Did Donald Trump Plan A Coup?

Mike Weisser
5 min readAug 9, 2021

What do you do when you need to full up space on your newspaper website that will get you a few more clicks than the competition is getting, but meanwhile, there’s really no new news?

Well, there’s always the Pandemic. But how many times can you write the same story about how we would have the virus licked, if it weren’t for all the residents of the dumb (read: red) states who don‘t want to get their shots?

How many times can you run another story about the Taliban slaughtering people in Afghanistan? Religious crazies killing Westerners and Westerners killing religious crazies has been going on in Afghanistan for the past 150 years. Don’t believe me? Ask Gunga Din.

What about the economy? Want to run another story about how we can’t seem to mount an economic recovery from Covid-19. The unemployment rate in January was 6.4 percent, now it’s 5.4 percent — 4/10ths away from what is considered full employment, by the way.

Then, of course, we can always say something about the enfeebled Joe Biden, who has not only passed two major funding bills and is working on a third bill but has signed more than 60 Executive Orders in 2021, a pace which even puts him ahead of his predecessor who often confused Executive Orders with legislation done on the Hill.

The sports season is a washout or a Covid-out. Another big wild fire in California? This is the state which gave us Ronald Reagan and half and half. You expect that bunch of sprout-eaters would know how to put out a fire?

So, it’s getting a little tough these days to keep people interested in no news, except there’s always one issue that will keeps bringing them back again and again — Donald Trump! Write a story or an op-ed about him and you’ll see the needle begin to move, even if the content is so bogus that it really deserves to be considered ‘fake news.’

The latest and greatest such nonsense came out yesterday in an editorial in The Washington Post, written by Ruth Marcus, who is such a big shot that her comments were replayed today on CNN. Here’s the headline: “Trump’s coup attempt grows even more worrisome as new details emerge.”

And here’s where we go from there: “What happened before Jan. 6, we are coming to learn, was equally horrifying: a slow-motion attempted coup, plotted in secret at the pinnacle of government and foiled by the resistance of a few officials who would not accede to Donald Trump’s deluded view of the election outcome.”

And what is this attempted coup consist of that has Ruth Marcus so worried? A letter that the Acting Attorney General prepared for the Governor of Georgie, Brian Kemp, that told Kemp about DOJ plans to investigate alleged voter fraud. The letter was also signed by the head of DOJ’s civil division who apparently had joined this coup attempt after talking to Trump.

The letter, incidentally, was never sent. As word about it spread around the DOJ, people got pissed off and told Jeffrey Rosen, the Acting AG, to stuff the letter you know where. Which he did.

Now I don’t know about Ruth Marcus, but from my long and storied experience in studying politics and political affairs, a stupid letter which had no legal force behind it at all and wasn’t even sent out, is about as much of an example of an ‘attempted coup’ as my cat Leonard represents a threat to anyone else living in my house.

When I hear or read the word ‘coup’ I think of military units, tanks and artillery rolling down the street. I think of how Idi Amin slaughtered at least 5,000 supporters of the government he overthrew in 1971. I think of the several thousand followers of Salvador Allende who were jailed or executed by the Pinochet-led military units in Chile during and after Allende’s overthrow in 1973.

Those were coups. What Trump did by telling this one to tell that one to send a letter to the other one was nothing but pure crap produced by the reality-TV program known as the Trump Administration which ran for four years before it was cancelled in 2020.

How come Ruth Marcus seems to have forgotten the Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity, which Donald Trump created in 2017 because he believed that Hillary’s plurality in 2016 was due to fake votes? That group found about as much evidence of fraud in 2016 as anyone was able to dig up to explain last year’s results.

But last year Trump not only lost by 7 million votes, he also lost the Electoral College as well. Bigger defeat requires a bigger conspiracy to explain the defeat. And if Trump can go on yapping about the great conspiracy to deprive him of a second term, why not raise the media click-bait stakes a little higher and respond to his nonsense by promoting the idea of a ‘coup?’

Whether he knows it or not, Trump became President because he flipped three normally-blue states by 4/10ths of one percent of the total votes cast in those three states. And he won against a candidate who, to all intents and purposes, stopped campaigning after Labor Day, which is when national campaigns are supposed to begin.

So fine. We put up with that schmuck for four years, during which time his weekly schedule consisted of flying out to some airport, selling some t-shirts and hats to the crowd, and then returning not to his office but to one of his clubs where he played golf. Here was a guy running the world’s largest corporation who never (read: never) spent much time managing things at all.

Know why he was able to carry on like that until the Pandemic brought him down? Because he had plenty of help from media organizations like The Washington Post who actually continue to pretend that whenever Trump picked up the phone and talked to this one, and then talked to that one, and then talked to another one, that he was actually trying to get something done.

Like overthrowing a government that is now into its third century of existence. That just takes a phone call here and there, right?