No, the Election Will Not Be Delayed

|The Volokh Conspiracy |

President Trump, unsurprisingly, has floated the idea of delaying the election. If he had the power to suspend the election, I assume that he would use it. But he doesn't.

The election will not be delayed for political gain. The date of the election is set by statute. The Constitution unambiguously assigns this power to Congress: "The Congress may determine the Time of chusing the Electors, and the Day on which they shall give their Votes; which Day shall be the same throughout the United States." U.S. Const. art. II, § 2, cl 4. Congress, meanwhile, "shall consist of a Senate and House of Representatives." Id. art. I, § 1. And the majority of members of the House of Representatives belong to the Democratic Party.

So, Congress almost certainly will not delay the election, and Congress almost certainly could not constitutionally cancel the election. And, by the way, even if the election were cancelled, President Trump would cease being the President after four years.

Those worried about this sort of thing worry that the Supreme Court might be complicit in an unconstitutional Executive Order to delay the election or just flat out cancel it. Or maybe worse, just a switch to a dictatorship until conditions allow democracy to be restored. Such a thing could happen in some countries. Not here. I do not believe that any such attempt would receive the support of a single Justice. Certainly, it would not receive the support of five Justices. Nor would it receive the support of the military. Nor would it receive the support of academic commentators or serious lawyers. Is there anyone who argues that the President does have the power to delay or cancel the election?

Can we imagine crazy scenarios that could lead to genuine constitutional crises? Sure. Imagine terrorist attacks being launched simultaneously across the United States, but selectively only in strongholds of the then-current President. In such a case, there might be legitimate arguments against the validity of any election results, and it is hard to speculate how such a crisis would be resolved.

But we are nowhere near that today. There is an existing statutory regime in place, and states are empowered (but not required) to expand their allowance of absentee ballots. If disputes arise in the processing of such absentee ballots, state administrative agencies and courts, ultimately supervised by the Supreme Court, can handle them. Is it possible that political considerations might enter into the calculus of how such disputes are resolved? Naturally, and in a close election, that could make a difference.

I see the President's tweet as an attempt to warn about election fraud before the election so that if any state's results are uncertain, he will have a plausible-sounding argument about the legitimacy of the results. But there will be an election, and the President will not be in charge of its timing or of counting the ballots.

I hesitate to publish this blog post. It is devoid of any original points. But once in a while, there may be value in stating the uncontroversial and obvious, especially when the President may be hoping to unsettle the status quo.

NEXT: Congress Wants To Regulate Big Tech. They Still Don't Understand It.

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. Oh come on.

    I’d worry about this clownishness leading to a Biden election leading to Biden being not a legit president for a bunch of yahoos. But, of course, Obama already dealt with that nonsense. So this is mostly just impotent and shameful thrashing.

    1. While the dastardly Republicans were disputing …. Obama? … the glorious Democrats totes accepted Trump’s win as legitimate right from the beginning, no questions asked, fervent loyalty, ya ya ya.

      Yer partisan slip is showing.

      1. I didn’t talk about fervent loyalty.

        1. So you admit the rest, and you just didn’t think the partisan slip would show.

          1. I’m partisan, and make no bones. No doubt it’s a bias that slips into my analyses.

            But not here, I don’t think.

            There was nothing like birtherism against Trump. There was opposition, there were marches. But people even on the left admitted he was the US President, just a spectacularly bad choice.

            Not so for Obama and the right.

            1. Also President Obama won by a lot of votes, so there’s that.

            2. I seem to recall a lot of #NotMyPresident

            3. Foreign Policy magazine ran an article suggesting that a military coup would be an appropriate response to Trump’s election. I think that qualifies as refusing to accept the results of an election.

              1. Ah yes, the liberal leaders of Foreign Policy magazine.

                You got a lot more to go to equal birtherism. It was up to what, 60% of the GOP at it’s height?

    2. If Biden is elected the IMPEACH BIDEN movement is going to start on hour 1, just like “the resistance” was announced overnight.

      He does have a lot of questions to answer about his dealings with shady Eastern European companies and the various sexual assault claims that have never been vetted. And I’m sure he has lots of skeletons in the closet to still discover. I for one am stocking up on popcorn because it will be interesting to watch the libs melt down over this when they are the ones that opened up the door to such tactics.

      1. Uh huh. Good luck with all those “Biden Scandals”
        Is there any more Ukrainian aid to hold hostage?

        1. Are you expecting Republicans to somehow be consistent with what they said about the possibility of Trump being impeached?

    3. I hate to admit it but if their is no presidential election then Nancy Pelosi would become President, assuming of course enough congressional elections were held to get a quorum and reelect here as speaker.

      If no Federal elections are held it would be Chuck Grassley Senate President Pro Tem, who’s term won’t expire until 2022.

      1. Nope. If no federal elections are held, the current class of senators leaves office with no replacements, and among the senators still in office, Democrats outnumber Republicans 35-32. President pro tem is the senior member of the majority party, so you’d have President Leahy.

  2. He just announced he was going to punish Germany by removing a third of US troops there and got a bad response.

    This is just his standard distraction technique since the 24h news cycle will give this provocative speculation the same level of coverage as to the real policy disaster long enough to make his previous bad mistake ‘old news’.

    1. This is a campaign promise he made. look it up.

    2. Wait, what!! We need troops in Germany to defend against a Soviet tank invasion. Its like Trump doesn’t want the U.S. to be the world’s policeman. This is dangerous stuff.

      1. I like that you think Trump has policy preferences that are unrelated to his personal interests. He punishes his enemies and (occasionally) rewards his allies, those are the only policy preferences he has.

        1. “Trump has policy preferences that are unrelated to his personal interests”

          Only partially true.

          Trump has been opposed to US overseas military involvement for decades. He is inconsistent of course, he’s Trump

          He doesn’t agree that we need to continue the post-WWII settlement any longer. Time for Europe to stop being children.

          Neither do most GOP voters. GOP Beltway insiders disagree.

          1. Trump has been opposed to US overseas military involvement for decades.

            No, he hasn’t.

        2. If the President is pulling troops out of Germany for some corrupt reason, I don’t care, because the troops will be out of Germany and it will be hard to put them back in.

