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.”
Trump superspreader rallies are making voters sick of him — and crippling his campaign: report
According to a report from Bloomberg, Donald Trump's insistence on holding rallies during a deadly pandemic is not only risky for attendees but is also hurting his campaign with undecided voters and sending them into the welcoming arms of Democratic challenger Joe Biden.
On Monday, the cash-strapped Trump campaign held three separate rallies in Pennsylvania where he riffed on a series of topics -- some of which made their way to cable news -- and on Tuesday was slated to hold more rallies in Wisconsin and Michigan.
West Virginia voter: ‘I’ll probably vote for Donald Trump’ because ‘he keeps the people to the TV set’
A group of West Virginia voters explained their voting choices to MSNBC on Monday.
"I don't have TV, I don't have internet," one woman said. "I'm pretty far behind. And I bet you a lot of around here are because we're poor. I don't know nothing about Joe [Biden]. I ain't never heard nothing about him at all. Donald Trump, I know a little bit about him because of the past couple of years."
"I'll probably vote for Donald Trump," Jeff Kibbey told MSNBC. "He keeps the people to the TV set."
"One, Trump is good," Francis Senter insisted. "Biden -- however you pronounce his name -- is good too. But like I say, I can't judge either one of them. It's the same community it ain't never going to change because if it was going to change it wouldn't look like this right here."
White nationalist group ‘training for violence’ as Trump’s defeat grows likelier: report
On Tuesday, BuzzFeed News reported that Patriot Front, a white supremacist group formed from the collapse of groups that participated in the Charlottesville neo-Nazi riots, is preparing for civil unrest as they believe President Donald Trump's re-election is a lost cause.
"BuzzFeed News has received a cache of hundreds of messages exchanged by Patriot Front members on Rocket.Chat, an encrypted group messaging app," reported Jane Lytvynenko. "In logs of the chats, all from this year, around 280 members of the group discuss grandiose goals — creating a white ethnostate from the existing United States. The group wants to expel immigrants, people of color, and Jews, remaking the fabric of America."