Downfall, Maybe: The Constitution As Trump’s ‘Operation Barbarossa’

Best case scenario?
Shelton Bumgarner

by Shelton Bumgarner

Comparing Trump to Hitler is something I have done a lot of in the past, but let’s look not at his policies, but Trump the tactician. It’s eerie how well one could overlay the progress of Hitler’s career in Europe over that of Trump’s political career to date.

Hitler believed in the “leadership principle.” He thought as leader he had a near God-like ability to lead the Fatherland to his dystopian vision of Europe free of Jews, Bolsheviks and Slavs. The Arans would turn Pols and the French into little more than slave labor. Most of Russia west of the Urals would be repopulated with the Master Race.

But we’re getting ahead of ourselves a little bit. Hitler was not insane. He was a very evil person, but he was not insane — which makes him worse. He was very lucky, too. His biggest mistakes were not really strategy, but bending the needs of the war effort to those of his own ideological desires. It was his invasion of the Soviet Union, Operation Barbarossa, that was his downfall. He could have gone south east through Turkey into the oil fields of the Middle East and into India. But his kooky ideas about the Jewish-Bolsheviks of the Soviet Union forced his hand in a pretty astonishing fashion.

Now, let’s look at Trump. The interesting thing is Trump is a moron. He’s simply a symptom of some fundimental rot in the American political system. So, you could say that his victory in 2016 was almost like Hitler’s surprise victory over the French in 1940. So, for the last few years, Trump has dominated America much like Hitler did Europe after the fall of the French Third Republic.

This grows even more interesting when you realize that while Hitler had his craven desire to murder people for ideological reasons as an existential flaw, with Trump it’s cheating to win. Combine his stupidity and cluelessness with a deranged 2-year-old’s need to win at any cost and, well, you have him calling up the president of Ukraine 24 hours after Chris Wallace gave him a political pardon after the “bad optics” of Mueller’s testimony.

So, while it’s definitely an extended metaphor, you could argue that the Constitution itself may be Trump’s Russia. It’s not kids in cages. It’s not the 12,000 lies. It’s not the harsh and cruel policies that Trump loves, loves, loves. It’s Trump himself. It’s Trump’s complete inability to uphold his oath of office. His complete, criminal inability to “grow into the office” that might, just might, be his downfall.

And with that, we reach the final question of this gratuitously extended metaphor — what will be Trump’s Stalingrad? What will be the final thing to break his iron hold on the cult that was formerly known as the Republican Party?

Well, as of right now, it doesn’t look like that is ever going to happen. Moscow Mitch will have a 20 minute trial, the Republican line will hold in the Senate and I find myself in a re-education camp just about the time I had hoped to try to sell my spec novel.

But Stalingrad did, in fact, happen. So there’s … hope? All I can think of is Trump again owns himself. But this time he loses his mind. He finally snaps. He goes completely bonkers to such an extent that the normal laws of American politics begin to finally, finally snap back into place. Or maybe after weeks of enormous revelations as part of the House’s impeachment proceedings the sheer absolute pressure of the rage of 60+% of the electorate is enough to wipe the perpetual smug grin off Moscow Mitch’s face.

I just don’t know. I’m not prepared to predict the endgame, either way. All I can say is, though, if we can’t convict Trump in the Senate then that’s all she wrote. Start making contingency plans for hiding in people’s attics if you aren’t MAGA.

Would be pretty funny, though, if both Hitler and Trump were brought down because of shenanigans in the general Ukraine area.

Radical Resistance, Beware Conservatives Bringing ‘Gifts’

It’s come to this.
Shelton Bumgarner

by Shelton Bumgarner

I have a lot of respect for some of the more notable “#NeverTrump” Republicans on Twitter. And to a large extent, the following is not about them. This is more about the weird amalgam of “objective” commentators who think if only House Democrats would do this or that thing then everything would work out.

