• Ed Flattau

Donald Lame Duck

Updated: Nov 14, 2020

Donald Trump is spoiling for trouble during his lame-duck tenure ending with President-Elect Joe Biden’s January 20 inauguration. Trump is preparing a slew of executive orders rolling back the major environmental initiatives of his nemesis, former-President Barack Obama. Jealousy knows no bounds. Trump’s executive orders will be issued just in case he should fail to solidify the reversal of Obama’s work through legislation. Such failure is a distinct possibility with Nancy Pelosi’s House Democratic majority standing in the way.

Meanwhile, Trump is busy filing frivolous lawsuits to delay transfer of power and other accoutrements associated with the highest office in the land. If successful, Trump’s actions would put a crimp in Biden’s personnel recruitment strategy. Hiring hang-ups in governmental agencies would discourage qualified individuals from returning to federal service. Reliable personnel within the agencies could be driven out by Trump holdovers awarded entrenched status and scattered throughout the federal bureaucracy.

Other Trump lame-duck acts of sabotage include denying Biden access to classified agency briefings and delaying subsidies to the renewable energy industry in deference to the demands of Trump’s fossil-fuel dominated world. He seeks to achieve these objectives by continuing to prohibit the General Services Administration from certifying the legitimacy of the Election. Without that certification, Biden is technically not entitled access to State secrets. No matter that Biden’s presidency is put at risk should a crisis erupt early in his term before he could familiarize himself sufficiently with the geo-political legacy he had inherited.

To counter Trump, Biden is preparing executive orders to prevent disarray from stiff congressional opposition early in his term. For example, the President-Elect intends for the United States to rejoin the Paris Climate Accord within 30 days from his inauguration. To avoid delay, Biden plans to seek re-entry into the Accord without ratification by a likely Republican-controlled truculent Senate.

Trump’s obfuscation is a reminder. Lame-duck transitions should be a time for a smooth hand-off of leadership responsibility instead of a period of frenzied partisan obstruction at the expense of national security. It is a challenging paradigm called – Democracy!


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