We know, we know, and one reason we know is because the only people suggesting otherwise are Democrats. Ironically, NBC’s Today show aired and promoted this clip from their full interview with Joe Biden on the same day that Wisconsin voters are going to the polls to vote in the state’s primary, although the jury’s still out on whether that was a bright idea or not. No one in government has ever suggested that the general election might be moved and we have six-plus months to go before it happens, but both Biden and Craig Melvin act as though a delay is on the table:
BIDEN: I’d much prefer to have in-person voting. but it depends. It depends on the state of play, but we cannot, we cannot delay or postpone a constitutionally required November election.
NBC noted in its promotion of the full interview that Biden added, “We have to make our democracy, as well as dealing with the disease, function. We can do both. We should be thinking now ahead — have all the experts, both political parties and academia laying out what it would take to have voting by mail.” Is it possible that Biden’s unaware that most if not all states already have systems for voting by mail? They’re called absentee ballots, and they have been in use for decades. The problem in Wisconsin is that the crisis hit so quickly that many voters didn’t have sufficient time to prepare by requesting them.
That won’t be the case in November, nor will the outbreak look the same either. While it’s still very possible that we will be imposing social-distancing measures by November — in fact, we may be adopting those for a year or more until a vaccine is widely available — we will have reopened most if not all businesses by that point. Americans will have lots of time and practice to adopt safe public-square habits, including the wearing of masks and constant disinfection.
Well, some Americans will adopt those quickly enough. Old dogs might take longer to learn new tricks:
Another day of Joe Biden making zero sense, coughing, and touching his face pic.twitter.com/M9aa1exxo1
— Comfortably Smug (@ComfortablySmug) April 7, 2020
Biden didn’t do much better on the other topics of the interview, at least according to the notes released by NBC. Biden told Melvin that he’d handle the COVID-19 pandemic differently than Trump by nationalizing the response. “I’d accept responsibility,” Biden declared. “This is a national problem, not a local problem, not a governors’ problem.” True, but the same Constitution that mandates the general election in November also limits the authority of the executive over state and local policies. Governors have to act to implement stay-at-home orders and National Guard usage. Biden seems intent on creating an emergency dictatorship rather than use the systems we already have in place, and which seem to be doing rather well so far in reducing community transmissions.
Biden also said he’d “exponentially ramp up testing,” something easier said than done, as well as “open a new enrollment period for ObamaCare.” Why? Those who have been laid off from work already qualify for a change-of-status ObamaCare enrollment (a point that the media repeatedly fails to note), and the poor have had access to it all along through Medicaid. More to the point, health-care resources are going nearly exclusively for COVID-19 response. Even the emergency rooms are barely treating anyone else, and COVID-19 assessments and treatments are already being covered without charge by government and insurance plans.
Anyway, hopefully in a few weeks Biden’s advisory team will brief him on that newfangled invention of absentee balloting. And perhaps a brief on the rest of the Constitution would be in order, too.
Update: Speaking of a refresher course, Varad Mehta provides this one:
FYI, voting in November is by law, not the Constitution.
— Varad Mehta (@varadmehta) April 7, 2020
I had meant to mention that in the post above and plum forgot about it. The “first Tuesday after the first Monday in November” formulation was passed into law in 1845; previous to that date, national election dates floated between the first of November to the first week of December.
Update: A good friend sends me this Hillary Clinton tweet from yesterday. Stopped clocks, etc:
Let's be clear. Trump does not have the power to cancel or postpone the November election. https://t.co/OKQyAq5g80
— Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) April 6, 2020
True! Let’s also be clear that Trump isn’t talking about doing so, though. The only people raising this possibility are Democrats and media figures who want to paint Trump as a dictator while lamenting the fact that he won’t act like one. You know … like Joe Biden.
Update: John reminds me that he wrote about this paranoid streak in the media and on the Left a couple of weeks ago. Be sure to read his post to see how far this rumor has penetrated, but by law the US has to hold the election on its scheduled day this year. Congress would have to pass a law authorizing a postponement, and that means the House and Nancy Pelosi would have to go along with it. Ain’t happening.