There comes a point when you have to finally admit that the Trump is not a cause, but a symptom of deep-seated, existential problems with the United States’ political system. As such, the moment Trump’s acquitted by the Senate, the Republic has effectively fallen.
At that point, it’s simply a matter of how bad things get and for how long. This is when you have to take a deep breath and realize that there’s a real risk that MAGA will rapidly mutate and go full Nazi very, very soon. If The Kooch or Kris Kobach becomes Trump’s Veep, not Pence, this is all but assured. All Republicans have to do is get Trump past Election Day 2020 and they’re set for a generation, if not more.
They can weaponize ICE camps, round up everyone they don’t like and start the American Killing Fields. I wish this was hyperbole, but, alas, it’s not. It’ll happen in fits and starts, but it will happen. Once Trump — or his successor — starts ranting about the need for a Constitutional Convention to “pass a balanced budget amendment,” then, well, American Carnage is here for good.
There are any number of really dark scenarios you could pace out at that point. The literal end of the world. Millions dead. A Thousand Year Trump that lasts at least until global climate change shakes things up enough that the regime buckles.
I wrote all that to lay out what I believe will, in fact, happen, over the course of the next few years. But there’s one major unknown unknown — Trump’s mental state. It’s rather dark and tragic that in the short term, the only way that the Republic stands is not because we all come to our senses, but because Trump loses his so quickly — and manages to bring Pence down with him in a very quick series of events — that President Pelosi serves as a caretaker president simply for there to be a free and fair election in 2020. But that is so completely unknown — he could simply be a puddle in 20202 and still re-election — that I would not bet on it as saving us.
But it is, at least, something to think about. I just hope ICE lets me finish the novel I’m writing before they drag me out of my bed in the middle of the night.
So MAGA is waiting with baited breath for the Durham Investigation to save Der Fuhrer from being impeached. This is very possible. The impeachment is supposed to wrap up on Dec. 9th as I understand it. It could drop a big turd in the impeachment process and Trump will yet again survive to tyrant another day.
If you are looking forward to this, please eat shit. Fuck you. Rot in hell. I say this only because Trump is such a racist misogynist tyrant that if you support him you’re a piece of shit.
But the question is, of course, will the Durham Report do what MAGA expects it to do? Given how Trump was able to escape justice after the Mueller Report — only to turn around and do the same thing 24 hours after the “poor optics” of Mueller’s testimony to Congressional pardoned him — I’m inclined to think that our criminally incompetent “president” is likely to escape even being formally impeached.
It’s all very tragic. The only thing keeping us from going full autocratic plutocratic theocracy is, well, Trump’s a piss-poor president. I’m not saying he won’t somehow manage to pull this off in his second term, I’m just saying it may be The Kooch, or Kris Kobach or Tom Cotton that history ultimately decides finished the job.
As such, I’m patiently waiting for an ICE agent to track me down at some point in Trump’s second — or third — administration put me in a camp and murder me after torturing me for some time. I’m a man of peace, words and ideas, so all I can do is just work on my novel and brood. I feel a little like the Man in a High Castle in that respect. Whenever I get mad about how fucking insane Trump is on a criminal level, I use that as motivation to keep plugging along on the political thriller I’m writing.
There are a number of different possibilities. One is that the plot works. Another is it all just gets muddled and yet Trump is still at least impeached. And, lastly, it’s possible that 60% of the population realizes the whole thing is bullshit and it doesn’t work.
The key issue before us is the Republican Party has finally, officially come detached from any connection to liberal democracy. On an institutional level, it’s the Trump Party now. The Republican Party is so completely consumed by Trump’s ideology — or lack thereof — that they simply don’t care about anything other than defending Trump em masse. They have a short term goal, and that’s it: successfully get Trump acquitted in the Senate by any means necessary, even if it means destroying civil society in the process.
So all the tut-tuting of Republican logic by Blue Check Liberals on Twitter is wasted time. This is not about logic or facts, this is about white knuckled political tribalism — identity politics for angry white male Baby Boomers, if you will. Throw in plutocrats, the Religious Right and gun rights advocates and well, here we are.
All of their talk about “letting the people decide” is a bad faith argument to its core. Given what Trump’s accused of — bribery, extortion and political cheating on a strategic level in the upcoming 2020 election — they know the moment Trump’s acquitted he will pretty much go full Putin. He will pardon everyone he needs to pardon and he will instruct Barr to indict (criminal referrals) whomever needs to be indicted. He will, at last, be the authoritarian autocrat he’s always wanted to be. The only things stopping him will be his growing mental instability and his general criminal incompetency. That’s it. That’s why I think their next immediate goal will be to replace Pence with someone like Kris Kobach, or Tom Cotton or The Kooch. Someone who can take over for Trump in his second term should he turn into a mental puddle.
