Trump 2019: A Nightmare Scenario

By Shelton Bumgarner
@bumgarls

As I have repeatedly said that I am not really that hopefully that there will be a Blue Wave in 2018. Donald Trump is just too oddly adept at appeasing the base of Trumplandia for it to happen. But, for the sake of argument, let’s assume that The Resistance wins big in 2018.

This is where things might get interesting.

What might happen is there could be a titanic struggle between the suddenly woke Vichy Republicans and The Resistance Democrats to see who will impeach Trump. I suggest this because, well, if the Republicans push through an impeachment during a lame duck session after the November election, then they would have the ability to pick who Mike Pence’s replacement might be. So if things get really, really bad politically for Trump, you might have the Republicans finally finding their backbone while Democrats would be against impeachment simply because they wanted to wait a few months so they could do it themselves.

But the much more ominous scenario is the Democrats impeach and convict Donald Trump in early 2019, but Trump turns around and pardons everyone — including himself — as part of the process, and claims the whole thing is thus illegitimate and won’t acknowledge it.

You want a Constitutional crisis, now that would be a Constitutional crisis.

I don’t even know what could possibly happen then. Would the FBI and the Secret Service have a shoot out on the White House grounds to evict Trump? How would we wrestle the nuclear codes from Trump if he was hold up in Trump Tower like a madman, tweeting his every thought with abandon?

That, of course, is a nightmare scenario and highly unlikely to happen. But it would be a fitting in to the Trumplandia Era.

A Clueless American Asks: Could Trump Lead To A Victory For Jeremy Corbyn?

by Shelton Bumgarner
@bumgarls

I’m just a clueless American, but at least from what I can tell from my Twitter feed — it definitely seems as though British Prime Mister candidate Jeremy Corbyn has got some energy behind him. Now, relative to American politics, it seems as though Corbyn’s old school Labour politics are Left of even Bernie Sanders.

But I’m only now getting up to speed about what’s going on in Great Britain in large part because, well, things are getting interesting. Incumbent Tory PM Theresa May, at least to these American eyes, has a little bit of Hillary Clinton in her, in that she’s kind of a meh candidate. And, yet, Corybn seems so Leftist in his outlook that I struggle to believe Great Britain would vote him in.

The fact that Corbyn is beginning to surge in the polls seems to indicate that Corbyn is benefiting from something of an anti-Trump effect. Corbyn is a way for British people to express their displeasure with Trump on a practical level. If Corbyn was to win, I think it would give a lot of heart to people like me in the States who hope that maybe, just maybe, the mythical “Blue Wave” everyone hopes will happen in 2018, might, just might in fact happen.

But I just don’t know enough about British politics to know if I’m anywhere near making the right conclusion. One question I have is what would happen to Brexit if Corbyn pulls off a miracle and wins? Is it too late to stop the Brexit process altogether?

If anything, given that Corbyn was 20 points behind up until recently, is is pretty obvious that Trumplandia’s gravitational pull is far more significant than any of us are willing to comprehend. It could very well be that Trump’s victory will be sen as the high point of the Right Wing Nut Job movement and as the pendulum swings back to some sense of sane thought, Trumplandia will begin to fade.

But I fear that’s really too wishful thinking on my part. It’s going to be a struggle to extract the rotting tooth of Trump. He ain’t going nowhere. But, if nothing else, a Corbyn victory would be a victory for the global Resistance to Trumplandia.

It will be interesting to see how things work out, indeed. I just wish I knew more about this subject. I’m going to keep a close eye on things and try to write blog posts that are a little bit more clued in as we grow closer to the actual election date in Great Britain.

What Hath Trump Wrought: Bill Maher, Sen. Sasse & Kathy Griffin

by Shelton Bumgarner
@bumgarls

It goes without saying that we live in unprecedented, extraordinary times. It seems as though not a day goes by when a celebrity’s reputation and career doesn’t implode in an inexplicable fashion because of this new age of Trumplandia we live in.

