Old Leader, New Leader, Same Country

People who know the president predicted that his aberrant psychology wouldn’t allow him to acknowledge defeat — and that he would do everything possible to protect his fragile ego. If his public actions and statements weren’t enough evidence of his diseased mind at work, we now have tape of one of his private discussions.

This afternoon, The Washington Post published an extraordinary story (probably behind a paywall) describing the president’s attempt to force the state of Georgia to declare him the winner of last month’s election:

“β€˜I just want to find 11,780 votes’: In extraordinary hour-long call, Txxxx pressures Georgia secretary of state to recalculate the vote in his favor”

President Txxxx urged fellow Republican Brad Raffensperger, the Georgia secretary of state, to β€œfind” enough votes to overturn his defeat in an extraordinary one-hour phone call Saturday that election experts said raised legal questions.

The Washington Post obtained a recording of the conversation in which Trump alternately berated Raffensperger, tried to flatter him, begged him to act and threatened him with vague criminal consequences if the secretary of state refused to pursue his false claims, at one point warning that Raffensperger was taking β€œa big risk.”

Throughout the call, Raffensperger and his office’s general counsel rejected Trump’s assertions, explaining that the president is relying on debunked conspiracy theories and that President-elect Joe Biden’s 11,779-vote victory in Georgia was fair and accurate.

I saw online comments to the effect that Georgia state law makes election tampering a crime punishable by up to three years in prison and that the president is guilty of extortion as well. He probably won’t be prosecuted in Georgia after he’s forced out of office in 17 days because Georgia’s governor and attorney general are Republicans. But there is now further reason to investigate and prosecute the crimes he and his administration have committed at either the state or federal level.

The Post story has a remarkable ending:

. . . [The president] continued to make his case in repetitive fashion, until finally, after roughly an hour, [Secretary of State] Raffensperger put an end to the conversation: β€œThank you, President Txxxx, for your time.”

I guess that could merely be an example of Southern hospitality, or maybe Secretary of State Raffensperger said it sarcastically, but at least once I’d like to hear somebody speak to this maniac without the deference due his office.

In this case, Raffensperger might have responded with something like “Thanks for sharing your thoughts with us, Mr. President, but the God’s honest truth is that you should never have been president. After they drag you out of the White House kicking and screaming a couple weeks from now, you should seek treatment for your narcissism, your delusions, your willingness to lie about everything to everybody and your profound corruption. Psychiatrists can do wonders, although sociopaths are hard to treat. In your case, it’s still worth a try. You might be able to use an insanity defense to avoid prison.”

One other thought. Various Republican politicians have promised to play the fool for the president’s rabid supporters on Wednesday. That will somewhat delay the moment when Congress declares Biden the winner of the Electoral College. I think the only thing left for the president to do at that point is to declare a national emergency, based on the premise that the election is being stolen. Fortunately, the military has sworn to defend the Constitution, not a particular president, so I think we’ll be in safe hands. After four excruciating years, we’ll have a new leader, although we’ll still be the same screwed up country.