Saturday, January 02, 2021

Seven Days in MAGA

Cannon here. I'm starting to admire Trump, the same way one comes to admire the killer robot in The Terminator. Nothing stops him. Yes, he's programmed to do evil -- but one must respect his sheer obsessive determination. Look at these headlines:
The president has told advisers he isn’t deterred by the setbacks in the courts and won’t be deterred by Congress certifying Joe Biden’s win
President Trump is torching his own party and its leaders on his way out of power — and tossing gas on the fire with a public call for mass protest next week and a vote to overturn his defeat.

Trump is now conspiring with attorney Lin Wood, who tweeted his expectation today that Mike Pence will “face execution by firing squad.”
The last headline is for a CNN article which argues that Trump is outlining his post-presidential strategy. I disagree. Trump faces jail or exile; there is no 2024 for him. 
He's betting on a Boogaloo. It's obvious. He's doesn't care about the possibility of twin Dem wins in Georgia because he doesn't care about conventional politics anymore. His attitude: Apres moi, le Boogaloo.  

I'll let D-Jay take it from here. This is part 5 of his "Deprogramming Dilemma" series.

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Seven Days in MAGA
A Trumpian Coup Attempt - Serious Sedition or Slimeball Stupidity?

By D-Jay

Readers (and writers) of a certain age will remember Seven Days in May, a classic book and movie from the early 60’s dealing with a fictional attempt at a U.S. coup d’etat.  Led by the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, supported by other top military leaders and very well-planned and organized, the ultra-secret plot almost succeeded. Once exposed, however, the nefarious scheme collapsed. After all, more than a handful of the American people would never think of supporting such a thing if they knew about it, now would they?

Nowadays, we might have to rethink that.

As Trump barrels forward with his attempt to hold onto power – and avoid having to admit he lost the election (to himself as much as the world, it seems) – we have entered into territory that must be considered overt sedition, if not an outright coup attempt.

How else should we regard his intransigent refusal to accept that all legal routes to challenge the clear results of the election have failed miserably.

Recount after recount has changed nothing. 

Investigation after investigation has found no evidence whatsoever of widespread fraud.

Judge after judge has ruled against him, including those he appointed himself.

His own head of cyber security has declared 2020 the securest election ever.

No less a figure than Bill Barr, Trump’s own Roy Cohn in the Justice Department, has declared the election free of significant fraud.

Even Rupert bloody Murdoch has told him (through editorials in the New York Post and Wall Street Journal) that the time has come to give it up already.

But still Trump proceeds.  Not so much Admiral Farragut’s “Damn the torpedoes,” as, “Damn the Constitution, full steam ahead!”

With more than half of Trump’s voters reported to be following along blindly, fully committed to the support of his self-serving delusions, he is now holding a gun to the head of every Republican member of Congress.  He demands that they cause as much trouble as possible on January 6th at what should be the ceremonial acceptance of the certified electoral results submitted by the States.

Pick a side, boys and girls, he essentially is saying.  It’s either me or the Constitution, and if you choose wrong, I’m going to throw such a temper tantrum over the next four years that none of you will ever hold elected office again.

Given what we’ve seen from the Republican Party over the last twenty years, I guess we shouldn’t be surprised that so many of them are now quite happy to dunk their heads in the Kool Aid bowl without even waiting for a glass. 

Anyone who’s been paying attention knows that the only real goal of the Republican Party has become the maintenance of minority rule – white nationalist minority rule, to be precise – for as long as possible in the face of a demographically changing country.

In this effort, their weapons of choice to date have mainly been voter suppression, gerrymandering, packing of the courts and demonization of their opponents.  Undemocratic in the extreme, but probably not illegal - albeit conducted largely under laws they themselves had written. Statistical evidence suggests that some sort of hanky-panky with the voting systems themselves might have occurred at various times in various places, but that remains unproven.

In 2016, the addition of a sophisticated disinformation campaign supported by a foreign intelligence service was added to the mix, enabling the completely unqualified demagogue and authoritarian wannabe now in the White House to capture our presidency.

