2:00PM Water Cooler 2/7/2017

By Lambert Strether of Corrente

Readers, I am going to be traveling today, and while I hope and expect to have a connection, best laid plans.

So it’s time for some game theory! Since it would be irresponsible not to speculate, let’s game out some scenarios for the current administration. Questions:

1) What are the odds that Trump will complete his first term? (State the odds, as in “a million to one,” “one in a million,” and so forth.)

2) What are reasonable scenarios for Trump leaving, or retaining, office? (Give a narrative. Example for leaving: “A rogue faction of the Joint Chiefs of staff, outraged by….”, as opposed to a fill-in-the-blank phrase, like “successful military coup.” For retaining: “Neera Tanden, believing her revolutionary cell had not been penetrated by Wackenhut…”, as opposed to “failed liberal putsch.”

3) For the outcome of the scenario developed above, is the country better or worse off? Define “better.” Or “worse off.” Or both.

Oh, and in case I’m not around to moderate, I’ll leave you with these words, in line with Yves’ post on comments this morning:

Let’s have a good clean fight here. No holding, no low punches, no biting, gouging or rabbit punches. You’ll break when I say break. And if you’re decked, you’ll get a count of ten to get back on your feet.

Have fun!

* * *

Readers, feel free to contact me with (a) links, and even better (b) sources I should curate regularly, and (c) to find out how to send me images of plants. Vegetables are fine! Fungi are deemed to be honorary plants! See the previous Water Cooler (with plant) here. And here’s today’s plant (EU):

EU wrote: “Some randoms from the Southeast,” here Gordonia lasianthus, Loblolly Bay, Columbia, NC.

Readers, Water Cooler is a standalone entity, not supported by the very successful Naked Capitalism fundraiser just past. Now, I understand you may feel tapped out, but when and if you are able, please use the dropdown to choose your contribution, and then click the hat! Your tip will be welcome today, and indeed any day. Water Cooler will not exist without your continued help.


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About Lambert Strether

Readers, I have had a correspondent characterize my views as realistic cynical. Let me briefly explain them. I believe in universal programs that provide concrete material benefits, especially to the working class. Medicare for All is the prime example, but tuition-free college and a Post Office Bank also fall under this heading. So do a Jobs Guarantee and a Debt Jubilee. Clearly, neither liberal Democrats nor conservative Republicans can deliver on such programs, because the two are different flavors of neoliberalism (“Because markets”). I don’t much care about the “ism” that delivers the benefits, although whichever one does have to put common humanity first, as opposed to markets. Could be a second FDR saving capitalism, democratic socialism leashing and collaring it, or communism razing it. I don’t much care, as long as the benefits are delivered. To me, the key issue — and this is why Medicare for All is always first with me — is the tens of thousands of excess “deaths from despair,” as described by the Case-Deaton study, and other recent studies. That enormous body count makes Medicare for All, at the very least, a moral and strategic imperative. And that level of suffering and organic damage makes the concerns of identity politics — even the worthy fight to help the refugees Bush, Obama, and Clinton’s wars created — bright shiny objects by comparison. Hence my frustration with the news flow — currently in my view the swirling intersection of two, separate Shock Doctrine campaigns, one by the Administration, and the other by out-of-power liberals and their allies in the State and in the press — a news flow that constantly forces me to focus on matters that I regard as of secondary importance to the excess deaths. What kind of political economy is it that halts or even reverses the increases in life expectancy that civilized societies have achieved? I am also very hopeful that the continuing destruction of both party establishments will open the space for voices supporting programs similar to those I have listed; let’s call such voices “the left.” Volatility creates opportunity, especially if the Democrat establishment, which puts markets first and opposes all such programs, isn’t allowed to get back into the saddle. Eyes on the prize! I love the tactical level, and secretly love even the horse race, since I’ve been blogging about it daily for fourteen years, but everything I write has this perspective at the back of it.


  1. Joe Patriot

    Trump will be the most successful President since Lincoln. Like Lincoln, he will push through extremely high tariffs that help industrialize the US. He will also pursue a creative set of monetary policies, directing the federal reserve and treasury to work in tandem to begin strategically acquiring foreign currencies and foreign currency denominated assets from mercantilist powers. Trump will leave office in January 2025, with the US boasting a strategic reserve of several quadrillion yen, RMB, euros, shekels, kroners, won, dong, XinTaibi and others. The US will have successfully entered into reindustrialization with growth rates averaging 10-15% per year. Factories everywhere! Full Employment! America’s Meiji Restoration!

    1. RabidGandhi

      This is really curious. What would the US do with all those foreign currencies that it cannot do already?

      1. steelhead23

        Purchasing large amounts of foreign currencies could raise their values, potentially opening the door for more U.S. exports. Problem is, the FX market is YUGE and even if Trump were bright enough to recognize that “deficits don’t matter”, they are anathema to rank and file Rs and the targets may not take kindly to such measures.

        1. RabidGandhi

          If I’m Kuroda and I see Trump buying yen/yen denominated assets, I print him as many notes as he wants. In Joe’s example, UST would only be holding them in reserves, so there would be no more yen in circulation= no effect on exchange rates/imports.

    2. reslez

      Considering that Lincoln’s election precipitated the seccession of the South and he oversaw the deadliest period of turmoil the US has endured thus far, comparing him with Trump is hardly reassuring. Something more like T. Roosevelt would be nice but it doesn’t look like that’s in store.

  2. Quanka

    1 in 2 chance of finishing first term. Should he finish first term, 3:1 or possibly 5:1 odds of finishing all 8 years. He will not choose to leave office on his own — no way no how. He is way to vein to be seen as ‘failing’ in anything. Most likely scenario would be an impeachment spearheaded by the GOP — b/c we all know the democratic party are a bunch of kittens in the ring with tigers. They feel special just being there and wouldnt rock the boat! A less likely but still very plausible scenario would be the deep state taking matters into their own hands, but I don’t see that happening based on Trump’s first two weeks of foreign policy (i.e. he is giving away the farm already, so what would they have to gain?).

    1. shinola

      I agree on Trump’s vanity preventing him from quitting early. I don’t see an R controlled congress going for impeachment unless he does something really, really egregious (like declaring himself a socialist).

      80% chance (at least) of completing 4 yr. term.
      80% chance (at least) of being a 1 term prez.

      1. Lambert Strether Post author

        It looks to me like the Republican establishment has gone “all in” for the administration (that’s what shutting down Warren looks like to me). Of course, they may have gone all-in for a future Pence administration, and I can see all the grave faces, especially McConnell’s, when they do a 180° and throw Trump under the bus for some ethical violation, but I can’t see that happening before 2018. Certainly not before the infrastructure goodies are handed out!

  3. Joe Formerly of BKLYN

    I have thought for a while (since b4 the election) that DJT would not serve out his first term . . . maybe not even his first year. Not the result of Impeachment or an assassin but . . . from his own momentum.

    Despite all of the sludge thrown at Trump, it is clear that SOMETHING is right — or was right — with his brain. He turned a small mound of millions into a small amount of billions. That is not the work of a moron, spoiled kid.

    HOWEVER: I am not sure he ever worked really hard at any time during his career. Yes, making decisions IS hard work. But it’s not a 7×24, 365-days-a-year assignment. Esp. the way Donnie seems to embrace issues.

    The Presidency IS that kind of job. It’s every day, all day. We’ve arrange things so that our president sleeps over the office. AND: There are a lot of issues on which decisions are made (or not) . . . something perhaps not fully embraced by many newcomers to the job.

    SO: My expectation was — and is — that Trump will step down at some point in 2017. Perhaps he will blame it on illness. Maybe there will be a medical event — real or false — on which he can base his abdication.

    This is a guess. Evidence for it is thin. My confidence in it is boosted by only one real observable fact: MIKE PENCE sure looks happy!

    1. Watt4Bob

      And in the end, our right wing populist is revealed to be something of a stalking horse for the worst of republican ideologues?

      Yes, your observation rings starkly true, Trump may be too lazy to keep up the whole hero of the forgotten schtick for very long, and then there’s his attention span to take into account.

      President Pence, out of the frying pan…

        1. epynonymous

          Was Henry Ford Catholic?

          I don’t know what’s happening to Trump, but I know what happened to the soverign lord of Malta.

          The lasting achievement of the european Crusades is the enshrinement of secret societies on most of the islands of the mediterranean. (The early Greeks were way ahead of this.)

          The last two centuries have seen dynasties replaced as the soverigns of state, replaced by these ideologues and cabals.

          What more can the next step be but mob-rule (with the mob run by post-roman tributes and faux-plebian ‘thought leaders.’

          Check out a youtube channel on the frontpage. Say, ‘the richest’. Interesting,but biased.

          Everyone is someone else’s ‘alt-left’ or ‘alt-right.’

            1. Vatch

              The president of Malta is Marie Louise Coleiro Preca, and the prime minister is Joseph Muscat. The grand master of the Knights of Malta isn’t the leader of a country.

              The apparent reason for the dismissal is rather comical (from the article):

              Festing’s ‘resignation’ follows a complicated row over the dismissal of the order’s Grand Chancellor, Albrecht von Boeselager, who was accused of permitting the distribution of condoms by the order’s international charitable arm.

              1. WJ

                No it was not about “condoms.” Burke tried to stage a coup against the German knights, who are in favor of medical aid and refugee support in Africa and the Mideast in line with Pope Francis’ priorities; Burke’s own priorities involve genital legalism and “Christendom,” which is why he and Bannon are compadres of a sort. He wanted to resurrect the Knights as a moral force against illicit ejaculation and Muslims, and Francis saw through the coup and crushed it with remarkable efficiency.

            2. Lambert Strether Post author

              Perhaps this has something to do with those weird posters put up in Rome that I linked to over the weekend.

              That said, I think we should stick to something simple, like U.S. politics, before getting involved with Vatican politics. That stuff is complicated!

    2. Harry

      Disagree. If he had done nothing, he would probably have made as much. A long position in Queens and Brooklyn residential real estate from the 70s?

      However I note the “Rick Scott” doctrine. People think Rick Scott doesn’t allow South Florida officials to use the phrase “climate change” cos he doesn’t believe in it. Judging by his actions it’s the other way round. He does believe it and knows it’s very bad for business.

      Donald may be too dumb to understand why other US officials pretend to believe all that exceptional ism crap. Perhaps fascism is already here and the nail that sticks up gets hammered down.

      Where can I sell Trump futures?

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        When to hold them and when to fold them.

        Do I day-trade or hold even more tenaciously than Buffet?

        Looking back, I should have bought and held my meager $2000 initial investment in 1980.

