Gypsies in the Palace…

It’s easier to keep them out than get rid of them. Once they’re in it’s more difficult. I’m talking about slugs…of course. You can pour salt on them and watch them slowly shrivel or use a beer trap, crushed eggshells, or seaweed, but at some point you have to scrape ‘em up and dump ‘em in the trash. That time is now.

We should have seen it coming… King Lear in golf duds, Old King Don making his last stand. Since November 3rd he’s been hunkered down in the East Wing, pouting, glued to Fox News, refusing to concede, and determined to stay in the peoples house with the aid of his spoiled children and Rudy the Troll. It’s pathetic, but it’ll be over in 70 days – maybe sooner. Remember he has Ratcliffe as DNI, Pompeo at State, a fresh team of loyalists in the Pentagon, and access to the nuclear codes. Stand back and standby.

Still, we can be thankful for two things – the lessons he’s taught us and the electoral system that will usher him out. Federalism is both a blessing and a curse. The Electoral College is a relic of a bygone time and needs to be revised, but the federalism that gave it birth may have saved us from another four years of Trump. 

In 2016, Russia, through its Internet Research Agency aka Trolls from Olgino, interfered in our election in an effort to help the Trump campaign. It diddled around in our system, but wasn’t able to change any votes. The system was too baroque. One of the lessons we learned this year is that a fragmented decentralized system can protect us from a concentration of executive power. Time and again we saw state governors and attorneys general intervene to keep the man who would be king from exercising the absolute power Bill Barr wanted for him and the kind we see in China, Hungary, North Korea, and Turkey.

For years I’ve been a critic of the Electoral College and the flawed patchwork system that allows white supremacy and racial inequality to influence state and local governments and create laws that suppress voter registration and deny voting rights. Nevertheless, the absence of a central election authority makes it almost impossible to hack into the variety of voting systems and make a significant difference in the national vote count. With 51 jurisdictions, a diversity of voting machines, different timetables and protocols for counting, we are protected from an autocratic takeover of the voting system. 

So here we are, soiled and battered but still standing. The president has pandered to dictators, damaged America’s reputation internationally, given white supremacists a foothold in the mainstream, fomented civil and racial strife, endangered our troops abroad, alienated allies, lied to the American public, and failed to protect us from the most dangerous public health threat in 100 years. That’s his legacy.

But, the 2020 election is over. Joe Biden is our President-elect though the current occupant of the office is blocking him from receiving intelligence briefings, meetings with department secretaries, and GSA funding for the transition. Regardless, the Biden transition team is undeterred. A pandemic response team has been selected, candidates for cabinet positions are being vetted, the Muslim-ban and other Executive Orders have been selected for recession, and foreign leaders have been contacted. The transition is in progress.

The states are mandated to resolve disputes and certify their 2020 election totals by December 8th, six days before state electors certify their totals to the Electoral College. King Don and his court don’t have to cash out until noon on January 20, 2021. We’ll see how that goes… For now I’ll leave you with this:

It’s a Jimmy Buffett song called Gypsies in the Palace. Seems appropriate doesn’t it?

We’re gypsies in the palace, there ain’t no wrong or right
We’re gypsies in the palace, and we’re going wild tonight.

Everybody out of here, the show is closing down
We’ve got to find someone to clean this up

or should we burn it down?

Say goodbye now!


  1. T.J. I still am trying get my head around the fact that 70 million Americans voted for this turkey. If I was Biden, I would demand a recount. I would hope that 35 million of those ballots are duplicates.

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