How the 2020 election could go off the rails in three easy steps

President Donald Trump showed his skill at trolling this week, sending his critics into a frenzy when he re-tweeted Jerry Falwell Jr.’s assertion that “Trump should have 2 years added to his 1st term as payback for time stolen by this corrupt failed coup.” The idea of a lunge for extra-constitutional power was then embraced by none other than House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who reportedly said she “does not automatically trust the president to respect the results of any election short of an overwhelming defeat.”

It might sound absurd, but for people who understand the mechanics of the U.S. electoral process, her fears have an edge of plausibility.

It’s extremely unlikely that a defeated President Trump would literally barricade himself in the Oval Office, denouncing the millions of illegal aliens and corrupt Democratic election officials who led to his downfall at the ballot box, while loyal aides bar the new president from entering the White House. (Something like that actually did happen back in 1946 in Georgia, though, when three men claimed to be the governor, and one of them even set up an office down the hall.)