Day: November 15, 2020

Background Briefing: November 15, 2020

The Much Less Than A Million MAGA March

We begin with Saturday’s demonstrations in Washington D.C. urged on by Trump who refuses to concede to Joe Biden or allow a transition. About ten thousand of the president’s ardent believers in conspiracies and falsehoods showed up for the Million MAGA March about which Trump’s spokeswoman Kayleigh McEnany tweeted with ludicrous exaggeration, “More than one MILLION marchers for President @realDonaldTrump descend on the swamp in support”. After driving by the adoring crowd, their hero went on to the Trump National Golf Club in nearby Virginia for a round of golf leaving his supporters to jeer and fight the counter-protesters. Joining us is Amanda Marcotte, who wrote the article for Salon, “The far right is cracking up, as their violent fantasies of Trump’s fascist takeover evaporate.” We discuss the makeup of the much-less than-a-million crowd answering the call to “Stop the Steal” and “March for Trump” which comprised far-right white supremacists from the Proud Boys, the Oathkeepers and Q-Anon and featured rants from the conspiracy-monger Alex Jones and the newly-elected Q-Anon Republican Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene. What was on display in the nation’s capitol on Saturday is the sad truth that Trump has attracted this subculture of crackpots which has infected the GOP with fringe beliefs he has mainstreamed to the extent that now 70% of Republicans believe Trump won an election the Democrats stole. 


America’s Unnecessarily Long Transition

Then we look into the unwieldy and long transition underway which other advanced democracies do not endure with a new Prime Minister in the U.K. for example showing up the next day after an election at the prime minister’s residence with a moving van. Ivo Daalder, the President of the Chicago Council on Global Affairs who was previously the U.S. Ambassador to NATO and Director for European Affairs on President Clinton’s National Security Council, joins us to discuss his article at Foreign Affairs, “America’s Treacherous Transition: How Trump’s Recalcitrance Threatens U.S. National Security.


Post-election Recriminations Among House Democrats

Then finally we assess a post-election rift among House Democrats between progressives and moderates which emerged with recriminations over losses in the House and a failure to take the Senate amid accusations that slogans such as “defund the police” cost the party votes that went to Trump. Mike Lux, the co-founder of Democracy Partners and Progressive Strategies who served as a Special Assistant to the President for Public Liaison in the White House and is the author of How to Democrat in the Age of Trump, joins us to discuss the failure of Democrats to canvass door-to-door as the Republicans did successfully, which was offset by a record turnout of young Black, Latino and White voters who got Biden over the top and should be the future of a more progressive Democratic Party.