First, let’s get some stuff out of the way — there are a shit ton of people who do not want Trump impeached and or convicted. And, to be honest, there is simply no way they will ever change their minds. They have a vested interest in the MAGA grift on a personal level and, well, fuck you.

So, when they passionately articulate for thousands of words this or that bullshit reason that Democrats are doing it all wrong, I suggest you take it with a grain of salt. They wrap up their strategic goal — keeping Trump in office for a full eight years — in what seem to be logical tactical moves to impeach and convict Trump.

A big talking point among these assholes is Democrats need to “slow down.” This is taking a playbook from the gun lobby. What they really want is there to be no momentum. By that point it will be mid-2020 and, lulz, let the people decide sucker! They also get really bent out of shape about the impeachment drive coming off as “political.” This is a lulz given that the entire process is meant to be a political punishment.

And, really, the key thing is — they want to give Republicans, who are already asymmetrically radicalized — an absolute veto over any decision to impeach and convict Trump. They simply don’t see any successful political effort to end the cancerous Trump Administration early as a win for anyone but Democrats. That it might be a win for the nation doesn’t even enter their minds.

A key issue is that the clock is ticking. And, to date, House Democrats have actually done the things they should be doing. I think they should lean into “inherent contempt” now, but that’s just me. That is kind of a nuclear option that would likely have fucktwit MAGA people reaching for their AR-15s.

What happens next? I dunno. But I might gently suggest that some of the hack political talking head on cable news stop bickering about the 2020 race and start to prepare the nation for what was unthinkable just a few weeks ago — Trump could actually be convicted in the Senate. What’s more, we’re just at the beginning of this clusterfuck. There might be a cascading effect whereby Pence, too, leaves office pretty abruptly.

I worry that at the end of all of this we wake up to a President Ivanka, but that’s more me simply always assuming the absolute worst than anything else.

I hope.

Trump Is Causing The Worst Constitutional Crisis Since The Election Of Lincoln

Now what?
Shelton Bumgarner

by Shelton Bumgarner

Just after the election of Abraham Lincoln in the fall of 1860, the bolts began to pop off of the Constitution when states such as South Carolina began to hold conventions to approve their leaving of the Union. These dramatic events were lulzed by sitting president James Buchanan who cemented his rank as America’s worst president.

Now, here were are. Trump, in real terms, is only one tweet away from being worse than Buchanan. All he has to do is suggest to the AR-15 welding MAGA base to take up arms against the “traitors” in the House and, well, there you go. I don’t know how likely that scenario is, but Trump is already mentally unstable and impeachment itself may be enough to finally cause him to snap.

Any civil disturbance that might happen because of such a tweet, Trump can turn around and use as an excuse to dissolve Blue State governments. I guess the point of this is — we really, really need to take current events seriously. Like, really seriously.

These are the highest political stakes to take place in living memory. Trump is prepared to push the Constitution to its breaking point simply to save his sorry ass on a personal level. If we don’t stand up for the Constitutional now, then, well, what was ever the point in the first place. Congress needs to start arresting any and everyone it needs as part of Trump’s due process.

Of course, there is a danger this would significantly ratched up the stakes of an already unprecedented crisis. I say let’s rock. The sooner we embrace the risks of this crisis, the sooner we can address it more effectively. The days of asymmetrical radicalization have to end. Trump has declared war on the Republic and maybe we need to declare war back.

This is a moment of grave risk and potential opportunity. If we’re able to topple the Trump regime completely, there’s a chance that a President Pelosi can serve as a caretaker president who will simply ensure a free and fair election in 2020. I just don’t trust Pence to do that.

And, sadly, we can’t allow a Nixon endgame for Trump. Former President Trump must be indicted, tried and convicted. He’s proven he’s untrustworthy. If he’s a free man, he’s going to meddle in the 2020 election to get Don Jr. or Ivanka elected one way or another.

It’s a horrific precedent to set — “lock her up” and all that — but I honestly don’t know what else to do.

