My Latest Dystopian Scenario

Shelton Bumgarner

by Shelton Bumgarner

This one is simple.

Barr very soon comes out with this long-awaited probe into the Deep State. He presents it to the MAGA base a the Grand Unified Theory of The Deep State. Chris Wallace says it’s “bad optics” for impeachment.

The end.

Things Are Growing Dark — We Are So Fucked

Shelton Bumgarner

by Shelton Bumgarner

I have long proposed that in the end, it will be Trump himself who brings his administration to its knees. He’s a galactic brain self-own artist and mentally unstable to boot.

That House Trump would lulz the active participation of both Bill Barr and Pompeo running around the world in a frantic effort to undermine the foundations of the Mueller Report — in broad daylight, no less — indicates that the rot within the executive branch is far deeper than anyone of could possibly imagine. Republicans are already poo-pooing all of this and going so far as to conflate it with what the whistleblower accused the House Trump of.

So, it seems to me that there’s a real chance that we’ve just about reached an endgame. And that endgame is 40% of the electorate — the MAGA base — is so detached from any notion of law or democracy that Trump through mindfucking, spin and messaging can stop the drive to impeachment in its tracks and that will be that. The bad guys will have won.

And, really, there’s only one reason and one reason only why this might not work — Donald Trump. Trump is now a tyrant the likes of which America hasn’t seen since its foundation. He’s the mad king. He’s our King George III. And about 40% of the electorate doesn’t care. In fact, they love it. They love the whole thing. They want more of it, not less.

So, I predict that Pompeo will return to the United States within a few days House Trump will lay out how they’ve “proved” that the Mueller Report was a deep state hack job and that will be that. They will own the narrative, at least with the base and Chris Wallace will say the “bad optics” exonerate Trump yet again. Everything that’s happened in the last week will be forgotten and they weaponize the ICE infrastructure at some point over the course of Trump’s second term (if not sooner.)

But, like I said before — Trump’s a self-own artist and bonkers. So, that’s our only chance of escaping a Russian-style “managed democracy.” The “anti-Mueller Report” will give the MAGA talking heads something to crow about and America dies.

A Republic, if you can keep it.

Holy Shit, Bill Barr!

Shelton Bumgarner

by Shelton Bumgarner

For some time now, the Right has been atwitter with the suggestion that Bill Barr was about to wrap up an investigation into the “true” origins of the Mueller Report. Ok, now, at the time, I assumed he was doing an internal review of the US government in search of the super secret “Deep State.” Silly me, he wasn’t doing that, he was actively running around the GLOBE using his power as a government official to undermine the basis of the Mueller Report.

And guess who all this goes back to — Paul Motherfucking Manafort. And who is Manafort tight with — The Russians. And who else is wrapped up in all that bullshit?

Mike Flynn.

This next part you need to kinda let sink in — things had gotten so bad that House Trump thought it was totally cool and legal to do this essentially in broad daylight. In fact, things had gotten so bad that they didn’t even realize that maybe releasing the whistleblower complaint and rough transcript might not be the brightest move on their part.

This is jaw dropping once you let it roll around in your mind a little bit. It’s staggering. Astonishing.

Now what.

Bill Barr Is Not Q — He Is In A Lot Of Trouble, However

I dunno.
Shelton Bumgarner

by Shelton Bumgarner

I have finally gotten a hang of what’s at if not the center of this growing clusterfuck, least at it’s soul: Bill Barr at the behest of Donald Trump was running around the world in a methodical effort to undermine the basis of the Mueller Report.

This is bad on its face, but it gets worse when it appears as though Trump was using his power as president to strong arm governments around the world to find the magical mystery pixie dust beans that would give him the cover to pardon ( both ) Manafort (and probably Flynn).

That Trump was so far gone in his disregard for any semblance of shame that he thought he could use the mindfucks assocaited with the Stormy Daniels playbook is rather staggering.