All signs are pointing to the bad guys winning. ICE will be weaponized and I will die in an ICE camp or maybe an American Killing Fields somewhere like upstate New York. So if you see this worst case scenario as your BEST case scenario, you can really just fuck off you piece of shit.
Having said all that, there are at least some known unknowns at this point. Republicans are so completely invested in Trump’s fate on an existential level that they have one of two high-risk endgames before them. Either they “win” and we become a Putin-style “managed democracy,” or they lose and the crisis grows even worse for everyone involved (in a sense.) A major political party can’t grow this radicalized so suddenly without a bolt popping of somewhere. But before we get to that point, let’s see what might stop Republicans from finally destroying the Republic.
Trump Loses His Mind
This is a real wildcard. It’s a big deal because it’s a lingering issue that may pop up at any moment in a fashion that would throw the country into an unprecedented crisis. It could be today, it could be tomorrow, it could be July 2020 (if he’s still in office.) In real terms, it’s the most likely thing that would force him out of office politically anytime soon.
Major Anti-Impeachment Violence On The Part of MAGA I used to think this might happen. Now, not so much. But if it did happen, that would be one of those impossible-to-spin-but-they’ll-try-anyway things that would really ramp up the political pressure to end Trump’s presidency sooner rather than later.
His Taxes This is one of those things that is so important and yet may only happen after he’s acquitted so it’s a lulz.
Unexpected Testimony Don McGahn or John Bolton or one of the Russians involved in Rudy’s “drug deal” unexpectedly testifying in a timely fashion would definitely put a different spin on things going forward.
But the thing is — a growing number of people not in the Republican criminal cult are flabbergasted at their complete refusal to see what’s going on with Trump. Americans are not Russians. While as of right the moment I think Republicans have a 110% chance of burning the whole fucking country down and successfully protecting Der Fuhrer — and indirectly leading to my death in an ICE camp sometime no later than maybe 2023 — there is also a greater-than-zero-sum chance that some pretty shocking things might happen in the near term to at least make that now near-inevitability a bit more complicated.
What those “shocking things” may be, I simply have no idea. But the conditions are there for political events the likes of which we’ve only seen rarely in American history. I’m talking 9/11-levels of shock to our political system. And maybe more than one! The sad truth is no matter what happens in the next few months, the nation is in a new political era. It’s up to us if it’s a good or bad one.
Shelton Bumgarner is writing his first novel. He may be reached at migukin (at) gmail (dot) com.
I am a nobody. No one listens to me. So when someone, anyone — especially someone from notable like Washington D.C. — looks at anything I’ve written it at least makes me curious.
It’s probably nothing. But all I know is, Trump is hanging out in the White House’s private residence a lot these days. And the whole administration is a bunch of criminal liars. So, it could be nothing, it could be that someone, somewhere knows enough about Trump’s mental and or physical condition to want to know what I’ve written on the political implications of him getting far, far worse.
The issue with whatever the fuck is wrong with Trump’s mind is it’s chronic and degenerative. It’s getting worse day by day, if in a somewhat subtle manner. I thought there was a chance he would snap under the pressure of impeachment, but I think he’s going to make out well enough to win a second term, weaponize ICE and ship me to an American Killing Fields whenever my ICE agent notices my anti-MAGA ranting online.
Mental issues are very difficult to predict. So, the absolute worst case scenario would be whatever it wrong with him reaches a critical stage at some point late enough in the 2020 election cycle that there is absolutely nothing politically we can do about it. The 25th Amendment is a dead letter and if at some point at around July 2020 Trump is obviously completely batshit insane, our entire political system will jam up. There simply wouldn’t be any way to do anything about it. Even if Trump was demonstrably fucking insane, he would still win re-election.
My absolute worst case scenario is Trump after he gets re-nominated simply says, “Fuck you, why even vote? I’m going to bribe the Electors and then pardon everyone anyway.” Legally, there would be nothing we could do. Politically, we would have exhausted the impeachment option AND Republicans would say “Let the people decide.” I don’t really expect anything that bad to happen, but it’s a least a possibility given what’s going on right now.
I honestly don’t know what the endgame would be in that respect.
