Emily Murphy has demonstrated that with Donald Trump in office, even the systems we took for granted and thought would never break—like the lawful transition of presidential power—are breaking under the weight of corruption and sycophancy. As administrator of the General Services Administration (GSA), Emily Murphy is the one whose job it is to ascertain the presidential election, certifying former Vice President Joe Biden as the winner and president-elect. But Emily Murphy refuses to do so.
Emily Murphy knows that without her ascertainment of the election, president-elect Biden and his team cannot move forward with the transition process. This means that the president-elect is not allowed access to intelligence briefings or executive branch agencies, or even the members of the current White House coronavirus task force. He is also not allowed access to designated office space or to essential funds to support his team’s transition. All of this is pleasing to Donald Trump.
It’s clear that Donald Trump has been working his plan to make Joe Biden’s presidency as difficult as possible, with no regard for the domino effect it will have on our country and its people for years to come. But along with Trump, Emily Murphy is aware of the danger of preventing the next president from being able to prepare adequately to take office. Murphy is not a sixth-grader; she is an attorney who understands the democratic process. Disappointingly, like her current boss, she appears to suffer from severe disregard.
We could give Emily Murphy more benefit of the doubt, though. Maybe she’s waiting for a sign. Or something. Some have speculated that her inaction is based on the fact that she considers the 2000 race between George W. Bush and Al Gore as the precedent; the results of the 2000 election were decided by the Supreme Court more than a month after Election Day.
But that “precedent” begins to sound more like an excuse when we consider that the 2000 election hinged on a very close race in one state: Florida. The margin between the two candidates, again, in that one state, was only a little over five hundred votes. The Associated Press hadn’t yet called it. After a recount, the margin narrowed even more. The Supreme Court ruled in Republican George Bush’s favor, and Al Gore quickly and graciously conceded.
Does Murphy expect the outcome of this election to go to the Republican-heavy Supreme Court, and then for Donald Trump, the Republican candidate, to be declared the winner? She is a lawyer. She should understand precedents.
In the 2020 election, Biden has won by tens of thousands of votes in numerous states, and with 306 electoral votes to Donald Trump’s 232. His victory was clear enough that the Associated Press called it. Donald Trump would need to turn over not one, but three states in order to reverse the results of the election. And though Trump has brought numerous lawsuits to contest the election outcomes of various states, he has lost or been laughed out of court with all but one, and the one was ultimately reversed. 2000 was not exactly (or at all) a precedent for this election.
Some close associates to Murphy are convinced that she wants to “do the right thing,” but she can’t decide what that is. What a quandary: Bow to a petty, despotic president by continuing to block the president-elect from moving forward, thereby delaying processes that would preserve the democratic process and our faith in it, protect our national security, and even save lives from a deadly virus? Or allow the routine and lawful presidential transition process to take place, which is what is supposed to happen, since Joe Biden, by both electoral and individual vote margins is the clear winner of the election?
When asked what he saw as the biggest threat to his transition, given Trump’s unprecedented attempts to obstruct and delay a smooth transfer of power, Joe Biden replied “More people may die.”
Gee whiz, what’s a GSA administrator to do?
It would be good if this GSA administrator could just do her job. But, like so many other Trump appointees, Emily Murphy demonstrates that loyalty to Donald Trump takes precedence over loyalty to country and to doing one’s job well, and with integrity. Like the Republicans who remain silent, Emily Murphy is complicit in Donald Trump torching of democracy.
Biden forges ahead with transition as Trump administration holds up resources | CBS News [2020-11-09]
GSA Appointee Delays Biden Transition Process, Citing Need For ‘Clear’ Winner | Bloomberg Quicktake:Now [2020-11-10]