I found this wonderful email in my inbox today:
Subject: Wtf is wrong with you?!
As a fellow Masshole now residing in Colorado, you’ll forgive me for speaking plainly here: how dare you scare people while we’re suffering through a pandemic, an economic crisis and a continuing autogolpe by a vulgar fat fuck who wants to squat in the people’s house. DURING THE HOLIDAYS, NO LESS.
In the words of my 16yo son, “sometimes you need to know when to keep your trap shut, bruh”
Now go say you’re sorry to Twitter. And wear a mask.
First, what a great word: “autogolpe.”
But second, and I’m sorry, Twitter, but I not sorry (though I do always wear a mask).
The email was no doubt triggered by my essay yesterday: Team Trump’s Endgame. In that post, I tried, as Rick Hasen put it, a “Vulcan mind-meld” on Stephen Miller. In that meld, I explained that the account of the Trump strategy being offered by most in the media was just plain wrong. The real strategy is not the clown show being orchestrated by Rudy, and it is not the absurdity threatened by Mo Brooks. The real strategy was a bank-shot with 3 USC §2 (the “failed” election provision). That explained why the GOP had 5 “alternate slates” vote Monday (though bizarre they had Nevada and not Arizona vote — is this the New Yorker map of America, enacted by the New Yorkers?) That explains what Miller was saying on Fox on Monday morning.
Twitter was angry about the essay. One long thread insisted that the essay was “poorly-reasoned.”
If that means the legal argument relying on 3 USC §2 is not a good one, I agree. Indeed, I think the legal argument is flatly wrong—as I have said, repeatedly. But my point is that ultimately, it’s not the legal argument that matters here. It’s the political will of the Members of the United States Congress.
If alternatively, that means that’s not what they’re trying to do, I disagree. That’s precisely what Miller said they’re doing. I was just trying to unpack it.
But regardless, the idea that this shouldn’t be discussed because it’s too scary — and during the “holidays” no less!—sounds a bit like Trump explaining to Woodward why he didn’t tell the truth about COVID. In both cases, understanding the threat points to a remedy. With COVID, it’s the mask and distancing and whatever else. With the “autogolpe,” it’s getting key members of the Senate to make it clear that they won’t play along. We’ve been trying to get 5 Republicans to signal they won’t count the votes of any elector selected against the legitimate vote of the people in a state. Five would signal absolutely that this game can’t possibly work (even though only 3 would be needed.) Thankfully, after I wrote my scary essay, the most important Republican seemed to signal that he believes it is over: McConnell.
So fear not, Twitter. Go back to your holidays — pandemics and wanna be coups notwithstanding. But I am unapologetic, and stand firmly with Bill Kristol on this one.