I guess they just cannot help themselves. The leadership of the Democratic Party – and virtually all the presidential candidates — have gone off the rails. The Party’s center of political gravity has shifted beyond the philosophic far left into the nutty paranoid extreme.
The latest example is found in the recent comments of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. She has expressed concern that if President Trump is defeated for re-election in 2020, he may just refuse to surrender power. In other words, she is suggesting that Trump would engineer a coup against an incoming Democrat President.
Such fears usually emanate from the tin-hat fringe on the extreme extremes of the political left/right continuum. The “nut cases” as they are commonly called by rational political observers. Unfortunately, these kinds of off-the-wall statements carry an unfortunate air of credibility when made by leaders who are supposed to be rational, responsible and ethical – even with their partisan biases.
Judging from the reactions on social media, a whole bunch of folks are taking what Pelosi says seriously. Either they are being duped by her supposed credibility as a prominent political leader, or there are a lot more tin-hat folks than I would have ever believed. I am personally shocked by some otherwise intelligent friends who are picking up on Pelosi’s engineered fear-mongering.
Even if you are sufficiently paranoid to believe that Trump would attempt such a thing, you should be able to figure out that it would be impossible. Not improbable, but impossible. One person cannot produce a coup. It requires support from the military, the person’s own support staff, the courts and a goodly portion of the legislative body. It also requires a certain level of support among we the people – and even most hardcore Trump supporters would rise up in opposition.
Given our devotion to the democratic process of peaceful transitions of power, I doubt Trump would even have the support of his family. And most importantly, it is not likely – even remotely – that Trump would consider such an option.
We should recall that it was only eight years ago that the nut cases on the extreme right were warning that President Obama would not surrender the office if he was defeated in 2012. The difference between then and now is that no responsible Republican leader took up that preposterous notion. Pelosi has essentially mainstreamed the nutty idea – at least among the increasingly liberal and paranoid Democrat base.
Apart from her current opposition to impeachment – based on a pragmatic political calculous – Pelosi has been edging toward the lunatic fringe since the midterm elections lurched the Party to the far left. Her flat-out statement that Attorney General William Barr has committed the crime of perjury by lying to Congress is a baseless political accusation designed to appeal to her more rabid supporters.
There may be controversy over Barr’s wording and meaning, but there was no criminal perjury. If Pelosi believes what she said, then let her take the matter to the courts or commence an impeachment hearing against Barr – which she never will because she knows she does not have a case.
Pelosi appears to be loosely – very loosely — basing her concern on statements that Trump said regarding 2016 – that he might challenge the outcome if he felt there were irregularities in the vote count. That is not a coup. That would be his constitutional right. In fact, it is exactly what Democrats did in 2000 in Florida. They used their legal rights in an attempt to reverse the vote count. That is why we have court challenges and recounts built into our system of elections. Candidates challenge outcomes in virtually every election cycle.
If 2020 turns out to be a verrrrrry close election, and there is evidence of irregularities – intentional or accidental – Trump and the GOP would likely mount challenges. That is standard operating procedure.
In 2016, Democrats tried every trick in the book to prevent Trump from assuming the presidency. They demanded recounts. They attempted to have the electors in the Electoral College disregard their oath and vote against Trump. They even tried to have Congress block the inauguration.
With the Russian collusion accusations of the past two years having crashed and burned, Democrats appear to be inflating another hot air narrative based on the d-word – that Trump is a dictator or at least a wannabe dictator. Again, they based their case on what they say Trump will or would do even though he does not actually do what they say he will or would. You only need recall how many times in the course of the past two years that Democrats claimed Trump would fire Special Counsel Robert Mueller and Rod Rosenstein.
It is upon these sorts of bogus assumptions that Pelosi advances the equally bogus contention that Trump will seize power in 2020 – assuming he gets defeated. Of course, the left is back to assuming Trump’s defeat – and you know how that worked out for them the last time.
In the spirit of paranoid theories, I think a better case can be made for a left-wing coup attempt if Trump gets re-elected. After all, the entire #NeverTrump Resistance Movement is predicated on stopping Trump at any cost.
From the time of his inauguration, the left mounted a movement of never saying anything that would “normalize” Trump. Never allowing that ANYTHING he said or did is to be praised, appreciated or even recognized. Instead, the left demanded – and pretty much got – a constant drumbeat of negative spin, the ugliest of personal attacks and a complete distortion of the administration’s accomplishments. Through politically-driven specious narratives, Democrats – with the help of an accommodating media – have created an alternative reality – which now foretells of a coming coup attempt by Trump.
Character assassination, the politics of personal destruction and trash talk has now risen to statements by the Speaker of the House. It is no wonder that fair-minded Americans of all political shades and backgrounds are united in their disgust with today’s political and media environments — and politicians like Pelosi.
So, there ‘tis.