Trump Starts Revealing His True Colors: Government by Plutocrats, For Plutocrats

This is Naked Capitalism’s special fundraiser, to fight a McCarthtyite attack against this site and 200 others by funding legal expenses and other site support. For more background on how the Washington Post smeared Naked Capitalism along with other established, well-regarded independent news sites, and why this is such a dangerous development, see this article by Ben Norton and Greenwald and this piece by Matt Taibbi. Our post gives more detail on how we plan to fight back. 19 donors have already supported this campaign. Please join us and participate via our Tip Jar, which shows how to give via check, credit card, debit card, or PayPal.

…..the old is dying and the new cannot be born; in this interregnum a great variety of morbid symptoms appear.

Antonio Gramsci

During his campaign and after his unexpected election win, Trump managed to turn what should have been fatal liabilities, such as sharp reversals in his policy views, erratic and impulsive behavior, open disrespect for grandees of the party to which he’d hitched his star, and surprising displays of ignorance about how the Beltway and the office of the Presidency worked, into elements of performance art that somehow worked for him or at least didn’t result in anywhere near the level of damage that it should have. Mind you, had the Democrats gotten out of their echo chamber and recognized that their strategy of kicking the lower orders to the curb was backfiring and they needed to run a candidate who could more credibly fake having their interests at heart (as well as being less openly corrupt) than Hillary Clinton, Trump should have been handily beaten. But the New York billionaire focused on the voters that Clinton and her surrogates repeatedly denounced, and kept his eye on the Electoral College gameboard.

Trump’s shape-shifting has allowed him to take advantage of the uncertainty about what his Presidency might amount to. He’s put very few stakes in the ground beyond shifting America’s trade policy to a more pro-jobs, and hence protectionist stance, cracking down on undocumented workers, “reforming” as in cutting taxes, and “investing” in infrastructure, which is likely to take the form of putting money where the looting is best, as opposed to where the need is greatest, of public-private partnerships.

But a remarkable amount of what Trump might stand for remained not well defined, and radically so. What could you possibly make of a President elect who in all seriousness has as Secretary of State candidates two foaming-at-the-mouth egomaniacs who lack the good sense to recognize that they don’t remotely have the temperament or judgment to take the job, in the form of Rudy Giuliani and John Bolton, versus Mitt Romney, who excoriated Trump for many of the right reasons, but is politically savvy enough to do at least an adequate job?

While Trump hasn’t settled on all the members of his team, the picture that is emerging is that Trump prizes personal loyalty highly, and when his thin bench requires him to go outside his circle, he not surprisingly hires in his image. While he has turned to some Republican insiders, he has a large representation of very wealthy men like his Treasury Secretary pick, former Goldman partner Steve Mnuchin and his Commerce Secretary nominee, distressed investor Wilbur Ross, who like Trump have never held a government post before.

The question is what the Democrats will do about Trump’s choices. If they want to retain a shred of credibility, they need to make a stink about the ones they regard as the worst, and better yet, bar some nominees or mark them up so badly as to curtail their effectiveness. But that likely means picking their spots. Trump is threatening to break enough rice bowls that the Democrats, particularly in the Senate, could pick up the few Republican votes they need to block Trump initiatives, like his tax plan (which will hurt importers and the residential real estate business by ending the mortgage interest tax deduction [correction, this is in the House plan, not Trump’s plan, but some experts think that that and not the Trump version will be the staring point for tax sausage making) and dismantling Obamacare (which insurers may quietly oppose, since they spent a good deal of money adapting to the new law and despite their whinging, can game it well) 1

While some very important Trump picks have yet to be made, such as his Attorney General, so far, two particularly dodgy ones are Steve Mnuchin and his Health and Human Services nominee, Congressman Tom Price a stalwart foe of not just the Affordable Care Act but also Medicare. Mind you, that doesn’t mean that the others should get a free pass. For instance, one of his less terrible choices, Wilbur Ross for Commerce Secretary, is widely seen by old fart Wall Streeters (as in old enough to believe in noblesse oblige) as far better than the other financiers in Trump’s orbit. As we pointed out, Ross was one of the few distressed debt investor to buy mortgages, do deep principal modifications successfully, and try to get other investors and policy-makers to emulate his approach, since it was a win-win for investors and homeowners. But on the flip side, the press has taken no notice of the fact that a mere three months ago, Ross paid $2.3 million in SEC fines and “voluntarily” paid back $10.4 million of “excessive private equity fees, plus interest. It wasn’t all that long ago that merely not paying your nanny’s Social Security taxes was problematic enough to keep a Presidential nominee from taking office. But after Turbo Timmie was forgiven for a pretty implausible failure to report taxable income, it’s going to be harder to bar a guy like Ross from office just for what he may be able to depict as an isolated lapse.

And the bigger reason for Ross probably not being a prime target for a fight is that Commerce historically has not been a nexus for major policy fights. And the current Commerce Secretary, Penny Pritzker, is not only also very rich but has been involved in seamy Chicago real estate politics, so it’s hard to make a case that Ross is all that different from recent incumbents.

By contrast, Mnuchin is unqualified. As Elizabeth Warren successfully argued in a bare-knucke fight over the number three post at Treasury, the undersecretary of domestic finance, that merely having worked at a financial firm was not an adequate background for assuming a regulatory post. Weiss has been a senior mergers and acquisitions banker for Lazard, later head of its Paris office. Weiss knew squat about the banking industry and banking regulation. It had heretofore been unheard of for this sort of position at Treasury to be treated as a patronage post. Weiss withdrew his nomination as Warren was moving more Senators into her camp on Weiss.

While Treasury Secretaries Robert Rubin and Hank Paulson hailed from Goldman, both had been heads of the firm, which gave them considerable exposure to regulatory issues and also regularly put them in contact with senior foreign officials. By contrast, Mnuchin, the son of a former Goldman management committee member, ran mortgage bond trading and was later the firm’s chief information officer and more recently, a successful movie producer. Impressive, yes. Relevant for heading Treasury, no.

Will the Democrats give Mnuchin a free pass because until recently, he was a large Democratic party donor and fundraiser, and they decide to regard him as acceptable? Warren is sure to put up a stink, but if other Democrats don’t follow, expect this to be the reason why.

By contrast, it would be an utter disgrace if they don’t put up a pitched battle over Price, since his desire to privatize Medicare should make it possible to rally opposition among moderate Republican voters, as well as call out Trump for reneging on a campaign promise. As Kaiser News points out:

Price, a Georgia Republican who currently chairs the House Budget Committee, was among the first to suggest that not just the ACA but also Medicare are on the near-term agenda for newly empowered Republicans.

