Even as House Democrats are preparing to definitely hold William Barr in contempt tomorrow, and possibly Steve Mnuchin as well, while also scheduling public testimony from Robert Mueller, large chunks of the media are busy pushing the “Democrats aren’t going to do anything” false narrative – because those kinds of scare tactics are great for ratings. Now Nancy Pelosi has turned that narrative on its head.
Nancy Pelosi just told the New York Times that she’s worried that if Donald Trump loses in 2020 by a small margin, he’ll try to declare himself the winner and remain in office for another term anyway. Nothing magically works that way, as the courts would affirm that Trump lost, and in that moment he’d no longer be president, meaning government agents would instantly go from protecting him to dragging him out of the White House on his ass. So why is Pelosi saying something like this?
In reality, Donald Trump could try to cause trouble on his way out the door after a loss, but the bottom line is that it would really be a matter of how much trouble he wanted to cause for himself. As things now stand, as soon as Trump is out of office, SDNY and the New York Attorney General will be fighting over who gets to arrest Trump first. If he refuses to leave after he loses, it’ll merely result in his arrest coming even sooner.
But Pelosi smartly understands because Trump could try to cause trouble after losing, the best way to prevent that from happening is to make sure that he loses big. In turn, the best way to make sure he loses big is to motivate everyone to go vote against him in the largest numbers possible. In other words, her message to you is that if you think he’s going to lose by five points, you should spend the next year and a half helping to register voters so he’ll lose by ten points instead. That way, even if the Russians try to cheat again, or if some idiot sends a misleading last minute letter again, the Democratic candidate’s margin of victory will be large enough to absorb that.
As for the rest of what Nancy Pelosi supposedly said to the New York Times, it serves as a reminder that if you use the mainstream media to get your message out, the media will go ahead and spin your words into whatever delivers the best ratings. The NYT article in question has a misleading headline reading “Pelosi Warns Democrats: Stay in the Center or Trump May Contest Election Results.” Near the end of the article, it acknowledges that Pelosi is actually “pursuing center-left policies.”
The center-left isn’t the center, and the NY Times should retract this headline. But that part is less important, because Nancy Pelosi has consistently shown that she doesn’t really care what anyone on either side thinks about her, she only cares about the end result. She managed to get across her primary message, which is that people need to turn out to vote against Trump in as large of numbers as possible in 2020.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report