In 2020, even all this wasn’t sufficient.  A significant majority of the American people had simply had enough, and Joe Biden is now our legitimate President-elect. 

For all the bluster and bad faith regarding the ceremonies on the 6th, nothing can legally be changed.  There will be hours upon hours of idiotic posturing and “debate” in the halls of Congress as 140 plus Republican lawmakers strive to find something, anything, to say that will support the notion that the free and fair election was not free and fair.  That the legitimately cast votes of tens of millions of Americans should simply be tossed aside at the whim of one man – Donald Trump.

This will be the very definition of sedition.  Everyone participating in this farce will be attacking the very foundation of American democracy, that the people elect their leaders, not the other way around.

They will also be betraying their oath of office, their sworn duty to protect and defend the Constitution from all enemies, foreign and domestic.   

Even if that enemy is Donald Trump.

Lacking any legal basis, this will be nothing but a show, one performed by the Republicans, we might add, for an audience of one.

In and of itself, the charade won’t change anything. Joe Biden is the President-elect, and this will be certified for the final time on January 6th…or the 7th or even 8th if they insist on playing it all out to the bitter end.

Sedition, yes.  A coup attempt, yes.  Serious, no.

Well-organized?  Anything but.  Trump’s efforts to overturn the will of the people has basically boiled down to grasping at any and every quack theory that comes to his attention, throw it all at the wall and see what sticks.

Nothing has.

And in terms of legally preventing Biden from becoming president on January 20th, nothing will.

Slimeball stupidity.




What might play out in the streets is a different matter, however.

Will the Proud Boys and their ilk come with their guns and literally try to storm or blockade the Capitol?

Will they try to kidnap – or worse - Democratic members of the House or Senate to prevent them from casting their votes?

Will they cause so much chaos that members cannot make it to the Capitol and a quorum cannot be obtained?

This would be serious.

Can we really put it past them?

Or will the turnout be far less than what the dear leader is hoping for?  Will it be more conspiracy theory addled stupidity well controlled by the DC and Capitol Police?

Just in case, I do hope that security for every member of Congress, especially the Democrats, and their staff and families is incredibly tight.  If I were one of them, I would arrive in the Capitol no later than the night of the 4th and plan on sleeping in my office until the certification process is complete.

And what in the world is going on at the Pentagon?

The lackeys Trump has recently installed in high positions are said to be trying hard to understand how to use the levers of power there. 

How to make things happen.

To what end?

Is it that Trump is plotting to attack Iran in his final days in office, leaving Biden to clean up the mess?  According to a recent statement, that country’s government seems to take the possibility seriously.

Or is Trump actually planning to go full out Flynn on us and try to mobilize a real Seven Days in May, tanks in the street type of intervention to try and overturn the election by force of arms.

That would certainly qualify as sedition.  The most serious sedition imaginable.

Sedition that could all to easily lead to some sort of civil war if the military went along with such illegal orders.

Let’s hope that they wouldn’t.

And let’s all be ready to join into a nation-wide general strike if they do.



Contributing factors to our democratic decline:

From the Right

Truth Decay – Destruction of the Ability to Distinguish Fantasy from Reality

Ever Worsening Demonization of the Media

Manufactured Distrust of Science and Expertise

The Iron Bubble of Disinformation

The Dark Money Conspiracy

Information Warfare Aimed at Us

Domestic Terrorism

Emergence of a Full-blown Cult of Personality

Ongoing Voter Suppression and Gerrymandering

Election Security

Continued Weaponization of Social Media

Toxic Right-wing Pseudo-Christianity


Sexism and a Pseudo-Macho Mentality

Putinism and the International Neo-Fascist Movement

Lack of Education in Civics and Critical Thinking Skills

Destruction of Crucial Democratic Norms

The Collapse of Good Manners and Propriety



From the Left (and Sometimes the Center)

OTT PC (Over-The-Top Political Correctness)

Inept Messaging

Lack of Media Investment


Surrender of Rural America Without a Fight

Failure to Call Out and Counteract Toxic Right-Wing Christianity

Failure to Call Out Right-Wing Racism, Sexism and Fascism for what it is, and Counteract it in Time

Framing Too Many Issues as Being Rooted in Race Rather than Economics and Class

Failure to Recognize Just How Bad Things Can Really Get

Forever Bringing Beanbags to a Knife Fight

          Failure to Protect Critical Norms


Anonymous said...

