Republicans Have No Shame & Crave Power For Power’s Sake

Shelton Bumgarner

by Shelton Bumgarner
@bumgarls

I’m not feeling so great about the chances that Trump will be convicted in the Senate. I say this because Republican defenses for Trump right now are pretty much just, “You don’t like our politics, fuck you.” So, all the Twitter liberals you attempt to use any fact-based logic with fucking fucktwit Republicans are wasting their time. Republicans are such cult that the moment a Democrat ever happens to be president again, they will impeach him or her the moment they have the power to do so. They will want to prove the point and also take some of the sigma away from being impeached so Trump doesn’t look so bad.

Not that I think there will ever be another Democrat president the way things are going. The dystopia is here. The bad guys have won. For the autocrat, all that matters is remaining in power. Everything else is a lulz. So we could have Trump dead-to-rights (which we do) and he will be acquitted and turn around and do the exact same thing. He will grow even more brazen to such an extent that election 2020 will be American Brexit. The whole thing will be such a massive clusterfuck — that Trump will win in the end — that it will be pretty self-evident our democracy, our Republic, is dead.

Trump will push for a Constitutional Convention at some point in his second term and I will promptly be “vanished” by a weaponized ICE.

Now, having said all that, there are still a few issues that I simply don’t know how they will play out. Trump’s mental state is getting worse and Republicans are so bloodthirsty on a rhetorical level that some pretty tragic things may happen when someone takes them both seriously and literally. Those two issues might be the things that bring down Trump at some point.

And, really, if you are MAGA reading this because my worst case scenario is your best case scenario — you’re a piece of shit.

But I think while it is exciting and interesting to see the impeachment process take place, we have to prepare ourselves for the absolute worst. MAGA will start murdering people in cold blood soon enough. Those of us lucky to be able to leave the country when that starts to happen will do so.

Impeachment’s Endgame Will Be Messy

Shelton Bumgarner

by Shelton Bumgarner
@bumgarls

I just don’t see any clear-cut end to the impeachment process. Now, I’m not saying this doesn’t mean Trump won’t be impeached. And I’m not saying there isn’t at least a growing chance he won’t be convicted (somehow.)

But what I am saying is the macro trend in the United States is towards authoritarianism, fascism, plutocracy and theocracy. So, first, let’s look at it from the Republican side.

We’re reached a point where Republicans will have gotten their strategic goals for the near term, no matter what happens. They’ve gotten their plutocrat tax cuts and they’ve gotten their young hack MAGA judges. Thus, even if Trump is somehow miraculously removed from office, it will, in real terms, be only a symbolic victory for the center-Left. We still have a solid 20 years before the youngest of the Baby Boomers begin to drop dead and the Browning of America really begins to have a demographic — and political — impact.

Remember, if Pence becomes president, there’s a non-zero chance that while he’s a more traditional pol, he won’t get rid of Barr and he won’t get rid of Pompeo. Though the latter is likely to quit simply to run for Senator. Lulz! Pence will simple sugarcoat the fascism of Trump with a thin veneer of norm-respecting and theology. He’ll wait until just after he wins the presidency in his own right and then pardon Trump. Pence will assume that voters will have calmed down by the time he runs again in 2024.

But let’s look at it another way –what happens if the center-Left gets its best case scenario and, say, Nancy Pelosi becomes president? Republicans will use their plutocrat tax cut to demand we gut the social safety net at a minimum and may even use it as a bludgeon to get a Constitutional Convention to “to pass a balanced budget amendment.” So, in real terms, we would probably have just at about a year before Republicans win not only the presidency, but the House. Then we’re right back where we started from.

As I’ve said before, in a sense, our best case scenario might be either Nikki Haley or even Ivanka Trump becoming president because their far more likely to at least allow a free-and-fair election in 2020. And, if the economy goes south, they will get the blame, not the Democrats. But, remember, if a Democrat becomes president in 2020, they will likely have just about two years before the Republicans take the House and turn around and impeachment for simply not being MAGA.

The point of all of this is manage people’s expectations. We’re in for a bumpy few months, no matter what. And there’s a really good chance Trump will escape political justice AGAIN and he’ll go full Hitler if he somehow manages not to go insane.

Republicans Are Wading Into Possible Defeat Friday With Marie Yovanovitch’s Congressional Testimony

Shelton Bumgarner

by Shelton Bumgarner
@bumgarls

If there’s any justice in this world, at some point very soon Marie Yovanovitch will be named Secretary of State. Given all the misogynistic criminal bullshit she’s had to go through, it would be a great way for her to cap off her long years of public service. But generally the world sucks and the badguys win, so I don’t see that happening.

