If there’s any justice in this world, at some point very soon Marie Yovanovitch will be named Secretary of State. Given all the misogynistic criminal bullshit she’s had to go through, it would be a great way for her to cap off her long years of public service. But generally the world sucks and the badguys win, so I don’t see that happening.
But tomorrow (Friday) she’s supposed to testify in the impeachment proceedings. Apparently her closed-door testimony was rather emotional at times. As such, there’s a chance that NBC News will get the theatrics it feels are necessary for anyone to care. If the woman breaks down into tears a few times and Republicans are completely oblivious to it the optics of that will be less than optimal for House Trump. It will only get far, far worse for them when they rant on FOX News that we can’t take her as a credible witness because she was too emotional. THAT will go over well with white women in the exurbs of Philadelphia ages 35 to 42.
Yet, I think tomorrow may be something of a battle royale in more ways than one. Republicans probably want a few political wins going into the Sunday morning political shows and as such may pull of some stunts to explode the hearings. Nothing is off the table. They may finally get their craven wish to out the whistleblower. Anything is possible.
I keep saying I can’t predict the future and this is no different.
I just don’t know how the political fever that has gripped the nation is going to break. Either Trump escapes AGAIN, or we careen into something tragic and messy that at least heralds a new era.
A little background. I’m a political child of Watergate. Well into my teens, I felt the political echo of Watergate all around me. I watched a lot of mid-80s TV and there were an array of characters from Watergate who were all over the place on my screen. I did not know the context until much, much later. But now that I do, I realize that even under the absolute best of circumstance for the Republic a lot of very profitable political careers have already been made as part of the Trumplandia clusterfuck. Really, the only issue is context
Anyway, the point is, we’ve now reached the stage in the impeachment process where it might have suddenly dawned on House Trump that this is, in fact, an existential threat. They are going to bend every rule, break every law, say every lie they have to extricate themselves from a potential political death spiral. It’s at least possible they will win. In a sense, I would much rather we fight to win then lose than simply meekly allow the criminal fascists in the Republican Party to burn the Republic the ground in the name of “civility.”
My chief concern right now is the Russia investigation report about to be released by the Justice Department. Even the lengths they are going to spring this thing on us out of the blue without any leaks, it’s likely to be a very authoritarian document. It will be such a bullshit turd that its findings give Republicans something to rant about whenever the subject of impeachment comes up. The real unnerving part is what happens if that DOESN’T work. What if they win a news cycle or two but in the end the impeachment inquiry keeps on moving. It’s when what the two sides are talking about are so dramatically different that the entire political system is disconnected that there’s a real danger of something unprecedented in American political life since at least the end of Reconstruction– political violence.
That it hasn’t happened yet is really quite heartening. Republicans are so wrapped up in messaging the base, they have become completely unhinged. Some pretty mainstream figures are now laying the groundwork for some MAGA nutjob to hurt a lot of people. Republicans will — without missing a beat — pivot to how this is proof we have to stop the impeachment process because “people are getting hurt” and what Trump did wasn’t really that bad afterall, especially given what the Justice Department’s report on the Russia investigation said.
I still can’t pace out an endgame in my mind right now. It’s not obvious to me how this is going to end. A few more shoes have to drop for me to have a better sense of how likely I will meet an untimely demise in a weaponized ICE camp in Trump’s second term is. We’re definitely in the danger zone of such things for the next few weeks. One issue is that Justice Department review of the Russia probe. That will be a huge test. I generally think we’ll fail. Impeachment will be seen by Maggie Haberman and The Vogel as politically nonviable and it will peter out. Trump will crow that he was right all along and Barr will hand down bogus criminal referrals for people like John Brennan. And that, will be that.
But I can’t predict the future. A lot of things could blunt — or end — our near-term march towards authoritarianism. Trump could go nuts. Trump could go transactional with his Twitter offenses and there be a big backlash. Enough people might be enraged over what Trump did that they see through the bullshit of the Barr Report and the impeachment process zooms along.
Yet I’m very weary to be too optimistic. The press is so wrapped up in “being objective” in an era of asystematic political radicalization that they take the House Trump bait hook, line and sinker and darkness falls. At least I have a novel I’m writing. Maybe I’ll finish it before ICE drags me out of my bed in the middle of the night, never to be seen again.
