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January 6, 2025: Suppose Biden Loses?

County-level secession in New York, February 3, 2022 (https://www.wivb.com)

Civil war talk is in the air. It is in books. It is in articles. It is on talk shows. Whole cable show series may be dedicated to the prospect of the new American Civil War. In fact, the question seems to have moved from being a debating point to being a fait accompli.

On one hand, such talk is good. After years of writing about America’s third civil war, it is gratifying to see that people in the know now are taking seriously the possibility that the 2024 election could be our last one as a free country with the current 50 states…. our ranking as a free society already has deteriorated significantly among the nations by people who track such things.

On the other hand, it also is quite fearful to realize that the end of days for our country as we now know it may be occur before a student who entered college in the 2021/2022 school year may graduate.

So to put the scare talk aside for a moment, in the real world what actually may happen on January 6, 2025, when Congress meets to certify the election results.

NO GETTYSBURG/WASHINGTON DC SHOWDOWN

The chances of a military showdown comparable to the battle at Gettysburg or any other National Park Service site in the Confederacy are slim. True both sides are more than capable of deploying forces in the tens of thousands if not hundreds of thousands at the national capital. Realistically, will that happen?

As we are seeing in the Russian massing of forces to invade the Ukraine, there are logistical challenges to assembling large-scale forces. First, it takes time to do it. Second, it is a highly visible process. Third, someone needs to be in charge of the effort. So while on paper one can envision large-scale forces targeting the Capital, there are numerous problems along the way.

Both sides will be traveling on the same roads.

Both sides will be flying to the same airports.

Both sides will be making reservations at the same hotels and motels.

None of this will be done in secret. There will be news coverage of the prospective participants marching off to battle.

The military is well-aware of the possibility of another January 6 and will be prepared for it.

The commander in-chief will not be welcoming the tourists exercising their second amendment rights to legitimate political discourse at the Capital to kiss and hug cops.

The possible participants know the legal problems currently faced by the participants from the 2021 assault.

Some of the Trump militias may have been weakened by the arrests from the last attack.

In short, the overall odds for a repeat of January 6, 2021, on January 6, 2025, seems low.

STATES SECESSION

Another possibility sometimes talked about is that states that object to the final outcome of the presidential vote will voice that displeasure as South Carolina did in the last Civil War. There has been talk of succession or in the new term, “divorce.”

The state most frequently associated with this path is Texas. The possibility of “Texit” has been around for several years now (The Texas Secession: Legally Dividing America, December 14, 2020).  Let’s say, for example, Texas or any other Confederate state or any of the other six states with the illegal Electors decided it did not accept the results of this second stolen election and therefore declared its independence. What would that mean in practice?

No state is pure. Every Confederate state contains Unionists. In the 2024 election, a Confederate state might vote 60% or more against Biden but that is about the limit. When the states seceded in the last Civil War, each state could be reasonable sure that it had the support of the white males who had voted. The electoral demographics are quite different know. Even the white people in the South include descendants of people who fought on the Union side. If a Governor seeks to arbitrarily assert independence or does so through the state legislature, the result would be successions within the state. In other words, a state that secedes will immediately face the reality of internal secession.

My recommendation has been that he Confederate states need to divide into their Union and Confederate components anyway. That still remains the only political solution even though it has zero traction nationally. However, if any state attempts to secede, it would lead to the division of the state into its distinct parts. At that point, the people bellowing for withdrawal will have to eat their words when they see how little of the state would actually join them.

STEVE BANNON

So far, the most practical action Trumpicans can and are taking is following the playbook of seditionist Steve Bannon. His calls for a grassroots effort to control the country already is occurring. He has identified local elections as the point of vulnerability. Few people run for these offices such as school boards and election officials. An organized voting bloc can propel their candidates to victory. Indeed, that is precisely the purpose of the off-election year non-November elections in the first place. Don’t let local elections get caught up in the hullabaloo generated by state and federal elections. Keep them under the radar so the established leaders and their friends can dominate them.

Bannon proposes a tried and true method for winning local elections. Of course, the opposition is quite capable of catching on to what is happening. Still, the national effort to coordinate a local takeover is something only Communists have been accused of in the past. Whether or not it can swing a national election remains to be seen. The more likely result is incessant confrontations at school board meetings.

Bannon’s local strategy mirrors what the Hitman has called for.

If these radical, vicious, racist prosecutors do anything wrong or illegal, I hope we are going to have in this country the biggest protests we have ever had in Washington, D.C., in New York, in Atlanta and elsewhere because our country and our elections are corrupt.

