This article for Truthout raises the horrifying scenario that Trump could demand to have his term extended to make up for the time Mueller was investigating him, Yes its sounds insane, but so does “Trump IS the president”. Trumpist deplorables are fanatics and the oligarchs will do anything to stay our of prison.
onald Trump’s contempt for democracy and open sympathy for authoritarianism are visible in his recent comments about serving longer than he is legally allowed to. On June 16, 2019, he tweeted that his supporters might “demand that I stay longer” than two terms.
In fact, Trump has variously suggested that he should get two extra yearsas a consolation prize for the Russia investigation, that he will serve up to five terms, and that he will indeed only serve two.
Trump’s statements about presidential terms follow his usual approach to trying out anti-democratic ideas: Send up a trial balloon, rile his base up, make inconsistent statements, and then keep everyone guessing whether he’s serious or not. All the while, he achieves his primary aim: remaining the center of attention. After all, Trump is better at being a ringleader of chaos than getting policy passed. He exudes a cloud of constant uncertainty, which keeps both his opponents and allies constantly on edge. One never knows what he’ll say — or whom he’ll fire — next.
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Some have responded to Trump’s latest statements on term limits by speculating about his mental state or making comparisons to Hitler. A more interesting approach might be to role-play several scenarios in which Trump actually does try to unconstitutionally break the term limits. These scenarios, of course, are a game of speculation, but they are instructive: Given the unpredictability of the Trump presidency and its anti-democratic actions thus far, it’s important to consider what “staying longer” would truly entail.
If Trump wins the 2020 election, he has four more years to maneuver before the 2024 primaries. This would be his window to prepare for a coup.
Trump’s first option would be to legally change the 22nd Amendment, which limits presidents to two terms. But this seems unlikely; no serious attempts to overturn the amendment have gone very far. The Washington Post’s Philip Bump scoffs at this possibility, saying “the idea that there will be a massive push for overturning the 22nd Amendment so that Trump can remain in office seems at odds with his having both lost the popular vote in his only election to date and being approved of by only 40 percent of the country.”
What Trump does have is a small but aggressive movement of grassroots supporters — which I’ve dubbed Independent Trumpism — who enjoy cosplay and street brawls. But his total base is a minority of voters, and outside of the Christian Right faction, its members have shown little savvy in winning elections and enacting policy on their own. Also, if there is an upside to The Donald’s egotism, it’s that he’s shown no interest in fostering a political movement that can function independently of him.
In a second scenario, Trump might ignore the Constitution and remain in the White House, either by claiming he is entitled to an extra two years, running in the 2024 election, or openly declaring himself Supreme Ruler. In all of these cases, his fanatical base would be key. Trump would need to use the next four years to indoctrinate them with arguments justifying his overstay, and make sure they are prepared to physically defeat democracy’s defenders in the streets.
If he ran in 2024, Trump could either enter the GOP primary or run as an Independent. If somehow, he were able to finagle both running in and winning the GOP primary, he would likely have a larger base than if he campaigned as an Independent write-in. The latter would avoid some legal issues, as it would be difficult to stop him from speaking, even if he was not on the ballot. But it would pit him against a legitimate GOP nominee, lessening conservative support.
Trump also could simply refuse to step down. If he loses the 2020 election, he might attempt to stay — by insisting he has another two years owed to him, or claiming voter fraud — although this would be his weakest scenario. Alternately, during either this or next term, Trump could try to attempt to cancel the elections, a common occurrence in other countries. He could also declare victory in 2024 as a write-in — even if his votes weren’t even counted.
However, Trump’s best chance to remain in office past term is a national emergency; he might invoke the need for stability during the crisis. For example, when Trump’s lawyer Rudy Giuliani was New York City’s mayor, he attempted to use 9/11 as an excuse to extend this term for three months. And if a genuine emergency does not present itself, Trump may be tempted to fabricate one. But whether real or fake, an emergency could have the effect of dampening opposition to anti-democratic moves, while uniting his support base in a nationalist frenzy.
Trump would also probably have to overcome concrete opposition to remain in power. He could simply physically remain in the White House and resist any attempts to depose him. In 1991, a Soviet military junta attempted to do this in Moscow’s White House (after they had in turn removed Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev). This would likely give rise to a mass, pro-democracy movement which could attempt to force him out — just as the Soviet junta was removed by popular, pro-democracy forces led by Boris Yeltsin, which had surrounded the Moscow building.
Here, Trump‘s plan would rely on mobilizing his supporters, especially those he has called his “Second Amendment people.” There are currently hundreds of far-right militias and related armed groups, while progressives have only a handful.
In a scenario where Trump simply refused to go, the military would be the most important actor. Would it support Trump, remove him, or let the country fight it out? If the military abstained from rescuing Trump, it could result in a scenario similar to the Moscow coup of 1991, when the military largely stood aside. Militias might surround and defend the White House against a mass democratic protest attempting to take it over. And if Trump could both mobilize his armed supporters and win over most of the military, he would likely remain in power.
