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  • Glenn Sonnenberg

Musings from the Bunker 12/3/20

Happy Thursday, This was to be a lighthearted review of some fun stuff sent by friends (and there is some of that) but the terrible stuff surfacing in the last few days warrants some comment. WE THE PEOPLE AND MICHAEL FLYNN The craziness surrounding this election and the spurious and dangerous claims of fraud seems to have no bounds. Several GOP House members are starting to conspire not to certify the vote of the Electors when presented to the new Congress on January 6th. While this is tantamount to a coup executed by the legislature, with little chance of success, the damage of these and other actions are corrosive of our democracy and will haunt us for years. Mark DiMaria pointed out the extraordinarily disturbing full page ad from “We the People” in the Washington Times (a favorite publication of the die-hard right, owned by the Moonies), which openly encourages the President to declare martial law in order that the military can conduct and “election do-over.” Many false claims regarding the Constitution and actions by President Lincoln, it is a virtual call to arms. As disturbing as this may sound, Michael Flynn retweeted this today. This is an example of what happens when the President of the United States pardons a convicted criminal—convicted for his acts to subvert our elections—who then sees he has a free rein to act. Here, in part, is what the ad says: "We wanted to express our concerns to the President, to the legislators, courts and Congress that We the People will NOT cede our exclusive Constitutional right to elect our Representatives to judges, lawyers, courts, Governors, Secretary’s of State, Congress, corrupt election officials and local politicians, the corrupt media - or Leftist threats of violence! It is OUR EXCLUSIVE RIGHT to elect our President and that sacred right has been infringed by the massive, planned, illegal election fraud conducted by corrupt Democrat/Socialist Party operatives across our nation to steal our vote. We will NOT stand for it." The ad goes on to discuss the rise in gun sales and a calls for action. It’s pretty close to the line of sedition. Setting aside that this guy doesn’t know how to properly pluralize “secretary,” he and his ilk are dangerous for reasons that go beyond their unfamiliarity with facts or proper English! PATRIOT OF THE WEEK In response to the death threats (including use of a noose) and physical and cyber intimidation of election officials, vote counters and employees of the Dominion software company, and false claims regarding fraud, here’s what a patriot looks like. Gabriel Sterling, a Republican with the Georgia Secretary of State’s office (also a Republican): “It. Has. All. Gone. Too. Far. Mr. President, you have not condemned these actions or this language…all of you who have not said a damn word are complicit in this.” BOOKS Howard Kroll suggests The Baseball Codes, by Jason Turbow, about the unwritten rules of baseball. Howard says it’s an “absolutely fascinating book for lovers of America’s pastime.” The subtitle of the book is “Beanballs, sign stealing and bench-clearing balls.” The New York Times reviewer described the book as “Delicious…Entertaining…reads like a lab report by a psychologist who has been observing hostile toddlers whack one another with plastic shovels in a sandbox.” Jim Richman suggests The Last Lion, by William Manchester, the masterful three volume definitive biography of Winston Churchill. Everything you ever wanted to know about the great man. GRAMMAR OF COURSE I have regularly been writing about my pet peeves (a list that seems to grow longer daily). David Rievman adds this: “The other day Trump mixed up “coarse” and “course”. For someone who epitomizes the former and spends so much time on the latter, it was surprising. I’d say it was also funny, but there is nothing funny about that guy.” THINKING ABOUT A GRAND BARGAIN This is from an anonymous reader: You should propose some “grand bargain.” We need what Tony Robbins calls a “pattern interrupt” (paradigm shift) and that means doing things everyone will find distasteful for the greater good. My friend suggests the following:

  • Trump gets full federal pardon

  • NY drops criminal lawsuits against him/family (let civil continue)

  • Finish legal investigation into voting fraud, to know state of election legitimacy and reduce doubts

  • Congress drops Hunter Biden probes

  • Agree Supreme Court nominees won’t be considered in last year of presidency

  • Share info on transition and let electoral college process play out without interference into canvassing boards, legislatures

  • Agree that Congressional political investigations into adversaries above a certain level (and their families) can occur but only after a bipartisan group of judges agree that there is enough evidence to get going.

Much as I respect this friend (and, typically, agree with most everything he says), I think he’s wrong to try to seek a “global” bargain. Rarely do grand bargains occur, as each specific idea has its detractors. Big deals actually are comprised of many small deals. The New Deal was not a single piece of legislation but a number of bills that individually could generate different coalitions of support. That is how we likely can get through the many problems facing us—by building coalitions—what a concept! The Senate won’t let Hunter Biden go without hearings (alas). Trump won’t get a full federal pardon unless he or Vice-President Pence issues it. But we definitely need to prepare for the prospect of an ex-president enmeshed in litigation, potentially including criminal claims in New York State. Biden should stay above that fray. As to elections legitimacy should not be given to the destructive and unfounded claims of this president and his enablers. Rather, we should focus on improving election processes going forward. Have a great day, Glenn

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