Kraken, Where Is Thy Sting?

When the fantasy version of Sidney Powell collides with cold, hard reality.

In the wake of the dismissal from the bench (roughly the judicial equivalent of a gunslinger firing from the hip) of the Georgia Kraken lawsuit the tinfoil hats of MAGA country are singling out Judge Batten’s admonition that the lawsuit was filed too late as an example of a sort of paradox. How, they ask, could a judge expect Sidney Powell and her fellow clowns to have sued over something that hadn’t happened yet?

If you’re not drowning in the deep lore of the various conspiracy theories, this objection might seem not just silly but nonsensical. After all, if her goal was to “stop the steal” then surely the best time to do that is before it happens, right?

According to Sidney Powell, the supposed problems she’s seeking to rectify were all known and the outcome she claims occurred was foreseeable. With all that, it makes so much more sense that she would sue before the election in order to cut the fraud off at the pass and secure what would then be — if she were correct — an unequivocal and uncontested election victory for Donald J. Trump.

So why didn’t she?

I have my own theories about the timing but they mostly rely on supposition. The short version is: with no actual case to speak of, she had to wait to see the actual lay of the land to figure out where she could most effectively gin up the appearance of one. But let that go, because we’re talking about Sidney Powell and Trumpland and thus it doesn’t really matter what is or isn’t happening in reality.

If you were to read Twitter chatter about Judge Batten and his decision, you would see a number of references to concepts like “pre-crime” as immortalized in the film Minority Report and suggestions that what the judge suggested of Powell was impossible.

These reactions begin to make more sense when you understand that to the conspiracy fringe of Trump’s fanbase (QAnon and the like), Sidney Powell is not representing private citizens bringing civil lawsuits but a shadow prosecutor working with Trump and the mythical Q and others as part of what they call the largest sting operation in human history.

According to the conspiracymongers, stopping the fraud before it happened would have been a bad outcome because the people who had planned it would have continued on facing no other consequences. They had to be allowed to complete their crimes so those crimes could be revealed to the public at large, which would then shock us into a state where we were prepared to believe the even more outlandish claims of the conspiracy theory, an outcome they sometimes identify as a much-prophesied, little-seen event they call “the great awakening”.

I say “sometimes identify” because, like the other parts of their mythology, what event that label actually refers to changes depending on who is speaking and when. They all agree that it’s inevitably coming and will change everything forever, but they can’t quite agree on the details more specific than that.

Not everybody who is cheering on the legal clown show is that deep in the weeds of QAnon and related conspiracy lore, of course, but they’re picking up how other people around them talk about it, and so the image they have of Sidney Powell is that she’s acting more as a crimefighter than a litigant. In their mind, catching someone for stealing an election so they can be punished is the point, and so preventing them from doing it would be unthinkable.

In this topsy-turvy worldview, had Sidney Powell acted to secure the election from the issues she’s currently alleging, she would be only a little better than an accomplice to a crime. Part of the coverup.

If you are watching things unfold on legal Twitter and also wondering how Trump’s fanbase can be so disconnected from reality that they don’t see how badly things are going and what a joke the figures they have pinned their hopes on are, this is the answer: they have rejected reality and substituted their own.