Biden forges ahead with transition while Trump paralyzes Washington

US President-Elect Joe Biden comments about the US economy during a press talk on November 16, 2020 at the Queen’s Theater in Willington, Delaware.

Joe Rydal | Getty Images

WASHINGTON – By most measures, President-Elect Joe Biden was busy and productive in the second week of his presidential transition.

On Monday, Biden called a meeting of labor leaders and chief executives of several major companies to discuss economic reform priorities. The next day, he held a dialogue with national security experts on the threats facing the United States.

On Wednesday, Biden hosted a virtual roundtable with first responders to discuss the coronovirus crisis. The day after, he held a meeting with Republican and Democratic governors to discuss state and federal coordination in the Biden administration.

On Friday afternoon, Biden and Vice-President Kamala Harris met in person with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer in Wilmington, Delaware. There, the country’s four most powerful Democrats discussed legislative priorities for the coming year.

There were also important announcements this week, which Biden will be a White House staffer, with longtime loyalists Mike Donilon and Steve Riksheti serving as the president’s top advisers.

In addition to veteran Biden hands, the young Democratic stars as Louisiana Rep. Cedric Richmond and Biden’s 2020 campaign manager, Jane O’Malley Dillon, will play an integral role in the day-to-day running of Biden’s administration.

Biden also settled at least one cabinet picket of his treasury secretary this week, although he declined to say whom he had chosen.

The announcements by many of Biden’s White House staffers attracted increasingly progressive groups, who publicly criticized the incoming president for hiring top aides associated with the pharmaceutical industry and the oil and gas sector.

Speaking to reporters on Friday, Biden transition consultant Jane Saki set aside public pressure from the left, stating that Biden would assemble a team that had “all of the nation,” Democrats, Republicans and independents to become president. Echoed the pledge.

Yet all of Biden’s normal, run-of-the-mill transition activity this week only underscored the fact that Biden’s infection is anything but normal.

President Donald Trump has so far refused to lose the election. And with several major swing states set to certify Biden’s electoral victory this week, Trump rose sharply to reverse the election results.

In the two weeks since Election Day on November 3, Trump’s campaign has lost or dropped more than two dozen lawsuits seeking disqualification of votes, voter fraud or invalidating election results .

With fewer and fewer legal avenues available, Trump this week shifted his focus to attracting the attention of members of state election boards, part of a broader plan to persuade Republican board members that he would certify the vote tally Refused to.

US President-Elect Joe Biden and Vice-President-Elect Senator Kamala Harris meet with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and US Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) at Biden’s transition headquarters at the Queen’s Theater . In Wilmington, Delaware, US, November 20, 2020.

Tom Brenner | Reuters

On Friday, while Biden discussed the Kovid relief fund with Pelosi and Schumer, Trump held a hasty meeting at the White House with a group of Republican legislators from Michigan.

People close to the president said this week that Michigan legislators are central to Trump’s latest plan to stick to power: a legally dubious gambler in which state voters will first refuse to certify the election results, and then those states Republican-controlled legislatures will step in. To appoint those elections, which would attest, falsely, that Trump won the majority of the vote.

But while Trump’s attempts to reverse the will of voters seem absurd, his control over the levers of federal power in Washington looks anything but.

Trump has so far refused to authorize the start of a formal transition process initiated by the General Services Administration, and he has barred federal agencies from communicating with the Biden transition team.

As coronovirus cases set new records this week, Trump continued to deny federal officials access to Biden’s health advisory team leading the epidemic response.

For now, there is nothing that Biden can do about it, which is left to exert public pressure on the aggressive president.

“Earlier this week in Willington, Biden said,” If we don’t coordinate more people may die. “And so it is important that this is done – that there is coordination now.”

Trump, however, is living in a different reality, one where he has not lost the election and Biden is a later thing.

“I won the election!” Trump made a false claim on Monday. “I won the election!” He claimed it again on Wednesday.

If one aspect of reality is that both Trump and Biden appear to agree, it is a date, 14 December. On that day, voters will be elected in all 50 states elected by the electorate and the president and vice president to formally cast their vote in the District of Columbia.

Until then, Americans can only be forced to see reality in Wilmington, while Washington remains trapped in the president’s fever dream.

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