This has been gradually developing for about the last quarter of a century or so. While there was some of this going on before, it took off after the Newt Gingrich-led GOP took over Congress in the 94 election and Rush Limbaugh began his radio show. Not long after Fox News began a more aggressive stance against President Clinton, pushing any and every scandal that would lead to his impeachment for lying about his sex life, although this proved unpopular with the public. But that did not slow it down. It became more developed in the Bush admin when support for the Iraq War became increasingly disconnected from reality, a war that was not connected to reality to begin with as it was based on false claims about WMDs supposedly in Iraq. When Obama became president the alternate reality became more developed as Fox and talk radio obsessed on the fake news birther nonsense, not to mention the endless obsession on Benghazi and Hillary’s emails.
And then Trump became president and all of this kicked up to a whole new level, with his 23,500 plus lies and counting, which came along with a personalistic cult worshipping him. This was bad all through his presidency, but now that he has lost the election it has further accelerated, now reaching seriously deranged levels that are also seriously dangerous to US democracy.
So in the real world Trump allowed the GSA to allow the official transition to a Biden presidency proceed, and most foreign leaders recognize the reality (although not V.V. Putin so far), and we have now had all the six main swing states officially and legally certify that Biden beat Trump in their states, with none of the margins less than 10,000, not all that close, frankly. Even those so far not coming out to admit this reality sometimes leak that they recognize it, occasionally making remarks that clearly recognize that Biden will almost certainly be president as of Jan. 20, 2021, even as they do not officially come out and say so openly, with the pathetic GOP senators from Georgia at the top of this bizarre hypocrisy.
But even as this reality continues to creep forward, reinforced by failure after failure of the Trump team’s lawsuits, a win-loss record currently at 1-46, even though they keep submitting more cases, Trump himself seems to be more than doubling down, with many people following him and becoming more seriously insane and dangerous in their efforts.
So we have freshly pardoned Michael Flynn openly calling for Trump to declare martial law and impose a new election, with a disturbing number of other folks coming out to support him on this. We have had death threats in multiple states against election officials who supported the vote outcomes, even as many of these officials have been Republicans (congrats to them for standing up for principle), with the most dramatic of these in Georgia where some of those officials have sharply spoken back with little effect on those pushing the false claims of fraud, most importantly President Trump himself, due to appear in Georgia tomorrow, supposedly to support the GOP senate candidates there, but more likely to push his own ongoing effort to overturn the election results.
At this point two items stick out to me how the effort to construct an alternate reality continues apace even as it becomes increasingly disconnected with reality. One part of this is coming from Trump himself. Some two evenings ago he put out a 46 minute video of a speech he made alone in the White House that he labeled “the most important speech I have ever made.” Most of it was simply more of the lies and conspiracy theories he has been pushing and pushing for the past month since the election. But one item stuck out at me as showing an increasing degree of disconnect from reality. He claimed that if there had been an accurate count of the votes, he would have won “all states.” Really? Only two presidents have taken all states: George Washington and James Monroe in 1820. So he really thinks he won Delaware, Massachusetts, and Hawaii, not to mention DC (not a state)?
The other was watching Sean Hannity last night. OK, so others in the prime time Fox lineup are playing the game of “Trump is right that the election was a fraud and he should fight to show it, but maybe Biden will be president after Jan. 20.” But not Hannity, who disappeared for most of last week after Trump caved on letting the transition legally proceed. No, he is totally in with Trump, declaring that he will succeed in overturning the election results and be inaugurated on Jan. 20, even without declaring martial law. He points to the case out of PA going to the SCOTUS. He points to the 4-3 Wisconsin Supreme Court ruling against Trump’s motion being based on that Trump’s team should have gone through a circuit court first, which they are now doing. And then there is a video out of Georgia, now being dragged through hearings in the Georgia legislature, supposedly showing some “suitcases” being brought out from under a table in Fulton County after poll watchers were kicked out, and votes getting counted for another two hours, hey, enough to overturn the GA results. I saw that video, and I do not know what was going on in it, but I saw one image of a white object being brought out from under the table that did not look like a “suitcase.” He also had some woman who claimed somebody else submitted an absentee ballot with her name, and some guy from Michigan claiming to be an independent who was a poll watcher in Detroit, whining about being kept back from looking at ballots.
I do not know where or how this is all going to end. Maybe if we get the Electoral College to actually vote Biden in on Dec. 14, but based on what has gone down so far, I doubt it will stop. Next up will be the Senate having to certify that vote, and, hey, GOP will still be in control even if Dems win the GA runoffs. And there is still the chance to declare martial law, and maybe he can get a war with Iran going, which seems to be on the verge of happening, given the assassination of their top nuclear scientist. And we still have something like 70% of GOP voters living at least to some extent in this alternate reality, and today it came out that Trump has specifically praised the QAnon conspirators for “being for better government.” This is going down to the wire with possible roadblocks at every possible location.
Addendum: I have just heard that the Biden transition team is being prevented from meeting with people from any of the intelligence agencies located in the DOD, which is by far the majority of such agencies, including such heavyweights as the NSA, DIA, and NRO, among others. I find this to be very disturbing.