Earlier today, Donald Trump tweeted once again about how mail-in voting is “fraudulent,” finally going so far as to finally do what so many of us have predicted he was eventually heading for, when he suggested delaying the 2020 election. He followed up that idea with question marks–three of them–so it’s clear he’s leaving himself some wiggle room to deny ever having said this, but he also made it his pinned tweet, so there can’t really be any question as to whether or not he’s serious.
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
This was entirely predictable. For months, Donald Trump has been laying the groundwork to delegitimize the election, for his base if not legally. Among the MANY people to see this coming was Joe Biden, who, back in April, said at a fundraiser, “Mark my words, I think he is going to try to kick back the election somehow.”
And how was that totally logical quote received? Trump’s supporters, his campaign, and rightwing media attacked him for being a liar, a fearmonger, a conspiracy theorist.
The Washington Post ran an op-ed that claimed Biden’s comment was “not only clearly over the line but also unmasks how low the supposedly moderate Biden will go to win,” and condemned Biden for choosing “to taint the president essentially with a charge of treason.”
Wash. Post columnist Henry Olsen in April: “Biden’s unfounded accusation Thursday that President Trump wants to delay November’s election was not only clearly over the line but also unmasks how low the supposedly moderate Biden will go to win.” https://t.co/crq5ifVLrl pic.twitter.com/l8PEvIyo3t
— Eric Hananoki (@ehananoki) July 30, 2020
Donald Trump’s reelection campaign loved the article, sharing it on social media and feigning extreme disbelief that Biden would say such a reasonable thing.
Rightwing commentators fell in line but mainstream sites also bought into the narrative. Outlets ranging from the Washington Examiner to The Hill harshly chastized Biden for engaging in “conspiracy theories.”
Media Matters for America journalist Eric Hananoki compiled if not all, a ton of these examples. From Charlie Kirk’s “Students for Trump” group to senior Trump campaign staffers to Fox News contributors to legacy Republican spokespeople, they all claimed that Biden was out of line.
He should know, they claimed, that Trump doesn’t have the power to postpone the election.
— Dave Weigel (@daveweigel) July 30, 2020
Of course, when did not having the legal and constitutional power to do something corrupt ever stop Trump from trying? And after stacking the courts in his favor, he’s no stranger to establishing a precedent for future dictators.
Democrats insisting we needn’t worry about Trump’s calls to delay the election because that would be illegal: pic.twitter.com/WhgEtw6tXL
— Sean Kelly (@StorySlug) July 30, 2020
Since November 9th, 2016 (before that, really), people have been warning that Trump was a danger to our country, only to be told time and time again that we were overreacting. We never were.
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