Saturday, November 7, 2020

What a Week (But it Ended Happily!)

Because of my worries about the outcome of the US presidential election last week, I wasn't able to write anything here. (Nor was I sleeping well nor able to focus much on work either, I was doing even more doom-scrolling for news on Twitter than I was at the start of the COVID-19 shutdowns here in NYC!) I'm definitely in the group of people still traumatized by the memory of 2016 and by the specter of Bush v. Gore (plus the knowledge that we have a 6-3 conservative US Supreme Court). 

Americans were waiting on pins and needles for several days before any of the major news networks were willing to call the election outcome for President-Elect Joe Biden and Vice President-Elect Kamala Harris. By and large, I think most sources were giving us enough information to be fairly certain by sometime on Thursday or Friday, but it's still hard to feel sure until everyone actually starts announcing it. 

Throughout the week, I was also keeping an eye on the election-related litigation with considerable trepidation. But it was quickly becoming clear that the election was not likely to come down to a single state (one of the necessary conditions, it seemed to me, to create a real risk that a Supreme Court case could decide the election) and that none of the currently pending cases was likely to affect a large enough quantity of votes in any state to affect the overall outcome there, in any case. Of course, we never know such things for sure until every vote is actually counted, but these seemed like very reasonable educated guesses by Thursday or Friday. And the Trump campaign's election-related litigation strategy to date has been a truly hot mess, it's all extremely "amateur hour."  

I breathed a huge sigh of relief when the major news networks and the Biden campaign made their more formal announcements this morning. The fight is far from over, especially with the runoffs for Georgia's Senate seats coming up, but for now, there is something to celebrate. 

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