Republican Party leader and traitor to the nation Donald Trump continues to test new rally waters in anticipation of a repeat presidential bid. On Saturday the delusional narcissist made no particular effort to hide his disgust for the law and for those who would hold him to it, delivering an ugly, unhinged, and unabashedly fascist speech to a crowd of like-minded traitors.
His most newsworthy proclamation was a vow to pardon the seditionists of the January 6 insurrection. "If I run and I win, we will treat those people from Jan. 6 fairly."
"And if it requires pardons, we will give them pardons. Because they are being treated so unfairly."
It is not immediately clear if the traitor, who gathered and incited a crowd to "march" to the U.S. Capitol on that day and hour as part of a multi-pronged plan for his Republican Party to nullify his presidential election loss while using "emergency" presidential powers to either militarily oversee a "new" election or simply declare himself the legitimate winner, is promising a blanket pardon of all those involved in the violence. He may also be vowing to use presidential pardons to erase legal consequences for only his own inner circle of co-conspirators, just as he used it to immunize those allies when he last had the power to do so.
The intent of the message is clear either way. Trump is allying himself with those that helped him carry out his seditious—and deadly—insurrection, and is dropping promises of "pardons" as encouragement to his allies to keep fighting to block probes into the violence. Stonewall the prosecutions and refuse to cooperate with investigators, the traitorous criminal hints, and he will make your troubles go away again when he is returned to power.
But Trump went even farther. Citing the (many) investigations against him for crimes ranging from the previous insurrection to the pressure on Georgia officials to "find" new votes to a lifelong pattern of financial fraud, the fascist leader pushed his fascist supporters to respond to any potential indictment against him by taking to the streets.
"If these radical, vicious, racist prosecutors do anything wrong or illegal, I hope we are going to have in this country the biggest protest we have ever had in Washington D.C., in New York, in Atlanta and elsewhere, because our country and our elections are corrupt. They're corrupt."
It is the hallmark of a fascist leader and his party: The claim that prosecution of his own crimes, or the crimes of his violent supporters, proves only that the whole nation was "corrupt" and needed to be remade. Trump is wedging racist in there because, both in Georgia and in New York, the head investigators of his crimes are Black.
Far from being deterred by the violence of his attempted insurrection, Trump is simultaneously promising to erase the crimes of those who attempted to topple the government on his behalf and pressing his Republican followers to mount even "bigger" street actions to keep his own criminal behind out of a prison cell. The man continues to betray his country in every way it is possible to betray it, and all of it is centered only around himself and his own desires.
In his previous rounds of presidential pardons, Trump pardoned those who committed war crimes; those who treated immigrants with illegal cruelty; those who obstructed investigations on his behalf; those who acted as agents of foreign powers. His pardons were all aimed at neutralizing prosecutions of those who did illegal things in service of racist, xenophobic, or Trump-promoting ends.
The Republican leader's promise to "pardon" those who engaged in violent insurrection on his behalf made barely a ripple on the Sunday shows or among the Republicans still loyal to that insurrection. Trump is overtly thumping for future seditious acts, and the Republican Party, purged of anyone who is not a willing accessory to even violent crimes, has little to say about it.
As gutless as ever, Sen. Lindsey Graham will only allow that it is "inappropriate" to promise pardons for insurrectionists. But only that; he will go no farther, lest he say something too bold and lose favor with the pro-fascist base.
And as spineless as ever, Sen. Susan Collins—one of the few Republicans who dared vote to impeach Trump after the insurrection, will only allow that she is "very unlikely" to support Trump as future presidential candidate.
So not even orchestrating an attempted coup is sufficient reason to fully and completely rule out support for the plotter? Truly, there may never be another political figure as relentlessly rudderless as this one.
More of the Sunday show debate was spent on allowing the defenders of insurrection to sniff about the alleged impropriety of Biden's promise to appoint a Black woman to the Supreme Court than was spent on asking those same Republicans to stand against Trump's visions of mass riots and promised pardons for insurrection.
The Sunday shows are still pointedly neutral when it comes to the choice between peaceful democracy and violence-led fascism. They do not care. Nobody involved cares. They will book the same guests to tell the same lies and support the same crimes from now until the end of the republic, and not a single host will stand against such violence if it means losing interview access to those backing it.
Trump's latest rally speeches are clear-cut attacks on the very fabric of the nation. He insists that elections are "corrupt," leading the entire Republican Party into similar rejections of our democracy's validity. He insists that those who investigate his alleged wrongdoing—up to and including violent insurrection—are "corrupt," and promises to immunize those who ally with them against the institutions that would prosecute them for such crimes.
He is a fascist-minded, mostly-delusional traitor to the republic. All those who cheer for him are the same. Trump himself appears to believe that it would be better to plunge the nation into a new civil war than recognize either the validity of his last election loss or the validity of a new one, and he has nearly all Republican Party officials and lawmakers as allies in the effort.
It is impossibly corrupt, all of it, and historians continue to scream that this is precisely how democracies are toppled. With a lazy, dull-witted press; with a party that emphasizes good corruption over bad prosecution; with a base that does not give a damn about any of it, because they are single-mindedly obsessed over the notion that the nebulous other is oppressing them and for that, must be punished.
There is no way this does not end in a tidal wave of political violence. And that, too, will likely be downplayed by Sunday show hosts looking to book those who would ally with it.