So. That Happened.


Burt Likko

Pseudonymous Portlander. Homebrewer. Atheist. Recovering Republican. Recovering Catholic. Recovering divorcé. Editor-in-Chief Emeritus of Ordinary Times. Relapsed Lawyer, admitted to practice law (under his real name) in California and Oregon. On Twitter, to his frequent regret, at @burtlikko. House Likko's Words: Scite Verum. Colite Iusticia. Vivere Con Gaudium.

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517 Responses

  1. Avatar Snarky McSnarksnark says:

    I appreciate the effort, Burt, but that didn’t cheer me up at all…Report

  2. Avatar Maribou says:

    All of this assumes him to be a reasonable person who won’t DO anything with the extraordinary powers a President holds, let alone anything completely off the charts with them. I’d love to think he’ll be isolationist, but I haven’t seen much if any evidence other than the weak historical trend you mention, suggesting that will be the case.Report

    • Avatar Kim in reply to Maribou says:

      Clinton would have given us a 1 in 3 shot of a limited nuclear war. (And far greater that we’d see something like GWB’s Iraq disaster).

      Compared to that, all Trump has to do is not launch nuclear weapons.Report

      • Avatar Maribou in reply to Kim says:

        @kim You’d think that would be easy for him.

        And yet I have zero confidence he won’t.Report

        • Avatar Kim in reply to Maribou says:

          We’ve already got measures in place if it comes to that.
          Because Palin was a possibility (a heartbeat away from the presidency).
          The US Military will say “No” if it’s against national security.

          The problem with Hillary is her moves were likely to be viewed positively by the military and the Powers that Be. (They didn’t stop GWBush, after all…)Report

    • Avatar Barry in reply to Maribou says:

      Seconded. Burt, your post reminds me of yet another GOP establishment guy thinking thT you can control him. They all failed, and that was before he took the most powerful office in the world.

      My prediction is that Dubya just went down one notch on the list of Really Bad Presidents.Report

  3. Avatar Zac Black says:

    We’re all doomed. There is no hope. None.Report

    • Avatar Maribou in reply to Zac Black says:

      No, there is always hope.

      Pandora’s worst curse and best blessing, hope will persist until the last of us takes one last breath.

      We must imagine Sisyphus happy.

      Or to quote my other favorite bit of Camus, “in the midst of winter, I found there was, within me, an invincible summer.”Report

      • Avatar Fish in reply to Maribou says:

        I had to google “We must imagine Sisyphus happy” because I didn’t recognize it (sorry Jaybird) and I ran across this>.Report

        • Avatar Maribou in reply to Fish says:

          @fish Jaybird is the only other person I know who loves that original essay as much as I do. A few people I know love it almost that much though. I suspect the existential comics guy is one of them.

          (Also there is an ACTUAL game involving rolling boulders up and down hills and it is in fact a game where you purportedly play a version of Sisyphus. The cut scenes are pretty entertaining.)Report

    • Avatar Joe Sal in reply to Zac Black says:

      Shake off the despair. We need our anti-authoritarian left awake and sober. We need them with sharpened spears, and wild eyes. The strong man walks among us as he always has. This season he is of the right instead of the left.Report

  4. Avatar James K says:

    Seriously America, seriously!? I mean, I know the alternative was Hillary Clinton, but even so.

    Anyway, I can only hope you are correct Burt. Odds are that Trump will be Berlusconian, but I fear that a man as prone to avenge a slight and indifferent to procedural justice as Trump could do serious harm to your nation. If he blows up at a Supreme Court decision he doesn’t like he could do something rash and end up severely damaging your Constitutional framework.

    I wish you all the best of luck for the next 4 years, hopefully you will not need it.Report

    • Avatar Mike Schilling in reply to James K says:

      So, what are the requirements for immigation to New Zealand? I’m asking for a friend.Report

    • Avatar Burt Likko in reply to James K says:

      We keep on saying to each other that we have a Constitutional system of checks and balances in place to limit the powers of government and prevent any would-be tyrant from doing too much harm. I’d rather we not have had to put that system to the unnecessary stress test that’s so obviously imminent. But here we are.Report

      • Avatar James K in reply to Burt Likko says:


        Who knows, you could get lucky. If Trump overreaches in a sufficiently egregious and ham-fisted way its possible that he could provoke a popular backlash against the Presidency like Nixon did. It’s not a scenario I’d want to have to bet on, but Trump could actually result in a rollback of the Imperial Presidency.Report

      • Avatar LeeEsq in reply to Burt Likko says:

        Trump strikes me as the type of President where all the Constitutional checks and balances against an off the rail President will fair. The Republican dominated Congress has no reason to oppose him. McConnell could get the filibuster and every obstructionist tool they used against Obama. Than the Republican dominated House and Senate could write any piece of legislation. Trump cares nothing about policy. He will pass anything that his delivered to his desk.

        During the campaign, Trump personally demonstrated that he is not man to even pretend to be bound by the Constitution. He vowed to jail Hillary Clinton for being Hillary Clinton. This is a man running as dictator and Tribune of White America. The Republicans in Congress have no reason to prevent judge from misusing his power to persecute his perceived enemies as long as they aren’t Republican.

        The Courts aren’t going to stop him either. Trump is going to replace somebody very reactionary and young to replace Scalia on the Supreme Court. He will potentially get many other appointments in on Circuit and District Courts. These judges aren’t going to find Trump’s actions un-Constitutional.Report

      • Avatar Kim in reply to Burt Likko says:

        We have secret laws on the books, ones that are so secret they’re only referenced by number. The Dictatorial Executive is already here.

        An Unpopular One such as Trump can only pull back on the trend.Report

        • Avatar Francis in reply to Kim says:

          Personally, I love the idea of Congress meeting in secret session to pass secret bills that are then signed into secret law. Violators of secret laws are then secretly arrested, secretly prosecuted and secretly imprisoned. All of this is authorized, of course, by the secret provisions of the secret Constitution.

          There’s totally a movie there. Nicholas Cage, maybe.

          Or perhaps Kim is referring to Executive Orders, which are commonly referred to by number.

          Kim, you really need to be leaking to the New York Times, not Ordinary Times. That is, if you can avoid assassination. {cue dramatic music}Report

          • Avatar Kim in reply to Francis says:

            Why should I bother? I’m not half the writer that other people are, and there’s always Wikileaks, which is busy blathering out all the icky details of the Clinton Campaign.Report

  5. Avatar j r says:

    So what does America under Donald Trump look like?

    The biggest shocks are going to come two, three, four years down the line when people start realizing that America under Trump looks pretty much the same as it has looked for the past fifteen years.Report

    • Avatar Michael Drew in reply to j r says:

      Yeah, this.Report

      • Avatar Michael Drew in reply to Michael Drew says:

        …And I’m not saying the rhetorical level that was reached in response to his many unthinkable statements over the course of the campaign was not justified by those statements.

        But let’s get real. The greatest pain being felt *right now* is being felt mainstream members of each respective political party, about entirely normal political concerns: in the GOP, fears about what a party regime change means for careers and party ideological commitments, and among Democrats, over the lost opportunity in getting to replace a Republican-appointed Justice (and possibly seeing some of theirs be replaced by Republicans), and the likelihood that what was hoped to be generational legislation might have a much shorter shelf life.

        There may be mass deportations; there may be a wall. We may withdraw from Nato or bomb Damascus into glass. But right now, it’s those totally normal political losses that are being so keenly felt. And they would be felt just as much if the person who made this happen weren’t such an outlier in proposals, words, and behavior – that is, for Democrats, if simply any Republican at all had won, and for Republicans, if any one with so many policy orthodoxies (trade, propriety of the Iraq invasion) had, even if he had been much less demonstrably unfit for the office.Report

        • Avatar Maribou in reply to Michael Drew says:

          I know a lot of people who aren’t within a party, possibly not even within this country, who are feeling this very very strongly, more strongly than those “totally normal political losses” you describe. Weeping, shaking, scared, vomiting … most of them are either people of color or somewhere in the QUILTBAG.Report

          • Avatar j r in reply to Maribou says:

            Weeping, shaking, scared, vomiting … most of them are either people of color or somewhere in the QUILTBAG.

            I’ll go back to what was the point of the post that I wrote a couple of months ago. If there is a mode of political engagement or social justice that insufficiently prepares people for the perils of the real world, we have two sets of choices. We can double down and continue to demand that the world change to accommodate us. Or we can do what we have to do as individuals to make sure that things like the outcome of the presidential election does not reduce us to weeping and shaking.

            I made my choice a long time ago and that, more than anything else, is why I lead a mostly happy life. I have only a limited ability to change the world, but I have lots of efficacy over myself.Report

            • Avatar Maribou in reply to j r says:

              @j-r With respect, I think you’re very mistaken about this dichotomy (as I’m sure you could predict I would think). Saying that they are weeping and shaking tonight does not mean they won’t stand up and fight tomorrow. I’ve put my chips on them being better fighters because they actually feel, and then sublimate, and then use their dark feelings, instead of thinking they have to choose between emotional honesty and powerful action.

              I made a choice a long time ago to focus on what I could do instead of letting myself be overwhelmed, too. It got me out of daily abuse and into a happy life, but it also crippled me, both physically and emotionally. If that isn’t how that choice worked for you, more power to you.

              My path these days is teaching me that vulnerability can increase my strength, not just erase it. I have faith in these wobbly, honest, insistent, persistent, hard-working, change-demanding kids, and I think that their generational openness and interdependence, and our generational cynicism and latch-key-kid self-suffiency can eventually win through, together.Report

              • Avatar j r in reply to Maribou says:


                I’m not advocating for any dichotomy. You can be vulnerable to certain things without being vulnerable to everything. The key differences for me have to do with the public versus private self and with the difference between real harm and psychic harm. I am vulnerable in my personal relationships, but I do not sweat what strangers say about me on the internet. And I am vulnerable to situations that involve real harm to people, but not to situations where the harm being inflicted is psychic. And the fact is, until he actually does something, the election of Donald Trump is a psychic harm.

                You mentioned Sisyphus and Camus above and I think that is a fantastic point. But if you’re going to call on existentialism for hope, then you should incorporate the deeper point, which is that hope comes from accepting the burden of radical human freedom. And accepting the burden of radical human freedom has to involve suppressing your ego and exposing yourself to the reality of the world. One of the many problems with our present political culture is that it is centered on hiding reality, on scapegoating the other, and on protecting the ego in such a way that makes change and growth very difficult. We can continue down this path, but it won’t end well.Report

              • Avatar Maribou in reply to j r says:

                I don’t think we’ll ever agree about whether psychic harm is real harm. I do know that I was physically harmed, once nearly unto death, as a kid, and the constant psychic harm of the threat held over me, of whether that might happen to me again, and the control and manipulation that went with it, was worse than the nearly dying. The demand that I split my public and private self was, in my case, part of that psychic harm, and so any solution that requires (rather than merely allows for) concealment and a purely private vulnerability is never going to work for me.

                My political fears aren’t really separable from my personal fears, when my very public, as in out on the public street or on public transit, self has been groped, grabbed by the same place Trump apparently thinks is acceptable to joke about, and shoved around. (Yes, I fight back. No, I shouldn’t have to become a marksman or an aikido black belt to walk down a public street safely.) I’m not scapegoating people who disagree with me – I actually felt disturbed by all the people (not the kids I was referencing, but people my age and older) who were posting stuff on FB about “if you voted for Trump I’m never talking to you again” on their feed. I made a point of posting, over and over, just like I say in person, that we can’t ever create change if we refuse to really engage with the other half of the country, on those folks’ feed. But those people were not that common among the people I know,

                I just don’t think the majority of people who are having all the public feels are on the path you think they are on. Certainly not the emotional students and other young people you keep seeing so differently than I do. I see them change and grow all the time. And they’re engaging their peers in effective ways, across deep disagreements.Report

              • Avatar j r in reply to Maribou says:

                I don’t think we’ll ever agree about whether psychic harm is real harm.

                I never said that psychic harm isn’t real. Personal psychic harm is incredibly real and can be incredibly damaging, especially for people in vulnurable relationships. But we don’t have to make ourselves vulnurable to every bad thing that happens in the world. One of the challenges of dealing with technology is that social media amplifies all the bad things in the world and creates the illusion that we are personally experiencing public events.

                I see them change and grow all the time.

                I would hope so; that’s how human development is supposed to work. My comments are never meant to disparage anyone, the joking aside. The point of my comments is to say, you (the proverbial you) don’t have to be the person left weeping and shaking because some asshole was elected president. Human beings are made of sterner stuff.Report

              • Avatar Maribou in reply to j r says:

                ” I am vulnerable to situations that involve real harm to people, but not to situations where the harm being inflicted is psychic. ”

                I think we’d understand each other better if you can stop making statements that I then read literally, followed by telling me you never made such statements. Or perhaps I can learn to assume your oppositions are not meant to be read literally but instead contextualized and interpreted through the lens of your other statements. I’m very literal-minded, particularly online, but stranger things have happened.

                And the point of my comments is to say that to be weeping and shaking SOMETIMES is not to be “left weeping and shaking”. To bastardize Camus’ lovely phrase, just because you acknowledge that it’s thunderstorming, or even that it might be snowing in July, doesn’t mean you’re denying the summer inside you. Or to wrench Camus into my harness, nos doutes sont ce que nous avons de plus intimes. Our shared doubts (and fears) are one of the most intimate ways we have of connecting with each other. And intimate connection can forge strong, effective social communities.

                Asshole presidents have the ability to start nuclear wars – the harm being potential doesn’t mean it’s not meaningful. Just that it shouldn’t stop one from forging a way forward. Which may include, productively, public and quasi-public mourning.

                And I can’t imagine, as an aside, that Camus was asking anyone to be more impersonal in public – he was one of the most open, vulnerable, public writers among the existentialists. Engaging with reality had mixed results for the existentialists, as you probably know. Camus was pretty good at it, but didn’t depersonalize it. Sartre and De Beauvoir came to deeply regret their belief that they had to put their personal reactions to communism aside for the sake of the seemingly objective requirement to support the communist cause for the so-called greater good. And so on.Report

              • Avatar j r in reply to Maribou says:

                I think we’d understand each other better if you can stop making statements that I then read literally, followed by telling me you never made such statements.

                You are right. I was unclear. In raising the categories of physical v. psychic harm and personal v. public harm, I was thinking in terms of a matrix: personal physical harm, personal psychic harm, public physical harm, public psychic harm, so on…

                And yes, I think that if you are letting public psychic harm affect you the way that physical harm or personal psychic harm affects you, you’re doing yourself a disservice. That’s just my opinion, so we can agree to disagree. But let’s dig into this a bit:

                Asshole presidents have the ability to start nuclear wars – the harm being potential doesn’t mean it’s not meaningful.

                Let’s talk about asshole presidents. The one we’ve got right now is by all credible accounts the opposite of an asshole. Obama is gracious, even-keeled and magnanimous. As an avatar, he’s about the best that I can hope for in a president. He’s also commanding over a targeted assassination program that has likely murdered civilians numbering in the hundreds, if not thousands (

                Do any of those people weeping and shaking over Trump have similar reactions to Obama? My guess is no. And that tells me that these reactions are about a lot more than harm; they’re about signalling.Report

              • Avatar Kim in reply to Maribou says:

                Psychic harm is real harm. Deliberate psychic harm is inflicted upon people I know by television all the fucking time. I’m NOT going to boycott any tv show because of That Fucking Door Noise, though (Yes, there are actually people out there who suffer PTSD from sound effects libraries). (Nor am I going to boycott something because they’re blatantly stealing other people’s sound effects).Report

              • Avatar Kim in reply to Maribou says:

                Step away from the astroturf. That’s my main message to the left.Report

              • Avatar Maribou in reply to Kim says:

                If you want it to be heard, you may have to spell it out more, because I have no idea what you mean.Report

              • Avatar Maribou in reply to Kim says:

                Here is a poem that I may need to memorize soon.

                (Also, if you all don’t know Wendell Berry, I think many of you might like his work.)


                And because I’ve basically already got it memorized already, here is the last stanza of said poem. Even though I recommend you go read the whole thing.

                Go with your love to the fields.
                Lie down in the shade. Rest your head
                in her lap. Swear allegiance
                to what is nighest your thoughts.
                As soon as the generals and the politicos
                can predict the motions of your mind,
                lose it. Leave it as a sign
                to mark the false trail, the way
                you didn’t go. Be like the fox
                who makes more tracks than necessary,
                some in the wrong direction.
                Practice resurrection.Report

              • Avatar Maribou in reply to Maribou says:

                Um, that wasn’t particularly to Kim, I just had a commenting snafu, and I meant to put it at the bottom. I hope you all go read said poem (not that you have to) – and I hope if you do it speaks to you.Report

          • Avatar Damon in reply to Maribou says:

            “possibly not even within this country,”

            These peoples feels are about as relevant as my opinion on the domestic polices Iran.Report

            • Avatar Maribou in reply to Damon says:

              @damon As a foreign national, I’d love to think you’re right but unfortunately the US wields far more power over the rest of the world than Iran does.

              And just because someone is not inside the borders of a country does not mean they don’t have family ties and long history with living there. They could even be citizens (some of them are).Report

              • Avatar Kim in reply to Maribou says:

                You think Canada would mind polishing off their plans to invade America?
                I think some iron blimps would provide a wonderful capstone to the year.Report

              • Avatar Damon in reply to Maribou says:

                ” the US wields far more power over the rest of the world than Iran does.”

                Yes it does. But your country is complicit in this as well. You follow. I’m assuming you live in 1st world w. europe. You guys have been coasting for too long. Man up and cut the cord. We’ll still play nice. The entire world either blames the us or sucks up to it. Time to tell the bully to go home, that you can take care of your own affairs.Report

              • Avatar Brent F in reply to Damon says:

                From a Canadian stand point all we need from you is to not go 1812 or 1929 on us again, and if 1940 comes along we’d really appreciate it if you eventually do the right thing again also.

                I don’t think we were particularly concerned about any of that recently but we’re less certain of you now than we were previously.Report

              • Avatar Damon in reply to Brent F says:

                Then I’d encourage you to develop non reliance and insulation measures so you’re not stricken by any impacts. Maybe you need to put some distance between yourselves and your “friends down south”. Maybe disengage some of the ties? Too many eggs in one basket and all.Report

              • Avatar Brent F in reply to Damon says:

                That’s nice in theory, but you can’t share a room with an elephant and expect your mitigation efforts to count for anything if he really starts moving.

                The same three oceans that protect you from the rest of the world locks us in a room with you, for better or worse. The last 70 years that’s been much better than worse, but it becoming worse is out of our hands.

                Americans aren’t conditioned to be able to think like smaller powers. The possiblity of doing everything right and still losing isn’t something you have to grapple with very often.Report

              • Avatar Mike Schilling in reply to Brent F says:

                You need to build a wall and make us pay for it.Report

              • Avatar Maribou in reply to Damon says:

                Damon I live in Colorado and have done for nearly half my life.

                I’m a Canadian national who lives in Colorado.

                Who immigrated here in 1998, in fact.

                So your assumptions are pretty far off base.

                I would love to see Canada cut the cord, but I’m guessing that given they are *right next* to the United States and have had sovereignty incursions in the past, they’re more likely to focus on offering refuge and less likely to focus on blunt disapproval. At least at the federal level.Report

          • Avatar Michael Drew in reply to Maribou says:

            I could be wrong about what is affecting people right now.

            I know that the person in my household doing exactly those things is doing them because of effects that would be in the offing had Marco Rubio won.Report

        • Avatar LeeEsq in reply to Michael Drew says:

          No offense. But both of you are nominally Christian white men I think. You aren’t a person of color, a woman, a Jew, a Muslim, an immigrant, or LGBT. Republicans now have the perfect opportunity to reserve Roe, pass even more voter suppression legislation, gut the ACA, and rollback everything they hate about America since the New Deal. The best result is the United States ends up as Kansas writ large. The worst result is unspeakable.Report

          • Avatar Maribou in reply to LeeEsq says:

            “both of you are nominally Christian white men”

            @leeesq It’s amazing (but probably shouldn’t be) how often people assume that j r is white and then chastise him for his viewpoints based on that assumption. Given that various other people have said “jeez, knock it off,” repeatedly, especially.

            It’s almost as if people have an artificially narrow, subconsciously held view of what is possible for a person of color to believe or argue.Report

            • Avatar LeeEsq in reply to Maribou says:

              True. I never actually read anything where j r referred to his race but his way of looking at the world suggests somebody not strongly likely to get punched in the face by it.Report

            • Avatar j r in reply to Maribou says:

              It’s amazing (but probably shouldn’t be) how often people assume that j r is white and then chastise him for his viewpoints based on that assumption.

              Completely aside from whatever I am, whenever someone tries to tell me that my views are inimical to people of color, that just lets me know that the person talking is more interested in “people of color” as an abstract concept than in actual people, of color.

              I’ve never been someone who bought into the “liberals are the real racist” idea, but there are an awful lot of people who like to signal the supposed superiority of their progressive views by signalling a concern for minorities.Report

              • Avatar Brandon Berg in reply to j r says:

                “The Real Racists,” as it gets used here, is a strawman. That there is a certain kind of condescending, agency-denying racism prevalent in a subset of the left doesn’t excuse or erase the more textbook kind of racism you see in a subset of the right, or vice-versa. They can and do coexist.Report

              • Avatar Maribou in reply to j r says:

                @j-r That’s fair and if you would prefer I quit attempting to ride herd on people and just ignore them instead, I will do so. You’re not wrong about what it implies, of course, I just keep hoping that seeing that THEY’RE wrong will help people quit making that set of generalizations.Report

              • Avatar j r in reply to Maribou says:


                I have no preferences about such things. You do you.Report

          • Avatar Michael Drew in reply to LeeEsq says:

            Look at the effects you list. I know and feel the impact of each of them. But just look at them. They make my point exactly:

            reserve Roe, pass even more voter suppression legislation, gut the ACA, and rollback everything they hate about America since the New Deal

            My point is not to deny their impact. My point is to point out that they would be just as terrible for people of that worldview had the winner been Marco Rubio rather than Donald Trump.

            (You, amazingly, failed to even mention immigration/immigrants, which is the one area where there is an argument I am wrong. If that’s where it’s felt most acutely, then I am wrong (though I think today will prove that I am right, at least about which of these is felt most broadly by those who express such things on social media.) But the set of effects *you* chose is exactly a case in my point.)Report

            • Avatar Michael Drew in reply to Michael Drew says:

              (Yes, you said that I’m not an immigrant. You didn’t list policy fears related to that when you laid out the concrete reasons to be so down about this.)Report

            • Avatar Gaelen in reply to Michael Drew says:

              To me the biggest fear is Trump turning our next mild recession into a major recession/depression while starting a trade war.

              That and further polarization based a president who is incapable of not attacking people who say negative things about him , coupled with the Democrats following the Republic/Trump playbook of all out obstructionism and an electoral strategy of the party core plus a riled up fringe.Report

              • Avatar North in reply to Gaelen says:

                I can’t imagine the Democratic Party will try full fledged obstructionism; I don’t see any reasons to doubt that the GOP will turf the filibuster the moment they have a big enough policy prize within reach of it and this election puts many such prizes within reach.Report

              • Avatar Gaelen in reply to North says:

                You’re probably right–plus the Democrats don’t seem unified enough to really make the strategy work. Though that doesn’t mean opposition won’t be portrayed as obstructionism of President Trump’s (Jesus Christ that was strange to type) mandate.Report

              • Avatar Kim in reply to Gaelen says:

                Deutchbank is melting down, so are the Italian banks.
                This won’t be a mild recession, this will be a major global recession.

                Props to the people who held the lid on so far.Report

          • Avatar Kim in reply to LeeEsq says:

            You have no knowledge of the Powers that Be.
            Like Brexit, this is not a disaster.
            Do you know why Brexit wasn’t a disaster?
            Next morning the Auto Makers were in Merkel’s office laying down the LAW about not punishing Great Britain.Report

        • Avatar InMD in reply to Michael Drew says:

          I think you and jr are dead on. This was a bad outcome but the melodrama this morning is absurd. America isnt (yet) any different than it was yesterday. All we learned is that the Democrats did exactly what Bernie Sanders warned them about and nominated someone who doesn’t take the trade and immigration concerns of the white working class seriously. It cost them winnable votes in Pennsylvania and the upper Midwest that would’ve turned the election. Chris Matthews of all people made some very insightful points to this effect around 2 AM last night on MSNBC.

          The response is to push back the same as during the Bush years. Progressives have more allies and means of asserting power than they think, and for God’s sake this campus style emotionalism, identitarianism, and helplessness needs to stop.Report

          • Avatar LeeEsq in reply to InMD says:

            There is no evidence that Bernie Sanders could have won the election against Trump. Jew hatred played a big part of Trump’s appeal and Sanders would have been attacked as an un-American Jewish atheist socialist that wants to abort your baby.Report

            • Avatar InMD in reply to LeeEsq says:

              Whether he could have won or not is impossible to know and I take no position in that question. My point is that he was able to expose where her weaknesses were and maybe provide a path forward even if he himself isn’t the candidate to lead it.

              Progressives in urban enclaves created for themselves the exact kind of echo chamber they regularly and rightly criticize on the right and convinced themselves that Clinton’s shortcomings weren’t nearly as significant as they were.Report

            • Avatar DensityDuck in reply to LeeEsq says:

              Other than all the polls that showed him trouncing not just Trump but “Generic Republican”?

              But hey, keep going with your historical fiction about how Trump was inevitable because racist America. I’m sure that’s very comforting for you.Report

              • Oh, we can trust *those* polls. The ones about candidates who were actually running were crap, but the completely hypothetical ones were really accurate.Report

              • Avatar Kim in reply to Mike Schilling says:

                I’d trust the polls that worked. And the advisors that got their asses fired off the Clinton team for being right one time too often.

                Bernie would have won in a walk against Trump. Nearly anyone (except, apparently, Joe Biden, who’s gotta have some seriously bad shit in his closet) would have won against Trump.Report

            • Avatar Kim in reply to LeeEsq says:

              No evidence? That’s because you’re blind and selfish, but I repeat myself.
              I talk to pollsters, and they’ve got tons of evidence. Hell, you can go county by county looking at the results if you don’t believe me, The Guardian, or WAPO.
              Democratic Turnout this time was down by 8-9%, Republican Turnout (compared to Romney) was flat.

              This is NOT “the hills came down and voted.”Report

              • Avatar Burt Likko in reply to Kim says:

                This is a good point. Indeed, it looks like Republican turnout was a little bit down from ’12, though not nearly as much as Democratic turnout was down.

                What I’m wary of is single-causing those phenomena.Report

        • Avatar Roland Dodds in reply to Michael Drew says:

          I had no investment in the Democratic Party necessarily, but I am deeply saddened by the rise of Trump. More than any other moment in my life, I see that I don’t understand many of my countrymen.Report

          • Avatar Kim in reply to Roland Dodds says:

            What’s there to understand? It was a “kick ’em in the balls” vote.
            If you don’t understand that, I suggest you find a nice pharmacy that posts signs about “we do not carry XYZ medicine here”, and talk to the proprietor. Ya might just learn something.Report

      • Avatar Damon in reply to Michael Drew says:

        @michael-drew @j-r

        “The biggest shocks are going to come two, three, four years down the line when people start realizing that America under Trump looks pretty much the same as it has looked for the past fifteen years.”

        If this is true, they this election is really no big deal, and all the wailing and gnashing are pointless. All the “concern” is nothing but partisan disappointment. If someone had said this 12 months ago, there would be less drama. Or are you just telling yourself that? Can’t have it both ways.Report

        • Avatar J_A in reply to Damon says:

          If this is true, they this election is really no big deal, and all the wailing and gnashing are pointless

          It will be a very big deal for all those that voted for Trump (*) because they are afraid or angry at how things are. When four years from now when the factories in middle America are still closed, the wars in the Middle Aeast are still going, and the only difference in the life of the Trump voter is that there is no more Obamacare, what then? Will this people shrug and say “well, we gave it a try, but it’s not meant to be”?

          Of will they be more angry, more afraid, and more convinced to have been, again, left behind by the elites?

          My biggest fear about a Trump presidency is not what he could do. It’s what he promIsed to, but CAN’T do, even if he tried (not that he will). What his voters completely lose trust in democracy?

          (*) as opposed to just “against Hillary’Report

          • Avatar Damon in reply to J_A says:

            “What his voters completely lose trust in democracy?”

            They can join the rest of us who are already there. Will your scenario make contribute to the car going over the cliff a bit faster? Maybe. But the car is already headed towards the cliff and there is no turning back, barring massive massive change. Driving at 60 or 90 still gets you to the cliff with little difference in the duration.

            I wonder if this election will be the bookend to the “collapse of the american empire” historians will write one day in the history books….We shall see, but frankly, I don’t see much changing, if at all, it’ll be on the margins only. But I’m just some dude spouting off on the interweb, WTF do I know.Report

          • Avatar Saul Degraw in reply to J_A says:

            This is my fear as wellReport

  6. Avatar Kolohe says:

    After the Cylons occupy New Caprica:
    Tyrol: What do you want to do now, Captain?
    Starbuck: The same thing we always do. Fight them until we can’t.

    Number Six heralds the Cylons’ arrival to Baltar:
    Head Six: Judgment day.


  7. Avatar LeeEsq says:

    The best result and this is still a very horrible result is that the United States ends up as something like Kansas writ large. There will be a lot of dysfunction and economic misery but it will be in the realm of knowable dysfunction and economic misery. Structural patterns in United States politics and the growing Republican penchant for voter suppression will keep the Republicans in Congress safe even if Trump remains a one term President.

