Trump Defenses #WhistleblowerGate

Shelton Bumgarner

by Shelton Bumgarner

Coming soon to a TV — and maybe Senate well — near you!

The Bullshit Defense
Fuck you, you libtard. Doesn’t matter if he did it. You kill babies. MAGA! MAGA! MAGA!

The Biden Is A Criminal Defense
Fuck you. Investigate Biden and Obama’s Netflix Deal! Lock her up! Benghazi!

The Deep State Defense
George Soros paid Obama to pay the Deep State to listen into on Trump. It doesn’t matter what he did, the REAL crime is that the Deep State is trying to bring Our President, The Chosen One, down. And…by the way..fuck you.

The Disgruntled Partisan Defense
Doesn’t matter what Trump did, this is obviously some disgruntled holdover from the Obama administration. Fuck you.

The Obama Did The Same Thing Defense
This is one I could see Emmet Flood using. We get to watch Obama say, “I’ll have more flexibility after the election” on a hot mic for 11 hours. This is bullshit because what he wasn’t illegal and it was simply traditional diplomacy. But that doesn’t matter. Flood will simply want to give political cover to Republican Senators to acquit.

The “He Was Joking” Defense
Oh, you know Trump, what a kidder!

The Master Negotiator Defense
Trump’s a master negotiator. He was just freestyling, like very stable geniuses do.

The Doofus Defense
He didn’t know what he was doing was wrong.

Imagining The Impossible

Shelton Bumgarner

by Shelton Bumgarner

There are two absolutes in American politics right now.

One is Trump will never resign. The other is the Senate will never convict Trump.

So, really, any talk of impeaching Trump is moot. It would be little more than a slap on the wrist. Trump will see his inevitable aquittle as an exoneration and use it as the centerpiece of his re-election campaign.

Given that populist autocrats never lose, we are safe in assuming that Trump will “win” re-election somehow. He will use his second term to consolidate power. The United States will no-so-gradually (or quietly) drift into a Russian-style authoritarian “managed democracy” and that will be that.

But, for the sake of entertainment, let’s suppose somehow the impossible happens. Let’s suppose somehow miraculously Trump leaves office between now, and, say, the Feb-March timeframe.

We’re going to assume that Pence becomes president. Any talk that Pence is also involved in the current imbriglio, while likely true, simply at this point is too insane to speculate on.

The first issue is a pardon. Most likely, President Pence would made inane, general statements on this issue for the duration of the campaign. But, of course, he would pardon Trump at some point early in his first full term. His hope would be it would help “united” and “heal” the nation. But his real goal would be do to it so early that by the time he ran for re-election in 2024, it would be a long time ago and wouldn’t matter.

Another issue is the 2020 race. Pence is a much more conventional politician than Trump. Is only discernible weakness is he’s so fucking conservative that he is unlikely to get a lot of moderate swing voters. But he, much like Trump, wouldn’t really care about that. He just needs to tip the right swing states just enough to win their electoral votes. (Sorry California.)

One enormous issue that I can’t figure out is if our democratic norms would snap back into place or if things have been so fucked up that there’s no going back. Probably it would be some sort of muddled in between. That is until, of course, Tom Cotton becomes president with the same agenda as Trump only in a much more focus manner.

The Democratic 2020 field is not prepared to run against a President Pence. It would totally throw the entire thing for a loop. The absolute worst case scenario — and thus the most likely — is just about the time Democrats pick a challenger to Trump, Trump somehow leaves office.

Anyway, this is never going to happen. Never. NEVER. Trump is an elected dictator and the only question at this point is if he will ever leave office willingly, Constitution be damned.

Populist Autocrats Never Lose

Shelton Bumgarner

by Shelton Bumgarner

The United States has been in a chronic political crisis since Trump was elected. And what’s going on right now seems like more of the same. There’s just no indication that this recent scandal isn’t going to play itself out like all the rest.

The political clock is ticking. We’re well past the moment in time when its feasible to impeach Trump, much less convict him. That The Mueller Report came out four months ago and we’re exactly where we were then when it comes to impeachment tells you all you need to know. Trump is successfully running down the clock.

All he needs to do is punt this problem into 2020 and he wins. Once he punts it to 2020, he can punt it to his second term. He gets at least a two year pardon once he’s re-elected. He will have more than enough time to considolate power by that point. His biggest decision in 2022 will be picking between Don Jr. and Ivanka as his successor.

