by Shelt Garner
The old Benjamin Wittes quip is Trump is “malevolence mitigated by incompetence.” Another saw is “autocrats never lose.” By every possible metric, it seems as though Trump, through Barr, is going to stay in power by any means necessary even if there is a Biden landslide.
TrumpBarr would rather destroy the whole country than have Trump risk criminal exposure once he is out of office. Or, put another way, the only way Trump is leaving office should he lose is not only will he salt the earth on his way out, he’s going to demand some sort of promise about not being prosecuted once he’s no longer president.
I would even suggest he might frogwalk Obama between November and January to drive the point across — if you think me indicting Obama was bad, just wait until you try to do it to ME.
The issue is — Trump is an avatar for some seriously fucked up issue in American society. He’s like political herpes. Now that we have him, he ain’t going anywhere. Or, at least, his influence in government isn’t going anywhere. I think Trump is literally going to stay in office for the rest of his life, but that may be overstating the issue.
It could be that we’re simply in A New Era and Trump will be like Reagan was — there was life before the Reagan Revolution and life after it. I’m not one of those people who thinks Republicans will run away from Trump. To the contrary, Trump will be the new heart and soul of the Republican Party. Everything will be relative to him, just like it used to be everything was relative to Reagan.
Or, put yet another way, while I keep hearing people talk about how “fragile” our democracy is, I think we’re no longer a democracy. We’re now, officially, an autocratic managed democracy and the only possible way we have some sort of House Trump Interregnum is how God-awful incompetence Trump is at being an autocrat.
As such, we might have a few years of respite from autocracy, but soon enough, a new autocrat will take power and that will be that. It will be Trumpism without Trump. And I still think Trump will be like a reverse Gorbachev. Instead of bringing freedom to a country, Trump will strangle it.
Though I will note that while I’m often wrong, something really big has to happen for Trump to simply never leave office. TrumpBarr will use the same media narrative management techniques they used with The Mueller Report. The more difficult is for them to do this, the more radical they will become to the point that it’s rather brazen that A Very American Coup is taking place.
In the end, we may have to go through what I call The Big Ugly. And there are no assurances that the Good Guys will win if that happens.