– New York Times.
On Monday, members of the Electoral College will vote in Donald J. Trump as president. Though he lost the election by nearly three million votes and almost daily generates headlines about new scandals, the Democratic Party is doing little to stop him. If you’ve been asking yourself “Where are the Democrats?” you’re not alone.
Since the election, top Democrats have been almost absent on the national stage. Rather, they have been involved largely in internecine warfare about how much to work with Mr. Trump. The Hillary Clinton campaign, trying to encourage a peaceful transition, has gone almost completely dark, with her most notable appearances coming in selfies with strangers. Nobody deserves downtime more than Mrs. Clinton, but while she is decompressing, the country is moving toward its biggest electoral mistake in history.
We have recently learned that President-elect Trump has ethical and business conflicts that seem to violate the Constitution; is skipping his national security briefings while dangerously departing from longstanding bipartisan foreign policy; has criticized union workers and protesters on his Twitter feed; and plans to staff much of his cabinet and high-level leadership with billionaires dedicated to eradicating the very programs they are tasked with overseeing. In the meantime, the most recent reports from the C.I.A. are that Russia interfered with the election.
There’s no shortage of legal theories that could challenge Mr. Trump’s anointment, but they come from outsiders rather than the Democratic Party. Impassioned citizens have been pleading with electors to vote against Mr. Trump; law professors have argued that winner-take-all laws for electoral votes are unconstitutional; a small group, the Hamilton Electors, is attempting to free electors to vote their consciences; and a new theory has arisen that there is legal precedent for courts to give the election to Mrs. Clinton based on Russian interference. All of these efforts, along with the grass-roots protests, boycotts and petitions, have been happening without the Democratic Party. The most we’ve seen is a response to the C.I.A. revelations, but only with Republicans onboard to give Democrats bipartisan cover.
Take the recount efforts in Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin. While the Democratic Party relitigates grudges in the press, Jill Stein, the Green Party candidate who received about 64 million fewer votes than Mrs. Clinton, has led the effort. The Democrats have grudgingly participated from the sidelines, but only because public perception forced them to. This effort has proved feeble, with a Pennsylvania judge denying the request because it was “later than last minute.”