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When Did You First Know Individual #1 Would Reject the 2020 Results If He Lost?

Will Robert Mueller Be Our John HancocK? (Image via Everett Historical / Shutterstock)

Eight months ago on September 7, 2018, I posted:

Suppose the very stable genius is wrong about the red wave. Suppose the Democrats win control of the House. Suppose the Democrats act on that basis and investigate all the items on the Republican hit list of potential problems where they are at risk. Will the President honor the election results? If a blue wave puts Democrats in charge will the President of the United States honor the results or will he demand a full investigation into the rigged results?

Suppose the very stable genius is wrong about 2020 (assuming he is still in office and chooses to run again)? Will the President honor the election results? Will the President leave the White House voluntarily? Will he demand a full investigation into the rigged results? Will he remain in the White House until the investigation by his Attorney General (not a stupid Southerner) is completed?

The big change since that prediction has been the replacement of the Attorney General with His Roy Cohn (HRC). With HRC in position, the chances of an aggressive assault on the rule of law increased substantially (Rule of Law: George Washington, Nimrod, and Today).

Then on March 17, 2019, I posted the following after the testimony of Michael Cohen (with a change to “Individual #1):

INDIVIDUAL #1 WON’T LEAVE THE WHITE HOUSE VOLUNTARILY

Back on September 7, 2018, I wrote [see above]

Those of you who read this blog, may I have thought I was off my rocker. I am pleased to note that five months later the Fixer, who well knows the personality of Individual #1 and what he is capable of, raised the exact same concerns in his Congressional testimony. There was not the chance to resolve this issue in the 2018 elections since the Democratic tidal wave was so huge. Even for someone living in an alternate reality there are limits as to how many Congressional districts can be contested. The situation is quite different at the presidential level.

Suppose in 2020, the Democratic candidate wins by the same small margin as the 306 electoral vote landslide in 2016? How many states would need to be contested to switch the national results? At this point it is impossible to know. Indeed we may never know if the margin is comparable to the Congressional vote in 2018. An almost 9% spread is difficult to finesse to an Electoral College victory.

There may be a preview of the 2020 crisis with his tax returns. Individual #1 will not voluntarily release his tax returns. It does not matter how the Democrats submit their requisition, he will not honor it. If his court rules in his favor, then the issue ends there. If the Supreme Court also has a traitor and the ruling is against Individual #1 he will not honor it. Instead he will claim Executive Privilege and that the Court has no authority over him. What will the Supreme Court do then? Or to update Andrew Jackson: “John Roberts has made his decision; now let him enforce it.”

Now we have the May 4, 2019, interview of Nancy Pelosi with the New York Times. It’s déjà vue September 7, 2018, all over again.

Let’s begin with the Congressional election. Pelosi’s concerns mirror what I had written.

Few people outside Ms. Pelosi’s inner circle were aware of how worried she was that Mr. Trump would try to stop the opposition party from taking control of the House unless the Democrats’ victory was emphatic enough to be indisputable.

It is mind-boggling that everyone in the Democratic Party and all their talking-head spokespeople could not figure this out for themselves. This failure to recognize what should have been taken for granted exposes that the Democrats still did not understand their adversary.

“If we win by four seats, by a thousand votes each, he’s not going to respect the election. He would poison the public mind. He would challenge each of the races; he would say you can’t seat those people.”

Exactly. If you do not understand this then you do not understand Individual #1. This realization should have been a no-brainer.

The same issues apply to the 2020 elections.

In recent weeks, Ms. Pelosi has told associates that she does not automatically trust the president to respect the results of any election short of an overwhelming defeat.

She said the victory in 2020 needed to be by a margin so “big” that it cannot reasonably be challenged.

“We have to inoculate against that, we have to be prepared for that,” as she discussed her concern that Mr. Trump would not give up power voluntarily if he lost re-election by a slim margin.

As it turns out, even with the 9% spread in the 2018 Congressional elections, the margin is quite thin. If those Congressional votes had been presidential votes then the Electoral College results would have been 329-206. Those numbers are deceiving. While Democrats won the House vote in Florida, they lost the state votes for Governor and Senator. That shift leaves an electoral vote even less than the landslide vote in 2016. It is reasonable then to anticipate the possibility of legal challenges in Florida, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Michigan and any other states the Democrats manage to flip including those with Republican governors in control.

