Countdown To American Fascism: Ode To Roy (Cohen)



by Shelt Garner
@sheltgarner


Apparently TODAY is 96 days until the election. Anyway. Something I’ve long predicted is shaping up to be our future: Trump is never leaving office. Now, I say that with some qualifications. What I mean is, he’s never leaving office willingly.

It seems as though should it become clear that Republicans, sated on a huge tax cut and 1/3 of the Federal bench being young, hack MAGA judges, have finally decided to turn their back on him — he’s still never physically leaving the White House.

And, remember, him actually getting to the point where we all agree that he’s lost and has to be removed one way or another would be the culmination of about three months of legal struggle. Every aspect of the election will be litigated and fought over in an extremely dramatic fashion. We simply won’t know who the president will be until the Electors themselves vote. Who can be a voting Elector will be up in the air to such an extent that there may even be competing Electors voting. And that doesn’t include the doxxing and threatening of individual human Electors that Trump is likely to do on Twitter.

This it the point where we make some observations. One is, Trump is his own worst enemy. He could very well be on his way to “legally” stealing the election, only to do some sort of massive self-own. Though, we have to note that should it begin to sink in to House Trump that there may be an Interregnum, there’s going to be some seriously surreal things that take place. A number of MAGA lowlifes will be appointed to positions with terms that last well into the Biden Administration. (This is DL already happening.) I could see a least two Republican SCOTUS seats rather abruptly opening up as well. Trump might also try to start a war with either the DPRK or Iran. Anything and everything is on the table.

And don’t forget that Trump is probably going to pardon as many people as he possibly can — including himself! — even if holds up in the Oval Office thinking he is still president.

As of right now, the only thing stopping Trump from lulzing the whole thing and simply staying in office no matter what is American self-perception. It’s not even a “norm” or a “tradition.” It’s about who we are as a nation, how we view ourselves. Just like how the Romans may have had an empire but never a king, having elections and the peaceful transfer of power is so much a part of who we are that we don’t even think that it’s possible it might not happen.

So, in a sense, should the absolute worst happen — which would be not really a civil war but rather rolling political violence in support of Trump’s claim to the presidency — we really would be crossing the Rubicon. Whatever the outcome, it would mark the end of the United States as we know it. Once you cut the seal on a violent transfer of power, it’s likely to happen again.

Literally the only thing stopping Trump from pulling all this off is he’s a moron. He’s not a political mastermind and, to date, he’s benefited greatly from some existential macro trends in American political culture. The violence might occur when he presses things to their absolute to such an extent that people will have to take a side, no matter what.

Then the issue will be what the military will do.

MAGA As American Fascism



by Shelt Garner
@sheltgarner


The thing about fascism is they don’t play by the rules of democracy. Or, if they do, they use the rules for their ultimate goal — to win. So, it seems as though 100 days before the 2020 election there are two macro trends happening at the same time.

On one hand, we have about 240 years of liberal democratic tradition all pointing towards Biden having a decent shot at winning a major victory against Trump in the fall.

Meanwhile, we have the “new rules” of the fucking fascist MAGA movement, which means, lulz, fuck you Trump’s never leaving office.

So, what I guess I’m saying is, when the dust settles, Trump is going to still be in office come Jan. 20, 2021. He’s simply never leaving office. I say this with the likelihood that he’s going to demand a Constitutional Convention at some point in his stole second term in the back of my mind. He’s going to be around for the next 10-15 years being more and more crazy and more and more criminal. Then we’re going to have a series of Trumps for the next few decades until the Graying of America crosses the Browning of America and AOC, I don’t know, manages to overthrow the government about 2050.

I can’t predict the future — I don’t know exactly how this is all going to work out — but that’s definitely where the macro political trends in the United States are pointing right now. The center-Left is so busy scoring density politics points on Twitter, that they’re completely oblivious to how they might need to address the fascist infection in real life.

Real “resistance” is hard work. You have to risk things that are important to you. There’s no assurance that you will live. There’s no assurance that you won’t be anymore than a number. And, really, the actual number of people who will resist MAGA tyranny is probably going to be pretty small.

It’s kooks and cranks like me who will have to take up the burden because I have principles and will refuse — absolutely — to shut up when everyone around me tells me I had better do so “for my own good.” I’m a man of peace. A man of ideas. And I’m not going to be violent. That’s just not me. But will note that sometimes you can have a shit tone of guns and not do jack squat.

