President Donald Trump has come close to conceding defeat a few times in recent days — if only incidentally or inadvertently.

But the focus on Trump’s tweets misses the point. The president’s refusal to acknowledge that he lost the election has now extended into a second full week, and now come warnings of more significant consequences.

The political fallout is almost predictable, but no less severe for that. Protesters’ clashes in Washington over the weekend gave dramatic and even dangerous evidence about what it means when virtually an entire political party and many millions of its followers defy the basic facts of what happened in an election.

As for policy, warnings are coming into view along with new grim realities of the COVID-19 pandemic. Dr. Anthony Fauci wants to be able to coordinate with the incoming Biden administration team, and President-elect Joe Biden wants to be able to be in touch with career officials; those contacts can’t take place until the Trump administration allows it.

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