It’s been a foregone conclusion that Trump would only accept the result of the election if he won. He did the same thing in 2016 (though I think he fully expected to lose and his victory was as big a shock to him as it was to the world). I think the plan in 2016 was to make a bunch of noise about the “rigged election”, and then take the free advertising and go back to being a B list reality show celebrity once it all died down.
Instead, he won, and then convinced himself that he deserved to win, that he deserves limitless power, that he deserves all that his heart and ego desire, and that he deserves to be able to do crime without consequence forever.
The problem is that his magical thinking is not real and the trouble with that, like the trouble with jumping off Trump Tower, is that though it may take a while for Reality to impact on your fantasy, when it does it does so without regard for your feelings or sense of entitlement.
That is what is happening now. Trump is standing at the seashore ordering the incoming tide to roll back and the tide is heedless of his helpless demands. He lost and no mortal power can save him. The minute he is out of office, there are a butt ton of prosecutors whetting their knives and he knows it. He could actually wind up in prison, which I think is necessary for the health of the Republic. This is a man who needs to face consequence and not be spared them by a false mercy. Retributive justice needs to be felt so that the country can see that the rich and powerful cannot ravage the weak without punishment.
But suppose Biden, in excess of the kindness that characterizes him, pardons him like Ford pardoned Nixon?
Dudn’t matter. Biden can pardon him for federal crimes, but not state ones (and I doubt Biden will do that in any case, being as how he is kind, but not an idiot). The state of NY (to name but one state) is hungering for justice and will get it (assuming Trump doesn’t flee to a dacha on the Caspian Sea, which I don’t think his psyche could bear for the reasons discussed below).
However, in case he skips jail (something the rich often do, though his buddy Jeffrey Epstein didn’t), there is another way in which Trump’s sociopathic narcissism may be turned to a redemptive purpose in the Providence of God.
My friend Bradley Bennett discusses this:
Now begins the part where the bill comes due, where we all start reaping the whirlwind for having, in 2016, elected a man we’ve known all along is a thoughtless, belligerent egomaniac with no reverence for our national traditions, no previous record of national service, no loyalty even to his own party (which I believe he may very well end up destroying this winter).
As I explained a few months back, our elections have one purpose and one purpose only: to obtain a concession. And President Trump, as you may or may not know, is under no legal obligation to provide one. Ever. I don’t think he’s psychologically capable of providing one. Donald Trump is never and can never be *a loser*—you’re the loser. And he’s been more or less telling us so since 2016, with his very public unwillingness to commit to the acceptance of any election results except the ones where the Donald comes out on top.
He’s told us as well—weeks ago now, long before any votes were cast, correctly or incorrectly—that he means to get this thing to the Supreme Court as quickly as possible. Not having the slightest awareness of the actual history of the Supreme Court, he apparently believes the justices will just roll over for him like nine lapdogs—as, of course, John Roberts did on the repeal of Obamacare . But when SCOTUS overrules him (may not even agree to take his case) Trump, unlike Al Gore in 2000, will almost certainly continue to refuse us this simple national blessing of a concession speech. A straight-up Constitutional crisis, in other words.
Many, I’m happy to say, of his GOP enablers will probably draw the line at that point, counting on the court ruling to give them cover with their base. “GOP sources said Friday that the idea is to give Trump and his team a chance to make their case and allow the disputes to work themselves out in the courts, arguing that if the lawsuits fall flat, then Trump will have little choice but to concede the election without their having to confront him.” I definitely hope this plan will succeed–but wouldn’t bet 50 cents on it. Like Dr. Frankenstein trying to control a monster of his own creation, they will more than likely fail to do so.
Unless I’ve misread my man pretty badly, Donald Trump, once it has stopped bending to his every whim, will be all too willing to carry his die-hards into opposition and split the GOP irremediably in two. Any violence, in fact, offered at that point in support of Trump’s imaginary frauds and in defiance of the “RINOs” who won’t back him, would certainly seal the deal. [Implausible? Look for a later post about the *three times* in our nation’s history when one of the two major parties simply DIED from internal division and basically went extinct].Character, as I’ve been saying in here, is destiny. Electing a bad man really can mean discredit—and even death—to the very cause for which you hoped to exploit his services.
Anyway, it looks like our teachable moment on this point is finally here.
