by Shelt Garner
I’m going to give you the known conditions of what’s happening as we enter the weekend and YOU can tell ME what YOU think is going to happen. At the end I’ll give you some of what I’ve written about Trump going bonkers and you can use that, too, to decide what would happen if Trump suddenly woke up to the fact that he was absolutely not going to be able to weasel his way out of being blamed for the astonishing spread of COVID19 in the United States. Trump’s NOT a political genius as Maggie Haberman thinks, but only, in fact, a very lucky idiot.
Within about 48 hours of the first case being reported in northern Italy, the country was reporting hundreds of cases of COVID19.
The first instance of “community spread” COVID19 has happened in the United States about 48 hours ago. The United States doesn’t have a comprehensive testing strategy right now. It’s beginning to get better, but everything is being seen through the prism of short term politics. Everyone is trying to score points, not save lives. There are 335 million Americans who move around a lot and are very social.
As such, our only metric for the time being people getting sick. There’s a good chance we have a “shadow pandemic” taking place in the United States caused by a lack of testing. As such, COVID19 may pop out of the population like a kraken in rather abrupt fashion.
Or, put another way, if you don’t have any metric for who has it because you’re not testing, and you’re not doing anything to stop the spread, then, well, lulz? You’re fucked. You could have a HUGE pandemic bouncing around the nation’s 335 million people at an alarming rate. Every day we don’t do some of the crazy things that places like China, South Korea and Japan have done to stop the spread, COVID19 uses to grow exponentially. More people spread it around their community. More people get sick. More people begin to die. But it’s likely they would be treated as if they just had the flu.
At some point, however, things would get so bad — like they have in Iran — that it would hard to ignore what was going on. Probably what would happen would be a LOT of elderly people would begin to die. They, too, would probably at first thought to have died from “the flu.” And we wouldn’t know any better until A LOT of elderly CELEBRITIES and POWERFUL PEOPLE began to die in quick succession to such an extent that the general population noticed it because each one of those events was news item.
Also at risk — if China is any indication — are nurses, doctors and other members of the health care system. Nurses as young as 29 have died there from COVID19. So, it is reasonable to assume that something similar would begin to happen in the United States. But because COVID19 was bouncing around unchecked, more and more such individuals would begin to die.
Now, if you take all those conditions and mull them for a bit, it definitely seems as though everyday something doesn’t happen to wake Trump up that maybe he needs to be a leader, the worst the situation is going to grow when something happens that finally does. In other words, as long as Trump tells MAGA this is all a Deep State conspiracy to bring him down, more and more lives are being put at risk.
I suspect the WuFlop — where people faceplant and begin to writhe on the ground like they’re possessed might give even MAGA people pause for thought. The conditions are there for this weekend to be rather dark on more than one level. And Trump’s willfully oblivious to what’s going on, focusing more on the stockmarket than the lives of the 335 million people he swore to protect.
The Gray Plague, too, might rattle the cage of a few of Trump’s supporters. Maybe. Either that, or we have some significant political violence in the United States. Places like Virginia I could see exploding into violence pretty easily if the vast majority of the United States was sick. Gun nuts, in particular, are itching to overthrow the Virginia state government because, lulz, they hate liberal democracy and want to fuck their guns.
Of course, this IS Trump we’re talking about, so once he realizes the magnitude of his fuck up, he’s probably going to snap. He’s going to panic in a rather frightening manner. He might shut the country down in various ways. He might order all planes out of the sky — including shooting them down. He might order the Internet shut down. He might start a war to distract people. Or, worst of all, he might just snap. The issue, of course, is there’s no political will to do anything about Trump until well after he inevitably wins re-election through any means necessary. The 25 Amendment is a dead letter, too. So, I honestly don’t know what would happen if he snapped in the middle of the biggest domestic crisis since the Civil War.
I’ve written at great length about what Trump losing his mind might look like. Here’s an example.
For about four years now, I have been telling anyone who will listen that I think Donald Trump is an existential threat to the Republic. The last few days have pretty much proven my case. It’s rare that I look out in the blue winter sky and wonder if I’m going to see a DPRK ICBM in the sky, heading to nearby-ish DC.
I have even begun to pace out how I would know it had happened. The EMP burst would zap all electronics in the general area of the nuclear blast and so, well, nothing would work. I have thought about how many sites the DPRK would target and the likelihood they would actually be able to blow them up. I love Koreans, but they have no “medium” switch on a cultural level. So if president crazypants managed to get them to the point where they wanted to take us down with them, then, then they would probably shoot as many as five ICBMs towards us. They have a pretty nice H-bomb arsenal at this point and the means to deliver them across the entire United States.
