Thursday, December 31, 2020

A Little Knowledge

And what they tell Kristol is: Be afraid! Be very afraid! Beware the “I’s” of January!

Yes! The three “I’s!” Iraq! Insurrection Act! And Insanity!

Iraq: the fear, of course, is that Trump starts a war, because Trump is so bellicose. But Trump is a bully. All bullies speak loudly and carry a small stick.  Trump is no more going to start a war with Iraq than he’s going to convince the Congress to appoint him President.  Reagan was more belligerent when he invaded Grenada than Trump has ever been or will ever be.

The Insurrection Act: this was last invoked in 1992. Surprisingly, it did not create a Constitutional crisis. It was used to quell rioters after the Rodney King trial. If the Proud Boys start riots in D.C., Trump can’t use the act because D.C. is not in a state. The Feds already have authority there. He can’t use such civil unrest to send the military or National Guard to other states to seize voting machines, either. The Insurrection Act only allows the President to enforce state laws to restore order. It does not make him an all-powerful dictator.

Insanity: Trump gets to act insane in his official capacity only so far as we let him. Pro tip: Tweets are not within the official capacity of the POTUS. And now that he’s a lame duck, he’s weaker than a mad king surrounded by faithless courtiers.

Kristin says we must be aware and pay attention. He might as well say we must run in circles, screaming and shouting, with our hair on fire. We would do as much good. For the last four years we have relied on our public institutions, and where they weren’t under the incompetence of the Administration, they have served us well. Since November the courts have capably handled Trump’s idiotic attempts to stay in office (or, more accurately, to not be a loser). Even Sen. Johnson from Wisconsin acknowledged that Biden will be President in January. The military is not going to follow an unlawful order. Armed soldiers are not going to invade warehouses in Georgia seeking computer hardware.

The only thing we have to fear is fear itself. Trump only has the power we give him, and at this point nobody who wields real governmental power is giving him the time of day. Be afraid if you like, but who among you, by worrying, can add one hair to your head?

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