LibLink: Vince Cable on Biden and Trump post election

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Vince Cable has just published an article on The Independent: “Biden faces a war on many fronts – Trump has the tools to make the presidency a poisoned chalice“.  He considers the worrying consequences of Trump losing but still able to call upon substantial support.

Trump’s career in the New York property market owed much to the deployment of batteries of lawyers to intimidate and out-manoeuvre his competitors. Every legal argument in the book will be deployed to block or invalidate the postal ballots which have tipped the balance in key states. If he can get a case in front of the Supreme Court, he calculates that the justices will forget their oath of impartiality and remember their political debt to the president who appointed them.

It is rumoured he then plans to challenge the make-up of the electoral college. There is also the possible scenario I described in this column three weeks ago, where uncertainty generated by the legal challenges leads to people taking the law into their own hands, leading to a state of emergency and – in effect – a coup d’etat.

However, Republicans like Mitch McConnell …

… will have no truck with legal chicanery designed to frustrate the election result.

Even if Trump’s attempts to reverse the result fail, and he reluctantly agrees to leave the White House, he has plenty of options to make life for the new president somewhere between very difficult and impossible.

Vince writes:

If he becomes president, Biden faces a war on several fronts: an angry, militant, Trump movement representing the 40 per cent of Americans who supported him regardless of his errors and abuses; a conservative Supreme Court rolling back landmark Democrat legislation as with Obama-care, as well as socially liberal statutes; and a hostile Senate potentially stopping his attempts to legislate.

You really do need to read the whole post to capture all the possible pitfalls.

Many of us wish Biden well after his dignified, moderate, competent campaign. He can hardly do other than improve the reputation of the United States, after four years of machismo and malice. But in an uncertain international order, and without much-needed support in Congress, the presidency may yet prove a poisoned chalice.


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  • Lorenzo Cherin 6th Nov '20 - 1:33am

    A very strong piece. Yet too negative. Sir Vince was too positive re: China, in previous articles, but in this more realistic. But Biden is going to be a real boost to moderate and needed open minded common values, shared and utilised. There is no real worry for him on foreign issues. He is too sensible and too much one thing, for us to worry, or allies .

    He is not Trump!

  • Lorenzo Cherin 6th Nov '20 - 1:36am

    Just heard from Trump.

    The speech is the battle hurrah of a despot, delivered in a style drunk.

    drunk on power.

    I am a teatotaller. As is Trump. As is Biden.

    I know that look. It isn’t drink. It is despotic.

  • Steve Trevethan 6th Nov '20 - 7:57am

    Irrespective of who “wins”, how does that essential foundation of democracy, which is clear and fair polling, come out of this sad, sordid shambles?
    Might it be a wise policy for the U.S.A to impose clear and fair democracy upon itself before attacking another Afghanistan, Iraq or Libya to impose yet another bloody, bankrupt, perversion of democracy?

  • Michael Bukola 6th Nov '20 - 8:50am
  • John Marriott 6th Nov '20 - 8:51am

    @Lorenzo Cherin
    References to litigation and Supreme Courts reminds me of the situation twenty years ago with those ‘hanging chads’ and Dubya leading Al Gore by around 600 votes in his brother’s state of Florida when the Supreme Court called a halt.

    Back then it was again the Republicans doing the complaining. Gore’s running mate was one Joseph Lieberman and I remember crowds of GOP supporters holding up placards reading “Sore Loserman”. Well, let’s count the votes and see who is ‘sore’ this time!

  • Richard Underhill 6th Nov '20 - 9:33am

    John Marriott 6th Nov ’20 – 8:51am
    In 2020 when they arrived at the Federal Supreme Court they were asked
    “Why are you here?
    it was recounting which was stopped.
    Al Gore got more votes. The Electoral College should have been reformed before that election, but Bill Clinton was elected under that system and was confident that Al Gore would win, as per his memoirs. The memoirs of Hillary Rodham Clinton show that Bill Clinton had made a mistake by allowing an impeachment for which there were no legal grounds, as per a precedent from the previous century. She had worked on the impeachment of Richard M Nixon which Nixon knew was likely to succeed when he eventually resigned, but was pardoned by President Gerald Ford who succeeded him and damaged his own reputation for integrity.

  • John Marriott 6th Nov '20 - 10:31am

    @Richard Underhill
    And? (I assume that you meant 2000. It must be great living in the present, unlike old fogeys like me who tend to live in the past!)

  • @ John Marriott Speak for yourself, Matey, and get those Vitamin D tablets down you.

    As for Trump (an imitation Mussolini ?) ….. good losers are as essential to democracy as are good winners. At least Nixon knew when the fat lady had sung. Must be the worst since Andrew Jackson.

  • Paul Barker 6th Nov '20 - 4:00pm

    So far, Trumps attempted Cuop has been an embarasing flop, he called for millions of his supporters to come on to the streets & a few hundred came. Most of the Legal Challenges have been dismissed. Any Recounts are unlikely to change the results & will simply try American patience.

    Trump has done enormous damage to The Republican Party, tying them to declining sectors of the Electorate & leaving them no obvious way out of “Trumpism”.

    Lets see what the mid-terms look like in 2 Years.

  • It will be interesting to see how many Republicans join Mitt Romney in repudiating Trump, now that their political careers do not depend on him. There are plenty of principled members of that party who must have spent the last few years shrinking inwardly in horror.

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