When Donald Trump made the laughably empty threat to postpone the election this morning, he was hoping the public would be gullible enough to believe that he can actually do it, and that the media would be craven enough to play along with his fantasy. But the public and the media are largely just rolling their eyes at the idiot, which means this stunt is going to backfire on him.
We’re already seeing Donald Trump’s top Republican allies quickly pulling the plug on his insane fantasy. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell announced to the media that election day is “set in stone.” House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy said the election will take place as scheduled. Trump’s close pal John Cornyn tried to write off Trump’s tweet as a mere joke.
Republican Senator Lamar Alexander stated his belief that if the election is postponed, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi will inherit the presidency. There’s debate as to whether this is how things would actually play out constitutionally. But the point is that Trump’s pals are loudly telling him to pull the plug on this nonsense, because of the sheer number of ways it can go wrong for him.
The upshot is that even Donald Trump’s own closest Republican allies aren’t willing to back him up on this one, because it’s a losing gambit. Trump looks deranged for daring to even suggest trying to postpone the election. He also looks stupid for threatening to do something that he literally can’t do. The Constitution locks election day in place, and only Congress can move it, which Nancy Pelosi obviously won’t allow.
By even suggesting postponing the election, Trump has admitted for all to see that he thinks he’s going to lose in November. He’s even admitting to his own supporters that he thinks he has no chance – which is not a way to motivate them to turn out and vote for him. Trump just weakened his own position by even suggesting this nonsense. He wagered that it would cause the nation to cower to him, and that didn’t happen. It’s another gamble and loss for him.
So even as conspiracy theorists keep coming up with increasingly laughable scenarios in which Donald Trump can just magically remain in office forever, and certain pundits continue trying to scare you into paying attention to them by promoting this nonsense, back in the real world even Trump’s own allies want nothing to do with this silliness. Even Trump is probably already wishing he had the tweet back; it’s already backfiring on him.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report