The Department of Commerce announced Thursday morning that the United States GDP fell by a record 32.9 percent rate in the second quarter of 2020. “It looks like the data are pointing to a slowing in the pace of the recovery,” Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell said at a news conference on Wednesday, referencing the millions of American who remain unemployed and the millions more who continue to file for unemployment as the nation struggles to respond to the coronavirus pandemic, which has now claimed over 150,000 American lives.
In a tweet totally unrelated to any of the above, President Trump suggested on Thursday that the November election should be delayed.
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???
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 30, 2020
As has been noted repeatedly since Trump waged his campaign against remote voting, there is absolutely no legitimate evidence that mail-in or absentee voting leads to fraud.
Now, Trump is a world-class troll with a penchant for making ridiculous proposals on Twitter to see how the public will react, but he’s also the president of the United States, which means his shitposting needs to be taken seriously. As has been demonstrated in the past, it’s only a frivolous tweet until he actually tries to make it happen.
Fortunately, it would be a blatant violation of the Constitution, the document Republicans claim to hold so dear, if Trump were to try to delay the election. Congress sets the dates for the election and inauguration, and to change them would require approval from both the House of Representatives and the Senate. As the pandemic was intensifying in March, the Congressional Research Service even released a memo clarifying that Congress and only Congress has the power to change the date of a presidential election.
The election is happening on Tuesday, November 3rd, and no amount of question marks the president tacks onto his suggestion it should be moved is going to change that.