But tomorrow (Friday) she’s supposed to testify in the impeachment proceedings. Apparently her closed-door testimony was rather emotional at times. As such, there’s a chance that NBC News will get the theatrics it feels are necessary for anyone to care. If the woman breaks down into tears a few times and Republicans are completely oblivious to it the optics of that will be less than optimal for House Trump. It will only get far, far worse for them when they rant on FOX News that we can’t take her as a credible witness because she was too emotional. THAT will go over well with white women in the exurbs of Philadelphia ages 35 to 42.

Yet, I think tomorrow may be something of a battle royale in more ways than one. Republicans probably want a few political wins going into the Sunday morning political shows and as such may pull of some stunts to explode the hearings. Nothing is off the table. They may finally get their craven wish to out the whistleblower. Anything is possible.

I keep saying I can’t predict the future and this is no different.

A Darkness At Noon

We are so fucked.
Shelton Bumgarner

by Shelton Bumgarner
@bumgarls

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.

Sen. Lindsey Graham Is Desperate To ‘Kavanaugh’ The Trump Whistleblower

Shelton Bumgarner

By Shelton Bumgarner
@bumgarls

The darkly comical thing about Republicans is they are so craven that they give the plot away in what they accuse their opposition of doing. One can often get a lot of insight into the Republican fascist mind in the crazy things they accuse Democrats of doing. If they have this or that bonkers thing at the forefront of their minds, then you get the sense that THEY are they ones who want to do that. It’s almost a dog whistle to the base. In a sense, they’re saying, “Don’t worry, fam, we got you.”

Anyway, it’s interesting how completely fucking obsessed Sen. Lindsey Graham is with outing the whistleblower long after much — if not all — of what was in the original complaint has been confirmed. Given that Republicans like Graham are so deeply bad faith in anything they say or do, every argument they are giving for why they so desperately want the whistleblower’s name to be common knowledge is total and complete bullshit.

The reason — they crave the opportunity to “kavanaugh” the whistleblower as one of several last-ditch efforts to prevent Trump from even being impeached. They want the entire country to look at everything the guy has done in his entire life instead of all the very public criming that Trump has done over last 40 odd years. They were impressed with how effective the character-based argument were against Kavanaugh and they want the opportunity to do it to the whisleblower to prove a political point. In their instance, they want to switch out their own losing fact argument for simply making everyone talk about the whistleblower’s equivalent of Squee, “boofing” and Beach Week.

That Republicans like Graham are essentially hanging all of their hopes on this strategy is rather bonkers, surreal and tragic. I’m not saying it won’t work. There’s a good chance it will. But there’s also a good chance that if they go all-in on destroying the whistleblower for daring to sound the alarm over the Dear Leader’s criminal activity, things may get out of control and, well, dun dun dun.

Graham and the rest of the Republican Trump sycophants won’t miss a beat, of course. Within 24 hours of the whatever Very Bad Thing happens because of their own overheated and overwrought political rhetoric they will have talking points written up for the MAGA sheep to graze on. They will include:

Democrats have to stop the impeachment process immediately, people are getting hurt.

House Democrats are at fault for starting the impeachment process and some of them should be charged for “involvement” in the incident.

Blah, blah, blah, let the people decide, blah, blah, blah

There might even be even more slinging of civil war talk at this point as, well.

The Dear Leader

The point is, Republicans are so absolutely devoted not to their party, but to Donald Trump on a personal level and Trump is nothing more than a deranged version of Being There’s Chauncey Gardner, they setting themselves up for having to defend the absolutely indefensible. They will gleefully do it because, lulz, democracy and human decency are for low-T betas, amiright?

How confident am I that this absolute worst case scenario may happen? Not very. But there is a greater-than-zero sum chance something along these lines may happen as Graham continues to bang the drum to out the whistleblower.


Impeachment Has Turned Republicans Into Fascist Radicals On A Rhetorical Level

History doesn’t repeat, but it does rhyme.
Shelton Bumgarner

by Shelton Bumgarner
@bumgarls

Well, one thing’s for sure, no matter what the outcome of the impeachment process, the political hangover is going to be a bitch. MAGA Republicans were already a hysterical lynch mob before this all happened. The process of impeachment is turning them into fascist radicals completely devoid of decency and absolutely dedicated to destroying the Republic in the name of power and greed.

