Word is that one of the president’s men — no, not some agent of the deep state, but a guy specifically hired by the Ochre Joker — will confirm the quid pro quo demanded of Ukraine to Congress today.
What will Republicans do? Admit their error? Say that, ok, our Great Leader made a mistake for once in his life? Or will they do what they always do and character-assassinate Gordon Sondland for the crime of not perjuring himself to Congress? Do you even have to guess?
Remember, it is 2019. As just one example of just how asinine this benighted era has become:
Yes, it sure would be bad if a deep state operative in the impeachment hoax used canned catch phrases for the benefit of do-nothing Democrats like shifty Adam Schiff and the fake news media. Why, this witch hunt with started with its fake whistleblower is nothing but presidential harassment. The failing New York Times may not like it, but REAL patriots just want to drain the swamp and would never resort to mere catch phrases. Now then. Let’s put on our red hats that have just random non-catchy words on them to show our support!
Of course, things like hypocrisy, nepotism, and the Big Lie technique weren’t exactly unknown in Washington in the distant history of Before Trump. The stupidity of our current era just makes them simple enough for a slow-learning second grader to pick out. Hillary would have hidden her bullshit within mazes of plausible deniability within crystal palaces of Newspeak nonsense words hidden in forests of Washingtonian winks and nods. Fredo Trump there just tweets it out because at this point, shit, why not? This is the same guy who accuses Hunter Biden of nepotism with a straight face.
Donnie Jr. and his father never fail to be entertaining, at least, in their buffoonery. Unfortunately, what’s behind the clown show is as meaningless as a typical episode of The Hills or a McDonalds burger wrapper crumpled up in the gutter.
The worst thing about Trumpism is how boring it is.
Again, not our president himself. He was elected to put on a reality show, and the born hypeman has not disappointed. No, what’s boring is “Trumpism,” which also has happened to be the default political system of human society ever since we started huddling in our first mud-walled cities near our first croplands, and may be summed up as two simple rules:
The chieftain may do as he pleases. The enemies of the chieftain must be destroyed.
That’s it. That’s all American conservatism has become in the three short years since this president’s election. No more religious, philosophic or economic first principles. No more ideals of small government, free markets, or individualism. No more Buckley, Goldwater, Reagan, Eisenhower, Coolidge. No more David Hume, Milton Friedman, Adam Smith.
Conservative shibboleths of the heady years of the Gingrich congress or the Tea Party have been forgotten. Fear of federal jackbooted thugs in their black helicopters. Elevation of the Constitution above all else.
All have been swept aside, and the beliefs of the GOP are now indistinguishable of those of Saddam Hussein’s Baathists, Robert Mugabe’s ZANU or Putin’s People’s Front party: there are no beliefs, other than what personally benefits the Supreme Leader and, perhaps, his immediate family.
Non-ideological, one-man rule is and always will be what humans revert to unless checked. (And what a check the Enlightenment was!) But in one aspect, at least, we may count ourselves fortunate if Trump succeeds in his dream of elevating himself into an authoritarian with the power of prerogative over law. At least he isn’t that monster of the 20th century know as the ideological dictator. He, like the rulers he admires like Putin and Erdogan, sees no need to massacre millions in pursuit of some insane ideal the way Stalin, Mao, the Imperial Japanese oligarchs, and a certain Austrian corporal of some infamy all did. If you have to be ruled by some tyrant, always pick a Mugabe over a Pol Pot.
Say what you will about them, but the 20th-century monsters were not boring.
Now, some on the Right have started to catch wise to the fact that Donald Trump has no principles other than Donald Trump, and these people generally come in three flavors. First, there’s the NeverTrumpers, representing the old Buckley tradition, who as the name implies saw who he was from day one. Most NT or Trump-skeptic pundits and politicians have suffered terribly for their stances: witness the elimination of the Weekly Standard, wholesale firings of insufficiently Trump-loyal people from sites like RedState, and the voting out, forced retirements, or exile of congressmen like Mark Sanford, Jeff Flake, and Justin Amash. Trumpists have zeroed in on writer David French as their most-hated NeverTrumper; New York Post op-ed boss Sohrab Ahmari in particular despises his commitment to civility and what he feels is an obsolete Constitution. More on NT here.