    In a response to Burt, I’ve outlined what I think the worst domestic result would be. Trump keeps good on as vow to act as Tribune and Congress and the Courts are either complicit or powerless to stop him. Internationally their could be a lot of chaos. Trump is an unstable man and is going to end up as Commander-in-Chief. We could see the full misuse of the Imperial Presidency. International markets might react very badly to President Trump, who could do something stupid like default on the debt as his usual practice. This is going to be a Second Great Depression.

    Socially, I think many of the worst elements of American society are going to feel emboldened because of Trump Presidency. He ran on a platform of hatred against the Other broadly defined. White Americans who hate the other are going to have more encourage to express this and commit crimes against those they perceive as enemies. I suspect a strong uptick in violent crimes against people of color, Jews, Muslims, women, and LGBT people. The movement for criminal justice reform and against mass incarceration is dead. Trump ran on a certain sort of law and order and that is what we are going to get.Report

    • Avatar Brandon Berg in reply to LeeEsq says:

      If only someone had had the foresight to limit the power of the presidency and federal government generally so that no one person, or even three hundred people, could have this kind of power. Oh, wait….Report

    • Avatar notme in reply to LeeEsq says:

      The article you linked to also contains this, “Aides for Hillary Clinton, the 2016 Democrat presidential nominee, in 2008 kept a “hit list” of politicians they felt had wronged her during her loss to then-Sen. Barack Obama in the Democratic primary.” So you are more concerned by a Trump list than a Clinton one? If so why?Report

      • Avatar DavidTC in reply to notme says:

        Because Trump has a really obvious history of going after people *years later* for petty reasons?

        Whereas I couldn’t name any of people on Clinton’s supposed ‘hit list’ based on her behavior. We’re talking about the *primary* here, so most of those enemies would be Democrats, presumably. What Democrats has she attacked…ever? (No, Sanders doesn’t count. He didn’t have anything to do with 2008.)

        I mean, if anyone had ‘wronged’ her in the 2008 primary, it was Obama, but she *immediately* took a position in his cabinet, working with people selected by Obama, at least *some of whom* (I can’t be bothered to look) had to have supported Obama over her during the campaign.

        Oh, wait. It said *aides* to her made that list, not her.Report

        • Avatar Kim in reply to DavidTC says:

          I could name multiple people on Hillary’s enemies list. (Ax, for one — clearly cut out of everything). Of course, the person most often listed on Hillary’s enemies list (multiple pseudonyms) actually is in charge of persecuting the people on the enemies list.Report

  8. First, an apologize to my left of center friends here, especially but not only Saul DeGraw. While I consider myself a liberal, I’ve been dismissive of or smirkish to many of your concerns during this campaign season and about American society and polity in general. Not that it’s a good excuse, but I just didn’t think Trump would win. Now that he has, I have to think on what’s important. One of those things is this from Burt’s OP:

    We need people to take strong, decisive stands against racial, sexual, and religious prejudice more than ever.

    While I’ve always known–and usually used–the “right words” and engaged in milquetoast tsk-tsking, I’ve done too little of taking any stand at all, sometimes inwardly rolling my eyes when, for example, someone points out the antisemitic tropes Trump uses. I have to stop that. I won’t promise I won’t backslide–in fact, I know I’ll backslide–but some things are too important and I know I’ll have to keep trying. Maybe, as Maribou says above, focus on what I can do as a person in my day to day interactions.

    So yes, let’s continue disagree on the minimum wage and conscience exemptions for union shop employees (remember how bitter our arguments got about those things?). But I have to remember that I gotta be on the same “side” as you for those important issues.

    Thanks for this OP, Burt. Much of it is stuff I technically already knew, but it’s nice to have the words here in front of me.Report

  9. Avatar LeeEsq says:

    My personal prediction as a Jew is that Jews are screwed in a special kind of way. Trump flirted with anti-Semitism through out his campaign and it grew especially prominent towards the end. Many of his more passionate followers in the Alt-Right and Neo-Reactionaries hate Jews more than other minority group because they perceive us as the ring leaders behind everything they hate about modernity. Trump’s critics among liberals, especially the Social Justice crowd, are going to be too wielded towards seeing this about White Racism and will most likely continue to see Jews as White people rather than a targeted group.Report

    • Avatar Kazzy in reply to LeeEsq says:


      The anti-Semitism baked into Trump’s support was real and vile. But do you envision it manifesting in policy? Or are you worried more about the cultural impact and broader societal acceptance of anti-Semitism (more akin to my fears expressed below)?Report

      • Avatar LeeEsq in reply to Kazzy says:

        More in cultural impact and broader social acceptance than actual policy. My big fear is that Jewish Americans are going to end something as a monkey in the middle in Trump’s America. Trump’s supporters are going to see us as part of the Other but Social Justice activists will continually down play and ignore the Jew hatred and see Jews as part of White America.Report

  10. Avatar Kazzy says:

    I genuinely am concerned about raising my sons in Trump’s America. AtheistGod willing, he will be a one term President and they’ll remember him as much as I remember Reagan. But what will the influence be? I fear that Trump’s genuine awfulness is now legitimized. Now let’s be clear: Trump neither invented nor perfected awfulness, his personal brand or otherwise. But for a long time we could write off such awfulness as the province of YouTube comments sections and 4chan… a decision we made at our peril. But now we have an awful man in the White House and a sizeable portion of the population who shares or believes in that awfulness who feels emboldened by his presence there. I’m not talking policy or ideology… I’m talking character, decency, respect, humility, compassion, generosity, kindness. Or, really, a discusting lack thereof.

    How do I teach my children — at home and in the classroom — that kindness matters when our country just said, “No, no it doesn’t?” This isn’t a rhetorical question, mind you. Maybe we will collectively realize the toxicity — for ourselves and our fellow humans — of haboring and indulging in our more vile impulses after stewing in this for the next 4 years, turn about, and repudiate this. But I’m not hopeful.

    There are real policy concerns, particularly for women, PoCs, LGBTQ folks, and religious minorities. And economic worries, including (especially?) for many of the groups Trump derived his support from. I’m cautiously optimistic this all won’t turn out as bad as it could.

    But for our collective soul? Our spirit? Who we are? Yes, I scared. For my sons. For your children. For what yesterday tells them about who we are.Report

    • Avatar LeeEsq in reply to Kazzy says:

      Those are good questions. How do you teach children the value of gentleness, kindness, decency, and other values when a man who repudiated these values won the Presidency in campaign filled with everything we don’t want children to learn? Its going to take a lot of cognitive dissonance and some quick thinking to get around this.Report

      • fillyjonk fillyjonk in reply to LeeEsq says:

        Good parenting can do a lot.

        I grew up in a snobby, closed-minded, racist-in-the-WASP-way rich town. My parents were not snobby or closed-minded people, (nor were they truly WASPs). They taught my brother and me to look at what a person does rather than what “group” he or she appears to belong to. They taught us to forgive and to give the benefit of the doubt.

        A number of times when I was older, my mother bemoaned that she “taught us to be too nice” when one or the other of us got run over by one of the little bullies at our schools. I would argue that she taught us to be exactly nice enough.

        There’s also the old saying, “If you can’t be a good example, you can be a terrible warning.” Perhaps there’s that. (And yeah. I think in certain ways I am the opposite of status-conscious because I saw the idiot posturing my classmates did over crap like Ocean Pacific shirts and Jordache jeans)

        (I honestly can’t believe that some of the stuff that came out of the guy’s mouth, did.)Report

        • Avatar Kazzy in reply to fillyjonk says:


          If I have been paying proper attention, I believe you have been in the parent game longer than I (my boys are 3.5 and 1.5). So, I am apt to defer to your judgement on the power of parenting.

          This just feels like such a huge step backwards.

          Then again, we remain several steps ahead of where we were in generations past and we emerged from those dark times. Emerge we shall again.Report

          • fillyjonk fillyjonk in reply to Kazzy says:


            Not a parent, just an obsolete kid who remembers all too well how awful some parts of kid-hood were. Having good parents who cared about me, and having other supportive adults (we belonged to a good church) made a big difference.

            (I was super, super, super unpopular with my peers: I was an egghead who cried easily and wore the ‘wrong’ clothes. And was immature for my age – I still liked stuffed animals when the other girls had moved on to caring more about shoes and purses. I survived being unpopular because I felt like I had people rooting for me – my parents, my friends at church, my few same-aged friends)Report

            • Avatar Kazzy in reply to fillyjonk says:

              Clearly I have not been paying attention properly!

              One of my fears is that my boys will grow up a very privileged life. They are white and male, born to middle-upper class professional parents. They even had the temerity to be fair skinned and blue eyed, one with beautiful blonde locks.

              I am less worried about them becoming victims than them becoming victimizers.

              I know there are steps I can take to steer them on the right path. But I feel like that just got a little bit trickier yesterday.Report

              • fillyjonk fillyjonk in reply to Kazzy says:

                Teach ’em empathy.. I had plenty of privilege growing up and I’m not a jerk. At least, I don’t *think* I am….I suppose none of us ever know for sure.

                I think being bullied in school helped me learn empathy. Maybe you arrange that for your sons? (Kidding, kidding.)

                I think if you teach them to treat people as individuals rather than to see whatever group-membership first, that helps. Honestly, for me, growing up? Who was in elected office (I was born under Nixon, Carter is the first president I remember well) had far, far less influence on me than what my parents did day-to-day.

                Maybe encourage your kids to disengage from the TV news? When I was a kid 24/7 news didn’t exist; the first really big scary-sad news story I remember was from when I was 10. My parents consciously tried to shield us, and I think that was actually a solid choice.Report

      • Avatar notme in reply to LeeEsq says:

        So in other words you expect the Trump Effect to fully manifest itself?Report

        • Avatar Kazzy in reply to notme says:

          I don’t know what the Trump Effect is.

          But what I fear is that I can no longer, “Our society values kindness and decency. It values respect and honesty. It values responsibility and accountability.” Now, maybe we could never say that. That can be debated. But I feel much less secure in my ability to say that and mean it… that I won’t have a young person say to me, “Why should I be kind? THE PRESIDENT ISN’T EVEN KIND!” who can back it up with a 10 minute montage of video clips.Report

          • Avatar Kim in reply to Kazzy says:

            Clinton was not kind, or honest. Or Respectful.
            May I quote her, in upstate new york?
            “What the hell are we doing here? There’s no money here!”

            When I’m told how I should vote because of my genitalia’s similarity to the candidate’s, that is disrespectful in the extreme.Report

    • Avatar trizzlor in reply to Kazzy says:

      @kazzy : >>How do I teach my children — at home and in the classroom — that kindness matters when our country just said, “No, no it doesn’t?”

      This is where I’m at too. My daughter has to spend four formative years with Trump. A President Cruz would have been detestable in ways that are not obvious to a child, ways that I wouldn’t need to explain to her. I could point to a President Cruz and extract some kind of positive lesson: “if you’re diligent and hard-working you can make it, especially if you space out your serial killing years”. This is not the case with Trump.Report

      • Avatar Kazzy in reply to trizzlor says:

        Kids at work are talking about “Bad Guy Trump”. Which is really a parent failing but still a reality.

        And it’s not just Trump… it’s everyone who will feel empowered to be more awful.Report

    • Avatar Pyre in reply to Kazzy says:

      How do I teach my children — at home and in the classroom — that kindness matters when our country just said, “No, no it doesn’t?”

      Tell them:

      “The Democrats, myself included, tried to fight hate with hate. We were so obsessed with winning that we were willing to indulge any amount of lies and hateful rhetoric. All that our hate accomplished was our defeat and it brought about the very thing that we told ourselves that we were trying to protect you from.

      We failed you.

      I failed you.

      Let our failure be the lesson. You cannot wash away mud with sewage. You cannot create a better world out of hate. Learn from our failure and pursue the constructive, not the destructive. When you are confronted with opposing viewpoints, your first instinct should not be hatred but a desire to find common ground. If you are confronted with hate, do not let yourself be turned into the very thing you profess to hate. Seek the high road when you can.”

      Either that or just say:

      “Look, don’t invest your identity into any single political party. They’re all assholes. The only people who don’t think their party is filled with assholes are assholes themselves.”

      Try to wear a stained undershirt while waving a half-full bottle of whiskey around while giving the second speech.

      (The second explanation also works for sports teams, console makers, or any other “side” you can think of.)Report

  11. Avatar Damon says:

    I woke up quite surprised this morning and heard the news. I literally LOL’ed. The news reports are already filled with recriminations as the Dems start CYAing and pointing fingers. (Turn out was low. HRC didn’t energize her base, etc.)

    The best dose of schadenfreude so far was the reporter at a election party at Wesleyan College recording the “uncontrolled sobbing” and wailing as the realization of a HRC lose became real. The election party was attended by students, recent grads, and long graduated folk. I expected to hear hair being pulled out the tone was so grim. It was still going on HOURS later. Christ, you’d thing the Nazis where shooting their relatives in the streets.

    So this next comment is directed to the more left of center folks: You always talk about democracy. Well, it’s spoken. Are you going to be obstructionist like those damn evil republicans you’re always bad mouthing (Obama’s SC nominee as example) or are you going to “work together” to see if you can get something accomplished? Or is the opposition just too EVIL?Report

    • Avatar Kazzy in reply to Damon says:

      Depends. If Trump and the GOP pursue truly awful ends, I want my representatives to resist that full force. Where opportunity exists to work together to better our nation, I hope they take it.

      I do not endorse knee-jerk obstructionalism. But I do expect the Senator and Congressman I chose (who won) to protect, promote, and defend the ideals of our country and to represent the interests of me and my neighbors.Report

      • Avatar Damon in reply to Kazzy says:

        So are you saying that the republicans in the senate who refused to hold a hearing on Obama’s SC nominee were engaging in “knee-jerk obstructionism”? As an example-I’m sure there are more. Is so, please explain how that is obstructionism and your guy doing what you want isn’t.Report

        • Avatar Kazzy in reply to Damon says:

          “We won’t hold hearings on any Obama nomine… even one we recently endorsed…” versus “I listened to the hearings and do not find this person fit for the role.”

          Note: I never accused GOPers of knee-jerk obstructionism; I answered the question as you framed it.

          ETA- I don’t have a strict ideological test for a Justice. I’d probably be on board with anyone Counselor Likko is; I trust he can appropriately recognize those who will fulfill the responsibilities of the bench.Report

          • Avatar Damon in reply to Kazzy says:


            I wasn’t accusing you of claiming “GOPers of knee-jerk obstructionism” but I don’t know how you differentiate “going through the motions” and rejecting a candidate and “knew jerk obstructionism”. End result same. One just has a slightly more of a”plausible deniability” factor.Report

    • Avatar North in reply to Damon says:

      Odd, I thought you favored gridlock? So wouldn’t you continue to want obstruction?Report

      • Avatar Damon in reply to North says:

        I do favor it!

        But that wasn’t what I was asking. I was asking if the loosing party and it’s supporters have suddenly decided that they are going to be obstructionist (claiming they are doing it to save the union) and have the results end up looking a lot like what the repubs were doing. Of course the repubs were evil. Just trying to see how folks in that potion were going to rationalize that.Report

        • Avatar North in reply to Damon says:

          Personally I think total obstruction on the part of the Dems is a mugs game. For one I have little doubt the GOP will defenestrate the filibuster if the Dems try and use it like the GOP did. For another I think the Dems are fundamentally more interested in deal making. For a third I’m dubious the Schumer will be able to exercise the same lockstep party discipline in the left side of the Senate that the honorable Senator from Turtle-land exercised on the right.Report

  12. Avatar j r says:

    This is a situation that would benefit if people made an attempt to give their fears some form. Make a prediction. What exactly is going to happen in Trump’s America that has y’all so spooked?

    For instance, I worry that with both houses of Congress and a couple-few Supreme Court picks, we may see some significant backsliding on criminal justice reform and checking the growth of incarceration rates.Report

    • Avatar LeeEsq in reply to j r says:

      I already outlined what I think will happen above in best and worst case scenarios. The United States could end up as Kansas writ large, an economic basket case because of massive tax cuts that never end. Thats the best case scenario. The worst case is that Trump does act on his worst instincts and the Constitution can’t stop him. That America is run like his businesses and he defaults on the debt leading to global economic crisis.Report

    • Avatar Kazzy in reply to j r says:


      Curious if my fears articulated above are fully formed.Report

    • Avatar Gaelen in reply to j r says:

      I have the same fear, though with recent GOP moves on criminal justice reform I hope Trump’s rhetoric was just to instill fear and gin up votes, and once in office he won’t get in the way/advocate against the possible movement on those issues.

      Trump raising tariff’s or starting a trade war. It is my understanding that he has some (though not as much as he would like) discretion in this area. His instincts here are terrible.

      Also, not just an increase in deportations, but conditions of confinement for the possible deportees that are worse than they are now. That coupled with a tightening of AG discretion on cases of Cancellation of Removal and the like.Report

    • Avatar Mike Schilling in reply to j r says:

      With a GOP president and Congress I expect tax cuts plus a military buildup which equals skyrocketing deficits. (Yeah, that’s not Trump-specific.)

      Given Giuliani or any AG Trump is likely to appoint, I expect that the state marijuana legalizations will become moot.

      I expect to see foreign policy even dumber and more reckless than W’s.

      I expect to see at least an attempt at mass deportations. These will inevitably affect people who are here legally but look Mexican or Central American.Report

    • Avatar trizzlor in reply to j r says:

      I’m concerned about the treatment of Muslims, especially if Trump’s other policy-ish proposals fall apart (the wall, trade wars) and he starts leaning heavily on this. More anti-Muslim violence, voluntary and involuntary ghetto-ization, and the even nastier things that tends to bring out.Report

    • Avatar Troublesome Frog in reply to j r says:

      I agree with your worries about criminal justice reform. People voted in favor of the death penalty in a big way at the state level this time around. That, combined with Trump support, indicates to me that we’re probably entering another “law and order” swing of the pendulum.

      My prediction is that the world won’t end, much like what you said above.

      The median decision is likely to be about the same as if any other Republican had taken over. I don’t have deep concerns about his big ideas and plans because I really don’t think he has any, so he’ll probably usually rubber stamp the Republican agenda. Trump’s particular danger is in his volatility, so the tails are fatter. I think his propensity toward tantrums will cause at least a couple of extra major foreign policy screw ups that badly sour important relationships. I can only hope that it doesn’t get worse than that. Starting trade wars or real wars wouldn’t be good.

      I genuinely have no idea who he’ll appoint to the Supreme Court. Maybe he’ll appoint a highly competent conservative. Maybe he’ll appoint Dog the Bounty Hunter. Only time will tell. If it’s the former, I hope the Democrats defer and vote to approve. If the latter, I hope it’s enough of a circus to get him to reconsider, but that seems like a vain hope unless he can find a way of saving face.

      I’ve said before that for as much as many of us think GW Bush was a lousy President, he probably made the right call 90+% of the time. We just didn’t notice because the White House manages a bunch of mundane stuff that doesn’t end up in the news unless it’s melting down. Trump’s tendency to surround himself with yes men will likely lower his hit rate on the mundane stuff. We’ll probably see another Katrina type of situation where an unglamorous government agency has to step up and do something important and simply can’t get it done.

      Of course, we’ll see big tax cuts with much smaller spending cuts to offset them and a general increase in the debt load. Republican deficit warriors will coincidentally find other things to concern themselves with and we will avoid a debt ceiling showdown.

      Obamacare will be repealed or gutted and health care premiums will not start to drop. Nobody will learn anything from this.

      There will probably be at least one big scandal involving the abuse of domestic surveillance to settle either personal or political scores.

      There will probably be at least one scandal involving lots of government money being directed to Trump companies or their close associates. Given his behavior with donor money during the campaign, I can’t see him not using this as an opportunity to gorge on public money somehow. He won’t be content to earn Clinton speech money (and may not be able to after four years).Report

    • Avatar veronica d in reply to j r says:

      @j-r — Among the other things listed, I’m concerned he’ll make concrete efforts to reverse marriage equity, and in general weaken LGBTQ protections, enough that large swaths of the country become effective “North Carolinas” where I cannot safely travel. I’m worried that my transgender friends stuck living outside the gay meccas (which are expensive) will find life intolerable. I’m concerned with a large uptick in misery and suicide among my friends, as their employment and housing prospects plummet below their already terrible levels. I’m concerned that the right-wing “culture warriors” will be emboldened and turn up their level of hatred toward us. I’m worried we’ll lose many fights and good people will suffer and die.

      I’m worried about the loss of human thriving, that vast waste of human potential, all in the names of hate. I’m worried that, in exchange for this, Trump will deliver none of his promises, that America won’t be “great again” in the manner that the “angry white men” crowd had hoped, that this is a petulant orgy of stupid, led by deeply stupid man, who will flail around and achieve nothing good.

      I’m worried that the white working class will remain the “unnecessitariat,” that they’re communities will remain choked with closed factories, empty downtowns, scattered meth-labs, and and churches that preach isolation and paranoia.

      I’m worried that “America fuck yeah” won’t do shit, and that their anger will remain misdirected.

      Stupidity won this time.Report

      • Avatar Kim in reply to veronica d says:

        may the stupidity that won cause the stupidity on the left to perish.
        Astroturf needs to get the fuck out.
        Ditto letting the drama queens narcissists lead anything.

        Ten years ago, the left was a pretty cool, strong place where good shit happened. There’s been concerted efforts to diminish the left in the past five years especially. Problem is? It was working.Report

    • Avatar DavidTC in reply to j r says:

      What exactly is going to happen in Trump’s America that has y’all so spooked?

      Repealing the ACA, thus causing me to lose any possibility of being insured.

      Ironically, parts of the ACA were already failing, and if the Republicans had retained just enough control that they could keep Democrats from fixing it, let it fail by itself by 2020, they might have gotten away with it. “It was a bad law and we tried to repeal it, but never were able to.” (Ignoring the fact that they broke part of it with the risk corridor nonsense, and that the law needed some small fixes, not repeal.)

      But instead…they basically have to repeal it in 2017. They’ve been promising it, Trump has been promising it, there is absolutely no excuse.Report

      • Avatar Morat20 in reply to DavidTC says:

        Yep. Cutting millions off from insurance by repealing the ACA, then millions more by block granting Medicaid, is not going to be a winning move. They’ll do it anyways, of course.

        And they’ve got nothing to replace the ACA with it. I mean, nothing that’ll work. There’s a reason they never offer a plan.

        The smart move would be to just repeal the mandate and the subsidies, let it die and blame Democrats. But I think the base wants it cut out, root and branch.

        That’s the problem with the GOP — they’ve only got two solutions to problems (cut taxes and cut regulations) and if they don’t work, they have no other tools in the toolbox.Report

        • Avatar Troublesome Frog in reply to Morat20 says:

          I don’t think they could repeal the mandate without crossing the insurance industry badly. The Republicans may be afraid of the Trump groundswell, but they’re surely still afraid of the money people.Report

          • Avatar Morat20 in reply to Troublesome Frog says:

            They’re afraid of their base. Look, anyone looking to move to the lobbyist gravy train in 2018 will happily take the insurance company’s money. Everyone else? Everyone with aspirations of lengthier time in Congress, or higher office?

            They’ll do what Trump wants, because the GOP’s own base is rabidly pro-Trump even as the elites aren’t.

            They’ll repeal the mandate, and the subsidies, keep everything else, and watch it die. Then blame it on Obama.Report

            • Avatar DavidTC in reply to Morat20 says:

              They’ll repeal the mandate, and the subsidies, keep everything else, and watch it die. Then blame it on Obama.

              Are you *sure* they’ll repeal the subsidies?

              Because that *really* looks like raising insurance premiums by a really large amount, *especially* where healthcare is already expensive.

              In fact, almost all ‘My premiums rose by 400%’ stories are actually ‘My insurer stop offering my subsidized plan and tried to put me on an non-subsidized one, and I’m too stupid to go find another one on the exchange.’.

              Well, now *everyone’s* premiums did that.

              I can see them repealing the mandate, leaving the subsidies, and then, eventually having to cap out-of-control prices more and more (Because they’re blowing a hole in the budget)…and basically *burning the insurance companies to the ground*.

              And inside my head, despite the reality of the situation where I, and everyone else, *need* insurance companies…

              ….I will be doing a secret little dance on those fucker’s graves.Report

              • Avatar Morat20 in reply to DavidTC says:

                Yes, because they want to cut taxes and they’ll have to cut into social services. They hate the ACA with a fiery passion.

                So yeah, they’ll ditch the mandate AND the subsidies, and block-grant Medicare. They might even try to privatize SS (the beating the economy’s about to take will probably prevent that from going anywhere) again.

                They’re really short-sighted, and they think (possibly correctly) that they can blame the giant jump in premiums (and all the people suddenly unable to be uninsured, and exchanges collapsing) on Obama, and not the fact that they yanked the rug out.

                They will KEEP the “On your parents plan until you’re 27” and probably increase HSA limits, might even keep the medical-loss ratio, but subsidies and the mandate are DOA.

                Because they hate it so much, and they are so certain the public will blame Obama. Despite the fact that the public, in general, just blames whomever is President. And if they do blame Trump, well — happy day. They can scapegoat a guy they hate and replace him with someone better.Report

              • Avatar DavidTC in reply to Morat20 says:

                They’re really short-sighted, and they think (possibly correctly) that they can blame the giant jump in premiums (and all the people suddenly unable to be uninsured, and exchanges collapsing) on Obama, and not the fact that they yanked the rug out.

                I don’t see how that could possibly work. I mean, I’m as cynical as the next person, but when people go on the exchange and *don’t* have a subsidy like they had previous years, and the Republicans just *repealed* the subsidies in a giant ceremony of them finally ‘taking down the ACA’, I can’t even *imagine* how they think anyone will blame Obama for that.

                There’s being dumb, and there’s being *suicidally* dumb.Report

              • Avatar Morat20 in reply to DavidTC says:

                Has the GOP’s hatred of the ACA ever seemed rational?

                The ran explicitly on repealing it. They can’t NOT repeal it.

                They’re going to yank the subsidies — why would the GOP, of all people, keep giving money to those lazy folks?

                They may or may not shut down the exchanges entirely (I suspect they will) and “leave it to the market to sort out” and claim you can use your shiny new deduction and more HSA money to “shop around”.

                To the vast majority of the GOP, Obamacare is three things: The mandate, the exchange, and the “subsidies to THOSE people”. The GOP will absolute-frickin-luletly chop off their nose here.

                They’ve been promising to do it for too many years. They’ll keep the pre-existing conditions thing, maybe the medical-loss ratio requirements, and stuff like the expanded time to keep your kids on your insurance.

                But that “hand out” to the undeserving is gone, as is the “tax” on hardworking Americans.Report

              • Avatar DavidTC in reply to Morat20 says:

                They may or may not shut down the exchanges entirely (I suspect they will) and “leave it to the market to sort out” and claim you can use your shiny new deduction and more HSA money to “shop around”.

                Um, yeah, if the pre-existing condition thing is still functioning, without the mandate, (And with no subsidies needed to be gotten there.) insurance companies sure as hell aren’t going to keep their product on the *exchanges*, where sick people can find them!

                In fact, I seriously doubt they’d be selling individual insurance at all. Sure, they have to sell to everyone *equally*, regardless of pre-existing condition…and not selling to anyone at all is certainly selling *equally*. Solve that problem!

                Meaning literally no one can buy insurance.

                I…think people would notice that. Just a little bit. The GOP removes some of Obamacare, entire insurance industry say ‘Uh, nope’ and walks away, and now individual insurance literally doesn’t exist. Kind of obviously fuckup.

                Seriously, again, you’re not talking about the GOP cutting off their nose to spite their face. You are talking about the GOP calmly and methodically gluing hand grenades to their own clothing, and then jumping out of an airplane without a parachute to land in minefield being used as a nuclear test site.

                I would say ‘They cannot possibly be that stupid’, but I am no longer making any assumptions about how stupid people are after Tuesday, when it was proven I had *no idea* just how stupid people can be. Clearly, the levels of stupid are infinite, and someone, somewhere, can *always* ‘be that stupid’.

                I will instead say ‘The left cannot possibly get that lucky’.Report

              • Avatar Morat20 in reply to DavidTC says:

                You realize they’re literally planning to do just that? Phase out the ACA (just in time for the 2018 elections!) and replace it with expanded HSA’s that can be used with any healthcare plan.

                They’re also going to block grant Medicare.

                They have literally announced, with great fanfare, their plan to get rid of healthcare for tens of millions of people.

                They’re going to do it, because some of them truly believe that people hate the ACA that much (they hate the name, that’s for sure), and that their expanded HSA’s and whatever the heck “sell across state lines” is, will drop health care costs so much that the results are even better.

                And the rest…have no choice. If they vote to keep those things, they lose a primary in 2018. They have to win that before they can focus on the 2018 general election.

                They are going to do it.Report

              • Avatar Burt Likko in reply to Morat20 says:

                They don’t really have much of a choice but to do this do they? This is a policy that they married himself to a long time ago and has been a principal motive Force for their party during the past 6 years.

                Second they don’t have to be forced to do this. They want to. They truly believe that it is a net to the country. I’m not sure how much they sincerely believe it’s really Liberty issue but I do think they believe it’s an economics and business issue.

                And the fact is, a lot of people have had bad experiences with it. Not people who never had health insurance before but a lot of people who switched to it for any number of reasons. The premium increase right before the election didn’t help, the real problems pain at the rollout for individual enrollment when it didn’t work when coverage turned out not to be anything like as advertised, and when a lot of people went to actually use the product, and found it inferior to their expectations and previous experiences. It’s certainly understandable that’s something brand-new wouldn’t work right the first time out of the gate but first impressions are very powerful.