A mass resistance to dislodge Trump would require unity between the left, Democrats, and as many conservatives as they can gather — as it’s likely the GOP would split. Opposition forces would also have to decide whether to pursue a largely non-violent campaign, or initiate armed resistance. At least some city and state governments would likely resist a Trump coup, and the military might well step in to regain control, just as in Syria, where Bashar al-Assad’s army has defeated and occupied rebel cities like Aleppo as the civil war has dragged on. In the United States, such a scenario could spin out into a protracted civil war. Separatist movements could also take advantage of the chaos; amid a Trump coup, one could envision California seceding, not to mention Puerto Rico, Vermont and Cascadia.
While these are horrifying scenarios to imagine, none are likely. Trump’s militant base is a rag-tag collection of misfits who can barely stand to be in a room with each other. Many in the GOP are happy to shrug away Trump’s xenophobic Islamophobia as long as they get tax cuts, but will probably draw the line at mutilating the Constitution.
Yet Sinclair Lewis’s 1935 novel, It Can’t Happen Here, describes how such a Trump-coup scenario could arise. In it, Senator Buzz Windrip wins the election and immediately establishes a dictatorship. A lack of immediate opposition allows him to maintain power and he slowly tightens the authoritarian noose over society. Lewis could have been describing Trump when he wrote that one “could not explain his power of bewitching large audiences. The Senator was vulgar, almost illiterate, a public liar easily detected, and in his ‘ideas’ almost idiotic, while his celebrated piety was that of a traveling salesman for church furniture, and his yet more celebrated humor the sly cynicism of a country store.” (While Lewis’s book was fiction, Senator Windrip and his friends were based on several very real, very popular authoritarian demagogues active in the United States in the 1930s, including Huey Long and Father Coughlin.)
The rhetoric of democratic ideals is strong in the United States, although there are copious instances of those ideals’ failure to materialize in reality: indigenous genocide; slavery, segregation, and structural racism; the Red Scares; the Japanese internments; and much more. Who knows what the desires of a demagogue and his entourage might create if the stars align with a national catastrophe, a complacent military, an energized base, and a divided opposition? It probably won’t happen here — but it would surely be foolish to say it can’t.
This possibility, however small, should encourage us to throw our energy behind our own grassroots movements. Let’s not wait to see if the worst happens — let’s work to make that scenario impossible.
Canadians Are Furious At Justin Trudeau For Approving The Trans Mountain Pipeline
The TMX extension plan comes a day after Canada declared a climate emergency.
Teddy Elliot1 day agoUpdated on June 18 @ 06:43 PM2.0K
This morning, we brought you the news that Canada just declared a National Climate Emergency. The House of Commons passed a resolution that officially declares climate change an urgent crisis that is dangerous to all Canadians.
For the past couple of weeks, Trudeau and his Liberal government have made clear their firm stances on their environmental commitments. Along with Monday’s resolution, Canada is set to ban single-use plastics by 2021.
However, less than a day after Canada announced a National Climate Emergency, Justin Trudeau and the Liberals announced that they would go ahead with the expansion of the Trans Mountain Pipeline.
The controversial $7.4 billion dollar project is set to begin this year and already, Canadians are furious at Justin Trudeau’s decision.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his cabinet have approved the controversial Trans Mountain pipeline expansion project. https://twitter.com/i/events/1141082303856168960 …634:51 PM – Jun 18, 2019Twitter Ads info and privacyTrudeau and his cabinet approve the Trans Mountain expansion project57 people are talking about this
Many Canadians on social media are understandably angry about this decision as they feel Trudeau is re-negging on promises made during his time as Prime Minister.
Canada just announced a climate emergency and the Trudeau government passes the trans mountain pipeline. I’ve never been more disgusted to be Canadian.45:15 PM – Jun 18, 2019Twitter Ads info and privacySee Lisa ‘s other Tweets
24 hours after declaring a climate emergency, the Trudeau government announced it will be moving forward with the climate-polluting Trans Mountain pipeline. This will ensure the expansion of the Alberta tar sands Canada’s largest source of greenhouse gas emissions. Shame Justin!35:42 PM – Jun 18, 2019Twitter Ads info and privacySee James L Turk’s other Tweets
Trudeau says that the project will help bring stable and gainful jobs that will improve Canada’s middle-class. Alberta’s government is especially happy about the decision because it affects them the most.
PM: Pipeline decision not about ‘whether’ more oil should be produced but ‘where’ it is sold. Says oil transport by rail has doubled in recent years, says pipelines are less dangerous, cause less pollution. Says reaching more markets means more money to help meet climate goals.
Alberta Premier Jason Kenney welcomes federal approval of Trans Mountain pipeline, calls it another step in a process that has lasted ‘too long.’ Says success can only be declared when project is completed. ‘We’re happy with today’s decision, but now let’s get it built.’215:49 PM – Jun 18, 2019Twitter Ads info and privacySee CBC News Alerts’s other Tweets
Trudeau also says that the profits and sales accrued by the project will all go to fund sustainable energy projects that will help move Canada away from fossil fuels.
