In a deep dive into the final days of President Donald J. Trump’s White House, The New York Times has drawn a somewhat unusual comparison — to Thanksgiving pardoning of turkeys.
In November 2018, Trump stood in the Rose Garden and delivered the hard truth to a bird named Carrots, who was surely going to the slaughter.
“This was a fair election. Unfortunately, Carrots refused to concede and demanded a recount, and we’re still fighting with Carrots,” Trump said. “We’ve come to a conclusion. Carrots, I’m sorry to tell you, the result did not change. It’s too bad for Carrots.”
Trump could learn a lot from Carrots these days. “In the weeks since Election Day, the president and his allies have set off on a groundless and dangerous effort to overturn the will of an electorate that rejected him, moving to undercut basic tenets of American democracy to cling to an office he did not expect to win four years ago and has not particularly treasured since, by most accounts,” The New York Times reported.
The administrator of the General Services Administration (GSA), Emily Murphy, formally announced Monday that President-elect Joe Biden was the apparent winner of the election, signaling it was finally time to begin the transition. Trump, in true fashion, tweeted his response – on the one hand, asking for the transition to begin and, on the other hand, threatening anyone who rules against him.
“I want to thank Emily Murphy at GSA for her steadfast dedication and loyalty to our Country [sic]. She has been harassed, threatened, and abused – and I do not want to see this happen to her, her family, or employees of GSA,” Trump tweeted. “Our case STRONGLY continues, we will keep up the good fight, and I believe we will prevail!”
Trump continued, “Nevertheless, in the best interest of our Country [sic], I am recommending that Emily and her team do what needs to be done with regard to initial protocols, and I have told my team to do the same.”
…fight, and I believe we will prevail! Nevertheless, in the best interest of our Country, I am recommending that Emily and her team do what needs to be done with regard to initial protocols, and have told my team to do the same.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 23, 2020
“In some ways, Mr. Trump had seemed to imagine his Washington life more closely resembling a rolling turkey pardon — the pomp and splendor, yes, but also a world largely amenable to his boss-man bearing and binary whims: This bird is spared. Those birds are not,” The New York Times reported. “He’d have his people call the turkey people and hammer out the fine print later. But through it all, his word would be final … This instinct has likewise fueled Mr. Trump’s affection for people-pardoning: He has used his pardon and clemency powers with abandon to reward allies and others whose causes are backed by celebrities. He is still considering a wave of such pardons for the final weeks of his tenure.”
The grandiose White House that Trump has occupied for the past four years will soon be prepared for the next president — and Trump will have to leave. In this case, he may still fair better than Carrots.