For cripes sake. We’ve spent the last year watching the “Trump vs. Biden” drama, replete with an election, a coup attempt, and a storming of the g-ddamned Capitol, and now we’re at the last scene where he and Trump finally share a private interaction —
— and we DON’T GET TO KNOW WHAT WAS SAID? WHAT?
This is like having “Citizen Kane” leave you hanging on what “rosebud” meant instead of showing you the sled. Watch, then read on.
Biden: "The president wrote a very generous letter," referring to the note Trump left him. pic.twitter.com/q6a2u4VkpF
— The Recount (@therecount) January 20, 2021
Three possibilities. One: Biden’s lying. Trump *did* leave him a note, reportedly, but maybe it wasn’t generous. Maybe Biden just said that because the theme of the day was healing and unity and he decided to coopt Trump’s note to further that agenda. If Trump wants to contradict him by telling reporters what he wrote, he’s free to do that. But that’s probably not something he wants to do at a moment when the Senate GOP is weighing whether to convict him or not.
Two: Biden’s telling the truth. The note was generous — but maybe Trump didn’t really write it. Maybe Pat Cipollone or Stephen Miller or whoever wrote it and Trump said, “fine, whatever,” before signing it. If so, he wouldn’t be the only resident of the White House who (allegedly) used a ghostwriter today.
Three: Biden’s telling the truth and Trump really did write it himself. I think it’s possible. I can imagine him penning a short but cordial “best of luck, continue to make America great again” note. It would be in his interest to do so, and not just to appease Senate GOPers. Surely he grasps by now that his popularity’s taken a hit since the Capitol attack. He wouldn’t need polling to tell him so, although the polling is grim lately. All he has to do is look around.
A large space was built for an audience that the White House had invited to see the president off. But for a man obsessed with crowd size, only about 300 people showed up, filling roughly a third of the standing area.
For several days, aides had tried to corral officials to come to the departure, and to bring guests. But several who remained working until the president’s final day in office said they were worn out and deeply angry over his behavior since Election Day, as he spread falsehoods about the race being stolen from him, overshadowing whatever substantive achievements they might remember. Some of his aides who had been with him the longest said they did not even watch the send-off on television.
The thing about the note is that it’s not just an object of curiosity. Given the state of the country, after all the poison that it’s consumed about rigged elections over the past two months, even a small token of conciliation from Trump to Biden might be worth something to public harmony. A lot of lonely, disturbed people out there tonight might benefit from hearing it:
Then a core tenet of the Q belief system — that Biden would never take power — collapsed. The reactions were chaotic. Some took it as conclusive proof that Q was a hoax all along. Others kept believing, but were despondent that Trump’s enemies had won. They expressed dismay that America as they knew it was over, soon to be replaced by a communist dictatorship…
Some said they will continue believing in Q because they don’t know what else to do. On the social media site Gab, one woman described how she had spent what little money she had getting ready for civil war. She said she’s been staying inside for weeks and urged her children to pack up and come to her “so we can be together for the great awakening… I was given a response of ‘your crazy’ nothing is gonna happen.” She concluded by saying she loves Trump and her country and will continue to stay hunkered down inside, just in case. “Still have faith, it’s all I have left. Btw… how long do we stay inside?”…
“Trump owes you an explanation. He never disavowed Qanon. He owes you people an apology,” wrote one message board poster. On Gab, a person asked, “Why Trump not warn his supporters that Q was bs?” Another person responded, “I guess it was a good story for reelection.”
I don’t know. When you’re as far gone as these people, would it even help to know that Trump wished Biden well and said he was rooting for him or whatever? You don’t deprogram a cult with “generous” notes.
Especially a cult that was hoping for martial law, mass arrests, executions of its political enemies, and a strongman dictatorship as recently as nine hours ago. And which now, reportedly, is taking a long look at switching over to white nationalism.
I’ll leave you with two clips that capture the crux of the disagreement between Biden and MAGA right now. Here’s Biden warning White House staffers that they’d better treat people decently or else. And here’s Rush with … a different message.
"[If] I hear you treat another colleague with disrespect, talk down to someone, I promise I will fire you on the spot"
— BBC News (World) (@BBCWorld) January 20, 2021
Rush Limbaugh reacts to the inauguration with conspiracy theories: "This is something that's been arranged, rather than legitimately sought and won … They have not legitimately won it."https://t.co/Op57NH2733 pic.twitter.com/2qNYKeDC5V
— Media Matters (@mmfa) January 20, 2021