Trump is too inept and too unpopular to stage a coup, says NYT columnist

Mark, I’m a little concerned about your recent habit of quoting right-wing nutbars approvingly just because they said something negative about Trump.

Ross Douthat believes exorcism is real. I think he’s probably right about Trump in this instance, but there are columnists who have made the same observations he has who aren’t fucking looney tunes.


Trump has said the media wants him to win again so they can keep reaping huge profits. . . reporting on his misdeeds.

So . . . the same media that’s biased against him, is also biased for him.


One problem with this assertion is that it’s clear that Trump’s - and the entire Republican party’s - plan is to pack the supreme court and pull another “Bush v Gore,” where they come up with some legally dubious pretext to throw out enough Democratic votes to give the election to Trump, despite losing the popular vote (by a lot). When Barret gets appointed, there will be three supreme court justices who directly worked on Bush’s legal team for that debacle, so it’s not like they’re hostile to the idea. The “coup” will be seen - by some, at least - as perfectly legal. In the unlikely event that that plans falls apart, I’d expect Trump to do whatever he can to delegitimize the vote enough to keep himself in power through some other means. Whatever it ends up being, the intention is to put Trump in the position where anyone trying to remove him from power is cast as the one enacting a coup, which changes the dynamics quite a bit.

Yeah, I mean ultimately it can be said that fascists took the approaches they did precisely because they weren’t smart or popular enough to get what they wanted through democratic political means.


Cardinal Douthat is an intellectually dishonest conservative trying to downplay the danger to liberal democracy posed by Il Douche, just as he’s done since 2015. Ross makes a show of tut-tutting over Biff’s various moral failings (especially if they involve – gasp – lady parts), but in the end he knows he won’t suffer and will likely prosper under a fascist regime (especially one that doesn’t allow – gasp – women to control their own lady parts).


Also, Douthat is just another in a long line of republicans with terrible ideas (that they still have) who is trying to distance himself from Trump.
I don’t give a shit what he says.


No, they were geniuses according to current logic. No matter how inept, incoherent or mismanaged trump’s pet projects are, people still love to crow about his aptitude. You’re 100% correct; a key feature of an authoritarians is their inability to perceive nuance, historical context and interdependency of life. That’s why they have to resort to raw power eventually.


brown nosers

Brown nosers grow up to be brown shirters. And Trump’s got a revolving door of them.


One bright spot in all of this is that people are actually beginning to pay attention to the not-even-subtle moves he has been making for years to align to this eventuality. That it took 4 years to even begin openly discussing it is another matter…


Trump is absolutely going to try to steal the election, but I think he can only succeed if the election is close. The way things are going, it doesn’t look like it’s going to be.

2000 had the advantage (for Bush) of coming down to a single state where his brother just happened to be the governor. The way things are going, if Florida is even close enough that Trump can’t win it outright, then he’s probably toast. Biden can win without Florida; Trump can’t.

While I certainly think the Supreme Court, with or without Barrett, could hand Trump the election under circumstances similar to the ones we saw in 2000, I think it’s a lot less likely that they’ll give it to him in a scenario where multiple swing states are called for Biden. The conservative justices are often seen as a rubber-stamp for Trump, but they’re not; they’re ideological conservatives – which looks exactly like a rubber-stamp for Trump some 90% of the time, but even his appointees have pushed back against some of his more outlandish legal theories. Kavanaugh wrote the majority opinion in the case that determined that no, Mr. President, you can’t just declare that the president is immune from criminal investigations.

I think Trump thinks the conservatives on the Supreme Court are loyal to him personally. But they’re not. Their agenda just overlaps with his the vast majority of the time.

Again, I agree that Trump is going to try to steal the election. But I think a number of things are going to have to break his way for him to succeed, and he hasn’t had that kind of luck lately.

I’m not saying everything is going to be okay. I’m not saying it’s okay to be complacent; you absolutely should not be complacent. We need to maintain vigilance, and it’s reasonable to be concerned about what kinds of tricks Trump and his party are going to pull. But I also think it’s okay to be cautiously optimistic about now.

