I’m Getting Nervous That Trump Is Going To Fire Bob Mueller

by Shelton Bumgarner

All signs are pointing to Donald Trump in a fit of pique firing Bob Mueller sometime, sometime soon. If that happens, we go from a chronic Constitutional Crisis that flairs up occasionally into full OH MY GOD mode. It would take all of this to the next level. And yet still the Vichy Republicans wouldn’t do anything.

So, the question of the moment is, would Trump actually do such a thing? What do you think? Of course he would do something like that. But I just don’t know. I just can’t seem to grasp Trump’s thinking right now. It doesn’t seem to make any sense. If he has nothing to hide, why signal, why prepare us for the possibility that he will, in fact, fire Mueller?

It’s all pretty bizarre.

But, like I said, the Vichy Republicans would do nothing and we would have to slog through 18 more months of this until the Republicans finally get around to the epic “Pence Pivot” whereby they dramatically change the subject and say they wanted Veep Mike Pence to be president all along.

We’re going to have to go through a long, winding horrible political clusterfuck that could have been avoided if only the votes of 3 million people had mattered on a Constitutional level. It’s going to be a horrible experience just like Watergate and it will leave lasting damage to American civil society just like Watergate.

But it seems as though it’s something we have to go through. It seems as though this is now our fate, our destiny. I am preparing myself for Trump to fire Mueller, but he might not do it.

Or he might.

I just don’t know at this point.

Cold Civil War: We Are Hurdling Toward A Dark Future

by Shelton Bumgarner

We risk the very real possibility that we are zooming towards a dark future where the democratic process is hampered by actual, real violence on a regular basis. I don’t quite know how it would happen in real terms, but if both sides see violence and physical intimidation as the only way to get what they want, then I honestly don’t know what will happen.

It could be that we will slink towards a quasi-civil war in that there will be regular politically-related bloodshed that actually influences elections. One issue is that rhetoric has consquences. What’s so scary about all of this is there’s no easy way out.

Usually, if history is any guide, something truly tragic has to happen before historical events like this work themselves out. I really hope nothing like that happens, but we are in really scary times and anything seems possible.

There is so much that I don’t understand about what is going on and why. I don’t understand why all of this is happening now. But it is happening and there is no easy way out. We’re in a long term period of turmoil and as I’ve said before repeatedly, we’re in a “Cold Civil War.”

I don’t know. I just don’t know.

Mad King Trump: Mulling Ivanka Trump as Trumplandia ‘Regent’

by Shelton Bumgarner

It has been floated in at least one major publication article the notion that maybe the Trump family could appoint a “regent” for Mad King Trump. It is not without at least a limited amount of precedent. Woodrow Wilson’s wife essentially served as regent after he had a stroke.

So, I guess the idea is without invoking the 25th Amendment, Vichy Republicans could, instead of impeaching and convicting Trump — which would never happen — might suggest that Eric, Don Jr. and Ivanka run the country on a day-to-day basis given that, well, the Vichy Republicans have no spine and would never otherwise do anything about Trump even though he’s nuts.

I don’t know how, exactly, this would play out. It would be extra-Constitutional, to say the least do such a thing formally, but maybe a year from now the Republicans in desperation, might announce that effectively a regency has been announced and Trump will get to play with this tinkertoys and tweet all he wants but without any real power behind it.

It would be pretty insane in some respects because it would acknowledge that we’re no longer a Republic, but we’ve finally lurched into something like a quasi-imperial system. Since about 2000 we’ve had this situation, but announcing a Regency, even informally, would pretty much be the end of the traditional American system of government.

And, yet, it would have its advantages. A Regency would be a ready fix to Trump. It’s something that would, at least for the amount of time it took to figure out how to finally get rid of Trump, placate both sides and maybe begin the healing process. Maybe.

The Constitutional purists would scream bloody murder, but if everyone else agreed to let this happen de facto, then maybe we might be able to put this tragic era of Trumplandia behind us sooner.

Coming Soon To A Talking Point Near You: The Pence Pivot

by Shelton Bumgarner

Ok, maybe it won’t be all that soon, but it does seem inevitable that at the very moment people like me get to gloat that everything we’ve been saying about Trump from the beginning is true, the GOP will pivot to Vice President Mike Pence and say Donald Trump was worth it because Pence will now be president.

Whoa buddy.

