by Shelt Garner
I had a really interesting conversation with a conservative relative recently. The more I think about it, the more it epitomizes the state of the Republican Party now. He didn’t vote for Trump in 2016. He was given a permission structure to vote for Trump in 2020.
And….now he wants him to leave office early via impeachment or some other political solution.
Talk about whiplash!
What Republicans want is for anti-Trump people to see the Trump Era as value free so they can sit back and chuckle at all the young hack MAGA judges they got as well as the huge plutocrat tax cut. They want that so they can demand that the laws of politics snap back into place — suddenly we’re not talking about Big Ideas anymore, we’re talking about Kamala Harris wearing a tan suit.
Anything, but anything, to have us not talk about what just happened the last four-odd years.
And, remember, the point is that Trump isn’t an autocrat, but just a big olde ding-dong. That’s the thing people like me missed — Trump I kept ascribing to Trump political acuity and acumen that he just didn’t have. So, the United States is an autocracy without an autocrat.
All the conditions are there for us to slip into a Russian-style autocracy, but for one thing — Trump isn’t an autocrat.
The question, of course, is given how all the tools of autocracy exist to be picked up, will someone like Tom Cotton, or Josh Hawley, or Mike Pompeo or Ted Cruz finish the process that Trump began.
I honestly don’t know.
A lot depends on how, exactly, Trump ends his administration. There’s still a decent shot that he’s going to do one last thing that is so astonishing, so spectacular, that it punts our slide into autocracy down the road for a generation.