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The president against democracy

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It is a dark and dangerous time for American democracy.

A sitting president has spent months telling lies about non-existent voter fraud. Now that his re-election bid is in deep trouble – but with the outcome still uncertain – he has unleashed a new torrent of lies that the other party cheated. He asked the Supreme Court to intervene to decide the election in his favor.

Its supporters are staging protests in Arizona, Michigan, Nevada and Pennsylvania intended to interfere with the legitimate vote count. In Phoenix, some showed up at the State Capitol with guns (as you can see in this short video taken by my colleague Simon Romero).

The worst democratic outcome – in which judges appointed by the president’s political party step in to overrule the apparent will of voters – appears to be avoided. The Supreme Court has shown no signs of stopping the counting of votes, and Joe Biden’s leads in the decisive states could end up being important enough to keep the election from being dependent on the kind of thoroughness of counting the ballots. (like suspended chads) which decided the outcome of 2000 in Florida.

But President Trump’s actions continue to cause significant damage. They undermine the confidence of his supporters in the government of the country. They also undermine the credibility of the United States in the world. And they are forcing election officials, journalists and social media platforms to choose between telling the truth and appearing non-partisan; it is impossible to do both against Trump’s electoral demands.

In the simplest terms, the President of the United States is attacking American democracy in an effort to stay in power.

For more: Dahlia Lithwick, Slate: “We are as confused today about the lies as we were in 2016. We ignore them at the risk of democracy; we engage with them at the risk of our sanity.

Susan Glasser, The New Yorker: “There have been many times in the past four years that covering Washington for Trump seemed like a mission overseas to me, never more than driving around the capital the last few days. and seeing the storefronts embarked and the streets cordoned off blocks around the White House, in anticipation of unprecedented post-election violence. I have seen such scenes in places like Azerbaijan and Russia before. This is Trump’s America. This is not the America that I have known.

Steve vladeck, University of Texas Law Professor: “For anyone complaining about the ‘late’ change in totals to Democrats in MI, Pennsylvania, and WI, most of those votes came * first *. the counting of the postal ballots upon their arrival.

Nicholas Kristof, Times Op-Ed columnist: “If Biden wins after this chalice poisoning, he will inherit a badly divided country after an election that many will deem illegitimate, and it will be harder to rule and more difficult for the states.” United. States to exert influence around the world. “

Morning readings

  • Lives lived: Three decades after becoming the first president of the black student body at Penn State University, H. Jesse Arnelle helped start one of the first minority-owned business law firms in the United States. “It was a bold plan,” Arnelle told The New Yorker in 1993. He died at age 86.


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This Marsala chicken is easy to make with a quick mushroom and shallot sauce. Serve it over linguine or with roasted potatoes.


Netflix’s latest hit series is all about chess. Set in the 1950s and 1960s, “The Queen’s Gambit” follows an orphanage prodigy as she becomes an elite gamer. Adapted from a 1983 novel, the series portrays a world both glamorous and heartbreaking, as Beth – played by Anya Taylor-Joy – excels in a male-dominated sport while battling addiction.

“If you did it as a movie, it becomes a sports movie: ‘is she going to beat the Russian? “Scott Frank, the show’s co-creator told The Times.” And that’s not the subject of the book. For me, it’s about the pain and the cost of being so good.

The Spelling Bee pangrams of yesterday were archiving, archivist and chivalrous. Today’s puzzle is above – or you can play it online if you have a Games membership.

Here are today’s mini-crossword puzzles and a hint: snowman ties (five letters).


Thank you for spending part of your morning with The Times. See you tomorrow. – David

PS The word “reshook” – about Election Day twists – first appeared in the Times yesterday, as the Twitter bot noted @NYT_first_said.

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