Coup D’etat in America?

Photo credit C-SPAN
Reading Time: 6 minutes

Opinion

What we had hoped for on Inauguration Day was a traditional “Kumbaya” moment, even if just for a day, after one of the nastiest presidential campaigns on record.

Of course, new presidents are expected to sound resolute and even belligerent here and there in their opening speech. We would expect to see our new president draw the long face and utter solemn words against our foreign enemies, Russia perhaps, or North Korea. But the plurality of citizens who did not vote for him could be forgiven for expecting the balm of reconciliation. Instead, the long face, the jutting jaw, the angry rhetoric, were turned toward the country itself. Not only against Hillary Clinton’s voters, but against politicians in general, all past presidents included, indeed everyone who had just exchanged air kisses of their own with Trump.

He trashed the country as a whole in his speech and at one of the balls that followed the parade, he haughtily dismissed all those who had gathered to welcome him. “They are all very elegant people tonight,” he confided to his base, “but they are also very political people.” This putdown, presumably, was meant for only his closest advisors and donors, who of course are not at all political.

Gracious to the end, President Barack Obama treated Trump with deference through the transition and the inaugural. But it was almost too painful to watch as Michelle Obama had to bring herself to kiss on both cheeks the man who jumpstarted fake news with his campaign of lies against her husband in 2011 and kept defaming Obama to the bitter end.

Just last year he had proclaimed at a press conference in Florida, “I think President Obama has been the most ignorant president in our history…He has been a disaster as a president. He will go down as one of the worst presidents in the history of our country.”

Everyone was on tip-toe waiting for some words of unification. In retrospect, that was probably a foolish hope. Trump was always going to be Trump. He said the era of talk, talk, talk was over, an obvious dig at John Lewis, but in fact his speech blew more hot air than several inaugural speeches combined. It over-promised even more than his rally rants, if only because his inaugural combined every trope he has ever used. As always, he summoned us to patriotism while trashing our country, and by inference every leader who has ever come before.

Speaking of the degradation of our inner cities and the rampant drug use in white rural areas, he announced: “This American carnage stops right here and right now.” Really? He declared our public education system so lacking that it “leaves our young and beautiful students deprived of all knowledge.” (In the text that was distributed, someone wisely took out the word “all.”)

The entire spectacle once again left many to wonder how we got to this point.

It is interesting to speculate whether Trump’s constant mantra that it was a “rigged election” was to divert our attention away from the fact that somebody supporting him had rigged it.

Remember Rudy Giuliani laughing like the Joker during an interview just a day or so before James Comey’s press conference, while promising something big coming. He was almost literally licking his chops on television. Evidently his friends in the FBI had been keeping Giuliani in the loop on the trap that was about to be sprung. (And it’s interesting that Paul Manafort had the connection to Russia and his erstwhile partner Roger Stone had the connection to Julian Assange, or so I heard him say in an interview.)

One detail that has gotten lost in all of the reporting is the timing of the Wikileaks release of Podesta’s emails. They started dropping right after the video in which Trump brags about grabbing women by their pussies, and continued to drop until near the end. It would seem in retrospect that they had been held in reserve, like a giant net of victory balloons on election night, waiting for a signal to be given.

Talk about diversion. That stream of emails gave the media, and certainly Rupert Murdoch’s platforms, a constant flow of negative stories about Hillary Clinton to feed off for the remainder of the campaign, and gave rise to the mantra for Trump rallies from then on, “Lock her up.”

It is pretty clear now that Comey’s “new” investigation changed the minds of a sizable part of the electorate during that final week of the election. And Comey’s intervention was just icing on the cake after months of a Chinese water torture of leaked emails, courtesy of Vladimir Putin, Assange et al.

The exact details of how this election was stolen — what part of it was hacked emails and who hacked them, how much effect Comey’s October surprise had, not to mention his totally improper characterization of Clinton in July, and his motivation for both extraordinary acts — will be a matter for enterprising journalists and historians and congressional inquiry. The real point right now is to understand and process the fact that this election was stolen by third parties on behalf of Trump. Period.

