Apocalypse Now: Brexit, Impeachment, & Wuhan

Shelton Bumgarner

by Shelt Garner
@sheltgarner

A number of things are happening at the same time on a macro historical level at the moment and there’s a least a chance that they will begin to influence each other.

Brexit
As I understand it, Brexit is going to happen on Jan. 31, one way or another. I haven’t really kept up with how “hard” it’s meant to be, but it’s definitely going to cause some disruption in things in the short term.

Impeachment
We are rushing towards a pretty unsatisfactory conclusion on impeachment, with Trump being acquitted out of hand by the Senate for no other reason than the entire Republican Party is beholden to House Trump and only see democracy as a means to an end.

Wuhan
We haven’t had a pandemic in just under over 100 years. If we had a once-a-century pandemic given modern transportation, there’s a good chance the death toll would be far higher than any of us could possibly imagine.

As of right now, these three things are happening separate of each other. But there’s a least a small chance that will change. There’s a chance that there may come a point in the near future when they begin to at least influence each other in some way.

Say, for instance, that somehow we get a longer impeachment trial, long enough that the economic effects of Brexit begin to influence politics in the United States enough that public opinion begins to shift on Trump. This is probably highly unlikely — Trump’s probably going to be acquitted in a matter of hours, it seems. But if there was a longer trial, then there’s more chance that if the Wuhan virus begins to kill people at pandemic levels in the next few weeks, then all three things would influence each other.

What’s more likely to happen is something like this — there’s a short trial. Trump’s “vindicated.” And then all breaks loose. Then we see the one two punch of Brexit and Wuhan strike. It is the stress of finally having a crisis that is not a self-own that drives Trump completely bonkers. And given that use of the 25th Amendment to remove a president is a dead letter, then we would have a worse-case-scenario on our hands.

Trump complete and total lack of leadership would only make a bad situation far, far worse. In the end, the fate of humanity might be at stake and I honestly don’t have a ready answer as to the outcome.

‘Trump Is Us, We Are Trump’

Shelton Bumgarner

This one is pretty good.

‘She’s Going To Go Through Some Things:’ What Did Trump Know & When Did He Know It About Robert Hyde’s Plans With Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch?

Shelt Garner

by Shelt Garner
@sheltgarner

March 25: Robert Hyde texted Lev Parnas about all the amazing things you can do with money in Ukraine.

April 25: Marie Yovanovitch leaves Ukraine abruptly.

July 25: Trump tells the President of Ukraine she’s “bad news” and “she’s going to be going through some things.”

So, that’s it. I still think it’s weird he said that, but if she was out of the country, then, well, it’s not what I thought it was. Sorry.

Idle, Incoherent Rambling About Novel Character Inspirations & The Rise Of The American Fourth Reich

Shelton Bumgarner

Some thoughts.

The Real Reason Why Evangelicals Support Trump

An observation

V-Log — Developing & #Writing An ‘Apocalypse Now’ For The Trump Era

Shelton Bumgarner

by Shelt Garner
@sheltgarner

In these two rambling videos, I talk about both the novel I’m writing and how fucked we are when it comes to Trumplandia. May God have mercy on our collective souls.


Dr. Toxoplasmosis, Or How I Learn To Stop Worrying And Love Cyberwar

War, what is it good for? Absolutely nothing.
Shelton Bumgarner

by Shelt Garner
@sheltgarner

I hate violence, suggested or otherwise. I think I have that parasite found in cat pee that makes you nicer. I’m a man of peace, of ideas. And, as such, as our doofus president seems hellbent on blowing us all up, I would gently suggest to the Iranian government NOT to blow up anything in revenge. Do something a lot less bloody — hack into TrumpOrg.

It’s a way to square the circle. All they have to do, really, is release Trump’s taxes and the rest takes care of itself. They will have “won” the war against the United States without hurting anyone. They can sit back and watch the United States eat its tail as MAGA lulzes a million pages of proof that Trump’s a criminal and everyone else freaks the fuck out.

No one needs to die.

