Thursday, August 6, 2020

Parallels I Missed

Over at Spectator US, Alexander Cockburn tells the story of a bunch of Democrats and Never-Trumpers sitting down to discuss what happens if Trump refuses to admit defeat.  In the simulation, John Podesta played Biden.

Buried at the bottom of a New York Times article, the paper describes what Podesta did:

‘Mr Podesta, playing Mr Biden, shocked the organizers by saying he felt his party wouldn’t let him concede. Alleging voter suppression, he persuaded the governors of Wisconsin and Michigan to send pro-Biden electors to the Electoral College.

‘In that scenario, California, Oregon, and Washington then threatened to secede from the United States if Mr Trump took office as planned.’

This was so astonishing that Cockburn’s monocle nearly popped off reading it — and he doesn’t even wear one. The actual text of the final report is even more jarring. According to a summary of the game, while acting as Biden — rather than accept defeat — Podesta actively instigated secession, and then issued an ultimatum: Trump could only begin his second term if Puerto Rico and DC became states, California was cut into five pieces, and the Electoral College was abolished. When the ultimatum was refused, Podesta got the Democratic House (played by other Democrats) to declare Biden the president, and then watched to see how the military would react. If you think Cockburn exaggerates, here’s what the document says about ‘Game 3: Clear Trump win’ (a scenario in which Trump wins the Electoral College and the popular vote)

‘The Biden campaign encouraged Western states, particularly California but also Oregon and Washington and collectively known as “Cascadia” to secede from the union unless Congressional Republicans agreed to a set of structural reforms to fix our democratic system to ensure majority rule. With advice from President Obama, the Biden Campaign submitted a proposal to 1) give statehood to Washington, DC and Puerto Rico; 2) divide California into five states to more accurately represent the population in the Senate; 3) require Supreme Court Justices retire at 70; and 4) eliminate the Electoral College, to ensure the candidate who wins the popular vote…’

I have mentioned the parallels of 2016 to 1860 before: Republican gets a minority of the popular vote, but wins the Electoral College.  Angry Democrats start talking secession, while denying validity of the new President.  Other parallels just hit me.

 1. Democrats controlled most big cities, awash in recent immigrants, gangs, and savage criminals.  You probably saw Gangs of New York; it was not far off.  When Lincoln went to D.C., he was in disguise because local thugs the plug-uglies" were largely running riot.  When federal troops arrived, they had to fight their way through the city.

2. Slave owners were the wealthiest class of Americans, who had used their control of the Supreme Court to protect their system of oppression.

Podesta is not a minor political player, either.  I think Trump is gping to demolish Biden, so look forward to the Dems going full stupid.


  1. Once again, as President Harry Truman is alleged to have said, the only thing new under the sun is history you don't know. I remember the "More adult" versions of American history courses I attended. The books mentioned that there was rumor of a plot to assassinate Lincoln, so under the advice of Pinkerton, he traveled to Washington via a circuitous rout. Some times it was mentioned that he was disguised as a woman. No word AT ALL about riots or the plug-uglies until the New York city Draft Riots later in the war.

    This suffocation of history is how the unwashed, uneducated masses are made to believe that nothing has ever happened until now, and previous Republicans were all sweetness and light as they cooperated in the evisceration of the American System.

  2. Secession representatives. Apostles of Disunion.

  3. Okay, let me put down my beer and take this seriously for a bit.

    If California, Oregon, and Washington wanted to secede from the union then why not let them? Without California the democrats lose a significant amount of power over the rest of us. Both Pelosi and Schiff would be gone.

    I'm no fan of the GOP but if the DNC is going to make this big of a mistake then let them. Good riddance.

  4. No one in 1860 denied that Lincoln had won the election fair and square. When the hardline Southern "Fire Eaters" split the Democrat Party, it was generally believed they were effectively throwing the election to the Republicans. The Fire-Eaters welcomed Lincoln's election as the signal for secession: As Bruce Catton noted in The Coming Fury, "there were as many flags and black-powder salutes along the Battery [in Charleston] as in front of the Illinois statehouse."

  5. With Biden deep in dementia he won't be making any decisions. This piece is a trial balloon. Since the story got very little play, my guess is that it is their plan.

  6. The potential problem for them to break up CA is that quite a bit of it would be conservative. For sure if they try seceding, they will end up with about 50 miles of the coast being in their control, if that much. Wow, we be living in "history in the making". Fun times ahead, NOT.