You know what I can compare it to? The old JMU urban legend about a group of friends sitting around drinking when someone confesses that they stole the personalized New York State licence tags off someone’s car. They, being from Virginia, think its a lulz. The person at the party who learns this, being from New York State is enraged because of how expensive the tags are. This leads to a huge fight.

The same with Republicans. Trump stole America’s personalized licence tags and Republicans want to lulz it. They see democracy as solely as a means to an end. Everyone else, meanwhile, is like, “Holy shit!” So, if what Republicans hope happens — Bill Barr successfully plays the part of Q, or whatever — doesn’t happen, they are likely to grow so worked up rhetorically that they damage themselves politically for a generation. Let me quickly qualify that statement — the Republican Party ain’t going no where. They’re bad faith political actors on an institutional level and they’re base is cool with that. They are so radicalized, so criminal, so fascist, that they honestly do think a fascist theocratic state would be an “improvement” over the Godless transgender one we now have (in their eyes.)

Macro, systemic issues caused Trump’s election and they’re only getting worse, not better. We have a solid 20-ish years before the youngest of the Baby Boomers begin to drop dead just as the Browning of America begins to kick in. Throw in, like, Florida vanishing into the sea, and there are some major things that are likely to cause Republicans political problems in the coming decades. But they’ve been aware of this since at least 1974. Trump just happens to be the moron at the right place and time to make their plot against American democracy a reality.

But let me be clear — the best case scenario for non-hysterical Americans is simply the context of this clusterfuck is a bit different. Ford BARELY lost the 1976 election after giving a full and complete pardon to Nixon. Barely. It was a razor thin defeat. So, it’s very possible that we could get rid of Trump politically and either Pence wins the presidency in his own right or some batshit insane racist fucktard like Tom Cotton, Kris Kobach, Don Jr or Tucker Carlson does the same thing in 2020.

I still think that in a surreal way, our best case scenario might be a president Ivanka Trump. She’s such a doofus that not only would the MAGA base be happy, but she’s probably so ill-equipped to be president that she wouldn’t be able to conspire with a foreign power to throw the election. She would effectively be a caretaker president who would take the blame if the economy went south, giving Democrats what they needed to win the presidency.

Remember, though, the clock would be ticking for any Democratic president sworn in on Jan. 20, 2020. They would have just over 2 years before Republicans would impeach them to make a political point. Republicans after Trump is somehow magically removed from office will be out for blood. They are going to lie in wait until they can strike and cause as much damage to a Democrat president as possible. Republicans have no shame. They will gleefully be huge hypocrites if it means they can bounce back into the White House in 2025.

But I’m getting way ahead of myself.

Even simply impeaching Trump at this point is still up in the air. It will be interesting to see how things play out.

Tough Love For Twitter Liberals About The Current State Of The Impeachment Process

Darkness falls.
Shelton Bumgarner

by Shelton Bumgarner
@bumgarls

If you’re MAGA reading this from the Deep South and you think my worst case scenario is your best case scenario — please eat shit. Fuck off, you piece of shit MAGA traitor.

Trump’s going to be acquitted. In fact, to be brutally honest, given that Trump does NOT want to be impeached, there’s a pretty good chance he won’t even be formally impeached.

Here’s why.

Bill Barr is lurking around, waiting to pounce. He’s likely to finally release his “anti-Mueller Report” just around Thanksgiving. As of right now, formal impeachment is set for sometime around Christmas. So, if past is preface, Barr plays the part of Q. He drops a big turd in the impeachment punch bowl. The press spends a week debating the merits of his totally bullshit report. Everyone begins to fear that John Brennan is going to be indicted. We’re so busy thinking about this totally surreal and nonsensical report — even if it appears to be backed up by “facts” — that the momentum for even impeachment fades and Trump escapes.

I say this quite sincerely because Trump is going to turn into a very moronic, very deranged Sun King at this point. He’s going to become so brazen after escaping justice AGAIN that it will be pretty obvious by no later than, say, February that there will NOT be a free-and-fair election in 2020. And pretty much everyone is going to stand around and watch it happen, too. Trump may “end” birthright citizenship via Executive Order. He may make rumblings about the absolute need for a Constitutional Convention to “pass a balanced budget amendment.”

