An unsung advantage of the Donald Trump presidency is how it calls for a deeper understanding of American civics and legislation.
His behaviour has added intrigue to beforehand ho-hum questions on the U.S. Constitution.
Can a sitting president be indicted?
Can he commit crimes after which pardon himself?
And the newest, prompted by a presidential tweet Thursday: Can the president delay the November election?
Trump tweeted that voting by mail — one thing many assume is perhaps smart throughout a pandemic — would result in “the most INACCURATE & FRAUDULENT Election in historical past.”
“Delay the Election till individuals can correctly, securely and safely vote???” he completed.
Then he pinned the tweet in order that it remained at the high of his account and would not get misplaced in the hearth hose stream of his different tweets, a transparent signal he desires to get individuals labored up about it.
With Universal Mail-In Voting (not Absentee Voting, which is sweet), 2020 can be the most INACCURATE & FRAUDULENT Election in historical past. It can be a fantastic embarrassment to the USA. Delay the Election till individuals can correctly, securely and safely vote???
Later in the day, throughout a briefing with reporters, he repeated his unsubstantiated declare that the vote in November “can be the most rigged election in historical past,” and that mail-in voting is an invite to fraud.
“Everyone is aware of it. Smart individuals know it. Stupid individuals might not know it,” he mentioned.
In reality, mail-in voting is obtainable in lots of states, has been the commonplace approach of voting in Oregon for greater than 20 years, and all with out the large fraud Trump alleges.
The election will not be going to be delayed. The query of whether or not it even may very well be delayed is settled. It was put to constitutional students months in the past when COVID-19 deaths began rising and assist for the president began falling.
The reply was a closely certified, technical “sure but no, not likely.” The president can’t reschedule the election. Congress might but solely below extraordinary circumstances and for a really transient delay.
The U.S. did not cancel elections throughout the Civil War, the pandemic of 1918, or the two world wars. So, as extraordinary and tragic as this second appears, it has equally severe precedents.
And, moreover, Democrats are calling the photographs in the House, and the states administer elections. At least one Republican governor was fast to push again towards the president.
“Make no mistake: the election will occur in New Hampshire on November third. End of story,” tweeted New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu.
Must know Election outcomes on the night time of the Election, not days, months, or even years later!
Trump is aware of all this, so what’s he as much as?
If his tweet is not actually severe about an election delay, then the necessary half is his declare that the election can be the most inaccurate and fraudulent in U.S. historical past. That’s a inform — it suggests he thinks he’s going to lose.
He did the similar factor earlier than the 2016 election when polls had been suggesting Hillary Clinton could be the subsequent president.
WATCH | Sound acquainted? Trump additionally steered the 2016 election could be rigged:
The proof reveals that when there’s a risk to election integrity and it may profit Trump, he retains quiet about it. So does his household.
As Robert Mueller’s particular counsel report laid out, Trump, his son Donald Jr., his daughter Ivanka and her husband Jared Kushner all knew the Russian authorities was providing to assist Trump throughout the 2016 election. The proof is in their very own personal emails that at the moment are public. The Trumps did not report the risk to the FBI, or tweet about it, they sat on it or lied about it.
More not too long ago, Trump was impeached in 2019 for misusing the energy of his workplace to attempt to strain the president of Ukraine into making damaging statements about Trump’s presumed election opponent, former vice-president Joe Biden. He was acquitted by the Republican majority in the Senate.
So Trump is clearly not offended by election shenanigans in precept.
A a lot totally different take
The standard knowledge amongst many Washington pundits is that Trump is conjuring election fraud with a purpose to seed the floor now for discrediting the lead to November. He can then declare the presidency was stolen from him. To what finish is unsure: To problem the outcome if it’s shut, or to avoid wasting face if it is not?
One well-known pundit, the vibrant Louisiana Democrat James Carville, has a startlingly totally different take.
“There’s a major likelihood that Trump would not run,” Carville mentioned on MSNBC earlier this month, citing what he noticed as an not possible path to Trump’s re-election. “I feel there’s a higher likelihood Donald Trump doesn’t run for re-election than he is re-elected.”
Sometime FOX Business commentator Charles Gasparino tweeted in late June that his Republican sources had been “for the first time elevating the chance that @actualDonaldTrump might drop out of the race.”
The rationalization provided will not be merely that Trump hates dropping, it’s that he has a deep worry of humiliation. Casparino mentioned some Republicans famous Trump’s fragile “psyche.”
Humiliation and diminishment appear to have scarred Trump at an early age.
In her new e book, Too Much and Never Enough: How My Family Created the World’s Most Dangerous Man, the president’s niece, Mary Trump, recounts a scene from Donald’s youth. He’d been teasing his older brother Fred, when instantly Fred turned and dumped a bowl of mashed potatoes on the head of seven-year-old Donald and everybody laughed at him.
Many a long time later, at a giant household dinner in the White House, Mary describes an aunt recalling the mashed potatoes story in entrance of the president:
“We’ve come a good distance since that night time when Freddy dumped a bowl of mashed potatoes on Donald’s head for being such a brat,” [said aunt Maryanne]. Everybody aware of the legendary mashed potato story laughed — everybody besides Donald, who listened together with his arms tightly crossed and a scowl on his face, as he did at any time when Maryanne talked about it. It upset him as if he had been that seven-year-old boy.”
Mary Trump thought-about the mashed potato story so revealing that she included it in the prologue of her e book after which expanded on it in a later chapter as if it had been an emblem of the president’s life — like the sled in the film Citizen Kane.
The concept that Trump could be so pushed to avoid humiliation that he’d conjure the inevitability of election fraud as an excuse to stop the presidency and avoid defeat sounds too far-fetched to take severely. But not way back, the entire thought of his presidency sounded that approach.
And if that’s what he’s getting ready to do, that is precisely how it would look.