It’s all over but the pouting.
Back during the Florida recount in 2000, George W. Bush loyalists made T-shirts altering the Gore-Lieberman logo to say “Sore-Loserman.” But “sore loser” doesn’t do justice to the epic tantrum President Donald Trump has performed to assuage his narcissistic injury. Trump-Pence has become Rump-Nonsense.
Trump lost the 2020 election itself by more than 6 million votes, 4 percentage points, and an electoral vote margin his own team called “historic” and a “landslide” when he was the victor in 2016.
But that’s just the beginning of the losing.
He has lost dozens of legal rulings in multiple states. He has failed in every single post-election ballot-counting challenge. Judges scold his lawyers: “like Frankenstein’s Monster … haphazardly stitched together,” “simply not how the Constitution works,” “inadmissible hearsay within hearsay,” “generalized speculation,” “your submission is defective.”
He’s met defeat in various and sundry recounts and attempts to block certification of the results. Michigan’s board of canvassers dealt him his latest drubbing Monday afternoon, voting 3-0 (with one Republican abstention) to certify Joe Biden’s win. This followed Georgia’s certification Friday.
Trump is losing his autocratic attempt to get state Republican officials to throw out the election results and instead appoint pro-Trump electors. Michigan Republican legislators summoned by Trump to the White House Friday poured cold water on the idea.
He’s losing prominent Republican allies such as debate adviser Chris Christie, who called Trump’s legal team’s antics a “national embarrassment.”
He’s losing lawyers as they quit or get fired, including Sidney Powell, ousted Sunday after she alleged an election conspiracy involving “communist money,” voting machines and Venezuelan dictator Hugo Chávez, who died in 2013.
And the president’s chief lawyer appears to be losing his mind. Rudy Giuliani held one news conference at Four Seasons Total Landscaping, and another where something dark and oozy – melting hair dye? – trickled down his cheek.
Trump is losing so much we are sick and tired of his losing. We say, “Please, Mr. President, you can’t lose anymore.” And he says, “I’m sorry, but I’m going to keep losing, losing, losing.”
What kind of a loser does this?
Perhaps one who faces all sorts of potential unpleasantness after he leaves office: bankruptcy, lawsuits and exposure of all the things he’s been hiding from investigators. Or perhaps one who will be in a position to pay himself and his family with all the “recount” contributions he’s raising from supporters.
There’s no realistic possibility his attempt to overturn the election succeeds, but the clown coup still does damage . And last-minute sabotage – another government shutdown, or vetoing a defense bill over Trump’s insistence on keeping the names of bases named for Confederates – can’t be ruled out.
Make America Gripe Again!
The latest court humiliation came in Pennsylvania on Saturday when a federal judge – a conservative appointed by President Barack Obama as part of a bipartisan compromise – scolded Trump’s lawyers for seeking “to disenfranchise almost 7 million voters” on the basis of strained legal arguments without merit and speculative accusations.
This follows a case in which a Trump lawyer, in a lawsuit alleging observers didn’t have access to vote counting, admitted there were “a nonzero number” of Trump observers in the room; a withdrawn lawsuit falsely alleging Sharpie markers invalidated votes; and copious instances in which testimony and affidavits by Trump poll observers failed to support election fraud charges.
GOP elections officials are moving on. Republicans in Georgia, Arizona’s Maricopa County and elsewhere have proceeded with certification.
Influential Republicans, such as Sen. Pat Toomey (Pa.) and big-time Trump donor Stephen Schwarzman are moving on, too. Former George W. Bush administration officials Tom Ridge, John Negroponte and Michael Hayden led a group of Republican national security experts Monday demanding Trump begin the transition. Even Fox News’ Tucker Carlson scolded then-Trump-lawyer Powell because she “never demonstrated that a single actual vote was moved illegitimately.”
Trump, for his part, is avoiding settings where he’d have to defend his nonsense tweets about fraud. He hasn’t taken a single question from reporters since the election, the Post’s Josh Dawsey reports, while playing golf more often than appearing in public.
Voters rejected his “Great American Comeback.” The courts, elections officials and a growing number of Republicans reject his Great American Hijack. Now he looks like a Great American Sad Sack.
As Trump departed from a rare public event Friday without taking questions, CBS News’ Weijia Jiang shouted after him: “Mr. President, are you being a sore loser?”
He came in promising so much winning, but he’s leaving with so much whining.
Follow Dana Milbank on Twitter, @Milbank.
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