Pelosi may only be thinking of the legal challenge. With HRC going full-speed to deny the validity of any such election results, we should recognize that the danger is far more than legal. Certainly HRC will drag out the challenges well beyond what happened in 2000. We can see now in Venezuela what can happen when there are two claimants to the presidency. In Venezuela, the military stands with the loser who rigged the game against democracy. In America, the military should not be expected to act on American soil against Americans. That still leaves open who will physically remove him from the White House, take back the nuclear codes, and prevent him from doing something really dangerous during the interim.

I also wrote on March 17,

Will Individual #1 unleash his muscle in his militias, military, police, and Second Amendment people to protect him from the greatest threat to the United States ever?

How long would it take the Supreme Court to adjudicate all the legal claims filed?

If his Supreme Court betrayed him, would Individual #1 honor its ruling?

Who would actually extract Individual # from the White House?

At that time, I thought his income taxes would be the moment of truth. In anticipation of the refusal to turn them over, I expected the legal battle to reveal whether or not the rule of law prevailed in the nation’s capital or not. Now it seems we may have a quicker example. Will Individual #1 order HRC to refuse to let Mueller testify? We may know the answer fairly soon. If Mueller is ordered not to testify what will he do? We may know that answer fairly soon as well. If Mueller disobeys a direct order from HRC will there be additional civil disobedience?

So exactly how will America celebrate the 250th anniversary of the American Revolution? What will the legacy of our birth be in the present? Who will favor the Patriots? Who will favor the Loyalists? After all, there were mighty fine people on both sides. Will We the People have the experience of directly participating in the revolt against King George III by having one of our own starting May 15 with Robert Mueller in the role of John Hancock? What will happen in 2020? Who knows for sure? But as Pelosi said we have to be prepared.

Government Trumpdown Enters Second Month: A Self-Dug Hole Dividing America

Dividing America (Berlin Wall by Thierry Noir, Wikipedia)

Before turning to the current topic, I would like to reprint my “So What” paragraph from “Rorschach Test: Exonerated or Did the Trump Hit the Fan?” posted on December 13, 2018

People anticipate more and more indictments and revelations of the tawdry life of this reprehensible person. So what? Assume every charge is true, a reasonable assumption given the past decades. So what? Decades ago Democratic Hannitys claimed “vast right wing conspiracy” launched a witch hunt against the legitimate duly-elected President to which there was no truth. When the truth became known, Democrats responded with “So what.” Republicans have already started this process. So what if the Republican President instead of knowing nothing about the payments masterminded everything?

Will Republicans will keep saying “so what” through every exposure of the violation of the law Mueller, the SDNY, and the D.C. prosecutors bring to light?

The answer should be obvious.

I now resume my regular scheduled post.

The government Trumpdown has now entered its second month. There is no end in sight. What the Day of Infamy was to Roosevelt, the Cuban Missile Crisis was to Kennedy, and 9/11 was to Bush, the government Trumpdown has become to this president. It will become the case study of “when you are in a hole stop digging.” It also will become the classic example of “be careful what you wish for.”

When comics go on the road, they test material. They see what works with an audience. If it does work, then they add it to their act as a regular feature. They may even expand on it, elaborate, and give it more and more prominence in their routine. The comedian may even be surprised at how well it is received but as long as it works, GO FOR IT.

Something similar happened in this case. “Build a wall” was a minor or negligent part of the campaign routine when the campaign began. Everything was “crooked Hillary” and “foreign-born president.” I do not recall exactly how “build a wall” was first introduced into the professional wrestling arena routine. There is no doubt that it was phenomenally successful. Why would it ever occur to anyone that if the United States built a wall on American soil then the people of Mexico would pay for it? It would be interesting to see a video of the first time that self-evident nonsense was uttered. Yet there was no doubt it was even more successful. The world’s greatest negotiator would convince Mexico to pay for the American-built wall on American soil. Eventually, he worked the crowd so successfully it eagerly shouted out the refrain to the question “Who’s going to pay for it?” I dare say for the immature child narcissist those moments in the professional wrestling arena where thousands of people chanted “Mexico” had to have been some of the most pleasurable moments of his life.

