Even leaving office and into his post-presidency, Trump has managed to figure out a way to gummy up the works. And, as it stands, in real terms, Trump is poised to “get away with it”
Here’s why: the case can be made that January 20th is his impeachment and conviction and he’s going to pardon everyone on January 19th, so his entire era will be value free.
There will be no consequences other than young hack MAGA judges and a tax cut for plutocrats. That could change if suddenly two weeks is doesn’t evoke the idea of “Oh, that’s just a few days” but rather OH MY GOD HE’S IN OFFICE FOR ABOUT TWO WEEKS.
If Trump can just stay catatonic between now and January 20th, then we’re set to drift into the Biden Era. We all know it would go against his nature to do any such thing. So, there’s a pretty chance he’s going to do something so crazy in the next few days that there’s going to be a pretty dramatic lurch towards impeaching and convicting Trump even before January 20th.
But let’s say that doesn’t happen.
The Senate trial against Trump will be both painfully moot, divisive, self-defeating and absolute necessary.
And the case could be made that Republicans, seeing an opportunity to fuck up Biden’s political honeymoon, might decide THEY want witnesses and to drag out what, in real terms, is a politically meaningless act — an impeachment trial after Trump’s actually out of office. Yes, there are a few significant goodies that Trump could be denied if he’s convicted, but in real terms, at least in the short term Trump will “get away with” his crimes and his entire era will be completely, totally, fucking value free.
Anyway. It’s one of those things that has to happen and at the same time doesn’t really mean anything. Which, I think, sums up the Trump Era quite nicely.
So. Trump has less than a fortnight in office and if he simply plays golf — or stays catatonic — he’s safe. He will cruse into retirement and that will be that. But this is Trump we’re talking about, so it’s possible that at any moment Trump will really fucking flip out.
But I’m beginning to think maybe he’s not going to freak out. I think that now that he’s lost his Twitter account that he’ll just stew in juice quietly and that’s it.
And, yet, as Mitt Romney suggests, we may just have to “hold our breath” for the last few days of Trump’s time in office. There’s really no way to know one way or another at this point.
I dunno. It definitely seems as though Trump is going to escape justice — again — because he just isn’t going to do anything more to cause problems. It’s less than two weeks. He really is going to have to freak the fuck out before anyone in the Republican Party thinks seriously about getting Trump out of office before the 20th.
Trump is probably going to be a modern day Watergate for the Republican Party. Its entire center of political gravity will shift so Trump is its be-all and end-all. I say this because that’s what Nixon became after Watergate.
Reagan was pretty much a Nixon deadender and he almost won the nomination in 1976. So, it makes sense that the Republican Party will either split into a pro-Trump and a lukewarm Trump factions, or Trump will simply consume the whole thing now. It’s also possible that if the Trump faction doesn’t take over the Republican Party that it will bolt into its own party. The Patriot Party, maybe?
So, I would keep an eye on people like Jason Miller as to the future of the Republican Party. If Trump or Ivanka aren’t the nominee, it could be someone like him who gets a lot closer to the nomination than you might think.
Or, maybe Miller will run for Senator. Or Governor.
I guess what I’m trying to say is things are a lot more up in the air than you might think.
There are a number of reasons why what seems like a dumb idea — impeaching Trump a second time with less than two weeks before he’s out of office — is actually good politics.
1.It’s A Failsafe We don’t know if Trump is going to finally snap in the last few days of his term, so it would be nice to have the legal framework to remove him from office on a near-moment’s notice lying around. That’s why this weekend could be significant — Trump could really flip out before impeachment is voted on early next week and we won’t have any way of getting rid of him. Once the House passes impeachment, though, there’s always a chance that the Senate could do a unanimous consent type thing and get him out of office as soon as it becomes clear he’s a danger to himself — or us.
2. Shame While I have no doubt that Trump could come back tan, ready and rested in 2024, at least he’ll have the shame of being the only president to be impeached twice. There’s little more than that we can do to slow things down.
