The GOP siding with Trump is hardly a threat to democracy

Columnist Max Boot writes in The Washington Post that by humoring Trump, the GOP is enabling authoritarianism. Ian Bremmer and Eurasia Group's Jon Lieber take out The Red Pen to argue that, while disappointing, the kowtowing is unlikely to damage US democracy.


And today we're taking our Red Pen to an article by Washington Post columnist and author Max Boot. It has the frightening title, "By humoring Trump, the GOP is enabling authoritarianism."

Now, Max's premise is that by kowtowing to a sore loser, GOP leaders are doing irreparable harm to both their party and to our democracy writ large.

I do think there's a lot of disappointing behavior here from Republicans and certainly from President Trump, but I don't think the US democracy will crash and burn because of it. Let's get out the Red Pen.

First, Max writes that, "It was inevitable that if Trump lost the 2020 election that he would allege that he had been cheated of his rightful victory even without any evidence of any cheating." No argument from me there, that is exactly what is happening. But then he goes on with, "What was not inevitable was that the leaders of the Republican Party would support his claims."

Mitch McConnell said Trump has the right to litigate his claims, not that the claims are accurate.

Actually, not so much. All leaders of the GOP are not supporting the claims. In fact, a number of Republican Senators have already called Joe Biden to congratulate him on the winning the presidency. And Senate leader Mitch McConnell is supporting Trump's right to make the claim, which is very different from saying the claim is correct. I'm not justifying why they won't congratulate President-elect Biden. In my view, they all should. But that is very different than Max's argument.

Which brings us to the reason why so many Republicans are taking Trump's side in this losing battle. Max writes that they "keep the charade going because their leader is too much of a 'snowflake' to admit he was just repudiated by more than 76 million Americans."

They need Trumps' voters if they want the party to have a future.

It's not the Republican party's finest moment. I agree. But it's also true the President was himself was endorsed by more than 70 million Americans. He lost. But there are a lot of Trump voters out there. A hell of a lot more than the polls expected. And as long as Trump is around, the Republican Party needs to court those voters to keep their party strong. After all, the balance of the Senate is still up for grabs in Georgia, as they head to a runoff in early January. You think the Republican Party is going to start a war with the President before that election? There's not a chance.

Finally, Max writes, "Many countries have elections. But only in functioning democracies do losers recognize the result and transfer power to the winners."

Concessions are "nice to have" - but the transfer of power is what's important.

Here's a secret: Concessions are nice. They are appropriate. But they are not necessary. Stacy Abrams lost the Georgia Governorship by 55,000 votes to Brian Kemp, who is now Governor. Stacey never conceded. It didn't matter.

Joe Biden will become president on January 20, you can bank on it. And he's going to even if Trump doesn't wish him well or go gently into the goodnight.

Max does make a big point near the end of the article that we all agree with: a quick concession from Trump is better for national security. He cites the 9/11 Commission report saying the delayed transition after the contentious and drawn out 2000 election made the nation more vulnerable to the terrorist attack that followed.

This is one of many reasons why President Trump should quickly concede and release the funds and resources necessary for the peaceful transition of power to President-elect Biden.

But, no, the fate of our very democracy doesn't hinge on a congratulatory tweet from very soon to be ex-President Donald Trump.

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Back in August, when the Taliban took over, we asked whether anyone in the international community would recognize them. Now it looks like things are heading that way.

This week, the Kremlin hosted a summit with the Taliban that was attended by China, India and Pakistan, as well as all five Central Asian Republics.

The domestically-focused US, however, wasn't there. The US continues to maintain that the Taliban can't be trusted. But does it matter? In 2021 does a Taliban-led government even need American recognition to function and thrive?

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Taking place on October 21 and 22, the Sustainability Leaders Summit will go beyond preexisting narratives and debate priorities for governments and industries ahead of COP26. Placing the spotlight on Asia's role in the global sustainability agenda, the event will address whether Asian countries and companies can achieve shared sustainability goals, and what is needed to help get them there. The summit will be co-hosted by Tak Niinami, CEO of Suntory Holdings, and Ian Bremmer, founder and president of Eurasia Group and GZERO Media. We will address three key questions: How can Asian countries, with the help of the private sector, achieve shared Sustainability Goals? Why does this matter? And what are the policy changes needed to bring it about?

