Donald Trump hit a PR double today, floating the idea of delaying the election.
Republican leaders like Mitch McConnell, quickly shot down Trump’s trial balloon, saying, “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. We’ll find a way to do that again this Nov. 3.”
King Trump doesn’t have the authority to fiddle around with Election Day. The Constitution empowers Congress to set the day of the vote. That hardly matters to the president.
His Election Day gambit succeeded in diverting attention from the historic contraction of the American economy and the funeral of Congressman John Lewis, which was attended by three presidents not named Trump.
The Commerce Dept. reported that the GDP contracted 9.5 percent from April through June, the steepest decline since 1947 as states shut down to deal with the spreading COVID-19 pandemic.
The Labor Dept. added to that gloomy news, reporting that 1.43M Americans filed for unemployment benefits during the week ended July 25. That marked the 19thconsecutive week of a million or more claims, which was unheard of prior to COVID-19.
Trump’s election tweet stole some of the national spotlight from the Atlanta funeral of civil rights advocate John Lewis. President Barack Obama eulogized Lewis, while Bill Clinton and George W. Bush delivered remarks at the ceremony held at Ebenezer Baptist Church.
Lewis, an advocate for voting rights who was called the “conscience of the Congress," would have been appalled by Trump’s delay-the-election idea.
That would have suited Donald just fine.
The New York Times on July 30 published an essay that Lewis wrote a couple of days before he died.
In it, he wrote: "The vote is the most powerful nonviolent change agent you have in a democratic society. You must use it because it is not guaranteed. You can lose it.”
Lewis also wrote: “Democracy is not a state. It is an act, and each generation must do its part to help build what we called the Beloved Community, a nation and world society at peace with itself."
The anti-Lewis doesn’t give a fig about democracy or a world at peace with itself.
To Trump, it’s all about maintaining a grip on the presidency, even if means whining day-after-day about delaying or cancelling the election.
Trump hit a double today but he was called out at third base by the American people after he tried to stretch it into a triple.