Thoughts on the election
by New Deal democrat
About an 2 hours ago, Hillary Clinton pulled ahead of Donald Trump in the popular vote, 59.2 M vs. 59.0 M.
If this holds up, it will be the second time in five elections that the democrats have won the popular vote but lost the electoral college.
I have been saying for months that the economy forecast a narrow popular vote win for the incumbent party, on the order of 51%/49% (although with the recent good GDP and employment reports, I did up that to 52%/48%). Again, if the current numbers hold up, that will have been pretty close. As of this moment, the percentages are:
Closer than my personal prediction, but certainly consistent with the plodding economic expansion.
The Electoral College system favors candidates with broad, decent appeal over candidates with narrower overwhelming appeal. The current democratic coalition is focused on blacks and latinos, with narrow overwhelming appeal. The GOP is focused on the Bible Belt and Reagan Democrats (by now their descendants), and has broader decent appeal among the majority white population. This is the problem the democratic party needs to overcome. Nominating a Happy Warrior (like Bernie Sanders, Bill Clinton, or Barack Obama) instead of milquetoast centrist policy wonks (Hillary, Gore) would be a good start. Demographics may yet rescue the democrats, but after four years of Trump I’m not sure it is going to matter.
There is a nontrivial chance Trump bungles into WW3. But even if he does not make use of nuclear weapons, think of all the damage:
Russia and China are the new global hegemons. The post-WW2 consensus that states do not make land grabs is done. Sucks to be Japan, Ukraine, and the Baltic States. Courtesy of France, the EU has had a contingency plan for NATO going awry called the “European Defense Force.” If I were an eastern European State, I would be asking for EDF troops right now. And goodbye Iran nuclear deal.
Goodbye Obamacare. BTW, great presidents do not have their signature accomplishments repealed two weeks after leaving office. Obama will go down in history as a noble failure.
Goodbye Roe vs. Wade.
(Probably) goodbye gay marriage and quite possibly Lawrence vs. Texas.
(Probably) goodbye Social Security and Medicare in their present forms.
If there is another successful terrorist attack on US soil, goodbye civil rights.
Goodbye to some of my Latino friends.
Goodbye Civil Rights Acts de facto if not de jure.
And there will be a recession. Neither Trump nor the GOP Congress will be equipped to fight it. A relatively minor downturn could cascade into a major disaster if there is actual wage deflation (which I very much fear), because the government won’t act.
The US has just elected Emperor Caligula. The next four years will be about trying to protect the basic Rule of Law in a Republic. Good luck to all of us.
Lifted frrom e-mail by Coberly
your use of “decent” is a little ambiguous, i assume you mean decent as”enough to win”, but it is exactly decent as “honest and kind” that
Trump supporters are not. At least I have already seen the brownshirt
psychology flexing its muscles. However, i believe that most of the
people who actually voted for T are in fact decent in the second sense.
Probably they are at least latent “good Germans” as I am afraid all humans
are when pressed by bad times. Right now I am psychologically depending on a miracle: having captured the hearts and minds of the hate-filled (and the fed up) decent people T leads them to the promised land of better jobs and decent (sufficient) prosperity, and even the christian right remembers the sermon on the mount. i don’t expect it. but it does happen in the movies.
don’t misunderstand, i am horror struck by the election. but if we need
to blame someone, i think we want to blame the failure of democrats to
actually respect the needs and feelings of the “decent people,” including the failure of Obamacare to control costs, and the failure of Obama (and Bill Clinton) to protect the people from the banks and make them whole from rampant band fraud and general predatory “capitalism.” and, as i saw last night on AB, the failure of the hard left to understand the value of decent manners if not actual kindness toward decent people they disagree with.
Trump got the least amount of vote for a Republican since 2000. Barry’s coalition fell apart. 6.6 votes down the drain.
Remember the “spilt milk”? “Water over the damn”?
It’s time for liberals and progressives to quite belly-aching and whining and lamenting that the U.S. isn’t what we might have thought it was (in denial maybe?), and get on with task of cleaning up the mess as fast as we can.
The only way to do this, imo, is to get back a House and Senate majority forthwith and the next chance in that direction is in two years.
We have two years to change a lot of voters minds and find out how to adjust our own agenda to do so. I don’t mean moving further right to meet conservatives on their terms… I mean moving further to the left in what we can offer the citizens and residents of our nation..
Hand wringing won’t fix it. Hand wringing won’t change what Trump and the conservative controlled congress does either.
Neither will worrying about a laundry list of the changes that will be made in the net two years… and beyond that if we don’t get our act together. We can’t affect it. Maybe nobody wants to characterize what’s gone on for the last 8 years as political, no-holds barred trench warfare but that’s what it’s been and guess what? We lost a battle…. a big one to be sure, but the war’s only over if we submit to defeat and surrender, giving up our arms.
What we need to do now is reorganize our forces, change some generals, and build some new more powerful weapons , decide on a new strategy and tactics (the last ones didn’t work, btw) and start the counter-attacks, the flanking movements, the sieges… what-ever.
