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Impeachment Won’t Stop the Dictator

So now that his coup has failed, the dictator has been impeached an unprecedented second time. And he will be out of power less than 163 hours from now, as I write this. Hurrah! The country is saved, right?

Not even close.

Impeachment is just the first part of a two-step process, of course. After the House of Representatives approves an impeachment by a simple majority vote, the Senate holds a trial, with a two-thirds majority required to strip the officeholder of power. Does anyone think it even theoretically possible that 17 Senate Republicans out of the 50 who currently hold office would cast such a vote, exposing themselves to the immediate, deadly fury of most of their own voters? Let’s take another look at that House impeachment vote: only 10 Republican representatives voted to impeach, seven days after they were all threatened with violent death at the hands of the fascist mob storming the Capitol Building.

On top of this, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who the Washington Post claims is sympathetic to impeachment, refuses to convene the Senate again before January 19, the day before the dictator is to leave office. Impeachment is going to the Senate to die.

In the meantime, the warnings of new, even worse fascist violence have become deafening. There is said to be a plan to storm all 50 state capitals on Sunday. On Inauguration Day itself, 15,000 National Guardsmen are to be deployed to protect the incoming President and Vice President. How many of them are a “fifth column,” ready to turn their guns on those they are sworn to protect? Who is willing to bet that January 20 will not see a chaotic first battle of the Second American Civil War–or at a minimum, that fascist Trump supporters won’t stage several “mass shooter” attacks on and around that day? The National Rifle Association has spent decades telling these people that they had to be armed to the hilt to protect themselves against “government tyranny”–a tyranny they are now convinced is at hand, merely because the Democrats won the presidential election.

The abyss looms, but there are two modest reasons for hope. The first is that Big Money is fleeing the dictator and everything associated with him. Even more significantly, major corporations have stopped donating to Republicans who backed the incendiary charges of “vote fraud” that set off this fascist rebellion. In America, it’s the Big Money vote that counts for the most, as the Supreme Court made clear in its “Citizens United” decision several years ago. But it is far too late for this move to avert, at a minimum, serious “unrest.”

Even better, it turns out that the entire Republican Party has not been turned into a unified pack of fanatical worshippers of the dictator’s personality cult. This was not evident until the weeks after the election, when state and local Republican officials, most famously Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, resisted direct pressure from the dictator to overturn the result. And now for the first time, a handful of Congressional Republicans in addition to Senator Mitt Romney are willing to say that matters have gone too far. Perhaps this should be understood as the cost the dictator is paying for taking over a previously legitimate political party, rather than creating a purpose-built totalitarian vehicle. There are also undoubtedly many ordinary Republicans, albeit a minority, who are horrified. But are there enough to convince the propagandized majority of members of their party to back off their worship of the dictator and his poisonous claims that the election was “stolen”? Or will such people be purged from the party? That remains to be seen, but while we shouldn’t give up hope, it would be foolish to be too optimistic on this score.

As I have said before on this blog, America is in the worst trouble it has been in since the outbreak of the first Civil War 160 years ago. And most Americans have zero idea just what horror a new civil war will bring with it, which must be why this subject has been treated as a joke since it was first introduced into the “national conversation” by the extremely dangerous far-right conspiracy-mongering radio host Alex Jones a couple of years ago. Even military veterans who served in Iraq not that long ago probably have difficulty imagining “it could happen here.” We had all better start imagining, and doing whatever we can to head off this looming catastrophe. And that means stamping out the fascist “MAGA” threat, immediately.

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