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November 09, 2016

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It is going to be really fascinating to watch the interaction of what Trump wants to do with what Congressional Republicans want and/or will tolerate. Not to mention Trump's reaction to being thwarted.

Where "fascinating" = relying on the kindness/perceived self interest of center-right politicians of the same party.

Buckle up is right!

My wife and I were debating this yesterday, whether Congress is just going to roll over and do whatever Trump wants, or if they're going to stand up to him on certain things, given that they're all from the same party. And especially given that he just won unexpectedly and at least in my view can credibly threaten the reelection of any congressmen that opposes him in a way that Obama never could.

I an see Congress opposing him with little damage on something like term limits, which I think the Supreme Court had ruled unconstitutional anyway, but when it comes to other things like infrastructure spending and cabinet appointments if there is any obstruction from Republicans in Congress I think allTrump has to do is get up there on the television and lambaste McConnell or Ryan whoever might be and that would be that.

I guess we will find out in January.

As for Trump's plans in general, a lot of them sound like many people's worst nightmare.

Yes, Trump will wave his little hands and Executive Order 13658 will be no more.

Feel the love, workers.

When push comes to shove, Trump will sign just about anything McConnell and Ryan put on his desk. Some of his more crazy stuff will find itself conveniently bottled up in endless obscure hearings or passed off to some powerless commission for "further study".

The ACA will be repealed. There will be tax cuts for the wealthy. Defense spending will be increased. Action to address climate change will be halted and reversed.

So yes, it will be ugly. How long do you think it will take for the GOP Senate finally gets rid of the filibuster once and for all? The urge to try and run the table has to be well neigh irresistible.

Re: term limits, Trump's proposal is an amendment to the constitution; presumably rendering them constitutional -- that's how that works, right?

Putting policy aside for the moment, I wonder what sort of wacky sh1t will come out of his mouth once he's in office. He obviously can't control that for very long stretches. Will he become the Teleprompter-Reader in Chief in an attempt to overcome this? He'll have to do press conferences, where he'll have to respond to questions on the fly, won't he? How does that play out?

How is he going to respond to briefings on complex issues and circumstances? Will he become impatient and frustrated at all these people *telling him stuff*? I don't think he has the first fncking clue what this job is going to be like and what kind of pressure and scrutiny he'll be under or how high the expectations and responsibilities will be.

How is going to respond when he realizes he's not the king?

HSH nails the fundamental problem w DT.

Re: term limits, it occurs to me that (always assuming that this is one of the things that he really cares about) he could even decide to sidestep Congress and go to the states. Get enough of them to act, and we could be looking at a Constitutional Convention to get the amendment passed.

Of course, such a convention could decide to re-write the whole thing. No telling where that might end up. But just because it has the potential to be massively revolutionary doesn't seem like something that would inhibit Trump particularly.

My expectation is that the Democrats will get to filibuster once and then the GOP will do away with for all things. Sometime in March, methinks.

i don't expect that the GOP will be able to keep anything bottled up in committee that Trump truly cares about, which might be a null set so I guess bottling things up won't be a problem.

I didn't realize the proposal was for a constitutional amendment on term limits.

Trump can certainty act like a king in briefings etc. he can refuse to hold press conferences. A very large swath of his support all hatebthe MsM anyway and would be thrilled if he refused to talk to them.

One bad presser and he's out of that business. He can work through agents who speak in polysyllables using compound, organized sentences.

I tentatively checked Facebook this morning and immediately retreated.

This is what I cannot forgive: the influence of the rightwing hate network. I totally judge people who read Newsmax and Conservative News and Brietbart or watch Alan Jones or listen to limbuagh Germans in the thirties had some excuse: they lived in times of great stress and trauma. I cant think of a single excuse for someone who reads that shit once and comes back for more. IT's just decadency.

The leaders of the Republican party set out to destroy representative government in this nation and they have succeeded because they got the enthusiastic help of people who chose to read or watch hate filled propaganda and believe that Clinton belongs in jail and Obama was born in Kenya and bus loads of people from certain naighborhoods hint hint are driving from poll to poll and voting over and over and that sort of hateful crap.