Like I said, we got a ways to go before that happens. It could be years, in fact, before the Vichy Republicans finally, finally get a backbone and start to think about getting rid of Trump in any meaningful manner. That doesn’t begin to address any number of twists and turns that could happen between now and then. A wag the dog major regional war in Iran or North Korea. Or any number of other distractions that will draw out and prolong this tragic episode in American history.

But there will be people the moment it is obvious that Trump is doomed — probably whenever The Resistance happens to flip Congress enough to do the deed itself — who won’t blink an eye in going from defending Trump to singing the praises of Pence.

While there are some advantages to Pence like he’s sane and he actually has a traditional conservative ideology that he follows, there are some serious downsides that will probably lead to trouble down the road. He is so extreme in his conservative ideology that nothing good will come of it. The divisions that Trump has stoked and benefited from will still be there under a Pence administration. I mean, it’s not like all the people who have been alienated because of politics are suddenly going to hold hands around a campfire the moment Pence becomes president.

And, remember, should Pence become president, it will be after a long, drawn out and devastating scorched earth political war on the part of Trump and his ilk. I just don’t see Pence being up to the challenge of healing the wounds that Trump has caused.

Apparently, Pence’s favorite president is Andrew Johnson and it would be truly ironic if, by the time Trump finally is impeached and convicted that The Resistance is so riled up that they come after Pence for no other reason than, well, they’re pissed off. This would bring up the bizarre situation — should the Senate be so polarized that they can’t approve his replacement — that we might have effectively a legal, Constitutional Coup whereby the Congress gets rid of Pence for political reasons and Nancy Pelosi becomes president.

This is a huge longshot. It’s very, very unlikely to happen. As is, in real terms, the likelihood that Trump will be impeached and convicted in the first place. But it is, at least possible. Though I side on the possibly that the Vichy Republicans would be more likely to impeach and convict Trump between election day and the new Congress being sworn in late 2018 just so they would have the opportunity to seat the new veep.

Though there is the huge, huge longshot that maybe, just maybe, the Vichy Republicans in late 2018 out of sheer desperation might convince Trump to step down in exchange for Pence naming Ivanka Trump as Veep. That would be really bad, but if things got desperate there’s a small chance it might happen.

But the whole point is — there isn’t likely to be any healing over Trumplandia because there will never be a point when Trump supporters admit that this whole experiment was an abject, avoidable quirk. This has got to be the worst mistake by the American electorate since Prohibition and there will never be that moment in time when both The Resistance and Trumplandia agree that Trump was a tragic mistake.

What will happen, instead is, The Resistance will be celebrating the end of Trumplandia at the very moment Trumplandia will morph into Pence-istan. Or something. A new, just as divisive concept will rise from the ashes of Trumplandia as all the Bible-thumpers run around like a chicken with its head cut off praising Jesus that a New Age has arrived where all there home school children can finally be forced into gay conversion therapy should they come out.

So we will go through all this rigmarole politically, probably for years and we will never have that moment of bi-partisan clarity when we realize, together, as a nation, that Trump was a fluke, a horrible mistake that we now have to somehow fix the damage that was caused by it.

Instead, we’ll go to our individual corners, lick our wounds and go back at it. It will probably, at least on Twitter, take a few seconds for that to happen. Probably the duration of time between when the Senate finally convicts Trump and when Pence is sworn in.

Let that sink in.

Shelton Bumgarner is the editor and publisher of The Trumplandia Report. He may be reached at migukin (at) gmail.com.

Um, POTUS Is Under Active Personal Investigation For Obstruction….Now What?

by Shelton Bumgarner

Happy birthday, Mr. President, you’re under investigation for obstruction of justice!

I’m not really outrage over all of this, I’m more bemused by the odd silence on the part of right wing nutjobs who told me it would be end times if Hillary Clinton became president because she would inevitably be under personal investigation.

Well, guess what!

This is an example of how Trump and all his insane rhetoric is tearing civil society apart. It’s not like all the people who I’ve alienated because of my absolute desire to defeat Trump in 2016 are going to, like, start being my friend again.

The damage is done. There’s no going back, at least for the time being.

So, I can talk about engaging people all I want, but in real terms nothing is going to happen. Nothing of any substance is going to change. Even if Trump is impeached and convicted, the people who were conned by him won’t come back and try to break bread with me.

