Brynn Tannehill Profile picture
Mar 21 39 tweets 8 min read Read on X
Someone sent me this yesterday. The basic premise is that the guardrails of US democracy are so strong that Trump couldn't turn the US into a dictatorship even if he had 2 more terms.

This is hopelessly naïve. Let's break it down. 1/n…
First, a history lesson. The Weimar Republic lasted precisely 51 days between moustache-guy being named Chancellor and the Enabling Acts. Masha Gessen warned in 2016 in "Rules for Surviving Autocracy" "Your institutions will not save you." 2/n…
"The system is too strong" is silly. The Philippine constitution was a near exact copy of the US constitution after WWII. Dictator Ferdinand Marcos declared martial law in 1972 using many of the same rationales used by MAGA (leftist plots, need for an autocrat) 3/n
The article blows off several crucial elements in the danger. First (and already discussed briefly) is the vulnerability of the system to subversion. Trump / MAGA / Heritage plan to replace most senior Federal employees with True Believers(tm) via schedule F. 4/n
President Trump has the constitutional right to replace any military leadership he wants with Mike Flynn and Jerry Boykin clones: Christian Nationalists who would happily purify the nation with fire, believing they are the sword of Jesus. 5/n
Trump would also have the absolute right to invoke the Insurrection Act, which most legal scholars say isn't challengeable at SCOTUS. Combine that with replacement of all the senior leaders (civil and military) at the DoD with True Believers... Yeah, you're catching on. 6/n
As has been noted, mass round ups of immigrants will require mass mobilization of the military, and invocation of the Insurrection Act. There's also a high probability Trump will use the military to put down protests against his administration. 7/n…
I also haven't even touched on the DoJ, FBI, and other agencies being weaponized against his political enemies and the public. Which he absolutely intends to do, and will likely succeed at using regular appointments and Schedule F. 8/n…
Next, you have intent. This article presumes that the Trump administration would try to do everything 100% legally.

Oh my sweet summer child. This is the man claiming that the President can literally use SEAL Team 6 to kill his enemies as long as the Senate doesn't convict. 9/n
The Christian Nationalist organizations behind Project 2025 have been broadcasting for years that their plan is to seize power for generations and remake the country. They believe abortion is worse than the Holocaust and slavery combined, and that this is their last chance. 10/n
They think that because the US is secularizing, particularly Gen Z, they must seize power quickly and totally. They are terrified of losing everything in 2028. Trump wants to die in office to avoid legal repercussions and to enrich his family. 11/n
Thus, both are highly motivated to move quickly and definitively to end American democracy by any means necessary in order to ensure that they, or their guys, stay in power permanently. And this means moving quickly and decisively to break the system, not work within it. 12/n
This POLITICO article suggests a number of institutions that will save us: Media, The Judiciary, and local authorities such as Cities, Mayors, Governors.

In reality, none of those is a major impediment in the eyes of a Trump administration. 13/n
First, I'll lead with the obvious: with true believer military leaders and the Insurrection Act, you can basically take anyone into custody to sideline them. Which includes the Media, the Judiciary, and Local Authorities. 14/n…
The belief that the media will save us is laughable. The one that has consistently sugar coated what Trump is doing? That figured out that printing genocidal rhetoric about immigrants and trans people is profitable, so they do? The media that is actively dying? 15/n
And, assuming that they don't kiss the ring, and that Trump doesn't cow them by using the DoJ to harass organizations or sue them out of existence or shut them down with the Insurrection Act, let's assume that the media survives and publishes anti-Trump stuff. What then? 16/n
It only affects Trump if he's voted out of office or removed via popular revolution. And, this being a coup by fascists, they already have a plan for. There is ZERO intent to have free and fair elections after 2024. 17/n
And if protests spread, they can always simply ride them out like Lukashenko did in Belarus. Or, if they're serious enough to threaten the regime, they'll already have the military leadership in place to shoot or arrest them all, Tiananmen-style 18/n…
What about the Judiciary? Again, if someone is serious about breaking the system, bypassing the judiciary is really easy.

