Everyone Take a Deep Breath — Trump May Actually Leave

by Shelt Garner

It’s at least possible that the Trump Era may end not with a coup, but with a whimper. This is not to say that some pretty surreal, unexpected and potentially violent things may not happen between now and January 20th.

But now that the pardons have begun, it’s at least possible that Trump may slink out of Washington doing nothing more than just pardoning himself. Or resigning in January and getting Pence to pardon him then leaving town — or, hell, the country.

There are a lot of unknowns — Bill Barr may pop out of his spiderhole and stage a coup of some sort. There might be some sort of political violence. But as we approach Thanksgiving, I think we can at least give ourselves 24 hours of hope that Mike Pompeo isn’t going to nuke us to hell (via Israel) because he thinks Trump is the anti-Christ.

Our Very American Coup Isn’t Over Yet

by Shelt Garner

It ain’t over folks. Trump still believes he can somehow win. But now the risk of a violent civil war is significantly greater should he manager to pull off what he wants — a “political 9/11.”

Here’s what we have to look forward to.

Legislative Nullification
In this crisis happens after Republican-dominated legislators simply refuse to do their job, even if it’s against the law or they have no right to do it. They simply nullify Biden’s win by either throwing up their hands in faux confusion or name their OWN MAGA Electors. This. Could. Still Happen. This will happen they’ve been coaxed and browbeaten by Rudy’s disinformation campaign within Newsmax-OANN bullshit chamber. Remember, the point of THIS would be to throw the disputed Electors to Congress where the law is so poorly written that it would go to SCOTUS and Trump would win.

Elector Intimidation Crisis
If we get past the Certification Nullification Crisis, we have Trump freak out and attempt to appeal personally to the Electors themselves. He may even alternate good cop – bad cop with Jr. Jr. doxes Electors on Twitter, while Trump himself invites them all to a 48 hour retreat to Camp David. Everybody got a price. Everybody got a family. Electors are humans. They are no different.

If Rudy pulled this gambit off, this would really be an honest-to-God-coup. As I understand it, there’s a case making its way up the judicial chain of command to SCOTUS. It’s a procedural case with no evidence other than, “We’ll give it to you when we get to SCOTUS.” So, I guess the thinking is, if they can simply get something, ANYTHING in front of SCOTUS then someone like, say, Bill Barr could potentially swoop in with new “evidence” that would allow Trump to be handed the election outright. The issue is, that’s not how any of this works, so if it DOES work, then that’s a coup and a rather brazen one. In other words, all the law-types saying what I propose isn’t even applicable are right — but so am I.

Trump’s January Freak Out
If all this doesn’t work out then things get REALLY UGLY. Trump could just go insane because he can’t process leaving office and potentially going to jail. There is a spectrum of things that could happen. From the benign — he quits after pardoning himself, to The END: Trump snaps and starts a war with Iran. Mike Pompeo thinks Trump is the anti-Christ and this is last chance to force the Rapture by having a literal Battle of Armageddon. This would probably happen when Pompeo gets Israel to strike Iran first, they strike back at Israel and then bang! end of the world. Sadly, no Jesus Christ returning, just The End of Human Civilization.

And, remember, as I keep saying, Rudy’s gambit is all tactical. They just want to “not lose.” They have no idea what happens if they actually get away with all this bullshit. But if do manage to pull off a “political 9/11” at this point then were will be a violent civil war and / or revolution and potentially The End of everything. Like, that would be it. Human civilization would be ended because of Trump personally via WW3 when America is “disposed” during its implosion.

Rudy’s SCOTUS ‘Political 9/11’ Gambit

by Shelt Garner

What gets me is people like Chris Christie don’t understand what Rudy and his goons are really up to. The point is not to win anything in court, the point is to make the average person, who is too busy raising their kids and paying their mortgage to worry about politics, think what’s going on is “just like 2000.”

It is not, as you may know, “just like 2000.”

The 2000 race was decided by about 500 odd votes. Under the conditions of 2000, Trump has lost, lost, lost. Rudy knows that if he can make it seem as though the result of the election is still up in the air — which isn’t — then they have a shot at pulling off a “political 9/11” at SCOTUS should the opportunity arise.

Or, put another way, they want to create enough doubt within the center-Right bullshit echochamber that about 50% of the population listens to, that it gives cover to MAGA legislators in Michigan and Pennsyliva to simply nullify the certification of votes. If that works, then we have a coup.

It will be given a thin cover of “this is just like 1876,” but it’ll be a coup. It goes to CONGRESS, NOT THE HOUSE, and because the law on disputed Electors is shit and Congress is split….it goes to SCOTUS and Trump “doesn’t lose.”

That’s the disinformation strategy that Rudy is has in mind right now. I’m not being hysterical to say this strategy has worked over and over and over and over and over and over again for Rudy the last four years, so makes sense that it will work YET AGAIN.

The stakes are a lot higher, but the results will be the same — Trump lives to fight another day.

Now, of course, there is zero overarching strategy to any of this other than “just win,” so when they do “win,” there’s probably going to be a civil war / revolution and a lot — maybe a huge amount — of Americans on both sides will die for no damn reason.