        How many of us did that with whatever small amount they had?

        More information would be needed to see if he outperformed other active managers.

      2. Micky9finger

        I read a comment about Trump not being such a great business man (bizniss myen in Russia) that had he invested his original stake in an indexed s&p fund and done nothing he would be richer than he is now.

        1. epynonymous

          Colbert and other late night persons (Maher) both mentioned the easiest way to reach the president is to get your message on TV.

          Forget who controls his meetings for a moment, and think of who can just find him any and every night from 8 to 10 PM.

        2. Arizona Slim

          In early stage dementia, people tend to fake it until their symptoms become too obvious to ignore.

          They may also be surrounded by a cadre of people (family, friends, subordinates, and colleagues) who are willing to overlook the increasingly erratic behavior because the essence of the person they know is still there.

      1. David

        What President put in 24/7? Certainly not Obama. How much golf did that guy play, especially in his second term?

        1. Gman

          Can’t blame him really.

          He’d already done pretty much what his paymasters expected of him in his first term.


    3. PKMKII

      The Presidency IS that kind of job. It’s every day, all day. We’ve arrange things so that our president sleeps over the office. AND: There are a lot of issues on which decisions are made (or not) . . . something perhaps not fully embraced by many newcomers to the job.

      Decisions can be delegated to the secretaries. If the optics are good, then Trump is happy.

    4. Kulantan

      The Presidency is a job that will eat as much time as you throw at it. That does not imply that the President must sleep in the office. It does mean that personnel is policy, both in who is chosen and what is delegated to who.

      I find the whole Trump is too stupid/lazy to be President meme suspiciously close to classist attacks on his rust belt voters. Which is not to say it can’t be true, but I have yet to see good evidence of it.

      1. Persona au gratin

        I find the whole Trump is too stupid/lazy to be President meme suspiciously close to classist attacks on his rust belt voters.

        True that. And I expect it will have just as much effect. But I sincerely hope they keep trying. Trump can use the additional support.

      2. Lambert Strether Post author

        > suspiciously close to classist attacks on his rust belt voters.

        Which has certainly been working out great. Sure is weird how the smart people managed to lose all three branches of the Federal government and most of the state governorships and electorates.

    5. steelhead23

      I so want to up arrow you. To expand your thesis a bit – not only is the presidency a tough job (especially tough when you set out to change the world), but success requires more than bullying tactics and DJT is a one-trick pony. He will resign. Then, heaven help us.

      1. Lambert Strether Post author

        > bullying tactics

        I really distrust the “bully” trope (much beloved by liberals) because it keeps the focus on personal characteristics instead of systems, including power relations within systems. (In its most absurd form, framing Hitler or Stalin as bullies*. What a way to look at history! I think it’s a category error on the level of “government is like a household.”

        * The link is about elementary school teaching, and I can’t help but wonder if the Democrat base in the teaching professions has anything to do with this choice of trope.

    6. Ptup

      “Despite all of the sludge thrown at Trump, it is clear that SOMETHING is right — or was right — with his brain. He turned a small mound of millions into a small amount of billions. That is not the work of a moron, spoiled kid.”

      Lord, here we go again. I expect to here this from the uneducated and the ignorant conditined by their reality TV, but, please, not here. And I’m still mystified why the Dems didn’t focus on this aspect of the man’s reputation, over and over again, because this is why we have this baby in the WH, along with a few other factors. So many Americans are convinced that he’s a good businessman. What a joke. He almost, almost, lost his entire inheritance to his own horrible management of debt as his great empire of casinos and the airline succumbed to his own stupidity, but, yeah, he did one thing right – he was too big to fail, and the banks didn’t take him to the cleaners, because of, well, their stupidity and greed. Sound familiar? Remember the one tax return released by the NYT and verified by his accountant at the time? Nearly a billion dollar loss, declared in one year. A billion dollars! On a personal tax return! The luckiest boy child in the world, he was (is) to rise from those ashes, let alone get elected President, of all things. Somehow, through savvy marketing, primarily from that stupid Apprentice tv show, he convinced America he’s a rich, successful guy, and then built a small hotel and merchandise business using that fictional persona. Amazing. No way will anybody know how much he’s worth, until the rest of the taxes are released, but betcha a hundred bucks it’s nowhere near where he says it is these days. One can only imagine how much he owes all sorts of shady international entities. Only Deutsch bank will lend him major money, and, hey, they’re the pinnacle of virtue in the financial world, aren’t they? He’s been a joke in his home town, the Capitol of finance and RE, most of his adult life, especially after the bankruptcies. But, somehow, he’s convinced a lot of America, and even some places all over the world, that he’s not the idiot he is. Now look where we are. Good lord.

      1. Local to Oakland

        I have no comment on his current or future competence, because no knowledge beyond such headlines as used to hit the West Coast of the US.

        However the entire planter class including notable pre civil war presidents, tended to have problems with debt. Slavery was grossly evil. But evil does not preclude competence.

        Debt and debt management are more complex and more tied to structural economic issues than is typically recognized in the simple shorthand of debt as signifier of either bad judgement or bad character.

        One great reform made early in US history was the replacement of debtors prison with the bankruptcy system. That is usually taught here as a good thing, using various policy arguments beyond the scope of this comment.

        Personally, I am waiting to see whether Trump is another Andrew Jackson, or someone less competent to be president than Jackson was. They share a bull in a china shop style and the hatred of certain groups of people. (The comparison extends to hatred both inflicted and received, looks like).

        I’m just here in the peanut gallery, along for the ride like the rest of us. You may be entirely right. Best regards.

        1. that guy

          Not sure how accurate it is, but there was a reference to this in “Hypernormalization”. Some Japanese supergambler – Akio Kashiwagi, now that I look back at it – took his casinos to the cleaners. He managed to get some consultants to put together a game the dude couldn’t win, which worked just as planned. What didn’t work just as planned was collecting; dude got murdered by yaks before he could pay up. DJT was already deeply in debt and having a hard time paying the interest on his loans.

        2. Ptup

          Well, in his case, building three right next to each other when only one was needed by the market. To start.

      2. PQS

        Yep. Between having his father pony up money to keep the casino afloat (which is illegal under NJ law), the relationships with very shady characters (actual mobsters invited by DJT and living in TT), and the endless scammy enterprises (Trump U, Trump Steaks, Trump Vodka ad nauseum), I have been very surprised to hear “but he’s a successful businessman!” from every single Trump voter I’ve spoken with.

        But then the trope of Americans getting ripped off by hucksters and charlatans is a well-worn one.

      3. Jim

        Ah, but Hillary’s entire campaign – at least in the last month or two – consisted of “he’s a nasty, embarrassing man.” There was no attempt to define what she, or the Dems, were FOR. Best anyone could tell, they were for “more of the same,” since everything was working so well. Except, as we all know, for many people in the US, it hasn’t been working so well. Hence the Donald snagged narrow victories in States that have been particularly hard hit by “free trade” and “foaming the runway” for the banks after the last big crash. There’s been frequent mention of Clinton not campaigning in Wisconsin even once. My question: had she gone there, or to Michigan, Ohio, etc, what could she have said that would have made any difference, after years of supporting the very policies that resulted in such distress? Eventually, reality bites.

      4. aab

        That isn’t why he was elected. He was a elected because at least half the Republican base knew not to trust the Republican establishment, and independents and half of the Democratic base knew not to trust the Democratic establishment. Most people wanted change, because most people are suffering. Hillary was able to ramp up fear of Trump enough in some populations to drive them to the polls, but not enough outside major Democratic strongholds (where there is some evidence of vote rigging and flipping on her behalf.) She lost partly because some voters flipped to Trump from Obama, but more because people just stayed home.

        If anything, him declaring bankruptcy and ripping off banks made him slightly more popular. When people talk about him being a “successful businessman,” they’re just as likely to be talking about his celebrity status and TV show and anything else. The fact that the New York elite laughs at him definitely helped. It helped him frame himself as an outsider who could sympathize with the marginalized, which is sort of an amazing feat for a billionaire trust fund baby to pull off.

        And to be fair to him, his reinvention of himself and creation of “Trump” as a brand was successful, inventive and quite cutting edge in its day.

        But no, hammering on how he was was bad at managing his inherited business would not have won the election for Hillary. It was a change election, and he was the change agent allowed through. Hillary was a terrible candidate who ran a terrible campaign, but it’s possible no neoliberal New Democrat could have won. What message could any Democrat have for the Midwest? Cory Booker would have persuaded them he was opposed to the TPP and would renegotiate NAFTA? If Hillary had stroked out before the convention, whoever the DNC would have allowed as the candidate (wouldn’t have been Bernie) would have been a full-throated advocate of everything those voters wanted gone.

      5. cwaltz

        He turned a small mound of millions into billions.

        Yes and he did it by cheating contractors, using bankruptcy to avoid obligations and lobbying for loopholes to avoid taxes that he then whined about others not paying like a hypocrite.

        You’ll forgive me if I fail to see anything right with this or with his brain. I guess I’m not in the greed is a good or healthy trait club.

        1. Lambert Strether Post author

          Trump is most definitely not somebody I would ever want to do business with.

          And if I were a Trump strategist, my response to this comment would be along the lines of: “Keep it up!”

          You can’t beat something with nothing, as the saying goes. When you go to buy a car, and everyone on the Auto Mile is one or another kind of crook or weasel, what do you do?

          NOTE I agree with you that greed is a very bad thing; one of the seven deadly sins. It certainly is odd that the Democrats chose “hate” as their frame for what Trump is, instead of “greed,” given that hate is not on that list. I wonder if there’s a reason for that?

          1. Big River Bandido

            A “greed” attack probably wouldn’t have had much sting when the bee made $250K per hour giving speeches to bankers.

            Ultimately, no “attack campaign” would have worked with such a flawed, awful candidate as Clinton.

            1. aab

              She presumably picked him as her preferred Pied Piper opponent thinking his weaknesses being often the same as hers would insulate her.

              Like most of her strategic thinking, that did not work out as she had planned.

    7. Oregoncharles

      Alternatively, he could run the country the way he ran his businesses, in which case, his appointments are even MORE important.

      I’ve wondered all along why anyone would take on the Presidency as a retirement job. It appears to age people very quickly, and Trump is 70. (Congress is different.)

      1. PQS

        Me too. And I don’t think, teetotaling aside, he eats well and he clearly doesn’t get enough sleep. The erratic behavior is part of this, I think.

  4. footnote4

    Odds of not finishing term: 3 to 1.
    Leave scenario: Enemies are not appeased by betrayal of populist and non-interventionist campaign agenda, but popular support is completely lost. Opens up various possibilities for ouster or resignation.

