And so we find ourselves waiting for the impeachment trial of one Donald John Trump, 45 president of the United States. Though there’s credible evidence that he was at least aware of Robert Hyde’s intentions to contact goons in Ukraine to physically harm Marie Yovanovitch in an effort to eliminate her as a problem for a corrupt Ukrainian prosecutor who promised Trump dirt on Joe Biden, the Right is more concerned about transgender athletes ruining the Olympics, so, lulz. With that in mind, I thought I would do something of a personal deep dive into the issues associated with the Trump’s Senate trial and its implications, no matter the outcome. Though Maggie “Trump Whisperer” Haberman of The New York Times thinks I’m just a hayseed rube, I need to get some things off my chest nonetheless.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi keeps mentioning the apocryphal comment by Benjamin Franklin about the nature of our newly established government. Well, Nancy, we couldn’t keep it. Though Trump is nothing more than a vessel for some pretty titanic macro forces in American political life, he’s accomplished his historical purpose — he’s a transitional figure that marks the end of the American Republic. I say this because it’s pretty obvious that a President Pence isn’t going to, like, put the tyrannical genie back in the bottle. President Pence is a Republican — an a homophobic theocrat at that — and as such he may very well keep much, if not all, of Trump’s team going forward. So, in a sense, not only will nothing change, but it will get worse because Pence is not a deranged lunatic but someone who will establish the conditions for someone like President Kooch to put me in an ICE Camp where I become just another victim of the coming American Killing Fields. I say this not as a form of hyperbole or some sort of Infowars level of bonkers conspiracy — all signs point to the existing ICE camp infrastructure being weaponized within 10 years, if not far sooner. They’ll first throw the homeless and mentally ill (to keep them safe and prevent gun violence) into the campus with undocumented immigrants and then, as I’ve mentioned, work their way up. Prove me wrong on this one, folks.
Either Trump is acquitted or he’s not. If he’s acquitted, then he pardons half a dozen high profile people, rants about the need for a Constitutional Convention to “pass a balanced budget amendment,” indicts another half dozen political opponents, and potentially is extremely brazen in his efforts to get the actual human beings who make up the Electoral College to vote for him. He could bribe them or dox them, you name it. And the only reason I’m not snatched in the middle of the night by ICE agents by about 2022 because of my anti-MAGA ranting online is Trump’s simply too incompetent to do the necessary governmental shenanigans to make it possible. It will still happen, but it may be the Cuccinelli or Kobach administrations that do it.
Meanwhile, if Trump is somehow miraculously convicted we will simply punt this same future down the road a few years. We can delay this dystopian future, but we can’t prevent it. I say this because between 2020 and 2040, we’re going to reach peek “Ok, Boomer.” We have to wait until the youngest of the angry old male Baby Boomers shuffle off this mortal plane on a macro level before the browning of America kicks in an AOC becomes a viable presidential candidate. Though, I think a more likely outcome is America in the 2040-2060 will likely be a toxic mixture of modern day Venezuela, Apartheid South Africa and Putin’s Russia. Though, given how rapidly the globe is warming, there’s a chance all we’re going to have some pretty rapid population movements that may change that dynamic in some pretty dramatic ways. Preventing our dystopian future would require a tragedy of such magnitude that if we were given the two options as a choice by God, we probably would be torn. Do we really want 20 million people to die in a limited nuclear exchange with the DPRK that we blame on Trump? Would that be worth it? Though, if you really wanted to be gratuitously sanguine, you might say if Trump goes so fucking bonkers that he collectively scares us so badly that we won’t elect Republicans president for a generation that might do the trick as well.
No matter what happens with Trump’s coming impeachment trial in the Senate, we’re in a new era. People will mark post-WWII America like this: 1945-1963, 1963-1973, 1973-1989, 1989-2001, 2001-2020. A liberal trope exists that we’re always just a few hours away from this or that otherwise normal event happening that will bring Trump down and everything will go back to normal. This is a result of both desperation and an unwillingness to admit that political tribalism and negative polarization have reached such extremes that Trump is now nothing less than an act of God.
He is completely immune from any sort of accountability. The only thing stopping him establishing an American Fourth Reich is he’s nothing more than a deranged version of Chauncy Gardner in Being There. As such, Trump is a transitional character in American political history. While I have no doubt he will call for a Constitutional Convention to “pass a balanced budget amendment” once he’s acquitted in the Senate, there’s a decent change he may simply turn into a mental puddle before can do it.