One logical outgrowth of the Bannon strategy as reflected in this call for nationwide protest, is that January 6, 2025, will be a day of nationwide protests similar to what happened after the murder of George Floyd. While such demonstrations and counter-demonstrations at the local level will tax and exhaust local law enforcement and National Guard, it seems unlikely that they would cause a reversal in the certification vote in Congress.

COULD NANCY PELOSI BECOME THE FIRST FEMALE PRESIDENT?; A CONSTITUTIONAL CRISIS

That was the title of my blog on April 3, 2020. The question asked in the blog was:

Is it possible that as of January 20, 2021, that the Electoral College will not have elected anyone to the two highest offices in the land?

I did not factor the January 6 certification into my calculations. It was not something I had really given any thought to back then.

The issue raised was suppose there were so many legal challenges that they could not all be resolved in time for the scheduled inauguration (or certification). If there was no duly certified winner, then the incumbent does not get to stay in office until everything is resolved. Even Rudy Giuliani had to step down as mayor after 9/11 because his term was up. So too at the presidential level. On January 20, the term expires and if there is no duly certified President then the Speaker of the House becomes President. Hello, Nancy Pelosi, the first female President.

Of course she would pick Joe Biden to her Vice President. Once confirmed by the Senate, Pelosi would shortly afterwards retire and Joe Biden would become the President.

This rumination presumes Democratic control of the two Houses. It is also quite possible that both Houses will be awash in legal challenges of their own. Next time, an attack on the Presidential vote means an attack on the whole ballot and not just the top one. The legal turmoil would extend not only to the House of Representatives and the Senate but to the state level. Both Governors and state legislature results would be on hold until the validity of vote is certified. Who knows what state governments would even be in place or who would be in Congress as of January 1, 2025? In short, there could be a complete meltdown. I am not saying this will happen. I am saying it is a possibility. The legal civil war could be far more extensive than a physical civil war.

And then there is the 14th Amendment. On February 1, 2022, Bruce Ackerman and Gerard Magliocca published “Biden vs. Trump: The Makings of a Shattering Constitutional Crisis.” They also proposed a sequence of events whereby the (unnamed) Speaker of the House could be President. Specifically, they focused on Section 3 of the 14th Amendment called the Disqualification Clause. It expressly bars any person from holding “any office, civil or military, under the United States” if he “engaged in insurrection” against the Constitution after previously swearing to uphold it “as an officer of the United States.” Could it be applied in 2024?

Right now we are witnessing its application in North Carolina at the Congressional level with Rep. Madison Cawthorn. The authors suggest the same technique could be used in 2024 against the chief insurrectionist. One may add that the more the House Select Committee and the Department of Justice use that term “insurrectionist” the more individual states are likely to do the same to disqualify the Hitman. One possible outcome is that his name will not appear on the ballot in all fifty states.

The article proceeds to describe various scenarios with massive demonstrations if the disqualification is applied. Realistically, there are too many variables to factor to know what will happen. For example, the authors assume that there will be a Congress in place. That well may be true for representatives from unchallenged states and holdovers in the Senate but who knows what will have been resolved by January 1 in the challenged states. The authors propose some remedies in anticipation of this imbroglio just as a bipartisan group is working on revisions to the Electoral College law.

But in all these configurations, one obvious one is being overlooked – suppose Biden legitimately loses the election, what if Trumpicans do not need to rig the election to win? What will Democrats do then? How will you know if the results are legitimate or not? Should Biden vacate the White House then? What will the impact of the House Select Committee and the criminal investigations be? When I first started writing about political action thrillers on January 3, 2020, I had no idea that Hollywood could not match the real world and at this point no one really knows what will happen.

Suppose He Had Led His People to the Capitol on January 6…

The Trumpican Image of their Leader (Dave Weigel, Washington Post)

The story of the attempt to steal the election and overthrow the Constitution continues to surprise. While the focus has been on the intention of state legislators to send alternate Elector slates overriding the will of the people, it turns out that alternate slates were surreptitiously sent in 2020 perhaps at the initiative of a rogue insurrectionist at the Department of Justice. More to come.

One seemingly obvious question that has not received much attention is why the Hitman did not lead his people to the Capitol. He exhorted them all to walk there himself included and fight like hell for their country. But instead of doing so, he then retired home to watch with the great glee the events to unfold without him. Only when the failure to reverse the vote became obvious did he rouse himself to tell the people he loved to go home in peace. We do not know the various iterations of his speech but perhaps sooner rather than later we will.