The darkly comical thing about Republicans is they are so craven that they give the plot away in what they accuse their opposition of doing. One can often get a lot of insight into the Republican fascist mind in the crazy things they accuse Democrats of doing. If they have this or that bonkers thing at the forefront of their minds, then you get the sense that THEY are they ones who want to do that. It’s almost a dog whistle to the base. In a sense, they’re saying, “Don’t worry, fam, we got you.”
Anyway, it’s interesting how completely fucking obsessed Sen. Lindsey Graham is with outing the whistleblower long after much — if not all — of what was in the original complaint has been confirmed. Given that Republicans like Graham are so deeply bad faith in anything they say or do, every argument they are giving for why they so desperately want the whistleblower’s name to be common knowledge is total and complete bullshit.
The reason — they crave the opportunity to “kavanaugh” the whistleblower as one of several last-ditch efforts to prevent Trump from even being impeached. They want the entire country to look at everything the guy has done in his entire life instead of all the very public criming that Trump has done over last 40 odd years. They were impressed with how effective the character-based argument were against Kavanaugh and they want the opportunity to do it to the whisleblower to prove a political point. In their instance, they want to switch out their own losing fact argument for simply making everyone talk about the whistleblower’s equivalent of Squee, “boofing” and Beach Week.
That Republicans like Graham are essentially hanging all of their hopes on this strategy is rather bonkers, surreal and tragic. I’m not saying it won’t work. There’s a good chance it will. But there’s also a good chance that if they go all-in on destroying the whistleblower for daring to sound the alarm over the Dear Leader’s criminal activity, things may get out of control and, well, dun dun dun.
Graham and the rest of the Republican Trump sycophants won’t miss a beat, of course. Within 24 hours of the whatever Very Bad Thing happens because of their own overheated and overwrought political rhetoric they will have talking points written up for the MAGA sheep to graze on. They will include:
Democrats have to stop the impeachment process immediately, people are getting hurt.
House Democrats are at fault for starting the impeachment process and some of them should be charged for “involvement” in the incident.
Blah, blah, blah, let the people decide, blah, blah, blah
There might even be even more slinging of civil war talk at this point as, well.
The point is, Republicans are so absolutely devoted not to their party, but to Donald Trump on a personal level and Trump is nothing more than a deranged version of Being There’s Chauncey Gardner, they setting themselves up for having to defend the absolutely indefensible. They will gleefully do it because, lulz, democracy and human decency are for low-T betas, amiright?
How confident am I that this absolute worst case scenario may happen? Not very. But there is a greater-than-zero sum chance something along these lines may happen as Graham continues to bang the drum to out the whistleblower.
Editor’s Note:I kind of got worked up in this one. It was cathartic to rant, but I’m actually much calmer and ready for whatever might happen than this piece might suggest.
The two sides are beginning to gird their political loins for battle. Now until no later than right before Thanksgiving could be pretty lit. I can this because apparently Bill “Q” Barr is hurriedly wrapping up this bullshit report that will prove that Trump was “right” all along about his fucking InfoWars bullshit conspiracy theory that somehow it was Democrats in conjunction with the Ukrainians who “framed” him on the matter of his collusion with the Russians as part of the 2016 election.
A number of things may happen in quick succession. Chris Wallace and Maggie Haberman scream at the top of their lungs that Trump’s been proven to be a political “genius” yet again and huzzah! the Thousand Year Trump has finally been established. Don Jr. will be touted as our Crown Prince. Trump will pardon Manafort and Flynn. Trump will signed an EO ending birthright citizenship and he’ll make a calling a Constitutional Convention the centerpiece of his 2020 re-election campaign. At some point in Trump’s second administration I simply stop posting to this blog because an ICE agent will knock on my door and pistol whip me. MAGA will gloat that the “cleansing” of America has begun and all those industrious, God fearing red necks in rural Alabama will pick up the economic slack for the heathen Hollywood types who have left the country for good. If you read this and say to yourself, “Wow, that sound GREAT!” Please, please eat shit. Fuck off, you piece of trash human being.
