(CNN)In the wake of President Donald Trump equivocating as to whether he would transfer power to Joe Biden in the event of a defeat at the ballot box in 40 days, White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany tried to clear things up on Thursday.
Spoiler alert: She didn’t!”The President will accept the results of a free and fair election,” said McEnany.Which, well, that ain’t it.See, Trump has said — as recently as Wednesday night— that the only way the election will be fair is if we “get rid of the ballots and you’ll have a very trans- — we’ll have a very peaceful — there won’t be a transfer, frankly; there’ll be a continuation.”Read More
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So, by that standard, the only way that the election will be “free and fair” (in McEnany’s words) is if all mail-in ballots — many of which have already been sent and returned! — are somehow disqualified (or something?).Which, because every poll suggests that Democratic voters are more inclined to use mail-in balloting amid the coronavirus pandemic than GOP voters, would hand Trump a major advantage. Not to mention disenfranchise lots and lots of people who are eligible voters!See, the thing is that neither Trump nor McEnany get to define “free and fair.” Those words have objective meanings apart from any spin.They mean that everyone who is eligible to vote is given an equal opportunity to cast a vote — in whatever means are legally available to them in their state.The Point: Trump is a president, not a dictator. He doesn’t get to decide how the election rules work. He just plays within them. He — and McEnany — still don’t seem to grasp that concept of, uh, how democracy works.