                So, well I like the idea of mandated health insurance Kama subsidies for people who cannot afford insurance, and an elimination of pre-existing conditions as a reason to decline to write a policy, I have come to understand why some people truly do not like Obamacare. That informs my understanding of why Republicans believe repealing it is a winning issue for them.Report

              • Avatar Burt Likko in reply to Burt Likko says:

                A further thought, if an unrealistic one, I know. It took Richard Nixon to go to China. It took Bill Clinton to reform welfare. Maybe it takes Donald Trump to make serious consideration of Single Payer Health Care part of acceptable political dialogue. After all, we know that he is no “small government” conservative.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Burt Likko says:

                I can’t believe it’s not butter.
                I am angry it’s not butter.
                What can I do to make it butter?
                I am sad it’s not butter.
                I accept it’s not butter.Report

              • Avatar Burt Likko in reply to Jaybird says:

                I didn’t say he’d advocate it. I said he’d make it something we can talk about. In a previous incarnation of his life, he liked the idea of single payer.

                So, should I regress to anger, or advance to sadness?Report

              • Avatar Kim in reply to Burt Likko says:

                Billy Clinton was supposed to dismantle Medicare and Social Security.
                There are some things that the powers that be want, and other things that they don’t want.
                They don’t want single payer.

                (Had we actually gotten Edwards in office, I could credibly make the case that Obamacare was a poison pill. It wasn’t, mind).Report

              • Avatar DavidTC in reply to Morat20 says:

                No, I think you misunderstood.

                I can see them dismantling *all* the ACA. Or almost all of it, maybe leaving the ‘stay on insurance parents insurance’ and a few other tiny parts.

                That, would, of course, be suicidal, as insurance premium increases have actually been lowered under the ACA, all the shit plans are gone and might not be coming back, and even discounting the people who won’t be able to get insurance at all (like me), a lot of people are going to be utterly shocked at the *new* prices.

                But there is a faint hope for Republicans that a lot of the little shitty ‘Not really insurance’ plans will be coming back, and maybe people will buy *those* and not notice they are both shittier and more expensive than they used to be, and, oh, BTW, they don’t actually have insurance because the policy has a $5000 lifetime cap on it.

                What I was saying I *can’t* imagine Republicans are going to do is leaving the protection for pre-existing conditions *and* remove the mandate. That is *way past* suicidal.

                That will result in, literally, the entire health insurance industry to say ‘Uh, no. We are not gibbering morons. Goodbye.’ and stop offering individual insurance at all. They might be legally required to sell it equally to all takers, but they aren’t legally required to sell it *at all*.

                In fact, it might literally be the first instance, and would definitely be the *fastest* instance, of ‘Regulating a product so much that no one is willing to provide it’ that has happened in US history.

                The really ironic thing is, half of the companies are leaving the individual market, or at least the exchanges, *anyway*. If the Republicans could just leave the thing along for a year, it would be be ‘collapsing’ before Trump is out of office. (Well, adjusting, but it could be *spun* as collapsing.)

                Honest to God, if they do this, if they stagger into Congress in 2017 and leave the pre-existing condition protection and remove the mandate, it will be the most epic instance of snatching defeat from the jaws of victory I have ever seen in my entire life.

                In fact, and this just occurred to me, they could actually remove the mandate from the ‘current’ year, (Aka, 2017) because that’s on next year’s taxes. They could just say, as soon as they took office (Or even before!), even before they passed a bill to do it, ‘You won’t have to pay the penalty for being uninsured. We’re getting rid of that.’. That would produce a goddamn *meltdown* in the insurance market.Report

              • Avatar DavidTC in reply to DavidTC says:

                Well, holy hell:


                They’re going to do it. Those maniacs are actually going to do it. Holy fucking shit.

                Vox seems to think insurers *will* stay in the market, and rates will just skyrocket. At least, that article does.

                We, apparently, will see.Report

              • Avatar Morat20 in reply to DavidTC says:

                Seriously, did you actually expect anything else?

                They writing has been on the wall about this since the ACA passed. Those are the bits people like. So the GOP calculus is simple: We keep the bits they like, get rid of the ones they don’t, and if/when it fails, we blame Obama because it’s his product.

                But as we’ve seen over and over, voters don’t really care. When suddenly healthcare costs spike or insurers leave, they’ll blame the people in power.

                “It was the last President’s fault” doesn’t work even when it’s true.Report

              • Avatar Burt Likko in reply to Morat20 says:

                Keeping the ban on pre-existing conditions but discontinuing the subsidy and the mandate is effectively banning insurance for those with pre-existing conditions. Politically each component is salable on its own, I suppose, the same way that an oboe, a violin, and a trumpet each can be played in appealing ways. But unless they’re all in tune with each other, the concert is dissonant and unappealing.Report

              • Avatar DavidTC in reply to Burt Likko says:

                Keeping the ban on pre-existing conditions but discontinuing the subsidy and the mandate is effectively banning insurance for those with pre-existing conditions.

                Pssst, you need one more logic step there. If you make it illegal for the insurance company to discriminate in any manner against people with pre-existing conditions, and other things make you conclude that you just ‘effectively banned insurance for those with pre-existing conditions’…

                …what you have *actually* concluded is that insurance [in the individual market] has effectively been banned for everyone, because insurance companies cannot treat ‘everyone’ different from people with pre-existing conditions.

                If insurance companies cannot sell insurance at reasonable prices to people with pre-existing conditions, and they aren’t allowed to charge people with pre-existing different amounts….they can’t sell insurance to *anyone* at reasonable prices.

                And, of course, operating a market with completely unreasonable prices, while possible, is a good way to only attract people with expensive medical problems who are really good at math. So their best bet is to exit, stage left.

                I keep making a semi-serious joke, I’ve probably made it here, but I make it a lot of Facebook, when people talk about insurance premiums going up, I point out that, on average, they went down a huge amount under the ACA. People argue with me, citing rates, and then I point out I literally could not buy insurance, making *my* insurance premiums infinite, in that I could pay any finite amount of money and still not get insurance. Anything averaged with infinity is, of course, infinity, and thus average insurance premiums were infinity before the ACA. Thus their prices currently are lower by a huge amount. Q.E.D.

                This is not really how the math works (Like I said, it’s a joke.), but to actually be serious, the surest way to get people to say ‘Maybe the rising premiums under the ACA were not so bad’ is to literally destroy their entire insurance market where they cannot buy insurance.

                And I know, because that’s the reason *I* find ‘Premiums went up 10%!!!!! We need to repeal Obamacare!’ to be a completely laughable complaint.Report

              • Avatar Morat20 in reply to Burt Likko says:

                Yes, I agree that’s the outcome.

                That outcome is not surprising to anyone, even the GOP. That is the desired outcome, but doing it this way means the GOP can say “We didn’t ban anything you like” and “It’s Obama’s fault, the ACA is unworkable”.

                I don’t think that will fly (historically, the public blames the party in power even if it was the previous party’s fault, the public blames the last party touch it regardless of fault, and the public tends to blame the unpopular person over the popular. Which means, assuming life remains normal which is a HUGE assumption these days, that Trump and the GOP will be blamed).

                It’s another too cute by half move by the GOP, which they have tried before and routinely fail at. (Privatizing SS, the government shutdown, the debt-ceiling showdown, etc).

                Simple, direct, cause-and-effect is the easiest sell to the public. (Hence “last person to touch it broke it”).Report

              • Avatar DavidTC in reply to Morat20 says:

                That outcome is not surprising to anyone, even the GOP. That is the desired outcome, but doing it this way means the GOP can say “We didn’t ban anything you like” and “It’s Obama’s fault, the ACA is unworkable”.

                You think the GOP, after yelling for years they will repeal the Obamacare, are not going to paint what they are going to do as *trumpets blare*REPEALING OBAMACARE, even if they leave some parts of it intact?

                So won’t them *very clearly* claiming to have repealed Obamacare, and holding victory celebrations about how the evil Obamacare is gone, and there was a big symbolic burning of Obamacare on the White House lawn, and everyone on the Sunday shows talking about Republicans fill campaign promises and repealed the evil Obamacare…going to make it hard to, uh, blame Obamacare when things immediately go tits-up?

                Man, I keep thinking *I’m* too cynical about the the intelligence of elected Republicans, but I can’t even grasp my mind around the fact they’d try that.Report

              • Avatar Troublesome Frog in reply to Morat20 says:

                Yes, because they want to cut taxes and they’ll have to cut into social services.

                Wait, what? How does cutting spending follow from cutting taxes? Isn’t the prudent thing to do just to cut taxes and let the roaring economy make up the difference?Report

              • Avatar Morat20 in reply to Troublesome Frog says:

                If they don’t cut services, it angers the alt-right (because it’s money going to those lazy mooching “others”) and rising deficits anger the business wing.

                In short, they have to cut services to show how “serious” they are.Report

              • Avatar Burt Likko in reply to Morat20 says:

                There will be a lobster-and-escargot ban for SNAP cards, much wailing and gnashing of teeth, and that’ll be the end of it. I think we’re about due for “guy-buys-a-lobster-with-welfare-money” as the OOTW anyway — it’s been, what, eighteen months?Report

        • Avatar DavidTC in reply to Morat20 says:

          And they’ve got nothing to replace the ACA with it. I mean, nothing that’ll work. There’s a reason they never offer a plan.

          Sure they do! They will let insurance companies *sell across state lines*!

          What could go wrong?

          …other than the fact that, as I have pointed out recently, that is literally impossible, because insurance regulators won’t authorize the plan to sell in the ‘origin’ state if it only has doctors in other states…and all the ‘sell in other state’ concepts are ‘You can sell a plan here if you could sell that plan in the home state’…which, of course, will not be true.Report

          • Avatar Morat20 in reply to DavidTC says:

            Pretty sure that’s just code for telling the states that they have to accept the insurance requirements for other states.

            Basically to create a cottage industry of faux-insurance (the sort that evaporates when you try to use it), unhindered by oversight or regulation by any other state but the issuer.

            Basically like credit cards, only you pay a lot more and can’t ever use them.Report

            • Avatar DavidTC in reply to Morat20 says:

              I know what it’s *supposed* to be, the problem is, as I’ve explained before here, that to be under the rules of State A (With lax rules), and try to sell in State B (with stricter rules, but that allows buying insurance across the line), your plan has to be legal to sell in State A, because that’s the requirement for buying it in B, that it is legal in some other state.

              So, an insurance company goes and makes a network in State B, and try to get that plan certified in State A first. (The law in B says, plainly, that to buy insurance it has to be legal in its origin state.)

              But State A, no matter how lax the rules are, requires you to have *doctors* in the plan. Reasonable local doctors. A ‘lax’ regulation state might allow the closest hospital to be 100 miles away instead 30, but none of them are going to let you not have any local hospitals at all.

              Which means…you can’t sell the plan in State A. Which means…you can’t sell the plan in State B, because that requires the plan being legal in A.

              To actually do this thing, you’d not only have to allow ‘buying across state lines for the target state (Like my state have)’, you’d have to go to the origin state and…actually, I’m not even sure how to set the system up. But you can’t do it by trying to jerry-rig on *another state’s* authorization, because another state isn’t going to authorize a plan that literally has no doctors in that state!

              This, idea is, honestly, really fucking stupid. I don’t mean stupid in that it won’t lower prices, I mean stupid in that no one appears to have logically attempted to think the process through.

              It literally works for *across lines*, like, someone next to the line might want insurance in the next state, and just get all their medical care there, or even create a plan that cross state lines and sells in both…but anything else is stupid.

              And it’s even dumber for Trump to propose it, because, uh, that’s not a Federal government thing.Report

              • Avatar DavidTC in reply to DavidTC says:

                tl;dr – Let me present a little skit:

                “Hello, insurance regulatior in Georgia, I am from Delaware and would like you to authorize a plan.”

                “Okay, so the plan is authorized in Delaware? If so you can sell it here.”

                “Erm, oops, we didn’t run it past the Delaware regulator yet. Back in a minute.”

                “Hello, insurance regulator in Delaware, I would like you to authorize a plan.”

                “Okay, you seem to have followed most of our very lax rules, where are you selling this plan?”


                “That…is not one of our zip codes. That is, in fact, Georgia.”

                “We’re sellling it in Georgia.”

                “But, the problem is, we regulate *Delaware* insurance. We decide if you can sell insurance *here*, not in Georgia.”

                “Erm, okay, the zip code is…19702”

                “Sounds good, that one is in Delaware, let’s check your list of doctors. Hrm, the nearest doctor appears to be 750 miles away. We might be a bit lax here in Delaware, but we’re not *that* lax. You can’t sell a insurance plan where people have to drive literally 13 hours for medical care! Your insurance plan is not authorized.”


                “Hello, insurance regulator in Georgia, I am from Delaware and would like you to authorize a plan.”

                “Is this plan authorized in Delaware *now*?”

                “So, yeah, we have a plan that *would* be authorized in Delaware except our doctors are too far away…”

                “We…do not care about your stupid technicalities. The laws says the plan must be authorized by Delaware insurance regulators, is that true, yes or no?”

                “No. The plan is not authorized in Delaware.”

                “The law clearly says, if you want to sell insurance across state lines, it has to be authorized in the originating state.”

                “But….ah….whose dumbass idea was this catch-22?”Report

              • Avatar Burt Likko in reply to DavidTC says:

                Well, surely there are solutions to this, no?

                Carrot or stick to incentivize the originating state to grant an authorization of a plan intended to be sold out-of-state if the plan otherwise qualifies in the target state, and to create a process by which the target state certifies that, upon origination authorization, target authorization will be given.

                Plans from initial target state T1 that are “ported” to target state T2 are really disenrollment from the T1 policy and enrollment in the T2 policy for the remainder of the T1 policy term, with identical (or substantially similar) coverage, deductible, and other benefit provisions. The underwriting gets a little more complex, yes, but again it seems like it ought to be doable.


                “Hello, Georgia regulator, this is Delaware Insurance Company. We would like to sell plan X in Georgia.”
                “I see you have sufficient doctors in Georgia who are within the plan and coverage and benefit structures look good. Here’s your provisional authorization; you may start selling here after we certify we’ve received your Delaware origination authorization.”
                “Hello Delaware regulator, please take a look at this Georgia provisional authorization, may I have a Delaware origination authorization? Here’s our fee.”
                “Great! Here you go, good luck selling in Georgia.”

                “Hello Delaware Insurance Company, I’m a policyholder of Plan X in Georgia and I just got a job in Arizona.”
                “Great! Plan X is cross-compatible with Arizona. Let me have a word with the underwriter, please hold… Hello, Ms. Underwriter, Mr. Georgia here is moving to Arizona.”
                “I see he has 4 months left in his term. Let’s pro-rate the premiums, terminate the Georgia policy and start a fractional Arizona policy.”

                It seems like this ought to be possible. It seems like the Federal government could serve as a clearinghouse and a standard-setter for at least basic sorts of plans. Why am I wrong?Report

              • Avatar DavidTC in reply to Burt Likko says:

                Oh, it’s certainly *possible*. And, because you have thought about it for five minutes, you have come up with a way it can work.

                But two points:

                1) The Republicans *pushing* selling insurance across state lines seem to not actually understand how insurance works or that this would be a problem that they even need to think about, thus they are passing laws that are literally impossible to use.

                2) What exactly is this accomplishing anyway? If two states get together and want insurance in each to be sold in the other, then why don’t they just *create an interstate compact* to do that? Or, hell, just create *identical* rules, which doesn’t *technically* allow insurance across state lines, but it would allow any company to deal with one set of regulation.

                In fact, what is this even accomplishing *at all*? I don’t mean ‘what good thing is it accomplishing?’, I mean ‘The Republicans think it will do something that is objectively bad, a race to the bottom of regulation, but it *it can’t even do that*.

                Georgia, for example, passed a *state* law allowing that in 2010, but, the problem is, if Georgia wanted to *reduce insurance regulations*, they could just *reduce insurance regulations*. Why do they need *some other state* to reduce them? Huh?

                The entire way the credit card thing works is that it is a *Federal law* that allows companies to sell them in one place and be regulated in another.

                The problem is, health insurance can’t work that way. Health insurance, from what I understand, cannot be removed from state regulation, under the current understanding of the constitution. (The Federal government is just regulating what *counts* as health insurance for subsidy and tax purposes. States can still allow people to purchase total crap, employees just can’t get a tax deduction from it.)

                What is even the hell? What is going on here? What is this stupidity?

                And, I mean, if the right thinks it *is* constitutional to regulate health insurance at the Federal level, that’s one thing.

                But it still doesn’t explain what a bunch of *state* politicians are doing.

                And, like I said, what makes this even dumber is that insurance companies don’t want this. (Because if they did, they would be pointing out the flaws, if they weren’t writing the laws themselves.)

                In politics, I usually don’t attribute to something to lack of knowledge that can be attributed to malice, but, damn, this ‘sell insurance across state lines’ is proving just exactly how stupid some of these people are.

                It seems like the Federal government could serve as a clearinghouse and a standard-setter for at least basic sorts of plans. Why am I wrong?

                Which…the ACA set up, explicitly authoring all sorts of interstate compacts for insurance and stuff. And no one used them.Report

              • Avatar Burt Likko in reply to DavidTC says:

                Which…the ACA set up, explicitly authoring all sorts of interstate compacts for insurance and stuff. And no one used them.

                Clearly, you don’t understand that this was both unconstitutional and an inherent threat to the concept of ordered liberty in a Federalized republic. We need to repeal that awful Obamacare, and replace it with a very slightly different system passed by Republicans and signed into law by a President Trump. Then it’ll be Constitutional and appropriate to our system of government.Report

              • Avatar DavidTC in reply to DavidTC says:

                The problem is, health insurance can’t work that way. Health insurance, from what I understand, cannot be removed from state regulation, under the current understanding of the constitution.

                Oh, and if it *was* removed, that *still* wouldn’t be ‘selling insurance across state lines’, that would be Federally regulated insurance.

                I would be completely amazed if the courts allowed the Federal government to walk into *into a state insurance regulator* and demand they authorize plans that are designed for other states. Maybe the Federal government can regulate health insurance, maybe not, but they can’t require that *states* regulate health insurance in specific ways!

                And without the Federal government forcing this, the entire concept is idiotic.

                Hell, if a state wants to let plans operate under another state’s rules…LET THEM OPERATE UNDER THAT STATE’S RULES. Give them an option ‘What state rules are you operating under?’

                Yes, that is an insanely stupid amount of rules and will totally gum up the regulators, but it, at least, is offshoring all this extra idiotic work onto your own state’s regulator instead of pretending that other state’s regulators will do it for free for your state for some reason.

                This entire thing is a nonsensical thought clusterfuck that doesn’t do anything useful, doesn’t do what it’s trying to do, wouldn’t reduce rates even if it did what it’s trying to do, and is pushed by people who have no idea about anything at all.Report

              • Avatar Morat20 in reply to DavidTC says:

                I’m pretty sure the GOP plan is, literally, to tell State A (tighter rules) that if State B (looser rules) that if State B sets up an insurance network in State A according to State B’s rules, State A has to suck it up and allow it.

                Basically the same sort of “State’s Rights” stuff like Dred Scott and the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850.

                Now in their heads, they’re probably just pretty certain that State A will love State B’s plans because they’re “better” and the free market in health care will magically make it all happen and that no coercion is needed.

                But we’ve all learned that “State’s Rights” is not actually a think the GOP cares about, it’s just a convenient slogan.Report

              • Avatar Burt Likko in reply to Morat20 says:

                But we’ve all learned that “State’s Rights” is not actually a thing the GOP cares about, it’s just a convenient slogan.

                Very much like “judicial activism” and “voter fraud.”Report

              • Avatar Morat20 in reply to Burt Likko says:

                Don’t get me wrong, the left’s got similar rallying cries.

                But it’s funny to watch anyways.Report

              • And “balanced budgets”.Report

              • Avatar nevermoor in reply to Burt Likko says:

                “small government”
                “balanced budgets”Report

              • Avatar Brandon Berg in reply to Morat20 says:

                Keep in mind that, while you lefties like to pretend that it’s a blank check for the federal government to regulate anything but sex, the actual purpose of the interstate commerce clause, as described in Federalist 42, was to prevent individual states from interfering with interstate commerce. As far as I can tell, this is the only mention of it in the Federalist Papers:

                A very material object of this power was the relief of the States which import and export through other States, from the improper contributions levied on them by the latter. Were these at liberty to regulate the trade between State and State, it must be foreseen that ways would be found out to load the articles of import and export, during the passage through their jurisdiction, with duties which would fall on the makers of the latter and the consumers of the former. We may be assured by past experience, that such a practice would be introduced by future contrivances; and both by that and a common knowledge of human affairs, that it would nourish unceasing animosities, and not improbably terminate in serious interruptions of the public tranquillity.

                It’s not obvious that states actually have the constitutional authority to prohibit residents from buying medical insurance from out-of-state companies. When you think about it, it really is on pretty shaky ground. If I want to send money to a company in another state in exchange for a promise by that company to pay for my medical care, and my state government prevents me from doing that, that’s regulation of interstate commerce, a power reserved solely for the federal government, not to mention something that gets pretty deep into “Who the hell do you think you are?” territory.Report

              • Avatar trizzlor in reply to Brandon Berg says:

                >>If I want to send money to a company in another state in exchange for a promise by that company to pay for my medical care…

                You are more than free to do so. And then travel to that state to get treated by in-network doctors.Report

              • Avatar Kazzy in reply to DavidTC says:

                Why can’t the plan have doctors in both states? So a Delawarian has options 7 miles away AND 700 miles away? One network… Delageorgia… with a desert in between the two states.Report

              • Avatar Burt Likko in reply to Kazzy says:

                That’s how it would be presented to the consumer, I imagine.

                Banks have figured out how to seamlessly present themselves and their sister banks in sister states as being one and the same entity. Banking rules are very different from state to state: nearly every state has unique fair lending laws, for instance, and there’s a wide variety of different sorts of rules about escheats, collection of debts, insurance requirements, withdrawal limits, and so on.

                Still, from the consumer’s point of view, BSNB-North Carolina looks exactly like BSNB-Virginia which looks exactly like BSNB-Ohio. If I live in North Carolina, my BSNB ATM card works just fine when I visit my cousin in Ohio at a BSNB ATM, and I don’t pay any extra fees. The bank branches nowhere specify which bank I’m actually doing business with. And there’s a cover entity, BSNB, N.A. (“N.A.” stands for “National Association” but you probably already knew that) which serves as a shell for a complex network of smaller entities that fulfill a wide variety of business and financial functions.

                So far as I know, and everything we’ve learned here from @davidtc , no one has yet built a national network of medical service providers and insurance agreements. Blue Cross has come the closest, to my knowledge: some sort of Blue Cross entity is present and competing with other insurers in a large number of states. So Blue Cross would probably be the real beneficiary of legislation or regulation that permits “insurance to cross state lines,” in this vision, if it chose to do so. If a BSNB can figure out how to present itself to a consumer as a seamlessly-integrated national bank, there’s no reason Blue Cross couldn’t also figure out how to make a similar presentation to an insurance consumer.

                What I wonder now as I ponder this issue further is, would it want to? Fact is, doctors and hospitals and other people and entities that need to be paid to render health care cost different amounts in different states, even in different areas within states. Consequently, premiums almost necessarily need to vary based on prevailing local economic conditions. Blue Cross doesn’t want to sell me a one-year term of silver-level coverage insurance in Tennessee for an annual premium of $2,000, only to have me move to California where the equivalent provider costs are twice what they were in Tennessee and therefore the premium ought to be $4,000. At least, if it does that, and it passes along the pro-rated increased risk to me in the form of a premium hike, as a consumer I’m unlikely to perceive the insurance policy as “seamless” or even “portable.” The only real benefit I’ve got is that I can buy a fraction of a year in California to cover the gap between the time I move and the regular enrollment cycle, but I’m still paying the higher California premiums as soon as I get there. So what benefit to me, the consumer, and what advantage to Blue Cross, the insurer?Report

              • Avatar DavidTC in reply to Burt Likko says:

                So what benefit to me, the consumer, and what advantage to Blue Cross, the insurer?

                As I said, the most baffling thing of all this is: It is easy to assume that everything the Republicans do is because they are in someone’s pocket.

                The thing here is…they aren’t. The insurance companies *don’t* want this. (Which is obvious, because *they* wouldn’t be passing such stupid laws.)

                This is a nonsensical idea Republicans came up with on their own, because they are unaware that…

                Consequently, premiums almost necessarily need to vary based on prevailing local economic conditions.

                Which is obvious, when you pay the slightest bit of attention.

                The extremely low-population and poor areas in South Georgia (Yes, I know everyone assumes Appalachia is the poor and low-population area. That’s not how it works in Georgia. Georgia Appalachia is too close to Atlanta to be *really* poor.) have almost no medical facilities, and the few they did have closed as the uninsured kickback went away. (And we didn’t expand Medicaid.) Insurance rates in South Georgia vs. *income* is among the highest proportion in the country, last I heard.

                Meanwhile, insurance rates *up here*, in North Georgia, where almost every town has a hospital and lots of doctors, are fine. They get slightly higher as you get further *into* dueling-banjo areas, areas that it’s not possible to commute to Atlanta from, but worst case is that people have to drive over a or two mountain for medical care. Of course, those people usually have to drive over a mountain to get to *McDonalds*, so they’re somewhat understanding of it. (Someone put my town’s McDonalds, and strangely, my hospital, *on* a mountain. WTH? I mean, it’s not a *big* mountain, but even healthy people would have trouble walking up it.)

                In South Georgia, you have completely flat roads…and counties (Note, Georgia counties are small compared to other states.) with one or two very small little towns where you can *hopefully* buy groceries, and *might* have one doctor, although he’s really old and not taking new patients, but sure as hell don’t have a hospital. And when you do find a hospital, it’s the only one around for two hours in any direction…and needless to say, it knows insurance companies have no choice and it can charge them whatever it wants. And it has to charge a lot, because it has a *lot* of really poor people who do not pay their bills.

                And, needless to say, both parts of Georgia have exactly the same regulations. Hell, we don’t need to let *other states* sell insurance here…we just need to let people in South Georgia buy *North Georgia* insurance. That will solve everything! Herp derp.

                Of course, the problem is that the Republicans that invented this idea *don’t* pay the slightest bit of attention, as evidenced by the fact that their plan, in addition to being stupid, literally cannot function as they spelled it out.Report

    • Avatar DensityDuck in reply to j r says:

      “What exactly is going to happen in Trump’s America that has y’all so spooked?”

      The issue is not what Trump will do.

      The issue is what other people will do because they figure that, Trump having been elected, certain less-than-savory attitudes won’t be punished as hard as they might be.

      Like, if you tell a black girl “you should sit at the back of the bus now” and giggle wildly over how it’s funny because she’s black, get it? And you’re not actually thinking of it as racist repression–if anything, you think of it as mild shit-talking, like when she sees your Uggs and is all “yo, basic bitch”–but you used to be too scared of getting punished to make a joke like that. But maybe now you aren’t, maybe now you figure that it’s okay to cut loose with wisecracks based on racial and sexual stereotypes, for humor to allude to historical tragedies.Report

    • Avatar Kazzy in reply to j r says:


      Thinking a bit more on this, I’m going to give some pushback to you and other calls for calm. Yes, we may (and probably will) learn that President Trump yields more ame than change. But he ran on a platform of change… a platform built around targetting, otherizing, and demonizing various groups… and not just with words but actual policy proposals. Will he realize those? Probably not. But if we take him at his word that he at least intends to pursue those ends, I think a “Holy shit!” response is pretty reasonable. Maybe we shouldn’t take him at his word, but even that is an upsetting indictment of this process.

      So, yes, perspective and proportion are important… but calls for calm and NBD in the immediate followup feel similarly out of place.Report

      • Avatar j r in reply to Kazzy says:

        Thinking a bit more on this, I’m going to give some pushback to you and other calls for calm.

        When did I call for calm? I said it would be helpful to give your fears a specific form instead of the sort of free form freaking out that I’ve been seeing. If people want to freak out, that’s fine with me as well. It’s still a free country. For now.

        Personally, I think freaking out about electoral politics is silly. If it as about the passing of a specific law or a court ruling, I could understand. But freaking out because a guy you don’t like got elected just doesn’t strike me as particularly rational.

        Also, I think part of the reason that people are freaking out is that they were completely blindsided about Trump winning. And that may be a sign of people leaving in some very thick ideological and cultural bubbles. I am disappointed that Trump is president, but I accepted the possibility of this a long time ago.Report

        • Avatar Kazzy in reply to j r says:

          I think different people are upset for different reasons.Report

          • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Kazzy says:

            I know why I’m upset: a long time ago I said that Hillary couldn’t handle Trump, but I didn’t have the balls to make than an official prediction at the OT. I’m kicking my hindsight about that.