Privatizing the Medicare program for seniors and disabled people and turning the Medicaid program for the poor back to the states are long-time goals for Republicans in Congress and the White House. They say the moves could help put the brakes on health spending. Opponents argue, however, that both changes are aimed instead at shifting the financial burden of health care from the federal budget to states and individuals.

Note that the case against Medicare rests on CBO long-term projections that are obviously cooked. As we wrote in 2012, two senior budget experts at the Fed issued a paper on the CBO projections that was about as blistering as you ever see for something written for publication in an academic journal. Among other things, they described how the CBO had flagrantly violated its own methodology to come up with results that were wildly implausible on their face. They are nevertheless treated as gospel in the Beltway. From our discussion of the paper:

… conventional wisdom is that Medicare does have a long term cost predicament, but the problem is not demographic, but that of the steep rise of health care costs in general.

The fundamental beef of Follette and Sheiner with the CBO model is that it naively assumes past growth in health care spending as the basis for its long-term projections. The result is that it shows that trees will grow to the sky. One of the things anyone who has built forecasting models will tell you is you come up with assumptions that look reasonable and then sanity check the output (for instance, does your model say in year 10 that your revenues will be 3x what you can produce given your forecast level in plant and investment? If so, you need to make some revisions). The Fed economists point out numerous ways that the model output flies in the face of what amounts to common sense in the world of long term budget forecasting.

I strongly urge you to read the post in full, since the badly-informed discussion over Medicare costs looks likely to become a front-burner issue.

We’ll see soon enough whether the Democrats and their allies in the punditocracy are prepared to go into effective opposition to Trump, particularly where he has clearly sold out on campaign promises, or whether they continue to engage in unproductive hysterics and dissipate energy on at best secondary targets. My expectations are low, but Sanders has stayed focused on the right issues, and his camp may be able to take advantage of the disarray among the corporate Democrats by staying focused on the needs of ordinary Americans.

_____

1 No, we have not gotten all soft in the head and become Obamacare fans. But do not labor under the illusion that as flawed as Obamacare is, that Trump is not capable of making a bad situation worse. For instance, one clear positive feature of Obamacare was Medicaid expansion. The noises from the Trump camp are that they would be rolled back to a large degree.

Print Friendly
Tweet about this on TwitterDigg thisShare on Reddit5Share on StumbleUpon0Share on Facebook0Share on LinkedIn5Share on Google+1Buffer this pageEmail this to someone

89 comments

  1. jgordon

    Sometimes forests have to burn down for the good of the ecosystem. So Americans were tricked into electing another parasite plutocrat? No problem! First, we’ll still be alive in four years which was unlikely under Hillary, and second by then Democrats will have revealed what useless slimeballs they are by failing to accomplish, or even push for, anything decent the whole time.

    Due to Trump’s and the Democrat’s imminent failures both parties will be thoroughly discredited and America will be ready for a revolution. Start laying the groundwork now for how you’ll take advantage when it happens! My advice is that when the New Party gets going any old politicians who ever took corporate money or supported any war, ever, be permanently barred from the party, and any former members of the Green Party barred from leadership any positions. Those are necessary ingredients for success! I expect some positive outcomes from this eventually.

    1. Disturbed Voter

      You may be right. Ingsoc and Big Brother are still a ways off, but not far off. Look to GB for America’s future.

      With the Trump election, the plutocrats merely got rid of unnecessary middlemen, the attorneys.

    2. Norb

      Shock Doctrine 101. Have a plan ready to implement after a disaster. The time for protecting the commons is now and will only be more obvious and essential as time goes on. Have corporations reached the peak of their power? Their political structure is authoritarian and their purpose is mercenary. Now, with Trump, you see the unvarnished reality behind the facade. In one way, a breath of fresh air. Know who your enemies are.

      1. River

        There would have been a no-fly zone in Syria, which would have meant conflict with Russian jets. War with Russia would have a high probability of going nuclear as for Russia to defend itself with a much smaller military and population, nuclear weapons would be seen as necessary. Wouldn’t take much to go from tactical nukes to ICBMs.

        That was the fear. Plus with the neo-conservatives being granted the SoS position with Nuland, who hates Russia, the probability of war is higher. With Trump, at least he is (or is it was now) willing to talk with Putin.

        1. jgordon

          Well I agree, but as long Henry Kissinger, Victoria Nuland, Satan, Samantha Powers or some such isn’t installed as Secretary of State under Trump I think it can still be considered a moderate success. I’ll take a regular old corrupt insider elitist over a batsht crazy psychopath foaming at the mouth any day of the week.

    3. TheBell

      Yes, the Trump “defense/security” picks are looking to be the shining examples of temperament and diplomacy.

        1. TheBell

          I was being sarcastic. It’s just a different group of warmongers with a different set of targets. The more things change…

    4. EricT

      What is your problem with the Green Party? I don’t recall any leaders of the Green party picking former Republicans to run under their ticket… So, why disqualify Green party leadership, they are more on your side than any of the leadership in the 2 main parties.

      1. jgordon

        The Green Party is an incoherent mess that will never go anywhere or get anything done. They might be OK with a strict micromanagement program as low level foot soldiers, but they should absolutely not be allowed to make decisions about anything more demanding than what to have for lunch. Of course if they are unhappy with those terms, they are free to remain the aimless drifters that they currently are.

        1. Vatch

          Well gosh, Green Vice Presidential candidate Ajamu Baraka did warn us about Bernie Sanders and his “tacit commitment to Eurocentrism and normalized white supremacy.” That was a fine public service, thank you very much Mr. Baraka!

          Since you probably can’t hear my tone of voice, I should point out that I’m being sarcastic.

        2. Phil

          Well said! The fecklessness with which the Greens have ridden on Ralph Nader’s coattails since 2000 is more than aggravating! There are some things not to like about Nader, but he was the Bernie Sanders of his day, and the Dems and GOP screwed him over by not letting him participate in the POTUS debates.

          There is no way to know for sure, but it’s possible that Stein siphoned off just enough votes, or discouraged just enough people, to let Trump win. Same with Johnson, who turned out to be a joke on a stick.

          All this doesn’t change the fact that the Democrats have been ‘running on empty’ since 2000.

          My great fear is that the cynical SOBs that know-nothing Trump puts in place will seal the USAs near-long-term fate in ways that will seriously cripple millions of US citizens – especially if those cynical goons are able to complete 4 uninterrupted years of the power and legislative grab that their bloodthirsty eyes envision.

          1. Yves Smith Post author

            I don’t believe you can blame Trump on Stein, you can blame it on the horribleness of Clinton as a candidate and a campaigner.

