If you want to know what the left is doing, just listen to what they’re accusing others of doing. The left wing media is currently engaged in a game of projection about what Trump will do if he loses in 2020. They are actually telling us exactly what they will do if they lose.

How do we know this? Because it’s exactly what they’ve been doing since election night in 2016.

The latest example comes from Chris Cillizza of CNN:

Donald Trump is laying the groundwork to de-legitimize the 2020 election

Even as the 2020 race begins in earnest, President Donald Trump is already suggesting that Democrats cannot beat him fairly — raising the specter that if he loses next November, he will suggest that the election was not legitimate.

“The Democrats in Congress yesterday were vicious and totally showed their cards for everyone to see,” Trump tweeted Tuesday, referring to House Democrats’ launching of a broad-scale investigation into him. “When the Republicans had the Majority they never acted with such hatred and scorn! The Dems are trying to win an election in 2020 that they know they cannot legitimately win!”

Trump 2020 campaign press secretary Kayleigh McEnany echoed that sentiment in a statement on the Democratic investigations. “These desperate Democrats know they cannot beat President Trump in 2020, so instead they have embarked on a disgraceful witch hunt with one singular aim: topple the will of the American people and seize the power that they have zero chance at winning legitimately,” she said.

And asked Wednesday about the Democratic investigations, White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said this: “They continue to be a group totally taken by small radical leftist fringe of their party and they’re completely controlled by it, they know that’s not enough to beat this President so they’re going to look for other ways to do that.”

All of that rhetoric fits into a very clear pattern: Convince the Trump base that it is not possible for him to lose a fair and legitimate election in 2020. Thus, if he loses, it must be, by definition, illegitimate.

Juan Williams of FOX News, who is easily the most left wing person on the network with the possible exception of Shepard Smith, advanced nearly identical talking points this week.

Douglas Ernst writes at the Washington Times:

Juan Williams warns: Trump may ‘refuse to leave’ White House if he loses in 2020

Juan Williams is worried that a Shakespearean tragedy awaits the nation in 2020 if President Trump loses his re-election bid.

The fictional witches in “Macbeth” chanted “double, double toil and trouble; fire burn and caldron bubble” as they worked their magic, but the Fox News analyst says Mr. Trump has a “witches’ brew” that is legitimately dangerous.

“It is no longer outside the realm of possibility that Trump could refuse to leave if he loses the 2020 election,” Mr. Williams warned in an op-ed for The Hill on Monday. “And if he does not accept an election defeat — a scenario he threatened in 2016 — he will have a virtual army on social media to defend him.”

Mr. Trump said in October 2016 that he would accept a “clear election result,” but that he also reserved the right “to contest or file a legal challenge in the case of a questionable result. And always, I will follow and abide by all of the rules and traditions of all of the many candidates who have come before me. Always.”

Williams was simply parroting a CNN op-ed written in the last week of February by Obama administration lawyer Joshua Geltzer:

What if Trump refuses to accept defeat in 2020?

President Donald Trump’s critics are increasingly focused on the question of which Democrat will challenge him for the presidency in 2020. It’s an important question, but another one might be even more important: Regardless of who runs in 2020, if Trump loses, will he leave the Oval Office peacefully?

Let’s start with why we need to ask this question: Trump is increasingly proving himself to be a President eager to overstep his authority. Just last week, Trump displayed his willingness to invoke unprecedented presidential power to declare a national emergency utterly without justification.

This week has brought a startling report from the New York Times that, for the past two years, Trump has tried to undermine the investigations by Special Counsel Robert Mueller and other parts of the Justice Department in order to, in the words of the Times, “make the president’s many legal problems go away.” In light of these overreaching assertions of his own authority, it’s at least plausible that Trump might attempt to cling to power in ways previously unimaginable by an American president.

Thankfully, there are four steps that key actors across the American system of governance can take to get ahead of this possibility…

All told, there’s real reason to worry here. So, what can be done now to avoid a potential constitutional crisis and ensure that the 2020 election results — whatever they might be — are respected and that any transfer of power occurs peacefully?

As Professor Jacobson recently pointed out on Twitter, this has become an official talking point:

As I said, this is projection. The left is telling us exactly what to expect if Trump wins in 2020. Just as they did in 2016, they will refuse to accept it, and we will likely see the left act out in ways that make the riots after 2016 seem tame.

 

 
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