But once the idea is out there, it will one of his fascist white ethnostate advocating successors who finish the job. Such a Constitutional Convention will be sold to liberals as an opportunity to pass the ERA, but in reality it will be a Trojan Horse used to codified American Carnage into the Constitutional through a series of Enabling Acts. The ICE camp infrastructure will be weaponized and that will be that. Initially they’ll start with the homeless and the mentally ill and work their way up the political foodchain until the usual suspects of Jews and homosexuals (transgenders!) will be thrown into the camps as well. There will be American Killing Fields and people like me will get nothing more than our name etched on a monument at some point in the distant future — if ever.
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.
Editor’s Note:I kind of got worked up in this one. It was cathartic to rant, but I’m actually much calmer and ready for whatever might happen than this piece might suggest.
The two sides are beginning to gird their political loins for battle. Now until no later than right before Thanksgiving could be pretty lit. I can this because apparently Bill “Q” Barr is hurriedly wrapping up this bullshit report that will prove that Trump was “right” all along about his fucking InfoWars bullshit conspiracy theory that somehow it was Democrats in conjunction with the Ukrainians who “framed” him on the matter of his collusion with the Russians as part of the 2016 election.
A number of things may happen in quick succession. Chris Wallace and Maggie Haberman scream at the top of their lungs that Trump’s been proven to be a political “genius” yet again and huzzah! the Thousand Year Trump has finally been established. Don Jr. will be touted as our Crown Prince. Trump will pardon Manafort and Flynn. Trump will signed an EO ending birthright citizenship and he’ll make a calling a Constitutional Convention the centerpiece of his 2020 re-election campaign. At some point in Trump’s second administration I simply stop posting to this blog because an ICE agent will knock on my door and pistol whip me. MAGA will gloat that the “cleansing” of America has begun and all those industrious, God fearing red necks in rural Alabama will pick up the economic slack for the heathen Hollywood types who have left the country for good. If you read this and say to yourself, “Wow, that sound GREAT!” Please, please eat shit. Fuck off, you piece of trash human being.
Now, let me collect my thoughts. There is another option. Bill Barr’s report is, in fact, a bombshell, but it doesn’t do what it’s intended to do — distract Maggie Haberman. It just makes people man. Really mad. Bill Barr has a pretty serious vested interest in pulling bullshit out of his ass on this issue and even if he has “proof” of this fucking insane conspiracy, Trump’s criming on the issue of Ukraine doesn’t just suddenly go away. But I guess that’s not the point — MAGA simply wants something to talk about instead of what a piece of shit our president is.
On a more serious note, pretty much Republicans are going to lie, cheat, hurt people, do whatever they have to do in their last gasp effort to protect the Dear Leader. They will be so hysterical — especially if Barr’s bullshit report doesn’t do what they think it will — that they’re pretty much going to be eager to burn the whole country down to prove their point. Nothing will be off bounds. Nothing.
One other crucial aspect of all of this is Trump’s mental state. I am beginning to think that while he’s going to be generally more erratic, he’s not going to actually snap like I thought it might. If he does snap, it’s more likely to be sometime between now the middle of his second (third?) term. By that point, Don Jr will be the Crown Prince and I’ll be dead in an ICE camp ditch, so lulz.
I have no idea what exactly will happen, but I do suspect we’re in for a few weeks of unprecedented instability.
The only reason why I rant against MAGA asshats on this blog these days is I get the sense from my Web traffic that a small portion of my microscopic audience comes from MAGA people spooging their pants at my dire worst case scenario pontification. There’s not much I can do but just tell them to fuck off and eat shit. You’re such a partisan that you actually want Trump to put people like me in an ICE Camp and murder me then, well, what more can I say but fuck of you piece of shit.
One thing I’ve seen up-close and personal by using Periscope over the years is there are some pretty fucking insane MAGA people. The vast majority of Periscope users seem to be MAGA dead-enders who should they see Trump murder me in cold blood would lulz it and say “at least they don’t have an Obama phone.” After the “poor optics” of Mueller’s testimony to Congress, these asshats gloated over Trump’s victory. That Trump would use this political victory to turn around and do the exact same thing within 24 hours apparently was lost on them.
The thing about many MAGA shitheads is they confuse a lack of political will with a lack of crimes on Trump’s part. So, what I fear will happen is at some point between now and Thanksgiving, a Barr Report will be released which somehow manages to implicate people like John Brennan in some sort of far-reaching conspiracy involving Ukraine, the Democrats and Crowstrike. These MAGA loyalists will cackle as Maggie Haberman or Chris Wallace say politically impeachment is dead in the water and, by the way, John Brennan, call your lawyer.
