If push comes to shove, will Trump hand over the reins to Pence?

Pence will probably show up to start breaking away from the Trump stench. He’s probably running for prez in 2024.

Pence 2021: “Trump? I I never even talked to the guy. I didn’t know who he was. I think maybe he got coffee for the campaign office or something. I really have no idea.”

that makes sense because Trump always claims to not know people he was pictured with. For example Ghislane Maxwell .

Unless still the VP, Pence will be irrelevant on Jan 21. And even if still the VP hell be politically irrelevant within the party even as he still does his VPly duties.

The war inside the Republicans will be entirely over which authoritarian assumes the mantle. To the degree Trump is still compos mentis he will be the kingmaker for that contest. And may well anoint himself for that role up to the moment he has the final heart attack / stroke / COVID infection.

The key question in my mind will be what other would-be authoritarian can attract a sponsor with enough pull to drive the media machine. IMO Trump’s backers are an unholy alliance of Putin and some US domestic uber-wealthy person(s). Maybe Xi decides to get in on the game this time too.

Trump playing kingmaker from 2021-24 (if he’s still alive, nods to Thelma Lou) could be an outstanding boost to the next two cycles of Dem candidates.

Not sure where to post this… here seems like a good spot.

Excellent article in The Atlantic.

Here is the punch line [my bold] of this very long article. This makes sense as it is in keeping with trump’s <cough, cough> character as a deeply lazy person who simply ignores and walks away from stuff he doesn’t like.

Now, as is true for many politicians before him, staying in office is the surest way to evade investigation, prosecution, and conviction. That fact informs my colleague Barton Gellman’s cover story in the latest Atlantic , which asks what will happen if Trump loses the election, then refuses—as he promises he will—to concede. I agree with Gellman’s premise that Trump will not under any circumstances concede, if conceding means acknowledging that he was beaten in a fair fight. But I see some leeway where Gellman does not, because just as there was an indolent way into the presidency, there is an indolent way out. What if Trump does not concede—and he continues not to concede, even as he packs his suitcases, swipes some White House–branded complimentary toiletries, and walks onto the South Lawn and into Marine One and waves farewell to the presidency?

I think this scenario is in fact the most likely one, if Trump loses the election. And it may even be his preferred scenario, better than an outright victory (which would require another four years of onerous employment), better than showing up on Inauguration Day and having to duel Joe Biden for the right to be sworn in. As for the prospect of civil war: Trump is a coward, and all evidence suggests that he would run from the responsibility, even more burdensome than normal service as president, of overseeing the violent fracture of America. A civil war sounds like a lot of work. The easiest path is also the most lucrative. Get on Marine One, protesting all the way, and spend the rest of your days fleecing the 40 percent of Americans who still think you are the Messiah, and who will watch you on cable news, spend their money on whatever hypoallergenic pillow you endorse, and come to see you whenever you visit their town.

The law would still be a problem: Leave the presidency, and immediately federal prosecutors will be falling over one another to nail to their wall the great orange pelt of an ex-president. One way out would be to self-pardon before leaving office, a constitutionally dubious maneuver that just might work. Another would be to resign in favor of Mike Pence, who, during a very brief caretaker presidency, would offer a Gerald Ford–like absolution, for the good of the nation.

Just walk away and defy anyone to come after you. Isn’t this what he has always done? Lawsuits, subpoenas, accusations of law-breaking, requests for tax and other documents. He relies on the fact that no one will try to stop him from doing-- or NOT doing-- exactly what he wants.

What do y’all think?

The Atlantic allows four free articles per month. Or, if you save the article to the free Pocket app, you might get around the paywall that way.

The sooner the better.

Biden tweets: “I’m Joe Biden and I approve this message.”
(ETA: Oh wait. That was Biden responding to something similar Trump said a few weeks ago.)

Trump speaks in superlatives and absolutes way too much. I think he needs some Cognitive Behavioral Therapy to correct his cognitive errors.

Remember if Trump loses he is still president for two months.

If he thinks he will be prosecuted upon leaving office (which will almost certainly happen) he has ever reason to bail to somewhere that won’t extradite him.

Would you do differently in his shoes?

If he’s still around at 12:01 pm on January 20, Biden should order his passport canceled.

He’s got plenty of money - he’ll just fly private. Or Erdogan, Bolsonaro, or Putin will just send a plane for him.

If he loses, his Secret Service protectors should put him on suicide watch.

I think he still owns his own 757. But not sure if that model has the range to get over the Atlantic. Perhaps with a stop in Iceland for fuel. I don’t think you need a passport if you remain on the plane but am not sure.

No one would prevent you from landing if you are low on fuel. but they sure could prevent you from taking off. Hmmmm…

Perhaps they could re-fuel then somewhere in Scotland. He does have a Golf Course there, and could just say he wanted to play 9 holes. Never get off, refuel and make his way to Russia. But I’m delving into CT stuff now.

John Adams left town before Jefferson’s inauguration. I don’t know if there have been any occasions since when a living President didn’t attend his successor’s inauguration.

My fantasy: Trump attends inauguration, get arrested there on the spot at 12:01 pm right in front of everyone.

I have been fantasizing about a surprise arrest so we see his pre-stylist hair and complexion in the bathrobe perp walk

Biggest inauguration crowd ever!