‘Something’s In The Air’


by Shelt Garner
@sheltgarner

I feel an existential unease in the United States right now. I’m reading a new biography of President Grant right now, and it alludes to how in the late 1850s everyone saw some sort of conflict rushing towards them.

While I may openly mull some sort of armed conflict in the United States, be it civil war or revolution — or both — as of right now I have no actual reason to believe any of that is possible. The United States is to big and too stable for it to simply, well, collapse. If anything, it’s going to slip, with its eyes wide open, into some sort of autocratic managed democracy like what is found in modern day Russia.

That definitely seems to be our fate.

I say that because of Trump’s “Spaghetti Strategy” when it comes stealing the 2020 election. He’s simply throwing everything he can at it in an attempt to see what sticks. And, really, from his point of view, you could say that he knows that post-election, all he has to do is control the media narrative and he is going to win. People will grow too frustrated with the process. Or too nervous about armed conflict. Or to confused. Or what have you.

Again, as of right now, I have to agree with him.

But I do like a good thought experiment, so I guess you could speculate he and Barr might be setting themselves up for a historic miscalculation? Maybe? And the source of that miscalculation would they would not appricate that no matter how much they control the media narrative there’s a chance that the whole thing would smash up against American self-perception. Americans believe they live in a free country and the “soft power” attempt to steal the election Trump and Barr are hoping for might not work.

If it doesn’t then — since autocrats never lose — they might be a bit more ham-handed in their attempts to steal the election, which would only make matters a quantum leap worse. But I’m making a huge strategic bet on something that, to date, simply hasn’t been there — the average person who is not on Twitter being willing to risk things that are important to them in real life in an effort to protect the sanctity of the Republic.

For the last five years, Trump has faced no real accountability. He’s had his worst impulses blunted, but in general, he’s gotten everything he wanted because of the Vichy, callow nature of Senate Republicans, among others. And there’s no reason to believe that if Trump took “total control” as Roger Stone would suggest that the entire edifice of the Republican Party wouldn’t go along with it.

And, as such, the final arbiter of this particular situation would be the American people, the volk, themselves. If nothing happens, then the First Republic fails and we enter the Trumplandia Era of the United States. After about 40 years, when the last of the Baby Boomers finally croke, then we can think about maybe founding a Second Republic from the ashes of the old.

Something pretty astonishing would have to happen, at this point, for us to not to slip into autocracy. Something I simply can’t predict. We have our fate in our own hands, but nothing to date has indicated we really care all that much.

Prove me wrong.

Second American Revolution: A Possible Historic Trump Self-Own


“…Whenever any form of government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish it, and to institute a new government, laying its foundation on such principles, and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their safety and happiness”
The Declaration of Independence


by Shelt Garner
@sheltgarner

For about five years now, the laws of politics have been suspended. Trump has experienced little or no accountability for his autocratic inclinations. And, in a sense, what we face now was always going to happen — the only thing standing in the way of his dream of being an American Putin is the 2020 Election.

Bill Barr and Donald Trump.

That’s it.

Once he gets past that obstacle, he will finally achieve wealth and power beyond his wildest imagination.

And, really, if we see Trump as sort of an inverse of Gorbachev, then even if there was some sort of “counter-coup” on the part of Nancy Pelosi, Trump still wins. Or, put another way, the dead hand of history is now so powerful that some truly astonishing would have to happen for America’s slip into autocracy being rather prosaic.

So, in a sense, I think we need to start thinking about either leaving the country (if you can) or begin making arrangements for how to placate Big Brother win the time comes. I honestly think that’s our fate. We just don’t have it in us to do what is necessary to push back against the rush towards autocracy we find ourselves in on a macro level.

But, for no other reason than to make myself feel better, let’s imagine a scenario where Trump’s natural inclination to self-own gets in the way of his final consolidation of power. The only way I could possibly see this happening is if Trump and Barr’s attempt to secure the presidency through owning the media narrative somehow falls apart.

Something no one — especially me — can’t predict happens that suddenly changes the state of play on the ground.

