This blog is subtitled “living in an implausible, poorly written dystopian novel.”
On January 6, we reached the apogee of the dystopian, as the deluded mob ran through the Capitol.
And then, as January 6 turned into January 7, the world turned into a place that is no longer dystopian but still not rational.
A strange place. A liminal place. A place full of anomalies and contradictions. A place that has not sorted itself out.
Because we are, as of this week, no longer living in a dystopian novel, my blog will soon come to an end. But in the meantime, let us take note of three contradictions, three anomalies, three rents in the fabric of space-time.
The First Contradiction: Extreme Rhetoric and Extreme Views Versus Extreme Actions
Today, my European correspondent has been looking for American fascists. I told him his task was like unto one who goes shooting fish in a barrel.
Around 74 million people voted for Trump in November. Polling is said to show that almost half of them support the January 6 insurrection. Let’s make that about 30 million people. Nice round number.
OK, then, how many showed up for the January 6 Trump rally? No one can say for sure. Probably, about 10,000, though it could have been higher.
And how many actually got into the Capitol? No one has said, or at least no one, to my knowledge. Let’s say a couple of thousand.
Today, the Democrats are pushing for impeachment.
Why aren’t there ten million MAGA folk in Washington, D.C. this afternoon, screaming bloody murder?
To paraphrase Joan Baez: Where Have All the Brownshirts Gone?
The Second Contradiction: Newly Beaten Trump Versus the Most Delusional of the Base
The Third Contradiction: The Republican Base Versus the Republican Political Establishment
Much has been made, and rightly so, of the polls showing widespread approval of the insurrection.
Much has been made, and will be made, of polls showing that “the Republican base still loves Trump.”
But the monied Establishment has realized that Trumpism has no future, and they are no longer going to subsidize politicians who appeal to the dumbest and most irrational part of the base.
And then there is Georgia: Trumpism no longer wins elections in close states.
And then there is the matter of the sedition.
And so, whatever they might want to do, and whatever they might be tempted to do, the mass of the Republican Political Establishment has no choice but to ditch Trump. Otherwise, no money from the National Association of Manufacturers. Otherwise, no more winning contested elections. Otherwise, no more dodging the treason bullet.
Congressmen and congresswomen representing 138 of the poorest and most backward of the 435 congressional districts voted to overturn the election. Something calling itself the Republican Party will still be a viable force in those 138 districts, and in a handful of states like Alabama and Arkansas.
Elsewhere, the current Republican Establishment will be between a rock and a hard place. Some may cross the aisle and declare themselves Democrats.
Others will try to retain political viability and relevance by calling themselves Independents.
Yet others may decide that public service is no longer their calling.