Is the Electoral Fix Already In?

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by Matt Taibbi, Racket News:

The 2024 presidential race increasingly looks like it will be decided by lawyers, not voters, as Democrats unveil plans for America’s first lawfare election

The fix is in. To “protect democracy,” democracy is already being canceled. We just haven’t admitted the implications of this to ourselves yet.

On Sunday, January 14th, NBC News ran an eye-catching story: “Fears grow that Trump will use the military in ‘dictatorial ways’ if he returns to the White House.” It described “a loose-knit network of public interest groups and lawmakers” that is “quietly” making plans to “foil any efforts to expand presidential power” on the part of Donald Trump.

TRUTH LIVES on at https://sgtreport.tv/

The piece quoted an array of former high-ranking officials, all insisting Trump will misuse the Department of Defense to execute civilian political aims. Since Joe Biden’s team “leaked” a strategy memo in late December listing “Trump is an existential threat to democracy” as Campaign 2024’s central talking point, surrogates have worked overtime to insert existential or democracy in quotes. This was no different:

“We’re about 30 seconds away from the Armageddon clock when it comes to democracy,” said Bill Clinton’s Secretary of Defense, William Cohen, adding that Trump is “a clear and present danger to our democracy.” Skye Perryman of Democracy Forward, one of the advocacy groups organizing the “loose” coalition, said, “We believe this is an existential moment for American democracy.” Declared former CIA and defense chief Leon Panetta: “Like any good dictator, he’s going to try to use the military to basically perform his will.”

Former Acting Assistant Attorney General for National Security at the U.S. Department of Justice and current visiting Georgetown law professor Mary McCord was one of the few coalition participants quoted by name. She said:

We’re already starting to put together a team to think through the most damaging types of things that he [Trump] might do so that we’re ready to bring lawsuits if we have to.

The group was formed by at least two organizations that have been hyperactive in filing lawsuits against Trump and Trump-related figures over the years: the aforementioned Democracy Forwardchaired by former Perkins Coie and Hillary Clinton campaign attorney Marc Elias, and Protect Democracy, a ubiquitous non-profit run by a phalanx of former Obama administration lawyers like Ian Bassin, and funded at least in part by LinkedIn magnate Reid Hoffman.

The article implied a future Trump presidency will necessitate new forms of external control over the military. It cited Connecticut Senator Richard Blumenthal’s bill to “clarify” the Insurrection Act, a 1792 law that empowers the president to deploy the military to quell domestic rebellion. Blumenthal’s act would add a requirement that Congress or courts ratify presidential decisions to deploy the military at home, seeking essentially to attach a congressional breathalyzer to the presidential steering wheel.

NBC’s quotes from former high-ranking defense and intelligence officials about possible preemptive mutiny were interesting on their own. However, the really striking twist was that we’d read the story before.

 

Summer, 2020. The TIP media blitz.

For over a year, the Biden administration and its surrogates have dropped hint after hint that the plan for winning in 2024 — against Donald Trump or anyone else — might involve something other than voting. Lawsuits in multiple states have been filed to remove Trump from the ballot; primaries have been canceled or invalidated; an ominous Washington Post editorial by Robert Kagan, husband to senior State official Victoria Nuland, read like an APB to assassins to head off an “inevitable” Trump dictatorship; and on January 11th of this year, leaders of a third party group called “No Labels” sent an amazing letter to the Department of Justice, complaining of a “conspiracy” to stop alternative votes.

Authored by former NAACP director Ben Chavis, former Connecticut Senator Joe Lieberman, former Director of National Intelligence Dennis Blair, former North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory, and former Assistant U.S. Attorney and Iran-Contra Special Counsel Dan Webb, the No Labels letter described a meeting of multiple advocacy groups aligned with the Democratic party. In the 80-minute confab, audio of which was obtained by Semafora dire warning was issued to anyone considering a third-party run:

Through every channel we have, to their donors, their friends, the press, everyone — everyone — should send the message: If you have one fingernail clipping of a skeleton in your closet, we will find it… If you think you were vetted when you ran for governor, you’re insane. That was nothing. We are going to come at you with every gun we can possibly find. We did not do that with Jill Stein or Gary Johnson, we should have, and we will not make that mistake again.

The Semafor piece offered a rare glimpse into the Zoom-politics culture that’s dominated Washington since the arrival of Covid-19. If this is how Beltway insiders talk about how to keep Joe Lieberman or Ben Chavis out of politics, imagine what they say about Trump?

We don’t have to imagine. Three and a half years ago, in June and July of 2020, an almost exactly similar series of features to the recent NBC story began appearing in media, describing another “loose network” of “bipartisan officials,” also meeting “quietly” to war-game scenarios in case “Trump loses and insists he won,” as the Washington Post put it.

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