We can open the bars, but oh, no, we better delay the election

Donald Trump is desperate to cling to power for as long as he can, so his latest trial balloon is to suggest delaying the election because — wait for it — the pandemic. You know, the pandemic he’s been downplaying for months. The disease that he claims is controlled by hydroxychloroquine and prayers by a woman who believes it’s caused by demon semen. The coronavirus he and his advisors want to pretend doesn’t exist or is just a kind of flu so they can reopen the economy. Only now he’s claiming it is so severe that he wants to hold up the November election.

To which I’d say, vote by mail — that’s what I’m planning to do — but no, he wants to block that, too. Here’s what he’s really doing:

Trump appears to be doing everything in his power to undermine the credibility of November’s vote, in which a record number of Americans are predicted to rely on mail-in voting to avoid the risk of exposure to the coronavirus. He’s repeatedly made false and misleading claims about the reliability of the mail balloting and suggested broad conspiracy theories. Critics warn that he could be laying the groundwork for contesting the results – although the purpose may be simply to give him a scapegoat if he loses.

Trump’s Thursday morning tweet could also be an attempt to divert attention away from the truly dismal second-quarter economic numbers just released. He’s been relying on a financial turnaround to breath life into his re-election campaign, and instead the outlook appears exceedingly gloomy.

If you are optimistically confident that there will be a smooth transition in power in a few months, and that the criminal-in-chief will surely obey the law and quietly leave office in January, I’ve got news for you. We’re going to have to go into the Oval Office with meathooks and claw him out in pieces, while his partisans are waving AR-15s and shooting up federal buildings all over the country. He’s clearly beginning to panic.


  1. says

    Legal Eagle covered this,

    If Trump tries this he still looses his position on Jan. 10 and the Presidency reverts to the house. Most Likely Nancy Pelosi. This is a smokescreen to set himself to dispute the results. Delaying the election provides no benefit for him unless there’s a miracle cure between November and January. NOT… GOING… TO HAPPEN.

  2. Geoff R. says

    Also, I’d conjecture, the reason his party is trying to destroy the USPS. One has to give them credit, morally bankrupt as they are, they can come up with creative ways to bypass the rule of law.

  3. says

    It wont work because of the write-in votes and I suppose the non-republican-controlled states could hold the vote and announce the results anyway. Oops, sorry, you didn’t vote? Awww.

  4. stuffin says

    He is getting more desperate by the minute. He knows investigations, indictments and jail await him. his only way out is to stay on as president.

  5. unclefrogy says

    I do not know what you are saying I think it would be one of the funniest and most ironic results I can imagine. The republicans would meltdown completely to have “that woman” become POTUS, and there would nothing they could do, Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha !
    uncle frogy

  6. robro says

    JoeBuddha @ #6 — No “apparently” about it. Cain is dead. The first well-known Republican victim. It isn’t known where he contracted the virus, but he was at the Tulsa rally, not wearing a mask, probably pump hands with Trump, and spreading the disease.

  7. robro says

    unclefrogy @ #7 — I want to second that emotion. Pelosi isn’t perfect, but she’s definitely a step up from the current holder. Anyone willing to slam their head with a brick over that possibility, shouldn’t be able to do anything because they are buried under a ton of bricks because of 45.

  8. aspleen says

    Trump can’t unilaterally cancel the election, which by law must be held on the Tuesday after the first Monday in November. It requires the consent of Congress as well to change it, so all this is just more blather from Trump.

  9. aspleen says

    The idea of president Pelosi makes me want to slam myself in the head with a brick. What a choice!

    It’s not likely to happen, but I would not sell Pelosi short if it did. She’s a remarkable woman and has been an effective Speaker as well as forthrightly opposing Trump.

  10. davidc1 says

    The only thing he has been right about ,is that postal voters vote for them demonocrats .
    A bit O T ,but has anyone read the book written by his niece ?

  11. stroppy says

    One scenario:
    1) Delegitimize,
    2) gin up noise machine
    3) lawyering
    4) propagandize
    5) wind up the gun nut militias, biker gangs… other assorted violent idiots
    6) provoke, provoke, provoke
    7) blood shed + +
    8) declare martial law
    9) more lawyers, noise, propoganda confusion, delegitimization, etc.
    10) try every conceivable trick imaginable to cling to power and see what sticks.
    11) dig in bunker
    12) get dragged out
    13) leave the country a broken mess that may be next to impossible to fix
    14) be a martyr to future generations of wack jobs just waiting for a chance to crawl out from under their rocks again.

