A worrying appointment by the Trump administration

The Trump administration just put a Q-anon fanatic in charge of Pentagon intelligence. This is a worrying development.

As with so much else right now, it’s hard to know what the future holds. This could turn out to be nothing, or it could turn out to be something big and dangerous. I think the following twitter thread says it well:


People keep asking whether Trump and the Republicans attempt to steal the election is legitimate, if it’s a coup, if it’s a fundraising scheme, if it’s posturing, if it’s actually all that dangerous.

The answer is yes. All of these things and so much more.

The first thing we have to establish is that Trump is erratic. He flails and rages. But that flailing and raging, paired with his shamelessness, exposes weaknesses in our system.

When Trump finds a weakness, he exploits it until he breaks through.

Right now Trump is defeated. He has no legitimate means of winning this election and so he’s throwing everything at it in hopes something will stick. At times, it’s laughable, but all he needs is ONE THING to work.

And yes, Trump is using this crisis as a means of fundraising. Sending out alarming emails and messages raises money from angry supporters desperate for hope, but it also continues to establish an escalating crisis.

It does multiple things at once.

Trump is a gambler playing multiple hands. He’s a terrible gambler, but his entire life he’s just trying so many angles at so many times that he waits until he finds something that even halfway works.

This? Right now? This is multiple hands of badly played poker.

So what are the possible outcomes?

Trump loses but saves face.

Trump loses but raises money.

Trump manages to break through, subvert democracy, and steals the election.

These are all “wins” for him even if it means radicalizing people and a coup.

This is how Trump sees the world. He’s not worried about inspiring violence, destroying democracy, hurting the nation or anyone in it.

He’s looking for his best possible outcome and doesn’t care what he does in the process.

It’s a COUP AND A SCAM. Both things at once.

Meanwhile, and this is important, the Republicans are playing their own games.

Some are true believers, nuts who believe the election was stolen. But most understand Trump lost and are playing their own game.

We have to understand why they’re doing it.

People like McConnell and Graham are giving voice to Trump for multiple reasons. They need to keep Trumpists active in the GOP, they need to win the special elections in GA, the controversy creates passion, and it leads to fundraising.

But…they’re also fine with a coup.

If Trump manages to break through and actually steals the election, the Republicans would be fine with it. That would mean power, and that’s their only concern.

This willingness to harness a fascist strongman is why they cannot be trusted with power.

As I mentioned in my article this morning, Fox News is now vying to keep its audience as Trumpists reject it for actually reporting Biden’s win.

They’ll cover these conspiracy theories to keep viewers loyal if at all possible.

The whole point is this: Trump and the GOP are playing a dangerous game. The coup might not work, but they see an advantage at flirting with a coup.

The coup might work and they see an advantage with grasping power for themselves.

It’s a win-win for them while we lose.

I don’t think Trump or the GOP truly believe they’re going to manage to overturn the election, but peddling these conspiracy theories help them regardless.

But the frightening thing? If it does work and they carry out a coup? They’re more than happy to accept that.

This has been theater from the very beginning. Trump played an authoritarian on TV until he BECAME ONE.

You play the role until you are the role. In this case, they’re posturing for power and profit until they gain power and profit, one way or another.

Again, this doesn’t mean the coup will work. It’s haphazard, lazy, and stupid.

But…it COULD work. That’s the danger here we have to take seriously.

Not to mention the fact that these people are more than willing to endanger lives and threaten democracy.

If the coup works, we’re in a whole world of trouble.

If it doesn’t, Trump and the GOP have turned the temperature up, radicalized numbers of supporters, and possibly inspired terroristic acts by their supporters.

It’s unconscionable and dangerous on a whole other level.

People are going to tell you there’s nothing to worry about. That’s absolutely wrong and irresponsible.

You can recognize there’s no legal ground here while understanding these people are bad faith actors who rage until they find weakness in the law and systems.

This thing isn’t a joke. Trump and the GOP are playing a game, but there’s nothing funny about it. We’re all in incredible danger right now and pretending like it isn’t dangerous, win or lose, only empowers and enables them to continue destroying democracy.


  1. billseymour says

    I don’t think that the first bit is quite right:  [Ezra] Cohen-Watnick was pushed out of the White House in 2017 after it became clear that he would not get along with the man chosen to replace former national security advisor Michael Flynn, who later revealed himself as a QAnon supporter.

    It looks like it was Michael Flynn, not Cohen-Watnick, who was the QAnon wackaloon.  I don’t doubt that Cohen-Watnick is a goofball, but connecting him with QAnon probably isn’t correct.

  2. billseymour says

    I forgot to mention:  the “Intelligence” bit reminded me of Catch-22’s Captain Black. 😎

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