Apocalyptic Nightmares For Right And Left

[ Posted Monday, October 30th, 2017 – 18:23 UTC ]

As that learned philosopher Alice Cooper once said, welcome to my nightmare. Nightmares, actually, since (as usual) we have one terrifying tale of fright for the right, and one spine-tingling scare story for the left, just to be even-handed.

Of course, if you ask any Democrat, they'll tell you that each and every day that they wake up to realize once again that Donald Trump is president is its own kind of nightmare -- and an ongoing one.

This year, in order to be a bit challenging, the spooky stories for right and left will have a common theme, which might be called: "Be careful what you wish for." Because too many among us hope that Donald Trump will be removed from office, without really considering the consequences should that ever actually come to pass. So I flipped a coin and assigned impeachment to the Democrats and the use of the Twenty-Fifth Amendment to the Republicans. What follows are the bone-chilling tales of terror which might just be the direct results of getting rid of Trump, to frighten anyone who hasn't fully thought through what might happen next.

Both these frightfests are rather apocalyptic in scope, but then again we live in some pretty apocalyptic times. So sit back, relax, eat some Hallowe'en candy, and prepare to be scared silly. Boo!


White House Cross

Democratic Nightmare -- Holy American Empire

Washington is astonished when Bob Mueller doesn't stop with the three indictments he announced today, and begins announcing new indictments and arrests on a weekly basis. This gives rise to a gallows-humor game among political pundits every weekend, and weekly "Who's Next On The Chopping Block" pools begin popping up among Democrats across the land. By Thanksgiving, this list of indictments expands to include: Jared Kushner, Ivanka Trump, Steve Bannon, Donald Trump Jr., Trump's bodyguard, Jeff Sessions, and (for good measure) Kellyanne Conway. Mueller announces he's just getting started, and that further indictments will be forthcoming soon.

President Trump explodes in a paroxysm of rage, and announces (on Twitter, naturally) that he will be issuing a blanket pardon -- not just for himself and anyone who ever worked on his campaign, but also for anyone he's ever shaken hands with, and any American who has ever had a single conversation with anyone from Russia. This pardon, when issued later in the day, is breathtaking in scope, pardoning any and all crimes people in the named groups may have ever committed, up to and including D.C. parking tickets.

Bob Mueller calmly reacts by announcing a partnership with the New York state attorney general, who will be filing state charges to mirror all the federal charges Mueller has already brought (since most of the collusion seems to have occurred in Trump Tower, which is in New York City). Presidential pardons do not cover state crimes, so all the people previously indicted (and pardoned) are immediately re-arrested by New York state cops.

Meanwhile, in disgust, "Trump's generals" all resign en masse in protest of Trump's abuse of the pardon power. It turns out that rumors of a so-called "suicide pact" between John Kelly, James Mattis, and H. R. McMaster were true, and they all step down from their posts together, releasing a joint statement that Donald Trump has "truly gone around the bend," and that they cannot continue to serve him in good conscience. This incidentally leaves Trump without a single "adult in the room" to manage the adult day care center known as the Oval Office, which removes any voice who could possibly counter Trump's wildest impulses.

Trump, in a fit of apoplectic ire, then fires Bob Mueller and announces (via tweet, of course) that he has instructed Jeff Sessions to open an investigation into Mueller's entire life, just to see what he can find.

Republicans in Congress, as their effort to pass massive tax cuts crumbles into ruins, finally turn against the president. Articles of impeachment are drawn up, and hastily passed by the House. Paul Ryan issues a statement saying this is necessary to preserve American democracy from Trump. The Senate holds an impeachment trial that lasts only two days, and votes 88-12 to remove Trump from power.

Democrats spend the evening dancing in the streets. Late-night comedians have an absolute field day. But this celebration turns out to be a tad bit premature.

President Mike Pence is sworn into office, as Trump is physically removed from the White House while throwing a "big league" temper tantrum. The Secret Service, it is later revealed, had to sedate Trump with enough tranquillizers to drop an elephant, just to pry him from his Oval Office desk.

