Trump’s Cross to Bear — or why cross people can’t bear him

Trump’s Cross to Bear

or why cross people can’t bear him

Bryan Zepp Jamieson

January 22nd, 2023

It’s not clear why Donald Trump decided to start attacking the Christian evangelicals who had been the backbone of his support. Perhaps it was Trump’s well-known propensity for shooting himself in the foot. Or perhaps it was because he always regarded the evangelicals as idiots and had an unguarded moment. He does that a lot, recently furnishing prosecutors for a motive for stealing all those classified documents (he apparently was looking for evidence to support the ludicrous “crossfire hurricane” election theft conspiracy theory). When his lawyers got fined nearly a million bucks for frivolous abuse of the legal system, he promptly withdrew another, similar case against Hillary Clinton et al, a tacit admission that it, too, was frivolous and would be seen as a waste of the court’s time. He does that a lot, too.

But I suspect that it’s mostly because the evangelicals have been souring on him. The flock are finally noticing that he isn’t really the second coming of Christ (and yes, a few of them literally believed that) and in fact, he might not be all that godly at all (paging Captain Obvious!). The evangelical leadership, safely inured from such inconveniences as faith or belief, saw that not only was Trump’s power slipping, but he was dragging the entire evangelical movement down. Yes, the evangelical movement had always been viewed from outside with a mixture of pity and disgust but that didn’t bother the leadership as long as their political stock remained firm. Now that it isn’t, it suddenly bothers them a lot.

The blob squad, the vicious biblical demagogues who hilariously characterize themselves as ‘pro life,’ have lost a certain amount of interest in the presidential race. They only supported candidates who promised to put anti-choice zealots on the courts, and Trump obliged them, giving them what they wanted. Now, they have a brighter fascistic zealot to worship: Ron DeSantis, who is intent on getting rid of all that “individual liberties” and “personal freedoms” shit and make the right people safe in the arms of Jeezus. At a recent blob squad convention, DeSantis outpolled Trump for President by about 54% to 20%. After all, he’s most likely to destroy women’s rights and keep the ‘lower races’ in their place.

Without the zealots, Trump is going nowhere. He didn’t have a prayer in ‘16 or ‘20 without them (and in fact lost the popular vote in both elections anyway) and even if he stays out of jail, he won’t have their support in ‘24.

Sic transit gloria mon dieu.

The MAGA crowd are evaporating, as well. That decline began the evening of January 6th, 2021, when the implications of what that mob in Washington were trying to do started to sink in with those followers who weren’t completely nihilistic zombies. That unease has slowly snowballed since, with the January 6th Select Committee erasing any and all doubt that these were not just enthusiastic Trump tourists agitated by dark AntiFa forces. Or that Trump didn’t really mean to have Mike Pence and Nancy Pelosi hanged for daring to oppose his attempted coup.

As the legal system closes in on Trump himself, the legal penalties his hirelings and supporters face have sharply increased of late. A lot of the defendants haven’t exactly covered themselves in glory, offering excuses that are ridiculous on the face of it (Just wanted to go to the bathroom and somehow wound up with his feet up on Pelosi’s desk) and some are just cowards. A lot of them blamed Trump for misleading them into their predicaments.

Then there’s the matter of the sorts of people who have infiltrated the Republican party and turned it into a grotesque unintentional parody of the Sturmabteilung, Hitler’s brownshirts. While a lot of that indisputably preceded Trump (Newt Gingrich did much to create the present face of the GOP) he has encouraged and empowered the likes of George Santos (or whatever the hell he calls himself) and Marjorie Taylor-Greene and Lauren Boebert.

Then there’s Trump’s basic personality. We got a sample of that just today. There was a horrible mass shooting in Los Angeles at Monterey Park, where ten were killed and ten more wounded when someone attacked a Chinese New Years’ party. He wrote on his fake Twitter, “10 dead in California shooting, horrible gun wielding ANTIFA protest against our great police in Atlanta – Nothing will happen to them despite night of rage and destruction.” Yes, he really compared largely peaceful (and unarmed) protesters to a gunsel who massacred innocent people. He went on to say things like that wouldn’t happen if he was president, even though many of the nation’s worst mass shooting DID happen during his four years in office. But he was too busy trying to get the Army to teargas peaceful protesters in front of a church he was using as a stage prop.

