“Democrats for Secession:” What if Biden endorses #Calexit?

"Keep Calm. Calexit is Coming"
In a recent crisis simulation, leading government officials said California, Oregon, and Washington should secede if the U.S. Constitution is not reformed. (Graphic: Hannah Miyamoto, 2020)

This article is the third part of a four-part series, ““Red Pill Democrats?” Signs grow that the Anti-Trump Coalition may support California Secession.” Click here to read the beginning of this article.

Democrats for Secession: Phase One

Team Biden only advocated for secession in Scenario Three. In that scenario, unlike Scenario One, the election results were clear soon after Election Night. However, the results were a more extreme version of the 2016 election results, in that Biden wins the popular vote, but Trump won the most electors.

 2020 (Scenario)2016 (Actual)
Electoral Vote286-252, Trump304-227, Trump
Popular Vote52%-47%, Biden48%-46%, Clinton

In other words, in the scenario, Trump’s electoral college margin was much narrower than his lead over Clinton in 2016. On the other hand, Biden won too many votes for Trump to credibly claim a political mandate.

Nevertheless, the Trump immediately attacked the popular vote results, as he did after the 2016 race.

Meanwhile, protests against the election and the electoral college system swept the nation. Although most protesters were nonviolent, the Trump campaign slipped agents slipped into protests to commit violence. Through “false flag” attacks, Trump supporters helped Republicans call for suppressing the protests with brute force.

Despite the mounting evidence that Trump supporters were causing violence and disorder,  Republican officials were surprised when moderate Democrats refused to support their calls for “law and order.”

Three States, Two Sets of Electors.

The most explosive decision of the Biden campaign was that immediately after the election, the campaign withdrew its election concession. Instead, the campaign called for recounts in the close contests. In response, the governors of several crucial states with Democratic governors — Michigan, North Carolina, and Wisconsin – ordered recounts.

Ultimately, the governor’s of these three states – 41 electoral votes in total – designated a rival set of Democratic electors in conflict with the Republican electors named by the GOP-controlled state legislature. These 41 electors would be far more than the 18 votes needed to “flip” the race for Biden.

Crucial to the Republicans’ credibility gap was their efforts to frustrate voting and deny millions of citizens their right to vote. By rigging the election, the Republicans had obliterated the legitimacy of their victory claims. With so many proverbial chickens coming home to roost, the nation was literally being torn apart.

Fueling this fire were the fears of Trump opponents as to likely consequences of a second Trump term. As the TIP report relates, the simulations revealed that this year:

[F]or many Democrats and key Democratic constituencies, this election represents an existential crisis, the last chance to stop a rapid and potentially irreversible US decline into authoritarianism and unbridled nativism.

Thus Biden supporters attacked racially-motivated voter suppression and the electoral college simultaneously. Furthermore, maintaining the coalition of citizens protesting Trump forced the Biden campaign to embrace steadily more radical remedies and goals. Thus the moderation-oriented Biden campaign officials formed a coalition with more intense groups like “Black Lives Matter,” and Bernie Sanders-supporting “Justice Democrats.”

Democrats for Secession: Phase Two

To counter attempts by the Trump campaign to divide the Biden coalition, the Biden campaign became increasingly extremist. In that way, the charges of Republicans became a self-fulfilling prophecy. As a result, while still contesting the election, the Biden campaign joined the calls for major reforms to protect voting rights and the will of voters.

In this environment, the Biden campaign declared that unless Republicans accepted major constitutional reforms, California, Oregon, and Washington should secede. The reforms Biden demanded (with advice from President Obama) were:

  1. Give Washington, D.C. and Puerto Rico statehood, including four new U.S. Senators.
  2. Divide California into five states, each represented by two Senators, to reflect its relatively large population.
  3. Require U.S. Supreme Court justices to retire at age 70.
  4. Eliminate the electoral college and adopt National Popular Vote.

Trump forces Biden to shift Left; Secession is the Ultimate Resistance.

Meanwhile, the Trump campaign continued to try to divide the coalition against them. For example, Trump told The Intercept that Bernie Sanders would have defeated him if he had been the nominee.

Thus, the Biden campaign embraced California and Western secession movements became another step in its steady radicalization. Shocking as it may seem, the imaginary Biden team considered the “California Liberation Movement” as a more radical cause than that of “Black Lives Matter” and “Justice Democrats.”

Congressional Democrats declare Biden the next President.

On January 6, 2021, the newly-convened Democratic-controlled Congress declared Biden the elected president. However, the Republican-controlled Senate insisted Donald Trump had been reelected. Consequently, Congress did not hold the joint session to count electoral votes that the Constitution requires.

The TIP report does not state whether the Democrats had also won control of the U.S. Senate in 2020. If they do win the 2020 elections, the new Democratic Senate majority could endorse the House Democratic majority in a joint session.

However, the election of a Democratic Senate would not necessarily end the controversy. Although the House and Senate could jointly declare Biden president, Trump supporters would insist on invoking the 12th amendment. By that process, Trump and Pence would most likely win reelection.

Unexamined: Trump appeals to Federal Judges for Support.

The TIP simulation also did not consider the result of the Trump campaign rushing to the federal courts during vote recounts, thus replaying 2016. One reason is probably that the TIP team expressly excluded consideration of the legal aspects of the 2020 contest.

However, in the midst of this crisis, Democrats would probably ignore another party-line vote by the Supreme Court. One reason is that Republicans have destroyed the credibility of the high court; it is no longer objective. Democratic Party leaders would be even more defiant against the Court if they win control of both houses in 2020.

Another reason Democrats would defy the federal courts is that, in this scenario, Trump rushed many federal judicial appointments during the lame duck session. Although not considered by the simulation participants, one of those judicial confirmations could be a replacement for Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, retiring due to her health.

Darkness at Noon in Washington.

Regardless, when noon arrived on January 20, 2021, the result of the 2020 election was still uncertain. Ominously, the intentions of U.S. military leaders were uncertain.

Part Four: Take-Home Lessons on Democratic Party support for California Secession. (click here)

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3 Responses

  1. Marcus says:

    The reforms Biden demanded (with advice from President Obama) were:

    Give Washington, D.C. and Puerto Rico statehood, including four new U.S. Senators.
    Divide California into five states, each represented by two Senators, to reflect its relatively large population


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