Sorry Maggie Haberman, It’s Starting To Look Like Trump MIGHT Not Be The Political Genus You Cooed About


by Shelt Garner
@sheltgarner

Let me begin by saying I never fucking let anything go. Maggie Haberman was weirdly mean to me on Twitter out of the blue and it still smarts. So, she’s become something of a running gag in my content. Anyway, for those of you playing the home game, for about four years, people like The New York Times‘ Maggie Haberman have told us in hushed tones what a fucking political mastermind Trump is.

How things have changed.

Welp, as of right this second, I ain’t seeing it, Ms. Haberman.

I mean, if Internet crank me can think of six different ways RIGHT NOW whereby Trump could stay in office as long as he likes and that ding-dong can’t even figure out one, well, it looks like he was just a very lazy right guy at the right historical place.

Trump is a lot like Hitler in the sense that he simply didn’t really do anything other than use the existing rot in his country’s political system to get what he wanted. Hitler was notoriously lazy. And, if you just look around, you can tell that Trump is pretty lazy, too.

So, about selling your soul to House Trump for access — you got what you wanted, Ms. Haberman, but you will forever be the journalistic equivalent of Leni Riefenstahl…in a sense. What I mean by this is when History judges Trump, she is likely to judge YOU too.

And I’ll freely admit that Ms. Haberman is a far, far better journalist than me. But you’re supposed to have a least a thin veneer of conflict between yourself and the people you report on.

Regardless, I’m just an anonymous Internet crank. No one listens to me, and they probably shouldn’t.

MAGA Is Just Identity Politics For White People


by Shelt Garner
@sheltgarner

Let me be clear, that going to one small MAGA rally in DC does not an expert on the subject make. But it was my first MAGA rally and it made a big impression on me. Then I talked to a relative who is conservative-but-not-MAGA and something occurred to me.

One reason why it’s so fucking hard to deal with MAGA is at its core, it’s identity politics for white people, but you can’t bring that up because they get all defensive and think you’re calling them, personally, racist. What’s more, they don’t even believe in systemic racism — period — so you can’t even bring that up.

Throw in the two sides no longer having a shared reality and, well, you have the makings of a pretty unstable country. And I honestly don’t know how this particular situation fixes itself peacefully. We have about 20 years before the dead hand of demographics finally whittles away at the core of the Republican Party — old people.

What’s more, it’s possible that as brown people grow more “white,” that their natural Catholic conservatism will kick in and, well, we turn into an autocracy no matter what. That could just be our fate now — the United States, on a macro level, is going to become an honest-to-God autocracy in my lifetime.

I can’t predict the future. I have no idea what is going to happen.

It’s Comical How Badly House Trump Screwed Up By Not Striking Before The Election Was Called


by Shelt Garner
@sheltgarner

Trumplandia, we have a problem. While we are now entering the most dangerous political crisis in American history since the fall of 1860, there is something of note we have to talk about: how badly House Trump screwed up by not striking before the election was called.

I have been ranting about how “autocrats never lose” and this is still the case. And it’s still the case that Trump is an autocrat and, by definition, will “not lose.”

And, yet, now that the election has been called there will be severe consequences for that “not losing.” Trump is going to try to use the bully pulpit of the presidency to do exactly what he could have done before the election was called — frame the post-election battle in a way that the average person won’t mind if he mysteriously “doesn’t lose” like all autocrats.

Now that the election has been called, the average person who doesn’t really pay that much attention to politics is going to be shocked when Trump stages a coup — whatever it may ultimately look like — to stay in power. It’s just not as easy for Maggie Haberman to explain Trump’s coup in hushed tones as a stroke of political genius after the election has been called.

But once the shock of political defeat wears off, Trump is probably going to come roaring back and attempt to use all his usual Stormy Daniels tricks to reframe the debate. Rudy will yell on CNN for an hour on a regular basis. The Right Wing bullshit echo chamber will attempt to bend the mainstream media to their will. You, know, the usual media narrative management that has been so successful for House Trump for five years.