Stalin is quoted as saying "The Pope? How many divisions as he got?" implying that the Pope had no means to enforce anything. So too with SCOTUS. 19/n
If leaders at the DoJ, FBI, DoD, etc... are loyal to Trump and the MAGA movement first, SCOTUS basically loses their ability to enforce ANYTHING. Which is why the top priority of Project 2025 is to find loyalist replacements for the top 54,000 people in government. 20/n
This doesn't explore the interesting hardball ways Trump can get courts to issue rulings he likes even without packing them (eg targeting justices or their kids with DoJ and IRS investigations. Or targeting their kids and grandkids. Or taking them into protective custody) 21/n
When you sum it all up, Trump has at least three or four completely viable ways to sideline the judiciary that basically cannot be countered. (military arrest, ignoring their rulings, using the government against them and their families). 22/n
The POLITICO article might argue back that the GOP wouldn't DARE! This goes too far. To which I reply: this movement is led by religious fanatics who believe they are on a divine mission, and that anything they do is excused by saving all those souls and babies. 23/n
You might as well expect the Iranian Mullahs or the Taliban in Afghanistan to suddenly decide that democracy and human rights have an intrinsic value greater than their vision for a Godly country. Democracy has no value, and the ends justify the means. 24/n
Which brings me to the Governors, Cities, and Mayors argument. Again, none of these are insurmountable. Indeed, they're relatively easy to circumvent if you think like a dictator who has the entire might of the government behind them, no morals, and are on a mission from God 25/n
If state and local officials refuse to comply, simply declare them to be in rebellion or secession, scoop 'em up with law enforcement or the military, and replace them with loyalists who will run things "until the Insurrection is over". 26/n
What about protests and resistance in cities? It is my contention that Trump, and the people behind him, believe they can kill or imprison their way out of popular unrest. They're planning on building internment camps capable of processing 11 million immigrants. 27/n
There's going to be plenty of room for political opponents, should they need it. But they believe they won't because most of the time, protests fizzle out and come to nothing if ignored long enough. How much did the protests of 2020 actually achieve? 28/n
Most protests can safely be ignored because they are ultimately powerless to replace the leaders backed by the military and law enforcement. It is only when those two turn on dictators that the regime falls (Ceaușescu in Romania). 29/n
This is why the top priority of Project 2025 is to fill every significant position in government with fanatiker. So that when they are executing orders to crush opposition, everyone says, yes. 30/n
So, if the protests in cities (by some miracle) don't fizzle out, and do become a real threat to the regime, when the order to liquidate them Tiananmen-style comes everyone with a gun working for the government says "yes". This is what Trump is preparing for. 31/n
I have even argued that his depraved little heart wants this outcome in order to show the world he's boss, he's a tough guy, and must be taken seriously. He's a bully and a thug at heart, and he threatens his way out of everything. 32/n
In the end, the POLITICO article is wrong for a lot of reasons. The institutional and traditional guardrails can be easily circumvented using multiple means. The GOP already has plans to facilitate all the guardrails, and the intent is clearly there. 33/n
The specific guardrails described in the article are not special: each can be bypassed very quickly and easily by a movement that has no use for democracy, religious goals that require ending democracy, and a non-negotiable goal to seize power permanently. 34/n
It's like a murder of a country or a democracy: we see that they have the motive (Christian Nationalist vision for the US requires that democracy die), the means (replacing everyone + Insurrection Act + ignoring the courts), & the opportunity (amoral Trump as President) 35/n
We have intent, and boy howdy have they telegraphed this one. Between Project 2025, Claremont, and Trump's statements about how he will use the DoJ and DoD clearly show that he's comfortable using these tools to achieve his goal of creating an effective dictatorship. 36/n
Last, we have the belief that they will get away with it. Competitive Autocracies rarely, if ever, fall. They are extremely stable. History tells us that if they seize power, it is unlikely anything can take it away. 37/n
They believe the left is pacifistic enough that rebellion won't be likely. They also know that the left values democratic processes enough that they can be convinced to keep participating in rigged / unfair elections they cannot win. (see: Hungary) 38/n
This is why I tell you again: should Trump win, everything I have at hand tells me that the US's plunge into Russian or Hungarian-style despotism will be more rapid than you can possibly image, because Heritage and the right already have planned it all out. 39/n

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More from @BrynnTannehill

Apr 30
With dogs in the news, and handling of behavioral issues, I thought I'd talk about our experience with difficult dog breeds. Namely: the Siberian husky.

