Hi, everybody! I'm the coup former President Donald Trump and his lackeys attempted to pull off in the wake of the 2020 presidential election.
BOO! Hah, did I scare you? Probably not. None of you seem all that scared by me, which would be a real kick in the pants if I had legs and a butt and wore pants.
No, it seems most of you don't know me enough to fear me. That's thanks to my good friends, the Democrats, who are really bad at explaining things to the American public, and some good friends in the news media whose belief in balance is so unshakable they've found a way to "both sides" a premeditated assault on American democracy to the point where it's on par with "Did Vice President Kamala Harris buy an expensive pan?"
Yep, if I'm being honest, I'm feeling a little ignored here. I mean, how many times has America faced an honest-to-goodness attempt to overturn an election? I'm a once-in-a-lifetime nightmare, people!
If you'd like to know a little about me, check out the PowerPoint the eager-but-not-too-bright people who came up with me put together. Yep, that's right. They pretty much spelled me out in a gosh darn PowerPoint presentation titled "Election fraud, Foreign Interference & Options for 6 JAN." Given the intellect of my creators, I wouldn't have been surprised if the title was: "WE'RE GOING TO DO AN ILLEGAL COUP AND HERE'S HOW, PLEASE DO NOT SHARE THIS WITH COPS."
Trump's former chief of staff, Mark Meadows, handed the PowerPoint over to the Jan. 6 committee that's investigating me. (Sometimes it seems like those committee members are the only ones who get me, you know what I mean?)
Of course, that was back when Meadows was cooperating with the committee. He's not now, and he'll likely be held in contempt of Congress, which is fine by me.
It makes me nuts that all these people who came up with me, rooted for me and nurtured me now refuse to brag about me under oath. They keep worrying about self-incrimination. Look, I'm just a humble failed coup, but if you're afraid that telling the truth might incriminate you, well, you sound like you're guilty of something.
Let's get back to that PowerPoint, which, I'll remind you, was somehow not front-page, banner-headline news in every newspaper across the country. Can you imagine if after former President Barack Obama was reelected in 2012, word got out that his team had put together a fancy set of slides titled, "If Romney Wins, Here's The Crap We're Going to Make Up to Subvert the Election"?
Fox News would have changed its name to "THE TYRANNICAL OBAMA COUP-PLOT NETWORK," and every right-wing media pundit would have never stopped fainting.
Then I come along, birthed by Republicans who like doing crimes right out in the open, and the overall media reaction is an extended yawn.
I matter, gosh darn it. And I came really close to working.
Included in the PowerPoint slides are the usual unhinged and utterly debunked claims of election fraud and these easy steps for Trump to overturn the election:
"Brief senators and congressmen on foreign interference."
"Declare National Security Emergency."
"Declare electronic voting in all states invalid."
"VP Pence seats Republican Electors over the objections of Democrats in states where fraud occurred."
Pretty slick, right? And I might have worked if it wasn't for Mike Pence refusing to use completely fabricated claims of voter fraud to illegally overturn what was a free and fair election. I'm still mad at that guy.
Anyhoo, the Jan. 6 committee is clearly sitting on a small mountain of evidence showing both how real I am and how close I came to achieving my dream of being a real coup.
So where's the outrage over me? Why aren't I the No. 1 topic of discussion in coffee shops and diners from southern Florida to northwest Washington state?
Democrats should be talking about me on 24/7 television ads, and the media -- folks who won't fare too well once democracy crumbles -- should be helping people understand just how serious I am.
You notice I used the present tense at the end of that last sentence. We coups are a sneaky bunch!
I say "how serious I am" because I ain't done yet. You all might not be making me famous right now, but that just helps me prep for the next round.
I came one malleable vice president's unexpected moment of courage away from working. If you all keep downplaying me, next time there won't be anything to stand in my way!
Scared now? You should be.
Rex Huppke writes for the Chicago Tribune.