3. A Truth & Reconciliation Commission It’s possible that if #MoscowMitch can’t “process” the impeachment until after Trump’s out of office, that the impeachment trial will happen once Trump’s out office. (I’ve heard conflicting accounts as to if this is even possible.) But the case could be made that once the deadline of January 20th is passed, we could have a significant and deep investigation into the Trump Era in the guise of a pretty moot Senate Impeachment Trial. (Though the issue of Trump being able to run again would be an issue.)
But the issue we have to remember at this point is this — if Trump simply lays low for about two weeks, he’s safe. If he acts up and self-owns AGAIN in some sort of massive screw up that he’s in deep, deep trouble.
As of right now, he looks like he’s going to behave. He no longer has a Twitter account. He’s just going to rattle around in the White House and escape justice like he always does.
The United States is a big, big country. It takes time for some big event to sink in with 330 million people. A lot of people are gaming. Or coding. Or binge watching The Office on Peacock.
So, there’s some lag time between, say, when something like a coup attempt that happened day happens and when it gets processed. As such, there’s something of a significant lag time for any major decision to be made. That’s why gun rights advocates hate, hate, hate any type of decision being agreed upon when people are focused and upset about 20 or 30 kids being shot to death. They know if they can just wait 24 to 48 hours that things will calm down, the dynamic will change and lulz, nothing maters.
I’ve been giving this dynamic a lot of thought as we process the coup attempt of 01/06. We have a number of paths ahead of us. One path is we never reach any type of crucial mass and the Trump era is completely value free other than a plutocrat tax cut and a massive amount of young, hack MAGA judges. It will be like it never happened.
We’ll be in political neutral for two years until Biden is impeached the moment Republicans regain the House. And if Trump can just behave for two weeks, that’s exactly what will happen. He just needs to chill out for two weeks and still — still — everything will be “forgiven” by the Right. He can come back tan, ready and rested in 2024 and go back to being a chaos agent for Russia. (Or Ivanka can primary Rubio and have Josh Hawley as her veep and the two of them can be a Velvet Fist in American politics for a generation to come.
There is the problem of Trump going totally fucking bonkers at an alarming rate.
So two things would be at play. One, Trump’s obvious seditious and bonkers behavior would begin to sink in with a lot more people than it might otherwise because of the coup attempt….and a shit ton of people in the next 24 hours are going to see what happened while they were looking and porn and be completely flabbergasted.
As such, either the post-mass-killing dynamic will be at work or something really unique will happen: a counter coup.
In this scenario, the already severe (but manageable) political crisis we’re in is taken to the next level and even though Trump has only two fucking weeks left in office he is somehow removed.
It would be one of the most surreal events in American history.
I have repeatedly over the last few years suggested that something like this was possible. But Blue Check liberals think I’m just another Internet crank, so, lulz, nothing matters.
I would suggest we keep a close eye on Trump. He’s likely to grow ever more erratic on a minute-by-minute basis. He just can’t do the one thing he needs to do: behave.
And the reason is, he’s in a logic trap. He’s thinking not about any type of political future, but pure self-preservation. And there’s going to be significant lag time (a few days) between when Trump goes to a purely self-preservation stance and when the people in the Republican Party who are still thinking about political considerations get woke to this fact.
Trump has already “lost it” as one person close to him has told CNN, so that lag time is now in effect. The question is — the issue of how all of this bounces off American self-perception.
MAGA has about 38% of the electorate under its spell. But there are probably 10% (or more) of those people who are conservative-but-not-MAGA who support Trump because of negative polarization. They hate the center-Left more than they dislike Trump and, so, they support Trump.
The jury is still out about what happens next. Trump, as always, has his fate in his own hands. I think as of this moment he’s probably going to live to fight another political day. Whatever he did to finally — FINALLY — cause his enablers in Congress to cut him loose would have to be pretty fucking bad, given what happened to day.
And he could very well survive for no other reason than the clock runs out.
It’s also possible that the clock WILL RUN OUT and he by that point he will be so completely fucking deranged that he won’t physically leave the White House. Then we have the “Downfall” scenario that I’ve mentioned a few times before and I don’t like thinking about.
I called it. I said Trump would likely go bonkers around the time Congress counted Electors and I was right. And, in a more vague way, I predicted that we were careening towards something of a “political 9/11.”
And so here we are.