    More a matter of how much damage he can do rather than whether he can do this or that thing legally.

    Watching his ads and listening to his voice start to crumble, I think there may be some kind weird melt down in the offing that causes the administration to collapse before the year is out… maybe wishful thinking, but I do think deep down everybody is getting tired of his schtick, even if they won’t admit it.

  12. garnetstar says

    @13, I agree. And, the republicans will let him do all of those. Even if, right before the election, he declares an emergency, with martial law, and “suspends” the election altogether.
    Although, then Pelosi would end up president, and I must agree that I would welcome her or anyone else who is sane.

    You could tell from Barr’s waffling on this in his testimony yesterday–he “doesn’t know” who has the power to delay the election–that Trump wants this.

    And, as to the dismal 2nd-quarter jobs and economy report: we have all known this since March, everyone knows that tens of millions are unemployed and businesses shut or failing. The stock market, as well as Trump, is also panicking about it just today.

    So, only becomes real when a report is issued about it? Is that like, if we don’t test for Covid cases, they don’t exist either? If the ball goes behind the couch, it no longer exists?

  13. garnetstar says

    Perhaps Barr will get the virus from his close,, no-masks contact yesterday with infected congressman Louie Gohmert.

    Then Barr won’t be available to advise Trump on the worst method: contest and delay, have republican-controlled states send in two sets of conflicting results, keep delaying and contesting until after the electoral college has to vote (or just get his armed supporters to attack state capitols, so they can’t appoint electors. No federal troops sent to oppose them, of course.) So, the election is held, but the winner is still not determined by the due date, and that will throw the election to the house of representatives, which will elect Trump.

    I prefer the other scenarios.

  14. robro says

    garnetstar @ #16

    So, the election is held, but the winner is still not determined by the due date, and that will throw the election to the house of representatives, which will elect Trump.

    How do you figure a House of Representatives vote goes to Trump? That doesn’t seem very likely unless the Democrats loose seats and they may actually gain some.

  15. blf says

    @13, What if Trump loses but refuses to leave office? Here’s the worst-case scenario. Broadly, several “swing” states submit two sets of electors to the Electoral College: One certified by the dummie (Democratic) governor, and the other by the thug-controlled (Republican) legislature. Chaos ensues… The interesting thing about this scenario is it has actually happened, in Hayes–Tilden election of 1876, “one of the most contentious and controversial presidential elections in American history, and gave rise to the Compromise of 1877 by which the Democrats conceded the election to Hayes in return for an end to Reconstruction and the withdrawal of federal troops from the South” (Ye Pfffft! of All Knowledge). Or as the opinion column in the Grauniad puts it, “Catastrophe was avoided only by a last second disastrous compromise between the parties: Republicans agreed to remove federal troops from the south, paving the way to Jim Crow, and in return, Samuel Tilden, the Democrats’ candidate, agreed to concede.”

  16. eddavies says

    Is he actually trying to delay the election or is he just trying to de-legitimize his presumed loss?

  17. blf says

    @20, He himself probably doesn’t know. He cannot unilaterally delay the electron, and perhaps more to the point, the Constitution says the current President’s term ends, and the incoming President’s begins, at noon on January 20th (20th Amendment). Technical glitch is it doesn’t say in which time zone. There are additional provisions for deciding who is President if that somehow gets buggered-up, albeit as per @19 and other sources, they are not foolproof (or more relevant in this situation, not above being manipulated). The fixed point is the slightly-ambiguous “noon on 20th January”; that cannot be postponed, wished-away, or cancelled, and (presumably) is immune to manipulation despite the time-zone glitch.

  18. davidc1 says

    @14 Oh well ,that’s another thing i was wrong about .In the Guardian during the week ,there was a story of a woman who voted for him last time ,but is voting Democrat across the board this time (whatever that means )

  19. stroppy says

    Yes. Make a list of all the stupid thinks you can think of, and Trump is trying to do all of it and more at the same time.

    Delaying gives him time to invent more nonsense. De-legitimizing is what he does for everything because he can always make hay out of it, but yes he’s protecting himself against a possible loss… because “look at my huge crowds of adoring fans which are huge like nobody has ever seen because I’m [blah, blah, blah] greatest, A+, nobody like me in history, [blah, blah, blah] don’t believe your lying eyes, lame stream media hoax, woe is me, unfair, take ’em out like a knife through butter, don’t be nice, my ratings are through the roof, build the wall, look! I managed to drink water like a big boy, I passed a cofefe genius test, so I always win, look at this bible…”

  20. stroppy says

    “across the board” probably means “straight ticket.”