If you want to believe it was not the Russians, more power to you. But there is no way those daily drips about the DNC conspiring against Bernie Sanders, about leaked questions from CNN, about campaign concerns about the Clinton Foundation, were not cumulatively devastating. How can you think otherwise? Each leak ratcheted up the volume of “Lock her up” until it became deafening. Some were shouting, “Hang her in the streets.”

Now just try to imagine if emails from the Trump campaign, which were also hacked, had been leaked, one day at a time. It does not take much imagination to conjure up what might have been revealed in those emails. They would make Podesta’s emails look as mild as a mug of hot cocoa.

Whoever made that choice — dump Clinton’s emails or dump Trump’s — decided the election.

In order to realize how big a story this is you have to rise above the cynicism of thinking that all politicians in both parties are crooked, and that a victory by one side or other doesn’t make that much difference.

Believe it or not, this “coup” will affect the trajectory of history just as much as the assassination of JFK. Perhaps more. As different as they were, JFK and Lyndon B. Johnson were of the same party. Indeed ran on the same ticket. And LBJ kept on a great many of JFK’s brain trust to carry on JFK’s legacy. With Trump you have a volte-face in every department of the government. One day liberal Democrats; the next day a deluge of the Alt-Right, the climate deniers, the privatization shock troops, the billionaires who have been living in gated bubbles for the last decade or more.

Yet the chattering classes are not at the moment admitting that these election manipulations made a difference  — any more than they said, in 1963, that there had been a coup d’etat as opposed to a shooting by a lone nut. It was too unthinkable then, it is too unthinkable now.

Instead, everyone is mincing around the obvious truth of it, like the onlookers around a corpse at a murder scene. One reason no one wants to face it is that Clinton was such a profoundly flawed candidate. It is sort of like, how bad can it really be? Maybe he’ll work out, etc.

No, he won’t.

I say that not because Trump is a Republican but because he is a liar, a crook, and a con artist. Ask Tony Schwartz, who wrote The Art of the Deal with him; Read the late Wayne Barrett’s books on Trump. Ask Tim O’Brien, another biographer. Ask David Cay Johnson, who followed Trump’s career for 30 years and published The Making Of Donald Trump this last summer. Ask the hundreds of women groped, the thousands of workers stiffed, the tens of thousands of people conned.

I notice that Ringling Brothers has folded its tents. I’ll miss it all. But for the next three years we will have a bigger circus on our screens. And no one will be laughing, except Vladimir Putin and Steve Bannon. They will be in stitches. The American people will now be the people walking behind the elephants, trying to shovel up the shit as fast as it comes out.


Related front page panorama photo credit: Adapted by WhoWhatWhy from Donald Trump (C-SPAN).

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29 responses to “Coup D’etat in America?”

  1. Van E. Vehrs says:

    The Russians didn’t cause Hillary’s defeat. They were doing opposition research. They thought that she was going to win hands down. Everybody did. Even me. And they wanted as much information as they could get to use against her at a time and place of their choosing. I’m sure they got plenty of info to use against her but it’s not going to do them any good now is it? A funny thing happened on the way to her coronation. We, the American people decided that we had had enough of the Clintons.

    Hillary Clinton Caused her own defeat. She was a dreadful candidate. Every time she went to California for another fund raiser, she lost a few more votes in Ohio, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Iowa, North Carolina, Florida and here in Wisconsin but she didn’t care.

    She had and still has nothing but contempt for middle America. She thought she was too good for the working class. Those of us who go to work and get our hands dirty; the carpenters, plumbers, electricians, truck drivers, factory workers and service industry workers. Those of us who need to take a shower at the END of the work day, not at the beginning of the day. She thought she was too good for us. Well let me tell you something. We may not be the smartest or the most elite but we know who has our backs and it wasn’t and still isn’t the liberal establishment.

    She didn’t go to California to campaign. She didn’t need to campaign in California. She went there to raise more money from her liberal friends who also think that they are better than the rest of us. She could have just as well won that state unanimously. It wouldn’t have mattered. She turned her back on the working class people of this country and she found out that we weren’t as stupid as she thought we were.

  2. Rob says:

    Written by someone who wasn’t happy with the election’s outcome – it’s time to move on!