President Pence immediately announces that he will not be building Trump's wall on the southern border. Democrats heave a sigh of relief, but in the next instant Pence announces that he has instead authorized the construction of a gigantic 200-foot-tall Christian cross on the roof of the White House, using funds which had been earmarked for the National Park Service.

The cross is built in record time, despite the howls from Democrats and constitutional scholars everywhere. Pence calls Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell into his office and explains what his new agenda will consist of: the passage of a sweeping law which declares that all federal laws will be reviewed to see if the Bible authorizes them or not. Paired with this will be a legislative package that outlaws abortion, gay marriage, gay adoption, gay sexual relations of any sort, Will And Grace, all Broadway productions, women eating meals with men who are not married to them, internet porn, affirmative action, interracial marriage, using the Lord's name in vain and, of course, Sharia law.

Pence gives a televised speech to the nation from the Oval Office, to explain his new vision for America. In it, he expresses his desire to make churchgoing mandatory for all citizens "as the Puritans did," although he would magnanimously issue waivers for Jews so they could legally attend synagogue instead. But no such waivers will be issued for any other religions, since "everyone knows Judeo-Christianity is the only true religion." To handle the massive amount of prisoners that his new laws will be creating, Pence announces the creation of "re-education camps" which will be run by evangelical groups with previous experience running "gay conversion" programs. Pence declares his intention to nominate Roy Moore to the next available Supreme Court appointment, just to insure favorable court rulings for all the inevitable lawsuits. Also, Pence announces that his official residence will henceforth be known as the "Purity House" rather than the "White House."

Pence also announces America's foreign affairs will be simplified, and that only two major tenets would guide our interactions with the rest of the world: America will help Christian countries only, unless they happen to have oil under them. Protecting America's oil supply will be the only exception to the "Christians-only" foreign policy rule, in other words. Secular Western democracies with laws that run counter to the Bible will be shunned. Pence invites everyone to bask in the glory of what he terms the "Holy American Empire."

Ironically, in response to the mass migration Pence's announcement immediately causes, both Mexico and Canada announce they will immediately be building a giant border wall to deter the tens of millions of people fleeing the Pence regime.


The XXVth

Republican Nightmare -- Invoking The Twenty-Fifth

As outlined above, Mueller's investigation continues apace, indicting people closer and closer to Donald Trump. Trump reacts by scheduling a prime-time speech to the public on all broadcast airwaves. However, instead of reading the prepared speech from the TelePrompTer, Trump instead reads a different address from notes he wrote on a legal pad with a Sharpie marker. Even the White House staff and Trump's cabinet is stunned to hear the president announce, in quick order, that: Bob Mueller will be fired, Jeff Sessions will devote every waking hour to bringing an indictment against Hillary Clinton for treason, and that anyone Mueller has been investigating, up to and including Trump himself, will be covered by a blanket pardon for any and all crimes. Towards the end of the speech, Trump starts ad-libbing and promises, just for good measure, to also charge Bill and Chelsea Clinton with treason. Trump finishes his speech by warning Kim Jong Un that he has only two weeks to either hand over all his nuclear weapons to China, or face nuclear armageddon.

Later that evening, unbeknownst to Trump, Mike Pence calls a secret cabinet meeting without inviting Trump. The vice president unveils a letter to the assembled group, which invokes the Twenty-Fifth Amendment. It baldly states that Donald J. Trump "is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office," due to obvious and rampant mental instability. All of the cabinet signs the letter, with the exception of Betsy DeVos, Ben Carson, and Jeff Sessions.

The letter is sent to the leaders of the House and the Senate, which triggers Section 4 of the Twenty-Fifth Amendment. A very angry Trump first fires all his cabinet members who signed the letter, then writes his own letter to Congress, stating that his mental prowess is "the best ever" and that no such inability to govern exists, stating that "everyone knows Donald Trump is the biggest genius of all time." Due to the two-week threat Trump has hanging over North Korea, Congress immediately convenes and votes overwhelmingly to depose Trump.