And, yet, now that the political act of the election being called by the media has happened, if they try extra-political methods to stay in power — which they will — there’s going to be a civil war / revolution. But as can be seen in how Republicans handled the RBG SCOTUS opening — they really don’t give a fuck. They are so completely blinded by their MAGA ideology that they are oblivious to how they’re going to destroy the United States — or at least the First Republic — if they “catch the car” of keeping Trump in power.

The country is just too polarized right down the middle 50/50 for them to be able to pull it off now without a lot — A LOT — of people dying tragic, needless deaths. But, sadly, the more difficult it is for them to stage a coup, the more radical they will become. They’re going to grow so hysterical that that, in itself, may be what pushes us into a second civil war / second revolution.

MAGA is such a bunch of easily triggered snowflake crybabies that when the shoe is on the other foot, they’re going to what to blow shit up rather than face the cold, hard, fact that the dear leader is going to have to leave office. Given that Trump is probably going to grow more insane and hysterical himself as well, no good will come of any of this.

Our best case scenario right now is Trump attacks and corrupts every single step between now and January 20th and STILL can’t stay in office. Then he totally flips the fuck out and aggressively salts the earth on his way out, pardening dozens — if not hundreds — of his cronies. He fires everyone he hates — even if he can’t legally do so — and gets FBI director Rudy to frogwalk Biden in an attempt to protect his own sorry ass.

If all else fails, he pardons himself and flies AF1 to Pyongyang where he spends the rest of his life snorting coke off hookers’ assholes and telling Kim Jung Un all our secrets.

That’s our best case scenario.

Worse case scenario is Trump and MAGA single-handed force the issue and everyone has to take sides — even if they don’t want to. Then the United States’ First Republic collapses and we spend a few years killing each other.

There is no narrative. There is no value. We will imbue this particular avoidable tragedy with those elements after the fact in a desperate attempt to make ourselves feel better.

Even Our Best Case Scenarios Suck: Trump’s Coming Stress Test Of The Constitution



by Shelt Garner
@sheltgarner

Even our best case scenario in the next three months sucks. Our best case scenario is something, “In the end, after having nearly destroyed the Consutition in a rabid bid to stay in power, Trump pardons himself and flys AF1 to Pyongyang and quits.”

What I mean by this is, Trump has made it clear he’s going to exhaust every possible option before he leaves office. And it’s reasonable to assume that we have a Vote Certification Crisis and a Elector Intimidation Crisis ahead of us. Trump will use violence and the threat of violence make seem as though he has a chance of actually “legally” staying president, when, in fact, it’s simply the usual “autocrats never lose” situation.

This is all the lull before the storm, I’m afraid. Not only do we have to worry about Trump winning one of his bullshit lawsuits at SCOTUS, we have to worry about Trump starting a war to Wag The Dog or naming Rudy FBI director so he can frogwalk Joe Biden in an attempt to negotiate his own escape from justice.

And all that’s the best case scenario.

The worst case scenario is someone blows something up and TrumpBarr use that as excuse to invoke the Insurrection Act and take “total control.” In essence, there’s something akin to a coup and with that I simply can’t even map out an endgame.

Anything from Trump mysteriously staying power to a actual civil war / revolution could happen should such things happen. As I mentioned, it’s possible that Trump could really flip his lid and start a war with the DPRK or Iran for the sole purpose of making us so distracted that he can be a War President and mysteriously, again, never leave office.

I hope I’m wrong. I often am. But we have to take the possibility of such bullshit seriously.

Erratic Election Night 2020 Live Blogging — Uh Oh


by Shelt Garner
@sheltgarner

It’s still early in the night, but I have a bad feeling about this. Something has to change for me not to assume Trump is going to win exactly the way he won in 2016 — he wins the electoral vote but loses the popular vote.

Unless there’s a coup, I’m going to tune out if that happens. As of tomorrow morning, I’m going to plunge head first into the novel. We have another four years of the Trump Era and there will be a built-in audience of angry liberals who will want to read it.

And I have to remind you that I have long believed that the Russians would never allow an asset as valuable as Trump to leave office. AND Trump rather randomly removed 1/3 of our troops from Germany. I know it’s still early, but that remains a significant fear for me right now.

