Watch: John Bolton says Trump is too dumb to pull off a coup

That requires advanced thinking, planning, strategizing, building up support. And I just don’t think he’s capable of that.

No, you just have to fill the government with enough corrupt partisans and self-serving yes men. Trump was stopped by a handful of secretaries of state and judges - many of them Trump supporters or Trump appointees - who chose to have at least a little integrity. Was there any backup behind that, because it really seems like it could have gone either way?

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You can pack the government with yes-men if you’re already running the country. If you’re plotting to overthrow someone else you don’t have that advantage.

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Keep in mind to some extant the Jan 6th assault on Congress is the shiny thing that the magician waves around to distract you from the real slight of hand. The GOP came closer to instituting permanent minority rule through statehouses selecting different electors than the electorate. And they are now attempting to make it easier for legislatures to do that in the future.

Well Trump certainly tried, but with only middling success.


I don’t think Bolton’s career has given us much reason to trust his knowledge of regime change.


An inept attempted coup is still an attempted coup.


I had a history class in which we studied the period between the World Wars – the professor submitted that the worst it ever got (after the Civil War) was the 1890s. FWIW.

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Fuck you too, John Bolton. You helped enable this shit and then you stonewalled Congress when they tried to get you to testify against him. You’re just as culpable.

Exactly. He did the bare minimum I would expect someone in his position to do. Congratulations?


There are probably lots of periods we could focus on as being pretty bad… all of the Jim Crow era, for example.

This is another period, though, is my point. :woman_shrugging:


Classic wish-fulfillment ego boost on Bolton’s part, and an exact mirror of Trump’s own rhetoric.
“What’s my takeaway from all this? That that other guy just isn’t as smart as me.”


I think bolton’s point was that in order for a coup to succeed, you need a plethora of military brass (as well as leaders of other government institutions) willing to go along with and accept the results of the coup, who are willing to treat the instigators of the coup as legitimate leaders afterwards (regardless of what the constitution says)

And trump [apparently] never had that. The military brass always considered him to be an incompetent wack-job, and were in no way willing to go along with any coup attempt, and in fact planned ahead on what their actions would be to block the coup from succeeding. So all of trumps attempts were ultimately doomed to failure, as he never really had the support of the people who mattered. They were willing to go along with him only while he was “legitimately” president, because the constitution said so, but the moment he lost the constitutional legitimacy, they were out.


Fuck Bolton. He doesn’t have the standing to say this. He was a willing accomplice and enabler, already knowing as we all did that Florida retiree was corrupt, venal, racist, misogynistic, incompetent and incapable of performing the job.

He left because Trump wouldn’t kill millions of Iranians. That was his moral high ground.

None of the stuff he now spouts was a problem for him when he was in government.


Thanks, I hadn’t heard this story. It makes sense in an utterly disturbing way.

It fits with the thesis that it’s useful to recognize the underlying institutional self-preservation instinct that is driving military and law enforcement decisions in crisis moments.

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