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Thread: The US 2020 Presidential Election

  1. #766
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    Trump floats delaying the election, but he can't do that
    WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump on Thursday suggested that the 2020 presidential election should be postponed, claiming it could be ripe for fraud.

    “With Universal Mail-In Voting (not Absentee Voting, which is good), 2020 will be the most INACCURATE & FRAUDULENT Election in history," Trump tweeted. "It will be a great embarrassment to the USA. Delay the Election until people can properly, securely and safely vote???”

    The president cannot unilaterally change the date of the presidential election, which is on Nov. 3 this year.

    NBC News presidential historian Michael Beschloss tweeted that there has never been a successful effort to delay it.

    Earlier in the morning, Trump tweeted that mail-in voting is “already proving to be a catastrophic disaster.”

    “Even testing areas are way off. The Dems talk of foreign influence in voting, but they know that Mail-In Voting is an easy way for foreign countries to enter the race. Even beyond that, there’s no accurate count!” he tweeted.

    Critics have voiced concern that Trump will press for the 2020 election to be delayed amid the coronavirus pandemic. At a House Judiciary Committee hearing Tuesday, Attorney General Bill Barr was asked if a sitting president can change the date of the election.

    “I haven’t looked into that question, under the Constitution,” Barr said.

    While states have the authority to delay their primary elections, only Congress can change the date for the general election for president, because the Constitution gives Congress the authority to set the general election date.

    Since 1845, Congress has required the appointment of presidential electors (now by election in every state) to take place on the Tuesday after the first Monday in November, which this year is Nov. 3.

    In addition, the date for the expiration of the president's term is set by the Constitution, and is Jan. 20.

    Former Vice President Joe Biden, the presumptive 2020 Democratic presidential nominee, warned in April that Trump would try to postpone the election by coming up "with some rationale why it can't be held" on the scheduled day.

    When asked about Biden's comment a few days later, Trump dismissed the idea, saying: "I never even thought of changing the date of the election. Why would I do that? November 3rd. It’s a good number. No, I look forward to that election.”


    Trump has since railed against mail-in voting, while Democrats have said they want to expand it because of the coronavirus pandemic, which could prevent many voters from physically going to the polls to cast their ballots. In June, the president said that the "biggest risk" to his re-election prospects is increased mail-in voting and whether he can win lawsuits to stop its expansion.

    Several Democrats on Thursday immediately slammed Trump for floating the idea of delaying the election, arguing that he's trying to divert attention away from his handling of the coronavirus.

    "Folks, don’t take the bait here. Trump has zero authority to delay the election," tweeted Rep. Jim Himes of Connecticut. "But he wants to talk about it. This is his time-tested way to get you to not focus on 150,000 dead Americans and an economy in free fall. Largely because of his ineptitude."

    Rep. Rick Larsen of Washington state tweeted: "Prez has no authority to delay elections. One more try at throwing a shiny ball out there to divert attention from: inept handling of the pandemic; ignoring intel on Russian bounties; devastating economic numbers; lack of action or plan on next COVID-19 relief package."
    ____________________

    Nothing but distraction and obfuscation. Imagine if he took at shot at actually being the President?
    TwentyFiveFortyFive

  2. #767
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    Republicans to Trump: You can't delay 2020 election

    Top Republicans have rejected Donald Trump's suggestion that November's presidential election should be delayed over alleged fraud concerns.

    Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy both dismissed the idea.

    Mr Trump does not have the authority to postpone the election. Any delay would have to be approved by Congress.

    Earlier, the president suggested that increased postal voting could lead to fraud and inaccurate results.

    He floated a delay until people could "properly, securely and safely" vote. There is little evidence to support Mr Trump's claims but he has long railed against mail-in voting, which he has said would be susceptible to fraud.

    US states want to make postal voting easier due to public health concerns over the coronavirus pandemic.

    Mr Trump's intervention came as new figures showed the US economy contracted by nearly a third (32.9%) between April and June - the worst contraction since the Great Depression of the 1930s.

    How have Republicans reacted?
    Senator McConnell said no US presidential election had ever been delayed before.

