The President of the United States tweeted again this morning, erroneously claiming for the umpteenth time that mail-in voting leads to voter fraud. It’s a favorite lie of his, one aimed at depressing voter turnout to help Republicans. The GOP cares little for democracy at this point and they would rather deny people their vote than lose power.
Trump ludicrously claimed that mail-in voting would turn 2020 into the “most INACCURATE & FRAUDULENT election in history.” He then made the extraordinary suggestion that the United States delay the November election to ensure that Americans can “properly, securely, and safely vote.”
His intent could not be any more transparent. Trump realizes there is a very strong chance he loses to Joe Biden this election and postponing the election day is a desperate attempt to cling onto the White House for as long as he can. Given his well-demonstrated authoritarian inclinations, there’s no reason to believe that if he were successful in getting the election date moved he wouldn’t simply keep moving it back. If Donald Trump had his druthers there would never be another American presidential election.
Unfortunately for him but fortunately for our Republic, the president does not have the power to unilaterally move the date of the election. Only Congress has the Constitutional ability to do that and since Democrats control the House of Representatives, Trump is unlikely to get what he wants. The 2016 mid-terms continue to pay dividends for America.
With Universal Mail-In Voting (not Absentee Voting, which is good), 2020 will be the most INACCURATE & FRAUDULENT Election in history. It will be a great embarrassment to the USA. Delay the Election until people can properly, securely and safely vote???
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 30, 2020
The president’s illiberal disregard for the Constitution has clearly infected his minions as well because today Secretary of State Mike Pompeo was asked by Senator Tim Kaine (D-VA) about Trump’s election delay tweet.
“Can a president delay the November presidential election Mr. Secretary?” asked Kaine. Pompeo responded that he didn’t want to offer a “legal judgment on the topic.” Kaine reeled off Pompeo’s legal credentials to stress the point that if Pompeo isn’t qualified to offer such a judgment, no one in the Trump administration is.
“The Department of Justice and others will make that legal determination,” Pompeo said, before offering lip service to concerns about election security. Kaine explained that only Congress can change election day, something he should not have to do when speaking to the Secretary of State.
If Pompeo, Attorney General William Barr, and Trump forge ahead with plans to move the election date they’ll run directly into a legal brick wall but the fact that they’d even consider trying is a chilling reminder of how little these men care about our democracy.
"In the end, the Department of Justice and others will make that legal determination" — Mike Pompeo on Trump's tweet suggesting the presidential election should be delayed pic.twitter.com/lmCoolwAg0
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) July 30, 2020
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