The latest person to suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune is Bill Maher. As you may know, Maher — who most notably lost his job soon after the 9/11 attacks for calling the terrorists “brave,” recently during a conversation with Sen. Ben Sasse very casually dropped the “N-word.” This is not acceptable for a white person to do, regardless of context and I’m sure we’re going to hear a lot — a lot — about this in the next few days.

I expect that Sen. Sasse is gong to promptly distance himself from what Maher did and we’re all going to have to go through the long, drawn out process of either getting Maher to apologize in some way or drumming him out of showbiz for good. That’s just how things work in this modern era. I mean, I feel like clutching my “safe space” and asking for a trigger warning over Maher’s remark, and I don’t even believe in such things. It just wasn’t cool.

Speaking of not cool things, Kathy Griffin’s photo shoot where she held a Squatty Potty made out to be the decapitated head of the president continues to reap nefarious rewards. Now she, apparently, is on the attack against the Trumps, saying they have “bullied” her. This is bizarre and outrageous. She should just shut up and lay low for a while.

But the issue, of course, is it s difficult not to lay all of this at the feet of Donald Trump. The president sets the tone of the era that he leads and Trump and by extension Trumplandia is now a major source of cultural influence throughout the nation and beyond. The damage is done on a cultural level, if nothing else and the how we will fix this damage in the long term is something we are going to have to grapple with for decades to come.

And it’s only going to get worse. Each day that this tyrannical madman holds sway at the center of our culture, the more corrosive our culture will become. The big question, of course, is what happens next. Will our civil society snap back or are we all doomed.

I am a strong believer that the civil society of the United States, the strongest in the world, will ultimately save the day. Things will snap back into place and this era of Trumplandia will be a horrible nightmare that we just don’t talk about.

Though, as an aside, I continue to find it odd that Hollywood hasn’t done something about the fears generated by Trump. I know it takes time to develop original scripted content, but I haven’t heard of anything in development. It’s really weird. I don’t know if it’s being done in private so it can pop out in 18 months or not, but I try to keep tabs on such things just casually, and I haven’t heard of anything.

But only time will tell, I guess. We live in fucked times and it could be that this is the beginning of the end. We could be about to enter a real life version of Idiotocracy. Or not. I just can’t seem to figure this all out. It’s too profound to understand while it’s happening to get a handle on it.

Yet I have hope. I think things will sort themselves out for the best. I have to believe that. I have to have hope.

Cut The Covfefe: The Tragedy That Is Trump’s Tweeting

by Shelton Bumgarner
@bumgarls

Long ago, when we were all younger, cuter and we could have avoided this mess, the issue of Donald Trump’s tweeting came up during the presidential campaign. Trump did not really give an explanation for why he did it and did not really indicate if he would stop if he became president.

Alas, we know the answer to that now.

The issue for me, at least, when it comes to Trump’s tweeting is we, as a society, continue not to know exactly how to process the tweets themselves. Some of them are so shocking and somewhat mind-bending to be coming from the president himself that we just don’t know how seriously to take them.

On one hand, they’re coming from the president, so we feel as part of respecting the office we have to at least listen to what Trump has to say. Given that he’s the president and has all this power over our lives, it makes sense for us to read what he tweets in an effort to better understand his mentality, if nothing else. So when he accuses former President Obama of “wire tapping” him, we feel we have to take it seriously for no other reason than the President of the United States is the one saying it. And, yet, it seems as though Trump, himself, doesn’t really take what he tweets seriously. It’s almost as if he doesn’t realize that people are actually reading what he tweets.

Meanwhile, some of his tweets — most notably the recent “covfefe” tweet — are almost absurdest art, obviously not meant to be taken seriously by anyone. And, yet, again, because the president tweeted it is has a cultural significance that may last long after the original tweet is forgotten.

But, to me, at least, the crux of all this is the tweeting is yet another way how Trump has brought down the reputation of the the office in a monumental fashion. It is also yet another example of how complicit the Vichy Republicans are in rationalizing out of existence anything the president does. If Obama had done the “covfefe” tweet the demand for the 25 Amendment to be invoked on the part of the right would be staggering.

