There’s been talk in comments about an opinion piece by Robert Kagan published last week in The Washington Post. The title of the piece is “Our constitutional crisis is already here,” and it’s hard to sum up, but I’ll try. One of Kagan’s premises is that if Trump remains on this side of the dirt and is healthy enough, he’ll definitely run again in 2024.
I don’t know if that’s true, but if it is, Kagan’s second premise comes into play, which is that the Trump cult has already successfully undermined faith in elections* for millions and may have put enough state-level levers in place to at least cause massive chaos and potentially violence if he loses again. The evidence for that is solid already, IMO.
Kagan says reform is needed before the 2022 election and that we’re running out of time. He says it will require every Democrat and a small handful of Republicans to act like patriots to address a metastasizing threat of an authoritarian takeover and/or large-scale social upheaval resulting from state legislature fuckery around election results.
Kagan says this must be done to uphold constitutional order, even at the cost — gasp! — of ditching the filibuster rule, which appears no where in the US Constitution. Sadly, that seems extremely unlikely.
One thing I found compelling about the piece is that it lays out what makes Trump a uniquely dangerous threat. People who say he’s a symptom not the disease, that the road to Trumpism leads back to Nixon, Reagan, Bush II or wherever they draw the line aren’t wrong. But they aren’t capturing the full story either, IMO.
I don’t get it, and I never will, even if I live to be 1,000, but Trump is the center of a cult of personality. As Kagan says, Trump doesn’t need to “deliver” on an agenda to keep his followers loyal because Trump being a giant, shouty, self-pitying asshole is the product.
Those of us outside the cult don’t see the appeal, but it’s undeniable, and it doesn’t seem to be waning as we’d hoped after the last election. In that time, tens of thousands have died because they refused to take the pandemic seriously — all because Trump and his disciples told them not to. It’s still happening.
Who else has that power in the Republican Party? In any party? (Ron DeSantis, Greg Abbott, etc., are trying, but IMO, they’re still riding Trump’s coattails.) So, as much as we’d all like to stuff that shit-bag Trump down the memory hole and speak his accursed name no more, doing that right now would be disastrously premature, according to Kagan, like the dummies in slasher films who let down their guard because they think they’ve neutralized the killer.
Anyhoo, it’s a thought-provoking article and well worth burning a free click and discussing here, IMO. Otherwise, open thread.
*The best of all possible worlds, IMO, is Trump drops dead or otherwise declines to run again, and millions of Republican voters don’t bother to turn out because they don’t trust elections and they hate the institutional Republican Party for disrespecting Trump, even though with few exceptions, Republicans groveled before him. The schadenfreude would be unbearably delightful.