What might the transfer of power in the US look like?

Dit is aangepas vanaf die November 9 uitgawe van CNN se Intussen in Amerika, die daaglikse e-pos oor Amerikaanse politiek vir wêreldwye lesers. Klik hier om vorige uitgawes te lees en in te teken.

It can be the most awkward car ride in politics.

Vanquished one-term presidents have to share their armored limousines with the very foes who sent them packing, on the ride up to Capitol Hill on Inauguration Day. But given President Donald Trump’s failure so far to concede his loss to President-elect Joe Biden, the chances of this rite occurring on January 21, 2021, are dubious. We’re not holding our breath for the traditional post-election coffee in the Oval Office between sitting and future Presidents, óf.
In recent decades, the process of transferring power from one administration to the next has become increasingly amicable, despite campaign trail animosity. Members of former President Barack Obama’s team gush with praise for the outgoing Bush administration’s help in 2008-09. Before the new President was sworn in, national security officials from both sides worked together in the White House Situation Room on a terror threat to the inauguration. When Obama took the oath, the Bush aides just walked out and got on with the rest of their lives.
Obama instructed his team to cooperate fully with Trump’s transition team four years ago. But in many cases, thick briefing books prepared at government departments were simply ignored by Trump’s band of disrupters. Since it’s unclear if Trump will ever admit his defeat, this could become the most acrimonious transition in modern history. It would be entirely in character for the President to try to sabotage the early days of Biden’s administration. (His belief that the permanent US government is a hostiledeep statehas already hollowed out many demoralized agencies and departments.)
    Many outgoing Presidents do make rule changes using executive power to tie the hands of successors in rival parties. Expect the Trump White House to be especially aggressive in this regard. He could also try to make hard-to-reverse changes to the US posture abroad.
    Biden has already announced a new task force to take on the coronavirus that has got exponentially worse while the country was transfixed by the election. It will be the first act of a nascent administration that will take office at the predictedapex of the pandemic. He clearly doesn’t expect much help from Trump.

    ‘We have his back, no matter what

    Trump’s supporters haven’t given up on him yet, despite decisive results for Biden. “This is Trump country!” yelled one man outside a grocery store in Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania, when asked by CNN for his thoughts on the election. A woman who followed him said that everyone they knew in town voted for Trump. “Just drive around, all you’ll see are Trump signs. We have his back, no matter what,” sy het gese.
    I don’t believe the mail-in ballots can be trusted,” said Mitch Chrismer, a Tucson, Arizona, Republican to CNN. Chrismer. “I think we need a re-vote, an in-person-only re-vote.But there also were plenty of Trump supporters who spoke to CNN Saturday who seemed resigned to accept that the President was not going to get a second term: In Arizona’s Maricopa County, county GOP chairwoman Rae Chornenky said that while she was watching vigilantly for any potential voting or counting violations, her advice is: “Haal diep asem. Arizona has been voting with early ballots for many years; so, we’ve got it down, Ek glo, to a very streamlined and fraud resistant process.— CNN’s Michael Warren, Caroline Kenny, Bob Ortega and Casey Tolan

    How to lose like a winner

    Losing is tough. Losing the White House is even harder.
    Apparently surprised by his defeat, Trump s’n weiering to place the normal call to his victorious rival and to publicly accept the verdict of voters has already done significant damage to the country, deepening the polarization that Biden will face in office. But it’s not too late to do the right thing.
    In the name of democracy and continuity, American presidents and defeated candidates have long understood that they have a responsibility to explain to their supporters that their successor will be legitimateTrump need only look to presidents and candidates who had the White House snatched away, for an example of how to take it on the chin.
    Like Trump, Democrat Jimmy Carter in 1980 suffered a humiliating loss after a single termbut pledged an orderly transition on election night.

    Twaalf jaar later, Republican President George H.W. Bush did the same after he was ousted by a young rival from Arkansas, Bill Clinton.

