It’s the holiday season, and thanks to pandemic precautions I’ve been nowhere near a mall, and I don’t listen to the radio any more, so I haven’t once heard the Chipmunks sing “Christmas, Don’t Be Late” or Paul McCartney’s “Wonderful Christmastime” or any of the other songs that take months to expunge from your brain. (I also don’t watch those horrible Lifetime holiday movies, but, as you might guess, not watching treacle is a longtime holiday tradition in the Littwin household.)
I bring this up because I’m trying something new today, writing a column only about good things. And there are so many if you just look closely.
For instance, while leading Republicans across the country — and a fine farewell to thee, Sen. Gardner — are too cowardly to stand up for democracy against the attacks of the mad King Donald, the judiciary, including the Trump-stacked Supreme Court and all the other courts, has nicely filled the bill.
I don’t have to tell you how dangerous it is out there, and not just because of the pandemic. There are delusional, but well-armed, Trump-supporting vigilantes threatening election officials from both parties who decide to stand on the side of reality. One Republican Pennsylvania lawmaker told The New York Times that if she had defied Trump, it would be at the risk of having “my house bombed tonight,” Defying Trump, in this case, means refusing to try to steal the election by having state legislators overturn the results and nominate their own electors to the Electoral College.
Where’s the good news there? The courts — Trump’s and McConnell’s courts — wouldn’t allow it, although, in not so good news, we are reminded again that it is legal in most places in America to bring along your gun while protesting that fact.
You may remember that Trump was so eager to rush Amy Coney Barrett’s nomination through the Senate because, as he said, he might need her vote if the election were to go to the Supreme Court. Yeah, it’s strange thinking that a presidential race would require help from the Supreme Court, but Trump — whose knowledge of history begins on the day he was born — feared he couldn’t win fairly, so he assumed that he’d need a 5-4 Bush v. Gore kind of ruling to pull it off.
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Instead, according to my scoreboard, Trump has one lone court victory — a technical one at that — against 40-odd defeats on his baseless and often bizarre claims of a rigged election. One case finally got somewhere near the Supreme Court, which refused to hear it, offering up a one-sentence dismissal with no dissenters. Meaning, he got blanked, a 9-0 shutout. No Barrett, no Gorsuch, no Kavanaugh. Not even an Alito or a Thomas. Even the Broncos could have done better.
By the way, that was the case that Ted Cruz had generously offered to plead before the Supremes. And, yeah, missing out on that is a bit of a bummer. Cruz would have fit right in with the Trump law team — and get well soon, Rudy, because SNL needs you out there, buddy — which is better known as the gang that couldn’t sue straight. And the dismissals, one after the other, often from Republican-appointed judges, fill me with the holiday spirit.
Oh, and there’s another case that might get to the Supremes — one filed in Texas, which is suing four battleground states that are not Texas for, uh, violations that have already been rejected in other courts. If it gets to the Supreme Court, the over and under on this one is zero.
There’s more good news. As you know, the vaccines are nearly ready, although the British beat us to the punch in approving them, meaning, I guess, they had whatever is British for warp speed working there, too. But that’s not only the good news, While Trump is busily taking credit for the scientists’ work — and, yes, he did push them, hoping he could get a vaccine before the election, meaning, if nothing else, he might be able to bribe a judge with it — we almost forget that his main contribution to science was his recommendation for injecting cleaning products.
And as the dark winter descends upon us — when record numbers of Americans are getting infected and dying as hospitals run out of ICU beds; more than 3,000 Americans dying just on Wednesday from COVID, more than the number who died on 9/11 — Trump is still having White House holiday parties, masks optional, super-spreading likely.
But here’s the good part. There will be a new president, and we can assume that Joe Biden — or anyone else, for that matter — would do a better job than Trump might have done in distributing the vaccine. Because when I head to Walgreens to get the vaccine, I’m pretty sure I won’t have to sign anything blaming the Chinese for the virus before being allowed to get my shot.
And there’s more good news. Seriously. (And speaking of seriously, we can be glad that the First Gentleman, Marlon Reis, has been discharged from the hospital following treatment for COVID-19 and that the governor also seems to be doing well.)
Now that the votes have been counted across the land — in Georgia, they have been counted three times, just to be certain — Coloradans can be counted as one of the states that most thoroughly rejected Trump. Trump lost by five points in 2016 and by 13 in 2020, giving Colorado the second largest shift — trailing only Vermont — away from Trump.
And here’s the kicker, the three biggest swings among metro areas against Trump were all in Colorado. Colorado Springs — yes, Colorado Springs — was No. 1 in the nation. According to Dave Leip’s Atlas for U.S. Presidential Elections, the Springs moved 11 points away from Trump from 2016 to 2020. Fort Collins was second, Denver third. And Boulder came in 10th.
I don’t know if it was a shift against Trump or Republicans or both. We’ll find out in elections yet to come. Meanwhile, I’ll just suggest, in the crazy year that is 2020, it was a shift toward sanity. And how much better does the news get than that?
Mike Littwin has been a columnist for too many years to count. He has covered Dr. J, four presidential inaugurations, six national conventions and countless brain-numbing speeches in the New Hampshire and Iowa snow.
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