            But you make a fair point re Nader. They’ve had 16 years since then, and they’ve gone nowhere as a party. They keep fixating on the Presidency instead of building from the bottom up in a concerted manner. And with such lousy choices, if they were at all capable institutionally, they should have done a ton better.

            1. Vatch

              Yves, you are correct on both points. If it can be claimed that Stein’s 51,000 Michigan votes were siphoned away from Clinton, then it can also be claimed that Libertarian Johnson’s 172,000 votes were siphoned away from Trump. Then there’s the matter of 75,000 blank Presidential ballots in Michigan. Some people disliked both Trump and Clinton, and didn’t feel like casting their votes for third party candidates.

            2. myers

              Yves,
              Help me out here.
              Hillary ran a horrible campaign, no argument here. Does that mean I get a cookie.
              I’m just trying to figure out exactly what is the purpose of all those people commenting here ,whose conscience would not allow them to vote for Hillary, spending all this time in and effort explaining the why?
              I mean if there is no difference between the two parties it shouldn’t matter. I was assured such was the case in 2000, after all.
              Another explanation given is, the system is beyond redemption and Trump will only help expedite the process of its destruction.
              The final is, a new constituency will arise, which will unite the the forgotten souls of the rust belt and rural south, into a chorus of Kumbaya and or The Internationale.
              Mind you, I have yet to hear the first person explain what they base such assertions.
              At least I know none will have to worry about trying to leverage Sanders performance, to advance silly things like strengthening Social Security or Medicare or how much the minimum wage should be increased or whether the cost of an education should be a life of peonage.
              Ditto, all that worry about the efficacy of Dodd Frank or whether anyone outside of You Tube will ever hear or care what Elizabeth Warren has to say.
              Steven Mnuchin, Wilbur Ross, Tom Price: what possibly could go wrong.

        3. jrs

          “but they should absolutely not be allowed to make decisions about anything more demanding than what to have for lunch.”

          that’s pretty much exactly what I think about Trump

    5. Paul Art

      Totally agree. Something I have been saying for a long time now. The only hitch is, the GOPers and the Blue Dogs are devious. They will merely hike the age for Medicare eligibility to 80 from the current 65. It’s painless and quick. Just like Greenspan did it under Reagan for Social Security eligibility. In which case all the boomers will happily return back to their Winnebagos and gated complexes in Florida and Arizona and case closed. We will then have to wait for another 40 years maybe before enough people are dying on the streets without medical attention and we have a new Medicare.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        Boomers are those born between 1946 and 1964.

        Not sure if all the boomers can afford gated complexes in Fl and AZ.

        The oldest are 70 this year, and will soon be 80.

        It seems to be me to be risky to hike the eligibility to 80, impacting those boomers 64 and younger (and there are many who vote).

    6. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      How do you compare it to Gradualism and Punctuated Equilibrium evolution?

      Significant change during the political equivalent of cladogenesis?

      Or over time, gradually?

    7. anti-social socialist

      This seems right as proven by ’04 and ’08 elections. Oh, wait, no. Actually, the opposite happened, unless you are claiming Obama’s election was a revolution?

    8. two beers

      Why stop at banning anyone ever associated with the GP? Let’s ban anyone ever associated with any leftwing group. They’ve all failed, epically, empirically. Out with them! Now, let’s get on with organizing the left! Roll call — let’s see a show of hands!….Bueller?…Bueller?…Hey! Where’d everyone go?!

  2. stefan

    Given that the Democratic presidential candidate won the popular vote by more than 2 million votes, Senate Democrats will be well within their rights to require thorough and contentious hearings on each and every cabinet nominee in order to make clear to the American people just what the policy implications of their appointment would be.

    The policy preferences of some of these nominees are so regressive and contrary to practical common sense, not to mention contrary to the spirit and letter of the Constitution, that it may take an awfully long time for a new cabinet to be filled.

    I wonder whether a senator has ever put a “hold” on a cabinet appointment before.

    1. sd

      How is the popular vote meme actually relevant if all of the votes are coming predominantly from one state – California? Which, during the primary, Clinton’s surrogates wanted to forgo counting altogether.

      The people who have gone to Washington are rich. They have no use for Medicare or Social Security. They don’t use public roads or services. Their children go to private schools. They don’t use Obamacare. They call a ‘friend’ when they need help. It doesn’t matter which side of the aisle they sit on, they just don’t care.

      1. paulmeli

        “The people who have gone to Washington are rich. They have no use for Medicare or Social Security. They don’t use public roads or services. Their children go to private schools. They don’t use Obamacare. They call a ‘friend’ when they need help. It doesn’t matter which side of the aisle they sit on, they just don’t care.”

        A damn fine summary.

          1. 1 Kings

            Yeah, but the problem is not that they don’t care, it’s that via their favorite trick, ‘privatization’, we pay them, rather than some public utility or municipality. With Corp Dems help they have made law mandates(car insurance and ‘health care’ or the Racket, oops, I mean Obamacare.), that is nothing short of Feudalism.
            Expect more with this bunch.

        1. Phil

          There it is again, the repetition of that mass delusion that the “folks” who vote have any control over the choice of candidates they are offered, and hence over the outcome of the process. At least we are not alone, historically speaking.

          The Florentine Republic of the 1400s was going along fine using a system of sortition (choosing public officials by lot from a pool of pre-approved names). Once the Medici party gained power in 1434, they maintained their power not by stopping the sortition process, but by manipulating the process that determined which names went into the pool. Thus the form of the Republic was preserved while its substance rotted within. By 1494, the ethic of republicanism was so eroded that three decades of war, revolution, and chaos eventually resulted in the classic Aristotelian shift to the “rule of the one”–who was, of course, a Medici.

          As in Rome, over and over again through the millennia, but the archetype was probably Augustus Caesar. By name, he was merely princeps, the primus inter pares (first among equals); but the political economy of the Republic had been utterly vitiated by (more than) thirty years of civil war. Only the forms were preserved: the substance was utterly lost.

          Look to Venice for the preservation of an oligarchic Republic, over centuries, through war, disaster, and loss of empire. How was that possible? Because the Venetians rarely chose to pay for military adventures unless they promised a good return on investment. They were merchants by calling, history, and upbringing; they were great managers, with the luxury of being defended from invasion by their geography.

    2. Katharine

      The popular presidential vote seems irrelevant to me. The Senate ought always to require thorough hearings on cabinet nominees. There is no excuse for foisting incompetent or corrupt employees onto the American people.

    3. Norb

      I read this pounding on the popular vote meme as an attempt to push a wedge into the truth that governing legitimacy stem from the power of the people. This is typical Democratic fare in that it obfuscates the fact that the interests of working people have been largely ignored and focus on a quantitative irrelevance. A nugget of truth used to sell a mountain of lies.

