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It ain't Chess... Trump, Indictments and the Deep State Election
Another day at the funny farm of US politics
As always here at Liberty Shrugged we've been dumbfounded and just plain wrong guessing the next actions of the former US president. We feel like a kid answering the test questions with the wrong cribsheet. AI anyone? Only this might be a little more serious.
We predicted that if he lost in 2020 he'd sulk, lick his wounds and slink away quietly in angry humiliation. HA. That didn't work out.
Then we thought for sure he wouldn't risk his standing in the Republican Party by running again and chancing losing. HA. We forget shame isn't a gene in most Presidential DNA’s. Once he’s in it he keeps going no matter what. A bit like the mole in my lawn.
So if losing in 2020, and the terrible fiasco of that coup attempt didn’t force a come to God moment, perhaps the embarrassing losses of pretty much all his hardcore Maga candidates in the midterms might have tempered his attitude. HA Trump doesn't reflect or change tactics. And it's all tactics.
Since the midterms well its been a busy 9 months for Trump. His reality show hijinks/presidential campaign continues through a non stop cascade of indictments, court dates, controversial convictions and disturbing interviews.
In the last presidential election we were a little taken back by the daily, slightly crazy, inappropriate, racist, misogynistic stuff his team seemed to cough out. He was the top of every news show because he was so outrageous. And we lapped it all up.
The current thinking on his 2016 win seems to be we all thought it would be more fun to vote for the guy who said the crazy sh*t than the boring school marm aka Hilary. And well he'd act more appropriately once in office. He'd stop the crazy stuff and become a statesman.
These days we know better. The outrageous behaviour isn't a shtick. It’s not a strategy. The guy is as serious as a heart attack. It ain’t chess after all its checkers.
After ‘the insurrection’ news shows promised not to cover him for the ratings, because like a car wreck he was ratings gold. Fox even fired Tucker…. eventually. But that hasn't worked out. He’s still daily front page news. Print and broadcast.
He used to get coverage because we were incredulous about what he just said. He still talks sh*t but now his coverage is more like whack a mole for defense attorneys and indictments.
To help set it all in context here's a condensed timeline of the last 9 months:
November 15, 2022 Trump announces his candidacy for President.
March 2023. He's indicted in NY for hush money payments.
May 2023 He loses E. Jean Carroll sexual assault trial. Jury says he has to pay her millions in reparations.
June 9, 2023 Trump receives a target letter over his classified documents retention from the DOJ.
June 10, 2023 The Feds indict him for violations of the espionage act.
July 17, 2023 Trump receives his second target letter over Jan 6th activities from the DOJ.
July.... Soon to come indictment for activities on and leading to Jan 6.
August.... Soon Atlanta indictment over 2020 election tampering.
3 other states are starting investigations around his fake elector scheme. It’s exhausting really…
He is single-handedly keeping the DOJ and the courts around the country in business. So that presidential campaign must be taking some serious hits. Except no.
Polling shows he's maintained a 20-30 point lead over the other Republican candidates.
He will win the Republican nomination unless.... I can't think of anything that'll derail it. Can you? So lets jump to 2024. What happens if he wins. He's coming right out this time and telling us all.
Remember it ain't chess and there is no great strategy. Its all tactics and its all right there for us to see.
Steven Cheung, a spokesman for Mr. Trump’s campaign, said in a statement that the former president has “laid out a bold and transparent agenda for his second term, something no other candidate has done.” He added, “Voters will know exactly how President Trump will supercharge the economy, bring down inflation, secure the border, protect communities and eradicate the deep state that works against Americans once and for all.”
How you ask?
“It would be chaotic,” said John F. Kelly, Mr. Trump’s second White House chief of staff. “It just simply would be chaotic, because he’d continually be trying to exceed his authority but the sycophants would go along with it. It would be a nonstop gunfight with the Congress and the courts.”
First stop the DoJ. Since Watergate Presidents have been hands off the DoJ. They are supposed to act impartially and without favour. Last term Trump was a bit stymied by that. This term he's already promised to investigate all his enemies, the Biden’s and everyone else.
So this is what governing a la Trump might look like.
1. Exclaimer numero uno - the DoJ was weaponized so of course plenty of self pardons are justified.
2. Impounding of funds - again since Nixon Presidents haven't done this. It was verboten and Congress passed laws that made the practice illegal but Trump could just refuse to release the funds Congress appropriated to various agencies. Get ready Supreme Court challenge.
3. Wholesale firing of government employees. It looks like he intends to strip employment protections from tens of thousands of career civil servants, making it easier to replace them if they are deemed obstacles to his agenda.
4. Scour the intelligence agencies, the State Department and the defence bureaucracies to remove officials he has vilified as “the sick political class that hates our country.”
5. Bring independent agencies, the FCC, the FTC, even the Fed (?!) etc. under his direct control!!
Trump himself exclaims “We will demolish the deep state. We will expel the warmongers from our government. We will drive out the globalists. We will cast out the communists, Marxists and fascists. And we will throw off the sick political class that hates our country.”
So chaos aside, some will ask. Why not? War on the administrative state sounds like a good idea. Kind of like a necessary trip to the dental hygienist. Or a really good spring clean. And aren't they all crooks anyway? Other’s might argue that this is starting to look a little bit like, well, Russia!
And there you have it folks. Trump, serially indicted, inciter of riots, sexual assaulter, Putin apologist, NATO basher, loved by an unshakeable 30% of republicans, and libertarian billionaires (here’s looking at you Peter T)... He just might win.
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