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Abbreviated abstract of the consultants: Trump’s sabotage

Catherine Rampell also writes about Trump’s sabotage campaign for lame ducks:

Time and again, outgoing Trump officials have expressed their intention to salt the earth.

You tried to jam through the Senate confirmations from Partisan cranks when planting regulatory time bombs planned to detonate after President Trump is leaving office. They reclaimed funding for emergency loan programs and then placed that money out of range of the next finance minister. After years of swelling Federal deficits, they suddenly remembered their aversion to debt. And they have expressed distrust of the integrity of the US election.

However, the latest sign of sabotage has largely flown under the radar: Trump has been tacitly dismantling all federal civil services – and possibly laying the foundation for a massive, government-wide cleanup on the way to the door.

John Nichols on The Nation:

Unfortunately, a slow transition process can allow Lame Duck presidents to wreak havoc in the two and a half months between Election Day in November and Inauguration Day in January, and Trump is already at it. However, the greatest danger posed by the soon-to-be former president could be the honest discourse that remains the lifeblood of American democracy: a free press. […]

Vigilance will be needed on every front to lessen the damage Trump can do before January 20th. However, defenders of the honest discourse that underpins democracy should pay particular attention to the threat posed by the prospect of Trump’s FCC henchmen reacting to a president’s fit of spades through the plan to undermine social media’s ability to Shouting out the President’s lies.

Meanwhile, New York Times’ Paul Krugman says Biden also has to deal with Republican sabotage:

[I]In recent years, we’ve seen what happens when a state with a Republican legislature elects a Democratic governor: Legislators are quick to try dismantle the powers of the governor. Does anyone have any doubts that Republicans will do whatever it takes to hobble and sabotage Biden’s presidency?

The only real questions are how much damage the GOP can do and how Biden will react to it. […] [A]While Biden still speaks reassuringly about unity and takes up the aisle, at some point he will have to stop reassuring us that he has nothing to do with Trump and get Republicans to pay a political price for their attempts to rule him to prevent.

Finally, Quinta Jurecic of the Atlantic writes an important article on accountability for claims made by Trump’s attorneys and the consequences of Trump’s attack on our election:

So far, the approach of the Biden team seems to be Project calm and assure Americans that the president-elect will take office as planned, the current chaos is doomed – a continuation of Biden’s debating strategy of turning away from a bloody Trump in order to calmly address the audience. This strategy has real merits in giving disinformation the attention it needs to grow. But as President, Biden has to deal with a Republican Party that has created a world for itself in which the Democratic Party and its voters Black voters in particular are not legitimate participants in democracy. The ultimate problem, as it has been for the last four years, is a political problem that arises from the racism and authoritarianism of the Republican Party. And, unlike Trump’s lawsuits, the political problem is not going away.

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