Today’s letter has raised the hair on the back of my neck...why are there no checks and balances to stop this mad man!? And what can we do to stop a future, more intelligent mad man from taking steps to destroy our country and democracy? We are already in it for the long haul to reverse The damage that he and his minions have done. Like causing so many to distrust our voting system, one of the main keys to democracy. And not allowing Biden and his team to read the daily briefings....isn’t there something that can be done about this, legally? On the bright side, the team that Biden has put together to fight Covid and the response of the market and some Republicans is positive. I guess there are people out there who are looking for a true leader. All of us, and those who are in the position of power, who truly care about our country and democracy need to stay on top and work on solving these issues or 2024 will be even more hellish than today.

Thank you for your letters and insights Heather Cox Richardson. And also, thanks to all the commentators here. Your insights, ideas and opinions helpful and some...eye opening.

Expand full comment

I think Trump’s escape plan is crystallizing right in front of us. He let them kill Kashogi and now is selling arms to them without even notifying congress? This whole deal smells rotten! Maybe his big bankroll isn’t from Russia after all, but is UAE? I have a really bad feeling about this.

Expand full comment

I heard about Esper’s firing on NPR on my way home from work. They played the clip of him stating that he would not send active military into the streets or invoke the Insurrection Act. My first thought was that he is getting rid of Esper just so he can do those two things after riling up his base. He is going to burn us down in as many ways as he can. The firing of those other 3 department heads last week made me queasy. This makes me downright nauseous. All of this, combined with the refusal to allow and active blocking of the Biden-Harris transition, is the biggest and loudest alarm bell we are going to see before it’s too late. But very few are listening. I have also wondered if he is creating such severe destabilization to open the door for an invasion you another country. God help us all.

Expand full comment

I do not believe the story that Barr and McConnell are humoring the President by backing his false claims.

The Party of Trump is afraid of its Leader: They have enabled him to the point that he now has them in a strangle hold. They actively participated in a wholesale misinformation campaign to cast Joe Biden as a Socialist when all along knowing it to be false. They supported the Fox narrative that if Biden were elected America would be one step away from Communist rule – a campaign based on lies, fear and prejudice.

And now, as their Leader challenges America’s right to vote for a candidate other than him, they continue to support him. One could reasonably suspect that Trump wants the nation to descend into violence and anarchy, provoking those who trusted the system to take to the streets where they will be met by the armed militias of the far right. At that point, the Leader of the Party of Trump will certainly declare martial law to seize control and begin the process he has been advocating since he first descended into politics – arresting his political opponents. If he goes out on the Rally trail, that suspicion will only be confirmed.

Think it cannot happen again - that it cannot happen in America? Read your history and think again.

Expand full comment

Heather, you wrote today that "It is certainly possible that Trump and his people are launching a coup, as observers warn". Several paragraphs later, you listed a series of firings in high places and the replacement of these people with loyalists, and concluded that "In other words, Trump is cleaning out the few national security leaders who were not complete lackeys and replacing them with people who are. It's funny timing for such a shake-up, especially one that will

destabilize the country, making us more vulnerable." Putting these two statements together and recalling the series of similar-looking dismissals at State and Homeland Security in the past - all seemingly chaotic, but actually following a plan carefully laid out by T's then-counsel McGahn - seems to me to form a fairly clear scenario. There's a pattern here, and I suspect it is linked with the court challenges. Call it a "coup" or something else, but this is NOT the sort of chaotic behavior that our media have led us to believe is "normal" for T. We MUST pay attention - our democracy is in IMMINENT danger!

Expand full comment

Oh Heather Cox Richardson, you said early on it would be bumpy if Trump lost. But all of this... The party of Trump is frightening with Barr and McConnell at the helm. We must be vigilant and speak out. It’s too bad we can’t throe water on them and watch them melt away like the wicked witch of the west.

Expand full comment

Hard to scribe a coherent message when dark thoughts of impending scenarios swirl. I come back to believing in government as the scaffolding of society. Good government is difficult, mostly because human nature is difficult. So far in our history as a country we have made slow progress. 2020 has brought into focus for the vast majority of white Americans the truth about racism, vast economic disparity, unequal rights to vote, and a packing of the lower federal courts with acolytes of the Federalist Society, which is first and foremost a political far-right religious organization. Now the craven behavior of the vast majority of the elected republicans in congress comes to the forefront. They will argue and fuss, but the truth will out, as always.

