Sunday, 15 November 2020

Transitioning from chaos

 The most remarkable experience of this Presidential election has been the gradual appearance of a result - I was 13 in 2000, and didn't have much sense of the delay that the Florida recount caused. With President Trump and the Republican party refusing the validity of the result that has now been announced by all major news organisations including FOX news (amazingly, the reality-removed trek is moving on to news organisations even further planted in an alternate reality), mounting legal challenges that keep failing, the main challenge, apart from the shockingly high numbers of new COVID-19 infections across the country, is the fact that Biden has been refused access to the transition process. The General Services Administration, which manages the Presidential transition process, is a federal agency that is refusing to accept Biden as President elect. This is relevant especially because the United States and most of the world are in the midst of an escalating epidemic - the idea of a smooth transition process, with each new administration providing the bureaucrats to run federal agencies, is that future candidates learn their job before they have to assume these roles. They are meant to be embedded well before January 2020 to ensure that they can hit the ground running. The GSA provides both financial and non-financial resources. The reasoning is the precedent set by the 2000 Presidential election - except Joe Biden has won this one by a large margin, and in reality, there is no remaining legal path for President Trump for a second term short of a coup. One of the concerns of the last four years has been the degradation of established institutions, and this is a prime example of what happens when reality is reshaped to fit the demands of someone who has no respect for established processes (or, for that part, the law). 

In addition to these concerns, the fact that Biden may govern facing a Republican Senate, pending the run-off elections in Georgia, puts into question what kind of cabinet he can get confirmed, with Republicans already threatening that they will confirm former Presidential Primary candidates Elizabeth Warren (who would only in the United States and maybe Australia be considered left-wing) or Bernie Sanders. This, in addition with the eternal debates within the Democratic party between progressives and centre-right liberals and the misguided idea of "reaching out" to a party that has failed to condemn right-wing terrorism and is supported on the street by armed men carrying Confederate flags and Nazi memorabilia, hints at a difficult four years for Biden. 

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