We keep trying to square the circle with Donald Trump. We keep trying to make him something he is not. We keep pretending he could not be as bad as he sounds. [How could he be?] But when he said Wednesday he would not commit to a peaceful transfer of power after the November election, that it would be an election decided by the Supreme Court and that to have a “peaceful” transfer of power would require getting “rid of the ballots” well, where do you turn? How do you make sense of it?

You don’t.

It’s a little more than a month before the election and clearly the president seeks to protect himself regardless of the outcome. If he loses, well, he will say he didn’t. If he wins, the people will have spoken, if he loses he will say the results were rigged. He takes denial to unexplored levels.

On this issue he has been thankfully rebuked by his party’s leadership. Even Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. And Texas Senator Ted Cruz. And Florida senator Marco Rubio. You know that behind closed doors they are asking each other whether the president has lost his mind. They are almost to be pitied; they’ve hoed this row four long years. That’s a lot of weeds to pull from the president’s fertile mind.

As with prior instances where the truth exceeded his grasp Republicans and Democrats alike know there is no factual backing to support the president’s claim that mail-in voting leads to fraud. When he says that “ballots are a horror show” he has no evidence to show why, which is in the same bandwidth as saying the Democrats are using the coronavirus pandemic as a way to win the election.

How?

It must frustrate the president to read the testimony of Federal Bureau of Investigation Director Christopher Wray, who told Congress the FBI has “not seen, historically, any kind of coordinated national voter fraud effort in a major election, whether it’s by mail or otherwise.”

And Mr. Wray was the president’s pick. As the president must say, where’s Roger Stone when he needs him most?

This mail-in process will be before Vermonters this year. For the first time — in response to the virus — all registered Vermont voters will be mailed a ballot. [You don’t have to use it. You can drive to the polling both on Nov. 3 and cast your ballot as you have in the past.] No one is expecting issues. No one is suggesting the state’s election will be rigged.

The irony in all this is that the FBI has warned that Russia will do everything within its power to cast doubt on the election and to create discord whenever and however possible.

The Russians needn’t bother. Mr. Trump is doing that all by his lonesome.

by Emerson Lynn

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