A lot of people, myself included, believe that at this point, to support a man like this means you are utter filth yourself. And that view, increasingly, is becoming widespread, and Trump supporters are finally realizing that not only are their views unpopular, but many people see them as vile and anti-American. Yes, even the evangelicals, who pride themselves on being cruel, disagreeable and anti-American in the name of Christ.

Unfortunately, this crowd is impervious to the concept of “a learning experience.” Some other opportunistic demagogue will come along for them to glom on to. Church of George Santos, anyone?

The Wave Breaks — Purple Reign Ensues

The Wave Breaks

Purple Reign Ensues

Bryan Zepp Jamieson

November 13th 2022

One of the Weasels described this past week’s election for MAGAts as “Owning the Libs turned into Own Goal.” There’s more than a bit of truth to that. Annoying liberals became a sort of a group pastime beginning with the rise of Rush Limbaugh, and people thought the best way to deal with liberals was to be as inane, infantile, obnoxious, ignorant and condescending as possible, and totally missed the fact that 30% of population is liberal, another 40% are moderates and 20% more are conservative-but-still-sane. So you had 10% of the population that was nuts and/or gleefully vile, and another 30% or so willing to at least tolerate them for the sake of the extra votes they pulled in.

So the lib owners very loudly did their thing, and with the help of billionaires and the propaganda networks they formed, even got some of their own elected. What they missed was that a large portion of the population took them at their word, and assumed they were inane, infantile, obnoxious, ignorant and condescending. Few people see these as virtues.

There were plenty of other reasons why the GOP failed to sweep to total power this election. Nobody likes the theocrats on the Court or that surge by the fundie crowd to turn America into a pseudo-Christian version of Iran. The Republicans who weren’t MAGAts pandered to the billionaire class, promising to cut taxes on the rich and paying for it by raising taxes on the middle class and by slashing or even eliminating Social Security and Medicare. It got them campaign donations, but it turned out nobody was willing to give up their pension or medical coverage so they could see more political ads on TV.

Trump, of course, was a big part of it. As long as he held power, Republicans were willing to disbelieve or turn a blind eye to the fact that he is a loathsome, greedy, self-centered, boorish and destructive dirtbag. Yes, the thinking went, he might be a loathsome, greedy, self-centered, boorish and destructive dirtbag, but by gawd, he’s OUR loathsome, greedy, self-centered, boorish and destructive dirtbag (Yes, I get paid by the word, why do you ask?) and he can win elections for us. In point of fact, he’s never won an election for the GOP, but the illusion of success was adequate for some. So despite his pyramid of scandals and obvious incompetence, he was able to persuade primary voters to go for his picks to run in the mid-terms, and a motley collection of losers they were. You had the election deniers, some of whom promised not to accept the results of the election unless they won. One promised that if elected, his party would never lose another election again. Others ran on openly racist themes, decrying the non-existent “open border” or complaining about crime in the inner cities. (The crime rate is actually higher in rural areas, but they aren’t black there, you see). Some appealed to fear, flogging gays and transgendered (an average child is at far greater risk from his church’s pastor than he is from any drag queen) or drifting off into the land of utter lunacy (litter boxes in school restrooms to accommodate “furries”). One snake-oil “doctor” ran on a platform of mocking his opponent for having had a stroke. Perhaps Trump can sink that low, but most people can’t. The doctor lost, costing the GOP the Senate. Back to Trump in a minute.

The Dobbs decision striking down Roe v. Wade galvanized female and young voters. Both turned out in record numbers, and voted Democratic. We’re already hearing calls from disappointed MAGAts to raise the voting age to 21. (I can imagine a case based on that reaching the Supreme Court. Alito, who already bald-faced that there is no such thing as “unenumerated rights” will probably declare the Constitution has no opinion on voting age. If he can wave the 9th Amendment out of existence, why not do the same to the 26th?) I’m sure MAGAts are trying to figure out how to deter female voters the way they try to deter African-American voters. Joan Crow, anyone?