What’s more the Trump Post Office gambit appears to be working as well — 300,000 votes aren’t going to be cast in swing states and the Post Office is lulzing a court order. They know they can ignore it with impunity because it matters is they help throw the election for the autocrat.

I don’t know if I’ll blog anymore tonight. I may be too depressed. If what I’ve been saying all along happens — autocrats never lose — the novel should begin to go very, very quickly as of tomorrow morning.

The True Tragedy of The Trump Era


by Shelt Garner
@sheltgarner

Two major historical events come to mind when I mull how the Trump Era — should it come to a close soon — will be viewed. One is Watergate. Not only was it the crucible through which America entered the modern era, it was all around a big old tragedy.

If anything, Trump has taught us a very crucial lesson about Watergate. We thought Watergate established a gameplan for how a president might actually be removed from office if his or her crimes were bad enough. In fact, Watergate was a very specific event with very specific characters that was not really any sort of gameplan at all. It was simply a fluke.

Or, put another way, it was a construct of the era in which it came out of. People in 1972 – 1974 had some sort of shame. Some sort of sense of honor. Two qualities that absolutely no one in the Trump Administration has.

The point is, however, that nothing was the same after Watergate. The Republican Party became the part of the people who were Nixon deadenders. That core group of people — in the guise of Reagan — would come roaring back in 1980 as part of the Reagan Revolution.

The Reagan Revolution is the other big event that the Trump Era gives us some insight into. The reason why Reagan’s election was so important was many of the problems that would lead to Trump first began to form. The Republican’s obsession with SCOTUS. It’s obsession with cutting taxes and social programs. It’s hatred of anyone voting. The list goes on.

The key issue of this moment in time, however, is how it was a psychological break from the past. The entire country began to take for granted a number of what were previously far Right concepts.

So, here we are in the Trump Era.

It will be the biggest shock of my adult life if not only the Russians let Trump lose, but Trump doesn’t somehow start a civil war just out of spite and a fear of going to prison should he leave office.

But should Trump miraculously leave office and a Biden Administration start, I just don’t see how things snap back into place. Trump isn’t going anywhere. He’s still going to be an ex-president. He’s still going to demand a spotlight and he’s still going to have a Twitter account. What’s more, he’s probably going to salt the earth on the way out the door.

One subtle change, however, the thing that we’re all going to have to deal with, is Trump single handedly radicalized much of the center-Left the way the Obama’s second term radicalized the entire fucking Republican Party. We were sucker punched by Trump’s time in office and so a lot of the native goodwill that many center-Left people might give Republicans simply doesn’t exist anymore.

In a way, both sides are now equally radicalized and suspicious of each other. The only real difference between Republicans and Democrats is the latter actually believes in liberal democrats norms. And Democrats have some sense of shame. Republicans, meanwhile, don’t give a shit. They are so fucking craven, so blinded by ideology that they were more than willing to fucking destroy the whole country if they think it might give them just one more young hack MAGA judge.

But I still just don’t believe Trump is going to lose. He’s an autocrat and autocrats never lose. Never. It’s going to be the Russians. Or SCOTUS. Or some combination of both that allow Trump to “not lose.”

And I just don’t see Americans having it in them to do what would be necessary to force the issue and drive Trump out of office — a General Strike. I believe TrumpBarr will simply grow more radical as necessary, invoke the Insurrection Act and that will be that.

As I keep saying, on a strictly political level, Biden is doing quite well. But Trump is an autocrat — if a very incompetent one — and, as such, will never fucking leave office. And if he does leave office, you had better be sure he’s going to demand a pound of political flesh.

So, in the end, even if Trump is out of office, everything will be different. Our expectations have changed. There’s likely to be a Trump Deep State that will aggressively work to bring down the Biden Administration at every turn. The Fox News faux outrage machine will constantly be looking for different ways to recapture the glory of the Trump Era.

Trump will be the Republican Party’s new Reagan. Everything they do, everything they say, everything they believe in will be relative to Trump. They hate democracy and see it only as a means to an end. About half a dozen would-be younger, brighter, more focused autocrats are already chomping at the bit to finish the job Trump has begun.