A key issue is while Barr is The Brain to Trump’s Pinky, Trump is still fucking screw up. If things got tricky in an American obviously near revolution, I just don’t see Trump handling that situation very well. The New York Times’ Maggie Haberman can sell her soul for access all she wants — Trump is not a political genius.


Donald J. Trump, 45 President of the United States.
He is nothing more than a deranged version of Chauncey Gardner from Being There. That’s all he ever has been — he’s just a vessel, an avatar for some pretty fucked up existential problems in the American political system.

Before I go any further, let’s be clear — in my mind, all my running scenarios about how we might manage to have some sort of “Renewed American Covenant” is nothing more than me having way too much mental energy and maybe nerves about living in an autocracy. Trump was never going to get convicted in the Senate and as of right now, it seems that Trump is never leaving office for any reason, even if it means burning it to the ground. So, this is a serious flight of fancy. It’s meaningless. But it is fun, I guess, to daydream.

So, for Trump to pull defeat out of the jaws of victory, he would have to ring the Liberty Bell, if you will, in the hearts of the average American. He would have to do something — or be personally blamed for something — that went against the American sense of what it means to be, well, American.

That I have to essentially bet that something I can’t predict is how the nation I love is saved is not really all that great a situation. And, even then, I’m working on the assumption that that would just be the BEGINING of something that might lead to some sort of national renewal. And to get that Renewed American Covenant we would have to go through an unprecedented tragedy that I really, really don’t want it to happen.

This is just me trying to console myself by turning the abstract fear of what might happen into a more manageable concrete scenario I can roll around in my mind.

Or, put another way, I love to run scenarios and this just happens to be one that I can use to figure out how to get America back on track (if only after a significant shake up.)

But I guess it is possible that at some point between Election Night and Trump’s final consolidation of power in January, he screws up. Whatever he does is so bad that a lot of conservative-but-not-MAGA people abandon him. So much so that there is something of an Apocalyptic Rock Fight between MAGA-Qanon and everyone else.

So that would be the setup for a Second American Revolution. Trump, through Barr, gets a thin veneer of legality to his second term and yet somehow he screws the plan up and there’s some sort of “revolt” (probably starting somewhere like New York City).

He tries to put it down using the Insurrection Act, Something Bad happens as a result and finally, finally, FINALLY a few conservative-but-not-MAGA people begin to at least tacitly accept some sort of organize resistance-in-real-life-where-you-might-get-hurt-or-lose-your-well-paying-job happens.

This is all very serious, folks. This is not a video game. This is not an angry Twitter thread.

This would be real life.

The Coming Second American Civil War – The Taking Of Trump Tower


by Shelt Garner
@sheltgarner

I’m not advocating any of this. I’m just making an observation about when you should start making serious contingency plans about what you are going to do should the country actually fucking implode.

First of all, there are a lot — a lot — of conditions I simply can’t game out. I have no idea if the average American can overcome their general political apathy to take matters into their own hands if it becomes absolutely clear that House Trump is, in fact, going to take “total control” as Roger Stones suggest they do.

It’s very easy to assume some sort of muddle punt of Trump’s plans that leave him in power, but in such a way that we continue to gradually drift towards a Russian-style managed democracy rather peacefully. The reason why I say this is, the harder it is for Trump to stay in power, the more radical he is likely to grow.

As such, if it really gets all that brazen post-election, there’s one place I could see serving as the fire shot of any sort of civil war or revolution — Trump Tower in NYC. I say this because of what it is — Trump’s Rosebud. What better way to get the point across than for an angry mob of New Yorkers to storm Trump Tower and gut it — maybe setting it on fire. This would not be a value free event — if things had gotten that bad by that point, then, well, grab your bugout bag and head for safety.

Given how completely out of character such behavior would be for Americans, I would suggest that any “Taking of Trump Tower” might be looked upon in hindsight as something akin to the Storming of The Bastille. Nothing good would come of it in the short term because it’s just the type of thing that would cause a rapid consolidation of Blue and Red States in the sense that massive number of political refugees might begin to go from one side to the other before the country finally imploded.

One thing I continue to struggle with is how any of this is possible. How is it that an otherwise stable nation like the United States may very well, fucking implode because of one shitty president. What the fuck is wrong with us? What am I missing?