And, really, it’s difficult to see this as anything but a belly flop for Republicans because Trump is not a political genius. If he was, he would keep quiet, play golf and essentially say, “Ok, fucking convict me.” He wouldn’t be convicted, he would be free screw with the 2020 election and he could sail off into the sunset with Rudy.

But, no, Trump is slowly losing his mind. So he’s actively not only aggravating the electorate on a retail politics level, he’s making it nearly impossible for Republicans to come up with any form of messaging as we head into an impeachment battle.

We still aren’t in a traditional crisis because, well Republicans have no shame and the the base is loyal at 68%. But we are inching towards things being dark and surreal for some time to come.

I dunno what happens next.

Impeachment State Of Play For Sept. 30th, 2019

Where’s the lie?

by Shelton Bumgarner

It’s extremely difficult to work on a novel when the country around you is burning to the ground. Anyway.

If I got any — any — engagement to the idea of starting an email list devoted to impeachment coverage I would do it in a heartbeat. But someone, somewhere would have to take the trouble to actually contact me via email. [migukin (at) gmail (dot) com]

While Moscow Mitch said he would, in fact, open a trial in the Senate against Trump should it get that far, he immediately suggested he would move to dismiss it as soon as possible. So, lulz?

Trump Bonkers Watch:
Trump is showing mental strain, but it’s still sufficiently within the spectrum of sanity that the AP is unwilling to even admit that he said some pretty provocative things on Twitter. I would suggest this is because Trump hasn’t literally told people to take up arms against the big meanies who are hurting his fee-fees. Should that change, then watch for the political ground to shift under us. Trump is no where near where he’s likely to end up. And Republicans aren’t going to do anything about it. In fact, the case could be made that Kris “I Hate Brown People” Kobach will be the new center of the Republican Party should there be a post-Trump era in the immediate future. Let that sink in.

Republicans continue to have no strategic messaging other than this:

In fact, things have gotten so bad that in a sense, Republicans are following Trump’s lead. He amps up the civil war / violence rhetoric and they run with it. Newt, specifically, is suggesting that impeachment is a “Constitutional coup”and as such not legitimate. This is, of course, setting the Republicans up for a pretty spectacular problem when bullets start flying and someone gets hurt — or worse. Americans are extremely difficult to rile up, but once you do manage to do so, watch out.

What’s even more troubling is the politically battle hasn’t even been joined yet. The two sides are in shock and are struggling to figure out what to do. When we begin to get a handle on things, that’s when the sparks actually begin to fly. Or, put another way, there’s a lot of slack in the rope right night. It’s beginning to unravel on its way to eventually getting taunt, but we still have a ways go to.

Even more disturbing is when Trump finally snaps, I honestly have no way to telling what the endgame is. It’s all up to the fates at that point.

(Radical Resistance) American Carnage: The Republican Party No Longer Believes In Liberal Democracy

Republicans go out for lunch.

by Shelton Bumgarner

In the lead up to the 2016 election, I frequently said I’d rather have a Nixon-level crook (Hillary Clinton) president than an alien space hugger on fire with acid dropping off it (Donald Trump.) No one listened to me, probably because they took the metaphor to be too ridiculous to be taken seriously.

Flash forward three years and it turns out I was right. Trump through the Republican Party is an alien xenomorph incubating in our nation’s political abdomen. How else do you describe an organization that so values Trump over all other parts of our society, politics and culture that they would continue to support him even now. When he rants about “civil war” on Twitter, not only do they defend it, they embrace it — Newt is out there calling the current Democratic impeachment effort a “Constitutional coup.”

It’s growing apparent that two things are fusing into one — Trump’s criminal incompetence and is growing mental instability. Republicans are no longer moored to any form of political reality other than protecting Trump going forward. What’s growing more serious by the moment is things are growing darker by the moment because of Trump’s deranged tweets. But Republicans feel the MAGA base will punish them if they don’t support Trump, so they are willing to ride this pony to the bottom.

