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He’s freaking out

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He’s really desperate, isn’t he? Trump, I mean (obviously), reading the same polls as you and I or, possibly, reading his private internal polls, which might well be even worse for him than the public ones. He sees himself losing in every swing state—and possibly losing in such rightwing stalwarts as Texas! He sees, moreover, “his” Republican Senators looking at a blowout, a Blue Tsunami that will give both Houses to President Joe Biden. And then, Trump is looking, post-presidency, at the very real threat of prison time, not to mention the collapse of his tottering business empire, and the ruination of the only people on earth he cares—a little—about: his family.

Of course, this is why he’s so maniacally driven on getting the arch-Catholic Coney-Barrett confirmed. She is, in his estimation (and you’ll pardon the pun), his trump card on the High Court. He’s gambling (I’d say “praying,” except that he’s an atheist) that “his” Republican Justices will exonerate him from anything and everything. They’ll award him “his” presidency after a “contested” election in which no one but he and his acolytes is contesting anything other than the legitimate result. Looking back to 2000, Trump believes that the Republican Justices signaled, for all time to come, that justice be damned, they’re going to protect the hand that fed them their august office; and if it was true in 2000, imagine how truer it is today, when not jurisprudence but religious (that is to say, radical Catholic) ideology rules the benches.

We’ll see. Supreme Court Justices have the decided advantage of holding office for life. They may have made certain, ahem, private assurances to the President during their interview process; but once on the High Court, they can do whatever they wish to. Even fanatics like Coney-Barrett, Alito and Clarence Thomas may feel the glint of Honor in their bones. (Well, probably not Thomas, but you get the idea.) There is thus no absolute guarantee that the Supreme Court will give Trump a victory, should he lose the election decisively and fairly. But there is also no guarantee that Trump will lose the election, or that Biden will win it, despite the polls. So we still have go vote, if we have not already done so,

Trump’s hopes are dwindling but in his head there are a few things that could revive them. He could win the Nobel Peace Prize, just days before the election. (I don’t think he will, but you never know.) He could announce a vaccine for COVID-19. He can brag about some putative “victory” in Afghanistan or someplace else. With luck, none of these things will occur before election day or, in the case of the Nobel, ever. Even without those bragging rights, Trump can still hope to convince some wavering, mentally unstable voters that “Crooked Hillary” remains a menace, that Biden and Obama must be “indicted” for committing the greatest crime in U.S. history, that Democratic Governors like Whitmer and Newsom are unConstitutional threats. All of this is nonsense, of course. Nobody could possibly believe any of it, except pervs like the Proud Boys (it annoys me to have to capitalize those words), and how fortunate it is that Trump’s own F.B.I. thwarted the treason which the Wolverine Watchmen (another forced capitalization) planned to pull off in Michigan. Republicans will, of course, echo Trump’s tweet that since it was “his” F.B.I. that busted the plot, how could he, Trump, possibly have aided and abetted it? But this, too, is nonsense. All it does is reassure us that at least a part of the F.B.I. is still doing its job, not propping up a criminal President, as is the man whose Justice Department runs the F.B.I., Robert Barr. But then, Trump loathes the F.B.I.’s director, Christopher Wray, whom he just accused of being a part of the “Deep State” along with Hillary, Biden and Obama.

Trump always seems to have done the lowest, basest thing possible, than which there can be nothing lower or baser, until a day or two later, when he manages to be even more vile. Can he seriously be contemplating launching a civil war? Of course. He has maniacs–white men all–like Stephen Miller, Sean Hannity, Steve Bannon and Franklin Graham whispering in his ear. “This is the time to do it, Mister President. Strike while the iron is hot.” His two male older spawn, Eric and Donald, Jr., also are urging him to “do it,” and waiting in the wings to step in should he falter. Field Marshall Donald Trump, Jr.! There’s a howler. I can see the Ruritanian Generalissimo now, bedecked in Kaiser Wilhelm-style military garb, complete with golden sashes, medals and ermine-lined red cape, a gilt sword in his hand—the same hand that slaughtered great innocent beasts on the plains of Africa. But what shall the “Heil Trump” gesture be?

It’s fun for a satirist to have this First Family. The late night talk show hosts are having a marvelous time. But beneath the fun-poking is genuine alarm. Trump told the Proud Boys to “Stand by.” We, too, have to stand by. Arms at the ready! Shore leave canceled! Keep your powder dry! We may be called upon soon to be heroes.

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