    Success scenario: After Marine Le Pen openly advocates use of monetary sovereignty for public good, Trump impulsively decides on complete break with establishment parties and takes case for fiscal stimulus (infrastructure? single payer? job guarantee?) directly to the people. Rails against economists and policy makers who have emiserated millions with their Big Lies on public debt. For the most part, Trump is able to redirect public anger away from revenge toward constructive actions. We live happily ever after. The End.

    1. sleepy

      betrayal of populist and non-interventionist campaign agenda, but popular support is completely lost.

      I can only speak of my neck of the woods: northern Iowa up near the Minn/Wisc border, a normally blue collar, democratic area that was heavily for Sanders and then Trump. The homeland of the deplorables I guess. It doesn’t appear that folks here are too upset by Trump’s travel ban although muslim employees are common in the local medical communities. Most seem to think the restrictions are probably ok for safety reasons.

      Having said that, you are absolutely correct that Trump’s support will wither unless there are some concrete economic benefits for local people. I always felt that support was a mile wide but an inch deep, and a truly populist dem would win here going away.

      The odds of Trump finishing his first term? I’d say about 75% with the stated rationale for any resignation/impeachment being corrupted business interests that are too obvious to cover up. The real reason? Take your pick.

      1. footnote4

        Agree that travel ban is not a problem with supporters; also threats to Roe v Wade, elimination of government agencies – none of that would matter if Trump delivered significant economic benefits to the masses and reduced foreign entanglements. He can’t do the former without embracing deficit spending. Angry townhall crowds have been confronting R congressmen over the impact on them of Obamacare repeal with no better alternative in place, and that seems to be the direction things will continue.

        And how many Trump voters will be happy about new wars popular with Israel-firsters and the MIC?

      2. Left in Wisconsin

        you are absolutely correct that Trump’s support will wither unless there are some concrete economic benefits for local people.

        I wish I could be so confident. I think it all depends on who the opposition is and what their plans are. Scott Walker famously ran the first time on a promise (“tattooed on the foreheads” of this staff) to create 250,000 jobs. He came nowhere close (not that govs “create” jobs, except for their staffs) and his failure to achieve such was the main argument used against his run for a second term. But the Dems offered the same-old, same-old and the end result is Walker is still there, prepping for his third term.

        You can’t beat something with nothing.

        1. footnote4

          Has Walker had good favorability throughout his time in office? Or poor, yet better than the competition?

        2. Carla

          You can’t beat something with nothing.

          You can’t beat something with nothing.

          You can’t beat something with nothing.

          It bears repeating.

          The only snag in the argument is, I never got what the “something” is that Walker is supposedly delivering. But apparently, whatever it may be, can’t be beaten with nothing!

          P.S. But what do I know? I live in Ohio, where we’re not getting anything either. And guess what? Nothing ain’t beating it.

          1. Left in Wisconsin

            FN4: Walker has made mid- to high-40s favorable most of his time in office. The state is literally split 50-50.

            Carla: Well, Walker gives the right-to-lifers what they want, which is a higher number of Wisco voters than you might think. Otherwise, he gives the rural base someone to hate: inner-city Milwaukeeans (wink, wink) and effete Madison liberals. And he still gets a lot of mileage out of the Reagan-era chestnut: “no new taxes,” even though rural schools and roads are both falling apart.

  5. fresno dan

    1. I believe Trump has a 95% chance of completing his term. Both his parents lived to ripe old ages. However, Trump is such a loon I think he could get himself impeached (his apparent obstinate refusal to back down). Corruption would be the pretext.

    2. The large and extensive bureaucracy is hard to comprehend, from the helium reserves to the mapping functions, there are few things that the government doesn’t do, all set out in laws, regulations, and court precedents developed over decades (and in some cases, centuries). There is the illusion that one man understands all this, and it is even more illusionary that one man has any control. The congress can thwart most if not all of Trumps screwier ideas, as well as any inadvertent worthwhile initiatives. From the standpoint of actual doing anything noteworthy, Trump will be ineffective.

    The president has his own press office, that because of the lazy and profit centered US media, in which the “One voice” of the presidency is the easiest to cover (does the White House press office give them coffee and donuts???) and sets up the simplistic “he said she said” dynamic of political coverage that is the most cost effective (for the media) and provides rating for all the faux conflict covered (as I have said many times, on war, inequality, not prosecuting the rich, we have one party – and this is NEVER covered, as it gives the lie to the notion that we have a “choice” in our elections).

    3. If Trump breaks the current duopoly, (he finished off the Bushs and Clintons, and their campaign styles – a valuable accomplishment) and heightens the contradictions, he may be the most substantively important president in 60 years – by being a demolisher, NOT a builder. Irony….
    Trump is a horrible, terrible, crass, charmless man but a much less effective evil than the alternatives – but he is the beginning crack in the dam. Whether this dam collapsing destroys the cities below or restores salmon runs is a choice the people will make.

    1. Jim Young

      Christopher Cox gutted the Helium Reserve, auctioning off the strategic reserve at fire sale prices to profiteers, like they now want to do with other Federal lands and parks.

      P.S. Harold L. Ickes, the longest serving Interior Secretary, fought the business interests before WWII to prevent the sales of the Helium to Hitler’s Germany

      1. Jim Haygood

        ‘Christopher Cox gutted the Helium Reserve.’

        It still burns, don’t it?

        No longer do federal judges solemnly deliver their opinions in a chipmunk squeak after sucking on a party balloon filled with federal helium. :-(

    2. RabidGandhi

      I’m with you Dan. How can we short all these bets against Trump finishing his term? I smell an easy ten bagger: five for you and five for me.

    3. Persona au gratin

      I think people, especially politicians, continue to underestimate the man. But most at least still have the good sense to fear him. You are correct, he’s not a uniter or a divider, but a destroyer. Something this country’s been in dire need of for the past forty years or so.

      In light of that, I think both party’s will have the good sense to avoid an impeachment proceedings out of sheer self-preservation. I can only imagine the unholy terrors Trump would unleash if they tried something so stupid.

      And in light of that, I think that if removal is on the table (50/50), I think it will likely come sooner rather than later in the form of an assassin’s bullet (less than 5%) or more likely an untimely “accident” (greater than 95%) that can be semi-plausibly blamed on legitimate circumstances, which would no doubt be pretty damn destructive to the general welfare as well, and it would no doubt come from the neo-lib “left,” who have never given up on their war with Russia foolishness.

      And if it comes to that, I’d be quite concerned about Mr Putin taking things into his own hands (and quite justifiably so!) and initiating some sort of preemptory strike, whether it be cyber, financial, military, infrastructural, or a combination thereof, and then the full contact sporting festivities will officially begin!

      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        It’s less about Trump than themselves. Democrats were and remain baffled as to why Sanders is popular and draws a crowd. They believe it’s a magic spell they can replicate. It’s about long term credibility, and the party of Pelosi, Schumer, Clinton Inc, Booker, and even Obama (there aren’t calls for Obamalings to lead the party) is simply not legitimate in the eyes of too many people. Without the sheen of Clinton and Obama celebrity to protect them, Democrats such as Corey Booker are being seen for the frauds they are.

        Some certainly have enough brown nosers to be protected, but can you imagine Tim Kaine trying to campaign in one of the four early states? Without a loyal crowd, he’ll have to interact with people who want to know why he’s such a tool. They’ve hid behind Obama and Hillary for so long they don’t have a clue how despised they are. Democrats actually thought Evan Bayh, who already quit because he was going to lose in 2010 and was only a senator because his father was a good senator, would make a good Senate candidate in 2016.

        Team Blue is just simply rotten, and they have no clue how decayed the party is.

        1. leslie C

          NotTim, I feel you are correct. I am an Indiana resident, 65, white, educated. From conservative Republican stock. However, I am a much more liberal/libertarian. I was for Bernie, didn’t trust Hill, but would have preferred her over the alternative. I view Evan Bayh as a good haircut in a suit, not much more. In bed with lobbyists (wife was on board for anthem if I remember correctly) worthless. I was not surprised the Donald won, I have driven through many small Indiana towns, formerly farming/manufacturing and they are SAD. Their lovely town squares are ghost towns, with empty storefronts and people using golf carts to get around town. They do feel abandoned and long for the days when you could have a job out of high school and provide for a family–light manufacturing, farming, grain elevator, post office. Those days are gone and they don’t understand why. They blame immigrants–not the financialization of EVERYTHING. And they don’t understand that federal and state jobs have been drastically cut–those post office jobs (they have benefits and pensions!)–UPS and FedEx don’t like competition. They don’t understand that Mr. Ryan wants to give their social security to Wall Street and their Medicare to private insurers.

          1. Mike Mc

            sleepy and leslie C, I too inhabit the heartland though I hide out in a land grant university on a glide path to retirement (technical staff). As a good Berniecrat, I try to do my level best to edumacate people about why the America of their youth and parents/grandparentsl days is gone… and how going all in on the Sanders platform is their best shot at restoring some semblance of the New Deal. Between Fox News and Rush/Sean/etc. shout radio (talk radio long dead) and the general decline of public education, though, I’m pretty certain I will retire and expire long before the masses get a clue. Too many snouts in the trough and dollars left to pilfer from their pockets for this to change.

          2. Carla

            “They don’t understand that Mr. Ryan wants to give their social security to Wall Street and their Medicare to private insurers.”

            So did the Clintons and Barack. Want to. And in the case of Medicare, they put it well on the way.

            They didn’t quite get a chance with Social Security, but they had plans.

            1. FluffytheObeseCat

              Yeah, but neither of them is in power anymore. Ryan is still majority leader in the House.

    4. NotTimothyGeithner

      The basic problem with most predictions about Trump not finishing his term is they are the same reasons on why he would never be President, and yet, here we are.

    5. DJG

      fresno dan: Excellent comment. It is especially a problem because the Democrats destroyed their next generation so as to keep the party as the Bill and Hillary Fan Club. The Republicans keep throwing up the likes of Ted Cruz. So Trump has a good chance unless he self-destructs.

  6. justanotherprogressive

    1 in 5 chance of finishing his first year. It is no secret that Trump is being tolerated by the more powerful Congressional Republicans simply because he has such a populist following. I think they are waiting for (and probably secretly encouraging) Trump to do something so outrageous that they can go to his populist support and say: “I know you like a lot of what Trump does, but we really have to do something about this.” Hopefully they then can impeach Trump without too much drama and get Pence (who is one of their own) into the job as President.
    It all depends on how fast Trump becomes politically astute enough to avoid the traps. I don’t see that happening any time soon.