It is also important to remember that at that point he had no expectation of winning. He entered the race not to win but to build his brand so he could make money and be the center of attention. He was as amazed as anyone when the Republican Party caved and did not demand to see his tax returns. That may have been his first glimpse into how easy it would be to roll the Republican Party. It had no backbone.

Since he had no expectation of winning, he had no expectation of having to build the wall or get Mexico to pay. Then he won. Now what.

For nearly two years nothing happened. Then the Democrats won the House back. Time was running out on getting the House yet alone the Senate to authorize American taxpayers to foot the bill. One interesting sidenote to this government Trumpdown is that apparently the infamous Republican base never expected Mexico to pay in the first place. Once in a while someone on a talk show or in an op-ed piece will raise the issue of why all this fuss about Americans paying for the wall when the campaign promise was for Mexico to pay. Such protestations garner zero traction. This suggests that for all the hootin’ and hollering by the Republican base, it knew that Americans and not Mexicans were going to pay for the wall. It still wanted the wall. In the meantime, it was just fun to chant “Mexico.”

What has happened since the government Trumpdown began?

1. The world’s worst negotiator remains absolutely clueless about what to do. He is in a bind due to the government Trumpdown and keeps digging the hole deeper because he does not what else to do.

2. There are no Howard Bakers in the Republican Party. A few senators up for re-election in Democrat-leaning states are calling for action but so far almost all the Republican Senators are content to do nothing since they do not feel threatened in 2020. As more and people have problems flying, visiting a National Park, or just plain making ends meet, that situation may change. But as of the time of this post, there is insufficient grassroots action in Republican states to cause Republicans to act. On the Democratic side, it seems as if almost every Senator wants to be President; by contrast on the Republican side there is no one with vision, ambition, or leadership.

3. Perhaps there is an expectation that bleeding heart liberals will cave because it is their fellow Democratic workers are suffering. Here is where being a person with no sympathy and no empathy who only cares about his winning and your losing especially if you are woman helps him endure the crisis.

4. The negotiation over the government Trumpdown has come down to a showdown between Ann Coulter and Nancy Pelosi. Each one is dug in for the duration. Coulter has unleashed the supreme insult in the Republican Party now that John McCain has died: we did not elect Jeb so stop acting like him! Coulter and Pelosi each have grabbed onto the Presidential “wishbones” and are pulling for all they are worth. Who will yank harder and win the day?

5. The apocalyptic rhetoric during the 2018 election worked. It did not work in the election itself. Despite all the talk about a red wave, no such tsunami appeared. Instead Republicans were wiped out across the board from New England to California leaving the hard-core RHINO Freedom Caucus and a weak remnant of the party of Lincoln. Instead the wall has become Armageddon with each side dug in for the duration.

Where does this leave the country? There is no end in sight for the government Trumpdown. There is no “come let us reason together.” There are no Howard Bakers. There is no nothing. The proposed wall dividing the United States and Mexico is a proxy fight or symbol for the existing division in America. The wall has become a battle for America. If Lincoln is still right that a house divided cannot stand, then the wall is our firing on Fort Sumter and the tensions are more likely to ratchet up than calm down. Forget about America’s pulling out of NATO, the government Trumpdown may become Russia’s greatest triumph.

National Emergency Crisis: The Howard Baker Moment Is Now

Canadian Terrorist Burning of the White House during the War of 1812 (Columbia Pictures)

During the course of American history, the country has faced many national emergency crises.

During the War of 1812, Canada burned the White House and the Pentagon in its terrorist assault on the country. To pour fuel on the fire, almost two centuries later Canada imposed on its weaker southern neighbor the worst economic treaty in American history. It is only when our Lord and Savior ascended to the Oval Office, that he rectified the wrong with the greatest economic treaty in American history….although he had to shut down the government to get Congress to pass NAFTA II.

Turning now from the alternate reality to the real world, there have been national emergency crises that tested the mettle of the Oval Office occupant.