Nothing gives me any hope that anything we learn about this whistle blower will matter. And, really, given what I’ve seen about the matter, it’s more likely Bill Barr will arrest the guy for treason and that will be that. Nancy Pelosi will stamp her feet and talk about “self-impeachment.”

I like to do scenarios and there no scenario where the bad guys don’t win. If we’ve gotten this far in the process, that’s it. The House Democratic leadership has made its decision. They don’t want to impeach Trump. They’re going to hang all their political hopes on him losing in 2020. He is most definitely NOT going to lose in 2020.

The only vague feeling of hope I have about all of this is presidential second terms tend to be far worse than second terms. That’s it. That’s all I got. Not until there’s a demostrable event that is different than past such incidents will I think anything will come of this.

And, really, given that Trump is simply an avatar for some pretty fucked up things going on in America, even if we were to miraculously get rid of him in the short term, a lot of very smart, young and passionate would-be tyrants have learned all they need to know from Trump.

The Pot Is Boiling

Shelton Bumgarner

by Shelton Bumgarner

Several times since the Trump Era officially began, I have felt a sense that things have gotten kind of hot for Trump. I feel that now, but my expectations are far lower than previously. The reason is simple — the Trump defense strategy at this point is run out the clock. Their first goal is simply push all of this into 2020.

Once they do that, then the 2020 presidential political season has officially begun. There simply will be no will power on the part of the Democrats to aggressively investigate whatever treasonous things the president may have done. At that point, everyone — outside of the Democratic base — will agree to “let the people decide.”

The 2020 election will happen and Trump “wins.” (He will never lose.) Then Trump gets a solid two year political pardon. By 2022, Trump will have done new crimes and the process starts all over again.

If you throw into the mix that the Federal bench is dominated by young MAGA judges, then, well, the pot is boiling and the frog is dead. Either Trump or his younger, more focused and organized successor will turn America into an autocratic state similar to Russia’s “managed democracy.”

Though I would note that if Emmet Flood pops up in the Trump circle that Trump is taking any moves to impeach him seriously. Otherwise, meh.

Crisis Datapoints (Updating)

Shelton Bumgarner

by Shelton Bumgarner

It’s not really a crisis yet, but just in case things grow dramatic, I’m going to make note of what’s going on with the recent revelation that Trump promised a foreign power something.

This may come to nothing. I am going to do this in reverse order, so newer things are at the top.

11:28 a.m. Thursday, Sept 19th, 2019
Yeah, this is playing out as expected. We’re at an impasse. The law is being broken and Democrats can’t muster the political will to do anything about it. I said this wouldn’t last a 24-hour news cycle and I was right. The person the House talked to apparently bobbed and weaved when asked about the complaint. That’s it. It’s over.

11:22 a.m. Thursday, Sept 19th, 2019
As of right now, things are going like they would otherwise. Trump’s finally tweeted his usual bullshit. It gives the MAGA base comfort that all is well. Really, the only datapoint that might indicate anything out of the ordinary is House members are beginning to leave the meeting with the point person on this matter and they’re saying. “No comment.” That could mean anything. Probably means this is going the way of Trump’s taxes. A problem that is always in the background. The DNI is supposed to testify publicly in a week, but that gives Trump plenty of time to claim Executive Privilege, tell the guy not to do it or to sue whomever necessary to prevent it from happening. Nothing out of the ordinary has happened yet.

10:12 a.m. Thursday, Sept 19th, 2019
It’s just after 10 a.m. and Trump still hasn’t tweeted today. This is still no reason to think there’s a crisis of any sort going on. I will note, however, there is a little bit of a quiet-before-the-storm vibe to the day. But that is most likely just my imagination. There’s still no sense that anything will come of this.

8:56 a.m. Thursday, Sept 19th, 2019
Trump has not tweeted yet. This is not really that big a deal. But in the context of what’s rolling around Twitter, it kind of is. Trump usually responds to stuff like this in knee jerk fashion. So far today, he’s not ranted about the deep state or fake news. Also, a Republican Congressmen on C-Span referenced Kavanaugh missteps by the press. This indicates Republicans aren’t all that concerned with the allegation. That, or the talking points haven’t been written yet.

Democrats Are Useless & A Historical Embarrassment

Shelton Bumgarner

by Shelton Bumgarner

We’ve come to the point where we have to admit what is obvious: Trump is never going to get impeached because Democrats don’t want to impeach him.

The reasons for this are extremely complex. So complex that I fear my writing is good not enough to convey the situation properly. But, in general, it boils down to a crisis of leadership and playing six dimensional chest in the middle of a gun fight.

