If He Loses, Trump is Preparing for a Constitutional Crisis, Even if it Tears the Nation Apart
No one should be surprised that President Trump reiterated yesterday that he might refuse to step down if he loses the election. He has been preparing his supporters for that outcome for months by frequently questioning mail-in voting and with his outlandish claims of rampant voter fraud. And, yes, he is quite ready to precipitate an unprecedented constitutional crisis in order to sooth his wounded pride should he lose in November. If you don't believe that, you have obviously not been paying attention.
The Atlantic has reported that Trump is already preparing a strategy in which a few Republican-held legislatures in key states like Pennsylvania and Wisconsin would invalidate their election results and appoint pro-Trump electors to replace the ones that would have voted for Biden based on the popular vote in the state.
Business Insider: "The Trump campaign is weighing a postelection strategy that would bypass the results in key swing states by installing electors who would vote for the president in the Electoral College even if he loses."
For this to work, Trump would probably need the US Supreme Court to rule that the state legislatures had a legitimate reason for replacing the Biden electors, such as widespread voter fraud. And that is why the President is beginning to talk frequently about the role that the Supreme Court will play in the outcome of the election.
Washington Post: "In recent days, the president cast doubt on the integrity of vote totals. He said he might not accept the results if they show him losing to Democratic nominee Joe Biden. He said it was imperative to quickly fill the Supreme Court vacancy created by the death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg because the nation’s high court could determine the winner of the election."...
"Trump reaffirmed his views Thursday, saying on Fox News Radio that he would agree with a Supreme Court ruling that Biden won the election but that short of a court decision, the vote count would amount to “a horror show” because of fraudulent ballots."
Donald Trump is plotting to undermine American democracy and destroy our most cherished institutions out-loud, in full view of everyone. And, yes, I'm quite aware that this all sounds outlandish, like a bad suspense novel, but even the head of Pennsylvania's Republican party admitted the strategy is under consideration.
Business Insider: "Lawrence Tabas, the chairman of the Pennsylvania GOP, said the elector strategy was something the party could pursue."
"I just don't think this is the right time for me to be discussing those strategies and approaches, but [direct appointment of electors] is one of the options," he told The Atlantic. "It is one of the available legal options set forth in the Constitution."
Across the nation, election officials and Constitutional scholars are starting to sound alarms over Trump's rhetoric and it's time to start paying attention. Thomas Friedman of the New York Times calls the situation "a six-alarm fire," and he is far from the only one.
Washington Post: “For the first time in my life, and maybe for the first time since the Civil War, the fate of constitutional democracy in the United States is on the line, and it’s on the line because the president has put it there,” said William A. Galston, chair of the Brookings Institution’s Governance Studies Program. “It is a clear and present danger.”
New York Times: "Chris Edelson, an American University professor who has studied the expansion of presidential power during national emergencies, said Mr. Trump’s comments represented a unique threat to a central pillar of democracy. “It’s impossible to underscore how absolutely extraordinary this situation is — there are really no precedents in our country,” he said. “This is a president who has threatened to jail his political opponents. Now he is suggesting he would not respect the results of an election. These are serious warning signs.”
Washington Post: "State election officials said they are alarmed by the president’s rhetoric."
“Categorically and emphatically, when you have public officials casting doubt on the process, it’s incredibly corrosive,” said Maine Secretary of State Matthew Dunlap, a Democrat. “I cannot describe that with enough vehemence. It’s nearly a criminal or treasonous act. We hold a sacred trust, and it is our job to make people feel like they’re protected in their decision-making, as the authors of our future.”
Trump's strategy to question the election results and replace the electors would only work if the election was close and the Supreme Court and the President's enablers in the US Senate acquiesced. Unfortunately, that's conceivable considering recent history. But, it would ignite a firestorm that would engulf the entire nation with millions of Americans protesting in the streets for months if not years.
Let me be clear; we are not a banana republic and in the end, I believe that Mitch McConnell, John Roberts, and many other patriotic Republicans would do the right thing and escort Donald Trump from the White House if he loses in November. The problem, however, is how did we ever get to a point that this would even be questioned. How did this incompetent, lying, buffoon get such a stranglehold on this great nation?
By: Don Lam & Curated Content