The Day of Infamy.

The Cuban Missile Crisis.

9/11.

Each of one these events became a defining moment for the American President. They became the events through which the American people saw whether the President had the right stuff to rise to the occasion and safely steer the ship of state. They became the events historians would study and school kids would learn in districts where American history is still taught. What they all had in common was that the threat to the country came from outside, the crisis was foreign-generated.

Sometimes the crisis could be economic in nature:

“We have nothing to fear but fear itself.”

Sometimes the crisis could be in nature:

“Heckuva job, Brownie.”

For better and for worse these events also became defining ones of the President. Who can forget the picture of the President of the United States having fun tossing rolls of paper towels in Puerto Rico?

“Wee. I’m having fun. It’s all about me. Wee!”

Through this photo-op, We the People had the opportunity to see for ourselves how the current occupant proved he was an A+ president with this heroic display of leadership.

Now we come to the current national emergency crisis. At this point, it is no secret that “Build a Wall!” was a great campaign gimmick to shout in professional wrestling arenas. The call and response of who was going to pay for the Great Wall of Trump was an added bonus. The audience really got into the show that was being presented just as it does at a real professional wrestling match only this time they apparently thought it was real.

One of in the indelible images of the campaign, at least for me although I have not seen it replayed on the cable talk shows, occurred after the Mexican President stated that Mexico would not, in fact, pay for the wall. At the professional wrestling arena campaign event, the immature child responded to Mexico in true hissy fit fashion:

Oh yeah.
Oh yeah.
Oh yeah.
You are going to pay and the wall is going to be ten feet higher!

Many people have forgotten that campaign promise to build the wall ten feet higher. What made the moment indelible was the young white man sitting behind him and to his right. When Little Donnee Wannee declared that Mexico not only would pay for the wall but that it would be ten feet higher, this young white man leaped to his feet and thrust his arm to the heavens. It was a great display of the perfect con at work. One wonders how this individual feels now knowing that there never was any expectation that Mexico would pay for the wall and it would be the expense of the American taxpayer if built.

What began as a fraudulent con now has become real. Back in December, the wall looked like it would slide into the abyss never to be constructed. Nothing had happened in two years. The route had not been documented the way the Alaskan Pipeline was before it had been constructed. Eminent domain proceedings had not been initiated to seize the private property along the planned route. Environmental plans had not been filed. I don’t even know if a final design had been selected yet alone one that was ten feet higher. All in all, the world’s worst manager had demonstrated how he had been a serial failure in business by doing nothing to prepare for the construction of the wall in event Congress did approve it.

Following the 2018 election, it looked like time was running out. December was the last opportunity to pass a spending bill with a Republican majority in the House. When the weeny President caved, Ann Coulter was there to provide him the “backbone” that he lacked. Now it was an issue. The line had been drawn in the sand and he would not back down.

There is a saying that when you are in a hole, stop digging. That adage does not apply to this President. After all, he is a winner, He never loses. He won the election in 2016 including the popular vote since all the illegal votes for Crooked Hillary should not have been counted. He won the election in 2018 since he added two seats in the Senate and loss fewer seats in the House than Obama had. That was true on Election night when the losses were only in the 20s and remained true as they creeped up and reached 40. Hannity told him so.

The talking heads often talk about how he needs to show his Republican base that he is fighting for them. That misses the point.

The talking heads often talk about how he needs to placate Fox, Ann, and Rush. That misses the point.

The reason why this truly is a national emergency crisis is because he has to show to himself that he is a winner and not a loser. Even though the wall started as a campaign gimmick it now has become the measure of whether he is a winner or not.  If the wall is not built then NanChuck won and he lost. That is unacceptable. Therefore the wall will be built no matter what, no matter what it takes for him to build it even if the government remains shut down months or years or he has the military build it. NanChuck have left him no other choice but to play the national emergency card.

On one level, the national emergency crisis provides an easy way to end the government shutdown. The Senate could immediate pass all the funding bills submitted by the House or the one it passed in December with no funding for the wall. After, the funding is being taken care of through the military due to the national emergency crisis. Therefore the spending bills to reopen the government could be passed and signed into law right away.