So why didn’t he march with his people?

LEADERSHIP

One reason which comes to mind is that he physically was unable. We should at least give credence to the idea that Tubby Wubby could not have walked to the Capitol. Going in a golf cart would have seemed unmanly.

William Wallace watching the battle on TV

Speaking of being manly, what would Mel Gibson aka William Wallace have done. This figure is much beloved by Trumpicans for his manly display of leadership. In the movie Braveheart, Wallace is shown charging full speed ahead with his people to confront the English. He does not simply walk to the Capitol, he races to his destiny. One might have expected the would-be Wallace to have done the same. If the movie-figure had said, “No, you go ahead. I am going to stay back and watch from here. It’s more fun this way,” would he be regarded as heroic?

Maximus riding away from the Capitol as fast as his horse will carry him

One can make a similar case for the fictional Maximus in Gladiator, another popular manly figure. In the opening battle, Maximus forcefully leads his forces into battle. He stridently charges forth on his horse into the fray. The fictional figure later literally goes into the proverbial arena and displays the right stuff that is so much a part of American manly vigorous lore.

The Alpha-Male wannabe’s greatest victory (Patrick Semansky/AP Photo)

Bone Spur Boy is no Wallace. Macho Macho Boy is no Maximus. The alpha-male wannabee is no match for these manly heroic figures. His great victory occurred when he dominated Lafayette Square … after the Square had been cleared of all people who might protest his heroic display of masculinity.

The Big Lie

Trumpbo would rather watch on TV than fight.

In case we have forgotten, we just now have had an example of how the seventh-grade-smart-aleck-dumb-aleck operates. His natural venue is the professional political arena where he can be mean, nasty, and insulting to his heart’s content. The perfect weapon for the immature child is Twitter. Sure enough, when a Senator from South Dakota dared to speak the truth about the 2020 election, the Loser went ballistic. Notice how childish his responses were. Notice how he vented like a crybaby teenager. Notice how unmanly he was. After closing in one year without the cacophony of baby talk from someone with the emotional maturity of a three year-old, we were reminded of just how childish he is. It makes one dread when he becomes a candidate and we are forced to endure such behavior on an ongoing basis.

WHAT IF HE HAD LED?

Now suppose, hypothetically he had been physically capable of walking to the Capitol.

Now suppose, hypothetically he had been capable of being a leader.

Then what?

What do you do if you are the Capitol Police and you see the President of the United States, his Secret Service detail, and a crowd walking towards you?

Would you have even have tried to stop the President of the United States?

My guess is at that moment a negotiation would have occurred.

What are you doing here?

We are here to stop the steal. Let us in.

You can come in Mr. President along with X number of followers. Go through the security screeners and you and your group will be escorted to the Visitor Gallery. The rest will have to remain outside. We can’t allow people to just wander around the building.

What would the Commander in Chief had done at that point? What would his followers do? Both the ones allowed to entire after being checked for weapons and those who had to remain outside?

What would have happened if he and his group had been escorted to the Visitor Gallery? Would they have been content to impotently watch as Joe Biden was certified as the winner? Would rowdy individuals have been asked to leave? What would the would-be Hitman have done?

We will never know the answers to these questions. Nonetheless, they serve a purpose. They demonstrate how poorly thought out the slapdash insurrection was. It should be no surprise that January 6 was not well-planned. We know from his serial business failures that organization, planning, management, and thinking things through are not his strong point. We know from his failure with COVID, that he was just as inept and incompetent as President as he had been in business. Therefore, it is quite reasonable to expect that the planning for January 6 was equally inept.

THE HYDRA INSURRECTION

The Hydra Insurrection
(https://steemit.com)

As we are learning the Hydra Insurrection was proceeding on many fronts. At first everyone was focused on the inanities of Pillowhead, Séance Sydney, and Ridiculous Rudy with the absurd legal challenges they raised. They had a perfect batting average. And the effort have backfired. Voting machine companies and election workers named have responded with lawsuits.

Then we became aware of the infamous attempt to find 11,780 votes in Georgia. Criminal charges are likely in a few months against the Hitman and his confederates. And it may have helped the two Democratic Senate candidates win thereby giving the Democrats the majority.

Then we became aware of the pressure on the Vice President in a six-point plan to disqualify Electors for Biden and/or accept alternate Electors. Criminal charges are likely this year against the originator of this illegal ploy.