          1. That’s the spirit! Who cares about corruption as long as you get the policy outcomes you want?

        3. That really doesn’t make much sense. For instance tell me how Trump’s China policy is going to help him rack up any post presidential deals with China. He’s totally screwed himself over getting any deals approved by the communists.

          It’s easy to come up with valid criticism of most Trump policies, just like any president, but claiming it’s all based on personal interest is absurd. Unless of course you define personal interest as “I proved my worldview is correct”, then once again he’d fit the typical presidential mold.

          1. Would be curious to know what trump’s WV is

  3. What the Dems have done is destroy Nixon’s 1960 precedent of not challenging a stolen election “for the good of the country” and Trump’s impeachment legitimizes impeaching any President for partisan reasons.

    1. Haha, blaming the Dems for Trump’s latest dumbassery is gonna be hard.

      1. Blaming Republicans for Democrats still thinking Hillary wuz robbed, and impeaching Trump 3 years later, is pretty damned precious.

        1. Well, that’s certainly off topic.

          So about this dumb tweet, do you think it’s Democrats’ fault for normalizing this somehow?

          1. Whataboutism and tu quoque (and belated) is about all one can turn to if they’re intent on defending this guy over the long haul.

            1. You know, that’s the thing. I mean, I voted for Trump because he’s diabetes while Hillary was cancer…but every action that Trump has done has been within the bounds of what previous presidents have done. Moreover, the previous presidents have done as much, or worse, in just the past couple decades and it is all in recent memory. Pointing instances of Obama or Clinton or Bush doing something similar to Trump shouldn’t elicit such a negative reaction as “all you got is whataboutism” (which is a legit defense btw).

              I’m willing to entertain the notion, that say, Trump is doing *more* of these sorts of things so it just SEEMS worse. But I don’t think anyone has taken the time to add them up. I did see something a few years back when it comes to Executive Orders, and I recall that there have been less than Obama, and not as broad reaching at that.

              1. And you’ll vote Trump again because Biden is also the cancer. And the next one, and the next one.
                And you will fervently defend everything Trump does because at least it’s better than those crypto-Marxist Dems.

                A pretty textbook example of how negative partisanship allows one to rationalize anything.

                What’s your limit? Would you dissolve Congress to prevent the cancer of the Democratic policy from taking over? Put Democratic voters into reeducation camps?
                I know you think Dems secretly want to do every evil thing I can come up with, but no whattaboustism here – what’s *your* limit?

                1. Naw, I’ll vote for Trump because of his support for the 2nd Amendment, which is why 9 of 10 times I vote GOP these days. I have, believe it or not, voted for Democrat presidential candidates and for local/state offices. BTW, the Dems have moved far left, they are not the party of Bill Clinton, much less JFK anymore, but I wouldn’t call them Marxists, just Socialists. (There is no “crypto” anyway, BLM is explicitly Marxist).

                  You’re quite the pot calling the kettle black when it comes to partisanship.

                  As to your question about limits? Dissolving Congress would be one, but how would that happen. That’s you’re silly nightmare scenario. Rather, I’d stop supporting Trump for something like amnesty.

                  1. Just out of curiosity, who was the last Democratic presidential candidate you voted for?

                    1. I voted for Bill Clinton against Dole. This was before I was a gun owner, of course.

                  2. So when Hillary was running, the Dems were no longer the party of Bill?

                    BLM had one guy say he was a Marxist. Their cause seems pretty economically agnostic, actually.

                    1. Eh, it’s rather easy to conclude that Hillary had a platform and plans significantly to the left of Bill. The parties have both shifted toward their respective ends of the political spectrum.

                    2. Sarcasto, check out the BLM website if it wasn’t scrubbed. Their founders themselves are Marxist, and they are bat shit crazy with things that they want to do, such as “dissolve the nuclear family.”

                    3. We disrupt the Western-prescribed nuclear family structure requirement by supporting each other as extended families and “villages” that collectively care for one another, especially our children, to the degree that mothers, parents, and children are comfortable.

                      Sinister!

                    4. Yes, sinister indeed. I’ll say it’s straight up evil.

                      For example, the word “fathers” is excluded. Not, I presume, by accident. “Mother and father” are replaced by the gender-neutral “parents”. Note, they have at this point previously named “mothers” as pillars of the family.

                      It denigrates male influence on the family as oppressive. It’s idiotic too. The single biggest correlation between being a good citizen and not ending up in criminality, a drug abuser, etc. is the influence and support of a positive male role model. Decades of failed “families” and single motherhood statistics belie the claim that fathers and fatherhood are oppressive.

                    5. Sinister!

                      Sick burn, bro. Count me as persuaded!

                    6. It denigrates male influence on the family as oppressive.

                      That’s a ridiculously tendentious reading. Outcome-oriented, even.

                      If you’re not going to take this seriously, don’t ask me to take your arguments about why you’re voting for Trump seriously.

                    7. Uh huh.

                      They also say: “We build a space that affirms Black women and is free from sexism, misogyny, and environments in which men are centered,” and says working and parenting are a “patriarchal practice.” That’s blatant misandry.

                      And you’re reading of it is ridiculously naive. Even outcome oriented in it’s naivety. Frankly, I’m not surprised as you’re a fellow who thinks that when a president says he wants to “fundamentally transform the country” that it’s just rhetoric.

                      If you’re not going to take seriously a group that wants to remove the influence of the single biggest factor in the success of a child, a group supported by almost the entire Democrat Party, don’t ask me to take your arguments about why Orange Man Bad seriously.

                      And seriously, you’re being silly. I told you I’m voting for Trump because he supports the 2nd Amendment whilst Biden doesn’t. Those are entirely separate issues. lol.

                2. The issue is the two party system combined with the fundamental transformation of our original government system away from one of decentralized government by States to one of powerful centralized government in D.C.

                  Nothing will ever be fixed or get better until we fundamentally transform it back again. Both sides will continue to lose and dissatisfaction on both sides will continue to increase.

