[guest post by Dana]
This afternoon after being asked whether he will commit to a peaceful transfer of power if he loses:
“We’re going to have to see what happens, you know, but I’ve been complaining very strongly about the ballots. The ballots are a disaster,” Trump told reporters at a White House briefing when asked if he would commit to making sure there is a peaceful power transition.
When pressed, Trump said there would be no need for a transition of power without mail-in ballots, suggesting he believes he would win the election without an expansion of mail-in voting during the pandemic.
“Get rid of the ballots and you’ll have a very peaceful, there won’t be a transfer, frankly, there will be a continuation,” Trump said. “The ballots are out of control. You know it and you know who knows it better than anyone else? The Democrats know it better than anyone else.”
The context makes it worse. pic.twitter.com/8QXda35jwN
— Daniel W. Drezner (@dandrezner) September 23, 2020
Reportedly, the Trump camp is already hard at work prepping desperate contingency plans, if the situation makes them necessary:
According to sources in the Republican Party at the state and national levels, the Trump campaign is discussing contingency plans to bypass election results and appoint loyal electors in battleground states where Republicans hold the legislative majority. With a justification based on claims of rampant fraud, Trump would ask state legislators to set aside the popular vote and exercise their power to choose a slate of electors directly. The longer Trump succeeds in keeping the vote count in doubt, the more pressure legislators will feel to act before the safe-harbor deadline expires…
The Trump-campaign legal adviser I spoke with told me the push to appoint electors would be framed in terms of protecting the people’s will. Once committed to the position that the overtime count has been rigged, the adviser said, state lawmakers will want to judge for themselves what the voters intended.
“The state legislatures will say, ‘All right, we’ve been given this constitutional power. We don’t think the results of our own state are accurate, so here’s our slate of electors that we think properly reflect the results of our state,’ ” the adviser said. Democrats, he added, have exposed themselves to this stratagem by creating the conditions for a lengthy overtime.
Personally, I think Trump loves dropping these bombs of confusion and feeds off of the ensuing frustration and anger. This is Trump clapping his fat, little hands in glee knowing he is sowing the seeds of Trumpism. His loyal followers believe that the resulting chaos is evidence of his power play against the Swamp, or the Deep State, or Big Media, or whatever imaginary beast he conjures up as his latest enemy. His loyal base – the deluded – believe that his is a righteous cause, and his words and deeds are being nobly done on their behalf. Because that’s how necessary denial works.
I know this post deserves a deeper analysis, but honestly, there’s really nothing new to it. He is who he is, and the closer the election, the more this sort of stuff is just going to happen. I almost feel that by posting about it and being outraged, I’m feeding the insatiable attention whore, who devours negative attention as much as he does positive attention, as long as it’s about him. Anyway, here’s a more in-depth look at Trump’s statements on the election results.
By the way, the President of the United States is now literally begging me to vote for his opponent on November 3. And, in spite of my decision to vote for neither candidate, he is really moving the needle. Hard.