And, yet, we’ve reached point where we have to stop making such comparisons. They’ve gone from being a common refrain, to be a cliche to just being tired. We have to admit — then move on — that the Right is simply better organized and better at leading a charge of outrage when the time arises.

So what do we do about the damn tweets? That’s a tough one. It seems as though it’s just going to take some time. The instability caused by Trump’s tweeting isn’t going anywhere. Trump is going to continue to tweet for the foreseeable future, continue to stir up trouble for his own reasons and at times leave us all scratching our heads.

We had a chance to stop all of this in November 2016 and we blew it. The sooner we figure out what to do about Trump in the larger scheme of things, the better. But we had all be prepared. It’s going to be at least early 2019 before the tweeting will stop being so significant, and that’s only if we flip Congress and Trump is impeached and convicted. There are no assurances that anything like that will happen.

Hence, we are living a slow moving tragedy with no exit. It’s like we’re suffering from a chronic disease that flairs up every once in a while when we get stressed out. I wish there was some easy answer to it all, but there isn’t.

Wag The Dog: Trump’s Leaving The Paris Accord & Tsar-A-Largo

By Shelton Bumgarner
@bumgarls

It seems like there is a growing possibility that instead of attacking North Korea as we all feared, Donald Trump instead pulled out of the Paris Accord as a kind of value free wag the dog. Instead of killing millions of people in the short term to save his administration, he put the lives of billions at risk in the long term.

One trap that is too easy for people like me to fall into is the notion that Trump finally, finally did something so egregious that he will face some sort of political consequence. It is far too easy for people like me to throw up our hands in giddy outrage, and think that there’s no way that Trump can recover from his latest screw up.

But given his strategy is to pander to a base that is surreal in its hysterics and unwillingness to have any connection to reality, and given how that base has almost absolute sway over the Vichy Republican Establishment, it seem as though Trump will not only survive but prosper politically.

That’s the whole point of all of this. People like me get angry, people who support Trump are ecstatic and everyone is distracted from the horrific agenda that the Trump Administration is pushing through Congress. There comes a point, however, when this cycle has to be broken. There comes a point when The Resistance can’t be distracted from the goal at hand: finding out the truth about the possibility of collusion between the Trump campaign and the Russians that hacked into the American political cycle in 2016. That’s where we need to focus our political might and political questions.

Of course, there is the very real possibility that given how callow and Vichy the Republicans are a this point, we could literally find evidence of direct collusion between the Trump campaign and Russians and that still wouldn’t be enough to make them raise an eyebrow. They would simply shrug and say no laws were broken and if you really are all that upset about it, come back in 2018 and flip Congress.

That, in itself, is an outrage because such thinking only leads to a chronic Constitutional crisis that will flare up now and again. What’s more, in the 18 months we would have to wait, there would be plenty — plenty — of opportunity for the now illegitimate Trump Administration to do get into all sorts of mischief. Out of sheer desperation, there is a chance they might do something significantly more desperate than simply pull out of a treaty.

Leaving the Paris Accord might not be the last straw politically for the Trump Administration, but merely the first step. If it sees that it has successfully waged the dog with such a distraction, it may feel forced to take the strategy to the next level and actually do as we all fear and actually get people killed by starting a real war with real lives at risk in Korea or Iran.

This is not some idle, imaginary situation. It seems a very real possibility that if the gross malfeasance of the Trump Administration to date is any indication, they won’t blink an eye to use whatever means necessary to push through their hateful agenda.

That I’m getting so worked up about this proves I’m right. Trump is using the Paris Accord departure to piss people like me off, while fluffing the base. All Steve Bannon cares about is placating the base and if there is one thing that core 30% of the population that makes up Trumplandia loves, is seeing the liberal Washington Establishment run around like a chicken with its head cut off.

So, you can explain to me all you like how Trump’s reasoning for leaving the Paris Accord is complete and total bullshit, that’s besides the point. Trumplandia elected Trump to stir the pot, and the more Trump does just that, the more Trumplandia gets a raging hard-on.

