Sunday, November 13, 2016

Four fortnights and change

- Bernie Sanders is the most tragic figure of this election. He was perfectly positioned to come out of this as the left's moral and spiritual leader if he had played his cards right. Instead, he chose the role of Judas Iscariot and he didn't even get his silver coins because Hillary lost. It's too bad.

- The wailing and gnashing of teeth, the hysterical (and sadly empty) threats about leaving the country, and the chimping out are all in stark contrast to Trump's gracious probity since winning the election. Trump is managing the optics masterfully.

He's now the president-elect. Most people, including those who voted against him, want him to succeed for obvious reasons. It's easy for those of us who follow this stuff closely to forget how so many people have seen nothing from Trump beyond bits and pieces of media presentations of him up to this point.

His victory speech, save for the debates, was the most watched of anything he's done. A lot of people were legitimately making their first serious evaluation of him in the presidential role. He was gracious, conciliatory, good-humored--in a word, "presidential".

For the tens of millions of people who aren't particularly ideological or invested in politics, it'll leave a good taste in a lot of people's mouths. The contrast to the hysterical, destructive, often violent reactions of the rabble taking to the streets and to social media to express their burning hatred couldn't be starker.

In his democratic way of floating trial balloons out to assess his negotiation positions, he's flirted with backtracking on the Obamacare pledge while throwing around pretty big numbers for immediate deportation.

FDR's election revealed the awesome political potential of radio. JFK's election revealed the awesome political potential of television. Trump's election has now revealed the awesome political potential of the internet in general and social media in particular.

The media landscape has changed forever. The walls have totally crumbled around the gatekeepers. The narrative has become impossible for the Establishment to control.

Trump will do well to remember that. It's prudent to allow Donald to be Donald--after all, he did the putatively impossible. But he should also be aware that the weapon that brought him here can just as soon bring him down if he reneges on too much of what he pledged.

- Exit polling's Overton Window on display:

Ref favors you over your opponent or he's fair
to both, those are your available responses

- Speaking of the exit polling entree, salt is recommended on the side. The early results now infamously indicated a relatively comfortable Hillary win and had to be adjusted accordingly after the actual tallies came in.

Even after said adjustments, some of what is reported remains dubious. For example, in isolation this item insinuates a veritable Trumpslide:


- Other results feel dubious. This is a realignment year! The perennially incorrect punditry class predicted that Trump would hurt Republicans running down ticket. A few contrarians thought he might actually help the majority retain their majorities in the unpopular body. Instead, at least at the national level, it looks like a wash. We more-or-less got partisan business as usual:



8 comments:

Dan said...

Bernie Sanders is a Communist as Trump so bluntly pointed out. Hillary beat him and that was good and just. If Augusto Pinochet had done nothing but toss Communists out of airplanes into the ocean, he would still have lived a righteous life.

Sid said...

I think that Bernie genuinely cares about his socialist ideals, but he ultimately is just another leftist for whom racism is the greatest evil in the world and the greatest menace to our country. That's why he was ultimately able to bring himself to openly endorse Hillary, even though she was the embodiment everything he had campaigned against, and how she and the DNC cheated the entire time against him. Compare him to Jeb, Kasich or even Cruz, where the former two's ideological differences with Trump proved unbridgeable for them to endorse him, and how Cruz's personal problems with Trump remained.

Warren isn't any different. She loudly endorsed Hillary, shrilly condemned Trump, and got in Twitter wars with him until he called her "Pocahontas." All of her prior talk about corporations influencing our politics reverted to nothingness.

From what I've been reading, it really sounds like Bernie and Warren now have the biggest sway over the Democratic Party, because the Democrats have so few Congressional seats, Governorships and state legislatures that there really isn't much of a Democratic Establishment left, with the water having been poured on the Wicked Witch.

If Bernie and Warren get Keith Ellison in charge as DNC Chair, then I think the Democratic Party may well end up like the Labour Party of Britain for awhile: ideologically out of touch, structurally blasted and politically irrelevant. The difference of course is that America is much further along its demographic slide than Britain is.

Dan said...

Now the Dems are about to put Keith Ellison in charge of their party.

Because a Muslim with ties to the nation of Islam is the ONLY WAY to win the hearts and minds of the Midwestern states which they lost.

They are like labor in the UK, unable to restrain their extreme impulses to go centrist. With the defeat of Hillary (who is centrist compared to he party core) the lunatics take over the asylum. These folks really are holy crusaders, untroubled by the realities of this Earthly world.

Republicans basically get the run of the broad middle.


Audacious Epigone said...

Dan,

I hear Hillary being described as a moderate but I have no common ground with her on anything at all--really, nothing. At least Bernie channels the non-interventionist spirit and provides a check against going around the world on messianic missions to spread the gospel of Western decadence from one end of the globe to the other, and is skeptical of the federal reserve's power to perpetually stealth tax the public, and is critical of privatizing profits while socializing costs (albeit because he'd rather socialize both, not privatize both!).

Sid,

Ellison as the head of the DNC is too perfect. We want them to double down, not relent. Time isn't on our side. We're the proverbial frog in the boiler. If they crank up the heat fast enough, we might collectively notice and hop out before we get cooked.

Sid said...

Trump's first term really is our "now or never" moment. We need to keep pressuring Trump to,

1. Build the Wall

2. Deport the 2-3 million he has identified as being criminals

3. Urge him to make living in the US economically unfeasible for illegal immigrants, so that the nice ones will self-deport

4. Make it clear that mass legal immigration isn't much better than mass illegal immigration

5. Have refugees move to Trudeau's Canada if they want to hang out in the Western Hemisphere

We can compromise on Obamacare, the environment, Medicare and Social Security, the debt, and any number of policy issues, both to the reasonable Democrats and the True Conservatives. Immigration is the one issue we can never bend on, with trade and foreign wars being only an inch less important. But I know I'm preaching to the choir.

Audacious Epigone said...

Sid,

My sentiments exactly.

Ann Coulter's most recent column is great.

chris said...

I recently read that the Republicans currently control 36 out of 49 state legislatures. If that gets up to 38 at the next state elections then the Republicans can start pushing through constitutional amendments. The alt-right is 2 legislatures away from entrenching their power constitutionally.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Constitutional_amendment#United_States
To become an operative part of the Constitution, an amendment, whether proposed by Congress or a national constitutional convention, must be ratified by either:

The legislatures of three-fourths (at present 38) of the states;

Audacious Epigone said...

Chris,

It's probably a pipe dream but given the last 18 months just about anything seems possible. How about Calexit? Instead of Texit creating a red state stampede out the door, California's secession creates a blue state exodus.