COLUMN: Please — stop the coup porn

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In a recent Washington Post op-ed, three retired generals, Paul Eaton, Antonio Taguba, and Steven Anderson warn of a supposedly impending coup should Donald Trump be elected in 2024.

The column seemed strangely timed to coincide with a storm of recent Democratic talking points that a re-elected Trump, or even a Republican sweep of the 2022 midterms, would spell a virtual end of democracy.

Ironies abound.

From Election Day in 2020 to Inauguration Day 2021, we were told by the Left that democracy was resilient and rightly rid the nation of Trump.

The hard Left, for one of the rare times in U.S. history, was now in complete control of both houses of Congress and the presidency.

Spiking inflation, supply-chain shortages, near-record gas prices, open borders, the flight from Afghanistan, multi-trillion-dollar deficits, and polarizing racial rhetoric all followed.

In response to these events, Joe Biden’s popularity utterly collapsed. His own cognitive challenges multiplied the unpopularity of his failed policies.

In reaction, the Left again pivoted. It suddenly announced that should it lose congressional power in 2022 or the presidency in 2024, democracy was all but doomed.

Apparently, what changed Democrats’ views was that democracy was working all too well in expressing widespread public disgust . . . with the Left.

Even more ironies followed.

The three retired generals shrilly write of the dangers of insurrection and coups. Yet the FBI found no such insurrection or conspiracy in the buffoonish riot on January 6.

Only serial media misinformation and lies turned a ragtag band of misfits into an existential threat to the nation.

Almost every media talking point turned out to be untrue. No Capitol police officer died at the hands of the mob. (Early reports that Officer Brian Sicknick had been beaten into a coma by protesters were incorrect. The Washington, D.C., medical examiner ruled Sicknick died the next day of a stroke.) The media all but ignored the lethal police shooting of a military veteran and unarmed petite female trespasser, for the apparent crime of trying to enter Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s office through a broken window. There were no gun-toting “insurrectionists” arrested inside the Capitol.

Another irony. The three retired generals say nothing about the Russia collusion hoax in which Obama administration officials at the Department of Justice, the FBI, and the CIA helped to seed a fake dossier -- paid for by candidate Hillary Clinton’s campaign. Ex-British intelligence operative Christopher Steele’s made-up opposition research was designed first to derail Trump’s campaign, then to disable his transition and finally sabotage his presidency. All that seems rather coup-like.

In truth, coups were regularly discussed during the last four years -- but only in the context of a by-any-means-necessary way of deposing Donald Trump extralegally before his term ran out.

In August 2020, two retired officers John Nagl and Paul Yingling, urged Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Mark Milley to remove Trump from office if Milley felt it necessary after a contested election.

Both officers knew that the law forbids Milley from interfering in the chain of command, given his mere advisory role to the president.

But most importantly, officers should quit all their coup porn talk -- either to remove a president they don’t like, or to project their own reckless, insurrectionary behavior onto their political opponents.

(C) 2021 Tribune Content Agency

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