But they haven’t really had a chance to test the whole system, so there’s a good chance what would really happen is we would all collectively shit our pants at how fucking close we came to 10+ million dead (at least) in the United States alone. We aren’t really prepared on a psychological or emotional level to deal with THAT many dead in the context of civilization continue to exist. But that would be a real possibility — as long as the Chinese and Russians sat on their hands, any nuclear war between the DPRK and US would be on the low end of a “limited exchange.” Given how fucking bonkers Trump is, of course, he would probably nuke the North Koreans out of existence using not just tactical nukes but h-bombs. You could probably turn most of North Korea into an unlivable radioactive hellscape with as few as 5 h-bombs. Think about that. That’s pretty deep.
The point is, however, that we’re definitely lurching towards what I’ve suggested all along — things are going to get so extreme and so surreal pretty soon that we’re going to learn a lot not just ourselves as a people but something pretty basic about our nation as a whole. If there’s nothing Trump can do that will lesson his support for any reason, what happens if he get’s so bad on a mental level that we all start to think maybe we’re entering The Dead Zone. Maybe the reason there’s no intelligent life in the universe is inevitably an ET Donald Trump pops up and blows the planet to bits? Is it possible that Trump’s not just an existential threat to the Republic, he’s an existential threat to the species?
I suspect that we’re just fucked. MAGA just needs Trump cognizant enough to make it into his second term. That’s it. By that point his new Veep — The Kooch, Kris Kobach, Tom Cotton, Tucker Carlson or Don Jr? — will be in place to pick up the slack. So I fully expect one of the scenarios we face is Trump uses any war in the Middle East to win re-election and the he promptly turns into a psychological puddle and we get the American Hitler we’ve all been expecting in Trump.
I just can’t see ANYTHING that will force Trump out of office for any reason other than a peaceful death sometime in the next 10 years. He’s just one tweet away from demanding a Constitutional Convention to “pass a balanced budget amendment.” He will get it, they will go rouge and pass Enabling Acts on a Constitutional level and I die in an ICE camp sometime in the next two to three years. Lulz!
Another, far darker scenario is Trump doesn’t make that far. He manages to crater on a psychological level not when MAGA needs him to (any point after Jan 20, 2021) but, say, sometime in the January-October time frame. If things get as mindblowingly surreal as fear, Republicans will have three lines of defense, 1) Let the people decide 2) If only we back off and give him some space, he’ll make America Great Again 3) The Pence Pivot.
The last one is one of the more clever moves they might use. If things get so absolutely extreme that the Republican Lizard People finally face the unthinkable of having to admit that, well, maybe Trump really WAS a worse choice than Hillary Clinton, they will simply say that Trump needs his rest and Pence is making sure Trump’s vision of America (ugh) becomes a reality. We’re safe because of Pence, in other words.
But let’s say that doesn’t work. Then what. What if what I’ve mulled before happens. I mean, what if Trump really finally flips his lid — and in the middle of a major regional war in the Middle East, no less! Then what. Poor old Hugh Hewitt’s brain may break. If you’re such a cockholster for The Dear Leader and finally reality comes crashing into the situation in a way that even you can’t spin or deny, then, well, things are going to get fucking lit. A lot of smart, educated grown-ass men have debased themselves absolutely for the sake of Trump and every day Trump gets worse and more dangerous for not just America but the FUCKING WORLD.
The single most surreal event of my life will be if Dennis Prager+Hugh Hewitt+Matt Schlapp get on TV and have a complete, total mental and emotional breakdown when, like The Simpsons’ Comic Book Guy, they realize they hitched their “lives and scared honors” to the wrong guy. This is unlikely to happen, but thinking about it happening is kind of chilling. That level of bonkers behavior on the part of a “public intellectual” would be rather disturbing.
Only if, say, a few million people died and everyone blamed Trump for it could I see that happening. In real terms, those guys have gotten what they wanted from Trump — a tax cut and young, hack MAGA judges. They have no shame and our media ecosystem is so broken that the moment Trump is no longer politically viable, they’ll change their tune in mid-conversation and act as if nothing happened. Fuck those liars.
Anyway, I generally don’t think any that extreme is going to happen. Far more likely is Trump will always be just on the cusp of losing his mind and yet never quite get so bad that Nancy Pelosi strikes by sending the Articles of Impeachment to the Senate so they can be used essentially as the 25th Amendment. He will drift into his second term and The Kooch (or whomever) will be the person who puts me in a camp and is indirectly responsible for my death in American Killing Fields. (In upstate New York maybe?)