Yesterday we become aware of at least five examples of illegal submission of alternate Electors.

Today we became aware of the discussion with the Hitman over resignation, the 25th Amendment, and impeachment due to the ongoing attack on the Capitol.

More to come.

Presumably the Hitman was aware of all these machinations. Presumably he expected/hoped the Vice President would act accordingly to certify the Loser as a winner. The unruly crowd disrupting the proceedings to intimidate the voters and the Vice President would have been icing on the cake.

There was a lot going on. The failure of January 6, 2020, has been studied closely to make sure there is no need for in 2025 or if there is, the attempt will be better organized and planned including control of both Congress and the election infrastructure. It’s amazing how many Democrats will be cheering on Governor Brutus to save the country by slaying the Hitman (who, to be fair, is no Caesar!).

Which one is Governor Brutus? (Vincenzo Camuccini The Death of Julius Caesar detail)

The Three Faces of The New York Times: Woke, Patriotic, and Scared

The three faces of the Gray Lady

The countdown to calamity continues now at three years to January 6, 2025. At that point we will see if the Hitman will be successful in ending the United States as we know it …  and whether it will be done peacefully or violently. The military knows the stakes involved and are aware of the need to prepare. Political pundits know that time of wimpy talk about culture wars must yield to more realistic talk about the America’s third civil war. At this point no one knows what the outcome will be. There is a realization that while January 6 was the poorly-planned slapdash attempt to steal the election, the effort for 2024 already is much better organized. This times the forces arrayed to overthrow the Constitution may even seize the Capitol in 2022 before turning to the White House in 2024 (excluding the impeachment efforts).

Meanwhile, what does The New York Times, as the paper of record, think about the history unfolding around us? Its responses may be grouped into three somewhat contradictory approaches – woke, patriotic, and scared.

WOKE

On one hand, there have been actions which suggest a woke outlook. Here are some snippets from the seemingly ancient resignation of Bari Weiss from the newspaper.

I was hired with the goal of bringing in voices that would not otherwise appear in your pages: first-time writers, centrists, conservatives and others who would not naturally think of The Times as their home. The reason for this effort was clear: The paper’s failure to anticipate the outcome of the 2016 election meant that it didn’t have a firm grasp of the country it covers….

But the lessons that ought to have followed the election—lessons about the importance of understanding other Americans, the necessity of resisting tribalism, and the centrality of the free exchange of ideas to a democratic society—have not been learned. Instead, a new consensus has emerged in the press, but perhaps especially at this paper: that truth isn’t a process of collective discovery, but an orthodoxy already known to an enlightened few whose job is to inform everyone else….

My own forays into Wrongthink have made me the subject of constant bullying by colleagues who disagree with my views. They have called me a Nazi and a racist ;…

The paper of record is, more and more, the record of those living in a distant galaxy, one whose concerns are profoundly removed from the lives of most people. This is a galaxy in which, to choose just a few recent examples, the Soviet space program is lauded for its “diversity”; the doxxing of teenagers in the name of justice is condoned; and the worst caste systems in human history includes the United States alongside Nazi Germany.

How different is Weiss’s “distant galaxy” from the “alternate reality” depiction of Trumpicans today? They, of course, have their own “orthodoxy” about the stolen election and peaceful assembly of patriots on January 6 seeking to redress a wrong until planted FBI agents fomented the violence.

The great example of the woke New York Times is its assault on the United States in the 1619 Project. Whereas Trumpicans deny the legitimacy of Joe Biden’s presidency, the newspaper attacks the very legitimacy of the country as one born in sin and prospered through racism based on racist founding documents. I recognize that this Frankenstein monster may not be what was originally intended. However that does not change the fact that the closer we get to July 4, 2026, the more readers of the 1619 Project will call for the day to become one of mourning like Columbus Day and Thanksgiving and the less one to celebrate. And while Foxhub aims at adults, by contrast The New York Times seeks to educate the young not to have pride in their racist country.

PATRIOTIC

On the other hand, on Sunday, November 7, 2021, The New York Times had a special 24-page section entitled SNAP OUT OF IT, AMERICA! expressing a diametrically opposed view that ignores the 1619 Project. The front page exclaimed:

Our once restlessly inventive country has settled for sclerotic politics and modest ambitions. It’s time to dream big again. This is a special section featuring bold ideas to revitalize and renew the American experiment.