            More seriously, Trump’s policies might very well go against conventional liberal expectation, and that’s a cause for sadness and perhaps anger. But I agree with j r that fearing a Trump presidency is misguided and overblown since it presupposes an incredible lack of faith in American institutions. (And is also, perhaps, evidence of the degree to which identity politics drives the left, I might add.)Report

            • Avatar Kazzy in reply to Stillwater says:


              Things Trump has said he wants to pursue:
              – deporting 11M+ people
              – banning Muslims from entering the country
              – overturning Roe
              – suing journalists who criticize him
              – stop-and-frisk nationwide

              Exactly which institutions should the folks threatened by such proposals put their faith in to assuage their fears?Report

              • Avatar Morat20 in reply to Kazzy says:

                We’re still in Trump denial. It’s the part where we assure ourselves that Trump was just lying, and has secret plans that are not so terrifying.Report

              • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Kazzy says:

                Get legal.
                Don’t seek asylum in the US.
                That one would be a tragedy.
                Won’t happen.
                Also won’t happen.Report

              • Avatar Kazzy in reply to Stillwater says:


                1. What should their American born children be feeling?
                2. What should Muslims who aren’t seeking refuge but simply want to immigrate here be feeling? What should Muslims who are already (or were always) here be feeling?
                3. I believe Trump said this would happen “automatically”. Which won’t happen because that isn’t how SCOTUS works but seems reasonable to extrapolate that he is going to pretty aggressively pursue it.
                4. and 5. Trump says X. Others say Trump won’t or can’t do X. We expect folks who would be harmed by X to trust the latter. Why should they?Report

              • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Kazzy says:

                1. Regret that their parents aren’t legal citizens?
                2. Trump’s restriction only applies, as I understand it, to “war torn” (something like that) countries. A British Muslim could get in just as easily as an IRA member. Easier. (Which is effectively Obama’s policy now, minus the “let’s take in 10,000 refugees” part.)
                3. Overturning Roe would be tragedy. (Didn’t I say that already?)
                4,5: Won’t happen.Report

              • Avatar Kazzy in reply to Stillwater says:


                I believe you are misunderstanding my point. You seem to be talking about how people ought to respond if and when those things happen.

                I’m talking about how people should feel right now with the possibility of those things all much realer than they were on Monday.

                Also, re 2, his spoken statements indicate he has pulled back to that argument, but I believe the last iteration of his policy on his website was a total ban on Muslims entering the country.

                Your argument seems to be that fear is misguided and overblown because institutions will protect people from what they are feeling.

                My question is which institutions? You did not answer that. Saying, “Get legal,” doesn’t tell people who are afraid of being supported why they shouldn’t be afraid. It gives them an avenue to avoid that which they fear… but not a reason why fear is misguided or overblown.

                Your response is equivalent to saying, “You don’t have to fear being punched in the head by an angry man with balled fists coming at you if you just get a helmet.”Report

              • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Kazzy says:

                Well, the fear may be real. That doesn’t mean it’s justified or even rational.

                I mean, I would be very disappointed, angry, pissed off, upset if Roe was overturned, but I’m not afraid of it happening. It either will or won’t.Report

              • Avatar Kazzy in reply to Stillwater says:


                Whose fear are you talking about?

                Imagine someone approached you and said: “Hi. I’m here illegally. I’m afraid that I will be deported to a country that will not accept me, leaving me in a legal limbo. I’m afraid that my children — born here and with citizenship nowhere else in the world — will either become wards of the state here or land in similar legal limbo.”

                How do you respond to that person?Report

              • Avatar Burt Likko in reply to Kazzy says:

                – deporting 11M+ people
                Logistics, expense, about half the Republicans in Congress and all the Democrats in Congress don’t want him to.

                – banning Muslims from entering the country
                In the short run, he can do this. In the long run, the First and Fifth Amendments.

                – overturning Roe
                No President can do this. A Justice or two he appoints to SCOTUS could combine with Roberts, Thomas, and Alito and they might. I’m note 100% sure Roberts would pull the trigger. More likely than not, but I’m not nearly as certain with him as I am with Thomas and Alito.

                – suing journalists who criticize him
                First Amendment.

                – stop-and-frisk nationwide
                Fourth and Fifth Amendments.

                If this looks like we’re going to depend a lot on the courts to serve as goalies to prevent these most egregious of excesses that I fully believe a Trump Administration will actually attempt, well, we are. The only political backstop we’ve got is that Republicans as a whole are actually ambivalent about immigration. For all the rest, we’re down to the Constitution and judges who hopefully have the balls to enforce it.Report

              • Avatar Kazzy in reply to Burt Likko says:

                If you’re black or female, how much faith do you put in SCOTUS?Report

              • Avatar Kazzy in reply to Burt Likko says:

                I CONcur.Report

              • Avatar j r in reply to Kazzy says:

                Things Trump has said he wants to pursue:
                – deporting 11M+ people

                I am guessing that Trump does not deport anywhere near 11 million people. The real question is whether or not he beats Obama’s 2 million.Report

              • Avatar Kazzy in reply to j r says:

                But that’s just a guess.

                Is someone who guesses, “He’ll pursue an immigration policy that puts me at greater risk of deportation” wrong?

                My argument is not that these fears are assured to be realized… only that they are substantiated and legitimate.Report

              • Avatar Marchmaine in reply to Kazzy says:

                But I think JR’s point is that the fears are already rational (indeed, I’d say expected and calculated) and we’re hypothesizing the delta.

                It would seem reasonable that the trend will continue to make illegal immigration more risky in the short run… but it was already risky.

                There’s sort of an unstated premise that we’re going from open boarders to a wall. More likely we’re going from constant deportations to louder constant deportations. I’m skeptical of an actual wall. Maybe a wall in spirit.Report

              • Avatar Kazzy in reply to Marchmaine says:

                “But freaking out because a guy you don’t like got elected just doesn’t strike me as particularly rational.”Report

              • Avatar Marchmaine in reply to Kazzy says:

                “I am guessing that Trump does not deport anywhere near 11 million people. The real question is whether or not he beats Obama’s 2 million.”


            • Avatar Don Zeko in reply to Stillwater says:

              No, it requires having a low opinion of the trustworthiness of the Republicans that currently control most of those institutions. Given their track record with regard to Trump, I am not optimistic.Report

            • Avatar Saul Degraw in reply to Stillwater says:


              I go back and forth on this. The issue is that many minorities might not feel like America’s institutions protect them enough. There are many ways in which the law is good at protecting minority interests and rights. There are many ways in which it is stacked in favor of institutional power even if you have theoretical rights to protect you from abuses.

              The other thing is that institutions can and do fail and those failures and changes can happen overnight.

              Now I think America’s institutions are stronger than most but we are going to be put to a stretch test possibly.Report

  13. Avatar Autolukos says:

    I’ve been wrong on a lot about Trump, so perhaps Congress will awaken from the stupor they’ve been in since the start of the second Bush administration and jealously guard their prerogatives in the next one. I know what I’m betting on, though.Report

  14. Avatar Pyre says:


    So my February prediction that Trump would take the Presidency came true after all.

    Weird. I could have sworn that this would be the year I was going to call it wrong.

    Oh well. A couple months ago, I slapped a post-mortem together of what the Democrats needed to do differently to win. I gotta get to work but, if I remember, I’ll post the basics here tonight.Report

    • Avatar Pyre in reply to Pyre says:

      Sun Tzu says a lot about weakness and strength. Indeed, for those who have read it, you could say it is a central theme of much of his teachings. One of the interpretations that I’ve read of some of his teachings is “You cannot make yourself weak. You can only make yourself strong.” This seems odd to me as much of his teachings involve bringing about weakness in the enemy. However, it is a good rule of thumb when doing a post-mortem. You can cast blame or say “If things had gone another way” but that does not actually help a person or an organization win the next battle.

      In that spirit, here is what I believe the Democrats need to focus on in order to regroup and win the next battle. I will go over each briefly but be aware that there are many examples where the Democrats failed on each of these than just the ones that I’ve named.

      1) Get a handle on your propaganda.

      There are so many points during the election where I (if I were the head of the DNC) would have called up the NYT or MSNBC and told them to “knock it off” with the easily verifiable falsehoods or truth-twistings that it’s hard to count them all. To win a Presidental race, one has to control their propaganda to provide a reasonable picture. Setting up an 83-year-old woman into giving a Nazi salute or trying to victim-blame Trump because Anti-Trumpers start rioting outside will lose you credibility. In turn, this means that, when you do have legitimate dirt on the other candidate, people will have already tuned you out.

      2) Avoid strong appearances of impropriety.

      Rewarding Debbie Wasserman-Schultz with a chair position was a colossal mistake. Sometimes you have to let your pawns fall on their swords and leave them there. While there is the issue of them trying to drag you down with them, once they’ve disgraced themselves, their complaints will find little audience. If need be, you can reward their loyalty AFTER you win.

      3) Keep your eyes on the long game and not on short-term gains.

      Much like the EU Star Wars fanbase, the League often has trouble recognizing that they are the past. As such, they are prone to writing sneering editorials about how unreliable the youth vote is when their candidate of choice loses. Don’t fall for that. If you have to destroy a Primary opponent that has a strong youth vote, do not do it in such a way that you convince the youth vote that their vote didn’t matter. These voters may not just be what stands between you and victory. They are your future power base. Alienating them is courting disaster.

      4) Always expand your territory.

      Another thing that sites like the League which are populated with old-guard Democrats have is a contempt for the center. They quite often believe that the center is irrelevant when, in fact, the center is the most important vote in the election. To illustrate this on a crude 7-point line:


      You will never get the people who are Strong for their party. These people will vote for your party no matter what you do. As such, these votes need little pandering and can be easily ignored. In order to win in an election year, you should tailor your campaign to shore up support among your Weak members, convert the Center to Weak party members, and move the opposition’s Weak members to the Center. During the off-election year when emotions aren’t high and your efforts will not fall prey to a Newtonian pushback is when you work on the 2 or 6 categories to weaken or strengthen their allegiance.

      5) “What have you done for me lately?”

      This is an area where the Democrats are especially weak. They talk a good game with minority communities such as Baltimore but, as soon as the election is over, they leave those communities behind. This worked in a pre-internet age when the only threat was that Warren Beatty would criticize this practice in a movie but, at a time when those minority communities are increasingly able to see how easily their complaints are being overridden, this is an unsustainable practice. While I do not expect that the Democrats will change a decades-old practice of “Promise Big, Deliver as Little as You Can.” completely, the Democrats will have to start actually putting some effort into their promises.

      6) Integrate more of the constructive into your campaign.

      By the time I threw up my hands and decided to put Harambe as a write-in candidate, I had some idea of what Trump’s platform was. I could still list off everything about Bernie’s campaign stood for.

      Even if I had somebody shoving a gun into my mouth, I couldn’t tell you any specifics of Hillary’s campaign other than that everyone who opposes her is a racist, misogynistic Nazi.

      The Democrats like to tell everybody about how they are the party of tolerance and the Republicans are the party of hate but, since the turn of the century, the Democrats have increasingly abandoned the high ground in favor of being some of the most hate-filled people on the planet. This isn’t entirely unwarranted as the Republicans sling their share of it as well but, in recent years, the Democrats have taken the “You’re with us or you’re a racist misogynistic Nazi” to new heights.

      While an election will bring out a lot of the hate, it is important to work in the constructive ideas that your Presidency will bring into the campaign for two reasons.

      a) A campaign of 24/7 hate is exhausting. Injecting elements of the constructive into your campaign will keep your followers energized and appeal to the center.

      b) The campaign is a sales job. Your job isn’t just to tell the voters why your opponent sucks but why you’re the best. Relying on your followers to say “Read her website” is asking the people who are doing the job hiring to also do the work of finding your qualifications and that is a strategy for failure. You should be parading your efforts front and center before telling me what a bastard your opponent is.

      7) Be prepared to concede difficult truths.

      If people under your predecessor’s health plan are looking at 40% increases, that is not a “minor issue”. If you are unlucky enough to have had a spouse as a former President, do not brush off questions about what policies of his you would change.

      Every campaign is going to have a moment when someone will confront you on an issue that your party has failed on. Have answers ready for those times. Even if the answers may cause you to throw one of your predecessors under the bus, you need to get in front of those issues and be prepared to give answers that may not preserve the memories of those who came before you. You may cushion the answers as best as you can and protect the party as well as you are able but be prepared to give answers that may not be 100% party line.

      Those are the seven general things that the Democrats have to work on. If they can work on these, then Trump will be a one-term president.Report

      • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Pyre says:

        Agreed. This seems like a good *first* step. 🙂Report

      • Avatar Aaron David in reply to Pyre says:


        I agree completely. And will add one extra; don’t ever bullshit yourself. The moment you do that, you have lost. Know exactly what your weakness’ are, but when someone points out a new one, take it as truth.Report

      • Avatar Kim in reply to Pyre says:

        One more:
        Stop trying to run moderate Republicans as fucking Democrats. Astroturf isn’t appealing under any circumstances, but it’s worse when you have an attractive “almost Democrat” like Bernie running.Report

  15. Avatar Kolohe says:

    I”m mildly concerned about some of the high up muckity mucks in the intel community and the Defense department when retired general Flynn gets elevated to a big shot NatSec guy in the Trump administration and has scores to settle. Well, concerned, but also amused.Report

  16. Avatar Autolukos says:

    Looking at the post election takes, there seems not enough emphasis on two things:

    1. Clinton won the popular vote
    2. Turnout was way down; both are looking like they’ll finish with fewer votes than Romney (Romney won 60.9 million; both currently have a bit over 59 million, with some West Coast votes to come)

    These were not popular candidates; looking to 2020, Republicans should be terrified that the Democrats might find someone who can restore something close to Obama levels of turnout. Democrats badly need to fix their sub-Presidential party, among other reasons because it isn’t at all clear who that would be, but without the Presidency as consolation they might actually feel pressure to do so.Report

    • Avatar Saul Degraw in reply to Autolukos says:

      The problem is that I think the sub-Presidential Party for the Democrats could possibly need several splits. What would play well for Democrats in the upper mid-west is not going to fly with the Northeast, Rocky Mountain West, and Pacific Coast branches of the Party.Report

    • Avatar Michael Cain in reply to Autolukos says:

      It does look very much like most of the country got an off-year turnout. And the older white folks always show up to vote. So much for the vaunted GOTV advantage.

      It appears to me that the Democratic Party, going forward, will have to pay much more attention to being a party of the West. It’s the only region where all of the states that were supposed to come through did. And as of this AM, Clinton is losing Arizona by 76K votes on miserable turnout, while a higher minimum wage and mandatory paid sick leave initiative passed easily. Following the next census, the region will get three or four more electoral votes at the expense of the Northeast. I’m looking forward to Saul’s write up.Report

  17. Avatar Saul Degraw says:

    I am driving back to CA today. My write up will come soon.

    What Trump did as I noted before and others have noted is appeal to whites without a college degree in ways that Romney never could because he was too patrician. Same with McCain probably.

    We are going to start hearing a lot about “Trump Democrats” in the media I think. I don’t expect the media to learn any lessons about what they did to enable Trump because they love the basically free copy and revenue. I suspect we will see lots of pundits dismiss the concerns of urban liberals as “touch of touch elitism.” Never mind their own elitism.

    This election shows the limits of data driven wonkish liberalism but it also shows the death of the Republican Party as the party of small government. Trump won his primary by lambasting the anti-Social Security and Medicare ethos of the Republican Party. How do Congressional Republicans get past this?

    Voter suppression did seem to work very well in North Carolina. I suspect more.

    On the other hand, there were some slow demographic changes in favor of the Democrats but not enough to withstand a reactionary-populist-racist-nationalist backlash. Sheriff Joe lost his releection but the DOJ investigation against him is toast.

    I don’t think Jaybird is right to be blase on gay marriage and legal weed. I suspect a blow back against it from the Guiliani or Christie DOJ especially if blue states legalized. I suspect Bridgegates and Warren Harding level corruption stories.

    I suspect my health insurance and possibly career are fucked.

    What happens to Republicans like Kaisch and maybe Nikki Halley?Report

    • Avatar Damon in reply to Saul Degraw says:

      “This election shows….the death of the Republican Party as the party of small government. ”

      That was clearly demonstrated during the Reagan years, and the Republican Revolution of 92. The claims to small gov’t by the Repubs have been just claims for a long long time. The only real difference is that while the Dems never claimed/practiced it, the Repubs just claimed it.Report

    • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Saul Degraw says:

      What happens to Republicans like Kaisch and maybe Nikki Halley?

      I submit: we not lean too heavily on the whole “you have to leave the party or else you demonstrate that you’re just like Trump!”

      I’d also submit that “oh, they’re one of the good ones!” will need to be rephrased rather heavily before we put that into the wild.Report

    • Avatar Burt Likko in reply to Saul Degraw says:

      What happens to non-Trumpy Republicans?

      Yes, a few Republicans who refused to bend the knee at all, like Ben Sasse and John Kasich, get branded as apostates and cast out of the inner circle of trust, while still being in fact quite conservative. Call it “Club McCain” maybe, or “The Gang of Squish.” At least one such #NeverTrumper must be punished in a very public and visible way, to serve as an example to the others.

      But mostly, a former #NeverTrumper who stays quiet for a while will be permitted to slink back in provided they abandon their #NeverTrump stance and is quiet about having assumed that posture. A ceremonial repeal-and-then-forget-to-replace Obamacare in the near future will offer them up the legislative sacrifice for the Grand Ritual Of Intramural Reconciliation: something they all can agree on. This is because they’re going to be needed as part of the governing coalition so most of them are going to find that probation is on offer.

      And with that said, I think there’s going to be a feeling on the part of a lot of Congressional Republicans that Trump owes them, not the other way around — Trump had basically no ground game at all anywhere, and piggybacked on top of existing machinery. So, “We got the vote out for you, Mr. President, and now here’s our marker.” ‘Tis ever the problem of a party that does take control of every branch of government: now, they have no choice but to govern and lead, and few Presidents have ever come into power with this much disinterest in actually performing those tasks, and so few legislative allies (or would-be allies) willing to fill in actual policy proposals.

      Democrats need to start preparing their 2020 mantra: “You had it all, Mr. President. A friendly Supreme Court. Both Houses of Congress. A mandate from the electorate. And what did you do? You repealed Obamacare and replaced it with nothing. You made the rich richer and the poor poorer. We’re still at war and we’re no safer than we were in 2016. The economy’s in the tank. You’ve failed as a President, and now, you’re fired.”

      And frankly, I think they’re going to take a page from the Mitch McConnell playbook about how to be a minority opposition party and obstruct everything while blaming the majority for it. Clearly, there is no need to actually be reasonable or to base one’s political actions upon reality.

      Meanwhile, as I corresponded with sometime commenter and author @chris this morning, it falls to us — to you and I and our fellow attorneys in particular, but to all good citizens each in their own way — to insist upon strict observance of the Constitution. It’s our backstop against a President with authoritarian tendencies becoming a despot. Our Founders in their wisdom foresaw that a situation like this might arise one day, and they left us this safety net for that reason.

      Let us not allow that legacy to sit idle.Report

      • Avatar Damon in reply to Burt Likko says:

        Burt’s called it.

        “I think they’re going to take a page from the Mitch McConnell playbook about how to be a minority opposition party and obstruct everything while blaming the majority for it. ”

        Dems will go full on “knee-jerk obstructionism”. Let the political “holy war” begin.Report

        • Avatar Kazzy in reply to Damon says:

          “So this next comment is directed to the more left of center folks: You always talk about democracy. Well, it’s spoken. Are you going to be obstructionist like those damn evil republicans you’re always bad mouthing (Obama’s SC nominee as example) or are you going to “work together” to see if you can get something accomplished? Or is the opposition just too EVIL?”

          This was your question, @damon . I can only speak to myself and have offered you my personal preferences, what I hope to see and what I will do with whatever power I yield.

          I hope my representatives act consistently with my preferences but fear they will not. If they do not, I will have to consider that during the next election.Report

          • Avatar Damon in reply to Kazzy says:

            I just hope everyone who agrees with the knew jerk obstructionism the Dems pull, if they do, realizes the hypocrisy of their position.Report

            • Avatar Mike Schilling in reply to Damon says:

              KJO is “If Trump wants to compromise on tax rates, we say no to deny him the victory.” No one is suggesting that besides you.Report

              • Avatar Troublesome Frog in reply to Mike Schilling says:

                Right. I don’t think it would be useful or even necessary for Democrats to do that. Their constituency actually cares if government works, so contributing to its meltdown might lose them as many votes as any errors they force on Trump.

                Now that nobody has Hillary Clinton to compare him to, Trump’s Trumpiness will be the media focus for the next four years. It seems unlikely that he’ll have great reelection prospects if they just let it play out.

                And as others have pointed out, as soon as there’s a rich enough policy prize at stake, the Republicans would axe the filibuster. Scorched earth obstructionism wouldn’t really work anyway.Report

      • Sorry, Burt, but I have to say it: Trump is uninterested. I don’t think he’s ever in his life been disinterested.Report

      • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Burt Likko says:

        it falls to us — to you and I and our fellow attorneys in particular, but to all good citizens each in their own way — to insist upon strict observance of the Constitution.

        I love this idea.

        I certainly hope that when the pendulum swings back, and the pendulum will swing back, that discussions of strict observance of the Constitution not evolve into discussions of how, well, I need to understand…

        But, yes. This is important even if it is only just until after we repeal the 22nd to allow Trump a 3rd term.Report

        • Avatar Joe Sal in reply to Jaybird says:

          It’s kinda interesting how the Consitution went from a “piece of paper” and “it’s not a death pact”, to the holy grail of saving the nation.

          I also find it interesting we went from a liberal/social democracy to a constitutional republic……like overnight.Report

        • Avatar DensityDuck in reply to Jaybird says:

          I must say that I’m looking forward to lengthy thinkpieces and explainers on how important the Tenth Amendment is.Report

      • Avatar Francis in reply to Burt Likko says:

        I suspect that a number of the more moderate Republican Senators this morning are feeling a little bit like the dog that finally caught the car. With a mouthful of hard rubber, they’re thinking, “OK, now what?”

        They have laws to write and budgets to pass. Math is now something that is their responsibility.Report

  18. Avatar Jaybird says:

    My suggestions for those who worry that we’re all going to die.

    1. Re-read the Constitution. There’s some good stuff in there! Pay some close attention to the stuff the President is allowed to do. Maybe push for some kind of norms of what we allow Presidents to do? Unfortunately, this will likely come across as insincere given the opposition to the unitary executive under Bush and then the enthusiasm for it under Obama… but one thing that *MIGHT* be possible is the whole “hey, let’s get rid of the War Powers Act” pipe dream.

    2. Quit living in a freaking bubble. How many of us know, love, and/or work with Trump voters? (Don’t pull the “some of my best friends are Trump voters! The guy who does my drywall! The manager of the local coffee shop where I buy my coffee!”) If your immediate response is to wrinkle up your face, then you’re, effectively, in a bubble. Maybe that’s not a bad thing! Bubbles are nice places to be! Surrounded by like-minded individuals and comfortable, to be a member of a community and know that you belong and that people who aren’t like you do not belong. If only we had some way to codify that!

    3. Federalism. This is a way to codify bubbles. Let California be California, let Texas be Texas, let Massachusetts be Massachusetts, let Wyoming be Wyoming.

    4. Seriously. Legalize Pot. Like for everybody except people within a few hours of operating heavy machinery. If we could all just smoke a little, eat some wings, maybe some soft cheese on some petit toast, a little fresh fruit, listen to some chillstep, we’d be able to add some oil to the light machinery that we all work with and around every day.

    5. Maybe this whole “radical individualism” thing has done a better job of creating outgroups than ingroups. Maybe we should focus more on group membership of inclusive groups.

    6. Moral language in the absence of a shared moral foundation comes across poorly. Maybe we should be willing to agree that differences of opinions are matters of taste rather than matters of morality.

    7. Yes. We are all going to die.

    There are a few more, probably, but that’s off the top of my head.Report

    • Avatar Mike Schilling in reply to Jaybird says:

      maybe some soft cheese on some petit toast

      Says the man who tells us not to live in a bubble. What, you don;t know anyone who eats Big Macs?Report

    • Avatar InMD in reply to Jaybird says:

      I like these ideas.Report

    • Avatar Gaelen in reply to Jaybird says:

      Re: #6

      As an attorney who has an immigration practice which is substantially Muslim, the opinion of some of my criminal and personal injury clients here in Louisville/southern Indiana on ‘the Muslims’ in general certainly differ from my own. But demonizing an entire group of people based off of misinformation and ignorance is not a difference I consider a matter of taste.Report

      • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Gaelen says:

        Sure, fine. Fight them tooth and nail. Call them hypocrites while you’re at it.

        Then we can wonder why they’re still so prejudiced against their betters.Report

        • Avatar Gaelen in reply to Jaybird says:

          What do you say to someone who tells you with absolute sincerity that there are Muslim areas of this country that have already imposed Sharia (there aren’t), and that all Muslims are bound to support it’s imposition (ditto)? Or that freedom to practice your religion applies to everyone but Muslims?

          How do you discover and (at times) challenge a person’s moral foundations without using moral language?

          Also, remember, these are my clients and I want them to come back. A soft spoken demeanor and a Quaker upbringing means I usually have these conversations without anyone’s feelings getting hurt.Report

          • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Gaelen says:

            Personally, I wonder why you’re so eager to take their business. Aren’t there good people you could be working for?Report

            • Avatar Gaelen in reply to Jaybird says:


              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Gaelen says:

                Do you really want to take turns judging other people as morally problematic?

                I was raised Babtist. *SOUTHERN* Babtist.

                You merely adopted judging people you considered to be morally inferior. I was born to it. Molded by it. I didn’t see cultural relativism until I was already a man; by then, it was nothing to me but blinding!

                More seriously: How do you discover and (at times) challenge a person’s moral foundations without using moral language?

                You do so dispassionately and by invoking sympathy and empathy. “How would you feel if…?” “How would you like it if…?” “You should experience this small part of the culture and you can see how this part is very much like your experience of your own.”

                If you come into it thinking “Westboro Baptist Church” whenever you encounter an “Evangelical”, you’re going to find that they respond as if their culture hadn’t spent the last 300 years marinading in Enlightenment culture.

                So, to answer your question, scientifically, dispassionately but compassionately.

                Much like if you were trying to explain to a young earth creationist that there is reason to believe that the earth is older than ~6,000 years old.Report

              • Avatar Maribou in reply to Jaybird says:

                Dispassionately but compassionately is not actually a thing, my best beloved. Pace the Buddha.

                Compassionately but non-accusatorily is a thing, yes. Openly and nonviolently while still honest is a thing, yes.

                And none of those three things is, in the least, scientific.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Maribou says:

                I was remembering the scientists who explained evolution to me. They handled every single “but what about?” with grace and kindness and answered questions by providing data and explanations rather than answering by talking about me personally.*

                Scientifically, dispassionately, compassionately.

                (*Well, at a high school dance, I was outside arguing with the earth science teacher and he did the “you people don’t want to know the truth!” thing to me and I yelled back “I’m out here talking to you!” and he said “yeah, I guess that’s true”.)Report

              • Avatar Maribou in reply to Jaybird says:

                Yeah, that’s why talking about lived experiences and talking about evolution (or the age of the earth) are two reasonably different things.Report

              • Avatar Gaelen in reply to Jaybird says:

                You’re second point is exactly my point. I consider that moral language. You are implicitly invoking the golden rule.

                Also please stop implying I’m judging people as morally inferior because I disagree with them. I may think their misinformed (as they do me), but I’m a pretty open minded guy.Report

            • Avatar DensityDuck in reply to Jaybird says:

              Well, Jaybird, they might be morally, genetically, intellectually, and bigly inferior, but their money’s the same color as anyone else’s, and it doesn’t matter what they think of him so long as they do business, right?

              Er, wait, that’s a libertarian defense of not-being-antiracist. Who am I talking about, again?Report

          • Avatar Mike Schilling in reply to Gaelen says:

            What do you say to someone who tells you with absolute sincerity that there are Muslim areas of this country that have already imposed Sharia

            You say “In the interests of building a society with high trust and cohesion, I privilege your kind of distrust and exclusion.”Report

    • Avatar Saul Degraw in reply to Jaybird says:

      “Justice Marshall made his ruling. Now let him enforce it.”

      I think everyone is ignoring Trump has the temperament to run rough shod over the ConstitutionReport

      • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Saul Degraw says:

        Who was the last president who did have the temperament to not run rough shod over it?

        I could see arguments for Carter, I guess…Report

      • Avatar Burt Likko in reply to Saul Degraw says:

        I agree regarding Trump himself, but it’s also not 1830 anymore. Especially after Trump gets to nominate Scalia’s replacement and the GOP Senate confirms him and that majority on the High Court hands conservatives a series of victories, they will find it hard indeed to defy that Court without paying a political price for doing so. Even in the 1830’s and in the pursuit of a popular (if hugely ignoble) cause, Andrew Jackson lost esteem when he defied the Court.

        If I’m wrong about that, then that will represent the crossing of another line away from the rule of law. Not just the complaint that a special set of legal standards governs the wealthy and powerful (a complaint that, until recently, was traditionally made by progressives), but instead the dismissal of the law itself as irrelevant to the exercise of power. That’s not a line we’ve crossed since the 1830’s.Report

    • Avatar Roland Dodds in reply to Jaybird says:

      @jaybird “4. Seriously. Legalize Pot. Like for everybody except people within a few hours of operating heavy machinery. If we could all just smoke a little, eat some wings, maybe some soft cheese on some petit toast, a little fresh fruit, listen to some chillstep, we’d be able to add some oil to the light machinery that we all work with and around every day.”

      When you are in California, the first puff is on me. We are going to need it.Report

    • Avatar Burt Likko in reply to Jaybird says:

      I like #2 and #6 very much.

      I think I’m going to pursue point #2 in my personal life by taking up firearms as a secondary hobby. It’s been too long since I had a firearms safety refresher anyway and spending some time out at the range interacting with other people in that environment will be good to expose me to the way such people think and act. I expect that when they see me there and see that I have a sincere interest in learning about and gaining proficiency with the firearms, they’ll welcome me as a friend and accept whatever other differences of opinion we have because they’ll know I’m at least okay on guns. (Yes, I have the advantage of being a white dude who kind of looks likely to be Christian.)

