I Just Don’t See A Second American Civil War (Or Revolution) Anytime Soon


by Shelt Garner
@sheltgarner

We have every reason to be nervous. It definitely seems as though the United States is about to have some sort of civil war or MAGA revolution pretty soon. But I seriously doubt it…for now.

It may happen at some point around 2024-25, but not right now. The people who would be doing a civil war or revolution need to organize and marinate in their hate a few more years before they can actually pull it off.

Right now, it’s all abstract. Right Wing nutjobs in vague terms want to burn it all to the ground, but…they’re all talk for the time being. What made what happen on January 6th such a wake up call was they weren’t all talk for once and, what’s more, POTUS was the guy who pushed them over the edge.

Trump right now seems pretty chill. He’s almost in hiding.

So, unless he snaps in a rather unexpected fashion, I think we’re fine for the next few years. But, as always, anything can happen, I guess.

#CapitolRiot: What Did Trump Know & When Did He Know It?


by Shelt Garner
@sheltgarner

Trump just can’t keep a secret. So, given his public comments leading up to January 6th, it’s beginning to appear as though Trump may have known a lot more about what was going on than we now know.

Usually, during a Trump Era scandal, this is the point when an audiotape of Trump saying something incriminating happens. We all get upset for a few days, then we move on.

But, for the time being, this moment in time feels different and so if something like that did pop out, Trump would face some severe political consequences. Even if he’s got one foot out the door.

I have a general sense at this point that Trump probably knew a lot more about the details of the Capitol Riot than you might think. I doubt he was involved in the specific planning — he can’t keep a secret, after all — but he knew how big the event was going to be and that he might be able to stage a coup using the existing infrastructure that was being built out.

Yet for the time being, I think Trump is going to escape justice yet again. He’s almost out of office and even his extra-political, extra-legal or extra-Constitutional options are kind of limited right now. He could maybe do something in a spasm of panic, but he’s done none of the hard work of autocrat.

My fear now is he’s going to grow extremely passive-aggressive to the point that we start to think he’s a danger to himself our us.

Taking Stock Of A Nation On The Brink


by Shelt Garner
@sheltgarner

One of the conditions for a civil war – revolution in the United States is there already: the positions of the two sides are beginning to harden. What isn’t there yet is Trump going transaction or there being enough rolling political violence across the country that there are significant domestic political refugees.

Those last two things would be the last stages before the country buckled. And, really, with Trump still president for 10 days, that’s actually not a unlikely as you might think. All Trump has to do is snap — even more so than he already has — and goad people into taking up arms against anyone they feel isn’t MAGA and the other part takes care of itself.

Once America’s transportation system is clogged with Blue people from Red states and Red people from Blue states fleeing for their lives, then, well, we’re going to to show.

But that is so dystopian that I’m just not prepared to believe that’s going to happen. While Trump is going to continue to do everything in his power to destroy the United States, MAGA just isn’t organized enough — or bloodthirsty enough — to leap into the void. At least not yet.

Give them four years to marinate in their hate and I think they will be.

Or, put another way, the great irony of all of this would be if Trump — whose appearance in 2025 was probably about as early as his type political rise was going to happen — squashed what might otherwise be an extremely destructive political movement because he demanded they strike too soon.

But all this could be Trump’s beerhall putsch and he — or someone like him — will be victorious in about a decade. (Which makes a lot of sense.)

Of Trump Potentially Using The ‘Presidential Text Alert System’ Instead of Twitter


by Shelt Garner
@sheltgarner

I’m pretty good, in a vague way, of calling what Trump is going to do in the Final Days. I pretty much called the significance of January 6th, though I didn’t call anything specific — just that it would be important.

But anyway.

One interesting thing is Trump still hasn’t snapped like I thought he would. I thought he would get into a logic trap and go REALLY CRAZY. But he’s still the usual olde crazy. One sign we would get that he was totally off the reservation would be if he started to do a quick succession of things that did not really help him as the House rushes to impeach him — again.

