In their continual effort to smear President Donald Trump, Democrats and party operatives in the media have suggested he would use the pandemic to cancel the 2020 election so he could stay in office. Don’t be surprised, though, as it becomes more difficult for their presumptive nominee to campaign, and his catastrophic flaws become ever more visible, if they soon pivot and insist that the election be delayed.
Last month, as life began to change under COVID-19 lockdowns, Chris Cillizza wrote on CNN that “whispers have begun that maybe, just maybe, President Donald Trump will use the pandemic to cancel the 2020 election entirely.”
On the same day, Politico claimed that because Trump “has repeatedly shown contempt for the rule of law and the spirit of democracy, it’s not unreasonable to worry that he could try to use the pandemic as a pretext to cancel the election and remain in power.”
Vox played along and told readers the late March delay in Ohio’s primary “understandably triggered fears that other officials, potentially even President Trump, might take advantage of the Ohio precedent to postpone or cancel November’s election if it appears that Trump is likely to be defeated.”
Business Insider’s Grace Panetta was in the game a few days earlier, writing on March 17 that some Trump critics “worry that the president could attempt to seize on the crisis by postponing or even canceling this year’s general election.”
In an op-ed published the day before in The Hill, Fox News analyst Juan Williams wondered if “given the depth of the political hole he has dug eight months before the presidential election, does anyone really think the president would hesitate to use the coronavirus as justification for postponing or canceling the next presidential election?”
Maybe he was inspired by journalist Kurt Eichenwald, who is suffering from a particularly disabling strain of Trump Derangement Syndrome, and tweeted on March 15 the president was going to use postponed presidential primaries as “precedent to cancel (the) election.”
By the end of the month, Joe Biden, the likely nominee, was saying it’s not out of the question Trump “may start a drumbeat saying (the election) should be postponed.”
For the record, several of these reports concluded that such a scenario was not going to happen. Our system won’t permit it. But those pieces weren’t written as a public service to show that canceling the election is out of the question as much as they were written to imply Trump is the autocratic sort who would try it.
As the narrative fades, don’t be surprised when it’s replaced by demands from Democrats and the media to delay the election for at least a year because the COVID-19 lockdowns have handicapped their candidate. Which is true. Biden cannot campaign in the traditional manner.
Meanwhile, Trump makes a media appearance every day, and reigns over the news cycle while Biden works from home, and is looking wholly unsuitable for the presidency.
The Democrats, as noted in Foreign Policy, also need a nominating convention attended by thousands more than the Republicans, since it might come to a brokered convention to select a candidate.
What will go unspoken, though, is the growing realization that Biden is a deeply flawed candidate. He’s prone to red-letter gaffes, unbridled exaggerations, embarrassing outbursts, and unexpected digressions, and has been losing focus and slurring his words.
Across a span of only about two weeks, the former vice president has:
- Produced a “Gaffe-Filled Softball Media Interview,” in which he confused China’s Luhan Province with Wuhan, the city from which the coronavirus spread.
- Plagiarized “Trump’s Coronavirus Response — AGAIN.”
- Had to clumsily look down at his notes when he got stuck during a friendly interview. He was so addled that he confused CVS pharmacy with the “CVC,” whatever that is. Maybe it’s a combination with the drug store chain and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that exists solely in Biden’s mind.
- Absentmindedly wandered off camera while taping a campaign video.
- Told the world that he thinks Trump wants to sit at his desk and physically sign every check that Washington sends out in the name of pandemic relief.
The Delaware deceiver has also been caught repeatedly lying during the COVID-19 crisis, earning “11 Pinocchios From Fact-Checkers,” reports the Washington Free Beacon.
The Democrats have to be concerned, as well, with the enthusiasm gap. While 53% of Trump supporters say they are “very” enthusiastic about their candidate, only 24% of Biden supporters feel the same way for their candidate, an ABC News/Washington Post poll has found.
And then there’s the allegation of sexual assault, which the media are conveniently ignoring. Don’t doubt it will become an issue during the fall campaign if Biden is the Democrat because it’s a much too inviting target for the Republicans to pass over.
Yet another concern, and another argument for delay by Biden’s party, is turnout.
“Congressional Democrats,” says The Hill, are worried “the presidential and congressional contests could be wracked with difficulties if the pandemic is still upending daily life in November.”
The most-affected groups, political analysts believe, are likely be “African American, young and low-income voters — key Democratic constituencies.”
Is there more? Yes, there is. Biden doesn’t look well. As far back as December, one of President Barack Obama’s doctors was saying Biden is “not a healthy guy,” and has “a lot of issues.” The Democrats’ frontrunner has exhibited a truck load of disturbing public behavior. In one particularly awkward episode, he drifted far off point while trying to recite the preamble of the Declaration of Independence, a passage he probably learned in grade school. Former New York mayor and Trump confidant Rudy Giuliani believes the Democrat has been showing “obvious signs of dementia.”
The uncertainties of Biden’s condition have become so obvious that it’s not unreasonable to write, as Jim Treacher has of a fairly recent performance, that “Bidenites all swooned because he managed to read from a teleprompter for 10 minutes without screaming at anybody or forgetting where he was.”
Already the Democrats are proposing rule changes that would strain the integrity of the election. Biden himself has suggested remote and drive-by voting. Another possibility floated is “sending every voter a ballot regardless of whether they ask for one,” says Politico. Ballot harvesting is yet one more. All are invitations to commit election fraud.
So it’s no leap to follow up those ideas with an appeal, for the sake of justice and fairness, to reschedule the 2020 election so Democrats will have time to mount a stronger campaign – maybe even one with a different candidate.
Of course the election can’t be postponed, and the Democrats know that. But introducing the possibility to the public leaves them with a convenient means to poison an unwanted election outcome, and four more years of a presidency they loathe, which has become a habit for that party.