      Let me speak to point #3, though, the idea that we should federalize things and let the states run in various directions. In my estimation, federalism is something that one political side or the other invokes when the national government is perceived to be unfriendly. I don’t think it’s a bedrock principle of most peoples’ political calculus: it’s a tool within the political toolkit to be used when convenient, and ignored when one’s side holds power. Kind of like the accusation of judicial activism: it’s something to be invoked when you don’t like the result. The method of getting to the result isn’t really so important.

      Another risk of making some sort of argument about systemically localizing or devolving policymaking is that there is no real reason it has to stop at the state level. The militia movement grew up organically at the county-organizational level; county and city and other very local-level officials can and do make powerful showings of defiance to laws imposed on them from higher levels. Legally, when put to the test, they typically wind up losing, but as a political matter this creates a breeding ground for all sorts of pernicious trouble.

      Nor am I convinced that “increased federalism” is consistent with “getting people out of their bubbles.” Law and culture are in a reciprocating feedback relationship with one another. If anything, letting Oregon use its laws to sculpt a different kind of culture than what might be found in neighboring Idaho sculpts with its laws. Living as I do in a conservative pocket of otherwise-mostly-liberal California, I encounter people all the time who complain about what a lunatic communist our governor is (1), how our laws are doing terrible terrible things to our economy (2), and how much they want to get out of California and to a place where the government makes sense to them.

      In other words, I fear that increased federalism will accelerate the Big Sort, which is an underlying demographic-geographic shift that is writ large as the backdrop of Repubilcan Ruralia’s very recent assertion of political power.

      (1) I can’t speak from informed personal experience to what kind of governor he was in the 1970’s and 1980’s, but his most recent stint as Governor has seen him do little but make tough fiscal decisions with the exception of the high speed rail project.

      (2) California’s economy is growing quite nicely, thank you very much. But facts have less to do with perception, and these people perceive a “hostile business climate” here despite abundant evidence that, in fact, commerce thrives here.Report

      • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Burt Likko says:

        I would guess that it’s a case of pick #2 *OR* #3, and not #2 when you’re winning and #3 when you’re losing.

        But we either need to figure out how to live together or figure out how to live apart.

        Because “this half gets to tell the other half how to feel about SOCIAL HOT BUTTON whether they like it or not!” is unsustainable. I think it’s unsustainable. Maybe we *CAN* go on for another couple of centuries doing this…Report

    • Avatar LeeEsq in reply to Jaybird says:

      1. What I said above, Trump is a President to run rough shod over the Constitution and Congress is set to be complicit. Like Burt pointed out, Trump can get the judiciary he wants and can ignore what he does not like.

      2. Same for Trump voters.

      3. There are two big problems with this. There is simply little to know evidence that the conservative or right populist states would let the liberal states be liberal. During the run up to the Civil War, the South invoked state rights but did their best to get the free states and the federal territories support slavery in every way. Same with Jim Crow latter. There is no reason to believe that the present will not be the same. Second, federalism will leave many vulnerable people to be at the hands of their persecutors as it was previously. Is this acceptable to you?

      4. Good idea. It isn’t going to happen. Using drug laws to persecute is a good thing to right populists.

      5. Many people of the liberal side would agree with this to an extent. Both radical individualism and communalism have positive sides and negative sides.

      6. I think this makes a lot of sense when it comes to rhetoric at least.Report

      • Avatar Michael Cain in reply to LeeEsq says:

        Trump is a President to run rough shod over the Constitution and Congress is set to be complicit.

        I think they’ll give Trump some things. I am more scared of what they will do on their own. I think they have a list of things that party leadership been frustrated about for the last six years, and once the filibuster is toast, they’ll pass a bunch of them: repeal enough parts of the ACA to guarantee it becomes unaffordable; Medicaid converted to a block grant program; rein in the EPA (eg, a one-sentence change to the Clean Air Act declaring that CO2 is not a pollutant); remove subsidies for renewable energy.Report

        • Avatar Hoosegow Flask in reply to Michael Cain says:

          Michael Cain: repeal enough parts of the ACA to guarantee it becomes unaffordable;

          That may not take an act of Congress:

        • Avatar Kim in reply to Michael Cain says:

          the ACA is already unaffordable, it’s just the insurance companies that are going broke.Report

          • Avatar Pyre in reply to Kim says:

            It isn’t just the insurance companies going broke.

            My crappy bronze plan, in addition to the deductible going up (again) to $6600, also went from 255 per month to 374. If I hadn’t recently acquired gainful and steady employment, I’d be staring down the barrels of unaffordable health payments or tax penalties.Report

            • Avatar Morat20 in reply to Pyre says:

              I suspect you’ll find that when the ACA is repealed and not replaced, that your problems will get worse.

              Not that that’s occurred to Trump. It should have occurred to quite a few Republican members of Congress, but I’m pretty sure they were comfortable shouting from the sidelines and weren’t really planning to be in the driver’s seat.

              So what ARE they going to do when they repeal the hated ACA, which has the side effect of throwing the original problem into sharp relief? I hope they’re not expecting anyone on the Exchanges now to thank them. Or vote for them.Report

              • Avatar Pyre in reply to Morat20 says:

                People keep saying “I suspect [blank] will get worse”. Y’know what, I preferred the old way where I could (and sometimes did) go without rather than being forced by financial gunpoint to take a plan that is only marginally better and a hell of a lot more expensive than not having any in the first place.

                Underestimating your opponent is one of the reasons that your side lost. I SUSPECT that you might be better off losing that habit if you want to come back swinging in 2020.

                As for the people on the exchanges…Well, I’ve said it before. This site, being a bunch of rich white lefties, might be surprised how many people resent that choice. If we had a single-payer system…Oh wait, the League, for the most part, quite happily rejected the candidate who was proposing that.

                There’s a lesson to be learned in that.Report

              • Avatar Kim in reply to Pyre says:

                I voted Bernie. Plenty of folks here did.
                Bernie won the primary, in terms of people who wanted to cast votes (this is different from votes actually counted, naturally).Report

              • Avatar Pyre in reply to Kim says:


                All I can judge by is what I’ve seen when I do stop by here (which is not often anymore) and I’ve seen a lot of editorials that championed Hillary over Bernie (to put it mildly).Report

    • Avatar Saul Degraw in reply to Jaybird says:

      Your faith that Trump’s DOJ won’t touch legal weed is sweet and really naive.Report

    • Avatar Kazzy in reply to Jaybird says:

      “6. Moral language in the absence of a shared moral foundation comes across poorly. Maybe we should be willing to agree that differences of opinions are matters of taste rather than matters of morality.”

      I was discussing this on FB. We have lost much sense of perspective and proportionality. we need to gain this back.Report

      • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Kazzy says:

        While it’s kind of true that I find myself gravitating toward a vulgar utilitarianism, I do think that a shared moral framework is required to have meaningful discussions about moral Truths.

        And if you find yourself in a conversation with someone who doesn’t share your framework, maybe take a step back and see if you share one with the other person if they took a step back.

        Now you have a shared framework and can discuss things meaningfully.

        I mean, if the goal is to discuss things meaningfully.

        Maybe we’re just waiting for them to let their guard down long enough for us to stab them in the back.Report

        • Avatar Kazzy in reply to Jaybird says:

          Can you give an example? I’m getting lost.Report

          • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Kazzy says:

            If you disagree with someone on a topic, are they more likely than not to be wrong because they are bad people? Sexist, racist, otherwise bigoted?

            I mean, if you have a choice between disagreeing with someone for ordering their priorities (4 out of 5 of which are similar to yours) differently and framing your disagreement as them having differently ordered priorities, that seems like something that it’s possible to have a conversation about.

            Whether this person is a bigot for not agreeing with you is not something that you can have a conversation about.Report

            • Avatar veronica d in reply to Jaybird says:

              @jaybird — Let us be concrete. How do I do this when discussing transgender bathroom laws with someone who believes I am literally possessed by demons?Report

              • Avatar Kim in reply to veronica d says:

                Oh, that’s an easy one. Not for the squeamish, though.
                Convince him that he’s been possessed by the devil (or at least convince his wife), and then let him suffer through a few exorcisms.

                Teaches sympathy, that.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to veronica d says:

                There are things that I think are possible in the short term, medium term, and long term.

                There are things that I think are beneficial to all in the short term, medium term, and long term.

                Which answer would you prefer?

                Because what I would want to happen and what I think is possible do not overlap on the Venn Diagram.Report

            • Avatar Mike Dwyer in reply to Jaybird says:


              This is a point that I have unsuccessfully made on this site for years. As soon as we introduce those words (bigot, racist, sexist) to describe someone or even a viewpoint, it kills the conversation. It injects irrationality into what could be a reasoned conversation. Are there people that are racist/bigoted/sexist? Absolutely. But more often than not they just disagree and because the other side cannot comprehend anyone not seeing things the same way they do, they label it as such. It’s unfortunate.

              And I think that also speaks to the much larger thing we saw yesterday, which is that Democrats simply cannot comprehend a country where Hillary could lose. They couldn’t comprehend their ideas not resonating and people voting for HC simply because she was a liberal/female/Democrat.

              Maybe we’re all the fools because Trump figured out something no one else could. Take voters for granted at your own peril.Report

              • Avatar Don Zeko in reply to Mike Dwyer says:

                It’s not a Republican winning that I have trouble comprehending. It’s someone so manifestly repellent for so many reasons winning. Yes, liberals often over-diagnose bigotry, but if you don’t see bigotry in, say, Trump’s calls for a religious test for immigration, then I don’t think there’s much room for discussion between us. Not since Richard Nixon has a candidate had such obvious contempt for the American constitutional order, and enough of my countrymen didn’t care about these things that he’s going to be our President.Report

              • Avatar Mike Dwyer in reply to Don Zeko says:


                If it was anyone other than Trump, I would see bigotry. With him though, I see opportunism. I see someone who put together a message that got him elected. Does that make him horrible for doing so? Absolutely. But I’m not convinced he really feels that way or that he will actually do any of that stuff.Report

              • Avatar Don Zeko in reply to Mike Dwyer says:

                My distress comes not from any evaluation of Trump as a person, but from the knowledge that so many of my countrymen either don’t mind or actively appreciate that bigotry. I thought that, though we may disagree strongly, we were better than this.Report

              • Avatar Kim in reply to Don Zeko says:

                Nearly Every single person in the country either voted for Biden the closet racist or Trump. A good few voted for both.Report

              • Avatar Don Zeko in reply to Kim says:

                Shop your insane conspiracy theories somewhere else today, Kim. I am not remotely in the mood.Report

              • Avatar Kim in reply to Don Zeko says:

                You want links to what Biden’s said?
                Biden is a closet racist, this is not controversial.
                The only difference between Biden and Trump is that Biden knows how to apologize for his offcolor jokes (and nobody really voted for him because of them).Report

              • Avatar Maribou in reply to Mike Dwyer says:

                Claiming that using those terms about viewpoints / actions “injects irrationality” into a conversation and not using them even though potentially merited is rational is, in itself, irrational and feelings-based.

                There are as many people who didn’t vote because they feel that both Clinton and Trump are bigoted champions of an oppressive system as there are people who could’ve changed their mind. Based on the early demographics, I expect there are significantly more. (There are a lot of different ways to not give a shit about people who aren’t like you, as we all know, so that’s a wide range of exception to be taken.)

                Why aren’t we more worried about how to win them over and find a way to work with them?Report

              • Avatar Mike Dwyer in reply to Maribou says:


                So someone has a racist viewpoint. Do you A) Call them a racist or B) Explain why their opinion is problematic and try to persuade them otherwise?

                I have just found that choosing A marginalizes a lot of people who are rational, and lumps them in with people who could never be convinced. IMO it’s really just name-calling designed to brand someone as unworthy of debate.Report

              • Avatar Maribou in reply to Mike Dwyer says:

                The irrationality is in worrying about the person with the racist viewpoint more than the people they are racist against.

                When faced directly with someone holding a racist viewpoint (which, believe it or not, happens to me all the time), I b). But I also worry more about what I’m doing for victims of racism than perpetrators of it. Just like I worry more about what I’m doing for victims of classism than perpetrators of it. Etc etc etc.

                (Not trying to hold myself up as some kind of hero or martyr. I fuck up all the time. Just i think the perspective of worrying about how to combat -ism in the way that best reaches people with -ist view points, rather than supporting people who directly experience it and need uplift and room to work, is *part of the problem*. And incredibly low voter turnout suggests I’m not wrong.)Report

              • Avatar Mike Dwyer in reply to Maribou says:


                Name-calling pretty much guarantees the conversation is over and you have lost any hope of changing that person’s opinion. If you think that helps those that they would potentially mistreat, I’m not sure I understand. I’ve always felt like changing minds was a good thing in the long run.Report

              • Avatar Maribou in reply to Mike Dwyer says:

                I just said, in the situation you describe, I b), not a). I’ve talked more than a handful of people, most of whom I am very fond of, out of more than a handful of unpleasant and mistaken opinions this year, usually by reframing.

                But, I choose to put most of my energy and focus into “what can we do to help the people who *are* (nonpotentially, but actually) being mistreated, and show them that we care what they think and want them to vote and be engaged and will have their backs when they put themselves at risk to do so?” (nb this includes supporting a lot of people who did vote for Trump and/or who may have opinions I find highly objectionable, because intersectionality is as true for them as for anyone else), and not into “how can we convince the people who hold deeply f’d opinions to stop having them?”

                And I feel like as a country, when the people who hold those opinions already have power (even the limited power to confirm an utter narcissist who won’t actually help them as the head of the country), we almost always try to teach / connect with / appease / whatever the people who have power in a given situation instead of uplifting the people who don’t.

                Which is what I think is part of the problem. Because it’s a very old human habit doesn’t make it the most useful thing we could be doing.Report

              • Avatar Kazzy in reply to Mike Dwyer says:

                “That guy wears a turban? Terrorist.”
                “That’s bigoted.”
                “Don’t get nasty.”Report

              • Avatar Brent F in reply to Mike Dwyer says:

                I’ll put an addendum to that. The popular thing in this cycle was to talk about how much Trump resembles Hitler.

                Comparing a guy to Hitler never works. It didn’t work against W Bush, it didn’t work against Obama and it didn’t work against Trump either. Comparision to Hitler is the secular equivalent of saying he’s Satan incarnate. It immediate kills the discussion because nobody who is possibly considering supporting a guy will think a comparision to Hitler or Nazi’s is relevant even if you have a really appropos analogy to make.

                There are many, many bad things a guy can be that isn’t Hitler. Comparisions to that might make some headway.Report

              • Avatar Mike Dwyer in reply to Brent F says:


                Totally agree. My friends on FB that made Hitler references this morning failed the test.Report

              • Avatar Don Zeko in reply to Mike Dwyer says:

                Iimean, I agree that Hitler comparisons and overwrought accusations of racism are db and unhelpful, but this still implies to me a view that Republicans are pretty children who will do stupid, irresponsible things because people on Facebook called them names. Conservatives give as good as they get: remember how liberals are a bunch of sissy godless communist baby killers doomed to burn in hell? Either we all get to blame our bad behavior on the names we’ve been called by our most intemperate opponents, or rank and file Republicans need to take responsibility for the fact that they’ve made a dishonest white supremacist idiot con man president.Report

              • Avatar Morat20 in reply to Don Zeko says:

                Not to mention, you know, the alt-right. The white supremacists.

                Obvious and proud racists are racists. It’s descriptive and accurate. Should we lie to spare their feelings?

                That feels a little SJW, which is of course NOT an insult or derogatory term that closes down conversation.

                It’s always so weird that the left has to be lectured on how to talk to the right, endlessly told all the ways they’ve offended the right, and how it’s really the left’s fault the right is so bad.

                But never the reverse. Because that’s SJW’s and PC police and that’s obviously bad.

                It’s a fun way to define yourself as automatically in the right, shut down conversation, and basically elide whole topics from debate.

                It’s also BS. Some guy called you a redneck so you had to join the KKK? A liberal spoke about trans issues, so you HAD to vote for Trump?

                Fun words from the “party of personal responsibility”.Report

              • Avatar Don Zeko in reply to Morat20 says:

                One can condemn Trump without even mentioning plenty of awful things about him. I haven’t even talked today about how he promises to start a trade war that will immiserate us all, because it’s Trump rules and we don’t have to believe he’ll do any of the things we wish he wouldn’t do.Report

              • Avatar Morat20 in reply to Don Zeko says:

                It’s pretty funny. I think Trump supporters are deeper in denial than the Clinton ones.

                She clearly lost, so you know — being processed.

                Trump, though, he’s suddenly generic Republican. Anything he’s said or done is non-operational. He’ll do what I think he should do, but not the dumb things he said he’d do.

                But we should really talk more about how Clinton’s an awful candidate. It’s not like Trump’s gonna be doing anything important.Report

              • Avatar Kim in reply to Morat20 says:

                SJW is rightwing Astroturf infecting the left.Report

              • Avatar Kazzy in reply to Mike Dwyer says:

                ALSO TOO PC, race card, …Report

            • Avatar Kazzy in reply to Jaybird says:


              I really do tend to assume the best in people. Assume positive intent and all. This is naturally easier when there is actually a relationship.

              Take Mr. Dwyer here… we had a rather nasty brouhaha a while back I am not proud of. He is someone I often disagree with, sometimes strongly. At times I am slightly skeptical of his motives. But in the end, I trust that deep down, he is a good decent man with well-formed intentions.

              After the scuffle I vowed to ignore him. But that felt wrong. Scan the archives here and you’ll see repeated attempts on my part to engage constructively with him, pointing out areas of agreement or seeking genuine understanding. Olive branches, if you will.

              Curiously, most of these have been ignored.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Kazzy says:

                Well, this last year *SUCKED* for this sort of thing. This election was truly, truly awful.

                I don’t know if it created a breech in our relationships with each other or merely exposed the breeches that we had papered over.

                I’m kind of hoping that, now that this ish is behind us, we can go back to arguing these things as people who want to understand each other instead of as avatars for the larger war that we cannot otherwise affect.

                We’ll kind of need to scream it out for a few days, first. And then a few days after the inauguration. And then after the first 10 days. Those are going to suck. Then the next 10. Pretty much the first 100.

                Then we should be able to talk to each other like people.

                Until the state of the union.Report

    • Avatar dragonfrog in reply to Jaybird says:

      Given that the criminalization of pot in the first place relies on a pretty dodgy reading of the constitution, I’d approach #1 with some reservations.Report

  19. Avatar Francis says:

    To the Republican Party:

    Congratulations. You put in the work at the statehouse level, built a powerful machine, and achieved strongly unified federal government not seen since Reagan.

    Now, however, comes governing. Please feel free to roll out all of your policy proposals. And then please enjoy the screaming and yelling that comes with it. Deficits don’t matter … until they do. Repeal of the ACA is easy. Fixing healthcare is hard. Demonizing our ME policy is easy. Doing something better is hard. Threatening trade wars is easy. Launching them has consequences. Promising to expel 10 – 11 million illegal aliens is easy; doing so will not be.

    The conservative press for years has promised that there are easy fixes for America’s problems. I have disagreed. It would be nice to be proved wrong. But if not, don’t worry. The Democratic Party will be around in 4 years to offer alternative solutions.Report

    • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Francis says:

      Do… do we have any Republican Party members here who will read this?Report

      • Avatar Burt Likko in reply to Jaybird says:

        Yes. It took some digging around and pleading, but we did eventually get a pro-Trump piece here on these pages offered up by some members of our community. There are conservatives who comment here and more who lurk. It’s fair to say that right-leaning voices are a dissenting minority here, which on this day of all days suggests that it’s we who are out of step with the country and not they. But yes, that group is present and I expect they will remain a minority within this community even as they enjoy their newly-empowered status in the polity as a whole.Report

        • it’s we who are out of step with the country

          And proud of it. Not only would I never vote for the vile three-year-old, I’m not going to watch wrestling, go to a superhero movie, or join Twitter.Report

        • Avatar Kim in reply to Burt Likko says:

          I’m more a liberal than not, but if you really want a piece on why I voted for Trump…
          It’d be hard to keep the insider baseball out of it, which is why I didn’t write one beforetimes.Report

        • Avatar Maribou in reply to Burt Likko says:

          @burt-likko I would suggest that most of us are in step with most of the country insofar as we tend to gravitate toward like-minded people (on what we consider to be the big issues) rather than actively seeking out attacks that feel personal towards us and our loved ones.

          I might assume – I do, in fact, regularly assume – that the attacks I’m avoiding are in fact personal and realistically dangerous, whereas the attacks Trump voters are avoiding are a smokescreen / relatively unimportant / not coming from the people they think they are coming from …. but I’m also very very aware that they think the same thing about me. Even the Trump voters I love think the same thing about me.Report

    • Avatar scott the mediocre in reply to Francis says:

      2002 (after Talent won the MO Senate seat) through end of 2006 was not a “strongly unified federal government”? Sure looked like one to me at the time.Report

  20. Avatar North says:

    This is really a novel election for me, I think, because I had such a strong expectation of the outcome and had it overturned completely. My first election in the US was 2000’s Bush v Gore and while that was an unusual outcome and I had hopes Gore would win I didn’t really ‘expect’ anything so to say. In 2004 I had expectations/hopes but I was under no illusions as to Kerry’s odds. The primary of 2008 was somewhat of a surprise but not a one day utter shock like this and the outcome was still, to my lights, good so that cushioned the blow. 2012 went exactly as I expected it would which brings us to 2016 where I, and most everyone else of my inclinations, have been entirely blindsided. So this is really new for me and certainly unpleasant. Crow is assuredly foul as well as fowl.

    Definitely big props are due to Our Todd and some iterations of Jaybird who predicted this. Congratulations are due to Notme and those few conservative true believers around here who correctly expected this; they’ve claimed not only the Presidency but are redefining or revealing the true nature of the Republican Party. I don’t really feel much obligation for apologies to the Sanders crowd since I can’t imagine how that dear old socialist was going to get a much better outcome against what Trump pulled out. That said, though, it merely indicts the Democratic establishment more scathingly since Hillary basically built her Primary victory through it methodically from 2008 on. No matter now, I suppose, the Clintons are utterly finished. They have no future ambitions on public office and their family has no younger ambitious contenders. I doubt we’ll hear much about them anymore unless Pres. Trump actually tries to go after them for some reason and we get to see if the conservative Clinton machine can actually find an actual prosecutable offense.

    Some musings:
    -Looking at the Trump coalition my mind flips back to two gaffes in the past: HRC’s “Deplorables” error and Mitt Romney’s “47% Takers” mistake. These people who turned out for Trump would probably have never turned out the same way for Romney or most of the other more mainstream GOP candidates. The GOP libertarian/economic wing may be in as deep a grave as the neocons. And that is very interesting because unlike the neocons the GOP doesn’t really have an economic agenda beyond what they crib from the libertarians. I suppose we can expect a lot more urban to rural subsidies being ratcheted up.

    -The polling errors strike me as the big story. Nationally aggregators aren’t looking too bad- Silver’s outfit came within the margin of error for the popular vote. State by state polling screwed the canine royally. One looks at all the energy that was put into AZ, Georgia, and the like and then looks at where the election was lost: razor thin margins in the Midwest, and can easily fume. That the campaigns internals didn’t sound the claxons about this seems mind boggling.

    Looking at the future?

    -I can’t get very worried about SSM; the popular will doesn’t seem present to try and claw back that advancement nor does Trumps “new” brand of Trumpism seem to give a crap about it. He basically put a cigarette out on a bible and the social cons voted for him anyhow so they can’t even claim he owes them anything. On sexuality matters it looks more like things are simply going to halt and not advance any more but are unlikely to retreat much. Good for people like me, not good for people like Veronica. I’m sorry hun.

    -Drugs. No idea. It’d be towering hypocrisy for Trump to be a drug warrior. I honestly have no idea what he’d do on the matter. Pessimistically go anti-drug so he can thump immigrants and PoC with it? Possibly ignore it. Optimistically maybe embrace it?

    -Judges: The GOP wins it all and has now enshrined as a norm that Presidents don’t get to appoint supreme court justices in their final year if their party doesn’t hold the Senate. I don’t know how long the existing liberal justices can hold on but actuarially speaking we really needed HRC to win. Assuming Trump does as he promised and nominates Heritage picks that’s going to be bleak. I can’t imagine the Senate Democratic Party will ape the GOP’s total obstruction on this even if it’d serve the GOP right. They’d lose the filibuster in the end and make themselves look as bad as the GOP. Not worth it considering that they’d lose.

    -The ACA is definitely in the crosshairs. Repealing it and replacing it with nothing as Burt speculates would be incredibly poisonous policy for the GOP. That’s literally a crotch kick to the very constituency that just elected Trump. This is an issue I think the Dems would be merited in filibustering on. Assuming it happens early enough this should tell us a LOT about what kind of President Trump is going to be. If the GOP just eliminates the filibuster and Trump signs a flat out repeal then he’ll just be a puppet for Ryan. If Trump actually cares about the people who elected him he’ll demand the GOP actually propose a replacement or a fix for the existing ACA. That will be interesting.Report

    • Avatar Mike Schilling in reply to North says:

      the GOP doesn’t really have an economic agenda beyond what they crib from the libertarians.

      Tax cuts, tax cuts, and more tax cuts. Huge for the 1%, enough for middle-incomers to act as a bribe, and they really have never given a crap about deficits.Report

    • Avatar Stillwater in reply to North says:

      Definitely big props are due to Our Todd and some iterations of Jaybird who predicted this.

      Heh. That myth again. Only two weeks ago Tod said definitively, as he has thru the general, that Trump wasn’t going to win the election.Report

      • Avatar North in reply to Stillwater says:

        In writing he has. In person, though, during my first visit to Portland when he and his lovely wife very kindly played host to my husband and I; he predicted that Trump could win to my great incredulity. So whatever his doubts or predictions since then he was definitely more correct than I. Hell, even Kimmie and her cats were more right than I was about this election and I’d be remiss if I didn’t say as much.Report

        • Avatar dragonfrog in reply to North says:

          That’s my recollection from the predictions thread – that Kim was the only person who predicted Trump would win (though she also predicted Trump would win the popular vote, which if I understand correctly, he did not).Report

          • Avatar Joe Sal in reply to dragonfrog says:

            It was closer than I thought.

            August 2, 2016 at 11:31 am

            Clinton: 39
            Trump: 54
            Johnson: 7

            Assumption #1. Information on HC bears a couple of damning nuggets.
            Assumption #2. Dems never really consolidate trust from Bernie faction.
            Assumption #3. Obama passes socialistic policies on the down low, makes news.
            Assumption #4. Voter turnout is highest in decades.

            (Admitted, no analysis here, total spitballing it.)”Report

      • Avatar Burt Likko in reply to Stillwater says:

        That’s correct — Our Tod more or less staked out a position between my prediction Monday of a Clinton win that included the midwestern “firewall,” Pennsylvania, and Florida and his own prediction of a rather narrower win left over from August.

        And it was not for nothing that I searched for an image of crow served up on a plate as the feature picture for this post. My prediction was wrong, based upon data that proved inaccurate, and I figure that the crow isn’t going to taste any better once it gets cold.Report

        • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Burt Likko says:

          WHen she was up by 9 nationally, I thought it was over, too. And said so. Then came the Comey letter which resulted in a very quick, very sharp drop in the gap, and at that point I said she’s a bad closer and so full of baggage there are myriad ways for her to steal defeat from the jaws of victory.

          Based on the “experts”, tho, I felt confident she’d win, for sure. (In that regard, I think we all did – {{shakes fist at Sam Wang!!}}.) But not confident enough to put actual money on the line, for … well …reasons we saw play out over the last couple weeks culminating in last night’s drubbing.Report

          • Avatar Kim in reply to Stillwater says:

            8 to 1 odds for Trump, and the ai will collect. Oh, the smugness…
            (oddly enough from a website started as an It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia website…until the betting actually turned real.)

            [Expect inferior versions to be sold on the block to the prognosticators.]Report

    • Avatar Jaybird in reply to North says:

      Definitely big props are due to Our Todd and some iterations of Jaybird who predicted this.

      The only iterations of Jaybird who got this right was August, September, and half of October.

      Then the primary Jaybird iteration stopped believing his eyes and started believing what he was told.Report

  21. Avatar Stillwater says:

    This outcome is shocking on a personal level, but one thing it’s made clear is that Democrats need to get their heads outa their assess and figure out a platform and a politics that appeals up, down, and across the electorate. Dems are getting crushed at the state level, and now the GOP holds the P, the S and the H nationally. And right now, given Trump’s victory, the GOP is better positioned to absorb the inevitable political “realignment” moving forward, and further cement their already substantial margins.

    Personally, I don’t see how the Dems do it short of really opening up the political process to all and everyone, which means getting rid of a bunch of institutional detritus and sclerotic political thinking. It’ll be a long uncomfortable road, seems to me.Report

    • Avatar North in reply to Stillwater says:

      At this point it looks pretty hard to argue. So what policy changes do you think they should move towards?
      Or is the case that they just need to clean house on the establishment to sweep out all the past actors that can be painted as corrupt but the fundamental policies are sound?Report

      • Avatar InMD in reply to North says:

        This morning a blogger I follow wrote ‘The people want jobs. The elites want genderless bathrooms.’ I don’t want to imply that the Democrats should leave marginalized groups to fend for themselves but for the national party I think the reshuffle needs to be about finding economic answers for people left behind in the post industrial world. Sanders showed there’s a constituency for that, and some of it lives in the Midwest where Clinton really lost this election. The next two pieces for the national party I think need to be reigning in the establishments appetite for military adventurism, and being more willing to talk about controlling illegal immigration (albeit in a much more humane and pragmatic way than the Republican enforcement uber alles approach).