No one listens to me, though.

‘The Night Of Mar-A-Largo’

It’s MAGA’s World, We Just Die In It.

by Shelt Garner
@sheltgarner

For about four years now, I have been telling anyone who will listen that I think Donald Trump is an existential threat to the Republic. The last few days have pretty much proven my case. It’s rare that I look out in the blue winter sky and wonder if I’m going to see a DPRK ICBM in the sky, heading to nearby-ish DC.

I have even begun to pace out how I would know it had happened. The EMP burst would zap all electronics in the general area of the nuclear blast and so, well, nothing would work. I have thought about how many sites the DPRK would target and the likelihood they would actually be able to blow them up. I love Koreans, but they have no “medium” switch on a cultural level. So if president crazypants managed to get them to the point where they wanted to take us down with them, then, then they would probably shoot as many as five ICBMs towards us. They have a pretty nice H-bomb arsenal at this point and the means to deliver them across the entire United States.

But they haven’t really had a chance to test the whole system, so there’s a good chance what would really happen is we would all collectively shit our pants at how fucking close we came to 10+ million dead (at least) in the United States alone. We aren’t really prepared on a psychological or emotional level to deal with THAT many dead in the context of civilization continue to exist. But that would be a real possibility — as long as the Chinese and Russians sat on their hands, any nuclear war between the DPRK and US would be on the low end of a “limited exchange.” Given how fucking bonkers Trump is, of course, he would probably nuke the North Koreans out of existence using not just tactical nukes but h-bombs. You could probably turn most of North Korea into an unlivable radioactive hellscape with as few as 5 h-bombs. Think about that. That’s pretty deep.

The point is, however, that we’re definitely lurching towards what I’ve suggested all along — things are going to get so extreme and so surreal pretty soon that we’re going to learn a lot not just ourselves as a people but something pretty basic about our nation as a whole. If there’s nothing Trump can do that will lesson his support for any reason, what happens if he get’s so bad on a mental level that we all start to think maybe we’re entering The Dead Zone. Maybe the reason there’s no intelligent life in the universe is inevitably an ET Donald Trump pops up and blows the planet to bits? Is it possible that Trump’s not just an existential threat to the Republic, he’s an existential threat to the species?

I suspect that we’re just fucked. MAGA just needs Trump cognizant enough to make it into his second term. That’s it. By that point his new Veep — The Kooch, Kris Kobach, Tom Cotton, Tucker Carlson or Don Jr? — will be in place to pick up the slack. So I fully expect one of the scenarios we face is Trump uses any war in the Middle East to win re-election and the he promptly turns into a psychological puddle and we get the American Hitler we’ve all been expecting in Trump.

I just can’t see ANYTHING that will force Trump out of office for any reason other than a peaceful death sometime in the next 10 years. He’s just one tweet away from demanding a Constitutional Convention to “pass a balanced budget amendment.” He will get it, they will go rouge and pass Enabling Acts on a Constitutional level and I die in an ICE camp sometime in the next two to three years. Lulz!

Another, far darker scenario is Trump doesn’t make that far. He manages to crater on a psychological level not when MAGA needs him to (any point after Jan 20, 2021) but, say, sometime in the January-October time frame. If things get as mindblowingly surreal as fear, Republicans will have three lines of defense, 1) Let the people decide 2) If only we back off and give him some space, he’ll make America Great Again 3) The Pence Piviot.

The last one is one of the more clever moves they might use. If things get so absolutely extreme that the Republican Lizard People finally face the unthinkable of having to admit that, well, maybe Trump really WAS a worse choice than Hillary Clinton, they will simply say that Trump needs his rest and Pence is making sure Trump’s vision of America (ugh) becomes a reality. We’re safe because of Pence, in other words.