Now, let me collect my thoughts. There is another option. Bill Barr’s report is, in fact, a bombshell, but it doesn’t do what it’s intended to do — distract Maggie Haberman. It just makes people man. Really mad. Bill Barr has a pretty serious vested interest in pulling bullshit out of his ass on this issue and even if he has “proof” of this fucking insane conspiracy, Trump’s criming on the issue of Ukraine doesn’t just suddenly go away. But I guess that’s not the point — MAGA simply wants something to talk about instead of what a piece of shit our president is.
On a more serious note, pretty much Republicans are going to lie, cheat, hurt people, do whatever they have to do in their last gasp effort to protect the Dear Leader. They will be so hysterical — especially if Barr’s bullshit report doesn’t do what they think it will — that they’re pretty much going to be eager to burn the whole country down to prove their point. Nothing will be off bounds. Nothing.
One other crucial aspect of all of this is Trump’s mental state. I am beginning to think that while he’s going to be generally more erratic, he’s not going to actually snap like I thought it might. If he does snap, it’s more likely to be sometime between now the middle of his second (third?) term. By that point, Don Jr will be the Crown Prince and I’ll be dead in an ICE camp ditch, so lulz.
I have no idea what exactly will happen, but I do suspect we’re in for a few weeks of unprecedented instability.
The only reason why I rant against MAGA asshats on this blog these days is I get the sense from my Web traffic that a small portion of my microscopic audience comes from MAGA people spooging their pants at my dire worst case scenario pontification. There’s not much I can do but just tell them to fuck off and eat shit. You’re such a partisan that you actually want Trump to put people like me in an ICE Camp and murder me then, well, what more can I say but fuck of you piece of shit.
One thing I’ve seen up-close and personal by using Periscope over the years is there are some pretty fucking insane MAGA people. The vast majority of Periscope users seem to be MAGA dead-enders who should they see Trump murder me in cold blood would lulz it and say “at least they don’t have an Obama phone.” After the “poor optics” of Mueller’s testimony to Congress, these asshats gloated over Trump’s victory. That Trump would use this political victory to turn around and do the exact same thing within 24 hours apparently was lost on them.
The thing about many MAGA shitheads is they confuse a lack of political will with a lack of crimes on Trump’s part. So, what I fear will happen is at some point between now and Thanksgiving, a Barr Report will be released which somehow manages to implicate people like John Brennan in some sort of far-reaching conspiracy involving Ukraine, the Democrats and Crowstrike. These MAGA loyalists will cackle as Maggie Haberman or Chris Wallace say politically impeachment is dead in the water and, by the way, John Brennan, call your lawyer.
Given how dumb the conspiracy that Trump apparently believes actually is, what specifically the Barr Report will say is a struggle for me to imagine. But he’s going full speed ahead with it. The point is to so muddle the conversation about impeachment that we’re all debating the merits — or lack thereof — of the Barr Report and not all the very public criming Trump has done. So, really, Barr probably doesn’t have to do all that much. Any conversation that House Republicans are having about the bullshit findings of the Barr Report is a conversation they’re not having about Trump being criminally incompetent.
Or, more broadly, I think the issue for Twitter liberals is the Republican Party is SUCH a bad faith actor on an existential level that they are going to fight dirty. They are going to lie. They are going to cheat. They are going to get so wrapped up in their overwrought, overheated messaging of the MAGA base that they completely and totally lose sight that some idiot, somewhere will take their messaging seriously AND literally and someone who opposes House Trump is going to get hurt. I really, really, really, hope I’m wrong on this one. I want to beat House Trump on strictly a political level.
I honestly don’t know what’s going to happen at this point. There’s no ready endgame for impeachment. It could still go either way. Things have stabilized a little bit in the last few days, enough for me there may be some pretty big “HOLY SHIT” moments between now and the end of the year. What they might be, I have no idea.
But I am beginning to think Trump might not be as thrilled about being impeached by the House as Maggie Haberman would have me to believe in her soothing tweets she writes on this matter. I would go so far as to suggest that if, despite the Barr Report, Trump is still in danger of even being impeached, some pretty dark shit is going to happen because Republicans will suddenly realize what has always happened in the past is not going to happen this time.