For instance, when Napoleon escaped from Elba in 1815, he famously stood before a huge army and told them to shoot “their emperor” if felt so inclined. They had all those weapons. They could have killed him on the spot. But they didn’t they made him their leader and they rode to Paris, starting the 100 Days.

I’m not comparing myself to Napoleon — that would be pretty bonkers — but I am saying that history is made by people with nothing to lose. For me — a bonkers loser in the middle of nowhere — to be of note in anyway, things would have had to have grown extremely dire.

So, hopefully, while things are obviously going to get REALLY BAD in Trump’s stolen second term, they won’t get SO BAD that I have to use my native skillset for anything other than developing and writing a novel.

America As Fascist State



by Shelt Garner
@sheltgarner

One of MAGA’s favorite talking points these days is that United States is “a constitutional republic not a democracy.” They can get quite snotty about it, in fact.

Laying aside why they wouldn’t WANT to live in a democracy, this is their way of establishing the groundwork for why it’s “totally cool and totally legal” that Trump brazenly, in an astonishing fashion, steals the election in the fall. When it happens, they can shout at the top of their lungs that we rubes are fools for being enraged that American democracy is dead. “Buht America’s a constitutional republic,” they’ll crow.

As usual, this is MAGA tactically owning the moment in the short term to deflect what fucking fascists they are. Them being soooooo absolute about this conflation of terminology either gets you upset and the conversation devolves into screaming or you waste way too much time trying to explain something with, until recently, was simply assumed — there are “norms” that we all follow that make sure the while, yes, we are a “constitutional republic” we all agree that there should be free and fair elections and it’s like a bloodthirsty fight simply to get the ruling party to accept defeat in an election.

But that’s just the beginning of the clusterfuckery.

The issue of Trump’s goons snatching people off the streets of Portland to make campaign videos for the Trump campaign is another, more important issue. In general, I’ve come to believe that you can pretty much figure out if someone is a fascist by their response to this Authoritarian turn for the worse. The further they are away from “Oh my GOD, what’s happening?” they are, the more, well, fascist they are. If they’re quibbling about stupid shit how the people snatched are let go after a little while or that these Little Green Men have “police” on them, then, well, you’re talking to a fascist.

Everyone involved would be better off if MAGA simply embraced their fascism. Then we’d all be on the same page. Of course, I guess, in a sense, they will at some point down the road when MAGA pivots from any argument at all about Trump to whispering in harsh tones that people like me “should shut up if you know what’s good for you.” The implication being, of course, that Little Green Men will come for YOU now.

I would prefer if I was able to finish and sell my novel before Trump finally comes after people like me for good.

Trump Endgame Enigma: ‘Jhi-na Syndrome’



by Shelt Garner
@sheltgarner


I love scenarios. I love weighing different factors, asking “what if” and wondering how a number of conditions would work. Usually my scenarios are the absolute worst-case.

So, let’s play the “What if Trump finally lost his mind” scenario.

Here’s the thing: first, how would we know?

Trump is so conspicuous in his instability, that for him to have finally have cracked, something REALLY Big would have have to happen. I am still of the opinion that Trump is more likely to implode than explode and we’ll simply not see him very much in his inevitable ill-gotten second term. He’ll be catatonic somewhere, babbling about the Deep State.

But, let’s say between now and, say, mid-August, a series of things push Trump over the edge. A combination of a pandemic, a depression, BountyGate and maybe even his taxes being released, becomes such a weigh on his mind that he snaps. I think such a decompensation would come a logic trap — he would absolutely want to win and yet he would absolute know he wasn’t going to win. (Though he might never get that bad since it’s obvious the Russians are going to hack into our election systems in exchange for Trump removing 1/3 of our fighting force out of Germany before September.)

Anyway, let’s just say Trump snaps.

I think a number of things would happen at the same time. A lot of things that have been rolling around his mind would pop out. He might whip is cock out. He might tweet out a dick pic. He might began to tweet out out the N-word to any African American who crosses him. He might simple begin to babble vulgarities at every opportunity. Or even stranger things might happen, like he dives head first into Tik-Tok and starts attempting some of the dances there. Or maybe he really, REALLY makes it clear he wants certain people “reminded of the power of the 2nd Amendment.” He keeps doing this now and no one takes him seriously. What if he won’t shut up about it in a rather manic fashion for days or weeks on end?