Lawsuits would gum up this process. We know that the military is not ready to build the wall. We know that despite all the fuss about their being a crisis RIGHT NOW, nothing would happen right now. We know that Captain Chaotica does not have the mental necessities to manage such a construction project. But at least if it appeared that the national emergency crisis was underway with the military charged with building it, the justification for shutting down the government would be over. A lawsuit stopping that process also would continue the shutdown of the government since no spending bill would be signed if no building was authorized.

Now we come to the Howard Baker moment. Mitch McConnell is no Howard Baker. Mitch McConnell will never be a profile in courage. Mitch McConnell will never rise to the occasion. But the Howard Baker moment is not about a Senator or Senators going to the President, it is about Republican Senators going to Mitch McConnell. It is about Republican Senators going to Mitch McConnell and saying enough is enough. It is about Republican Senators going to Mitch McConnell and saying the needs of the country come first. It is about Republican Senators going to Mitch McConnell and saying the Republican Party cannot afford another victory like the one in 2018. It is about the Republican Senators going to Mitch McConnell and saying we must pass veto-proof spending bills with no spending for the wall and PASS IT RIGHT NOW BECAUSE THERE IS A NATIONAL EMERGENCY CRISIS AND IT IS THE GOVERNMENT SHUTDOWN.

Will the Republican Senators rise to the occasion and provide the leadership We the People need?

How Nancy Pelosi Helped Elect Donald Trump: A Tale of Two Women

Nancy Pelosi, August 18, 2011 (https://www.realclearpolitics.com)

Several years ago, Rachel Maddow, MSNBC, devoted the opening segment of her show to government shutdowns. She was interested to know why the federal government always seemed to be shut down, on the verge of a shutdown, or threatened with a shutdown. She traced the cause to a group of RHINO Representatives then called “Tea Party” and now called “Freedom Caucus.”

Her examination led her to the conclusion that these representatives came from districts where they did not have to worry about Democratic candidates. I do not recall if she used the word “gerrymander” in her analysis, but what she did was to compare the state vote totals for Representatives with the actual allocation of Representatives for the state. As best I can recall she used the three states of Michigan, North Carolina, and Pennsylvania for her data set. What she found in each case was that the number of Republicans elected was disproportionately higher than the statewide Republican vote. The result was the proliferation of these RHINOs who were rambunctious, disruptive, and uppity leading to government shutdowns.

Her analysis stopped there. Let’s examine what she omitted.

WHY DOES THE MORE REPUBLICAN A DISTRICT IS MEAN THE LESS THE REPRESENTATIVE ADMIRES LINCOLN?

Just because a district is primarily Republican in its demographics should not necessarily mean its representatives are people of malice who despise or do not admire Abraham Lincoln. How come the first Republican President and Mount Rushmore President is not a hero to the RHINOs from Republican districts? What about Teddy Roosevelt? What about Dwight D. Eisenhower? What about Ronald Reagan? Nancy Pelosi on the floor of the House recently quoted Reagan on immigration to deafening silence from Republicans. She demonstrated that Republicans have abandoned not just Lincoln but Reagan, too. After all, a Republican who could win in California is of no interest to Republicans today.

WHY ISN’T THE CONGRESSIONAL BLACK CAUCUS UPPITY?

The Congressional Black Caucus is about equal in size to the RHINO Freedom Caucus. To the best of my knowledge, its members never worry about Republican Party opposition candidates. Their seats are as safe and secure as those of the RHINO Freedom Caucus. Members can hold them for decades and sometimes even bequeath them as a legacy. Maxine Waters may be colorful may she is not uppity like the RHINO Freedom Caucus. The Congressional Black Caucus is not in the business of shutting down the government even though it is just as well positioned numerically to do so as the RHINO Freedom Caucus.

WHAT ABOUT THE WHITE URBAN LIBERALS LIKE NANCY PELOSI?

Another group of elected representatives who never have to worry about opposition candidates are the urban white liberals like Nancy Pelosi herself. I am not familiar enough with Congressional politics to know how such representatives there are. Regardless of the exact number, one presumes there are enough of them from the major cities of the country to be a formidable presence. For example, my own suburban New York district is represented by Nita Lowey who has been in Congress forever, had no opponent in the 2018 election, and now through seniority and the Democratic takeover holds a powerful committee position in the new Congress. She is not uppity nor are her fellow white urban liberals.

