This Regime Must Go NOW: Three Reasons

Photograph Source: Kingofthedead – CC BY 2.0

Trump and Pence need to be removed from power immediately for three basic reasons.

First, consistent with my own and others’ understanding of the current White House as proto-fascist, Trump and his inner circle continue to absurdly claim that the 2020 election vote was fraudulent and have yet to give up conducting a coup. Key Trump operatives speak seriously of a “transition” to “a second Trump administration.”

It would be foolish to laugh off such reckless talk. The Trump campaign and White House are scheming to get the Republican-controlled state legislatures of Wisconsin, Michigan, Georgia, Arizona and Pennsylvania to declare invalid the mail-in ballots required by the pandemic Trump fueled and fanned across the nation. This would be the pretext for some or all those legislatures trying to install (over the protests of Democratic governors in Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, and Michigan) un-elected slates of Trump electors to the Electoral College, claiming that Trump won the “legal” popular vote in their states. The murky legal and constitutional tangle that could result from such an action could involve Congress and the far-right Trump-appointed Supreme Court (6-3 Republican, including three justices who served on George W. Bush’s side in Bush v. Gore) installing Trump for a second term.

I am not predicting this outcome. It seems unlikely. Such a development could make the United States ungovernable (okay by me) and is for that and other reasons opposed by the nation’s top military command and corporate/financial elite. Still, a Trump coup, legal and/or extra-legal is not an impossibility.

It is a common liberal, moderate, and even progressive mistake to underestimate the extent to which the contemporary Republifascist Party has broken with longstanding bourgeois-constitutional and parliamentary, “rule of law” norms in its “eliminationist” determination to smite its liberal and left enemies and advance its ethno-nationalist agenda.

Every day that the maniacal and Orwellian Trump-Barr-Pence regime holds power and refuses to acknowledge its clear electoral defeat is another day in which some event or series of events the White House or other forces might initiate could provide “chance” pretexts for declaring a national emergency and martial law.

It is no laughing matter that Trump last week fired his Secretary of Defense, Mark Esper. Esper got on Trump’s bad side by opposing the deployment of federal troops to quash domestic civil rights and social justice protests last summer.

It is cause for no small concern (both domestically and internationally) that Trump last week installed a handful of white-nationalist yes-men in key positions atop the Pentagon and the intelligence system, including Esper’s replacement – a blood-drenched counter-terrorism official. (A skirmish or even full-blown war with Iran, intended among other things to spark domestic dissent and/or terror attacks, real or concocted, that could be used as pretexts for the indefinite suspension of the Biden transition.) This is not remotely normal lame-duck presidential behavior.

The obvious fact that Trump and Barr want to subvert the election and stay in power combines with even the slight possibility that they might seriously act to do so (with a chess pieces in place for a coup) is enough to recommend immediate removal. These fascist charlatans shouldn’t be permitted to wield power for another day.

The second reason to demand the immediate defenestration of Trump and his Christian fascist monkey veep is that the Trump forces are doing everything in their power to poison the well and burn the house down for the potentially/likely incoming Biden regime. There’s no love from the present writer for the lying neoliberal warmonger Joe Biden (I’ve criticized Biden’s record and politics from the Left in print on at least twenty occasions over the last two years) and his, but the point of Trump transition sabotage project is to set up a fascist return to the White House in 2024/25 if not sooner. Top Congressional Republifascists are deeply complicit in this nihilistic, top-down monkey-wrenching exercise. The incapacitation project is so extreme as to include denying Biden access to critical medical and public health information the likely next White House will need in order to have a running start in managing the federal response to the COVID-19 pandemic

This brings us to third and top reason to demand Trump and Pence’s immediate removal. The virulent racist and pandemo-fascist Social Darwinist herd-immunitarian Trump is on pace to have epidemiologically exterminated half a million if not more Americans, disproportionately poor and nonwhite, by February 2021. Trump has fanned and fueled the pandemic from the very beginning in numerous overlapping ways: publicly denying its lethal impact while (as we learned from Bob Woodward before the election) privately understanding its deadly nature early on; falsely and repeatedly claiming that the virus would soon disappear; backing neo-fascist protests of basic state-level public health protection measures; embracing childish quack cures; opposing and undermining efforts for a comprehensive national testing plan; failing to issue a common-sense national mask mandate; failing to use the Defense Production Act to order the manufacture of adequate medical supplies; infecting his own White House staff and Secret Service personnel; demeaning and denying basic medical and public health science and expertise; influentially modeling and encouraging reckless behavior by not wearing masks in public events; mocking and lethally politicizing mask-wearing; holding super-spreader events that directly expanded the virus; using his own COVID-19 infection to downplay the lethality and danger of the disease.

The ugly white-nationalist “Million MAGA[t] March” that the Trump forces held in Washington DC two days ago was notable among other terrible things for its participants’ persistent stubborn refusal to wear masks. The super-spreader death cult continues after the Super-Spreader-in-Chief’s electoral loss, naturally enough.

We can hypothesize about the intentions behind the pathological and pathogenic Trump administration’s spreading of the virus before the election. Likely motives included the early partisan calculation that the disease would mainly target Blue (Democratic) metropolitan areas but not the Red (Republican) regions claimed by Trump and the Republicans; fear that acknowledging the pandemic’s deadliness would undermine the “booming Trump economy” Trump was expecting to ride to a second victory; a Social Darwinian indifference to and even embrace of accelerated death for the elderly and infirm; a genocidal-racist welcoming of the pandemic’s disproportionate deadly impact on non-whites; the expectation that the virus would spread electoral chaos that might favor Trump winning the vote through the de-legitimization of the mail-in ballots that the pandemic required.