The idea of Trump splitting the GOP into the Mere Prostitutes and Opportunistic Predators sect (ruled by nihilists like Mitch McConnell and Lindsey Graham and cynical liars like Sean Hannity) and the Wild-Eyed QANON True Believers sect (dominated by the weirdos of the Evangelical and Catholic Right such as Abp Vigano and Taylor Marshall as well as the sundry paganized magic practitioners like Paula White and straight up nuts like Alex Jones) is a happy thought. A splintered GOP in which the weirdos turn on the predators is a GOP that will be hampered in hurting the rest of us for a good long while.
And this will be doubly so if, as seems certain, Trump the Psychic Vampire insists on continuing to cultivate his Cult with a Forever Campaign of never-ending Ego Rallies that suck the lifeblood of money and attention away from the GOP coffers and candidates and into the engorged gut of bottomless narcissistic sociopathic need that is Donald Trump.
If that happens, he will continue to cripple the GOP for as long as he lives, perhaps longer if his vile crime family takes up his mantle after he is no longer able to function and tries to keep exploiting the ultra-crazies and set them against the Party regulars with accusation that the GOP is not pure enough.
Should that come to pass, it could not happen to a more deserving party. The GOP knowingly and cynically chose to make a deal with the devil when it got in bed with Donald Trump. They enabled him every step of the way. They are 100% responsible for what they have done. And it will be utterly fitting if the doom pronounced by Uncle Screwtape comes true for that Party as it dies at the hands of the monster it created with nothing but the ashes of failure to show for it:
To get the man’s soul and give him nothing in return–that is what really gladdens our Father’s heart.
Or, as Gandalf put it:
Oft evil will shall evil mar.
Thursday, some thoughts on the false prophets of MAGA Christianity.
It was pointed out that Trump is only the epitome of what the GOP has become.
I personally consider Eisenhower the second greatest Republican president since Lincoln, and if only Republicans followed his example set by Civil Rights Acts of 1957 and 1960, American (US) racism would be largely consigned to history. Instead, seeing how Dixiecrats were looking for a new party to enshrine their white supremacist agenda, Republicans were more than happy to do it after losing credibility since Watergate (which was odd due to how it was completely unnecessary to ensure Nixon’s victory, he would have easily won anyway).
It seems that Watergate opened the flood gates and Republicans would grab onto anything to ensure their victory. And again, although Reagan was popular and could have won against Carter in 1980 without white supremacist support, Republicans still opted to appeal to latent racist sentiment prevalent in the South and ensure their vote. It could have been “harmless”
One could say that ends justify the means and ending communism was worth it, but even if it was, the GOP should have dropped all ties to white supremacists after 1988, or at the very least after 1992. After all, Democrats wouldn’t pick them up, and even from a purely pragmatic point of view, it was clear their support was flimsy and didn’t help HW get reelected.
Instead, GOP integrated white supremacy into their core values and allowed it to flourish. Thank God it finally came back to hurt them.
Tom R said this a week ago:
Twenty [sic! — I think he meant forty] years ago: “The GOP is dangerous. Reagan and Bush senior are prodding at racial resentments to get the white vote.”
Me (at the time): “Oh, don’t be silly. Reagan and Bush senior seem like decent people. There’s no way a party they lead will stoke racial resentments. They’re just raising legitimate questions about welfare fraud and crime.”
Trump is the bad spirit of myth whom the GOP’s midsdeeds have summoned into being — once summoned, he can’t be easily put away and becomes the ruler in the relationship.
Mark, with all respect, I think you and Mr. Bennett are being incredibly naïve about Trumpdemort, the republican party, Qonservative Qhristians, and the unknowable depths of the moral and spiritual corruption that infests all of them. And yes, I am an atheist who is using the word spiritual. Go figure.
Jabba the Trump SHOULD have lost by a landslide of the popular vote and the electoral vote. Instead, the loss is measured in the same way that his win in 2016 was measured: by a relative handful of votes in a few states. And those results are going to be challenged repeatedly while Trumpdemort scams the fundraising to support it— half goes to fighting court cases, half towards retiring campaign debt. And a compliant, ideological SCROTUS might well go along with it.
You would think that his non-response and his anti-response to the Covid crisis would have sunk him, but it didn’t. I’ve seen more than a few maps that show that heavily Trump counties also are heavily Covid infected. His support by evangelical Christians is virtually unchanged. Not ONE evangelical voice was heard a few weeks ago when Trumdemort said that herd immunity was the way to go, even though this mythical immunity, even if possible, would result in the deaths of hundreds of thousands more people. So much for the right-to-life crowd and their morality.
But you knew that.