2010 Elections

Maddow’s analysis was incomplete. It failed to show why this particular group of Representatives who do not have to worry about opposition candidates acts in a way entirely inconsistent with the way other similar groups of Representatives behave. Nor did it address the diminished status of Lincoln, Roosevelt, Eisenhower, and Reagan in the Republican Party. Nor did address how it came to be that Republicans were in position after the 2010 census to draw such gerrymandered districts so that they could elect Congressional (and state) representatives far in excess of popular vote count.

The missing piece from her analysis was the impact of the 2010 elections, a wave election that substantially benefited the Republican Party. This redistricting did not happen in a vacuum. It occurred in response to other events. Yes, there had been problems with the economy. Yes, America had elected its first bi-racial President. And then there was healthcare.

Remember Nancy Pelosi and the passage of a healthcare? Now that she has returned for second stint as Speaker of House, her accomplishments the first time around are being touted. Foremost among her achievements as a great Speaker is the passage of healthcare legislation. When confronted with Republican obstacles to its passage, she adamantly declared almost eight years ago:

We’ll go through the gate. If the gate’s closed, we’ll go over the fence. If the fence is too high, we’ll pole vault in. If that doesn’t work, we’ll parachute in but we’re going to get health care reform passed for the America people.

Like Churchill voicing the indomitable British will to never surrender, Pelosi exclaimed the Democrats would triumph no matter what wall the Republicans built to prevent them from reaching their goal.

It was at the moment when Pelosi became the poster-person for the condescending arrogant self-righteous elitists, a position she holds to this very day. There is in America a significant portion of the population that adheres to the motto “Don’t tread on me.” These people do not like being told what to do. It is relevant whether or not what they are being told to do is in their own interest. The guiding principle is that they are being told what to do and have no choice but to comply, to obey, to be treated as slaves.  Since colonial times, this segment of the American population has expressed its antipathy to condescending arrogant self-righteous elitists. They hate having no choice and that is what Pelosi told they had: no choice. Then came the elections. Payback.

I get home delivery of the New York Times. I read the paper with two hands, the way people are supposed to get the news.  That means about once every other month, there will be an op-ed piece by Paul Krugman on healthcare. He will praise what it has accomplished, note there is room for improvement, and mock the Republicans for being unable to even develop an alternative of their own despite all their whining and shouting. But what economist Krugman never does is to consider the political costs of healthcare.  He never considers what subsequently happened to the Democratic Party beginning in the 2010 election. While it is easy to blame deplorable white racists who fear losing white privilege, that also is an explanation that makes condescending arrogant self-righteous elitists feel good about themselves. Perhaps instead of telling Don’t-Tread-on-Me Americans what was going to be done to them, they might have started by asking the people what they wanted. Instead, like the Very Stable Genius, they already knew the answer and were ready to force it on people if necessary.

While there may not be a direct connection between Pelosi going over, under, around, and through the wall to prevent healthcare to the 2016 election, it is a major part of the story that helped worsen the divide among Americans that a skilled con artist could exploit. Somehow this spoiled billionaire with no sense of empathy or sympathy has convinced Don’t-Tread-on-Me Americans that he cares about them. Keep in mind though that the Queens boy from the wrong side of the river has his own genuine issues with the elitists from the right side of the river in Manhattan.

Ann Coulter

At the same time that Maddow was omitting all this from her analysis of the government shut down, Ann Coulter, the second woman, offered an alternative view. She expressed how proud she was of her “boys,” apparently not a racially offensive term when used by white people about white people. She exulted in their courage. As a result of their heroic actions, spending was cut and the budget was balanced. At least it was in that timeline. In our timeline, the practical results were non-existent. However, it did enable uppity, rambunctious RHINOs to feel empowered.

