What are the Republican Michigan legislators who agreed to talk to President Trump about their state’s certification of the election thinking? What’s the point of talking with him about it except to see what he can offer them in exchange for meddling with the electoral process?
The fear two months ago was the election would be thrown to the Supreme Court, which with a 6-3 conservative majority might hand Trump a phony re-election. It now looks like he might engineer a phony re-election without SCOTUS by just pressuring and/or bribing state officials to throw election results in enough states, starting with Michigan and Pennsylvania.
Trump shouldn’t even be talking with any of these officials. The mere act of inviting them to meet with him to discuss their state’s election of Biden constitutes criminal interference in an election process. And for the Michigan officials to agree to meet him under the circumstances is just unconscionable, unless their only reason to meet him is to tell him in person to bugger off and never call on them again. At the very least, they should be telling him to concede already.
The fear is that, instead, they met with Trump to see what he could offer them that would make risking prosecution worth it. There is no question that if they manage to swing Michigan to Trump at this point, they will be criminally prosecuted. So that’s going to have to be some really fantastic bribe. They’re seeing what they can get in promises from a guy who regularly doesn’t pay people who work for him. Maybe he could offer to build a wall with Mexico in Michigan and name it the Mike Shirkey and Lee Chatfield Wall. It would be such a great honor for both of them.
Trump will certainly tell them that if they are prosecuted between now and Jan. 20, they can count on a presidential pardon for election tampering. So what would they have to lose except going down in history as having sold American democracy out?
This is an attempted coup d'état. By instigating this and seeking the cooperation of state legislators Shirkey and Chatfield, Trump is guilty of treason and should be removed from office now. If the legislators go along with it, they will also be traitors, whether they succeed in changing the results in Michigan or not. Just by taking part in an attempted coup, they will have damaged democracy.
As it is, I think there is a very good chance that even if we come out of all this with the election results intact and respected and Trump finally leaving office, trust in the election process will be nearly zero in 2024. No matter who runs, people will expect the loser to operate from the Trump playbook. If anything, people will expect that efforts to subvert the election will begin before the election happens, with candidates lobbying state legislators ahead of time. Trump is probably kicking himself now for not having thought of bribing legislators already back in July, and gotten it out of the way. A bribe in time saves nine.
In other news, managers at a Tyson pork processing plant in Iowa had a betting pool on how many workers there would test positive for COVID-19.
Now, I don’t gamble. It’s against my religion. It’s highly disrespectful to the goddess Fortuna. Still, my first reaction was, wow, that takes some nerve. I mean, what were the odds that the public would never find out? That the workers wouldn’t find out? They should have had a betting pool for that, too.
Gambling is OK when it’s not really gambling for money, fame or Hostess Twinkies. For example, no, I did not place a bet on that horse with that bookie. I invested in that horse and that bookie’s business, with no expectation of anything in return. In this time of pandemic, bookies all need our support.
I’ve never had steak tartare with raw egg on top. I plan to do so someday, when I am in a buffet I can trust after the pandemic is relatively over. When I do, I will call it an investment in the beef and poultry industries, instead of a gamble with my health. Assuming they’re both still around.
I wouldn’t want to invest in pork right now.
Dr. Wes Browning is a one time math professor who has experienced homelessness several times. He supplied the art for the first cover of Real Change in November of 1994 and has been involved with the organization ever since. This is his weekly column, Adventures in Irony, a dry verbal romp of the absurd. He can be reached at drwes (at) realchangenews (dot) org
Read more in the Nov 25 - Dec 1, 2020 issue.