The visible reaction of Democrats to Justice Ginsburg’s death over the last 48 hours has given us all the information we need for a clear-eyed operational assessment of the situation as we head toward the final three months of 2020.
The assessment here will probably not be the one readers imagine. The bottom line up front: for the Democrats, the operational problem is not how to “win the election” and “keep a new Supreme Court justice from being confirmed.”
The problem is how to weave those now-scheduled decision points into what Lee Smith has dubbed the Permanent Coup.* For the Democratic Party of 2020, running the Permanent Coup is their guiding purpose.
To define their purpose as “winning the election” is to lag the OODA loop and never catch up with it, much less “get inside” it. The view from inside the Democrats’ OODA loop is this one: come what may, they don’t intend to lose their bid to regain the levers of power. That’s a more accurate reading of the end-state they have in mind.
That should be evident from their complete lack of a voter-friendly agenda this year, an excellent sign that they are not focused on “winning” the election in the conventional way. They simply don’t care if they have a traditional form of appeal to voters, because they’re not campaigning for votes. They’re preparing for a post-vote street fight, with mobs, lawyers, and propaganda supplied by a complicit media.
Equally excellent as a sign is the remarkable lack of campaigning activity by the Democratic Party. Even in the age of COVID, a party whose voters can muster crowds for “protests” and memorials at the drop of a hat should be able to campaign in September.
Honor her legacy. Honor her wish. pic.twitter.com/XRK4jkQla7
— Demand Justice (@WeDemandJustice) September 20, 2020
Yet we see almost no such events, even headlined by surrogates. You’d think they would want to at least put up some images evoking mass appeal and enthusiasm, so that the “campaign” wouldn’t look quite so much like it’s being filmed on a 1940s-era backlot in Culver City.
— Michael LaRosa (@MichaelLaRosaDC) September 16, 2020
But oddly enough, they don’t seem to. Here are the four things established by the patterns since Joe Biden took the lead in the primaries earlier this year, and their visible, official reaction since Friday night:
1. Their formal candidate, Joe Biden, is neither their leader nor in charge of his own campaign. He is manifestly not capable of either. That tells us everything important about their intentions. It tells us for one thing that the key condition exists for a Bolshevik revolution: a major party that is not, in the most meaningful sense, what it represents itself to be.
The Biden campaign has called a lid at 8:35am, per pool. So we won’t see Joe Biden today.
— Pat Ward (@WardDPatrick) September 19, 2020
Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg fought for all of us. She was a giant of the Court and unflinching in her pursuit of equal justice under the law. Because of her life’s work, we are closer to that more perfect union we’ve always strived to be. pic.twitter.com/o30ZCuj10G
— Joe Biden (@JoeBiden) September 19, 2020
“To jam this nomination through the Senate is just an exercise in raw political power,” says Biden on filling Ginsburg’s Supreme Court seat before the election. “I don't believe the people of this nation will stand for it” https://t.co/D3BKuQ03Qa pic.twitter.com/eLkEgSmHOD
— CBS News (@CBSNews) September 20, 2020
Joe Biden just said 200 million people could die from the coronavirus by the time he finishes his speech.
That’s almost two-thirds of the United States’ population. pic.twitter.com/dEovz2VVnE
— The Post Millennial (@TPostMillennial) September 20, 2020
2. Nor is the vice presidential candidate – an unpopular, low-polling also-ran with no power base – the leader. The leader is former President Obama, a person not eligible to be elected president again.
Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg fought to the end, through her cancer, with unwavering faith in our democracy and its ideals. That’s how we remember her. But she also left instructions for how she wanted her legacy to be honored. My statement: https://t.co/Wa6YcT5gDi
— Barack Obama (@BarackObama) September 19, 2020
3. The terrain they are fighting on isn’t about “winning the election” in a conventional sense, by appealing to a broad section of voters on policy concerns.
AOC is live on Instagram with a message to voters after the death of Justice Ginsburg: "This election, voting for someone, voting for Joe Biden, is not about whether you agree with him. It's a vote to let our democracy live another day." https://t.co/3KcO2V3biL pic.twitter.com/BLz1KrCfaB
— TinaSfon (@TinaSfon) September 19, 2020
#SCOTUS , last night, where thousands gathered to honor Justice Ginsburg:
Senator Elizabeth Warren, leading the crowd to chant:
"I WILL FIGHT!!
I WILL FIGHT!!
I WILL FIGHT!!" pic.twitter.com/kQjXBHUGWt
— Frank Amari (@FrankAmari2) September 20, 2020
4. They will use any means necessary to regain power, in the White House at a minimum. (It appears, as noted on Sunday by Ben Bowles, that this incendiary messaging will resonate with a good portion of the Democrats’ base.)
