Sleepwalking into Secession

Sleepwalking into Secession, by Andrew Busch.

Recently, the New York Times reported on a set of simulations run by a bipartisan group called the Transition Integrity Project. …

Longtime Democratic pro and Clinton lieutenant John Podesta, playing the part of Joe Biden, refused to accept defeat when the simulation projected a repeat of 2016 — a Biden lead in the nationally-aggregated popular vote coupled with a Trump win in the Electoral College. His party would not allow him to concede, he said.

So, instead, the faux-Biden convinced Democratic governors of Wisconsin, Michigan, and North Carolina — states that went for Trump in this simulation — to certify Democratic electors instead, putting Biden over the top.

The Democratic House accepted the disputed electors and declared Biden president, but the Republican Senate continued to back Trump.

This was not all, though. Podesta persuaded California, Oregon, and Washington state to threaten secession unless Republicans accepted a package of reforms such as: abolishing the Electoral College, stacking the Senate by means of granting statehood to the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico and splitting California into five states, and putting an age limit of 70 on Supreme Court justices.

Stalemate was not resolved before the constitutionally mandated inauguration day. The military, it was said, would have to decide which commander-in-chief to obey.

It should be emphasized that the Podesta Gambit, which would have been the stuff of fantastical fiction a few years ago, came out of a role-playing exercise in which none of the role-players have any formal connection to either of the campaigns. Moreover, those role-players doubtless were more willing to throw caution to the wind knowing the exercise was a game. …

This ain’t your parent’s Democrat party. The idea of democracy, where you allow the other side to govern knowing you will get your turn, has been replaced by delegitimizing any opposition:

Democrats have not drifted but charged headlong so far to the left that not a single Democratic member of the House Judiciary Committee could tell Attorney General William Barr that they would stand up against Antifa if it tried to burn down the U.S. Capitol. The venerable party is now under the functional control of cancel mobs and the far Left, as if Henry Wallace had returned from the grave to take his revenge.

Moreover, from the weaponization of the CIA and FBI to the transparent smear executed against Brett Kavanaugh to impeachment, Democrats since 2016 have demonstrated an escalating willingness to do anything to stop Trump. Impatient with the restraints of the American system, they have also been increasingly sympathetic to proposals to do away with those restraints. That Democrats would seriously demand the institutional deconstruction of checks and balances and federalism as the price for national peace is no longer far-fetched. John Podesta is not a weird outlier; he is a Democratic heavy hitter attuned to the sentiments of his party’s upper echelons. …

The Democrat Party is increasingly controlled by Marxist activists:

One might object that all of this is unlikely, and perhaps it is. But it no longer seems impossible. We have already seen things in 2020 that most would have deemed impossible last New Year’s Eve. …

If you think the old rules still apply, you might be in for a rude surprise:

Trump’s supporters, for their part, are overly optimistic that Biden’s obvious incapacities and Democratic extremism will lead to a Trump landslide. It seems likely that somewhere between 50 and 55% of Americans — the proportion that has consistently said they disapprove of Trump’s job performance — have simply stopped listening to him.

True, other presidents have languished in the low 40% range of presidential approval for a time and come back to win reelection by solid margins, including Ronald Reagan, Bill Clinton, and Barack Obama. But none were stuck there, “underwater,” for almost their entire presidency; none were there this close to the election; and all had at some point demonstrated much higher levels of support to which they could return. If Trump wins at all, it is unlikely to be by a landslide.

hat-tip Charles