Trump is going to, in fact, face some political consequences for being a moronic tyrant.
I just don’t know. I just don’t know how things are going to work out. Trump is apparently going to release another “transcript” on Tuesday (tomorrow) and that could be a series of FUD mindfucking on the part of House Trump to throw political roadblocks in the way of impeachment.
If Barr does fancy himself Q, then there will be two potential reactions. Either his bullshit works — again — or it doesn’t. If it doesn’t, then buckle up. House Trump is going to flip the fuck out in some pretty astonishing ways.
If you’re MAGA reading this from the Deep South and you think my worst case scenario is your best case scenario — please eat shit. Fuck off, you piece of shit MAGA traitor.
Trump’s going to be acquitted. In fact, to be brutally honest, given that Trump does NOT want to be impeached, there’s a pretty good chance he won’t even be formally impeached.
Bill Barr is lurking around, waiting to pounce. He’s likely to finally release his “anti-Mueller Report” just around Thanksgiving. As of right now, formal impeachment is set for sometime around Christmas. So, if past is preface, Barr plays the part of Q. He drops a big turd in the impeachment punch bowl. The press spends a week debating the merits of his totally bullshit report. Everyone begins to fear that John Brennan is going to be indicted. We’re so busy thinking about this totally surreal and nonsensical report — even if it appears to be backed up by “facts” — that the momentum for even impeachment fades and Trump escapes.
I say this quite sincerely because Trump is going to turn into a very moronic, very deranged Sun King at this point. He’s going to become so brazen after escaping justice AGAIN that it will be pretty obvious by no later than, say, February that there will NOT be a free-and-fair election in 2020. And pretty much everyone is going to stand around and watch it happen, too. Trump may “end” birthright citizenship via Executive Order. He may make rumblings about the absolute need for a Constitutional Convention to “pass a balanced budget amendment.”
The first part of his second term will be calling a snap Constitutional Convention and codifying American Carnage. Don Jr. will be America’s doofus Crown Prince. We’re going to be little more than Putin’s bitch. Tyranny will finally descend upon across America. Liberal-progressives in Hollywood will bounce from the country altogether and many in New York City and Silicon Valley may do the same. The ICE Camps will be weaponized and people like me will be “vanished.” We’ll simply not be around anymore. The ICE Camps will grow ever larger with not just scary brown people, but people like me.
I would note, however, in passing, that I can’t predict the future. The MAGA Right is growing extremely hysterical in its overheated, overwrought rhetoric. Things have stabilized enough for the time being that my initial fears of Trump finally losing his mind completely or there being significant anti-impeachment violence on the part of shithead MAGA people are beginning to subside.
So, in essence, I think by no later than Thanksgiving, the Mueller Playbook will kick in and a lot of liberal-progressives will scream at the top of their lungs that Trump was supposed to be impeached….and nothing actually happened. I used to think the impeachment train had left the station, but I’m beginning to doubt even that.
This week may be a big test of my predicting abilities. If we can make it through this week without the air completely draining from the impeachment balloon, then we’re in the clear…until next week. The bullshit Barr Report looms large in all of this. This week is also the first week where I’m growing a little bit more concerned about anti-impeachment violence on the part of MAGA. I only say this because their daily 2 minutes of hate is now completely focused on outing the Whistleblower and no good can come of that.
We have to begin this gut wrenching discussion with the obvious — in real terms, if what I fear might happens, happens, it will be one of the biggest political fuck ups on the part of an American party since the end of the Civil War. There simply is no way to weasel your way out of it — if there’s any type of anti-impeachment violence, Republicans — and Trump — are ultimately going to be blamed.
But, let’s move forward.
The issue right now is I just can’t speculate what the anti-impeachment violence will be. It could be anything from harm of some sort befalling the Whistleblower to a car bomb exploding somewhere like Times Square. But let’s go with something simple — the Whistleblower’s identity becomes so well know within the batshit insane MAGA echo chamber that someone decides to hurt him.