I hope I’m wrong. I’m often — almost always — wrong. But at least be aware of what’s really going on right now.

My Hot Take On Kyle Rittenhouse

by Shelt Garner

Where to begin on this one. It definitely seems as though if you want something that encapsulates what’s going on in American politics right now, you need look no further than Kyle Rittenhouse murdering people in cold blood and the American Right rallying to his support.

There’s no defense, none what so ever, for what Rittenhouse did, and, yet, here we are with people spotting him his $2 million bail so he can get endorsements from a gun manufacturer. It’s completely bonkers. The only thing I guess you might use to explain this otherwise surreal behavior is Rittenhouse is now something of a John Brown figure.

He did what a bunch of grown men think they wanted to do, and so they bought into his martyrdom and here we are. I’ve come to believe that barring something pretty spectacular, that there isn’t going to be a civil war. Any violence is going to come from Trump’s use of the Insurrection Act — probably because of mass protests from him staging A Very American Coup.

But, otherwise, meh. Just don’t see it.

Or, put another way, it’s possible the far Right is going to start murdering people, the government will support it and then, and only then, will there be something marketed as a “civil war.”

For the time being, however, we’re heading towards something of a stalemate, not civil war. A lot of protests, maybe, and the occasional bonkers Right wing person like Rittenhouse killing innocent people, but otherwise, not a lot is going to happen.

I’m willing to revise that assessment as a events warrant.

Autocrats Never Lose: What If You Held A Second American Civil War & And Nobody Came?

by Shelt Garner

We have to be honest with ourselves, it’s possible that as we speak, Trump dangling sweet, sweet cash in front of Republican legislators from states like Michigan and Pennsylvania as a form of quid pro quo for them to throw the election to him by “nullifying” the certification of the vote.

In other words, damn the law, they just won’t do it because they don’t want to.

Now, as I understand it, the logic of these shenanigans is to throw the election to Congress where the, because the House and Senate are split, SCOTUS will get involved and, by definition, Trump will win. It would be nothing less than a political 9/11. We’re all just going to walk around in a daze for a few days that Trump managed to pull it off.

And, really, at that point the circle will be closed. We can impeach Trump (and Pence?) all we want to, but TrumpBarr will begin to consolodate power at an alarming rate and he’ll laugh off any impeachment trial in the Senate. I say this even if we manage to win to those two crucial Georgia Senate seats. Trump could murder someone in cold blood while having sex with Ivanka and eating a baby and Senate Republicans won’t blink an eye. As long as Trump doesn’t become a Muslim or raise taxes, he really is something akin to a God King.

It’s sad, but true.

I keep ranting about how all that would start a civil war, but would it really? There might be huge protests, but a civil war? Really? More likely with the upcoming purge of the media, we’ll just be in a Belarusian-like stalemate where there are lots of protests but nothing really happens. And any violence that does happen, TrumpBarr just use the Insurrection Act to squelch it.

Then Trump demands a Constitutional Convention to “pass a balanced budget amendment,” and before you know it, they’re passing a 1984 doublespeak “Second Bill of Rights.”

So, that’s it. That’s how America finally becomes a Russian-style autocracy. We have a political 9/11, nothing really happens and American democracy dies not with a bang but with a whimper.

Oh well. At least I have the novel. I’d prefer not to be pushed out of a window by ICE before I can finish it.

America Is So Fucked

by Shelt Garner

I just don’t see how we get out of this current situation without some sort of major political violence. All the conditions are there. The only this missing is one — 1! — extremists on either side blowing something up or killing someone important and we have a civil war / revolution on our hands.

On one end, it would just be huge protests — enough for Trump to invoke the Insurrection Act — and we would have something akin to what’s going on in Belarus right now: a stalemate. A lot of protests, but not much change. Trump quickly consolidates power by purging the media, among other things, and the First Republic is felled by a deranged, failed TV gameshow host.

On the other end of the spectrum, we have an honest-to-God civil war. It’s not a few hundred people who die, it’s potentially a FEW FUCKING MILLION. We pretty much just nuke and gas ourselves into oblivion because working class white men can’t figure out the point of the progressive tax and are very VERY afraid of being “canceled” because of a stray Tweet.

Throw in the potential for a WW3, and we’re talking about a serious End of The Age kind of situation.

But, thankfully, I’m almost always wrong. So, we’ll see.

I do need to drink more, though.

Pay Attention, People: Rudy Wants Republicans To Nullify The Election Of Joe Biden On An Institutional Level

by Shelt Garner

We are so very fucked. I’m well aware that I overestimate RudyTrumpBar a lot, but Rudy is using on Republicans the same strategy he has used time and again on the American people over the last 4 years. Rudy doesn’t care about court, he cares about media narrative messaging for one specific group: the Republicans who have it within their power to certify the vote.

And that’s just one of several huge crises we have to suffer through. If the certification crisis doesn’t work, then we have the Elector Intemidation crisis to live through. THEN we have the Great Trump January Freak Out crisis to deal with.

Autocrats never lose.
Autocrats never lose.
Autocrats never fucking lose.

