While previous presidents, notably Richard Nixon, Lyndon Johnson and John Kennedy certainly abused their authority in pursuit of maintaining power, we had never seen a president do so openly. But as they say, Trump says the quiet part out loud.
We’re back in that same tall grass again this week as Trump toys publicly with a threat to sabotage mail-in voting unless House Democrats agree to his demands on a coronavirus stimulus. As Trump said today, unless Nancy Pelosi agrees to cut out spending that would benefit big cities, he will refuse any measure to provide the Postal Service the money it needs for the election.
As with his Ukrainian power play, Trump seems not to understand how this position might look to voters coming from the president who directs through his appointees the Postal Service: Give him what he wants, or he will precipitate election disaster that he believes would be in his benefit.
Even if it is an empty negotiating tactic, as his Ukrainian threat turned out to be, it is not a good look for someone in power.