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Opinion: Emily Murphy, do your job

November 18, 2020. Summarized by summa-bot.

The GSA administrator's chief duty right now is to affirm the projected result of the presidential contest so that the incoming administration's personnel can get busy setting up a new government, writes Jill Filipovic. Even amid a pandemic crisis, Murphy has declined to do this. And so — like her boss -- has made the whole country vulnerable.

This week, both the administrator of the General Services Administration, Emily Murphy, and Donald Trump's personal lawyer (and the former New York City mayor) Rudy Giuliani have made themselves two exemplars of that Burkean aphorism.

Murphy is refusing to do her job: doing nothing, technically, but making a clear choice to do harm by blocking a key part of the transition to the incoming government of Joe Biden.

Giuliani is making an affirmative choice to undermine confidence in American democracy and our system of free and fair elections.

Let's start with Murphy, a previously little-known Trump appointee to the obscure office of Administrator of the General Services Administration.

Her chief duty right now is to affirm the projected result of the presidential contest — as GSA administrators before her have generally done within a matter of hours of the election being called — so that the incoming administration's personnel can get busy setting up a new government.

But it's the rest of us who will pay the price Murphy and Giuliani are extracting: a slowed-down government less equipped to handle a deadly and devastating crisis; a divided and polarized nation where Trump followers increasingly live in their own ideological, fact-compromised universe, Trump opponents wonder whether we can coexist with people so divorced from reality — and everyone is angry and resentful.

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