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Weekend Reads 11/21/20

Democrats’ 2024 Problem Is Already Clear

Biden’s victory underscores how Democrats now represent a larger coalition than Republicans do: It marks the seventh time in the past eight presidential elections that Democrats have won the popular vote, an unprecedented feat since the formation of the modern party system in 1828. But combined with Republican gains in the House of Representatives and Democrats’ inability to win any Senate seats in the states that backed Donald Trump, the close swing-state results illustrate why it may be extremely difficult for that majority coalition to consistently exercise its power in the years ahead.

China Is Inoculating Thousands With Unapproved COVID-19 Vaccines. Why?

"There is no problem at all. Lots of our colleagues had the shot very early, as early as July," says Guo Peiyu, a construction worker for state behemoth China Railway Group. He is one of hundreds of workers being sent to the Democratic Republic of the Congo this month, where China Railway is building billions of dollars worth of roads in exchange for mineral mining rights.

What Trump’s Refusal To Concede Says About American Democracy

Not respecting the election results is problematic on its own. But considering the crisis the nation is facing now — a new surge in coronavirus cases — Trump’s actions are particularly dangerous. Now more than ever, an effective transition of power is of the utmost importance.

Not only is Trump blocking his advisers from helping the incoming Biden administration get ready to deal with the pandemic, but the defeated president has largely disengaged from the COVID-19 crisis himself. In terms of managing the virus, America will be functionally without a president for two months.

Can Trump actually stage a coup and stay in office for a second term?

“There’s a strange fascination with various imagined dark scenarios, perhaps involving renegade state legislatures, but this is more dystopian fiction than anything likely to happen,” said Richard Pildes, a law professor at New York University. “The irony, or tragedy, is that we managed to conduct an extremely smooth election, with record turnout, under exceptionally difficult circumstances – and yet, a significant portion of the president’s supporters are now convinced that the process was flawed.”

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