The first part of his second term will be calling a snap Constitutional Convention and codifying American Carnage. Don Jr. will be America’s doofus Crown Prince. We’re going to be little more than Putin’s bitch. Tyranny will finally descend upon across America. Liberal-progressives in Hollywood will bounce from the country altogether and many in New York City and Silicon Valley may do the same. The ICE Camps will be weaponized and people like me will be “vanished.” We’ll simply not be around anymore. The ICE Camps will grow ever larger with not just scary brown people, but people like me.

I would note, however, in passing, that I can’t predict the future. The MAGA Right is growing extremely hysterical in its overheated, overwrought rhetoric. Things have stabilized enough for the time being that my initial fears of Trump finally losing his mind completely or there being significant anti-impeachment violence on the part of shithead MAGA people are beginning to subside.

So, in essence, I think by no later than Thanksgiving, the Mueller Playbook will kick in and a lot of liberal-progressives will scream at the top of their lungs that Trump was supposed to be impeached….and nothing actually happened. I used to think the impeachment train had left the station, but I’m beginning to doubt even that.

This week may be a big test of my predicting abilities. If we can make it through this week without the air completely draining from the impeachment balloon, then we’re in the clear…until next week. The bullshit Barr Report looms large in all of this. This week is also the first week where I’m growing a little bit more concerned about anti-impeachment violence on the part of MAGA. I only say this because their daily 2 minutes of hate is now completely focused on outing the Whistleblower and no good can come of that.

Who knows.

Debunking MAGA’s Bullshit Impeachment Defenses Of Trump

LeT THe PeOPLe DeCiDE
Shelton Bumgarner

by Shelton Bumgarner
@bumgarls

So, here are the bullshit defenses of Trump I’ve seen on Twitter of late. All of them are really attempts to message the base. We’ll see how successful they are.

“No Due Process”
This defense muddles the rights someone has in a criminal case with what the Constitution affords a politician in the strictly political process of impeachment. They mix and match pieces of the Constitution to conflate things in the minds of the public. By definition, impeachment is a political process and as such, the whole thing is really basically partisan — especially in this era of extreme political tribalism and identity politics.

“Political Death Penalty”
This defense says that while what Trump did was bad, it wasn’t bad enough for the “political death penalty” of conviction in the Senate. This is complete and total bullshit because of what Trump is credibly accused of doing — not only trying to give himself political cover to pardon Paul Manafort and Mike Flynn, but to get dirt on Joe Biden to use against him in the 2020 campaign. What’s worse, Trump didn’t even want the dirt, he just wanted a public announcement on the part of the Ukrainians that they were looking into Biden. Trump remaining in office through the 2020 election doesn’t actually give me much confidence that there would be free-and-fair elections.

“Partisan Witch Hunt”
This is defense is bullshit because the facts are that Trump did, in fact, do what he’s accused of doing. What’s more Bill Clinton was impeached in large part because of an actual partisan conspiracy on the part of Linda Tripp, Lucianne Goldberg and Matt Drudge and Bill Clinton was impeached because of it, though not convicted. Two things can both be true — a lot of people hate Trump and Trump did, in fact, do something that warrants his impeachment and removal from office.

“Let The People Decide”
This defense goes hand in hand with the “bad but not worth impeachment, much less conviction” defense. This is complete bullshit because Trump’s proven that he loves, loves, loves to meddle in elections and if he’s politically pardoned again, he’s going to grow so brazen and emboldened that there won’t be any stopping his re-election by any means necessary. Which, of course, is pretty much what the person who uses this dumb defense actually really wants.

Republicans Are Bad Faith Political Actors On An Institutional Level

Republicans are bad faith political actors.
Shelton Bumgarner

by Shelton Bumgarner
@bumgarls

I’m growing more confident in my view that Trump will ultimately be acquitted by the Senate. The “what he did was bad but not THAT bad” line will begin to take traction and the rest will take care of itself. We’ll be lucky to get a 50-50 tie.

Now, there are different reactions to this almost near-inevitability.

MAGA: They will see it as final confirmation that they are above the law. They are finally free of any political constraints. Trump will grow extremely brazen in his authoritarian actions. We won’t have a free-and-fair election in 2020. At some point in Trump’s second term, he begins to demand a Constitutional Convention to pass a balance budget amendment, and it goes rouge. American Carnage is codified in the Constitution, the Thousand Year Trump is founded and sometime about 2023 people like me are “vanished.” I am sent to a ICE camp and shot dead at some point. Luz?

Biden Democrats: They will somehow continue to fool themselves that everything is still normal. They will want to reach across the aisle to get things done. Republicans will laugh in their face. The macro problems in the country that impeachment accelerated will come to a head. In the end, the Biden Democrats will likely suffer the most when ICE camps are weaponized.

