race, the Teflon nature of Joe Biden, and who can stop Trump’s power grab. (Hint: it won’t be Moscow Mitch or the Supreme Court). In Part 2, Mr. …

About

Robert Edwards

Writer, filmmaker, and veteran — blogging at The King’s Necktie @TheKingsNecktie

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