That’s why we really need to cool it about getting so upset about the Paris Accord. We have to prioritize. We need to put issues in something akin to triage. And while it may hurt to do this, to not be so angry about leaving the Paris Accord, it’s far more important that we focus absolutely on Tsar-a-Largo.

Proving collusion between the Russians and the Trump campaign, while not criminal, would be a very effective hammer against the Vichy Republicans in 2018 and would likely eventually result in impeachment proceedings. Remember, impeachment is a political act and so collusion and the coverup of such collusion would likely rise to the bar of an impeachable act. And that doesn’t even begin to address all the crazy bullshit Trump has done since he got elected.

Hence, I would suggest we keep our eyes on the prize. Don’t get distracted. Don’t allow Trump to wag the dog through his decision to leave the Paris Accord. Keep your powder dry and get ready for the real fight, the fight that may eventually bring Trump down at last.

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

Of ‘Safe Spaces’ & Rightwing Nutjobs In The Age Of Trumplandia

by Shelton Bumgarner
@bumgarls

I read Andrew Sullivan’s piece on New York Magazine’s Website today with great interest. He’s a great writer and he always evokes thought. Among the things he touched on was he trend of Social Justice Warriors on college campuses. I’m kind of meh about such things. It seem as though SJW are a made up threat by Rightwing Nutjobs who need something to get upset about.

One thing that does bother me a little bit as moderate liberal is how while on the Right there is a surreal, hysterical and Darwinian death match for the most extreme opinion to win out, on the Left there is an equally corrosive concept known as “safe spaces” meant to prevent people from being “triggered.”

I ran into the concept of safe spaces when I, for about 24 hours, used a would-be Twitter killer known as Mastodon. It seemed like a really cool service at first until Children of The Corn-like I realized that a significant portion of the user base — for whatever reason — wanted the entire service to be a safe space that would prevent them from being triggered.

After it became clear that nothing I did was going to fix the problem, I stopped using the service and never looked back. It is sad that something that we very much need — a Twitter killer — is stymied from development because of such issues. It wouldn’t be such a big deal for me when it came to the service being a safe space if I had some idea what was going to trigger people in the first place. It seemed as though the mere mention of politics was enough to cause people to freak out.

Regardless, the the main problem is these extremes on the Left and Right only make Trumplandia stronger. As I keep saying, we need to engage. We need to cross the divide that things like safe spaces on the Left and the hysteric of the Right are causing.

Sullivan also noted that there is a very real chance that Trumplandia may be the final death blow to the global liberal order that we’ve taken for granted for about 70 years. I don’t know what to say. He definitely has a point and yet because of tribal politics like what I mentioned above, it’s very possible that Trumplandia will not only survive but prosper.

The Day Trump Shrugged: FOX Americana & The Paris Accord

by Shelton Bumgarner
@bumgarls

In yet another example of liberal outrage, the Rose Garden announcement by Donald Trump to pull out of the Paris Climate Accord has evoked much gnashing of teeth. Now, I consider myself a moderate liberal, but I’m really growing tired of such behavior.

In an extremely well written piece, Esquire writer Charles Pierce summed up liberal outrage stating:

I didn’t think he could top his ghastly American Carnage inaugural address for sheer fact-free and paranoiac mendacity, but he managed to do it on Thursday. By announcing that the United States was withdrawing from the groundbreaking Paris Accords regarding the world climate crisis, the president* wallowed in rank, xenophobic victimhood while basking in the scattered applause of the otherwise unemployable yahoos whose self-respect is sufficiently low that they still work for him. Any doubt that Steve Bannon is running this White House now, either personally or through his finger-puppet, obvious anagram Reince Priebus, now has evaporated. The transformation of the American government into a Breitbart comments thread is complete.

But it’s time to stop getting upset about how Trump is causing America to go to hell in a bucket, and it’s time to start thinking about how you can, on a personal level, do something about it. Just getting upset at yet another horrible thing Trump has done doesn’t help anybody or anything.

