Consider this. As the challenges by Donald Trump bring recounts and more recounts, the “comfortable” lead that Joe Biden had is turning more and more into a massive victory with a 51 percent — a margin not matched against an incumbent president since 1932.
Biden stomped Trump by more than 7 million votes, exceeded Barack Obama’s total votes in 20078 by more than 11 million, a total vote margin that is larger than the total population of 34 of the 50 states. In these partisan times, Biden’s victory was a landslide.
Asks Washington Post columnist Jennifer Rubin:
Why is it important to emphasize the magnitude of Biden’s victory? Because, far from narrow, it represents the overwhelming verdict of the voters. If there is such a thing as a mandate, Biden has one. He has been explicit about the things he intends to do: preserve and expand Obamacare, pass child-care and sick-leave legislation, pursue police reform, push through a massive infrastructure bill and tackle climate change.
And Biden is using this to deal directly with governors, mayors, business executives, labor leaders, and ordinary Americans, not the Republican who shun him while they continue to spread Trump’s fantasy that this whole thing is fraud and the man that many consider the most corrupt in current presidential history should be installed as president in an outright rejection of the will of the voters.
“He should do more of this, and, indeed, move the center of political activity out of Washington whenever possible,” writes Rubin.
Since it will have to be remote anyway, why not deliver his first address to a joint session of Congress (called the State of the Union in all but his first year) from somewhere in the heartland? Likewise, he should assemble (if remotely) governors of both parties who are desperate for the sort of relief Senate Republicans have held up since May. Send them back home with a list of what Biden would give their states — if only Republicans would let him. When the threat of covid-19 subsides — and it will if he successfully completes his vaccination plan — he should spend ample time outside the White House.
Biden famously promised to reach across the aisle. If he does so effectively, more power to him. However, if the transition is any indication, he is going to be met with stonewalling, obstruction, and bad faith. That is his cue to go out to the voters — both who voted for him and who did not. Perhaps the voters in turn can remind their representatives that they chose to end the Trump era and to give Biden a shot at righting the ship of state.
Trump’s lawless attempts to ignore the will of voters and twist the law into acts that echo the actions of murderous dictators and sham leaders of tyranny-driven third-world shit-holes showcases traitorous and treasonous acts by an autocratic president who is an enemy of democracy and a domestic terrorist who hates the “real America.”
In a detailed and documented report published Friday by the Post, Trump has “converted” at least $6.7 million of funds from campaign donors into direct revenue for his businesses since taking office and added another $1.06 million in new spending in September, October, and November of this year. Those funds came from the Trump Victory Fundraising Committee managed by his campaign and the Republican National Committees along with $66,000 going directly to Trump.
Trump visited his own properties nine times in the last weeks of his campaign: He held fundraisers at his golf clubs in Bedminster, N.J., and Doral, Fla.; announced endorsements at his hotel in Las Vegas; and spent nights at the Las Vegas and Doral properties, as well as his Mar-a-Lago Club in Palm Beach, Fla., between campaign stops.
Those trips were the final stops in a long series of trips that allowed Trump to convert campaign donations into revenue for his own company — which has struggled with empty rooms, lost customers, and declining revenue at some properties since he took office. Trump’s first 2020 fundraiser, held back in June 2017, was at his hotel in Washington.
After that, Trump visited his own properties 37 more times for events tied to his own campaign, the RNC or super PACs that supported him, according to a Washington Post count. At these events, he could play a dual role: both candidate and caterer, using his campaign funds to pay his business for his stay.
At the same time, Trump put none of his own money into his 2020 campaign, after investing millions in his successful run in 2016.
Since the election, Trump has raised more than $200 million — an astounding sum for a candidate who has already lost, fueled by his baseless claims that the election was stolen. A large amount of that money is likely to go to Trump’s new PAC, Save America. That arrangement, campaign finance experts say, will allow Trump wide latitude to spend the PAC’s money after he leaves office — and could allow him to continue spending donors’ money at his own properties.
In 2016, New York state shut down Trump’s “charity” foundation after it found he was using money to pay his personal expenses while not making donations. Judge Saliann Scarpulla said the foundation showed a “shocking pattern of illegality” and Trump signed a settlement agreement detailing the actions.
In addition, the state fined Trump $2 million for using the foundation to pay out more than $2.82 million for his personal use and campaign expenses — both criminal violations of tax laws. Judge Scarpulia also ordered Trump to reimburse those funds back to the foundation and the money was then sent out to charities.
“The court’s decision, together with the settlements we negotiated, is a major victory in our efforts to protect charitable assets and hold accountable those who would abuse charities for personal gain,” said New York Attorney General Letitia James, who is also conducting a criminal investigation into what she calls “Trump’s tax frauds” and other illegal activities.
Since the election, Trump has visited his golf club in Northern Virginia nine times to play golf. Each visit is paid for by government funds, including hundreds of thousands of dollars for extensive Secret Service protection.
Trump’s blatant pattern of criminal behavior must not be ignored. He should face prosecution and punishment.
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