The other day Lt. General Michael Flynn went on Newsmax and spoke nonsense. According to the former general, who recently got a pardon from the president, the president should enact martial law and re-run elections where Donald Trump lost. Now, let’s be clear, this talk of a coup, of martial law, has been the biggest thing this side of crazy town in far-right fringe websites. It’s also circulated on more mainstream ones, even if this is a matter of degree. The president even considering it, according to the New York Times, is not normal.

He also spoke of naming Sidney Powell special counsel to investigate the election and find out where the (imaginary) fraud was, Until now many of the talking heads on the TV Machines were thinking that this was just a grift from Trump. Some of us knew it was more than a way to raise money from a base desperate to overturn the election. That the president continues to encourage is clear. But for a moment of clarity, we saw one of the talking heads breach the necessary subject. Donald Trump is not just encouraging a base to raise money. He believes this.

Welcome to the club people. Trump cannot see himself as a loser. Essentially having to concede to Joe Biden means he is a loser. His psyche cannot handle that. His father, as his niece Mary has reminded us repeatedly, said to Donald that losers are the worst people in the world. So now some of the commentariat are waking up to the reality we were wanted about by Michael Cohen, his former fixer.

His people are now leaking like sieves, and for the first time, even the most loyal Trumpers within the administration are talking about the 25th Amendment. The threat that this president poses to democratic norms is becoming clearer by the day. He is not disappointing any of us who have been students of his for over four long years.

His Followers

We knew that they were getting ready to delegitimize the election before the first ballot was cast. We knew this, and according to The Atlantic:

My team’s research at the Stanford Internet Observatory tracks the way malign narratives spread online. The notion that so-called deep-state insiders and Democrats are orchestrating a color revolution against Trump had been rippling across various factions of the stridently pro-Trump media ecosystem since mid-August. Early claims appeared in pronouncements by the firebrand conservative blogger and former Trump speechwriter Darren Beattie, which were then repeated and shared by prominent right-wing influencers on Twitter and YouTube. These powerful voices claimed that street protests, ballot-mishandling incidents, and the like were not spontaneous or disparate events; rather, they formed a pattern of evidence revealing a plot to steal the election from Trump. Even presidential-debate commissioners were supposedly involved.

The theory leaped from blogs and a podcast with Steve Bannon to Fox News, where Beattie pushed it out to Tucker Carlson’s audience — 4 million viewers on a typical night. The conservative broadcaster Glenn Beck dedicated entire episodes of his talk show to solemnly diagramming how the color revolution might unfold. Other conservative blogs, influencers, and YouTube channels began to broach the idea. So did ordinary people, who shared this media content on social networks, spreading the narrative across dozens of large right-wing interest groups on Facebook. Q was merely appropriating and amplifying a conspiracy theory invented elsewhere. But by picking it up, Q ensured that it would reach many more people.

We are now in the post-election period and we are watching exactly this. For those of us who have been paying attention, none comes as a surprise. The president is the chief purveyor, but the usual suspects are at it as well. Places like GAB and 8Kun, as well as Parler, have this “stop the steal” in spades. So does Newsmax and One America Network. They are still telling followers that the election was stolen and that the president won. Their evidence…the president was ahead in some critical states election night. This we all expected because we knew that the first votes to be counted in those states were those cast the same day. Once the mail-in ballots were counted, then we would know the actual result.

Q is still spreading disinformation and getting the people riled up. This is in spite that the cryptic messages are not coming as fast, But it is not needed, When the president talks law and appointing Sidney Powell as a special prosecutor we are in crazy town. But so is the president, who continues to stir the pot.

The next point of the activity is the certification by Congress of the Electoral College vote, where Trump lost, again. So on January 6th, Congress meets to certify the electoral college vote, and there are a few things we are expecting that day. The first is members of Congress to challenge each vote. If they get support from Senators, they can throw the House and Senate into debate for two hours, for each state. This could get messy, but in the end, it is expected to go nowhere. According to Politico:

Rep. Mo Brooks (R-Ala.) — who is spearheading the long-shot push to overturn the election results in Congress — organized the trio of White House meetings, which lasted over three hours and included roughly a dozen lawmakers. The group also met with Vice President Mike Pence, who will be presiding over the joint session of Congress when lawmakers officially certify the Electoral College votes on Jan. 6, as well as members of Trump’s legal team.

“It was a back-and-forth concerning the planning and strategy for January the 6th,” Brooks said in a phone interview.

In addition to the “dozens” of House Republicans who are committed to objecting to the election results, Brooks said there are “multiple” Senate Republicans who are now receptive to the effort, though he declined to name names. Sen.-elect Tommy Tuberville (R-Ala.), whom Trump has repeatedly praised on Twitter recently, has said he is considering the idea.

More and more congressmen and senators are being persuaded that the election was stolen,” Brooks said, who claimed that momentum for the effort is growing.

This tactic is not new. It was used in 2000 after George Bush won the electoral college by the narrowest margin in modern history. The election in Florida was contested because it was that close and the Supreme Court got involved. However, the challenge of the Florida Electoral vote by members of the Black Caucus was not joined by a single Senator. After the election was certified, many Democrats were not happy, but like 2016, the Republican president was recognized, because there is respect for the office and institutions almond Democrats, The base, let’s be clear, was not happy. And some in the base never recognized Bush. The extent of their actions against the president were demonstrations, some raucous. Just like the Women’s march came out in massive numbers after President Trump was sworn in, and the resistance to Trump has consisted of peaceful demonstrations, signage, and the rest.

But Black Lives Matter! We know that the vast majority of the demonstrations during the Summer were peaceful. Moreover, most of those who came armed and ready for a fight was NOT BLM protesters. It was the far right, which has become increasingly angry and increasingly armed. They are also encouraged to talk a little revolution by their leaders, and not to accept the results of the election. The damage Trump and his people are doing to democratic norms are immense. While Democrats wore pussy hats, the right is preparing to go to war, and are looking forward to a civil war. The difference in the intent is massive, and hard to comprehend unless you realize that a group of Americans is so aggrieved by the changes in society that they are willing to fight to stop them.

Historian by training. Former day to day reporter. Sometimes a geek who enjoys a good miniatures game.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store