      The American people don’t need more clarity, they need leadership that is working in their interests. That is not the current crop of corrupt Democrats. Half measures onto death is not a strong political platform, however clearly or cleverly it is packaged and sold to the citizenry.

      We will see how people handle themselves in a crisis. What they say, and what they advocate for.

    4. Yves Smith Post author

      Good point re the use of a hold, and I was remiss in not thinking of that. I can ask around.

      Not the same, but there were five holds put on Bernanke’s last nomination to serve as Fed chair. Obama had to whip personally to get him approved.

      1. Vatch

        I believe that under current Senate rules, the use of the filibuster is forbidden on executive branch nominees and judicial nominees, with the exception of Supreme Court nominations. This rule change was pushed through by the Democrats in 2013.

        1. Katharine

          When they also reduced the number of votes needed for a confirmation to simple majority, a point I had forgotten but just came across again in one of today’s Links.

  3. John

    The elite have won the Washington trifecta.
    And they are going to take it and use it as fast and hard as they can to impoverish the middle class.

    New Deal? It will be like it never happened.

    1. BecauseTradition

      The New Deal saved government privileged banking (e.g. by adding government-provided deposit insurance). Let’s hope the Next Deal reverses that mistake.

        1. BecauseTradition

          A monetary sovereign can and should provide inherently risk-free accounts for all citizens, their businesses, etc. and not insure the deposits of private banks. Remember, “loans create deposits”. Should government then insure those newly created deposits? I think not. Also who benefits from those new deposits if not the most so-called creditworthy, the rich. as well as the banks themselves?

          Cyprus is not monetarily sovereign, iirc, so your example does not apply to the US, which is. Not that a Cypress, being non-monetarily sovereign, should insure deposits either. Instead the ECB, being monetarily sovereign, should provide inherently risk-free accounts to all Eurozone citizens so they need never entrust funds to a private bank again.

          Of course, private banks could still exist and if people want to risk their money in them then let them – but at their own risk.

        2. BecauseTradition

          Also, the proper abolition of government provided deposit should require the distribution of huge amounts of new fiat equally to all citizens to provide the new reserves needed for the xfer of at least SOME currently insured deposits with private banks, credit unions, etc. to inherently risk-free accounts provided by the central bank or equivalent (e.g. a Postal Checking Service that does no lending on its own).

          I could use a big chunk of new fiat and I imagine many other Americans could too. Price inflation risk? Not as great as one might expect since much of the new fiat would replace deposits at banks, not be in addition to them.

          So why not “Vote yourself* some cash and independence from usurers”?

          *H/t to Lambert’s “Vote yourself a farm” remembrance.

    2. Norb

      Which do you prefer, a quick hard fall, or the long slow decent? The owners of this country have been fighting this battle for a long time. What do they do when they win- completely. They can boast and display their vast wealth? How do they protect that wealth when the mass of people seek justice? When their control must become physical- not just the intellectual chains that hold back the common good, their worldview is proven false. I would offer most do not have the stomach for such atrocities. It is tolerable only because it can remain hidden. Well, those days are over.

      Battles might be lost, have been lost, but a just world is inevitable. Humans cannot live with injustice forever. A rebalancing is coming and is inevitable. Question the inevitability of the neoliberal world and its shaky foundation is revealed. Rulers need the people. When they loose that, their position is much more difficult to maintain or impossible. Add on top of that a constrained, resource strapped world, and the next plan for the owners is to concoct a pretense for war that will wipe the slate clean of tens of millions if not billions of the excess population.

      Why pound the war drums so loudly? Why elevate societal risks beyond their true proportion? God forbid that peace breaks out!

      There is no going back. There never was a golden age. There is only the now, and the choice on how to live with our fellows and the world.

      1. Travis Bickle

        Ah…the beauty of idealism and a vision of Better Angels.

        I’d suggest that the need for legitimacy you allude to has always been a source of frustration with some: at some point the abuse becomes too much and revolution ensues. At least such has been the historical pattern. At a minimum, the prols no longer fight their wars, pay their taxes, or co-operate implicitly or explicitly, and the system resets. No longer is this pattern a reasonable assumption.

        In our post-modern age it appears these concerns are coming closer to being addressed, such as by selling the dogma of neoliberal economics and fielding an all-volunteer army to fight a GWOT that by design will never end. The leverage needed for plutocratic control lacking in eras past seems now within reach, with militarized local police forces and SWAT teams seasoned in Iraq and Afghanistan now breaking down doors to serve common warrants. Most importantly, however, we now a surveillance system in place for leveraging their control that would’ve made the STASI green with envy.

        Revolution is still the answer, but by necessity it will have to take a different form that must be reimagined to be successful. The old medicine is no longer going to work.

        1. myers

          Travis Bickle:
          So true. Even in the days when violent revolt was possible if not inevitable, there was a bizarre willingness to embrace the fight on both sides of the equation. At least at the end of the 19th and early years of the 20th century their was a counter,articulated ideology to rally around.
          I challenge anyone who is convinced, that incremental change is impossible, to tell me what exactly will emerge from the ashes of the romanticized, nostalgic yearnings for the pogroms and purges of days of yore.
          Yes, it is true that WWII did resolve quite a bit of the unfinished business of WWI ,at least temporarily. Rather hard on the 65 million or so people who died in the process, especially considering that the elites began the process 20 years earlier, by convincing their people, that it was a reasonable price to pay for a nationalist zealot’s murder of two of their own.
          Like you, even if I wished for the simplistic, sanitized graphic novel version of history, from which these narratives are now emerging, I wouldn’t bet a nickle it will ever happen for all the reasons you listed.
          To paraphrase a line from Dr. Zhivago, never underestimate the peoples wretched capacity for suffering. I could be wrong of course but it is hard for me to imagine people who freak out about wi fi availability taking to the ramparts.
          Same goes for the survivalist, guns and ammo crowd who are betting that counter to all historical evidence, that our military would never turn on “their own people.”

      2. myers

        How about a long slow ascent?
        Oh I forgot, can’t be done. I mean anyone who has ever read the Powell Memo or the PNAC, should know, long range planning and political strategies/ programs never work.
        Nope,until the perfect, charismatic who by the sheer force of their purity, transcend the vulgarity of politics as a beatific leader comes along we must surrender to our fates.
        Better to hope for the whole thing to collapse so all those disrespected ,forgotten souls who wouldn’t condescend to dirty their hands to leverage a political bar an inch, assuming they could recognize a pressure point from a bag of potatoes , will rise up in righteous indignation and forcefully overthrow their oppressors. Note: opinions on who and who doesn’t fit the definition of oppressor may vary.
        I will concede, that there are certainly no historic examples where authoritarians have ever imposed their will against the masses for any length of time.