There Is Pride Before The Fall

Follow the money.

by Shelton Bumgarner

I was watching MSNBC tonight and noticed something. They were going through the metrics that the Trump Administration was using to gauge its impeachment strategy.

While someone of them were demonstrably delusional, there was one that stuck out as extremely dangerous for House Trump. The Trump 2020 campaign is making an obscene amount of money fundraising off of the threat of impeachment.

Now, relative to them, that’s an example of how impeachment is a lulz and a win-win for them. They feel that no matter what, they’re going to endup with more money for the 2020 campaign and, by the way, fuck you, you globalist cuck.

This is all well and good, but if one of the primary metrics you use is how much money the base is willing shell out for the 2020 campaign, you’re setting yourself up for a potential political catastrophe. If you are so busy counting your cash like Scrooge McDuck and not weighing political factors, you are bound to make some pretty enormous mistakes.

If you add to this how unstable Trump is from day one and, well, there are no assurances. I have every reason to believe that Moscow Mitch will save the day and that once the Constitution’s back is broken that Trump’s authoritarian wet dreams will come true. But, absolute greed has a hell of a drug. There’s a chance House Trump will be oblivious to the gravity of this situation until it’s far, far, far too late.

But we’re way too early in the process to know one way or another. I guess if nothing else they can just live off their grift money for decades to come. They were going to do that, anyway.

A Known Unknown In Impeachment — The Fate Of Abortion At SCOTUS

Known Unknowns.

by Shelton Bumgarner

The thing many men don’t realize is a huge swath of the female population see abortion as an absolute fail-safe. It’s easy for Republicans to demagogue the issue of abortion because it’s a complex situation and all they want is a simple solution so they can declare victory and win votes.

This comes out most notably when Republicans — speaking to their base — say some pretty bonkers things about abortion and rape. The reason why they keep doing this is they are trying to lay the groundwork politically for an absolute ban on abortion. They say completely deranged things about “justifiable rape” because they want to invalidate the argument that there should at least be an exception for rape. In their fucked up worldview, they think women will lie about being raped so they can get an abortion.

As for the “incest” and “life of the mother” exceptions, they either lulz it or pivot to something else should the issue come up. Republicans really do want women to be charged with manslaughter if they have an involuntary miscarriage.

With that in mind, the whole point of Republicans appointing judges for the last 30 or so years has been ending Roe V. Wade. And, at last, it seems as though they may very well get their wish pretty soon. The conditions are there, at least, for Roe to be overturned sometime between now and, say, Thanksgiving. (It may be later in the session, but we live in insane times, so, lulz.)

Should Roe be overturned in the middle of Trump’s impeachment process, this would not bode well for The Dear Leader. I’m not saying he will face any consequences — he never does — but women who already hate his guts are going to become apoplectic. There’s at least a small chance that women who feel powerless to do anything about the end of Roe will channel that rage into trying to bring down Trump.

But, I dunno. Trump’s a tyrant. I got nothing as to how we would ever get past Moscow Mitch.

If There’s Any Justice In A Post-Trump America, We’ll Treat The Kurds Like We Did The Hmong

Shelton Bumgarner
Welcome To America, Lady.

by Shelton Bumgarner

By now, many of us have seen the video of the Kurdish Women’ Protection Force sniper barely avoiding having her head blown off by a stray bullet. She laughs it off. Literally laughing in the face of death.

Our president is currently a deranged racist misogynistic traitor, so he’s hung the the Kurds out to dry. This is similar to what Nixon did to the Kurds with the Shah. But we did managed to do the right thing with a different group of American allies — the Hmong. They were fierce fighters during the Vietnam War and, as I understand it, we allowed them to come the States en masse.

There are obviously a shit ton more Kurds than Hmong, but we as a nation ever want to find some absolution for electing a tyrant president I suggest we might look into giving the Kurds in Syria a similar gimme. If they can prove they were forced out of Syria because of Trump’s treason, we let them into the country, few questions asked.