The conundrum of where we are now is we have only a fortnight left in the Trump Era. That’s it. Two weeks. If we can just make it through the next two weeks, then we lurch — maybe are pushed — into something quite unexpected: a true autocracy without an autocrat.
Our democracy is obviously so fragile that if Trump really was “the guy from The Apprentice” then, well, we wouldn’t be talking about Biden coming into office. Trump would have done the hard work of stealing his second term, he’d have a thin veneer of legality and that would be that.
And, yet, for all my endless speculation that Trump would do this or that autocratic thing, it turns out he really is just a deranged version of Chauncy Gardner from Being There.
TRUMP LITERALLY IS CHAUNCY GARDNER FROM BEING THERE.
What this means is, we were all so busy assuming he was an autocrat that we missed that while he may have autocratic impulses, Trump is such a ding-dong that he can’t — or won’t — do the hard work necessary to actually become an autocrat.
As such, all the conditions and tools for autocracy are just laying around in our politics and society, waiting to be picked up by Josh Hawley (or whomever.) So, we’re probably going to just drift into the Biden Era and be in neutral until Biden gets inevitably impeached.
Trump is so fucking bonkers right now that he could self-own in such a spectatular fashion in the next two weeks that the political 9/11 that we had to day could actually be a series of pollical 9/11s that absolutely FORCE us to act to push Trump out of office for no other reason than we’ve come to think he’s a threat to himself — or us.
So, here we are, on the evening of January 6th, not knowing what’s going to happen. As I’ve said before, America is running on fumes politically and the two sides have hardened their positions enough that just the barest of additional stress on the system would likely make the whole thing collapse.
And by collapse, I mean significant political violence in the United States.
But, for the moment, let’s imagine we somehow defeat the January 6th coup. This is when things REALLY get bumpy. The moment Biden’s victory is certified, Trump may really fucking snap.
It is between, say, Jan 10 (final certification if Republicans push the issue) and January 20th that Trump’s already fragile mental state could grow so perilous that he explodes. He becomes a very conspicuous caged rat who would rather destroy the nation than risk leaving office for various reasons.
He would “destroy” things in a number of ways. He could foment some sort of secessionist crisis. He could start really firing people en mass. He could frogwalk Joe Biden. He could start a war or wars. And, worst of all, he could finally implode into extreme passive-aggressiveness.
If that happens, then Trump could very well scare the ever-living shit out of the entire world as he begins to ramble on Twitter about how “liberals want me to kill myself” or “no one appreciates the power I have when it comes to nuclear weapons.”
Now, even then, I have my doubts as to would anything happen. At least at first. If Trump really went that bonkers, the first thing that would happen would be Republicans would say he was “joking” or that somehow there was some misunderstanding of what he said.
It’s when it became absolutely, 100% clear that that was not the case….then THAT would be when some extremely surreal events would happen very, very quickly.
But the one constant about Trump is you just never can tell. He could more implode than explode mentally and we just kind of drift into the Biden Era, no big deal.
Someone on Twitter pinged me, suggesting Trump had, at last, gone “transactional” via his Twitter account. But I don’t think he has, yet. For me, “Trump going transactional” would mean he told his followers to do something specific. Especially if that “something specific” was violence that was not him “just joking.”
It would have to be something completely, totally indefensible. Something that would make conservatives-who-aren’t-MAGA sit up and take notice. An “ask” of his followers in the real world for them to, well, hurt people, stage a coup, blow shit up, crash the Congressional certification, you name it.
Any different series of these things might be done in conjunction. Or not. Trump is so desperate at this point and so devoid of any sense that his actions have consequences that it’s possible he could begin to thrash about in the next 24 or so hours in a way that we’ll look back as the defining moment of his era.
What’s more, it might not even be just the next 24 hours. It could be that January 6th is just the beginning of the Fortnight That Shook The World whereby all Trump does is use a “spaghetti gambit” to attempt to stay in power.
He does all kinds of bonkers things, hoping one of them will work. He could do everything from go transactional on Twitter, to start a war to declare martial law, to frogwalk Joe Biden.
We will know soon enough, I guess.
We’re officially in the danger zone now. All the conditions are there for significant violence in DC, enough, in fact, to be Trump’s “Reichstag Fire.”
