Submitted by Mark S. Stephens, PhD…
Of all the extraordinary aspects surrounding the recent Jeffrey Toobin “affair,” the most remarkable one concerns details of the “election simulation” precipitating that man’s “accidental” disgrace. All humor aside, “Toobin-gate” has offered us an unusually candid peek behind the curtain of otherwise hidden elite behavior, and we should behoove ourselves of this revealing opportunity (no puns intended).
Almost unnoticed (and for good reason), a seemingly incidental feature of Toobin’s fall-from-grace is actually quite noteworthy. As we have now therefrom learned, leading media figures are currently war gaming for the Pentagon to be a player in the next presidential transition. More specifically, in this apparent dress (or undress) rehearsal for election night (and its aftermath), Toobin was playing the role of the courts and Dexter Filkins (the so-called “premier combat journalist of his generation”) was role-playing for “the military.” This preparational provision is not only an unprecedented and worrisome presumption on these journalists’ part, but its audacity confirms (to the present author) the fanatical ferocity of the anti-Trump faction and the fervid fantasies they are currently willing to entertain. This essay briefly examines the odious possibilities implicit in these Democrat partisans’ pathways to presidential power.
Originally, this past summer, some leftist schemers’ preferred insurance policy to prevent a second Trump term was the litigation of November’s electoral outcome all the way to the Supreme Court, where they hoped John Roberts would astonishingly (but predictably) “flip” his vote to the left and make Biden president in a 5-4 decision (Scenario #1). However, the September 2020 death of Ruth Ginsberg and the October Senate confirmation of Amy Barrett have likely forestalled this avenue to their electoral triumph.
Nonetheless, it appears some innovative Democrat strategists (such as John Podesta) were already working on a series of further fall-back positions. Their plans can loosely be called the “Red Mirage” contingency (or, alternately, the more Orwellian term of the “Transition Integrity Project”). In this as yet hypothetical turn of events, Trump will appear to have won a majority of the Electoral College (EC) on or around November 3, but subsequent developments would nullify that chimerical victory. These Democrats seem to be relying upon mail-in votes, especially those arriving weeks after election day in swing states, to put Biden over the top (Scenario #2).
Let us examine this “Mirage Rouge” game plan more closely. My pre-pandemic data led me to conclude that 19 states, plus the District of Columbia, were allowing ballots to be counted even if they arrive after November 3. These various grace periods ranged in duration from 1 to 14 days, with an average of approximately 5.7 days overall. However, since the pandemic, the situation has become astonishingly fluid: voting locations, rules, and deadlines are changing on a daily, even hourly, basis. One state (Washington) now reportedly has a 20-day extension, accepting ballots up to November 23. Hence, regarding 2020’s mail-in voting, the only reliable certainly is uncertainty.
These 20 late-voting jurisdictions have a total of 288 Electoral College votes among them- a decisive majority of the total. Crucially, swing states with late grace periods hold around 78 of those EC votes (depending upon how one defines a battleground state). Hence, one can easily envision the election being undecided on November 3, with late-arriving ballots as the key to victory. One can also foresee many of these votes being interminably challenged in the counting rooms and in the courts. Try to imagine a replay of Florida’s political chaos in 2000, but multiplied 5, 10, or more times! Just the prospect of such pandemonium should strike concern (and a headache) into anyone contemplating it. Amid that degree of electoral bedlam, anything is possible, which is why the Red Mirage proponents seem to place great store in the likelihood of such a debacle’s transpiration.
Most revealingly, Democrats have sued in a number of swing states to force extensions of mail-in deadlines. Their initial successes in Wisconsin and Michigan were overturned by higher courts. Yet a judicially enforced extension in Pennsylvania was upheld by the US Supreme Court, with John Roberts crucially joining the liberals to thwart a Republican appeal of Pennsylvania’s expanded deadline. Around the country, Democrats have gone so far as to veto penalty enhancements for electoral fraud, attempt court enforcement of ballot harvesting, and even endeavor to selectively disenfranchise the Green Party (they seem to remember Ralph Nader’s role in Florida’s 2000 cliffhanger).
Hence, the “Red Mirage” pathway to the presidency, bruised but unbowed, remains intact as a stratagem for capturing the White House. And, even if this Mirage Scenario ultimately proves fruitless, the uncertainty it will likely engender leaves the door open to Scenario #3- paralyzing or invalidating a majority of the Electoral College.
