Donald Trump will soon be swept out of office, but his legacy of delusional, narcissistic, democracy-undermining behavior will resonate for quite some time, particularly if Democrats repeat past patterns of weakness and an inclination toward concession and conciliation. The latest example comes from the Republican-led Pennsylvania State Senate, which prevented Democratic Senator Jim Brewster from taking his seat after defeating his Republican opponent by just 69 votes.
As Ana and Ryan Grim discuss in this clip, when Democratic Lieutenant Governor John Fetterman tried to push the issue in his role as the Senate’s presiding officer, Republicans sought to replace him as well, leading to a standoff. This is just the beginning, Ana says, and we’ll likely see more Trump-inspired efforts from the right to refuse to allow duly elected Democrats from being seated or Democrat-led bodies from performing basic legislative duties. The only preventative, she adds, is if Democrats in power hold individuals accountable, for example by censuring or prosecuting Lindsey Graham over his attempts to meddle in the Georgia presidential contest.
Ryan agrees, but notes that early signs from Democrats are not good, including a statement from Democratic House leader Hakeem Jeffries, who, echoing President Obama’s thoughts on prosecuting Bush administration lawbreakers, said that Democrats plan to “look forward, not backward.” Except, as Ryan points out, the criminals are still committing their crimes, so his statement equates to saying that Democrats don’t want to concern themselves with a burglary while the burglar is still actively ransacking their house.