V-Log: Idle, Incoherent Rambling About #Writing A #Novel, #Trump & #Feminism #WritingLife #AmWriting #WritingCommunity

Some thoughts.

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

Best case scenario?
Shelton Bumgarner

by Shelton Bumgarner

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Misunderstood Legacy Of Watergate

Now what you think.
Shelton Bumgarner

by Shelton Bumgarner

Watergate gave us a false sense of how easy it might be to shame a president out of office. In a way, we can blame this on Sen. Barry Goldwater. It was he who organized a trip to the White House in August 1974 to tell Nixon it was time to go — he didn’t have the votes.

But, really, the now expected endgame of Watergate in all likelihood was not an example of “the system working” as was often said in post-Watergate America. In fact, it’s the opposite — Nixon resigning short-circuited the Constitutional process. We would have been better off decades later if Nixon had allowed the process of trial to take place. We would have a far more better understanding of how the impeachment process could successfully work.

And now here we are in 2019. Everything is different than 1974. Fox News exists. This is happening as a presidential cycle is reving up, not as midterms approach. Apologists for Trumplandia simply want to run out the clock in the name of “fairness.” They don’t give a shit about fairness, all they care about is getting us so far into 2020 that Trump survives to win re-election corruptly.

Bill Barr hasn’t even done a criminal referral for a sweeping list of notable anti-Trump names. What better way to end an impeachment process than to indict Hillary Clinton for “secretly” being behind the claim that Russians colluded with the Trump campaign. That’s a real possibility at this point. Let that sink in.

As I keep ranting about to anyone who will listen — not only is Trump not some sort of political genius, he’s also his own worst enemy. He has an entire support apparatus at his beck and call and he still may not get impeached but convicted. That’s a pretty astonishing — if cold hard — fact.

But he may still survive.

Of course, purging Trump is just the first step. All the dangers associated with MAGA are still going to be there. Kris Kobach and Tom Cotton have be watching and taking notes about what worked with Trump and what didn’t. So, keep your political powder dry, folks.

Ok, NOW We’re In A Constitutional Crisis

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

by Shelton Bumgarner

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Of note.

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

Shelton Bumgarner

by Shelton Bumgarner

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

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

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

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

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

Get Ready For Trump’s ‘I Am The State’ Tweet

Shelton Bumgarner

by Shelton Bumgarner

I aM tHe StAtE.

We were so busy worrying about the views of drunk guys at a honky tonk just outside Phillie that we totally missed what was going on in the highest reaches of government.

It’s now clear that there is only one endgame — should there ever come a point when Trump faces a final defeat at the hands of SCOTUS (debatable that will ever happen, but you can dream) Trump is simply not going to comply.

He will simply allow that — obstruction of SCOTUS — to be added to his impeachment charges. In a way, this plays in to Trump’s general strategic goal of forcing a terrified Republican Party to bring down the entire Constitution to protect The Dear Leader. Or, put another way, this is the effect of it. Trump is too stupid to think in those terms, but that’s how it will shake out.

And, honestly, Trump has a twitter feed, there’s little to stop him from telling MAGA people to pick up their AR-15s and disband Congress. If there’s any civil disturbance, he uses that as the legal excuse to disband Blue State governments and establish military districts like during Reconstruction.

Nothing has happened to lead me to be any other endgame is possible. The rot on America’s civil society was far more extensive than any of us could have possibly imagined. The Republican Party sees democracy as purely transactional. In other words, they only believe in democracy when it afford the option of them getting back in power. Otherwise, fuck you.

When one of a nation’s two major political parties systemically doesn’t believe in democracy then, well, that’s all she wrote. Moscow Mitch squashes an impeachment trial in the Senate and Trump is free to do whatever the fuck is necessary to win the 2020 election. In his second term, he goes full tyrant more than he already has.

People — like me! — start to “disappear” into ICE camps across the country. Late night talk show hosts crack wise about it but nothing, really, is done about it.

I guess there’s a chance Trump will finally completely lose his mind, but there’s just as much chance that he will go bonkers and Republicans won’t blink an eye.

Prove me wrong.

The Best Laid Plans Of Moscow Mitch…

Shelton Bumgarner

by Shelton Bumgarner

I take Mitch McConnell’s threats to derail any attempt to have a impeachment trial in the Senate very, very, very seriously. He has proven himself to be an astonishingly destructive Constitutional force and all things being equal, he’s got about a 99% chance of coming out on top.

But for one thing….Donald Trump.

Now, it is imperative that we impeach and convict Trump as quickly as possible. As I’ve said for three years now, he’s an existential threat to the Republic. And, in a sense, both he and Moscow Mitch are more avatars for how fucked up things are in the States than they are any sort of evil on a personal level.

What I mean is, if it wasn’t them fucking up everything else, it would be someone else. The Republican Party on an institutional level no longer believes in liberal democracy and so fuck you. So, in a sense, if Trump survives, then the last vestiges of the Republic fall aside. We are simply a Russian-style managed democracy and that’s that. Republicans flip a switch on the existing ICE camp infrastructure and people like me conveniently “vanish.”

That’s got about a 99% chance of happening at this point, matter how much liberals may think we “finally got” Trump.

That sole percent is a powerful one, however. Trump is so bad at his job, so erratic and such a monumental self-own artist that there’s a 1% chance that by the time the issue of impeachment finally get to the Republicans, the possibility of bringing down Trump won’t be a liberal fever dream. It will be a force of history.

