It came as no surprise that Donald Trump’s supporters would hold a protest in Washington, DC, claiming their hero won an election that he lost badly. More curious were the foes of the president who bothered with a counterprotest after Joe Biden triumphed in, by some counting, a historic margin. Did they think there were two sides to the story?
For sure, the foes were angry about the democratic norms the Trump camp stomped on for four long years. Its refusal to concede Biden’s clear victory was only the latest. But cursing at the Trump supporters and overturning tables of Trump gear – the Proud Boys are sensitive creatures, you know – was counterproductive.
If the anti-Trump forces wanted some payback for four years of abuse, they had a more effective switchblade: ignoring Trump world. Treat it like it no longer matters, which, in just over two months, will be the case.
Provocation has been Trump’s weapon of choice. Not responding is the best revenge.
Joe Lockhart, press secretary under Bill Clinton, offered this sage tweet: “break the habit everyone … Trump is not the news anymore. … Stop giving him what he wants – attention.”
Fear of losing the spotlight could account for Trump’s “He [Biden] won” tweet followed by a contrary tweet claiming the election had been “rigged” and no, he hadn’t conceded. Many saw the admission that he lost as a lapse that, in his mind, needed quick correction. Someone at MSNBC called it a “Freudian slip.”
But there’s another interpretation: A world that was hanging on to his every crazy post was tuning out. What could Trump say at this point that would capture attention? He could say that Biden actually won. And once we were listening again, he could bang out a contradiction.
A more relevant slip of the tongue came from British Prime Minister Boris Johnson. He referred to Trump as the “former president.” Trump doesn’t become officially “former” until Inauguration Day, Jan. 20.
Trump is busily raising money off the nonsense claim that the election was stolen. His people are still sending out hysterical “Official Election Defense Fund” emails demanding money. The small print says that some of the cash will go to paying off campaign debt. Nowhere does it say that some of the dough might end up in Trump’s own pockets, but given his rap sheet for grifting, that destination also seems quite plausible.
Should we care that Trump is conning the little people in his cult? I know I don’t.
In the meantime, Republican officials interested in saving their reputations are drifting back to reality and acknowledging Trump’s defeat. The ones who won’t are in the sites of the Lincoln Project, the “Never Trump” Republicans who vow to continue ridding the country of Trumpism.
Meanwhile, Fox News has been moving to a truth-based view of the Trumpian collapse. Neil Cavuto notably cut off White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany in mid-lie about rampant voter fraud. “Unless she has more details to back that up, I can’t … continue showing you this,” he told his audience.
The MAGA marchers denounced Fox News for, among other unforgivable entanglements with facts, declaring Biden winner of Arizona on election night. One who has watched the news channel’s pathetic role as Trump state TV can only smile at this reversal of affections.
Who are the Trump dead-enders? They’re a mix of the ignorant and those seeking to fleece them. And they, undoubtedly, include some who know what’s up but want to continue razzing liberals.
Biden voters should stop letting themselves be razzed. They must get it into their head that Joe Biden won and that fighting deniers only feeds their delusions.