DJ - Please write a follow up post to this one once the 6th has come to pass. Please compare how many predictions actually occurred. Please tell us which actions or efforts were tried by the MAGA types. I get that we are all ready for Trump to move on but most people expect he is going to gone on the 20th in a fairly quiet manner. I guess we will have to see what our people and our government is really made of.

Joseph Cannon said...

Anon, I'm as worried as you are. I won't make any predictions because my predictions record in 2020 has been awful -- not at all like my 2016 record, which was distressingly accurate. I expect the worst because expecting the worst is in my nature.

Casbott said...

The Democrats (and liberals in general) shouldn't be focused, more than indecently, on how to prevent the takeover attempt occurring - it has exactly 0% chance, even if EVERY Republican votes for it… this is just a grandstand for the rubes and Trump's damaged ego.
What they (we) should be focused on is how to best exploit this complete sh*tshow in order to stick it to the GOP and do long term damage. To give you an idea of how damaging this could be to the GOP is McConnell's desperate efforts to get it called off. He doesn't care about right or wrong, or morality, or even the Constitution. He cares about not getting a f*cked up mess on his hands with a no win situation.

Besides hanging this around the neck of the GOP like a fetid albatross ridden with maggots, in order to hurt their future election prospects. And finding a way to perhaps use this to bring charges against those Republicans who sign on board (imagine if they could be barred from taking their seats? The Dem supermajority acquired through denying them).

The other main goal, and that requires social media messaging and a little bit of shenanigans, is to get the MAGA fanatics to take their anger out on their own side. Being the Libtards is all well and good, we "deserve scorn", but GOP who are traitors to Trump are a far worst beast and deserve no mercy.

Basically aim the rampaging mob at "Destroy the GOP"… (a chant during the recent 'million' MAGA March).

If played right, the snakes could bite the Conservative movement hard, perhaps even fatally for several establishment Conservatives.

That's why IMHO liberals should keep a very low profile and let the GOP party reps face the heat and be the target here. The crowds will be angry and if there are no Libtards to beat up on, they will go after FOX journalist and the GOP mainstream and whoever else they feel let them down.

And during the inauguration, they will all be down in Florida at the Trump counter event.
Let them rage against their own, there's a chance they will metamorphosize into a anti GOP movement - the Taliban did after all turn on the Pakistanis in the end.

CambridgeKnitter said...

Casbott, as you no doubt know, there have indeed been calls for Nancy Pelosi to refuse to seat the Seditious 126 (or whatever the number is these days). I could see targeting that specifically at the ones who represent states they're claiming conducted elections so fraudulent that their votes should be thrown out entirely. It is worth asking ourselves what the Republicans would do if the roles were reversed (hard as that is to imagine).

Anonymous said...

You cannot blame the right's actions on a desire to maintain a white minority in power amidst changing demography and then accuse the Democrats of framing things too much in terms of race.

Your list of the left's faults smacks of both-siderism. Quite a few of the items listed are not actual flaws but arise from caricatures and attacks on the left by rightwing pundits. There is no need to appear balanced when the right is hanging itself.

Joseph Cannon said...

Anon, in some cases both sides ARE at fault. In this case, and in a very deep sense, both sides have embraced fascism.

Fascism is a notoriously difficult word to define. Here's the definition I have finally arrived at: Fascism is a movement opposed to Enlightenment values which obsesses over the politics of Identity.

That definition covers both the Proud Boys and the academic Postmodernists. One is right, the other is left -- and both are EQUALLY fascist.

The left's obsession with race -- the thoughtless, reflexive definition of white males as evil -- has played a massive role in creating Trumpism.

I strongly urge you to heed the messages of John McWhorter, Helen Pluckrose and Stephen Fry. They are telling the truth, if you have the ears to hear it.