Trump questions election safety, draws hypocritical blowback

Delay the election because of the coronavirus?

Treasonous. Illegal. Cravenly political.

But if the Democrats wanted to do it?

Not so far-fetched then. If delaying the election would somehow help Joe Biden, Democratic lawmakers and their media lapdogs would be jumping up and down to demand it.

But because President Trump has now raised the question of whether the November election should be pushed back, it’s a nonstarter. Even Republicans are afraid of embracing the idea, worried about the political blowback.

“Never in the history of the country, through wars, depressions and the Civil War, have we ever not had a federally scheduled election on time,” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said. “We’ll find a way to do that again this November 3rd.”

Hours earlier, Trump tweeted that because of mail-in voting, “2020 will be the most INACCURATE & FRADULENT Election in history. It will be a great embarrassment to the USA. Delay the election until people can properly, securely and safely vote?”

Note that Trump never actually demanded the election be moved, he just raised the question.

But that was enough to trigger a round of critical stories in the media, with most noting correctly that Trump doesn’t actually have the power to push back Election Day, because the Constitution calls on Congress to set voting day.

Trump surely knows that, but he also knows that right now he is a huge underdog, with polls giving Biden close to a double-digit lead in many key states.

So is it politically expedient for Trump to suggest moving the election? Of course.

But it’s also politically disingenuous for Democrats to now roundly pan the idea, because if the roles were reversed they would be clamoring for a change — and no doubt House Speaker Nancy Pelosi would be figuring out a way to declare a national health and voting emergency to push it back.

In his Thursday coronavirus task force briefing, Trump’s election delay tweet was the first question asked by the media. Not the faltering economy. Not the virus or deaths surging past 150,000.

“Mail in ballots will lead to the greatest fraud,” he said.

“I don’t want a delay, I want to have the election. But I also don’t want to have to wait for three months and then find out that the ballots are all missing and the election doesn’t mean anything.

“Do I want to see a date change? No, but I don’t want to see a crooked election.”

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