Evidently they believe hate filled shit because they want to. They have a choice. They could read that Dearborn has sharia law and think "Ooo ick, religious prejudice" and not come back to that site again. I think I read Democratic Underground maybe twice before deciding to never come back and I don't know if it even exists anymore.

Somewhere between thirty and forty percent of our populations regularly exposes themselves to rightwing propaganda and they believe what they read. HIllary is mean to guard dogs. Hillary killed Vince Foster. The Clinton crime family. Obama acted like a dictator. Hoards of Mexicans are voting in California. We need voter ID laws because dead people are voting. Poor people caused the deficit. Illegal aliens are cutting off people's heads in parking lots in the midwest. Partial birth abortions. Hate Planned Parenthood!

The themes are always to blame those other people, those people who are not like us.

Republican party, you built that. Cynically to have a base of voters who will froth at that mouth in a Pavlovian response to whatever the latest hate propaganda happens to be.

Are there lousy left wing sites? Sure, but they aren't as bad and they have nowhere near the audience. The authoritarian impulse in this nation is mostly a rightwing phenomenon.

While we were having the post mortem on the other thread there was a lot of discussion of what Clinton did wrong or the Dems in general. Well what the Democrats did was not perfect but was not horrible either. What the Republican base voters have done is an abject failure to meet even the minimal standards of responsible political behavior. And the Republican party nurtured that.

HSH nails the fundamental problem w DT.

HSH nails, from my point of view, *a* fundamental problem with DT.

Quite a number of the items on his agenda are, from my point of view, disastrous in substance. Most notably on the climate issue, but not just that.

From my point of view, an ineffective Trump might actually be helpful. Or not, dysfunction can create harms of its own.

He's setting very ambitious goals. He's going long, which is probably appropriate given his general agenda of 'shaking things up' and 'draining the swamp'.

I don't know if he actually expects to achieve all of this, or if he's just setting the bar.

Whatever happens, good bad or indifferent, this is the (R)'s show. (R) POTUS, (R) Senate, (R) House, and most likely new Federalist SCOTUS justices, one immediately and probably a couple more during DT's term in office.

My assumption that absolutely none of the political and social goals I value will be supported at the federal level for the forseeable future. Anything I want to try to advance is going to have to happen via private efforts.

Time to break out the checkbook and get off my ass. On y va.

Oh, DT could unilaterally impose Congressional term limits, no problem.

Just offer pre-emptive pardons to 'patriots' that use 2nd Amendment means to enforce the term limits, presto!

(small print: offer only applies to D congresspeople, no backsies, YMMV)

I fully expect Trump to sign almost everything that Ryan and McConnell sends his way.

Whether he signs, and then adds "tl;dr" is an open question.

I don;t see term limits as all that helpful since it would jsut mean a faster turn over of the same type of people from the same party. We do need to end gerry mandering. There are legislative ways to cut the connection between a retiring career politician and jobs as a lobbyist.

Citizens United is a disaster and the destruction of state governments has just begun.


My assumption that absolutely none of the political and social goals I value will be supported at the federal level for the forseeable future. Anything I want to try to advance is going to have to happen via private efforts.

I certainly wouldn't want to discourage those private efforts.

But I would suggest to you that, if you ever want to see again the things you value supported at the federal level, you better not limit yourself to private efforts. Because a significant part of what got us to this point was the Democrats ignoring the state level -- specifically in 2010.

How many times have we seen the Democrats get a majority of the votes for Congress, yet end up with a serious minority of the seats? The way that happens is real simple: the Republicans go out and win state legislative elections. Then they get to do the gerrymandering of the Congressional districts. Then they get to maximize the value of their votes, while minimizing the effective value of votes for Democrats. If you want change, that's where you need to be focused.

Actually, I think a better solution is probably the one we rammed thru in California: a non-partisan commission (including NO politicians) which draws the district boundaries for both Congress and the state legislature. Among other advantages, there is also the plus that you don't have to count on remembering to focus on the state legislative races in the run-up to each census. But if you can't get that (and if you don't have a process for popular initiatives in your state, you probably can't)....

small print: offer only applies to D congresspeople, no backsies, YMMV

Snarki, you gotta include all those traitorous Rs who are reluctant (not to mention refusing) to do what Trump says....

To anyone who thinks term limits are a solution, let me give you a little perspective from the real world.