While I am not a fan of pipelines….I resent the populist notion that we can just shut-down oil and gas and everything will all be hunky dory. The pipeline however should be thought of as a stop gap, not a second life and it’s time for the industry to think transition. #cdnpoli2715:40 PM – Jun 18, 2019Twitter Ads info and privacy90 people are talking about this
Canadians are also concerned about the welfare of the many First Nations tribes surrounding the immediate area.
While all attention on @JustinTrudeau Trans Mountain pipeline announcement, keep in mind extractive industry responsible 4 sexualized violence vs Indigenous women & girls in Canada, US & worldwide. Yes to Trans Mountain = yes to continued #genocide #MMIWG https://soundcloud.com/pampalmater/genocide-and-ecocide-go-hand-in-hand …1513:35 PM – Jun 18, 2019Twitter Ads info and privacy129 people are talking about this
Pipelines have burst and penetrated into groundwater before, but the Prime Minister has assured local Indigenous groups that they will have a stake in the project.
The Government of Canada has re-approved the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion saying they have fulfilled their duty to consult with Indigenous Groups and will begin discussions with these groups regarding potential ownership of the project. #TMX #cdnpoli15:50 PM – Jun 18, 2019Twitter Ads info and privacySee Centre for Constitutional Studies’s other Tweets
Of course, many Canadians are skeptical about the sincerity of Trudeau’s promises attached to the controversial pipeline project. Some accuse of him playing a political game with the voters of Alberta, who are polling at 55% Conservative.
Many say @peoplespca is splitting the conservative vote from @CPC_HQ. Well @JustinTrudeau just lost the leftist/enviro vote to @bcndp or @CanadianGreens. Election will be #cdnpoli #TransMountain #TransMountainPipeline15:57 PM – Jun 18, 2019Twitter Ads info and privacySee TradeTheTrader’s other Tweets
Trudeau approving the trans mountain pipeline knowing the election is just a few months away doing everything to get re-elected, I see….15:49 PM – Jun 18, 2019Twitter Ads info and privacySee niks ‘s other Tweets
Liberal hypocrisy at its finest:
– Declare Climate Emergency
– 24 hours later, approve massive Trans Mountain pipeline expansion for carbon intensive oilsands
If Trudeau thinks he can win the election by playing both cards, he’s sorely mistaken#TMX #ClimateCrisis #cdnpoli https://twitter.com/pnpcbc/status/1141084377323098112 …Power & Politics✔@PnPCBCBREAKING: Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his cabinet have again approved the Trans Mountain expansion project. #cdnpoli http://cbc.ca/1.5180269 126:04 PM – Jun 18, 2019Twitter Ads info and privacySee David Paterson’s other Tweets
It seems that the Prime Minister has slightly hindered his chances in the upcoming election after approving a pipeline that some experts consider dangerous.
We haven’t even mentioned the potential dangers caused to B.C.’s orca population, as oil tanker traffic in the region is expected to be unprecedented.
Only does @JustinTrudeau
1. Acknowledge the #genocide of the Indigenous people
2. Declare a #ClimateEmergency AND
3. Approve the #TransMountainPipeline that clearly contradicts 1 and 2!!!
Time to vote out the @liberal_party hypocrites in #Election201915:59 PM – Jun 18, 2019Twitter Ads info and privacySee Amber’s other Tweets
It seems that only time will tell whether this announcement will work out in the Prime Minister’s favour. So far, it doesn’t seem like it.
Be yourself; Everyone else is already taken.— Oscar Wilde.
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LETTERS FROM A WIDOW’S SONEllis S. Frison, Jr., J.D., “Trump’s Mentor” 10/20/2020Donald Trump was mentored by Roy Cohn, who made his reputation working for Wisconsin’s infamous Republican Senator Joseph McCarthy during McCarthy’s “anti-Communist” witch hunt in the 1950s. Trump met Cohn in 1973. One writer has observed Trump for decades did a long profile on the Cohn-Trump relationship: Cohn was known as a ruthless prosecutor. During the Red Scare of the 1950s, he and Wisconsin senator Joe McCarthy, claiming to be nationalist crusaders, hauled dozens of alleged “Communist sympathizers” before a Senate panel. Earlier, the House Un-American Activities Committee had skewered artists and entertainers on similar charges, resulting in a trail of fear, prison sentences, and ruined careers for hundreds, many of whom had found common cause in fighting Fascism. But in the decades since, Cohn had become the premier practitioner of hardball deal-making in New York, having mastered the arcane rules of the city’s Favor Bank (the local cabal of interconnected influence peddlers) and its magical ability to provide inside fixes for its machers and rogues.“You knew when you were in Cohn’s presence you were in the presence of pure evil,” said lawyer Victor A. Kovner, who had known Cohn for years. Cohn’s power derived largely from his ability to scare potential adversaries with hollow threats and spurious lawsuits. And the fee he demanded for his services was Ironclad loyalty. Sounds a lot like the Trump we see today!