                3. I will vote for Trump again in part because he has been responsible for one of the most positive trends in the body politic in decades: the revival of federalism. States have asserted their independence from the federal government and gone their own way on policy and told the Feds to take a hike in an almost unprecedented rate in my lifetime. And I want to see more of it. Of course I want to still see a federal role in defending my privileges and immunities, but I’d like to see the federal governments role in schools, medicine, environment, and law enforcement keep declining and whither away, and more Trump is part of the equation.

                  1. You may have lived a short lifetime then, almost every different administration inspires states where the administration isn’t popular to embrace ‘federalism.’

              2. Whataboutism is not a legitimate defense for two very good reasons (there are probably others).

                First, it means that nobody can ever be held to account for anything, since you can always find someone else who behaved just as badly if not worse. Even Hitler gets off the hook because he can always say “But what about Stalin”. So it’s basically a moral blank check.

                Second, even if it is admitted that other presidents did things that were just as bad (which I’m not; this is just for sake of argument), how does that excuse Trump? The question is whether Trump is behaving properly, not whether someone else behaved improperly.

                1. Another term for whataboutism would be “historical comparison.” We compare presidents against each other all the time. It’s sort of a hobby of historians and political science types to rank them against each others pros and cons. You’re basically saying historical comparisons are illegitimate.

                  Making historical comparisons in no way prevents anyone from being held to account, and frankly, helps in doing so. If we can recognize that president X did Y that was bad (say FDR locking up the Japanese) then if Trump would intern group X then we are holding him to account.

                  1. You’ve got it exactly backwards. Whataboutism is the antithesis to ‘never again.’ It’s used, as you’re doing here, to dismiss contemporary practice rather than illustrate how it’s analogous to something we all now long agree is terrible.

                    1. Either I’m misunderstanding you, or you me. I’m saying we compare presidents to say X is bad and Y is good, and I explicitly referenced the Japanese internment as a example of that. I’m saying that we reference that history to say “never again.” If we don’t ALL (or mostly) agree that X is bad or Y is good, then it is merely a historical comparison.

                    2. A historical comparison done to minimize or dismiss the current activity in question is whataboutism. If I say ‘hey, I learned your brother abandoned his longtime wife because she has cancer, that’s cold’ your answer of ‘well, remember back when your brother cheated on his longtime wife’ then that’s a ‘historical comparison’ but also whataboutism. My brother’s past bad behavior has no bearing on whether what your brother did was cold or not, it’s something you might say because, say, you’re defensive because it’s your brother being criticized.

                    3. You’re firmly ensconced in the motte at this point Queen. I’m not charging the gates after having taken the bailey.

                  2. But that’s not how whataboutism typically plays out. I know, for a near absolute certainty, that if I say Trump is empowering racists, that as soon as I hit “submit” somebody, and most likely several somebodies, are going to respond, “Oh yeah, well what about Hillary’s emails/benghazi/operation fast and furious/Lois Lerner.” You can take it to the bank.

                    And none of that is said for the purpose of preventing future bad behavior. It’s done for the purpose of immunizing Trump from criticism for empowering racists, which in fact he does. It deflects attention away from current, ongoing bad behavior that is causing current, ongoing harm. All it really accomplishes is to change the subject.

                    I happen to think that immunizing politicians from criticism for bad behavior is a bad thing. And you will never, ever catch me doing the same thing when Democrats are criticized. If someone wanted to start a thread about Hillary’s emails/Benghazi/Fast and Furious/Lois Lerner, I will respond to those things on their own merits, without dredging up scandal from earlier Republican administrations. And I would encourage my fellow Democrats here to do the same. The only exception I can think of is if some particular scandal crosses over into multiple administrations, which has happened on occasion.

              3. ” every action that Trump has done has been within the bounds of what previous presidents have done.”

                To get to an unprecedented one we literally only have to go back to…well, this one we’re talking about now.

                “I’m willing to entertain the notion, that say, Trump is doing *more* of these sorts of things so it just SEEMS worse.”

                Well, doing more of any bad thing is itself usually considered problematic. And then there’s the notion that difference in degree can become a difference in kind…

                There’s all kinds of reasons one might want to vote against Biden. But there’s none that shouldn’t prevent someone from saying what the President said and proposed here is dumb and/or alarming. As a neutral principle any President trailing in the polls suggesting we should delay his upcoming election is like a mackerel in moonlight. This should be easy to say.

                1. Floating the idea of delaying the election due to the pandemic unprecedented? States run by democratic governors have actually done that.

                  You’re making a error though. Boundary pushing by the politicians you like is usually considered good as it pushes for change one supports, boundary pushing by politicians one doesn’t support is usually considered bad as it pushes for change one doesn’t support. So it SEEMS like Trump is doing more bad things to you, if indeed he’s boundary pushing more.

                  1. No, we’re not talking about pushing the boundaries on substantive issues, we’re talking about the issue of democratic process which should be a bi-partisan thing. This would be an easy thing for you to condemn if it was a Democrat or whatever doing it, but some tribal thing is going on here. It’s especially silly because 1. Trumps words here are not going to help him or his tribe, they’re politically stupid and 2. one can so easily admit his words here are dumb/alarming and still feel fine about voting for him against Biden.

                    1. That is an word salad of near incomprehensible pablum.

                      Look, if Obama wanted to delay the election for whatever reason, I’d have been against it, figuring he’d have something sinister up his sleeve. I’ve worked the primary at an election site at the height of this mess, and there is no need to delay any election. Check some of those threads if you want, I’ve said as much. I’m against delaying the general election.

                      While I don’t think Trump has something sinister up his sleeve, I understand you do, so delaying the election would seem bad to you. In the end, I hope it goes forward as normal with out the mess from mail in ballots that we see currently in NY.

                    2. Look, if Obama wanted to delay the election for whatever reason, I’d have been against it, figuring he’d have something sinister up his sleeve…I don’t think Trump has something sinister up his sleeve

                      Your proving my point…
                      Look, as a general fact, don’t you think a President, especially one that is losing in the polls, suggesting his election be delayed, suggests something smelly? If the answer is yes, why not simply respond to the current example of that with ‘this is smelly’ instead of your ‘well, I think someone on the other side might have done something smelly a while back…’

                    3. we’re talking about the issue of democratic process which should be a bi-partisan thing

                      Which is exactly where Trump wants you to land. We can extend mail in voting if and when it’s agreed on bi-partisan basis.

