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Photo: Worst duo since Leopold and Loeb. (With apologies to England Dan and John Ford Coley.)

Behold the ironic end of Mike Pence, worthy of a Greek tragedy, or at least an O. Henry story.

After four years of non-stop, hard-to-watch, servile obsequiousness toward Donald Trump — a moneygrubbing sexual predator and pathological liar who embodies the diametrical opposite of the Christian faith that Pence claims to revere — Mike found out just how much goodwill that bootlicking earned him.

Less than zero, as Elvis would say.

From the very beginning, Pence had calculated that pleasing Trump and the MAGA base was his ticket to the Republican nomination in 2024. But Donald Trump is not exactly known for his loyalty. In fact, he has a lifelong habit of savagely turning on business associates, wives, employees, and even friends (if he can be said to have any) in the blink of a heavy-lidded Adderall-addled eye. …


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With each passing day, the pro-Trump insurrection that resulted in the occupation of the US Capitol on January 6 is looking less and less like a MAGA rally that got out of control and more and more like a assassination attempt against Mike Pence, Nancy Pelosi, and others as part of a violent, deliberate coup d’etat.

Spare me the semantics of a coup requiring the participation of the uniformed military. Like art or pornography, a coup may be hard to define, but its easy to spot when you see it. At a minimum, we watched an attempted autogolpe, or self-coup, defined by Wikipedia — font of all knowledge — as “a form of putsch or coup d’état in which a nation’s leader, despite having come to power through legal means, dissolves or renders powerless the national legislature and unlawfully assumes extraordinary powers not granted under normal circumstances.” …


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Photo: Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.), who once clerked for John Roberts, greeting pro-Trump insurrectionists outside the Capitol before they stormed the building. History will record that this raised fist salute also functioned as his farewell wave to his presidential ambitions. Credit: Francis Chung E&E News and Politico via AP Images.

This may get a little stream-of-consciousness. When you’re in the middle of a dystopian nightmare, disciplined E.B. White style prose becomes challenging.

Also, I’ve been microdosing.

(1000 mikes washed down with Henry McKenna straight from the bottle is still a microdose, right?)

So where to begin? How about with the emerging details of what the hell went on during four of the most appalling and surreal hours in American history.

There’s a Riot Goin’ On

The videos that have begun to emerge from inside the Trumpist mob that stormed the US Capitol paint a far more terrifying portrait than first appeared. Live TV footage on the day seemed weirdly casual, like a tailgate party, as many commentators remarked. But these new images — from freelance camerapeople and some even from the rioters themselves — show thousands of angry thugs bum-rushing the building, smashing windows and vandalizing property, screaming obscenities and threatening murder, physically attacking journalists and bizarrely placid Capitol Police officers (“Fuck the blue!” — so much for Blue Lives Matter), and even attempting to chase down fleeing members of Congress. …


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We’ve known for some time now that there is nothing that is beneath Donald Trump. Not kidnapping and caging children, not kowtowing to dictators, not stealing money from a children’s cancer charity, not bragging about sexually assaulting women, not looking away while bounties are levied on US soldiers, not golfing while a pandemic kills 370,000 Americans on his watch and counting.

But did you think his depths extended to inciting a violent mob to storm the US Capitol in an effort to overthrow the government and keep him in power?

No? Well, in that case, let me welcome you back to consciousness after your coma. …


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The Trump Party — oh, sorry, it’s still technically known as the Republican Party (the same way Kleenex is technically known as facial tissues, or Vaseline is petroleum jelly, or Dumpsters are mobile garbage bins) — has now made it very clear that it flat-out, indisputably, no-two-ways-about-it does not believe in democracy.

There is a long chain of events attesting to that conclusion, but in the interest of keeping this blog below Dostoevesky length, let’s confine ourselves to just the most recent: the current crusade by some 140 House Republicans and a dozen Senate Republicans to have the fair and just results of the 2020 presidential election overturned on no grounds whatsoever, except that they’re mad that their party lost. …


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I’ve rarely been so happy to turn the page on a calendar.

I’m aware that our measurement of time is an artificial construct. I know that, in reality (or is it Reality?) the sun that sets on the evening of December 31, 2020 and rises on the morning of January 1, 2021 is the same star. I am also aware that even the idea of a sun “rising” and “setting” is an anti-Copernican illusion.

In other words, the line dividing 2020 from 2021 is a purely imaginary one.

But as long as we are maintaining arbitrary allegiance to Gregorian calendar, this New Year’s Day merits an assessment of the past 366 rotations of the planet. …


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It’s only a matter of time before we wake up one morning and open our newspapers — or web browsers, for you newfangled, tech-savvy youngsters — to read that Donald Trump has pardoned himself.

I’m not saying it will work. But I’m saying he will try.

Trump has been openly inquiring about pardoning himself as far back as 2017. Having apparently skipped high school civics, he infamously claimed that Article II of the Constitution gives him “the right to do whatever I want.” …


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In the summer of 2016, when it looked like Hillary Clinton was going to annihilate Donald Trump, there were a lot of think-pieces about the bleak future of the Republican Party. Many of them asked if November would be the end of the GOP altogether, how it could possibly reinvent itself for an America whose demographics were evolving against it, or even asserted that it might never be able to put up a credible presidential contender again.

Also, that Hillbilly Elegy was going to be a great movie.

As we know, reports of the elephant’s death proved Mark Twain-esque in their exaggeration. Instead of getting obliterated, the Republican Party took the White House, both houses of Congress, and tightened its stranglehold on the federal judiciary (the Supreme Court above all), not to mention governorships and statehouses nationwide. It was the Democrats who were cast into the wilderness, left to wring their hands and gnash their teeth over what went wrong. …


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ve been privileged to know a lot of smart people in my time, including a few MacArthur Genius grant winners. (They’re always huddling together and doing something with their secret decoder rings.)

But Bill Pilon might well be the smartest person I’ve ever known.

Born in Martin Army Hospital at Ft. Benning, Bill is a lifelong Georgian. Formerly a senior marketing research analyst for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, he is currently in that role for a media conglomerate that shall go unnamed, and as such has his finger on the pulse of the state’s politics, demographics, and zeitgeist in a way that not many folks can match. …


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Grover Cleveland, 22nd and 24th President of the United States, 1885–89 and 1893–97

During Trump’s impeachment last year — can you believe that was less than a year ago? — I never seriously thought he’d be convicted. The GOP’s venality and cowardice are far too strong. But it did occur to me that if he were, he might become the first US president ever removed who went on to run again…..in that case, just months later. (Trump was already the first POTUS to be impeached in his first term. Barring an impeached president from holding future office is a separate Congressional vote.)

That didn’t happen, of course. Susan Collins, Lamar Alexander, and other Senate Republicans assured us that Donald had learned his lesson and would be an upstanding citizen ever after. …

About

Robert Edwards

Writer, filmmaker, and veteran — blogging at The King’s Necktie @TheKingsNecktie

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