Happy Monday to all my beautiful babies. The weather in Denver is really incredible right now, so I went out and did real things this week. A few friends and I went to a brewery, a restaurant, a bar, and a soccer game. All indoors, all unmasked. Hot David Summer is in full swing.
I think we can get through the easy stuff first: We got a pretty decent jobs report on Friday. 559K jobs created, unemployment ticked down to 5.8%, and wages even went up. All in all, it was positive news. There are still some signs that the economy is struggling to get a hold of its footing before it begins its sprint into a full gangbusters recovery. Why is it struggling? We don’t really know right now, which is frustrating. But we did get data that debunked a few narratives:
We can also have some fun at Donald Trump’s expense:
Total net job losses under Donald Trump: 3,000,000 in four years.
Total job gains by Joe Biden in four full months as President: 2,158,000.
Job losses in Trump’s last full moth as President: 306,000
Job gains in Biden’s first full month as President: 536,000
Over Memorial Day Weekend, disgraced General Michael Flynn made news when he endorsed a Myanmar-style Military Coup in the United States to reinstate Trump to the Presidency. After everyone was done talking about how bad and stupid that was, Maggie Haberman dropped a bombshell on Twitter only a couple of days later:
Donie O'Sullivan @donieTalk of a Myanmar-style coup in the United States has been popular among some Trump supporters and QAnon believers for months. https://t.co/PVFKQ6LukA
Haberman’s scoop was actually confirmed by Charles C.W. Cooke over at National Review, who said he had heard the same thing from supporters of the former President.
Trump also has a consistent habit of making his defenders look like total fools. His spokesman, Jason Miller, said that Haberman’s report was false, but then Trump sent out this video:
“Sooner than you think,” in case you were wondering if he really believes this or not. I think it’s pretty clear that he does. And he has a whole hoard of supporters who believe it too. Sidney Powell, for instance, has essentially guaranteed that he will be reinstated and lamented that he will not be able to get back the “lost time” that was illegally granted to Biden.
Last week I referenced the Beer Belly Putsch, and I think it’s important to continue to call it that. On January 6th, there were obviously some idiots who wandered into the Capitol building in the middle of their LARP but, in reality, had no idea what they were doing. For instance, the Q-Shaman, Jacob Chansley, falls into this category: He is a loony toon who is apparently so out to lunch that the judge presiding over his criminal trial ordered him to have a psych evaluation.
But then there are others who stormed the Capitol with clear intent. Court documents are showing that there were teams of people who intended to halt the counting of votes with the hope of having Trump assume power. Others were armed and had stocked firearms in a vehicle outside of D.C. (showing that they were aware of D.C.’s gun laws) that could be reached easily. They had a “bugout” plan to go into the mountains of Kentucky in case things went “bad.” In other words, they were ready to try again if their putsch didn’t succeed.2
Timothy Snyder - who studies how democracies die - adds all this up and highlights why it’s important:
The scenario then goes like this. The Republicans win back the House and Senate in 2022, in part thanks to voter suppression. The Republican candidate in 2024 loses the popular vote by several million and the electoral vote by the margin of a few states. State legislatures, claiming fraud, alter the electoral count vote. The House and Senate accept that altered count. The losing candidate becomes the president. We no longer have "democratically elected government." And people are angry.
No one is seeking to hide that this is the plan. It is right there out in the open. The prospective Republican candidates for 2024, Donald Trump, Ted Cruz, and Josh Hawley, are all running on a big lie platform. If your platform is that elections do not work, you are saying that you intend to come to power some other way. The big lie is designed not to win an election, but to discredit one. Any candidate who tells it is alienating most Americans, and preparing a minority for a scenario where fraud is claimed. This is just what Trump tried in 2020, and it led to a coup attempt in January 2021. It will be worse in January 2025.
I don’t want to be a downer, but this is our current status as a Republic:
One Party’s leader lost an election.
His supporters attempted to stop the election of his successor.
His supporters still do not recognize his successor as legitimate.
The members of his Party in national government are showing total loyalty to him and are punishing any member of their Party who speaks out against him.
Members of his party at the local level are passing election laws that limit the public’s ability to vote and give politicians more power over the electoral process.
They are still conducting “audits” of the previous election in order to cast doubt on their legitimacy.
The leader who lost continues to argue that he did not lose the election, has claimed he will be reinstated, and is preparing to run for office again in 2024.
What would you say if this were happening in another country?
I want to be optimistic, because I think I am a naturally optimistic person at heart, especially when it comes to America. One of my more popular refrains to my older relatives who were worried that this country was falling apart was: “Don’t worry. This country survived a Civil War because half of it thought it was OK for them to own black people.”
I don’t say that anymore, to myself or to anyone else. I really do feel pessimism creeping up in me. It’s possible that I am overreacting: Maybe I am feeling personally hurt because I had convinced myself that there was a good, decent, conservative movement that could govern a pluralistic country. Maybe I am overestimating the capabilities of a crazy septuagenarian who lives in Florida and clearly has a Sea Cucumber for a brain.
Or maybe I have the words of Ronald Reagan (still pining for those Republican principles) instilled in me: “Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction.” I think people have mostly forgotten that Donald Trump’s first Presidential run was actually in 2000.
It would be ironic, then, that if he were to be inaugurated in the scenario Snyder outlines above, it would be almost 25 years since his first presidential run. A key reminder: Every successful overthrow of government in world history was preceded by at least one thing: An unsuccessful overthrow of government. Enjoy your week!
I have gotten super into this Twitter thread, which highlights what I now see as a somewhat lazy analysis: Reacting to every public uproar with a, “You’re freaking out too much, things are going to be OK” statement.
I am sensitive to it because I have that reaction a lot, sometimes even on this blog. While I don’t think it’s always wrong (sometimes people really are freaking out and things are going to be OK!), I have to concede that it is often lazy. Read the whole thread.
That’s all for me this week my babies. See you next Monday.
This is trolling and it is fun, but in reality any effect the President has on a thirty-trillion dollar economy is negligible.