We implemented term limits in California, in order to get rid of politicians being in office for decades, and remote from "real people." The expectation was that this would lead to legislation which better reflected what voters want.

The reality was the opposite. What term limits most critically gets you is rookies and amateurs. So the bulk of the bills that get thru the process are those written and guided by the only folks remaining in the state capital who have been around long enough to be familiar with the process: the lobbyists.

If you think there are problems now with legislators helping lobbyists in the hopes of getting a job with them after they leave the legislature, just wait til you see what happens when they know they are going to be leaving soon.

While we were having the post mortem on the other thread there was a lot of discussion of what Clinton did wrong or the Dems in general. Well what the Democrats did was not perfect but was not horrible either. What the Republican base voters have done is an abject failure to meet even the minimal standards of responsible political behavior. And the Republican party nurtured that.

This.

HSH nails, from my point of view, *a* fundamental problem with DT.

Mine, too. Thus the "Putting policy aside for the moment."

Some, probably most without going back and counting, of his policy proposals I have fundamental disagreement with. Some I can support in principle, but have no idea how they would actually happen in detail and reality.

The stuff I agree with in principle would blow up the deficit. That wouldn't bother me much, personally, if it were done right and resulted in long-term value creation. But I don't see it happening in the first place and have little confidence it would be done right if it did.

What's really strange to me is this seeming right-left role reversal on globalization and free trade. I tend to think globalization and free trade are, or at least can be, good when properly managed. Trump seems to be moving toward outright protectionism, which seems to be a lose-lose dead end.

wj, yes, of course you are correct.

I live in MA, my local and state reps reflect my values fairly well. I absolutely intend to support them and work with and through them to make sure the things that are important to me are supported at the state and local levels.

Thank you for bringing that up.

Russell, the other thing to do is to push the national party to do the same.

You and I live in places where the political climate is a-typical of the country as a whole. And where the battle will need to be won is in states where Democrats will need to recruit good, (moderate, NOT liberal) candidates to run for those state offices.

You might prefer state legislators who more closely reflect your values. But what gets forgotten too often is that someone who is less than ideal may have a good chance of actually getting elected. Whereas someone "more ideal" is only going to lose to someone who is even less ideal.

I've watched the Republican Party in California go down the ideological purity rathole. It is not a path to future victory, no matter how loudly you proclaim that the reason your candidate lost was that he "wasn't conservative [or liberal] enough," that won't make it true. Witness, to take an obvious example, Trump -- who is nothing like a pure conservative ideologue.

Because a significant part of what got us to this point was the Democrats ignoring the state level -- specifically in 2010.

Please provide evidence that the Democratic Party as an institution "ignored" the 2010 elections. What could they have done differently?

How many times have we seen the Democrats get a majority of the votes for Congress, yet end up with a serious minority of the seats?

It is because dems win in urban area overwhelmingly and lose by closer margins in many swing districts. Those swing area are where the gerrymander comes into play.

The problem is we have a jerry rigged system with way too many checks and balances on majority rule....just as the Founders designed it.

I've watched the Republican Party in California go down the ideological purity rathole.

Disagree. They went down the fruit loops nut wagon off-the-charts crazy racist rat hole.

There is a difference.

Take me, for example. I am ideologically pure in my utter reasonableness! :)

Father of daughters Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) says It Would Be 'Remiss Of Us' To Stop Investigating Hillary Clinton and Mr. President-Elect He, Trump (R-NY) has famously declared the verdict and the sentence already. So the Republican Party should just get on with it and replace the Elephant with a Banana.

Meanwhile, poor Judge Curiel still has the Trump University swindle on his docket. In a proper banana republic, a secret deal would be easy to work out: the Swindler-in-Chief and the Hider-of-Emails would both get a pass. It would be unfair to the citizens who lost thousands of dollars, and to the citizens who lost the chance to read thousands of emails, but that's what it takes to "look forward, not backward".

--TP

Please provide evidence that the Democratic Party as an institution "ignored" the 2010 elections. What could they have done differently?

Look just at the turnout of Democratic voters in off-year elections. If Democrats put the same effort into GOTV in those elections, it would make a massive difference in the makeup of the legislatures that drew the district boundaries.