    1. Praedor

      He lasts until the bulk of his supporters learn that, in fact, he is NOT on their side and he goes off and pushes policies that actively harm them.

      The day his rabid supporters start peeling away in large numbers is the day the GOP in Congress decide it’s time to impeach or “Article 25” him. It wont be this year but, I suspect during his 2nd and 3rd years. Then it’s Prez Pence and TRUE hell on earth.

      1. Vatch

        He’s already pushing policies that actively harm many of his supporters, but I don’t think that very many of them have realized it yet.

        1. marym

          The FCC is stopping 9 companies from providing federally subsidized Internet to the poor

          Regulators are telling nine companies they won’t be allowed to participate in a federal program meant to help them provide affordable Internet access to low-income consumers — weeks after those companies had been given the green light.

          New Chairman Orders FCC To Abandon Court Defense Of Rule Limiting Prison Phone Rates

          Most of us stopped paying by-the-minute for phone calls years ago; a luxury that’s not available to the men and women in prison, where the few providers of phone service charge as much as $14/minute. The FCC’s efforts to cap these rates are currently being held up in court, and with a new business-friendly Chairman at the helm, the FCC has opted to not defend the very rules it came up with only 15 months ago.

          1. marym

            Adding: Though he’s said he thinks people should have jobs and healthcare, he hasn’t appointed anyone with the skills, history, or ideology to make that (or quality education, debt relief, affordable housing, safe workplaces, or much of anything recognizable as a material benefit) happen.

      2. Persona au gratin

        He lasts until the bulk of his supporters learn that, in fact, he is NOT on their side and he goes off and pushes policies that actively harm them.

        Another tone deaf liberal. Hint: It’s about policies that invite the capitalist overlord class to share in the pain at least as much as it’s about policies that overtly target the working class for help. The working class has NEVER wanted or willingly accepted **HELP**, hence the white working class’s hostility toward welfare.

        The working class is more than used to policies that cause them pain – hell, we’ve been living with that for what, 50+ years now at least? What they want to know is that they’re not the only ones bearing it.

        1. reslez

          The working class accepts as many subsidies and handouts as they can grab with both hands out and two more stuffed pockets’ full, thank you. You’d just better not call it a handout — welfare is what other people get. What the working class gets is mortgage and pension tax deductions, SS, Medicare, college roads and emergency services… and you better not call that socialism or you’re a commie liberal so-n-so.

    2. cm

      I agree w/ this scenario. A la Nixon & Reagan, Trump’s main hope is to keep bypassing the extremely hostile media and speak directly to the silent majority.

      If Trump is removed from office either by impeachment or assassination I expect a wave of violence from his frustrated supporters.

      1. Arizona Slim

        I hate to say this, but I do think that the odds of an inside job-style assassination (think Anwar Sadat) are fairly high.

        1. epynonymous

          My feeling is also for a Nixon-type event.

          The media can use the construction blank-gate and be relevant again! :)

          Anywhoo, didn’t Nixon run against a vice-presidential candidate named Rockefeller?

          I think that’s one of those names we should know by now, but history is fake news.

          Maybe he *really* wasn’t a crook.

          Regardless, Nixon was soft on the real conservative issues (even if he was racist in private) … and the left wouldn’t defend him. Trumps defense is to run to the right.

          And just say *wrong*

    3. Persona au gratin

      It is no secret that Trump is being tolerated by the more powerful Congressional Republicans simply because he has such a populist following.

      “Tolerated?” Oh really? I think you’ve got it ass-backwards my friend. Congressional Rs know full well that Trump is merely tolerating them, and acting accordingly. This entire discussion seems to suffer from the same delusions that the pundits foisted upon us during the election. I would suggest that Congressional Rs know full well that Congressional Ds are the only thing standing between them and the full wrath of Trump supporters, and are merely “cowering bravely” accordingly. Trump’s “populist following” is both deeper and wider than most on this board apparently suspect, and it will be a personal joy of mine watching such misconceptions exploded over the course of the next 4-8 years.

      1. PQS

        Oh, I don’t know about that. They are riding high right now with all their gerrymandered winnings, up to and including ALEC fostered state houses everywhere. They really think they have this in the bag, and that they can control Trump. Otherwise, they wouldn’t have let him win so far.

        Your career R politicians (the Paul Ryans and Mitch McConnells) really think they can continue to shove trickle down and tax cuts for rich people and endless foreign interventions down the throats of all Americans for at least another 4-8 years. They are even more clueless than the corporate Dems everyone around here rails about.

        And most of the non-working class Trump voters (and there were a LOT OF THEM) DO think that stuff works, until it doesn’t and they tumble away from the upper middle they currently inhabit…but until then, they won’t push too hard on the GOP. They never have, except for the God-botherers who are always pushing their abortion agenda.

        1. Persona au gratin

          Apparently you “mis-comprehended” most of my comment. I’m certainly no defender of R politics, and neither, I think is Trump. Will some pretty glaring contradictions come into focus on the way down as the proverbial shit begins to hit the fan? You bet, just as they would have either way, given that the tide is about to go out on decades of neo-liberal/neo-conservative globalist policies that supposedly “benefited everyone,” only to reveal that they only benefited a paltry few.

          Can Trump or anyone else stand the heat when that perception becomes widespread? Perhaps not, but I’m guessing Trump at least has a lot less to lose than any of the legacy party members at this point. And in the end, that’s going to be the crucial dividing line going forward. Forging a coherent narrative for a post-globalist, post-imperialist, very possibly post-capitalist world going forward that might very well not have the USA at its center; and for that, Trump might well play a key, albeit possibly at least partially unwitting part.

          I suggest that “historical” and “change” are about to be much larger and more relevant terms than we currently conceive them to be. At the very least, I expect the silly notion of D and R two party politics to be effectively put to bed for good in the next four years. And if Trump succeeds only at that he will still have been a monumental success.

      2. Lambert Strether Post author

        > this board

        NC is not, in fact, a board. It’s a blog with an active commentariat.

        I think if the Republican establishment were all that strong, Trump wouldn’t be President. He eviscerated them in the primaries, a loss they fully earned.

        I do think, though, that if Trump is not perceived to deliver on “change” (and not just the conservative version of identity politics, but change that people can directly experience) he’s toast. Which is why it’s interesting that the “stuff” metrics I watch — like rail, and architectural billings, and the chemical activity barometer — in addition to the factory surveys are all suggesting a modest uptick (which J-Yel could destroy….). If that pans out, the Republicans will have a tailwind going into 2018.

  7. financial matters

    95% chance of finishing 1st term. He understands power relations. I think it’s interesting to compare Trump with JFK. Both were anti-war populists who weren’t large CIA fans. But Trump has better allies.

    Better for the country overall. We definitely needed to shake loose from the elite neoliberal/neoconservative pattern that would have continued under Hillary. He is shaking up both elite Dems and elite Repubs. Now his coup de grace would be to put Tulsi Gabbard (the new and improved Bernie Sanders) into a useful role.

    1. Arizona Slim

      Watch Trump put Sanders in charge of the infrastructure reconstruction plan. Which, at first, will mortify many of Sanders’ supporters.

      But, in the long run, that crazy ole fox from Brooklyn will emerge as the winner and head off to a well-deserved retirement in the hills overlooking Burlington, VT.

    2. doug

      ‘ Both were anti-war populists ‘. What? T said he would blow up iranian navy dudes that flipped the bird to a US Navy ship..I respectfully and completely disagree. neither JFK or T were (are) close to being ‘antiwar’…Vietnam …JFK….dominoes….BS,,,,dead people….and lots of them.

      As far as T finishing the term. Sure he will, if he lives. He is large and in charge and gonna stay that way. I am surprised the question is even posed. I really am. I have not seen it posed before for anyone else. Why is that?

      1. financial matters

        After/during the Cuban scare it seemed that JFK got more interested in detente which irritated the CIA/MIC.

        Trump wants a strong military but I don’t think he has the appetite for using it as we have been in Libya/Syria.

  8. johnnygl

    As far as removing him, the dilma rouseff template from brazil is tested and viable. But only possible once popularity is low enough. The media has 4 years to work him over. On the other hand, trump seems to understand this and 1) attacks the media and 2) keeps his campaign promises (even if many are vile).

    I suspect we see 4 years of the sharks circling, but never quite getting the chance to pounce. 85% chance trump finishes his term. All bets are off if he stumbles into a major war. He is going to have to fire people in his cabinet if he wants to avoid that.

    1. Milton

      Heck, we already have a color revolution in place (which color has been assigned?). I can’t see it going on for more than two years.

      1. Gaianne

        Which color, the color revolution? That’s easy: Pink pussy hats!

        Here is a joke: Suppose Trump really was–as the Democrats claim–having secret talks with Putin? And suppose those talks were about how to put down a color revolution? (The Russians have already done that twice; they could give effective advice.)

        The Dems could be so sorry they became an arm of the CIA!


    2. Ed

      I’ve raised the Dilma Rousseff template myself in terms of what is in store for Trump. But to be fair, the Workers Party presidential administrations actually lasted through three full presidential terms before the impeachment and removal. I suspect that did them in at the end was getting too close to Russia. Obviously there will be different dynamics at play in Washington than in Brasilia.

      1. RabidGandhi

        The coup against Roussef was able to succeed because she implemented two rounds of harsh austerity, alienating her base by eliminating real tangible benefits. Trump should take note.

    3. that guy

      A lot of Trump’s support came from people who either actively disbelieve, or actively despise, the media. The media has four years to work him over, and it’ll come to naught, because the people they’d need to reach aren’t listening anyway. Nah, he has to do something high profile that actively flies in the face of his core promises first.

      You mention firing cabinet members; I seriously think he has a list of who gets booted first when he starts thinking he needs an Apprentice-style demonstration of ‘management’. What I think would be the more interesting wager, personally, is how many members of his cabinet finish his term, and which ones they are.

      1. Lambert Strether Post author

        > The media has four years to work him over, and it’ll come to naught, because the people they’d need to reach aren’t listening anyway

        It’s like one faction has set up a whirligig, and then pointed a fan at the whirligig. And so the whirligig goes round and round… Shiny!

  9. Ulysses

    “If Trump breaks the current duopoly, (he finished off the Bushs and Clintons, and their campaign styles – a valuable accomplishment) and heightens the contradictions, he may be the most substantively important president in 60 years.”