For any number of reasons, I doubt this will happen. Trump’s likely — with the aid of Moscow Mitch — escape defeat and we’ll careening towards full blown tyranny. But in the unlikely event we do manage to save ourselves from ourselves, letting the Kurds we betrayed into the country is the least we can do.

Ok, NOW We’re In A Constitutional Crisis

Are you ready for your close up, Mr. Rather?
Shelton Bumgarner

by Shelton Bumgarner

I always find it amusing when I notice people from the Deep South checking out this blog. I can only assume they get off on my worst-case-scenario hot takes for the Republic. If you are, in fact, such a person, please fuck off.

The real tragedy of all of this is we’ve done it to ourselves. Hollywood loves alien invasions (V) or alien-robot-invasions (The Live,) but it turns out we have seen the enemy and they are us, as Pogo would say. It’s not aliens that have done this to us, it’s the systemic rot found in the Republican Party itself. As I’ve said before, the stakes could not be higher in this crisis.

The long touted Constitutional Crisis is finally here. The battle is joined. And a lot of fuckwits on the Right are spooging at the idea that MAGA is finally throwing down the gauntlet. They like the idea that Trump would go on the offensive, damn the consequences.

That is all well and good, but by doing so, Trump has opened up a Pandora’s Box. The thing about a crisis is things move so fast that “normal” people who have a vested interest in the slow and steady often have no idea how to handle the events going on around them. It’s the freaks and weirdos who live in a constant state of crisis who thrive. (That would be me. I’m talking about myself.)

But, the point is, there’s a chance that now that House Trump has crossed the Rubicon, that there will be an equal and opposite reaction on the part of House Democrats. They may find they have no recourse than to use their inherent contempt powers. Of course, putting Bill Barr or Mike Pompeo in the House jail is likely to make things even worse for everyone involved.

Then there’s the chance that Trump will dox the whistleblower on Twitter and “joke” that MAGA with their AR-15s should “teach him a lesson.” Republicans will of course be cool with this — they have no shame, after all — but the rest of the body politic might not take “he was just joking” defense as legitimate.

Really, there’s even a chance that Trump will finally get to be the best at being worse — he might tell his MAGA supporters to take up arms against Congress as events progress. He can tell them he’ll pardon them if they do it. Again, Republicans will lulz this even as it actually begins to happen.

I’d like to think the military might sit on its hands, no matter what, but who knows. Again, that’s why this is a crisis. I just can’t fathom any kind of endgame right now. Whatever happens, we’re in a new political era — maybe even epoch –in the nation’s history. The worse part of all of this is it’s likely to be just a brief respite. At best, we escape another MAGA president in 2020 should we manage to banish Trump politically. If it’s not Tom Cotton, it will be Kris Kobach…and the list goes on.

And, sure, I know there might be MAGA people who read all of this and don’t see as a reason to fight back, but as a reason to embrace the warm waters of tyranny. If you’re that person — please, for the love of God, fuck the fuck off.

Anyway. Now what. If we can’t banish Trump politically pretty soon all is, in fact, lost. The guy is a menace to the Republic. He needs to be removed from office, given due process in a court of law and, if convicted, put in prison for the rest of his life. If he’s a free man, he’s going to meddle in election after election until Don. Jr. or Ivanka becomes president.

Of note.

Trump Is Really Bad At This — But He May Still Yet Survive

Shelton Bumgarner

by Shelton Bumgarner

So, apparently, Donald Trump political genius is beginning to settle on the idea that all of this is just a Deep State conspiracy to bring him down. Now, in a sense this is effective messaging, I also think it’s something of a stopgap.

I say this because Linda Tripp, Lucianne Goldberg and Matt Drudge weren’t exactly pillars of objectivity when they concocted their plot to bring down Bill Clinton. Bill Clinton did, in fact, do something wrong and Donald Trump, too, has in fact done something wrong. He has done several Big Boy Crimes, in fact.