                      And if you’re OK with partisan for the stuff you like, but you demand bipartisan for stuff you don’t like, Trump has got his soundbite. The Ds are hypocrites.

                      Which they are.

                      (The Rs too.)

                    4. “Look, as a general fact, don’t you think a President, especially one that is losing in the polls, suggesting his election be delayed, suggests something smelly? If the answer is yes, why not simply respond to the current example of that with ‘this is smelly’ instead of your ‘well, I think someone on the other side might have done something smelly a while back…’”

                      Because, I’m questioning the every present charge from people like you that the only defense that Trump defenders have is whataboutism. You’re trying to make it about this particular instance of Trumps boundary pushing. I’m at a meta level here. You’re looking at a single tree and I’m asking you to look at the forest.

                      And while I’m saying that I disagree with *this instance of boundary pushing* I’m making the point (failing I suppose) that you’re being rather silly in thinking that comparing/contrasting presidents’ boundary pushing behaviors is some how off limits or not a legitimate activity. Well, I’m here to tell you it is. Trump’s rhetoric and actions are conventional.

                    5. We can extend mail in voting if and when it’s agreed on bi-partisan basis.

                      “We can remove obstacles to Democratic voters if and when the Republicans agree to it.”

                      Bullshit, Lee.

                      We need to remove obstacles, and not pretend that any of the “concerns” that Trump or Barr express have any real legitimacy. It’s plain voter suppression, like so much GOP action these days. Saying it shouldn’t stop until Repubicans agree is nonsense.

                      It should stop.

                    6. I am not suggesting you are being hypocritical, bernard.

                      You are not suggesting that changes to election rules need to be adopted on a bipartisan basis. You are entirely up front – the election rules my side wants should be enacted, and hang what the other side thinks. Not bipartisan, and not pretending – even slightly – to be bipartisan.

                      Very refreshing.

                    7. “Which is exactly where Trump wants you to land. We can extend mail in voting if and when it’s agreed on bi-partisan basis.”

                      You’ve missed the point, which is not about mail in voting (or not) so much as the suggestion by a losing President to delay the election he’s currently losing. This is what I mean by process vs. substance.

                    8. “Well, I’m here to tell you it is. Trump’s rhetoric and actions are conventional.”

                      We’re discussing this issue of Trump suggesting we delay the election. As you say, you can’t bring yourself to defend this specific act of his, but then (or rather for the most part) instead you want to say that there’s lots of other people who have done as bad things. That’s classic whataboutism.

                      Also, in *this* discussion about *this* action by this President one can say it is indeed unprecedentedly bad. Your need to then go fishing for some past ‘equivalent’ bad thing is, again, pure ‘whataboutism.’

                      If your wife caught you cheating on her with her sister and decried your act by saying ‘this was awful of you, of all the relationships I’ve been in, I’ve never had someone do this with my sister of all people’ and you answered ‘oh, well what about your old college boyfriend that stole money from you,’ that would be whataboutism.

                    9. You’ve missed the point,

                      No, I think that would be you.

                      which is not about mail in voting (or not)

                      The tweet is about mail in voting. You can tell that by the fact that complaining about mail in voting takes up the 75% of the tweet . (AND 90% OF THE CAPITALS.) And it’s the first 75%. Trump is complaining about what a bad thing mail in voting is.

                      You’ve look straight past that to his punchline – if you’re gonna pretend we need more mail in voting for health reasons, then I get to pretend we need to postpone the election.

              4. I’m beginning to think about the problems with “whataboutism”, from the responses that I’ve received, that the issue is not so much what Trump does or says, but that liberals do not like being reminded of a double standard in their thinking. Of course, they won’t frame it that way.

                1. The problem with whataboutism is that past violations of principle don’t excuse a contemporary one, and it would be silly to think its as important to condemn the past practice and not the contemporary one. It’s at best an attempt to not take responsibility for or to condemn something the side you support and is in power now *just did* by pointing to a past thing the other side did or did not condemn. It’s a partisan game instead of one of principle.

                  1. Nah. It’s that it’s okay when your side does it, but when the loyal opposition does, it’s not.

                    That, again, is human nature and perfectly understandable. I suppose when Trump isn’t in office in about 4 years, if Pence doesn’t win, then president AOC does or says something stupid (when doesn’t she) I will fall into the trap myself of saying “but, norms, man!”

                    1. Even if liberals are hypocrites, that has nothing to do with the current issue of what Trump is doing.

                      But you use that argument as though it excuses Trump’s actions.

                      Even if your often tendentious equivalences were valid, they do not excuse Trump’s actions.

                      At this point you’ve been told this often enough I know you know this, so I presume it’s more an emotional reaction to take refuge in raging against the left rather than trying to defend your guy when he acts the fool.

                    2. It’s supremely hard to take you seriously when you make comments like that. It’s a silly normative claim that doesn’t stand up to observed reality.

                      It’s fairly simple. Liberals think Obama’s (or pick your poison) boundary pushing is generally good when it’s in the service towards their policy preferences, when the loyal opposition does it, it’s bad.

                      Yes, there are actions that both sides think are outside the Overton Window. It happens.

                    3. “It happens.”

                      This is the most post-modernist thing I’ve read, and I was a Lit minor in the 90s!

                    4. The question isn’t about liberals, m_k, it’s about Trump, and your thoughts about his latest nonsense.

                      You can’t stop thinking about liberals, though. How they want to fundamentally transform America, how they hate you for who you are, how any price is enough to pay to own them.

          2. “do you think it’s Democrats’ fault for normalizing this somehow?”

            Yes, they attacked him as illegimtiate from the morning after the election. Tried to get electors to defect. Launched major ant-Trump protest marches the week he took office.

            Unprecedented, against our norms, Mr. Defend Norms.

            1. “Yes, they attacked him as illegimtiate from the morning after the election.”

              Did they allege he wasn’t a US citizen and therefore could not be President?

              Unprecedented indeed!

              1. “Did they allege he wasn’t a US citizen and therefore could not be President? ”

                Ask Hilary, her campaign started the nonsense.

                1. ‘if you can dodge a wrench, you can dodge a ball!’

