Trump’s Big Boy Rolls Into CPAC

As I watched CPAC convention workers roll in a life-sized golden statue of Donald J. Trump, I once again questioned how so many sane and sensible people could have closed their eyes to the events of the last four years and so eagerly swallowed the Trump Kool Aid? 

What is it they see that I cannot see? Why would a majority of those in attendance favor Trump for Republican presidential candidate in 2024? How can they so easily forget a Covid-19 death toll that saw hundreds of thousands of unnecessary American deaths? Or a foreign policy that embraced Vladimir Putin and Kim Jung Un at the expense of our best and most important allies? 

How can they forget the bottomless fount of lies with which the man drowned out the truth, and those voices that would speak the truth? 

And, more than anything, how can they forget—or forgive—Donald J Trump’s refusal to accept his election loss, and his ensuing attempt at the first coup d’etat in American history?

There is much Donald J. Trump has done for our country, I will admit that. I look upon our 45th president as a test pilot of sorts, the man we called upon to test our nation’s most important institutions to help identify its cracks, stress points and unmanifest weaknesses. Flaws that, if left undiscovered, could easily lead to system failure or total implosion under the rule of someone just like Donald J. Trump. 

Or someone worse. If that’s possible.

Now, thanks to Donald J. Trump, we know our democracy is more fragile than we ever thought. Its treasured institutions more subject to abuse and desecration than we ever believed possible. 

Yes, the founders’ vision remains intact, but at what cost? Their much-debated safeguards and power balancing act have proven a poor defense to an autocrat who holds a majority in the Senate. An autocrat with the political power of a demagogue and the non-existent conscience of a snake oil salesman. Yes, the Constitution still stands, even after Trump, but how close did we come to its collapse? 

How close did we come to a successful coup d’etat on January 6, 2021? How many more Republican lawmakers would the coup have required to successfully reject the certified and court-tested results of the 2020 election? How many more armed rioters would Trump’s coup have needed to more quickly breach the capital and thus more successfully catch or kill the leaders of our government? 

How much more vulnerable would our armed forces have been to being commandeered for a coup had Trump not signaled his malign intentions by installing lackeys in place of the civilian leadership of the Defense Department within days of his November defeat?

Yes, Donald J. Trump left much behind as he ended his muddy boot rampage across our nation’s capital and its 245 years of peaceful transitions and civil polity. In addition to testing the strength of our constitution, he dismantled or destabilized many functions of our Federal government. He left behind a $3.1 trillion deficit unparalleled in modern times. And he left behind a nation polarized and schism-cized like never before.

And, oh yes, now there’s a golden statue.


coup d’é·tat: a sudden, violent, and illegal seizure of power from a government. Typically, an illegal, unconstitutional seizure of power by a political faction, the military, or a dictator. 

At the risk of stepping into an ongoing conspiracy, I must question why everyone from President Biden to the House Impeachment Managers to the New York Times have worked so assiduously to avoid the use of a simple and totally appropriate designation for the events of January 6th?

Is it so far from reality to accept what happened as the final act in a failed COUP D’ETAT? Not an insurrection, or a riot gone wild, or even an accidental act of treason, but Donald J. Trump’s final desperate effort to nullify the results of his election loss by overthrowing our government and usurping its powers?

The fact that it was so dismal a failure—so poorly planned and ineffectually executed—does not erase the fact that a failed coup d’etat is as much an act of treason as one that succeeds. 

The amazing thing to me is that the elements of the coup were never hidden. Trump in his delusional quest for a second term, began his campaign to undermine the election results by declaring them rigged and illegitimate far in advance of November 3, 2020.  

The fact that Trump fired the Secretary of Defense and installed a crew of loyalists atop the Defense Department less than two weeks after the election was a coup-warning red flag to ten former Secretaries of Defense, as well as to anyone with a sense of how delusional Trump had become. 

And how dangerous.

Trump bootlickers and pardoneers General Michael Flynn and Steve Bannon were seen everywhere after the election calling for military action, martial law and fighting in the streets to “Stop The Steal,” the battle cry for Trump’s coup-focused insurrection.

Even Trump’s clumsy attempts to overturn Georgia’s electoral outcome can be seen as a desperate attempt to secure even the flimsiest shred of evidence that a rigged election had occurred. Evidence that might be seen as justification for some sort of military action. 

There was no other discernible reason for attempting to change Georgia’s certified election results. There weren’t enough electors at stake to justify the risk to Trump for coercing a fraudulent outcome. 

Without intending a coup, there would have been no justification on January 6th for Trump to organize, incite and direct a mob to violently storm the capital and prevent Biden’s certification as President, and maybe, perhaps, eliminate top leaders in American government while they were there. 

So, with all the transparency surrounding Trump’s failed coup d’etat, why the refusal to acknowledge what anyone can plainly figure out for themselves? Why would President Biden denounce the coup in Myanmar yet remain silent about our own homegrown infamy?

The answer remains something of a secret. One can surmise all sorts of reasons why the Powers That Be, and their media allies, would want to sanitize the events of January 6th, to downplay the instability and uncertainty that scarily surrounded America and its vaunted democratic ideals and institutions on that day. Not to mention its position as the world’s bedrock of financial stability.

This question of Trump’s failed coup becomes very much like the conundrum about the tree falling unseen and unheard in the forest. 

If a coup happens and everyone pretends not to have noticed, will a coup actually have happened?

Only if we pull our heads out of the sand.


The Scoundrel in Question.

Welcome to NATIONAL SCOUNDREL’S DAY. On January 6th of every year, Americans should gather in civic assemblies, high school auditoriums and American Legion Halls to honor the only president  in United States history to attempt a coup d’etat. 