Anyway, I’m not advocating this. Please don’t do this. Peaceful protests are very powerful with enough numbers. I hate violence. I’m a man of peace. A man of ideas. But I’m also not brain dead.

My Current 2020 Election Scenarios Ranked


by Shelt Garner
@sheltgarner

The thing you have to keep in mind is the United States is already an autocratic managed democracy like Russia, with only our self-perception standing it in the way of us realizing it. As such, liberal democracy is dead in here. In all honesty, the dead hand of history has made its decision — America, sooner or later, is going to be a nation where you can get snatched off the street for your political views.

So, if Biden somehow miraculously actually gets sworn in, what we all think is a Restoration is little more than a House Trump Interregnum. We might have about two years before MAGA comes roaring back by taking over the House. They will impeach Biden, then leverage that political gut punch to take back the White House in 2024. Unless something simply astonishing happens — that is our absolute future if Biden wins in 2020.

It may not be Trump who finally strangles the life out of Lady Liberty but human ostrich Tom Cotton. But let’s go down the list of election 2020 scenarios ranked from most to least likely.

The Durham Factor
In this scenario, Barr’s “preliminary summary” of the Durham Investigation works like a charm. Biden’s lead is reduced down to nothing. Trump wins without even having to fuck with anything. A lot of people are upset, but by the time the actual conclusions of the investigation come out — totally clearing Biden — it’s too late. Our liberal democracy has slipped through our fingers because we lost the media narrative.

A Mysterious Replay of 2016
Close behind the first scenario is the exact same thing as 2016 happens — Trump loses the popular vote, but wins the Electoral College. A lot of people will be angry, but the media narrative will be that Biden should accept defeat “for the good of nation.” Trump quickly consolidates power and that’s that. Only after about 40 years will we learn that the Russians hacked directly into our election systems in exchange for Trump removing 1/3 of our troops from Germany. Lulz!

A Trump Election Night “Victory”
This is all about the media narrative. Without really doing all that much — other than using Barr to pull legal justifications out of his butt — Trump wins for no other reason than the opposition is too weak and divided. This scenario is based on the available conditions and assumes the dead hand of history’s decision as to our fate is final.

Coup….and Counter Coup
This scenario is really wild and, in real terms, extremely unlikely because I just don’t see the opposition to Trump being able to use any mass anger against Trump effectively. But the idea that Nancy Pelosi might FINALLY fight dirty makes it a little easier to sleep at night.

The Coup
The key thing you have to remember is Interior Minister Bill Bar is going to fuck with the election in a very “Who, me?” kind of way. He did it with the Mueller Investigation and he’s going to do it with the election. In fact, I would go so far as to say his success in blunting the blow of Mueller Investigation has given him a very good understanding of what to do.

As long as House Trump controls the post-election narrative, they win. As things grow more and more unhinged, the pressure will be on Biden to accept “defeat” for the “sake of the country.” So, it’s easy to see a situation whereby somehow even though a coup takes place, The New York Times and others play right into Barr’s hands by not even recognizing that a coup has taken place.

And, really, Barr has every reason to believe he will win. So, it’s very possible that even if MAGA state legislatures simply seat Trump Electors out of spite, a wide swath of the mainstream press will go full Vichy on us. I could see this being the setup to not a civil war, but a fucking revolution.

In other words, House Trump and Barr pretty brazenly steal the election post-Election night by fucking with the selection of Electors. The New York Times‘ Maggie Haberman in a ever-so-droll way, signs away the Republic. She poo-poos the notion that anyone has the right to object to this theft and goes back to telling randos like me that I don’t know anything about (access) journalism.

So, this would be a moment of truth. I honestly can’t tell you which way the public would go. There might be some protestings here and there, but Barr controls the media narrative so completely that The New York Times focuses only on the violences associated with these otherwise peaceful protests and that’s it. We turn into an autocracy without even putting up a fight. Remember, the Women’s March has some pretty huge peaceful protests every year and the national press lulzes them because it’s just a bunch of angry broads, amiright?