    And former Vice President Al Gore had the most bitter pill to swallow. Even after a 36-day legal battle in 2000 that ended in a Supreme Court ruling (that many Democrats still believe was unfairly decided on partisan lines), he finally accepted defeat and graciously called for unity.

    ‘Imagine losing to him?’

    When the White House essentially relocated to Air Force One over the final weeks of the campaign, Trump had a common reaction whenever he saw Biden appear on one of the airplane’s many televisions,” writes CNN’s Kevin Liptak, who describes here the pattern of self-destructive denialism and ill-advised decisions that preceded Trump’s election loss.
    ‘Imagine losing to him?’ Trump would ask no one in particular as he hurtled toward another regional airport in another battleground state, according to sources onboard. When his large-screen television flashed poll numbers showing an unmoving deficit to Biden, Trump sometimes brought his fist down on his wooden desk, jolting the glass of Diet Coke that always seemed to be nearby. ‘Can you imagine?’ he would holler, sometimes adding a curse.

    ‘Welcome back, Amerika’

    We hardly needed to ask what Meanwhile readers thought about the election resulthere are a few of the emails that poured in over the last 24 ure.
    I felt my own anxiety level drop as CNN projected the win for President-elect Biden. When I heard the din of celebrating neighbors on my street in Burbank, Kalifornië, I took my trombone outside for an impromptu chorus of ‘Happy Days Are Here Again,'” geskryf het Gary in the US.
    Othniell in Nigeria wrote, “This is a victory for common sense, and a rightly damaging result for spurious demagogues all around the world. It’s a fitting end to the slogans of fear, bigotry and hatred inspired by the current administration.
    A big thank you to American voters,” geskryf het Ida from Norway.
    Now the US will move intelligently in all aspects, no whimsical wishes will be played. We Indians are very happy for rule of President Joe Biden and Kamala Harris, geskryf het Subhas from India.
    En Suzi in Australia admitted shedanced around my lounge room when the news came through.
    Sy het bygevoeg, “Trump has been divisive in Australia too, setting family members against each otherdreadful, speaks volumes about him and his style. The Biden team will keep Australia accountable with climate change too. ek voel, that once Covid is under control, we can visit your beautiful country again. It didn’t feel safe to do so under Trump.
    Welcome back, Amerika,” bygevoeg Stefano from Italy, though he cautioned thatthe chasm between the coastal cities and the Heartland is possibly something that should be addressed first.
    Michael in the US, intussen, is still waiting for states to certify their vote tallies. “As much as I want a winner to emerge in this highly contentious election, sanity demands I celebrate a genuine victory,” hy het geskryf.
    Intussen, Robert in Canada joked, “Witnessing the joy and celebrations as well as the historical popular vote that President-Elect Biden attracted, it is obvious that the Democrats stole the electionjust like my wife who stole my heart when we first met.
    Several readers also had suggestions for healing the country under the 46th President.
    If this country is going to recover rapidly from future election campaigns like the one we just had, “truth in advertisingmust be restored to political advertising,” geskryf het Dwayne in the US.When all we have every election is negative ads spewing out untruths about the other candidate. It builds serious perpetual distrust issues in our society. Unless we as a nation fix this problem we are only going to get more divided as time passes!”
    Eva Maria watched thenerve-wrackingelection from Munich and wrote, “As America needs reconciliation between the two parties, I would like to make this suggestion: Have every American family, Demokrate en Republikeine, invite one family of the other side to dinner. This should help to bring these two adversaries closer together again and grow empathy and unity, of which America is in dire need.
      En Mark in the US concluded that there were lessons to be learned from the voting process. “Congress has a chance to make some changes to how federal elections are held. The first should be a federal holiday for federal elections. Tweede, a uniform law covering when absentee and mail-in ballots can be counted,” hy het geskryf.
      Nietemin, hy het gesê, he enjoyed the ride. “Damn! I’m going to miss this election season! Gave this old retired guy something to get his blood flowing daily.

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