Attendance is free and open to the public. Register to attend.

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For Kevin Rudd, former Australian PM and now CEO of the Asia Society, the science on climate change is pretty much done, so the only unresolved issues are tech and — more importantly — lack of political leadership. He can't think of a single national political leader who can fill the role, and says the only way to get political action on climate is to mobilize public opinion.

Rudd joined for the first of a two-part Sustainability Leaders Summit livestream conversation sponsored by Suntory. Watch here and register here to watch part two Friday 10/22 at 8 am ET.

The minutiae of supply chains makes for boring dinner table talk, but it's increasingly becoming a hot topic of conversation now that packages are taking much longer to arrive in the consumer-oriented US, while prices of goods soar.

With the issue unlikely to be resolved anytime soon, right-wing media have dubbed President Biden the Grinch Who Stole Christmas, conjuring images of sad Christmas trees surrounded by distraught children whose holiday gifts are stuck somewhere in the Pacific Ocean.

It hasn't been a good run for Uncle Joe in recent months. What issues are tripping him up?

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Ian Bremmer shares his insights on global politics this week with a look at the NBA's latest rift with China, Brazil's Senate investigation, and COVID booster shots.

China wipes Boston Celtics from NBA broadcast after the "Free Tibet" speech from Enes Kanter. Is NBA boxing itself into a corner?

Nice mixed sports metaphor there. NBA has some challenges because they are of course the most progressive on political and social issues in the United States among sports leagues, but not when it comes to China, their most important international market. And you've seen that with LeBron James telling everyone about we need to learn better from the Communist Party on issues like Hong Kong and how Daryl Morey got hammered for taking his stance in favor of Hong Kong democracy. Well, Enes Kanter's doing the same thing and he's a second-string center. Didn't even play yesterday and still the Chinese said that they were not going to air any Boston Celtics games. Why? Because he criticized the Chinese government and had some "Free Tibet" sneakers. This is a real problem for a lot of corporations out there, but particularly publicly, the NBA. Watch for a bunch of American politicians to make it harder for the NBA going forward, saying how dare you kowtow to the Chinese when you're all about "Black Lives Matter" inside the United States. No fun.

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Jon Lieber, head of Eurasia Group's coverage of political and policy developments in Washington, shares insights on US politics:

A Trump media platform? Is this for real?

This week, President Trump announced his potential return to social media through the creation of his own digital media platform that's going to merge with an existing publicly-traded company in a deal known as a SPAC. These deals are increasingly popular for getting access to capital, and it seems like that's where President Trump is headed.

The publicly-traded company's stock was up on the news, but it's really hard to see this coming together. The Trump media company claims it wants to go up against not only Facebook and Twitter, but companies like Amazon and cloud computing and even Disney providing a safe space for conservatives to share their points of view. The fact of the matter is, conservatives do quite well on existing social media platforms when they aren't being kicked off for violating the terms of service, and other conservative social media platforms that have attempted to launch this year haven't really gone off the ground.

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Protests in Sudan: Protests are again shaking the Sudanese capital, as supporters of rival wings of the transitional government take to the streets. Back in 2019, after popular demonstrations led to the ouster of longtime autocrat Omar al-Bashir, a deal was struck between civilian activists and the army, in which a joint civilian-military government would run the country until fresh elections could be held in 2023. But now supporters of the military wing are calling on it to dissolve the government entirely, while supporters of the civilian wing are counter-protesting. Making matters worse, a pro-military tribal leader in Eastern Sudan has set up a blockade which is interrupting the flow of goods and food to the capital. The US, which backs the civilian wing, has sent an envoy to Khartoum as tensions rise, while Egypt, the UAE, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey are all vying for a piece as well.

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