Now that Trump has lost the election, his motives in spreading the virus likely combine his ongoing virulent racism and Social Darwinism with a desire to punish the nation for voting him (hopefully) out and the goal of crippling the likely (but not certain) coming Biden presidency.

I turn on cable news and watch one political talking head and public health expert after another bemoan the horrific out-of-control take off of COVID-19 and the persistence of a White House that has no national strategy to address the pandemic. It is unthinkable for any of these big-shots to broach my reasonable call for the immediate removal now of the Trump-Barr-Pence regime and the rapid installation of a transitional government of public health.

Look at this following report from the Washington Post two days ago (apologies in advance for the length of this quotation but this is a case where it all has to be taken in to be believed):

‘Since Election Day and for weeks prior, Trump has all but ceased to actively manage the deadly pandemic, which so far has killed at least 244,000 Americans, infected at least 10.9 million and choked the country’s economy. The president has not attended a coronavirus task force meeting in “at least five months,” said one senior administration official with knowledge of the meetings who spoke on the condition of anonymity to share candid details…Now, as he fights for his political life, falsely claiming the election was somehow rigged against him, Trump has abdicated one of the central duties of the job he claims to want: leading the country through a devastating pandemic as it heads into a grim winter.

“I don’t know that I think that’s where his focus is,” said one senior administration official. “But I know that’s where our focus needs to get back to.”

This account of Trump’s indifference and inaction on the newly surging coronavirus pandemic is based on interviews with more than a dozen administration officials, Trump allies, health advisers and others familiar with the response, many of whom spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss internal deliberations.

Until his Friday news conference, Trump had barely appeared in public since his Nov. 3 defeat, save for a news conference in which he lobbed baseless claims of voter fraud and a visit to Arlington National Cemetery for Veterans Day, where he violated the cemetery’s policy requiring all visitors to wear a mask. He also made no mention of the rising toll of the virus in his Rose Garden news conference, which included criticism of Pfizer and attacks on New York Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo (D)….In one social media missive, Trump retweeted an angry message that accused CNN of stopping its “ ‘COVID-COVID-COVID!’ drumbeat” after the election.

Trump has increasingly eschewed the advice of even his own public health and medical experts. Deborah Birx, the White House coronavirus response coordinator, has proposed several times reducing in-person dining in restaurants and bars, but Trump has dismissed her suggestions, a senior administration official said. He has also ignored the calls by Anthony S. Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, for more aggressive messaging on the importance of mask-wearing, officials said.

Trump visited Arlington National Cemetery on Veterans Day. He violated the cemetery’s policy requiring all visitors to wear a mask.

The president is no longer regularly briefed on the pandemic by his team of doctors, and he rarely reads the daily virus reports prepared by Birx, a senior administration official said. The reports have grown increasingly grim in recent weeks, aides said, but are largely ignored in the West Wing. Several of the administration’s top medical experts — including Birx, Fauci and Surgeon General Jerome M. Adams — have only infrequently visited the White House in recent weeks, administration officials said.

Olivia Troye, a former adviser to Vice President Pence and aide on the White House coronavirus task force who resigned from the administration and supported Biden’s presidential bid, described the current situation as “very upsetting.”

“You would think that now that his presidential campaign is over that he could perhaps leave a legacy of last-minute leadership during this time — an ounce of it, maybe,” Troye said. “He has an opportunity here to focus on the well-being of Americans.”

Jack Chow, a U.S. ambassador for global HIV/AIDS during the George W. Bush administration and a former World Health Organization assistant director general, was similarly alarmed by Trump’s handling of the crisis. “The duty of a president is to protect the national security of the United States, and this is the most prominent disease of mass destruction America’s ever faced, and we have a commander in chief who has run away from the problem and has made it worse,” Chow said. “We had an opportunity twice over the past eight months to bring it down to safer levels, and we failed. We are on the verge of losing control of this pandemic.”’

There’s no “on the verge” about it. The notion of leaving the frankly insane, pathological, racist, fascist, and herd-immunitarian, anti-masking government in power for one more week, much less for two more months, is insane. The pandemo-fascistic Trump-Barr-Pence Super Spreader regime must be forcibly defenestrated NOW. This is a public health imperative.

Looking ahead, we need Trump attired in an orange prison jumpsuit to match the color of his favorite facial skin blush. It is essential that the crime boss Trump be prosecuted and incarcerated in a maximum-security prison for the rest of his life for various crimes he has committed both before and during his presidency. He must not be allowed to pardon himself or to receive a pardon from Pence after resigning before Biden takes over. If he is beyond federal prosecution, he must be indicted and put on trial by the State of New York for tax fraud and other offenses. This malevolent disease of a man must be forever quarantined from the nation and world’s political life.

Even if Trump is taken out of circulation by arrest and imprisonment, the white nationalist Amerikaner base that provided him with a considerable portion of his 72 million votes this November will not magically disappear with him. It may be become more lethal and dangerous ever before without its fearless Stabbed in the Back leader in the White House. The Trumpenvolk’s pathetic sense of white victimization and martyrdom could well intensify after the demented cult leader is removed. It will be on the hunt for a more competent and intelligent charismatic leader to help it exact revenge on its big city and bi-coastal political, regional, and ethno-cultural enemies. Be warned and get prepared. Trump was and is a terrible symptom of a racist, sexist, nativist, and eco-cidal and even fascist rot, an authoritarian and rightward drift that goes much deeper than hateful political candidates, carnival-barkers, parties, and elected officials.

Paul Street’s latest book is This Happened Here: Amerikaners, Neoliberals, and the Trumping of America (London: Routledge, 2022).