So we better pick our new generals quick and get on with it. .
Your “goodbye list” while it is Paul Ryan’s wet dream assumes a far more unified Republican Party than we are likely to see. It is far easier to see what is wrong* than to figure out how to fix it. Easier to complain than to create. Easier to veto or obstruct than to create legislation. Trump is not particularly beholdin to the Republican party and I suspect that, like most revolutions, we will soon see the victors fighting amongst themselves.
* and that is, to some extant, Trumps singular achievement, the one that got him elected. he spoke the the economically challenged and recognized their problems in a way that the “elites” haven’t in decades. His diagnosis is not bad at all, but his bedside manner and prescription are terrible.
I heard Trump will appoint Hillary to be the Ambassador to Libya.
“Trump got the least amount of vote for a Republican since 2000. Barry’s coalition fell apart. 6.6 votes down the drain.”
Yep. Trump did not win — Clinton LOST. She was just that bad of a candidate.
Just the US house and senate really won’t be enough. Democrats need to contest every race at the state level as well. The national party needs to fund the state parties to the point where they can at least have names on the ballot for every state level race in the country.
Now they can’t even contest every US level race (and the Republicans can’t either, which is why they need to make this a priority).
Yes Dan, it’s going to suck being a liberal. Trump has both the House and the Senate and he is going to be able to pass or repeal anything he wants. To the victor goes the spoils.
I worry less about WW III today than I did yesterday when I had little hope for an alternative to the neocon war machine.
Trump scarier than Clinton is Clinton owned media hyperbole! The take off of the democratic party’s Stalinist media.
“Post WW II consensus is”: US is the hegemon! And will shoot despite the cost and harm anywhere over the earth to prove it. Let someone else do the illicit empire bit for a change!
The uncounted casualties and immense cost of US being the hegemon are far too much.
If Russia and China want the hegemon job let them have it. I doubt they can cause as much bloody damage by spending a combined 20% of the US spends on war. Further, I doubt they would cause the casualties the exceptional US seems to take for granted.
As to Trump fumbling into WW III, he has nothing on Clinton’s war mongering desires for no fly zones shooting down Syrian planes over [Russian ally] Syria. Shooting them down brings Russian forces involved directly. Trump was criticized for wanting to deal with the nuclear armed Russians peacefully rather than moving a NATO brigade into Estonia.
What about funding al Qaeda to do Assad makes any more sense than ramming a post up Qaddafi and shooting his brains out?
“Trump scarier than Clinton is Clinton owned media hyperbole! The take off of the democratic party’s Stalinist media.” Ilsm
That is an absurd comment and pint of view. There is no left side media. Read the NY Times on a daily basis and one comes away with the sense that the Times management likes the mantel of “for the people”, but publishes every bit of the get Hillary bullshit that permeates the air. It wouldn’t be anywhere near as wide spread a conjecture if not fully supported, without any substantive evidence, by the media, more right side than left. The publication of investigative pieces doesn’t make the media, the NY Times or any other, left sided in its editorial outlook. That’s just good journalism and that same publisher can provide the details of every innuendo and propagandist piece of bullshit, claiming to only be presenting the news.
The media is a corporate, for profit endeavor with few exceptions. By the nature of its business structure the media can only be right sided as it only looks out for itself, including executives and stock holders. If some piece of published material seems to support a left sided point of view its publication is only for the purpose of retaining its readership base as a means of supporting the central role of all media that is profit driven.
It’s all going away. The altruistic, soon to be defunct Clinton Foundation., the multi colored pant suits, the main stream media influence. It’s gone. It has been replaced by the internet….it has returned the power back to the people.
Ilsm is mentally disturbed.
Even more so than other posters.
“The media is a corporate, for profit endeavor with few exceptions. By the nature of its business structure the media can only be right sided as it only looks out for itself, including executives and stock holders.”
On the contrary — the more powerful the government, the more rewarding it is to buy politicians. Thus, big corporations like big government.
For those looking for a a ray of hope, it’s in the failure of Dodd-Frank. Plus Obama ending the exclusion of derivatives from federally insured banks. So the next coming bailout of too big to fail banks will happen with the republicans in control.
Yes Beene that is why we need to reinstate the Glass-Stiegel laws as soon as possible. We should also repeal the Citizens United decision and the Roe v Wade decision while your at it. One must remember that work begets freedom. Without no work there is no freedom. Working usually means taking risks and making sacrifices. Freedom and free trade are not free and should not be taken for granted. There is a price to pay for everything. Without certain values and principles as a nation we will not have a country like the country you want. This is why Trump won and Clinton lost is because more people decided that Trump could better uphold the values and principles that were most important to them…
William, do support two of your goals; thou not repeal of Roe v Wade.
Thou I do agree people should be careful; see no reason to make life any more difficult for them.
I also would like to see the end of QE by the Federal Reserve which only seem to support further financialization which I do not see as productive.
