From Michael Anton and the Claremont Institute: The Coming, Pre-Announced Democrat Coup
Nox & Friends
9/4/20: Democrats are laying the groundwork for revolution right in front of our eyes.
As if 2020 were not insane enough already, we now have Democrats and their ruling class masters openly talking about staging a coup. You might have missed it, what with the riots, lockdowns and other daily mayhem we’re forced to endure in this, the most wretched year of my lifetime. But it’s happening.
It started with the military brass quietly indicating that the troops should not follow a presidential order. They were bolstered by many former generals—including President Trump’s own first Secretary of Defense—who stated openly what the brass would only hint at. Then, as nationwide riots really got rolling in early June, the sitting Secretary of Defense himself all but publicly told the president not to invoke the Insurrection Act. His implicit message was: “Mr. President, don’t tell us to do that, because we won’t, and you know what happens after that.”
All this enthused Joe Biden, who threw subtlety to the winds. The former United States Senator (for 26 years) and Vice President (for eight) has not once, not twice, but thrice confidently asserted that the military will “escort [Trump] from the White House with great dispatch” should the president refuse to leave. Another former Vice President, Al Gore, publicly agreed.
One might dismiss such comments as the ravings of a dementia patient and a has-been who never got over his own electoral loss. But before you do, consider also this. Over the summer a story was deliberately leaked to the press of a meeting at which 100 Democratic grandees, anti-Trump former Republicans, and other ruling class apparatchiks got together (on George Soros’s dime) to “game out” various outcomes of the 2020 election. One such outcome was a clear Trump win. In that eventuality, former Bill Clinton White House Chief of Staff John Podesta, playing Biden, refused to concede, pressured states that Trump won to send Democrats to the formal Electoral College vote, and trusted that the military would take care of the rest.
The leaked report from the exercise darkly concluded that “technocratic solutions, courts, and reliance on elites observing norms are not the answer here,” promising that what would follow the November election would be “a street fight, not a legal battle.”
Two more data points (among several that could be provided). Over the summer, two former Army officers, both prominent in the Democrat-aligned “national security” think tank world, wrote an open letter to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs in which they urged him to deploy the 82nd Airborne Division to drag President Trump from the Oval Office at precisely 12:01 PM, January 20, 2021.
About a month later, Hillary Clinton declared publicly that Joe Biden should not concede the election “under any circumstances.” The old English major in me interprets the word “any” to mean “no,” “none,” “nada,” “niente,” “zero,” “zilch” “bupkis”…you get the idea.
This doesn’t sound like the rhetoric of a political party confident it will win an upcoming election.
The Cover-Up in Plain Sight
These items are, to repeat, merely a short but representative list of what Byron York recently labeled “coup porn.” York seems to think this is just harmless fantasizing on the part of the ruling class and its Democratic servants. For some of them, no doubt that’s true. But for all of them? I’m not so sure.
In his famously exhaustive discussion of conspiracies, Machiavelli goes out of his way to emphasize the indispensability of “operational security”—i.e., silence—to success. The first rule of conspiracy is, you do not talk about the conspiracy. The second rule of conspiracy is, you do not talk about the conspiracy.
So why are the Democrats—publicly—talking about the conspiracy?
Because they know that, for it to succeed, it must not look like a conspiracy. They need to plant the idea in the public mind, now, that their unlawful and illegitimate removal of President Trump from office will somehow be his fault.
Never mind the pesky detail that the president would refuse to leave only if he were convinced he legitimately won. Remember: Biden should not concede under anycircumstances.
The second part of the plan is either to produce enough harvested ballots—lawfully or not—to tip close states, or else dispute the results in close states and insist, no matter what the tally says, that Biden won them. The worst-case scenario (for the country, but not for the ruling class) would be results in a handful of states that are so ambiguous and hotly disputed that no one can rightly say who won. Of course, that will not stop the Democrats from insisting that they won.