The Counter-Coup
This is very iffy because of what I describe above. But let’s say Trump, despite “winning” so absolutely brazen in his theft of the election that he enrages enough of the population that Nancy Pelosi finally, finally, finally, finally, FINALLY really begins to play white knuckled power politics with Trump. She begins a game of chicken with him.

Now, the thing to remember is, there are a lot of different things that would have to go wrong for Trump for this to happen. A lot. He’s going to bank on a hard 5-4 vote in his favor at SCOTUS if it comes to that. And he’ll be right. But it’s at least possible that out of sheer desperation, Pelosi drops an H-bomb on Trump’s plans to steal the election.

She announces soon after the last 5-4 SCOTUS vote a two pronged attack against Trump’s coup. First, the House will immediately impeach Trump the moment it comes into session in January. But it won’t be a “skinny” impeachment, it will be a 10 article political MOAB. Everything Trump — and Pence have done over the last four years, from Stormy Daniels to general abuse of power will be thrown into the expansive articles of impeachment. Now, if the Senate hasn’t flipped, then lulz, this is all smoke and mirrors.

MoscowMich does exactly what he did with the first Trump impeachment. But, let’s suppose the Senate does flip. If the country is obviously beginning to fall apart at this point — which would be the only way Pelosi would actually have the guts to do any of this — then there might be a real shot that both Trump AND Pence would be convicted.

This is where things get tricky.

In an effort to placate some very angry Biden voters, Pelosi says she’s going to step aside and have the Democratic House name Biden as speaker of the House, thus putting him in line of succession. The argument that Pelosi could make is that desperate times call for desperate measures and one coup deserves another.

Remember, this would NOT happen in a vacuum. The entire country would likely be on the cusp of implosion at this point. And Trump could very well send in the D.C. national guard (or whatever) to Capitol Hill and try to disperse any impeachment proceedings. But let’s suppose that doesn’t work for some reason, maybe a massive human shield of voters or something.

So both Trump and Pence are convicted — in no large part because Senate Republicans realize the country is probably going to descend into civil war / revolution anyway — and Biden becomes POTUS in a very roundabout manner. He proceeds to name Harris as his veep, and the Senate approves her at a record speed.

If things have gotten THIS BAD, then obviously Trump — who is probably barely hanging on to his sanity — will hold up in the White House. But it’s reasonable to believe that rather than play Hitler-in-the-Berlin-Bunker, he steals Marine One and races to, say, the very CSA-friendly Mobile, Alabama.


Comparative Political History: Trump & The Rise of Hitler


by Shelt Garner
@sheltgarner

Any mention of Hitler is loaded. And, yet, why is that? The answer, of course, is how many people directly died because of him. But there was a time, in the early days of his rule, when he was seen as very much a Trumpian figure. It was only after the deaths began to mount that he attained his modern status as the human personification of evil.

While I’m sure there are a dozen historians quietly working on their Hitler-Trump dual biographies right now, the comparisons between Hitler and Trump are now growing alarmingly similar. But before we go any further, we have to remember that Trump, at least for the moment, is nothing more than criminally incompetent autocrat. It could be that for a variety of reasons, he’ll linger in the Germany 1933-1934 era and that will be that. Or put another way, he may simply hope to be something akin to Russia’s Putin, but not attain the more direct, vicious and malvalent control that Hitler got.

But the profound thing the rise of Trump potentially gives us is direct insight into the rise of Hitler. Now that we can safely make a direct comparison between Hitler and Trump (at least relative to Hitler’s rise to power and his early years), we’re close to understanding how, exactly, Hitler came to be. It definitely seems as though — if we take Trump a guide — that someone like Hitler was going to rise to power. Both men are extremely lazy and they don’t really do anything other than establish a “permission structure” for evil to grow and flourish. So, in a sense, we might get the age old question of was “a Hitler” inevitable, or was he just a particular quirk of history because of his special skillset.

Seems to me it’s the former. Hitler was inevitable because of macro historical trends, and, yet, he was something of a one-shot. He filled a historical and political need, but someone else wasn’t going to do exactly the same thing if something happened to him early enough in his rule. So, in a sense, had Hitler died at just the right moment, it’s possible that WW2 might not have happened. Germany would probably been something a lot more like Franco’s Spain given the available replacements to Hitler in the existing Nazi power structure.