        I know it isn’t the answer a lot of people who want to push cultural liberalism would like. However I think the national party needs to accept that those battles need to be fought first and foremost at local and state levels, and that some parts of the country are going to move faster than others.Report

        • Avatar North in reply to InMD says:

          Well sure but how much did HRC or her party push cultural liberalism? I mean you’re preaching to the choir there as I think that social liberalism as nurtured in the academy is 1/3rd crazy leftist nonsense, 1/3rd decent points and 1/3 idealistic pablum being pushed in a way guaranteed to alienate 90% of everyone not on a university campus but is so called “SJW” behavior that integral to the Democratic Party as it currently operates? I am doubtful.

          I can see the augment being made that the GOP persuaded this electoral group that the Dems are evil because “SJW” and they persuaded the same group that the GOP was evil because “they’re flat out promising to fish us in the ass on safety nets/econonomic policy etc” so when Trump showed up and kicked the mainstream GOP’s economic/safety net policy to the curb he squared the circle. It just seems almost like too pat an answer for centrist liberals. Also it begs the question: what do liberals do about it then? It’s not like the right will stop calling them SJW’s or communists or whatever if they move to the right on it.Report

          • Avatar Kim in reply to North says:

            Stop the fucking astroturf, stop letting drama queen narcissists control the agenda.
            Unite, rather than bitching about how much your Feelings got Hurt Today!
            (Seriously, people are literally saying that being asked to pay the rent is a PROBLEM that is a MicroAggression, and thus their roommate is EVUL).Report

          • Avatar InMD in reply to North says:

            Generally I agree that HRC did not run on cultural liberalism, but I think there’s a lot of guilt by association for anyone who is part of the establishment, which she very much is. The people supporting Trump, rightly or wrongly, see her as someone who got rich and powerful without playing by the rules (there’s definitely some disonance going on with support for Trump but at least he speaks their language and claims to care). From their perspective Clinton is part of a bipartisan elite running the country that to varying degrees puts the interests of bankers, big business, urbanites, minorities, and foreigners ahead of theirs.

            In terms of how to deal with it I think that the party needs to start rebuilding at the local and state level by recruiting and cultivating leaders from these blighted areas who understand the problems, the perspective, and the culture. That is going to require some flexibility on cultural issues and an acceptance that candidate’s like this probably wouldn’t fit in at a Brooklyn dinner party or brunch at a DC restaurant. Part of the point of this strategy is to render accusations about being communists or Kenyans or whatever conservative media says to be transparently ridiculous.Report

            • Avatar Aaron David in reply to InMD says:

              “recruiting and cultivating leaders from these blighted areas who understand the problems, the perspective, and the culture.”

              This x1000. And yes, it is going to play havoc with cultural issues, but then again, losing as completely as the D’s did yesterday is worse.Report

            • Avatar North in reply to InMD says:

              So then basically you think the Dems need to stand pat on policy. Make sure they nominate someone squeaky clean next time and recruit locally? That’s not much of a change really, they do two of those three things already.Report

              • Avatar InMD in reply to North says:

                It isn’t clear to me that they’re doing a great job locally given the losses in state level government. I mean, per the conversation above it isnt even clear who is going to lead the party now.

                Regarding policy I think there’s an emphasis issue. The ACA has a pretty good chance of dying here, but assuming that doesn’t happen, I’d have people in southern and midwestern states advocating like crazy for the Medicaid expansion as issue number 1. Take North Carolina for example where theres this big battle on the bathroom issue. My recommendation is that theres a similarly big if not bigger battle over the fact that there is federal money ready to aid in the health care of working class and poor families and the state wont take it for nakedly partisan reasons. Maybe they’re already doing things like that but if so I haven’t heard about it.Report

            • Avatar gregiank in reply to InMD says:

              But being communists was already transparently ridiculous. So what then…….nominate a business friendly establishment type?Report

              • Avatar InMD in reply to gregiank says:

                It’s clear to you and me that your average Democrat is not a communist but we aren’t the ones who need convincing. My proposal is to see if we can figure out why it isn’t so obvious to people who aren’t like us and if there’s anything we can do about it. To be clear, this isn’t about being selfless it’s about being very disturbed by what just happened.Report

        • Avatar J_A in reply to InMD says:

          I think the reshuffle needs to be about finding economic answers for people left behind in the post industrial world.

          But the Democratic Party was offering what answers are available (not that many(*)), and the people didn’t like those answers. Berniers didn’t like the answers. Trumpets don’t like the answers. They want their old jobs back


          I mean, the Dems can take a page from the GOP and also promise imposible things, in the knowledge that by 2020 the GOP would have failed to deliver the jobs. But when the Dems also fail to deliver imposible promises, then what?

          The first step to find the answers that those left behind need is to actually acknowledge the causes of the problem. The Dems were sort of maybe if you squint more or less on the way to acknowledging the issues.

          And they got beaten.

          So the Dems seem to be between a rock and a hard place: acknowledge reality and propose actions that could work, and lose, or join the offering unicorns club, win, and fail.

          In some ways, Trump might be a blessing in disguise. It is possible that after him, we can get people to finally dismiss the economic fairy tales we tell to each other.

          (*) Short of early retirement via SocSec for those left behind, probably the most cost effective solution available.Report

          • Avatar InMD in reply to J_A says:

            See my comment above to North. There are parts of the party that realize the issue but someone like Clinton was never going to be able to deliver the message. There’s too much history and baggage.

            Edit to add I don’t think you necessarily need to make impossible promises but you do need to run someone who isn’t the epitome of who this demographic is flipping the bird at.Report

    • Avatar Pinky in reply to Stillwater says:

      This wasn’t a platform election. Not a bit.Report

      • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Pinky says:

        This wasn’t a platform election. Not a bit.

        Not in the traditional sense, no. But given the subtext of the debate, one which quickly reached prominence, it certainly was: Clinton was essentially running on Obama’s record, and Trump was running a “burn the mother effers down, plank by plank” campaign. He didn’t need to get too deep into the weeds regarding what he’d put in place (ie., offer his own planks) since he understood, better than anyone, that wide swaths of Merkins were more pissed off at the “business (over drinks) as usual” DC crowd than they were inspired by proposals of positive change. From their pov, just throwing the bums out was viewed as wildly, ecstatically positive by them.

        I could go on and on about why Hillary was the perfectly wrong candidate in this time and place, but that’d be vindictive and counterproductive. (Plus, I’ve already said all that stuff many many times.) The deeper issue I was getting at above is that the Dems, as an institution, need to focus their (navel) gaze a little further on up the road.Report

        • Avatar Pinky in reply to Stillwater says:

          As I said before on this site, this election was unique in that the worst thing that could happen to either candidate was attention. Any time either of them was in the news, their polling went down – and not even in the news for bad things. Their mere presence was a turn-off. I’d love to see the conversation focus on policy, but if you’re analyzing this campaign on those terms, you’re missing the point. Clinton had maybe the worst two weeks in US political history, and that was mostly due to the press talking about how much better she’d be as president.

          (Because that’s the other thing: the media were just as unpopular as the candidates were. And that’s true for the right-wing media as well as the mainstream/left-wing media.)Report

          • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Pinky says:

            the media were just as unpopular as the candidates were. And that’s true for the right-wing media as well as the mainstream/left-wing media

            Good point. This is freaking *HUGE*.

            This is where I think that the majority of the damage has been done.

            Everybody trusted Pinko Cronkite. Everybody.

            Who trusts anybody who doesn’t stroke their prejudices and confirm their priors? Why in the hell would you trust those people?

            Edit: also, just saw this:

            Just a thought as my brain attempts to process HOW.— Seth MacFarlane (@SethMacFarlane) November 9, 2016


            • Avatar Pinky in reply to Jaybird says:

              The right has been celebrating that the center seems to have lost their faith in journalism. But during this election cycle, much of the right has also lost their faith in right-wing news and opinion. Maybe the left wing still trusts left-wing news and opinion – but even they are going to have to come to terms with an unforeseen loss. Where does that leave any of us?

              I’ve gathered that trust and cooperation are your pet issues. Try to find any good news on that front.Report

          • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Pinky says:

            I hear ya. I think, anyway, since I agree even tho you’re disagreeing with me.

            Is the disagreement that you think the Dems are in good political shape and they only need a better candidate than Clinton?

            {{Part of my argument, unstated up there but one which I’ve made previously here at the OT, is that anointing Clinton as the candidate constitutes a signal that something is seriously wrong with the party…}}Report

            • Avatar Pinky in reply to Stillwater says:

              Let’s suppose that there are three steps to November: thinking about policies and principles, followed by choosing a nominee, followed by a national campaign. You’re arguing that step 2 (the results of the nomination) indicate a flaw in step 1. My contention is that, whether or not that is the case, step 3 was horribly mangled by the candidate chosen in step 2. This candidate performed terribly. Would a different one have done better? Almost certainly so. Was her choice the result of bad thinking? I dunno – that seems to be your argument.

              It should go without saying that all the processes that led these candidates to the nomination should be held guilty until proven innocent.Report

              • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Pinky says:

                Was her choice the result of bad thinking? I dunno – that seems to be your argument.

                It absolutely is, but it’s not the entirety of my argument. (Hillary was a turrible candidate. More on that in a minute.) Part of what I’m saying, and have been saying for the last year and a half, is that the process which led to Hillary being the SOLE nominee of the democratic party (until Bernie threw his hat in as a challenger from the left to try to move her to the left!!!) was not merely flawed, but evidence of a deep, institutionally-driven confusion about contemporary US politics and the desires and perspective of voters. So yes, the process by which she was nominated, and the way her primary candidacy was massaged, is no small complaint. But it’s a complaint about Democratic insiders more than Hillary. (How can you blame her for being The Chosen One??)

                On the other hand, even at the time of her declaration to run, I’ve consistently said she’s a terrible candidate – in general, but specifically in this particular electoral context. She’s uninspiring, derivative, uncharismatic, uncreative, stilted, socially awkward, etc etc, but on the plus side she’s a robust institutionalist and triangulator in a time – especially after the last six years of do-nothing governance – when people want to hear good ideas that make their lives better. On top of that, she has a proven track record of ending her campaigns with lower approvals/favorables than when she began because of the baggage and often confused, unprincipled incoherence of her policy priorities. I could go on. And on.

                All that to say that the problem with the Dems goes way beyond merely Hillary’s performance (which wasn’t unexpected), or even her victory (with lotsa help) in the primary. It’s the fact that all too many Dems thought that she was the best choice going forward even tho she wasn’t offering any “forward” to look to. Just a bunch of triangulating babble filled with politically appropriate nuance.

                (And to answer a question: Yes, I’m a bit bitter about the whole thing. Not that she lost, but that the Dems are so incompetent that they allowed Trump to win.)Report

              • Avatar Kim in reply to Stillwater says:

                I blame her for the armtwisting, for the “if you don’t, you go on my enemies list”, and, frankly, for the child prostitution (you wondered why everyone is so firm about “nothing happened” with the Clinton Foundation? If that goes down, tons of people get in trouble).Report

            • Avatar Kim in reply to Stillwater says:

              Clinton’s candidacy was the price for Obama getting to be president so easily.
              Yes, there’s something wrong with that, but “It was pretty much unique to the Clintons” (aka the Clinton Crime Family is done, dead as a doornail).

              Clinton was the worst candidate my friend the Clinton operative has seen in his lifetime. And he worked for Jeb! She campaigned, her numbers went down. Consistently. Hell, she nearly lost the Senate election. In New York.Report

    • Avatar LeeEsq in reply to Stillwater says:

      This inter-party debate has already started. Its going to be a fruitful as the debates the Labour Party had during Great Britain after Margaret Thatcher took over. My three main observations about world politics are this:

      1. Right populism is growing very popular in the democratic world right now because tens or hundreds of millions of people are feeling alienated and left behind in the globalized world.

      2. The Social Justice/Identity Politics version of liberalism is a poor counter to Right Populism than old school social liberalism and social democracy because it speaks in a more fragment4ed language. Right populism is broader in scope and can mobilize more people.

      3. Technocratic neo-liberalism and libertarianism are even worse counters because they appeal to even fewer people than Social Justice/Identity Politics leftism.Report

      • Avatar InMD in reply to LeeEsq says:

        @leeesq I’m buying what you’re selling.Report

      • Avatar Brent F in reply to LeeEsq says:

        I think there is something to be said about how if you go down the identity politics path, the majority identitity is going to be a lot stronger than the minorities.Report

        • Avatar LeeEsq in reply to Brent F says:

          White people are still the majority of the United States and you still need tens of millions of them to win an election. For what its worth, I have no answer how to get around two. Social Justice/Identity Politics are not necessarily wrong on the merits. Old school social democracy or liberalism didn’t do that great a job on non-economic issues to a large extent.Report

    • Avatar lawmedy in reply to Stillwater says:

      Here’s my major question: was this election a referendum on the Dem vs. GOP platform, or a referendum on establishment (HRC in particular) vs. not-establishment? I see two main hypotheses: broad-strokes, they’re candidate-based and structural, but there are also some subcategories of each that I may not have fully thought out yet.

      First, candidate-based. Under this hypothesis, antipathy to HRC was the main driver for a lot of turnout. 30+ years of attacks on her means that she has substantial negatives, which activates people who have a deep-rooted hatred of her and might not have voted otherwise. I do think this is more plausible than people realize. It’s not unreasonable to think that, say, 5% of voters just haven’t liked her going back to the 90s and wouldn’t have had the same reaction to, say, Martin O’Malley. The amount of House and Senate races the GOP won suggests that’s not purely the case, but on the other hand, that may just be increased prevalence of straight-ticket voting: once people decide they’re voting GOP at the top, that carries down to the bottom. It’s also possible that it was less the candidate than the campaign she ran, and that Clinton failed to make the case for why she was a good candidate instead of why Trump was a bad one. Either way, this is ultimately a solvable problem: Dems nominate a more unifying figure with less baggage, like Cory Booker, and that swings the vote enough at the presidential level to win in 2020.

      Second, structural. Under this hypothesis, who the Dems put up doesn’t matter: demographics and electoral sentiment made their loss inevitable. I see a couple of sub-categories under the structural hypothesis:

      1. Trump’s win was driven primarily by anti-elite sentiment. People hate DC, and the Acela corridor much more than anyone realizes, so as soon as someone came along who promised to blow it all up, they happily jumped on board. This is troubling for Dems, but there’s a pretty clear path forward with a greater embrace of Bernie-style populism. Elizabeth Warren runs in 2020, yells about the banks a bunch, and redirects just enough of the anger to win.

      2. Trump’s win was driven primarily by white racism, maybe with a touch of misogyny. People see economic decline and need someone to blame for it, and Trump channels that anger by telling them that it’s Mexicans’ and Muslims’ fault. The misogyny is similar: when people feel that “their America” is threatened, they retreat to a 1950s conception where women know their place. This is probably the most terrifying force for Dems, because that’s not something that can be fixed without blowing up their coalition. I don’t know what they do here.

      Now, I would bet that neither of these theories is exclusive. It’s most likely a combination. I tend to think the most important force was anti-elitism and the second most important was HRC antipathy, but that may just be wishful thinking that America is less racist than I thought possible.Report

      • Avatar Morat20 in reply to lawmedy says:

        Data point: Incumbent re-election rate was high. That cuts against an outsider election, but does somewhat support change (Americans tend to view the President “as the government” and doesn’t really think about the party affiliation of Congress as much during Presidential years. So swapping the White House but not Congress can be ‘change’ in a Presidential year).Report

  22. Avatar Kolohe says:

    I’m not going as far as our dear Kim, but looking at this list*, we are going to see how powerful the Deep State really is starting now.

    *which, is mostly bs, but anyway, the idea of whom is going to be the Top. Men. (and. Women) in the Trump administration is probably accurate.Report

  23. Avatar Burt Likko says:

    One final comment before I go to work and endure the gloating of my paralegal (who informed me that she was gong to vote against “that murderer”).

    My wife read this post this morning and chided me for missing her real concern as to the cultural consequences of Trump’s election. She’s concerned that the electorate appearing to give Trump so clear a pass on his personal misbehavior is going to set back womens’ standing in professional and social contexts.

    After all, we know that Trump went unpunished after admitting grabbing and kissing and peeping on women against their will, cultivated a lifelong lifestyle of serial adultery, scanned gatherings of pre-pubescent girls for their suitability to give him sexual pleasure later in life, and is visibly distrustful of even the women closest to him. Not only did these behaviors go unpunished, he’s just been given the Presidency. The President inevitably serves as a leader by example for all manner of behaviors, fashions, and other subtle sorts of cultural cues. (My phrasing, her concept.)

    What kind of example does this set for the role of women in this country?

    I told her that I was tired and stressed and still a little boozy when I wrote the piece, and she was asleep so I didn’t want to wake her up and talk through my ideas before finalizing them. I told her that there are still laws against gender discrimination and sexual harassment in this country and I make my living enforcing them and intend to continue doing so for so long as such laws are on the books.

    I couldn’t think of anything else to say, because she’s right, this side of things is kind of bleak-looking at the moment, too.Report

    • Avatar Kim in reply to Burt Likko says:

      Well, Burt, we’re about to see if Trump wants to take down the Big Dawg.
      Because, um, Slick Willie has more under his sheets than Monkey Business.

      (In short, for all of Trump, at least he did it to people who were of age).Report

      • Avatar Burt Likko in reply to Kim says:

        That’s why I didn’t put much stock in the “Trump raped a 13-year-old” claims. That’s just not his kink. We know his “thing” because he’s broadcast it all over the tabloids for decades now: he digs traditionally attractive large-breasted twentysomething (or made-to-look-like-twentysomething) women who preferably aren’t his wife.

        Liking Playboy Bunnies is pretty vanilla, and assuming they consent to his advances, not at all illegal. At worst, it’s vulgar, and his vulgarity ought not be high on the list of our concerns right now.Report

        • Avatar Maribou in reply to Burt Likko says:

          @burt-likko If only I believed that men who dig traditionally attractive large-breasted youngish but legal women could not also be child sexual predators.

          The FBI put out a very thorough study some years ago, which I found in the throes of first dealing with my own experience, that said there are two kinds of pedophiles / ephebophiles:
          1) people whose pathology is that they really are only attracted to children and (despicably) act on that
          2) people who are sexual opportunists and whose pathology involves convincing themselves (at least as despicably, I lean toward more despicably but that’s really hairsplitting) that anyone they might see as a sexual object, is theirs by right and/or wanted them to do whatever they did anyway. They have no limits to their attraction other than possibly biology (some of them are straight-only) and what they (usually accurately) estimate that they can get away with without being punished.

          [sorry, I don’t have a cite. it was a legit PDF from a governmental website, probably someone with more spoons could find it by googling.]

          I grew up under the power of one of the latter category. And I know you know that (though I understand if you maybe don’t remember it clearly, being the queen of denial and compartmentalization myself). In this space and in other places where you may be speaking on this topic, please stop denying the existence of people like me, our experiences, etc. Also using BDSM language to talk about predators is pretty iffy, given that kink has helped a lot of victims find a way to love sex and other people.

          It’s not high on the list of my general political concerns, which is why I haven’t even brought it up. But if y’all are going to discuss it, please inform yourselves first.Report

          • Avatar Kim in reply to Maribou says:

            Indeed. There’s actually a third type, which is gay guys in such deep denial that they find themselves attracted to very young girls (and attracted to them in certain particular positions, to be a bit delicate about it).Report

    • Avatar Morat20 in reply to Burt Likko says:

      Tell her to look on the bright side: Thanks to some rulings in the 90s, being sitting President is no defense against lawsuits.

      And he’s got a bunch. A whole bunch. And now “Clinton is worse” distraction to use.

      Of course, on the other hand — is he actually legally required to divest himself of his holdings? Because I’m thinking he’s just gonna hand them over to his kids, as he insisted, and keep all his own money in it. After all, think of the profits now that Trump is also gonna be President.Report

  24. Avatar Morat20 says:

    So, what’s the over/under on the media focusing on the various Trump investigations, lawsuits, and scandals now that the distraction of the Clinton’s is gone? Let’s face it, nobody thought he could win. Nobody EVER took him seriously. Except a whole, whole, whole lot of voters.

    In terms of predictions, I’ve got two solid ones:

    1. Interest rates are gonna remain pretty low, and not because the Fed is too lazy to raise them.
    2. The GOP is gonna tack another whack at SS. They can’t help themselves. They’ll do it before 2018. Their last whack at SS seems to have cost them Congress in 2006, and you’d think they’d learn but they can’t resist the lure of all that money.

    In the end, we’ve elected Trump. Like it or lump it, Trump the face of the modern conservatism and the modern GOP (if you want to claim different, just realize that 50 million conservatives and Republicans disagree with you. You should look for another label), and his playbook (incoherent as it was) was SO effective despite his utter lack of focus and skills, that it’s gonna be copied. Playing to the alt-right and stoking fear of Muslims and immigrants wins you elections, so they’re gonna keep doing it even if Trump gets impeached the day after he’s sworn in.

    I’m looking at the “US as Kansas” for the next two years as utterly best case. That’s my optimistic, rosy glasses scenario. We merely suffer a lot of damage, before backlash hits.

    In the end, we just elected a highly unpopular President, a highly unpopular Congress, who have promised a lot of things that end up being very unpopular in practice with very unpopular results. I’m sure quite a few of those new Trump voters wanted change (although not to the point of evicting many incumbents), so they’re not going to be happy when things don’t get better.

    As for Trump — generally the first order of business for a new President is getting re-elected, but I don’t think Trump thinks that way. He’s not going to moderate, he’s not going to pivot, he’s not going to do anything but whatever he feels like because the idea of losing re-election is completely alien to him. He won when EVERYONE said he’d lose. So why would he listen to people telling him what he’s doing could hurt his 2020 chances? Or would hurt the GOP’s 2018 chances? He’s gonna give no craps.Report

    • Avatar DavidTC in reply to Morat20 says:

      @morat , you just summarized almost everything I was thinking

      So, what’s the over/under on the media focusing on the various Trump investigations, lawsuits, and scandals now that the distraction of the Clinton’s is gone?

      That is a really good question. He’ll be in court for the Trump University lawsuit at the end of this month.

      We’ll also see if the FBI anti-Hillary fanatics keep it up now that she’s gone as a force.

      Playing to the alt-right and stoking fear of Muslims and immigrants wins you elections, so they’re gonna keep doing it even if Trump gets impeached the day after he’s sworn in.

      You technically can be impeached and convicted *before* being sworn in. Or even elected. Congress can impeach some random dude walking down the street. Impeachment and conviction you removes you from office, and *bars you from future Federal office*.

      Just saying.

      I actually don’t want him impeached. The longer he stays in office, the worse the Republicans are going to look. I don’t want a President Mike Pence.

      In the end, we just elected a highly unpopular President, a highly unpopular Congress, who have promised a lot of things that end up being very unpopular in practice with very unpopular results.

      Yeah, this is going to be…weird.

      As I said on Facebook this morning: Democrats, if you want to help at this point, try to focus Republicans on Trump’s *really stupid* promises, like building a giant wall or barring Muslim immigration. Stuff that is actually impossible.

      See if you can get them pushing for that, instead of pushing for a repeal of the ACA.

      He’s not going to moderate, he’s not going to pivot, he’s not going to do anything but whatever he feels like because the idea of losing re-election is completely alien to him. He won when EVERYONE said he’d lose. So why would he listen to people telling him what he’s doing could hurt his 2020 chances?

      Does Trump even *want* to run in 2020? He proved his point, he’s the most winnery of everyone. And I suspect he’s already sorta tired of this whole nonsense, and it will soon dawn on him that he’s sorta locked himself in a cage for the next 4 years. I’d be completely startled if he ran in 2020. Better to go out a winner than to risk running again.

      But even if he did want to do that, he is completely unable to moderate himself.Report

      • Avatar Morat20 in reply to DavidTC says:

        Hmm — potential bellweather: Leaks.

        Leaking damaging info on Trump when he’s losing, when no one thinks he really has a chance? Not worth the risk.

        Doing it when he’s President-elect? A lot more pressure, you know?

        When he’s President? Even more.

        So look to leaks — from the FBI, from ‘security agencies’, from various investigations, from those buried tapes from the Apprentice, from Republican or Democratic oppo research that wasn’t used, etc.

        How much (if anything) starts getting handed anonymously over to the press will be a sign of how the government and the US are enjoying President Trump.

        Oh, and fun story: There’s no law requiring him to divest himself of his investments. So he won’t.Report

        • Avatar Kolohe in reply to Morat20 says:

          If there was oppo research on Trump that *wasn’t used*, that’s reason number one why Clinton deserved to lose.Report

          • Avatar Morat20 in reply to Kolohe says:

            I’m thinking on the GOP side. Or stuff that wasn’t verifiable or otherwise risks serious blowback.Report

            • Avatar Kolohe in reply to Morat20 says:

              The thing is, oppo research on Trump doesn’t actually matter. His public and private personas are identical, because he doesn’t have a private persona as commonly understood. His ‘secrets’ have always been out there in the public records, hiding in plain sight.

              His campaign was leaky as heck – that’s how the horserace people were able to get their fill and the public’s eyeballs for ratings, and how entire genres of comedy were created in chronicling the ostensible omnishambles of his Presidential run.Report

              • Avatar Morat20 in reply to Kolohe says:

                Without the distraction of Clinton, without the horserace, how’s that play out though?

                Because nobody ever took Trump seriously. Even the GOP didn’t think, before the returns came in, that he’d win. The media didn’t, the Democrats didn’t, I don’t even think Trump did.

                So play he-said, she-said. Frame it as politics. Bury the complicated stories because it’s just more eyeballs to play up the race.

                But the race is over. Trump’s still Trump, but now the focus is solely on him. How’s that going to play, when it’s not buried under a horse race with a side of “never gonna happen”?

                When the public, no longer quite so shackled to “Team Red/Team Blue” (after all, the race is over. The cup is awarded. The celebration done. Now we can gripe about the coaches and the players, because we’re no longer putting up a solid front against our bitter rivals. We won’t play them again for years)?

                What’s a bored media going to do? He’s gonna be President. There’s no distraction and, bluntly, no higher target.

                What drives ratings now is…different.Report

              • Avatar Kolohe in reply to Morat20 says:

                If the media is going to talk about Trump instead of the various problems in the US and around the world, that’s a deal Trump is probably willing to make.

                He got to where he is now by consistently and constantly being 1) the anti-hero and 2) the center of attention.Report

              • Avatar Morat20 in reply to Kolohe says:

                Pretty much. The question is mostly what does that do in 2018? And how does that alter the rest of the GOP’s cost-benefit analysis?Report

    • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Morat20 says:

      In the end, we just elected a highly unpopular President, a highly unpopular Congress, who have promised a lot of things that end up being very unpopular in practice with very unpopular results.

      It doesn’t matter how unpopular you are if you are less unpopular than the other guy.

      Also, Congress is magnificently unpopular. The problem is that each district’s congressperson is 90ish% likely to be popular in zher own district, even if zhe is *HATED* in every single other one of the other 434 districts.Report

      • Avatar Morat20 in reply to Jaybird says:

        Technically, Trump is more unpopular than Clinton. (Popular vote wise and various polls, for what they’re worth these days).

        The unpopularity of Congress is highly muted in Presidential years (everyone focuses on the Presidency, control of Congress is shunted off to a corner as unpopular).

        However, now that the GOP doesn’t have a veto or filibuster to hide behind, they’re gonna have to DO stuff. And other than appoint the most far-right judges they can, everything else they’re promising is either not gonna happen (the Wall, bringing jobs back) or end up being really unpopular in practice (their economic moves are gonna shoot the country in the foot, and the ACA repeal is going to take a lot of stuff people like with it).Report

        • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Morat20 says:

          Regionally unpopular, then.

          Someone pointed out that Trump won fewer states than Romney did… just that he happened to pick up more heavily weighted states.

          And if Trump screws up badly over the next two years (and how can he *NOT*?), 2018 is an opportunity to hamstring him with a Democratic Congress/Senate and 2019 is an opportunity to impeach him.

          If he MASSIVELY screws up badly, maybe we can impeach him in 2017!

          And then we can elect Michelle Obama!


          • Avatar PD Shaw in reply to Jaybird says:

            Perhaps the window of what is possible has broadened a lot since yesterday, but 2018 is a vulnerable Senate year for Democrats, they have nine Senators running for re-election in Republican states. I can certainly see overreach here, but also vulnerable Democrats still losing in 2018, or even becoming reliable Republican votes in the interim. I think we have four years of this, whatever this means.Report

  25. Avatar Jaybird says:

    Okay. So we now need to focus on 2020. Now that Clinton is, presumably, not going to be running then, we can look to the strongest House, Senate, and Governorships.

    How are the Dems doing there?Report

    • Avatar Morat20 in reply to Jaybird says:

      Well, Clinton did improve 6 points over Obama in Texas. Only 10 down! 🙂

      (I did note Democrats did pretty well in Houston, which is solidifying blue).

      I dunno. We’re so partisan, and it comes down to turnout. Either 2018 or 2020 is likely to be a backlash election, because — bluntly — Trump can’t deliver the unicorns and ponies he promised his voters (and his Presidency is going to be dogged by scandal, because he’s already dogged by scandal and lawsuits).

      That’s just on “He literally can’t do what he promised, which drove those votes out”. Doesn’t get into more nebulous stuff (like, say, bad results from what he can do, or people realizing “Oh god, oh god, what have we done” or just stuff being unpopular in practice despite being popular in theory).

      America rather dislikes single-party government, so I’m guessing the GOP Congressional control might not last past 2018. The GOP probably suspects this as well.Report

    • Avatar derek_stanley in reply to Jaybird says:

      That was cruel Jaybird.Report

    • Avatar Mike Schilling in reply to Jaybird says:

      They don’t have anything like the GOP’s top guys: Jeb!, Rubio, Cruz, Kasich, …. And no one with a really hot wife.Report

  26. Avatar Pinky says:

    “There will be a cabinet. The Cabinet will consist of Republicans, and the talent pool from which President Trump will draw will be pretty from a body of standard conservatives.”