Given how dumb the conspiracy that Trump apparently believes actually is, what specifically the Barr Report will say is a struggle for me to imagine. But he’s going full speed ahead with it. The point is to so muddle the conversation about impeachment that we’re all debating the merits — or lack thereof — of the Barr Report and not all the very public criming Trump has done. So, really, Barr probably doesn’t have to do all that much. Any conversation that House Republicans are having about the bullshit findings of the Barr Report is a conversation they’re not having about Trump being criminally incompetent.
Or, more broadly, I think the issue for Twitter liberals is the Republican Party is SUCH a bad faith actor on an existential level that they are going to fight dirty. They are going to lie. They are going to cheat. They are going to get so wrapped up in their overwrought, overheated messaging of the MAGA base that they completely and totally lose sight that some idiot, somewhere will take their messaging seriously AND literally and someone who opposes House Trump is going to get hurt. I really, really, really, hope I’m wrong on this one. I want to beat House Trump on strictly a political level.
I honestly don’t know what’s going to happen at this point. There’s no ready endgame for impeachment. It could still go either way. Things have stabilized a little bit in the last few days, enough for me there may be some pretty big “HOLY SHIT” moments between now and the end of the year. What they might be, I have no idea.
But I am beginning to think Trump might not be as thrilled about being impeached by the House as Maggie Haberman would have me to believe in her soothing tweets she writes on this matter. I would go so far as to suggest that if, despite the Barr Report, Trump is still in danger of even being impeached, some pretty dark shit is going to happen because Republicans will suddenly realize what has always happened in the past is not going to happen this time.
Trump is going to, in fact, face some political consequences for being a moronic tyrant.
I just don’t know. I just don’t know how things are going to work out. Trump is apparently going to release another “transcript” on Tuesday (tomorrow) and that could be a series of FUD mindfucking on the part of House Trump to throw political roadblocks in the way of impeachment.
If Barr does fancy himself Q, then there will be two potential reactions. Either his bullshit works — again — or it doesn’t. If it doesn’t, then buckle up. House Trump is going to flip the fuck out in some pretty astonishing ways.
We have to begin this gut wrenching discussion with the obvious — in real terms, if what I fear might happens, happens, it will be one of the biggest political fuck ups on the part of an American party since the end of the Civil War. There simply is no way to weasel your way out of it — if there’s any type of anti-impeachment violence, Republicans — and Trump — are ultimately going to be blamed.
But, let’s move forward.
The issue right now is I just can’t speculate what the anti-impeachment violence will be. It could be anything from harm of some sort befalling the Whistleblower to a car bomb exploding somewhere like Times Square. But let’s go with something simple — the Whistleblower’s identity becomes so well know within the batshit insane MAGA echo chamber that someone decides to hurt him.
And, for the sake of argument, let’s say this happens sooner rather than later so Trump still has his marbles. But maybe it happens late enough that while there isn’t a direct link between Trump’s Twitter ranting and what happens, it’s pretty clear he established the conditions for it to happen. So things are still a bit nebulous.
The first thing would be the entire nation would come to a screeching halt for about 24 hours. For just around 24 hours, the nation would for once be on the same page: HOLY SHIT.
But this wouldn’t last very long. Once we began to process what happened, the two sides would be at each other’s throats again. MAGA Republicans would trade their hysterical rhetoric over the Whistleblower for hysterical rhetoric about how this unprecedented example of political violence is absolute proof that we “have to let the people decide” in 2020 instead continuing with the impeachment process.
In reality, this would be more about simply punting the debate over the criminal incompetence of Trump back into the political sphere and out of the “OH MY GOD, TRUMP GOT SOMEONE MURDERED” sphere. The usual suspects would pop out to message the base or carry water for House Trump. Hugh Hewitt would say Democrats are to blame because they should not have attempted to impeach Trump in the first place. House Republicans would scream at the top of their lungs that Rep. Adam Schiff should be charged as an accessory to murder. The New York Times‘ Maggie Haberman would coo that Trump was a political genius for getting someone murdered.
Now, remember, this is just the first 24 hours. The whole issue of a funeral would have to be addressed. Then there would likely be an epic battle over who would speak at the funeral and why. My personal belief is that the populist rage of Twitter would burst into a supernova when the shock wore off and people realized what Trump’s hysterical and bombastic rhetoric had done.