    "Never in the history of this country, through wars, depressions and the Civil War, have we ever not had a federally scheduled election on time. We will find a way to do that again this November third," he told local Kentucky station WNKY.

    Mr McCarthy echoed him. "Never in the history of the federal elections have we ever not held an election and we should go forward with our election," he said.

    Trump ally Senator Lindsay Graham meanwhile said a delay was "not a good idea".

    However, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo refused to be drawn on Mr Trump's suggestion. Quizzed by reporters on whether a president could delay an election, he said he would not "enter a legal judgement on the fly". When pressed, he said the justice department would "make that legal determination", adding "we want an election that everyone is confident in".

    The spokesman for Mr Trump's re-election campaign, Hogan Gidley, said Mr Trump had just been "raising a question". But Ari Fleischer, who was press secretary under Republican President George W Bush said Mr Trump should delete his tweet.

    "This is not an idea anyone, especially POTUS [the president of the United States], should float," he said. "Mr President - please don't even pretend to mess with this. It's a harmful idea."

    Donald Trump can't delay November's presidential election without Congress, partially controlled by the Democrats, first approving the decision. If he didn't already know this, someone has certainly told him by now.

    The president also must know that tweeting about a delay - even framed as an "I'm just asking!" question - is sure to ignite a political firestorm, particularly after he has repeatedly refused to say whether he'd accept an adverse result in the upcoming presidential election.

    Mr Trump appears to be doing everything in his power to undermine the credibility of November's vote, in which a record number of Americans are predicted to rely on mail-in voting to avoid the risk of exposure to the coronavirus. He's repeatedly made false and misleading claims about the reliability of the mail balloting and suggested broad conspiracy theories. Critics warn that he could be laying the groundwork for contesting the results - although the purpose may be simply to give him a scapegoat if he loses.

    His tweet could also be an attempt to divert attention away from the truly dismal second-quarter economic numbers just released. He's been relying on a financial turnaround to breathe life into his re-election campaign, and instead the outlook appears exceedingly gloomy.


    Whatever the reason, tweeting about an election delay is not the move of a candidate confident of victory - and could be a sign of more desperate moves to come.
    ____________

    The GOP slams the door shut on it, but the Pompeo and Gidley just can't contradict the Dear Leader...not without looking for a new job. What a bunch of fucking COWARDS.
    TwentyFiveFortyFive

  3. #768
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    Why Trump Might Quit
    There is logic behind saying to hell with reelection.
    Politico.com

    The purpose of the nationally televised Oval Office address was to announce new peace initiatives in Vietnam, but Lyndon B. Johnson saved the most startling news until the end of his speech on March 31, 1968. With his country badly divided over a grinding war, he didn’t believe as president he “should devote an hour or a day of my time to any personal partisan causes.” He was dropping out of the presidential campaign.

    Now there was a president who knew how to shake up the plot.

    Among Donald Trump’s problems in his long, hot and mostly housebound summer is that he has lost his once unparalleled gift for changing the story. He still can stir outrage, but even among his supporters he no longer has much capacity to surprise. “Every hero,” wrote Ralph Waldo Emerson a century before the president was born, “becomes a bore at last.”

    But here is a way Trump could demonstrate that an old master still knows how to tear up the script and leave the audience gasping. It is late but not too late to pull an LBJ.

    As it happens, the Trump Drops Out scenario is one I have trafficked to colleagues and sources for a couple years now, usually to dismissive grunts or quizzical stares. It is true that there is scant time left for the scenario to come to pass. It’s true also that, if I were a reliable predictor of Trump’s political fortunes, Hillary Clinton would now be running for reelection.

    But even if one doesn’t really think Trump will drop out of the race—as a proselytizer of the theory I acknowledge it is a stretch—it is worth examining the reasons he just might, as a way of illuminating the bleakness of his situation with just over three months to go before the general election.

    No doubt Trump would savor the validation of winning a second term. Under the current trajectory, that looks less likely than not; By the light of some evidence it looks highly unlikely. One question is whether Trump genuinely believes he has a plausible plan—beyond throw a lot of stuff against the wall and hope some of it sticks—to change that trajectory. The second question is how Trump conceives of the balance of his lifetime—and his historical reputation after that—if he were to lose to Joe Biden and join the ranks of defeated incumbents.