But let’s say that doesn’t work. Then what. What if what I’ve mulled before happens. I mean, what if Trump really finally flips his lid — and in the middle of a major regional war in the Middle East, no less! Then what. Poor old Hugh Hewitt’s brain may break. If you’re such a cockholster for The Dear Leader and finally reality comes crashing into the situation in a way that even you can’t spin or deny, then, well, things are going to get fucking lit. A lot of smart, educated grown-ass men have debased themselves absolutely for the sake of Trump and every day Trump gets worse and more dangerous for not just America but the FUCKING WORLD.

The single most surreal event of my life will be if Dennis Prager+Hugh Hewitt+Matt Schlapp get on TV and have a complete, total mental and emotional breakdown when, like The Simpsons’ Comic Book Guy, they realize they hitched their “lives and scared honors” to the wrong guy. This is unlikely to happen, but thinking about it happening is kind of chilling. That level of bonkers behavior on the part of a “public intellectual” would be rather disturbing.

Only if, say, a few million people died and everyone blamed Trump for it could I see that happening. In real terms, those guys have gotten what they wanted from Trump — a tax cut and young, hack MAGA judges. They have no shame and our media ecosystem is so broken that the moment Trump is no longer politically viable, they’ll change their tune in mid-conversation and act as if nothing happened. Fuck those liars.

Anyway, I generally don’t think any that extreme is going to happen. Far more likely is Trump will always be just on the cusp of losing his mind and yet never quite get so bad that Nancy Pelosi strikes by sending the Articles of Impeachment to the Senate so they can be used essentially as the 25th Amendment. He will drift into his second term and The Kooch (or whomever) will be the person who puts me in a camp and is indirectly responsible for my death in American Killing Fields. (In upstate New York maybe?)

Good night and good luck!

Things Will Be Either Dark Or Surreal In 2020

Shelton Bumgarner

by Shelt Garner
@sheltgarner

We have several different options ahead of us.

Dark
Trump is acquitted by the Senate. He runs on a platform of having been “vindicated” as well as the need for a “Constitutional Convention to pass a balanced budget amendment.” He bribes or doxxes Electors. He wins re-election through brazenly criminal and corrupt means. He is promptly impeached and convicted, but his new Veep (The Kooch, Kris Kobach, Tucker Carlson, Tom Cotton) picks up the mantel of a theocratic fascist white ethno-state and runs with it.

Surreal
A combination of Trump being goaded into losing his shit by Nancy Pelosi and an abrupt economic downturn caused by the Jan. 31 exit of the UK from the EU is enough to push him out of office in a rather abrupt manner. Ivanka Trump becomes Pence’s Veep. Suddenly, because Trump’s in a mental ward somewhere, Republicans abruptly revert to their early 2016 political stance and we all look at each other in astonishment that they want us to ignore everything they’ve said and done for the last four years.

Which one will happen? I just don’t know.

Wiemar America & The Rise of The Fourth Reich

Shelton Bumgarner

by Shelt Garner
@sheltgarner


I have several conservatives in my immediate family. I love them dearly on a personal level and they’ve been very, very gracious to me over the years. They aren’t really MAGA people but they love, love, LOVE Trump’s policies and so any debate with them on a political level is rather moot. They will concede that the Dear Leader is, in fact, fallible, but that’s about it.

They either feign political indifference or they say “they don’t know who to believe.” Both of these statements are extremely unacceptable to me because they’re pretty much just a modern, American version of the “Good Germans” of Nazi Germany. In other words, as we careen towards an American Reich their unwillingness to take a stand against the rise of American fascism is growing ever more alarming. This is because their willingness to act on a personal level to help me from dying in a weaponized ICE camp is growing less by the day.

A conversation tonight was very troubling. My conservative relative simply waved away my concerns that once Trump is inevitably acquitted by the Senate that he will turn around and run on a plank of calling a Constitutional Convention to “pass a balanced budget amendment.” What is so troubling him equating my fears with InfoWars rhetoric during the Obama Administration is I’m not pulling this out of my butt. Trump is notorious for cherry picking concepts from the loony far Right and doing just as I suggest fits his MO perfectly. He already jokes about running for a third term and the groundwork is lain for Trump to do exactly as I suggest — we’re already just a few states away from a Constitutional Convention as it stands.