    At election time, you used to go into a booth with a machine with levers you pushed to select your candidates. There was also a single switch that allowed you to vote for all the candidates of your favored party at once. At least that’s how it was where I lived back in the day.

  21. loop says

    As someone from the UK, can a USAian explain what difference (real or imaginary) there is between mail-in voting and absentee voting, and why Trump thinks only the latter is secure?

  22. ORigel says

    Trump is a bully who talks a big talk and then folds when it becomes apparent there’d be consequences– for him.

    He’ll tweet armed rebellions from his couch, and then leave quietly when the Secret Service comes to extract him from the White House.

  23. answersingenitals says

    If I had any musical talent, I would start a band called “The Semen Demons”. Actually, my total lack of musical talent might be just right for such a band. And, if Trump is re-elected, we would surely be invited to perform at his inauguration.

    Spiro Agnew retired as Richard Nixon’s Vice-President in a bargain with the justice department to avoid being charged with corruption, bribe taking, and a slew of other felonies. Rachel Maddow has a five part podcast entitled “Bag Man” that details this episode in American/Republican politics. Maybe Trump is taking a hint from this and is angling to avoid post-presidency prosecution in exchange for leaving office peacefully. Of course, this would only avoid federal prosecution.

  24. vereverum says

    So, how will the new, as of last month, Postmaster General’s move to close post offices effect voting by mail?

  25. blf says

    @25, Absentee Ballot vs Mail-In Ballot: Is There A Difference? (trivially found with a search, b.t.w.):

    [… many details…]
    The takeaway:
    ● An absentee ballot is generally used in every state to refer to a ballot filled out by a voter who cannot, for various reasons, physically make it to a voting location on Election Day.
    ● A mail-in ballot is used more broadly to refer to ballots sent through the mail, including in all-mail voting states and some forms of absentee voting.

    Why hair furor believes one “isn’t secure” probably comes down to two things: Putin told him, and he himself votes absentee. Plus, of course, sowing confusion and trying to set a situation to refuse to accept the result because of massive fraud!

  26. IX-103, the ■■■■ing idiot says

    I’ve heard that the whole “push back the election” thing is a smokescreen to reduce the attention on the Kodak deal (and the significant insider trading preceding the announcement).

    Of course neither pushing back the election or paying Kodak to make generic versions of prescription drugs make any sense, but reality seems to have stopped making any sense a few years ago…

  27. René says

    @myself. I just gave the thugs an argument to defend the US of A as as founded as a Christian Nation.

  28. wanderingelf says

    @25 There is essentially no difference between mail-in voting and absentee voting, afaict. I tried to point this out on twitter, and I reported Trump’s tweet for spreading false information regrading an election (not that I hold any illusions about my efforts having an effect). The rules for voting differ from state to state in the US (which is part of the problem), so there may be some variation in the way the terms are used or defined, but the distinction Trump tries to make is bogus.

  29. moarscienceplz says

    As someone from the UK, can a USAian explain what difference (real or imaginary) there is between mail-in voting and absentee voting, and why Trump thinks only the latter is secure?

    IANA an expert on this, but this is based on what I’ve observed as a USA voter for 40 years:
    1. Every state and territory sets up their own voting systems, so there are potentially 50+ answers to this question.
    2. In California in 1980, when I first voted, one had to ask for an absentee ballot and give a valid reason for asking, early enough for your request to be blessed by one’s local board of elections and for them to mail a special ballot in time for it to be filled in and mailed by election day. Part of this jumping through hoops may have been fear of voter fraud, but I suspect that a lot of it had to do with a lot more manual labor required to process the hand-filled absentee ballots (normal ballots used holes punched by a special stylus that could not be provided outside of the polling places).
    3. Over time, automated tabulating became much better, so processing a bunch of mailed ballots became cheaper than staffing thousands of polling places. About 20 years ago, California began strongly urging everyone to vote by mail, and the difference between “absentee” and “vote by mail” became moot for us.
    4. However, if you are an ashole who wants to disenfranchise as many non-whites as possible a conservative patriot who is concerned about voter fraud, you probably prefer the old system, only allowing mailed ballots for the carefully vetted voters who really deserve one.

  30. garnetstar says

    @18, there is some dumb ancient law that, if an election can’t be decided, the house of representavies votes, but not the current composition. Each state gets assigned two voters of whichever party “controls” it (whatever that may mean), and repbulicans “control” more states in the House than democrats do. So, even though republicans are the minority in the house, in that scenario Trump would be elected.