Then there some representatives of the Tea Party hard right — David Frenches, they are not — who correctly observe what a disaster Trump has been for their movement, far worse than what any Democrat could visit upon them. For an example, I recommend talk show host Shannon Joy. I heartily disagree with her on most things, but that’s not the point. It’s that she stuck to her principles unlike the vast, vast majority of conservatives who have wholly surrendered their wills to the Ochre Joker. She observes that the president does not actually care about pro-life policies, or about immigration — he just slaps on a thin veneer to fool the rubes (doesn’t take much these days) with no follow-through. I genuinely miss a conservative movement built of people with a healthy fear of the federal government, and miss sites like pre-Trump The Federalist to challenge my own views. No, seriously, I’m not joking: Ben Domenech and his Federalist were once indispensable before becoming the composts heaps they now are, as this post from 2015 sparked by a Domenech post makes clear.
Then there is a third wing of the Right that has become increasingly distressed over the GOP’s lack of ideology, and that wing is the alt-right. Temporarily disorganized and mostly irrelevant after Trumpworld cast them aside post-election, their usefulness fulfilled, and after the 2017 Charlottesville race riot, they have once again coalesced behind current figurehead Nick Fuentes. For a time, they were divided between the old-school hard-line neo-Nazis and the more media-savvy “optics cucks” who wisely hide their noxious beliefs behind euphemisms before finally settling on the latter. Previously, white nationalist gang leader and optics cuck Gavin McInnes was on the cusp of acceptance into the GOP mainstream, when his street thugs went ahead and did what street thugs do, causing the wheels to fall off; it seems that Nick Fuentes has since picked up the tiki torch in the quest to both unite the alt-right, and get them accepted into the GOP mainstream.
Things came to a head when the white supremacists’ “groyper” troll campaign led to the targeting of none other than the fellow from the beginning of this post, Donald Trump, Jr., whom they heckled offstage at an event at UCLA. The racist trolls are in a delicate position here — they have to make clear their worship of Donald Trump, but while also voicing their impatience at the lack of movement on their racist goals. They are in particular fed up with Charlie Kirk, the White House-backed TPUSA leader totally bereft of any ideology — as I’ve noted previously, he’s Ben Shapiro but stripped of all philosophy beyond “loving Trump” and “hating Trump’s enemies,” but also tries to further the president’s outreach to minorities. (Incidentally, the alt-right hates Shapiro too, although for more predictable reasons.)
The alt-right, including Michelle Malkin, who believes a white supremacist regime would somehow end well for her Filipino self and her Jewish husband, are betting they can split Trump from Charlie Kirk and instead win him over to their views, and are going with the old “if only Comrade Stalin knew” line about why Trump still isn’t pushing more white-supremacist policies.
Unfortunately for them, and fortunately for us, Trump’s rather empty inner life and lack of commitment to any ideal besides himself means these guys will have no better luck than the many contractors who believed Trump would pay them for their work. They are in the unenviable position of either denouncing their beloved Trump, or else continuing to come up with goose-eggs in their campaign to troll him into their side. Sad!
In the end, all three divergent conservative viewpoints fail to understand — or admit — how fundamentally transformed their side has become into the brutally simple worldview of the warlord.
And as for what the GOP will do to one of their own, Gordon Sondland, for copping to the quid pro quo, remember:
The chieftain may do as he pleases. The enemies of the chieftain must be destroyed.
I just want to know how long it will be before a Federalist senior calls for his execution by firing squad. If Sean Davis lets Mollie Hemingway beat him to the punch, I’ll be sorely disappointed.
Let’s not forget that if this were 1974, Republican senators would have driven to the White House to urge the president to resign months ago. But despite the chaos of that era — Vietnam, stagflation, lefties forming literal terrorist cells, the Herbie movies — there was still an order and respect for institutions and the Constitution, things that would hold for four more decades until a third of the country decided the feel-feels of the Celebrity Apprentice guy took precedence.
I mean, when the Romans let one man take over everything, at least they went with Augustus, one of the greatest leaders of all time. Who are we going with? Why, the “businessman” who has more bankruptcies than he has ex-wives! How pathetic this must look!
Russia: Our guy has the power to influence American and British elections and looks baddass riding shirtless on a horse.
Turkey: Yeah? Well, our guy is so badass, he faked his own coup to secure power. Also he has American protestors beat up on their own soil and gets away with it.
Hungary: Our dictator doesn’t need any tricks or brutality. He’s so honestly beloved by all of us for following through on his anti-immigration promises and for standing up to the EU that letting him serve as president-for-life is the least we could do for him!
USA: Our guy… uh… well, our guy likes to rage-tweet during Fox & Friends while wearing orange make-up and while his own people testify against him to the opposition party.
Most fictional depictions of a slide into authoritarianism show the would-be dictator as a master manipulator, a patient chessmaster, but reality is always more dumb-assed than fiction. Well, other than the fiction of Mike Judge, that is.