It all grows even more serious when you realize that even if we somehow miraculously end Trump’s deranged, tyrannical rule, the conditions that created him aren’t going anywhere. There are a half a dozen younger, more passionate Trump-like political figures chomping at the bit to finish the damage that Trump has begun. In a sense, American democracy may get a second chance for the sole reason that that Trump’s deranged and so incompetent that he is brought down not by any external force but by his own epic self-own.

It pains me to say this, but if we actually do want to honor the hundreds of thousands of people who have died to protect the Union and its Constitution, we will have to begin to look at the Republican Party as a fascist enterprise. We will have to do it collectively. We will have to en masse simply agree never to vote for another Republican candidate for the foreseeable future.

Republicans got their smash and grab plutocrat tax cut and they got their dozens of young hack judges on the Federal bench. Addressing those issues, given that Trump won his election under false pretenses is something to consider. But this “nuclear option” comes with a serious danger — about half the population actually agrees with MAGA.

If we want to keep the country together, we’re going to have to figure out a way to bridge the divide between those who believe in liberal democracy and those who don’t. I’m not smart enough to figure that one. Maybe Maggie Haberman can use her access journalism to save the day.

Lincoln’s Dream & Trump’s Nightmare

A more perfect Union.

by Shelton Bumgarner

President Abraham Lincoln is a personal hero. The debate as to who is the greater president, he or Washington, is a conundrum I often think about. While Washington laid the nation’s original cornerstone, it was Lincoln would laid the foundation for a new, stronger house.

In a sense, the America we live in, the America we long for, the America that at our current erratic, lawless tyrant would have us believe he is making great “again” is Lincoln’s America. What made Lincoln such a powerful historical force is he lived in a time before the segmentation of society that we now live in.

We remember Lincoln as a statesman, but he was much more. If you plopped him in modern America, he could be a late night talk show host. Or maybe he might find fame on SNL. He could be a law professor. He was a gifted writer and storyteller. Given the opportunities of the modern world, he might simply be a screenwriter in Hollywood.

I only bring him up because you could, in a sense, call Trump something of a disruptor to Lincoln’s long-ago imagine of America. I would even suggest that Lincoln is modern America’s Harri Sheldon. Lincoln formulated a plan — uniting the Union under the rule of law and equality — and Trump is The Mule. The Mule, as you may know, is a character in The Foundation Saga who screws up The Sheldon Plan to create a Second Galactic Empire after 1,000 years, instead of 10,000.

We come to a moment of decision. One that I think Lincoln himself would be aghast at. There’s a reason why several notable historians say we’re now in a “cold civil war.” Some tectonic flaws in the House that Lincoln Built are beginning to grow critical. We no longer have shared values. Even universal truth — the thing that holds everything together — is beginning to be questioned.

The central problem is the Republican Party no longer the party of Lincoln. It no longer believes in the gift that Father Abraham gave us all — liberal democracy. As such, someone who is criminally incompetent such as Trump now is erratically at the wheel of the ship of state. Lincoln was our captain during the fateful journey of civil insurrection. Trump now wilfully not only raises the spectre of a war that would, again, pit brother against brother, he wants to make America a nation not of Lincoln’s dream, but of blood and soil.

Historians need a narrative. They need a way to assure us that the long arc of history does, in fact, bend towards justice. But that is misleading. America has been very lucky. Our birthright is a Constitutional system based on truth and the rule of law. Trump would have us believe that our tribunes, our truth tellers, the press, are the “enemy of the people.” He wants to bring darkness to the land. To end American exceptionalism. To make us a nation based on lies and the arbitrary administration of the law based on power.

I’d like to think that Lincoln, if he was alive today, would see Trump’s craven injustice. Whatever he was doing, be a screenwriter or late night TV show host, Lincoln would come to the forefront of this crisis. Like many people at the time of the Civil War, Lincoln was afforded an opportunity to prove himself in ways he ordinarily would not. U.S. Grant himself was nothing but a drunk for nearly a decade before Lincoln picked him to end the scourge of the Army of Northern Virginia.