Remember, the reason why Trump is so very, very stupid on a political level is right now the true backbone of his support is simple apathy. The vast majority of the populace is not on Twitter and is too busy raising their kids and paying their mortgage to care, in real terms, what Trump may or may not have done. The moment they a shocked out of their stupor by such un-American political violence, all bets are off.
I mean, the only thing I can think of that would possible force the hand of the living ex presidents would be something like anti-impeachment violence. Say what you will about Bill Clinton’s personal life, but I suspect he would be able to give a barn burner of a eulogy in such a situation.
So, the moment the funeral was over, Trump — who is completely devoid of human empathy — would go back to his old bullshit games. But I think his political fate would be sealed. While MAGA House Republicans would continue to caterwaul, in the end, Trump would be convicted by the Senate.
I still do not think anything like this is going to happen. It’s just so out of the American experience for there to be political violence. And, really, while I do think it’s inevitable that the Whistleblower will be “kavanaughed” by Republicans with great gusto as impeachment proceedings progress, I still am not prepared to accept in real terms that anyone on their side will go beyond that.
One thing I see a lot among Twitter liberals is the idea that there is some logical argument that would trap Republicans into — on a political level — agreeing to remove Trump from office at some point in the future. Alas, this is not at all the case.
Republicans are such bad-faith political actors at this point that Trump is going to get acquitted quite easily no matter what any other political considerations may indicate. Not only is Trump going to be “unbound” the moment the Senate acquits him, even under the best of scenarios the moment a Democrat is sworn in as president he or she is going to be impeached in just over two years.
Let’s unpack this.
So, the first issue is Trump is going to go full tyrant the moment he’s acquitted. There will be no free-and-fair election in 2020. He will do everything in his power to cheat in an extremely brazen manner because, lulz, we’re supposed to “let the people decide in 2020.” Those people will be either plutocrats in America or Russians in Moscow. The only thing stopping Trump from immediately ordering ICE to round up people like me and murdering us in Killing Fields in, say, upstate New York, is he’s criminally incompetent.
Should something happen miraculously to allow a Democrat to become president in 2021, the Republicans will plot to impeach that president the moment they likely regain power in the House in 2022. They will be so quick to do it, they will likely have Articles drawn up by the time Election Night is over. The Republican Party is really the MAGA Party now and they will stop at nothing to ruin any Democratic president because, well, by definition they’re not legitimate in their eyes.
As I keep saying there are really only two known unknowns that might throw us a curve ball
Trump’s Reaction To Impeachment I don’t really want our nation to go through this type of crisis, but if Trump snaps mentally in some sort of explosive manner then that old House Trump may at least be delayed in its founding. This is a real wild card going forward. In real terms, House Trump’s best bet is Trump survives mentally until some point in his second term. Trump’s replacement for Pence — Kris Kobach or Tom Cotton or whatever young, passionate fascist he dregs up from the sewers of hate — will be the one to finally found The Thousand Year Trump. America will be a nation of “blood and soil” not of ideas and, like, I said, the ICE camp system will be weaponized and, well, sucks to be me.
Anti-Impeachment Violence From MAGA This is another real wild card. It could happen suddenly and take us all off guard in a major way. After about 24 hours of The New York Times’ Maggie Haberman saying this OF COURSE means the impeachment process has to end, the exact opposite thing will happen and that will be that.
I really, really, really don’t want either one of these things to happen, however. I want to defeat Trump on strictly political grounds, come what may.
Trump is a moron. If he really was all that smart, he would flood the zone with corruption and sit back and wait. Instead of stonewalling, he would open the floodgates. Release his taxes. Let everyone testify. Release the unredacted Mueller Report.
This would so overwhelm House Democrats that they would spend months investigating all of this. They would be pushed into the primary season and people would just say at some point, “Let the people decide.”
Trump would then be effectively politically pardoned AGAIN. He could become even more brazen. He gets re-elected through criminal means. Yeah, the 2020 election would be an American Brexit at this point, but all he cares about is getting into his second term. Once he’s in his second term, his new Veep Kris Kobach (or whatever young, passionate fascist he picks to replace Pence) will establish the Thousand Year Trump. Don Jr. eventually becomes president and we have Trumps for the next twenty years.
Though Trump could just name Don Jr. his veep for 2020 and cut out the middle man. That really would establish The Thousand Year Trump.
