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.
Now, let me be clear for the record again, I’m in no way suggesting violence. But I am suggesting the opposition to the MAGA peril to our democracy be more passionate, cogent and, dare I say radical on an ideological level.
The reason why I say this is, we were so busy worrying about the MAGA base, we never thought about that Trump’s cult of personality would infect people we believed would be “the adults in the room.” A prime example of this on a practical level is some Very Smart Conservatives are lulzing at Rudy, Barr and Pompeo (and Gorka!) literally racing around the globe openly pressuring foreign powers to give Trump the cover to pardon Manafort (and maybe Flynn).
This is when things get really, really dark. Not only do All The President’s Men not really feel that they’re doing anything wrong, they are prepared to pull “evidence” that Manafort was “framed” out of their butt to change the narrative as we lurch forward with impeachment. What they want is to give the Infowars comment section red meat. Throw in a possible bot attack on the part of the Russians and there’s a decent chance Chris Wallace will declare impeachment “dead” because of the “bad optics” of the attorney general releasing a report that says the entire Mueller investigation was a deep state plot to make the president look bad.
I feel sick to my stomach pacing out this scenario. I feel this way because outlets like The New York Times are so busy paying Maggie Haberman and “The Vogel” to play the Trump Whisperer — not to mention doxing Orange Crush! — that they are completely flat footed on the gravity of this fast-moving crisis. If the entire Executive Branch is not only run like Trump Org (that is a criminal enterprise) AND nobody is acting in good faith because they don’t believe in liberal democracy in the first place, then, well, we’re fuck if we don’t radicalize on a political level.
I used to say when I was running ROKon Magazine in Seoul that “Every problem is just an opportunity in disguise.” Because Trump is demonstrably at risk of losing his mind — as I have written repeatedly — then there’s both peril and opportunity going forward. They’re peril because if we can’t burn House Trump to the ground, then, well, that’s it. The moment Trump escapes conviction in the Senate he calls up Putin or MBS and does it all over again. Putin directly hacks the 2020 election. And if that doesn’t work, Putin or MBS — or Peter Thiel — could simply bribe the Electoral College in masse. Trump pardons Thiel and the quislings of Fox Bullshit Mt. have Bolton riding a Roomba with glee.
The ICE camp infrastructure is weaponized, all those young hack MAGA judges on the Federal bench do what they were appointed to do — destroy liberal democracy — and America is no longer exceptional, no longer a shining city on a hill, we’re American Carnage.
If The Radical Resistance wins, meanwhile, there’s a least a chance for national renewal. To make America great again, to coin a phrase. But it would take a national outrage the likes of which we have never seen in peacetime. So, I’m dubious. In fact, at this point, I fear the entire fate of the nation rests on Trump being a criminally incompetent self-own artist. That’s how Trump is extremely dangerous to the future of the Republican Party.
But it wouldn’t be in the way you think. In Red States, the Republican Party would continue to thrive. In the rest of the country, however, the stench of tyranny would whoft off the rotting husk of the party of Lincoln. And that’s the best case scenario. We have to stick the landing. If it’s a draw, MAGA wins. They have no shame, they crave power for power’s sake and they don’t believe in liberal democracy.
I am beginning to think only the military — and Trump being bonkers — stands in the way of the MAGA cult essentially bringing the United States to its knees. They already have, in a sense, but we still have a small window of opportunity.
But when Barr releases that bullshit report of his, well, either we save ourselves or we don’t.
We have to accept that what’s going on right now is not a scandal. For it be a scandal, the characters involved would have have some sense of shame. They would have to have a soul, some sense of a shared idea of what’s patriotic. This, sadly, is not the case.
The people involved in the current shitshow have come to believe their own press. What’s going on is a uniquely American type of political war because no one has gotten murdered — yet. Though MAGA via Trump’s Twitter feed seems to believe it would be a net-win for them if that did, in fact happen. MAGA leadership is so detached from the norms of democracy or civil society that they are now brazenly running roughshod over the very Constitution they swore to protect.