Finally, and the least recognized reason, is that the fact is that Biden and the Democrats did a hell of a good job over his first two years, and did so with absolutely no help from Republicans. Democrats passed the Inflation Reduction Act, a 1.2 trillion dollar infrastructure bill, and limited gun and health care reform. He managed to cap insulin prices, and gave the government power to negotiate drug and medical equipment prices. He got the 1.9 trillion dollar COVID relief bill through, which kept millions of Americans afloat and off the streets while saving thousands of businesses. He got a bill passed to forgive student loans, an execrable scam that kept millions of American in economic slavery.

I said last week that Trump’s decision to run would depend on how the election went. If the Pubs swept, all his scandals and looming criminal cases and civil suits would go away, courtesy of a morally bankrupt Congress and a stacked Supreme Court, and he would run. If Dems kept the Senate (as they have) and even won the House (which they still might) he wouldn’t run. Even he has to know the midterm results weakened him badly. His chosen candidates nearly all lost. Republicans are daring to criticize him. I believe that for now, he won’t announce. Too much risk of sparking an intra-party revolt or even a civil war. He wouldn’t mind that, understand. But the prospect he might lose will scare him off.

But don’t rule him out. He still has a rabid following, and we’ve seen instances in the past where he should have been wiped out politically for his egregious excesses (the bus conversation with Bush the Least, mocking the disabled reporter, smearing gold-star families, and above all January 6th) only to see him crack the whip and Republicans went crawling back to him like abused junkyard dogs with no recourse but to obey the cruel master. They are a cowardly and revolting lot, and answer the question, “Could it happen here?” Yes, some people are that weak and dependent on the illusion of a strong leader. So yes, Trump may yet return.

In the meantime, if the GOP takes the House (and that is probably going to happen) then the first thing they will do is shut down any further Congressional investigations into Trump or the insurrection. They may even demand that the January 6th committee turn over all evidence gathered so they can destroy it. So my advice for the committee is Publish Everything. Do it in the last day of the existing Congress. Let the world see everything you’ve discovered. All of it. Spare nobody. Republicans, after all, won’t spare you.

Depending on how slim a majority the Republicans have, and how heated the battle for Speakership and committee chairs gets (and it may be a bloody affair) and above all, who wins those battles, the House may or may not launch endless revenge investigations and impeachment hearings against the Bidens and anyone else they don’t like. Expect to start hearing about Benghazi again, because Republicans will suddenly change their minds and decide that angry mobs attacking an American government facility resulting in the deaths of Americans is a bad thing again. And of course, they’ll block anything that might help the country because they don’t want Biden to look good.

But for now, we’ve managed to avoid waltzing off the edge of the cliff. MAGAts showed Americans who they were, and Americans told them to go to hell. They still don’t like fascists.

There is hope.

Crest of a Wave — Breaking a Fascist Surge

Crest of a Wave

Breaking a Fascist Surge

Bryan Zepp Jamieson

October 5th 2021

There’s a lot of hand-wringing among various commentators about the dangers of a right wing coup against the United States. And their concerns are well founded: MAGAts, the QAnon crazies, and the far right are a violent, vicious and determined group, back by fascist, power-seeking corporations who lie, cheat, steal and make their pathetic patsies Congressionals and Senators. Manchin and Sinema aren’t standing on principles; they are obeying orders from their big donors. They are a pair of corporate whores.

And they aren’t the worst. Trump thinks of himself as the next great Hitler, and is emulating the German dictators’ route to power. His followers, ignorant of history and lacking any moral compass, are his brownshirts, becoming more and more aggressive and violent, attacking school board meetings, confronting nurses and doctors who are just doing their jobs, The Lord Hawhaws at Faux News accuse anyone who opposes them of being illegal aliens, socialists, people who hate Christianity and of course hating the flag. One scumbag at Faux news tried to smear Tammy Duckworth of cheating by availing herself of benefits for disabled vets. All she lost was an arm and both legs, after all. It’s not like she had to grow bone spurs in service to her country.