“‘This is war’: Democrats, activists vow scorched-earth battle to block Supreme Court pick; Calls to ‘burn it down’ rise as Democrats warn of court-packing, state-adding.” Valerie Richardson of The Washington Times has an article that begins, “The fight https://t.co/TAyX09soQU
— Howard Bashman (@howappealing) September 21, 2020
WATCH: Nancy Pelosi says Democrats may use ANOTHER impeachment to stall the Senate and keep President Trump’s Supreme Court nominee from receiving a vote. pic.twitter.com/NBdqX5Hmdm
— Trump War Room – Text TRUMP to 88022 (@TrumpWarRoom) September 20, 2020
NEW: During a 1pm conference call of @SenateDems, aides say @SenSchumer told his colleagues: “Let me be clear: if Leader McConnell and Senate Republicans move forward with this, then nothing is off the table for next year. Nothing is off the table.”
— Ed O'Keefe (@edokeefe) September 19, 2020
— eUSA (@eUnitedStates) September 19, 2020
If we understand that this is their operational reality, that it’s actually what they’re building a strategy around, we have a much clearer view of what Justice Ginsburg’s death means for them.
What drives the tempo and battle sequence
It means that the next operational phase of the Permanent Coup, which has been in preparation for several months and would otherwise have kicked off on election day, kicked off on Friday night.
The task of that phase is not to “win the election.” It’s to retake the White House, however that can be done.
For those who may still think this sounds far-fetched, recall that the people behind the Permanent Coup have already demonstrated they will act outside the constraints and intent of law in pursuit of their objectives.
They spied on and lied egregiously about their political opponents, as well as lying about their own intentions and the facts on the ground, in the organized, quasi-military-style campaign to ram the “Iran deal” down America’s throat.
They’ve done the same in the similarly-styled campaign to take down Donald Trump and his voting base.
And they are definitely attacking the voting base. As Lee Smith points out in his final pages, they’ve hastened in 2020 to weaponize the coronavirus against the Trump voting base, seeking to destroy the American economy and immobilize voters in a straitjacket of regulatory – and arbitrarily biased – helplessness. They’re bringing every possible tool to bear on the goal of regaining power.
Recognizing what that means about their view of timelines and waypoints is the key. The rest of America sees a constitutional timeline before us: election day, the Electoral College vote in December, the inauguration in January. The common goal, a constitutional one, is deciding on and installing a new president via the Constitution’s prescribed means.
The planners behind the Permanent Coup – let’s call them the Coupsters – see their own goal, which is a different one. Their goal is to gain control of the presidency, independent of any other factor.
They recognize the convenience of the constitutional timeline for creating exploitable opportunities (in 2020, an election), and conditioning the thinking of the voting public and the Republicans. But at the decision points that matter to their goal, we can be pretty sure they won’t regard themselves as constrained by the constitutional timeline. They’ll be ready to breach it if they have to.
That means they don’t have to wait to launch the final assault. It’s a good bet they will refrain from tipping their hand too obviously for the time being, as that keeps people mentally unalerted. But the important point to keep in mind is that the constitutional timeline isn’t a constraint on their expectations. It’s a constraint on yours.
Combat objectives and tactics
Don’t assume that anything the Coupsters are doing, starting this week, is limited by concerns about the Constitution or the rule of law. The Supreme Court vacancy now affords us a superbly focused example of that point.
A number of observers, including constitutional lawyer Ted Cruz, highlighted almost immediately that everyone who wants a peaceful, orderly transition after the 3 November election should desire to have a full, nine-justice Supreme Court, so that the court is capable of rendering a decisive 5-4 judgment on legal issues attending the vote.
We cannot have Election Day come and go with a 4-4 Court. We risk a constitutional crisis if we do not have a 9-Justice Supreme Court, particularly when there is such a risk of a contested election.
— Senator Ted Cruz (@SenTedCruz) September 19, 2020
Presumably Democrats and Republicans alike would call on that basis for confirming the ninth justice now. A SCOTUS ruling is likely to be not just a tiebreaker but a peacemaker, if current expectations about voting chaos are borne out. Given the information the media pump out every day about polling trends on various topics, Democrats should expect to benefit by that.
But the Democrats’ public reaction has been exactly the opposite. Even their words, let alone their deeds, proclaim that they want to go to December 2020 with an eight-justice court.
That by itself tells us they aren’t limiting themselves to abiding by constitutional remedies.
We daren’t try to categorize at the moment what all the “arrows in their quiver” may be.
Pelosi: ‘We have arrows in our quiver that I’m not about to discuss right now’https://t.co/0wkcwesc8C
— Raw Story (@RawStory) September 20, 2020
We’ve already seen the Russiagate hoax, Spygate, Ukrainegate 2019, the phony impeachment (phony because there was no legitimate substance to the charges), the months of capitalizing on the coronavirus pandemic, the 100-plus days of orchestrated riots and mayhem since George Floyd’s death, and Ukrainegate (2.0) 2020. We can imagine the incoming arrows will be along the same lines, or worse.
We can shape our thinking, however, as we strive to penetrate that OODA loop. An important point to bear in mind is that a Supreme Court nomination by President Trump is not where the fight will be. The Democrats can’t stop Trump from sending a nomination to the Senate on Monday. That’s a done deal, and it won’t matter if the House manufactures a pretext to impeach Trump again. They can’t do it before tomorrow.