And, really, the issue at this point is does Trump, after he steals the 2020 election, see it as his 1933 election and pass some sort of enabling acts as quickly as possible after his own Reichstag Fire. I’m thinking yes — probably in the form of a major domestic terrorism event. He’ll demand a Constitutional Convention and that will be that.

Yet, again, would Trump at that point go the Putin route, or would he lurch towards something a more Nazi? This is such a complicated question for a number of reasons. One is, why? He has made no secret of his obsession with and fidelity to Putin. That type of control — not Nazi ideological control — definitely seems is personal agenda for the United States as this point.

So, to that extent, one would be on safe ground to call me hysterical for claiming Trump is an American Hitler.

And, yet.

There are a few things that give one pause for thought. It’s possible that Trumplandia will, in itself, be a thing that historians compare other events to in the future. If Trump did go the Nazi route, the more direct political movement MAGA would go the direction of is the Khmer Rouge. Instead of trying to take over the world like Hitler and the Nazis, Trump and MAGA would implode the United States.

Everything exists — right now — for Trump to begin rounding up “liberals” and begin putting them in the already-existing ICE camp infrastructure. The American center-Left (read: everyone not MAGA) is so weak, so ineffectual, that Trump again the “total control” that Roger Stone suggests he make a grab for.

The reason I say this is how else was all of this going to end? The absolute fidelity of the MAGA-Qanon base and the complete complicity of the entire Republican Party as a result give Trump such power that he may — simply because he’s a moron — stumble into a Pol Pot type situation without even really meaning to. It’s not like Trump has any ideology at all other than how own personal aggrandizement and increase of wealth. It just so happens that the venn diagram of what he wants on a personal level and what his base wants is identical and, as such, he really doesn’t have to do anything but just be himself.

Do I really think Trump is going to ultimately be seen not as an American Hitler but as more an American Pol Pot? I honestly don’t know. He definitely has that option before him. I think he just wants to be an American Putin. And, yet, Putin doesn’t have Red Hats at his beck and call. Putin has a lot of power, yes, but he also has a lot of self-control. He uses the levers of state to do his bidding. While it’s extremely easy to see MAGA Red Hats turning into American Brown Shirts then American Khmer Rouge. What I mean by that is, it’s easy to imagine MAGA-Qanon Red Hats radicalizing once Trump consolidates power after stealing the 2020 election. Trump tells the authorities to stand down and he just sit back and watches the Red Hats do his bidding. It would give him plausible deniability. The whole thing might get out of his control, but he’s so devoid of empathy I doubt he would really care all that much.

At this point, let’s do a direct comparison of Trump and Hitler. First, both Hitler and Trump are very, very lazy. On a personal level, both men don’t drink. (Or at least say they don’t.) Hitler only got married late in life, while Trump has been married three times. Hitler had a very specific ideology, while Trump is completely devoid of an ideology. Hitler was very sane, while Trump’s mental acuity definitely seems to be wanining.

I could very much see a situation where Trump’s downfall ultimately comes from himself. He grows so extreme — or allows the MAGA-Qanon Red Hats to grow so extreme — that a lot of center-Right-but-not-MAGA people (the bedrock of America) freak out. They get radicalized enough to bring House Trump down. Of course, this would suck massively on a macro political history scale.

The majority of Americans, by nature, are extremely docile and politically apathetic. So, Trump could very well found House Trump and let the country drift, over the next 20 years or so, towards being — at least on a political level — an American interpretation of Putin’s Russia. This seems a very real possibility.

And, in the near term, the issue is how difficult is it for Trump to steal the 2020 election? The more difficult it is, the more likely what his family might attain gradually over 20 years, he — and Barr — will try to grab over about three months. This would be so shocking to the average American that instead of consolidating power peacefully, the United States would implode into civil war, revolution or something akin to both at the same time.

This sounds crazy, but, then major historical events when you live through them are nothing more than a shocking series of random events to the average person. It’s not until long after the fact that historians, in an attempt to explain what happened to successor generations given those events value and an a narrative so as to make them easier to explain and understand.

