E.J. Dionne, Norman Ornstein On Trump's Election Challenge And The Threat To Democracy | WYPR

E.J. Dionne, Norman Ornstein On Trump's Election Challenge And The Threat To Democracy

Jan 4, 2021

President Donald Trump boards Air Force One in Florida on New Year's Eve to return to Washington. Trump continues to insist, without basis, that he won the Nov. 3 election.
Credit AP Photo/Patrick Semansky

As of Saturday, a dozen Republican Senators had promised to join about 140 Republican members of the House in voting against certifying that Joe Biden has been elected President.  That vote is scheduled for Wednesday.

Yesterday, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution and the Washington Post released a tape and transcript of a call between President Trump and his White House legal team and Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger and his legal team, in which the President says: “So look. All I want to do is this. I just want to find 11,780 votes, which is one more than we have. Because we won the state...”

‘I just want to find 11,780 votes...’

This call lasted an hour.  The President repeatedly pressured Raffensperger to overturn the will of the people in GA.  The votes have been counted three times, and the results, like those of all 50 states, have been certified.

The President’s attempt to have GA officials change the outcome of the election follows similar attempts to have officials in MI and PA do the same thing.

Joe Biden will be inaugurated on January 20, but there is a real possibility that it will not be a completely peaceful transfer of power.  At Donald Trump’s urging, his supporters are assembling in Washington prepared to protest, perhaps violently, the congressional vote on Wednesday and Biden’s inauguration two weeks later.

In 2017, a year after Donald Trump’s stunning victory, E.J. Dionne, Jr. and Norman Ornstein, two of America’s most highly respected political observers, along with Thomas Mann of the Brookings Institution, published a persuasive and important book called One Nation After Trump: A Guide for the Perplexed, the Disillusioned, the Desperate and the Not-Yet Deported.  The book includes prescriptions for fixing our electoral system and formulating what they call a New Patriotism, a new Civil Society, and a new Democracy.

Today on Midday, with the Trump Administration in its twilight, and with Congressional calls for a criminal investigation into the President after this latest episode, we’ve invited E.J. Dionne, Jr. and Norman Ornstein back to our show to reflect on this unprecedented presidency, and the way forward for our country.

Norman Ornstein is a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, and a contributing editor and columnist for The National Journal and The Atlantic.

E.J. Dionne is a senior fellow at The Brookings Institution, a syndicated columnist for The Washington Post,  and a professor at Georgetown University.  He also offers commentary each week on NPR’s All Things Considered.

They join us on Zoom.

E.J. Dionne is a syndicated Washington Post columnist and senior fellow at The Brookings Institution. Norman Ornstein is a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute.
Credit Dionne photo by Paul Morigi for Bloombury USA/Ornstein courtesy AEI.