This is a solely a political war, hopefully for its duration, but so was, in a sense, Reconstruction. Much of the historical legacy of Reconstruction is a gift from the Radical Republicans. The 14th Amendment is the signature of the Radical Republicans left on the Constitution itself. Now that we have a sense of what MAGA’s game plan is, the Resistance has to radicalize like the Republicans of yore. If we don’t MAGA will destroy the country as we know it. We will be nothing more than a Russian-style “managed democracy.”
In practical terms, Radical Resistance in Congress would look like this — gratuitous use of the “inherent contempt” rule. They have left us no choice. Pompeo sticking his dick out at Congress in defiance is MAGA throwing the gauntlet down. If we don’t at last throw that fucker in jail, or fine him $500,000 a day until he shows up, then all is lost. They will see it as a sign of weakness and take charge of the narrative going forward.
One thing any Radical Resistance has to face is MAGA’s media messaging is now that of a feral rat — or maybe an alien xenomorph. They are prepared to burn everything — everything — to the ground to save The Dear Leader. This is their gotterdammerung. They would rather destroy our entire system of government than give an inch.
As such, political radicalization on the part of the to-date milquetoast “Resistance” is the only answer. I don’t want anyone to get hurt. I hate violence and that’s not my character. But MAGA is ampting up the stakes to a dangerous level. Newt did a tweet today that used the word “fake” in it seven times. And I’ve seen similar surreal uses of fascist agitprop elsewhere on Twitter.
One last note — courage involves taking a risk. If it didn’t then everyone would be courageous. We’ve reached the point where silence is consent. I vacillate widely between resignation and wanting to fight politically until the very end.
Things are dark now. But if we’re willing to defend the Constitution the way it has defended us, maybe dawn will break sooner rather than later.
I am not very sanguine about the ultimate endgame of impeachment because if things are as bad as they appear, it’s unlikely there’s going to be any Watergate-level definitive conclusion. Far more likely is the whole system collapses, in a sense, and the United States becomes a Russian-style “managed democracy.”
I say this for several reasons. One, no one is resigning out of any sense of shame. That they’re not resigning gives the public the sense that what they’re accused of doing isn’t really all that bad, so, lulz. What’s more, once Barr releases his “Anti-Mueller Report” in an effort to lay the groundwork for a Manafort pardon, that will give the bad guys control of the narrative again.
We need to pause for a moment as to what Barr has been up to. Barr is running around the globe pressuring our allies to prove that the basis of the Mueller investigation was illegitimate and, as such, Trump has a free political reign — at least in his own mind — to both pardon people and consolidate power as we rush towards the 2020 election. If the country finally cracks in two and MAGA is spooging over Barr’s report while everyone else is in shock at how it was investigated, then it’s something of a draw and Trump wins. He barely has a trail in the Senate and he has free reign to ensure that the 2020 election is anything but free and fair.
This situation grows even more grave when you realize that the conditions that produced Trump aren’t going anywhere even if we somehow manage to find the political will to get rid of him. About half a dozen passionate young racists are chomping at the bit to succeed Trump. So, lulz?
So, really, our only way of “winning” this particular political war is a not only a clear victory but addressing what’s systemically wrong with the United States. That’s just not going to happen. Get your affairs in order. It may not be immediately, but sooner rather than later the ICE camp infrastructure is likely to be weaponized and people will begin to be “disappeared.”
You probably need to read Philip Roth’s “The Plot Against America.” The scenario layed out in that novel may be our future.
Barr very soon comes out with this long-awaited probe into the Deep State. He presents it to the MAGA base a the Grand Unified Theory of The Deep State. Chris Wallace says it’s “bad optics” for impeachment.
I have long proposed that in the end, it will be Trump himself who brings his administration to its knees. He’s a galactic brain self-own artist and mentally unstable to boot.
That House Trump would lulz the active participation of both Bill Barr and Pompeo running around the world in a frantic effort to undermine the foundations of the Mueller Report — in broad daylight, no less — indicates that the rot within the executive branch is far deeper than anyone of could possibly imagine. Republicans are already poo-pooing all of this and going so far as to conflate it with what the whistleblower accused the House Trump of.