But I continue to believe because of the Durham Investigation, the false promise of a COVID19 vaccine and Trump’s likely quid pro quo with the Russians (he removes 1/3 of our troops from Germany, they hack directly into our election systems), that all of this is going to be a dud. We’ll know election night that Trump has “won.” We’ll continue to drift into a more Putin’s Russian and less Hitler’s Germany and that will be that.

I absolutely believe that.

I guess I’m just a little nervous that Trump is such a fucking self-own artist that even with that easy-“win” he will somehow manage to fuck us all over because the MAGA-Qanon Red Hats see his victory as a green light to establish a white ethno-state NOW and not gradually over the next generation.

That’s when it’s at least possible that the American Ancien Regime will be washed away and a New Order will be established. What that looks like is anyone’s guess. It could be a Second American Republic or it could be Gileade. Which one it is, we decide.

So What’s Going To Be Our Modern ‘Harpers Ferry?’

by Shelt Garner
@sheltgarner


On the occasion corresponding to this four years ago, all thoughts were anxiously directed to an impending civil-war. All dreaded it — all sought to avert it. While the inaugural address was being delivered from this place, devoted altogether to saving the Union without war, insurgent agents were in the city seeking to destroy it without war — seeking to dissole the Union, and divide effects, by negotiation. Both parties deprecated war; but one of them would make war rather than let the nation survive; and the other would accept war rather than let it perish. And the war came.Lincoln’s Second Inaugural Address.


I’m reading a lot about the Civil War now (for obvious reasons.) The thing that is clear to me is while it may seem as though a second civil war is inevitable now, it’s also very possible that it’s all going to be a big dud.

Trump, with Barr’s help, will consolidate power after he steals the 2020 election and we’ll just slip into autocracy with our eyes wide open. It’s possible that the center-Left in the United States is simply too weak, divided and concerned with identity politics to actually unite and do the hard work in the real fucking world to do something about Trump.

That’s a very real possibility.

And, yet. It’s also possible an actual civil war or even revolution may take place in the United States very, very soon. As such, it will probably open with a 9/11-level domestic terrorism event. John Brown’s raid on Harpers Ferry was the first real-world indication that the shit was about to hit the fan, that the country was, in fact, coming apart. Any modern equivalent of this would set off a cascading series of events which would buckle the United States into warring Blue and Red camps. Fox News would be raided by angry New Yorkers and MSNBC / CNN would be kicked off the cable in Red States. A multitude of people would feel unsafe because of their political views and there would be a massive migration that would consolidate the politics of Blue and Red States.

But what would be the actual event that caused all of that?

I’m thinking right now that if things go that bad, it would be a series of coordinated assassinations across the country on the part of MAGA-Qanon fucktards. They would think that by doing so they could “help” Trump consolidate power, but all it would do would enrage Blue State citizens off enough that they would begin to plot a significant reaction of their own. Another possibility is some crazy Qanon Representative might gun down a lot of Democrats in the House at some point when it became clear that we were in for dueling presidents.

All of this would be far more chaotic than my description might make you think. But I do think that we all need to have some sort of “bugout protocol” in place in case the long-feared Second American Civil War actually happens.

A Second American Covant: As Goes California, So Goes The Nation


Shelt Garner
@sheltgarner


Everything is so dumb.

That I even have to say that all things considered it makes a lot more sense for California to stay and fight than try to leave the Union is so, so, very stupid. I say this because our historical amnesia hit the point where everyone has forgotten that about 700,000 Americans died the last time states tried to leave the Union?

Don’t answer that.

Anyway, let me at least make the case for California staying in the Union instead of attempting to leave when Trump inevitably rather abruptly and brazenly steals the 2020 election.

The key issue is what California is — a massive state with a massive economy and a largely homogeneous polity. In other words, the very things that Calexit people point to as a reason for it to “leave” the Union, I point to as a reason why it has to stay and fight.

I just don’t see the liberal fever dream of a Blue State Republic happening. More likely than not, California would have to take the lead on responding to some sort of tyrannical power grab by Trump and work together with other major Blue States to renew the Union’s covevant.