This third scenario involves invocation of arcane elements from the US Constitution’s 12th Amendment which have not been employed in centuries. In a nutshell, those provisions mandate that if, for whatever reason (including legal strife or societal upheaval), the Electoral College is unable to muster 270 votes for a particular candidate, then Congress chooses the president and/or vice-president.
In this procedure, the House of Representatives chooses the chief executive, and the Senate picks the veep. However, the House must vote by state caucus, with each state having but one vote each, a majority of each states’ House delegation necessary to secure that single vote. As it stands today, of course, the Democrats have an overall majority of the House membership. Importantly, though, when measured by individual state caucuses, it is the Republicans who would currently decide the presidency. Depending upon the results of November 3, the 12th Amendment gives the Democrats several possible routes for blocking a Trump presidency in early 2021 (Scenarios #3a-3g, below):
3a- Democrats retain their overall House majority, while the Republicans maintain their decisive state caucus dominance. According to convoluted parliamentary procedures beyond the scope of this paper, the presumably reelected Speaker Pelosi (and her Democrat majority) could perhaps refuse to convene her chamber (after January 3rd), or even refuse to schedule a vote for president, thereby thwarting the Republicans’ caucus majority and instead conferring control of the White House upon the Senate (which would accordingly pick the acting president, see 3f and 3g, below).
3b- Democrats receive both a majority in overall House membership and state caucus votes, meaning a quick Biden victory.
3c- Republicans win control of an overall majority of House members, but only a minority of state caucuses. In this case, the new Republican speaker should presumably feel duty-bound to convene the House for choosing the president, even while knowing Biden will be selected.
3d- After the November elections, the House GOP is awarded a majority of both the overall membership and the state caucuses, meaning an unavoidable second term for Trump.
3e- The House state caucuses deadlock in a tie, maybe 25 to 25, and the presidency is thrown to the Senate (see 3f and 3g).
Again, if the House does not act, the Senate picks the vice-president, who will act as president until the House eventually finds a majority.
3f- If the House makes no decision, and the Democrats take the Senate in November, they elect Kamala Harris as acting president in January.
3g- The Republicans hold the Senate and then try to pick Mike Pence as acting president. However, they cannot undertake that vote without a quorum, which in this case is defined as two-thirds of the whole number of senators. Unless November’s results increase GOP numbers in the Senate to 67, the Democrats (and their independent allies) can deny a quorum (and thus a vote) by simply refusing to show up. This requirement cannot be amended as other Senate rules lately have been. Tellingly, the Democrats have recently proven their facile willingness to attempt denying quorum by vanishing during the recent Barrett confirmation vote of the Judiciary Committee. If that maneuver recurs during a vote for acting president, the Senate, too, will be paralyzed. Accordingly, with both chambers of Congress unable to pick a president, (presumed) House Speaker Pelosi becomes acting president (and, don’t forget, acting commander-in-chief) under the Presidential Succession Act(s), provided she wins reelection and her party garners a majority of overall representation in her chamber.
And, if the Democrats’ first three Scenarios prove fruitless, there is one last “hail Mary” option open to the sworn enemies of Trump- military intervention (Scenario #4). The feverish foes of the president have already assiduously primed the pump for the Pentagon to decide the presidency. These activists have, for example, penned a widely circulated open-letter to the Joint Chiefs of Staff, demanding they launch an armed assault upon the White House to remove Trump from office next January, concluding such a coup is the only way to avoid a coup (employing logic typical of those possessed by Trump Derangement Syndrome).
Astonishingly, Biden himself has emphatically and unreservedly endorsed such a military intercession (see below). Furthermore, by an extraordinary twist of fate, we now know that Jeff Toobin and other “journalists” have been meeting together and seemingly scripting-out how to report this extra-constitutional eventuality to the American people as a just and desirable outcome. And, surprise, surprise, in the weeks leading up to November 3, a considerable number of media elites have simultaneously and “coincidentally” decided to publish a bevy of articles outlining how Pelosi might, by default, become our next president.
My above outlined narratives are not as improbable as they may seem. Democrats have richly demonstrated an insouciant willingness to commit any constitutional atrocity whatsoever to prevent Trump’s continuance in power, including resorting to quorum manipulation, year after year of outrageous Russia and impeachment hoaxes, and now threatening court-packing, as well.