That ship sailed a long, long time ago.

We’re just going to have to deal with the consquences.

Blaming The Media For The Scalise Incident In Alexandria Is Bonkers

by Shelton Bumgarner


Just Bonkers.

Donald Trump specifically and the extreme Right in general has been rhetorically using violence-lace rhetoric for years now and they have the gaul to blame liberals and the media for what happened today in Alexandria to Rep. Scalise.

I don’t want to be outraged. I really don’t. I want to engage. I want to address the people who think like this, I want to engage them. But it’s difficult. It is so very difficult. They are so ardent, so completely bonkers in their surreal determination to have it both ways that it’s nearly impossible to have normal political discussion with them.

The people on the Right who believe the root of all evil comes from liberals and the media are so tightly wound, so quick to believe any insane conspiracy theory that it’s really is nearly impossible to have a rational discussion with them. They are the political equivalent of a cornered cat you’re trying to give a bath to.

It just isn’t going to work out for anyone involved.

The raises the question: is there anything we can do at all? Are we all just doomed?

That is a good and painfully timely question. If we can’t figure out to get passed all the bullshit and address the gaping divide between the two sides then Trump and Trumplandia will not only survive but prosper. We you love America, you’re going to have to face the cold hard fact that those insane Right wing people who won’t listen to you are eventually going to have to be dealt with in a constructive fashion beyond simply blocking them on Twitter.

The two sides can only hold up in their individual “safe spaces” for so long before everything falls apart and we either have an actual civil war or something dystopian and sinister happens, something far worse than what we have right now.

But it’s tough. I understand that. I know it’s tough for me. I don’t really want to do as I suggest. I just want to get mad and rage against every stupid thing the extreme Right says. I wish I could give you some ready answers, but I can’t.

The closest I can give you is some suggestions as to where all this came from. I think three factors, each of which feed on each other, are at work. One, Baby Boomers are turning into old codgers. Two, technology is allowing us to have “safe spaces” so our political skins are really thin. Third, Donald Trump has tapped into a dark, scary aspect of the American psyche that I don’t fully understand.

That’s a beginning. The solution to our problems will be found once we figure out how to address those issues. We can’t get rid of old codger Baby Boomers, but maybe we can do something with technology to address the problems Twitter has introduced.

And then there’s Trump.

His mercurial personality is so difficult to get a hold of, that I just don’t know what to say. He’s really difficult to understand for no other reason than he seems able to hold to contradictory political beliefs in his head quite easily without addressing the underlining hypocrisy and paradox.

Anyway. I guess only time will tell, folks. Just remember to try, at least to engage, not rage.

Shelton Bumgarner is the editor and publisher of The Trumplandia Report. He can be reached at migukin (at) gmail.com.

Cold Civil War: Steve Scalise’s Attack & A Possible Future ‘Reichstag Fire’ Event

by Shelton Bumgarner

It is very tragic that apparently a “Burnie Brah” was responsible for the senseless attack today on Rep. Steve Scalise and others. It raises a serious, scary issue though. If the Right is so quick to politicize an event like this where fortunately no one was too terribly hurt, imagine the consquences of an actual dramatic, violent and political event in this age of Trumplandia.

In other words, are we careening towards the conditions being right for the Dear Leader, Donald Trump, using a a major “Reichstag Fire” like event to attack civil liberties in a consequential manner? That is kind of deep. There are any number of possible scenarios one could map out.

It seems as though the weakest part of our modern civil society right now is the Internet. It isn’t too much to imagine Trump might seek to significantly regulate the Internet in an additional manner. Maybe a national PIN code to use it? A national “kill switch?”

And that’s just the high tech things Trump might push through should there be a major terrorist attack or another unhinged Bernie Brah does something tragic. We are in unprecedented times and I fear that anything may be on the table now.

What’s more, it seems as though Trump is baiting with all his might something like that happening. It really seems like he wants a major terrorist attack to take place. He certainly is doing everything in his power to make sure it happens. Important security roles remain unstaffed. He uses the power of the presidential bully pulpit to stoke fear and division in the populace.

All of this may be coming to a head.

And remember, we’re not even in the 2018 mid-term election cycle yet. Given that flipping Congress may be the only way to fix this problem, the forces of fear, paranoia and division than make Trump strong will double, triple their efforts to disrupt civil society and free and fair elections.

