The Dastardly Things Trump May Yet Try to Do

On this Armistice Day let us consider all the awful things Trump might do to shit on the country that rejected him.

There’s a lot of talk of a coup, in particular since Trump is busy screwing the Pentagon. This article at Politico explains:

The firing of Defense Secretary Mark Esper kicked off a rapid-fire series of high-level departures at the Pentagon on Tuesday, setting off alarms on Capitol Hill that the White House was installing loyalists to carry out President Donald Trump’s wishes during an already tense transition.

In quick succession, top officials overseeing policy, intelligence and the defense secretary’s staff all had resigned by the end of the day Tuesday, replaced by political operatives who are fiercely loyal to Trump and have trafficked in “deep state” conspiracy theories.

The question is, can these Trump loyalists in the Pentagon conspire to somehow force the military to back up a Trump coup? I don’t see how. The brass hates Trump, and the military is not supposed to obey unconstitutional orders, even from the President. But that doesn’t mean damage isn’t being done.

Tuesday’s exodus led one top Democrat to accuse the administration of gutting the Pentagon in a way that could be “devastating” for national security.

“It is hard to overstate just how dangerous high-level turnover at the Department of Defense is during a period of presidential transition,” said House Armed Services Chair Adam Smith. “If this is the beginning of a trend — the President either firing or forcing out national security professionals in order to replace them with people perceived as more loyal to him — then the next 70 days will be precarious at best and downright dangerous at worst.”

If Trump is destabilizing the Pentagon to set up something, it would more likely be some kind of sabotage by a foreign power. But chances are there is no plan and Trump is just being a jerk.

At The Guardian, Sam Levine writes Can Trump actually stage a coup and stay in office for a second term? Like me, Levine doesn’t think a military coup is likely. But here’s a scenario I’ve seen in several places:

There is a long-shot legal theory, floated by Republicans before the election, that Republican-friendly legislatures in places such as Michigan, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania could ignore the popular vote in their states and appoint their own electors. Federal law allows legislatures to do this if states have “failed to make a choice” by the day the electoral college meets. But there is no evidence of systemic fraud of wrongdoing in any state and Biden’s commanding margins in these places make it clear that the states have in fact made a choice.

In order to make this work, Trump’s less-than-crack legal team would have to find a way to stop the certification of votes in key states, says Andrew Prokop at Vox. If elections aren’t certified by deadline, which varies by state, it is possible for a Republican legislature to overrule the state’s voters and appoint Trump Electors. So far, Prokop says, there seems to be no serious movement in the states to go along with this, but read Prokop for details.

Trump’s attempts to throw out votes or stop the counting (in states in which he’s behind?) by claiming fraud have come to nothing. See the New York Times, the Washington Post, and the Associated Press for details. So far, it seems the election and the vote counting have been conducted by the books in every state. It’s actually kind of astonishing that more actual hinkiness hasn’t been found. I suspect election officials everywhere realized they had to be extra careful this election.

The most worrisome thing I’ve heard is that Trump may spill state secrets after he’s been evicted from the White House. Bess Levin at Vanity Fair points out that Trump is, by his own admission, $421 million in debt. And a lot of smart people have speculated he’s in a lot more debt than that. It’s not that much of a leap to think he’d sell out U.S. national security for the right price.

“Of course, that might sound crazy and delusional if not for the fact that Trump has spent nearly his entire term in office making the solid case that he’s a national security risk, a threat that would seemingly become more acute once he leaves office,” Levin writes.

Shane Harris at the Washington Post:

As president, Donald Trump selectively revealed highly classified information to attack his adversaries, gain political advantage and impress or intimidate foreign governments, in some cases jeopardizing U.S. intelligence capabilities. As an ex-president, there’s every reason to worry he will do the same, thus posing a unique national security dilemma for the Biden administration, current and former officials and analysts said.

Trump cares nothing about the United States and would sell us all out in a heartbeat for enough money. So this last one is genuinely worrisome.

Mike Thompson, USA Today

12 thoughts on “The Dastardly Things Trump May Yet Try to Do

  1. I have thought many times and sometimes expressed to family members that Trump would throw anyone, even his family, under the bus to save his own ass.  His silence at this time tells me that he is scared and therefore dangerous , like a cornered rat.  However, I do have hope that there are enough decent, ethical people who can prevent him from doing whatever he has in his crazy mind.  He is indeed descending into a very scary place in his mind perhaps never to return.cool

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  2. In relationships, and after a breakup, the partner forced out may hope for some change of heart in the form of reconciliation or some delayed return to the heart and bed of the partner who kicked them out. The devastating moment that threatens the hope is when the jilted lover sees that his partner is dating and probably intimate with others. 

    Trump's relationship with voters is the 'thing' that put Trump in control of the GOP. If he loses voters, the GOP is free to shop for a leader who's not a loser. The GOP voter and the Republican party might find someone better in the sack than Donald. And he becomes irrelevant, ignored, unwelcome. The hordes feeding Trump's ego drift away and the money they'd throw his direction. 

    "The Reuters/Ipsos national opinion survey, which ran from Saturday afternoon to Tuesday, found that 79% of U.S. adults believe Biden won the White House. Another 13% said the election has not yet been decided, 3% said Trump won and 5% said they do not know." (from Bloomberg)

    The cut that thinks Trump lost include 6 in 10 Republicans. IMO, it will take something big and factual to reverse the erosion of Trump cultists.

