Sore loser: As the world welcomes President-elect Biden, Donald Trump's tantrum is delegitimizing his own presidency


Donald Trump has never had to face personal loss in a venture before. Yes, his businesses have gone bankrupt before, and he has unapologetically benefited from those bankruptcies, but he has never faced a personal repudiation of any consequence until November 3, 2020. In this election, the American people have elected Joe Biden and Kamala Harris with the highest popular vote total in history, and in the process, five states that voted for Donald Trump in 2016 have moved to Biden's column: Wisconsin, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Arizona, and Georgia.

As much as Republicans would like to pretend that this election was close, it was not. President-elect Biden has received a clear mandate from voters with over 300 electoral votes, a clear majority of the popular vote, and an unprecedented number of Americans voting for him in what is likely to be the highest-turnout election in American history.

Still, the Trump administration is desperately trying to delay the inevitable: the full fledged transition into a Biden-Harris administration. Donald Trump's appointee to the General Services Administration is refusing to sign official paperwork ascertaining Biden as the winner of the election and thus begin the official transition, and the Director of the White House Personnel Office is threatening to fire anyone who is looking for another job at the end of Trump's tenure in January. I do think it's a bit odd to threaten someone facing a sure layoff in two months with firing for looking for a new job, but I digress. The point is that the Trump administration is hell bent against giving any impression that the government is ready to move to a new administration.

The Trump campaign and Republicans in leadership positions continue to tell us that this is because Trump is challenging the election in court. The campaign, however, has not produced a single shred of evidence of systematic voter fraud (this is because none exists), while its most visible lawyer and famous tucker of shirts Rudy Giuliani has been reduced to appearing at press conferences with sex offenders at a landscaping company. But right wing convicted felons continue to beg their followers for 'newsworthy information', as opposed to admissible evidence, as a way to delegitimize the election of Joseph Robinette Biden, Jr. to the presidency. For his part, Giuliani himself is looking for tips on legal strategy on Twitter.

It's not surprising then that the Trump campaign is 0-10 in the lawsuits they have filed so far, and their newest suit in Pennsylvania, essentially whining that mail-in ballots should be disallowed because voters who voted by mail did not vote for Trump, is dead on arrival, according to experts. And Trump is raising money to pay off his campaign debts, not to mount a serious legal challenge to the election of President-elect Joe Biden.

The post-election tantrum by Trump and his allies are really the last gasp of sore losers, and nothing will keep President Biden and Vice President Harris from being sworn into office on January 20, 2021. But what they are doing is insurrection against the United States.

In the United States, power flows through the people, and the legitimacy of any government is dependent on the consent of the government. The United States has no king, potentate, or individual sovereign. In the United States, The People are sovereign, and any government that refuses to submit to the will of the people as expressed through elections - is illegitimate. It is now clear that The People have overwhelmingly elected Joe Biden and Kamala Harris to be the next President and Vice President, and an executive branch refusing to process the necessary paperwork to unlock transition funds and access to agency officials is itself in violation of that popular mandate and is therefore illegitimate.

Certification of elections in the states is not required under the Presidential Transition Act, and has never been used as the marker before for the GSA administrator to certify the apparent winner of the election as soon as networks have projected the winner and begin transition activities.

By any standard - historical or numeric - the election is over, and only formalities remain. There is no significant legal challenge that can alter the outcome of this election. Every single day that GSA Administrator Emily Murphy delays signing the paperwork necessary for the Biden team to access funds and personnel, she is personally in violation of Constitutional doctrine of popular sovereignty in the United States. Every single day that she takes orders from Donald Trump instead of doing her job faithfully, she is violating her oath of office. By choosing political favorites in the election, she  risks committing insurrection against the sole sovereign authority in the United States: We, The People.

It is not just the mathematical impossibility of Donald Trump's second term as projected by the decision desks at the networks and the Trump campaign's utter failure to find legally admissible evidence that is at issue. International election observers that the Trump administration itself invited under America's international commitments declared the election orderly, professionally conducted, and peaceful without any significant, systemic irregularity or fraud. Further, the observers went on to condemn Donald Trump's efforts to undermine trust in the election. Of further note is the fact that the observers made their determination on Wednesday, days before the results had become clear enough for a projection.

It is why America's international allies rushed to congratulate President-elect Biden and Vice President-elect Harris as soon as the call was made on Saturday morning. Heads of government from Trump-friendly and Trump-strained countries pledged their support for the incoming Biden-Harris administration.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was one of the first world leaders to extend his country's congratulations, as is customary. He was quickly followed by Boris Johnson, the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom and close Trump ally, and another close Trump confidant Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel. French President Emanuel Macron, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, and other European leaders also quickly weighed in with their congratulations. South Korea, Australia and other important US allies and partners made sure that they got on board as well.

India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi, viewed by many as the Trump of India, did not wait for Trump's concession to recognize the victory of Joe Biden or to express India's pride as Kamala Harris, the daughter of an Indian immigrant mother, is poised to become the first woman to be elevated to the vice presidency. India's neighbor and adversary, Pakistan, chimed in just as quickly.

And just this morning, the sole holdout country in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, Turkey, joined the ranks. Turkish strongman president and key Trump ally Recep Tayyip Erdogan, issued a statement congratulating President-elect Biden and reiterating Turkey's commitment to work with the incoming administration.

The deluge of congratulatory notes to President-elect Biden certainly have not escaped Donald Trump or his Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo. Yet, besides for a Q&A rhetorical bluster by Pompeo about how there will be "smooth transition to a second Trump administration", the administration has taken no steps to repudiate foreign leaders. Generally, when the leader of a country takes an action or makes an official statement that the American president categorically rejects, the US side responds through diplomatic channels, usually by summoning that country's ambassador, stationed in Washington, DC, to the State Department or White House.

The official statements from heads of government around the world are not to be taken lightly. Embedded in each congratulatory note is not just commitment to work with the Biden administration but to recognize its legitimacy and the legitimacy of Joe Biden as the head of state of the United States post noon Eastern Time on January 20, 2021. The fact that these notes are coming from NATO countries and other countries with which the United States has military ties is also significant.

There is no pathway for Donald Trump to hang on to power and not only does he know it, everyone around the world - including strongmen friendly to him - knows it, too. The legal challenges are mere smokes and mirrors trying to convince his supporters that power is being taken away from him by "deep state" as he continues to lose in Court. There will come a point, sooner rather than later, when the fake challenges will have been exhausted, and the formal transition will start. Of that, I have little doubt.

Donald Trump wants to delegitimize American democracy and the Biden presidency, and he's going to throw the best tantrum he can. But the fact that Donald Trump is blocking a smooth transition to power for the president whom the American people chose will serve, for the present and for the future, as an act delegitimizing Trump's presidency, not Biden's.