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Enough with the ‘weird tricks’ to overturn the election

Friday marked the latest in a string of hopeless and pitiful last-ditch efforts to thwart the election of President-elect Trump. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

January 08, 2017 | By T. Becket Adams

Friday marked the latest in a string of hopeless and pitiful last-ditch efforts to thwart the election of President-elect Trump.

A handful of House Democrats tried during a joint session of Congress to block lawmakers from certifying the Electoral College vote. Their attempt to undo the election was not only useless, but also embarrassing.

Even more embarrassing was the fact that certain media suggested ahead of time that the planned protests could possibly keep Trump out of the White House.

“There’s one (very long-shot) chance for Congress to thwart Trump’s electoral college win when they certify ballots,” read one ABC News headline.

Friday’s incident comes in a long line of miserable post-Nov. 8 attempts to overturn the election results.

A group of celebrities came together and produced a series of costly ads begging Republican members of the Electoral College to acts as faithless electors. It obviously didn’t work, and why they thought it would is a bit of a mystery.

It’s also a bit of a mystery as to why media played up the idea of an Electoral College coup as if it were a real possibility, even though there was no indication this year that the electors were even considering a revolt, especially one big enough to swing fortune in Hillary Clinton’s favor.

The Green Party’s Jill Stein, with the support of Hillary Clinton’s 2016 campaign, led a failed effort to have votes recounted in several key swing states, including Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania. The recount effort in the Badger State, where Clinton never once set foot during the entire general election, showed Trump won by a larger margin than originally reported. Pennsylvania and Michigan rejected Stein’s recount lawsuits.

Ever since the election, pundits have wracked their brains looking for tricks and little-known procedures by which the current administration can legally contain and limit the potential damage from a Trump administration.

The New Republic, for example, published an article encouraging President Obama to use an obscure parliamentary trick to nominate Merrick Garland quietly to the Supreme Court. The far-fetched plan found a warm reception in Democrat circles, but the president (who knows a bit about Senate procedure) obviously didn’t take the New Republic’s advice too seriously.

The problem with these eleventh-hour ploys is that they’re not only mostly delusional, but also lazy.

If one is genuinely interested in halting the rise of Trumpism, the surest way to do that is at the the ballot box. The best way to defeat Trump is convince those who voted for him to never, ever do something like that again.

That’ll take a lot of work, and it’ll take a lot of persuasion. It’ll be tough. It’ll probably seem hopeless. It has to be done, though.

There is no one weird trick to overturning the 2016 election. There is no cute parliamentary trick that will save the day at the last minute, preventing the Queens businessman from taking office. Trump won legally and fairly.

I wrote earlier that there’s a smarter way to resist Trumpism. It starts with moving on from criticism of Trump the person, and focusing more on Trump the idea. The better way to keep him in check also requires being smarter about picking and choosing battles. Dialing it up to 11 over everything he says will make voters immune to all warning and criticisms. For the moment, it probably already has.

If Trump abuses his office, resistance isn’t just a good thing. It’s necessary. But resistance must be smart, and those doing the resisting must work hard. There can be no corner-cutting.

For those who dedicated to the cause of beating back Trumpism, now begins the long and difficult work of winning over his supporters.