From his insistence on telling people about his bathroom habits to his indifference regarding human life, there are a lot of reasons why Donald Trump being reelected in 2024 would be a terrible, terrible turn of events. One of them that’s never far from the mind these days? The fact that he’s made it as clear as possible that he would have absolutely no regard for the Constitution or rule of law. As in, even less so than when he was in office the first time around!
In a statement issued on Sunday, Trump reiterated that former vice president Mike Pence totally could have “change[d]” the 2020 election results. Legally, this is not true at all, and we cannot stress enough that a person who was once and reportedly again wants to be leader of the free world thinks one can just “change” the outcome of a democratic exercise if he doesn’t like the outcome. Nonetheless, Trump was apparently vexed by comments from Senator Susan Collins re: the Electoral Count Act of 1887, an arcane law that “essentially sets up a timetable for when different parts of the counting process must take place and sets up a dispute resolution process for how Congress will resolve irregularities in accepting electoral slates from states,” as ABC News explains. The lawmaker from Maine said the act was “exploited” on January 6 and must be reformed so nothing like that will ever happen again, safeguarding democracy from you-know-who. But in Trump’s warped mind, this bipartisan effort to protect the country and future elections is somehow proof that “Mike Pence did have the right to change the outcome, and they now want to take that right away.” He added that “unfortunately” Pence didn’t “exercise that power,” which, according to Trump, would have meant that the then V.P. “could have overturned the Election!” (We don’t understand this logic either.)
While we’ve all known for some time now that this is exactly what Trump wanted to happen—after all, he devoted most of his speech on the Ellipse that preceded the Capitol attack to telling Pence how important it was to do as much—it’s completely wild that he’s now both casually and explicitly stating in print that he wanted his V.P. to overturn the whole thing and steal him a second term.
Setting aside the unintentionally hilarious fact that, as Representative Zoe Lofgren pointed out to CNN, “the former president is saying that the vice president gets to choose the next president, in which case Kamala Harris will be presiding at the counting of the votes, and I guess he’s saying she gets to choose who the next president is,” Trump’s latest outburst is yet another look at how he’d govern in a second term, which would clearly begin with the proclamation: “I and I alone decide what the law says.”
Speaking of the law, over the weekend Trump suggested at a rally that should he make it back to the White House, he’ll pardon the people who attacked the Capitol on his behalf, a comment so outrageous even Lindsey Graham condemned it. “No, I don’t want to send any signal that it was okay to defile the Capitol,” Graham said CBS’s Face the Nation. “There are other groups with causes that may want to go down to the violent path that these people get pardoned. I think it’s inappropriate…. I don’t want to do anything that would make this more likely in the future.”
Disturbingly, it appears that that’s exactly what Trump wants.
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