    I’m not sure about that. His list of SCOTUS possibilities and VP choice suggest that, but his choice of convention speakers suggests otherwise. At the lower levels, the political appointments will be nearly all GOP / moderate / conservative. But at the top? Watch the transition team, to the extent that we can observe them. If any group is likely to be short-changed, it’s the “standard” conservatives.Report

  27. Avatar derek_stanley says:

    Hello All,

    While I am happy Trump won, I still wish it was a better candidate. While the Trump economic policies I like, the person is ugly. Too bad the person of Clinton was just as bad or worse.

    I still hope to get:
    1) a good Supreme Court justice from the list Trump presented
    2) Tax reform as stated (I know it will not be the whole thing, but we shall see how much can be implemented)
    3) While immigration seem to be mostly off the table. I hope to see great enforcement of the laws going forward.
    4) few face palming moments from Trump speaking to foreign leaders.

    I think people forget that the art of the deal is to start with a very strong postion and then work towards a middle ground. You start far out there so that the middle ground is still a good position where the person gets some of what was really wanted. Trump does this to a T. His starting positions are way out there and then he shifts (review immagration). For me I hope those shifts are not too far to the left for me.

    Here is to a good four years.


    • Avatar North in reply to derek_stanley says:

      Thanks for the perspective. Here’s hoping he’s the person you think he is rather than who he seems to be. Oh, and that the GOP will play along with him.Report

      • Avatar Morat20 in reply to North says:

        Oh, Trump will always be the man who lost most of the money his Dad gave him and ruined countless investors. I assume that track record will continue into office.

        And of course the GOP will support him. He won. He’s the face of their party.

        Trump IS the GOP now. He’s conservatism in America. He’s what conservatives wanted, and 57 million of them happily voted for him.

        They’ll support him to the hilt — right up until his poll numbers among Republican primary voters tank. THEN they’ll go for the kill.

        But don’t expect bravery or ideology or anything to suddenly stiffen the GOP spine.

        If it’s any consolation, they’ll spend the next two years with no one to blame for their failures. When the ponies and unicorns don’t arrive, that’ll be fun.Report

      • Avatar derek_stanley in reply to North says:

        True, I will be interested to see if the GOP rolls over like usual or will they fight Trump on some issues. I am more with Morat20, they most likely will roll over.Report

    • Avatar DavidTC in reply to derek_stanley says:

      I think people forget that the art of the deal is to start with a very strong postion and then work towards a middle ground.

      I think Republican Trump supporters forget that the art of the deal is to start with a very strong postion and then work towards a middle ground, and they will organize pitchforks and torches when Trump and the Republican congress doesn’t deliver.

      There, I fixed that for you.Report

    • That’s how one negotiates with a bargaining partner in good faith, @derek_stanley .

      There’s another play in the book. It’s called “elections have consequences.” You start with a strong hand: ostensibly friendly Republican majorities in both houses of Congress. You enforce rigid party discipline. Then you say what you want. The Democrats say, “No way!” and stake out a strategically oppositional position, hoping for room and leverage at the bargaining table.

      Now, here’s where it gets interesting.

      Instead of sitting down opposite the Democrats on the bargaining table and trading horses and haggling, you say, “Eff you, I’ll just do it without you then.” You use your majority in both houses of Congress to just do what you want.

      This strikes me as something much closer to Trump’s governing style, much closer to his business style. When he’s been unable to get the deal he wanted at business bargaining tables, he’s changed the rules, often by going to Bankruptcy Court, which is a very good place to get deals changed. Then he gets what he wants and the other side doesn’t get to vote or do more than object.

      Best of all, if you can pack the courts, judicial review of this sort of thing isn’t really a problem, either.

      Sort of bypasses that whole “checks and balances” thing that Madison had in mind, and at this point that kind of governing style is more fear on my part than experience, because there is no actual experience to examine. Hopefully things don’t go that way.Report

      • Avatar derek_stanley in reply to Burt Likko says:

        And that is where I have more faith in Trump. I expect him to be a good faith bargaining partner more often than not. And I do not think he will be able to get way with “just do what you want” since there are enough republicans that would cross over (all it will take is 2-3 in the senate) of something truly bad.

        Still, time will tell if your view or my becomes reality (most likely it will be somewhere in the middle).Report

        • Avatar Morat20 in reply to derek_stanley says:

          So you expect him to operate in government in the exact opposite way he has in business?

          Because he’s never been a good faith partner in business, that’s been pretty well documented. In fact, he’s got a habit of lying to investors and scampering with some profit while they’re left with a mountain of debt.

          In fact, he suggested using this exact mechanism to deal with the national debt. That is, simply refuse to pay it until the Chinese (or whomever) offered to take pennies on the dollar.Report

  28. Avatar Morat20 says:

    I forgot the silver lining!

    We’ll get to experience “heighten the contradictions” which I have been assured will definitely, totally, shake things up and lead to Utopia.

    It’s going to be so exciting

    More seriously, about the only comfort I’ve got is the firm expectation of the meltdown that will occur when walls aren’t built, jobs don’t magically reappear, and lawsuits don’t go away. And getting to watch the “hilarity” that is the GOP actually forced to govern, complete with “hilarious” results.

    Heck, I don’t even expect to lose my job. Pretty sure the cuts ol’ Donnie and the Crew are eyeing won’t actually affect my area of government spending. Can’t cut off the big firms from the trough, no matter what you promised the rubes.Report

    • Avatar J_A in reply to Morat20 says:

      @morat20 o

      I agree that Trump’s presidency will be an inflexión point, again, not because what he will do, but because of what he can’t or won’t do.

      Had he lost, Trumpism wouldn’t have gone away. The fear, the anger, would be there, festering. Now it has to be brought into the open.

      Either the people recognize that populist promises can’t be delivered, not matter what, or we will go full “the system is totally rigged against us, and not even Trump could fight against it, so the next step is full frontal destruction of the institution”

      Which, for those with no more than a superficial knowledge of Latin American History, is how Chavez won his first, second, third, fourth etc election. With an explicit promise to burn it all down, because it was not salvageable.

      And he did burn it all down. And of course, it didn’t help anybody. But it kicked Venezuela down many spots in almost any indicator you care about.

      Whatever it is, 2020 won’t be anything like this.Report

  29. Avatar Patrick says:

    Remember when I said there was going to be no change in U.S. tax policy until 2024?

    Well, toss that in the trash bin.

    I don’t think taxes are going to be cut a little bit, Burt. I think taxes are going to be cut **a lot**.

    It’s the most enduring damage that the GOP can do to the liberal project. With no funds, and a hard road to raise taxes (and the political fallout of doing so), the beast can be finally starved. Everything else on the GOP policy agenda is made so much simpler. You don’t have to fight to close the EPA or revoke the Clean Water Act or throw out several thousand pages of the CFR if the federal government doesn’t have any money to do any of those things.

    And it’s a political winner! Everything else the GOP says they want to do… well, those things have political consequences. Actually cutting budgets means cutting services folks want or need, they complain. Cutting taxes makes a majority of people happy and if cutting services are necessary after that, well, that’s on your political opponents for refusing to cut the really important services. That blame game plays well.

    Since Scalia was already one of the most conservative justices, just replacing him with another like-minded justice just puts us back to 2008. Unless RBG dies or retires or somebody from the left wing (or Kennedy) opts-out, that’s mostly a wash.

    Dropping the federal income tax to the floor removes the ability of any future Democratic leadership to actually *do* anything, at the federal level, without raising taxes, which means they’ll probably immediately lose their butts in the following election.Report

    • Avatar gregiank in reply to Patrick says:

      True enough. It’s worked out well for Kansas so we can all get a taste of that.Report

    • Avatar Burt Likko in reply to Patrick says:

      Some peoples’ taxes will be cut a lot.

      Yours and mine won’t.Report

      • Avatar Morat20 in reply to Burt Likko says:

        But taxes will be cut. And they’ll have to be paid for. And there’s three ways to do it:

        1. Run up the deficit (betcha 10 bucks that’s part of it).
        2. Cut military spending (never, ever gonna happen)
        3. Cutting social services (That’s the bulk of it).

        The big question is — is the GOP willing to go after SS again? It’s always so tempting…Report

        • Avatar Mike Schilling in reply to Morat20 says:

          3 won’t be the bulk of it, because there isn’t enough discretionary spending to cover it. The bulk of it will be 1, plus the promise that the tax cuts will cause to much growth that they’ll pay for themselves. They won’t of course, because they never do, but that’ll get handwaved away.Report

        • Avatar Michael Cain in reply to Morat20 says:

          Medicaid first. Make it a block grant and take most of the restrictions on state matching off. That slows its growth, since increasing the grant can be made independent of both medical and general inflation. Getting rid of most of matching fixes a hole that’s been growing in many of the red states’ budgets. And of course, it’s seen as mostly benefiting “those people”.

          If that doesn’t have electoral consequences, then it’s safe to move on. Probably Medicare next, slowing the growth of provider payments to the point that providers aren’t interested in taking on Medicare patients. You can reduce the spending a lot that way. SS last, at least if they’ve got the tactical sense of a garden snail.Report

          • Tactical sense of a garden snail? Oh, sure. Lots of GOP Congresscritters have way more than that. One thing I’ve observed about a great many GOP’ers since Obama took office is that to a very large degree, tactics are policies.Report

            • Avatar Jesse Ewiak in reply to Burt Likko says:

              The question is, were the GOP good tacticians the past 8 years because the tactics were simple? Ie. Block everything, blame every problem on Obama?

              The tactics become far more complex when you have to actually do things.Report

              • Avatar Morat20 in reply to Jesse Ewiak says:

                Yep, and therein lies the same problem they’ve always had.

                They have mutually contradictory wings, and all they can agree on is tax cuts. Except there’s not a lot of taxes left to cut.

                The big problem is the business wing — they’re pro-immigrant, anti-deficit, and only tolerate the religious until they get in the way of attracting clients and customers. (Witness how they fled NC).

                Soothe the business wing, you alienate the alt-right and the religious, and vice versa. They can’t even run on foreign policy anymore.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Morat20 says:

                There are only a handful of tools that Trump has, but one of those tools is “the bully pulpit” and… well, I think he might be really good at using that one.Report

              • Avatar Morat20 in reply to Jaybird says:

                Last I checked, his favorables were lower than Clinton’s. He’ll get a boost from inauguration but he’s got two formidable problems that’ll start eating away at it immediately.

                1. He’s Donald Trump.
                2. He can’t deliver on his biggest promises, even with total GOP control. Repeal the ACA? Sure. Everything else? No.

                Heck, I’d say three: He doesn’t have an opposition Congress. If he HAD one, he could rail against them and blame them for everything (which is what he was really good at selling), but instead he’s got a cooperative one.

                So he’s either gonna go to war with his own Congress or he’s going to be stuck trying to blame China for the fact that millions of Americans just lost their healthcare with no replacement.

                He’d have been better off all around with a Democratic Senate he could blame.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Morat20 says:

                So no problem. He’s a one-termer. All we need to do is put up somebody better than him.


  30. Avatar DavidTC says:

    Okay, the thing I’ve *not* see anyone mention, but I sorta thought was obvious to mention, is…

    …what is going to happen when Trump does something clearly impeachable?

    I mean, guys, we may suck at predicting the election, but we’ve gotten pretty good at predicting Trump, and I’d lay even odds he does something that, at least, the *media and political establishment* thinks is impeachable before midterm elections…and starts putting pressure to impeach.

    At which point the House has the fun question: Impeach, and lose their primary, or not-impeach, and lose their re-election.

    One of the things I think we need to *demand* from Democrats is that they don’t help Republicans out of their pickle at all. Do not impeach Trump with 200 Democrats and fifty Republicans. Abstain. Make *them* do it.

    And not just this pickle, either…if the Republicans start making noise about not raising the debt ceiling, for example, Democrats need to shrug and say ‘You guys created that budget, and you guys signed it into law. It’s entirely on you.’

    Note this is not the same as refusing to *work with* the Republicans, which the Democrats should not do. (And everyone needs to keep pointing that out that they *are* working with Republicans, unlike how it functions with a Democratic majority.) It is the job of the Democrats to work with the opposition party to legislate. It is not the job of them to clean the bed the Republicans shat *instead of* the Republicans.Report

    • Avatar Kim in reply to DavidTC says:

      Not to be a total dick, but I’ll worry about that once he takes office.
      Because, to be quite frank, I’m not certain he does want to take office.
      And if he doesn’t, I’m certain there are powers that would pay him an awful lot to pretend to … take a powder.Report

    • Avatar DavidTC in reply to DavidTC says:

      I really think this is something we need to make sure that our Democratic elected officials understand:

      If the Republicans want to replace the ACA with something else that could *plausibly* work, and you, as an Democratic elected official, have an idea to make it work better, and in exchange for them putting it into their new law, you vote for the law…look, that’s normal politics, that’s fine, we can live with that. (Well, if the *outcome* isn’t good, you’ll get in trouble for that. But that always happens.)

      But if the Republicans repeal the ACA the first day in office, and the county *loses their mind* next November and grabs pitchforks and torches because they realize that millions of them are going to lose their insurance in 2018, and the Republicans siddle up to the Democrats and say ‘Hey, we’ve got 40 Congressmen and 3 Senators we’re going to sacrifice. If you guys will put this bill immediately reinstating the ACA back up for a vote, they’ll fall on their swords by voting for it…’

      Just. Say. No.

      Work with the Republicans like normal. (As in, what used to be normal.) But any mess they made, they, as a body, have to clean up, not ‘the Democrats and a few dozen Republicans in safe seats’.Report

    • Avatar Morat20 in reply to DavidTC says:


      Look, it’s pretty clear his Trump Foundation violates about 10 different laws in New York. Trump U appears fraudulent to the bone, and there’s about 5 sexual assault or harassment cases already getting filed, including some from Allred (Allferd? Dangit, can’t remember her name) who pulls no punches, gives no craps, and vets her cases pretty thoroughly.

      In short, just what we know now indicates that if the House wants to impeach, they have plenty of reasons they can cite. And even cover for not doing it (“We waited until he was convicted/until the process was complete because innocence until proven guilty”).

      And that’s what we know now. Before anyone terrified of President-elect Trump starts leaking more (after all “Doomed to lose Candidate Trump” wasn’t very compelling reason to risk your job). Before the media gets bored and starts tearing into an already unpopular figure. Before Trump manages to screw up a job he has literally no experience for and no desire to do (just have).

      I mean, good lord, wait until someone decides to go after his finances and conflicts of interest start piling up. (Because hey, he’s not legally required to divest himself of anything. That’s just a norm, like releasing tax returns).

      It’ll be the Clinton years, except Trump is actually guilty of things.Report

    • Avatar Francis in reply to DavidTC says:

      “what is going to happen when Trump does something clearly impeachable? ”

      nothing. The House will reject the underlying premise. No charges would ever be filed in the first place.Report

      • Avatar Morat20 in reply to Francis says:

        Unless his numbers with the base are sufficiently bad. Then they’ll get to ditch Trump, play the dignified conservatives rejecting all that nonsense, and elevate Pence.

        Trump does all the dirty work, takes all the blame, and then they hit the reset button.

        Trump is, after all, an outsider. Possibly a Democratic plant. Totally a friend of Hillary’s and Obama’s.Report

        • Avatar Burt Likko in reply to Morat20 says:

          Well, that’s both a known evil and a man who — even if I don’t like his ideology and policy agendas — can be talked to and bargained with in the usual sorts of ways. Pence doesn’t give me the screaming heebie-jeebies, just a dread of a much-more-conservative-than-I-would-prefer Presidency.Report

          • Avatar Morat20 in reply to Burt Likko says:

            Pence, I suspect, would do all the usual things I don’t want him to do domestically. I also think Trump will do most, or all of those things, depending on whomever talked to him last.

            Pence, unlike Trump, is unlikely to do a lot of crazy stuff. Like, I dunno, nuke Syria or invade Mexico or attempt to build a giant wall or start a trade war with China.

            So, if it’s a choice between “Person whose policies I am 100% opposed to, but who is sane and lives mostly in the real world” and “That person, but also he’s crazy and unpredictable”, I’ll take door number 1.Report

    • Avatar Pinky in reply to DavidTC says:

      What’s the difference between failing to justly impeach someone and treason? I mean, on a practical level, if you’re denouncing your duty to the country and to the Constitution on partisan grounds?Report

  31. Avatar Kazzy says:

    A slight silver lining is I don’t think Trump sticks it out. I don’t think he wanted to be President. I think he threw his hat into the ring for attention. Then he started winning. And got addicted. Then the idea of being President became too much. But soon he’ll have to actually be the President and do boring Presidential stuff and have people nagging him to act Presidential and telling him what to do and say and wear. The whole thing will grate on him and he’ll find a reason to step down and safe face.Report

    • Avatar DavidTC in reply to Kazzy says:

      A slight silver lining is I don’t think Trump sticks it out.

      That…is literally the opposite of a silver lining. We do not want President Mike Pence with a Republican Congress.Report

      • Avatar Morat20 in reply to DavidTC says:

        I’ll take it.

        Yeah, he’ll roll back 8 years of Obama and probably decades of civil rights. He’ll pack the court for a generation. Same thing Trump will do.

        But I’m pretty sure he won’t pull out of NATO or start WWIII or find an excuse to drop a nuke. If nothing else, the man will do anything he thinks will boost his polls — he WILL govern with an eye towards re-election.Report

        • Avatar rmass in reply to Morat20 says:

          At this point, no. I want this country to see all four years of trump, just so we get what we asked for good and hard.

          But I guess its been long enough since nixon that we just go all hog wild for an asshole to be president again.

          God we’re such a stupid country sometimes.

          And president TRUMP has tiny, tiny little baby hands. Hows he ever gonna wield power effectively with such miniscule little digits? Will he need custom designed veto pens so he can hold them during signings and not look weird?Report

      • Avatar Kim in reply to DavidTC says:

        ditto. Trump will at least be amusing (once he figures out what he wants to do).Report

    • Avatar Kolohe in reply to Kazzy says:

      There’s nowhere in either the law or the Constitution that says someone *has* to the do the boring Presidential stuff. They can do the fun Presidential stuff and leave the boring stuff for whomever wants to do it.

      Especially since doing the fun stuff and skipping the boring stuff is what got him to where he is today.

      edit – I mean, H Clinton is someone that probably actually liked the boring stuff a bit better than the fun stuff, but look how that worked out.Report

      • Avatar Burt Likko in reply to Kolohe says:

        I have come around to thinking-hoping-dreading this.

        On the one hand, nations that divide up the Presidency as the public head of state, and a Premiership as the head of government, seem to do okay with that. France, for instance. Reaching a result like that informally mightn’t be awful and could simply count as a given President’s governing style.

        The hope is that this means that Trump personally would pretty much stay out of policy matters. Yes, that means that the very conservative Mike Pence would be the effective Prime Minister, and the White House’s policy initiatives would be very conservative. If you believe that sort of thing, we’ve had that already in the powerful Vice Presidency of Dick Cheney during the Second Bush Administration. (I don’t actually believe this is a particularly accurate depiction of Cheney’s role in that administration, but you all know the model.)

        The dread is that Trump would try it but it’s basically inconsistent with his personality. He’s a guy who has to feel like he’s in charge. Yes, he can delegate tasks but there’s always going to be something he wants to have his fingers on directly. And he likes to be unpredictable, so his Cabinet and staff and his Policy Czar/Vice President are never going to know at any time when the ideology-less President wants to step in to something and cock it all up.Report

        • Avatar Morat20 in reply to Burt Likko says:

          More fun: He can’t sit through security briefings, has a short attention span, is easily enraged and prone to vendettas, and apparently tends to agree with the last person to talk to him.

          Managing that’s going to be fun!Report

    • Avatar trizzlor in reply to Kazzy says:

      The best analogy I’ve seen is to Carter: an out-of-nowhere outsider who barely squeaked in against a boring establishmentarian. And what are the lasting accomplishments of the Carter admin?Report

    • Avatar Francis in reply to Kazzy says:

      “I don’t think Trump sticks it out.”

      4 years of Pomp and Circumstance / Air Force 1 / living in the White House? There’s no way he gives that up absent death or removal. When things get boring or hard, he’ll just make a snap decision and delegate.Report

  32. Avatar Mike Dwyer says:

    It is pretty amazing how short-sighted Americans are when they think about how terrible things are going to be with President (Insert Name Here). I would urge people to look back at our Presidential history to see the worst of the worst. Presidents who owned slaves. Presidents who made the extermination of American Indians a top priority. Presidents who endorsed The Birth of a Nation as historically accurate. Etc. Etc.

    I don’t care what anyone says to the contrary. Ryan is a moderate and McConnell is a traditionalist. Neither want to see Trump destroy the country. If anything, Ryan wants to manipulate him so that he can get all of his legislation passed. He was grinning like the cat who ate the canary this morning and twice mentioned that Pence, who will probably be a very powerful VP, is his ‘good friend’. So if you want to speculate about the next 4 years…think about what a Ryan-McConnell-Pence partnership looks like because that is mostly what we are going to get.Report

    • Avatar Kazzy in reply to Mike Dwyer says:


      There is a lot of truth here. But regression is hard, especially for those most at risk.Report

      • Avatar Mike Dwyer in reply to Kazzy says:


        If we’re talking ‘perfect policy’ here, the progressive conservative idea (and I count Ryan as one) is that we reconsider and move forward with better thought out legislation. Obamacare in theory isn’t terrible. It was just poorly done in practice. So maybe it can be re-imagined based on the first experiement.

        As for more general stuff…the state of immigrants, gays, etc…A secure border isn’t a bad idea, but it has to be coupled with a program that brings people into our country legally because we NEED immigrants. Gay marriage is here to stay. Roe V. Wade might be scaled back to something like we would see in Europe, but it won’t go away. I think there’s a lot of hysteria today, and it’s unfortunate. I’ve already seen some very intelligent liberal friends comparing this to Germany in 1933. That makes me cringe, and honestly wonder if they are as smart as I thought they were.Report

        • Based on his proposals, it looks like our big mistake was not supporting Dwyer for the GOP nomination.Report

        • Avatar gregiank in reply to Mike Dwyer says:

          Foreign policy is the biggest wild card where Trumpy can do damage. We can guess what domestic policy will look like with a giant spike in national debt due to massive tax cuts being very possible. But will T be trashing treaties and leading more military intervention?Report

          • Avatar Mike Dwyer in reply to gregiank says:

            There are a lot of us that would like to see some treaties trashed and see some of that money come back home to the U.S. Are we going to abandon NATO? No. Might we put them on notice about getting serious about fighting terrorism? Maybe. Re-evaluating some of our relationships wouldn’t be a bad idea.

            Now whether or not he can do that without making things worse…that’s a whole other discussion.Report

        • Avatar Kim in reply to Mike Dwyer says:

          Clinton would have given us a 1 in 3 shot of a limited nuclear war. 1933 is easily ten years too late.Report

        • Avatar Kazzy in reply to Mike Dwyer says:


          I don’t feel well positioned to comment on the legitimacy of people’s fears. But I know the feelings are real. Are we Germany circa 1933? No. Does it feel like yesterday took us ever so much closer to that as opposed to away? In certain ways, yes.

          We will survive this. We’ve survived worse. But many people — not likely you or I — are at risk of real suffering under Trumpism.

          I don’t think the sky is falling. But I do think they’re worse even if not worst.Report

        • Avatar Morat20 in reply to Mike Dwyer says:

          You’re taking the most optimistic case and acting as if it’s the most likely case or the median case.

          That’s…a rosy outlook.Report

        • Avatar Pinky in reply to Mike Dwyer says:

          Don’t judge anyone’s intelligence the day after they’ve lost an election. Might as well test them at 10pm on New Year’s Eve. It’s unfair to expect them to think clearly.Report

    • Avatar Gaelen in reply to Mike Dwyer says:

      Now you’re just depressing me more 🙁Report

    • Avatar Don Zeko in reply to Mike Dwyer says:

      I hope you’re right, but evidence that Ryan and McConnell are moderate in any meaningful sense is thin on the ground, IMO.Report

      • Avatar Mike Dwyer in reply to Don Zeko says:

        I don’t know that is true. Ryan is a disciple of Jack Kemp. He’s given speeches talking about how he has moderated his positions. I’m not sure he has really shown himself to be Far Right….has he?Report

        • Avatar Don Zeko in reply to Mike Dwyer says:

          If you can show me evidence that he’s changed the basic structure of the Ryan Budget (block-grant Medicaid, privatize Medicare for future but not current or pending retirees, across the board cuts in non-defense discretionary, & a massive regressive tax cut) that’ll be the first I’ve seen of it. Maybe that’s less crazy than some other GOP pols, but I hardly see how it’s a moderate agenda.Report

    • Avatar Road Scholar in reply to Mike Dwyer says:

      That doesn’t exactly comfort me, Mike.Report

      • I don’t think it’s meant to offer complete comfort. Only partial. But partial is better than none.

        It’s meant to say, basically, “We got through the Bush years.” And yes, the Bush years had some really bad things that happened: the unnecessary war in Iraq being the most prominent among them. And for people of a more left-leaning bent, it also brought John Roberts and Samuel Alito to the Supreme Court. So no, that’s not a complete balm.

        But for all of the awful predictions about what was going to happen in the Bush years (I recall the Saturday Night Live skit just before election night that portrayed Bush with the White House literally on fire behind him while he read a speech obliviously) when Democrats later took power back there was still a viable and worthy country. So take the dire predictions and fear with a grain of salt.

        It’s not much but it’s something. It’s less bad than you fear. This is kind of my point in the OP.Report

        • Avatar switters in reply to Burt Likko says:

          Yes, the country got through the Bush years. A lot of individuals did not. Taking their final breathe in some foreign land unnecessarily, or bringing home demons they’ll never shed. So for those who made it, “we” did get through. But only because those who didn’t are no longer “we”. I take very little comfort in that.

          Knowing you Burt (well your online persona anyway), I’m sure you didn’t intend it that way. Nevertheless I couldn’t help take it that way.

          But i don’t think anyone is fearful there is NOTHING left after 4 years, or at least not rationally. We fear for the portion that will no longer be considered “we”.Report

        • Avatar nevermoor in reply to Burt Likko says:

          Iranian nuclear agreement
          Russian nuclear agreement (if Putin doesn’t want it)
          Paris climate agreement

          Sarah “Drill Baby Drill” Palin.

          So there’s plenty of irreparable harm Trump can cause before we even get to which events he reacts stupidly and unpredictably too. I further suspect he’ll have Pence declare unchecked war on planned parenthood, which will hurt a lot of America’s most vulnerable women in ways that can’t be undone in four years.

          I see nothing in the next white house and congress that would prevent the kind of irreparable overreach Bush tried with privatizing social security. Maybe I’m wrong (and I hope so) but this does not look like anything America has experienced in a long time.Report

  33. Avatar Jesse Ewiak says:

    The only small silver lining is two things –

    1.) The Northeast and The West Coast + Chicago stood strong. Personally, Washington had a good night electorally.
    2.) We have a sexist racist asshole in office, but he’s also a sexist racist asshole who’s a total buffoon who will likely f things up at a massive level. The actual worse case scenario is a smart tactical white supremacist.

    Aside from that, I probably won’t be around too much for a while. I might still write up the Guest Post I wanted too, but that’s about it.Report

  34. Avatar Mike Dwyer says:

    I’m just going to note here also, Trump’s entire campaign was built on fear. Fear of Them. The Left complained about that, as they should have. Now that he is elected, all I hear is Fear of Him. If my FB feed is any indication, they are all terrified, worried they will be sent to the gas chambers and packing their bags for Canada.

    So if Trump’s supporters are afraid and Hillary’s supporters are afraid…who is left? Is it just the folks that voted 3rd party? When did we become a nation void of courage?Report

    • Avatar Burt Likko in reply to Mike Dwyer says:

      I’m of two minds about this, Mike. And I bear in mind that courage does not mean “the failure to experience fear,” but rather “the resolution to act despite experiencing fear.” And hopefully to act with decisive effect, clear-eyed intelligence, and moral nobility.

      On the one hand, my gut agrees with you. We seem to be becoming a nation of wimps, a nation scared of every shadow and boogeyman out there. Were we right to be afraid of the Soviets and international communism? Were we right to be afraid of al-Qaeda? Are we right to be afraid of Daesh? Or, in a different arena and scale, of China? What happened to the spirit of resolution and confidence that gave us the fortitude to stand up to Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan? The audacity to believe that we could go toe to toe with global superpowers on the other side of the globe, and after defeating them on the battlefield, re-make them in our own image?

      I remember reading of students in China — admirers of America and studying American history — who wrote that their experiences interacting with modern Americans led them to conclude that we are not made of the same stuff today as the men and women who stood up to Great Britain in the Revolutionary War, that Americans today are, for the most part, too soft to find the will to fight for their freedoms. I remember feeling shame when I read that, the shame that came from the realization that this assessment might well be correct.

      On the other hand, that kind of does sound like how the Iraq War was supposed to go, and indeed how it could have gone if only our underlying assumptions about what a post-Saddam Iraq would look like had been closer to reality. That was a mistake, not a failure of courage. And, even during the Second World War, what we call our nation’s finest time and the high-tide mark of our national courage, we did evil but ineffectual things out of fear, like send loyal American citizens to relocation camps for no good reason whatsoever.

      Maybe we didn’t have quite so much courage in the past as we would prefer to remember.

