Trump’s abortive coup attempt

Trump’s abortive coup attempt

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By Lewis Obi

Donald J. Trump became US president by accident in 2016.  Even his sensational descent from the escalator with Mrs. Trump at Trump towers on the day of his declaration did not mask the fact that he was a no-hoper.  But he bluffed all the way.  He told America how he grew a multi-billion business from nothing, and all by himself.  He boasted about how rich he was.  He wouldn’t need the money of the discredited special interests; he would fund his campaign from his enormous wealth.  Americans found him fascinating, a billionaire who could understand the daily struggles of the common man!Alas, none of this was true.

Obama was America’s symbolic gesture toward racial equality.  Republicans made America almost ungovernable for him. But a buyer’s remorse overcame them after Obama’s inauguration.  By April 2009, the TEA-Party, the ultra-radical wing of the Republican Party, came to town and all African-Americans were fearful for Obama’s safety.  Republicans made America almost ungovernable for Obama.  But they unwittingly made a model president out of him.  He completed his two terms without a whiff of scandal, a record which nears disbelief.  It is part of Trump’s grief he couldn’t be half as good as Obama.  Benghazi was a creation of the right-wing media which always wanted to get Hillary and took every opportunity to create hell for her whenever they could.

Trump was, therefore, the anti-Obama, he would make up for the ‘mistake’ of electing a black man, and Trump’s screaming racism and disdain for Obama seemed his strongest credential for the position.  Trump became unassailable by promising to undo everything Obama had done.

Donald Trump was shocked when told he had won the election. He had no victory speech. He had to scramble out one.  The Federal Bureau of Investigation had announced, a few days to the election, that his opponent, Mrs. Hillary Clinton, was being further investigated.  The FBI had earlier announced it had closed the investigations.  It was about Clinton’s use of private e-mail and server when she was Secretary of State.  The last minute FBI announcement of Mrs. Clinton’s further legal jeopardy apparently discouraged some of her supporters, leading to Trump’s unexpected electoral vote victory.  Mrs. Clinton had defeated Trump on the popular vote by nearly three million votes, but Trump had 306 electoral votes, same number as Joe Biden.

Donald Trump could not fi8gure out a credible path to his re-election.  Having not won without controversies, including the suspicion that he used Moscow’s help, he was obsessed with covering up his relationship with Russia for his entire tenure which also led him to a few desperate acts, some of them impeachable.  He dismissed the director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, James Comey to end his investigation of the Trump-Russia tie.  That, on its face was obstruction of justice.  The special prosecutor, Robert Mueller, uncovered more than 120 connections and interactions between the Trump campaign and Russian intelligence.  The report also cited nearly two dozen instances of explicit obstructions of justice by Trump.  In the end nearly a dozen members of the Trump campaign went to prison for various crimes but the exact relationship between Trump and Russia has been impossible to define, with many Americans holding that Trump is a Russian asset.

Surveying the re-election field, Trump found he had no chance against former vice-president Joe Biden.  He thus tried to work against Biden in the primaries so Democrats could thro9w up another candidate.  It didn’t work.  Biden won the nomination. His next option was to tar Biden, to render him unelectable.  Trump then contrived to use the government of Ukraine.  Trump would hold on to desperately needed American aid to Ukraine until the Ukrainian government announced that it was investigating Joe Biden for corruption.  Trump’s phone conversation with the President of Ukraine is a classic example of what political corruption looks like.  Americans were horrified, hence Trump’s impeachment of 2019.  But the Republican Party had descended into the gutter into a corrupt political party and no longer cared about right from wrong.  Trump was impeached by the House but acquitted by the corrupt Republican Senate, all of whom, except Mitt Romney, who voted to convict and remove Trump.  If the Republican Party had stood for the truth in 2019, the Senate would have convicted Trump and removed him from office and there would have been no insurrection in Capitol Hill and no second impeachment of Donald Trump.

Having failed to knock off Biden before the election Trump has had weekly rallies since his inauguration where he spoke with his supporters who are mostly the fringe groups in the Republican Party, white supremacists, Klansmen, QAnon conspiracy theorists, the violent Proud Boys, and many rightwing and violent nationalists who congregated around him.  But Trump’s popular support in the opinion polls never went beyond 37-45 per cent.  No one can win a presidential election with such figures.  Thus Biden throughout the campaign defeated Trump in the polls just as he did in the election.  Indeed it was not a close election.

Trump prepared for his defeat by stating that the only way he would lose is if the election was rigged.  He was not going to accept the election results unless he won it.  He said so a year before the election.  It was therefore little surprise when he began to sing about “election fraud”.  President fraud peddled his election fraud tales from district courts to state appeal courts to state supreme courts, to the US Supreme Court.  He did not show a sing illegal ballot out of the 80 million ballots cast for Biden.  Seeing that the courts would not listen to his fairy tales about fraud, Trump decided to try to annul the results.  He would get the election officials to alter the figures to award him victory.  This was, of course plain vote-stealing, unprecedented in American politics.  No one is sure how many states he arm-twisted to change election figures.  Only the Secretary of State of Georgia, Brad Raffensperger had the courage to publish his sensational and scandalous conversation with Trump.  But if he could not change the results of the election in a deep red state like Georgia how would he do in purple and blue states?

That’s when Trump began to think of an outright coup d’état. His former National Security Adviser, General Flynn, a discredited general had advised him to impose martial law so elections could be re-run in the vital states Trump lost – Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Michigan, Georgia to give Trump the victory he craved  The insurrection in Capitol Hill was the first step.  The wonder of the insurrection was the constitutional ignorance of Trump and his teeming supporters who somehow imagined that Vice president Mike Pence could by sheer presence turn the votes of millions of Americans.  The game plan was that the insurrectionists would take the Congress men hostage and “hang Mike Pence, and eliminate House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.  The uproar would be such as to force Trump to declare martial law.  That he would then run the election and win is doubtful, given what happened in Georgia where the senate election re-run returned two Democrats thereby handing back the control of the Senate to the Democratic Party.(Sun)