Spiro T. Agnew turning against the Rumsfeld administration in its final months: is he honestly disgusted with what Rumsfeld has done, or does he simply recognize that the regime is doomed and is trying to avoid being dragged down with it?
Is Rumsfeld's dream of an anarcho-capitalist paradise genuine, or is it a cynical lie he uses to justify his repressive administration?
Mao Yang-jin, aka The Lesser Mao, is Mao Zedong's successor as dictator of the Chinese People's Republic. Seeing himself as a second Qin Shi Huangdi, he manages to be even worse than his predecessor, banning literacy, instituting massive purges, and turning all of China into a horrifying hybrid of post-Cold War era North Korea and Khmer Rouge-era Cambodia, with totalitarianism ramped up and the country turned into a giant death camp and killing field, where people are forced into making opium. He even starts a war in Southeast Asia to keep the heroin trade up and running. When the military rebels against him for his regime's excesses, he destroys the rebel-controlled city of Kwangsi with a nuclear missile. Later, he creates a virulent strain of influenza that kills the better part of a million people worldwide, none more so than in China itself. This creates the worst health year since The Spanish Flu. By the end of the century, China and its people have become one giant ruin.
Magnus Malan is a power-hungry white supremacist bent on killing or enslaving all that don't meet his racial standards. Malan first launches a coup against the South African government, killing and imprisoning political dissidents, and greatly expands The Apartheid Era to include non-Afrikaner whites, putting them in concentration camps. Malan starts wars against all of South Africa's neighbors, regularly massacring civilians, and using chemical weapons and dirty bombs without regards for consequences or civilian casualties. When the tide of war begins to turn against him, Malan decides to use South Africa's nuclear arsenal to destroy its neighboring nations, killing tens of millions out of spite.
Douglas Coe, known among his followers as "The Great Teacher", is a fundamentalist preacher who seeks to spread his particular brand of Evangelical Christianity across the United States at all costs. Coe first works closely with President Rumsfeld, helping the President turn the country into a kleptocracy and remove political dissidents. When Coe feels that Rumsfeld is no longer politically useful to him, he arranges for the latter's impeachment and arrest. After Pat Robertson wins the 1988 elections, Coe establishes himself as the true authority behind Robertson. When Congress refuses to cooperate with him, Coe launches a coup that leads to destruction of the Capitol and numerous deaths of Washington's political leadership. Under his rule, Coe turns the US into the "Christian States of America", where dissent is outlawed, and non-Evangelical Christians and "degenerates" such as homosexuals or drug addicts are designated for death. In his campaign to bring the rest of the country to heel, Coe has at least a dozen American cities destroyed with nuclear weapons. In order to stop a Cuban invasion of Florida, Coe uses several more nuclear weapons, indifferent to the millions of innocent people killed due to his actions. When the nuclear stockpiles begin to run low, Coe authorizes the use of chemical and biological weapons in his war against the resisting American populace. Believing himself to be the messenger of God, Douglas Coe created one of the most oppressive and violent regimes in American history.
Harsher in Hindsight: In the timeline, the Muslim Brotherhood conquers a large amount of territory in Syria and declares a theocratic Caliphate. This was written in 2012. Come 2014, and the Islamic State, which has carved out a large amount of territory in Iraq and Syria, declared itself a Caliphate simillar to the one in-story.
Reached in a big way by the Lesser Mao (Chairman Mao's nephew). After spending several years turning China into what is, effectively, post-Cold WarNorth Korea meets Khmer Rouge-era Cambodia, as well as getting involved in a war in Southeast Asia and turning the PRC into the world's leading exporter of heroin, he officially crosses the line when he suppresses a military rebellion by nuking the rebel-controlled city of Kwangsi, making it the first time nuclear weapons have been used in anger since Nagasaki.
For President Rumsfeld, many people in-universe (and on-board) saw he reached this when he upholds the South African apartheid, quasi-fascist government as an example of freedom. For others, it was when he effectively declares war on the urban poor by promising to end all welfare. Either way, he had all but certainly crossed it when he used massive voter fraud and covert tactics to allow him to win the 1984 election.
As of the July 26 update, the US under Rumsfeld seems to have well and truly crossed the Moral Event Horizon in the invasion of Cuba, with Liberty Legion officers assigned to shoot wounded soldiers to save costs. The American troops in Cuba are no happier with it, shooting the 'Liberty Legion' troops that came with them. Doubles as a Wham Episode.
The Soviet Premier believes Rumsfeld crossed the line with his attempted murder of Richard Nixon.
For state governors, Rumsfeld crossed the line when he attempted to impeach California Governor Pete McCloskey and replace him with his own stooge. When the Supreme Court ruled against him, Rumsfeld had those justices impeached. It prompted other state governments to break away from Washington.
The Christian Values party crosses this when they use nukes against American cities that resist their takeover.
George Wallace, at least to some extent. He remains a flawed man and President but rather spectacularly redeems himself for his pro-segregation past by bringing more black lawmakers into the cabinet than ever before. And he comes back as Governor of Alabama yet again to save the state from Rumsfeld in the 80's.
Spiro Agnew, of all people. For much of the saga, he has acted like a racist, corrupt buffoon. But eventually he finds Rumsfeldia to be insane and joins forces with other governors to issue a nullification pact.
After all the horrible events of the TL, many readers have found themselves finding Richard Nixon of all people to be a pretty good guy in hindsight.