Professor David Bateman isn’t all that concerned about the lawsuits or the president’s decision to replace some Pentagon staffers with loyalists.
“The only really troubling aspect, is the refusal to concede while there may be litigation ongoing,” Bateman said. “I have no major worries about this. If it came down to one state, it would be problematic.”
But President-elect Joe Biden is leading the president in several states, and by a vote count that, in many states, precludes recounts.
Bateman is an associate professor at Cornell University whose research focuses on Congress, American political development, and voting rights. He says the litigation brought by the Trump campaign is “neither new nor troubling." There are simply too many factors that would need to line up just right for Trump to make a sustained effort to stay in office.
Bateman says he’s also not concerned about the changes the president has made at the Pentagon. He told Capital Tonight that “it seems that he’s wanted people out at the Pentagon for a while and was being restrained from doing so before the election.”
So what could be the president’s end-game?
“I expect there’s a variety of things, foreign policy initiatives that he feels have been stymied that he would like to get done,” Bateman said. “Those could range from the relatively mundane to the much larger scale, such as conflicts with Iran, or elsewhere. That wouldn’t surprise me.”
What does concern Bateman is the effect this situation will have on democracy in America.
“It’s deeply corrosive that he’s taking this path,” Bateman said. “He’s shown no regard for the institution. It’s also deeply corrosive that Republicans feel that there’s no upside to getting out ahead of him and recognizing Biden and acknowledging that this is what’s happened.”