‘Right here’s the deal: As a result of President Trump refuses to concede and is delaying the transition, now we have to fund it ourselves and wish your assist. If you happen to’re in a position, chip in to assist fund the Biden-Harris transition.” So tweeted Joe Biden final week. His marketing campaign has additionally sent out emails begging “grassroots supporters such as you… to energy us by way of this vital second”. There’s something absurd in regards to the president-elect grifting from automobile staff and nurses to assist him transfer to the White Home.
Usually, the method is federally funded. This time, the cash – $10bn – has been blocked as a result of the Normal Providers Administration (GSA), the organisation answerable for handing it out, has refused to recognise Biden’s victory. The begging bowl strategy has turn into frequent follow in recent times – Donald Trump raised $6.5m in 2016. The Biden marketing campaign has apparently already solicited $8m from company backers. It’s a questionable improvement.
Such pleading erodes the excellence between campaigning and governance. It gives partisan funding for what’s a part of the state. At a time when America is so polarised, such funding makes it tougher to be a “president for all Americans”. It additional privatises governance, leverages the facility of lobbyists and particular pursuits and undermines the authority of the president-elect: essentially the most highly effective determine on the planet begging on your unfastened change.
Trump’s refusal to just accept the election end result and the farcical conspiracy theories peddled by his attorneys are undermining US democracy, however in the long run there’s something deeply corrosive about turning transition right into a crowd-funded partisan course of.
• Kenan Malik is an Observer columnist