As I’ve said before, if you look at the realpolitik of the geography of the United States, the Blue State play book writes itself. You use California as your dreadnaught. You blitzkrieg across the Great Plains from California and meet up with your Blue State brethren in the Midwest.

Then you bribe African Americans in the South with the promise of reprations for slavery and, ta-da, you break the back of MAGA-Qanon and re-unite the country. You have go through a Radical Reconstruction phase that would address systemic racism and misogyny and you cruise into something of a second Gilded Age that bursts forth from the foundation of a Second American Covenant.

All of that is very dumb, in a sense, because I have no idea if that plan would work. But it is something to believe in rather than simply California leaving the Union and expected to get away with it without suffering a great deal.

And, really, wouldn’t California want to remake the United States in its image rather than go through extended “Troubles” that would likely involve IT going through something akin to a Reconstruction? There is strength in numbers, after all.

What If Trump Held An Autocracy And Nobody Came?


by Shelt Garner
@sheltgarner

It seems as though what is going to happen in the next year is something like this — Trump is going to “win.” Liberals will run around screaming we’re now Nazi Germany.

And, to a certain extent, we will be.

But a key issue is, for the average person, nothing will change. So, while we will definitely be Germany 1933-1934 when it comes to our political system, things will remain the same enough that, lulz, nothing matters.

And there in lies the rub.

While Trump is extremely stupid and politically greedy, it is, at least possible that he will hold back. He won’t overreach and some specific pressure points — like late night TV and SNL — won’t be touched. While Trump through Barr will rapidly consolidate power otherwise, in real terms, the average center-Right person won’t really notice any difference in their every day life.

And, really, even if Roe V. Wade and the ACA are killed, even that probably won’t make much of a difference. That being the case, if nothing else, indicates that Trump and MAGA-Qanon would be EXTREMELY STUPID to go for “total power” as Roger Stone would suggest.

If your opposition is so completely ineffectual in the real world that you can get everything you want and more, why push things by going full Hilter or Pol Pot? Why not just continue to consolidate power and give liberals the political valve of comedy? Why not let them laugh it up — when it comes to things that are actually important to House Trump — power and cold, hard cash — what difference does a somewhat biting SNL cold open mean to them?

One thing about Trump is he’s such a moron and a massive self-own artist that he could very well do the one thing that might push us into an actual civil war or revolution — begin to fuck with the everyday freedoms that the average person who is not on Twitter takes for granted.

I can’t predict the future, I have no idea what is going to happen, but Trump is so, so very stupid that he might do that very thing because he feels cocky and really wants to put a hurting on Alec Baldwin.

2020 Will Be A Replay Of 2016


by Shelt Garner
@sheltgarner

I’ve seen enough, as they say — Trump is going to win the Electoral College and lose the popular vote (rather significantly.) America’s liberal democracy will finally die. But why do I think this?

The Durham Investigation
Barr’s “preliminary summary” of this investigation will play the role of the Second Comey Letter. Not only is the whole thing bullshit, but the summary will be bullshit too. A lot depends on how stupid and or greedy Trump and Barr get. If they’re smart, they’ll simply insinuate in general terms that Obama and Biden are criminals who will be prosecuted after the election. If they get greedy, they might really pull shit out of their asses in a way that is so brazenly false as to make people mad. But I think if they are pretty vague and open ended in all of this, that they get what they want — a replay of 2016.

The Russians Hacking Directly Into Our Election Systems
Just like with the polls in 2016, mysterious, the polls will be wrong in crucial states. Just enough to push Trump over the top in the Electoral College. We’ll all blame the Durham Investigation or the power of the “boat voters.” But soon enough, we’ll have to accept the results. The fact that the Russians fucked with our elections as part of a quid pro quo for Trump removing 1/3 of our troops from Germany will be like Who Really Shot JFK. After House Trump Republicans keep winning and winning and winning and winning the presidency, people might get woke. But by that point it will be way, way, WAY too late. Could be 40 years.

Trump Fucking With The Postal Service
This is more cover for the Russians. It gives Nate Silver a non-bonkers explanation for why the polls were wrong again.

