The Count of Mar a Lago

OK, I’m calling it. Donald Trump is not going to pivot. And America is not rounding a corner on Covid-19. Both Trump and the pandemic have gone from bad to worse. And the last thing any of us needed this weekend was yet another hour of this endless campaign, but falling an hour backward during a year we can’t wait to get through is entirely on brand for 2020. So where are we as the countdown to election 2020 enters what we hope will be its final days? After four years of psychic hell, I’m worried the next month with be worse, both in terms of threats to our democracy and our health. To be clear, I’m less worried about the election itself than I am about what are the near certain efforts to prevent the counting of votes and challenge the reality of the election’s outcome (and challenging reality has been Trump’s brand forever). First, on the election: In 2016, Trump narrowly won in a few swing states and pulled off a near-impossible inside straight. Since then, he has become the worst president in American history, overseeing the worst crisis response in American history, and is concluding a poorly run campaign by traveling to the nation’s hardest hit Covid-19 hotspots to tell people that Covid-19 is over. Even after four years of being unable to believe what I’m seeing, I still can’t believe that the above is a recipe for reelection. Second, on the counting: We know Trump will do everything possible to challenge the will of the people. He challenged the popular vote in the 2016 election after he won. From the “perfect” call with the Ukraine president to the relentless efforts to slow down the postal service, Donald Trump has been going postal on our electoral process since the day he conned his way into the Oval Office. It’s not a matter of whether he’ll try to cheat. It’s that he’s going to continue cheating and bashing democratic norms until the end. No, he’s not going to pivot. The question is whether America will. And right now, it looks like we could have the highest voter turnout in a century. Give Trump credit for this: The dude can draw a crowd.

+ Just because he will try to rig or steal the election, doesn’t mean it will work. It’s more a matter of how the trying will play out, and how the media reacts. Some analysis from Dan Pfeiffer: Trump’s Unserious Plan to Steal the Election.

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