It’s over. We lost. The bad guys won. Gradually, over the next few years, the political system of the United States and Russian will become identical. While Republicans may keep the House as something of a political pressure valve, even that may make them uncomfortable.
ICE will be weaponized and I’ll end up dead in a ditch. Once Trump is acquitted by the Senate, he will be a dictator. He will again be unbounded and he will destroy any chance of a free and fair election in 2020. It will happen in fits and starts, but it will happen.
The only thing that mitigates this clusterfuck for the time being is Trump is criminally incompetent. So, really, he just has to make it into his second term and Kris Kobach, or Tom Cotten, or whomever he picks to make sure American Carnage becomes the law of the land. He can turn into a mental puddle any time after Nov 2020 and, well, that’s that. The end. Fascism, darkness, descends upon America.
I don’t know what to tell you. I guess if you’re center-Left, leave the country if you can. If you don’t, you may be taking your own life in your hands.
I’m not feeling so great about the chances that Trump will be convicted in the Senate. I say this because Republican defenses for Trump right now are pretty much just, “You don’t like our politics, fuck you.” So, all the Twitter liberals you attempt to use any fact-based logic with fucking fucktwit Republicans are wasting their time. Republicans are such cult that the moment a Democrat ever happens to be president again, they will impeach him or her the moment they have the power to do so. They will want to prove the point and also take some of the sigma away from being impeached so Trump doesn’t look so bad.
Not that I think there will ever be another Democrat president the way things are going. The dystopia is here. The bad guys have won. For the autocrat, all that matters is remaining in power. Everything else is a lulz. So we could have Trump dead-to-rights (which we do) and he will be acquitted and turn around and do the exact same thing. He will grow even more brazen to such an extent that election 2020 will be American Brexit. The whole thing will be such a massive clusterfuck — that Trump will win in the end — that it will be pretty self-evident our democracy, our Republic, is dead.
Trump will push for a Constitutional Convention at some point in his second term and I will promptly be “vanished” by a weaponized ICE.
Now, having said all that, there are still a few issues that I simply don’t know how they will play out. Trump’s mental state is getting worse and Republicans are so bloodthirsty on a rhetorical level that some pretty tragic things may happen when someone takes them both seriously and literally. Those two issues might be the things that bring down Trump at some point.
And, really, if you are MAGA reading this because my worst case scenario is your best case scenario — you’re a piece of shit.
But I think while it is exciting and interesting to see the impeachment process take place, we have to prepare ourselves for the absolute worst. MAGA will start murdering people in cold blood soon enough. Those of us lucky to be able to leave the country when that starts to happen will do so.
I just don’t see any clear-cut end to the impeachment process. Now, I’m not saying this doesn’t mean Trump won’t be impeached. And I’m not saying there isn’t at least a growing chance he won’t be convicted (somehow.)
But what I am saying is the macro trend in the United States is towards authoritarianism, fascism, plutocracy and theocracy. So, first, let’s look at it from the Republican side.
We’re reached a point where Republicans will have gotten their strategic goals for the near term, no matter what happens. They’ve gotten their plutocrat tax cuts and they’ve gotten their young hack MAGA judges. Thus, even if Trump is somehow miraculously removed from office, it will, in real terms, be only a symbolic victory for the center-Left. We still have a solid 20 years before the youngest of the Baby Boomers begin to drop dead and the Browning of America really begins to have a demographic — and political — impact.
Remember, if Pence becomes president, there’s a non-zero chance that while he’s a more traditional pol, he won’t get rid of Barr and he won’t get rid of Pompeo. Though the latter is likely to quit simply to run for Senator. Lulz! Pence will simple sugarcoat the fascism of Trump with a thin veneer of norm-respecting and theology. He’ll wait until just after he wins the presidency in his own right and then pardon Trump. Pence will assume that voters will have calmed down by the time he runs again in 2024.
But let’s look at it another way –what happens if the center-Left gets its best case scenario and, say, Nancy Pelosi becomes president? Republicans will use their plutocrat tax cut to demand we gut the social safety net at a minimum and may even use it as a bludgeon to get a Constitutional Convention to “to pass a balanced budget amendment.” So, in real terms, we would probably have just at about a year before Republicans win not only the presidency, but the House. Then we’re right back where we started from.
As I’ve said before, in a sense, our best case scenario might be either Nikki Haley or even Ivanka Trump becoming president because their far more likely to at least allow a free-and-fair election in 2020. And, if the economy goes south, they will get the blame, not the Democrats. But, remember, if a Democrat becomes president in 2020, they will likely have just about two years before the Republicans take the House and turn around and impeachment for simply not being MAGA.