    The Trump-drops-out scenario hinges on the assumption that Trump is less concerned with wielding the levers of government than he is preserving his role as disrupter at large in American politics over the next decade. The latter might be much easier to maintain if he avoids being tattooed as loser in November—especially if the margin is larger than could be attributed, even by his most conspiracy-minded supporters, to media bias or vote-counting manipulation by Democrats.

    The scenario hinges also on an assumption that Trump’s political project is more weakened internally—in the psychological sense—than it is even in the external sense, as measured by polls and campaign coverage.

    Trump in recent days has scotched a planned rally and canceled plans for a massive partisan extravaganza at the Republican National Convention. He has gone from saying the coronavirus pandemic would be quickly routed in the spring to acknowledging, five months into the crisis, that the situation will probably “get worse before it gets better.” After saying masks weren’t for him, and implying that they are for weak spirits, he finally began wearing one and urging others to do so.

    Most of the coverage has been on the theme that Trump is now right and is tacitly admitting he was wrong before—wrong not to take these and other steps much earlier to unite the country around the importance of deferring to health experts and rigorous social distancing.

    But Trump surely must wonder—on the question that matters most to him—whether he was right before and is stuck in the wrong place now. For decades, Trump has fashioned a leadership persona around the mystique of success and strength and indomitability. He has long acted as if he believes that mystique is highly perishable. That’s why he never apologizes or says he was wrong. Once one is exposed as having erred, or even having normal human doubt about the path ahead, perceptions change irreversibly from strength to weakness.

    People who recoil at Trump’s boasting, bullying, and bombast generally know much more than he does about how conventional presidents act. But Trump surely knows much more than the critics do about how to manage the Trump persona. The pictures of Trump a few weeks ago after the weakly attended Tulsa rally—his tie undone, his face twisted in a dispirited scowl—suggest he knows that once his aura of success is punctured it will be difficult to recover. When was the last time Trump seemed to be really enjoying himself in the presidency?

    Trump knows also that perceptions of power and success have an intimidating effect. As he looks to the fall, it is not opponents that he needs to keep in line. It is allies. Trump’s presidency has been propelled by two great engines of enablement. One of these, Fox News, has been robustly enthusiastic. He’s been great for business, and Fox News’ most loyal viewers are loyal to Trump. The other enabler, personified by Mitch McConnell, is not enthusiastic but sullenly transactional. McConnell and the business wing of the GOP don’t much like Trump, but they do like the chance to push their agenda on judges and deregulation.

    What are the incentives of these enablers if, in late September or early October, Trump looks as beleaguered as he does in late July? In either case, an outright break with Trump is unlikely. Fox is concerned most about preserving its huge profitability. The network’s leaders would presumably be wary of potentially sustaining permanent brand damage with corporate advertisers by joining Trump in a last-ditch campaign of racially charged cultural warfare. That’s especially so if they perceive Trump is going to lose anyway. In the case of McConnell, he knows that Trump’s unpopularity is the primary factor that continued GOP control of the Senate is at best a toss-up. He and other Republicans already are trying to localize their races, not splitting with Trump but finding distance from him.

    These incentives mean Trump could be a very lonely figure this fall.

    Yes, but: Hasn’t Trump been lonely before, as after the "Access Hollywood" video in October 2016? True enough, although in circumstances in which the gravity of the nation’s challenges and the voter’s choice seem much less severe than now. And wouldn’t dropping out of the race brand him as something worse than loser, a quitter?

    That one Trump could plausibly answer with an unusual approach: say something approximating the truth. This doesn’t sound much like how Trump talks but, in some moods, it may be close to what he thinks: Fellow Americans, I know I am a disruptor, and everyone knows I thrive on conflict. I believe that disruption is what Republicans and the country needed when I ran for president in 2016, and that is what I delivered. But I realize the pandemic creates a whole new agenda. I am going to devote the balance of my term to trying to get this country opened up safely, and allow someone without my sharp edges make the case for Republicans this fall.

