For me the notion of “Radical Resistance” is simply an update of the Radical Republicans of Reconstruction. House Democrats need to knock some heads. They need to do whatever they have to do put the fear of God (or the Constitution) into the heart of House Trump.
I would not do this willy-nilly, however. I would be methodical. I would have Nancy Pelosi on TV on a regular basis laying out the case for why Radical Resistance was an absolute must. I don’t know if she would want to adopt the moniker — Americans are spooked by “radicalism” — but the end result would be the same.
Whenever the case is made for a vote on a formal impeachment inquiry, the same day I would ram through a change of the rules so the House could deputize its Sergeant at Arms to start arresting people. I would start with Rudy and go from there. House Trump is no longer moored to any form of democratic norms, so fuck’em. Let’s rock.
House Democrats would simply have to be prepared for Trump to finally be transational in his bloodlust. If they use inherent contempt, he might very well tell his MAGA cult to take up arms against House Democrats and, well, kill them. Or, he would “joke” that something bad should happen to the “traitors” involved in an “unconstitutional coup.” The Right has already adopted his messaging, probably because they not-so-secretly hope that if people start to die the momentum for impeachment will come to a grinding halt. (I have my doubts.)
But I just don’t think House Democrats have it in them. Or, if they do, it will be too late. They need to radicalize…NOW. Like, TODAY. This is a political war and the sooner they start to see it as such, the better. The only thing keeping the Constitution in effect right now is Trump’s criminal incompetence at being a lawless tyrant. If we were dealing with President Kobach or President Cotton, we wouldn’t be having this discussion in the first place. There would be no window of opportunity.
I have no ready answer to any of this. I just know Nancy Pelosi should throw down the gauntlet. Congressional Democrats should shut down the government until Congressional Republicans stop with the pretence of caring about liberal democracy in the first place.
I know this is a crisis because I have no idea what the endgame of all of this is. All I know at this point is whatever the outcome, we’re in a new era. This is no ordinary scandal. This is the biggest Constitutional crisis since late 1860 after Lincoln was elected president and states started to leave the Union.
But let’s wargame from the badguy’s point of view. By doing so, maybe we can be ready for their strategies when they arrive.
Change The Narrative This Republican strategy would be to get access journalists at The New York Times to coo that the super-secret information found on Joseph Mifsud’s Blackberry proves, PROVES that the entire basis of the Mueller probe was a setup by the Deep State. Barr drops a slew of criminal referrals and Trump pardons half a dozen people in quick succession. We’re all left shell shock as The New York Times drops its interest in the sweeping corruption and criminality of the Trump Administration for fawning declarations that Trump has been vindicated. Doesn’t matter if any of it’s real. All that matters is Maggie Haberman keeps her status as “the Trump Whisperer.”
If there is any civil upheaval, Trump uses the Reconstruction model to dissolve Blue State governments. The ICE camp infrastructure is weaponized and I find myself rotting in a camp somewhere. It doesn’t even matter that it all turns out to be bullshit. The media narrative has changed and Trump wins.
Response: This is such a drastic — but highly likely — strategy by House Trump that the risks would be so extreme to their absolute need to maintain power and as such grift that really its implementation would likely be the absolute end of House Trump. But I guess House Trump could pull it off with their New York Times lackies. Republicans sold the Big Lie of WMD in Iraq, so I guess they could do the same with extra-Constitutional despotism. Probably they wouldn’t be quite so drastic as I fear. Something more incoherent and incompetent might occur. But House Trump definitely has a taste for blood right now. It will be interesting to see the reaction when people actually start dying.
Tribalism This would be the Republicans finally stop pretending that there is actually anything you could possibly say to get them to impeach and convict Trump. This is within the spectrum of, “Ok, well fucking convict him.” They simply don’t even try to give any type of cogent defense of Trump. Republicans simply look at you blankly and say, “So?” This seems like a very viable response on their part.
Response I would say this one is the press’ responsibility. Get Republicans on the record as simply not giving a shit. Eventually, maybe, they might begin to realize that 60% of the electorate thinks they’re a cult and hates their guts. But, lulz, the bad guys always win, right?