      3. BenLA

        A just world is inevitable? Humans can’t live with injustice forever?
        What world is this?

        The world is unjust. The world has always been unjust. There is still human slavery. A former president of the most powerful country of the world used a faux charity to steal from the poorest country in the western hemisphere.

        People cry foul. Trump is president! While promoting the most corrupt, vile candidate I’ve seen in my lifetime.

        We have a long way to go in this country. The middle and lower classes will have to be further looted before anything changes.

  4. Carolinian

    Gee if only there was a political party that was willing to defend entitlements and had used such defense to keep itself in control of the House of Representatives for decades. Unfortunately the Clintons and their New Dem pals decided putting themselves in power (through corporate support) was more important than preserving the Democratic party as an institution. If Trump goes after entitlements he’ll merely be doing what Bill Clinton wanted to do in the late 90s.

    Since the Greens are clearly going nowhere perhaps liberals are going to have try saving the Dems after all. Otherwise cat food ahead?……

    1. abynormal

      Clinton(s) are narcissist by Choice…they were never ‘for the people’. (they just believed they could hoodwink the majority, Again)

      so often victims end up unnecessarily prolonging their abuse because they buy into the notion that their abuser must be coming from a wounded place and that only patient love and tolerance (and lots of misguided therapy) will help them heal. (the recount party teehehe)
      George K. Simon

      1. Lee

        I have not read Simon but the quote brought to mind that a very common theme in popular crime fiction, not to mention being used as a mitigating factor by defense attorneys, is the abused abuser. See for a recent example the miniseries The Fall. We are confronted with a painful contradiction between compassion on the one hand and on the other the desire for revenge, taking the form of execution, or at least the very reasonable need for self defense against sociopaths, as in lifetime incarceration.

  5. Tom Stone

    I’m in favor of getting rid of the MID and I’m a Real Estate Broker.
    The MID does little for anyone who has a Mortgage of less than $500K.
    It’s a subsidy for the wealthy.
    The fact that the MID marginally benefits the middle class is an unfortunate side effect.
    And the benefit is extremely marginal.

    1. Katharine

      Can you substantiate this:

      >The MID does little for anyone who has a Mortgage of less than $500K.

      or you just extrapolating from your own perspective on a few hundred dollars? In my experience, when you are living near the bone that kind of money matters.

      1. Brad

        Except that the standard deduction is a fixed amount regardless of income. Simple math will show how the mortgage deduction favors higher priced housing. The same math will show that below a certain breakpoint in price and / or interest rate, the mortgage deduction < the standard. Plus deductible mortgage declines over the life of the mortgage.

        So if you are a frugal household that buys when interest rates are reasonable, and doesn't waste money on too much house, well no subsidy for you. It's a subsidy for material waste and financial stupidity, i.e., American as apple pie. And a subsidy to higher house price.

        Its the same problem as in health care. The Republicans are still the party where most of the mid-level capitalists concentrate – historically the NAM types. (The big Repugly capitalists tend to be in energy and agri sectors). Their payrolls have to cover health and housing costs. When these costs skyrocket out of all proportion to CPI, they know this will lead to "socialism" in this sectors, and to head that off, they need to focus on bringing down prices in health and housing.

        That is the animus behind Price with Obamacare/medicare, and this parallels ending the mortgage interest deduction.

        1. Katharine

          But having the mortgage deduction as well as medical and state tax deductions might be what was needed for some people to benefit by itemizing.

          1. Brad

            I’ve always thought that providing subsidies through income tax policy was always inferior to 1) higher wages, 2) public ownership, in this case of the mortgage banking system and of course, single payer health insurance. The GSE’s are (once again) virtual state banks anyway, and absorb some ~90% of mortgages from the originators like Quicken etc. And that approach will always disproportionately benefit higher incomes, the real “middle class”, and not the working class.

            BTW on GSE’s, a rumor wafted by that the Trumpists might consider “loan looting” them to finance his infrastructure schemes. Once again the option is always trash public ownership. Let’s see if that comes up again when the rubber meets the road here.

          2. Brad

            Now we have a correction form the “Blueprint”:

            “All itemized deductions will be eliminated other than those for mortgage
            interest and charitable donations.

            “Comment: The elimination of the deduction for state and local income and
            property taxes will disproportionately affect taxpayers living in
            jurisdictions with high state and local tax rates (e.g., New York and
            California). Taxpayers will effectively pay federal tax on state and
            local tax.”

            This makes sense as it allows mortgage interest rates to rise. That’s the prospect given the present Fed stance + the degree to which Republican “borrow and spend” trash the Treasury. Property tax is a %age of appraised price so still a subsidy to upper brackets.

            What’s bad is this would pull a subsidy to local property tax increases and increase reliance on muni bond issuance, whose tax free interest income status will remain. Local expenditure is far and away the most useful form of state expenditure in the current system.

          3. KGC

            Don’t have the cites, unfortunately, but studies have shown that the primary effect of the MID is to increase the price of housing. That’s because buyers focus on the monthly payment. Often ignorant of how deductions work (including AMT and limits on deductions), and the difference between their marginal and overall tax rates, most of the 99% wildly overestimate the tax savings from deductions, as if they somehow eliminated the related expense. So the MID is just a subsidy for housing prices.
            Of course, if it were eliminated prices would fall by some amount. And people who bought relying on the MID would be caught in a rather nasty squeeze.
            But if the below comments are right the MID is safe and all of this is moot.

    2. Adam Reilly

      As a mortgage broker, I have to say that this is a very incomplete statement. When a taxpayer makes enough that they qualify for AMT, they basically lose their ability to deduct MID very quickly. As such, the truly wealthy aren’t really allowed to take the benefit. That said, I’m not sure that there are any specific studies into the demographics of who benefits from the MID, which would be an interesting study.

      The MID is also capped at the first $1,000,000 on a 1st mortgage only, so even the truly wealthy who are able to shelter income can only take full advantage if their mortgage is less than $1,000,000. I do personally think that the the MID should max out at whatever one’s county FHA limits are (if it should be kept; again, I would like to see a study on who actually benefits)…although I do have issues with how those numbers are calculated as well.

      Note that only applies to the MID, and not the ability to deduct real estate taxes.

      1. Ian Ollmann

        I believe they are planning to repeal AMT too.
        I pay AMT and have no mortgage. I understand the idea behind the AMT.
        MID I don’t support.