  31. Who Cares says

    Oh please can we cut the crap of him being a deep plant by the Russians already. At best Trump is an useful idiot

    Trump gets his news from Fox. And they’ve been blasting the waves for years now that mail in voting is very, very easy to commit fraud with and should be stopped. So Trump thinks that mail in voting should not happen due to how susceptible to fraud it is.
    You can see this happening on almost any issue, FoxNews spews out something and suddenly that is Trumps opinion on the matter.

  32. blf says

    Who Cares@36, How Trump walked into Putin’s web: “[… A] former British spy was hired to investigate Russia’s influence on Trump — and uncovered explosive evidence that Moscow had been cultivating Trump for years.” That is the Christopher Steele report.

  33. says

    @37 Likely in the same way they “cultivated” a lot of people who didn’t become president. Keeping a rich and influential businessman sweet is likely SOP for any intelligence agency.

    I agree with WhoCares. Let’s stop this nonsense that Putin is this nth-dimensional chessmaster who’s orchestrated everything that didn’t go our way, in the entire world, for the last 15-20 years. This is getting close to conspiracy theory thinking here. Maybe it’s easier to blame Putin for everything rather than ask some uncomfortable questions of ourselves?

  34. Ed Seedhouse says

    @26:”He’ll tweet armed rebellions from his couch, and then leave quietly when the Secret Service comes to extract him from the White House.”

    All they’ll have to do is cut off the junk food supply for a few hours and he’ll come out on his own.

  35. brucegee1962 says

    Here’s my take: the hail mary he’s hoping for would be a covid-19 vaccine being announced, which he would then take credit for as thoroughly as if he’d been in the lab mixing up test tubes this entire time.
    But Birx and Fauci have both told him that the earliest possible date when a vaccine might be ready would be mid-November. So in his mind, he doesn’t have to delay it long — just a few weeks, and then a grateful nation will adore him once again for delivering the savior vaccine while descending from the clouds in a golden chariot.

  36. William George says

    Somebody knows that he’s gonna go to prison once he leaves the Oval Office.

  37. KG says

    We’re going to have to go into the Oval Office with meathooks and claw him out in pieces, while his partisans are waving AR-15s and shooting up federal buildings all over the country. – PZM

    Yabbut, Clinton would have done exactly the same if she’d been elected in 2016 then lost this year, and so would Obama if he’s lost in 2012, and so would Biden if he’s elected this year then loses in 2024. We absolutely know this because The Vicar tells us they are all the same.

  38. eamick says

    @35: You’ve mixed in parts of the Electoral College procedure. The actual procedure for deciding the election in the House is that each state gets one vote, and it doesn’t specify how the state decides who to vote for. The count takes place on January 6, so the new Congress would be in session.

  39. magistramarla says

    vereverum @28 and others:
    In regards to the new postmaster general (spit!) messing with the USPS. I read somewhere that even those of us who are lucky enough to live in states like California and Oregon should be very careful about mailing our ballots this fall. The great suggestion that I read was that we should mark our ballots as soon as we receive them and then drop them off personally at the provided drop boxes in our county or district.
    The article suggested that postal workers may be instructed to slow-walk or even “lose” mailed ballots. I know that this is a federal crime, but since when has that stopped anyone in this so-called administration?

  40. garnetstar says

    @45, no, I did read this from a legal site, which I am very sorry that I can’t remember or find now, so I can’t cite it.

    The gist was that Republicans control 26 states, Democrats control 24. It doesn’t matter how many representatives there are from each state or whether they’re democrat or republican. And thus, the republicans would get 26 votes, the democrats 24.

    Obviously it all depends on what “controls” means, which I do not know: the state legislature, the governor, what? It doesn’t mean the House congressional delegation, so it doesn’t change when the new congress comes in.
    That is out there (somewhere) as the ultimate nightmare scenario, and I obviously have to try to re-find what I read about it and where, to get this down.

  41. garnetstar says

    So, here’s something about that: https://history.house.gov/Institution/Electoral-College/Electoral-College/

    Scroll down to Contingent Elections. It says “In the case of an Electoral College deadlock or if no candidate receives the majority of votes, a “contingent election” is held. The election of the President goes to the House of Representatives. Each state delegation casts one vote for one of the top three contenders to determine a winner.”

    So, I guess that means that 26 states have a majority-republican House delegation, and would vote for Trump. And, 24 states have a majority-Democrat.

    The article is silent on whether it’s the new congress that votes. But, possibly some states could change from majority-republican House delegations, to majority-democrats ones, after the election?