                2. Bob from Ohio : “Ask Hilary, her campaign started the nonsense”

                  I know what you’re thinking : it’s just Bob, and no one takes anything he says seriously, but a lie is still a lie.

                  For the record, ms Clinton’s campaign did NOT start Birtherism

                  https://www.politifact.com/factchecks/2016/sep/16/donald-trump/fact-checking-donald-trumps-claim-hillary-clinton-/

                  1. “Meanwhile, former McClatchy Washington Bureau Chief James Asher tweeted Friday that Blumenthal had “told me in person” that Obama was born in Kenya.

                    “During the 2008 Democratic primary, Sid Blumenthal visited the Washington Bureau of McClatchy Co.,” Asher said in an email Friday to McClatchy, noting that he was at the time the investigative editor and in charge of Africa coverage.

                    “During that meeting, Mr. Blumenthal and I met together in my office and he strongly urged me to investigate the exact place of President Obama’s birth, which he suggested was in Kenya. We assigned a reporter to go to Kenya, and that reporter determined that the allegation was false.”

                    1. WTF does that have to do with anything?

                      1. Blumenthal is not Hillay Clinton.

                      2. How does that justify Trump’s aggressiveness in making and supporting the claims.

                      You guys are just blind to what an asshole and a human wrecking ball this guy is. He destroys whatever he touches, and you refuse to see it, and are happy to see him destroy the country, as long as you get to piss off the libs.

                    2. “1. Blumenthal is not Hillay [sic] Clinton.”

                      “her campaign started”

                  2. Nor did she promote it, and claim to sedn investigators to hawaii, who are finding “remarkable things,” or whatever lie Trump told.

                    It’s plain dishonest that you won’t call Trump and many on the right out about this.

        2. Trump was not impeached over election irregularities; he was impeached over seeking foreign assistance in the upcoming election, and for failing to cooperate with congressional investigations. Whether or not you think that was grounds for impeachment, it’s not the same thing.

  4. Not quite sure I follow the drift. Under current law, the election date is fixed for 3 November. If Congress wished to change the date, eg in response to the virus, it could do so.

    Likewise the various state laws about mail in voting are on the books, or not, as the case may be. Various States apparently may wish to expand mail in voting options in response to the virus. Trump thinks that’s a recipe for vote fraud, as do many others.

    So he’s saying nothing more complicated than – if you think we need to change the election laws to cope with the virus, instead of expanding in vote-fraud friendly mail in voting, just postpone the election a bit. He’s simply pushing back on the meme that we must extend mail in voting because otherwise “we’re all gonna die !”

    Why would that morph into the notion that he thinks he can postpone the election ?

    (Yeah, yeah, I know why. Cos he’s an idiot and a dictator and if God forbid he’s re-elected, “we’re all gonna die !”)

    1. 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???

      Quite a bit of work to read that as ‘if you think we need to change the election laws to cope with the virus, instead of expanding in vote-fraud friendly mail in voting, just postpone the election a bit.’

      1. I always enjoy it when people try to turn Trump’s unhinged and unambiguous statements into nuanced and thoughtful policy considerations.

        1. LTG, the problem is that Trump is unhinged, and as with any other unhinged person, is capable of doing just about anything.

          I don’t take seriously every piece of crap that happens to fall out of his mouth. I do take seriously that all of the crap that falls out of his mouth collectively leads to the conclusion that he lacks impulse control, and having good impulse control is pretty important for a president of the United States.

          1. Across all of Washington and the media there are probably about one or two hinges left.

            1. Assuming that to be true, how does that make Trump better?

              Across death row, it’s all murderers, but that’s hardly an exoneration of any particular murderer.

              1. It certainly doesn’t. Did I say it did?

                1. Apologies, I had just commented on whataboutism earlier in the thread so I still had it stuck in my head.

          2. What has Trump done though? Seriously. Is someone keeping a list? Because over the last four years a hallmark of his presidency has been NOT doing anything (partially stymied by the courts, but still…)

            If we have an unhinged lunatic dictator in office, he is one of the most tame ever in the history of man. It is either that or Trump is just a mediocre President but the Left has been saying their lies about him for so long that they finally have started to believe them.

            1. When you are reduced to defending your guy like this you should entertain avenues to get another guy…

            2. Glad the President can say he’s going to do anything no matter how dumb, and one can’t even push back against it until he actually does something dumb.

              Seems a great standard to hold the President of the United States to.

              1. So is he actually an evil dictator or just playing one on TV?

                1. He’s not a dictator, but he loves dictators, and he’s into fascism theater with his DHS.

                  Do you not care what a President says? Is vigilance against tyranny only for Democrats?

                  1. Vigilance against tyranny…Democrats….that is a good joke!

                    Politicians say a lot. I generally give it a grain of salt. I am more concerned with their actions or their power to take those actions.

                    1. You don’t want a grain of salt, you want to ignore it.

                      Unsurprising. But also unimpressive.

        2. I always enjoy it when people describe Trump as “unhinged” in an attempt to support him.

        3. So you’re happy having a President who is unhinged? Who promotes a “doctor” who thinks medicine is made from alien DNA, etc.

          1. This is exactly what a reptilian from alpha draconis would say.

      2. It’s literally what he’s saying, how does that take any work?

        1. Sarcastr0 is capable of twisting even the most literal of statements into something totes fallacious. Especially for the sake of ORANGEMANBAD!!!

          1. You think that tweet was a discussion Trump was having with state governments?

            1. No, it’s a discussion with voters about an issue some state governments are pursuing, that he disapproves of – extending mail in voting.

              1. Voters won’t have an input on this decision.

        2. It’s literally what he’s saying, how does that take any work?

          You have to declutter from your mind all the presuppostions that Trump is (a) dumb and (b) a dictator. This is too much for some people.

          1. Why should we abandon those ideas? He’ does have some sort of cunning, but he’s basically incompetent and ignorant, and does seem to think criticism of him should be illegal.

            1. He’s certainly a jerk, and he responds aggressively to criticism.

              But you should abandon the idea that he’s a dictator, because he hasn’t done anything remotely dictatorial; and you should abandon the idea that he’s dumb because he obviously isn’t.

