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Member since: Sun Aug 1, 2004, 01:35 PM
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Why trump can't just refuse to leave office - encouraging

Trump Can't Just Refuse to Leave Office
We have a lot of things to worry about in the next eight months. This isn’t one of them.

By Fred Kaplan
June 1, 2020

The fear is spreading that if President Donald Trump loses the election this November, he’ll refuse to leave office. Bill Maher has been warning of this specter on his HBO show, Real Time, since late last year. This past weekend, New York Times columnist Roger Cohen called Trump’s compliance with the election results “the most critical question for American democracy” and wrote that the “chances are growing” that Trump would not concede if Joe Biden won. Biden himself has raised the possibility on a few occasions.

If Trump could get away with refusing to leave the Oval Office, in order “to extend his autocratic power,” as Cohen put it, he probably would. But he wouldn’t get away with it; those around him would almost certainly advise him against it, if he asked; therefore my guess is, he won’t try. Then again, in recent years many things have happened that I would have bet against. Let’s say the nightmare happens. Here is why it won’t last long.

So it’s the morning of Jan. 20, 2021. Trump doesn’t meet President-elect Joe Biden and his wife in the White House driveway, nor does he attend the inauguration on Capitol Hill. Instead, he proclaims, as he has many times by this point, that the election was a fraud (he has set the stage for this with his false claims about mail-in ballots), and at noon, instead of acceding to the transfer of power, Trump proclaims that the swearing in was FAKE NEWS and that he remains the president.

Here is what would happen next.

On the dot of noon, the nuclear codes, which currently allow Trump to order and authenticate a nuclear attack, expire. The officer who has been following him around everywhere with the “football”—which, contrary to popular belief, is not a button or a palm print but rather a book filled with various launch codes—leaves. If Trump and whatever lackeys stay with him prevent the officer from leaving, another officer, holding a backup football, would join Biden at the inauguration ceremony.


(I needed to edit this post to comply with DU's copyright policy, in case you wondered why it has been modified.)

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