- Originally published, December 22, 2020, at 7:12 am.
- December 22, 2020, 4:09 pm:
- Yesterday, I wrote,
I would not take it as consolation that the crazy, such as Rudy Giuliani, in Donald Trump’s orbit are turning on the crazier, such as Michael Flynn and Sidney Powell. But if Trump appoints the conspiracy theorist Powell as special prosecutor to investigate election fraud, take it as a sign that the crazier are prevailing. Trump is desperate, so it just might happen (but probably not by outgoing Attorney General Bill Barr’s hand), in which case, the prospect of an attempt to invoke the Insurrection Act might become very real.
We don’t have the level of confidence I was looking for there yet, but based on Jonathan Swan’s reporting, it sure looks like Donald Trump is tilting in favor of the crazier. Richard Nixon was notorious for a Saturday Night Massacre, firing acting attorney general after attorney general to try to quash the Watergate investigation. Will it be a Christmas Eve massacre with Trump? Will it even take that long? And in the meantime, if indeed he’s pissing on all his erstwhile sycophants, the same sycophants who previously made an invocation impossible, what about that 25th amendment?
- Yesterday, I wrote,
- December 22, 2020, 8:57 pm:
- For once, I agree with Donald Trump (actually, this has happened before, but it’s exceedingly rare). He doesn’t like the COVID-19 relief measure agreed by Congress. Not even one little bit. Too much, he says, has nothing to do with the pandemic and the checks are much too small. He wants $2,000. But I’m also taking this as another sign that the craziers are prevailing over the merely crazy, because this threatens to blow up a hard-won agreement that passed with overwhelming margins (easily large enough, by the way, that so-called progressive congress members, you know, the ones who cover the neoliberals’ left flank, could vote against it without even the remotest fear of derailing its passage), at a time when it’s pretty clear that Trump’s stock with his own party is in decline.
- December 23, 2020, 7:44 am:
- I’m honestly not quite sure what all to make of Congressional Republican infighting over attempting to challenge the electoral college tallies and try to overturn the result. The thinking on one side seems to be that this is doomed, which it indeed almost certainly is, therefore they’ll look bad even trying. But the failure to try further convinces Trumpsters that Republicans are not doing enough to “defend” Donald Trump, which, as I’ve previously noted, is a problem in the Georgia runoff. The one thing that is clear is that not all Republicans, especially not in the Senate, are falling in line behind Trump, a reflection of a “lame duck” status that clearly stings our delusional raging narcissist-in-chief.
Casey Michel argues that authoritarian populist talk of secession in the wake of Donald Trump’s defeat is really about seeking leverage to nullify or resist the policies of a federal government allegedly dominated by the Democrats. As a practical matter, he’s likely right, but the historical precedent he cites culminated in the Civil War, which arguably failed to settle much of anything.
Casey Michel, “What All the Secession Talk Really Means,” Politico, December 21, 2020, https://www.politico.com/news/magazine/2020/12/21/secession-donald-trump-449348
Seung Min Kim, Josh Dawsey, and Toluse Olorunnipa, “Republicans plunge into open battle over attempts to overturn Trump’s loss to Biden,” Washington Post, December 22, 2020, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/trump-republicans-election-fight/2020/12/22/fa0c2744-446b-11eb-b0e4-0f182923a025_story.html
Jonathan Swan, “Trump turns on everyone,” Axios, December 22, 2020, https://www.axios.com/trump-white-house-conspiracy-theories-d95450a4-c7a3-4579-a568-0473b18529c9.html