Constitutionally, this means that Mike Pence becomes "Acting President." But an enormous controversy erupts because Pence does not, according to the text of the amendment, actually become "President." Trump starts furiously tweeting from the White House that a coup is underway, and that he remains president, even if he is now unable to give commands or orders or indeed execute any of the powers of the office. He vows not to leave the White House and (naturally) condemns Acting President Pence as "a fake president." Pence, in frustration, orders the Secret Service to remove Trump, but Trump barricades himself in the residential part of the building and refuses to let anyone in. Trump issues a call to arms via Twitter.

Amazingly, throughout this entire period, Trump does not lose any of his core support, and continues to get job approval polling in the mid-30s -- meaning one-third of the country still stands squarely behind Trump. When Trump's "protect me, they're trying to steal YOUR GOVERNMENT!" tweet goes out, bands of Trump supporters begin arming themselves and converging on Pennsylvania Avenue. While photographic evidence shows only a few tens of thousands gathering, Trump insists that "TEN MILLION PEOPLE" have risen in his support.

Acting President Pence at first tries to ignore the growing militancy on the streets of D.C., but is finally forced to declare martial law in the city. He calls on the National Guard from both Maryland and Virginia to defend the city, but both states hesitate to do so, citing unanswered legal questions about the order. Pence instead turns to the Pentagon, and calls out the Army and the Marines to secure the city.

The result will forever be known to historians as the Battle of Washington. Trump supporters, before American soldiers arrive, rush the White House and after a short bloody conflict, seize it. Trump is freed from the residence, and appears on a balcony to give a fiery speech urging his ragtag army to stand strong. Trump supporters quickly spread out to forcibly occupy the U.S. Treasury and all of Federal Triangle.

When the Army arrives, at first they try negotiations. This utterly fails, since the one unshakeable demand of the insurrectionists is that Trump be immediately reinstated as president (and, furthermore, that Mike Pence be handed over to them for summary execution).

What happens next is a massacre, with tens of thousands of casualties. This inspires all the Trump supporters that didn't travel to Washington to erupt with rage. A second Civil War begins, with attacks on government offices in all 50 states. Trump continues to tweet out his own rage, goading his supporters to more and more brazen attacks. American civil society completely breaks down, with armed "MAGA militias" roving the streets in all major cities.

America's enemies worldwide react with glee to this ongoing collapse. Russia announces it will soon be annexing all the Baltic states, and quite possibly the rest of Ukraine to boot. China announces its sovereignty over any island within 1,500 nautical miles of its shore, but that -- for the time being, mind you -- this will not initially include the main islands of either Japan or the Philippines. Meanwhile, Kim Jong Un fulfills his promise to the world, and launches an intercontinental ballistic missile into the Pacific Ocean which detonates a nuclear warhead in the first above-ground nuclear test since the 1960s.

Mike Pence is completely unable to react in any meaningful military way to these international crises, since almost all of the American military is already engaged in the domestic Second Civil War.


Have a happy Hallowe'en everyone!


-- Chris Weigant


Cross-posted at The Huffington Post

Follow Chris on Twitter: @ChrisWeigant


7 Comments on “Apocalyptic Nightmares For Right And Left”

  1. [1] 
    John M from Ct. wrote:

    Very funny. You remind me of the Harvard Lampoon's spoof title for the pot-boiler political bestsellers of the 60s, written by the likes of Fletcher Knebel and Allen Drury: "The President Has Been Eaten."

    As weird as the 1950s and 60s were, not to mention later decades, we never actually experienced an attempted right-wing military coup d'etat (Knebel), or a craven Democratic administration that accepted Soviet advisers and domination (Drury).

    [Granted, we did eventually have a black president, but not even closely in line with Irving Wallace's lurid imagination (read 'The Man', 1964).]

    Was there some reason why, in the first scenario, the Secret Service dramatically sedates and removes President Trump, but in the second scenario they do not, allowing him to rave and foment civil war?