We’re likely to know one way another how things are going to sort out when Trump actually is formally impeached. If he finally cracks under the pressure then, well, oooooooh boy.

But don’t get your hopes up just yet. Sometimes, the bad guys win and you just have to figure out how you’re going to survive.

America’s Mad King

We got a problem.
Shelton Bumgarner

by Shelton Bumgarner

No is going to save us. I guess the case could be made that the military might step in, but even that is a questionable line of reasoning. These days I swing wildly between assuming everything is going to work out and knowing that in the end I’m going to be just another of the “disappeared.” That House Trump would be acting so blase about what’s going on indicates to me that Trump, himself, is a coup.

What this means is Trump is the worse case scenario. The Republican Party doesn’t believe in liberal democracy or the rule of law — or the Constitution for that matter — and so, really, the entire fate of the nation hangs not on our political process but Trump’s likely continued mental decline.

Or, put another way, darkness has fallen. We pinned all our hope on Mueller saving the day, which only gave Trump time to learn how to use the levers of power. With the House under Republican rule for two years, he was given absolute power. It wasn’t until he was finally give a political pardon by the “bad optics” of the Mueller’s congressional testimony that he finally self-owned to the extent necessary for the House to get some backbone. But by that point it was too late. That Trump was so arrogant as to think that releasing what he did about the phone call to Ukraine would exonerate him gives us all the insight we need into the worldview of House Trump.

I find myself thinking how, exactly, America will finally descend into tyranny. It seems that what will happen is Trump will not be convicted by the Senate and then he will turn around and make absolutely sure that there is no free and fair election in 2020. It doesn’t matter how it happens, it will happen. If all else fails, he’ll get Putin to directly hack into the election. Trump’s failsafe will be doxing or bribing individual Electors. He pardons everyone as needed and then that’s that.

The next logical step will be to weaponize the existing ICE camp infrastructure. In his second term, he will grow so brazen as to be darkly comical. He will simply round up anyone he doesn’t like and either murder them or put them in a camp. All Trump really needs is a war or a major domestic terrorist attack to make this a reality. All things being equal, as of October 2019, Trump has an open road to finally getting what he wants — the right to be a fascist autocrat.

Again, like I said, there’s only one likely to make this difficult — Trump himself. If Trump finally snaps or does something so completely indefensible that he finally loses Republican support, I honestly don’t know what will happen. Republicans already are effectively using the, “Ok, so convict him and fuck you” defense. They don’t say it — yet — but that’s the effective consequences of their behavior.

Moscow Mitch has already suggested that he will actively squash any real attempt to try Trump in the Senate. So Trump even make it absolutely impossible for Republicans to defend him and still get away with it all. I always thought Trump would snap and there would be some sort of Regency. Now, I realize I was being surreally naive. Trump’s going to lose his shit and do it all in public. No one is going to say anything. Nothing will be done — at least within Republican circles.

So, it’s completely possible that Trump will escape justice AND be completely bonkers. He will be nothing more than King George III. A mad king. Very serious people will have spent so much time bickering about the subtle re-election strategy genius Trump has been playing that they will barely realize it when the are stood in front of a ditch and shot in the back of the head by an ICE agent.

The crux of this is we were so busy studying the exact nature of MAGA’s support for Trump that we completely overlooked that the entire Republican Party was being held hostage by Mad King Trump. When all of this first came out, I could not believe it. It seemed a little too on the nose. While it’s still possible Bill Barr is Q and he’s going to pop out and say “baba booey” that it hasn’t happened yet is a very dark sign. If this is all true and Barr and Pompeo are STILL looking for the supposed sinister origins of the Mueller investigation that will clear Manafort so Trump can pardon him then we are in very, very dark times.

And our only possible rescue is not anything we might do, it’s Trump finally going batshit insane to such an extent that Republicans finally, finally buckle just enough to convict Trump in the Senate. Then any number of potential would-be Trumps can jump into the arena and do it all over again. Only this time they will be younger, more focused and more passionate.

Prove me wrong.

House Trump’s Defense Strategy: Destroy American Democracy

Shelton Bumgarner

by Shelton Bumgarner

The only hope I have at this point is the cold, hard fact that the American Military is simply not going to do what Trump is going to want them to do very soon — purge Congress of Democrats and dissolve Blue State governments.

But even then, things are not looking good for our democracy. Moscow Mitch is already fundraising off his ability to obstruct Trump’s impeachment trial in the Senate. So, that definitely seems to indicate Moscow Mitch is prepared to do everything in his power to save Trump and destroy traditional American liberal democracy.

The aspect of this that should give you pause for thought is Trump is, in himself, an existential threat to American democracy. I’ve been ranting about this for three years to anyone who would listen and, well, lulz? In other words, if Trump isn’t removed then the United States is little more than a Russian-style “managed democracy.”

Now, remember, the moment Trump sees this for what it is — an existential threat to his presidency — he’s likely to snap mentally. As I have written repeatedly, it’s possible that we won’t save ourselves in the end, Trump’s mental instability will. But given the amazing extent of the cancer Trump has caused in the executive, we have to get rid of Pence too.

While a President Nancy Pelosi might make liberals spooge their pants — in real terms it would only be fun for about 24 hours. Then we enter a dystopian political hellscape as everyone turns on her for different reasons — many of them Democrats!

I have no hope, really. I wish I did.

V-Log: America In Crisis — House Trump Holds America Hostage

Shelton Bumgarner

This is a good long, rundown of where things stand in the crisis we’re currently experiencing.