After Donald Trump lost the 2020 election, by a healthy 10% margin in the popular vote (81,000,000 to 74,000,000) and the identical, “historic” Electoral College “mandate” that Trump got vanquishing Crooked Hillary in 2016, the Orange Polyp went to work. According to his playbook, announced before the election, he never committed to the peaceful transition of power, if he lost. His loss, he said, could only result from massive communist/BLM/antifa/pedophile cannibal fraud. He still claims to have won by a “landslide”, an alternative fact most Republicans apparently take as true.
The former president was often dismissed as unhinged, delusional, crazy, and a compulsive liar. Of course, the faithless said the same about Adolf Hitler. Both men had the talent and charisma to convince millions of their unhinged delusions. What is keeping America from greatness? Mexican rapists, in caravans, bringing drugs — and China, Jina! Wait, also Muslim terrorists who hate our freedom. Also, sexed up women getting abortions whenever they want. Also, black people who are angry for no fucking reason even though America kisses their asses every day out of liberal guilt for something nobody ever even did to them. Poor people and cripples, bitter about being losers, who expect the government to give them money for nothing. Etc. With Hitler, it all boiled down to the Jews – get rid of the poisonous Jews and Aryans live happily ever after. With the elites who find Trumpism useful, all of the above, but also, mostly the Jews, and those who think, for whatever crazy reason, that it’s not the fucking Jews. Or, to put it more bluntly, whoever we can pin our own crimes on.
As a Jew whose large family was almost completely exterminated in the Nazi era, I am prone to see Nazis among supremely ambitious people who are merely extremely prejudiced and unprincipled. Is Lyin’ Ted really a Nazi? Give the boy a chance, I say, and he’ll do whatever needs to be done for his party. Mitch McConnell? The impartial juror who announced he was working closely with Trump’s defense team to quickly end the farce of a trial in the Senate where no witnesses or testimony would be allowed, the guy who rammed religious extremist Coney Barrett on to the Supreme Court days before the election? Please. Jim Jordan? He speaks to the president “all the time, yes, I spoke to him on January 6, sure I did, but, you, heh… now that you ask when I talked to him on the 6th… heh… ahumenuh humena humena…”. Alabama representative Mo Brooks, in his bullet proof vest, exhorting an armed crowd to go to the Capitol and fight for America, after organizing three White House strategy meetings for his fellow Congressional presidential election challengers prior to January 6 to plan for the big day? I shouldn’t call Brooks a Nazi, he might merely be a high-spirited klansman, for all I know.
While all this seditioning was going on (and it is still going on big time as AG Merrick Garland methodically works to prove the DOJ is now non-political again) we now know, with proof from newly released DOJ memos and other documents, that Trump made a continuous effort to use the DOJ to overturn the 2020 presidential election in states Trump lost (Congressional races won by the GOP in the same elections would not be challenged, no fraud there). Bill Barr, a conservative Christian culture warrior who served as historically shameless, bellicose gunsel for Trump, announced, after blusteringly promoting massive voter fraud allegations for months, that there had been no fraud on a scale that would have changed the election results anywhere. Then, with a final wet kiss to his former master, Barr resigned to spend Christmas with his family (and presumably to avoid future prosecution for seditious conspiracy to commit the insurrection that was being planned).
The lackeys at the top of the DOJ resisted Trump when he asked them to merely announce the election had been corrupt, in spite of the fact, established by the DOJ’s own investigations, that it had not been, and let him and Brooksie, and Jordan, and a few other hearty fanatics, “take care of the rest”. Then, in his moment of need, Trump found his loyal American Eichmann, Jeffrey Clark, right there at DOJ. Like Eichmann, Clark was ready, willing and able, to promote any lie that might be useful to his Leader.
Clark drafted a letter for the acting-AG to sign, informing Georgia officials that they had a legal responsibility to obey the will of the Republican state legislature, not the courts, not the election boards, not the fatuous arguments of cynical liberal constitutional law liars who clearly were involved in the corruption that stole the election from the rightful winner. This letter is part of the public record now, and Barr’s successor, to his credit, refused to sign it (to his discredit, he kept his mouth shut about, and gutlessly tap-danced around, the whole ugly insurrectionish episode).
There was a standoff, a la Trump’s old reality TV show The Apprentice, Clark, his audition letter in hand, arguing to be made AG so he could sign it, with the rest of DOJ leadership threatening to resign. Trump decided not to risk the resignation of DOJ leadership and called Georgia instead, finally getting through, on his 18th try, on January 3, to ask the fellas there to give him a break and find the stinkin’ 11,780 votes he needed, and then proceeded with his desperate last stand, the January 6 MAGA riot to “stop the steal”.
Eichmann, the man who kept the trains rolling to the death camps, packed to capacity, was a man of modest intellectual gifts, an incomplete high school education and a talent for bureaucracy. Clark, an accomplished attorney, graduated from college and law school, had a distinguished legal career at one of the world’s top corporate law firms, fighting for ultra-conservative causes and making enough money and powerful right wing contacts that he is set for life (he’s now Chief of Litigation & Director of Strategy at New Civil Liberties Alliance, a self-described young and vibrant organization focused on restoring the historically more robust civil liberties long enjoyed by federal and state citizens—liberties that have come under fire with the rise of the modern “administrative state.”) He’s fighting for “civil liberties” like the right not to be forced to wear a fucking mask by an overreaching government. American Nazis always find well-paying jobs with like-minded, right wing billionaire-funded outfits fighting for their version of liberty and justice.
Hannah Arendt painted an unforgettable and insightful portrait of this kind of ambitious, mindless, true believing public servant in her masterpiece Eichmann in Jerusalem. He is supremely ambitious, does what he’s told, never questions his superiors, proceeds with absolute faith and unwavering belief in the rightness of his cause, knows the millions he loads on to trains are going to death camps, steels himself and does his duty no matter what.
Not to torture this comparison beyond the plain fact that both men, Eichmann and Clark, were ready, willing and able to do whatever was needed to advance their beliefs and their careers — and serve their masters. Of Eichmann, Arendt noted the lack of what we usually call “evil” in his CV and pointed out how he reflected a chillingly modern concept of evil, flowing directly and inexorably from a hateful belief system implemented on a mass level by an unblinking loyalist bureaucracy. From the intro:
As for what most of us call “conscience,” the Nazis, like the current GOP, had that shit covered. For Nazis conscience was, as Hitler himself had said, a debilitating “Jewish invention.” Conscience, they believed, made people weak and vulnerable and must be rooted out of the Nazi soul, like any vestige of human empathy that did not serve the Leader’s vision. For the current GOP? I don’t know, you tell me.