One of those things would be to use the Presidential Text Alert System — usually reserved for, like, announcing nuclear war — as something akin to a replacement for Twitter now that he’s lost that account.

There’s a lot to take into account on this front.

Remember, in real terms, Trump’s era is over, so he would have to do something that slowed time down significantly for there to be a even more of a mad rush to get rid of him. Trump has yet to do something REALLY FUCKING CRAZY like incite sedition using the Presidential Text Alert System to shoot out a tweet to everyone in America’s phone. In, fact, he seems pretty chill compared to what I expected he would be at this point.

Something would have to change, and change fast — like in the next 48 hours. Yes, he’s supposed to have a press conference at the Alamo, but, really, even if he went Howard Beale at such a conference, he only has less than two weeks in office.

The Final Days of Trumplandia.

Trump would have to go transactional — start a war, tell his followers to overthrow the government in a specific type way or, say, use the Presidential Text Alert System to do any number of really crazy transactional things.

But him just blabbering at a press conference wouldn’t be enough. He’s been doing that for some time now — four years — and it was only when he went transactional in front of a crazed hoard near the Capitol that it mattered to anyone.

So, really, while Trump is, in fact, a massive self-own artist, as of right this second, he’s going to escape justice, just like he always does. Only time will tell.

Trump, As Always, Has His Fate — And Ours — In His Own Hands


by Shelt Garner
@sheltgarner

So. Trump has less than a fortnight in office and if he simply plays golf — or stays catatonic — he’s safe. He will cruse into retirement and that will be that. But this is Trump we’re talking about, so it’s possible that at any moment Trump will really fucking flip out.

But I’m beginning to think maybe he’s not going to freak out. I think that now that he’s lost his Twitter account that he’ll just stew in juice quietly and that’s it.

And, yet, as Mitt Romney suggests, we may just have to “hold our breath” for the last few days of Trump’s time in office. There’s really no way to know one way or another at this point.

I dunno. It definitely seems as though Trump is going to escape justice — again — because he just isn’t going to do anything more to cause problems. It’s less than two weeks. He really is going to have to freak the fuck out before anyone in the Republican Party thinks seriously about getting Trump out of office before the 20th.

Of Trump’s Second Impeachment


by Shelt Garner
@sheltgarner

There are a number of reasons why what seems like a dumb idea — impeaching Trump a second time with less than two weeks before he’s out of office — is actually good politics.

1.It’s A Failsafe
We don’t know if Trump is going to finally snap in the last few days of his term, so it would be nice to have the legal framework to remove him from office on a near-moment’s notice lying around. That’s why this weekend could be significant — Trump could really flip out before impeachment is voted on early next week and we won’t have any way of getting rid of him. Once the House passes impeachment, though, there’s always a chance that the Senate could do a unanimous consent type thing and get him out of office as soon as it becomes clear he’s a danger to himself — or us.

2. Shame
While I have no doubt that Trump could come back tan, ready and rested in 2024, at least he’ll have the shame of being the only president to be impeached twice. There’s little more than that we can do to slow things down.

3. A Truth & Reconciliation Commission
It’s possible that if #MoscowMitch can’t “process” the impeachment until after Trump’s out of office, that the impeachment trial will happen once Trump’s out office. (I’ve heard conflicting accounts as to if this is even possible.) But the case could be made that once the deadline of January 20th is passed, we could have a significant and deep investigation into the Trump Era in the guise of a pretty moot Senate Impeachment Trial. (Though the issue of Trump being able to run again would be an issue.)

But the issue we have to remember at this point is this — if Trump simply lays low for about two weeks, he’s safe. If he acts up and self-owns AGAIN in some sort of massive screw up that he’s in deep, deep trouble.

As of right now, he looks like he’s going to behave. He no longer has a Twitter account. He’s just going to rattle around in the White House and escape justice like he always does.

The ‘Political 9/11’ Of 2021: Counter-Coups Are A Bitch


by Shelt Garner
@sheltgarer

The United States is a big, big country. It takes time for some big event to sink in with 330 million people. A lot of people are gaming. Or coding. Or binge watching The Office on Peacock.

