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How long does Trump have?

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This is a short post. Trump is off to the worst start of any President-elect of my lifetime, and I’ve seen a lot of them. He will take the oath of office—if he indeed does—under a dark cloud of suspicion. Democrats clearly are concerned about his massive conflicts of interest, which he has done nothing to dispel and in fact has only added to by letting it be known that his exotic animal-slaughtering sons will run his businesses. Republicans are rightfully concerned that Trump is an ignoramus who will get this country into crazy foreign policy debacles they will be answerable for. Trump’s love of Russia and Putin is the leading example of what Republicans are dealing with. The GOP is a party that has spent generations loathing the old Soviet Union and, since its fall, Russia. Now they have a President-elect who respects Putin more than he does most Republicans, and certainly more than he does the current President of the United States. There are many people, in both parties, who do not wish to see Trump inaugurated. There is pressure on the Electors to cast their votes for Hillary Clinton. I do not think it will work. Trump will be sworn in—but his problems will mount after that, because the internal contradictions of his vile campaign cannot be resolved, but will only grow and grow until—what? What will it take for his supporters to realize they have made the biggest mistake of their lives? I don’t know. Denial is “a river in Africa,” as they say, but it is also very hard to get people who are in denial to admit to their errors. Trump’s Republican voters are locked into their ideology: for them to admit they were mistaken to vote for him is for them to admit they are idiots. I think they are; I think they’re the most mentally unhinged people in this country; I fear them and pity them. But it doesn’t matter what I think, what matters is how they perceive the coming of this horrible liar and unhinged bully as Leader of the Free World, as we used amusingly to refer to the POTUS. When Trump starts losing them—and I believe he will, by Spring–he will have lost all, and then it’s up to Congressional Republicans to take the trash out.

Have a wonderful weekend!

  1. Unfortunately, there will be a large amount of collateral damage (er, you and me) before you see this day. The problem is that there will be a huge amount of stimulus spending and corporate tax reduction early on to get people really excited.

    Then when our current long in the tooth economic expansion comes to an end (no fault of Trump, economic cycles come and go largely independent of the president) and companies simply pocket the extra money they’re saving on taxes, then the backlash starts. Unemployment goes up; debt goes up; and very, very few manufacturing jobs actually come back to the US.

    He’ll get some time to blame everyone else and when that runs thin, *finally* his supporters see him for who he is. However, that’s only after everything is fucked up. Hard not to be fatalistic.

  2. Michael Brill, your prediction is probably correct, assuming a normal unfolding of events. But these are not normal times. Trump’s lies, pig-headedness, negativity and deeply flawed personality suggest that something much more bizarre could happen, relatively soon. At any rate, it will be fun to watch him unravel. We’ll see how the Republicans, and the country, react to his inevitable disintegration.

  3. It will *not* be fun to watch him unravel. This is no longer an election where his actions have no consequences. This is real life. This is your retirement funding, the increase and perhaps outright acceptance of homophobia, and maybe a dose of antisemitism thrown in for good measure. He is your orange wine of leaders. It will not be fun.

  4. Don’t misunderstand me. I mean “fun” in the sense of “We told you so.” The millions of voters whom trump conned and duped are going to have to admit they made a terrible mistake, and that will be the “fun” part. Of course, the damage he has already done to the U.S. and will continue to do will not be “fun.” We can only hope that it will be limited.

  5. Not sure how to say this… it’s like being in Cambodia in the mid-70s and saying “Ha, I told you Pol Pot was an asshole. Didn’t I tell you? Eh?”

  6. For years we have had “divided government” at the federal level.

    Proposed legislation gets stuck in a committee and is never brought up for a full chamber vote.

    Or when voted on, the yeas and nays are along party lines. If you have a “super majority,” your legislation passes.

    Against this backdrop, I would project the future Trump administration will look very much like the preceding years.

    Republicans have a super majority in the House of Representatives.

    Republicans don’t have 60 votes super majority in the Senate to end filibusters and enforce cloture.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cloture#United_States

    For the Republicans to succeed, they will have to win over conservative Democratic senators to reach 60 votes. But we don’t have legislative leaders willing to work across the political aisle and negotiate compromises. Hence “divided government.”

    “6 Senate Republicans who could make life very difficult for Donald Trump”

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-fix/wp/2016/11/17/6-senate-republicans-who-could-make-life-very-difficult-for-donald-trump/?utm_term=.f428be827071

  7. The problem, Bob Henry, is that it is impossible, unethical and immoral to “compromise” with people who do not admit to facts. Too many Republican members of Congress are born-again evangelicals who deny evolution, and believe that Adam and Even and little Cain and Abel played with dinosaurs in the Garden of Eden. This mental–what shall we call it?–lapse extends to their analysis of other issues, from climate change to the Establishment Clause of the Constitution to civil rights. One does not reach consensus with mental illness. All we can do is wait for sensible Americans to perceive the damage that the Republican Party (aided by Fox “News”) has done to America, and for Republicans to realize what a huge, catastrophic mistake they made backing the madman, Trump. Then, we have to beat them back into the darkness from which they emerged.

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