July 30, 2020


Trump Attacks an Election He Is at Risk of Losing (Alexander Burns, July 30, 2020, NY Times)

But when the moment came on Thursday, with Mr. Trump suggesting for the first time that the election could be delayed, his proposal appeared as impotent as it was predictable -- less a stunning assertion of his authority than yet another lament that his political prospects have dimmed amid a global public-health crisis. Indeed, his comments on Twitter came shortly after the Commerce Department reported that American economic output contracted last quarter at the fastest rate in recorded history, underscoring one of Mr. Trump's most severe vulnerabilities as he pursues a second term.

Far from a strongman, Mr. Trump has lately become a heckler in his own government, promoting medical conspiracy theories on social media, playing no constructive role in either the management of the coronavirus pandemic or the negotiation of an economic rescue plan in Congress -- and complaining endlessly about the unfairness of it all.

"It will be a great embarrassment to the USA," Mr. Trump tweeted of the election, asserting without evidence that mail-in voting would lead to fraud. "Delay the Election until people can properly, securely and safely vote???"

The most powerful leaders in Congress immediately shot down the idea of moving the election, including the top figures in Mr. Trump's own party.

"Never in the history of the country, through wars, depressions, and the Civil War have we ever not had a federally scheduled election on time, and we'll find a way to do that again this Nov. 3," Mitch McConnell, the Senate Majority Leader, said in an interview with WNKY television in Kentucky. "We'll cope with whatever the situation is and have the election on Nov. 3 as already scheduled."

Mr. Trump's tweet about delaying the election put a self-pitying exclamation mark on a phase of his presidency defined not by the accumulation of executive power, but by an abdication of presidential leadership on a national emergency.

Donald's absence from John Lewis's funeral was the perfect summation of his presidency.

Posted by at July 30, 2020 5:18 PM