For months, Bill Maher has been asking what can be done if Biden wins the election but Trump refuses to leave the White House. Friday night, he resurrected the topic on “Real Time” with guest Michael Moore.
The latter responded that the majority of the DC police force is black, so they’ll do something about it, and if they don’t, there’s the FBI and CIA, whose agents also hate Trump. Then Moore suggested that tens of thousands of Democrats would be in Washington on inauguration day, and “we’ll get him out of there if we have to.”
No, you won’t, because you’ll never make it onto the White House grounds, a secure space that is guarded by the Marines and the Secret Service. The same would be true of armed Trumpsters who tried to gain access to the facility.
When the time comes, the Secret Service will escort Trump from 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, as they have each previous president, regardless of his objections — which will almost assuredly include lies about the election being rigged against him, particularly in states where balloting is done by mail.
By the way, if more states move to voting-by-mail, we probably won’t know the full outcome of this year’s balloting on election night, because it will take a while to tally the contents of all those envelopes. The good news is that means we’ll get to see more of Steve Kornacki at his big board on MSNBC. The bad news is that the loser will try to tie things up in the courts. However, if the margin of victory is large enough, even that won’t matter.
But here’s the important point. Regardless of whether any president refuses to leave the building or believe the outcome of the election or concede their loss, the constitutional power of the office still passes to the victor at noon on January 20th. That’s the moment that Joe Biden would get the nuclear codes and Donald Trump would get the boot.
I’m reminded of the line the bartender used to say at closing time in one of the watering holes I frequented many decades ago: “You don’t have to go home, but you can’t stay here!”