Donald Trump hit a kind of anti-democracy benchmark on Saturday: In a post on his Truth Social platform, the former president literally called for the suspension of the U.S. Constitution in order to reverse his 2020 election loss to Joe Biden.
Amid yet another rant about his two-year-old election defeat, Trump claimed that “a massive fraud of this type and magnitude allows for the termination of all rules, regulations, and articles, even those found in the Constitution.” He then suggested that the “Founders” (which he also put in quotation marks) would agree with him.
It’s not clear what, precisely, Trump believes “allows” for the termination of parts of the Constitution or how that would or could happen. There is, at this point, ample evidence that Trump has never had much of a grasp of what the U.S. Constitution is or means, let alone how much time, effort, and bipartisan consensus is required to modify it (legally). But Trump’s latest comment indicates he may have finally figured out that the Constitution stands in the way of his efforts to do something unconstitutional, like overturn the result of a presidential election.
“UNPRECEDENTED FRAUD REQUIRES UNPRECEDENTED CURE!” Trump added in another Truth Social post later Saturday.
The past month has been pretty rough for the former president. Most of the prominent election-denying extremists he backed in the 2022 midterms were defeated at the polls. That prompted the closest we’ve seen to a post-presidency revolt against Trump from both GOP insiders and right-wing influencers, amid a wave of widespread praise for Trump-in-waiting Ron DeSantis. Then, barely a week after Trump botched the announcement of his 2024 candidacy, the former president earned big headlines by having dinner at Mar-a-Lago with both a prominent white supremacist and someone who is now arguably America’s most well-known antisemite and Hitler fan.
Then on Thursday, a panel of 11th Circuit Court of Appeals (including two Trump appointed) legally eviscerated both Trump’s lawsuit against the Justice Department’s Mar-a-Lago raid as well as a lower Trump-appointed federal judge for intervening in the case. And on top of all that, a far richer and more successful businessman, Elon Musk, has quickly become the right’s new favorite loudmouth — and he’s been publicly teasing the former president and, on Sunday night, rebuked him as well:
Perhaps Trump has finally reached a breaking point after two years of fruitless bellyaching and is now willing to self-identify as a loud-and-proud would-be dictator. Maybe he’ll become the first presidential candidate to rain Constitution confetti down on supporters at the end of campaign rallies. Or maybe Trump’s just running his mouth on a weekend when a lot of his base is gawking at somebody else’s overhyped claims about Hunter Biden’s laptop. Whatever Trump is thinking or planning, attacking America’s most important living document might not resonate the way he expects.
This post has been updated.