Sunday, October 11, 2020's Poll of Polls, and a Trump Coup

Here's a close-up of's "poll of polls," where they average the national polls available to the public. You can see why Trump is panicking:

Here, they "simulate the election 40,000 times to see who wins most often," and Biden wins 86% of the time, Trump 14%. I'm not exactly sure what this simulation means, but I'm guessing it's some combination of all the 50 state polls, taken within their margins of error. Still doesn't look good for Trump.

The best thing for the country will be if Trump is defeated soundly and thoroughly, and senate Republicans too, to wash away the disease that Trump has brought to both the presidency and the country, and send his sycophants tumbling away in the rapids where they never again attain their footing. The greater the defeat the less trouble Trump can start in the days after the election, though Ross Douthat of the NY Times, a true conservative, isn't worried:
Our weak, ranting, infected-by-Covid chief executive is not plotting a coup, because a term like “plotting” implies capabilities that he conspicuously lacks.
He explains his thinking:
He lacks popularity and political skill, unlike most of the global strongmen who are supposed to be his peers. He lacks power over the media: Outside of Fox’s prime time, he faces an unremittingly hostile press whose major outlets have thrived throughout his presidency. He is plainly despised by his own military leadership, and notwithstanding his courtship of Mark Zuckerberg, Silicon Valley is more likely to censor him than to support him in a constitutional crisis.

His own Supreme Court appointees have already ruled against him; his attempts to turn his voter-fraud hype into litigation have been repeatedly defeated in the courts; he has been constantly at war with his own C.I.A. and F.B.I. And there is no mass movement behind him: The threat of far-right violence is certainly real, but America’s streets belong to the anti-Trump left.

So if you judge an authoritarian by institutional influence, Trump falls absurdly short. And the same goes for judging his power grabs. Yes, he has successfully violated post-Watergate norms in the service of self-protection and his pocketbook. But pre-Watergate presidents were not autocrats, and in terms of seizing power over policy he has been less imperial than either George W. Bush or Barack Obama.

There is still no Trumpian equivalent of Bush’s antiterror and enhanced-interrogation innovations or Obama’s immigration gambit and unconstitutional Libyan war. Trump’s worst human-rights violation, the separation of migrants from their children, was withdrawn under public outcry. His biggest defiance of Congress involved some money for a still-unfinished border wall. And when the coronavirus handed him a once-in-a-century excuse to seize new powers, he retreated to a cranky libertarianism instead.

All this context means that one can oppose Trump, even hate him, and still feel very confident that he will leave office if he is defeated, and that any attempt to cling to power illegitimately will be a theater of the absurd.

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