Imagining An Ivanka Trump Presidency

Shelton Bumgarner

by Shelton Bumgarner
@bumgarls

Oh, Ivanka. You so crave the presidency so much. Your stringbean husband with a warbling voice, too, craves that position but he has the stage presence of a gnat. But let’s supposed she gets her wish. Let’s look at how she might get it and what might happen.

First, we have to accept that she’s not going anywhere. You can’t be as directly connected to the levers of power as she has without having some serious long-term electoral prospects. She’s barely 35 and has 40 odd years to make her dream a reality. But she’s a member of House Trump, so, of course, she probably wants it now, now, now.

The first possibility that comes to mind is Pence appoints her his veep in a sop to the MAGA base. In fact, the things you have to address in any daydream about her becoming president is how she would be able to get the ignorant mouthbreathers (or plutocrats) of MAGA to accept her as they have her father. A lot depends on Ivanka not having any type of fight with her brother about “who gets the base” once her father is no longer politically viable. Seems to me that Don Jr. is much better positioned to get the base and as such the presidency, but lulz.

Ok, back to her being Veep. There are about a half dozen paths for her to become president should House Trump’s leader find his political prospects imploade. I could see Pence naming her Veep to placate her Daddy as a way to ease him out of office. Or…the list goes on.

But let’s say in early 2020, Ivanka is president. She at least seems to be the most put-together of House Trump. But she is only about 36 or so. To date, she’s had the perfect equation of all the power and none of the responsibility. She would find herself in something of a bind, however. She at least superficially appears somewhat moderate and fact-based, so there’s a real chance that her political honeymoon might be counted in days. The MAGA base will flip out when she doesn’t babble about a fucking wall or isn’t the bonkers orator that her father is.

Meanwhile, the center-Left will despise her on a personal level. They will resent not only how she never spoke up during her father’s presidency, but that she would be the first female president only because of the influence of her hateful father. Her Administration would likely crater so bad that she wouldn’t get the Republican nomination. She would limp politically to Jan. 20, 2021. Republicans would point to her administration as to why women should never be president.

But, remember, she’s not going anywhere. Maybe it’s not immediately. Maybe she simply lurks in Republican Administrations for a decade or two and then pops out when she’s 50 or so. That’s a very real possibility.

I can only get comfort in the fact that being president doesn’t exactly do wonders for your looks. So, honey, get ready to get really, really old really, really fast if you should happen to become president anytime soon.

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

Best case scenario?
Shelton Bumgarner

by Shelton Bumgarner
@bumgarls

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Radical Resistance, Beware Conservatives Bringing ‘Gifts’

It’s come to this.
Shelton Bumgarner

by Shelton Bumgarner
@bumgarls

I have a lot of respect for some of the more notable “#NeverTrump” Republicans on Twitter. And to a large extent, the following is not about them. This is more about the weird amalgam of “objective” commentators who think if only House Democrats would do this or that thing then everything would work out.

First, let’s get some stuff out of the way — there are a shit ton of people who do not want Trump impeached and or convicted. And, to be honest, there is simply no way they will ever change their minds. They have a vested interest in the MAGA grift on a personal level and, well, fuck you.

So, when they passionately articulate for thousands of words this or that bullshit reason that Democrats are doing it all wrong, I suggest you take it with a grain of salt. They wrap up their strategic goal — keeping Trump in office for a full eight years — in what seem to be logical tactical moves to impeach and convict Trump.

A big talking point among these assholes is Democrats need to “slow down.” This is taking a playbook from the gun lobby. What they really want is there to be no momentum. By that point it will be mid-2020 and, lulz, let the people decide sucker! They also get really bent out of shape about the impeachment drive coming off as “political.” This is a lulz given that the entire process is meant to be a political punishment.

And, really, the key thing is — they want to give Republicans, who are already asymmetrically radicalized — an absolute veto over any decision to impeach and convict Trump. They simply don’t see any successful political effort to end the cancerous Trump Administration early as a win for anyone but Democrats. That it might be a win for the nation doesn’t even enter their minds.

A key issue is that the clock is ticking. And, to date, House Democrats have actually done the things they should be doing. I think they should lean into “inherent contempt” now, but that’s just me. That is kind of a nuclear option that would likely have fucktwit MAGA people reaching for their AR-15s.

What happens next? I dunno. But I might gently suggest that some of the hack political talking head on cable news stop bickering about the 2020 race and start to prepare the nation for what was unthinkable just a few weeks ago — Trump could actually be convicted in the Senate. What’s more, we’re just at the beginning of this clusterfuck. There might be a cascading effect whereby Pence, too, leaves office pretty abruptly.

I worry that at the end of all of this we wake up to a President Ivanka, but that’s more me simply always assuming the absolute worst than anything else.

I hope.

Why Has Ambassador Gordon Sondland Agreed To Testify?

Hold your horses…
Shelton Bumgarner

by Shelton Bumgarner
@bumgarls

As I understand it, it’s Ambassador Sondland who is the guy who made it CLEAR in the released text messages that Trump did not want a quid pro quo. He’s testifying against the direction of State, so there are some on Twitter who are oohing and ahhing that this some sort of crack in the case.

Sadly, no.

Datapoints:

He’s not releasing any documents.
He’s already had a tet-a-tet with Sec. Pompeo.
He’s on the record saying no quid pro quo.

All he has to do is show up, make it clear there was — at least in his mind — no quid pro quo and it’s a win for House Trump. Or at least the optics will be. We won’t know what he said to Trump in the time leading up to the “No quid quo pro!” text.

Thus, theoretically, Ambassador Sondland could lie, or bob and weave, and give Chris Wallace all the bad-optics-for-impeachment he wants and the air will leave the impeachment proceedings as quickly as they arrived. The only reason why I still have any hope is that the House Democrats are interviewing other people involved in quick succession, so…I dunno?

If There’s Any Justice In A Post-Trump America, We’ll Treat The Kurds Like We Did The Hmong

Shelton Bumgarner
Welcome To America, Lady.

by Shelton Bumgarner
@bumgarls

By now, many of us have seen the video of the Kurdish Women’ Protection Force sniper barely avoiding having her head blown off by a stray bullet. She laughs it off. Literally laughing in the face of death.

Our president is currently a deranged racist misogynistic traitor, so he’s hung the the Kurds out to dry. This is similar to what Nixon did to the Kurds with the Shah. But we did managed to do the right thing with a different group of American allies — the Hmong. They were fierce fighters during the Vietnam War and, as I understand it, we allowed them to come the States en masse.

There are obviously a shit ton more Kurds than Hmong, but we as a nation ever want to find some absolution for electing a tyrant president I suggest we might look into giving the Kurds in Syria a similar gimme. If they can prove they were forced out of Syria because of Trump’s treason, we let them into the country, few questions asked.

For any number of reasons, I doubt this will happen. Trump’s likely — with the aid of Moscow Mitch — escape defeat and we’ll careening towards full blown tyranny. But in the unlikely event we do manage to save ourselves from ourselves, letting the Kurds we betrayed into the country is the least we can do.

Ok, NOW We’re In A Constitutional Crisis

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

by Shelton Bumgarner
@bumgarls

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Of note.

Darkness Has Fallen — Time For The Radical Resistance To Act

MAGA is ready, are you?
Shelton Bumgarner

by Shelton Bumgarner
@bumgarls

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.