I give Matt Taibbi this, he’s not going to let any mere facts interfere with his thoughts about how only the Deep State can melt steel beams:
I’ve lived through a few coups. They’re insane, random, and terrifying, like watching sports, except your political future depends on the score.
The kickoff begins when a key official decides to buck the executive. From that moment, government becomes a high-speed head-counting exercise. Who’s got the power plant, the airport, the police in the capital? How many department chiefs are answering their phones? Who’s writing tonight’s newscast?
When the KGB in 1991 tried to reassume control of the crumbling Soviet Union by placing Mikhail Gorbachev under arrest and attempting to seize Moscow, logistics ruled. Boris Yeltsin’s crew drove to the Russian White House in ordinary cars, beating KGB coup plotters who were trying to reach the seat of Russian government in armored vehicles. A key moment came when one of Yeltsin’s men, Alexander Rutskoi – who two years later would himself lead a coup against Yeltsin – prevailed upon a Major in a tank unit to defy KGB orders and turn on the “criminals.”
We have long been spared this madness in America. Our head-counting ceremony was Election Day. We did it once every four years.
That’s all over, in the Trump era.
My discomfort in the last few years, first with Russiagate and now with Ukrainegate and impeachment, stems from the belief that the people pushing hardest for Trump’s early removal are more dangerous than Trump. Many Americans don’t see this because they’re not used to waking up in a country where you’re not sure who the president will be by nightfall. They don’t understand that this predicament is worse than having a bad president.
I have questions!
- Does he understand that a “coup” against Donald Trump would require upwards of two dozen Republican senators?
- Does he understand that in the unlikely event of such a “coup,” the result would be…President Mike Pence?
- Does he think that literally any removal of a political leader from office is a “coup”? Was it a “coup” when Senate Republicans told Nixon he’d be convicted so he reigned? Is the impeachment power itself illegitimate? What about votes of confidence in the Westminster system? Are elections the only possible form of accountability for any misconduct by a top elected official?
- Is “Trump’s opposition is worse than Trump” the point where any distinction between “anti-anti-Trump” and “supports Trump” becomes meaningless?