              He’s certainly weird, and impulsive – he regularly says things that if he’d stopped and thought about it a bit, he’d realise would have been better left unsaid. But that’s who he is – he enjoys combat with his enemies, even when it would be in his interests to shut up.

              This tweet is a case in point. He wants to counter the pressure by the Ds and D State governments to extend mail in voting. His tactic is to complain loudly about it, and to offer a headline-catching but non-serious alternative, so that the media while dissing him will spread his tweet about widely.

              So he or his troops will have hunted about for a headline grabbing final sentence that will get eyeballs on the tweet and spread his “mail in voting bad” meme. But it’s poorly chosen. As he is losing at present, it’s way too easy for the media to paint him as clutching at straws in a desperate attempt to stave off defeat.

              He should have thought about that for longer and come up with a better parting shot that is not so easy to attack.

              So I think he’s lost that round. Not dumb, but impulsive.

              1. “…because he hasn’t done anything remotely dictatorial…”

                Asking a foreign power to investigate a political opponent as a favor isn’t “remotely” dictatorial? Telling that dictator your AG will cooperate with him, if he’ll call the AG? Not “remotely”?

                1. *foreign power (not dictator)

                2. If there were no good foreign policy reason to find out what the Ukrainian government had done in response to Joe Biden’s threats, their reasons for doing what they did, and whether or not they were happy about the threats then sure. I wouldn’t go so far as dictatorial, but it would cetainly be sleazy.

                  But since there are plenty of good reasons purely from a foreign relations point of view to find out the Ukrainians’ view of Biden’s threats , before one even gets on to criminal investigation reasons, the impeachment nonsense doesn’t even make it to sleazy.

          2. Honestly, Trump is the stupidest criminal mastermind of all time.

    2. “So he’s saying nothing more complicated than – if you think we need to change the election laws to cope with the virus, instead of expanding in vote-fraud friendly mail in voting, just postpone the election a bit. He’s simply pushing back on the meme that we must extend mail in voting because otherwise “we’re all gonna die !””

      i agree

    3. Presidential and congressional terms end on a constitutionally defined schedule in January, regardless of any election delays. Hence, elections won’t be meaningfully delayed.

    4. He’s dead wrong about delaying the election of course, but I think it’s even more unconscionable to advocate keeping the schools closed in terms of long term societal damage.

  5. For reference, here is what any normal president would say:
    “As president I will do everything I can to ensure a free and fair election where all eligible voters are able to vote.”

  6. “With Universal Mail-In Voting (not Absentee Voting, which is good)”

    We can’t make the way me and other administration elites vote more common, that would be terrible!

  7. This is a red herring. But, I wonder if Trump’s intent was to get liberals going. All the lefties are got bat shit crazy this morning. I mean looney by a factor of infinity. Just hop over to Twitter if you want to see some good old fashion melt downs. Sort of funny to watch.

    1. Yes, the President of the USA is floating the idea of postponing an election, and the constitutional crisis that it would cause is a funny way to troll the libs.

      1. Exactly. Glad we’re on the same page.

        1. Equivocation on ‘funny’ here (but not surprising, for a lot of people I think the first sense in which it was used doesn’t exist anymore).

      2. It actually is and boy is it working.

      3. If libs wanted to be honest and intelligent, they could react like honest, intelligent people. Watch what they do instead and judge their honesty and intelligence by it.

    2. Jimmy the Dane : Sort of funny to watch.

      Sure. When your standard for national leader is who delivers the most pro-wrestling-style entertainment (as is the case w/ our Jimmy), then Trump obviously is your one.

      The Right has been moving this way for decades. First, they were satisfied with entertainment on the radio, but their news and politicians were real. Then they moved to all-entertainment news, but their politicians held out.

      Finally was the transition to all of politics as consumer entertainment, from the half-actor Reagan, to the faux-cowboy W Bush – then Palin and the final step of a Reality-TV presidency. I hear they’re thinking of Tucker Carlson for ’24. Think of the ratings!

      1. Did moths eat your powdered wig?

  8. It is pretty clear that this is just a Trump ploy to set up an excuse.

    He has to know by now he is going to lose in November and is doing everything he can now to declare that the election was rigged and unfair against him. His view of the Covid-19 pandemic is that it has a liberal bias against him.

  9. Also anyone remember in 2000 when Clinton floated the idea that he might just stay in office for a few more months while Bush v. Gore is settled out? That was in a time before hyper-partisanship, but the Left had no problem with that idea until every major institution came crashing in (something that wouldn’t happen today.)

    1. Do you have a link?

      1. Yeah, I spent half an hour searching for any reference to this and couldn’t find one. Which is not to say it didn’t happen, but I don’t remember it and it’s hard to find any account that supports it.

        1. I don’t remember it. It didn’t happen.

          He might be confusing Giuliani’s attempt to extend his mayoral term after 9/11.

    2. Maybe Clinton was doing it to to get conservatives going. All the righties going bat shit crazy then. I mean looney by a factor of infinity. Just hop over to Twitter if you want to see some good old fashion melt downs. Sort of funny to watch.

      In which case you thought it was…good?

      Or are you in some post-modernist partisan spiral where the only principle you believe in is ‘I’m opposed to the other side!’?

      1. No I was just pointing out that in a time, long long ago, in a land, far far away, there used to be these ideas of universal norms. Those don’t exist now.

        1. They don’t exist for you? Because otherwise I’m not sure why you can’t call a spade a spade here (regardless of if someone else called it a rake 20 years ago).

          1. You can’t say spade; it’s racist.

    3. I don’t remember that at all.

    4. Another ‘I don’t remember that’. And I would think it would have caused quite an uproar.

  10. Only a jackass like Trump could basically run against himself. “Elect me, I’ll make it better” as he clearly shows he isn’t doing jack shit to make anything better while he already has the job.

  11. Professor, what protections and guarantees do the American people have that the vote will be legitimate?

    The fact that mail voting is more susceptible to fraud has long been a matter of bipartisan agreement — until, curiously, in the last few months, the MSM/Democrats have vociferously and deceptively gone to war against this previously agreed upon fact. Maybe the explanation for this is that they expect to benefit from this fraudulent overthrow of the republic.

