by John Walters
One Flew Over The Coup Coup’s Nest*
*The judges acknowledge that one comes from actor/director Ken Olin. There’s also Democracy Dyes In Darkness and Ru-dye Giuliani and Just For Mendacity.
As damaging generationally as the Trump presidency has been, something Susie B. notes here almost daily, it has also been a comic goldmine. If the country survives, we’ll always have Rudy Giuliani to thank for offsetting the grim malevolence of thugs such as William Barr and Mike Pompeo.
Also, The New York Times asked hairdressers what was going on with Rudy’s scalp. No one suggested Rudy got his hair colored at Four Seasons Total Scalpscaping, but many thought he’d done a last-minute touch-up of his sideburns with mascara or even shoe polish.
There Will Be Blood?
Those wondering how this post-election cycle will all play out would do well to read (or re-read) Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar, or William Goldman’s Lord Of The Flies or George Orwell’s Animal Farm. Or perhaps watch the final moments of the 1972 Olympic men’s gold-medal basketball game between the USA and the U.S.S.R.
When the time comes that adherence to the rules or law fails to benefit the party in power, it has a choice: adhere to those rules and lose power or simply make up new rules. And then the side that was not in power but had the rules on its side has a choice to make. Suck it up or resort to a defiant act, anywhere from publicly refusing your silver medals or stabbing Caesar in the back (we repeat: Brutus was not a traitor; to Caesar, perhaps, but not to Rome).
Donald Trump just lost his own ordered recount of the ballots in Georgia (it took Notre Dame two-plus years to lost to Georgia twice; Trump just accomplished the feat in two weeks). Everything he’s tried in Michigan is going nowhere. And yet he still won’t back down. He’s going to lean on willful William Barr to turn this into a Dept. of Justice issue.
He won’t back down. He won’t concede. Maybe it’s just that he knows what waits for him in the abyss.
He keeps firing people at the tops of departments who might get in his way and replacing them with toadies. But here’s the thing: Those toadies give orders and you cannot fire everybody. Eventually, men (mostly men) in positions of influence or enforcement must decide for themselves: Secret Service personnel, the National Guard, the military. Some men in these roles are loyal to Trump and may just defend him in his White House bunker. Many more than that, we feel, are not loyal and will not. It’s just a matter if Trump will leave office with (even more) blood on his hands (than the 250,000 Covid-19 deaths).
We don’t see Trump going gracefully. But he IS a coward, so he’d never stand and fight himself.
Tucker, A Man And His Scheme
It’s been a fun parlor game: How far will the Fox News millionaire on-air person be pushed before he or she abandons his or her sycophantic ways of Trumpiness? Neil Cavuto got off the Trump train long ago. Shepherd Smith formally exited in the summer of 2019 and recently resurfaced at CNBC.
Earlier this Brian Kilmeade of “Fox and Friends”, a show title Trump construed as being attuned directly to him, said something about there being no fraud in the voting process. But Tucker Carlson? Did you really ever expect to see Tucker Carlson defy Trump? Happened last night.
If you actually watch Tucker’s rant, it’s hilarious in its irony. First, he calls the alleged theft of this election from Trump “the single-greatest crime in American history” (I’ll wager the widows of Lincoln, JFK and everyone who died on 9/11 might dispute that). Then he says, “A lot of people with impressive-sounding credentials are frauds.” HA!
But here, finally, Tucker finally comes out and says that the show kept contacting Sydney Powell for evidence and that she never, ever provided evidence of her allegations.
So what happens next? Tucker’s minions abandon him. The nest has been attacked! The hive is agitated.
But by sending out this tweet they only further make the point that Fox News is a company run by the billionaire class where millionaire hosts schill for them to (almost always) dupe well-meaning middle- to lower-class white folks. It’s the Bob Rumson strategy all over again.
A Modest Proposal
Let’s game it out to the WPC: Worst Possible Circumstance. Somehow Barr and Trump and the Supreme Court obviate 244 years of democracy and prevent the inauguration of President Joe Biden (happy 78th birthday, by the way).
Here’s what we’d suggest happen next: The “Hollywood liberals” and the “social justice warriors” in the NBA and NFL should simply stop working. Movie studios and actors/producers/directors, most of whom do not support Trump, should simply stage a walkout. Same with NBA and NFL players who feel the same.
How would this country be without TV shows, Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu, Showtime, HBO and the NBA and NFL to constantly distract us? I guess PlayStations will become even more expensive on the black market, but besides that, the president would have a lot of frustrated and not-distracted Americans on his hands. There’d be more fighting in the streets.
We’d love to see this (not so much the fighting in the streets, but the artists and athletes who oppose Trump simply walking out until he follows suit). Could it happen? Doubtful. Should it? Yes.
We don’t watch CNBC any more except for occasionally our three guys on “Squawk On The Street”: Carl Quintanilla, David Faber and Jim Cramer. Now, ever since the pandemic began Carl has been subtly subversive on his Twitter feed. He never quite comes out and says anything against MAGA himself, but he’ll retweet people who have something of efficacy to say about how the virus is being handled, etc.
Faber, you can tell, is no fan of Trump on TV but he keeps most of his comments clipped and never uses the president’s name. He’ll dryly comment on something that is utterly ridiculous without getting into a lather.
Cramer is Cramer. Sometimes he’ll go to far sarcasm but he never, like his partners, directly excoriates the president. However, in the past day or two on his Twitter feed Cramer, under the guise of saying that we need a steady government for stable markets, has begun to warn his followers of the coup that is openly being attempted right before our eyes.
So I guess it’s good that Cramer is saying this. On the other hand, these are three very savvy men who for years would allow Trump officials such as Larry Kudlow, Steve Mnuchin and Peter Navarro to come onto their show and blatantly lie to the American public. They gave them a forum and rarely gave any push back. Now, they don’t book these people. But simply by being on their air they gave them legitimacy.
Navarro, for one, often cited an economics book as his guide to his own machinations while never mentioning that he’d actually written that tome under an assumed name. Seems, I dunno, fraudulent.
Anyway, this has not been a very fun blog today. Sorry. We’re writing it in the wee hours. You’ll have to count on Susie B., Wally, Don, Jacob and Micah for the chuckles today.