Some people inject hardcore drugs, others throw themselves out of planes, but I like to read the latest crazy from the Q conspiracists. And I do regret calling them “crazy,” because crazy implies they can and should be helped. I don’t know that I believe the Q conspiracists deserve anything but prison sentences since January 6th. But, here we are.
There’s a bit of a smorgasbord to choose from here. Or maybe one of those hashtag goals charcuterie boards one sees on pinterest. Do you want cured meat? Do you want olives? Maybe a cube of cheese. Take your pick! For instance, there had been a whole conspiracy about how actually Joe Biden was just the President of a corporation represented by gold rimmed flags and actually Trump was gonna def totes be inaugurated secretly-not-secretly as the cross-our-fingers-for-realsies President on March 4th.
And if I’m honest, I kinda loved that theory because it was as if a first grader read the Constitution and Amendments and then was tasked with setting up government all on their own without any help. It was just such a “oh sweetie, you tried,” moment. What’s happening is Washington was inaugurated in the first instance on April 30th, but the Constitution dictates (prior to the 20th Amendment) that the Presidential inauguration will be held every four years on March 4th. This was to allow the President-elect enough time to get their household together and move to Washington D.C. But of course, once we had air travel it was no longer useful to have some four months between the election and inauguration.
The “corporation” part of it though is where things get incredibly stupid. The District of Columbia or D.C. if you nasty was turned into a municipal corporation by the District of Columbia Organic Act of 1871. And all that means is that D.C. has local governance. But the conspiracists don’t understand that words have multiple meanings and sometimes the usage can change over time. As for the gold trimmed flag thing … I dunno. Maybe they’re just really into tassels.
But per usual I’m getting off track. The latest absolute Cheshire cat level madness to escape from this … whatever QAnon is … is that Trump’s gonna be “reinstated,” in August. According to Maggie Haberman (who turned out to be a bit of a milkshake duck, but we haven’t the time to investigate her baggage here as well) Donnie-boy himself believes this.
So … okay. I mean, I’m relatively certain Trump’s brain is swiss cheese at this point. He didn’t start with much to recommend him, and I won’t go so far as to say he’s suffering from tertiary syphilis or anything that extreme, but he can’t walk down a ramp or complete a sentence so him believing something that confirms his own weird biases regardless of how incredibly stupid that something is isn’t really news.
Just to be clear, he won’t. This is not a thing that really even can happen without a constitutional crisis. Michael Flynn supported the idea of a military coup during a rally in late May and while that’s not likely or lawful it is possible and something a reasonable person should be concerned about. But that’s not “reinstatement,” that’s a fascist military takeover.
I’ve been over the process of a Presidential election and how all that works even beyond you voting. If you read those articles you will have noticed that it’s a belaboured process through which everyone checks and double-checks and oversees and checks again. Russia did prove in 2016 that there were vulnerabilities in the US election system and in 2016 the winner of the popular vote did not become President. But in 2020 we had a verifiably secure election won by Biden and Harris by a relatively wide margin. Trump did not win the 2016 election — he lost it by almost three million votes — and in 2020 he lost by just shy of five million votes. This amounts to about 2% of the total vote in 2016 and about 3% in 2020. (And no, you’re not getting any more crunching than that for this article, don’t be ridiculous.)
But here’s the thing. We had multiple elections where the person who lost the popular vote went on to become President. In 2016 we even had verified election interference. Trump himself became President without winning a free and fair election. He won the Electoral College vote, but the election interference was found to be targeted at helping him do just that. I wasn’t happy about Gore losing in 2000, but he only had a margin of half a million votes, and that election was mostly a fluke.
And it was fully and reasonably litigated. I love Obama, but I think the biggest mistake he made in his entire Presidency was advising Hillary Clinton to be graceful in “defeat.” Particularly knowing for certain what we do now, 2016 should have been litigated. Trump never should have been allowed even on a sight-seeing tour of the White House.
But it wasn’t. Hillary Clinton conceded the election on election night. She wished Trump well. She offered help and advice (it was not taken). She actually won the election but due to a foreign attack on our country she did not become President. So we have a recent example of how our country behaves when an election is not fair and free and when someone who was not elected still manages to get through the full election process all the way to the inauguration. The only legal remedy is impeachment. And note: Donald Trump is the only person to be impeached twice. And note, I said person, not President, because you can impeach judges as well.