There’s just nothing we can do right now, it seems. Just nothing. We’re headed towards a dark and dangerous future and really all we have is our personal ability to engage. We really need to stop raging and begin to engage. We need to exercise our rights of free speech and public assembly while we still have them.

We have a madman as president and things are only going to get worse.

It’s all very tragic and I wish I could give you some quick, simple answer to all of this. But I can’t. We’re just going to have to continue to demand that our civil rights aren’t trampled upon. Once the inevitable Reichstag Fire event does happen, the real work of The Resistance will begin.

That’s when we’re all going to find ourselves having to deal with personal decisions we never imagined we’d have to make. We can’t get the EU to help us out of this bind. It will depend upon The Resistance to work towards justice. I might recommend setting up some snail-mail Committees of Correspondence just in case the worse happens.

It’s one way to at least sow the seeds of justice during a dark time.

Civil Cold War: Steve Scalise’s Alexandria Shooting In The Age Of Trump

by Shelton Bumgarner

The more I think about it, the more it seems pretty obvious that what a growing number of people are seeing as a “Civil Cold War” is really more a president’s era is a reflection of his or her personality. Since Donald Trump is a nut job, we have crazy thing happening on a nearly daily basis.

Let me take a moment to note that apparently Shakespeare In The Park has been doing updated Julius Caesar productions with the president of the moment filling in for the traditional depiction of Caesar for something like a decade and only this time around was there a problem. That’s example of what I’m talking about. When the president and his followers think the world is out to get them, they warp the world around them.

So, let’s address the tragic events in Alexandria. It seems as though there is a lot of “fake news” floating about the event. We don’t know for sure if the shooter asked if the participants in the softball match were Democrats or Republicans yet. We just don’t know.

But that hasn’t stopped people from assuming the worst, from freaking out. Then they turn to the dumb thing Kathy Griffin did with the squatty potty or Shakespeare In The Park and say, “Look, look what those damn liberals did.” It makes you wonder where all that rage is coming from, what existential issue is causing people to hate liberals so much. What do they want, for everyone to be forced to watch Keith Urban videos until the End Times?

I guess I think maybe there are two things at work that are feeding off of each other. On one hand, you have long-term issues in the collective American psyche. People are on the Right have gone beyond the surreal in their rage against liberals and the center-Left. That rage is such that it leaves me scratching my head. Meanwhile, the personality of the Dear Leader, Donald Trump, only feeds into this horrible situation and takes American civil society to the breaking point.

The combination of those two things has resulted in the Cold Civil War we are now in. And, sad to say, this Cold Civil War will grind on for as long as Trump is president. The complete civil meltdown in the United States right now between Trumplandia and The Resistance will go on for as long as Trump is president. And given how insanely conservative Mike Pence is, this era could go on much longer, and have much more devastating consquences than any of us ever imagined.

There’s no easy answer. That combination of general trends in our nation’s political history combined with Trump’s personal quirks will haunt us for decades. These are intractable problems. So, the events in Alexandra are tragic and unfortunate and I regret that they happened. But they could be the tip of the ice burg. We could see a smattering of such events here and there for four or eight more years.

I have suggested before that one way to fix these problem would be through technology. Maybe if Silicon Valley took just enough time to stop funding AR and VR to look into fixing the problems associated with Twitter with a new startup that did just that, maybe we could mitigate some of the issues we’re experiencing now. I have gone into great detail about my vision for such a service using Instagram, but I will give you some general thoughts now because it’s relevant.

We need a service that helps give content providers the feeling that they have a vested interest in using the service. So, in that sense, I could see this as an opportunity to disrupt the newspaper business as well as ameliorate some of the titanic issues facing the American Republic right now. Meanwhile, you would make at the core of such a service threaded discussion based on full pages posts. This may sound just like Reddit, but the vision I have is more an update of the old Usenet form of online discussion than anything else.

I propose this because maybe if a social media start up assumed you would write more than just 140 characters, and you did so in the context of a threaded discussion, maybe, just maybe, things would be a little bit better than they are now. A man can hope, right?

But we really need to address the origin of this Cold Civil War we’re in. If we engage each other instead of throwing rhetorical shit at each other, then maybe we can rise above this horrible situation we’re in. But, alas, I fear not until Trumplandia is defeated politically will that happen. Trump is simply too powerful right now and that power grows every time there is something outrageous that happens that divides people. Trump was voted in because he promised change and he’s doing just that.

