Second MAGA and Trump-orchestrated coup is already well underway
Trump supporters breaking into the Capitol in January of 2021 were part of the first but failed MAGA coup attempt. A second coup attempt is already underway, this time by MAGA forces determined not to repeat their failures of three years ago. | John Minchillo/AP

Once upon a time, if a presidential candidate predicted a “bloodbath” if they lost, called for terminating the Constitution, or was a serial rapist, insurrectionist, liar, and fraudster, they would have been termed a dangerous kook.

But when Trump says such things, the mainstream corporate media, more interested in profiting from the ads they take in as a result of the crisis, merely shrugs and turns to questions about President Biden’s age. Meanwhile, the MAGA fascist threat to U.S. democracy grows, raising the stakes in the 2024 election outcome.

That threat grew when the MAGA-dominated U.S. Supreme Court continued its Constitutional Coup in real-time by negating Section 3 of the 14th Amendment. The Court majority refused to bar Trump, the ringleader of the Jan. 6 insurrection, from the November ballot.

Days later, the Supreme Court’s “Federal Society Six” postponed Trump’s Jan. 6 insurrection trial date, ensuring he won’t face justice before Election Day. Other lower-court Federalist Society justices in Florida and Georgia are thwarting efforts to bring Trump to account and delay his trials until after the election.

The latest in a string of rulings penned by the “Federalist Society Six” blatantly undermines the rule of law and is a sign the plutocrats and Christian Nationalists behind the justices fully expect him to win.

It’s also a fresh reminder Americans can’t count on the corrupt and illegitimate GOP-dominated High Court to protect the “guardrails” of democracy but instead is actively dismantling it.

Trump, the MAGA fascists, and white supremacist Christian Nationalists have already organized one coup to reverse an election outcome, and they will stop at nothing to steal another, having learned from their failed coup. They are applying those lessons so that they don’t fail again in their already-underway second coup attempt.

Trump and MAGA have relentlessly battered the Constitution, breached every democratic norm, and undermined the rule of law. At a campaign rally in Ohio, people stood at attention while Jan. 6 insurrectionists sang the Star-Spangled Banner as they listened to a chorus of prisoners who invaded the Capitol on Jan. 6 sing their rendition of it. Then Trump, who hailed the insurrectionists as patriots, declared the country would face a “bloodbath” if he weren’t elected. Like the Nazis in Germany in the 1930’s who elevated a fascist thug, Horst Wessel, to the status of “hero,” Trump is describing the thugs who killed Capitol police as people to emulate, promising to let them out of jail if he is elected. Anyone old enough to have heard the Nazi anthem in memory of Horst Wessel sung by the fascists at that time would shudder at how similar Trump’s use of the national anthem was last week. He, after all, has said Hitler did many good things.

Given the corruption of the Supreme Court and the ambivalence of the corporate media, the anti-MAGA and pro-democracy majority is the only force capable of stopping this mass fascist movement from seizing power. Therefore, we must work tirelessly to mobilize, broaden, and unite it as never before.

Many Americans are not aware of Trump’s anti-democratic rants, including his vow to be “dictator for a day,” his terrifying 2025 project, and the 47 Agenda. Voters must be alert to the danger and turn out in massive numbers to deliver a crushing defeat to Trump and his MAGA minions.

MAGA knows most Americans hate Trump and so the fascists are already operating a scheme that will let them win the 2024 election even if they actually lose it. Even before we consider these special efforts already underway we must keep in mind that the popular vote winner can lose the presidency by losing the Electoral College, as occurred in 1876, 1888, 2000, and 2016.

Therefore, the victory must be overwhelming, especially in “battleground” states and Congressional Districts, to leave no doubt of the outcome and prevent MAGA from stealing the election.

Need to be informed

The American people need to be fully informed about the threat, including every new plot to steal the election, plots that go beyond reliance on the Electoral College. And as sure as the sun rises, that new fascist coup plot is already underway, one which would work even in a scenario in which Biden wins the popular vote, and the Electoral College and Democrats win majorities in the House and Senate.

Mark Medish and Joel McCleary detailed a terrifying scenario in the Washington Spectator. Under it, the MAGA GOP would brazenly ignore the majority will to install Trump as president and maintain their House majority. Once in power, Trump and the GOP would unleash the coercive power of the state to implement their terrifying Project 2025 agenda and impose an authoritarian fascist regime.

The scheme is perfectly legal under succession procedures outlined under the 20th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. It takes advantage of other vulnerabilities and gaps in the U.S. electoral system, including the Electoral College, exposed during the Jan. 6 insurrection.

It brazenly dispenses with democratic norms and practices, which Trump and MAGA already do without hesitation, including side-stepping the Electoral Count Reform Act (ECRA) passed in 2021. The plot blocks Congress from certifying the 270 plus electoral votes Biden will presumably win and throws the election into the House.

The scheme rests on the current paper-thin GOP House majority and the re-election by the GOP caucus of House Speaker Mike Johnson, R-La., who oversees the certification process. Johnson was the main organizer of 138 GOP House “election-denying” members who refused to certify the 2020 election.