The point of all of this is manage people’s expectations. We’re in for a bumpy few months, no matter what. And there’s a really good chance Trump will escape political justice AGAIN and he’ll go full Hitler if he somehow manages not to go insane.
If there’s any justice in this world, at some point very soon Marie Yovanovitch will be named Secretary of State. Given all the misogynistic criminal bullshit she’s had to go through, it would be a great way for her to cap off her long years of public service. But generally the world sucks and the badguys win, so I don’t see that happening.
But tomorrow (Friday) she’s supposed to testify in the impeachment proceedings. Apparently her closed-door testimony was rather emotional at times. As such, there’s a chance that NBC News will get the theatrics it feels are necessary for anyone to care. If the woman breaks down into tears a few times and Republicans are completely oblivious to it the optics of that will be less than optimal for House Trump. It will only get far, far worse for them when they rant on FOX News that we can’t take her as a credible witness because she was too emotional. THAT will go over well with white women in the exurbs of Philadelphia ages 35 to 42.
Yet, I think tomorrow may be something of a battle royale in more ways than one. Republicans probably want a few political wins going into the Sunday morning political shows and as such may pull of some stunts to explode the hearings. Nothing is off the table. They may finally get their craven wish to out the whistleblower. Anything is possible.
I keep saying I can’t predict the future and this is no different.
I just don’t know how the political fever that has gripped the nation is going to break. Either Trump escapes AGAIN, or we careen into something tragic and messy that at least heralds a new era.
A little background. I’m a political child of Watergate. Well into my teens, I felt the political echo of Watergate all around me. I watched a lot of mid-80s TV and there were an array of characters from Watergate who were all over the place on my screen. I did not know the context until much, much later. But now that I do, I realize that even under the absolute best of circumstance for the Republic a lot of very profitable political careers have already been made as part of the Trumplandia clusterfuck. Really, the only issue is context
Anyway, the point is, we’ve now reached the stage in the impeachment process where it might have suddenly dawned on House Trump that this is, in fact, an existential threat. They are going to bend every rule, break every law, say every lie they have to extricate themselves from a potential political death spiral. It’s at least possible they will win. In a sense, I would much rather we fight to win then lose than simply meekly allow the criminal fascists in the Republican Party to burn the Republic the ground in the name of “civility.”
My chief concern right now is the Russia investigation report about to be released by the Justice Department. Even the lengths they are going to spring this thing on us out of the blue without any leaks, it’s likely to be a very authoritarian document. It will be such a bullshit turd that its findings give Republicans something to rant about whenever the subject of impeachment comes up. The real unnerving part is what happens if that DOESN’T work. What if they win a news cycle or two but in the end the impeachment inquiry keeps on moving. It’s when what the two sides are talking about are so dramatically different that the entire political system is disconnected that there’s a real danger of something unprecedented in American political life since at least the end of Reconstruction– political violence.
That it hasn’t happened yet is really quite heartening. Republicans are so wrapped up in messaging the base, they have become completely unhinged. Some pretty mainstream figures are now laying the groundwork for some MAGA nutjob to hurt a lot of people. Republicans will — without missing a beat — pivot to how this is proof we have to stop the impeachment process because “people are getting hurt” and what Trump did wasn’t really that bad afterall, especially given what the Justice Department’s report on the Russia investigation said.
I still can’t pace out an endgame in my mind right now. It’s not obvious to me how this is going to end. A few more shoes have to drop for me to have a better sense of how likely I will meet an untimely demise in a weaponized ICE camp in Trump’s second term is. We’re definitely in the danger zone of such things for the next few weeks. One issue is that Justice Department review of the Russia probe. That will be a huge test. I generally think we’ll fail. Impeachment will be seen by Maggie Haberman and The Vogel as politically nonviable and it will peter out. Trump will crow that he was right all along and Barr will hand down bogus criminal referrals for people like John Brennan. And that, will be that.
But I can’t predict the future. A lot of things could blunt — or end — our near-term march towards authoritarianism. Trump could go nuts. Trump could go transactional with his Twitter offenses and there be a big backlash. Enough people might be enraged over what Trump did that they see through the bullshit of the Barr Report and the impeachment process zooms along.
Yet I’m very weary to be too optimistic. The press is so wrapped up in “being objective” in an era of asystematic political radicalization that they take the House Trump bait hook, line and sinker and darkness falls. At least I have a novel I’m writing. Maybe I’ll finish it before ICE drags me out of my bed in the middle of the night, never to be seen again.