On Wednesday morning, President Donald Trump tweeted a threat to withhold federal funds from two key battleground states, Michigan and Nevada, for trying to make provisions for easier and safer voting practices for their citizens amid the coronavirus pandemic.
It sounds like a made-up story, but the outlandish tweets sent a clear message about how the president feels about a possible mail vote this November.
Many have speculated that if mail in votes are allowed, so many American votes will be cast that the president will almost assuredly be facing a loss. And he is now threatening states. Seems like this should be front page material all over the country, right?
This president’s goal is to win at all costs. Even amid a devastating pandemic, he is going to do whatever it takes, even if it means risking the nation’s health, even if it means potentially rigging voter turnout.
One might expect this kind of threatening behavior to be done behind closed doors, in secret. But with THIS president? We should not be surprised that he openly tweeted this all out. Just take a look.
Michigan sends absentee ballot applications to 7.7 million people ahead of Primaries and the General Election. This was done illegally and without authorization by a rogue Secretary of State. I will ask to hold up funding to Michigan if they want to go down this Voter Fraud path!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 20, 2020
State of Nevada “thinks” that they can send out illegal vote by mail ballots, creating a great Voter Fraud scenario for the State and the U.S. They can’t! If they do, “I think” I can hold up funds to the State. Sorry, but you must not cheat in elections. @RussVought45 @USTreasury
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 20, 2020
So here are to tweets from a sitting president threatening states that have simply sought to give their voters greater access to voting safely during a global pandemic which has already killed almost 100,000 Americans, even though Trump keeps saying we’ve beat it.
AND, the icing on the cake? In the tweet he actually tagged Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, OMB Director Russ Vought, and the Treasury Department. It’s almost unbelievable. Until you remember it’s 2020 and Trump is the leader of our nation.
Trump’s Twitter feed will go down as one of the strangest pieces to the great puzzle of confusion that is the Trump White House. If he said half of the things he says on there IN PRIVATE, to staffers or aides, and it was found out, he would face scandal after scandal. But he does it right out in the open and we, everyone, just writes it off as just another crazy morning with our wackadoo president. Sure, we have become numb. What else does it seem we can do? He faces no punishment or consequences so instead of staying upset, we go numb. But THAT IS DANGEROUS.
Let’s break this down. What he is suggesting is criminal. Withholding Congress appropriated funds in order to interfere with an election IS A CRIME.
What the states are doing is simply trying to help stop the spread of COVID-19 and still allow people the right to vote. This shouldn’t be a partisan issue but Trump thinks that sending out absentee-ballots will help the Dems win.
Turns out that there is no evidence that this is even true. Nothing suggests that this will help Dems and nothing suggests that it is a major fraud risk. We all know he isn’t terribly concerned with evidence for truth, however.
Trump has also left most of the pandemic response up to the individual states, only involving himself if he seems to be facing any political fallout. Michigan’s secretary of state, Jocelyn Benson, said in a twitter reply, “Hi! I also have a name, it’s Jocelyn Benson. And we sent applications, not ballots. Just like my GOP colleagues in Iowa, Georgia, Nebraska and West Virginia.” She was pointing out that the red states that had also sent out applications weren’t facing near the heat…
This behavior of trying to use force and funds of the federal government to increase his reelection chances is nothing new. This is the same thing he was impeached for when it comes right down to it.
He used his force in the Ukraine/Biden mess and what did we do? We tossed it off as another wacky tweet from our wild card President. And the stakes keep getting higher.
Lately Trump seems to be adding a new layer of toddler behavior to his tweet tantrums: tattling. This is where he tags another authority and demands that they do something about whatever it is he is upset about. Recently he tagged Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai to tattle on NBC’s Chuck Todd, basically suggesting that the FCC should “fire” Todd, which it technically cannot do.
He also recently cried to Senator Lindsey Graham to investigate the so-called Obamagate scandal. Now make no mistake, Obama has certainly not been called up to testify but Graham placated the toddler Trump and said he would hold hearings.
So why doesn’t Trump just call Vought or the Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin himself? Why not just order the holding back of funds? Well, they would likely tell him that it is illegal. And if he goes straight to them, he misses a chance to pop off on twitter and incite all sorts of comment section wars, thereby making him the hero of his minions.
It’s widely known that Trump is well more interested in whatever show he can put on than actually following through with any of the necessary and much needed duties of the presidency. But the fact that most of the country and world just let him off so easily and continually just enables his bad behavior.
See, even if Trump doesn’t actually withhold funds from Michigan and Nevada, it could lead other states to be afraid to follow their lead. Governors and secretaries of state will have to decide if actions they might take to ensure that voters can get ballots in November will come back to haunt them if federal funds are withheld.
While an embargo as such would likely be illegal, it would almost surely be a court battle and at least an interruption of funds at a VERY dicey time. At the very least, they risk firing up the president’s extreme and loyal fans- Michigan, for instance, already had to cancel a legislative session because of violent threats from protesters who were encouraged by the Commander in Chief.
He could also use one of his other “defenses” to explaining this terrible move, chalking it up to “sarcasm” or a joke, such as when he suggested using disinfectants or UV light inside the body to kill the virus.
As it has been written about, Trump runs the executive branch of his administration with a Mafia mentality and therefore keeps a lot hidden. He doesn’t show his cards and is never explicit even when it’s clear what his intentions are.
Yes, sure, these latest tweets ARE just more wacky ramblings from a wacky President but that doesn’t mean they’re not also dangerous. At this point, every move this man makes should be taken as one that could ultimately threaten the 2020 election.
And that’s just what he would like to do. not also dThis morning’s tweets are, it is true, just more wild rambling from the president. That doesn’t mean they can’t also be a grave threat to the integrity of the 2020 election.