But when you’re desperate and involved in a total war against your political opponents, you try to spin anything that might help you with the base. Apparently there is some sort of connection between the whistleblower and a major Democratic candidate. If Trump did, in fact, do Big Boy Crimes, I don’t see how that is really of any concern. I guess they can say that what Trump released doesn’t prove anything and, lulz, fuck you.

Trump knows he has Moscow Mitch as his firewall, no matter what. So, I guess he really is going to get away with this and go full Mad King on us. I see no reason to think that this is the end of American democracy as we know it. Trump, in an effort to save himself, will break the back of the Constitution and that will be that. I will find myself in a re-education camp soon enough, never to be seen again.

As of right now, my only hope is Trump will do what he always does, which is self-own. In this case, his self-own is likely to be in the guise of going completely bonkers after he is formally impeached. But that’s debatable. The stakes could not be higher and the good guys don’t always win.

Republicans Are Desperate To Change The Narrative

Shelton Bumgarner

by Shelton Bumgarner

Now that we’re in the “total war” phase of the impeachment imbriglio, Rudy has been invited to testify before Lindsey Graham’s Senate Committee. What they want to do is spend as many hours as necessary to to the attention to the Bidens’ involvement in “corruption” in Ukraine.

I dunno.

If a Senate Democrat asks a pointed question, Rudy either flips out or Graham turns the guy’s mic off. There goal is to completely muddle the situation to such an extent that the average person “doesn’t know who to trust.”

Will it work? It has a good shot of doing so. Republicans have finally decided to go the gotterdammerung route and destroy everything in order to protect Trump. Either Democrats radicalize momentarily to do something about this, or they don’t.

Trump & Republicans Finally Have A Strategy: Total War

Shelton Bumgarner

by Shelton Bumgarner

Editor’s Note: If you LIKE the idea that the Republican Party is now a criminal fascist enterprise that wants to destroy the Republic, well, fuck you.

I have written about this strategy before. In more informal terms, this is the “Fuck you, see if you can convict me in the Senate” strategy. Trump simply hunkers down and refuses to budge on anything.

TrY AnD SeE If YoU CAn ConVICt Me.

They have also tried to suggest that what’s going on is a “Kangaroo Court” but that’s more base messaging than anything else. The base has no idea what a Kangaroo Court is, but it gives them something to throw about in a conversation to “own the moment.” Also, it’s just a Big Lie and Republicans have started to use it gratuitously in a desperate attempt to get the notion to stick.

He won’t let anyone testify. He won’t give over any documents. He whips up the base on Twitter and demands absolute devotion from Republicans. All things being equal, this is a smart strategy. Republicans have stuck with him this long through some pretty horrible things, so he has ever reason to believe they will continue to do so. Apparently the base is flipping out to 2016 levels which they were going to do anyway in 2020, so maybe they’ll just stay riled up until then.

The only weakness with this strategy are really more observations that the best laid plans of mice and tyrants don’t always go according to plan. One possible weakness is, as always, Trump himself. But he’s held up pretty well. He’s still cogent. He comes off as mad as hell, but not so bonkers that Republicans begin to feel nervous having to defend the indefensible.

Another potentially problematic aspect of this strategy is its extremely high stakes. These are the highest stakes possible. Trump risks radicalizing House Democrats to such an extent that they start to use inherent contempt knowing they will face only minimal blowback from the public. But given that Moscow Mitch has indicated that he will single handedly kill an impeachment trial in the Senate, I guess Trump figures it’s all worth it.

Once Trump is acquitted, then the Constitution is a dead letter and Trump is free to become the Putin-style tyrant he always wanted to be. Anyone who thinks we’ll be afforded the opportunity to “let the people decide” in a free-and-fair 2020 election should Trump still be in office is a fool.