The next issue is what the reaction would be.

Given how close we are to the election, initially, not a lot would happen different. Republicans would simply ignore the behavior, hoping it will go away. It would take a few days of some seriously disturbing behavior before the pressure would begin to build for something, anything to happen.

This is where things get murky. I can’t figure out how we would ever get rid of Trump, even if he was, say, going out of his way to start a war with the DPRK in a desperate bid to “Wag the Dog.” I might go so far as to say this crisis might go on and on and on and on for months until the election rolls around and, surprise! Trump weirdly wins anyway.

Then we spend three months on edge we try to figure out how we’re going to get Electors to vote for Joe Biden because it’s absolutely clear that because of a quid pro quo with Russia, Trump has illegally won re-election because of hacking on the part of Putin.

I guess the point is — I don’t know how we would ever actually get rid of Trump, even if he fucking totally lost his fucking mind and put the lives of 300 million Americans at risk. We’re stuck with him, no matter what.

Something Big *May* Be On The Way With Trump (Between Now & August)



by Shelt Garner
@sheltgarner

Now is the summer of our discontent.

I have no inside information. I’m not a member of the “IC.” All I got is my gut. And my gut tells me someone, somewhere, knows something big about the mental state of Trump and they’re worried.

The key thing you have to remember is Trump simply has to get into his second term. That’s it. That’s all he has to do — get sworn in for a second term. After that point, he could go completely insane and his dream of an authoritarian white ethno-state will be come a reality. I say this because I believe his second term VP is going to be someone like Tom Cotton or Mike Flynn (Or Steve King). Someone who will be both impeachment insurance AND someone younger and more organized who can knock heads in an organized way.

So, Trump, in a sense, is at his weakest right now. (As is the nation as a whole because democracies are so messy just before the election actually takes place.)

I say between August and now because August (as Slate will tell you every year in your Facebook newsfeed) the worst month of the year. So, it would make sense if Trump finally snaps in a completely fucking insane manner, it would be about mid-August.

If he can make it past August, I think he’s fine. His dreams of destroying America will, finally, come true.

Let’s see what the fates have to say about all of this.

An Observation On Trump Scandals



by Shelt Garner
@sheltgarner

Trump has an absolute floor of support of about 35% of the electorate. He’s not quite down to it, yet, but he seems to be working his way towards it. That core support of people barely pay any attention to traditional news sources and, in fact, get most of their news directly from Trump’s twitter feed. They’re a bunch of racist, ignorant morons who are willfully destroying the country by supporting Trump through thick and thin.

This leaves people like me extremely frustrated because Trump is pretty obviously a Russian stooge at best and a Russian agent at worst. He has no traditional political accountability and as long as he has that core 35%, never will.

I will note, however, that occasionally he gets himself into trouble that lingers. He eventually peters out like all his scandals, but sometimes he screws up in such a massive way that while he still has that 35% of racist, authoritarian loving assholes, at least those people are made to sweat for a little while.

This issue with “BountyGate” is a prime example of what I’m talking about. While I know that barring Trump, himself, self-owning even more that it will eventually get lost in lead up to the 2020 Election, I find myself thinking about it all the time these days. I’m REALLY MAD about this thing and I can’t stop thinking about how bad either option is for Trump.

Either he’s criminally incompetent and his job or he’s a traitor. He’s going to go with criminally incompetent and weasel his way out of yet another jam, then get the Russians to steal the election for him (or he’s going to steal it himself by going after Electors) and he’ll be impeached AGAIN at some point in his second term, probably either 1 1/2 or 3 1/2 years into his second term. (I’m thinking it’s most likely to happen the same year as an election for various reasons.)

By that point, of course, Ivanka Trump, Tom Cotton or Mike Flynn will be his second term VP and we’ll be nothing more than Russian style “managed democracy.” (Ivanka would be used as a figure head for her veep Tom Cotton or Mike Flynn should she become president. It’s rat fucking like that that authoritarians love, love, love to do.)

