My eye-rolling muscles got a workout recently when I read an article at the Federalist by Mollie Hemingway titled Treat ‘Mental Health’ Talk Against Trump Like The Coup Attempt It Is. (I’ll save you a click by summarizing the article for you: it’s a coup attempt because something something hey you remember that show “24” that nobody has watched in years OK that’s why.) But while talk of a “coup” seems to most normals like a hobby horse of the paranoid right, it’s worth remembering that Serious Legal Scholars are still spinning fantasies in Newsweek about vaulting the pantsuited witch into the Oval Office — not legitimately, in a duly held presidential election in 2020, but now:
Nearly a year after President Donald Trump’s inauguration, a Harvard University professor says 2016 presidential candidate Hillary Clinton could still become commander in chief.
Lawrence Lessig, the Roy L. Furman Professor of Law and Leadership at Harvard Law School, penned an essay for Medium in October outlining a series of hypothetical scenarios that could take place should the ongoing probe find that the Trump campaign actually conspired with Russia to influence the results of the election.
If Trump did conspire with Russia, the president “should resign, or, if he doesn’t, he should be impeached,” Lessig wrote in his essay. Vice President Mike Pence would also have to either resign or get impeached, which would make Speaker Paul Ryan the president of the United States, Lessig wrote at the time.
On Wednesday, Lessig told Newsweek this scenario was still a possibility.
The remarkable thing about this is not the idea, which is (as the article acknowledges) older than the election. It’s that Newsweek is still trying to garner clicks and eyeballs by reanimating this patent nonsense. Even Lessig seems embarrassed by it, saying that his description of how it could happen (chryon: it couldn’t) is “very different from saying I think it will happen, or should happen, or [that] the evidence is there for it to happen.” But the dream lives on, in the fever swamps of the left. And the hypocrisy is stunning indeed.
I know memories are short these days, but it was not that long ago that Election 2016 was around the corner and it became more and more “obvious” that Hillary Clinton was going to win. And do you remember how Serious Pundits Everywhere took Donald Trump to task for not pre-accepting the election results? In case you forgot, here’s a Reuters story from October 20, 2016 that appears on Newsweek.com — the same site running the “Hillary could be president!” fantasy over a year after the election. What were our friends on the left telling us then about accepting election results?
Several prominent Republicans on Thursday denounced Donald Trump’s refusal to commit to accepting the result of the presidential election, and some worried his stance might make it more difficult for his party to hold onto control of Congress. Trump’s refusal, which Democratic rival Hillary Clinton called “horrifying,” was the standout remark of their third and final debate on Wednesday night.
. . . .
Asked on Wednesday night by moderator Chris Wallace if he would commit to a peaceful transition of power, the businessman-turned-politician replied: “What I’m saying is that I will tell you at the time. I’ll keep you in suspense. OK?” Trump’s statement, the most controversial in a debate that at times descended into insults by both candidates, made banner headlines across the country and raised questions about whether he was committed to a peaceful transition of power, a cornerstone of American democracy.
That “cornerstone” doesn’t seem so important when the Republican wins, though, does it?
How about that!