      So with that noted, for the record, I more agree with your observation than not: we seem, as a culture, to generally respond to fear with something other than courage. I interpret the fear-based election of Trump (anyone remember Gingrich’s speech from the RNC?) as a decidedly uncourageous act by our voters. The world is a challenging, scary place both strategically and economically, and Donald Trump’s basic plan is to withdraw from it. This is something that needs to change.Report

  35. Avatar dragonfrog says:

    So James Comey, eh? He was probably going to get fired if Clinton won (I think). But she didn’t – and he apparently had a pretty big hand in that. Where does this put him, and the direction of the FBI for the next while, I wonder…Report

    • Avatar Kim in reply to dragonfrog says:

      Comey had to deal with a full on rebellion en masse by the FBI. No win situation, even before the thumbscrews. If Comey brings Slick Willie and Little Hill down with investigations, he’ll probably stay on. I doubt he’ll do that though (his bread’s buttered the other way).

      So the FBI will continue on “investigating” the Clinton Foundation, and charges will be filed unless pardons or suicides or assassinations happen (and to be clear, I’m not just talking about Trump).Report

    • Avatar LeeEsq in reply to dragonfrog says:

      I could see Trump using the FBI in away that will make Nixon look like a card-carrying member of the ACLU.Report

      • Avatar Morat20 in reply to LeeEsq says:

        I can see him trying.

        I can also see the FBI leaking like a sieve in response, because why not? It’s how the FBI works now.

        Same with the DoJ.

        Frankly, he seems the sort of guy to replicate Nixon’s famous Saturday Night Massacre.Report

  36. Avatar Koz says:

    The Wire
    Episode 13: Sentencing

    GREGGS (Groaning)
    COLE: Hey, now.
    GREGGS (Laughing)
    BUNK: We called earlier, they said you were up. Time we get here, you back asleep.
    GREGGS: Been there long?
    BUNK: Naw. 20 minutes. You know, we didn’t want to exactly disturb you, you know.
    GREGGS: I’m bored is all.
    BUNK: Yeah, but still.
    GREGGS: So, what you got for me? Spreads?
    BUNK: Ah, yeah.
    GREGGS: Little Man. For sure.
    COLE: That’s good. Are you able to write?
    BUNK: Okay. Number Two.
    GREGGS: I can make Little Man, ’cause he’s in the front, trying to snatch the cash off the dashboard. But the other one, he’s outside in the dark. So…
    BUNK: You know, it’s okay. It’s okay. Ah, is there anyone here that you do recognize?
    GREGGS: Sure, Wee-Bey.
    BUNK: Alright. Let me tell you where we’re from with the shooters. We tracked their escape route, and Landsman came up with their hoodies. Now, DNA matched human hair from one of the hoodies to Wee-Bey. Freamon, he tracked a call from the pay phone near the scene to Stringer Bell’s pager. Now the caller was using Bey’s beeper code. Crime lab, they lift a print off a soda can near that phone and that matches Little Man. You know, so, you know, I’m saying… Okay, hear me out. There’s a downside here. We don’t have the guns, no prints from the scene, no witnesses. But worse, we gonna be dealing with a Baltimore City jury, and a good man is hard to find in this town. 12 of ’em together especially. An I.D. of both your shooters will play a whole lot easier come trial.
    GREGGS: Yeah. Sometimes things just gotta play hard.Report

  37. Avatar Tod Kelly says:

    I have a piece going up tomorrow with some more serious thoughts, but some off the top of my head, less serious, niggly stuff for today:

    1. I could be wrong (God knows I was about this entire election), but right now the Republicans appear to be built to oppose, not govern. I wonder how that plays out over the next two years.

    2. It seems improbable that we don’t have a extra-marital affair sex scandal in the White House. It also seems improbable that Trump will cease or apologize. Will this admin lead to the end of people caring much about political sex scandals?

    3. Would they possibly pursue Trump TV now, while he’s in the White House?

    4. Fox was already skewing back toward centrism. What does it do now? Does Bannon get hired to essentially be the new Ailes?

    5. What are the over/under on Joe Arpaio getting a White House gig?

    6. If Trump kicks the deploarbles to curb as I suspect he might, how bats**t insane will they go?

    7. Is it matter or months or years before I get emails asking me to give money to elect Chelsey Clinton to something?

    8, Who does Trump get to perform for the inauguration party?

    9. Is this the last we’ll ever hear from Scott Baio, or will he have his own network show in six months time? Or dos he show up as some weird, off-the-charts character in the next Tarnatino movie and become Hollywood’s hottest ticket for a while?

    10. Exactly how much will Evangelical leaders put up with before they say, “Dude, way over the line?”Report

    • Avatar Morat20 in reply to Tod Kelly says:

      6. If Trump kicks the deploarbles to curb as I suspect he might, how bats**t insane will they go?

      Why would he change anything? He won. He’s not the self-reflective type. He’s gonna keep on doing exactly as he has done.

      Heck, I’d give better than even odds he spends the next six months still talking about Crooked Hillary and how he’s gonna start on that Wall as soon as Congress is ready.

      I’m curious, as I’ve said before, about what’s going to start leaking. Trump the Obviously Not Going To Win candidate is a whole different cost/benefit calculation than Trump the President.

      It’s not like the man doesn’t have a host of active investigations against him. He’s got the Trump U think that’s going to be in court rather soon, and he’s got those sexual assault cases coming up, and I don’t think the NY AG is going to back down on their Foundation investigation.

      And since the election is over and the FBI has decided to start playing politics, who knows what’ll come out of that.

      And god, since he’s not going to divest himself of his company (hand it over to some of his kids, maybe) the possible legal ramifications there…blah.

      He’s literally everything the GOP imagined Bill Clinton to be.Report

    • Avatar Aaron David in reply to Tod Kelly says:

      7. Is it matter or months or years before I get emails asking me to give money to elect Chelsey Clinton to something?

      Dude, we just got rid of one zombie candidate, now you think there gonna be a vampire?Report

    • Avatar Pyre in reply to Tod Kelly says:

      1. I could be wrong (God knows I was about this entire election), but right now the Republicans appear to be built to oppose, not govern. I wonder how that plays out over the next two years.

      *Points to the George W. Bush years.* Like that.

      9. Is this the last we’ll ever hear from Scott Baio, or will he have his own network show in six months time? Or dos he show up as some weird, off-the-charts character in the next Tarnatino movie and become Hollywood’s hottest ticket for a while?

      Well, there is a Power Rangers reboot coming out so I suppose Charles in Charge 2018 is not out of the question.Report

    • Avatar North in reply to Tod Kelly says:

      Has Chelsey made any moves at all ever towards involving herself in politics? As far as I can see the Clintons are gone for good.Report

  38. Avatar Koz says:

    Who knows, you could get lucky. If Trump overreaches in a sufficiently egregious and ham-fisted way its possible that he could provoke a popular backlash against the Presidency like Nixon did. It’s not a scenario I’d want to have to bet on, but Trump could actually result in a rollback of the Imperial Presidency.

    I think that’s pretty much guaranteed to happen. Trump’s approval rating is between 35 and 40%. Today’s reaction was surprisingly subdued but I very much doubt if there will be any honeymoon. Think back to early 2009. People genuinely wanted Obama as President and nevertheless he had squandered all of his political goodwill advantage by October or December.

    I think the polls and the conventional wisdom have actually been more accurate this cycle than they are given credit for. It’s just that the shock of electing Trump has warped the perception of their inaccuracies out of proportion.

    Policy-wise, Trump will get judges, and I’m not sure what else. Anything that needs to go through Congress will be difficult. Anything that doesn’t, Trump will be limited by his own understanding which is pretty meager.

    But politically speaking, the Democrats are in much better shape than they think. They don’t have any ideas, and they’ll need some time away to think of some. In the meantime they get to be the relatively anonymous opposition to Donald Trump, which will probably make them more popular than they deserve.

    And at the Presidential level, Hillary was an extremely unpopular figure, and still came within a point or two of winning in two or three states, and won the popular vote. If say, Ford had beaten Carter by that margin, the perception of the political fallout would have been much different.

    I doubt that Trump is going to serve a full term, one way or another. Things which are usually formalities will be much more meaningful in the context of Trump, starting with opening the envelopes of the Electoral College in the House. I suspect it will be in the Republicans’ interest to impeach Trump during his term.Report

    • Avatar DensityDuck in reply to Koz says:

      ” In the meantime they get to be the relatively anonymous opposition to Donald Trump, which will probably make them more popular than they deserve.”

      I did figure that Trump would be the Worst President Ever, because he was such a useful foil that even though he obviously wouldn’t be elected he’d still be needed. “Clinton did (thing)? Oh, well Trump woulda done it more/sooner/worse!”Report

    • Avatar Brent F in reply to Koz says:

      If Hillary Clinton is this obviously unpopular figure, who are the popular potential candidates that were ignored to make way for her? The national democratic party is going to need an answer to that for next cycle.

      Although to be fair, I generally suspect that the Clinton loyalists were working somewhat to limit the prospect of anyone but her to build up a national brand to challange her in 2016, while the American right was doing is darnest to test out anybody who had a pulse for potential as a presidential candidate (they wanted a deep bench, so they manufactured one, even if this just produced 15 dwarves for Trump to push over). So maybe the dynamic becomes completely different for the next cycle.Report

      • Avatar DensityDuck in reply to Brent F says:

        “If Hillary Clinton is this obviously unpopular figure, who are the popular potential candidates that were ignored to make way for her?”

        There was that one guy with the bird thing, good ol’…whatsisname, that wacky guy who kept talking about free college and healthcare. But I think it was only white misogynists who liked him, so maybe he wasn’t that popular after all.Report

      • Avatar Kim in reply to Brent F says:

        Bernie would have won. Heidi would have won. Liz Warren would have won.
        Hell, Jim Webb would have won (by stealing moderate Republicans, mostly), and he’s not even really a democrat!Report

        • Avatar DensityDuck in reply to Kim says:

          “Jim Webb would have won, and he’s not even really a democrat!”

          Well, to be fair, neither was Hillary. (bah-doomp!)Report

          • Avatar Kim in reply to DensityDuck says:

            True, but she was bad at being a centrist too.
            “gun control this, gun control that”Report

            • Avatar Damon in reply to Kim says:

              When the leaked convo with the big backers or bankers or whoever it was got her on take saying the SC got Heller wrong and that Australian Gun control was “something we should look into”, I realized all the propaganda the “gun lobby” was saying was pretty damn correct.Report

              • Avatar Kim in reply to Damon says:

                I didn’t really believe hillary was serious about gun control.Report

              • Avatar Damon in reply to Kim says:

                I did, and do. She’s been a big fan of it for a long time. I remember the Clinton years well. I remember the stupid “assault weapons ban”. I remember what certain members of congress and the administration and the anti gun folks said when they passed it.Report

              • Avatar Kim in reply to Damon says:

                Whatever she’d have run, would have been cosigned by the gun lobby, or merely as a distraction from more invidious schemes.Report

  39. Avatar Stillwater says:

    Here’s Trump’s goals for the first hundred days:

    I gotta say, he’s proposing to do pretty much exactly what he said he’d do. Amongst other worries, one jumps out at me: the math. I don’t see how he can fund this stuff with a balanced budget while cutting taxes as much as he proposes.

    No worries, tho. We know all about those reduce taxes-and-increase spending Conservatives…Report

  40. Avatar greginak says:

    So here’s some grist for the mill. The final vote totals aren’t in but it appears Hillary will have between 1 and 2% more votes than Trumpy. Gore had a tiny amount more than Bush, it was essentially a statistical dead heat. This isn’t. She had a significant, although certainly tight popular vote margin. Somewhere around 1.5-2 million more votes. This will get a lot of talk i think soon with a variety of lessons. First off, none of this changes the general post mortum on Clintons campaign: to establishment and not a good politician (i may have been the biggest defender of her political skills here by calling “average.”) By current standards i may be getting a call to blurb her autobio. D’s need to appeal to more wwc and turnout was down which reflects on the top of the ticket.

    It seems like the pollsters were not really far off on popular vote. I think most had it around +3 Clinton which is within typical error for prez elections. On the PV they were fine. Of course the electoral vote matters. A better client would have won of course but she didn’t actually do poorly in the PV.

    I’m wondering how likely it is for a candidate to lose the PV by 1-2% and having as large an EV margin as Trumpy. That seems very unlikely.

    So given that the lesson for D’s might be, don’t run a Clinton ( probably safe on that), GOTV, assume Trump will stay very unpopular( safe) and they may be back in the WH. I personally wouldn’t just take that lesson, but some D’s will.

    It really is not a good thing in a democracy for the solid PV winner not to win overall. Talk about
    de-legitimatizing the system. I’m assuming there will a metric butt ton of memes, bumper stickers and FB posts about the D’s being the “real majority.” ( yes memes are measured in metric butt tons)

    I’m feeling safe in predicting the R’s will not be in the slightest way circumspect or care a crap about trust and collaboration even though they lost the PV.

    Good 538 post talking about this.

    • Avatar Slade the Leveller in reply to greginak says:

      I think it’s safe to assume Republicans will see a mandate. Capturing the White House and Congress will lead to that kind of thing.

      It’s time for the Dems to stop thinking the grand prize is the presidency. The Republican party has spent many years working on their ground game in the form of state and local races, which lead to national gains. The Democratic party goes for the Hail Mary of the White House every four years, and look where that’s gotten them.

      Anyone with his head not up his ass could see that having Hillary Clinton atop the ticket would spell trouble. She’s been political poison for years, and the fact that Bernie Sanders ran a quite credible primary challenge against someone for whom the skids were quite greased should have made everyone at DNC HQ quite nervous.Report

      • Avatar Pinky in reply to Slade the Leveller says:

        The Dems don’t try to win local and state races? I know that’s not what you’re saying, but, come on, that’s what you’re saying.Report

      • Avatar gregiank in reply to Slade the Leveller says:

        Agreed, the D’s need to put a strong push at state and House level.Report

        • Avatar Morat20 in reply to gregiank says:

          Just in case you need the humor: One of the Houston races (County Sheriff) had a Republican lose. In his concession, he blamed “The Hillary Effect” for losing his office to a Democrat.

          The truth is a lot simpler — Harris County (which Houston is in) is turning bluer and bluer. Clinton did surprisingly well in Texas, I admit (Obama lost by 16. She lost by 10), most likely do to demographic change and more registered Hispanics.Report

  41. Avatar Kazzy says:

    Someone ( @saul-degraw ?) mentioned that we have seen many articles on who Trump voters are but very few, if any, one who Hillary voters are. Having read articles and listened to podcasts aimed at pointing out to liberal, coast city-dwellers who Red America is and what they are about, I am now wondering if Red America understands me and people like me.

    Do they think watching Seinfeld or Friends explains NYC? Do they think Modern Family captures liberal 30 and 40-somethings?

    Do they purport to know why I, a white man, choose to live in and raise my children in a predominantly African-American and Hispanic neighborhood? Do they have an answer that doesn’t invoke white liberal guilt or political correctness?

    Do they purport to know why I choose to walk 2.5 miles through midtown Manhattan to and from work — each way! — and why this is an activity that calms and centers me?

    Have they spent as much time riding public transportation as I have hiking? Have they been to as many wine bars in cities as I have to dive bars on country roads? Have they sipped as many lattes* as I have fired shotguns?

    Yes, those of us in liberal bubbles would be very well serves to understand those outside of it. But this should be a two way street. And, no, exposure to pop culture doesn’t count.

    * I don’t actually drink lattes but I guess this happens. I drink coffee black, if at all.Report

    • Avatar Morat20 in reply to Kazzy says:

      You don’t matter. You’re one of those liberals. If there’s one thing the last few days have shown, it’s that the “Change your tone” folks see a one way street.

      Urban poor people don’t exist, it’s all rich urban yuppies. I’m one, even though I live in a suburb and I have relatives in the country. (heck, I’ve got an ex-brother-in-law in jail for cooking meth, and I need both hands to count up the folks living on dirt roads I know, visit, and love).

      But I’m a high SES urban liberal who doesn’t understand the rural people, and need to change my tone and capitulate on my beliefs so the war will end.

      I think what’s most galling? It treats Republicans (especially rural ones) like children. Prone to tantrums, who need to be sheltered from disagreement. They can’t handle it.Report

      • Avatar Kolohe in reply to Morat20 says:

        Nobody needs to do anything for the war to end. Someone, specifically the team led by Hillary Clinton needed to do something differently to *win the war*

        Clinton got more votes than Trump. But lost the electoral college. And one can call that a failure of democracy and unfair and obsolete and whatever but it doesn’t matter.

        The rules of the game were well known going in. Clinton had over 500 million dollars (2 to 3 times as much as Trump), a large disciplined organization (something Trumpland absolutely was not) and supposedly, all the smartest people. With that combo, there’s no excuse for losing the war.

        But I still can find enough people on the Dem side that blame Clinton. Stillwater. That might be the list. At one site (which many people here read), a poster laid blame on William frickin Weld. The William Weld that the internet previously noted sounded like a Clinton surrogate more often than not.Report

        • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Kolohe says:

          Remember all the fun we had with listing the whacky, weird conservative theories about “Who caused Donald Trump”? It had over 160 possibilities, last I looked.

          We need something like that for Democrats: “Who’s to blame for Hillary’s loss?” I bet we’re already up to 40 or so.Report

        • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Kolohe says:

          Something I spent some time this morning wondering about:

          To what extent will #nevertrump be an internet force next time around?

          Trump did everything without help from the mainstream Republicans. Will he actually have party unity in 4 years?

          I mean, assuming we aren’t all a pile of ash in the bottom of a crater, of course.

          Edit: well, not *EVERYTHING*. But there sure as hell wasn’t obvious unity.Report

          • Avatar greginak in reply to Jaybird says:

            I doubt there will be a #nevertrump. Those people will have just left the R’s but won’t have a hashtag. Assuming Trumpy doesn’t change from who he has been throughout his entire life he will continue to alienate NT types. They’ll be called Democrats.Report

    • Avatar trizzlor in reply to Kazzy says:

      >>But this should be a two way street

      I agree with this argument on an emotional level, but I think it has it somewhat backwards politically. I mean, of course small town folks who’ve worked the same job their whole life and never went to college are going to have less diverse experiences than you. And they’re going to continue to have less diverse experiences. It is most likely true that we understand them better than they do us, but it is definitely true that we do not understand them enough to know what motivates them politically. So just as a matter of rectifying our poor predictive accuracy, the way that’s gonna happen is if we go to them. And they don’t care about predictive accuracy because they now control all three branches of government.

      The other part of it is that a lot of other people are already going to them instead of us. And a lot of those people are really bad. There are organizations that specifically target these forgotten areas to spread fear and paranoia; they tell them that Sharia law has been implemented in the cities; that all Muslims are required by their religion to lie to and plot against non-believers; that liberal schools force boys to act like girls; and on and on. They have literature. They hold neighborhood meetings with free coffee and donuts. They sign up people for mailing lists. And they tell them how to vote. So on a practical level, if we don’t get there it’s not going to be a wash, our role will continue to be filled by these bad people instead.Report

      • Avatar Kazzy in reply to trizzlor says:


        If I concede that, then I ask those making that argument to similarly concede that understanding them is not some sort of moral imperative but simply political strategy.

        I don’t seek to understand others for political gain. I seek to understand others because I think it makes for a better life.

        Maybe I’m just a sucker like that though.Report

        • Avatar trizzlor in reply to Kazzy says:

          I don’t see the distinction between the moral and the political here. People are being lied to about us by folks who come to their towns. Telling them to stop being lied to is maybe fair but it’s not going to do a damn thing. Taking the initiative to go to them and demonstrate the lies is maybe unfair but it’ll actually mean less people are believing lies.Report

          • Avatar Kazzy in reply to trizzlor says:

            Here is what I mean, @trizzlor …

            I didn’t go shooting with my friend from rural Maryland because I was hoping to convince him to vote Dem or because I wanted to understand why he votes Republican. I went shooting with him because I care about him and he communicated to me that shooting was an important part of his life and if something is important to someone I care about, I usually make an effort to experience and understand it (this is the same reason I watched “Real Housewives…” with the ex).

            I didn’t go hiking because I thought it would win Hillary an election. I went hiking because I didn’t know what hiking was all about and lots of people spoke highly of it and I figured the best case scenario was that I discovered something new to speak highly about and the worst case scenario was a wasted afternoon (or bear attack).


            I take the time to understand a world beyond my own — the world outside my bubble — because I think that is the right thing to do.

            Is that the right thing to do? Inherently?

            Or, from a different angle, why should I read articles explaining to me who Trump voters are and why? Why should I talk to Trump voters to seek even deeper understanding? Is it merely to win elections?Report

            • Avatar trizzlor in reply to Kazzy says:

              There are a few things going on here all at once:

              * Of course you should go do all of these things because you enjoy them and you love the people you’re doing them with.

              * But if that still leaves you in a place where you severely mispredict what motivates people politically, then maybe you should additionally push yourself out to such places so that you have a more accurate view of the world and can make more informed predictions.

              * With a political party informed prediction-making can mean life or death. So you should definitely motivate your party to understand these people if you want them to have a chance at setting the national agenda.

              * And since there are organized groups actively lying to these people, you should also motivate your party to get better at countering their misinformation. Because keeping people informed is the right thing to do, because it leads to a better democratic society, and because it will often lead to more opportunities for your party to set the national agenda. And maybe you should do it yourself too if you’re motivated and it ranks high enough on your list of moral ills.

              I’m pretty sure this is all obvious to you. My point is that NONE of these proscriptions depend on whether those people are coming out to understand you. At all. If anything, the party should be even more motivated to reach out to voters who are isolating themselves.Report

              • Avatar Kazzy in reply to trizzlor says:


                True or false: If liberals (individually or collectively) retake power, they should feel no need to understand conservatives (individually or collectively) unless or until their hold on power is threatened?

                Is the argument that…
                Liberals shouldn’t ignore conservative interests because it imperils their political (ETA: present and) future
                Liberals shouldn’t ignore conservative interests because it is wrong to ignore other people’s interests?Report

              • Avatar trizzlor in reply to Kazzy says:

                I can say with certainty that it is wrong to stand by while people are lied to and manipulated, and we should work individually or collectively against that. I’m not confident in saying that it is “wrong” to ignore other people’s interests like how stealing or lying is wrong. But I do think that it makes one a better person to try to do so. So, yeah, I would urge liberals to not ignore other people’s interests but I also wouldn’t spend a lot of time chastising them if they don’t take my advice. And I think this election has revealed that a lot of them don’t.

                A political party, on the other hand, is just a vehicle for setting policy. If the Democrats demonstrated that they can effectively set policy while ignoring people’s interests I would be fine with that. Like, my local Democrat rep that just won doesn’t have a political obligation to travel the rust belt learning about coal miners. And the national party doesn’t need to go to Klaverns and study what motivates the KKK (or, less controversially, Burning Man enthusiasts or whatever). I am, however, very doubtful that a national party can be effective while ignoring large groups of moderate voters.Report

              • Avatar Kazzy in reply to trizzlor says:

                That is an interesting distinction. When I read those articles, I wasn’t thinking about myself as a Democrat or even as a liberal. Rather, I was thinking about myself as someone who likely didn’t understand Trump supporters and reasoned that it’d be better to understand them (or at least seek to understand them) than to not do so.

                Maybe I was reading those articles wrong.Report

    • Avatar Joe Sal in reply to Kazzy says:

      Kazzy, I don’t know of anyone who identifies liberal in my local environment. If there are any here they are probably lost or in what would feel like a nightmare. I am trying to understand the differences in environment and differences in preferences. From mere observation it appears ruralish people like the individual constructs and urban folks like social constructs. I have seen many rural people born into the rural areas who prefer the social constructs and they usually move to the cities.

      I wonder how people cope that are born into urban areas that prefer the individual constructs. Do they move to rural areas or do they just escape into themselves and try to have as little interaction with society as possible? I have lived in largish cities for a couple years at a time, but I really don’t like it. I feel like I need to escape to low population areas. I have ridden a few forms of public transportation, but I would rather walk.

      Day to day the only liberals I know are online, and right here. You guys, and gals! very well could be the only liberals I communicate with in the span of a year.Report

      • Avatar Kazzy in reply to Joe Sal says:


        Do you feel you live in a bubble?

        If so, do you feel compelled to leave that bubble?

        Has anyone ever told you you live in a bubble?

        If so, have they ever encouraged you to leave that bubble?

        If so, how did you feel about their arguments?

        Please know, I ask these questions genuinely… they are neither rhetorical nor “gotcha”. I am trying to understand the experience of living in a conservative bubble vis a vis that bubble.Report

        • Avatar Joe Sal in reply to Kazzy says:

          I tend to like low population areas. I guess that’s kind of bubblish. I didn’t know many people who had the mind set that most liberals do. I didn’t even know what a liberal was until a few years ago. I don’t feel compelled to leave, nor has anyone voiced to compel me to leave. That’s just not how it works out here. People can vary wildly in their individual constructs, but it’s not a big thing because it isn’t woven tightly socially. A couple decades ago everything was woven pretty tightly around religion, but it isn’t like it was.

          Arguments, I will have to think overnight on that one.Report

          • Avatar Kazzy in reply to Joe Sal says:


            To clarify, I don’t consider living in low population areas to be bubblish. Rather, it seems like you live in a rather ideologically homogenous environment, which strikes me as bubblish. And I think that sort of bubble can exist in various contexts.

            I guess what I’m trying to get at is whether we should all strive to break out of our bubbles because that is the right thing to do or whether liberals should try to break out of their bubbles because A) they have some particular obligation to or B) they’re losing elections and that will help them win.Report

            • Avatar Joe Sal in reply to Kazzy says:

              I think if the standard format is to claim awareness and ownership of social objectivity then there is a obligation to know all bubbles. If there is not that claim then there is no obligation.Report

              • Avatar Kazzy in reply to Joe Sal says:

                Is my obligation to understand you equivalent to your obligation to know me?Report

              • Avatar Joe Sal in reply to Kazzy says:

                If your ideology begins at rule by law, social control of negative externalities, regulation of social justice by law, written law, recognition of social appointed leaders to rule, formations of social constructs, these require forms of social objectivity.

                The current state of liberalism starts at very specific places. If you start there then I would have to conclude you would claim social objectivity. My claim is there is no such critter as social objectivity. We have to subjectively align our individual objectivities the best we can (or not) when we interact subjectively, but to claim a awareness or ownership of greater social objectivity looks to be a starting position of error.

                Can you see that our obligations are different? I make no claims or requirements in social objectivity.Report

              • Avatar Kazzy in reply to Joe Sal says:


                You’ve lost me. I’m talking about a personal level. See my original comment… I didn’t discuss understanding the thinking behind my political positions or ideology.Report

              • Avatar Joe Sal in reply to Kazzy says:

                If you live within your personal individual constructs and don’t make them social, or social constructs, then no, I would say there is no obligation.Report

    • Avatar DavidTC in reply to Kazzy says:

      I am now wondering if Red America understands me and people like me.

      As someone who posts on my town’s Facebook discussion pages about politics, it’s interesting how often I get accused of being a college student (I am, in fact, 37, although I’ll admit my picture on Facebook is very old and I could possibly, in theory, be a college student in it.), because that seems to be the only possible explanation of how someone in *their town* could be a liberal. ‘It’s all those college students, over at the college.’ [Edit: It’s also interesting they have failed to notice ‘those college students’ were pretty liberal the past two decades, and uh, didn’t change as they got older.]

      I, just yesterday, posted a question there about ‘Hey, all you people who cared about Hillary corruption via the Clinton Foundation…what about Donald Trump’s insane foreign conflicts of interests and our inability to see any corruption at all if he does it via his businesses? Does that matter to anyone at all?’, and was, by *two people*, in their very first post, accused me of needing a ‘safe space’ and a ‘blanket’ if the ‘conversation was too much for me’…the conversation, I must remind people, I literally had started, and I had just spent like three pages of text the previous night discussing with someone else. (That guy, at least, was somewhat reasonable.)

      They got there, saw someone saying ‘Donald Trump is unable to show us he’s not corrupt to way past the level Hillary was attacked for’, and said ‘Oh, he must be a whining cowardly liberal’ or…something.

      All this talk about liberals making assumptions about conservatives is nonsense. They’re making as many, if not more, assumptions about liberals. They’re just not doing it in front of you guys.Report

      • Avatar Morat20 in reply to DavidTC says:

        It’s funny. The tone police strike me as people who actually don’t know a lot of those Red State, rural voter types.

        I’m related to, oh, half a dozen or so, I see regularly.

        I want insight into why an evangelical would vote for Trump? I just mosey over to my cousin Angela’s facebook page and read what she and her fellows in Christ were saying. Why a suburban white couple in their thirties would? That’s my cousin Matt and his wife.

        What suburban boomers past retirement think? I’ve got, um, well four I see weekly (none vote for Trump, one voted for Clinton), and another five or six — about half of those voted Trump.

        I’ve got some friends who voted Trump because they are, it turns out, really incredibly racist. Well, former friends. Nothing causes a friendship to quietly end like learning a rather nice guy you’ve known for 20 years thinks some very, very, disturbing things about black people he’d suddenly like to share. Most of them weren’t that way — a lot of economic anxiety, a lot of built in Clinton hatred, but there was a distinct theme of “othering” in there.

        Basically decades of the Southern Strategy have just engraved it into their world view.Report

  42. Avatar Slade the Leveller says:

    Apropos of absolutely nothing discussed here, I absolutely cannot wait for LeagueFest 2017. There will be so much to talk and drink about. The mind boggles!Report

  43. Avatar Jaybird says:

    Another thing that was just pointed out to me:

    Democrats control 13 state legislatures.

    You know how many states are required to block a Constitutional Amendment?Report