My ballot’s already been counted. And while my state (Arizona) has a Republican governor and legislature, it’s also a state where broad access to mail-in voting has been the norm for decades. I can’t rule out the possibility of trying to throw out mail-in ballots here, but I don’t think such an effort is likely to succeed. And Arizona is another state where, if it’s even close enough that Trump can’t win it outright, then he’s in deep trouble in a lot more states than just this one.


No bravado here, but I say “bring it on.” The more they try to oust local government, governors, etc, the more they damage their cause and the more mainstream Americans who buy into the dog whistling will quietly take their support away. It’s hard to be “LAW AND ORDER! SUPPORT THE POLICE!” when you’re actively trying to destroy law and order.


Not to mention he’s got Barr and Pompeo on his side, and Pompeo is a direct link to the Kochs, who are no dummies (except maybe the nephew who looks like Ricky in Better Off Dead).


Does anyone else think Trump will become increasingly unhinged and desperate as a lame duck, and should be 25th Amendment’ed no later than Early/Mid November?


Yes! This is actually one of my biggest fears. Despite the name, “lame duck” presidents still wield extraordinary power and much of it can be wielded unilaterally with no real checks.

Remember, as horrifying and relentless as 2020 has been, he almost took us to war with Iran in January!!! I’m expecting the worst.


Exactly. It appears that I have paid more in taxes than Trump. I suspect that he has a negative net worth that is propped up by banks who could easily pull the rug out from under him if he doesn’t do as he is told.


When about a million people died, and twice that made refugees…in a country of (at the time) 24 million.

Banks won’t touch him. It’s Russian gangsters and Saudi murdercrats.


C’mon, stick with a narrative. Is he an evil genius playing 12 dimensional chess, or an inept dumb*ss who lucked into a job he’s too dumb for?


I’m not feeling certain about that, because…

Yes, if by “election” we mean the counted (electoral) votes. That doesn’t necessarily have anything much to do with how the electorate voted. This election is going to be determined by mail-in ballots to a huge degree, in many states. We’ve got multiple issues - states routinely throw out an absolutely staggering number of mail-in ballots for a variety of reasons, the postal system is being deliberately sabotaged to prevent ballots from arriving on time to be counted, etc. Republicans are far, far more likely to vote in person, so anything that targets mail-ins will be removing Democratic votes.(All on top of the usual Republican voter suppression and disenfranchisement efforts on individual state levels.)

So all we need for another Bush v Gore is for the supreme court to decide there’s an issue with mail-in ballots and suddenly a massive number of (Democratic) votes in a number of states could be discounted (while Trump works to delegitimize them), assuming the states don’t do it first themselves. So in one fell swoop, the gap between the two candidates could be diminished. (Given that Trump has a disturbing amount of support still, we may not be able to get enough votes to have a sufficiently safe majority that’s immune to this kind of legal attack.)

Hell, they don’t even have to pretend the votes are close. All that needs to happen is create the perception that the vote has been tainted in some way to enact the Republican plan (which has been publicly discussed) to have Republican state legislatures bypass the voters and select electors:


Which is why we need to invest less power in the executive branch. We’ve been doing the opposite of that for a while now, treating the President as if he’s a God-Emperor, Healer-in-Chief. I think the Left has been reminded that this isn’t a good policy because someday it won’t be their guy who’s in the White House. Congress needs to claw back the power the Founders wanted it to have.


The entities to which he’s in hock are owned by both of the above. The “Cypriot” banks are owned by oligarchs in thrall to Putin, and he needs the approval of Prince Bonesaw and other Middle Eastern despots to build his tacky developments.


I thought that Obama would do something to rein in the executive, but no such luck. I don’t see Joe doing shit about it, either so I imagine in 4-8 years we’ll take this ride once again and everyone on the left will be all “play fair, waaaaah!”