In general: Given how close the vote count is has any one from Clinton’s circle asked for a recount? Keep in mind that throughout the entire electoral campaign Trump has been projecting his own short comings at his competition. Remember, she’s a crook, though he’s the only one shown to be an active fraudster. She’s a liar, though his measured misspeak is about triple hers. So it seems likely that when he was crowing loudly and often that the election is rigged he must have been referring to plans and actions that he and his cohorts were up to. The Republicans do control the voting apparatus and process in most of the states.
“Without certain values and principles as a nation we will not have a country like the country you want. This is why Trump won and Clinton lost is because more people decided that Trump could better uphold the values and principles that were most important to them…” Wm. Ryan
That’s a pretty jaundiced point of view. Did you take it out of thin air, or, more likely, right out of your ass? Read that again. “Trump could better uphold the values and principles that were important to them.” What human values had Trump displayed during the campaign or throughout his life? A fraud in personal and business relationships. Serial matrimony. Adultery. Total lack of honesty. Crude public oration. Misogyny. He seems to have lost more money than he has made in his various business efforts. His most successful businesses are actually owned and run by others, like the Apprentice. Precisely what values and/or principles has Trump displayed that his voters may have found to be so attractive?
Jack, Hillary won the vote count. She lost because the electoral college, which is set up to defend against too much democracies, numbers over riding the constitution or large populaus states having complete control of the nations agenda.
Jack the up side is Trump has a chance of getting the republicans to spend money on our failing infrastructure; which would not have happened with a democratic president.
I don’t necessarily disagree with Ilsm on this issue.
I don’t have faith that it is true, but it could certainly work out this way.
The risk is that the “no additional bodycount” might still result in “higher bodycount in the ‘civilized world’.”
Should it matter? No. Does it matter? There’s definitely a difference, because it impacts the stability of Europe. US withdrawal or stepping back from NATO might well increase the amount of armaments on the continent overall, and European wars have a tendency to be very nasty. Walking back from Asia might cause similar problems.
Asia since World War 2 has still been a bloody mess, but the last 30 years have been comparatively civil, and it seems like a lot of that has been due to the Chinese stepping back from foreign interventions. I think that time has come to an end. Wars on the level of the Second Sino-Japanese war could well be back on the table, whether the US is there or not.
Jack: Many of Trump’s advocates are interested in seeing the US burn, or the government at least.
When you’re hiring an arsonist, his criminal record isn’t an issue, it’s a benefit.
Jack you are partly right . Trump is no saint but to me in my book did and does pretty much what most large businesses do and that is look after themselves first and use OPM as much as possible. Is that not the business model for success that rewards low cost and self interest. Remember predatory corporations see no borders as many of the present provisions of the ISDS in the TPP would reveal. Jack who owns Citibank when they have taken $Trillions in secret loans from Obama? The tax payers own Citibank right? Some banks rushed in to probably-wrongfully bail out trump enterprises just because he had his name on the building. Trump fortunately or unfortunately projects strength in the world market but Clinton only projected more weakness. The people have decided and now the work begins. It will be no walk in the park to make and bring these many badly needed changes.
“Many of Trump’s advocates are interested in seeing the US burn….”
Seriously. It is the Obama/Clinton advocates that wanted to “fundamentally transform” America, and it is the Obama/Clinton advocates who burned the U.S. when they lost.
The “massive” demonstration where they were burning flags? There were twice as many at the average Sanders or Trump rally. So-called democrats wouldn’t know about that if they are used to Hillary rallies where 8 people from the wine and cheese crew is considered an unruly mob.
I wasn’t trying to make a value judgement about it.
They don’t want someone to build something, they disagree with the structure as it is and they want to see it taken apart, and they’d like to see someone pay for it. They don’t care how it’s done.
A wrecking ball is as good as a bull if you want to take apart a china shop.
And I may not agree with the motivations or the destination the ultra-right has in mind, but I can definitely empathize with the desire to take a hammer to a lot of how Washington works.
If re-breaking the bone gives an opportunity to set the country on a better course and do things properly instead of the kludge job that has been in place since the Clinton administration (and before that), then we probably end up in a better place. The Democratic party and the Republican party both need more than a spring cleaning at this point.
I just disagree on how the furniture should be arranged afterward.
“[Trump supporters] don’t want someone to build something, they disagree with the structure as it is and they want to see it taken apart….”
What they want is the structure that the architects designed. And that is NOT a feral government that can do absolutely anything because whatever it wants to control might in some tangential way impact commerce between the States. They want the laws enforced as written, not “It’s not a tax, so we can rule on it; but it IS a tax, so it’s constitutional” crap. And not, “yeah, the law does say the subsidies are for policies purchased on the State exchanges, but we’re going to allow the subsidies to go to policies purchased on the feral exchange because we think it’s a Good Idea” crap.
They don’t want the president issuing executive orders to not enforce the law. They don’t want the president issuing writs of attainder. They don’t want the IRS used to target advocacy groups.