So here were are years later with yet another shutdown. In this instance, the shutdown was snatched from the jaws of cooperation. When Fox, Ann, Rush, and the leaders of the RHINO Freedom Caucus read the weeny President the riot act he quickly folded. What had been a professional wrestling arena campaign gimmick suddenly became a hole he was digging himself deeper into. The talking heads are right: whatever compromise should emerge to resolve the situation, the Republican base can be conned into thinking it is a victory. However that may not work with Fox, Ann, Rush, and the RHINO Freedom Caucus. They will be harder to con hence the hardening of the lines.

Now the shutdown ratchets up in intensity threatening to become a national emergency. It may come down to first there being enough Republican Senators to pass the budget legislation and second there being enough the override a veto as well. Come to think of it, that would require the same number of Republican Senators as to remove a President should he be impeached. There is a lot a stake here.

Maybe in the end, Pelosi will not only have helped to elect Trump, she and Ann will have helped to remove him.

Hotspur versus Bonespur: Having the Right Stuff to Go in the Arena

Statue of Henry Percy "Hotspur" 1364-1403” Alnwick Castle (tripadvisor.com)

According to the Constitution, the American President is designated with one specific task: to serve as commander in-chief. In the 20th century, the title was expanded in the popular culture to include “commander in-chief and leader of the free world.” The expansion was due to America’s role in World War I, World War II, and World War III (the Cold War). We were on the winning side in all three wars and had a leading role in those victories. The abandonment of that role by the current President will be the subject of another post.

The phrase “in the arena” comes from a speech by Teddy Roosevelt on April 23, 1910:

It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.

One famous example of a story of a person going into the arena consistent with the popular image did not actually err again and again but proved quite successful against all odds. The story of David and Goliath has become part of the vocabulary in the American culture. Closer to home, another figure did go into the arena again and again, sometimes winning and sometimes losing. Rocky has become a mythic figure in the American Civil Religion. His iconic image has become a tourist site at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. In America, even ordinary citizens can attain the heights once reserved for the kings.

The phrase “the right stuff” comes from a book by Tom Wolfe with that title. It later became a movie with the same title. It refers to the military pilots in Project Mercury when America began its journey to fulfill a presidential challenge to have a man on the moon by the end of the decade. Mission accomplished.

Together these terms and images call upon the American President and the American citizen to reach for the stars, to fulfill the American Dream, and in this instance at least, to risk one’s life to do so.

How does President Bonespurs measure up against this standard?

Unlike John Kerry and John McCain but like William Jefferson Clinton, President Bonespurs did not serve. As always, he has not told the truth when referring to this event in his life.

His first real experience of going into the arena was not even a real event at all. It occurred in the professional wrestling arena, still his favorite venue. Here he followed a scripted sequence and faked having the right stuff to go into the arena in the real world. Thus his combat experience is as fake as his hair.

His second experience going into the arena occurred during the second presidential debate in 2016 (Predator in Chief, Our Lady of Perpetual Victimhood: A Presidential Election Retrospective). In this competition he was pitted against the champion of the opposing political party. If you heard the encounter on the radio, then you probably would conclude that the Democrat won the war of words on the debate stage. Democrats frequently conclude that their side won and that mistake contributed to their defeat in the election.

Simultaneously with the debate “war of words,” a second confrontation occurred. This was the reality game “Survivor.” In this battle, the fight is not with words. Instead, it is a physical struggle. During the Presidential “Survivor,” a large male predator stalked his smaller female victim. As he prowled the stage, he marked his turf and asserted his dominion over this domain. People who watched THE DONALD in action came away thinking that he was the real deal. They still have not caught on that THE DONALD is an act, a persona Little Donnee-Wanee developed precisely for the purpose of conning people into thinking he had the right stuff to go into the arena.

Later the Democratic victim acknowledged her mistake in again being the victim as she had been for decades. Democratic observers took her to task for not standing up to the predator and putting him in his place. Unfortunately for the Democrats it was too late. Even to this very day, there are still people, especially Republicans, who think THE DONALD is not only a successful fighter but a real one…even as he cannot say “You’re fired” in person face-to-face and hides behind tweets instead.