But Trump’s an idiot. He’s nothing more than a deranged version of Being There’s Chauncey Gardner. He’s going to be acquitted by the Senate unless something extra-political happens and it backfires.
I had a minor tempest-in-a-teapot run-in on Twitter with The New York Time’s Trump Whisperer Maggie Haberman. She sniffed – in so many words — that I was a hayseed rube in a flyover state who did not know how REAL journalism was practiced. It says a lot about my personal relationship to power I have a lingering resentment over this little minor event. It’s not like I have any recourse. She’s got fame, ACCESS, power and the respect of her peers.
All I got is a novel I’m trying to write.
Anyway, the whole point of that was to bring up something I feel Haberman gets so very, very, very wrong about Trump. Trump is a doofus. He’s a moron. Something is mentally wrong with him and he lacks any sense of empathy. As Benjamin Wittes of the Lawfare blog quipped once, Trump’s “ambivalence is only mitigated by his incompetence.” Trump won the political lottery of a lifetime. Someone like him was probably going to pop up between 2016 and 2024 do to macro socio-economic trends in the United States. Trump just happened to the would-be president of Sharknato who happened to jump in at just the moment.
You could, of course, make the case that Trump got a little help from his Russian friends along the way. But in real terms, just won because of dumb fucking luck.
Haberman and her fellow access journalists simply can not process that Trump is simply a doofus — nothing more than a deranged version of Being There’s Chauncey Gardner. They probably feel that if they accept that Trump is just a very lucky Right Wing celebrity Twitter troll then their own investment in their person ascent to power is somehow invalidated. They have a vested interest in making me believe that Trump’s latest clusterfuck is really him subtly messing white women ages 24-35 in the exurbs of Phillie.
There’s no there there when it comes to Trump’s acumen. Yeah, he’s an adept marking and branding guy. And he has a celebrity’s knack for knowing an intended audience. But to suggest he has some sort of native political acumen is an insult to my intelligence.
One need go no further than what’s going on at this very moment. Trump is such a fucking moron that he not only waited 24 hours to do the exact same thing that Mueller’s poor “optics” in front of Congress pardoned him for, he bragged about it on the very phone call! Then was so clueless that instead of slow walking the release of the damaging information until sometime early next year, he releases it so House Democrats had time to find their backbones and start the impeachment process with time to spare before the ever-critical 2020 primaries.
Trump is so stupid on a political level that instead of taking the L with impeachment and laughing all the way to acquittal in the Senate, he is actively doing everything in his power to produce the conditions for his fate being decided by extra-political means. By this I mean anti-impeachment violence. Of course, that problem goes hand in hand with the real likelihood he’s going to snap on a mental level at some point during the impeachment process.
So, Maggie Haberman, spare me the ever-so-serious tweets about Trump’s fucking political genius. He’s a doofus and your willingness to trade access for any semblance of journalistic independence is enough to make me smirk whenever I hear one of your peers tout your journalistic abilities.
Bill Barr continues to be very, very quiet. I can only assume he’s going to wait until just the right moment to hand down a slew of criminal referrals that “prove” Trump’s fucking batshit insane Ukraine-Democrat conspiracy theory as the “real” origin of the Mueller investigation.
Trump’s obsession with this fucking bonkers conspiracy theory is yet another reason why we have to begin to accept that while Trump may not be an actual Russian agent, he sure is damn close to one. All I got is his needs and the needs of the Russian government overlap so well — and he’s a very dumb and greedy fucktard — that he really, really wants an excuse to pardon both Manafort and Flynn. What he would get out of this, I don’t know.
The real issue is — how successful would Barr doing this be? Probably initially, it would do exactly House Trump wants it to do — change the media narrative. But after about 24 hours of Maggie Haberman cooing about the political genius of House Trump, it would begin to sink in what an astonishing abuse of power this is.
I say this only because I’m slowly beginning to believe the impeachment train has left the station. I say this in the sense that this isn’t going down like the Mueller Report. We have Trump dead-t0-rights on impeachable behavior. So all the road blocks Trump threw in the path of the impeachment process would not likely work as well as House Trump might believe.
Growing numbers of people are so angry at Trump that the momentum is there to at least impeach him. I still think strictly on a political level, he’s going to be acquitted. But we’ve just started this process. Things are likely to grow extremely surreal on any number of levels before we finally find out Trump’s fate.
But I don’t know what’s going to happen. I still can’t get a handle on the endgame in any meaningful manner. It’s anybody’s ballgame at this point.