Remember — even after the disgrace of Watergate, the Republicans just barely lost to Carter in 1976. Barely. It was one of the tightest elections in history. And they came roaring back just six years after Nixon left office in disgrace.

Should Trump physically leave office, we’re probably going to have three to six months to enjoy it before Republicans will shit on it all.

But I still, still will be completely flabbergasted if Trump loses. Too many powerful people — including Trump himself — will fight dirty to ensure Trump stays in power as long as he likes.

American Has Entered The Most Severe Political Crisis Since 1860


by Shelt Garner
@sheltgarner

As I have said before, the biggest screw ups in history occur when one side makes a strategic miscalculation. Be it the American South in 1860 or the Germans in 1914, time and again history has shown that major historical events occur when one side believes that after a cost-benefit-analysis that the cost of achieving their goals is worth it.

With the American Civil war in particular, the South was probably — in the beginning — safe in their assumption that the North would say “wayward sisters, part in peace” and that would be that. It was only because of the leadership of Lincoln and his decision in late 1862 to make freeing the slaves a war aim that the tide turned.

So, if you look at America 2020, at the moment, MAGA-Qanon is reasonably safe in assuming that they can stage something akin to a coup in the courts and, lulz, nothing of note will happen. In fact, even I, at this point, believe they are right. I just don’t see “Blue America” being willing to risk “their lives and scared honor” in the real world in the manner necessary to save the Union as currently conceived. If all else fails, TrumpBarr will used the Insurrection Act and that, as they say, will be that.

And, yet, that hasn’t happened yet. It’s at least possible that while MAGA-Qanon will initially succeed in their efforts to steal the 2020 election via some sort of Very American Coup, that the conditions are such that the country implodes in a rather unexpected fashion. But let me be very clear — only in hindsight would we give The Big Ugly value or a narrative. While any putative “Second American Civil War” or “Second American Revolution” was taking place it would suck on a day-to-day basis and be a huge fucking tragedy that we will ultimately all regret we had to go through, no matter the ultimate endgame.

Such is the nature of such events.

I too often fall into the trap of giving The Big Ugly some sort of narrative. The reason why events like the Civil War, or WW1 or WW2 have such potency for millions of people is they’re scary as hell and pose an existential threat to how people view themselves and their nation.

So, in the end MAGA-Qanon could win and we devolve into something rather dystopian. There would be no assurances as events unfolded that the good guys will win. If you asked a person in 1942 what the outcome of the war was going to be, they probably would say the Axis Powers were going to win.

No person under the age of, say, 80 or so, has lived during through a prolonged crisis where there are battles that are won or lost that don’t really give you any immediate indication of how the war itself is going to endup. Put that same dynamic not in Europe or Asia but in the United States itself and we’re all in for a situation we definitely don’t want to go through.

All I’m saying is — the conditions are there for something not seen in the United States since the Civil War. Good luck.

My Current Nightmare Prediction For How Trump Wins


by Shelt Garner
@sheltgarner

It seems to me this is going to happen — record anti-Trump voting is equaled by Election Day voting by MAGA-Qanon. The race is extremely tight. So tight that Russian hacking into our election systems makes a big difference in key states.

Amy Coney Barrett votes repeatedly to narrow the scope of votes that will be counted and Trump wins.

That definitely seems to be what Republicans are thinking they can pull off as of right now. Autocrats — even incompetent ones like Trump — never lose.

The Metrics Of ‘The Big Ugly’


by Shelt Garner
@sheltgarner

All signs point to Trump simply never leaving office, no matter what. I say this because of Bill Barr. Even if Trump loses in a massive landslide, Barr is going to be Trump’s hatchet man and make sure all Trump’s troubles go away. In the end, it all endsup at SCOTUS and Trump wins 5-4 or 6-3.

And, yet, it has to be noted that this isn’t going to happen in a political vacuum. This is not 2000. The reason why the Republicans were able to steal that election was the country wasn’t as polarized and it was something of a sucker punch. It took us years to process what happened and why.

While I absolutely believe at this point that TrumpBarr will “not lose” the 2020 election, there is at least small possibility that I’m wrong. In the end Trump’s incompetence will finally, at last be his downfall. But the nation will have to go through a traumatic experience to get rid of him.