His third experience occurred on July 16, 2018, in Helsinki, in a press conference with Vladimir Putin (Putin and the American President: Who Has the Right Stuff to Go into the Arena?). He can now legitimately claim to have participated in the most humiliating summit with a Soviet/Russian leader in American history. Under ordinary circumstances such a pathetic performance would doom a president. He came across less manly than Dukakis in a tank. But for him it was just another embarrassment before moving on to the next one.

Now Bonespurs is faced with a real political battle against NanChuck. For the first two years of his administration there was no direct challenge to him. No Day of Infamy. No Cuban Missile Crisis. No 9/11. And no politician who confronted him in a showdown at high noon. So far the only person who may do so is Robert Mueller but President Bonespurs is girding up to prevent Mueller from exposing him.

With NanChuck the situation is quite different. The television reality show he hosted at the White House blew up in his face. Without even trying to, NanChuck got him to accept responsibility for the government shut down over the funding to build his wall. In that one public failure, he proved why he should not be allowed to testify under oath under any circumstances.

When Bonespurs subsequently was willing to reach a deal with NanChuck he was undermined by his own team. Fox, Ann, Rush, and the RHINO Freedom Caucus read him the riot act. They put him on notice that if he caved on his signature issue there would be hell to pay come election time. Instead of calling their bluff (whom else would they support in 2020?), he caved and boxed himself in. They forced him to toe the line but offered no way to get out of this showdown.

In an interview with Wolf Blitzer on CNN on December 20, presidential advisor Stephen Miller became quite agitated and intense in conveying the urgency of the current situation:

Right now as we speak there is a surge of illegal immigration heading toward our country that presents a national crisis now.”

Not a month from now, not a year from now, right now. And this president took an oath, like every lawmaker in Congress to defend the citizens of this country. How many more innocent people have to die in pursuit of an open-borders agenda?”

According to Miller and the various acolytes on the Bull Trump network, there is a crisis RIGHT NOW! Drug dealers are pouring across the border RIGHT NOW! Terrorists are pouring across the border RIGHT NOW! Criminals are pouring across the border RIGHT NOW! They are pouring across the border because Democrats believe in open borders so illegal aliens can vote not just once but multiple times by changing their hat and shirt as they run around the polling places.

Left unexplained in this emotional tirade about the desperate need to save the country RIGHT NOW is how a $5 billion spending bill will change anything RIGHT NOW! Will the $5 billion spending build a new wall RIGHT NOW! Will the $5 billion spending even build a teeny-tiny part of the wall RIGHT NOW! How will this authorization stop this NATIONAL CRISIS RIGHT NOW!

Do you Stephen Miller have a plan to stop this national crisis not a year from now, not a month from now, but RIGHT NOW?

Do you Fox, Ann, and Rush, have a plan to stop this national crisis not a year from now, not a month from now, but RIGHT NOW?

Do you RHINO Freedom Caucus have a plan to stop this national crisis not a year from now, not a month from now, but RIGHT NOW!

The advantage Bonespurs has during the shutdown is that he no more cares about the Americans than he does the Kurds or the Israelis whom he threw under the bus. Besides, the government employees who are furloughed or working without pay are Democrats and they support the shutdown for border security anyway. The very stable genius knows this because he is the smartest person in the room.

We have learned the hard way, from Charlottesville and Harvey, that Bonespurs is not capable of rising to the occasion. The difference now is that he has an actual foe in NanChuck. Plus he is boxed in. If the world’s greatest negotiator creates a deal and claims victory even though he has not won, Fox, Ann, Rush, and the RHINO Freedom Caucus will be there to call him out. He won’t be able to get away with conning his own side this time.

What then should he do?

What does an immature child do when cornered? He lashes out. “Oh yeah! Oh yeah! Oh yeah! I’ll show you who is in charge! I’ll shut down the southern border.” The mind boggles imagining the world’s worst manager supervising the shutdown of the border. Can you imagine the chaos that would result? He does not even have 1% the managerial skills Herbert Hoover had. He lacks both the competence to shut down the southern border and the mental necessities to understand the consequences. Democrats should call his bluff just to expose his shortcomings and inadequacies for even Republicans to see.

There is a better solution.

How about asking China to fund the Great Wall of Trump? They would even build it too, if only Bonespurs would ask.