    The recent purge of Trumpians, up on East 83rd street, suggests that he has indeed ruffled establishment feathers. Here’s Allan Stevo :

    “On Jan. 31, I was thrown off the board of the Metropolitan Republican Club, along with four other Donald Trump supporters.
    While no one can be certain what another person thinks, the reason we were thrown off a Republican board appears to be our support for Trump.
    The low level of support for Trump among some that remain on the board, and the high enthusiasm for Hillary Clinton well into the fall of 2016, was disappointing.”

    We could interpret this as evidence that Trump will survive– because he will retain a certain amount of “street cred” as a populist, despite his billionaire-friendly policies. OTOH we could see this as a sign that the establishment will remove him by “any means necessary,”


  10. oho

    #1: odds of Trump finishing term = 100% (too many pundits have Trump Derangement Syndrome-induced 25th amendment fantasies)

    #2: see #1.

    #3: all depends on your politics.

  11. Watt4Bob

    The wave of “creative destruction” has reached the 10% and they’ve gone “bat-shit-crazy”.

    This is what I’ve been waiting years to witness.

    I think what we have here is a skills-mismatch.

    Maybe Donald could make it through his first term, at least if he offered free re-education to the democratic nomenklatura?

    They’ve been pretty insistent that re-education could save the rest of us.

  12. Jane

    98% chance he finishes first year. 95% he finishes first term.

    Trump is a wizened opportunist who’s just been handed the keys to the world. He’ll hold onto them with a death grip. I doubt ‘the work’ will bother him…he’ll just hand it off to his more than willing advisors which is the truly scarey part of his reign (which is how he probably views his term) given the characters he’s surrounded himself with.

    I doubt the GOP will be able to oust him, he’s shown he can out game them and the media. The courts may slow him down but it may take them years and will probably not squash him completely.

    1. Lambert Strether Post author

      > more than willing advisors

      So far Trump’s team has been too small and accident prone. Where’s Trump’s James Baker?

      Agreed Trump has outgamed well, everyone. Whatever else he’s doing, he’s setting the agenda, and others are reacting.

  13. voteforno6

    Here are the different ways that his administration could end:

    – Trump serves out his term, and does not run for re-election
    – Trump runs for re-election, and wins
    – Trump runs for re-election, and loses
    – Trump resigns
    – Trump is impeached
    – Trump passes away in office (I won’t speculate as to the causes)
    – Trump is incapacitated in some manner, which results in his cabinet invoking the 25th amendment

    There are other ways as well, such as a military coup, or complete and utter collapse of the union, but I do not see either one of those as being realistic, at least in the next four years.

    So, here are my odds, which are a total wag:
    – Trump serves out his term, and does not run for re-election
    –> I would put this at around 40%. He might not like the job, but he could pull a James K. Polk, and claim that he had accomplished everything that he wanted to accomplish, and retire from public life (he is 70, after all).
    – Trump runs for re-election, and wins
    –> Too many variables, such as what happens in the Democratic Party. Maybe 40% as well, just because I expect some sort of economic downturn during his administration, and I don’t have much faith that he will respond to it in the right way.
    – Trump runs for re-election, and loses
    –> Maybe 60%, as some of the same variables for him winning apply
    – Trump resigns
    –> About 15%. He doesn’t seem like a quitter, and in this political environment I’m not sure what kind of political scandal could drive him out of office.
    – Trump is impeached
    –> About 10%. The Republican Party seems to have a firm grip on Congress, and something truly extraordinary would have to happen for them to turn on him.
    – Trump passes away in office (I won’t speculate as to the causes)
    –> About 1%, maybe less. He seems to be in good health, for someone of his age. Apparently he’s a teetotaler, which indicates an aversion to risky behaviors.
    – Trump is incapacitated in some manner, which results in his cabinet invoking the 25th amendment
    –> About 1% or less as well. His health seems fine, and I don’t see the requisite number of cabinet officials trying to remove him from office, at least not from this initial bunch. There are too many wackos there, and they don’t have broad support from the rest of the political class.

    1. fosforos

      Pence can 25th him anytime for mental incapacity. He, Roberts (for legalistic cover), plus Matthis and Tillerson (the “principal officers of the executive branch”), have the constitutional authority to do so. They don’t yet have the political authority in the GOP, nor any reason yet, to do so. But they will. So Trump will indeed finish his term as president–in a straightjacket while the depredations are carried out by “acting” hands.

  14. Socal Rhino

    50/50 on two terms depending on the timing of the downturn in the economy, and how close to the election.

    1. Persona au gratin

      I think any economic downturn or collapse is actually to his advantage. He didn’t create the current mess, but he’s at least as capable as anyone the D’s or R’s would be likely to throw out there to be able to fix or at least stabilize it again. Needless to say, the upper 10% won’t like the sacrifices they’ll be called to make one bit, but I think they’ll come around pretty quickly. The choice will come down to sucking it up with a stiff upper lip or rejoining the ranks of the “huddled masses” in free fall all around them. Been quite awhile since we’ve faced actual shared hardship. It’ll be in interesting to see if we’ve still got it in us. I’ll peg that idea at less than 5% long term.

  15. Leigh

    He is a sprinter (and a very weak one at that) now doing a marathon. He will be done long before his first term ends. There are subtleties and nuances involved with being a productive President that are way beyond his grasp and capabilities.

    It will be President Pence before year-end.

    Part of me thinks this was the recipe all along.

    (Besides, I prefer my billionaires to make and keep their money, not declare bankruptcy.)

  16. PKMKII

    1. Purely based on historical evidence, there have been 45 presidents. Of those, eight died while serving, and another resigned. Among those who died, 3 died during their second term, so we’ll half-count for two of those (FDR was an outlier, but McKinley died relatively early in his second term). Nixon also resigned during his second term, but I’m going to half-count him and half-count Clinton, as he was impeached but not forced out of office. So that gets us 7/45, or a 15.5% chance, purely on historical grounds, of leaving office by one means or another before the end of his first term.

    2. Leaving scenarios: impeachment is only on the table if he does something a) illegal, and b) severely damaging to Republican re-election efforts. While it’s certainly feasible for Dems to make gains, or even an outside shot of regaining the House and/or Senate, in 2018, I don’t see it as being enough to get an impeachment vote. Maybe if there really was a smoking gun piece of evidence to emerge of him selling state secrets to the Russians, or engaged in some black market human trafficking. Decent chance of dying in office of natural causes, given age and weight. Assassination is a possibility, although not necessarily by the usual suspects. Coup, military or otherwise, I see as an extremely low possibility; too much culture of respecting the guy at the top. Zero chance of resigning. Retaining: more or less, stays the current course. He’s been a bull in a china shop and engaged in some authoritarian power grabs, but not to 1984-levels yet (the book, not the year). If it stays within the realm of just giving the right its red meat, it’s not going to hit ousting levels. As far as staying because he’s made things better: the executive orders have created the illusion that he can get things done fast, but they’ve done a better job of creating chaos than policy, let alone something resembling coherent legislation. That’s gotta go through Congress, and even if the Republicans cede ground on any government program expansion, save the DoD, it will probably have a slow roll-out with a ton of red tape. So in other words, no visible improvements in the first term. Non-factor.

    3. If Trump is taken out via impeachment or joining the great beyond, we get Pence. Who would cause less foreign diplomacy trouble, but same economic problems plus much more extreme religious legislation. So net worse. Even if Pence is someone out of the picture at the same time, it’s turtles all the way down. If it’s a coup, well maybe we get lucky and get a benevolent social democracy dictator. But history shows that to be highly unlikely. So removal is more than likely, a net negative. If Trump stays the course, things get worse as well. More limitations on civil rights, unnecessary economic strife from his inability to competently deal with foreign leaders. If RBG dies, we’re looking at a multi-generation right-wing death grip on the Supreme Court. Icky. The only situation I see where Trump finishes his term and things get better is if the Dems can pull off regaining the House and Senate. Unlike a typical Republican, Trump seems to care more about getting things done than appeasing hardline conservatives. So I could see common ground being found on jobs and infrastructure legislation.

    1. Praedor

      NO WAY the Dems take back the House. That’s off the table. Gerrymandering assures the Dems are on the outs, quite apart from the fact that the Dems don’t stand for anything but the same old same old: neoliberalism. They have done NOTHING to fix their decades-long collapse and, in fact, are trying to double down.

      Fair chance the Dems could take back the Senate, if not just a seat or two BUT the 2018 election favors Rethugs more than Democraps so I say, unless Trump and the GOP REALLY screw a sacred cow, the Dems wont take back the Senate. IF Trump/GOP do screw Social Security, Medicare, SNAP, the environment then even the Dems will be able to SLIGHTLY benefit from that passively.

      1. PKMKII

        I did say it was an outside shot, and presumed a progressive/left berniecrat wave to get such a thing. So yeah, highly unlikely, but is just the only scenario I see where things get better in the first term.

        1. Praedor

          Sure. I was just taking your “outside shot” and turning it into “impossible” given reality. The reality is that the Dems suck. They have yet to even BEGIN to correct/change. Pelosi with her “we are capitalists” while refusing to actually answer the question of “what progressive economic moves could the Democrats make to attract young voters?” Basically, she and Schumer are ALL-IN neoliberals who will fight to their dying breath against ANY Berniesque changes to the platform and positions.

          IF Keith Ellison gets the DNC and IF that leads to a major push to Bernie up the Party and IF the dark forces of Schumer and Pelosi are defeated as they try to game it back to neoliberalism and IF it all happens before 2018…

          Even then the House is a no go. Not unless there are a lot more court rulings negating the districts created by the GOP across a wide swathe of states…but then Trump’s SCROTUS pick will be on the bench and will be part of a 5:4 ruling in favor of the gerrymandered districts anyway.

      2. UserFriendly

        There will be 8 republicans up for reelection in 2018, So in addition to holding on to the 10 D seats in states Trump won they would need to gain 3 of those 8.
        2 are plausible; NV and AZ where the incumbent won by 1.2% and 3.1%.
        3 are no chance in hell; TN, UT, and WY won by 34.5%, 35.3%, and 54.6%
        3 are HUGE longshots; MS, NE, and TX won by 16.6%, 15.6%, and 15.8%.