The public preparation for that has also already begun: streams of stories and social media posts “explaining” how, while on election night it might look as if Trump won, close states will tip to Biden as all the mail-in ballots are “counted.”
The third piece is to get the vast and loud Dem-Left propaganda machine ready for war. That leaked report exhorted Democrats to identify “key influencers in the media and among local activists who can affect political perceptions and mobilize political action…[who could] establish pre-commitments to playing a constructive role in event of a contested election.” I.e., in blaring from every rooftop that “Trump lost.”
At this point, it’s safe to assume that unless Trump wins in a blowout that can’t be overcome by cheating and/or denied via the ruling class’s massive propaganda operation, that’s exactly what every Democratic politician and media organ will shout.
Stop the Presses
What then? The Podesta assumption is that the military will side with the Dems. There are reasons to fear they might. The Obama administration spent a great deal of political capital purging the officer corps of anyone not down with the program and promoting only those who are.
Still and all, determining the outcome of an election would be the most open political interference possible from our allegedly apolitical military, and it’s plausible that the brass won’t want to make its quiet support of the ruling class agenda that overt. The aforementioned Chairman has already stated that the military will play “no role” in the outcome of the election. That’s probably not a feint, but one wonders if it will hold given the obvious attempt to influence military thinking by people like Jeffrey Goldberg in his recent Atlantic essay.
Can the Dems rely on the Secret Service to drag Trump out? I have my doubts on this one. I’ve seen the Service up close; it really is (or strongly appears to be) apolitical. It has a job to do: protect the president, whoever that is. Officers take that job very seriously. If they don’t believe Trump lost, I don’t think they can be counted on to oust him. On the other hand, were they to believe he did lose and was refusing to leave—a scenario I find impossible to imagine but the Democrats insist is just around the corner—it’s possible the Service might act.
Barring all that, what’s left? Remember that phrase from the Dem war game: “street fight.” In other words, a repeat of this summer, only much, much bigger. Crank the propaganda to ear-drum shattering decibels and fill the streets of every major city with “protesters.” Shut down the country and allow only one message to be heard: “Trump must go.”
I.e., what’s come to be known as a “color revolution,” [a George Soros invention] the exact same playbook the American deep state runs in other countries whose leadership they don’t like and is currently running in Belarus. Oust a leader—even an elected one—through agitation and call it “democracy.”
The events of the last few months may be interpreted as an attempted color revolution that failed to gain enough steam, or as a trial run for the fall. Is the Trump Administration prepared?
Here’s one thing they could do: play their own “war game” scenario so as to game out possibilities and minimize surprises. They should also be talking to people inside and outside of government whom they absolutely trust to get a clearer sense of who on the inside won’t go along with a coup and who might.
They also need to set up or shore up—now—communication channels that don’t rely on the media or Big Tech. Once the ruling class gives word that the narrative is “Trump lost,” all the president’s social media accounts will be suspended. The T.V. channels, with the likely exception of Fox News, will refuse to cover anything he says. Count on it. He’s going to need a way to talk to the American people and he has to find the means, now.
For the rest of us, the most important thing we can do is raise awareness. If there is a conspiracy to remove President Trump from office even if he wins, they’re telling you about it precisely to get you ready for it, so that when it happens you won’t think it was a conspiracy; you’ll blame the president.
Don’t be fooled.
– Michael Anton
9-12-20: It’s time to unmask the Revolution.
Michael Anton’s new article “The Coming Coup?” went viral almost as soon as we posted it a week ago today. This is not simply because figures like Lara Logan, Mollie Hemingway, Newt Gingrich, Dan Bongino, and the editors of the New York Post took note. It spread because concerned citizens began sharing it throughout the nation. We could tell it was especially effective because so many in the mainstream media maintained studious radio silence.
But hyperventilating ruling-class supporters of the Biden/BLM/Antifa coalition did predictably lash out. The epitome of these reactions is an article in New York magazine’s Intelligencer, by political columnist Ed Kilgore, entitled “Trump Backers Make Case for Stealing Election, Before Biden Gets the Chance.”