First, Speaker Nancy Pelosi has framed the debate such that Democrats have a vested interest in Trump not being impeached and rather pinning the fate of the nation on Trump losing. This is the so-called “self impeachment” she keeps talking about. This has led to such foot dragging that we’re well past the point where we can impeach Trump in his first term. The 2020 election cycle has begun. Neither the time nor the political will exists to do something that is little more that a super censure at this point. In the eyes of House Democratic Leadership, it’s bad politics to send articles of impeachment to the Senate where they will promptly die.

Second, there’s the issue of the Democrats thinking we’re still in a normal liberal democracy. They are completely oblivious to the fact that MAGA is a cult. It’s logic is recursive. MAGA’s whole point is destroying liberal democracy in the United States and installing a Russian-style autocratic “managed Democracy” here. So, when Democrats somehow come to believe that their best case scenario is they don’t impeach Trump and he loses, well, Huston, we have a problem. This makes some massive political assumptions that simply aren’t true. House Democrats believe that if they impeach Trump and he loses he will become a political martyr that will hurt them politically long-term.

This completely ignores that MAGA is a lost cause. In the unlikely event that Trump loses — impeached or not — they are going to pull something, anything out of their ass to explain it away. Trump is an avatar for systemic, existential problems in the American political system. And, in a sense, Trump is more proof that the water is boiling and the frog is dead than he is anything else. If one of your major parties doesn’t believe in democracy anymore, then it’s inevitable that they will make sure there’s no more democracy at every turn.

If you accept that MAGA is a lost cause, then impeachment is your only course of action. But it’s too late. If it happens at all, it will happen at some point in Trump’s second term. Or, more realistically, it will happen against a Democratic president after Trump leaves office (hopefully) in early 2025. Then dipshit Democrats will be shown — AGAIN — that Republicans have no shame and they are not dealing in good faith.

Republicans care about power. To them, power is the endgame. And, so, as such, within 20 years (less) something really big is going to happen. Either a civil war, or Republicans dissolve Blue State governments and replace them with military districts.

So while Nancy Pelosi is studying the tactical aspects of getting a few stray MAGA votes in swing districts, MAGA is burning the entire Republic to the ground. It’s not much of a fair fight. I used to have some hope that something would happen to Trump. That he might face some sort of political consequences. But no longer.

Republican Talking Points About Trump Being A Traitor

Shelton Bumgarner

by Shelton Bumgarner

Before you get too excited about tonight’s news, folks, the Republican talking points are being written as we speak. Trump probably promised eastern Ukraine to Russia but, lulz! Tax cuts! This is what Republicans will be spouting on CNN and FOX News tomorrow.

The Deep State has always been gunning for Trump — Trump was right!
Trump gave you young hack MAGA judges on the Federal bench, remember?
This is a Deep State lie. Fake News.
Any evidence this happened is a lie or a Deep Fake.
Trump was joking.
It’s only one person. He did it illegally. Dox him until his family is threatened.
Those tax cuts sure were nice.
Lock her up!
Hillary Clinton did worse.
Obama was caught on a live mic saying he would “have a free hand” after the election.
The economy is doing well, fuck you.
Build The Wall!
American Carnage
If we do anything about this, the economy will tank and there will be a civil war. Fuck you.

Why The Fight Over Kavanaugh Is An Ominous Portent

Shelton Bumgarner

by Shelton Bumgarner

First, let’s get something out of the way — MAGA is, at its core, an illiberal movement. It’s really simply Putinism with an American accent. The whole point of MAGA is to use its control of the Executive and Legislative (Senate) branches of government to destroy liberal democracy in America long-term via young hack conservative judges who care more about their partisan agenda than the good of the country. Conservatives since at least Watergate have felt like victims of evil liberals. The MAGA attack on basic American democratic norms is a strategic and well-planned agenda that was set in motion decades ago.

My current analogy is this: if this was 9/11, Trump’s election was the two airplanes striking the towers. Liberals are firefighters in the lobby, trying to figure out what they’re going to do, not fully realizing they’re going to be in rubble in a few minutes. In other words, America is already a Russian-style managed-democracy, only the details have to be worked out. That, and Trump is criminally incompetent. So it may be one of his successors who finishes the job.

Having said all that, the reason why Kavanaugh is so significant is he took the positions staked out after the Access Hollywood tape to their next logical extreme. MAGA is upset because they see the efforts to “cancel” Kavanaugh for things he did as a young man as just another overreach by liberals who want to destroy traditional masculinity.