  3. JJ truth says:

    The Russians didn’t “hack” any election. Hillary lost—the Russians had been paying Clinton in exchange for military and secret info for years. These payments were placed in her Clinton foundation. Yet the media covered this up. Hillary Clinton was as crooked as they come she was the one doing business with Russia. So its quite obvious Russians would prefer a Clinton win. Back in 1996 the Clintons held “coffee talks” with Chinese officials in exchange for access. Pay for play is the game the Clintons have always played with foreign powers. With that kind of corruption no hacking of any election is needed. On another note women did not support Clinton just as they did not support Palin, Fiorina, Bachmann, Ferrero or any other woman who has run for president or vice president. As usual the left is nasty, and delusional. I’m an independent and I’m sick of it. Don’t have a reason to vote for any of this madness. A third and fourth party is badly needed.

  4. notalent says:

    “Now just try to imagine if emails from the Trump campaign, which were also hacked, had been leaked, one day at a time. It does not take much imagination to conjure up what might have been revealed in those emails. They would make Podesta’s emails look as mild as a mug of hot cocoa.

    Whoever made that choice — dump Clinton’s emails or dump Trump’s — decided the election.”
    This seems to me to be the essence of this opinion piece. It sounds nice and convincing but doesn’t offer anything substantive. Even the venerable ‘Grey Lady’ NYT the source referenced here doesn’t remotely speculate like the author of this piece does.

    I’m no fan of Orange Face but I think if you’re going to make this kind of argument you should offer some actual evidence. It’s called journalistic integrity and it’s the reason I visit this site.

  5. Qua says:

    A coup created the problem, a coup will solve it.

  6. Orangutan. says:

    Both Seymour Hersh and Matt Taibbi said the Russian story doesn’t hold water so to say. I tend to believe them rather than the line being pushed on the mainstream media outlets like CNN & MSNBC.

    • Rick Robertson says:

      Read the history of William Jennings Bryan and how JP Morgan said when Jennings way ahead in the polls, “We will just have to find our own president to win”.

  7. Jeffry Cross says:

    Trump’s win wasn’t a coup, just voters that are fed up with the Feds, don’t want Globalism, and didn’t want the Clinton/Bush mafia back in power.

    • Rick Robertson says:

      Please read “The Devil’s Chessboard”.

    • Jeffry Cross says:

      Yeah, I’ve already read/heard a lot about the secret government/societies and am still open to the idea that Trump is just another puppet being used by some hidden power. I will evaluate new information as it presents itself and change my viewpoint accordingly. Regardless of who is in control, I don’t support ANY of it. I never consented and NO ONE has the Right to rule me. I hope we can build a society based on voluntary interactions after this one crashes and burns.

  8. tired of it says:

    lbj helped kill kennedy,,, you need to do more homework, sherlock.

  9. KellyIsh says:

    Wow. Total loser writing. Who, What, Why is now “Who’s on First?”

  10. Franklin Beenz says:

    this article is valueless fake news dribble … the author’s thinking, a victim of state dept/pentagon propaganda brainwashing

    • Mike G says:

      How can it be “fake news”, when it is clearly marked as “OPINION”, in big, bold letters? You didn’t even read it, did you?

  11. raypc800 says:

    When the out of control Republican party start pushing and passing their numerous pieces of legislation then we will see what happens. Seems a lot of people have forgotten that their base are the same ones that grab their guns and scream 2nd Amendment rights at the drop of a hat. When Social Security is cut for no good reason, Medicare gutted, Veterans Affairs made harder for Veterans to get in. That is the fuel for a fire.

    The match will be when the people feel the effects via Grandma and Grandpa having to move in or having to dig in wallets to buy them food. When Veterans are denied yet again and the US Constitution is attempted to be tampered with(As a veteran I took an oath to protect the Constitution from enemies both foreign and domestic.) this will begin to strike a match.

    People lose health care and realize it as most of Trumps base do not realize it then you will hear them complain. But my faith is in the US Military for they all swore the same oath I did. They as I, are watching see the Founding Fathers made sure that we understood that our sacred oath is to protect the country via protecting the US Constitution.

    • dieseldude says:

      They can slice and dice the VA all they want. It has grown like the blob. Apparently our services must totally suck, If service members can’t use the same medical system as everybody else.

  12. Mackenzie says:

    Oh the hypocrisy. Obama was “gracious to the end”? This is the same man who signed the National Defense Authorization Act (on New Year’s Eve while people weren’t paying attention), allowing the killing or indefinite detention of American citizens without due process.

