Published at 10:21 on 12 November 2020
Back during the GOP primary process for the 2016 elections, there was widespread speculation that, in the unlikely event that Trump ever won both the primary and the November election, he would get nowhere while in office. This is because so much of what he wanted flew in the face of the established positions of both parties at the time. Instead, the rest of the GOP fell in line, and surprisingly easily.
At that point, speculation (including on this site) was made of events that might prompt the GOP to abandon Trump in a tipping-point scenario. As time passed, various triggers for such a scenario were put forth. The tipping point never happened.
The current presumed tipping point involves growing acknowledgment of the fact that Trump lost the 2020 election. While there have been more defectors than usual in this iteration, the vast majority of the Fascist Party is still squarely behind Trump and his insistence that he has not lost the election (at least not yet).
Jennifer Rubin is correct: at this stage, the most plausible time line going forward involves the Fascists continuing to, by and large, line up squarely behind their führer. Given that, what is such a future likely to be like?
A brief digression: In general, runoffs in Georgia have been won by the candidate with a plurality. In both Senate runoffs, a Fascist has the plurality. Therefore the most likely outcome is that Fascists will win both seats. So Moscow Mitch will remain Senate majority leader.
What does this mean? Maximum obstruction. Biden will not be allowed to so much as choose non-Trumpist cabinet officials if he wants to get them through the Senate confirmation process. Also forget about passing any legislation that deviates much from Trumpist desires. His will be a do-nothing caretaker administration.
An effective campaigner might be able take two years of such unreasonable obstruction in the Senate and use the resulting negative partisanship to engineer a highly unusual midterm election that results in the party controlling the White House walking away with more power. There is nothing to suggest that this outcome is likely. All available evidence suggests that Biden is a doddering old fool who firmly believes that he can re-create a vanished era of bipartisanship by the sheer force of his own will. He will be unwilling to engage in the sort of bare-knuckled rhetoric needed to delegitimize the opposition’s tactics and motivate support in the midterms.
What Biden does will be accomplished via executive order. Much of what Trump did was accomplished via executive order, so Biden can (and will) take a chain saw to those Trump-era orders. However, keep in mind the previous paragraph: Biden won’t be allowed to appoint a cabinet of his choosing. Instead, he will be compelled to do what Trump did and appoint a series of acting officials. The absence of the ability to get any legislation of consequence through Congress will also compel Biden to innovate and push the envelope on the boundaries of executive power, much like Trump did.
The most important thing we need to do in the post-Trump era is to scale back the power of the imperial presidency. Instead, we are going to get the Trumpist notion of an increasingly powerful imperial presidency cemented into place by bipartisan precedent.
Such executive power won’t be enough to save the Biden Administration. The Fascist party, unlike the Democrats, believes strongly in its principles (primarily führerprinzip, the alleged virtue of following a strong leader of their own), and are willing to fight hard for what they believe in. Instead of only timidly and reluctantly opposing the chief executive, the GOP-led Senate will vigorously oppose him. This opposition will work, and Biden will be a failed president.
The most likely outcome in 2024 will therefore be a victory for the Fascist Party, inheriting a stronger imperial presidency than ever. Even if the Fascist victory does not come in 2024, it will come no later than 2032. No party has held the White House for longer than twelve years in the post-World War II era.
Be afraid, be very afraid.