Donald Trump is trying to subvert the electoral process in the State of Michigan by having top Republican officials fly to Washington D.C. to discuss refusing to certify election results by November 23. If this isn’t an attempted coup d’etat, it will do until the real thing comes along.

The back story is that two members of the Wayne County Board of Canvassers, Monica Palmer and William Hartmann were initially reluctant to certify votes, then they decided to do so a few hours later. Then Trump called them personally and they changed their minds again, this time filing an affidavit to the effect that they were “improperly pressured” to certify votes. The person who is obviously applying improper pressure is none other than the losing candidate, Trump.

Anyway you cut it, this plays out as an “insurgency in the making” in the words of John Stoer, at the Editorial Board:

Bear in mind none of this matters. The president may have told Palmer and Hartmann to “rescind” their votes, but Michigan law prohibits it. The move is, moreover, part of an unprecedented effort by Trump to delay or undermine a peaceful transition of power, said University of Kentucky law professor Joshua Douglas. “It would be the end of democracy as we know it,” he told the AP. “This is just not a thing that can happen.”

What’s curious is that Michigan would go blue even if the president’s gambit succeeded. President-elect Joe Biden’s vote margin there is in the tens of thousands. What did Trump hope to accomplish by improperly pressuring obscure local election officials? If democracy isn’t the point, and winning Michigan isn’t the point, what is? I think the point can be seen in Palmer and Hartmann’s term “improperly pressured.”

True improper pressure is the president of the United States calling an obscure local election official to say she and the other guy made the wrong choice, now go out there and humiliate yourselves in my name even if there’s no chance of winning Michigan. False improper pressure is local citizens like Ned Staebler who, during a public hearing of the Wayne County Board of Canvassers, said Palmer and Hartmann were choosing to disenfranchise Black Detroiters, a cardinal sin for which they will burn in Hell.

Palmer said she sat in a chair for hours and was pressured. She was pressured by the conscience of the people, a group which had already cast its vote. That is not in the same ballpark as Trump calling up on the phone and trying to meddle in an election that has already been decided. Not by a long shot.

Free speech isn’t a threat unless it’s literal. Otherwise, it’s protected. People seeking to invalidate democracy often make free speech seem threatening, though. “I sat in that chair for two hours listening to people attack me.” That’s what Palmer and Hartmann mean by “improperly pressured.” Outrage poured down on them for refusing to certify the vote. The public pressured them. Democracy urged them. Nothing’s improper there.

Donald Trump doesn’t want to go by the book, he wants to burn the book. He wants to burn all the books, for that matter, and tell his cult what they want to hear and what he wants them to know. That is the basis of all of this.

Right now, he’s got his team of conspiracy theorist lawyers on the airwaves talking about communist plots and “leftist” threats from “Antifa from Grosse Pointe”. And Trump just keeps pushing his alternate reality.

That it is.

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This is a Creative Commons article. The original version of this article appeared here.


  1. WTF is it going to take for Democracy to see the damage that tRump is doing to future elections. I hate to see what happens in the US if tRump is able to get states to put in their own electors to vote him in as President. The most corrupt administration ever along with the reThugs going along with it.

  2. When this is all over with, this country needs to seriously update our laws and HOLD EVERYONE ACCOUNTABLE FOR CRIMES. President or not, this is the biggest disgrace i’ve ever witnessed in my 52 years on the planet.

  3. He’s a Desperate cornered PIG alright, and I found this quite amusing,
    “So the reason why a farmer chops off a pigs tail is if they don’t another pig will eat but it doesn’t stop there. Once the pig has got a taste for blood it literally starts to eat the other pig from the inside out devouring what used to be it’s pen pal. … Pigs will eat anything including each other.’

    I can’t wait for all tRumps little piggies to start eating each other when the game is over.

  4. Election tampering is illegal and all involved need to be brought up on charges. We just can’t move on from any of these laws being broken right before our eyes. There has to be the rule of law in a democracy. Either we are a democracy or we aren’t. There is no gray here.

  5. How long are we (as a country) going to be putting up with this foolishness. He’s interfering with an election right in front of the world and we Americans do is put it in print. What the hell is wrong with us. Letting a sick old white man hold the United States of America hostage. Throw the damn bum out, don’t wait for Jan. 20. If this isn’t a reason for the 25th Amendment, I don’t know what is.

    • It IS a good reason for the 25th, but it won’t happen because the VP and cabinet have to instigate it. Can’t see that happening. We need other ways to remove a corrupt president. We should also be able to charge a sitting president with crimes other than impeachable offenses, which are also vague. Then in Trump’s case, you have a GOP controlled Senate that won’t be impartial at an impeachment trial. It’s all corrupt beyond measure now!!

  6. And all the while this happening, Americans are dying in their thousands. What does Trump do? He goes and plays golf. How can anyone in America think the he cares about them? Fiddling while Rome burns.


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