Burn Notice

On July 23, 2020, David French wrote a column for The Dispatch titled, “Dump Trump, But Don’t Burn Down the GOP.” His premise was simple. The GOP should eject Donald Trump, but many who were carrying his banner should be given grace and space to mend their ways. After all, how do you fight the president of the United States when he’s your party’s standard bearer?

I was in earnest agreement with David French. Remember that, at the time that he wrote those words, America was still in the grips of the pandemic, as well as a summer of rage in which ravenous mobs were burning, looting and toppling statues in the name of the slain George Floyd. Sure, Trump had to go, but the GOP was still the best alternative to the Democrats and their tacit approval to the marauders.

French’s column was written before the 2020 election, before the COVID vaccines became available, before January 6, before the FBI raided Maralago, before Russia invaded Ukraine, before Trump’s many indictments and legal losses, before Fox News settled a massive lawsuit with Dominion Voting Systems, before the Israeli-Hamas war and, most important, before Joe Biden’s advanced age became a glaring liability.

Now, here we are in March of 2024. After a lot of quiet desperation in many quarters of the right, the primaries have come to not. Ron DeSantis, Nikki Haley, Tim Scott, Chris Christie, Vivek Ramaswami and Mike Pence all proved to be paper tigers in the face of Trump and what he represents. I have never seen a primary season that was so full of hope and promise early on, only to crumble into utter futility before it had ever got started.

We are now left with the choice between a doddering old man who can barely walk and talk, and a narcissistic man-child criminal who, if he should be re-elected, will enter his second term with a vengeful hit list.

Who’s responsible for this predicament? Sure, you can blame the primary voters. It’s no small matter that Trump had been given up for dead before he was indicted. The other candidates gave it their best shot in the debates and their various campaigns, but the politics of normality proved to be a grand exercise in futility. The voters merely responded to the choices before them and they chose.

Sure, the voters gave us Trump for a third time, but here’s the real question. Why was Trump in a position to run again? Why was he not impeached and convicted after January 6? The evidence was ample that he was complicit on some level. If there doesn’t turn out to be enough evidence to convict him in a court of law, so be it. But impeachment is not a legal process. It is a political process designed for the exact crisis that Trump sparked when he sicked the mob on the U.S. Capital.

If Trump had been impeached in the House and convicted in the Senate, he would have no longer been eligible to run for office again. We would not now be facing the beggar’s choice that has been forced upon us by the two parties.

Mitch McConnell, who is leaving at the end of this year, is chiefly to blame. He could’ve picked up the ball and run with it while the fence was still being rebuilt and feelings were raw in the days after the siege on the capital, McConnell is a master political chessman and should have foreseen what would happen. But, he didn’t. Instead, he is rumored to have said, “We’ll just let the Democrats take care of the son of a bitch.” Now, with the end of his long political career in sight, did McConnell finally unload on Trump? Nope. He endorsed him once again.

Shortly after Trump left Washington, Kevin McCarthy went to Maralago and kissed the ring. He didn’t have to go. He could’ve turned his back on Trump once and for all. By going to Maralago and bending the knee to Trump once again, McCarthy re-legitimized the man who, to this day, traffics in wild conspiracy theories about stolen elections. Theories which, not inconsequentially, have been shot down in courts of law again…and again…and again. As for Kevin McCarthy, Trump’s loyal fan base rewarded him by granting him the shortest gig as Speaker of the House in history.

The GOP didn’t have to run Liz Cheney out of town on a rail. If they truly believed she was a threat, they could’ve kept her close and tried to manage her, even as she sat on the January 6th Committee. But they didn’t. Liz Cheney is out of office and is on a book tour peddling her memoirs. The only other vocal Trump critic, Senator Mitt Romney, will be gone next year.

