Did You Forget How Crazy Trump Was? Bob Woodward Will Remind You.
Excerpts from Bob Woodward's latest book Peril are dropping, and SPOILER ALERT, Donald Trump is fucking crazy.
Most surprising detail: We have Vice President Dan Quayle to thank for saving the Republic.
Because when fellow Hoosier Mike Pence was looking to phone a friend for sage advice on whether to toss out swing state ballots as Trump and the MAGA goons demanded, he couldn't think of anyone better than the learned scholar who got into a fight with a fifth grader over the spelling of the word "potato." And even that guy said hell to the no.Tell us, CNN:
"Mike, you have no flexibility on this. None. Zero. Forget it. Put it away," Quayle told him.
Pence pressed again.
"You don't know the position I'm in," he said, according to the authors.
"I do know the position you're in," Quayle responded. "I also know what the law is. You listen to the parliamentarian. That's all you do. You have no power."
And even though Donald Trump screamed and shouted that "I don't want to be your friend anymore if you don't do this!" (no, really) and "You've betrayed us. I made you. You were nothing," Mike Pence actually stuck to his guns.
So, good job, Dan Quayle! If we ever mention you again, we might even leave out the spelling gaffe. But then again, why would we mention you again, right?
Least surprising detail: Bob Woodward tries to bothsides it by shoehorning the first four months of the Biden administration into a book about Trump. This is Bob Woodward we're talking about here.
Runner up for least surprising detail: It was that chaos weasel Steve Bannon who convinced Trump to go all in on January 6.
On December 30, Bannon convinced Trump to come back to the White House from Mar-a-Lago to prepare for the events of January 6, the date Congress would certify the election results.
"You've got to return to Washington and make a dramatic return today," Bannon told Trump, according to the book. "You've got to call Pence off the fucking ski slopes and get him back here today. This is a crisis."
The authors write that Bannon told Trump that January 6 was "the moment for reckoning."
"People are going to go, 'What the fuck is going on here?' " Bannon believed. "We're going to bury Biden on January 6th, fucking bury him," Bannon said.
It's always the ones you most suspect!
But whatever you can say about Woodward, he does get the goods, releasing new details on Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Mark Milley's actions after the January 6 insurrection when he "was certain that Trump had gone into a serious mental decline in the aftermath of the election, with Trump now all but manic, screaming at officials and constructing his own alternate reality about endless election conspiracies."
So Milley rounded up all the top military guys at the Pentagon and told them in no uncertain terms that no matter what batshit order came out of the White House, nothing happened without his approval. No nuclear war with Iran, no invasion of China, no mass movement of American troops — no wagging the dog whatsoever.
Which was apparently a good thing, because that fucking lunatic Trump signed an executive order right after the election mandating that all American troops had to be out of Afghanistan by January 15, 2021, before Biden was even sworn in. He was later persuaded to rescind it, but please keep that in mind when Republicans tell you that their withdrawal from Afghanistan would have gone smoothly and left no one behind.
After he got through with the top brass, Milley got on the horn with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to assure her that he wasn't going to let the maniac president launch a coup or a nuclear war.
"What I'm saying to you is that if they couldn't even stop him from an assault on the Capitol, who even knows what else he may do? And is there anybody in charge at the White House who was doing anything but kissing his fat butt all over this?" Pelosi demanded, adding, "You know he's crazy. He's been crazy for a long time."
"Madam Speaker, I agree with you on everything," Milley said, according to Woodward and his co-author Robert Costa.
And it wasn't just Pelosi freaking out. The Washington Post quotes excerpts describing two phone calls Milley made to his Chinese counterpart, Gen. Li Zuocheng of the People's Liberation Army, assuring him that the US wasn't about to strike China based on the whim of a madman.
"General Li, I want to assure you that the American government is stable and everything is going to be okay," Milley said on October 30. "We are not going to attack or conduct any kinetic operations against you."
On January 8, Milley went back to Li to promise that America wasn't about to descend into utter chaos and civil war.
"We are 100 percent steady. Everything's fine. But democracy can be sloppy sometimes," he said.
Remember when Trump said that no one would be laughing at us when he was president?
There is so much more, including Trump losing his shit after Defense Secretary Mark Esper refused to invoke the Insurrection Act against BLM protesters.
"You're all fucked up," he screamed. "Everybody. You're all fucked. Every one of you is fucked up!"
Yes, we were all fucked up. And we're still all fucked up. But a little less than we were on January 20.
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Liz Dye lives in Baltimore with her wonderful husband and a houseful of teenagers. When she isn't being mad about a thing on the internet, she's hiding in plain sight in the carpool line. She's the one wearing yoga pants glaring at her phone.