The question for all Americans to consider is how long we must continue to pay attention to this man.
The short-term answer is very different. Trump seems busy with tweeting, golfing and pushing fantasy fiction that he didn’t lose the election. But the machinery of his government continues to move around him.
All of these things will take time for Biden and his team to unwind, if they decide to do so.
Over on Capitol Hill, things are coming to a head. A Covid-19 stimulus proposal for more aid and a new round of stimulus checks is in limbo, perhaps until Biden takes office, but Trump’s signature will be needed on a massive government spending bill to keep the government running. He’s said before he dislikes these bills.
Trump also dislikes the bipartisan defense authorization bill, which sets policy for the Pentagon, because it opens the door to renaming US military bases currently named for confederate generals — Ft. Hood, for instance.
: Georgia means everything for Biden’s presidency
What the next president can accomplish will have everything to do with the twin Senate races in Georgia. It’s hard to overstate how important a Senate majority would be to Biden’s plans — or even filling his Cabinet with who he wants.
All of these things could go one way if McConnell’s in charge of the Senate and a very different way if it’s Chuck Schumer:
Undoing Trump rules. Addressing last minute Trump administration rules will be much easier if it can be done by Congress. It’ll be more time consuming to do things administratively.
Fixing Obamacare. If the Supreme Court invalidates the Affordable Care Act (or even if he doesn’t) what Biden can do about health care depends very much on who controls the Senate.
Addressing the Covid economy. What stimulus proposal Biden can entertain will look very different coming out of a Senate where Democrats control the chamber compared to one where McConnell decides what gets a vote.
Building back better. The aforementioned items are relatively small bore when put up against the climate crisis and how or even whether to do anything. GOP orthodoxy right now is that climate change is not something that should be addressed by government. Democrats side with scientists that think it’s an existential threat.
Biden wants to rewire the entire US economy around clean energy. He might not be able to do much with the filibuster in place, but he can obviously do more with a more friendly majority.
: The GOP rift on elections is something to watch in Georgia
Disconnected. When Trump travels to Georgia to campaign for the Republican Senate candidates there — Sens. Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue — he’ll be simultaneously saying the vote that cost him the White House was fraudulent (it wasn’t) and that Republicans should take part in that fraudulent system.
Arizona certification. The state handed Biden 11 electoral votes and, more importantly, cleared the way for Mark Kelly, the new Democratic senator, to be sworn in Wednesday.
CORRECTION: An earlier version of this story misspelled the name of David Perdue, the senator from Georgia.