And, for the sake of argument, let’s say this happens sooner rather than later so Trump still has his marbles. But maybe it happens late enough that while there isn’t a direct link between Trump’s Twitter ranting and what happens, it’s pretty clear he established the conditions for it to happen. So things are still a bit nebulous.
The first thing would be the entire nation would come to a screeching halt for about 24 hours. For just around 24 hours, the nation would for once be on the same page: HOLY SHIT.
But this wouldn’t last very long. Once we began to process what happened, the two sides would be at each other’s throats again. MAGA Republicans would trade their hysterical rhetoric over the Whistleblower for hysterical rhetoric about how this unprecedented example of political violence is absolute proof that we “have to let the people decide” in 2020 instead continuing with the impeachment process.
In reality, this would be more about simply punting the debate over the criminal incompetence of Trump back into the political sphere and out of the “OH MY GOD, TRUMP GOT SOMEONE MURDERED” sphere. The usual suspects would pop out to message the base or carry water for House Trump. Hugh Hewitt would say Democrats are to blame because they should not have attempted to impeach Trump in the first place. House Republicans would scream at the top of their lungs that Rep. Adam Schiff should be charged as an accessory to murder. The New York Times‘ Maggie Haberman would coo that Trump was a political genius for getting someone murdered.
Now, remember, this is just the first 24 hours. The whole issue of a funeral would have to be addressed. Then there would likely be an epic battle over who would speak at the funeral and why. My personal belief is that the populist rage of Twitter would burst into a supernova when the shock wore off and people realized what Trump’s hysterical and bombastic rhetoric had done.
Remember, the reason why Trump is so very, very stupid on a political level is right now the true backbone of his support is simple apathy. The vast majority of the populace is not on Twitter and is too busy raising their kids and paying their mortgage to care, in real terms, what Trump may or may not have done. The moment they a shocked out of their stupor by such un-American political violence, all bets are off.
I mean, the only thing I can think of that would possible force the hand of the living ex presidents would be something like anti-impeachment violence. Say what you will about Bill Clinton’s personal life, but I suspect he would be able to give a barn burner of a eulogy in such a situation.
So, the moment the funeral was over, Trump — who is completely devoid of human empathy — would go back to his old bullshit games. But I think his political fate would be sealed. While MAGA House Republicans would continue to caterwaul, in the end, Trump would be convicted by the Senate.
I still do not think anything like this is going to happen. It’s just so out of the American experience for there to be political violence. And, really, while I do think it’s inevitable that the Whistleblower will be “kavanaughed” by Republicans with great gusto as impeachment proceedings progress, I still am not prepared to accept in real terms that anyone on their side will go beyond that.
So what exactly is the game John Bolton is playing with Congress right now? My current theory has several parts to it.
He’s Slow Walking He simply wants to delay his testimony until it’s way too little, too late. He doesn’t really want to testify if it has any political importance. He wants to dangle the possibility of testifying in front of House Democrats with the hope that they will delay the articles of impeachment so long that the whole thing gets pushed into 2020 and, well, “let the people decide.” Lulz!
He Has A Book To Sell He might want to gin up his profile during the process of coyly suggesting he has the goods on House Trump to such an extent that he can release his book late enough in the 2020 presidential campaign as to get the biggest headlines possible. Remember — an acquitted Trump is going to be a tyrant. He will be an criminally incompetent tyrant, but he’ll be a tyrant nonetheless. So, in real terms, it’s a win-win for Bolton. He gets to make a big splash with his book and Trump cheats to re-election and maybe even forgives Bolton in his second term. Maybe Secretary of State? Lulz!
He Wants To Give More Cover For Republican Senators If Bolton plays his cards right, the media narrative will be like that island where we’ll find gold once the last tree dies of natural causes. The general consensus will be on the part of Republican Senators that Bolton is the key to “knowing the truth” and on a political level they have a pass to acquit Trump because of this. Lulz!
So, again, we’re fucked. We’re totally, completely fucked. Barring something extra-political like Trump going nuts or MAGA overplaying its hand with anti-impeachment violence, Trump’s American Carnage vision will be a reality soon enough.
One thing I see a lot among Twitter liberals is the idea that there is some logical argument that would trap Republicans into — on a political level — agreeing to remove Trump from office at some point in the future. Alas, this is not at all the case.