The best course is the youth of this land. Citizens say 18-40, who’s very existence for the next 50 years depends on a response to climate change. Who believe in humanity with a spiritual reverence not tainted by blind religious, man-made dogma. Who believe in a constitution that can respond to a world of gravitational waves, quarks, CRISPR, and atmospheric rivers. Who believe in each other.

Respond to the run-off elections in Georgia. Respond to the mid-term elections in 2022. Then keep responding.

Expand full comment

Especially after reading today’s letter I plan to call my Congress people and urge them to announce publicly that Biden is our president elect and it is time for the government to treat him as such. Heather’s post has scary implications.

Expand full comment

I swear to God, what's happening with Trump et al. has been part of my worst nightmare for the last 5 years.

Expand full comment

Yesterday Joe Biden spoke from the office of the president elect. He was presidential In all ways—calm, factual, and proposing a thoughtful science based program to turn the COVID tide. We are witnessing the sharp contrast of dual presidential narratives. I’m hopeful that the majority of Americans (and slow stream of responsible Republican officials like Mitt Romney Susan Collins and George W. Bush) realize that restoration of a normal President will and must occur. Desperate efforts now will only cement DT’s infamy He is behaving like a terminal alcoholic desperately blaming everyone else acting paranoid and destroying his family. Unfortunately he has legions of enablers who drink the same delusional drink. On the plus side he’s losing Fox News. Yesterday they cut away from the lying press conference, they are talking heads are speechless, and many of the supporters are saying they don’t trust Fox anymore.

Expand full comment

The plot deepens daily. The shuffle of top administrators and development of the DOJ election task force along with Kushner’s handling of the UAE sale may be directly linked to a vast criminal enterprise by the shadow cabinet, the Kushner financial empire.

Replacement of key knowledgeable administrators opens the doors for nefarious activity that would pass scrutiny in the night of confusion.

AG Barr is obviously vacating his role as American’s Lawyer in directing the DOJ to snoop into election fraud rumors. Especially in any cases that the Judiciary has refused to act.

This accumulation of suspicious activity by the Trump administration is truly worthy of an Article 25 legal action. By holding back the transition process on the Covid menace, national security and legal actions the administration, and opens the nation to palpable weaknesses to very attentive foreign adversaries sure to leap into any breaches.

This is not mere quibbling over votes of obscure rural districts these are challenges to the very foundation of constitutional government: the transference of leadership in orderly steps.

Expand full comment

I am perhaps naive, but firing these people does not make them disapear. They are still there, still informed, still loyal to our constitution. Who is to say that there is not a covert plan in place already to combat any of the tRump tantrum? I am the persistent-optimist, but that's just me. All of his loyalist will be fired in one swoop when power transitions, and I believe it will. One way or the other. Desparate people do desparate things and the country's biggest mistake will be to not act against it quickly and decisively.

Expand full comment

Don't forget there is still the war with Iran option, and getting UAE on board gives more control over the area and for military staging. Trump may be planning the war between now and January and will insist he must stay as pres. Anything is possible. Including that he may in fact believe he can still cheat his way to a victory in a corrupt Supreme Court.

But the idea that it's all about the money for him also rings true. Maybe he doesn't owe anyone at UAE but maybe he has gotten agreements to cover the 400 million he owes in exchange for the arms sales.

Side note about the Georgia elections. Loeffler stands no chance of avoiding a runoff as she's in second place anyway. Perdue might, though, and that's a possible game plan there. But why Loeffler and Richard Burr never got charged for insider trading is a minor mystery. Minor in that such people never get charged, but still.

