Trump’s Gambit Toward Amendment 12
All of his election challenges are only meant to delay and push the decision to the House
It should be abundantly clear by now that Donald Trump and everyone who is enabling him are blatantly attempting to undermine and subvert the results of the presidential election. He telegraphed his intentions for months leading up to the election, and since election night has done everything in his power to prevent the results from being documented and certified.
In defiance of precedent and the entire democratic electoral process, Trump has repeatedly cried foul and declared himself the victor, refusing to concede, while spouting unsupported claims of fraud in every state that he lost. Even as his litigation efforts get repeatedly laughed out of courtrooms, other tactics are proving effective in at least slowing the process to grinding pace, with legal challenges forcing hand recounts, and select counties having issues certifying their results.
There is no rationality or even substance to be found in Trump’s claims of fraud. At almost every turn, his claims are being proven false and having to be walked back, even by the likes of Tucker Carlson. But still, the bullshit artist persists. Most legal experts and constitutional scholars agree that Trump’s tactics should fail, that the integrity of our institutions should prevail over the stubborn willpower of one man. But, Trump’s goals cannot be so easily discounted.
All of these challenges to the election are only meant to do one thing, allowing that they are not rooted in substantive or factual cause: They are meant to delay the electoral process, and prevent its legal certification. The margins of accomplishing this are razor thin, but by all appearances, Trump is not going to give up until he absolutely is forced to do so. Assuming that somehow by some legal shenanigans or loophole finagling Trump manages to prevent the election from being certified by enough states to disallow electoral votes from being counted, the decision of the presidency would then fall to the House of Representatives, according to Amendment 12 of the Constitution.
Even though the House is controlled by a Democratic majority, Trump believes he can still win if the issue goes this far, and I believe that is what he is banking on. The reason is, the House vote is not decided by the usual manner, but by a Quorum of the majority of representatives from each state, meaning each state would get to cast one vote for a candidate. Looking at the state representative list for each, and it becomes abundantly clear that a majority of states have more Republican seats than Democrat seats. This looks likely to go in Trump’s favor then, assuming the representatives are willing to go against the popular votes of their states, and choose to vote for Trump anyway.
But not so fast, remember that the Democrats hold the seat majority in the House, which means they are given Constitutional authority to decide the rules of how the Quorum gets to vote for the process. Even though a majority of states have a majority of Republican representatives, most of them DO have Democrats in their legislatures. Given that, it’s highly likely that Nancy Pelosi would challenge the way these state votes are decided, by choosing enough Democrat representatives for the Quorum, that she could swing the vote in favor of Biden. She could also set up a rule if she wanted that declared the state vote has to reflect the popular vote of the state in question.
The end result of this would be another gridlock. If the gridlock persists through January 20th, which is the constitutional deadline for the sitting presidential term, and it passes without the new president being appointed, then Nancy Pelosi would by default be positioned to step down as Speaker of the House and assume the role of the presidency.
Trump must have legal advisers who have by now informed him of all his options, and how they are dwindling down to nothing. It’s unclear if Trump actually believes he can win these challenges, or if he just putting on a show of protest for his supporters. Trump has many times in the past alluded to a belief that as president he has almost absolute power and legal authority. If that is the case, he may be willing to test the integrity of our legal institutions to their very breaking point. But time will tell.
In the meantime, he is actively subverting the peaceful transition of power that is traditional and allows our democracy to function unimpeded. He is preventing Joe Biden from being briefed on national security affairs and from getting the information he needs regarding implementing his changes in policy to the national response to coronavirus. All of this even as the death rate for the covid-19 pandemic continues to climb and become more and more out of control.
That also may be part of Trump’s plan. He may want the pandemic to get so out of hand that he is “forced” to implement a state of national emergency under which he can declare himself special powers and try to institute martial law, which could be another avenue for him to retain power and subvert the election.
Make no mistake, all of this could devolve into chaos at the drop of a hat. As Americans, we have to remain vigilant and be ready to let our voices be heard. This is not the time to be complacent. Trump himself has promoted notions to his supporters from celebrities such as Jon Voight that they should be ready to fight, and has called liberals an evil tantamount to Satan, again appealing to the superstitions of the religious.
The future remains unclear. But what is clear is that one man is attempting to exert his own authority over the will of people, and to bully his way into subverting the entire institution of democracy.
America, if you wish to survive, this must not be allowed to happen.