  2. [2] 
    TheStig wrote:

    Very little in these Halloween scenarios is inherently impossible. Except maybe The Cross. The pumpkin carving doesn't depict it to scale. The White House is about 70 feet high. The pumpkin cross scales out to only a meager 70 feet (or so) above roof line.

    There is a 208 foot Great Cross in St. Augustine Fl. It weighs 70 tons. You couldn't just anchor that monster to a chimney with some clamps and bolts. The supporting structure of the Pence Cross would have to go thru the roof right down to bedrock....and the latter may be very deep in swampy D.C. The unseen supporting structure would seriously reduce habitable space inside the W. H. Might make a good wall for a squash court...does Pence play?

    Beyond this, the 270 foot Cross:White House would still be dwarfed by the secular Washington Monument's 555', making the latter "Washington's biggest erection." I'm not sure Pence could live with 2nd best or less.

    Finally, there is the lighting rod factor. Lightning did in the late, great, Touch Down Jesus on I-75, but good engineering and the use of steel:concrete materials could fix that problem. There is a more fundamental risk. Would Pence be happy with all those photos of God slamming electric bolts into the W.H. with every thunderstorm? This is a huge politics/religion optics problem - Why is God mad at Pence at now?

    Happy Halloween to all.

  3. [3] 
    TheStig wrote:


    Well done on the 25th Amendment Carving. Lattice carving is very tricky.

  4. [4] 
    Paula wrote:

    Here's a nightmare: General John Kelly is a quiet white supremacist Civil War rewriter -- except it's true.

  5. [5] 
    Chris Weigant wrote:

    John M. from Ct. [1] -

    In the second one, Trump moved faster.


    Actually, I did think about this while writing it (I hate continuity errors in movies, personally...). In the first one, Pence is legally president with no hanging constitutional questions. So the Secret Service would take his orders without question. In the second one, they might be confused enough for at least a short delay...

    TheStig [2] -

    When I bought the pumpkin, I wondered if it was tall enough. I carved the WH first, and initially expected it to be smaller, but it came out kinda big. So I just used what was left for the cross, and then (to compensate) shot the photo from underneath, to kinda make it look like the cross was "looming" over the building -- which would change the measurements you've done, since you'd have to take into account some trig to figure the angles, right?


    To be honest, I started with "a 100-foot cross" but it just didn't sound big enough...

    As for swampland, the Washington Monument is slowly sinking, something like a half-inch a year. But then, it's made of stone and is 555' high.

    Oh, well, see, I just got to your next paragraph, and we do agree on that height! But then you've got to admit, 555' is pretty easy to remember...

    As for lightning, I used to travel the interstates in OH, and remember touchdown Jesus, personally. Guess God didn't like it or something? But Ben Franklin could have solved that problem, with his handy lightning rods, right?


    TheStig [3] -

    Thanks! Although the VERY FIRST CUT I MADE screwed up the difference between the negative and positive areas. Used a toothpick or two, and it was good to go. The lattice wasn't the tough part, actually, it was getting the scrolly bits at the corners to photgraph well (OK, I used a bit of Photoshop magic and three separate photos to create the one above, I fully admit...).

    But thanks for the pumpkin critique! I do put a lot of time into my gourds...

    Don Harris -

    Now, see, using the WashMon would actually be a much easier idea, but then it wouldn't leave me much in the way of a memorable image to carve, would it?


    Paula -

    See that introduction:

    each and every day... a new nightmare to wake up to.

    Sigh. That's been my past year, at any rate.


  6. [6] 
    Chris Weigant wrote:


    I do think the WH came out better (and actually simpler) than the one I attempted last year:

    Credit where credit is due: both carvings are based on the classic Tom Toles cartoon depiction of the WH. I tip my hat in his direction...


  7. [7] 
    TheStig wrote:


    Just wondering if you received the pic of my Donald S Trumpkins pumpkin carving in your E-mail on or about 22nd of October? I forgot to include my CW dot com Stig nom de guerre in the header line.

    One of my more minimalist carvings, I think it depicts Trump's World View and The World's View of him. Not a pretty picture from either side.

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