  6. Battaile Fauber

    “ending the mortgage interest tax deduction)”
    Do you have a source for this? We wanted to post something on our local dems facebook page but everything I can find via google says that he’s not eliminating the mortgage interest deduction. The closest I can come up with is that it’ll be indirectly marginalized by an increase in the standard deduction.

    1. Yves Smith Post author

      Fair point and my bad. I relied on a Debevoise & Plimpton analysis, which assumes that the Ryan plan will be the starting point and not the Trump plan. From its overview:

      We expect that the starting point will be a policy paper (called the Blueprint) issued by House Republicans last June. The key takeaway is that the Blueprint upends many of the fundamental principles we have operated under for decades (e.g., by denying interest deductions to businesses, permitting all business investment to be expensed and exempting foreign earnings). President-elect Trump also issued a high-level outline of his tax reform plan during his campaign. Many of Mr. Trump’s plans are consistent with the Blueprint. Below are key elements of the Blueprint. The Blueprint and Mr. Trump’s plans are both preliminary. Any tax reform bill that emerges from the legislative process undoubtedly will be different from the Blueprint in many respects and will likely include extensive transition rules.

      http://www.debevoise.com/~/media/files/insights/publications/2016/11/20161121a_tax_reform_on_the_horizon.pdf

  7. der

    Dr. Tom Price represents a fairly well off district in Georgia, median income is over $73 thousand, 76% white. Most in his Roswell town likely can afford health insurance. Trump may be looking to fill his administration with billionaires but he, in giving Pence charge of the transition team and hiring, is also filling important positions with christianists whose enemy is godless socialism. Price is one: Prayer Caucus – Tea Party Caucus – Republican Israel Caucus.
    http://tomprice.house.gov/about/committees-caucuses

    President-elect Donald J. Trump, has led the National Party to victory (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Party_(South_Africa). Interesting times. I’m not expecting wealthy corporate dems to stop punching down either as they try to climb on board.

    “I’m sorry, it’s getting exhausting. She might want to be a little inclusive. Because she’s sounding like the people she’s accusing of being exclusive.” http://thehill.com/homenews/senate/307932-mika-brzezinski-im-getting-tired-of-warren

    The election was 3 weeks ago.

    1. Vatch

      Tom Price has some very primitive opinions. One of these opinions is discussed here:

      http://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2016/11/tom-price-not-one-woman-cant-afford-birth-control/509003/

      In 2012, he made comments suggesting all women can afford birth control

      “Bring me one woman who has been left behind. Bring me one. There’s not one,” Price replied. “The fact of the matter is this is a trampling on religious freedom and religious liberty in this country.”

      Price’s stated reason, that the mandate infringes on religious liberties, is a common one among conservatives. It’s worth noting, however, that Obamacare doesn’t require anyone to buy or use birth control.

      Actually, before contraceptives were added as a mandatory benefit under Obamacare, millions of women had trouble affording it. A survey commissioned by the Planned Parenthood Action Fund in 2010, before the mandate went into effect, found that a third of women struggled with the cost of prescription birth control— their co-pays ranged from $15 to $50 a month.

  8. Tertium Squid

    managed to turn what should have been fatal liabilities, such as sharp reversals in his policy views, erratic and impulsive behavior, open disrespect for grandees of the party to which he’d hitched his star, and surprising displays of ignorance about how the Beltway and the office of the Presidency worked, into elements of performance art that somehow worked for him or at least didn’t result in anywhere near the level of damage that it should have.

    One has no rules
    Is not precise
    One never acts
    the same way twice
    One spurns
    No device
    Practicing the art of the possible

  9. bmeisen

    What is a political party in the USA? How do they establish themselves legally if at all? They have no constitutional mandate that I can see. Are they non-profits? Do they exist as trademarks, as copyrighted terms, brands? As fiefdoms? Can Bernie call the “real Democratic Party” into existance and hold a parallel convention in 4 yrs, calling on all real Dems to join him? I would follow.

    I see the Dems and GOP as very loosely organized cohorts. There is little that binds one internal gathering from another beyond the claims that are made by delegations during credentialling once every 4 years during presidential nominating conventions. Tom Ferguson has the answer I bet if Yves doesn’t.

    Until ’65 the Dems were the national dysfunctional family, the Big Tent congregation, groping preachet and all: city machines defending ethnic constituents, racist Dixiecrats, the liberal elite, labor unions desperate for a neutral protector during the Cold War. Did Afro Americans play a role before Johnson lost the segregationists? Kennedy was punishing Wallace when he sent the national guard to force integration of UA – wasn’t it 14 electors from Alabama who in ’60 almost gave the election to Nixon?

  10. mad as hell.

    I just don’t see Pelosi and Schumer suddenly looking out for the fly over Joe’s of middle America. They are right up there with some of the best money grubbing politicians that this country can buy. I am afraid if you hitch your wagon to those two you are going be disappointed if not at least angry! It’s always going to come down to where the money is for our two coastal representatives.

    1. Jay M

      don’t know about Schumer, but Pelosi is not “money grubbing”
      she is married into a SF Patrician clan and comes from New Deal Democratic royalty, father was mayor of Baltimore and also House of Rep, I believe
      so while she is able to raise significant money for the party, don’t think she has to “grub” for it

  11. johnnygl

    Good post, yves.

    The public support for killing the ACA is pretty much about the individual mandate and nothing else. If trump’s cabinet full of reactionaries tries to overreach, they will get unpopular in a hurry.

    You’re right that now is the time for dems to show some backbone on these appointments. If they are worth supporting and voting for then they’d better prove it very soon!

    It would be completely ridiculous if they fold up after talking about trump like he was the devil himself!

    1. jrs

      Are there still states that have not expanded Medicaid? It seems like there are around 19 states that haven’t expanded Medicaid. Pretty much NOONE in those states care if Medicaid expansion it’s killed then as they never got it in the first place, supposedly affects around 5 million people, which the ACA cheerleaders seem to forget about constantly. Disproportionately Trump states btw. For those people the ACA is penalties without benefits of any sort (not Medicaid, not subsidies on the exchanges if you are too poor).

  12. Steve Sewall

    …..the old is dying and the new will be born. All we need to do is to start thinking outside the box of the old, rigged, hyper-partisan, candidate- and election-centered political discourse system that’s killing us now.

    For decades hyper-partisanship generated by our polarizing political discourse system has enraged Americans and rendered governments dysfunctional at local, state and national levels. (I’m from Chicago and Illinois, poster children for government dysfunction.) So what to do? Well, how about stepping outside this broken system. Thinking outside the box. Creating alternatives to it: political discourse that unifies us, gets us talking sensibly with each other, so we can start getting things done in ways that work for all Americans. It’s that simple.