They are vile, ignorant, vicious people. The worst of them are Nazis. The best of them are destructively stupid.

But more and more, I’m seeing signs that this wave of fascism sweeping across America is beginning to lose its force.

America’s Asshole Ex (former president AAX) is losing support. Big donors are backing away. The Arizona Audit, always a bad joke, became an embarrassment. It’s more and more likely that AAX will face felony charges as a result of his trying to bully Georgia State Raffensperger into arbitrarily changing the vote totals in AAX’s favor. Several suits for sex abuse are moving forward. On a daily basis, new lurid books come out, detailing the utter chaos and corruption of his misrule.

The vast tsunami of corruption and racketeering trials stemming from his decades of cheating, lying, defrauding and general malice are coalescing into a huge series of trials that will begin next year. It’s his fear of that accounting that mostly drives his big lie that he actually won the election and is still president. Only the power of the presidency can save him now. Otherwise he will die in prison.

His physical and mental health, already under scrutiny before the election, might play a factor in his movement. Personally, I won’t mind in the least if he drops dead—he’s a vile human being and will be no loss to anyone other than the fools who clung to him for power. But he’s not a good bet to even be alive in 2024, and the stress and strain of the ongoing trials and investigations will take a further toll.

The excesses of his movement are beginning to backfire in earnest. The three partisan hacks he jammed onto the Court have resulted in a widespread social revolt, with the Supreme Court’s respect at the lowest level in history—lower, even, than the partisan mess it made of Bush v. Gore back in 2000. Coney, a god-struck idiot, did herself no favors by whining about being considered a partisan hack while addressing the McConnell Foundation while its puppet master looked on, beaming approval of his little black-robed slave. Even the corporate media couldn’t put lipstick on that one. The justices have been out telling people they aren’t corporate Republican whores, a miscalculation that is utterly destroying the Court’s remaining gravitas.

The attacks on doctors, nurses, school boards and people just minding their own business and wearing masks are causing widespread revulsion and disgust. Expect to see a counter movement against these right wing bullies, and expect them to vanish quickly. They are bullies, and thus they are cowards.

The anti-vax movement is disappearing in the face of employer mandates. Most of them were just playing a little antisocial rebellion game, and between the indisputable explosion of Covid amongst the unvaccinated and the potential loss of a paycheck, the movement is collapsing. Some radio gasbag named Josh Bernstein caught Covid, and once he stopped pissing himself in fear, viciously attacked…Doctor Fauci. I can’t follow his logic; he seems mad that he caught a disease that was politically embarrassing, and hates Fauci for being right. I think. In any event, he wants to shoot Fauci because laws come from God or something. You try to figure it out. My brain hurts.

The Capitol insurrectionists are realizing just how deeply they’ve stepped in it. The guy who chucked a fire extinguisher at a cop pled guilty and burst into tears. Poor little snowflake might be punished for feloniously assaulting a police officer. And he’s a patriot, wears an American flag jacket and everything. Another “sovereign citizen” is doing a good job to showing just want kind of nuts AAX attracts to his movement. The judge can’t judge her because she’s a capital-letter Person, or something.

The Capitol rioters are, for the most part, crybabies and nuts. And the public is starting to realize that.

While a majority of Republicans still cling to the Big Lie that Trump secretly won the election, it’s beginning to fray around the edges. In part, because it is so transparently a lie, and in part because people are beginning to realize that what AAX wants is the complete and total destruction of the Constitutional Republic, and in its place, a one-party fascist state in which the party declares the winner of elections and therefore elections are just window dressing, as they were in the Soviet Union. Should AAX were regain power, elections would cease altogether in short order because of “the [name your distinct group of people] problem” and camps to “solve” those people would arise in short order.

In other words, people are starting to see the unpatriotism and moral, intellectual and ethical bankruptcy of the far right, and realizing that they don’t protect our rights any more than the corporate fascists (including AAX) do.

Just remember—at all levels, fight fascism, vote Democratic. The movement is self-destructing, but we still need to finish the job.


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