As for the Republican Party? Look at what Mitch McConnell did with the supreme court nomination. Four years ago it was we have to wait till the election. This year, he owned the Libs by installing this woman on the Supreme Court. Wasn’t he clever? Wasn’t he strong? Wasn’t it good? Wasn’t it beyond hypocritical? And yet, every single last one of the republican senators (except Collins), even Ben Sasse and Mittens rMoney, voted for it. Can you say power hungry and principle-starved?
An evangelical acquaintance of mine posed the question: why could they not see through his lies? I told him I thought he was being naive. He told them not some fabrication of reality, but what they wanted to hear. We’re going to get the gays and stop abortion. We will have the religious freedom to do whatever we want to whomever we want and call it “expressing our faith”. They wanted to hear that the Covid crisis is a fabrication and we can just go on living our lives as if we had never experienced it, so that is what he told them. We can pretend that Donald Trump is just another incarnation of King David, because God picks imperfect people to do what he wants them to – with the subtext that that immoral, rude, nasty bastard is what we want to be. He has allowed them to be just like he is: narcissistic, immoral bullies, using the unborn as shields for their sociopathy, as a Christian commentator I respect has repeatedly said.
It all should have resulted in a solid Democratic win everywhere in the country, up and down the ticket, but it didn’t. Given the malfeasance, lies, blatant corruption, insulting rhetoric, lies, support for white supremacy, constant stream of lies, deadly non-response to a world-wide pandemic, the despair of our allies, the explosion of our national debt— given the reality of the “leadership” of this half-of-a-man — the closeness of this election, which Mr. Biden should have won in a landslide of epic proportions, has shown us a bitter, disturbing truth. We live in North America. But we don’t live in the country we thought we lived in. As the Vietnam war, the civil rights struggle, modern day white Supremacy, Qhristian dominionism, and a host of other inconvenient truths have shown us— and certainly from my point of view as a gay man— the American dream is vastly different than the American reality.
This is what is so astounding to me, so heartbreaking. Nearly 70 million Americans voted for Grabby McPussy, a man who is most decidedly NOT a decent human being, let alone a decent president. As for being a businessman, what kind of incompetence can bankrupt a casino? It’s the kind of incompetence that increased our national debt to nearly 27 TRILLION from 19.5 TRILLION 4 years ago. This is the party of personal and fiscal responsibility for you: $900,000 owed for each and every person in this country. We are everyone of us in danger from this recklessness, and only the billionaires are likely to escape the consequences of it when the whole house of cards collapses.
But here is the worst part, if that is even possible. He served his purpose, and They don’t need him anymore. If he wins, he’ll do what they say. If he doesn’t, they still have Mother’s Boy Pence. And if he loses, he has no value. They got most of what they want, and they still have Pence. He is redundant roadkill.
As Pogo said: We have met the enemy, and he is us.
The FOX news polls is unbelievable. Voters desire the Democratic party agenda (sorry to say, including Roe vs. Wade), but believe the GOP is going to implement it.
There are NO takers for the GOP’s _real_ agenda which is
-Cuts in government services, spending and social safety nets
-Unchecked corporate power.
So the GOP has to polish the turd to get their current level support with 1)Racism 2)Religion 3) Evil Democrats.
(1) and (2) are factions that are a vocal minority and a powerful and necessary part of the GOP team. The real difference is made by (3). FOX news has convinced many normal people that the Democrats are evil and against the DEMOCRATIC agenda.
The Fake News have convinced Democrats that their agenda has no support, and to move towards the GOP agenda.
There are two other factors which largely flies under the radar.
Voter suppression: The GOP has indulged in extreme vote suppression, aided by the GOP judges on the Supreme Court. Under cover of voter fraud, they have purged voters and made it difficult to vote in many states. It’s targeted to suppress, poor, minority and mostly Democratic votes. There will be isolated cases of fraud, so lets make it extremely difficult to vote for millions of people. There is nobody more racist than Chief Justice John Roberts today. He has been working towards white supremacy since his Reagan Days. Roberts is far more evil than Trump. Look at his arguments and judgements and tell me otherwise. His aid in setting up minority rule will be trashed by history
The absence of Democratic media: Fake News is not democratic media like Fox is for GOP. Fake news is GOP lite – Plutocracy without the religion and racism.
Both these have created an impression of popular support for GOP which does not exist. It can be seen in the raw vote counts across the state and country. GOP commands government far out of proportion to their support, even with all the racism/religion/traitor Democrat factions mixed included.
It is the GOP that is out of touch with the population, and has to increasingly resort to undemocratic and fascist tactics, including packing the court with judges. Look at the Fox News polls – 70% want to keep Roe vs Wade. Despite all the claims to the contrary, the GOP agenda has no popular support. For decades and they are stifling peaceful change.
