Swamp Rabbit’s parole officer Victor Cortez called me today with a joke about the Electoral College: “The only way for Donald Trump to get to 270 is if he loses fifty pounds.”
I said, “You’re right, it’s impossible.”
I was sure of this because the talking heads on TV had just announced that Joe Biden won Pennsylvania, which put him at 273 electoral votes, which means he’s now the president-elect.
The vote count had dragged into the weekend after the “blue wave” failed to appear on Election Day. Fittingly, the mail-in ballots that put Biden over the top today came out of Philadelphia, the city Trump has been smearing for weeks as one of those places where Democrats would try to steal the election. “Bad things happen in Philadelphia,” he said.
It was the sort of lie Trump can’t resist telling about people who won’t buy his brand, meaning anyone who knows he’s a vindictive blowhard crook who isn’t qualified to be a South Philly ward leader, let alone president.
Swamp Rabbit appeared outside my shack after my phone call with Victor. “You hear the news? Trump just got beat on account of all them bad peeps right here in Philly and the suburbs voted for Biden.”
I reminded him that we live in the Tinicum swamp, not Philly proper. “So what?” he said. “That don’t mean we ain’t close enough to celebrate.”
We got on our bikes and rode a few miles to South Philly and then to Center City, where the streets were packed with placard wavers and fist pumpers and car drivers honking their horns to acknowledge Biden’s victory. It was sunny and 70 degrees and there was no sign America had come fairly close to self-destructing by awarding a second term to a third-rate Mussolini.
Swamp Rabbit parked his bike and bummed a beer at Rittenhouse Square. “Too bad Biden’s gonna get sabotaged by Mitch McConnell and all them other Republican goons who got re-elected to the Senate.”
“Don’t start that again, you’ll spoil the party,” I said. “Besides, Democrats might still get the Senate if they win those two run-off elections in Georgia.”
He shook his head. “And too bad Trump gets to hang around in the White House for a few more months. That’s plenty of time for him to stir up his base and make sure the pandemic gets worse and the stimulus don’t happen. He’s gonna want revenge.”
I shrugged. “We survived four years of him, we can survive a few more months… I think.”