I know why this keeps happening. It keeps happening because liberals after eight years of “No Drama Obama” assumed that progress was a given and that it was a fundamental tenet of reality that the liberal worldview was simply to be accepted. Meanwhile, of course, on FOX News’ Bullshit Mountain the residents grew more and more thirsty for blood.

Hence, once someone like Trump was given to them as an option in the primaries, they didn’t really care what he believed as long as he could win. And once he bested 15 other professional politicians, and the choice came down between him and someone they absolutely despised, Hillary Clinton, the decision was easy. And, so the land of Trumplandia with its FOX Americana agenda was born.

FOX Americana as articulated by Trump seems to be completely indifferent to the broader needs of the international community. It’s Darwinian and America First and simply horrible to anyone such as myself who would like there to be some order in the world. If nothing else won’t get you to slip some whisky into your coffee in the morning, let this sink in: pretty much not sense the period between World Wars has there been this chaotic a power vacuum caused by America pulling an Atlas Shrugged and deciding to ignore its responsibility as a world leader.

While I doubt we’ll have any nuclear exchanges anytime soon — though the Indian subcontinent could always flair up — it’s more likely that Russia will simply find it impossible not to make some sort of land grab in Ukraine or the Baltic. Should Putin attack a Baltic nation and one of those nations cry out for help from NATO, invoking Article 5…and the United States just shrugs, that would be significantly more profound than pulling out of the Paris Accord.

That would be the nightmare scenario. Allowing the Russians to take a Baltic nation would completely, fundamentally scramble the post World War II global liberal order. That would be something we could all point to and say that is definitely something Hillary Clinton would not have done. That is why I kept saying during the campaign that while Hillary Clinton was a horrible candidate, at least she wasn’t an existential threat to the Republic like Donald Trump.

And all of this wouldn’t happen in a vacuum. If NATO no longer had American teeth to back it up, any number of other hot spots across the globe would flare up, most notably Korea. I still think it’s likely that Trump would wag the dog with the DPRK and while that happened, Putin would, in turn, attack Ukraine or NATO.

So, in a sense, leaving the Paris Accord is just the tip of the ice burg when it comes to the irrecoverable damage that the Trump Administration can inflict on both the Republic and the globe. But, as I keep saying, we have to stop laughing at stupid tweets, or being outraged at this or that horrible thing Trump does.

If you consider yourself a member of The Resistance, you have to pause for a moment and think how you, on a personal level, can engage. You have to think how you can make a difference, however small, and stymie the seemingly unstoppable progress of the slow moving autocratic “managed-democracy” drive that Trumplandia represents.

I continue to believe that the American spirit is simply too strong. I continue to believe that Americans won’t stand for a Russian-style “managed-democracy” no matter how hard the forces of Trumplandia may attempt to impose it. We have to believe. We have to engage, engage, engage. Our future, and the future of the Republic depends on it.

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

The Conundrum Of ‘Preventive War’ & The DPRK

by Shelton Bumgarner
@bumgarls

I’m really digging The Atlantic right now. Their vision is very similar to my vision for a new startup that serve as the “voice” of The Resistance. As I have noted elsewhere, there use of video, in particular, is really cool.
This video by Peter Beinart got me thinking about my own views on a war with the DPRK, or North Korea.

My view is I am against starting a war against the DPRK unless we’re provoke. Or should a war happen because Donald Trump is such a dumb ass the he pokes the North Koreans into a war, then I will have to support the war because I feel the South Koreans have the right to defend themselves.

In other words, I’m against any war as long as it’s simply a scenario, but the moment it’s real, then will have to support it. This, of course, makes the prospect of the Trump Administration wagging the dog a very real possibility.

If an avowed anti-Trump person like me is willing to support something as drastic as a war against North Korea once it starts, then from a strategic standpoint it makes a huge amount of sense for Trump — and “President Bannon” to do just that should the need arise.

