Stop me if you’ve heard this one: what if Donald Trump refuses to accept the outcome of the election?
That was the Left’s near-constant refrain before the 2016 election, back when they were predicting Hillary Clinton had victory in the bag. Fate had other ideas, leading to the longest temper tantrum in American history.
But because there’s no such thing as self-awareness on the Left, Trump’s haters are pulling their old hits out of mothballs in preparation for 2020. Exhibit A is a CNN op-ed by Joshua Geltzer, published over the weekend:
Let’s start with why we need to ask this question: Trump is increasingly proving himself to be a President eager to overstep his authority. Just last week, Trump displayed his willingness to invoke unprecedented presidential power to declare a national emergency utterly without justification. This week has brought a startling report from the New York Times that, for the past two years, Trump has tried to undermine the investigations by Special Counsel Robert Mueller and other parts of the Justice Department in order to, in the words of the Times, “make the president’s many legal problems go away.” In light of these overreaching assertions of his own authority, it’s at least plausible that Trump might attempt to cling to power in ways previously unimaginable by an American president […]
Remember, when Trump was merely a private citizen running for President in 2016, he became the first presidential candidate in recent memory to refuse to commit that he’d honor the results of the election if he lost. Now, he occupies the Oval Office. He’s the commander in chief of the most powerful military on Earth. If he even hints at contesting the election result in 2020, as he suggested he might in 2016, he’d be doing so not as an outsider but as a leader with the vast resources of the US government potentially at his disposal.
Trump’s unrelenting assaults on the media and intelligence community, augmented by his baseless insistence on widespread voter fraud, have laid the groundwork for him to contest the election results in worrisome ways by undermining two institutions Americans would count on to validate those results.
The author goes on to explain that the Electoral College, Congress, state governors, and the military all have roles to play in certifying an election’s outcome and ensuring that a rogue president leaves office upon defeat.
Which is all very interesting, but does nothing to mitigate how bat-guano-insane Geltzer’s fear-mongering is.
None of his examples even come close to suggesting Trump is some sort of wannabe dictator who would try to invalidate a bad election. Let’s run them down:
1.) The emergency declaration — Through multiple duly-enacted statutes, Congress has given the president clear legal authority to redirect certain funds toward the construction of a border wall — which Congress voted to build in 2006 (whether the omnibus bill Trump signed at the same time will tie his hands is a different problem). As for the justification, simply ask the Border Patrol whether or not the emergency is real.
2.) Wanting the Mueller probe to “go away” — After two years, not a scrap of evidence has been produced indicating that Trump colluded with the Russian government to win the election, but we have ample reason to believe the “investigation” is an out-of-control fishing expedition. To hear CNN tell it, Mueller is the only public servant in America (other than Supreme Court justices) who shouldn’t have to answer to anyone.
3.) Refusing to commit to accepting defeat — All candidate Trump did in October 2016 was refuse to preemptively promise that he wouldn’t request a recount or some other inquiry into potential election improprieties — which I don’t recall Democrats thinking was beyond the pale with Al Gore in 2000.
4.) “Assaults” on the media and intelligence communities — Translation: sometimes Trump says mean things about groups liberals have momentarily decided are above reproach. The horror.
5.) “Baseless” insistence on widespread voter fraud — I’ll turn this one over to two of America’s foremost experts on voter fraud, John Fund and Hans von Spakovsky. Last October, they wrote:
In states around the U.S., major problems with our voter registration systems have been tolerated for years. A 2012 report by the Pew Center on the States found that more than 1.8 million dead people were registered to vote and 2.75 million people were registered in more than one state.
The Pew report found that 24 million registrations were either invalid or inaccurate, making the registration systems vulnerable to fraud. Despite this abysmal record, the Justice Department under President Obama decided it wouldn’t take any action to enforce a federal law that requires states to maintain accurate voter rolls by regularly removing ineligible voters.
There’s much more in the full article.
The most pathetic thing about this may be the sheer chutzpah of Geltzer’s dishonesty. After months of liberals bleating about gracefully accepting defeat, their entire reaction to Trump’s first two years in office has been one massive temper tantrum, an endless refusal to accept that he did win fair and square. Hell, that was the whole reason for the Russia investigation!
To suddenly revert back to lectures about Trump taking loss like a big boy is basically putting up a big neon sign to flaunt the kinds of dishonesty you can get away with…something Mr. Geltzer won’t have to worry about being called out at CNN.
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