Editor’sNote: I am getting a minor trickle of interesting with this post, apparently from two types of people. One group is fucking MAGA shitheads who are spooging their pants at this worst case scenario. If that’s you — fuck you and eat shit. The other group seems to be people in the DC area who may — or may not — know something we don’t know about the upcoming Barr Report.
Also, two things have me questing this dire prediction. 1. Trump got briefed about it yesterday and was very angry for some reason. 2. Trump has been very quiet about it. If there was a lot of good news for him, he wouldn’t be able to contain himself — he would definitely be making it seem as though the deep state liberals who were after him were going to get their just desserts.
But it is still possible that this worst case scenario may happen. If you see that as something to look forward to, please, please, eat shit you fuckhead.
Remember, nothing matters in the modern political world but how optics and the media narrative work together. That’s it. Nothing else. So even though Mueller proved 11 instances of obstruction of justice, because Barr put out his “summary’ that sucked out all the air for impeachment that was that. And when Mueller did not give Chris Wallace the necessary “optics,” impeachment was dead.
And here we are a few months later and Trump is in deep trouble.
Yet, it appears as though Barr is lying in wait to drop a big old bomb that will change the narrative and save Trump. Here’s what is likely to happen — sometime very soon Barr will announced that he’s “proven” that the origin of the investigation into Trump was not the drunken bragging of doofus Papadopulos to the Australians, but that of the sooper-secret machinations Joseph Mifsud. Mifsud is some sort of spy or something. Trump believes that if he can “prove” this, then all his problems will evaporate. That’s why Barr and Pompeo have been bouncing around the globe looking for evidence to back this Infowars-level batshit conspiracy theory.
Everything will come to a screeching halt because instead of talking about the demonstrable evidence of impeachable offenses on Trump’s part, we’ll be talking about the criminal referrals that Barr has announced. We’ll also be talking about how Trump has abruptly pardoned Flynn, Manafort and a half dozen other people.
Chris Wallace will tut-tut everyone who thinks that Trump should be impeached, saying the optics are “horrible” and we should just move on. And the access journalists at The New York Times will nodded their heads in agreement.
Trump brazenly meddles in the 2020 election. If he has to dox or bribe individual Electors, he’ll do it. If he has to indict the Democratic nominee, he’ll do it.
Fuck MAGA. Fuck Trump. Fuck you if you support him.
We’re in a political war right now and I suggest we start to act like it. The sooner House Democrats take things to the next level by using their inherent contempt powers, the better. There are obviously some risks associated with doing this. Let’s look into them.
The biggest fear is Trump will flip out and drop an H-Bomb like weaponizing his Twitter feed even more than he already has. He might dox the whistleblower and “joke” that he should be “taught a lesson in 2nd Amendment Rights.” Lulz, right? That seems to be the biggest fear right now. And that is a very real possibility. But with any use of extreme force, there would likely be unexpected blowback. If you start ranting to your MAGA base about killing people, someone, somewhere might notice. Trump to date has cloaked his bloodlust in the guise of calling people “traitors.” But if Rudy is hold up in a jail somewhere, there’s a chance the man may finally snap and be far more direct.
Another fear is that this would shock the public and turn them off to impeachment altogether. That’s why I wouldn’t do something so drastic without prepping the way. I would have Nancy Pelosi get on TV and give a very solemn address explaining that things are so dire that a Congressional power not used in 100 years is an absolute necessity. I would also suggest you have some sort of uniform messaging on the part of the 2020 Democratic candidates. If Democrats can’t get their act together that much, then don’t bother.
But if they did manage to do this, I think seeing the surreal imagine of Rudy being tracked down and arrested by the House Sargent At Arms would be such amazing, memorable TV that it would likely lurch public opinion even more towards not only impeachment, but conviction. Of course, it would also harden the tribal divide we find ourselves in, but this is an existential crisis. You have to make decisions not based on fear, but on principle.
