Tuesday, September 08, 2020


It's exhausting and dispiriting to live in an America controlled by the Republican Party -- a party that doesn't merely rely on "its own set of facts," it devotes nearly all of its energy to the generation of those "alternate facts," because the only way it can win elections is to persuade a majority of white voters that Democrats are indistinguishable from the most extreme terrorists and criminals and are nothing more than dangerous lunatics bent on the destruction of Western civilization.

Right now, Democrats are having a serious conversation about the possibility that Donald Trump won't leave office if he's legitimately defeated at the polls in November. This is an appropriate conversation to have because Trump has refused to say that he would concede an electoral loss, has repeatedly talked about serving more than two terms, and has made several moves to undermine faith in the electoral process.

But on the right, as I told you yesterday, this dialogue is portrayed as a Democratic attempt to overthrow Trump by force. To Republicans, we're the thuggish subverters of democracy.

To a large extent, this is based on an idea Republicans simply made up over the past few months and have now elevated to a sacred truth: that ballot counting is subjected to a time clock, like football or basketball, and if ballots aren't counted by a certain point on Election Night, they're illegitimate by definition. So now everyone on the right believes that mail-in ballots counted after Tuesday, November 3, should all be deemed fraudulent, and thus if Democrats claim victory based on these ballots, we're cheating.

Michael Anton, author of a pseudonymous essay called "The Flight 93 Election" that was widely circulated in right-wing circles before the last election, has written a new essay called "The Coming Coup" that makes this argument. In much of the essay, Anton seems as paranoid as you'd imagine.
In his famously exhaustive discussion of conspiracies, Machiavelli goes out of his way to emphasize the indispensability of “operational security”—i.e., silence—to success. The first rule of conspiracy is, you do not talk about the conspiracy. The second rule of conspiracy is, you do not talk about the conspiracy.

So why are the Democrats—publicly—talking about the conspiracy?

Because they know that, for it to succeed, it must not look like a conspiracy. They need to plant the idea in the public mind, now, that their unlawful and illegitimate removal of President Trump from office will somehow be his fault.
In other words, Democrats are more Machiavellian than Machiavelli, because he thought you should conceal your conspiracy by concealing it, whereas Democrats are concealing theirs by openly proclaiming it, which is way more secretive.

Or something like that.

Anton's Democrats are far more single-minded in their pursuit of victory than any Democrats I've ever met.
... part of the plan is either to produce enough harvested ballots—lawfully or not—to tip close states, or else dispute the results in close states and insist, no matter what the tally says, that Biden won them. The worst-case scenario (for the country, but not for the ruling class) would be results in a handful of states that are so ambiguous and hotly disputed that no one can rightly say who won. Of course, that will not stop the Democrats from insisting that they won.
In fact, real Democrats -- not the monsters under Michael Anton's bed -- seem fully prepared to say, "Oops, we didn't win enough of the Hispanic vote in Florida and we underperformed in Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Detroit, and Milwaukee, so I guess Trump wins again." I don't believe in stealing elections, but Anton's Democrats certainly have more backbone than the real ones.

Anton, hilariously, believes Democrats will mobilize both the U.S. military and antifa in order to steal the election.
The Podesta assumption is that the military will side with the Dems. There are reasons to fear they might. The Obama administration spent a great deal of political capital purging the officer corps of anyone not down with the program and promoting only those who are.

Still and all, determining the outcome of an election would be the most open political interference possible from our allegedly apolitical military, and it’s plausible that the brass won’t want to make its quiet support of the ruling class agenda that overt.

... what’s left? ... a repeat of this summer, only much, much bigger. Crank the propaganda to ear-drum shattering decibels and fill the streets of every major city with “protesters.” Shut down the country and allow only one message to be heard: “Trump must go.”
Every Democrat I know winces whenever a building is burned or a statue is toppled, but Anton -- like nearly every Republican -- thinks looters are the Democrats' secret weapon.

And here's my favorite bit:
Is the Trump Administration prepared?

... They ... need to set up or shore up—now—communication channels that don’t rely on the media or Big Tech. Once the ruling class gives word that the narrative is “Trump lost,” all the president’s social media accounts will be suspended. The T.V. channels, with the likely exception of Fox News, will refuse to cover anything he says. Count on it. He’s going to need a way to talk to the American people and he has to find the means, now.
Yes, Trump will need to communicate using samizdat media because, in Anton's telling, television news outlets won't cover anything he says. I have no words.

We can't communicate with these people. I don't know how we can ever work with them again. They need deprogramming. They're no longer capable of rational thought.

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