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Not a Toddler Throwing a Temper Tantrum

Mark Karlin: This is no longer the Republican Party; it is the Trump Party that has co-opted the Republican brand.
Trump Temper Tantrum

Trump Is a Sociopath Trying to Carry Out a Coup

Think of Trump as a horse on steroids stampeding through a hospital, and no one knows what the horse is going to do next. It would be easy to dismiss his post-Biden election actions as petulance, but it is more likely that he is testing how far he can proceed with a coup.

This week, the signs became clearer that this is not a situation where viewing him merely as a sulking, toddler-narcissist — and providing him time to lick his wounds of loss — will end in a positive outcome for salvaging what we have left of democracy.

Mitch McConnell has consistently broken Senate norms to achieve his goals of packing the federal bench (including the Supreme Court) with Federalist-Society vetted bots and is paying no attention to the dire COVID pandemic or providing Americans with relief as he rams through more judicial nominations. That McConnell’s official position on the election is that he will not acknowledge a winner until December 14, when the Electoral College meets, is not reassuring. Nor is it anything but chilling that Secretary of State Pompeo, who lectures other nations about the need for democracy, smugly declared that there would only be a transition to a second Trump term.

This is no longer the Republican Party; it is the Trump Party that has co-opted the Republican brand.

Of course, it is further disconcerting that Trump fired the Secretary of Defense and other Defense and Intelligence officials with less than 80 days to the end of his term. As just one other example, Trump also issued a memo to government agencies to prepare for his February budget for next year. In addition, he is not allowing the Government Services Administration to authorize funds and services to formally commence the transition to a Biden-Harris administration.

It is reassuring that most of the media has fully accepted the Biden-Harris victory, but it is frightening that they are treating Trump with the same normalized measurement of rationality that allowed him over four years, with the additional reinforcement of right-wing media, to assemble a Jim Jones-style cult willing to become infected and die for him just to be in his presence as the Elvis/Elmer Gantry of lower income, low-information voter right-wing populist politics.

That 72 million plus US voters cast their ballots for a racist, sociopathic, misogynist, loutish, Putin-asset, serial liar guilty of mass negligent homicide is not mitigated by the fact that Biden will beat Trump by at least five million votes, as well as likely reach 306 electoral ballots. Trump lost the popular vote in 2016 by nearly three million votes.

That is because Trump is not just taking time to “accept” his loss; instead, he is going to push his efforts toward a coup as far as he can. He is being assisted by Republican leaders, particularly in the Senate, whom the media believe are not recognizing Biden as Presdient-Elect because they fear Trump. That is only half the story; they fear offending Trump because he controls the people who vote for them, and if they cross him, he will get his rabid voters to turn against them. Some 72 million votes just proved this point.

This is no longer the Republican Party; it is the Trump Party that has co-opted the Republican brand.

The media have always misjudged, at every turn, how far Trump is willing to break the guard rails of governance. And what could be a more triumphant deviance from the American experiment with the institutions of democracy than literally stealing an election in plain sight? Trump cannot be evaluated as if he is rational; he is the horse trashing the hospital as his ardent and passionate followers cheer him on.

And by now, the media should have long stopped expecting GOP Senators to act in the nation’s interest. Only four have fully accepted Biden as the President-Elect, with Pat Toomey (R-PA) sort of half-accepting his election. We learned from the impeachment that the Senate Republicans and most elected Senate GOP officials long ago jettisoned serving the interests of the nation.

As of now, the Republican Party is one large extension of Trump, including everything from the Senate to the Post Office to most key department and agency heads to the RNC to state Republican parties and House Republicans. So don’t think Mitch McConnell is scared of Trump. Trump is the lodestar that he hitches onto to control the Senate. Right now, he is getting Trump’s Georgia disciples ginned up for the January 5th Senate run-off.

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In fact, the Republicans wouldn’t, in general, mind Trump stealing a second term because they know, as Trump has articulated, the only hope of the largely GOP white Christian voters winning national and many state elections is through chicanery, voter suppression, gerrymandering, preventing the spread of mail-in ballots and creating “alternative fact” victories.

The threadbare Trump campaign charges of voter fraud are more Trump distractions. They help prepare his supporters to back the strategy of his possibly challenging, if he can accomplish it, enough state certifications or get some Red Legislatures in Blue States to vote for Trump electors in order to create chaos when the Electoral College meets to vote on December 14.

There are a number of scenarios that could play out from such an eventuality, were it to be achieved (and that remains a long-shot, but not necessarily impossible), but one would, under the 12th Amendment, eventually land the election in the House of Representatives. In this scenario, Trump would win the presidency because even though the Dems are the majority in the House, each state delegation only gets one vote, and there are more Republican-dominated state delegations than Democratic ones.

Trump the sociopath thrives on such challenges, even if remote possibilities, as he sees himself as a “stable genius.”

Remember Trump is facing countless lawsuits and millions in debt repayments if he doesn’t steal a second term. He is a motivated man, if for no other reason than, according to his niece Mary L. Trump, he cannot acknowledge defeat in any fashion. He does not, she asserts, have the functional emotional capacity to do so.

With all respect to Joe Biden and Nancy Pelosi, Trump could care less about his legacy or that he was impeached. Mitch McConnell could care less that he has imploded Senate civility and violated its rules to ruthlessly achieve goals (think Merrick Garland and McConnell’s vow back in 2009 that his one goal was to make Barack Obama a one-term president — and those are just for starters).

Trump and McConnell only care about holding onto raw brute power, whatever the costs. Being concerned about the welfare of the nation and the Constitution is for Democratic “losers” and “wimps.” They, and others in the GOP Senate, rule for the rich elite — and a one-party nation would make their jobs that much easier as they further accrue power. They use “forgotten” Americans as their pawns.

And if Trump’s coup doesn’t succeed, he has further poisoned the possibility of Biden uniting a nation when nearly half the voters in this past election will likely regard Biden’s presidency as illegitimate, as well as undermining the vital ritual of democracy called “voting.”

The media treating Trump as an errant child to be coddled might turn out to be a tragic mistake. Take Trump at his word. He considers this election stolen from him, and he is daily probing to see how far he can go to “steal it back.” He is a demagogue with a massive, cultish following willing to apply pressure on elected officials or the courts when Trump decides the time is over to “stand by.” He is, to this day, weaponizing government agencies by staffing them with mob-like loyalists.

And Mitch McConnell will be there to enable him with pompous, sanctimonious and hypocritical Senate speeches.

Watch out for that horse rampaging through the hospital. The only way to stop him from turning out the lights on democracy is an uprising of righteous Americans and a Biden-Harris transition team employing a robust proactive strategy.

postal

Resist his coup efforts and stop the coup. Otherwise, Trump will gallop through the last guard rails into dictatorship.

Mark Karlin
Buzzflash