An American dystopia

This is an alarmist article from a left-wing journal. Nonetheless, it provides for useful reading and includes a link to this excellent report by the Transition Integrity Project, Preventing a Disrupted Presidential Election and Transition.

In June 2020 the Transition Integrity Project (TIP) convened a bipartisan group of over 100 current and former senior government and campaign leaders and other experts in a series of 2020 election crisis scenario planning exercises. The results of all four table-top exercises were alarming.

Some of those experts are never-Trumpists of 2015-16 vintage, more often than not former neo-conservatives, which is to say, supporters and cheerleaders of the second Iraqi War. For that sin, they were punished by public trust in their warnings being taken away. However, one can now claim that by mistrusting the never-Trumpers, the American public punished itself. They’ve been mostly right about the man. If they knew or understood nothing about Iraq, they surely know and understand a lot about Trump.

We assess with a high degree of likelihood that November’s elections will be marked by a chaotic legal and political landscape. We also assess that the President Trump is likely to contest the result by both legal and extra-legal means, in an attempt to hold onto power. Recent events, including the President’s own unwillingness to commit to abiding by the results of theelection, the Attorney General’s embrace of the President’s groundless electoral fraud claims, and the unprecedented deployment of federal agents to put down leftwing protests, underscore the extreme lengths to which President Trump may be willing to go in order to stay in office.

Not bad, not bad at all for an early August prediction. Some of the most exciting parts of the reports are in the scenario analyses. However, the scenario that’s played out so far – Biden winning a healthy electoral college majority and holding a 4-ppt advantage in the popular vote without having been declared victor on the morning after the vote – does not quite fit any of theirs. It’s somewhere in-between “Clear Biden Victory” and “Narrow Biden Win” in TIP’s simulation.

On November 1, I wrote about Trump’s upcoming coup; on Nov. 4, about Putin’s triumph and Trump’s path to victory via sycophantic courts; on Nov. 6, about the near-impossibility of large-scale election fraud; on Nov. 9, of Trump’s acting – substantially – as an agent of a foreign power.

Trump’s decapitation of the Department of Defense has just opened a comfortable window of opportunity for America’s adversaries: what if China attacks Taiwan now? what if Russian tanks roll into Estonia? There would be no response from Washington until it gets too late and the annexation/occupation becomes a fait accompli. “[T]he worst thinkable scenario is having a NATO-hating Putin apologist at the helm in DC.”

Over to TIP again:

There was quite a bit of speculation that Trump might himself initiate a foreign crisis shortly after the election or during the transition, perhaps to…. placate foreign leaders to whom he may feel beholden, such as Vladimir Putin…. From a national security perspective, participants expressed concern about US vulnerability during a contested election.

You don’t have to dive to skull-crushing depths to figure this out, honestly. All of the above is close to obvious but it’s still hard to believe the American dystopia unfolding right before our eyes in real time.

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