So, there’s some lag time between, say, when something like a coup attempt that happened day happens and when it gets processed. As such, there’s something of a significant lag time for any major decision to be made. That’s why gun rights advocates hate, hate, hate any type of decision being agreed upon when people are focused and upset about 20 or 30 kids being shot to death. They know if they can just wait 24 to 48 hours that things will calm down, the dynamic will change and lulz, nothing maters.

This could be interesting.

I’ve been giving this dynamic a lot of thought as we process the coup attempt of 01/06. We have a number of paths ahead of us. One path is we never reach any type of crucial mass and the Trump era is completely value free other than a plutocrat tax cut and a massive amount of young, hack MAGA judges. It will be like it never happened.

We’ll be in political neutral for two years until Biden is impeached the moment Republicans regain the House. And if Trump can just behave for two weeks, that’s exactly what will happen. He just needs to chill out for two weeks and still — still — everything will be “forgiven” by the Right. He can come back tan, ready and rested in 2024 and go back to being a chaos agent for Russia. (Or Ivanka can primary Rubio and have Josh Hawley as her veep and the two of them can be a Velvet Fist in American politics for a generation to come.

But.

There is the problem of Trump going totally fucking bonkers at an alarming rate.

So two things would be at play. One, Trump’s obvious seditious and bonkers behavior would begin to sink in with a lot more people than it might otherwise because of the coup attempt….and a shit ton of people in the next 24 hours are going to see what happened while they were looking and porn and be completely flabbergasted.

As such, either the post-mass-killing dynamic will be at work or something really unique will happen: a counter coup.

In this scenario, the already severe (but manageable) political crisis we’re in is taken to the next level and even though Trump has only two fucking weeks left in office he is somehow removed.

It would be one of the most surreal events in American history.

I have repeatedly over the last few years suggested that something like this was possible. But Blue Check liberals think I’m just another Internet crank, so, lulz, nothing matters.

I would suggest we keep a close eye on Trump. He’s likely to grow ever more erratic on a minute-by-minute basis. He just can’t do the one thing he needs to do: behave.

And the reason is, he’s in a logic trap. He’s thinking not about any type of political future, but pure self-preservation. And there’s going to be significant lag time (a few days) between when Trump goes to a purely self-preservation stance and when the people in the Republican Party who are still thinking about political considerations get woke to this fact.

Trump has already “lost it” as one person close to him has told CNN, so that lag time is now in effect. The question is — the issue of how all of this bounces off American self-perception.

MAGA has about 38% of the electorate under its spell. But there are probably 10% (or more) of those people who are conservative-but-not-MAGA who support Trump because of negative polarization. They hate the center-Left more than they dislike Trump and, so, they support Trump.

The jury is still out about what happens next. Trump, as always, has his fate in his own hands. I think as of this moment he’s probably going to live to fight another political day. Whatever he did to finally — FINALLY — cause his enablers in Congress to cut him loose would have to be pretty fucking bad, given what happened to day.

And he could very well survive for no other reason than the clock runs out.

But.

It’s also possible that the clock WILL RUN OUT and he by that point he will be so completely fucking deranged that he won’t physically leave the White House. Then we have the “Downfall” scenario that I’ve mentioned a few times before and I don’t like thinking about.

President Chauncy Gardner #ETTD


by Shelt Garner
@sheltgarner


I called it. I said Trump would likely go bonkers around the time Congress counted Electors and I was right. And, in a more vague way, I predicted that we were careening towards something of a “political 9/11.”

And so here we are.

The conundrum of where we are now is we have only a fortnight left in the Trump Era. That’s it. Two weeks. If we can just make it through the next two weeks, then we lurch — maybe are pushed — into something quite unexpected: a true autocracy without an autocrat.

Our democracy is obviously so fragile that if Trump really was “the guy from The Apprentice” then, well, we wouldn’t be talking about Biden coming into office. Trump would have done the hard work of stealing his second term, he’d have a thin veneer of legality and that would be that.

