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America in Transition: What's the Hurry?

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A November 23 headline at ABC News reads: "Joe Biden's presidential transition allowed to proceed after 16-day standoff." The 16 days in question, ABC tells us, are the 16 days since Biden "clinched the presidency."

"Clinched the presidency" is ABC News-speak for "the media decided he won." In point of fact, the 2020 presidential election isn't over yet and won't be for another three weeks.

No, I'm not referring to Donald Trump's campaign of vexatious litigation, which is going, and will go, nowhere.

On November 3, American voters chose electors. They're called "electors," and constitute the "Electoral College," because THEY elect the president.

Those electors are set to meet and vote on December 14, after which Joe Biden will, one assumes, become the "president-elect." But that hasn't happened yet, and while the law is somewhat unclear on the point, it's not beyond the realm of possibility that 270 of them could decide between now and then that they prefer Kanye West and Ted Nugent to Joe Biden and Kamala Harris.

And regardless of what happens on December 14, Donald Trump's presidency doesn't end until January 20.

So, what's the hurry, Joe?

Well, ABC tells us, officially launching the transition process "unlocks more than $7 million for Biden's team and allows his top advisers to begin outreach to counterparts with every federal agency preparing for the transfer of power."

Joe Biden's spent the last 50 years in national politics, serving in the US Senate, running for president three times, and serving for eight years as vice-president.

Yet he's spent the last three weeks supposedly in a complex process of mulling over just who he plans to appoint to what position, with media breathlessly announcing each momentous leak about his decisions.

If Biden couldn't even get his act together over the course of half a century to have a cabinet picked before the election, why should we believe that a few weeks, $7 million, and some "outreach" will magically prepare him for the job he's been seeking that whole time?

Cue scary story time: "Biden and his aides had warned that the delay could endanger the lives of Americans amid the coronavirus pandemic."

Joe Biden raised more than a billion dollars for his presidential campaign, at least some of which was spent generating and hyping his plan for dealing with the pandemic.

But unless he gets $7 million and his staffers get to spend the next eight weeks holding college dorm style bull sessions with the people they'll be replacing, we're all gonna die, see?

Not buying it, Joe.

The only thing Donald Trump and his administration owe to Joe Biden is to get their stuff packed and have it and themselves out of their offices before noon on January 20, 2021. The rest is just theatrics.

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Thomas L. Knapp is director and senior news analyst at the William Lloyd Garrison Center for Libertarian Advocacy Journalism ( He lives and works in north central Florida.

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