So, here we are. The GOP controls the House, but only by a razor-thin majority that keeps getting thinner as more and more decent and honorable congressmen head for the door after wearying of a toxic, dysfunctional climate that has been hijacked by MAGA sycophants that care more about performance than policy. After bargaining and clawing his way to the speakership, Kevin McCarthy lasted eight months before he was ousted by the nutjob Freedom Caucus. His successor, Mike Johnson, doesn’t look like he’ll fare any better. No major policy achievements can be had in the House while chaos holds sway at the top.

It looks as if the only functional branch of government is the judicial. The Supreme Court is doing its job. The current conservative majority was a win for President Trump 1.0, but now he has promised to cast aside the Federalist Society and go with more MAGA judges should he be returned to office. Wow. I sure am heartened by this.

Some have argued that many Republicans were scared to impeach Trump because they were in fear for their lives. This is a reasonable concern. Threats of violence leveled against those in political office are well documented. But here’s the problem. In our current scenario, we’re going to get violence no matter who wins in November.

If Trump wins, as many polls suggest that he might, the radical left will take to the streets and resurrect their rage-fueled tactics in Washington. The Democrats have long established a permission structure for leftist street justice. November, 2024 will be no exception. In fact, I think the summer of rage will be a picnic compared to the violence we’ll see if Trump wins again.

If Trump loses, he sure as hell won’t go gently into that dark night. He’ll scream about rigged elections again and his rabid followers will mount another siege on institutions of power. By not impeaching Trump and downplaying the seriousness of the January 6th riot, the GOP has negated its credibility as the party of law and order.

Either way this country goes, we’re screwed.

And I have barely touched on the various shit shows going on outside of our borders. If Russia, China, Iran or Canada decides to escalate, America is ill-equipped to defend itself. Our military recruitment is down. Our education system is in tatters. Our happiness index is now outside the top 20 countries. Social media has infected our discourse with a noxious blend of simplistic and juvenile banter. It really is a dark time for the rebellion.

What is the solution? I have no freakin’ idea. We’ve painted ourselves into a very, very dark corner and I don’t see a way out that doesn’t involve blood, fire and death. Think I’m being melodramatic? Replay the last decade in your mind and tell me I’m being a fear monger. I only have one immediate answer for all of this. BURN DOWN THE GOP!

They have faced their moment of truth and they have utterly failed the test. The first time around, Trump was an unknown quantity who took the country and the GOP by storm. No one was prepared for him. No one knew how to deal with him. No one could manage him. Any accomplishments of Trump 1.0 were overshadowed by his shoddy leadership during the pandemic, let alone his unforgiveable conduct after he lost the 2020 election. But now, every single GOP politician, operative, pundit and voter knows exactly who and what they’re getting if they pull the lever for him again. They can lie to themselves and those around them, but they know.

Sadly, this won’t stop anyone from engaging in rampant self-delusion. I have a dear friend (I won’t say her name because I love and respect her), but she has watched her local GOP party be hijacked and taken over by MAGA thugs who don’t give a damn about political pragmatism. Mouth-breathers like Matt Innis, who take their marching orders from Steve Bannon, only want to stand atop the battlements in all of their tumescent glory and watch good men like Congressman Don Bacon and Governor Jim Pillen fall. She has witnessed their strong-arm tactics first hand and she is disgusted. When I tell her that these people are a result of unchecked Trumpism, she doesn’t argue. “I know,” she says with a sigh. Yet, she is bound and determined to vote for Trump in November because, “Biden is worse.”

Is Biden really worse? I think he’s a disaster, just as President Kamala Harris would be a disaster. President Harris is who we’ll likely end up with if Biden is re-elected. There’s no way he makes it through another four years. He didn’t have the brains or balls to carry us through these times of tumult 20 or 30 years ago, let alone now. Biden is a windy scumbag who only got where he is because he rode Obama’s coat tails. So, thank you, President Obama, for giving us President Biden and very likely President Harris at some point.

I’m sure as hell not going to vote for Biden. Unlike those idiots at The Bulwark, I don’t see Democrats as the reasonable alternative to Trump. They have their own internal strife and authoritarian tendencies that will only become more apparent as they continue to hold on to power. My solution is more conservative candidates. No conservative Democrat has a prayer right now.

