Donald Trump hints at refusing to give up presidency

Updates

  1. Originally published, May 6, 7:02 pm.
  2. May 6, 8:11 pm:
    • The Washington Post has a story confirming details I wrote below on Donald Trump hinting at refusing to give up the presidency should he lose the election in 2020. The story also consults legal experts.[1]
  3. May 6, 10:52 pm:
    • Elizabeth de la Vega has an interesting take on the problem I and many others have pointed to about impeaching Donald Trump. I’ve added her tweet under Donald Trump.

I’m feeling strain every time I go anywhere, even to a fucking Whole Foods Market (the nearest is in Upper Saint Clair, out past Mt. Lebanon). I sorta kinda knew my way around Dormont and Mt. Lebanon once upon a time, but I’m living in Baldwin which is just far enough away that there’s really very little in common. There’s nothing like a grid system here. You take a wrong turn and there’s a strong possibility you’re going for a ride.

And, as I’ve previously noted, here and here, a lot of these intersections are confusing or obscured as you approach them. I have no choice but to rely on Google Maps for even short trips. The concentration required is wearying.

And I’m going to need to do this for Uber and Lyft because the job hunt here looks every bit as ridiculous as the one I left behind.

But the weather is nice today, after being cold (requiring I close the windows) and rainy yesterday. Scattered showers are due back tomorrow.


Uber

It is awfully curious how the Wall Street Journal headline claims that it is the drivers who are “harder to please” when it is in fact Uber and Lyft that have been cutting our pay.[2] That sounds like Uber and Lyft getting “harder to please,” not the drivers.

Christopher Mims, “In a Tight Labor Market, Gig Workers Get Harder to Please,” Wall Street Journal, May 4, 2019, https://www.wsj.com/articles/in-a-tight-labor-market-gig-workers-get-harder-to-please-11556942404


Donald Trump

Donald Trump is doing nothing to set minds at ease about Will Bunch’s fears.[3] He apparently retweeted this:[4]

And wrote this:[5]

Laurence Tribe is alarmed:

Chris Cillizza joins the fray, pointing out all the times Trump has complained that elections are “rigged,” not against states like California and New York which suffer from electoral college arithmetic, but against Republicans.[6] And there’s many more.[7]

So some people, including no less than Nancy Pelosi, whose concern Cillizza specifically defends, are worried now. Some people take the threat seriously. But the very reason the threat needs to be taken seriously, specifically that Donald Trump flouts anything remotely resembling political convention,[8] is the very reason it is impossible to know how this actually plays out.

There would, of course, be pushback. There would, of course, be lawsuits. But I have no idea how it all actually would play out in the end—and because of the number of variables involved, I’m inclined to say that anyone who claims to know is full of shit. Some stuff you just can’t game out.

As to impeachment, Elizabeth de la Vega has a suggestion:

Which is certainly interesting.

Chris Cillizza, “What happens if Donald Trump refuses to admit he lost in 2020?” CNN, May 6, 2019, https://amp.cnn.com/cnn/2019/05/06/politics/donald-trump-2020-election/index.html

Damian Paletta, “Mnuchin rejects Democrats’ demand to hand over Trump’s tax returns, all but ensuring legal battle,” Washington Post, May 6, 2019, https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/economy/mnuchin-rejects-democrats-demand-to-hand-over-trumps-tax-returns-all-but-ensuring-legal-battle/2019/05/06/5483f8ac-7022-11e9-9eb4-0828f5389013_story.html

Isaac Stanley-Becker, “Claiming two years of his presidency were ‘stolen,’ Trump suggests he’s owed overtime,” Washington Post, May 6, 2019, https://www.washingtonpost.com/nation/2019/05/06/claiming-two-years-his-presidency-were-stolen-trump-suggests-hes-owed-overtime/

Matt Zapotosky, “Trump would have been charged with obstruction were he not president, hundreds of former federal prosecutors assert,” Washington Post, May 6, 2019, https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/trump-would-have-been-charged-with-obstruction-were-he-not-president-hundreds-of-former-federal-prosecutors-assert/2019/05/06/e4946a1a-7006-11e9-9f06-5fc2ee80027a_story.html


Brexit

Sam Coates and Kate Devlin, “Don’t cave in to Labour on Brexit, Tories tell Theresa May,” Times, May 6, 2019, https://www.thetimes.co.uk/edition/news/dont-cave-in-to-labour-on-brexit-tories-tell-theresa-may-0t6rqstxt


Democrats. Absolutely stupid fucking worthless goddamn Democrats.

Elaine Godfrey, “The Democratic Party Just Ticked Off Its Youngest Organizers,” Atlantic, May 6, 2019, https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2019/05/college-democrats-protest-new-dccc-vendor-policy/588715/


Venezuela

I’ve held my tongue on Venezuela. I don’t know who is right in the contest between Juan Guaidó, who has been refusing to recognize an allegedly rigged election result, and Nicolás Maduro, who claimed victory in that allegedly rigged election and currently holds the presidency.

