$600 checks, pocket vetos, and calling out the troops

And the shitshow keeps rolling on. In today’s episode, the president of the United States hangs his supporters in Congress out to dry by threatening to veto the COVID relief bill because the $600 payments to individuals are a “disgrace.” He’s right, of course (even a broken clock is right twice a day), but this is after the White House refused to consider anything more than that amount and signaled to GOP members of Congress that the president would support such a bill. Now, not so much.

This, along with Trump’s veto of a massive defense bill, has Republicans angry and feeling a bit betrayed. The bill passed with a veto-proof majority in both houses, but now GOP representative and senators aren’t sure whether they should vote to override the president’s veto. It looks a lot like a loyalty test, and it also looks like a giant elephant trap.

Down they go.

Trump is also handing out pardons and commuting sentences for his friends, family, and supporters at a furious rate the past two days, including ones for people convicted of murdering innocent Iraqi civilians, abusing their political offices, or being related to his son-in-law. He may decide to “preemptively pardon” his own children and possibly even himself, though that seems to me to be an admission of guilt, because if you’re not guilty of anything (as he constantly claims), why would you need a pardon?

We were warned after the election that the worst was yet to come. There are still 28 days until Inauguration Day, and while martial law hasn’t been declared yet (as promoted by former Gen. Michael Flynn and supposedly former Trump attorney Sidney Powell), I wouldn’t say with any confidence that it’s off the table.

It feels like the worst political thriller ever written, but (unless I wake up from this nightmare soon) it’s real.