So once Trump wins re-election — through whatever illegal or corrupt means — he will babble about the need for a Constitutional Convention to balance the budget. The fact that Republicans gave a huge windfall to plutocrats doesn’t matter. MAGA has no shame and all they care about is power and cold hard cash. As best I can tell, members of the Constitional Convention would be named by members of individual state legislatures. As it stands, the vast majority these bodies are Republican. As such, the members of the newly convened Constitutional Convention would have a huge amount of incentive to codified the “American Carnage” of MAGA into the Constitution itself. This series of events is not InfoWars level bonkers. This is actually extremely likely given Trump’s autocratic leanings.

I would go so far as to say all MAGA needs is to get Trump into his second term. It doesn’t matter how. Trump could dox or brazenly bribe individual Electors. As long as they vote for him and get him into a second term, Trump’s new veep — be it The Kooch, Tom Cotton, Tucker Carlson or Kris Kobach will be the person who uses Trump’s blood-lust for Constitutional-level Enabling Acts to establish an American Fourth Reich.

Once they are successful, then we’ll enter about 1935-1937 in the Nazi takeover of Germany. And, I hate to break it to some people, but I don’t care how much Trump wants to fuck his Jewish daughter, once Trump’s peacefully shuffled off this mortal coil, some of the nastier aspects of MAGA will take over the whole movement and history will, in fact, repeat itself.

I would suggest you leave the country immediately if you have the means.

The only thing that may delay — but not stop — the rise of the American Fourth Reich would be Trump abruptly losing his fucking mind in a very, very dramatic fashion at some point between now and Election Day 2020. Here are some extended thoughts on that.

I hate to break it to you, folks, but if impeachment really does reach a tipping point we’ve entered the darkest timeline. It won’t be impeachment, it will be Trump’s reaction to it that we’ll be talking about.

Trump has long had some sort of chronic mental problem. The stress of simply an impeachment investigation — which would likely take months — would, in it self, potentially cause him to decompensate. It’s would make a lot of sense if Trump found himself in something of a logic trap. He would absolutely feel as though he would survive an Senate vote. But he would also absolutely feel paranoid that he might not.

So he goes bonkers.

I therefore propose that in the end, it won’t even be impeachment that is Trump’s downfall — it will be his reaction to it. If Trump finally goes off the deep end, some astonishing surreal thing will happen. The first will be MAGA Stalwarts will find themselves defending ever-more demonstrably indefensible things on Trump’s part. First they will simply say he was “joking.” But there will come a point when they take the final plunge into their own destruction. Trump will tweet out a dick pic. Trump will begin to tweet out the N-word to Obama. And they will defend it, thinking that Trump, like always, will stay in control of the narrative.

And so, in the end, Trump’s tendency to self-own will get so absolutely bad that there might be an intervention, of sorts. They might propose to Trump that he gets to choose Pence’s replacement as veep. And maybe a promise of a full pardon after Pence wins re-election in 2020. Trump accepting such an offer would be the best case scenario for Republicans.

The worse case scenario is he won’t accept it. And in the end, Trump so far gone mentally that the Senate finally does, in fact, convict him not so much because of any particular crime, but for the complete failure of the 25th Amendment to work.

And then, I’m afraid, we have a once-in-generation event. Young people won’t reference 9/11, they’ll reference Trump’s downfall. It will probably play out a lot like the OJ’s slow motion police chase in a white Bronco. It will last days, even weeks. The entire country will grind to a halt as we attempt to lure Trump out of The White House.

It will be a dark day in our history.

Here is how it may play out. I wrote this some time ago, but the premise is the same.

9/10ths
a story fragment of a possible near future
by Shelton Bumgarner

April, 2019

The eyes of the world were on the White House.

Just moments before, President Donald J. Trump, 45th president of the United States, had been convicted by 67 members of the Senate for a whole list of high crimes and misdemeanors. Trump had for weeks now been ranting on Gab about his case in the Senate, bouncing back and forth between threats to start a war with Iran or the DPRK and not-so-subtle hints that he might take his own life should he be convicted by the Senate.