    Doing this of course means setting aside the partisan mindsets that are almost universally held today, including the enlightened souls at Naked Capitalism. Yves, Lambert, are you listening?

    Many folks will disagree with the following assertion but I make it anyway: There is no good reason why Americans cannot have political discourse that’s issue-centered, outcome-oriented, citizen-participatory, and rule-governed. Americans in fact yearn for such discourse: discourse that gets citizens (including government officials) thinking with each other as opposed to about each other in the search for solutions for any and all issues of concern to communities of any size. To survive and thrive in a digital age, America’s communities will require discourse that makes citizens and governments responsive and accountable to each other in the shaping the future of their communities.

    So how can all this be done? I won’t even try to count the ways, there are so many. Here’s one format for prime-time TV: politically themed reality TV. Imagine a 20-episode season of a show called America’s Choice whose ongoing, voter-driven, and expert-vetted searches for solutions to issues like immigration or health care would be conducted by competing teams of problem solvers, with a winning solution (advisorial and non-binding to governments) determined by voters on the 20th episode. America’s Choice would instantly resonate with anyone who has seen a reality TV show. And the rules that govern its decidedly productive discourse would be as visible and clear to viewers as are the rules that give credibility and integrity to professional sports telecasts.

    Americans would flock in droves to watch TV like this. Market/citizen demand for it – for TV whose ongoing, citizen-participatory searches for solutions are dynamic, exciting, rule-governed and structured to produce positive outcomes that are honored and respected by citizens and governments alike – is enormous and completely untapped. It is transformative of lives and communities and as such, as network TV execs like Leslie Moonves keep telling us, it is the future of TV itself.

    OK, enough said. Does all this sound improbable or unfeasible? I would love to hear reasons why. More about non-partisan political discourse in a Trump era at http://www.ChicagoCivicMedia.com

    America’s Choice: http://stevesewall.blogspot.com/2009/02/treatment-for-reality-tv-series.html

  13. Brad

    The really interesting thing will be to see how the Trumpist / Ayn Ryan Republicrat combo respond to the spread of the $15/hr movement into the all important transport sector:

    http://www.airportworkersunited.org/category/press-releases-2/
    http://fightfor15.org/november29/

    I mistrust anything from “real news” outlets these days, and the NYT overstates the achievements of the movement in its eagerness to employ it as a cudgel against Trump:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2016/11/29/business/economy/fight-for-15-wages-protests.html

    I think they still have a lot of work to do in the major metros before expending energy in the lower density regions.

    Now if the $/hr ante can be upped, this could spread to “logistics” more generally, including Jeff Bezos’ “fulfillment centers”. My study of BLS stats in 2015 showed that the average (not median) wage for manufacturing workers now hovers just above the $15 breakpoint. One must be careful to filter non-production categories that BLS likes to (randomly?) toss in under “non-supervisory employees”. What I defined as “transport sector” (BLS defines this as a “service”, but it is really a branch of industrial production, not service industry), which generally includes IT BTW, averages ~$23/hr.

    1. Jerry Denim

      Agreed. Just a few years ago $15 an hour for airport baggage handlers and wheelchair pushers would have made them more highly paid than many airline pilots. Those optics might have been hard to justify and the airlines themselves would have pushed back mightily against it. Oil has been cheap for a while now and thanks to cheap oil and consolidation the airlines are making more money than they’ve seen since the Clinton administration. My first airline pilot job in 2004 paid me $18,000 for my first year of service and I was in debt to the company for $2,000 worth of required uniform expenses. The job was terribly difficult as well. Awful hours, poor work conditions, lots of stress and non-existent work/life balance. The pay of Regional Airline pilots, which are just outsourced domestic labor working under the false flag of a shell company owned/controlled by a Legacy parent, has undergone a bit of a market correction in just the past 2-3 years. A hiring boom at the Legacies and large low-cost carriers lead to a quick depletion of the regional pilot ranks. In the post 9-11 decade, after years of hearing Frontline documentary horror stories like my own, most bright young men and women with the means to secure the necessary $100-250k of funding to attend flight school decided to seek their career fortunes elsewhere, leaving the pilot pipeline very close to dry. Many of the shell-company Regional Airlines operating today are offering pilots first year retention and signing bonuses much larger than my first-year salary in 2004, but as always you don’t get what you’re worth in this county you get what you can negotiate- And of course what the fickle fountain of supply and demand dishes up.

      I think Trump is wise enough to realize he will have to offer his voters some kind of material benefit if he is to win re-election in 2020. Trump is egotistical enough that I believe he wants to be adored and admired for years to come by his base. He appears to have trapped himself between a rock and a hard place regarding voter expectations and his hard-nosed, businessman, plutocrat Cabinet he has assembled. I think the Trump administration will have to make a clear decision early on whether or not to break with the Randian/Neoliberal dogma and implement policies that will allow wages to rise and encourage “in-sourcing” as opposed to rewarding outsourcing which as been de facto US policy for decades. These modifications to the neo-liberal orthodoxy alone should be enough to win Trump re-election in 2020, or he could say ‘the hell with the voters’, double down on mean-spirited, winner-take-all neoliberal Capitalism and stuff his pockets. Ethno-nationalism and identity politics might be able to pull another rabbit out of the hat for Republicans in 2020. Empty words and bad deeds with an Identity Politic smokescreen worked twice for Obama, so maybe Trump really doesn’t have to choose.

  14. Ignacio

    Berlusconi stood in power for 17 years. I don’t think any OECD country would now be able to endure something like this. Democracies are now more fragile.

    1. bmeisen

      I bet allies have teams working on the probabilities of diverse scenarios. Here are mine:

      A) One term, complete failure. No more than a shelving of trade treaties. Doesn’t even get a chainlink fence all the way across the border. Angrily barking back at the howling press he defends his wife’s beauty only to be publicly confronted with the indiscretions of her relatives, many of whom have entered the US since the election and received visas under dubious circumstances, all but one who is found to be an illegal. D. disintegrates into defending corrupt deputies, while a close male relative gets caught with his hand in the till taking kickbacks for necer-to-be-completed infrastructure contracts. The President barely puts up a fight against the Dem challenger Michelle Obama.

      likekihood: 25%

      B) 2 terms. Modest achievements, mostly thanks to a poorly managed works project and a series of foreign adventures (Syria, Venezuela, Afghanistan) that alienate Europe but improve relations with Russia (Syria is pacified after Alleppo is destroyed and Assad is assassinated) and China. He leaves office as DC experiences the warmest January in history, the cherry trees blossoming, succeeded by Michelle Obama.

      odds: 50%

      C) The finance markets collapse again, D. fails to prevent spillover into banking, large parts of the country experience runs and abrupt closures, cash supply evaporates. In the subsequent unrest D. leads the at first lightly and privately armed Deplorables Army to victory over mercenaries funded by Silicon Valley VC as well as Mexican invaders led by a charismatic and gorgeous former junkie, Juanita of Arcosante. In their new capital, Las Vegas, D.s soldiers name him emperor. Fragile but frothy he accepts the crown to guitar fanfare in the Nugent Ballroom of the Sands Hotel.

      odds: 85%

        1. bmeisen

          Thanks: A) 15% B) 25% C) 60%

          Juanita is D.’s daughter, her mom was a callgirl from the Tijuana suburbs, made it up to Vegas in the 80s and got a little too smart.