So, it seems to me that there’s a real chance that we’ve just about reached an endgame. And that endgame is 40% of the electorate — the MAGA base — is so detached from any notion of law or democracy that Trump through mindfucking, spin and messaging can stop the drive to impeachment in its tracks and that will be that. The bad guys will have won.
And, really, there’s only one reason and one reason only why this might not work — Donald Trump. Trump is now a tyrant the likes of which America hasn’t seen since its foundation. He’s the mad king. He’s our King George III. And about 40% of the electorate doesn’t care. In fact, they love it. They love the whole thing. They want more of it, not less.
So, I predict that Pompeo will return to the United States within a few days House Trump will lay out how they’ve “proved” that the Mueller Report was a deep state hack job and that will be that. They will own the narrative, at least with the base and Chris Wallace will say the “bad optics” exonerate Trump yet again. Everything that’s happened in the last week will be forgotten and they weaponize the ICE infrastructure at some point over the course of Trump’s second term (if not sooner.)
But, like I said before — Trump’s a self-own artist and bonkers. So, that’s our only chance of escaping a Russian-style “managed democracy.” The “anti-Mueller Report” will give the MAGA talking heads something to crow about and America dies.
For some time now, the Right has been atwitter with the suggestion that Bill Barr was about to wrap up an investigation into the “true” origins of the Mueller Report. Ok, now, at the time, I assumed he was doing an internal review of the US government in search of the super secret “Deep State.” Silly me, he wasn’t doing that, he was actively running around the GLOBE using his power as a government official to undermine the basis of the Mueller Report.
And guess who all this goes back to — Paul Motherfucking Manafort. And who is Manafort tight with — The Russians. And who else is wrapped up in all that bullshit?
This next part you need to kinda let sink in — things had gotten so bad that House Trump thought it was totally cool and legal to do this essentially in broad daylight. In fact, things had gotten so bad that they didn’t even realize that maybe releasing the whistleblower complaint and rough transcript might not be the brightest move on their part.
This is jaw dropping once you let it roll around in your mind a little bit. It’s staggering. Astonishing.
It’s extremely difficult to work on a novel when the country around you is burning to the ground. Anyway.
If I got any — any — engagement to the idea of starting an email list devoted to impeachment coverage I would do it in a heartbeat. But someone, somewhere would have to take the trouble to actually contact me via email. [migukin (at) gmail (dot) com]
While Moscow Mitch said he would, in fact, open a trial in the Senate against Trump should it get that far, he immediately suggested he would move to dismiss it as soon as possible. So, lulz?
Trump Bonkers Watch: Trump is showing mental strain, but it’s still sufficiently within the spectrum of sanity that the AP is unwilling to even admit that he said some pretty provocative things on Twitter. I would suggest this is because Trump hasn’t literally told people to take up arms against the big meanies who are hurting his fee-fees. Should that change, then watch for the political ground to shift under us. Trump is no where near where he’s likely to end up. And Republicans aren’t going to do anything about it. In fact, the case could be made that Kris “I Hate Brown People” Kobach will be the new center of the Republican Party should there be a post-Trump era in the immediate future. Let that sink in.
Republicans continue to have no strategic messaging other than this:
In fact, things have gotten so bad that in a sense, Republicans are following Trump’s lead. He amps up the civil war / violence rhetoric and they run with it. Newt, specifically, is suggesting that impeachment is a “Constitutional coup”and as such not legitimate. This is, of course, setting the Republicans up for a pretty spectacular problem when bullets start flying and someone gets hurt — or worse. Americans are extremely difficult to rile up, but once you do manage to do so, watch out.
What’s even more troubling is the politically battle hasn’t even been joined yet. The two sides are in shock and are struggling to figure out what to do. When we begin to get a handle on things, that’s when the sparks actually begin to fly. Or, put another way, there’s a lot of slack in the rope right night. It’s beginning to unravel on its way to eventually getting taunt, but we still have a ways go to.
Even more disturbing is when Trump finally snaps, I honestly have no way to telling what the endgame is. It’s all up to the fates at that point.