Trump is too inept and too unpopular to stage a coup, says NYT columnist

If the "corrupt incompetent who postures as a strongman on Twitter" tries to steal the election, he will fail, writes New York Times opinion columnist Ross Douthat:

He lacks popularity and political skill, unlike most of the global strongmen who are supposed to be his peers. He lacks power over the media: Outside of Fox's prime time, he faces an unremittingly hostile press whose major outlets have thrived throughout his presidency. He is plainly despised by his own military leadership, and notwithstanding his courtship of Mark Zuckerberg, Silicon Valley is more likely to censor him than to support him in a constitutional crisis… His own Supreme Court appointees have already ruled against him; his attempts to turn his voter-fraud hype into litigation have been repeatedly defeated in the courts; he has been constantly at war with his own C.I.A. and F.B.I. And there is no mass movement behind him: The threat of far-right violence is certainly real, but America's streets belong to the anti-Trump left… So if you judge an authoritarian by institutional influence, Trump falls absurdly short.

Image: By Gage Skidmore, CC BY-SA 3.0,