The Saratogian (Saratoga, NY)

No bot­tom to how low Trump can go

- Alan Chartock Capi­tol Con­nec­tion Alan Chartock is pro­fes­sor emer­i­tus at the State Univer­sity of New York, pub­lisher of the Leg­isla­tive Gazette and pres­i­dent and CEO of the WAMC North­east Pub­lic Ra­dio Net­work. Read­ers can email hi­mat alan@ wamc.org. U.S. News · US Politics · Politics · Elections · Donald Trump · United States of America · Rudy Giuliani · Rudy · Antonio Brown · Republican Party (United States) · Lafayette Square · Mark Esper · Adolf Hitler · Joe Biden · U.S. Supreme Court · Amy Coney Barrett · John Roberts · Clarence Thomas · Samuel Alito · Joint Chiefs · Taj Gibson

Sev­eral weeks ago, I sug­gested on the ra­dio that Don­ald Trump, who I be­lieve has no bot­tom, might be plan­ning a coup to sub­vert our Amer­i­can democ­racy. I didn’t say that there would be a coup, rather, I sug­gested that there might be.

Now I be­lieve that my words have proven prophetic.

Don­ald Trump in­deed tried to fo­ment a coup. We know that he wants the elec­tion over­turned. There is a big de­bate as to whether Trump is so delu­sional that he re­ally be­lieves he won or whether he knows that he lost and is do­ing his usual Trump non­sense, try­ing to ma­nip­u­late the facts which he knows to be wrong.

To help him do this, he re­cruited “Amer­ica’s Mayor,” Rudy Gi­u­liani, the hero of

9-11 and a cou­ple of other at­tor­neys who did lit­tle more than make com­plete fools of them­selves. To those who have called Gi­u­liani a clown, I would re­mind you that clowns can be pretty scary. One never knows what is be­hind the grease paint and the phony smiles.

Fi­nally, hav­ing tried lies and de­cep­tion and los­ing all kinds of friv­o­lous le­gal cases, he tried do­ing what all would be dic­ta­tors do, us­ing force. He tried to get Repub­li­can of­fice hold­ers to de­clare him the win­ner of an elec­tion which he defini­tively lost. Those Repub­li­can gov­er­nors and leg­is­la­tors who were com­plicit in the at­tempted coup are mak­ing the kind of mis­take that will re­sult in ex­pul­sion at the Pearly Gates.

They will cer­tainly be re­mem­bered with scorn when the his­tory books are writ­ten.

This coun­try can be proud of the fact that we have been ad­her­ing to a peace­ful trans­fer­ence of power since the be­gin­ning of the Repub­lic. Now, for the very first time, we have a pres­i­dent who tried to in­val­i­date the elec­tion through a coup.

He is clearly do­ing his best to avoid the re­al­ity that he lost and is try­ing to stay in of­fice through chi­canery and pos­si­bly even force. Gen­eral Mark A. Mil­ley, the chair­man of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, has made it clear that un­like other democ­ra­cies that have gone south, he would not par­tic­i­pate in the po­lit­i­cal process. We were treated to a look in when Trump dis­persed a crowd of peace­ful pro­tes­tors in Lafayette Park with tear gas and rub­ber bul­lets.

At that point, Mil­ley was with Trump in that bizarre walk across the park for a photo op­por­tu­nity in front of a church. Mil­ley later apol­o­gized for his ap­par­ent role. The heav­ily armed para­mil­i­tary peo­ple dis­pers­ing the crowd were not from the Armed Forces, but a group as­sem­bled from other gov­ern­ment agen­cies.

While Trump may or may not have ac­cess to the Armed Forces hav­ing fired his Sec­re­tary of De­fense, Mark Esper, he has lots of thug­gish friends who are “stand­ing back and stand­ing by,” await­ing his sig­nal. One has only to study the way in which Hitler rose to power to un­der­stand what a play­book for a Trump coup might look like.

In the mean­time, Trump in­vited Repub­li­can state leg­is­la­tors to the While House and asked them to con­vert their state’s elec­tors away from Joe Bi­den and to him. He cer­tainly has some friends on the United States Supreme Court who he could rely on to keep himin of­fice. We all know, be­cause he said so that, he ap­pointed Amy Coney Barrett to help him in case he had elec­toral dif­fi­cul­ties.

My sense is that the Court’s Chief Jus­tice, John G. Roberts, will not be com­plicit in us­ing the Court for ne­far­i­ous rea­sons.

Each of those jus­tices has put their hands on the Bi­ble and sworn al­le­giance to the Con­sti­tu­tion but with the likes of Clarence Thomas and Sa­muel Al­ito, one can only won­der what might hap­pen in an end game which is sure to hap­pen if Trump gets his way.

It prob­a­bly won’t hap­pen. Will Trump go on try­ing? You bet.

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