  15. flora

    Great post. Thanks. this bit:

    “Privatizing the Medicare program for seniors and disabled people and turning the Medicaid program for the poor back to the states are long-time goals for Republicans in Congress and the White House. “

    Yes, but it’s something the GOP wants the Dems, or at least a Dem pres to do.

  16. Steve Sewall

    We are hopelessly mired in hyper-partisanship. Mired both within and by a rigged, money-driven Rep/Dem political discourse system that by design divides and polarizes us in order to conquer us. The antidote is an alternative system: issue-centered, outcome-oriented, and designed to give all members of any size community an informed voice in the government decisions that affect our lives. A system that makes citizens and public officials responsive and accountable in shaping the best futures of all three communities – local, state and national – of which every American is a member. http://www.chicagocivicmedia.com

  17. fogspider

    Another thing I worry about is that, far beyond trump’s appointees and potential policies, this regime may ultimately lead to a more rightward creep in our country.
    Rather than a monumental pushback resulting in more progressive Sanders-esque candidates two years, four years from now, I worry that instead the country will essentially habituate to these new foaming-at-the-mouth extremists to the extent that the “kinder gentler” neoliberals/neocons, the Romneys, Geitners, Clinton types, etc., will be welcomed back with open arms, recast as reasonable, even progressive. Many who may have rejected them previously will find them acceptable, indeed will wistfully long for their ilk. They’ll be rehabilitated.
    I hope I’m wrong, though it already seems to be happening.
    And incidentally I think Obama’s legacy will be helped by the juxtaposition with Trump, however superficial or only by degree some of their differences may be.

  18. Jay M

    just to remember, the senior executives will be administering power, Trump seems to be the power
    The Secretaries stated political preferences will inform their decisions, but if Trump doesn’t agree to eliminate Medicare, it will be more or less a non-starter
    really think there will be a lot more information after he gets sworn in–not saying this as an optimist

  19. stefan

    The fact that Trump lost in the popular vote by more than two million votes is significant. If he ascends to the presidency, he does so as a minority president. Clinton lost the electoral college due to about 120,000 votes total in Wisconsin, Michigan, and Pennsylvania combined.

    By this measure, Trump surely has no mandate to suddenly privatize public education, privatize Medicare, or privatize Social Security. Indeed, he has no mandate to pursue any policies that do not have at least some Democratic backing.

    Democrats have a responsibility to hold substantive hearings on Trump’s cabinet nominees to determine their policy commitments and fitness to govern. Win or lose, these will be extremely important battles.

    1. PQS

      As Scalzi noted, lack of a mandate means nothing when there’s a clear path to power. Both houses of Congress and Trump in the GOP orbit and every scary plan they can muster up is on the table.

    2. different clue

      Sanders Democrats and Tea Party Republicans have a responsibility to obstruct all efforts the Wall Street Country Club Republicans and the Clintonite Catfood Democrats will make to Grand Bargain Privatise Social Security. The Clintonite Catfood Democrats see themselves as having a responsibility to Grand Bargain Social Security away. Expecting anything but pro Wall Street betrayal from the Cat Food Clintonites would be a self-damaging mistake.

  20. LA Mike

    I know I’m going to catch more flack about this, but I’m still perplexed at all of the cavalry rounding that’s been brewing on here since the election.

    Where was all of this during Obama? I’ve been saying for years that he’s damaged the progressive movement worse than any Republican ever could. He wouldn’t draw a line in the sand on anything. He gave up on single-payer immediately. He let the banks off scot free. I could go on and on. Why was he given such a free pass? White guilt? Bernie’s the closest thing we’ve seen to a progressive since Huey Long. Obama was a joke.

    Only now you’re attacking Democrats? I’ve long called them the great enablers of the United States.

    And you’re upset with the Democrats only because Hillary lost? Seriously?

    News flash… all of the elections are close now and come down to a few states. But when I grew up in the 80’s and early 90’s, the Republicans won it all. People think Clinton came along and simply won from the left. BS. Ross Perot took 19% of the vote. If not for him, there’s an excellent chance we’d have never had a Clinton presidency. The GOP ran things, period. Post-Clinton, we saw Bush Jr. and Gore come to a draw, basically. And then finally, Obama won because he got a ton of the black vote. Get rid of the white guilt idealism. A main reason he was so victorious was the black vote.

    Get real, Naked Capitalism. Were there more factors than race alone in 2016? Sure. But let me tell you one major factor in case you hadn’t noticed… race! It was astounding to see Obama win North Carolina and Virginia in 2008 and 2012. How did he do it? Black people.

    Why did gay marriage get shut down in 2008 in California? There was a surprising turnout of black voters who were against it.

    The Democrats didn’t lose by much in 2016. They won the popular by two million. None of these elections are any sort of major referendum like the media would have us think. They’re all pretty close now.

    Want to win now? Two things:

    1) Run an actual progressive.
    2) Run a black person.

    Bernie was an actual progressive who earned strong support all across the nation. What did he lack? The black vote.

  21. different clue

    Trump was always going to be a high-collateral-damage President. If he re-normalizes relations with Russia, de-supports the Jihadi rebellion in Syria enough to where the Syrian government can exterminate
    the jihadi rebellion down to the last jihadi and jihadi supporter, and prevent the passage of any more Free Trade Agreements; then I will accept the high collateral damage as being worth it.

    The McCarthyite Campaign against this and 199 other blogs and websites is a Clintonite Democrat Establishment MSM campaign. This McCarthyite Campaign gives a revealing clue as to what kind of Administration a President Clinton would have run.

  22. Cry Shop

    Government by Plutocrats, For Plutocrats replaces Government by minions, For Plutocrats.

    Oh, and Hillary at US$ 3 billion under the Clinton’s control would have been another Plutocrat. It’s just her crowd is classy enough to hire the help.

Comments are closed.