Late-night hosts decry Trump wanting to delay election: 'Incinerating American democracy'
Seth Meyers, Trevor Noah, and Jimmy Fallon addressed Trump's "psychotic tweet" on their shows Thursday night.
On Thursday, President Donald Trump floated the idea of delaying the 2020 election and baselessly declared that universal mail-in voting would lead to "the most INACCURATE & FRAUDULENT Election in history." The president does not have the authority to delay the presidential election. According to the Constitution, only Congress holds that power. But, as Seth Meyers and Trevor Noah pointed out Thursday night, "not being allowed to do something never stopped him before."
Meyers, speaking from his at-home Late Night desk, summed up the last week for us: "We're less than a hundred days from the presidential election, the economy just had its largest contraction in history, there were more than a million jobless claims for the 19th week in a row, states are recording an increase in deaths from an out-of-control pandemic, and a lawless aspiring autocrat, who I guess also believes in demon sperm, is sending secret police to American cities to round up protestors while gutting the post office to delay mail-in votes, ignoring Supreme Court decisions, signaling that he'll refuse to accept the outcome of the election, and is now calling for that election to be delayed even though he obviously doesn't have the power to do it."
"Oh great, so not only is he casually suggesting incinerating American democracy, he's doing it like he's offering hors d'oeuvres at a party," he remarked of Trump's phrasing.
On The Daily Show, Noah said he isn't sure "Trump understands what an alarming proposal this is because this is basically the move of a dictator where Trump is just casually throwing it out there in a tweet with a bunch of question marks like he's on a group text trying to bail on a happy hour." Just because Trump doesn't have the authority to delay the election, both hosts say it shouldn't be ignored.
"It's not enough to consult your pocket Constitution, shrug off the president's tweet, and move on, satisfied that we outmaneuvered him with a fact check," Meyers said, "because the craven husks around Trump are already laying the groundwork for Trump to do exactly what he wants to do, law be damned. They were already doing it before Trump's psychotic tweet today."
Meyers called out testimony from "fascist Garfield," a.k.a. Attorney General William Barr, who avoided offering a definitive answer as to whether a sitting president could postpone the election and instead said he hadn't looked into it.
Noah pointed out how Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden suggested a few months ago that Trump might try to delay the election. Trump called it propaganda at the time. "This is how it starts," Noah said. "First, they suggest to delay the election, then they suggest 'maybe votes are not valid,' and pretty soon they're saying 'you know what's really unfair? That there are two political parties. Why are there two political parties? Let's just have one, then you don't have to worry about making the decisions anymore!'"
Jimmy Fallon was more jokey about Trump's tweet on The Tonight Show. "It's the presidential election. It's not the release date for Bill and Ted 3," he cracked.
Fallon further joked that Americans responded to the suggestion with, "How long a delay are we talking about? Months, like your response to COVID; years, like your response to Putin; or decades, like a hug for Don Jr.?"
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