We are now in the midst of a stone-cold constitutional crisis.
At a Wednesday press conference, President Donald Trump, our malignant chaos king, was asked by Brian Karem of Playboy whether there would be a smooth transition of power if he loses the general election. Karem probably knew what was coming.
“Well, we’re going to have to see what happens,” Trump said.
Just became “we’re going to have to see what happens” is not really an answer, Karem reiterated his question in an attempt to nail down someone who rarely offers a direct response to a query. What Karem got was another rant about mail-in voting.
“Get rid of the ballots and you’ll have a very peaceful — there won’t be a transfer, frankly. There will be a continuation. The ballots are out of control. You know it,” Trump said. “And you know who knows it better than anybody else? Democrats know it better than anybody else.”
by George Lang, opinion writer for Free Press
Since President George Washington left office on March 4, 1797, no president has sowed doubt over whether he would leave office at the end of his term, and Trump’s supplicants are doing nothing to quell this crisis. In a follow-up press briefing Thursday, White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany only gave a qualified response.
“The president will accept the results of a free and fair election,” McEnamy told NBC’s Peter Alexander while also saying that any determination of freeness and fairness will come from Trump.
Trump repeatedly makes clear his criteria. At an Aug. 17 campaign stop in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, he told supporters that “the only way we’re going to lose this election is if the election is rigged.”
Meanwhile, Trump is allegedly working to amass electors in swing states like Arizona, Michigan and Pennsylvania with Republican legislatures who can be counted on to disenfranchise voters in the event of a Joe Biden victory in those states. He is also preparing to nominate a hardline judicial conservative like Amy Coney Barrett or Barbara Lagoa to replace the late U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. In the event that the election is decided by the high court, Trump will have the 6-3 supermajority needed to stay in office, election results be damned.
There is way too much Orwellian newspeak wafting from the halls of power right now regarding transfer of power. One of the worst statements came from House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, who told reporters Thursday that “President Trump will peacefully come to be sworn in again.”
Naturally, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell was not far behind, telling reporters that “the winner of the November 3rd election will be inaugurated on January 20th.”
That sounds peachy, except that Trump is trying to “win” the election through non-democratic means. McConnell is allowing for whatever extra-legal chicanery Trump is now setting up to secure that so-called “win.”
But the most infuriating response to our real and tangible fears of authoritarian rule came from U.S. Senator James Lankford, who tweeted about the issue with an overabundance of condescension and false equivalence.
“It is the height of hypocrisy after Dems challenged (sic) 2000 election all the way to SCOTUS are now trying to get POTUS to promise he will not do what they did in 2000,” Lankford tweeted Thursday morning.
Since Lankford was busy cajoling kids into making decisions for Christ at Falls Creek in 2000, I’ll keep this simple.
The case was Bush v. Gore, and it was the Republicans who appealed the Florida Supreme Court ruling that a manual recount be undertaken in all Florida counties. George W. Bush appealed that decision to the U.S. Supreme Court, not Vice President Al Gore. Concurrent with deliberations at The Supreme Court, the Republican-controlled Florida legislature called a special session to install electors who were pledged to support Bush.
Now, I am sorry Oklahoma has a Senator who either does not understand history or is lying about it to gullible supporters, but we must be clear on this: Trump wants to pull a Super Florida this year.
He is currently lining up swing states to replay the 2000 Florida scenario on a multi-state level. If he has his way, there will be electoral chaos.
As Bob Woodward told MSNBC’s Nicolle Wallace on Thursday, this is a “moral failing” on Trump’s part, something Lankford should be able to comprehend.
“I think the president, in all of the things he’s doing here, has forsaken a larger duty, which is a moral duty to do what is best for the country,” Woodward said. “This is a moral failure and a leadership failure, and this idea about the election, he is predicting and almost wishing for a quadruple trainwreck on November 3.”
If Lankford and Sen. Jim Inhofe are unwilling to acknowledge the severity of this situation without lying to constituents and trying to “both-sides” this predicament our nation faces, then they must be wishing for that same trainwreck.
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