Here’s the idea — it soon becomes apparent that TrumpBarr has lost “the mandate of heaven.” So much so that even Senate Republicans, sated by a huge tax cut and hundreds of young, hack MAGA judges might begin to distance themselves from The Dear Leader.

One metric to look at is Sen. Lindsey Graham. If Graham starts to make it clear that Trump should leave office because, lulz, he lost the election, then that’s a good indication that even though Trump is using the full weight of the U.S. Government to stay in power, that the political ground has shifted subtly beneath him.

But the biggest metric to look at his Trump himself. If Trump’s insanity and political criminality fuse — which they will — then it’s possible we enter a gotterdammerung situation where Trump, using Barr, sort of forces the issue. He forces EVERYONE to take a side on an existential level. So much so that the Republican Establishment itself begins to fragment.

I guess you could call this the “Very American Coup” scenario. In this situation, TrumpBarr’s attempt to “not lose” the election is nothing short of a political 9/11 attack. Everyone knows what’s going on. Everyone is on the same page. And it all boils down to if you’re a Trump “true believer” or not.

So, even though even Senate Republicans don’t want Trump to take everything to SCOTUS, he does anyway. He wins there and the country is so fucking enraged at what has happened, that the fucking bolts finally pop off and the United States implodes along the lines of the Soviet Union in 1991. But probably in a far more messy, violent manner — The Big Ugly.

It just seems like 2020 is it. This is the election where 50-odd years of macro trends all crest at the same moment and all of our nightmares and dystopian fears happen at the same time.

I honestly don’t know the endgame. I honestly don’t know if TrumpBarr wins or if such a brazen extra-political attempt to stay in power will be enough to get conservatives-who-are-not-MAGA to get woke or not. If we can’t get that crucial part of the electorate to finally show some backbone, then on a political level, at least, the United States in 2021 will be identical to Belarus in 2021.

American Nobody


by Shelt Garner
@sheltgarner

Let me be clear from the beginning that I’m a nobody. I’m an anonymous rando. I could literally drop off the face of the earth at this point and my absence wouldn’t be noticed by anyone outside of my immediate family.

And, yet, I often say that if the apocalypse happened, I’d either be the first person to die or the person who brought back civilization. Well, I hate to break it to you, but we’re on the precipice of a fucking political apocalypse. The reason why I say this is TrumpBarr — even in the face of a landslide at the polls — will never, ever, EVER FUCKING LEAVE OFFICE.

So, therein lies the makings of a historic clusterfuck.

I hope I’m wrong. I really do hope I’m wrong. And, really, it’s not like I have any credibility to lose if I am. But there’s a greater-than-zero-sum chance that not only will the United States implode in a matter of months, I’m going to be driven from my home because of my politics.

I’m going to become just another of the thousands of Blue citizens in Red areas that have to flee in the wake of political violence. If that tragically does happen to me, I’m heading north to NYC. I often say if could crash on a couch in NYC in a home with access to the subway system that within six months I’d be a minor celebrity in the city.

Throw me into what would be, essentially, revolutionary NYC, and I’d have a pretty good chance of finding myself in some rather surreal situations for no other reason than I have the skillset of someone who thrives in the chaos of a country on the brink. I’m good at abstract thought. I’m good in a crisis. And I’m good at the strategic thought associated with mapping out scenarios.

Let me be very clear — I’m a man of peace. A man of ideas. But if things have gotten so bad that I’m driven from my home because I’m a libtard, well, my fate my be foisted upon me. You can’t be a hero unless fate gives you the opportunity to be one.

But, again, all that sounds “delusional and stupid.” And it is. And, yet, I also know that about 90% of the people who should take the lead in such a situation don’t because they’re scared of the risk associated with such a dramatic situation or they have too much to lose.

I really hope I can just finish this novel I’m working on. That’s all I want. I have no desire to do anything but that at this point. But I’m not going to sit on my hands if The Big Ugly comes. I’m going to do something, anything to make the lives of my fellow Americans better.

I just want the liberal democracy of my youth back. That’s all I want.