This was not the 1619 Project. The words express the hope and optimism of a country that once did dream big [until the landing on the moon] but subsequently has lost its mojo. It is a country mired in the little led by small-brained people seeking nothing more to remain in power. Today we could not build an interstate highway system or go to the moon. We can barely fill potholes with hundreds of members of Congress opposed to even such a tiny achievement.

On page 2, The New York Times expressed its vision.

America used to be a young country. And in its youth, it changed as it grew, the idea of what was American as malleable as the idea of what was America. The country expanded its borders, abolished slavery, broadened the franchise; waves of immigrants reshaped and revised America’s character; the government added and dropped functions, amending the Constitution to fit the times. It was a restless experiment.

But America is not young anymore.  

The words are more reminiscent of James Earl Jones standing in a Field of Dreams about the ever-renewing promise and potential of America than they are of the 1619 Project.

The remainder of the section contains seven essays on what America should do next. The organizing theme was changing America through amendments to the Constitution. The specific recommendations are secondary to the theme of this blog on the expression of belief that America can renew its vision of itself and optimistically face a better future even with COVID,  Climate Change, and Trump.

Sometimes people can be too idealistic for their own good. One favorite from this supplement is the call for a one-year mandatory national service program. This call is made in a country where people will not even wear masks or be vaccinated when their lives are on the line. And exactly what service could the Hitman or Speaker Marjorie Taylor Greene perform? Teach people how to wait for John Kennedy to return? To say nothing about the genuinely mentally ill. And how many ways would here be to game the system in the name of service?

A better approach would be draw on traditional American values of voluntarism and community associations as noted by Tocqueville. Providing incentives to do something constructive (higher social security payments?) probably would be more effective. National service then would be a choice and not a compulsion. Regardless of the details, the proposal hints at the need for a discussion on what it means to be an adult citizen in a constitutional republic.

The most immediately impactful suggestion in the current political arena is the one to redraw the map of the states. As one who has written about the West Virginia solution, the dividing of Confederate states into their Union and Confederate parts, I strongly support this recommendation which can be achieved through Article IV in the Constitution. All the issues of gerrymandering, voter suppression, rigged counting, partisan Secretaries of State, imperial state legislatures, and rural domination disappear if our states better reflected the different constituencies that exist today.  The teeny-tiny view of thinking about Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia exemplifies the small-mindedness of sclerotic leadership noted on page 1 of this special supplement.

Regardless of what you may think about the seven proposals made or my comments on two of them, the point is they reflect an attempt to resurrect the can-do attitude than once made America the envy of the world and a magnet for millions. Now we a fading has-been on democracy death watch.

SCARED  

The New York Times has caught up with reality and it is scared. It began the New Year with a big editorial on Sunday, January 6, 2022, entitled “Every Day Is Jan. 6 Now.”  Exactly. Every day is part of the war leading up to January 6, 2025, when we will know who won or if we will divorce.

Every day is January 6 as the House Select Committee works to document and reveal the truth about the attempt to steal the election and overthrow the Constitution.

Every day is January 6 as the Hitman and his confederates both in and out of Congress fight back against the efforts of the House Select Committee to document and reveal the truth.

Every day is January 6 in Waiting for Godot style for the appearance of an Attorney General to indict the conspirators, a wait perhaps to end this January 5.

Every day is January 6 as Trumpicans seize control of the election infrastructure, the one infrastructure they believe in, so there will not even be a need to storm the Capitol on January 6, 2025.

Despite the editorial, The New York Times still has not fully come to grip with the real world. It writes:

Political violence is not an inevitable outcome. Republican leaders could help by being honest with their voters and combating the extremists in their midst.   

ARE YOU SERIOUS? Republican leaders on CNN are going to free the Republican Party from Trumpican domination? How many Republicans as opposed to Trumpicans do you think there will be in the House of Representatives after the 2022 elections? Yes, there still are some Republicans out there and Larry Hogan intends to find them. But they can only return to power in the Republican Party if a disaster occurs to Trumpicans and the soul-selling Trump wannabees and that has not happened yet. Until then MAKE THE REPUBLICAN PARTY THE REPUBLICAN PARTY AGAIN is wishful thinking.

The New York Times concludes the editorial with an expression of awareness of the stakes involved. It calls upon the American people recognize the threat to Constitution sooner rather than later if we are to salvage a democracy that is in grave danger. Exactly right. Maybe the televised hearings will do it. In the meantime, The New York Times 1619 Project has been weaponized to undermine exactly what the newspaper professes to want in the supplement and fear in the editorial.