And, now, at last, the moment of truth had arrived.

Trump legally, at least, was no longer president, but he had been oddly silent since the verdict had been announced with great fanfare from the well of the Senate. Trump’s conviction had come after months of investigations on the part of the now Democratic Congress. The length and breath of Trump’s malfeasance discovered by these hearings had rocked the nation to its very core. On more than one occasion, MAGA talking heads on cable news had been interrupted by astonishing breaking news that left them, for once, unable or unwilling to defend the president.

The hearings had ground on for months to such an extent that Trump’s approval had slowly drifted to the 20s and stayed there consistently. Trump’s support was now made up of the very rich and the very poor. Oddly, despite Trump’s near constant demands on Twitter for violence on the part of his supporters, little, if any was reported. Trump had grown so frustrated that he had all but abandoned Twitter at one point for the more receptive Gab social media platform. Though on more than one occasion Rudy Giuliani had made it very clear it was within the rights of the president to declare martial law if he deemed it in the best interests of the nation. More than one delegation of Senate Republicans had gone to the White House to explain to Trump that he was going to be convicted, no avail. Trump made it clear to them, in not so many words that his simply living in the White House made him president, a sentiment best expressed by the legal saw that, “Possession is 9/10ths of the law.”

Finally, a post to Gab came out: “My so-called ‘conviction’ is the work of the Deep State and as such illegitimate. I remain president.”

This set off a chain of events, the likes of which Americans had never seen. Suddenly, everyone on Twitter became a Constitutional scholar as everyone studied the exact wording of the Constitution as to what happens if the president is removed from office by the Senate. The wording is quite clear: he or she is no longer president and that’s it.

Nowhere in the Constitution did it explain what to do if the president simply decided to ignore the Senate. What’s more, nowhere in the Constitution did it state what to do with the nuclear launch codes should a president be removed from office and he refuse to accept the decision of the Senate.

The next few hours were chilling as they were surreal for millions of people not just in the United States but around the globe. The issue of Trump’s physical access to America’s nuclear launch codes was suddenly at the forefront of everyone’s mind. Though it was finally announced that while the nuclear football remained in Trump’s possession, Sec. of Defense Mattis had ordered the American armed forces to stand down for the duration of the crisis.

Trump, on Twitter, was as defiant and unhinged as usual.He threatened to kill himself. He threatened to start a nuclear war. He vowed to declare martial law.

The usual suspects on cable news did their best to spin all of this for Trump. As an anxious nation waited for the now former president to leave the White House, a cavalcade of former Republican Senators and Trump White House staffers attempted to make the former president’s case. Their final argument was that for the good of the country, Trump should be allowed to remain president, despite his lawful conviction by the Senate.

Things began to move rapidly at this point.

Vice President Pence was sworn in but Chief Justice Roberts in a dark, somber event in the Old Executive Building. Meanwhile, it was learned Trump had quietly replaced his Secret Service detail with a private security force that made it clear it was prepared to defend Trump until the bloody end.

At this point, two things happened. A final bipartisan delegation of Congressional leaders came to the White House grounds under the flag of truce. During the course of an hour-long meeting, Trump screamed at them that they had never supported him and the world would be better off if it just ended instead of allowed the forces of the Deep State to ruin America. He made it absolutely clear that he would never leave the Oval Office willingly.

With that, they left.

Next, a surreal, bizarre event, the FBI slowly began to surround the White House. There was much debate online and on TV about how long the nation should wait for Trump to leave the White House. CNN went so far as to do a deep dive into the exact amount of food the White House grounds might have available at any one moment.

Finally, shots rang out from the White House as the battle was joined. It took several hours but in the end, the FBI was finally able to secure the facility. Nearly a dozen personnel on both sides died during the course of the Battle of The White House.

In what would become ionic footage, Trump was quietly escorted from the White House grounds. He spent the remainder of his days ranting on Twitter and Gab that he was the rightful president.