And, yet, for all my endless speculation that Trump would do this or that autocratic thing, it turns out he really is just a deranged version of Chauncy Gardner from Being There.

TRUMP LITERALLY IS CHAUNCY GARDNER FROM BEING THERE.

Our president.

What this means is, we were all so busy assuming he was an autocrat that we missed that while he may have autocratic impulses, Trump is such a ding-dong that he can’t — or won’t — do the hard work necessary to actually become an autocrat.

As such, all the conditions and tools for autocracy are just laying around in our politics and society, waiting to be picked up by Josh Hawley (or whomever.) So, we’re probably going to just drift into the Biden Era and be in neutral until Biden gets inevitably impeached.

But.

Trump is so fucking bonkers right now that he could self-own in such a spectatular fashion in the next two weeks that the political 9/11 that we had to day could actually be a series of pollical 9/11s that absolutely FORCE us to act to push Trump out of office for no other reason than we’ve come to think he’s a threat to himself — or us.

I have no idea what is going to happen.

But it’s going to be weird.

10 Days That May Shake The World


by Shelt Garner
@sheltgarner

So, here we are, on the evening of January 6th, not knowing what’s going to happen. As I’ve said before, America is running on fumes politically and the two sides have hardened their positions enough that just the barest of additional stress on the system would likely make the whole thing collapse.

And by collapse, I mean significant political violence in the United States.

But, for the moment, let’s imagine we somehow defeat the January 6th coup. This is when things REALLY get bumpy. The moment Biden’s victory is certified, Trump may really fucking snap.

It is between, say, Jan 10 (final certification if Republicans push the issue) and January 20th that Trump’s already fragile mental state could grow so perilous that he explodes. He becomes a very conspicuous caged rat who would rather destroy the nation than risk leaving office for various reasons.

He would “destroy” things in a number of ways. He could foment some sort of secessionist crisis. He could start really firing people en mass. He could frogwalk Joe Biden. He could start a war or wars. And, worst of all, he could finally implode into extreme passive-aggressiveness.

If that happens, then Trump could very well scare the ever-living shit out of the entire world as he begins to ramble on Twitter about how “liberals want me to kill myself” or “no one appreciates the power I have when it comes to nuclear weapons.”

Now, even then, I have my doubts as to would anything happen. At least at first. If Trump really went that bonkers, the first thing that would happen would be Republicans would say he was “joking” or that somehow there was some misunderstanding of what he said.

It’s when it became absolutely, 100% clear that that was not the case….then THAT would be when some extremely surreal events would happen very, very quickly.

But the one constant about Trump is you just never can tell. He could more implode than explode mentally and we just kind of drift into the Biden Era, no big deal.

Trump Goes Transactional (Almost)


by Shelt Garner
@sheltgarner

Someone on Twitter pinged me, suggesting Trump had, at last, gone “transactional” via his Twitter account. But I don’t think he has, yet. For me, “Trump going transactional” would mean he told his followers to do something specific. Especially if that “something specific” was violence that was not him “just joking.”

It would have to be something completely, totally indefensible. Something that would make conservatives-who-aren’t-MAGA sit up and take notice. An “ask” of his followers in the real world for them to, well, hurt people, stage a coup, blow shit up, crash the Congressional certification, you name it.

Any different series of these things might be done in conjunction. Or not. Trump is so desperate at this point and so devoid of any sense that his actions have consequences that it’s possible he could begin to thrash about in the next 24 or so hours in a way that we’ll look back as the defining moment of his era.

What’s more, it might not even be just the next 24 hours. It could be that January 6th is just the beginning of the Fortnight That Shook The World whereby all Trump does is use a “spaghetti gambit” to attempt to stay in power.

He does all kinds of bonkers things, hoping one of them will work. He could do everything from go transactional on Twitter, to start a war to declare martial law, to frogwalk Joe Biden.

We will know soon enough, I guess.

We’re officially in the danger zone now. All the conditions are there for significant violence in DC, enough, in fact, to be Trump’s “Reichstag Fire.”