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Wednesday came and went. Trump is still president. We’re no safer than we were last Tuesday.

Somebody help me out here—what does this mean?

“a new administration will be inaugurated on January 20th.”

Those were Trump’s words yesterday in what everyone is optimistically calling his concession speech, this from the man who swore he would never concede, who still has not declared the election to have been valid, and who never mentioned Joe Biden’s name as having anything to do with this “new administration.”

What if this new administration does not involve Joe Biden at all?

What if it’s Trump and his family in all the important posts, a new Attorney General who allows the coup to proceed, and a new Chairman of the Joint Chiefs who is more agreeable to using the military to defend the White House against a hostile takeover, even arrest the usurpers Biden and Harris?

What if all these resignations are not being tendered on moral grounds, but to clear the way for new people who have already promised to support the coup? Pence will be gone because there will be no need for that office, Graham and McConnell will have been rendered toothless, but the inner sanctum—Pompeo, Meadows—will pitch in. There are plenty of allies who are beholden to Trump for pardons, plenty of House members and a few senators corrupt and corruptible enough to throw in with him (we even know their names), and a slew of foot soldiers organized to launch further attacks.

Checks and balances? The Supreme Court? The Electoral College? The certifying of the ballots?They won't help you. They are all trappings of a democracy. In the "new administration" niceties such as those will no longer obtain.

I don't pretend to know everything about our government. Far from it. Maybe what I'm imagining here is QAnon-level conspiracy theory, Alex Jones on steroids. But we are in a very vulnerable place right now—today. In Macbeth the protagonist says, in his moment of glory, "We have scotch'd the snake, not kill'd it." He knows that so-called victories are only real when they endure. The power of American democracy beat back Trump and his mobs on Wednesday, and we were all confident that it was finally over; but now it's Friday—he's still president and his followers haven't gone anywhere.

No one who has even casually observed Donald Trump these past five years can possibly believe that the next 12 days will proceed smoothly, not from a man who faces bankruptcy and even imprisonment once he becomes an unshielded citizen. Starting a civil war to save himself is well within his orbit.

I take some consolation in the fact that if I'm thinking this way, people a lot smarter than I are doing the same and preparing. But we should be on high alert, as we were after the terrorist attacks of 9/11. It took a long time for us to feel comfortable after that Tuesday in September, and it should take us an equally long time to become comfortable when the terrorists come from within, aren't going anywhere, and are led by the most powerful individual in the world.

If this piece is no more than a daymare born of too much Trump, I'll gladly retract every word and remove it forever. Nobody wants 12 uneventful days more than I do; nobody expects them less.

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