It doesn’t take too much thought to imagine a situation, say, late 2018, where the Trump Administration is down for the count and needs a sudden jolt of support. Launching a “preventive war” against the DPRK might do just the trick to save Trump in such a situation.

The reason why such a preventive war would make so much sense from Trump’s strategic view is there is a legitimate reason to want to liberate the people of North Korea. It’s just that even the most cursory attempt at a cost benefit analysis would warn you off. Too many people would die and everyone — other than the people of North Korea — have a vested interest in things staying exactly the way they are.

But if Trump did decide to say “fuck it” and do a preventive war against the DPRK, there would be some pretty spectacular images of people being liberated from concentration camp type conditions. This works on the condition, of course, that the Chinese would allow the Americans to get anywhere near there boarder. That is an issue is very much up to debate at this point.

What happens next is anyone’s guess. It could be that things will continue the way they are, or they could explode into a full scale war. This is pretty much the way they’ve been for about 60 years now, so all we can hope that nothing will happen anytime soon.

The Atlantic Talks Of Our Dark, Darwinian Global Present.

by Shelton Bumgarner
@bumgarl

I am really impressed by The Atlantic’s use of video, though I think it would make a little bit more sense to have the author’s of articles talk about the article in an inline video, as opposed to having a separate place for video. But maybe they know something about how people interact with content that I don’t.

Regardless, I really liked this video that Atlantic staff writer Uri Friedman did about how Donald Trump’s decision to pull out of the Paris Climate Accord is a really dangerous sign of his world view because it means Trump embraces a dark, Darwinian view of international relations.

This, of course, is in step with my own personal view of things. I have long held that we’re in unprecedented times and it doesn’t take much to imagine a scenario whereby we might have two regional wars — Ukraine and Korea — that would be marketed as “World War III.”

Despite how much nerds like me may be aghast at Trump’s decision, the base of Trumplandia probably is pretty pleased with Trump’s decision. There political views typically barely make it beyond a guttural grunt and it makes total sense that they wouldn’t understand the subtle symbolic importance of the United States pulling out of the Paris Accord.

It is all too easy to just say we’re fucked, but, alas, that seems to be where things stand right now: we’re fucked. My only hope, and at this point it isn’t much of one, is that maybe eventually there will be some sort of political cost that Trump will have to pay for his behavior.

It’s unlikely that is going to happen anytime soon for various reasons, chief among them being that the Vichy Republicans are so obsessed with tax cuts for the wealthy and making abortion illegal that they’re totally cool with being callow in the face of Trump’s tyrannical madness.

The sooner we stop laughing at Trump, the sooner we take Trump as a serious threat to the Republic, the sooner The Resistance can figure out what makes Trumplandia tick and prevent the World War III that I suggested might happen.

The Surprisingly Hot Julia Ioffe Talks Trump As ‘Captain Chaos’

by Shelton Bumgarner
@bumgarls

I’m quiet impressed with The Atlantic’s Website, which I think recently got a major revamp. When I was growing up The Atlantic and Harper’s were to magazine that only nerds read because they really didn’t seem to have much point, though I always did like Harper’s Index. That was cool.

Well, things have changed.

Now, The Atlantic is kicking ass and taking names and they’re doing a lot of the things that I think a site that would purport to be the “Voice of the Resistance” would do. Great articles dealing with how to address the rise of Trumplandia and content that would help you make sense of it all. I think either a startup or a retooled Playboy be ideal to do be such a site, but if it turns out to be The Atlantic, that’s great.

I am impressed by The Atlantic’s embrace of video. In the below video the surprisingly hot — and smart — Julia Ioffe talks about Donald Trump as “Captain Chaos” who is giving Russian President Putin exactly what he wanted when he meddled in America’s election in 2016 to begin with: someone who would royally screw up America’s position as the leader of the free world.

The only reason why I even mention Ms. Ioffe’s appearance is I don’t see her on TV that much and her Twitter avi isn’t of her, so each time I do see her actual appearance it takes a moment for me to realize that someone so hot is also really smart and witty, at least on Twitter.