In Bureaucracy, History, Law, Military, Politics, Social commentary on January 5, 2021 at 12:05 am

It’s one of the pivotal moments in the classic 1962 movie, The Longest Day.

It’s June 6, 1944. The Allies have launched their long-expected attack on the French coast of Normandy.

This is an all-out assault on Adolf Hitler’s “Atlantic Wall,” to drive German armies out of the European countries they had conquered in 1940. 

THE LONGEST DAY (1962) *** | John wayne movies, Movie posters, Movie posters vintage

Field Marshal Gerd von Rundstedt, the commander of all German forces in France, fears the worst. 

“We can’t take any chances. I want the reserve panzers moved forward,” he tells his subordinate commander, Major General Gunther Blumentritt.

“But we need permission from the Fuhrer’s headquarters,” replies Blumentritt.

Von Rundstedt: “They won’t dare refuse me! Call the Fuhrer’s headquarters and insist that the panzers be released to me.”  

Blumentritt makes the call to Berlin.

The response is disastrous: Alfred Jodl, Chief of the Operations Staff of the Wehrmacht, refuses the request. He will not release the panzers without Adolf Hitler’s approval. And the Fuhrer—who stays up late at night and sleeps during much of the day—is still sleeping .

“This is history,” says Blumentritt to an aide. “We are living an historical moment. We are going to lose the war because our glorious Fuhrer has taken a sleeping pill and is not to be awakened.

“Think of it, Kurt. We are witnessing something which historians will say is completely improbable. And yet it is true. The Fuhrer is not to be awakened! I sometimes wonder which side God is on.”


Gunther Blumentritt

And just as Bluemtritt predicted, defeat came soon for the German forces in France. 

Today, Gunther Blumentritt’s words have taken on a special meaning for American citizens:We are witnessing something which historians will say is completely improbable. And yet it is true.”

On November 3, Joe Biden became President-elect of the United States by winning 81,283,495 votes, or 51.4% of the vote, compared to 74,223,755 votes, or 46.9% of the vote cast for President Donald Trump.

In the Electoral College—which actually determines the winner—the results were even more stunning: 306 votes for Biden, compared with 232 for Trump. It takes 270 votes to be declared the victor.

KXAN Austin

Joe Biden

From the moment Biden was declared the winner, Trump set out to overturn that verdict.

For the first time in American history, a President demanded a halt to the counting of votes while the outcome of an election hung in doubt. 

But states ignored his demand and kept counting.

Next, Trump ordered his attorneys to file lawsuits to overturn the election results, charging electoral fraud. 

Throughout November and December, cases were filed in Wisconsin, Arizona, Nevada, Michigan, Minnesota and Georgia challenging the election results. None were supported by evidence of fraud—as even Trump’s lawyers admitted when questioned by judges.

From November 3 to December 14, Trump and his allies lost 59 times in court, either withdrawing cases or having them dismissed by Federal and state judges.

On November 19, Trump invited two Republican legislative leaders from Michigan to the White House—to persuade them to stop the state from certifying the vote.

The Michigan legislators said they would follow the law.

On December 5, Trump called Georgia Governor Brian Kemp and asked him to call a special legislative session and convince state legislators to select their own electors that would support him, thus overturning Biden’s win.

Kemp refused, saying he lacked the authority to do so.

President Trump issues order to US Navy to 'destroy' any Iranian boats that 'harass' them at sea - ABC News

Donald Trump

On December 8, the Supreme Court refused to hear Trump’s bid to reverse Pennsylvania’s certification of Biden’s victory. Representative Mike Kelly (R-PA), a Trump ally, argued that the state’s 2.5 million mail-in votes were unconstitutional.

Although Trump had appointed three of the Court’s Justices, not one of them dissented.

On December 10, the Supreme Court refused to let a Texas lawsuit overturn the results in four battleground states: Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. 

The majority of their votes had been cast for Biden.

With the Senate due to certify states’ Electoral College results on January 6, Trump pressed Vice President Mike Pence to flip the results of the election to give him a win. This despite the fact that the Electoral Count Act of 1887 limits the Vice President to a largely ceremonial role.

Then, on December 30,  Missouri Republican Senator Josh Hawley announced that, on January 6, 2021, he would object to the certification of some states’ Electoral College results. As many as 140 House Republicans could join him. 

This will force Republicans to:

  1. Vote to reject Trump’s unsubstantiated claims of massive voter fraud; or
  2. Disenfranchise millions of voters who voted for Biden.

Never before has a losing Presidential candidate mounted a legal coup to overturn an election’s results.

“Josh Hawley and anyone who supports his effort are engaged in the attempted overthrow of democracy,” Democratic Connecticut Senator Chris Murphy said.

“There is no evidence that there was any fraud. Senator Hawley apparently believes that if a Democrat wins the presidential race, it must be illegitimate by definition, even absent any actual evidence of misbehavior.”

Nebraska Republican Senator Ben Sasse bluntly offered the reason for this effort: ‘”We have a bunch of ambitious politicians who think there’s a quick way to tap into the president’s populist base without doing any real, long-term damage. But they’re wrong—and this issue is bigger than anyone’s personal ambitions.”

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