Where the fight will be is in the Senate. In 2018, with Brett Kavanaugh, we saw a smear campaign of breathtaking viciousness against the nominee. In 2020, we can probably expect the same army of smear merchants to also go after the senators, and very likely their staffers as well.
The night of Justice Ginsburg’s death, barely three hours after the time she was pronounced (7:38 PM EDT):
We’re now walking to Mitch McConnell’s house to protest.
— Charlotte Clymer 🏳️🌈 (@cmclymer) September 19, 2020
— Joel Willett (@realJoelWillett) September 19, 2020
It’s quite possible that Senate staffers will find themselves doxxed, smeared, and beset by mobs at their unprotected homes and on their routes to and from work.
Democrats in the House, meanwhile, may well seek ways to harass senators with powers the House can use, such as lobbing ethics charges with dramatic speeches and resolutions, and demanding senators’ tax records.
Come up with your own scenarios. It’s conceivable that all of this potential will be defused, and a Senate confirmation can be accomplished without a maelstrom arising. But is it likely? Recent history would tell us no.
The Supreme Court confirmation, however, is just one aspect of what we can’t fully foresee. The purpose of this present treatment is to frame the significance the Permanent Coup must have for our thinking, and alert readers’ minds to the likelihood that the Democrats will be fighting everything in the next four months on such an unrestrained basis – to the extent that they won’t see themselves as bound to honor even the most basic provisions of the Constitution.
Why America can come about
It is not, however, the intent here to end on such a low note. America still has advantages as the 2020 transition looms. One, of course, is a president in office as fearless as any we have had in 230 years of presidents.
Another is the encouraging reality that no Bolshevik-model, burn-it-down, smash-and-grab coup has ever been attempted against a middle class as vast, educated, energized, and empowered as ours. Such coups have only succeeded where middle classes barely existed (or, as in the Germany and Italy of the 1920s, were still rocked off their balance by a world war of unfathomable destructiveness).
Moreover, millions of Americans over 40 or 45 still have a sense of the rule of law as a standard for the structure of liberty, rather than as an enabler of whatever one feels like doing in the moment. And millions of those older Americans are still young enough to bring physical strength and stamina to a standoff.
Our federal structure, with 50 states and their governments and authorities, is a formidable obstacle to a national coup. In the event of such a coup reaching a focused crisis point, I predict that it will not be the U.S. military that effectively steps in, but a consortium of the states. The states occupy territory and have the means to control enormous assets, both economic and military. To the extent that foreign interests are working in conjunction with the Coupsters, it is the actions of states that would be most likely to force them to show their hand.
These factors are essential (and they are where I include Americans being an armed citizenry). But ultimately, the most important factor is our sense of religious freedom, and more generally, freedom of conscience. Freedom of and in religion and conscience is under attack in America via multiple vectors, but it is still the prevailing mindset, and that is a remarkably powerful condition.
No Bolshevik revolution has ever been attempted where virtually the entire population knew itself free to relate to God as it saw fit. America makes it possible for religion itself to not repress religion. Regardless of what faith they adhere to, or don’t, people can’t be forced into rote orthodoxies, under brittle, politicized religious power structures. Denominations and sects in any faith can disagree without blowing each other up or burning each other at the stake.
There is nothing that interferes as much with a spiritual connection to God as a form of religious orthodoxy that focuses on hierarchy, enforcement, and politics. (Indeed, one of the chief perils of collectivism in any guise, such as economic Marxism or climate alarmism, is its religious belief structure, which supplants God with mandatory mantras and a worshiped collective.)
Americans are free to not submit to such arrangements – which are typically under the tacit ward of the armed state – and hence to have, as a national people, the most active spiritual lives on the planet.
I urge you not to despise this feature of the American polity, as the 2020 transition erupts around us. If we want any coup building against us to dissipate itself peacefully, with a whimper rather than a bang, this is where we need to turn for courage and guidance. It is not for government to lead us in this process, but we need not fear our elected officials seeking the guidance themselves, or acknowledging the need.
The task for ordinary Americans is to hold fast. Stay on message: nothing short of a cataclysmic meteor strike can justify failing to observe the constraints of the Constitution. “Ignore the Constitution” is not the solution to any problem, any more than “erase national borders” is the solution to a problem, or “disarm American citizens.”
If there are new attacks – e.g., on our utility grids, on our financial structure and stock markets, our transportation infrastructure – we can help each other through them rather than letting them set us against each other.
Above all, we can pray. I advise praying without ceasing. The authors of the Permanent Coup would write one future for us, but that is not what the God of the Bible would say or do. Truly believing that has the power to change everything.
* If you haven’t done so already, immediately buy Lee Smith’s The Permanent Coup and master the final chapter, “Obama’s Coup.” You’ll see the pattern Smith has laid out, in the Democrats’ (and media’s) current approach to both the Supreme Court vacancy and the November general election.