Change will happen. And as with raisin mixed with $hit, the US Catholic Church will come out like $hit when it happens, because it tied itself to the GOP, and it will be well-deserved. Which will be a tragedy, as what replaces the Church will be even worse.
Mark I followed you at your old blog and continue to follow you here and as disgusting as Trump and his voters are I am far more scandalized by the legion of American bishops priests and religious that are burning down everything in support of Trump. It seems that some in the church have not learned from the recent past of the chuch and it’s friendliness towards fascism. In my archdiocese we aren’t required to attend Mass in person but at this rate I see little reason to go back even when it is safe. Why should I financially support the American church which seems to me to have a very strong anti-democracy streak.
I disagree. The vote was evenly split among Catholics. And though there are a handful of clergy and an even smaller handful of bishop who are open and naked Trumpers, most maintained the habit of not trying to muscle the faithful with “Vote GOP or the Baby Gets it” BS.
maybe I’m being too negative but many decent caring people I used to know have been radicalized by FNC and even more disturbingly EWTN and various priests and bishops. I just can’t see how the fever breaks. I had to block so many people spreading crazy conspiracy theories including Qanon stuff. We even have a 21st century version of the “blood libel” conspiracy that’s gaining ground.
I am not optimistic
I think Presidents have the opportunity to get away with anything. They become privy to secrets that would wreck people’s confidence in this nation more than ever if they became known. For those reasons, I highly doubt Trump will be indicted for anything. Biden might even pardon him “in the hopes of healing the nation”. In short, we can’t handle the truth.
Anything Trump would say, most wouldn’t believe. He has no credibility.
Almost half the electorate is obviously fine with what Trump has to say.
One of the things that bothers me about Trump’s campaign is that he almost won.
Or to put the way it should be viewed, the democratic party candidate almost lost against a candidate as bad as Donald Trump.
The Democratic party failed to learn in 2016 that their flirting with the far left alienates a lot moderates, and their obsessive support of abortion forced a lot of potential voters into an uncomfortable situation of trying to weigh multiple morally unacceptable positions against each other.
I like to hope and pray that they will figure this out before 2024, but since they didn’t seem to learn after losing in 2016, I doubt they’ll learn from (barely) winning in 2020.
I pray for the same for the GOP. My natural inclination is to be pretty conservative politically, and I’ve been deeply frustrated to see neo-conservatism redefine the Republican party, and for partisan rhetoric to win out over reason.
Keep in mind that millions more voted for Biden in 2020, and Clinton in 2016, than voted for Trump. In both cases, a handful of voters and a handful of states determine the outcome for everyone else, despite the millions of votes difference.
Our system is insane, bordering on criminal – except that it’s in the constitution which makes it perfectly legal. 70% of the electorate also supports abortion rights, including a lot of Catholics. One of our biggest problems, which the mark writes about frequently, is that the pro life industry is simply that, and industry, one that has managed to con an awful lot of people into place in other peoples business well above their own interests.
Bensnewlogin, I’ll leave off discussing several tangential points presented by your post.
One of my main points is that if the democrats backed off of abortion as an inviolable sacrament, it would seriously undermine “pro-life” as a marketing brand for Republican candidates to use regardless of their intentions.
I doubt it would cost Democratic candidates many votes, but it would make millions, if not tens of millions of voters significantly more comfortable voting for Democrats.
And that would, in turn, force the Republicans to address the other issues that tend to pull swing voters to the left, like having effective welfare programs, as well as consistent due process and humane treatment for all those subject to our legal system, including illegal immigrants.
Nice little circle jerk y’all got going here……………
The sort of thing cowards without ideas say when they have, y’know, nothing to say.
Oh, Konker really refuted you there, Mark. In fact, I’m going to subscribe to his (would normally type “his or her” to hedge my bets but unnecessary in this case) web site so I can learn more from the genius of this deep political thinker. Konker! HE’S got the answers for America. Konker, where is your web site? Where can I buy your books?
The next two months will reveal whether America gets the Peter Jackson ending (soft-focus slo-mo of Hobbits having pillow-fights) or the original Tolkien ending (You made me laugh, you hobbit-lordlings, riding along with all those great people, so secure and so pleased with your little selves. You thought you had done very well out of it all, and could just amble back and have a quiet time in the country. Saruman’s home could be all wrecked, and he could be turned out, but no one could touch yours”).
Just konk yourself on the head. You’ll seewhat he sees.
Glad we agree Ben!