The only way this election ends

Stop wasting your time.

Mitch McConnell is not going to be visited by three spirits representing patriotism past, present and future. There’s not going to be a cinematic moment where the Republicans suddenly have a change of heart and decide to make a principled stand for democracy or whatever. It will never happen. No slow clap.

There are only two people on earth who can tell Donald Trump when to stop challenging the election results and step away. They’re not in Congress or the Senate. It’s not Bill Barr or any of the lawyers. Definitely not Rudy or Christie. It’s not Ivanka or Don Jr.

No, just two men will decide when the election challenge farce has gone on long enough. Only Rupert Murdoch and Sheldon Adelson can determine the end of this, because they are the only two people Donald Trump needs to listen to.

Sheldon’s campaign money and Fox’s stranglehold on Republican opinion are the mechanism that made this entire experiment possible. They’re why sitting Republican politicians and the right’s politically ambitious stay in line. They’re why dissent from within the party never quite transcends the “I’ll write an op-ed” phase. Somewhere in the midwest, Ben Sasse is knitting a very angry crochet pillow in response to this blog post. Knit like the wind, Ben. We’re super impressed with your principles and your piety.

Adam Schiff can’t do anything about it. Nancy Pelosi can’t do anything about it. The Lincoln Project can’t do anything about it. Mitt Romney can’t do anything about it. It turns out that, like so many other things we thought were rules, these are all just norms. The person at the General Services Administration whose job it is to “turn on the transition” doesn’t actually have to do anything if he or she is a loyalist to the previous administration. Obama’s GSA personnel initiated the transition for Team Trump the morning after the election. The Trump loyalist currently in that seat will do no such thing.

In the meanwhile, thousands of people are dying of the virus this week, more than on 9/11. Thousands of patients in hospitals, every region, every state. Over a hundred thousand infections a day are now the norm. We’re going to start seeing a million infections a week at the current pace. The President hasn’t said a word about all these new deaths. Not a thing. And he will not allow the incoming President’s task force get set up to deal with this mess they’re inheriting. And there’s nothing anyone can do about it, except for these two men.

So it continues. One conspiracy theory gets laughed at so they come up with another. One legal theory gets smacked down by a judge, so they concoct another. It goes on and on. Until.

When Sheldon has decided he’s gotten everything for Israel and billionaire’s tax relief and his other pet causes that he can, Donald will be notified. The money spigot will turn off. When Rupert’s had enough and decides it’s a lost cause, you will see the on-air personalities pivot toward concession practically overnight. Lachlan Murdoch, who runs Fox and is politically to the right of Genghis Khan, will give the signal. Everyone who’s plugged in understands this. It won’t be a theatrical denouement; there won’t be any grand speeches or denouncements – they’ll just gradually, if imperceptibly at first, stop going along with all the drama.

So until then, do something else with your time.