    From an article published in April:

    “Elections officials from all political stripes acknowledge that mail-in ballots are far more vulnerable to fraud. Stories of political operatives who routinely scam senior citizens out of their absentee ballots are so widespread that the term “granny farming” was coined. Even the New York Times, when reporting on suspicions of election fraud in North Carolina last year, noted that “absentee ballots are especially susceptible to manipulation.”

    And allowing third-party ballot delivery would do nothing to reduce that vulnerability. Recent history indicates it would make it worse.

    In Texas, paid political operatives known as politiqueras run rampant in the Rio Grande Valley, collecting ballots and manipulating electoral outcomes. In Florida, an elderly man who was blind swore an affidavit that an operative scammed him out of his absentee ballot.

    In fact, the concept of allowing a third party to deliver or submit a ballot on another’s behalf is known by election workers as “ballot harvesting.” While it has only been legal in a single state for one election cycle, its impact has already been profound…”

    In a NJ election 1 in 5 ballots were Democrat fraud. There are countless other examples.

    1. “The fact that mail voting is more susceptible to fraud has long been a matter of bipartisan agreement — until, curiously, in the last few months”

      Haven’t more than a few states had it for years?

      1. Washington state has had it for a couple of decades.

        I’m not aware of any large scale fraud. The usual response to that is ‘because no one is looking’. Perhaps that is true, but until someone goes to the trouble to look and find some I’m not going to presume it happens.

        1. I don’t disagree with you about the lack of evidence but is that a reason to do anything? That case also is made by those who oppose voter id laws. In many foreign countries it would be inconceivable to not require proof of identification from voters.

          1. FWIW, I have no objection to requiring voter ID.

            (I know, I know – that’s against the rules! You have to be either (pro mail voting/anti voter id) or (anti mail voting/no voter id). The downside is that I’ll get sent to the camps no matter which side wins)

    2. Can always count on ML to go all in these days.

      Your NJ figure is, of course, nonsense.

      There is a current court case alleging fraud, and 19% of absentee ballots were rejected.
      But that does not mean all 19% were rejected as fraudulent. In fact, it’s almost certain that there were other reasons some were rejected.

      Hasn’t most of the fraud attempts caught so far been to favor Republicans?

      Do you want the election postponed based on this issue?

      Also, it’s Democratic; don’t be a hack.

      1. Mail voting is more susceptible to fraud – that’s a fact.

        Aside from fraud, I predict this election and the voting mechanics are going to be an intentional disaster. Look at the local news story that Trump tweeted. Weeks after election day, we will be seeing headlines about “officials are still waiting for unknown numbers of ballots to arrive in the mail” “thousands of ballots lost in the mail” and “5,000 new ballots just discovered in Broward County, Florida.”

        Do I think the election should be postponed? No, absolutely not. If postponing the election a week or three would somehow result in a secure reliable system that guaranteed the integrity of the vote? Then yes, of course, but I don’t think that’s the case.

        1. A fact you back up with lies.

          Huh.

        2. So there is an easy way to know when to stop counting–when the number of outstanding ballots is less than the difference between the candidates’ vote totals. The race can then be called. If the loser feels it is unfair or it is within the recount margin recount all the available ballots. But don’t worry that is not going to be a problem this year. There is going to be significantly fewer close races than usual.

    3. “The fact that mail voting is more susceptible to fraud has long been a matter of bipartisan agreement…”

      Mail voting is also a matter of bipartisan agreement. Red and blue states permit it.

  12. Prediction: The very obvious fact that the election will happen on schedule won’t stop the news media from reporting facially false dramatic stories about how it might be delayed. The news media lie by default and only tell the truth when it helps them advance their political goals.

    1. “won’t stop the news media from reporting facially false dramatic stories about how it might be delayed”

      Truly the only way they’d get that in their heads or on their front pages is their relentless need to lie by default to help them advance their political goals!

      I mean, it couldn’t be because the President of the United States said it…

      1. You characterize the news media as a parrot or a 2-year-old, just mimicking noises they hear. That’s facially dishonest of you.

        1. It’s you that want to supply Trump with the excuses we give a 2 year old. He’s characterized as someone who might not leave office because he’s said several dumb/alarming things that could cause someone to conclude that.

          1. That’s very dishonest.

              1. Presidents leave office at the end to their terms. It is very dishonest to suggest otherwise.

                Do you need me to paste a dictionary definition of the word “dishonest” here?

                1. They have historically in the United States and that is expected. But the history of the world is filled with examples of people who didn’t conform to what was expected.

                  1. You do not honestly expect anything different this time. But you are talking as if you have sincere doubts, which you do not. That’s dishonest.

                    1. People often act on what they say. For Trump and his supporters to whine if people think Trump will act on what says is to dodge and try to transfer responsibility on Trump. For you to suggest people won’t assume a person will act on what they say is dishonest.

                    2. Yeah, keep it up

                2. “Yeah, keep it up”

                  Pointing out you’re being dishonest here? Can I just refer back to my initial statements of it?

    2. The “Trump is a dictator who will overstay his office after the election” has been an old, tired trope forwarded by the media since at least impeachment.

      Is Trump really going to hold out in the White House? I highly doubt it.

      Does the specter of him doing so keep the libs occupied and engaged? Sure does. That is the purpose of the exercise.

      The chances of him announcing he is dictator of the US the morning of November 4th are about as high as the election not happening on November 3rd because he unilaterally moves them.

      1. “Is Trump really going to hold out in the White House? ”

        He’s not likely to even be in DC if Biden is sworn in.

        1. Of all the things that Trump could do, him skipping Biden’s inauguration is one of the better scenarios.

      2. “The “Trump is a dictator who will overstay his office after the election” has been an old, tired trope forwarded by the media since at least impeachment.”

        It’s not like they conjured this up out of thin air, he’s said several stupid things that at the least encourage that. It’s fascinating how the party of personal responsibility can’t accept the same for their leader in even the smallest way.

        1. he’s said several stupid things that at the least encourage that.

          And so has Kushner.

