On Tuesday, columnist Jeff Hauser offered a stark warning to Democrats in The Daily Beast: There is no reason to think that President Donald Trump, who has respected no other norm of office or constitutional precept, would honor the democratic process in 2020. Indeed, warned Hauser, he might use his presidential powers to actively twist the system into giving him another term.
“Does President Trump have the means, motive, and opportunity to tilt the 2020 election?” wrote Hauser. “The answer, unfortunately, is yes, yes, and yes. And it behooves Democrats to understand that now, before it is too late.”
“First, means,” wrote Hauser. “Even a normal president has some ability to manipulate government spending and contracting decisions in such a way as to goose, say, purple state economies at the expense of dark blue and red states. Think it’s bad that Trump appears to be manipulating Air Force decisions to benefit his Scottish hotel? Amid a potentially slowing economy, think about how many ways Trump could shift resources across the entire federal government to, say, Sheboygan, Wisconsin, or Tempe, Arizona, at the expense of New York City or Birmingham, Alabama.”
Hauser noted that Trump has already done things like this, from sending troops to the border during the midterm, to having his cabinet secretaries threaten agencies that disagree with him, to intimidating private businesses from negotiating policy with blue states.
“Next, motive,” continued Hauser. “Remember ‘Russia, if you’re listening, I hope you’re able to find the 30,000 emails that are missing’ was a Trump statement at a 2016 press conference. Also recall the Trump team’s willingness to sit down with Russian assets offering dirt on Clinton. That was in the service of winning an election. Now he has the added motive of not losing one. Trump, lest we forget, has ample reason to fear that indictments could well await him should he not prevail in 2020.”
“So means and motive have been established. What about opportunity?” wrote Hauser. “Well, it’s best to commit a crime if you control law enforcement. With Bill Barr as attorney general, it’s fair to surmise that Trump’s fear of federal law enforcement is not especially high.”
The only bulwark against these abuses, Hauser concluded, is House Democrats — if they are willing to use the tools the Constitution gives them. There is impeachment, of course, but there are other things short of that that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) can use, like blocking Trump’s executive actions with provisions in must-pass legislation.
“Big picture, House Democrats must signal to Trump that they are up to the task of being the last line of defense against a federal government being organized as a partisan tool,” concluded Hauser. “Otherwise, their ‘let the voters decide in 2020’ plan might have a fatal flaw.”
Inside the secret GOP plan to keep power in 2020 — and beyond
In 2020, we need to pay attention to state elections as well as elections for president and Congress. State elections could decide whether the Republican Party further corrupts American democracy.
As demographics change — and America becomes more diverse and more liberal — the GOP has responded by implementing policies that will take away power from the American people. Rather than changing with the times, they’ve got another plan: minority rule – by them.
The 2020 candidates need to go after Trump on his supposed strength
Among many outcomes and observations following last week’s ABC News/Univision presidential debate, there were only two candidates who were willing to attack Donald Trump and the trolls who surround him: Sen. Kamala Harris and former Rep. Beto O’Rourke. That’s not to say the others didn’t mention President Trump at all. It's just that Harris and O’Rourke stood out in terms of their unflinching and aggressive attacks against Trump (Harris) and the Republican Party’s destructive fealty to the gun lobby (O’Rourke).
There’s a noticeable pee-shyness among the Democrats, too often quivering like Shaggy and Scooby over being seen as too anti-Trump or too anti-gun in the face of the elusive white-male diner crowd, despite the reality that Trump’s approvals are stuck in the 40 percent range, give or take. Likewise, support for a new assault weapons ban and an expansion of federal background checks is practically universal. A recent Fox News poll showed 67 percent support for an assault weapons ban and 90 percent support for expanded background checks. Oddly, those numbers indicate that Harris and O’Rourke weren’t really going out on any limbs here, except when contrasted with the baffling timidity of the other Democrats.
Democratic White House hopeful Elizabeth Warren calls Trump ‘corruption in the flesh’
Facing thousands of cheering supporters in the nation's largest city, Democratic presidential contender Elizabeth Warren on Monday decried President Donald Trump as "corruption in the flesh".
"Corruption has put our planet at risk. Corruption has broken our economy. And corruption is breaking our democracy," said Warren, a Massachusetts senator who has emerged as a leading presidential contender.