    Just this week Trump pondered why Anthony Fauci and Deborah Birx have higher approval ratings than he does, even though he is their boss. “It can only be my personality, that’s all,” he told reporters.

    Long term, forgoing the race with a measure of self-awareness conceivably could elevate Trump’s historical reputation higher than it would be if he loses reelection after a remorseless and demagogic campaign. In the near term, if a replacement nominee (presumably Vice President Mike Pence) would be indebted to Trump and subject to his leverage if he managed to beat Biden. If he lost, Trump could complain that his protégé blew it, and play GOP kingmaker (perhaps on behalf of one of his children or other allies) in 2024 without the stigma of having been expressly rejected by voters.

    But how plausible is Trump reversing the astonishing decay in his political foundation in recent months? Winning a second term was always going to be a challenge for a president who has never had a majority job approval. At the start of the year, however, his advisers described a plausible path to reelection. The strategy had three main elements. One assumption was that, even if he was running slightly behind in swing states, his financial and organizational advantages, combined with the passion of supporters, would mean he would outperform polls by 2 to 3 percentage points. The second assumption was that Trump had room to grow his vote share with minority voters, especially African American men; even modest improvement by Trump could weaken the Democratic coalition in devastating ways. The third assumption was that Trump could repackage his divisive style as an asset. “He’s no Mr. Nice Guy,” the narrator intoned in a Trump TV ad that aired during the 2019 World Series, “but sometimes it takes a Donald Trump to change Washington.”

    Five months into the pandemic, not one of those three assumptions looks secure. In key swing states, he is running much more than a couple points behind. After the George Floyd murder and Trump’s response, the notion of gains with African American voters is highly unlikely. His plan to portray himself as an ass-kicking chief executive who presided over a booming economy is in tatters, amid vast joblessness and the prospect that the pandemic will shadow virtually every corner of American life well into 2021.

    In circumstances as grim as these, it would be surprising but not inconceivable if Trump decided it is time for a seance with LBJ.
    _____________

    I'm not counting on Trump dropping out, not for one second. Personally I don't want him to drop him. I want to see him destroyed at the polls worse than Mondale.

    But he's that kind of coward that would do exactly that, if things continue to turn against him. I keep coming back to Nixon: He was invincible during 98% of the two year-long Watergate investigation....right up until he abruptly resigned.
    TwentyFiveFortyFive

  4. #769
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    Federalist Society Founder Calls for Trump’s Impeachment: Tweet to Delay Election Is "Fascistic"

    I have voted Republican in every presidential election since 1980, including voting for Donald Trump in 2016. I wrote op-eds and a law review article protesting what I believe was an unconstitutional investigation by Robert Mueller. I also wrote an op-ed opposing President Trump’s impeachment.

    But I am frankly appalled by the president’s recent tweet seeking to postpone the November election. Until recently, I had taken as political hyperbole the Democrats’ assertion that President Trump is a fascist. But this latest tweet is fascistic and is itself grounds for the president’s immediate impeachment again by the House of Representatives and his removal from office by the Senate.

    Here is what President Trump tweeted:

    With Universal Mail-In Voting (not Absentee Voting, which is good), 2020 will be the most INACCURATE & FRAUDULENT Election in history. It will be a great embarrassment to the USA. Delay the Election until people can properly, securely and safely vote???

    The nation has faced grave challenges before, just as it does today with the spread of the coronavirus. But it has never canceled or delayed a presidential election. Not in 1864, when President Abraham Lincoln was expected to lose and the South looked as if it might defeat the North. Not in 1932 in the depths of the Great Depression. Not in 1944 during World War II.

    So we certainly should not even consider canceling this fall’s election because of the president’s concern about mail-in voting, which is likely to increase because of fears about Covid-19. It is up to each of the 50 states whether to allow universal mail-in voting and Article II of the Constitution explicitly gives the states total power over the selection of presidential electors.