Critics might reply that quorum denial is not a constitutional abomination, but a valid parliamentary tactic. In ordinary times, perhaps so, but preventing quorum as part of a coup is entirely improper. Another critique might consist of the observation that my above scenarios clearly presume that Republicans are not as unscrupulous as Democrats, placing the integrity of our Republic before their own power. This criticism is admittedly accurate about my own argument, but hopefully invalid regarding the mores currently prevailing within the GOP leadership. I confess that time may well prove me embarrassingly wrong on this score.
Finally, skeptics of my above scenarios will want to read, at some length, the words of Democrat leaders Pelosi and Biden. In July 2020, the following CNBC report outlined the Speaker’s position:
Pelosi said Monday that President Donald Trump,
“Whether he knows yet it or not, he will be leaving” the
White House… [Trump will have] “to be fumigated out
of there….” Pelosi…suggested that…the Constitution would
lead to Trump departing in January, regardless of whether
he accepts [the election results] or he refuses to physically
move out of the White House. Pelosi noted that she
is “second in line to the presidency” and that last week she
had her “regular continuation of government briefing,”
detailing the process by which she would become president
if both the president and vice president were incapacitated
or died. “I say to them [the briefers], ‘This is never going
to happen.’ God willing, it never will. But there is a process.”
More than a decade of experience as a political scientist has taught me that, whenever Pelosi invokes God in her political commentary, she is threatening something devilishly devious- a maximum “Category 5” go-for-broke dirty trick.
Then, on October 29, the Speaker double-downed on her determination to do absolutely anything to stop Trump. With an astounding frankness she may someday regret, Pelosi declaimed:
“Oh, we are ready….whatever the vote count on election…
Tuesday, [Joe Biden] will be elected, and on January 20, he
will be inaugurated president. So while we don’t want to be
overconfident…we have to be ready for how we are going to
go down a different path.”
Next, add to Pelosi’s comments this echoing excerpt from a June 2020 article in the UK’s Guardian newspaper:
Biden said he has thought about a scenario where Trump
would refuse to relinquish power…but said he was confident
top military leaders would intervene. “I am absolutely
convinced that they will escort him from the White House
with great dispatch.”
It could not be said much more clearly than it has been. The foes of Trump are obviously trying to prepare the public for something rather unusual, at the least, and an outright coup at the worst. The accumulated meaning of the above enumerated words and deeds leaves no other rational interpretation.
However, the real wildcard in all these scenarios, and one that no one could previously count upon, is the new reality of a post-Ginsberg Court (a development whose significance cannot be overstated). While John Roberts is wholly unreliable (one wonders what dirt the Left might be holding over him), newly-minted Justice Amy Barrett is no shrinking violet. With others on the Court, she may well spearhead Scenario #5, a judicial intervention in November or early December that short-circuits all the anti-Trump scenarios examined above. This possibility is a leading reason Democrats are so livid about her accession to the high bench. Much like the Court did in the 2000 Bush v. Gore decision, the (new) conservative majority can invoke a “safe harbor,” “equal protection,” or other justification to intervene before Congress can begin voting to decide the presidency (i.e., the afternoon of January 20th).
To be clear, I am not predicting that the armed forces are going to storm the White House- I am simply noting the worrisome nature of the totally unprecedented preparations for such an occurrence. In any event, keen minds on and around the Court should already be fully cognizant of everything I have set forth herein. Let’s see how they act upon these self-evident facts.
Now that we have examined Democrat scenarios, let us now turn to my own projected range of conceivable electoral (and post-electoral) outcomes. Before that explication, though, I must first note that this election entails a strong likelihood of unfolding like no other in the American experience. The real possibilities for historically disruptive incompetence, irregularities, fraud, litigation, rioting, and even more unexpected events (such as electrical power outages or insurrection) render ratiocinative prognostication unusually dicey and difficult. That said, here is what I think might happen, listed in descending order of probability:
- November 3 vote totals, as measured at voting booths (and/or exit polls), will seemingly give Trump a majority of the Electoral College, probably even amounting to an apparent landslide victory. According to these same metrics, the GOP will appear to retake the House and retain control of the Senate. However, mail-in voting on the present scale is unprecedented, and will very possibly confer millions more votes to Democrats than Republicans. Nonetheless, Trump’s “in-person landslide” will still most likely be such a blowout as to be insurmountable by legitimate mail-in ballots. Ultimately, though, if the ensuing chaos and/or lawsuits render EC results excessively delayed, inconclusive or wrecked, America’s next “fork in the road” is Option B, below:
- The Supreme Court steps into the fray and decides electoral outcome(s), very probably, but not certainly, in favor of Republicans. Late October Court opinions and dissents indicate the Justices are already ruminating upon their options. But, if these first two possibilities fail to materialize, then:
- Biden wins the White House by voter fraud on a massive scale, largely involving mail-in ballots. In my professional assessment, Democrats cannot win the EC by any other means, all polls and predictions to the contrary notwithstanding (they are still at least as flawed in 2020 as they were in 2016). Evidence is emerging on an almost daily basis of variously-sourced shenanigans to steal the election. Project Veritas has just released video and audio recordings of a Texas operative admittedly breaking election law with ballot harvesting and the buying and selling of votes. This person was even taped expressing hopes of avoiding prosecution for her felonious pro-Democrat activities, bemoaning that she won’t look good in prison stripes! The National File recently reported that Dallas Jones, the Texas political director for the Biden-Harris campaign, has been engaged in widespread electoral swindling, and has allegedly been fired as a result. And, in his stump speeches, Trump never fails to mention the confirmed and undisputed cases of ballots for him being discarded in Pennsylvania and the thousands of ballots mailed in California that do not even list the presidential race as a voting option! Mark my words, many books will someday be written about the contentious and nefarious nature of the 2020 election.