I’m wrong all the fucking time. But it definitely seems as this point either we stumble into an extreme version of the 2000 election or we have a fucking civil war / revolution. Like, one where real people with real lives — like you and fucking me — die for no Goddamn reason.

The “best” case scenario then is we just have lingering political violence after Trump uses the Insurrection Act to manage the country. Worst fucking case scenario is the country implodes and we have an actual, real life fucking civil war with armies and WMD used, the entire collapse of the global order and WW3.

I’m well aware that this sounds extremely hysterical, but Rudy has made it quite clear what his strategy is — he wants to “shame” Republicans into nullifying the election for our very lazy, very deranged autocrat Mad King.

This is our future. Or, at least, the future Rudy is actively attempting to create. What happens when this “political 9/11” happens is up to us.

All Roads Lead To SCOTUS (& A Coup…Then A Civil War)

by Shelt Garner

I am often wrong. But here’s what I’m looking at right now. The entire point of the Trump’s legal challenges to the election is to get to SCOTUS. Once it’s at SCOTUS they will win, no matter what.

Then the whole country convulses and a civil war breaks out.

Why anyone would actually WANT such a civil war is beyond me. But we just have way too much time between now and January 20th for SCOTUS to not get involved. There are just too many moving parts that TrumpBarr can fuck with.

I predict we’re going to have a “political 9/11,” very soon where we all wander around in a daze for a few hours as it sinks in that Rudy got SCOTUS to overturn the election. It will be a real “where were you when” type of moment. This will happen either as a result of a “certification crisis” or an “Elector intimidation’ crisis.

Really, the only reason why we might manage to escape this clusterfuck is, well, not only has the election already been called, but Trump and Rudy are just very, very incompetent. But they do have Barr.

So, prove me wrong, folks. I really want to be wrong. But, remember, there are two different Americas right now. There’s MAGA America and everyone else. In MAGA land, they assume my worst nightmare is simply a reality waiting to happen.

Throw in the Insurrection Act and we’re all fucked. At best, we’ll have regular huge protests and massive explosions around the country, at worst we have dueling presidents and actual civil war / revolution. If you want that, please fuck off you piece of shit.

MAGA Is Just Identity Politics For White People

by Shelt Garner

Let me be clear, that going to one small MAGA rally in DC does not an expert on the subject make. But it was my first MAGA rally and it made a big impression on me. Then I talked to a relative who is conservative-but-not-MAGA and something occurred to me.

One reason why it’s so fucking hard to deal with MAGA is at its core, it’s identity politics for white people, but you can’t bring that up because they get all defensive and think you’re calling them, personally, racist. What’s more, they don’t even believe in systemic racism — period — so you can’t even bring that up.

Throw in the two sides no longer having a shared reality and, well, you have the makings of a pretty unstable country. And I honestly don’t know how this particular situation fixes itself peacefully. We have about 20 years before the dead hand of demographics finally whittles away at the core of the Republican Party — old people.

What’s more, it’s possible that as brown people grow more “white,” that their natural Catholic conservatism will kick in and, well, we turn into an autocracy no matter what. That could just be our fate now — the United States, on a macro level, is going to become an honest-to-God autocracy in my lifetime.

I can’t predict the future. I have no idea what is going to happen.

The Longest Month

by Shelt Garner

We have, as I understand it, about a month before two critical things happen — the state legislatures certify the vote and then, soon after, Electors vote. Now, on a strictly political level, Interior Minister Bill Barr really has his work cut out for him if he plans to make sure our tinpot tyrant “doesn’t lose.”

But, lulz, he doesn’t care. The same logic that allowed the Republicans to quickie-confirm Amy Coney Barrett to SCOTUS will allow Barr to take his chances on staging a coup (in some way) between now and about Dec 12th. I don’t know what he’s got up his sleeve, but I will be flabbergasted if Moscow Mitch doesn’t get on the Senate floor and tell us all that “legal” votes have been counted and Trump is going to get a second term.

Of course, this would mark not only the end of the First Republic, but likely the beginning of some sort of civil war / revolution — what I call The Big Ugly. One thing is clear, no matter what — it appears as though should Trump actually be physically removed from the White House (probably after pardoning himself) the Republican Party is going to be made up entirely of Trump deadenders. Either you believe that Trump is STILL president and have to be forcibly removed from your job, or you’re not a Republican.

But wait, there’s more — Trump also has a month to start a war in an effort to distract us all while he steal the election. It’s very easy to imagine the DPRK shooting off an ICBM or testing a H-bomb and Trump mysteriously changing his views on Little Rocket Man so there’s a war. By the time we figure out what happened, Trump is ensconced in the White House for another four years and fuck you, lib.

There are plenty of pretty dark scenarios. Somehow the vote isn’t certified, it gets through into Congress and then thrown to SCOTUS where Trump wins. Trump gets desperate and doxes all the Democratic Electors, telling the Proud Boys to remind them of “the power of the Second Amendment.” The moment it really, truly begins to sink in Trump that he isn’t going to be president anymore, there is absolutely nothing he might not attempt.

He could very well destroy the entire country for the sole purpose of not having his feelings hurt. Good luck, guys.