It is good to have a backup plan, but only when it is something that you know wouldn’t reasonably be affected by someone’s an outside opinion.
For example, whenever we get ready for hurricane season where I live, I always figure out how many cases of bottled water I want to have in the house and then add six cases onto that. The reason being, I have to assume that someone might need one here or there.
On the other hand, sometimes you get situations like what we have in the government where it seems that people are going to use backup plans for hateful reasons.
It’s difficult to know when to take Laurence Tribe seriously.
Yes, the notoriously left-leaning Harvard law professor is one of our nation’s foremost constitutional scholars. You might not agree with him, but he’s been both massively prolific and influential in his work.
For better or ill, Tribe was the legal mentor of Barack Obama. He helped kill Robert Bork’s nomination to the Supreme Court through his testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee. He’s argued a not-insignificant number of cases before the high court. Conservatives may loathe him, but he’s one of the most important legal minds of the past century.
He’s also a man who’s come undone in the age of Donald Trump, using his Twitter account to spread misinformation about the president when he isn’t coming up with his own:
This is like watching the final years of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, when he became obsessed with the paranormal and convinced that fairies existed and had been captured on camera. The difference is that Doyle wrote “The Hound of the Baskervilles” and not “American Constitutional Law,” and he wasn’t being invited on MSNBC to talk about the existence of the fairies. (To be fair, that might have been a bit anachronistic.)
Thus, if you heard the situation Tribe described on Joy Reid’s MSNBC show on Friday regarding what would happen if no presidential winner were declared by Jan. 20, 2021, due to delays or mail-in ballot difficulties — that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi would take office as the next president — you were probably wondering whether this was Tribe speaking as a constitutional scholar or as a man who could use a nice, long rest.
The answer: It’s not as bonkers as you think, but the situation also isn’t as well-thought-out as you would expect from one of our top constitutional scholars.