- As a penultimate remedy, Congress picks the (acting) president as described above (provided the federal legislature can actually meet as a coherent body). Otherwise, the Presidential Succession Act(s) come into play.
- In the last resort, the military might step in and either decide or postpone the issue(s). This is the most unlikely denouement, but for the first time in US history it is a distinct, albeit remote, possibility. And, if Pelosi becomes acting commander-in-chief, the odds of military intervention increase considerably (as noted above, she has already threatened Trump in a rather curiously cryptic manner).
Irrespective of victory or defeat, not long after November 3 Trump will dismiss FBI Director Christopher Wray, CIA Director Gina Haspel, and Defense Secretary Mark Esper, among many others. Their replacements will quickly act to declassify a wealth of incredibly damning documents. The president is already preparing the ground for this “house cleaning.”
If Trump wins reelection, he will proceed to uncover, publicize, and/or prosecute corruption on an almost unimaginable scale within the US government, the Democrat party, and their loyalists (and possibly the Biden family, as well). He will also move against his enemies in the media, Big Tech, and elsewhere. In particular, the CDA’s Section 230 will come under scrutiny, and anti-trust suits will proceed against many anti-Trump conglomerates.
A reelected Trump will finally work towards a new Nuclear Deal with Iran. If the Islamic Republic proves recalcitrant, he will leverage the recently concluded Arab-Israeli pacts against Tehran. More of these so-called “peace deals” are likely on the way, but in this context they will all grow to be increasingly perceived as anti-Iranian “aggression pacts” rather than peace pacts (much like the Triple Entente was retrospectively reassessed after WWI).
Trump will also negotiate an international coalition/tribunal to severely punish China for the Coronavirus (probably outside the purview of the UN). He will also likely initiate a new détente with Russia, maybe even extending or renegotiating arrangements like the START treaty. He will remove all US troops from Afghanistan, Syria, and/or Iraq. He will also reform drug pricing regimes, which will lead to substantial cost attenuation. And, if Trump has a successful (and full) second term, he will nominate at least one more person to the Supreme Court and leave a powerful Republican Party in his wake, his most likely political successors being his children, his protégés, other allies, or Governor Ron DeSantis.
Alternately, if Democrats win (on a sufficient scale), they will quickly pack the Supreme Court with a leftist majority. They will dramatically intensify the Coronavirus crackdown with things like national mask and vaccine mandates, business (and particularly church) closures, travel restrictions, contact tracing/infection databases, and a whole cornucopia of further measures.
Victorious Democrats will try to limit the rights of free speech, press, and assembly for any and all white people who criticize nonwhites. They will magnify affirmative action and “racial sensitivity” programs in favor of nonwhites on an unprecedented scale. They will refuse to prosecute BLM/anarchist rioters, who will run wild at will. They will expand housing projects in the suburbs and other white neighborhoods not populated by the super-rich (whose environs will remain off-limits). They will tear down the border wall, legalize all (or most) illegal aliens, and give them massive benefits. In sum, they will try to undo all that Trump has done.
And, finally, if Biden does accede to the presidency, he will either quickly resign for (mental) health reasons or be replaced through the 25th Amendment. By whichever avenue, Kamala Harris will then become president. And, if she is foolish enough to pick Hillary Clinton as her new vice-president, Harris will be dead (or removed) within a year or so (at most).
The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of The Duran.