        The only shot is a combination of Trump really pissing off some people and the fact that everyone hates Ted Cruz come together in the perfect storm.
        (house chances in next comment)

        1. UserFriendly

          Dems would need to keep all the seats they currently have and win 24 more to take back the house. Since NC comments don’t like tables very much I took a screenshot.
          Here are the 24 republicans that won by the smallest margins and which presidential candidate carried their district. (note, there are 10 more GOP incumbents who won by bigger margins that had Clinton carry their district)


          So that isn’t an impossible ask. It would take a wave election but such things are not impossible. However, the incumbency advantage was bigger than usual in ‘the year of the outsider’ 2016. sigh.
          Next comment on Gerrymandering

          1. UserFriendly

            After the GOP wave in 2010 Democrats had complete control of redistricting in 6 states and 3 of them didn’t count. WV, AK, and RI. The other 3 contained just 33 CD’s total

            The GOP on the other hand controlled 18 states, 5 of which totally didn’t matter (NH, OK, LA, UT, KS) and two more where D’s probably could have gotten another district in a perfect world (AL, and SC) dropping those, that gave them 175 districts to gerrymander the hell out of. And Boy did they.

            Many states pass off redistricting to commissions so they aren’t gerrymandered as easily. Also, things change over the course of a few cycles but I put together a little summary of what Dems could concentrate on if they actually wanted to reverse it in time for the 2020 census. It covers the biggests states that let their legislatures and governors have a say in redistricting, how many more D’s would have won if the seat allocation was done by percent of congressional vote and where to focus for the next few years to effec redistricting .


            Ratings reflect both winability and effect on # of seats the win would come with.
            Green are top targets, yellow medium, and black are long shots.

            None of this is to say I am of the any blue will do persuasion, but I like numbers and find this interesting.

            1. fresno dan

              February 7, 2017 at 2:21 pm

              Thanks for all the hard work of supplying actual facts and stuff….
              very informative

  17. The Apprentice

    Joe Formerly of BKLYN, must disagree that the Presidency is hard. It’s only hard because Prouty’s ‘focal points’ mob the president and keep him on a treadmill ceaselessly discussing strictly limited options. Trump’s first dustup with CIA came about when he resisted their makework briefings. That was a very good sign. But odds are they will wear him down, use ego-up manipulation to push him into a daily grind of choosing enemies and covert coups and armed attacks.

    To short-circuit CIA busy work someone would have to do what Schlesinger did for Nixon, keep them on the back foot by threatening their impunity. Trump hasn’t got a Schlesinger in there. Pompeo’s a moron.

    Therefore, P=0. There’ll be no need to oust Trump. He’ll be putty in CIA’s hands.

    1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

      Sad to think how our fourth branch of government (CIA) might swamp the swamp-drainer.
      Trump’s policies need a weak dollar, not a strong one, this may help keep emerging market dollar debt serviceable for a while longer, and the whole euro-dollar shortage at bay…which would mean status quo, stawks stay high, Europe and China don’t implode yet, and the zeitgeist is that “things are OK”. He muddles through his term.
      More likely Trump just concludes it’s all too hard and steps aside, or doesn’t resist efforts to oust him. I think 1:3 chance he serves out his term.

  18. tegnost

    I think he’ll serve his full term, looks to me that he likes the job. This lifelong democrat, until recently, considers him a refreshing change and entertaining stick in the eye to some who truly deserve it, but I’ll stop short of asking “how much worse can it get?”

    1. Praedor

      Will your opinion change when he gets a war on with Iran? Or China? The first will make Iraq look like a fun snowball fight between friends. The second is The End. Period. Light’s out.

    2. ChiGal in Carolina

      sorry for delay, i have now responded to your inquiry re costs (comments on Lambert’s 2/5 Ocare politics post)

  19. Knifecatcher

    Likelihood of finishing first term: 99%

    Narrative for ouster: The Democrats make a complete turnaround, rejecting the neoliberals and sweeping to power in the House and Senate in 2018 on a platform of Medicare for all and a jobs guarantee tied to a massive infrastructure initiative. Senate Majority Leader Bernie Sanders (he officially joins the Democrats after the neolib purge) leads the impeachment effort. By this time there are so many Trump scandals and insider leaks that the Articles of Impeachment is thicker than War and Peace.

    Country better or worse off: Far better off. The Democrats are back to being the party of the people, Donald Trump is back to being a petty real estate buffoon, and the flying pigs provide bacon for all.

    1. Persona au gratin

      Narrative for ouster: 0%. Bernie Sanders has already shown his true colors and they ran yellow. That ship has sailed and sank rather unceremoniously.

      The Democrats are not now, nor will they ever be again, a viable answer to any question any sentient being’s ever going to ask. And the Republicans are a mere hair’s breadth away from joining them. And they BOTH know it!

      Trump, “buffoon in the mirror” that he admittedly is, will either force a re-reckoning of what this country is actually about (if indeed, it actually is about anything other than unbridled greed, avarice, and power), or he will greatly facilitate its dismantling, much in the manner of the untold number of other venture capitalists who rule the land as we speak.

      Where do we go from here? I’m only somewhat regretfully in the “our heart’s just not in it anymore” camp. Yeah, I’ll miss the somewhat modest creature comforts I currently enjoy, but I know that I never missed them on the way up all that much, so I don’t see missing them on the way back down again to be all that big of a deal either.

      From a marketing standpoint, we might sell it like this: COLLAPSE! It’s what’s for dinner! [Camera slowly zooms in on “third world brown types and dog(s)” smiling and happily enjoying a family meal of beans, rice, etc, around a modest kitchen table and setting].

    2. Gerard Pierce

      Based on what I’ve seen so far, the Democrats will make a 360 degree turn, and rename neo-liberalism as “peoples’ liberalism”.

      The people will figure it out within about five minutes of the first press conference and will vote for anyone who is not a democrat – if they vote at all.

      But I am looking forward to the bacon.

  20. Dave

    If Trump gets us into another war with Iran, or fails to withdraw the majority of American troops from the Middle East, then we will know we’ve been “Obamhad.”

    Obama voters turned to Trump in huge numbers. They can just as easily turn away.
    The reason Trump was elected is that revenge is in the air.
    That emotion only escalates and can be quickly switched in a different direction.
    And no, it isn’t going to favor the Democratic Party, at least as it exists now.

    If President Trump completes even half his promises, especially on the domestic front, he’ll be up there with Teddy Roosevelt and Lincoln.

  21. Knot Galt

    I’m thinking the chances of an Independence Day(The movie) type of event happening in the next 4 years is about 50-50. Because Trump is not a pilot he gets caught unaware as he roams the White House in his bathrobe and is incinerated in the conflagration that wipes out half of Washington DC. Pence turns out to be an alien that perishes when a silver crucifix pierces his foot and goes right through one of his two alien hearts. When the mothership is exploded by the Russians, Pences’ other heart explodes. And because Sarah Palin was able to see Russia from her house, she was able to swoop into the void, set up a new Capital under the Denver International Airport and install FOX news as her administrative cabinet. The Clintons returned to their home base on Alpha Centauri after it was discovered the Federal Reserve Board was just a front for a Men-In-Black type operation.

    After running my algorithms again, I put my chances at 80-20. Heck, If Bannon and Conway can become senior advisors in the White House, just about anything is possible!

  22. Karl Kolchak

    We’ve entered a new paradigm here. Morris Berman, the author of Dark Ages America and Why America Failed has on his blog called Trump the first “declinist” president in that he at least has acknowledged that everything is not as it should be and that America is no longer “great.” His mostly insane solutions, however, along with his unfitness for office and the derangement he has aroused in his opponents are most likely going to make things much, much worse.

    Just the fact that we are asking the question of whether he will finish his term and that the matter is open to serious debate shows that these are no ordinary times. Most people seems to have forgotten that as president he is head of STATE, not just the head of government. The reverence Americans used to hold for the office was such that when Kennedy was assassinated most of the country–even the conservatives who hated him–were unified in their horror and grief. It is difficult to imagine any of Trump’s liberal opponents doing anything but celebrate were that to happen to him, especially given that so many have openly (and stupidly) called for it on social media.

    Imagine for a moment being a grade school student being taught on the one hand all of the usual rah rah American civics stuff by your teacher then going home and seeing on television all the incredibly hostile invective being thrown at the president, to say nothing of all the extremely inappropriate things Trump himself has done and said. As an nine-year old, seeing Nixon being forced to resign was the first big blow to my own patriotic feelings, yet even as that was happening we were constantly being reassured that the system was working as “the framers intended.” Trump is a self-inflicted wound, a major disaster for America that we brought on ourselves and from whom the country will likely never recover.

    1. Praedor

      I cannot think of a President since Carter that I would actually have felt horror for over their assassination (OK, Clinton’s first term before his true nature was obvious and odious). I’d just be, “Ah. Someone flushed the toilet. Where’s the next shit?”

      IOW: I couldn’t care less. Meh.

      1. Karl Kolchak

        I have had similar feelings, but it must be said that NC readers are not by definition typical Americans. Respect for our official institutions–of which the presidency is the most important–had already reached an all time low in America, and it is safe to say that Trump is helping to accelerate an already dangerous decline.

        1. Carla

          Respect for utterly corrupt institutions should and must decline– actually, it must collapse. Else how can a “democracy” build better institutions?

          Oops, guess we have build a democracy first.

          Yes, it’s hard. Very hard. So what else is new, Karl?

      2. PKMKII

        Obama, there was a sense of dread surrounding the possibility, but less to do with him as an individual, and more the fear of a white supremacist assassinating him in an attempt to scare minorities out of higher office generally. Don’t want to see qualified minority progressives not running for office due to thinking that they’ll get killed.

    2. Aumua

      We have long suspected, at least in the circles I have run in, that things are going to have to get a lot worse before they can get better. Trump’s presidency may very well be a manifestation of “things getting a lot worse”, so that maybe they can have a chance of getting better in the long run. Provided we survive, that is.

      That’s the extent of any optimism I am willing to embrace about it. As for Trump’s chances.. It’s up in the air, isn’t it? I just feel that it’s not going to matter who the president is by the time the real change is happening.

      1. Persona au gratin

        My circles as well. Although Trump’s definitely not any worse than what we’ve had with Obama or what we would have had with HRC, current MSM hysterical propaganda notwithstanding. He’s the bitter pill we needed to swallow to at least begin to cleanse us of our sins of the past 25 years. No, it won’t be a joy ride, but we might at least begin to recover from our delusional global imperialist dreams and prevent full-on collapse. This is what real change looks like for empires in decline, which is what the US most assuredly is at this point.

    1. Pat

      I’m not sure about Ladbrokes, but most of the UK sites must have lost a bit on the US election since most had fairly high odds of Clinton winning.

      Sure as time goes on they will have a better handle on it, but right now I wouldn’t trust their odds making methodology. They are pulling it out of thin air as much as we are.

  23. sid_finster

    I thought that Trump was, by all accounts, a workaholic?

    Anyway, yes, Team R will try to get rid of Trump at the first opportunity. To forestall this, Trump needs to focus on bringing back the jobs and ending the stupid wars. These will be much harder than they seem, because stupid wars and job-killing policies are backed by powerful and entrenched interests.