  13. Libertybellle says:

    Is it against the rules of this website to post links?
    Sorry.
    Here is the title of Paul Craig Roberts excellent article about Trump and his alleged illegitimacy. The upshot of it is that it was not stolen (by virtue of the map). And as I said elsewhere, the down ballot results in 2014. All of which conform to the results in November.
    “Where Is The Left-Wing When A Country Needs One?”

  14. sfulmer says:

    No one wants to suggest that US elections are fake, yet, at the same time, everyone has no problem accepting that covert influence takes precedence over citizens’ free will and ability to think for themselves. I guess people paid to write have to assume media rule somehow.

  15. Libertybellle says:

    I could just as easily say that Putin tampered in the elections so that opponents of Trump would allege the illegitimacy of his presidency.

  16. Libertybellle says:

    All of this “stolen” business denies what occurred 2014 (more and more Republican gains down ballot) and the similar occurrence of the electoral map as it now looks.

    Trump is a legitimate president and the down ballot results show it since 2014 (before Comey and Putin’s alleged agitprop).

    • Mike G says:

      Except, Republicans have been attempting to steal elections since 2000. Looks like they’ve gotten pretty good at it now. Of course, they do it mainly through gerrymandering and voter suppression, which actually very clearly explains 2014. On the other hand, Trump is carrying on Obama’s drone bombing program without any changes, so I guess that makes him a “legitimate President” just like Obama was.

    • Libertybellle says:

      Except Trump’s election was not “stolen”.

    • Mike G says:

      Personally, I can’t really say. I have read and seen a good deal of evidence suggesting it was. Considering the person Trump is, based on the past 30 years of his crooked business dealings and cons, I’d say I wouldn’t be at all surprised. Of course, no one was ever able to get a real investigation going on the 2000 election, or the 2004 election (particularly the extreme oddities in Ohio, many of which were duplicated this past election for Trump), so we’ll probably never know for sure.

    • Libertybellle says:

      I know how this works. When republicans win the elections are rigged, when democrats win they are not.

      GOT IT.
      LOL

    • Mike G says:

      You obviously do not “GOT IT”. Democrats are not saints and I would not be at all surprised if they were also trying to rig elections. The Republicans just appear to have more experience and a variety of methods for doing it. Still, it’s good you have all the inside info and know with certainly that Trump’s election was not stolen (either by him or for him).

    • Rick Robertson says:

      I will tell you something a millionaire told me in 1968. “Everything that’s worth a dollar is fixed. No business puts up a dollar that they don’t expect to get two back.”

    • notalent says:

      Well I bet that ‘Millionaire’ wasn’t one for long. Anything of value is ‘fixed’? Okay, so no competition only collusion, no innovation, no efficiency. And a 100% ROI…return on investment. Ah, yes that makes sense. Perfect sense. 100%ROI.

    • Rick Robertson says:

      Well he is a multi millionaire today. There is more than one way to get rich. As he said to me during the gas and energy shortage of the eighties, “what shortage? I’ ll take you to Pennsylvania and show you more capped wells than you can count , I know I own them and they’re sitting there waiting for the price to go up.”

    • james warren says:

      Brad Friedmann and Greg Palast are two investigative reporters who have been publishing on voting irregularities for the last 5 years. And these two journalists stand firm in the footsteps of brilliant investigative reporters like Russ Baker and others on this website.

    • JJ truth says:

      Learn about the electoral college. The democrats are the ones working to steal elections and destabilize the republic.

  17. Brisa25 says:

    Trump must have a part to play or he wouldn’t have made it to the WH. If things go south, he can easily be impeached with Republican complicity….I’m sure they would rather have Pence as POTUS. But if the deep state prefers Trump, it’s likely it has enough leverage against key Congressmen to keep Trump in power.

  18. fred lapides says:

    There are as noted any number of reasons Trump got into office. Unless though these reasons can be used to impeach him, he is our legitimate President, and noting his many flaws does not change that fact. What you left out is that his fellow Republicans mostly supported him despite their contempt during the candidate days. Better this fraud than a Democrat, they said.
    Which leaves us where? More parades with cute hats?