Anyway, I have my doubts. I continue to be reluctant that Trump will come anywhere near being convicted in the Senate. And, yet, there is the issue of Mad King Trump. It’s difficult for House Trump to found The Thousand Year Trump when its putative founder is bonkers. Trump’s very likely going to finally snap before the impeachment process is over and then the question becomes how much of the rest of the government — and maybe even world — he intends to take with them.
One thing about impeachment is it’s so alien to how Americans think about their relationship to the president that they just don’t really understand it. A president is elected for four years and that’s that. But if Trump keeps it up, there’s chance we’ll reach a tipping point.
The tipping point can be summed up with people going from, “Oh, why would we get rid of Trump early? The election is next year,” to “You mean we could get rid of Trump immediately?” The would be a macro change in public opinion. It would be how the press frames the debate. It would also mean that Trump’s support among Independents had finally jumped off a precipice.
But it’s debatable as to how likely it is that this would actually happen. Yet, Trump is really bad at his job and he hasn’t actually lost his mind yet. So, maybe?
Get this — Ambassador Sondland is going to say is going to say that Trump did, in fact dictate to him the “no quid pro quo” text, but that he took it at face value and did not know for a fact that this was the case.
What’s more, he believes that while there may have been a quid pro quot, it was not “criminal” in nature.
There’s a lot to unpack here. This is a very lawyerly way of answering the question. I know this and I’m not even a lawyer. What he wants to do is stake out the idea that lulz, quid pro quo! Or somehow excuse both himself and the president of any criminal wrongdoing. There is a big problem with this thinking, though — it’s easy to call bullshit on it in a single tweet.
This is not a complex thing to explain. Law Twitter could explain how bonkers this defense is very easily — and probably will, over and over and over and over again.
For any other president, this would be a significant blow. But FOX News exists and Blue States and Red States are growing to hate each other with a white hot rage because of, well, fucking Trump, so I dunno what will happen.
Oh, Ivanka. You so crave the presidency so much. Your stringbean husband with a warbling voice, too, craves that position but he has the stage presence of a gnat. But let’s supposed she gets her wish. Let’s look at how she might get it and what might happen.
First, we have to accept that she’s not going anywhere. You can’t be as directly connected to the levers of power as she has without having some serious long-term electoral prospects. She’s barely 35 and has 40 odd years to make her dream a reality. But she’s a member of House Trump, so, of course, she probably wants it now, now, now.
The first possibility that comes to mind is Pence appoints her his veep in a sop to the MAGA base. In fact, the things you have to address in any daydream about her becoming president is how she would be able to get the ignorant mouthbreathers (or plutocrats) of MAGA to accept her as they have her father. A lot depends on Ivanka not having any type of fight with her brother about “who gets the base” once her father is no longer politically viable. Seems to me that Don Jr. is much better positioned to get the base and as such the presidency, but lulz.
Ok, back to her being Veep. There are about a half dozen paths for her to become president should House Trump’s leader find his political prospects imploade. I could see Pence naming her Veep to placate her Daddy as a way to ease him out of office. Or…the list goes on.
But let’s say in early 2020, Ivanka is president. She at least seems to be the most put-together of House Trump. But she is only about 36 or so. To date, she’s had the perfect equation of all the power and none of the responsibility. She would find herself in something of a bind, however. She at least superficially appears somewhat moderate and fact-based, so there’s a real chance that her political honeymoon might be counted in days. The MAGA base will flip out when she doesn’t babble about a fucking wall or isn’t the bonkers orator that her father is.
Meanwhile, the center-Left will despise her on a personal level. They will resent not only how she never spoke up during her father’s presidency, but that she would be the first female president only because of the influence of her hateful father. Her Administration would likely crater so bad that she wouldn’t get the Republican nomination. She would limp politically to Jan. 20, 2021. Republicans would point to her administration as to why women should never be president.
But, remember, she’s not going anywhere. Maybe it’s not immediately. Maybe she simply lurks in Republican Administrations for a decade or two and then pops out when she’s 50 or so. That’s a very real possibility.
I can only get comfort in the fact that being president doesn’t exactly do wonders for your looks. So, honey, get ready to get really, really old really, really fast if you should happen to become president anytime soon.