    Election Day was fixed by a federal law passed in 1845, and the Constitution itself in the 20th Amendment specifies that the newly elected Congress meet at noon on Jan. 3, 2021, and that the terms of the president and vice president end at noon on Jan. 20, 2021. If no newly elected president is available, the speaker of the House of Representatives becomes acting president.

    President Trump needs to be told by every Republican in Congress that he cannot postpone the federal election. Doing so would be illegal, unconstitutional and without precedent in American history. Anyone who says otherwise should never be elected to Congress again.
    ____________
    TwentyFiveFortyFive

  5. #770
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    Hands up ANYONE who ever thought they would see a co-founder of the Federalist Society talking like that. Not sure it will make much difference in the broader scheme of things, but it is a reminder just how far outside any acceptable bounds this President is.


    Win nervously lose tragically - Reds C C

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    Until recently, I had taken as political hyperbole the Democrats’ assertion that President Trump is a fascist. But this latest tweet is fascistic and is itself grounds for the president’s immediate impeachment again by the House of Representatives and his removal from office by the Senate.
    really, this tweet, in the last year of the administration, was the one that persuaded the Federalist author that Trump has authoritarian tendencies?

    that everything he did beforehand was just political hyperbole?

    I mean, better late than never, but it takes a special type of delusion to think that Donald Trump is a philosophical champion of federalism and delegated executive power.
    There is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there has always been. The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that "My ignorance is just as good as your knowledge."- Isaac Asimov

  7. #772
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    Supercut Shows Fox News Hosts Scorning Biden's Prediction That Trump Would Attempt To Delay The Election



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    TwentyFiveFortyFive

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    You are fast approaching the Caesar/Rubicon moment. There was arguably a good reason Caesar crossed the Rubicon and refused to lay down his Consulship; he knew he would be prosecuted and (most likely) found condemned once the legal immunity of holding the Consulship (and several Legions of troops) ended. To his supporters the planned charges were naturally "malicious, politically motivated" etc but to his detractors - and the 'constitutionalists' of the time - it was just normal that an ex Consul could be sued in the courts the same as anyone else.

    To my mind there is little doubt that Trump while President has broken a host of law - emoluments not least - but I would be wary of promising prosecution him and his ilk no matter their sins.

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    I am not following closely the US election campaign, but the extracts I read here are very frightening.
    Trump is casting doubt in advance on the results' validity. That sounds like preparing a sort of coup, whether it means delaying the election or staying in power if he is not reelected.
    What do you think could happen if he loses the election but says that it was "unaccurate and fraudulent" and refuses to quit the office ?

  10. #775
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steph View Post
    I am not following closely the US election campaign, but the extracts I read here are very frightening.
    Trump is casting doubt in advance on the results' validity. That sounds like preparing a sort of coup, whether it means delaying the election or staying in power if he is not reelected.
    What do you think could happen if he loses the election but says that it was "unaccurate and fraudulent" and refuses to quit the office ?
    Twentieth Amendment to the United States Constitution
    Section 1. The terms of the President and Vice President shall end at noon on the 20th day of January, and the terms of Senators and Representatives at noon on the 3d day of January, of the years in which such terms would have ended if this article had not been ratified; and the terms of their successors shall then begin.

    If the Electoral College votes are certified to someone other than Donald Trump, then at noon on January 20th, he will leave the White House, willingly or not.

    If the Election is somehow cancelled or delayed (impossible for the President to do but we'll pretend that he does it), then at noon on January 20th, he will leave the White House, willingly or not.
    TwentyFiveFortyFive

  11. #776
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steph View Post
    I am not following closely the US election campaign, but the extracts I read here are very frightening.
    Trump is casting doubt in advance on the results' validity. That sounds like preparing a sort of coup, whether it means delaying the election or staying in power if he is not reelected.
    What do you think could happen if he loses the election but says that it was "unaccurate and fraudulent" and refuses to quit the office ?
    As TH has pointed out, if Trump does not win the election he is gone. Staging a coup is not as easy as it sounds. While the President is the C in C of the military, those officers, men & women are sworn to uphold the Constitution. Even if Trump were to try something with his goons from the Department of Homeland Security they would likely face a military whose job it is to ensure the Constitution is followed. beating up protesters armed with soup cans in Portland is one thing, taking on trained soldiers is another, Not going to happen.

