That title is from Susan B Glasser’s New Yorker article The Trümperdämmerung Is a Fitting End to 2020
Götterdämmerung now generally means downfall, although the synonym flameout seems apposite in this case. Here’s Glasser:
As the awful year of 2020 and the awful tenure of Donald Trump both come to an end, the President has partied with the unmasked in Palm Beach and taken credit for a vaccine against a virus that he once counselled could be beaten with bleach. He has pardoned mercenary child-killers and Paul Manafort. He has golfed. He has raged. He has vetoed the annual defense bill and threatened to shut down the government over the holidays. He has turned against even some of his most loyal henchmen, and some, in turn, have finally flipped on him. “Mr. President . . . STOP THE INSANITY,” the New York Post blared on Monday, after four years of relentless cheerleading.
But, of course, the President did not, and he will not. He continues to refuse to accept his defeat in the election, and just the other day he retweeted a claim that “treason” kept him from winning. Injecting still more political drama into the most ministerial of constitutional processes, Trump and his most fanatical supporters now want Congress to refuse to confirm Joe Biden’s Electoral College win on January 6th—which is both pointless, in that it will not happen, and incredibly destructive. Meanwhile, more than a hundred thousand Americans have died of the coronavirus just since the election, and only two million Americans—not the hundred million he once promised—have so far received the vaccine.
In concrete terms Trump is back in town after a break in his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florada, busily pardoning people and creating mayhem.
On January 6 Congress certifies the results of the electoral college vote, normally a formality. However, this time he wants VP Mike Pence to rule out the votes from certain states. People have been saying that this will not happen, but no-one so far has explained the procedure where this may be possible.
There is an explanation of how Congress settles electoral college disputes, which I won’t attempt to summarise.
The legal situation is complex and unclear. However, it does appear that the numbers in a joint sitting of both houses matter rather than the senate sitting alone. Whether the Supreme Court might get involved, as it did in 1876, is not clear to me.
The bottom line, I think, is that some Republicans want to say stuff on the record, and the loyalty (or not) to Trump of every Republican in Congress will also be on the record. This may be relevant to their preselection chances in the future.
Meanwhile, Trump is trying to conclude a deal to allow an Indigenous holy site to be mined at Oak Flat in Arizona. It’s one of the biggest copper deposits on the planet.
The company, Resolution Copper, is a joint venture of two Australian companies: Rio Tinto and BHP.
Yes, Rio’s record of destroying Indigenous sites in Australia has been noted, but why is our media unconcerned with what our companies do elsewhere?
Also he’s trying to rally companies to lease land for oil drilling in Alaska’s Arctic National Wildlife in an effort to maximise damage to the planet as part of his legacy.