One of the Democrats’ more lunatic themes is their insistence that if President Trump loses the election, he likely will refuse to leave office, in effect staging a coup. Most recently the claim was made by Bernie Sanders. Politico headlined: “Sanders: America must be prepared for when Trump refuses to leave office.”
To some extent, this may be projection. The Democrats themselves have been staging a slow-motion coup for nearly four years, trying by hook or by crook to force our duly-elected president out of office. And they are the ones who have vowed to count and recount ballots to the last ditch, with Hillary Clinton telling Joe Biden, do “not concede under any circumstances.”
More significantly, I think the Democrats’ fantasizing about Trump illegally staying on in the White House is battlespace preparation for the election and for Trump’s second term (assuming he wins the election). The Democrats are expecting a close election that may not have a clear winner. They have warned that Trump may appear to have won in a landslide on election night, and it may take weeks of ballot counting to give Joe Biden the victory.
So we may well endure a post-election Hell of endless ballot judging and counting not just in one state (Florida in 2000), but potentially a dozen. Given the Democrats’ strategy of encouraging an unprecedented volume of voter fraud through voting by junk mail, the number of questionable ballots will be immense. It is quite possible that once again, the Supreme Court will be called on to sort out legal arguments–this time, likely in multiple states–so as to determine the winner. Meanwhile, the Democrats will be howling at President Trump to concede the election, and accusing him of hanging on illegally when he refuses.
What if this post-election process is not complete by the time the Electoral College meets? The ultimate recourse, I suppose, is to the Twelfth Amendment to the Constitution. If no candidate receives a majority of votes in the Electoral College, the House of Representatives elects the president, with each state getting one vote.
The election is likely to be so beset with fraud, confusion and controversy that if President Trump wins, the Democrats will again allege (as they did in 2016) that his victory was illegitimate and he is not a “real” president. Instead, by virtue of refusing to concede, he will be staying in office despite “really” losing the election, just as they predicted.
This is an appalling scenario, but not an unlikely one.