As you note, Demmocrats win in urban area overwhelmingly and lose by closer margins in many swing districts. And the reason that happens is that the district boundaries are drawn to make it happen that way. It isn't just "that's the way the world is." You can change it.

You might prefer state legislators who more closely reflect your values.

I prefer state legislators who closely reflect my values, *in my state*.

I have no problem with folks in other places electing people who are relatively less aligned with my preferences.

And I agree, there's a lot of value to be had in supporting local initiatives, in my own state and elsewhere.

I'm just assuming I won't be seeing a lot of things congenial to me at the federal level for at least the next 4 years. More likely, the next 10.

Not giving it up, just being realistic.

Disagree. They went down the fruit loops nut wagon off-the-charts crazy racist rat hole.

That's exactly what I said. To get a Republican nomination, especially at the statewide level, you had to hold ALL of those beliefs.

Happily, our "top two" system now means that the general election tends to give us a choice with a moderate and a liberal, rather than just a liberal and a "fruit loops nut wagon off-the-charts crazy" ultra-conservative. The moderate doesn't always win, see this year's Senate race. But at least there is generally a tolerable alternative to vote for.

I'm just assuming I won't be seeing a lot of things congenial to me at the federal level for at least the next 4 years. More likely, the next 10.

Not giving it up, just being realistic.

No, if you aren't working to get more congenial-to-your-beliefs candidates elected elsewhere, you are giving up. Not, note, candidates who agree with you necessarily. Not at all. But candidates who are more congenial.

You've got 2-4 years to make that happen. Or else you aren't looking at 10 years, you're looking at 16.

No, if you aren't working to get more congenial-to-your-beliefs candidates elected elsewhere, you are giving up. Not, note, candidates who agree with you necessarily. Not at all. But candidates who are more congenial.

Yes, wj. I am, apparently unsuccessfully, trying to express my agreement with this.

Yes, I agree.

The moderate doesn't always win, see this year's Senate race.

You can't be serious. Does she advocate the abolition of private property? Communal farms? Re-education camps? What?

Apparently your definition of 'moderate' and mine do not have a lot in common.

Using the term 'moderate' to mean somebody who agrees more or less with me is, well, immoderate.

As I was using the term, "moderate" means roughly "not conservative (as the term is used here), and significantly less liberal than her opponent". Trying to establish a more precise definition is beyond my poor abilities.

wj,

heh. Well, then perhaps you are using the wrong word(?)

take care! :)

Hey, if you've got a better alternative to offer, I'm all ears! ;-)

Look just at the turnout of Democratic voters in off-year elections.

That most likely has to do with the composition of the Democratic coalition that it does to specific party efforts

And the reason that happens is that the district boundaries are drawn to make it happen that way.

The gerrymander exists, and it's been used by both parties to draw House district lines. The GOP effectively employed in following 2010, but that's at the margins.

Mostly, however, it is due to the maldistribution of Democratic voters (i.e., the usual suspects).

What term limits most critically gets you is rookies and amateurs. So the bulk of the bills that get thru the process are those written and guided by the only folks remaining in the state capital who have been around long enough to be familiar with the process: the lobbyists.

I worked on the permanent legislative budget staff in Colorado several years after term limits went into effect here. Definitely true on the amateurs -- 25-30% turnover every two years, and the degree of ignorance about how the state budget worked demonstrated by the incoming legislators was enough to make you cry. In addition to lobbyists, though, the permanent legislative staff and the permanent executive-branch bureaucracy also gained a lot of power.

No doubt Trump will trade Supreme Court nomination(s), about which I suspect he cares little, for Republican support - and the stick will be the risk of getting primaried. I don't think he will struggle greatly to get stuff through the House; the Senate might be tougher.
He might even get a Democrat support for some infrastructure programs. In any event, for now the Republican Party is his plaything. Just watch them suck up to him.

and the stick will be the risk of getting primaried.

Nigel,
If I read it right, you are saying Trump would put his thumb on the scale against GOP incumbents who didn't do as he wished. There is a long and storied history of presidential failure in that regard.

Incumbancy is an incredibly powerful thing.

Just watch them suck up to him.

Having observed Paul Ryan's gushing boot licker performance yesterday, I would wager that it has already happened.