News of a “Vaccine”
At some point in late October or very early November, the news will be full of breathless reports about a vaccine being approved. Boomers will have a “permission structure” to vote for MAGA-Qanon Trump again. In reality, all of it is bullshit and just more cover for the Russians to get away with the Crime of Century.

Trump Is An Autocrat
Orange Man is simply going to throw as much money and abuse of power at this particular situation so he “wins,” no matter what. All the momentum and logic is on his side because of that. He will “win” but only because he’s an autocrat. I just don’t see Americans having it in them to do anything about it.

But….

Ok, now that I have that out of the way, let’s talk about what could go wrong for Trump. Well, at this point, the only thing I think that might go wrong for Trump is, well, Trump. He has Barr, yes, but Trump is such a fucking massive self-own artist that there might come a point that even Barr struggles to control the situation post-election.

The thing that would have to happen — Biden winning by an absolutely massive landslide simply isn’t going to happen. And even if it did, Trump would go nuts and tell his supporters he “really won.” The thing about all the “things go wrong for Trump” scenarios is they all point to one thing: unprecedented political violence in the United States.

Everything from Trump taking “total control” (through Barr) at one end of the spectrum to an actual massive fighting civil war involving WMD on the other end of it.

Nothing I see indicates that people are willing to do what is necessary to defeat Trump in the real world. So, Trump wins. And, yet, we have to go back to the surreal, craven and bloodthirsty rhetoric swirling around the Righwing echo chamber. It’s possible that they would be so stupid that they were the one to start some sort of civil war and, as such, they take away one crucial piece of the political equation that has helped them and will continued to help them — apathy.

If MAGA-Qanon go nuts and start blowing shit up and murdering people in cold blood, a lot of center-Right people who enjoy Trump’s policies (tax cuts) but aren’t exactly thrilled with him as a person might get woke in a surprising fashion. But that’s extremely iffy.

What I’m really saying is if Trump and Barr are too heavy handed in their craven quest to turn the United States into an autocratic managed democracy, there might — just might — be a reaction with a cascading sequence of events they can’t control. Remember — it is possible that on a political level we could be an autocratic managed democracy but for the average American nothing would really change. Or if it did chance, it would continue to change like it has over the last four years — in fits and starts while Trump distracts us by being a racist, bigoted, misogynistic moron.

Or, let me put it another way — as long as the United State’s gently drift towards a Russian style autocratic managed democracy without things getting out of control and we go full Nazi, then House Trump is fine. The more I think about it, the more I realize what’s going to happen is our particular brand of managed democracy might be it’s own thing. It might be that Trump (at least for the time being) doesn’t do a lot of most dire abuses that I keep fearing.

So, in a sense, for the first few years of Trump’s second term not a lot will change for the average person just raising their kids. But as we approach 2024, Trump is going to make good on his demand to get “12 more years” and that will be the next major milestone.

But that point we’re really going to realize the United States is no longer a liberal democracy and House Trump can — and will — do whatever the fuck it wants.

Possible Blue And Red Second American Civil War Aims


by Shelt Garner
@sheltgarner

I hate living in terror of abstract fears, so let’s pace out the possible war aims of a “Second American Civil War.”

Red States
Red States would want to turn the United States into a dystopian hellscape. They wouldn’t come out and say it, of course, but they would want an America indistinguishable from modern day Russia.

Blue States
The Blue State war aims are a bit more complicated because they have wide variety to choose from. Does they want to leave the Union? Or do they want to stay and fight and transform the nation by doing so? On a basic level, I think Blue State civil war aims would passing a number of Constitutional amendments — maybe even calling a Constitutional Convention — that would take practical steps to end systemic racism, promote equality between the sexes and codify some much-needed political reforms like ending the Electoral College, overturning Citizens United and doing something about the Senate. (Ending the Senate, because it’s an existential part of the Constitution, would pretty much require writing a whole new Constitution — so dramatically reforming it makes a lot more sense.)

In both cases, whichever side won would have to do a Second Reconstruction. I’m growing more and more worried that WMD would be used in any theoretical Second American Civil War, which would not only lead to massive loss of life, but radicalizing both sides in the extreme.

Let’s hope it doesn’t come to that.