Here’s a little fragment I wrote about how difficult it would be to get Trump physically out of the White House if, for some reason, we did manage to decide to get rid of him against his will.
a story fragment of a possible near future
by Shelton Bumgarner
The eyes of the world were on the White House.
Just moments before, President Donald J. Trump, 45th president of the United States, had been convicted by 67 members of the Senate for a whole list of high crimes and misdemeanors. Trump had for weeks now been ranting on Gab about his case in the Senate, bouncing back and forth between threats to start a war with Iran or the DPRK and not-so-subtle hints that he might take his own life should he be convicted by the Senate.
And, now, at last, the moment of truth had arrived.
Trump legally, at least, was no longer president, but he had been oddly silent since the verdict had been announced with great fanfare from the well of the Senate. Trump’s conviction had come after months of investigations on the part of the now Democratic Congress. The length and breath of Trump’s malfeasance discovered by these hearings had rocked the nation to its very core. On more than one occasion, MAGA talking heads on cable news had been interrupted by astonishing breaking news that left them, for once, unable or unwilling to defend the president.
The hearings had ground on for months to such an extent that Trump’s approval had slowly drifted to the 20s and stayed there consistently. Trump’s support was now made up of the very rich and the very poor. Oddly, despite Trump’s near constant demands on Twitter for violence on the part of his supporters, little, if any was reported. Trump had grown so frustrated that he had all but abandoned Twitter at one point for the more receptive Gab social media platform. Though on more than one occasion Rudy Giuliani had made it very clear it was within the rights of the president to declare martial law if he deemed it in the best interests of the nation. More than one delegation of Senate Republicans had gone to the White House to explain to Trump that he was going to be convicted, no avail. Trump made it clear to them, in not so many words that his simply living in the White House made him president, a sentiment best expressed by the legal saw that, “Possession is 9/10ths of the law.”
Finally, a post to Gab came out: “My so-called ‘conviction’ is the work of the Deep State and as such illegitimate. I remain president.”
This set off a chain of events, the likes of which Americans had never seen. Suddenly, everyone on Twitter became a Constitutional scholar as everyone studied the exact wording of the Constitution as to what happens if the president is removed from office by the Senate. The wording is quite clear: he or she is no longer president and that’s it.
Nowhere in the Constitution did it explain what to do if the president simply decided to ignore the Senate. What’s more, nowhere in the Constitution did it state what to do with the nuclear launch codes should a president be removed from office and he refuse to accept the decision of the Senate.
The next few hours were chilling as they were surreal for millions of people not just in the United States but around the globe. The issue of Trump’s physical access to America’s nuclear launch codes was suddenly at the forefront of everyone’s mind. Though it was finally announced that while the nuclear football remained in Trump’s possession, Sec. of Defense Mattis had ordered the American armed forces to stand down for the duration of the crisis.
Trump, on Twitter, was as defiant and unhinged as usual.He threatened to kill himself. He threatened to start a nuclear war. He vowed to declare martial law.
The usual suspects on cable news did their best to spin all of this for Trump. As an anxious nation waited for the now former president to leave the White House, a cavalcade of former Republican Senators and Trump White House staffers attempted to make the former president’s case. Their final argument was that for the good of the country, Trump should be allowed to remain president, despite his lawful conviction by the Senate.
Things began to move rapidly at this point.
Vice President Pence was sworn in but Chief Justice Roberts in a dark, somber event in the Old Executive Building. Meanwhile, it was learned Trump had quietly replaced his Secret Service detail with a private security force that made it clear it was prepared to defend Trump until the bloody end.
At this point, two things happened. A final bipartisan delegation of Congressional leaders came to the White House grounds under the flag of truce. During the course of an hour-long meeting, Trump screamed at them that they had never supported him and the world would be better off if it just ended instead of allowed the forces of the Deep State to ruin America. He made it absolutely clear that he would never leave the Oval Office willingly.
With that, they left.
Next, a surreal, bizarre event, the FBI slowly began to surround the White House. There was much debate online and on TV about how long the nation should wait for Trump to leave the White House. CNN went so far as to do a deep dive into the exact amount of food the White House grounds might have available at any one moment.
Finally, shots rang out from the White House as the battle was joined. It took several hours but in the end, the FBI was finally able to secure the facility. Nearly a dozen personnel on both sides died during the course of the Battle of The White House.
In what would become ionic footage, Trump was quietly escorted from the White House grounds. He spent the remainder of his days ranting on Twitter and Gab that he was the rightful president.