If anyone sees any possibilities to organize, it would be useful to post them to comments.

My post seems to have been eaten, so I repost a copy.

Snarki, the German situation in the late Weimar Republic was complicated and no one had any experience with a political system apart from old-fashioned monarchy and rather shaky republic. The few with any idea about what was going on in Italy were probably impressed by the neo-right project that outwardly embraced modernity (unlike the old Right at home).
Weimar died because two ideologically opposed parties were strong enough together to block any democratic initiative but not strong enough individually to take over government. That left an old Right cabal in charge by means of executive emergency orders. When this cabal found itself backed to the wall it tried to enlist the neo-populists while staying in charge. We know how this turned out.
The Harzburg Front was the public face of this idea. It was the idea of the old Right in coalition with the moneyed Right with the final goal of restoring the monarchy just without the democratic elements (more like the de facto military dictatorship of Ludendorff in late WW1). They were looking for the right face to act as a popular figurehead (Hindenburg being expected to kick the bucket any day).
It failed because they underestimated Hitler.
Imo Trump is the figurehead the US Harzburgers were looking for (we will see about buyer's remorse should he be uncontrollable by the wannabe puppeteers) and the Tea Party are a junior version of the Nazis. The US as of yet lack a true Hitler equivalent, so the old Right/moneyed Right still is able to keep basic control. Should this change and the alt Right produce a Trump with brains and actual beliefs, then the GOP establishment will end up in Hugenberg's position (and then we should seriously discuss a preemptive strike on DC.
So, the majority of Nazi voters (actually including many conservative Jews) can be excused because they really could not be expected to forsee what would come of it*. The main blame should be put on the old Right German establishment and to a minor degree on the Communist party leadership that considered a Nazi takeover to be preferable, even desirable, to a democratic system run by moderates.
The US lack similar excuses.

*serious historians still debate what we would think of Hitler, had he died the day after annexing Austria. It is not totally unreasonable to believe that the implosion that would have followed (due to infighting between then paladins) would have been ascribed to Hitler's untimely death thus even adding to his glory. His anti-semitism would be downplayed as a forgivable flaw of a truly great man. A completely wrong assumption of course but for comparision who knows today that Frederick the Great was actually quite a donkey cavity while his much-maligned father becomes ever more likable the closer one looks?

Trump would put his thumb on the scale against GOP incumbents who didn't do as he wished. There is a long and storied history of presidential failure in that regard...

We'll see. I think the Tea Party has to some extent broken the power of incumbency; certainly weakened it. I can see Trump playing on that.

Paul Ryan's gushing boot licker performance yesterday
Yep.

Reading over Trump's position paper a couple of times, this is what I see:

Roll back of federal regulation on industry.

Change of trade policy from what has been a more or less classic Manchester liberal trade policy to one that is more isolationist and protectionist.

An aggressive industrial policy emphasizing the expansion of the extraction and use of fossil fuels.

Abandonment of any policy to address the reduction of carbon use and/or climate change.

What we hear about cabinet positions so far seems to be variations on a theme of 'fuck you hippie'.

None of that is giving me any warm and fuzzies.

Welcome to Trump America.

I forgot immigration.

if you're undocumented, we're kicking you out.

if you want to come here we're putting you under a microscope.

Not much time to rant today--oddly enough, later I spend time with a good friend who is a Trump supporter and not the sympathetic blue collar worker whose life was destroyed by globalization, but an comfortably well off Islamophobe. People are complicated. Yes, on a couple of occasions I have nearly screamed at him. He could easily have been a best man at my wedding, btw, but he had his own family obligations and the scheduling wouldn't work.

Anyway, that is to say that yes, much of Trump's appeal is to the very worst impulses people have. Trump is guilty of incitement imo and every act of violence by his supporters right now is on his head until he comes out with a demand that it stop. And also on the heads of his supporters to some degree.

Whether Trump will be a really horrible President or an actual fascist I don't know. I think he is just a narcissist, sort of a dumber even nastier version of Richard Nixon. My standards at the moment are low enough that this is what I hope for.

Jesus. I just heard on the radio that Donald Trump is definitely a last person who talks to him gets their way kind of guy. So much so that business executives would hang out in his office as long as possible to ensure that they got what they wanted.

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