But back to the 2020. We all knew that Trump was trying to muddy the waters around voting and suppress the vote as far as possible. This happened in front of our faces and no one was surprised when he started spreading conspiracy theories the minute the blue wave hit. He had said he intended to do just that. But lie though he did as intensely as he did you can’t simply manifest your way into a Presidency. Believe me, I’ve tried. Trump lost. And this time he lost in all the ways. He lost in votes, he lost in confidence, he lost in the Electoral College, he even managed to go out having directly contributed to over half a million American deaths from COVID-19. Even if we take the popular perspective that multiple universes exist, there is no universe in which Trump won the election. It just never happened.
The window for him to have argued this was between November 3, 2020 and January 6, 2021. And … I suppose he did certainly argue it but because he didn’t win the election and the election was free and fair he didn’t have any leg to stand on. Which is why he resorted to domestic terrorism.
And I do want to say yet more on January 6th because it is pretty shocking that the Senate filibustered the commission. The irony that they used the filibuster to do it is not lost on me but more on that in a later article. I was not thrilled with literally any of this, but January 6th was far worse than I think any of us imagined. The plan hadn’t just been
- Bust into Congress
- Murder capital police
- Poop on floors
- Attempt to capture and execute duly elected members of Congress.
In this case the underpants gnomes did actually have a number five in mind. The plan had been to clash with BLM and Antifa protesters at the capitol, start a riot and give Trump an excuse to invoke the Insurrection Act. At that point the domestic terror organization known as the “Oath Keepers,” (apparently they learned from ISIS about ironic names for terrorist organizations) were going to be deputized so that the captures and executions of members of Congress could be directly ordered by Donald Trump himself and thereby sorta-kinda-legally justified because at the time he was still acting President. I mean, my Grandfather was arrested, tortured, and slated for execution for similar reasons by the KGB so … samesies?
Anyways, if that plus what I told you about Flynn earlier in this article hasn’t made you soil your pants either you’re pretty darn metal, actualmente, or you haven’t been paying attention. (Or you have, and already had the chance both to void your bowels and launder your pants. I don’t know your business.) But all this actually gets stupider.
For one, apparently the origin of all this is because a lot of the traitors being tried for their involvement in the January 6th terror attacks are engaged in some really weird wistful thinking that Trump will be “reinstated,” and also pardon them. I think that’s hilarious because he didn’t even pardon Michael Cohen. I’m not shedding any tears for that guy, but the idea that random terrorists expect special treatment and pardons for betraying their nation from an ailing narcissist who is not currently and likely never will again be President is a special kind of funny.
Trump for his part is buying into this because he’s … well … he’s facing exactly what I have long said he would face: prison time alongside his three eldest children. This was another thing that Haberman pointed out, so I will give credit where credit’s due even if I’m pretty upset at some of her reporting. Trump is facing just the beginning of an onslaught of charges which will likely result in imprisonment for the rest of his natural life and almost definitely means the dismantling of his … empire, if we can call it that. If he faces reality he has to understand he was never elected President, he was the worst in history, he will never be President again, he is going to be tried for his crimes, his children are going to be charged for their crimes, he’s going to have to pay his outstanding debt, and he will likely never see a golf course again once he’s taken into custody. As much as I hate him, I do understand why he’s so invested in this particular fantasy. It’s stupid, but it makes sense why he’d be into it.
With that said, as funny as all of this is, democracy remains under serious threat. Trump’s not going to be reinstated and he likely won’t be able to run in 2024. There’s a good chance his antics have even ended the Republican Party — and again, just wanna say: called it. But just as I did not expect but was worried about violence on January 6th when Congress certified the election I am also worried about additional domestic terror events in August. I also think we need to be real about the midterms coming up in 2022. Those are hugely important. Any relief we get is tied to Mitch McConnell staying firmly in the minority and right now the margin is razor thin.
So, yes, this is funny but the enemies of Athena are not just stupid but also anti-democracy. Don’t let 2016 happen again.