by Shelton Bumgarner
Editor’s Note: If you LIKE the idea that the Republican Party is now a criminal fascist enterprise that wants to destroy the Republic, well, fuck you.
I have written about this strategy before. In more informal terms, this is the “Fuck you, see if you can convict me in the Senate” strategy. Trump simply hunkers down and refuses to budge on anything.
They have also tried to suggest that what’s going on is a “Kangaroo Court” but that’s more base messaging than anything else. The base has no idea what a Kangaroo Court is, but it gives them something to throw about in a conversation to “own the moment.” Also, it’s just a Big Lie and Republicans have started to use it gratuitously in a desperate attempt to get the notion to stick.
He won’t let anyone testify. He won’t give over any documents. He whips up the base on Twitter and demands absolute devotion from Republicans. All things being equal, this is a smart strategy. Republicans have stuck with him this long through some pretty horrible things, so he has ever reason to believe they will continue to do so. Apparently the base is flipping out to 2016 levels which they were going to do anyway in 2020, so maybe they’ll just stay riled up until then.
The only weakness with this strategy are really more observations that the best laid plans of mice and tyrants don’t always go according to plan. One possible weakness is, as always, Trump himself. But he’s held up pretty well. He’s still cogent. He comes off as mad as hell, but not so bonkers that Republicans begin to feel nervous having to defend the indefensible.
Another potentially problematic aspect of this strategy is its extremely high stakes. These are the highest stakes possible. Trump risks radicalizing House Democrats to such an extent that they start to use inherent contempt knowing they will face only minimal blowback from the public. But given that Moscow Mitch has indicated that he will single handedly kill an impeachment trial in the Senate, I guess Trump figures it’s all worth it.
Once Trump is acquitted, then the Constitution is a dead letter and Trump is free to become the Putin-style tyrant he always wanted to be. Anyone who thinks we’ll be afforded the opportunity to “let the people decide” in a free-and-fair 2020 election should Trump still be in office is a fool.