Commander Chaos

He can’t do that, they said.

There are laws against that sort of thing. There are rules. It says so right there. You’re silly for worrying about it.

And yet, we’re worried anyway. Not because a President can, on his own authority, delay an election, but everything he can do short of that.

Look at what he’s doing already. Look at what’s happening already. The lackeys running the post office are delaying the mail, using various management means at their disposal to stall delivery. Even where ballots are being delivered to election offices, states that haven’t been voting by mail for years are encountering delays dealing with the sudden flood of absentees, which themselves are subject to more challenges than in-person votes.

Look at what’s happening with the Census. The Administration was blocked in its attempt to ask an exclusionary citizenship question, but plans to track down straggling respondents — folks who didn’t or couldn’t respond to the initial letters — are being cut short by a month, likely resulting in an undercount in Blue regions. The Census determines Congressional apportionment, so we’re looking at the next ten years of voting with that one.

Look at what was happening in Portland. Those Feds on the streets were repurposed DHS goons, pulled from their regular gigs harassing Brown people.

Look at what’s happening with The Wall, the parts of it that haven’t blown down yet. Money to build it wasn’t directly approved, but stolen from the Pentagon budget.

He couldn’t do that either — Laws! Rules! — but he did anyway. And he got away with it.

And these are just the things we know about. It’s a big government. We don’t know what other shit is going down right now. We may never know. You may presume a lot of documentation mysteriously disappearing in the ten weeks between the election and inauguration.

Should we be so lucky.

Is the man personally familiar with each and every move being done in his name? No, of course not. He watches television all day, when he’s not playing golf. It’s not a conspiracy of coordination but aspiration, everybody wanting to please the boss.

You don’t even have to be a Fed to play — it’s never been about the concentration of power in the Oval Office, but among a particular group, national and local. We’ve seen that happening too, polling places being scaled back, but somehow mostly in the places where other people live.

And all this following years of determined effort to deny select citizens their right and ability to vote in the first place, something we would have seen with or without a pandemic.

He can’t do that! Don’t worry!

No, he can’t do that, that one thing he mentioned. And if that was the one thing that could prevent us from holding a free, fair, and honest election, no, we wouldn’t worry.

No, it’s not that. It’s everything else. It’s his willingness, his determination, to flout the rules, flout the laws, and dare anyone to sue him over it, as he’s done throughout his life. It’s the willingness of many people, in positions great and small, to help him in that effort.

It’s the very real possibility of the election collapsing under an avalanche of chaos.

We’ve seen that before, with the merest flutter of a hanging chad. Took the Supreme Court to clear that up.

Oh, on a party-line vote.

But fear not! The term ends one way or another on January 20, and the rules say the Speaker of the House takes over if there’s no butt in the chair behind the Resolute Desk. You can look it up!

Imagine we’ve reached that moment, after ten weeks of utter chaos, deliberate chaos. Well, isn’t that the point? Our long, grand tradition surrounding the Peaceful Transition of Power? Won’t Donald Trump, of all people, observe the traditions of his august office, as he — and his craven institutional supporters — have all along?

“Family is binging ‘Game of Thrones’ for the first time,” tweeted James Poniewozik the other day, “and I don’t know why this never occurred to me, but the first season is basically the story of a guy who really, really believes that political norms will protect him.”

9 comments:

6:55 pm • Thursday • August 6, 2020

Speaking of Chaos…

NRA here today, gone tomorrow?

8:33 pm • Thursday • August 6, 2020

@ManchuCandidate: Tomorrow a few years from now. Lawsuits like that take time.

8:38 am • Friday • August 7, 2020

@nojo:
That’s true, but it drains away resources and flying monkeys that could be better used to promote Russian interests and fight Gun Control.

12:34 pm • Friday • August 7, 2020

One would think that RepubliKKKans would be shoving munnie out the door in a last ditch, desperate bid to prevent the inevitable, since every book on the collapse of a nation begins the same way:

> Nation’s rulers stealing from the treasury;
> Infrastructure failure;
> Failed foreign wars;
> Economic collapse;
> Civil unrest;
We are here > Millions of broke, desperate, soon-to-be homeless people.

Gee, I wonder what comes after that.

11:54 pm • Friday • August 7, 2020

@¡Andrew!: They’re looting it for what they can before heading for the Caribbean.

11:23 am • Saturday • August 8, 2020

@nojo: Tr666p defects to Russia on November 4th, ya heard it here first.

11:25 am • Saturday • August 8, 2020

/so true/

Dow Skyrockets After Coronavirus Begins Trading On New York Stock Exchange

NEW YORK—With investors highly bullish about the long-term prospects of the respiratory virus, market reports confirmed Friday the Dow Jones Industrial Average skyrocketed nearly 400 points after the novel coronavirus began trading on the New York Stock Exchange. “Following its initial public offering, this coronavirus has become the hot new thing on Wall Street, and you can bet everyone will be getting a piece of it soon if they haven’t already,” said Darya Abbas, an analyst at Zacks Investment Research…

12:09 pm • Saturday • August 8, 2020

It really says something that in photos of police beating and gassing protestors, you can’t tell if it’s happening in Portland or Beirut.

2:16 pm • Saturday • August 8, 2020

@¡Andrew!: I enjoy people arguing whether it’s fascism yet, as if it needs to match 30s Berlin precisely.

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