Personally, I enjoy all of the updates on various recounts and failed legal challenges from the Trump campaign. Every update feels like we’ve won the election again! Georgia, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Wisconsin and Arizona have all slapped back at Trump’s attempts to undermine the election results and disenfranchise voters. Yes, it sucks that so many people are horrible and it sucks that Donald Trump and his fascist minions are undermining democracy, but… after the past four years, did anyone think it was going to be easy? So now Joe Biden and his team are making plans for the inauguration in the middle of a hard winter pandemic. Plans have not been nailed down, but it’s looking like most of the inaugural festivities will be virtual. President-Elect Biden’s camp is also assuming that Donald Trump will be too much of a pouty suckbaby loser to take part in a peaceful transfer of power.
Discussions are ongoing about requiring everyone to wear masks and stand at a social distance, according to interviews with a half dozen people involved in the planning. Those allowed near Biden for the inauguration ceremony will likely undergo coronavirus testing. The traditional post-swearing-in luncheon, held in Statuary Hall with members of Congress, could be scrapped altogether. There may not be any inaugural balls. Crowds, in all cases, will likely be severely limited.
Biden advisers are almost certain President Trump will not attend Biden’s swearing-in. They find it hard to imagine the traditional tea beforehand at the White House, the typical drive together to the Capitol, or Trump allowing any image of himself looking on as Biden is sworn into office.
Those close to Biden insist that the ceremony must still have the august feeling of past inaugurations — a desire that is all the more important to establish his legitimacy as president, which Trump is continuing to deny. But that quest is complicated by another urgent demand: to adhere to public health guidelines that Biden embraced throughout his run for the presidency and wants to showcase at the start of his administration.
Joan Hoff, professor of history at Montana State University and former president of the Center for the Study of the Presidency, said there are few parallels to the inauguration that will occur on Jan. 20, with a nation in crisis and a pandemic likely still raging.
“It’s just not going to look like past inaugurals. And I don’t think Biden’s going to cover that up,” she said. “I don’t think he’s going to try to sugarcoat what’s happening in the country as he’s inaugurated. That would simply be hiding or trying to sooth public opinion in a false way.”
But one of the most abnormal aspects may be Trump’s lack of participation. He would be the first defeated president not to attend the inauguration of his successor in centuries, Hoff said. “It’s like everything else with Trump: There’s no way he adheres to or honors tradition or norms, which are not rewritten down as law but which presidents of the past have followed,” she said. “I don’t think he’s temperamentally able to participate in a ceremony that clearly indicates he’s lost the election.” The White House declined to comment on whether Trump will attend.
“I don’t think he’s temperamentally able to participate in a ceremony that clearly indicates he’s lost the election.” Why is that quote making me laugh so hard? I guess because it’s true, but also… it’s just a funny way to think of it. The vibe is: Trump is a crybaby fascist loser, it is his nature and there’s nothing we can do about it but accept it and move on. Make plans without him. Transfer power as peacefully as possible when dealing with a pathetic unhinged tantrum-prone jackass.
WaPo also says that the Biden people know that people will come into Washington anyway for the inauguration so they’re trying to come up with ways to mandate mask-wearing and social distancing for the people who do want to come out. Yeah… basically, all of this is still in the air and Republicans are still walking on eggshells around the Orange Loser. Also: now I kind of want President Biden to take the oath of office in sweatpants.
Photos courtesy of Avalon Red, Backgrid.