A wise prophet who went by the name Monty Python must have had the current president of the United States in mind when he came up with a character known as the Black Knight.

In a hilarious scene from the 1975 film “Monty Python and the Holy Grail,” King Arthur and his squire Patsy encounter a figure in black armor as they are traveling through a forest in search of knights for his Round Table. Instead of joining them, the Black Knight attempts to block the king from crossing his bridge — which is barely more than a plank of wood — and declares: “You shall die.”

Amid the ensuing swordfight, the inept knight loses his limbs, one by one, until he is left with only a torso and a head. “'Tis but a scratch,” he insists. “I’ve had worse.” As Arthur and Patsy go on their way, the knight shouts after them: “Running away, eh? You yellow bastards! Come back here and take what’s coming to ya! I’ll bite your legs off!”

That’s about where things stand for President Trump, the Republican leaders who continue to enable him and the delusional hordes that Trump can summon to the streets with a tweet.

The 2020 election outcome has never really been in doubt, at least not by people in touch with reality. As my colleagues Rosalind S. Helderman and Elise Viebeck reported over the weekend, Trump’s evidence-free claims of massive fraud have been thrown out of court by no fewer than 86 judges at every level, both elected and appointed jurists who span the ideological spectrum.

The electoral college, meeting in state capitols across the nation, will officially make Joe Biden the president-elect Monday. But the weekend saw a wave of protest and violence on the streets of D.C.

If there were a metaphor for the gathering, it would be the moment when five members of the racist, misogynistic group Proud Boys, wearing plaid skirts that were supposed to look like kilts, bent over and exposed their naked buttocks, on which were spelled out an obscenity.

Thousands of people marched in support of President Trump two days before the electoral college confirmed the 2020 election. (The Washington Post)

That image quickly spread on social media, as the Proud Boys no doubt planned it would. The amount of planning and choreography they undertook was, well, impressive. But not in the way they think it was. The lettering appeared to have been done in the same hand, which made me cringe for the person who drew the job of Calligrapher of the Cheeks.

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All of this might seem to align with Karl Marx’s observation about how history repeats itself, first as tragedy and then as farce. Except in Trump’s case, the danger is that the pattern will be reversed.

Whether you think the electoral college is a good idea, its quadrennial convocation is a celebration of the democratic ideal of a peaceful transfer of power. Being selected as an elector was traditionally considered an honor. But this time around, the ritual is being conducted as though the electors were in the witness protection program.

In Michigan, which Biden won by about 154,000 votes, state legislative offices were shut to protect against “credible threats of violence” in advance of its electors meeting. Electors were promised police escorts into the state capitol building in Lansing, where they will cast their ballots. Arizona and other states that were key to Biden’s victory have also been forced to increase security.

“The only date in the Constitution is Jan. 20,” presidential adviser Stephen Miller told Fox News on Monday morning, referring to the inauguration date. “So we have more than enough time to right the wrong of this fraudulent election result and certify Donald Trump as the winner of the election.” The good news is that Biden’s inauguration is now only 37 days away. What’s worrisome is how much damage Trump and the forces he has unleashed can do between now and then.

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