    He does those two things, and he will be reelected, no matter what else he does. He can plink orphans with a .22 rifle, he can join the Black Panthers’ white auxillary, and voters will shrug their shoulders and grimace sheepishly, because at least they now have jobs with health insurance.

    Yes, like Team R, Team D would prefer President Pence. Pence may combine all Trump’s negatives with none of his positives, but he is a known quantity, a quantity that Team R and Team D each have a playbook for.

    With Pence, both teams can settle down in old familiar roles, arguing about issues on the margins, while cooperating on the stuff that really matters, like getting into stupid wars and promoting job-killing policies.

  24. Steve H.

    1:1, priors are useless.

    I assign Trump agency: he stays as long as he wants. No way to ascertain his motives. But he seems to be thriving, and his lead time to this is over twice as long as his possible time in office.

    I wrote before that the Pence selection indicated the Koch brothers were expecting a return on investment. I assumed that would mean a Trump resignation, but the Pence agenda isn’t meeting any resistance, and Trump is a wondrous lighting rod.

    So: if he’s gone, follow the money, it’ll flow from the Koch brothers. In the past, the brothers have erred on the side of business over ideology, but with Pence in charge the iron would be hot and it would be anvil time. Much worse if T is gone.

    1. ChiGal in Carolina

      sorry for delay, i have now responded to your inquiry re transferring licenses (comments on Lambert’s 2/5 Ocare politics post)

    2. Knot Galt

      Yes, I am expecting to be disappointed. Nothing, including attitudes, have changed at my local DNC or at the State Capitol. Things will only change when there is a shift to political consultants that are weaned off the Kool Aid. Right now, party volunteers and members are STILL in shock or deeply entrenched in their own snowflake reality.

  25. Pat

    My crystal ball is cracked.
    I knew it would be Jeb/Hillary. Even without Trump, I don’t think Jeb would have made it through the gauntlet. I was right that was the plan, but wrong on how it would play out, even without Trump.
    I did know Trump was not going to go easily into the abyss when he survived the faux McCain outrage. And I did believe he would be nominee before many of the conventional wisdom school. Although I admit the idea that Cruz might pull it out scared the cr** out of me. Because I did get Clinton was a massively weak candidate.
    I was not surprised at Bernie’s popularity. I did have dreams of unicorns that more Democrats would recognize that Clinton was a loser and he might actually succeed. So once again fail at the end.
    I knew it would be close, but still thought that Clinton would pull off a squeaker. (But I did call not gaining the Senate). Oops. Who knew she was so incompetent that she would forget that you have to win the electoral college. Fail.

    So with that in mind, let me pull this out of my butt.
    No impeachment no matter how much Dems, Ryan and McConnell might wish they could. Too much fallout all over. It isn’t just that Trump is still more popular than most Republican Congress representatives, it is that he is still more popular than Congress at all. I honestly don’t expect that to change. They are too entrenched in SOP in Congress to change that. Nor do I see the Democrats gaining much ground in the Senate although 2018 will be more volatile with greater turn out than usual mid terms.
    He won’t willingly quit. Sorry he may double down on some ludicrous defense, but quitting is not in his make up.
    That leaves health and coup (of many various types). His health appears good. Better than Clinton’s. But the job is grueling, so I give that an outside chance of ending a Trump first term. Coup, funnily enough I think there will be continued attempts to undermine him or convert him. But he does adapt better than most people give him credit for doing…I give it a 1 in 100 chance of something succeeding in making him merely a figurehead.
    No I’m pretty sure we have 3 years and 11 months more of President Donald J. Trump. Good, bad, indifferent, and horrible.
    There are too many factors in his being a two term President. But if he pulls off job growth with real living wage or better jobs with benefits and futures, it will be up to him. PERIOD. If he wants a second term, he will get one regardless of how stupid the Dems are in picking a nominee (and they will likely be stupid and go for Booker or Cuomo or yes even Kaine).
    Still we live in interesting times. Everything is being shook up. We might actually get the clean house we need or they might rebuild the fortress and expel the barbarian.

  26. djrichard

    Trump is revealed to actually be a Nazi who hates Islam, minorities and LBGTQ community. And wants nothing more than to see their destruction. He’s run out of town on a rail before his first term is complete.

    I kid. But with all the Nazi talk, why don’t we assign a probability to this? And then we can see how many people actually believe that narrative.

    Or maybe we find that when people use the pejorative of Nazi, they’re using it as shorthand for other fears. Fears where their gravy train is disrupted.

    1. Persona au gratin

      They’ve been trying that for a while now and it still hasn’t stuck. I think the support for all the identity politics non-sense is overblown, but I’m not particularly astute in that area. Surely such issues will be used to buff up whatever other laundry list of grievances they martial against him if it ever comes to that, but personally, I think this just a lot of hot windage being expended by all the assorted snow flakes out there as they continue to struggle to come to terms with the reality of Trump. Coming out of the warm embrace of that neo-liberal security blanket they’ve wrapped themselves in for so long must be very frightening indeed!

  27. Ranger Rick

    We saw this entire song and dance over Bush. And re-elected him.

    I’m just waiting for the Pelosi “impeachment is off the table” statement here in a month or so.

  28. RUKidding

    Eh? Trump’ll serve out his first term, unless, as others have stated, he does something so glaringly egregious and illegal that he’s gotta go. I don’t see that happening. I don’t think he’s lazy, although he’ll delegate enough of the work to others on his team. As time goes by, he will learn a few things and get a tiny bit better at doing what he’s doing.

    The Republicans hate him, but they’re definitely using him as cover to get their agenda in play and their goals met. For the most part, Trump will “play ball” with them – it’s a classic you scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours situation. Republicans will never ever seek to impeach Trump unless it’s so glaringly obvious that they have to do it. I just don’t see it happening.

    I think Trump’s healthy enough, and in this day and age, early 70s are the new 50s or at least the new 60s. Of course, any of us can suffer a heart attack or stroke at any moment, as can Trump, but I don’t see his health being an issue.

    Whether Trump makes it to a 2d term or not depends on what, exactly, he accomplishes and how much he can make good on some of his more important promises to his base. IF he doesn’t come through with jobs, IF the R-Team manages to really mess with Medicare & Social Secuity, etc, THEN Trump will likely lose, especially IF the economy is back in the crapper. That’s a lot of IFs, but those are some of the more likely scenarios that could cause his 2d term to not become a reality.

    I don’t hold out a lot of hope that his more fervent fans will really SEE what he’s doing that do not inure to their benefit. SOME of his voters are distrustful with some of his cabinet picks and the ongoing revolving door with Goldman Sachs, but a LOT of his voters don’t see that and just respond to his twitter nonsense, which does inure to Trump’s benefit with his fans.

    So my bets: Trump stays in office at least for his first full term – 97% chance
    Trump gets re-elected in 2020 – 75% chance.

    Are we better off with these scenarios? In the short-term at least, I think we’re better off. I am fervently NOT in favor of a President Pence. I keep adjuring my D-voter friends that it’s infinitely preferable to have Trump in office, rather than Pence. At least with Trump, we stand a chance of getting some decent things done/happening. With Pence? Not so much.

  29. George Phillies

    There is a high likelihood of completing the term, the obvious main limit being the period life tables. For a man Trump’s age, there is about a 10% chance that Death will come knocking in the next four years, assuming I read the tables correctly. His chief opponent was in about but not quite the same boat. Readers can put in negative corrections for weight and height and positive corrections for quality of medical support.

    He has already filed for re-election. If he makes it to 2020 (a good bet, not a certainty), he is highly likely but not certain to be re-elected, and would probably complete his second term.

    Those street demos are mostly people who did not vote for him last time, in large part in places he is unlikely to carry in 2020.

  30. Fat Pauly

    Odds of leaving involuntarily: ZERO

    Trump leaves office after two terms. The terms are marked by more or less incessant controversy (or at least news media and ineffectual democrats constantly screaming about real or contrived controversies) but the people who voted for Trump don’t care about that. Like W, who’s own first term was marked by controversies after losing popular vote, Trump this time wins popular vote on the basis that he at least attempted to fulfill promises but courts and traitor dems tied him up.

    Country is of course worse off by any definition of worse.

  31. dontknowitall

    I give Trump 85% of completing his first term just on historical grounds of health issues with first term presidents. I would give 100% otherwise. The neoliberals have not yet dealt with the fact that Trump is going down his list of promises to his supporters and fulfilling each one and that is being very well received among them. We had not seen anything like that since George Washington cut down the cherry tree.

    His most consequential promises are jobs, Obamacare reform and tax reform and they are all in the future. The word from the White House is Obamacare won’t be dealt with until 2018 which means he must address jobs (infrastructure too) as soon as his team is in place and lowers taxes for the working class too to have something happening the voters (and his base) will like by the 2018 congressional elections. I doubt the faithless skunks in the republican congress that tried to stop his election will be able to do anything if they are to travel to their districts without worrying about the mental state of their voters.

    It is very interesting that so far the most pernicious and contentious executive orders have been temporary orders delaying or stopping for a limited time certain functions of government which suggests Trump is well aware these won’t stand for long but are useful nonetheless in coddling his base and driving his enemies to distraction as they chase their tails in circles. The frequently changing targets disorganizes the opposition and prevents them from creating an effective meme like Occupy’s 90%. In other words he is a tactician working a plan. Meanwhile the Acela crowd take the rumors that he couldn’t find the light switch in the cabinet room as a measure of his mental capacity. Good luck with that. Sanders is the outlier here and he may make a deal with Trump to help the middle and working classes.

    Trump is a workaholic who has taken on difficult projects with timelines of years and frequently targeted by special interests so the very idea that this is anything different except for scale is idiotic.

  32. Anon


    Right now, Trump is in some ways, in the same position Obama was in at the start of his first term in the sense that the previous administration was largely discredited. This is the moment where early action from Trump could really come through with a non-neoliberal solution on healthcare, infrastructure and jobs, then it’s a wrap, for there won’t be any Ds anymore.

    Short of the environment and rep. health (which is already covered by healthcare not sucking), what do they have to run on?

    As for what barriers he faces, I’m a bit optimistic in thinking that the Rs currently owe a lot of success to Trump and they have (for now, anyway) put to rest that whole “demographics is destiny” talk, which is probably one of the reasons that Hillary coasted, which led to her loss. Based on that alone, if there is an attempt to force him out, it will be confined to a fringe sect at most.

    It would take that whole Russia thing being true or human trafficking on a large enough scale to bring him down.