But not for the better. Not at all for the better.

Shelton Bumgarner is the Editor and Publisher of The Trumplandia Report. He can be reached at migukin (at) gmail.com.

In This Cold Civil War, The Firing Of Bob Mueller Would Be Fort Sumter

by Shelton Bumgarner

While I think a lot of the talk about the potential firing of Bob Mueller is simply white noise to distract us from the numerous ways that Donald Trump is facilitating some pretty horrible things happening to the Republic, it’s pretty clear that it could happen.

If it did happen, it would take my personal engagement in all of this to the next level. I would go back to the white hot rage that I felt on Nov. 9th. In practical terms, that means I would figure out some way to use what few talents I have to do my part to help The Resistance. I might even actually protest instead of just take pictures of people protesting.

The significance of Trump firing Mueller would be it would be the moment that this Cold Civil War lurched into the battle royale of a full fledged Cold Civil War. It would be the end of the beginning, if you will. I compare it to the firing on Fort Sumter by Confederate Forces. Or maybe The Battle of Britain. It would be the moment when everyone stood up and took notice that the two sides weren’t playing games anymore.

If anything, the fact that we’re talking about this at all is a sign everyone realizes we’ve entered a new, dangerous phase of this chronic, slow moving Constitutional Crisis. We just don’t honestly know one way or another if Trump would fire Mueller and that’s exactly what he wants. He wants to keep us on edge and in an state of uncertainty to such an extent that we can’t land a punch.

But remember, the Vichy Republicans won’t do anything if Trump fires Mueller. And that’s what this is all about. Trump is sounding out the Vichy Republicans to see if they’ll object and….I just don’t know. I just don’t know what will happen.

I have my doubts that Trump will fire Mueller. I really do. I think it’s possible, but unlikely. But we’ll see I guess. In hindsight it might seem obvious that he would and the battle will, at last, be enjoined.

The Continued Absence Of A Spy Magazine-Like Anti-Axios Is Curious

By Shelton Bumgarner

It is very curious that we’re this far into the Trumplandia era and someone, somewhere with the means, motive and opportunity hasn’t founded a Gawker or Spy Magazine for this new age. I just don’t get it. It’s really weird.

The Atlantic, strangely enough, is doing a really good job providing people like me with the thought provoking content that I’m looking for during this Cold Civil War. And Crooked Media, too, with its podcasts is doing a good job giving me content that enrages me, if nothing else. It enrages me because I feel like they’re telling us how Trumplandia is successfully destroying America and there doesn’t seem to be much we can do about at this point. New York Magazine’s site also does a good job, but it’s a little bit bland liberalism for me. And The New Yorker and Vanity Fair continue to do yeomanly work.

But these are general sites, general news organization. They’re not devoted to specifically tearing Trumplandia to shreds. That’s what I want as a reader. That’s what I’m interested in right now. The closest thing I have at this point is Twitter, but that’s just because of who I follow.

Meanwhile, Axios is everything a Gawker or Spy Magazine would be against. It’s access journalism that sucks up to Trumplandia in the effort to get a steady flow of scoops. But there’s no opposite. There’s currently no snarky, rough-on-the-edges journalism site that’s popular enough to get the media world buzzing. Vox is meh.

I want a site like Gawker in 2003 or 2004 that you woke up excited to read. I want a site that really tears into Trumplandia in a way that makes people like me cheer. I have suggested that Playboy might be the news organization to do what I want, but I’ve heard crickets. I mean, I’m a nobody. No one listens to me.

Maybe it’s because in the last 10 years or so, the online media world has changed to such an extent that it’s just, in real terms, impossible to start a blog like Gawker. Maybe that’s what is obvious and yet I can’t accept it for some reason. It could be that moment in time has faded and will never return.

Oh well.

Still think Playboy should do it, though. The have the most to gain from doing as I suggest. It would really give them a purpose that the currently lack. They have the name and the resources, they could do something really cool if they came out swinging against Trumplandia on a daily basis.

If such an organization ever did get founded, I would probably bug the crap out of them to write for them in some capacity. They would get a huge amount of buzz and I think the advertisers would come with the associated traffic. It’s just a matter of someone with some vision and resources to actually make what I suggest a reality.