Liberal-progressives, meanwhile, are at a loss. They feel they have Kavanaugh caught red handed and yet they can’t seem to get any traction. This pretty much sums up how disorganized and ineffective the modern center-Left is in the United States in general. They can be so wrapped up in the finer points of who is more oppressed that they lose sight of the importances of messaging. Which, of course, what Donald Trump lives and breaths. (Another term for messaging would be, of course, branding.)

And so we’re at something of an impasse. But not really. MAGA will continue to plunder the treasury and destroy democratic norms at will. They will never be held accountable for anything they do. But they demand anyone they oppose be destroyed for the smallest slight.

Really, it seems that our absolute best-case scenario long-term is some sort of moderate, centrist military junta steps in at some point to keep the country together. But far more likely is Trump will go after individual Electors on a personal basis and “win’ the 2020 race on strict Constitutional grounds. Then Blue States revolt and Trump uses that as an excuse to abolish Blue State governments, turning them into military districts.

And that, as they say, will be that.

ICE will be weaponized. The camp infrastructure already in existence will be used for anyone not wise enough to shut up — like me! — and, then…well…I guess that’s it.

The Grift That Keeps On Grifting

Shelton Bumgarner

by Shelton Bumgarner

It’s darkly surreal how oblivious Democrats are to what’s going on with Trump and MAGA. The whole point of MAGA is ending traditional liberal democracy in the United States. Everything else is either a fig leaf or a lie. They want us to be an autocratic managed democracy like Russia. We already kinda are — the pot is boiling if you will — but it’s going to take a little bit longer (and maybe a war?) for the final pieces to fall into place.

Nothing matters to MAGA but power. Power, money, racism, misogyny and turning America into a theocratic state are such absolute endgames to MAGA that if they don’t get it now, they’ll get it later. They have no shame. The most disturbing part of it all is Trump is merely a political avatar. If something happens to him politically, there half a dozen clones ready to take his place.

That’s why I find all the bitching and moaning on Twitter by the so-called “Resistance” rather comical. It doesn’t take much to write a tweet. It makes you wonder what people will do when ICE starts rounding people up en mass and putting them in the camps currently used for undocumented immigrants. I suspect most people will simply shrug and go along. They have families to love and mortgages to pay, after all.

What’s worse, because of the absolute division between Red States and Blue States, even if Blue States tried to do something about this dystopia, all Trump — or a successor — has to do is abolish Blue State governments for insurrection and establish military districts. Congress would be purged of its Democratic members and that would be that for the duration.

I’m a man of peace and a man of ideas. So, really, I’m simply going to work on my novel and hope for the best. The novel gives me some sense of agency in an otherwise hopeless situation. I hate guns with all my heart. If you still think I’m some sort of deranged lunatic after writing that, then I guess the dystopia really is here. ‘

The great irony is, of course, that given that grift is at the center of MAGA, it wouldn’t be too difficult for me to pretend to be MAGA. I could probably become quite successful. I’d have lots of friends in real life and generally my life would be much, much better in a lot of ways. But fuck that. I’m not going to deny who I am or the truth.

I just wish people would take the real MAGA endgame vision a bit more seriously.

Trump Storm Rising

Shelton Bumgarner

by Shelton Bumgarner

Tom Clancy was rather prescient when it came to 9/11. Though what happened in his book Debt Of Honor was a Japanese guy crashed a plane into the Capitol during the State of The Union address. Anyway, one of my favorite books growing up with Red Storm Rising. The inciting incident of that book is WWIII starts because a major oil refinery in the Soviet Union is blown up and the Russians — desperate for oil — invade the Middle East.

Anyhoo — the recent attack on the Saudi oil refining is pretty much the same thing. Or, put another way, you could definitely start a WWIII novel with it. It’s sort of the stuff of fiction. Or nightmares.

The whole situation right now is a clusterfuck. Trump needs a war to shore up his re-election chances. But Iran is not Iraq. It’s got a bigger population and military and it hates Israel so much that it’s not above using its connection to Hamas to inflict as much damage there as possible. Israel, meanwhile, is a no-so-DL nuclear power and if they felt an existential threat they would nuke the hell out of Iran without blinking an eye. Add to this that Iran is something of a Russian client state and you have the makings of some very unsettling developments.

Also, Trump is completely insane. Trump as a War President would likely be a sight to behold. Nothing is off the table. Trump is so deranged, he would likely figure out some way to finally weaponize ICE. It might not be just brown people and homeless people who find themselves in camps.

But what do I know. Just thought I’d make the observation.