    The biggest threat to the peace here is that Trump declares he has been 'cheated' and numbers of his increasingly fanatical supporter base take up arms & cause problems. There won't be enough for a proper war, but innocents could easily be hurt. The problem is that Trump doesn't care about anyone but Trump, so he won't care that his supporters might get hurt or hurt others.


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    So practically if Trump for some reason is supposedly still occupying the white house after January 20th (for example pretending that the election’s result is not yet known or anything), what would happen*? Would it be the role of the Army to make him leave the office*? But if so, who would give the orders, as Trump is the Commander in Chief*? (and supposedly would still claim to be C in C after january 20th of course. But I suppose before that there would be some kind of injonction by the Supreme Court and an intervention by the Police*?

  13. #778
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steph View Post
    So practically if Trump for some reason is supposedly still occupying the white house after January 20th (for example pretending that the election’s result is not yet known or anything), what would happen*? Would it be the role of the Army to make him leave the office*? But if so, who would give the orders, as Trump is the Commander in Chief*? (and supposedly would still claim to be C in C after january 20th of course. But I suppose before that there would be some kind of injonction by the Supreme Court and an intervention by the Police*?
    His term ends at noon on January 20th, 2021 and that is written in stone. So...

    "If Trump were inclined to overstay his term, the levers of power work in favor of removal. Because the president immediately and automatically loses his constitutional authority upon expiration of his term or after removal through impeachment, he would lack the power to direct the U.S. Secret Service or other federal agents to protect him. He would likewise lose his power, as the commander in chief of the armed forces, to order a military response to defend him. In fact, the newly minted president would possess those presidential powers. If necessary, the successor could direct federal agents to forcibly remove Trump from the White House. Now a private citizen, Trump would no longer be immune from criminal prosecution, and could be arrested and charged with trespassing in the White House. While even former presidents enjoy Secret Service protection, agents presumably would not follow an illegal order to protect one from removal from office."
    https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/ar...ont-go/606259/

    It will be interesting because Trump considers himself to always be a winner and never a loser. Losing would challenge his psychological underpinnings head on. How he reconciles that is a big unknown. Will he see the light and graciously leave office? I think most of us think not. Will he bitch and moan but ultimately sulk away and not even greet the new President at the White House steps? I'm hoping for that. Will he challenge the whole system and try to invalidate the election? Only God knows but I can tell you that would put a big black mark on the United States as a Republic and would be the absolute worst outcome.
    Last edited by tbm3fan; 02 Aug 20, at 20:08.

  14. #779
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steph View Post
    So practically if Trump for some reason is supposedly still occupying the white house after January 20th (for example pretending that the election’s result is not yet known or anything), what would happen*? Would it be the role of the Army to make him leave the office*? But if so, who would give the orders, as Trump is the Commander in Chief*? (and supposedly would still claim to be C in C after january 20th of course. But I suppose before that there would be some kind of injonction by the Supreme Court and an intervention by the Police*?
    After 12:00pm on January 20th, there is no injunction possible by the Supreme Court. The Constitution spells out, right down the last second, when the President ceases to be the President, unless reelected with the minimum needed number of properly certified Electoral College votes.

    Personally I don't think it will come down Trump being physically removed from the White House for one simple and immutable reason: Donald Trump is, at his core, a complete and utter coward.

    Once he loses the support of the GOP, especially the Senate, he will slither out with his forked tail between his legs. Whether that occurs as a result of a landslide defeat at the polls, or even some other event prior to Election Day, his actual physical departure will be meek and silent.

    Naturally once he's off the White House property, he'll erupt in a ball of impotent rage and fury, but that's just Trumpism. You have to expect that sort of thing.
    TwentyFiveFortyFive

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    And at this point, where it is looking more and moe like he will lose (Iknow, I know, early days), I doubt he will show up for the Inauguration.
    “Loyalty to country ALWAYS. Loyalty to government, when it deserves it.”
    Mark Twain

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