Joe Biden Warns that Trump May Try to Delay the November Election

by on April 28, 2020 · 1 comment

in Election

Have you checked out lately what Joe Biden has been saying? He said that he fears Trump may try to delay the November presidential election, using the coronavirus as a pretense.

Now, this isn’t something from some extreme, left-wing blog editor, or some marginal conspiracy theorist, or the rantings of some bearded guy holed up in a mountain cabin.

No, this is from the presumptive nominee for the Democratic Party, the majoritarian party in the country, the unofficial leader of the main electoral opposition to an autocratic maniac in the White House.

Here’s what Biden said at an online fundraising event last week:

“Mark my words. I think he is gonna try to kick back the election somehow, come up with some rationale why it can’t be held,” as he warned his supporters Trump could use the COVID-19 pandemic as a pretense for trying to push the election away or otherwise undermining it.

Just to be clear, the president cannot unilaterally delay a presidential election, as it would take an act of Congress – and Biden knows this as he once taught Constitutional Law. Of course, that doesn’t damp down fears that Trump will continue to shred and ride roughshod over the Constitution and other hallmarks of a constitutional democracy.

There are also serious concerns about how to conduct in-person voting safely during the pandemic, and many, in response, are pushing for an expansion of voting by mail.

Biden also expressed a warning about that, that Trump is doing “all he can to make it very hard for people to vote” with his efforts to leverage the Post Office by refusing to grant an emergency federal loan to the Postal Service. Biden exclaimed during the virtual event, “Imagine threatening not to fund the post office. Now what in God’s name is that about?” he asked, and answered his own question with,  “Other than trying to let the word out that he’s going to do all he can to make it very hard for people to vote. That’s the only way he thinks he can possibly win.”

“Republicans were trying to force in-person voting no matter the health cost,” Biden said. “We have to figure out how we are going to conduct a full and fair and safe election in November, and no one should have to risk their lives to cast a ballot.”

Trump hasn’t publicly talked about delaying the election, but his allies describe him as being “unsettled and worried about losing the election.” This makes Democrats and Trump critics nervous, as Trump has repeatedly demonstrated a lack of understanding about the limits on executive power. He has used his COVID-19 “briefings” to lie about voting by mail, and called it “corrupt” and “dangerous.” Trump has urged his GOP comrades to fight against expanding voting by mail.

In a tweet, Trump said:

“Republicans should fight very hard when it comes to state wide mail-in voting. Democrats are clamoring for it. Tremendous potential for voter fraud, and for whatever reason, doesn’t work out well for Republicans.”

If for some reason, the vote is postponed, Trump’s term in office would automatically end on Jan. 20, 2021.

The 2020 campaign has already been terribly reshaped by the COVID-19 outbreak; candidates are having to campaign from home, primaries have been disrupted, Wisconsin voters risked their health in voting, and instead of focusing on the campaign cycle, news reporters are instead focused on the virus. Biden called the Republicans forcing the Wisconsin primary to be held in-person in the middle of the disease was a “giant warning flare to the nation.”

Still, the fears are shared, those expressed by Biden. Ohio Senator Sherrod Brown said, after his state postponed its primary, “My concern is that in the age of Trump that other governors might think, or that the president might ask, for a delay in the November election based on something, perhaps this, perhaps something else.”

Trump’s strong autocratic tendencies plague reasonable people. They fear that he will attempt to disregard the Constitution again, as he tightens his grip on power during the pandemic. Trump has been focused on purging his government of oversight, but with polls showing him trailing Biden, including in swing states, his desperation may get the better of him. And he may charge up the incentive to play games with the 2020 election.

As Vanity Fair muses:

There’s real reason to question whether the checks on Trump’s power will actually be enforced should he play games in November—or if the president, who has repeatedly lied about mass voter fraud contributing to his 2016 popular vote loss, were to question the results of the election if he loses. “We have to figure out how we are going to conduct a full and fair and safe election in November,” Biden said Thursday.

During his online fundraiser, Biden also raised a warning of Russian interference in the election. He said, “I promise you the Russians did interfere in our [2016] election and I guarantee you they are doing it again with two other major actors. You can be assured between [Trump] and the Russians there is going to be an attempt to interfere.”

The media reported on the Trump campaign’s response to Biden: “Those are the incoherent, conspiracy theory ramblings of a lost candidate who is out of touch with reality. Perhaps he also missed the news that the infamous Steele Dossier, central to the Russian Collusion Hoax, was likely compiled with Russian disinformation. That’s the real Russian collusion.”


Vanity Fair

The Guardian


{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

retired botanist April 28, 2020 at 3:15 pm

Ok, so let me say out front “Where is Biden?!” now that my candidate, Bernie, has retreated. In his basement? But I’ll also say, c’mon, where are the Obamas?! Other than an eloquent endorsement of Biden, the Obamas could be doing SO MUCH MORE. So, in general, color me disappointed with the lack of “lean in” from these three folks.
Meanwhile, I am currently residing in a State that has many laws going back to frickin’ Paul Revere. I won’t digress to say more. But to wit, in order to vote by absentee or mail-in ballot in this State, one has to have a REASON ( whaat? I’m sick? The dog ate my homework? Because I don’t want to drive around and find a voting station?), and then have the absentee form WITNESSED by someone else (the dog? my kid’s babysitter?!) and then send that in, EACH TIME, an election comes up. No permanent mail-in voter status here.
The point being, all those years in Cali, I was a forever mail-in voter. YAY. For decades.
So, once again California gets it right. Highlight that! The nation needs to endorse this voting option, nationally, and make it law. Anyone and everyone should have the right to vote by mail, with a paper ballot, and be counted, simply because that’s how they want to vote. Pen and paper, a stamp. Thank you.


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