I thought it was going to be Tom Cotton who murdered American democracy, but, surprise, it’s Josh Hawley who probably is going to get the honor. Traditional American liberal democracy is on life support and it’s probably going to be Hawley who ultimately pulls the plug.
The scenario I could see happening is Ivanka Trump becomes a senator from Florida, she dukes it out with Hawley in the 2024 primary and he ultimately becomes her Veep. They get elected — one way or another — and together they play the part of a fascist velvet fist.
Ivanka would just be the figure head, while Hawley would be the real power behind the throne. This would be similar to the situation in Russia where Putin kept bouncing back and forth between president and premier, never really leaving office. Under this scenario, Hawley would have the potential of being in office 16 years and maybe even more once he really gets into consolidating power and rams through his own Constitutional Convention.
The thing we have to come to grips with is autocracy is actually fairly popular in the United States. Trump was elected because people thought he was going to be an autocrat. In fact, the famous quip about Trump is his governing style is “malevolence only tempered by incompetence.” So, Hawley would just be regular old malevolence, which is what a sizable passionate and organized portion of the electorate wants because they’re afraid of the browning of America and women with sexual agency.
In my mind, this is all but a done deal, but for one thing — Trump.
Trump is such a wild card because of his mental instability and growing freak out about leaving office, that as I keep saying, it’s possible that he might self-own in such a spectacular fashion in the last few days of his time in office that it’s something of a “political 9/11” that so scars people that we actually punt our decline into autocracy for a generation.
But it’s not going to be a liberal fever dream. We’ll all going to get the shit scared out of us when it happens — we may not make it out alive.
Something is going to happen. The United States is running on political fumes right now and if history is any guide, someone, somewhere is going to put unexpected stress on the system. It’s almost inevitable at this point.
Or, put another way, while we could very well punt this particular macro crisis in the United States down the road four years, the lines have hardened to such an extent that something that otherwise would not really be a big deal, might spark a sequence of events with no discernable endgame.
I would compare it to Europe mid-1914 right before the assassination of Archduke Ferdinand. Europe was a power keg that just needed a spark to explode — and that spark came. The United States is the same way. But, let me be clear to all the MAGA-Patriot Party shithead cocksuckers who think there’s going to be some sort of conservative “revolution” if the Dear Leader doesn’t stay in power for the rest of his life.
This. Is Not Going To Happen
There’s not going to be a revolution. You may want to fuck your gun, but you’re not going to have a “revolution.” I don’t know why so many fucking idiots in Texas come to this site looking for my dystopian porn about the end of the United States. Fuck you, you idiots.
I will admit that Trump may TRY to stoke civil undress in a big way in the latter days of his administration in a last-ditch effort to stay in power, but, no, there’s not going to be any sort of conservative “revolution” by so-called “patriots” who want lower taxes and “freedom” from fear of being “canceled” when they’re a dick to women or minorities and get caught.
It’s all very frustrating.
When I talk about a “Glorious Revolution” in the United States, I’m NOT TALKING ABOUT A TURNER DIARIES RACE-WAR REVOLUTION YOU FUCKING IDIOTS. I’m talking about Trump, in a spasm of extra-political and extra-legal acts, being overthrown because, well, everyone who isn’t MAGA finally gets tired of his shit an hits the streets, maybe even up to the point of there being a General Strike.
There may be some serious counter-revolution style civil unrest in the United States, but I see that happening more in four years than now. The far Right, while full of abstract hate and rage against “libtards,” simply isn’t well organized yet. They need to marinate in their hate a few more years before they reach SA / SS levels of hate.
If Trump just freaks out at some point between now and January 20th and declares martial law unliterally or starts a war in an effort to “wag the dog” so he can pull a Constitutional fast one on us, he’s not going to be successful. He is going to seriously scare the shit out of us, but he’s not going to be successful. He just isn’t well organized mentally to pull it off.
So, yes, all the elements are there for significant political violence in the United States any moment now. But it will happen in the context of the Mad King being fucking bonkers, not some sort of Right wing revolution where we all sing kumbha over the broiling bodies of liberals. So, fuck you, you fucking cocksucker MAGA shitheads.