Again, let me be clear — the fate of the Republic hinges not on Biden, or Pelosi, or voters. It hinges on the mental state of one Donald J. Trump. If he fucking loses his mind in The Night Of Camp David style meltdown between now and,say, August, then there’s a chance that we’ll at least punt the end of the Republic down the road one more election cycle.

Otherwise, lulz!

The Mueller Report, Trump’s Taxes & (The Potential End of) The Trump Administration



by Shelt Garner
@sheltgarner


I often wonder what would be the real consequences if we found out Castro and the Mob were directly responsible for JFK’s death. All the principals would be dead. It might be give closure, but in real terms, it would be a big meh.

The reason I think about this a lot these days is not only the possibility that much of the Mueller Report might be unredacted by a Federal judge, but the small possibility that we might, at last, see Trump’s taxes. We’re so close to the election and Trump is obviously simply going to ratfuck his way into a second term, I honestly don’t see anything of note happening if we learn the absolute worst about Trump.

I mean, if we have absolute proof that Putin has near-absolute financial control over Trump Org…would it even matter at this point? Probably not. Trump is going to have a second term, no matter what and, in real terms, Trump faces one real threat and one real threat only: himself.

The only way I see anything of significance happening to the Trump Administration going forward is if Trump finally loses his fucking mind to the point that he, say, starts a war with the DPRK or something else of similar significance.

We probably would have a few days of uncertainty if Trump’s taxes came out, but in the end, we’re just too close to the election and Trump will never resign so, lulz.

Darkness has fallen.

The Damage Is Done — Trump As Tyrant & Traitor



by Shelt Garner
@sheltgarner


It’s now rather obvious that someone like Trump was going to appear in the 2016 – 2024 time frame, it was just a matter of whom. But it’s also clear that the damage is done.

America is no longer a Republic, it is a Russian-style “managed democracy” and there’s no going back, at least for the next 20 to 40 years when the Graying of America crosses the Browning of America.

Trump is just really, really, really bad at being an autocrat, so it’s not as obvious what’s going on. But once Tom Cotton (or whomever) succeeds Trump, the entire state will be used to destroy liberal democracy in the United States.

I don’t have any solution. This is it. The end of America. The bad guys have won. Even if Biden wins — and somehow actually is legally sworn in — it will be just a death rattle.

The most current outrage over Trump knowing about Russian bounties on US soldiers in Afghanistan is already blowing over because Trump is simply going to say he was criminally incompetent, which his base can accept, not a traitor, which his base likely can’t.

Get out while you still can.

Why Does Everything Have To Be So Dumb? #TrumpTulsaRally



by Shelt Garner
@sheltgarner

You could not think up a worst beginning for a catastrophe. A bunch of people screaming in an enclose space for two hours, screaming at the president during a pandemic. What’s more, all of this is taking place in one of the worst-hit states in the Union.

It’s all very, very, VERY DUMB.

And, yet, here we are.

Really, all you have to do is have Trump finally snap mentally in the next few days and you pretty much have the absolute worst case scenario. But that last bit is probably going to be saved for the middle of his second term when The Kooch (or whomever) is his Veep. Someone young, organized and capable of shepherding Enabling Acts through a Constitutional Convention.

Trump is just a deranged moron who is extremely lucky.

It will, however, be interesting to see if we reach any sort of acute crisis in the coming days that throws everything out of whack as we head towards Election Day. I do know, however, that Trump is going to steal the election. Autocrats never lose, not even a very dumb one like Trump.

Fucking QAnon Has Taken Over The Entirety Of The Republican Party



by Shelt Garner
@sheltgarner

I have one contact in the Republican Party who is usually pretty normal. He’s very conservative, but also very charismatic and generally a great guy. So when he told me the following via Facebook Messenger about what’s going to happen in the fall, I was shocked.

HIM: Electoral College scoreboard will be a 2016 repeat with a slightly larger margin for Trump. However, he will be killed soon by establishment agents.

ME: What are you talking about “killed.”

HIM: Assassinated.It will be poison or bio agent.

So, this leads me to believe that even the base of the Republican Party knows something’s wrong with Trump and they know that there’s a good chance he won’t finish his ill-gotten second term.

Still think Ivanka or some insane person is going to be Trump’s second term Veep, though. Someone far worse than Trump has ever been because they will be young, focused and actually know what they’re doing.