Expand full comment

Howdy from what is going to soon become an epicentre of American politics for the next 8 weeks! Not just our looming Senate races for January 5th, but also our soon to begin recount. Now, WHO ELSE would Trump name to the group overseeing our recount but two of his best lap-dogs, Republican shill Doug Collins, and our former bubba governor, Sonny Perdue (current Sec’y of Agriculture, unless he’s been fired…hard to keep up…). Wow. Talk about totally unbiased observers. Collins quoted in our local paper as he’s from here, “Republicans stand by the ideal that every eligible voter should be able to vote legally and have it be counted,” said Collins. “During the coming recount, we are confident we will find evidence of improperly harvested ballots and other irregularities that will prove that President Trump won Georgia fairly again on his way to re-election as President. Georgians deserve a free and open process, and they will get one.” SO he’s basically already saying he’ll find improprieties before he’s even started. That’s a good sign it’ll be fair, eh?? He goes on to say, “As we begin the recount process, there are three things we are formally requesting today from Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger. First, there must be a full comparison of absentee ballots cast and in-person and provisional ballots cast throughout the state. Second, there must be a check for felons and other ineligible persons who may have cast a ballot. Third, and most importantly, the Secretary of State should announce a full hand-count of every ballot cast in each and every county due to widespread allegations of voter irregularities, issues with voting machines, and poll watcher access. We can – and we will – petition for this in court after statewide certification is completed if the Secretary of State fails to act, but we are hopeful he will preemptively take this action today to ensure every Georgian has confidence in our electoral process.” Both Senate candidates are still calling for him to step down, but I don’t see that happening, at least according to Raffensperger’s latest statements. With Biden at an 11,000 vote lead right now, I do not see enough improper votes to change anything. This also holds true for the Senate results from the Perdue/Ossoff race, even though Perdue just fell under 50%, which is what necessitated that race being added to the runoff contest. FYI, the Loeffler/Warnock race is only to fill in the remainder of Johnny Isakson’s term, which is due to expire in 2022. ANOTHER race will be held then!

Below I’ve put up a few links if folks are interested in donating money or looking to volunteer.

ActBlue is an entity that oversees both Senate candidates’ campaigns, as well as Abrams’ organisation. A donation to them can be split evenly between all three if you desire:


The 2 links below are to Warnock’s campaign:



The 2 links below are for Jon Ossoff’s campaign:



This link is to Abrams’ organisation:


The amounts of money that are expected to flood into our state are going to be epic. Already, Abrams’ group has, as of today, already received right at $10,000,000 SINCE FRIDAY! Estimates are that donations to both parties’ candidates could exceed half a billion (that’s with a “b”!) dollars. There is no understating the importance of this race to the entire future of Joe Biden’s ability to govern. Our airwaves and mailboxes are going to be besieged, and door-knocking will be as never before. Folks in Georgia had best get ready. We are already election-weary as never before, only to find out we have 8 more weeks of it! Pundits are already conjecturing who might most benefit from this election weariness—it’s hard to say. However, Republicans have NEVER lost a runoff election in Georgia history as Democrats always fail to show up for runoffs. Maybe this year can be different?! Democrats are going to be mobilising as never before here, so WATCH THIS SPACE!! “Okay, Mr. DeMille. Georgia is ready for her close-up!”

Expand full comment

I lost the the comment asking about where are the evangelicals and why aren't they concern about the Armenians. My theory is that the projected arms sale to the UAE is right up their alley. There are many in that group who want a major war in the Middle East thinking that this will force God's hand and the return of Jesus. They think that this will give them the upper hand and that the Kingdom of God will be restored on earth. My theology tells me 1) Jesus stated the kingdom of God is already here and it is up to us to care for one another and to seek God's mercy, justice and love for all in order to make it apparent and 2) God is not one to be manipulated. I like to think my theology comes from actually reading the Holy Scriptures while a great of theirs comes from televangelists and the Lift Behind series. And on thinking on this, this may explain the strong support 45 has received from that group. He can be manipulated and this is scary on many planes. Just a probable explanation for the thinking behind this group.

Expand full comment

I think my joke last week about everything being ready for everything from a blowout to a coup d'etat to a civil war, isn't a joke. Any hope he would just go to Mar A Largo and stay there is "whistling past the graveyard." He knows how bad it will be to face prosecution in New York, that he cannot be pardoned from, and is so desperate to avoid that, he will attempt a coup. And now that he has a "Secretary" of Defense who won't argue when he orders troops into the streets, with an FBI run by a lackey who will go after the opposition, it really is set for that to happen. I told a friend in the Czech Republic that the situation could end up like Belarus, but it think it can go much worse.

Expand full comment