This, barring any legal or medical intervening event, is the choice that awaits us in seven months. It’s like going into a restaurant and being handed a menu with only two choices; a cat shit sandwich, or doggy diarrhea stew. Either way we go, we’re gonna wake up with brown teeth.

Sidebar: RFK Jr. is a crackpot. He is not going to be the next president of the United States. Any support for him is wasted. No Labels can’t get it up. Cornel West isn’t even worth a conversation.

Still, at least Biden is a remnant of the institution. If the psycho left wants to burn them down, that’s on them. The revolution always eats its own in the end. Just ask AOC, who can’t even go to the movies without being harassed by pro-Hamas goons. That’s not within my purview. I was once a loyal GOP member and it is no longer a party that I recognize or respect. There are still many good people in it, but they are quickly becoming a minority.

While many state parties across the country like Colorado, Georgia, Michigan, Arizona and Nebraska descend into turmoil and financial ruin, Trump has driven Ronna McDaniel out of leadership of the Republican National Committee. You see how her loyalty was rewarded after she stuck by him during his presidency and the aftermath? In her place, we now have Lara Trump, who got the job as co-chair because she is Donald’s daughter-in-law. Yeah…nepotism always works out so well. Observers have noted that a resolution demanding that the RNC not use its coughers to pay for Trump’s mounting legal bills was dead in the water. A dollar given to the RNC will now likely pay Trump’s lawyers, not any struggling state party. It’s also noteworthy that almost none of the people who served in Trump’s first administration have endorsed him this time around. And yet, Trump prevails with a growing list of endorsements from full-throated supporters to reluctant hangers-on.

So, burn it down. Burn it all down. Not literally, of course. I am unalterably opposed to political violence in a free society. But the GOP must be decimated in its current form. Starve it of all oxygen by withholding your time, your money and your public support. Cast your votes for individual candidates based on character and policy, not slogans and shit talk. Don’t volunteer for your local parties anymore. Spend your time and energy in other ways that feed your soul with productivity and happiness. Let the GOP die the death by immolation that it deserves. The only way they will die is if they lose…and lose…and lose…until they become tired of losing and throw themselves upon the mercy of the bankruptcy court.

This brings up an interesting point. Sometimes, you can find glory In losing. Just ask the left, who loves to revel in victimhood. It’s possible that figures like Matt Gaetz and Marjorie Taylor Green enjoy losing. But do we really want to lose a possible war with China? Do we really want to see abortion become national law? Do we really want to see the national debt continue to skyrocket? Do we really want to continue with a flood of unchecked immigrants pouring over our southern border? Maybe psychos like Jim Jordan and Lauren Boebert do, but I sure as hell don’t. But if we stick with Trump, we will pay a price that America just can’t afford.

What does David French think now? Who knows. He left The Dispatch a few years ago and now writes a column for the New York Times. I like David, but I’m not giving the NYT a dime. Best of luck to him as he will inevitably write something that will displease the leftist jackals who now run the paper. This is where the media should be a comfort, but sadly, they’ve de-evolved into megaphones for their various echo chambers. Outlets like The Dispatch, where my pal Rachel Carver now freelances, are about as effective as a wet candle in a black-out.

My only further advice is that everyone reading this should buy a gun and put it under lock and key for a few months. This is not a joke. It is not my characteristic flippancy. It’s not a call to violence. November is going to be very bloody and all good people should be prepared to defend themselves against shitbirds who will take advantage of the coming chaos to line their own pockets and settle scores. If you’re Jewish, sleep with one gun under your pillow and another one strapped to your ankle. When shit hits the fan, y’all will be catching flak from both sides.

Finally, my apologies that Jeffrey Donovan and Bruce Campbell did not appear in this entry. Sorry for the false hope. It’s 2024. You all should be used to false hope by now. Sam Axe for president!