With less than a week until the election, in which record numbers of early voters have already cast ballots, “Trump will accept nothing less than universal praise, validation and victory,” said Seth Meyers on Wednesday night. “He thinks he’s entitled to it, and he’ll whine until he gets it. That’s why he’s attacked the integrity of the election, and telegraphing that he wants his new 6-3 supermajority on the supreme court to steal it for him.”
In a press conference on Wednesday, Trump indicated his intent for the courts to invalidate ballots received after midnight on election night: “Hopefully, the few states remaining who want to take a lot of time after November 3rd to count ballots that won’t be allowed by the various courts, because as you know we’re in courts on that.”
“Ballots that get counted after midnight on election night are still valid ballots,” the Late Night host refuted. “Nowhere in the constitution or in federal law does it say all ballots must be counted by 11:59pm on November 3rd.”
“This is the GOP’s con: slow down mail service, limit the number of drop boxes, then claim ballots that arrive late are invalid,” added Meyers. The Texas governor, Greg Abbott, for example, limited ballot drop-off boxes to one per county, while Republicans in Pennsylvania tried to block the processing of mail-in ballots before election day.
“Basically, if Republicans had their way,” Meyers concluded, “there would be exactly one ballot drop-box for the entire country, somewhere in the Mojave desert, and you’d only be able to use it on odd-numbered days between the hours of 3 and 4am, after crossing a bridge and answering three riddles from Rudy Giuliani.”
“If you looked at the recent Covid news, you might want to Purell your eyeballs,” said Stephen Colbert on Wednesday. “Because it’s clear that this virus is going everywhere, fast” especially in states critical for a Trump re-election. “This is how bad it is: while it took our country three months for the first 500,000 cases, the US is reporting 500,000 new cases in just the past week,” Colbert said.
“Clearly, we’re a long way from ending the Covid-19 pandemic,” the Late Show host continued. “On the other hand, yesterday a new White House press release announced that one of Trump’s biggest accomplishments is ‘ending the Covid-19 pandemic’.”
The press release, intended to highlight the Trump administration’s “accomplishments” in the realm of science at a time when the US is hitting single-day records for Covid cases, is “clearly insane”, Colbert said. “At this point, Trump isn’t just Nero fiddling while Rome burns; he’s Nero sending out a press release that says ‘you’re not on fire!’”
On Full Frontal, Samantha Bee addressed a question asked by many, including PBS Newshour, this week: will Trump accept the election results if he loses? “Oh, come on, the media! Of course he won’t,” Bee answered. “You know how we know that? Because he fucking said so! A lot. Trump has cried foul any time he’s lost anything – the popular vote, the Iowa caucus, the Emmys, his erection on his wedding night.”
“If Trump loses, he will call it fraud and try to steal the election amid the chaos,” she continued. “We can stop him with a decisive Biden victory, but if Trump wins, legitimately or not, this could be our last free election.
“Modern autocrats don’t need a violent coup to overthrow democracy,” Bee explained. “They just get elected and then undermine truth, chip away at institutions and wear the people down until everyone is too exhausted to fight the constant lying and cheating.
“We always knew the risk of electing someone like Trump, but we were told not to panic: America’s institutions will protect us, the courts will keep him in check, the Republican Congress will stop him from going too far,” Bee said. “But Trump has beat the snot out of our institutions” by appointing hundreds of judges, locking a conservative super-majority on the supreme court, and pushing out inspectors general who have investigated his administration.
“This is what budding authoritarianism looks like,” Bee said. “Trump is trying to break our elections because he’s terrified of losing.” But there’s still time to nip it in the bud, Bee concluded, by embracing the Power in Voting – or, as Bee termed it, “#PinV.”
Every day there's more ways you can die from going to a Trump rally. First you could get corona, now you can get hypothermia. pic.twitter.com/1Yy5Rv4wU8
— The Daily Show (@TheDailyShow) October 29, 2020
And on the Daily Show, Trevor Noah recapped a Trump campaign rally in Omaha, Nebraska, that stranded attendees in freezing weather for several hours, sending seven people to the hospital with hypothermia. “I swear guys, every day, there’s another way that you can die from going to a Trump rally,” Noah said.
“First you could get corona, now you can get hypothermia? By the end of the weekend, Trump is just going to be tossing snakes out into the crowd.”
The Omaha debacle was “a classic Donald Trump move”, Noah added, “leaving his supporters stranded out in the cold”.