          1. And so has every other politician.

            1. Every other politician has suggested delaying their election when they’re trailing?

            2. It’s good practice to call out politicians when they say tyrannical stuff.

              Not to say it’s totally normal and move on because he’s on your side.

  13. In my opinion, if states try to adopt universal mail in voting for this fall on an emergency basis because of COVID, it will be a shit show.

    Aside from any inherent security issues with mail in balloting, the states that try to expand it on an emergency basis will inevitably make a mess of the implementation.

    FUBAR will become an understatement.

    1. “FUBAR will become an understatement.”

      No joke.

      NY finished its counting of mail in votes from its June 23 primary yesterday!

  14. I have seen a lot of things that “cant happen” actually happen. I was told 15 years ago home prices could “never” collapse even a fourth of what they fell during the financial crisis. People grossly underestimate the probability of extreme events.

    It can happen, it just might not be the dictatorship you expect. I can just as easily see the military backing Biden (because he aint Trump) and then people deciding its too dangerous to allow those deplorables to vote, in case Trump jr or someone in his family runs.

    I personally do not think much of Trumps pen and phone, but I did not think much of Obama’s either. If the Supreme Court really wants to reduce the odds of a dictatorship they wont wait for someone to try to delay elections, they will whittle away executive power to the point no one really wants the job.

    1. Would be amusing to watch our nine unelected dictators obliterate a branch of govt in protest of troll prez lol. Now a military coup backing Biden that would be a clusterfuck that would destroy us all. And those home prices are going up forever in fed bucks.

  15. Don’t worry folks. The media has already told us that mail in ballot fraud is ALL FAKE. They know this even before ballots are cast. Maybe they have a crystal ball that predicts the future or something, but that is some insight right there.

  16. It’s an interesting example of getting monkeys to dance, though. Instead of ignoring this as irrelevant drivel, every “news” outlet grabs on to it and performs on command.
    Have the courage to be the one who ignores the inconsequential. And the ad revenue that goes with it.

  17. I know!
    Online voting!
    Facebook can come up with an algorithm to give us the results tomorrow, and save all that money.
    What could go wrong?

  18. If you think it can’t happen here, you are wrong.

    1. Right now I think a good percentage of America would wish he would pull a few Putin moments. If we have a dictator might be nice to get some of the benefits of this supposed dictatorship.

  19. And liberals wonder why no one takes them serious.

    Liberals be like:

    Libs: We need to take Covid seroiusly!!!!!!!
    Normals: So why did you encourage people to go to protests and spread the virus in large gatherings perhaps reversing the entire purpose of a three month lockdown?

    Libs: We need to protect the rule of law!!!!!!!
    Normals: So why did you impeach a President over a fake Russia scandal and trying to prevent fraudulent use of taxpayer dollars?

    Libs: We need to fight systemic racism!!!!!
    Normals: So why do you endorse systems of racism like affirmative action and give a big thumbs up to hatred toward certain races when it fits into your political narrative?

    Libs: We need to do something about fascist federal troops infringing on civil rights!!!!!
    Normals: You mean that mob who wants to burn down the federal courthouse, assaults police, and set up a lawless occupied zone for a week while the city did nothing? Also what about that rule of law you were talking about earlier?

    1. Love it when Jimmy thinks he’s a normal.

      1. I love it when libs act as if they are morally superior.

        1. Not superior, just know enough to know I’m not some representative sample of America.

          1. So you realize that you are an annoyingly loud and obnoxious voice that people pretend to care about so that you will shut up go away? Because that is what people do when someone is loud and annoying. They placate them until that person goes away, then they roll their eyes, and keep on doing what they were going to do.

  20. I wish I could be this sanguine. However I think it’s possible Trump will claim massive voting irregularies, the right-wing media will trumpet his falsehoods, Republicans will fall in line as always, as will the entire machinery of the federal government, and the election will be delayed. Some reason will be concocted.

    More generally, given past behavior, and the behavior of this Supreme Court, I think it’s possible that Republicans (and maybe some VC’ers) will work to overturn what used to be absolutely settled law, both sides said no doubt about it, not an issue — but when it would benefit their side they conveniently reverse their arguments, and SCOTUS goes along with them, 5 – 4.

    Bush v. Gore (5 – 4)
    D.C. v. Heller (5 – 4)
    Affordable Care Act. (well, no — but almost!)
    Pelosi v. Trump (? – ?)

  21. Trump is the Law and Order president. Therefore, if he says he can delay the election, then such an action must be lawful. If it is not lawful, then how could he be the Law and Order president?

  22. He can’t delay the election. He *can* try to lean on state legislatures to simply choose his slate of electors regardless of how the vote goes. I expect that’ll be his next gambit.

    1. You mean like when liberals floated the idea of hijacking the electoral college under the auspices that because Hilary got more votes she was the only legitimate victor? They even coined a term for electors that jumped ship – “Hamilton electors.”

      1. “Let’s try to get electors to be faithless” is approximately as old as the electoral college itself, Jimmy, and went exactly nowhere in 2016, but your commitment to the high principles of whataboutism is as always a sight to behold. Please clarify: you’d be fine with Trump doing this?

        1. If it is a tried and true political tactic then what is wrong with either party doing it? Or would be consistent be too much of a challenge for you?

          1. It’s not “tried and true,” it’s just old. It has never gone anywhere, nor should it. The electoral college is bad enough without subjecting the outcome of the election to individual whims.

            So what’s *your* position, Jimmy?

            1. I am pro-electoral college.

              1. And overruling the votes of state populations via faithless electors or state legislature choosing the loser instead of the winner?

      2. IIRC the main champion of that was a guy who got less than 1% of the vote in the Democratic primary.

        1. Yes but he was doing it with the thumbs up from the Klinton camp.

          1. Yes, Hillary was so gung-ho on this tactic that she conceded the election on election night. A dastardly Machiavellian schemer, she was!

            1. And you can’t tell me that if the electoral college voted for her to become President should would not have accepted in less than one second.

  23. “Nor would it receive the support of the military.”

    When the rubber meets the proverbial road in this scenario, this is the only one that really matters. But what basis supports this claim? Surely not the U.S. military’s long history of opposing right wing coups, I presume.

  24. Good lord, how much digital ink are we going to spill over a question?

Please to post comments