MSNBC Pays Conservative To Sniff That Coup Plan Was 'Harebrained' So Everyone Is Innocent, The End!
Slack-jawed conservative pundit Noah Rothman remains unimpressed by that whole January 6 thing. As he put it in a blog post for MSNBC during the latest congressional hearing about the plot on Thursday:
This sequence of events is an indictment of Trump’s judgement, and a likely illegal subversion of the Constitution and U.S. law. But this doesn’t sound at all like a plan. It sounds like a harebrained scheme [...]
Yes, harebrained. Like that time the Three Stooges had a brilliant idea to find a pretty girl’s jailed boyfriend by getting arrested themselves and tracking him down in the clink. Only it doesn’t work and they wind up breaking rocks on a chain gang, and at the end Moe and Larry are so mad at Curly that they break rocks over his head. Ha ha!
Then a few years later Curly Howard had a stroke that ended his performing career. Did the head trauma from getting rocks smashed over his noodle contribute to the stroke a few years later? Probably not! But maybe! We’re not neurologists! If we were neurologists, we definitely wouldn’t be reading Noah Rothman’s harebrained writing for a living!
A lot of failed plans seem “harebrained” in retrospect. French military doctrine leading into 1914. Signing Kyrie Irving. CNN+.
But harebrained and workable are not mutually exclusive. The nuts who stormed the Capitol reportedly came within 40 feet of Mike Pence. What if they had gotten into a running shootout inside the Capitol with his bodyguards? What if Pence had gone along with the scheme in the first place, obviating the need for the armed Oath Keepers to bum-rush his Secret Service detail?
Anyway, it was rude of us not to let Rothman finish his sentence, so here it is:
[...] one that evolved radically in response to the myriad obstacles it encountered along the way. If the committee’s goal is to establish a premeditated plot to overturn the election, this cabal’s improvisatory conduct suggests otherwise.
The dudes in Fargo had a harebrained scheme too, but that didn't make it all not a crime. Somebody still ended up in the woodchipper.
Above all, what if the plot, goofy as it may sound to the Noah Rothmans of the world, had succeeded? That seems like the important question we should be contemplating here.
Anyway, let’s look at the rest of this garbage and wonder, not for the first time, how Noah Rothman has a punditry career:
Indeed, Trump and his allies acted in an ad hoc manner in pursuit of their objective --keeping Trump in power--which is entirely revolutionary. But that behavior also contradicts the committee’s effort to present to the public a contrived, muti-point plan to achieve that outcome.
On the contrary, this seems to have been a fairly thought-through plan that proceeded along multiple simultaneous routes. You had the paramilitaries (the Oath Keepers and Proud Boys) plotting how to physically disrupt the electoral vote certification by entering the Capitol under cover of a riot that they spent weeks instigating on social media.
At the same time, you had the brain trust — or in this case, “brain trust” — of John Eastman and Rudy Giuliani and Sidney Powell and Mark Meadows and a handful of other administration lickspittles working to find a legal justification for getting Vice President Mike Pence to declare himself El Jefe of the Senate and unilaterally decide to reject the electors from several states. The Eastman faction had the intellectual — or in this case, “intellectual” — plans, and the paramilitaries were the muscle to carry it out.
What the plan seems to have lacked is Blofeld explaining it all step-by-step from his volcano lair, and this absence of an obvious evil mastermind has Rothman confused to the point where one assumes he’s also confused by doorknobs.
Trump and his allies explored every avenue and, finding them closed, simply turned down another blind alley. As Eastman’s infamous memo attests, the conspirators invented a radically unconstitutional theory that rival slates of electors could be summoned into existence in “disputed” states, which thevice president would recognize and who would, subsequently, deliver the presidency to Trump.
Here Rothman seems to assume that the scheme was prima facie unconstitutional. Is there a guarantee that the courts would have agreed? There is not. Trump, at least, was sure the Supreme Court had enough conservative justices who would agree with his pitch to keep him in office.
Now, Noah Rothman might think that’s ridiculous. We think it’s ridiculous. But again, that’s the wrong question. The correct question is: Might it have succeeded? Who knows! Lots of people underestimated Trump’s chances of winning the presidency, and look how that turned out.
Like so much else about the Trump era, this whole coup plot is funny. It's also terrifying how close it might have come to succeeding, had just a handful of people made different choices.
Also Noah Rothman sucks, the end.