    So WTF is going on? Trump will withhold his "concession" as a bargaining chip. My guess is that Trump was told (in the early days) when he was breaking the law. 1) Trump wants immunity from prosecution. 2) Trump wants to do a heroic comeback in 2024 and for that Trump needs to maintain control of the GOP. 3) Trump wants to be perceived as a viable threat to the Democrats in 2024. (This keeps money flowing and might be a shield against some civil action if the banks are afraid Trump could return to power.) 4) Trump wants a legacy – As the Kennedy Dynasty, the Bush Dynasty, and the Clinton Dynasty, Trump has a fantasy of Ivanka and/or Don Jr rising to the throne after him. Departing under a cloud from the political stage ends that – when Trump becomes the butt of GOP political jokes, his kids will only be invited to fundraisers to make cash donations.

    Trump is the most proficient failure of the age. Trump Airlines, his football team, Trump Steaks, Trump U, and Trump Taj Mahal are a testimonial to the skill of a loser who can crawl out of the wreckage leaving others the debt so Trump can move on to the next swindle. I think he knows – but the SOB is a master at setting up the next con.

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    • I think Trump is going to be one of those, if I can't have you, nobody will type of guys who just can't handle rejection.

       I think Mary Trump got it right.. Now he's going to start breaking things. He's been spurned.

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      • "Start"? breaking things?  He owes money to various fascists and will do what he can to remove the "threat" of democracy to those same fascists.  He has been breaking things for several years, one of the few things he actually has done.

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  3. There's all the shenanigans associated with vote counting, electors, etc, that all appear to be solid enough to withstand attacks by Trump or his minions.

    With those kinds of domestic options probably not going to work, I wouldn't put it past him to get one of his dictator pals to attack our country. National Emergency and all that. King Louis XVI got his wife's family (Marie Antoinette was Austrian) to attack France when it looked like his reign was in trouble. The war was a disaster for the French, and cost Louis his head when he was caught fleeing the country. 

    Anything is possible, and there are plenty of corrupt right wingers who would be glad to do Trump's bidding.

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  4. Regarding your biggest worry, that the president will sell state secrets to the highest bidder in return for debt relief. As I have thought myself, based on consistent reporting from the White House over four years, and bolstered by several other recent opinion columns on the same topic, Trump doesn't remember any of the boring stuff he was told in all those security briefings. Clinton would remember, Obama would remember, even Bush II might remember. Trump doesn't remember. It wasn't about him, and it couldn't benefit him or his political goals in the immediate future, so he let it go.

    I also think that every reputable foreign intelligence service long ago concluded the same thing. Trump's value is as an incompetent disruptor in office. His value as a spy or double-agent is nearly nil.

  5. Maybe there is a slow-motion coup going on.

    Spencer Ackerman, a well known defense expert, said that if our intelligence agencies saw what's happening in America right now going on in another country, they would think a coup was probably about to happen. 

    And how precarious is our position at this perilous time in American history, that the 2nd best* hope we have is that the "coupsters" are too f'in' inept and stupid to pull it off! 

    I think another reason for the delay by Fat Stupid Nixon's GSA, is to buy time to destroy incriminating evidence.  

    The Inspectors Generals in ALL parts of the Federal Government will be busy for years finding the shit tRUMP's done illegally. 

    And another thing they'll be busy with will be flushing out the human turds Fat Stupid Nixon pooped into key positions to gum-up the works.

    *1st best, is smart, qualified people in critical positions who are loyal not to a leader, but to the U.S. Constitution – and who believe in the rule of law.

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    • that the 2nd best* hope we have is that the “coupsters” are too f’in’ inept and stupid to pull it off!

      that’s definitely a factor, but also is the factor of people willing to believe them. I’m encouraged (a bit) by the way Fox has turned on Trump. Another turning point, coming up, is the R’s in Congress, waiting for states to certify their elections. If’n’when certification occurs, if this all works against Trump, then he will seek help from foreign countries to stay in power.

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  6. What will happen in the next seventy days. well old dogs do not learn new tricks.  Thomas Friedman wrote a fine opinion piece about the truth, based on all things, the ten commandments.  It included a little humor:

    You remember the old joke? Moses comes down from Mount Sinai and tells the children of Israel: “Children, I have good news and bad news. The good news is that I bargained him down to 10. The bad news is that adultery is still in.”

    Freidman wrestled with the question of truth and the commandment regarding false witness.  Needless to say he  supported the idea that lying is still immoral.   

    Biden today talked about the mandate from the voters, and I wish he had said this,  The people have voted and they have given me a mandate to be an servant to the truth.  At least it was not the typical Trumpian cacophony of sentence fragments, distortions, unsupported conclusions and outright lies.  

    So given that old dogs do not learn new tricks and Trumpism is based on and rooted in lying, whatever he does going forward will involve some sort of lie requiring a suspension of disbelief.  Anyone that thinks he will abandon charlatanism and dishonesty at his age is probably way too gullible. 

    His present plan of invalidation of the election because of massive voter fraud is a lie, and is being dealt with by the courts and the press as such.  So if that lie does not work he will just substitute  another one or more.  His problem now is that  too many are on to him and the ranks of his gullible wane.  

    Gail Collins asked her readers to choose the Trump sycophant that is the worst of five she nominated.  It is also quite an amusing  read. 

    https://www.nytimes.com/2020/11/11/opinion/trump-cabinet.html?action=click&module=Opinion&pgtype=Homepage

    https://www.nytimes.com/2020/11/10/opinion/trump-lies.html

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  7. Secretary Pompeo attempted a joke: that Trump will make "a smooth transition to a second Trump administration". That half-witticism went over like a lead zeppelin. So what other destination would be more befitting? I call for a vote. Trump should make a smooth transition to where?

    A. Oblivion?
    B. Moscow?
    C. Hell?
    D. Riker's Island?
    E. ___________?

    E is a write-in vote. Imaginative suggestions welcome.
    Full disclosure: I vote D.

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