We won't ignore the horrible economic numbers

Do not get me wrong. Trump’s suggestion is anti-democratic and emblematic of his inability to uphold his oath of office (not to mention futile, since Congress sets the date by statute). We should rebut it swiftly and definitively (something spineless Republicans will largely avoid doing), but we should not ignore the 32.9 percent annualized contraction in gross domestic product and 1.43 million new jobless claims.

The ACLU did a fine job, keeping its rebuke short and to the point: “This is America. We are a democracy, not a dictatorship. The Constitution sets the date for the election in November. Nothing President Trump says, does, or tweets can change that fact.” Kudos to the New York Times for this headline: “Trump Floats Whether to ‘Delay the Election,’ Something He Cannot Legally Do,” while keeping at the top of its home page news of the 32.9 annualized contraction in gross domestic product and 1.43 million new jobless claims.

Aside from refusing to get distracted from the 32.9 percent annualized contraction in gross domestic product and 1.43 million new jobless claims, we should keep in mind a few things.

First, Trump knows at some level he is heading for defeat, maybe a humiliating one. You do not postpone elections if you think you are winning. (So much for his claim that he has polls showing him ahead.)

Second, we should remember — in addition to the 32.9 percent annualized contraction in gross domestic product and 1.43 million new jobless claims — that this anti-democratic president is there because every Republican in the Senate, save Mitt Romney of Utah, refused to act upon the overwhelming evidence of his impeachable conduct and left him there to continue his incineration of the Constitution. They are responsible for every effort to normalize authoritarianism, and despite cries for mercy from right-wing pundits, Republicans in the House and Senate must go to reaffirm that they cannot violate the oath they took as jurors and remain in power.

Third, without getting distracted from the 32.9 percent annualized contraction in gross domestic product and 1.43 million new jobless claims, we should remember this when Trump inevitably calls the election results into doubt and makes unsupportable claims of fraud: He says whatever he wants to assuage his ego and undermine our democracy (not unlike his BFF, Russian President ). Today’s tweet stands as a pre-buttal of future, equally unserious claims.

Fourth, without forgetting the 32.9 percent annualized contraction in gross domestic product and 1.43 million new jobless claims, we should note the delicious irony that Trump’s anti-democratic hooey comes on the same day Rep. John Lewis of Georgia is laid to rest. An op-ed he leaves behind, published in the New York Times, tells us: “Ordinary people with extraordinary vision can redeem the soul of America by getting in what I call good trouble, necessary trouble. Voting and participating in the democratic process are key.” He reaffirms what Trump seeks to undermine: “The vote is the most powerful nonviolent change agent you have in a democratic society. You must use it because it is not guaranteed. You can lose it.” Oh, especially now. Especially now.

In short, we need not ignore the 32.9 percent annualized contraction in gross domestic product and 1.43 million new jobless claims to condemn Trump’s latest attack on American democracy — a vivid reminder that he remains in office thanks to the sycophancy of spineless Republicans.

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