The title itself reveals the stubborn simplicity of the Democratic Party’s coup narrative. Their elites have worked themselves and their base into a frothing lather of existential fright. In article after article, liberal intellectuals and activists have been talking for months about how Trump could steal the election or refuse to leave the White House even if he loses. But if the Right dares to point out that Democrats are actually changing the rules of the electoral process and actually speaking publicly about refusing to concede even if they lose, well, this only proves that the Right is going to steal the election and refuse to concede if they lose!
In reality, of course, Anton and others are simply trying to shine a light on what Democrats are now openly declaring in public.
Kilgore frames Anton’s essay as part of an effort among conservatives to spread the craaaazy idea that Democrats’ obsessive focus on mail-in voting is part of a panicky effort to throw the election, not a good-faith scheme to protect people from coronavirus. Let’s leave aside the fact that no less an establishment authority than the Atlantic admits the voting booth is as safe as the grocery store. In fact, says Kilgore, echoing the new establishment narrative, so many legitimate Biden votes may come flooding in by mail after the in-person voting is through that the election will turn around all on its own.
Every major media outlet is now full of supposed expert authorities—even Mark Zuckerberg recently got into the act—telling the American people that the rule changes Democrat apparatchiks are pushing throughout the nation are totally normal. But as elections expert Hans Von Spakovsky pointed out in these pages, “what is clear from all of these lawsuits is that the Democrats and these organizations are trying to change the rules governing the administration of the November election” midstream while Republicans are trying to “preserve the status quo.” (If you want to understand what the Democrats are up to, give Spakovsky’s “Democrats Versus the Vote” a close read.)
Kilgore likes to present himself as a reasonable man. But how are voters supposed to respond when the message from the Democrat Party is “our lawsuits to change the way we’ve always voted in the middle of a tumultuous election season are not part of a partisan cheat. Oh, but one more thing: America needs to understand that while it might very well looklike Trump won on election night, due to our new rules votes will be counted for weeks afterward and then our candidate will probably win.”
More significantly, Kilgore sidesteps outrageous statements from leftist activists and Democrat Party royalty indicating they do not plan to concede even if Trump wins. There is no elephant in a corner here. There is a donkey in the middle of the room. So what if Kilgore thinks that ackshually Democrats will concede the election if Trump wins? The problem is that this is not what Democrats are saying.
As Anton and even Kilgore observe, Hillary Clinton and company have already put Biden and Harris on notice—along with the rest of us—that the Democrat ticket must refuse to concede, no matter how lopsided the loss. Is this report from the Daily Beast wrong? “Inside the coalition, there is dispute over whether Biden should even concede if he wins the popular vote but loses the Electoral College…. The Transition Integrity Project noted that there would be immense pressure on Biden to fight it out.” You get that? Even if Trump wins the Electoral College and therefore the presidency, like every other President in American history, the Left is preparing to—to what, exactly?
As TIP co-founder Rosa Brooks wrote in the Washington Post, “with the exception of the ‘big Biden win’ scenario, each of our exercises reached the brink of catastrophe, with massive disinformation campaigns, violence in the streets and a constitutional impasse”—almost as if the party of chaos is the one whose powerful ideologues run the media, the mobs, and the deep state. We’ve already seen what “mostly peaceful” unrest looks like. But the Daily Beastarticle tells us “the larger game plan is to apply pressure through mass mobilization.” Given the long list the article provides, every left-leaning group in the nation is seemingly coordinating for “mass public unrest.”
But that’s not all. There are also those on the Left who would threaten secession from the United State of America rather than live in an America in which President Trump won reelection. Granted, “there were mixed opinions over what to do.”
“It’s the hardest scenario,” the source said. “It’s 2016. But it’s that plus all Trump has done on voter suppression. So I think there is a question but I think both sides are going to fight this till the very end.” And what, we asked, was the very end? “I don’t know,” the official replied.