Also notable as the only a coup d’etat in American history that failed, or was so poorly conceived that it never had a chance to succeed. A political power grab unlike any coup d’etat ever seen in this modern era. Not a swift military tactical movement, nor an unexpected detention of authorities in power, but a painfully protracted, 5-hour coup d’etat planned by the three stooges of the Donald J. Trump presidency—Donald Trump, Rudy Giuliani and Roger Stone.

A coup d’etat noticeably absent of battlefield commanders, or any set of detailed plans or clearly communicated objectives. A coup d’etat carried out by a ragtag army of hoodwinked malcontents, Halloween-garbed Viking imitators and hundreds of right-wing tourists lured to the nation’s capital for what they believed would be a political rally and a Make America Great Again Festival, hopefully featuring free beer. 

Fear not, if you worry that there aren’t enough political figures whose infamy and stupidity qualifies them to also be celebrated and scorned on NATIONAL SCOUNDREL’S DAY. The rolls of the January 6th accomplices, whether before or after the fact, reads like a Who’s Who of Trump’s Republican bootlickers: Ted Cruz, Josh Hawley, Lindsey Graham, Mitch McConnell and dozens of others who either refused to certify Joe Biden’s electoral victory or voted for acquittal in Trump’s senate impeachment trial.

And what would a NATIONAL SCOUNDREL’S DAY be if it failed to honor and ridicule those titans of the right-wing media, those fabled curators of the President’s lies and malfeasances—Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Laura Ingraham, Lou Dobbs and Jeanine Pirro, among many others, including Rupert Murdoch—whose daily serving of lies, rumors and conspiracies fed, fostered and festered discontent and outrage throughout America’s heartland?

Yes, it’s way past time we set aside a single day in our crowded calendar every year to honor those whose misconduct and sociopathic behavior put at risk those values and hallowed traditions we honor as loyal, god-fearing Americans.

At long last Benedict Arnold and Joseph McCarthy can rest easily in their graves, knowing they will never be forgotten. Not as long as we have a holiday to celebrate NATIONAL SCOUNDRELS’ DAY. 

Not as long as Donald J. Trump will be remembered for all his accomplishments as a National Disgrace.


A man and his toys.

In a blog post from last April, I predicted that with Trump Past would always prove to be Prologue, and that his history of grabbing for anything he wanted, like a toddler on a playroom floor, had repeatedly resulted in his destroying or severely damaging those playthings before finally letting go.

When something or someone has been Trumped, Thumped and Dumped, you know it and they know it. it’s as devastating and unforgiving as a tornado moving through a trailer park. 

Trump’s record of serial bankruptcies in business, six in all, and a similar history as an unrestrained libertine, with 23 women claiming sexual grievances that range from groping to rape, only adds to his legend as a man who damages almost everything he puts his hands on. 

Now, as I watch history being made with Trump’s second impeachment trial, I recall that I also predicted in that eerily prescient essay that Trump would damage and possibly destroy the Republican Party. An achievement he will soon accomplish, I expect, with the unwitting assistance of sycophants like Senators Ted Cruz, Josh Hawley and Lindsey Graham.

What I did not foresee was the massive damage, if not destruction, Trump would inflict on our country. On America. On our values, our institutions, our traditions and, most seriously, on our sense of ourselves. 

Trump took charge of an America with immense power to lead and benefit the world, and twisted its institutions to serve himself—always himself! Nothing you can point to has more importance, in Trump’s ever-lusting mind, than his bloated ego and selfish appetites. It was never America First; but always Trump First, even when that put America Last. 

In the end, Trump could not accept the American voters taking back the power they had temporarily granted him four years ago. He would ultimately trample on the Constitution, his oath of office, his duties within that office, and his vow to protect and defend America and its citizens. All in service to his own outsized dreams of rarified privilege and entitlement. 

And so as we watch the House impeachment managers make their irrefutable case for Trump’s impeachment, we know they are fighting in a losing cause. In a Senate half-filled with politicians who cannot see beyond their fear of Trump’s reprisals, Truth and Justice will never prevail.

They don’t know it yet, but these Senators of lilliputian courage, in sacrificing their honor and integrity, have already been Trumped and Thumped.

And judging by the lessons of history, it won’t be long before they are rudely Dumped.

Just ask Mike Pence.

As I mentioned, this essay is a revisit of a blog post from last April, titled “TRUMPED, THUMPED AND DUMPED.” Click here if you would like to read that essay.


Swearing an oath, but to whom?

Careful, Dorothy, we’re not in Kansas anymore. 

We’re in a land where nothing is as it seems. Where the truth is never real, and the real is never true.

Welcome to the land of Republican Senators. Or, as they are often described by journalists and observers—and will be remembered by future historians—“Cowards, Sycophants and Accomplices.”

Oh my! 

Yes, in this land, you do not need to be true to your vows, or vote by the light of your conscience, or speak the truth about what you see with your own eyes, or act in a way that will make your children proud. 

In this land, the thing of most importance is to remain true to Donald J. Trump, no matter how dastardly his deeds, no matter how violently he desecrates the Constitution, even if his most damning behavior cries out for condemnation and abhorrence.

In this land an attempted coup is of no great constitutional importance, nor is the death of six individuals whose lives were lost to the lies and lust of a man who would not relinquish the power bestowed upon him by the electorate and taken away by that same sovereign body.

In this land, political power is supreme, so unstoppable in its sweep that time and again it upends reality and turns common sense on its head. When that happens, lies light the fires that lead the way in the dark. 

A year ago, those lies allowed Donald J. Trump to escape conviction for his crimes in the first impeachment trial. An escape that led as surely to this second impeachable offense as night follows day. Thus the 52 senators who voted to acquit Donald J. Trump a year ago are not only his jurors today, but his accomplices in all subsequent crimes since his acquittal.

Cowards, Sycophants and Accomplices.

Oh my!