Listening to the drumbeat of fear, despair and disgust from some precincts on the Left gives me today’s topic: If Donald J. Trump loses the presidential election, he will scream it was rigged — and refuse to leave the White House.
The first part of the equation, a claim the election was rigged, is perfectly believable. The president is a monumental crybaby, whiner and blame-shifter. That huge balloon of him as a crying infant is cruel, because it is so correct, and when I say correct, I don’t mean covfefe.
The second part, though, that he would refuse to leave the White House — and that as commander-in-chief he would get the military to protect him — gets into woo-woo territory. (Daffy Duck was big on woo-woo.)
That sentence is a two-parter: 1- He won’t want to leave, agreed. 2- the military will protect. Woo-woo.
Shortly after Trump was elected, and after he escalated his attacks on a free press (recently expanded to include Fox News, who woulda thunk?), a few of my liberal friends feared and believed that he would shut down The New York Times. Really, they did.
How is that going to work? I asked.
He’s going to order troops with fixed bayonets to surround the Times? Because the Times carried a story the president didn’t like?
Calling out troops does have some precedents, but they were for more momentous issues than a president’s bloated vanity.
Example: President Eisenhower sent the 101st Airborne to Little Rock, Ark., in September, 1957, to enforce a court order desegregating Central High School, but here is the difference: Troops were sent to enforce a court order, not to disobey the U.S. Constitution. I guarantee you that Ike, the Supreme Allied Commander in World War II, had no taste for sending troops into an American city, which stirred memories of the Civil War. But he did it.
Would the 101st take up positions around the Times if Trump ordered it?
It hasn’t happened yet, and, really, it never will happen. Our troops take an oath to obey orders from the president, yes, but the first part of the oath requires them to support and defend the Constitution. The oath requires them to obey orders only when they are legitimate.
The same would apply if he were to barricade himself in the Lincoln Bedroom.
Trump should be careful squawking about rigged elections. He lost the popular vote and was elected anyway. He complained there were millions of votes by undocumented people, but he could never prove that.
Because it is not true.
Here and there some ineligible people voted, but Trump’s own commission could find no massive voter fraud.
Some of you are saying he is a disrupter who ignores norms. That is true, but while he violates rules, he cannot ignore the law. Many of his plans have been upset by the courts and while he screamed and called judges names, he obeyed the rulings.
So let’s say he again loses the popular vote, but this time he also loses in the electoral college and starts tweeting — his favorite means of communicating — that he was robbed and he will not accept the results.
Guess what? Like sending troops to a U.S. city, this also has happened before.
Not that long ago — George W. Bush and Al Gore in 2000, remember?
The results were disputed, but at no point did President Bill Clinton suggest he would not leave his office.
It went to the U.S. Supreme Court, which decided, and its ruling was accepted by all parties, even the ones that vehemently disagreed.
So, if the election outcome is disputed in November 2020, it will go to the Supremes. If they rule the election was fair, what military commander would obey Trump’s order to protect him in the White House?
What solider would obey an illegal order?
I say, none.
If you disagree, you have a very low opinion of the men and women who guarantee your freedom.
But wait, I hear others say, I kind of worked on an assumption that the majority conservative Supreme Court would rule against Trump.
Ah, but I did not say they would rule for or against Trump.
I said the Supreme Court would validate the election, an election that if open to tampering at all, would be by Russia pumping Trump.
A true conservative would put the Constitution and the rule of law above the interests of the president, any president.
Am I following my faith in America rather than my usual political skepticism?
Yes, I am.
If Trump loses, he will leave, I have no fear.
The bigger fear is that he wins.