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.”
Lawmakers discussing possibility that ‘freaked out’ Trump won’t accept election loss
President Donald Trump's increasing attacks on election integrity have raised new alarms about his efforts to delegitimize the results in November.
Just as he did in 2016, Trump has been flinging baseless accusations of "rigged" elections and has, as president, threatened to withhold funding from Michigan and Nevada for going ahead with plans to allow voting by mail during the coronavirus pandemic, reported Politico.
"He is planting the seeds for delegitimizing the election if he loses," said Vanita Gupta, a former head of Justice Department’s civil rights division under President Barack Obama. "It’s from the playbook. It’ll get more intense as he gets more freaked out."
‘Un-American’ anti-lockdown protesters hammered by Army veteran for appropriating military gear to make their point
In a Memorial Day column for the Washington Post, military vet Drew Garza -- who served three tours in Iraq and Afghanistan among other deployments -- hammered anti-lockdown protesters who have appropriated a quasi-military style of dress while sometimes carrying "un-American" flags at lockdown rallies.
According to the U.S. Army vet who is now a Tillman scholar at George Washington University, protesters who adorn themselves in military-style garb while carrying high-powered weapons to protest stay-at-home orders designed to stem the spread of the coronavirus pandemic is a personal affront to those who have actually served.
Joe Biden makes first public appearance since March 15
Joe Biden, the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee, emerged from more than two months seclusion Monday, wearing a black face mask during a visit to lay a wreath on the day the United States honors its war dead.
"Thank you for your service," the former vice president said to a well-wisher after paying his respects at the Veterans Memorial Park in New Castle, Delaware.
Biden's last public appearance was March 15 when he faced off against his former Democratic rival Bernie Sanders for a debate in a television studio held with no live audience.