The point is, I would rather go down fighting and on a politically honest level than meekly give up and let Trump do what he’s going to do anyway. The only thing to date that has stopped use from becoming a Russia-style “managed democracy” has been that Trump is criminally incompetent. He will remain so, but he’s finally getting to the point that he understands how to abuse power more effectively.

Republicans are bad faith political actors, full stop. They’re little more than old school fascists. They see democracy as nothing more than a means to an end — obtaining and keeping power and obtaining as much money as possible as quickly as possible. They’re willing to say any lie, break any law and ultimately hurt anyone they have to hurt to do this. In hindsight, the Republicans are pretty obvious marks for the Russians — they are so blinded by absolute greed that they don’t even think about how accepting money from Russians is a betrayal of their country. It doesn’t even enter their minds.

As I keep saying, there are two “known unknowns.”

Trump’s mental state
If he finally snaps in a really public manner, then his acquittal in the Senate grows more debatable. I’m beginning to think this is just my own liberal fever dream in the midterm. He may go nuts, but I think he’ll be able to survive until his second term. House Trump will be so brazen by that point that Don Jr. may be the Crown Prince Veep. When Trump finally goes bonkers, Don Jr. becomes Emperor, er…President, and away we go.

Anti-Impeachment Violence
This is another thing I simply don’t know what to expect. We’ve reached enough of a stabilization in the situation that I’m beginning to think — thankfully — that such violence is unlikely. There may be some “false flag” attempts at violence on MAGA’s part, but overall I think we’re reasonably safe on that front.

So, I would say the real issue is to what extent does House Trump alienate progressive-liberals in Hollywood that they begin to leave the country en mass. Silicon Valley is probably much safer on that front. But a lot of very productive people are center-Left, so it’s possible that when ICE starts to shoot us in the back of the head, the people who can leave, will leave.

Some Sobering Words For Twitter Liberals

Shelton Bumgarner

by Shelton Bumgarner
@bumgarls

On a basic political level, we have to accept that Trump is going to be acquitted by the Senate. He will grow even more brazen between then and the 2020 election. It will not be a free-and-fair election. And, really, the only things that will stop him from going full fascist will be his own criminal incompetence.

But that’s not even really an issue because he just has to get into his second term. Once that’s happened, even if he finally goes batshit insane, whatever young, passionate fascist he picks to replace Pence will establish The Thousand Year Trump and for at least the next 20 to 30 years American Carnage will turn America into the Far Right’s dream. Plutocrats will run the country even more than they already do. ICE Camps will be weaponized and people such as myself will be “disappeared.” Any hope that we have of returning to the America I grew up in will have to wait until the youngest of the Baby Boomers die off and the Browning of America kicks in. Even then, the fascist state could linger for decades until a Nelson Mandela type figure arises that rights the ship of state, at last.

If you see this worst case scenario as your best case scenario, please, on a personal level fuck off. Eat shit. Fuck you and the horse you road in on.

The issue is, everyone has to drop the facade about what’s going no. Republicans are not dealing in good faith in any way. They live in abject terror of Trump’s Twitter feed. There are systemic, structural problems at the heart of our government (and at least one) of our major political parties. These issues are not going to be fixed anytime soon, no matter what happens. It doesn’t help that the press is apparently completely oblivious to what’s going on and continue to believe that Republicans are acting in good faith, when in, fact, it’s quite obvious they aren’t and haven’t been for some time. They crave power for power’s sake. They have an absolute lust for money. There’s no stopping them in this quest for at least the next 20 years. Even if they lose in the short term, they will win in the long term.

Having said all that, it’s rather tragic that the only scenarios I can think of whereby we don’t turn into a Russian-style “managed democracy” the moment after Trump is acquitted in the Senate all involve some pretty batshit insane — and in real terms, unpredictable and unwanted — events.

I mean, I don’t really want Trump to snap mentally in a very public manner. I certainly don’t him to go transactional with his Twitter feed to such an extent that people start to get hurt.

I’m just noting in passing that some combination of those two are the only weaknesses to the 40 year plan on the part of the Republicans to burn our democracy to the ground and turn us into a plutocracy based on a “blood and soil.”

As I’ve said before, I can’t predict the future. Usually, things are far more muddled than one can predict. And the impeachment process may be no different. And, yet, I’ve also long said that whatever the outcome of this clusterfuck, we’ll be in a new era.