My problem, frankly, is the same one I have in North Korea: Frankly, I’ve seen way too much demonization of Maduro, as I did of his predecessor Hugo Chávez, and I can’t help but suspect that the demonization comes at least partly from an ideological source. We demonized the Soviets and we continue to demonize Iranians this way, too.

On the other side, it’s previously been clear to me that some on the Left have simply adopted a view that since the United States is evil, which it is, then anyone who opposes the U.S. must be a saint. I’ve seen this with Iran and the Russian intervention in Ukraine. For such people, it is inconceivable that evil people might oppose each other.

So I don’t know. And I’ve been extremely uncomfortable adopting a position opposing the Venezuelan government (any more than I oppose all powerful people on anarchist general principle) on events in Venezuela since Chávez embarrassed the George W. Bush administration by subsidizing heating oil for the poor in the U.S. northeast. I thought Chávez deserved a lot of credit for doing that and I have also noticed an increase in his demonization since about that time. But heating oil for the poor in the U.S. says nothing about the situation in Venezuela, and certainly it says even less now, so I’m just keeping my mouth shut.

What I will say is that any U.S. intervention on any side in this is likely to be unwelcome to many in Venezuela. And Twitter is being awfully arrogant if the company thinks it understands the situation in Venezuela any better than I do.

Ellery Roberts Biddle, “Private: Why is Twitter blocking state accounts in Venezuela?” Global Voices, May 3, 2019, https://globalvoices.org/2019/05/03/why-is-twitter-blocking-state-accounts-in-venezuela/


  1. [1]Isaac Stanley-Becker, “Claiming two years of his presidency were ‘stolen,’ Trump suggests he’s owed overtime,” Washington Post, May 6, 2019, https://www.washingtonpost.com/nation/2019/05/06/claiming-two-years-his-presidency-were-stolen-trump-suggests-hes-owed-overtime/
  2. [2]Christopher Mims, “In a Tight Labor Market, Gig Workers Get Harder to Please,” Wall Street Journal, May 4, 2019, https://www.wsj.com/articles/in-a-tight-labor-market-gig-workers-get-harder-to-please-11556942404
  3. [3]Will Bunch, “Trump’s diabolical plan to blow up democracy, get reelected and avoid jail just might work,” Philadelphia Inquirer, May 5, 2019, https://www.philly.com/opinion/commentary/trump-wants-impeachment-2020-reelection-strategy-blame-democrats-ignore-subpoenas-20190505.html
  4. [4]Isaac Stanley-Becker, “Claiming two years of his presidency were ‘stolen,’ Trump suggests he’s owed overtime,” Washington Post, May 6, 2019, https://www.washingtonpost.com/nation/2019/05/06/claiming-two-years-his-presidency-were-stolen-trump-suggests-hes-owed-overtime/
  5. [5]Isaac Stanley-Becker, “Claiming two years of his presidency were ‘stolen,’ Trump suggests he’s owed overtime,” Washington Post, May 6, 2019, https://www.washingtonpost.com/nation/2019/05/06/claiming-two-years-his-presidency-were-stolen-trump-suggests-hes-owed-overtime/
  6. [6]Chris Cillizza, “What happens if Donald Trump refuses to admit he lost in 2020?” CNN, May 6, 2019, https://amp.cnn.com/cnn/2019/05/06/politics/donald-trump-2020-election/index.html
  7. [7]Isaac Stanley-Becker, “Claiming two years of his presidency were ‘stolen,’ Trump suggests he’s owed overtime,” Washington Post, May 6, 2019, https://www.washingtonpost.com/nation/2019/05/06/claiming-two-years-his-presidency-were-stolen-trump-suggests-hes-owed-overtime/
  8. [8]Will Bunch, “Trump’s diabolical plan to blow up democracy, get reelected and avoid jail just might work,” Philadelphia Inquirer, May 5, 2019, https://www.philly.com/opinion/commentary/trump-wants-impeachment-2020-reelection-strategy-blame-democrats-ignore-subpoenas-20190505.html; Chris Cillizza, “What happens if Donald Trump refuses to admit he lost in 2020?” CNN, May 6, 2019, https://amp.cnn.com/cnn/2019/05/06/politics/donald-trump-2020-election/index.html; Isaac Stanley-Becker, “Claiming two years of his presidency were ‘stolen,’ Trump suggests he’s owed overtime,” Washington Post, May 6, 2019, https://www.washingtonpost.com/nation/2019/05/06/claiming-two-years-his-presidency-were-stolen-trump-suggests-hes-owed-overtime/

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