And not just any huskies: every one of ours are behavioral surrenders. 1/n Image
Loki somebody's Christmas present for their significant other. He, ummm... didn't work out. We got him from the Fairfax County pound in January 2019.

Major behavioral issue: food aggression.

Medical issues: worms, coccidia, giardia, hernia, torn ACL

He's 10k in vet bills. 2/n Image
Meet Thor. Surrendered at 1 YO b/c owner kept him in a crate all day.

Initial behavioral issues: small dog aggression, fear of loud / chaotic situations / fireworks / firearms. Children made him nervous. Abandonment

Upside: best running buddy ever. And yes, he's judging you 3/n Image
Read 17 tweets
Apr 29
There's a new anti-trans book out that's been endorsed by JKR. I took a glance at the excerpts, and at the summaries, and realized it's a rehash of a bunch of anti-trans talking points we see coming from Gays Against Groomers and LGB Alliance. 1/n Image
The basic premise is that transgender people are stealing all the baby gays by forcing them to be transgender. He believes that LGB people are intimidated into supporting trans people. (He blocked me, so....)

The basic premises are not backed up by the facts, however. 2/n
First, there's the notion that transgender activists are forcing all the young gays to transition. If a boy touches a Barbie, or a girl climbs a tree, BAM!, puberty blockers and transition.

The DSM/ICD won't give a GD diagnosis w/o a cross gender ID 3/n Image
Read 17 tweets
Apr 27
By now, almost everyone has heard that Kristi Noem is a puppy killer (and goat murderer who wasn't particularly good at the job). She killed a 14 month old dog because it wasn't working out as a hunting animal (prey drive too high).

I have thoughts. 1/n…
So, I'll qualify this by saying I've got a fair bit of understanding with dogs. I wrote about them for DAME. I've had all sort of breeds of dogs in my life: border collies, shit tzu, poodle, labs, Australian Kelpie, huskies, doberman, mutts. 2/n…
I'd also add that I've had a lot of experience with huskies, which are considered notoriously difficult dogs with a high prey drive. On top of that, all three of ours are surrenders who were neglected. Two of them had big behavioral issues. 3/n…
Read 20 tweets
Apr 22
Here's a fun thread for the day. Have you ever wondered what sort of things you have to know in order to fly a military aircraft? Well buckle up, here's an abbreviated list of just some of the unclassified stuff. 1/n
First, there's the Operator's Manual. (NATOPS in Navy parlance, the -10 in Army). This has systems, normal and emergency procedures, limitations, and charts for calculating performance. 1392 pages. 2/n…
You have federal flight regulations, contained in the FAR/AIM. This governs all the legal and regulatory aspects of flying (FAR), and then the standardization of everything. AIM is 899 pages. 3/n…
Read 13 tweets
Apr 21
I haven't posted in a while about anything Ukraine, but this is sort of bizarre enough in how it touches on pre-WWI naval history that I thought it was worth a post.

TL;DR - Ukraine hit a REALLY old Russian ship with a Neptune ASM. 1/n
The Kommuna is definitely a valid target. It is a submarine tender / rescue / salvage ship that was used to recover items from the sunken Moskva, and support Kilo Class diesel-electric subs in the Black Sea Fleet. 2/n Image
What's really interesting about the Kommuna is it is (or was) the oldest active military ship in service in the world. It was laid down in November 1912, and commissioned in July 1915. That's 119 years. 3/n
Read 7 tweets
Apr 8
@ijbailey @CathyYoung63 @djsnyder22 You know what can't be dismissed? Statistics and data. The NCAA has allowed trans people to participate if they meet certain medical criteria since 2011. There were approximately 768 athletes in the women's tournament (12*64). Trans people are .6% of the pop.
@ijbailey @CathyYoung63 @djsnyder22 If you assume that trans women are equal to cis people, you would expect about 5 trans people to be in the tournament. There were zero. The odds of there being only zero was .9%. (Very low). In fact, for the whole of the NCAA, trans people are only about .035% of athletes.
@ijbailey @CathyYoung63 @djsnyder22 This is about one seventteenth of the expected value if trans athletes were merely equal, and not superior. The notion that trans athletes following the NCAA guidelines will take over and dominate women's sport has been tested in the real world and disproven already.
Read 8 tweets

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