“Next to the election of the president nothing is more important than the election of the new Speaker of the House,” write Medish and McCleary. “The party controlling the Speakership has the potential power to reverse the results of the Presidential election and deliver the White House to itself under the untested presidential succession mechanisms pursuant to the 20th Amendment and the Succession Act of 1947.”

Once thought to be a mere formality, certifying an election is now up in the air. Medish and McCleary write that those staging a coup with control of key levers of power can exploit vulnerabilities in the electoral system.

In January 2021, Democrats held the Congressional majority, and Nancy Pelosi was Speaker, ensuring certification and the will of the majority was followed. Critically, Vice President Mike Pence refused to go along with the Trump coup plans and recognize fake “alternative” electors from swing states.

Since then, GOP elected officials not sufficiently loyal to Trump have either quit Congress, been hounded out, or fallen in line. The GOP has purged all perceived as disloyal to Trump. The American people cannot count on the same level of internal opposition in the GOP to a coup in 2025 as in 2021.

The new House will be sworn in on Jan. 3, 2025. However, the plot would deny Democrats a majority were they to win, and thus, the GOP would control the election certification process. Under the plot, Republicans would legally contest close races won by Democrats. Republicans could bottle up disputed elections in the courts for months.

Mike Johnson, the Republican Speaker of the House, is already a key part of a plan to declare Trump the winner of the 2024 election even if he loses the vote and Democrats win both the House and the Senate. | Stephanie Scarbrough/AP

Johnson and his cohorts could delay or refuse to seat Democrat victors in those “disputed” elections. The GOP would maintain its majority, thus carrying out a speak-led House coup and preserving a GOP Majority.

Could deny certification of Dems

“The current Republican majority in the 118th Congress, in preparation for the seating of the 119th Congress on Jan. 3, could deny certification of enough Democratic election winners to preserve the Republican majority in the new Congress. It is generally the old Congress certifies House member elections so that when the new congressional session begins, Congress can swiftly move to conduct business.”

The GOP majority could then ram through its rules for the new session, including those governing the presidential election certification procedure. The GOP majority could disregard the Electoral Count Reform Act (ECRA).

The scheme is perfectly legal and not reviewable by the Courts, but even if they were, the corrupt MAGA-dominated Supreme Court would approve it.

“Once the Republicans have effectively “stolen” the House majority and elected a speaker, the next step in an election denial process would be, with or without the assistance of a swing-state governors, to refuse to certify the Electoral College results of certain states on Jan. 6,” writes Tom Rogers.

“The recently enacted Electoral Count Reform Act (the ECRA) raised the number of objectors necessary not to certify any election, but there are enough election deniers in the House of Representatives to meet the new threshold,” notes Rogers. “Even if the Senate were not going to meet that objection threshold, the House refusal to certify would be enough to assure that no candidate gets a majority in the Electoral College, thus throwing the presidential race into the House of Representatives.”

Under Federal Election Procedures, if it falls to the House to determine who is president, each state delegation is given one vote. That vote is determined by which party controls most congressional districts in the state. Currently, Republicans control 26 state delegations. The GOP coup is assured, legally.

There are backup schemes already underway too. The media has reported that Trump has put his daughter-in-law in charge of the Republican National Committee in order for him to be able to divert campaign funds for local Republicans into his pockets so he can pay his lawyers in all the court cases against him. While that is true there is another nefarious plan involved there to steal the 2024 election.

Under the direction of Trump’s daughter-in-law, the RNC has already hired and sent out into the states extreme right wing but highly skilled lawyers. They have already descended upon Nevada and Wisconsin to file law suits against those states for not purging their voter rolls. That way, if Trump loses the election, Mike Johnson will have another reason not to certify the election of either Democratic lawmakers or Democratic Electoral College members from those states and again, use that as a reason to throw the election into the House of Representatives.

The way to prevent this calamity is through a massive turnout of the anti-MAGA, pro-democracy majority. Voters must ensure unchallengeable margins for Democrats in the House and Biden in battleground presidential races.

The pro-democracy majority must be large enough to surmount anti-democratic anachronisms in the Constitution, including the Electoral College, an ocean of mass disinformation, foreign interference, and the mainstream mass media normalization of Trump and the fascist threat.

The election is not a “horserace,” or simply a choice between “two bourgeois parties” or the election of a “lesser evil.” It’s a choice between democracy or fascism, between the pro-democracy majority and the fascist minority, between opening new opportunities to advance radical change or turning the clock back 100 years. “Sitting this one out” is not an option.

We hope you appreciated this article. At People’s World, we believe news and information should be free and accessible to all, but we need your help. Our journalism is free of corporate influence and paywalls because we are totally reader-supported. Only you, our readers and supporters, make this possible. If you enjoy reading People’s World and the stories we bring you, please support our work by donating or becoming a monthly sustainer today. Thank you!


John Bachtell
John Bachtell

John Bachtell is president of Long View Publishing Co., the publisher of People's World. He is active in electoral, labor, environmental, and social justice struggles. He grew up in Ohio, where he attended Antioch College in Yellow Springs. He currently lives in Chicago.