The point of all of this is leadership comes with consequences. By definition, courage is seeing danger and rushing towards it, not away from it. We are now in a crisis that is only going to get worse as our American Caligula continues to be emboldened by the callow sycophancy of what was a great and grand old party.

We have a Union. It is up to ensure that we continue to make it more perfect and not succumb to the siren call of tyranny.

The Darkest Timeline

Shelton Bumgarner

by Shelton Bumgarner

No one listens to me. And generally no one reads this blog. But for my own peace of mind, I will make some observations about how bad things could get in the next few weeks.

As I’ve said many times, we’ve elected a deranged version of Being There’s Chauncey Gardner. Trump is not a political genius. Access journalists have had a vested interest in making us thinking this because if Trump really is just a lucky doofus then that means maybe going to Harvard doesn’t make them as cool as they think it does. Trump is not only a moron, he’s wilfully ignorant. He’s unstable, racist and misogynistic. The case could be made that only his love for his daughter — and maybe a native political skill — prevents him from being an anti-semite. Even then, I’m grading doofus on a severe curve.

Stephen King’s “The Dead Zone” may be a little too on the nose.

The worst part of all of this, the thing that makes Trump himself the biggest mistake in American history besides Prohibition and the Dred Scott Decision is we wilfully elected someone who obviously never took his oath seriously. He never took it seriously and he was wilful when given the opportunity to bring as may people down with him when given the chance. That Trump would wait 24 hours to call up the president of Ukraine after being given a political pardon by Chris Wallace because of Mueller’s “poor optics” in his testimony before Congress is the single biggest self-own in American political history.

Nothing comes close. Nixon not burning the tapes comes close, but it’s my understanding he had some health issues with his legs at the time and he was bed ridden and not physically up to doing it.

And so, this is where you need to take a deep breath and have a stiff drink. It’s going to get dark pretty quick. Trump is never going to resign and it’s debatable if Republicans will ever buckle. Or, if they do, Trump’s mental deterioration will have reached a point where we all throw up a few times at the realization that we don’t know exactly who is in control of the nuclear codes.

You Know It.

That we had a similar problem with Nixon during Watergate does not make me feel any better. Nixon — I think — began to act erratically enough that there was talk of the nuclear chain of command debated not being too quick to follow his orders. And Nixon raised our threat level — If I recall correctly — at a politically advantageous moment.

All of this leads to a very specific issue — if somehow Trump self-owns enough that the Senate actually convicts him, what’s the exact sequence of events then? If Trump isn’t at Trump Tower by that point, how, exactly, would we get him out of the White House? He is likely to have snapped by that point and he will have his Twitter feed to make himself feel better. Having an ex-president rage-tweeting all day and squatting in the White House doesn’t make me feel great.

I have my doubts that things will get that bad, and, yet, my general predictions about Trump slowly cracking up once the impeachment process began are holding up quite well. No one can predict the future, least of all me. But I do think we should change the way we look at all of this.

Oh boy.

This is not going to be a political process, this is going to be the entire nation holding its breath to see if Trump goes Howard Beale on us and how the system reacts. No government official can follow an illegal order in the American system — though Trump has “joked” about pardons. Lulz? So, I guess it’s at least possible Trump might begin to go full Nazi on us and simply tell people in a “joking” fashion that he’ll pardon them. (Come to think of it, the president’s all-powerful pardoning ability is a definite weakness in the American system of based on law.)

I just want to make this clear — take this seriously. We may be careening towards a mixture of the OJ Trial and 9/11 with a little bit of Network and I, Claudius thrown in.

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Trump’s Mental State Is Now A Crisis But For The Press Not Treating It As One

Now what.

by Shelton Bumgarner

It gives me no pleasure to observe that my scenario running on the topico what might happen to Trump’s mental stability is beginning to play out about the way I predicted. We aren’t where we may endup yet, but we’re getting there.

