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Defying the Odds

Defying the Odds
New book about the 2016 election.

Monday, December 14, 2020

Violence and Threats

In Defying the Odds, we discuss the 2016 campaign, where Trump openly encouraged violence.  His legal challenges to the election of Joseph Biden have toggled between appalling and farcical.    But his base continues to believe the bogus narrative.

Allison Klein at WP:
A Black Lives Matter banner and sign were torn from two historic Black churches in downtown D.C. and destroyed during pro-Trump protests Saturday night.

D.C. police said they are investigating the events as potential hate crimes.

In one of the incidents, videos posted on Twitter show a group of people identified as Proud Boys marching with a Black Lives Matter banner held above their heads, then cheering as it is set on fire while chanting “f--- antifa.”

The banner was taken from Asbury United Methodist Church, one of the oldest Black churches in the city. Asbury United has stood at the corner of 11th and K streets NW since 1836.

“Last night demonstrators who were part of the MAGA gatherings tore down our Black Lives Matter sign and literally burned it in the street,” the Rev. Ianther M. Mills, the church’s senior pastor, said in a statement. “It pained me especially to see our name, Asbury, in flames. For me it was reminiscent of cross burnings.”
Lisa Lerer and Reid J. Epstein at NYT:
In Michigan, Democratic electors have been promised police escorts from their cars into the State Capitol, where on Monday they will formally vote for Joseph R. Biden Jr.

In Arizona, state officials are holding the vote at an undisclosed location for safety reasons, far from what is expected to be a heated hearing on election integrity issues that Republicans will conduct in the Statehouse.

Even in Delaware, the tiny, deeply Democratic home state of the president-elect, officials relocated their ceremony to a college gymnasium, a site considered to have better security and public health controls.

For decades, Electoral College voters have served as the rubber-stamping bureaucrats of American democracy, operating well below the political radar as they provided pro forma certification of a new president. Despite its procedural nature, the role has long been considered an honor, bestowed as a way to recognize political stature or civic service.

This year, the Electoral College is another piece of routine election mechanics thrown into the cross hairs of President Trump’s sustained assault on voting integrity. After five weeks of lawsuits, recounts and Republican inquiries into unfounded claims of fraud, Americans will turn to the 538 members of the Electoral College to provide a measure of finality to Mr. Biden’s decisive victory.

And as small-town electors face harassment and more prominent figures adapt to increased security measures, a duty long considered a privilege has also become a headache. Even as the electors prepared to vote on Monday, Mr. Trump on Sunday railed on Twitter against the “MOST CORRUPT ELECTION IN U.S. HISTORY” and suggested that swing states could not certify “without committing a severely punishable crime” — further raising concerns about electors’ personal security