Instead, I'm going to describe what the scenario that has the least amount of blood on the walls looks like. This is going off the cuff and without checking sources, so keep that in mind. Bear in mind that it's also not my personal best case scenario, just the one I think that results in the least amount of violence and misery.
To do that, I have to talk a little about how Trump operates and about how the federal government operates.
Trump is, politically speaking, an independent more than anything else. He was a Democrat when it suited him to be while rubbing shoulders with limousine liberals in NYC, and he's a Republican by the road taken. In a lot of ways, his journey parallels Bernie Sanders. Both are independent populists who tore up their milquetoast competition With two big differences.
One, the GOP had no heir apparent anywhere near on Hillary's level.
Two, the RNC wasn't willing to cheat to ensure that a member of their chosen few won.
Trump might not have been pleasant, but he could work a crowd better than the entire GOP pack. But there was no endearment between him and the rest of the party. And that got expressed in a way that's hard to notice if you're not looking for it.
Try not to think of your own personal catchphrases and bouts of profanity when I say "the worst thing about Trump is..." Was that a good practice run for everyone? OK.
The worst thing about Trump IN REGARDS TO RUNNING A COUNTRY is the inability of almost anyone to behave like a functional adult in his presence. Including himself. The Dems have been in a constant screeching tantrum since 2016 and the Republicans can't go a day without looking at him like the designated driver looking at everyone else well into their latest round of whatever his friends are drinking.
And while that excites his base, embarrasses his allies and enrages his enemies, it had another effect. Specifically, on what I'm going to call Federal Middle Management, or FMM.
FMM is a group of people you never hear about unless they're in a scandal. And unless you did a lot of extra credit in civics class or saw a West Wing episode about it, you're probably not all that up on their jobs. They're the feds who get shit done. Cabinet secretaries, task force leaders, czars and suchlike. Doesn't matter how smart or hardworking a President is, they need effective middle management to accomplish anything.
FMM's are cyclical career bureaucrats. They typically choose party identity early in their careers. When their party holds the White House, they go to work. When a change in leading party happens, they step down and go to consultancies, think tanks, or related work until the cycle comes around again.
And when Trump was elected, a HUGE swath of the FMM's said, "I'll sit this one out."
Trump had all the rights and privileges of the party's candidate, and absolutely none of the alliances, friendships and mutual respects that an effective President needs. That is why his cabinet has been filled with empty positions and acting members the entire time. The FMM refused to be associated with him. The few who did were the dregs with no friends, the ladder climbers seeking power for their own sakes, and a handful of people dedicated to being adults in the room (Kelly and Mattis, to name two).
This is also why his Presidency is so ineffective at handling crises. I'll be fair, ANY American President would have had a huge challenge with Covid-19. America is a special child of a country. I love her dearly, but even I see that.
Most countries eventually develop a subculture revolved around the concept of, "fuck you, I won't do what you tell me."
America COLLECTS them.
Fuck, the American Revolutionary War was a cross-continental "fuck you, I won't do what you tell me."
It's a dynamic attitude. It gets a lot done.
It's also the antithesis of helpful when it comes to a crisis where everyone NEEDS to be on the same page to get shit done.
We'd still be in more of a mess than countries with more authoritarian traditions or homogeneous populations.
But with a functional FMM, we'd have much, much less of a shit show than we do now.
Got all that?
OK, here's what I see as the least harmful scenario.
One: Barrett gets confirmed before Halloween. (The GOP won't find out until summer that they confirmed a Constitutionalist instead of an Evangelical, but by then it will be far too late.)
Barrett's confirmation is the tipping point. With her confirmed, Trump officially becomes more trouble than he's worth in the eyes of the GOP. Nothing official gets released. But any aid to his fuckery of any kind just melts away into stone walls.
Two: Biden wins by enough to call it on election night or before that weekend, but not so much that anyone with a spoonful of brains calls it a landslide.
The GOP retain the Senate and might regain seats in the house.
Trump is largely ignored. Pence may or may not concede for him.
Three: Winter is here. The Hill puts together an aid package considered unthinkable pre-election: one with a veto-proof majority. It uses the continued infrastructure put together for PUA and fills in some of the weak spots. It passes by Thanksgiving.
Four: Between the weather and the election results, the bulk of active protests die down considerably. A lone gunman may spark bigger ones in one city or another, but the bulk of the ctrl-left and savage right see the lack of popular support they need and pull back out of the public eye.
Five: The aid package bouys consumer spending but little else. Unemployment remains high and grows higher as a number of restaurants, retail stores, and even airlines only last through the end of the year. But people eat, a wave of evictions is stymied, and a muted holiday season is survived.
Six: Academia is hit hard as a wave of students screwed over for the fall term refuse to return. The Ivy League and a good number of state schools and community colleges remain, but a lot of institutions close for good.
Seven: The Democrat FMM takes their places upon inauguration and get to work. There's a lot of neglected mess to clean up, but centralized control and working FMM helps with effectiveness within weeks.
Eight: Vaccine distribution, even when effective, makes for cautious months leading into the next normal.
Well, that's where I'm at. I might be wrong. But I have an annoying habit of thinking good of people. So we'll see what happens.
Oh, and I've already voted, so this may well be my last political commentary until after the election.
(I know, who am I kidding? But it would be nice to just look at Halloween for a while.)
Take care of yourselves out there.