Republicans are such bad-faith political actors at this point that Trump is going to get acquitted quite easily no matter what any other political considerations may indicate. Not only is Trump going to be “unbound” the moment the Senate acquits him, even under the best of scenarios the moment a Democrat is sworn in as president he or she is going to be impeached in just over two years.
Let’s unpack this.
So, the first issue is Trump is going to go full tyrant the moment he’s acquitted. There will be no free-and-fair election in 2020. He will do everything in his power to cheat in an extremely brazen manner because, lulz, we’re supposed to “let the people decide in 2020.” Those people will be either plutocrats in America or Russians in Moscow. The only thing stopping Trump from immediately ordering ICE to round up people like me and murdering us in Killing Fields in, say, upstate New York, is he’s criminally incompetent.
Should something happen miraculously to allow a Democrat to become president in 2021, the Republicans will plot to impeach that president the moment they likely regain power in the House in 2022. They will be so quick to do it, they will likely have Articles drawn up by the time Election Night is over. The Republican Party is really the MAGA Party now and they will stop at nothing to ruin any Democratic president because, well, by definition they’re not legitimate in their eyes.
As I keep saying there are really only two known unknowns that might throw us a curve ball
Trump’s Reaction To Impeachment I don’t really want our nation to go through this type of crisis, but if Trump snaps mentally in some sort of explosive manner then that old House Trump may at least be delayed in its founding. This is a real wild card going forward. In real terms, House Trump’s best bet is Trump survives mentally until some point in his second term. Trump’s replacement for Pence — Kris Kobach or Tom Cotton or whatever young, passionate fascist he dregs up from the sewers of hate — will be the one to finally found The Thousand Year Trump. America will be a nation of “blood and soil” not of ideas and, like, I said, the ICE camp system will be weaponized and, well, sucks to be me.
Anti-Impeachment Violence From MAGA This is another real wild card. It could happen suddenly and take us all off guard in a major way. After about 24 hours of The New York Times’ Maggie Haberman saying this OF COURSE means the impeachment process has to end, the exact opposite thing will happen and that will be that.
I really, really, really don’t want either one of these things to happen, however. I want to defeat Trump on strictly political grounds, come what may.
So, here are the bullshit defenses of Trump I’ve seen on Twitter of late. All of them are really attempts to message the base. We’ll see how successful they are.
“No Due Process” This defense muddles the rights someone has in a criminal case with what the Constitution affords a politician in the strictly political process of impeachment. They mix and match pieces of the Constitution to conflate things in the minds of the public. By definition, impeachment is a political process and as such, the whole thing is really basically partisan — especially in this era of extreme political tribalism and identity politics.
“Political Death Penalty” This defense says that while what Trump did was bad, it wasn’t bad enough for the “political death penalty” of conviction in the Senate. This is complete and total bullshit because of what Trump is credibly accused of doing — not only trying to give himself political cover to pardon Paul Manafort and Mike Flynn, but to get dirt on Joe Biden to use against him in the 2020 campaign. What’s worse, Trump didn’t even want the dirt, he just wanted a public announcement on the part of the Ukrainians that they were looking into Biden. Trump remaining in office through the 2020 election doesn’t actually give me much confidence that there would be free-and-fair elections.
“Partisan Witch Hunt” This is defense is bullshit because the facts are that Trump did, in fact, do what he’s accused of doing. What’s more Bill Clinton was impeached in large part because of an actual partisan conspiracy on the part of Linda Tripp, Lucianne Goldberg and Matt Drudge and Bill Clinton was impeached because of it, though not convicted. Two things can both be true — a lot of people hate Trump and Trump did, in fact, do something that warrants his impeachment and removal from office.
“Let The People Decide” This defense goes hand in hand with the “bad but not worth impeachment, much less conviction” defense. This is complete bullshit because Trump’s proven that he loves, loves, loves to meddle in elections and if he’s politically pardoned again, he’s going to grow so brazen and emboldened that there won’t be any stopping his re-election by any means necessary. Which, of course, is pretty much what the person who uses this dumb defense actually really wants.