Phil Harriman (left) and Ethan Strimling (right). Credit: Gabor Degre / BDN

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Ethan: Are you and I going to need to drag President Donald Trump out of the White House in order to make sure Joe Biden has a place to sleep on Jan. 20?

Phil: Ha! You have the patience of a bumblebee. Election disputes, decided by judges and recounts, are making it clear that Trump is one foot out the door.

Ethan: Has anyone told him? Because he still seems to think his Pennsylvania lawsuit that set aside 10,000 ballots, will somehow net him the 81,191 votes that he needs. Which in turn, would then mean he needs to flip 44,000 votes in Arizona and Nevada to actually steal the election.

Phil: “Steal the election?” Curb your enthusiasm for the progressive agenda that you are so eager to unveil. Trump is simply using the legal avenues available to all Americans to ensure the integrity of the vote. And, ultimately, to ensure that the leader of the free world is truly the one the American people chose.

Ethan: Personally calling election board officials in Michigan, attacking the secretary of state in Georgia and trying to have 6 million votes thrown out in Pennsylvania is not simply “using legal avenues.” He is trying to reverse the results of an election he clearly lost.

Phil: If what you say is true, the courts will continue denying his requests and the recounts will continue going your way. What is it that you are so afraid of that you cannot just let this play out?

Ethan: Oh, I don’t know, national security being compromised because Trump won’t let our COVID experts, intelligence staff and military leaders brief Biden on what is happening in the world?

Phil: After Biden’s 47 years in office, I am sure he has accessed many “insiders” who keep him in the know. Besides, the head of General Services Administration has now opened that door. By the way, did you notice that we now have three coronavirus vaccines on our doorstep? Not that you would ever give Trump credit for that.

Ethan: You are right about that. I won’t. Look, two weeks ago, you said to me, “just give the man a week to confirm the results.” How much longer are you willing to wait before he concedes?

Phil: Let’s see, Al Gore waited 36 days. That sounds good to me.

Ethan: My prediction is that Trump will never concede. He will continue believing he won all the way into the 2024 election. And when he loses that one, he won’t accept those results either.

Phil: Your people also predicted that Trump would launch a coup and that Republican militias would take to the streets. Anyone believing that the president will scorch the earth is insulting the citizens who voted for him. I have no doubt he will ultimately put America first and hand over the keys.

Ethan: For that, I am very thankful.

Phil: Speaking of thankfulness, shouldn’t we be using this Thanksgiving column to say a bit about what we appreciate in life?

Ethan: Always nice to see the sentimental side overtake that stodgy side of my Maine Yankee friend. Let me start by saying how thankful I am that you and I are doing this column again and that we are once again enjoying our spirited debates on TV, radio and now podcasts.

Phil: Likewise. My analyst life had gotten a little, shall we say, routine, while you were off being a public servant. Now I get yelled at on Facebook again.

Ethan: You don’t know half the social media sites that yell at you.

Phil: And I don’t want to know. Yelling aside, can I also say how thankful I am to our readers/listeners/viewers? Their positive feedback on how we interact makes me feel like there is hope for reasonable dialogue in our politics again.

Ethan: Yeah, I know that people really appreciate our keeping it civil. You do make it hard some days, but maybe now that Trump is gone, we can all get back to talking to each other.

Phil: Not yet. I heard there may be a new box of ballots in Nevada. Kidding!

Ethan: Happy Thanksgiving, my friend.

Phil: You too.

Phil Harriman, a former town councilor and state senator from Yarmouth, is the founding partner of Lebel & Harriman, a financial services firm. Ethan Strimling, a former mayor and state senator from Portland, is the president of Swing Hard. Turn Left, which promotes progressive policy at the local, state and national levels.