The pressure of a looming impeachment is beginning to way on Trump and his already weak mental constitution can’t cope. But he’s still well within the spectrum of his previous behavior on Twitter. He’s ranting like a trapped rat, yes, but an adept sycophant could probably defend it on a Sunday morning chat show. It’s when Trump takes it to the next logical step and does things that are demonstrably indefensible, then what is now a chronic DL crisis is, well, just a crisis.

Trump’s bonkers behavior is happening right now and the press isn’t really conveying to the public what it all means. I guess they don’t want to scare people. But there may come a point where things come to a boil and not even access journalists can explain it all away in soothing tones. Here’s what we may be able to expect in the coming days and weeks.

Trump directly tells MAGA supporters to pick up arms against the government, specifically Congress. He will suggest who to kill and why. He may dox Orange Crush on Twitter and tell MAGA to hunt him down and kill him.

He will tweet out a dick pick.

He will start tweeting out the n-word to any notable person of color who he has a past history of hostility towards.

And, worst of all, he will finally suggest in an extremely passive-aggressive fashion that globalist cucks want him to kill himself. When that happens, we remember that he has the nuclear codes. We might find ourselves throwing up a few times, thinking of what might happen.

How likely is any of that? I honestly don’t know. I’m just running a scenario given datapoints that seem to fit future possibilities. Maybe none of that will happen, but they are things to keep in the back of your mind going forward.

What’s more, there’s one loony thing that is the wildcard — will Trump begin to use the levers of power in an attempt to escape his impeachment destiny? In shades of Caligula naming a horse Counsel, he might name Rudy a Special Prosecutor to look into Hillary’s emails. He might somehow talk to Putin or “Little Rocket Man” to stir up trouble for him so he’s a war president. He could finally do that Executive Order ending birthright citizenship.

But that’s a ways down the road. Or, it is until it’s not. That’s why this is beginning to make me nervous. He could simply abruptly lurch forward into bonkers territory in a pretty spectacular fashion and we won’t be prepared for it.

Or maybe not. He might just be chronically somewhat bonkers through the next few weeks and months and never finally crack. But I am nervous. I’m growing concerned.

Maybe you should be, too.

My Phoebe Waller-Bridge Dream Movie Vehicle

by Shelton Bumgarner

I haven’t seen the most recent movies in the Pirates of the Caribbean series, so I don’t know what’s canon. But this a rough sketch out of a movie I think would be great for Phoebe Waller-Bridge’s career.

Capt. Jane Sparrow

Act I

We open to a young Luke Skywalker-type kid, only in Colonial America. The shot heard ’round the world has just happened. Revolution is in the air. He lives a boring, hum-drum life, but dreams of sailing the seas fighting pirates. He lives near the capital of Virginia, Williamsburg.

Maybe establish he has some sort of young lady in his life. (Eva Victor?)

Inciting Incident

Things change when he finds himself running into what appears to be a man who wants to rob him. The movie’s story begins when we learn it’s not a man, but a woman — Capt. Jane Sparrow.

Capt. Jane Sparrow quickly realizes she’s getting sucked into the revolution in a way that might not be very profitable. But at the end of the first act, she makes her decision — she’s going to save the young man and let the chips fall where they may.

Act 2

We have our adventure. Major figures of the American Revolution breeze through the story and meet Capt. Jane Sparrow. She finally agrees to be a “privateer” for the nascent American nation.

Midpoint — it appears as though Capt. Jane Sparrow has abandoned the cause and our Hero is forced to race around without her help. At about this point Capt. Jane Sparrow bangs our hero, rocking his world and setting up a love triangle between she and the Hero’s girl.

At the end of the second act, it looks as though he’s headed for the gallows. At the last moment, Capt. Jane Sparrow pops up and saves the day.

Act 3

This is where we really lean into the audience’s natural support for not only Capt. Jane Sparrow but the Revolutionary War. All kinds of swashbuckling happens.

Capt. Jane Sparrow kisses our hero after a final victory and hops on her ship, never to be seen again?

The End