The left elite press has sure gotten the message: it’s Trump and his followers who “may” steal the election. Democracy dies in orangeness—even if voters overwhelmingly agree that orange man is, in fact, good.
Ed Kilgore is not worried about any of this. His concern, he says, is that “if conservative opinion leaders convince each other and a big segment of Trump voters that Biden won’t accept a constitutionally legitimate loss, that’s all it may take to rob the 2020 presidential election of legitimacy.” Buddy. Pal. Robbing the presidency of legitimacy is the full-time job of your side since, er, before Trump took office. Do you remember your colleague Jonathan Chait’s deranged essay and its totally not insane conspiracy theory graphic about how the President of the United States was a Russian agent and Putin was his handler?
No matter. Kilgore is deeply concerned that if the Republicans mistakenly believe what the Democrats are saying and doing is real, the Republicans might refuse to concede the election and then “all hell really could break loose.” You mean, like, riots and stuff? Ed, your side is doing that already, and telling us they plan more of it. Lots more.
Still, Kilgore has one good suggestion: “Joe Biden could stop this toxic cycle of conspiracy theories justifying conspiracies by clearly announcing he will accept a clear Trump Electoral College win.” To do so, Ed, he’d have to speak specifically to the people in his own party who are saying they do not want him to do so. These are the “Democrats” you acknowledge in your next sentence—the Democrats for whom accepting the result of a legitimate election “offends” (your word, not ours).
Will Joe Biden and Kamala Harris tell Clinton, Pelosi, and now General Mattis to stop speaking about what sounds an awful lot like orchestrated insurrection? Of course they won’t. They won’t even tell BLM and Antifa to stop burning down American cities.
Rest assured that if the American Right spoke like this, the feds would start investigating. Then again, if the politics was reversed, BLM and Antifa would be considered domestic terror groups.
What is to be done? Republicans need to directly address and denounce the problem, and everyone must press Democratic leaders to do the same.
There is no way out of the coming cataclysm without Republican leaders closing ranks against the coup—and making clear that all Americans who join them will be well-supported in doing so.
As Andy Busch writes in “Sleepwalking into Secession,”
Those who find the Podesta Gambit [in which John Podesta, playing Biden, refused to concede his loss in a TIP war game] troubling need to shine the brightest possible spotlight onto it. To the highest degree possible, Joe Biden must be pressed as soon as possible to disavow it, whether in the form of pushing for the appointment of alternative electors, holding the election hostage to drastic constitutional change, or (above all) using threats of secession as a weapon.
Likewise, the actual governors central to Podesta’s hypothetical strategy (in California, Oregon, Washington, Wisconsin, Michigan, and North Carolina) must be challenged to put on record a pledge to reject that path. Kamala Harris, as a Californian, should face the same questions. These are simple questions. Do you reject threats of secession to get your way electorally? Will you pledge not to appoint electors contrary to the vote of the people of your state?
As Busch warns, “it is before votes are cast, not after, that maximum pressure will be on Biden and his co-partisans to behave in ways that do not repel swing voters. Once the votes are in, the party base will carry the most weight, and the pressure they will exert (as Podesta acknowledged in the simulation) will all be in the direction of driving out Trump by any means necessary.”
Today’s incessant scaremongering that a defeated Trump will barricade himself in the White House—the Nation devoted its latest cover story to this phony fever dream—is a smokescreen from party bigs scrambling to plan for just the opposite. Progressive radicals have spent years assembling a nationwide machine for legitimizing their switch-flip to autocratic rule. The full apparatus of that machinery—the media, the mobs, the deep-staters—is being leveraged to intimidate and disorient the people into accepting a Biden coup. Now is the time for Americans to make it known we won’t let our country be treated this way.
Republican leaders who love America more than they fear the ruling class will do the same.
— Editors of The American Mind / The Claremont Institute
Original texts available at americanmind.org/essays/
— Safespace —