  33. dcblogger

    Count me as one who thinks that Trump will not last the year. First President Bannon will be removed from office, perhaps by Trump himself for upstaging Trump, and then Trump will be forced out.

    The worst thing that could happen is a military coup. It is more likely that the 25th amendment will be used to install President Pence, which would also be a coup because it would be a political use of psychiatry and a blatant abuse of power. It would also set a terrible precedent that could be used in the future against a President Sanders or someone else who threatens the interests of the kleptocracy.

    Ideally he would be impeached on conflict of interests charges and other abuse of power, but I don’t see that happening. The kleptocracy is within and inch of destroying the constitution and they don’t want anything to threaten that, but if Republicans decide that Trump’s continuation in office is a bigger threat than his removal, then they will impeach him. This year. Or so say I.

    President Pence will not be an improvement, or even a return to stability and the nation will continue to implode into revolution.

  34. John k

    No chance of resignation or impeachment, if only because Pence.
    Clearly obese, does he exercise at all? Decent chance of death by natural causes.
    Dem side not that violent, assassination by them not likely. MIC? Neocons? Say 10% or so, they might like Pence.

    Did he deliver jobs to The Deplorables? If yes, highly likely. But, is he likely to get major deficit infra thru the house? Aye, there’s the rub. Still likely to get credit for trying unless…
    Do progressives wrest control of dems? Probably not because corps, and in that case a neolib dem will have little chance in 2020.
    Bear in mind that trump learns from mistakes. Changing from nom to general was a tough switch for him, but he got better. Similarly Muslim ban teaches he has limits.
    And he has a trump card he could play, drop Medicare age to 55 would bring a lot of support… in fact, corps excluding insurance pharma would love to have this taken care of for their workers. And now he wants a year to fix Obamacare.

    So… fixing either jobs or healthcare would make him hard to beat next time even if Bernie wins nom. Without that a progressive would be a shooin, granted elite dems will fight that much harder than they resist trump because rice bowls.

  35. BeliTsari

    Why does anybody think he’ll EVER leave? I believe it was five female Red Army medics who finally deposed Hitler from HIS Führerbunker (looking for Eva’s glad rags) and I doubt Meanoma’s likely to leave much of her wardrobe in DC? Did anybody else here watch the spectacular series, “BOSS?” How about “Conan The Barbarian?” How about The Lord Humongous strangling Wes into unconsciousness, just to shut him up?

  36. NotTimothyGeithner

    Trump finishes his term. A brain aneurysm situation is the only real threat.

    Pelosi is still Speaker which means the Dems are too dense to recognize they need whole sake change which is the only way they can win a majority. The Senate map is brutal in 2018 for Team Blue, and Schumer is basically an unpleasant Reid, a sign of the decay of Team Blue. They aren’t taking the Senate. Democrats have clapped over a decayed economy for so long non voters and Republicans aren’t going to listen to their concerns now. This is why the needed Sanders. Not being a Democrat, he is essentially the only trust worthy Democrat.

    The Republican voters were wedded to Trump through Jeb and his sheep dogs attacks on Trump as “not a real conservative” and now the Democrats “Trump and Putin sittin’ in a tree….” Republican attacks on Trump will be met by Republican voters. Last fall, Republican elites denounced Trump, went home for the weekend, and begged his forgiveness on Monday.

    Trump received a warm reception from the West Point cadets. The military coup ain’t happening. Trump cares too much about his brand to quit and probably hates the idea of President Pence.

  37. dale

    No Impeachment, no trial. Simple majority to impeach in the House with 240 Republicans vs 193 Democrats, while the Senate requires 2/3’s majority for conviction, currently at 52 Republicans, 46 Democrats, 2 Independents. Chief Justice John Roberts would oversee the Impeachment proceedings.

    In the House 48 Republicans would have to vote for Impeachment; 18 Republican Senators would have to vote for a conviction.

    Those seem like unattainable numbers to me. And I doubt too that Pres. Trump would resign a la Nixon.

  38. alex morfesis

    as we experience the beginnings of the 5th term of the nixon administration (creep krewe 3.0), it is probably a little too early to imagine life with out “the mouth”…less than 1% chance he is pushed aside in any which way, shape or form…he will glide through for the same reason he won the election…no real competition…he will get a second term for the same reason he won the election…the dumbokratz thinks doing their hair and nails and slapping on some makeup while looking into a small mirror magically makes the extra 75 pounds disappear…great for the hair salon & spa crowd…bad for the rest…

    the republicans have never removed a standing president from their own party…

    ok…harding doesn’t count…the pillow just fell on him and he ended up with SIDS, just like scalia…

    hard to talk with a pillow in the way…

  39. schultzzz

    Thanks for setting up a great game!

    IMO, after there’s nothing left to privatize or otherwise loot, Trump will simply declare: “When i was sworn into office, I promised you that if I was in the white house, YOU would be in the white house. Today I’m going a step further: EVERY trump voter is literally president. That’s because I’m dissolving the government. Good bye, and god bless you suckers!”

    Then him and his friends are going to jet-copter to the moon-base they built with all the looted money and eat popcorn while watching us fight over the crumbs.

  40. Howard

    Roughly 5 to 1 chance of finishing first term because history — out of 45 presidents, 9 died in office or resigned, and, though several of those presidents died or resigned after their first term, let’s admit that this one is a little more unstable so his odds in the first term are a little worse.

    Scenario: Although he gives traditional ruling elites most of what they want and then some, his continuing unpredictability and appeal to populist sentiments makes them nervous and they either find a for-real yucky sex scandal or gin one up (because this is really the only thing to offend and fascinate people enough to keep their attention), wait for his kooky reactions, and then Pence and > 50% of cabinet pull an Article 25 on him. In a last-ditch effort to hang on, T tries to call on his supporters both in the general public and in the military and finds there is less “there” there than he thought. Bannon tries to go rogue for his boss but is outed and disgraced. Kind of Christopher Buckley’s White House Mess meets Seven Days in May.

  41. Abigail Caplovitz Field

    Two alternative scenarios, one mostly rosy, and one quite grim, two more middle of the road.

    The mostly rosy, which is probably more in the category of wishful thinking than probable prediction, but here goes:

    1) Trump finishes his first term (no I don’t want a Pence Presidency)
    Bad poll numbers, plus Trump’s ego, drive him to pursue popular policies. The only such policies are Sanders-esque. This happens within the first year. His quest for ego-filling personal glory, empowered by his skill at interpersonal and political war, makes him realize that his path to history book greatness, and national adoration, requires a Democratic Congress that will pass a Sanderite agenda. Trump even campaigns for some Sanderite Dems against Rs who have bucked him. Trump has to become less racist and Judeo-Christian supremacist in this transaction, just as he did a transaction for right wing Sup Ct judges for votes. If the Sanders/Ellison side of the Democrats succeeds in gaining control of party machinery for the 2017/18 cycle–no guarantees there–then the Dems would be well positioned to seize this opportunity

    2) Although the Rs will try to impeach him if this path starts to happen, they will not be able to muster the votes (see Trump’s political war skills)

    3) the perverse results of this path would be: a) corruption/oligarch rule is harder for the left to challenge, having chosen to work with and even accept the help of Trump, and the Rs will have the opportunity to be the party of anti-corruption, because that’ll be the easy way to impeach Trump (emoluments) b) Trump can win 2020 with a different coalition than he had, one that makes it harder for the Dems to win. BUT the Rs might primary him. If he loses the R primary, he could run as an independent and then all bets are off for who wins 2020.

    Dark vision:

    1) Trump completes his term embattled in constitutional crisis, having gone into martial law or other version of explicit totalitarianism, triggered by a series of domestic terror attacks and his fragile ego.

    2) Trump is taken down by the constitutional crisis, whether by impeachment, coup or assassination. What happens next depends on the method of his removal.
    2) Trump survives the constitutional crisis because the stronger part of the military & CIA/NSA/AlphabetSpyAssassinSoldiers win the coup battle, what happens next depends on the masses and international community

    Also possible, perhaps more probable: survives first term but never figures out how to be loved by the masses, thwarts the radical Rs in 2017 and 2018 trying to be popular, faces a D Senate in 2019, continues to get nothing done and either decides not to run again in 2020 or loses a primary or the general.

    Also possible, perhaps most probable: survives first term by facilitating the radical Rs agenda, does massive damage to the people who voted for him and the country as a whole, in areas from the environment to education to financial security to national security and possibly to more wars. Success in 2020 depends on who the Ds run (and on what agenda) and whether there’s a Billionaire third party run.

    I don’t believe the Rs will impeach Trump regardless of justification, I don’t think the Ds take the house in 2018 so they can’t. I don’t think Trump is more likely to be assassinated than any other president, which is to say it can happen, but it’s not a Trumpian risk. I don’t want to think a coup is possible, short of Trump trying to impose martial law and disband Congress in the wake of a series of domestic terror attacks.

  42. Eureka Springs

    I’ve often thought we are a unique precipice where both parties could break down. (A man can dream). However whether Trump goes or not is up to health issues (who knows), whether or not a hired gunman does it (who knows), or enough of the .001 percent get really mad. So that’s a what, an .005/.005 chance.

    If the GOP admits defeat and impeaches they will lose the majority wave they now ride and the constitutional convention is too close a possibility for team Koch and friends to ignore.

    Even though Pence would be just dreamy for so many… I don’t think Trump gets a boot.

    And the Dems are doubling down, resting on their laurels, asking fo mo money and for people to fake revolt for them… why would they earnestly vote to impeach? Trump is all they’ve got.

  43. crittermom

    I give Trump a 98% chance of finishing his first term, allowing the 2% in case he has a ‘twitter rant’ type moment during which he acts before thinking things through, & his small hands actually find the nuke button aimed at China or elsewhere, or at the very least tweets something seen by other countries as almost as evil, against them.

    I think it will take at least 2 years or more for many citizens to realize he’s not draining the swamp or coming down on Wall St as promised, but is instead a liar, as Berne pointed out.
    Currently, too many citizens seem quite content, saying, ‘Give him time.’

    While I’d like to believe the Dems (or any other party) would ‘get their act together’ to give him any real opposition for a second term, I sadly predict (100%) he could get a second term if he does even one small thing that appears to improve lives for the peasants, since the Dems still refuse to look in a mirror to explain their losses & I see no hope for the Dem party opening their eyes anytime soon (if ever).

    alex morfesis–I agree with all you said–especially the part about ‘no competition’ (I’d been thinking the exact same thing)–with exception to the Dems using a mirror.
    I think they have someone else do their hair & makeup to avoid having to use one.

    1. ChrisAtRU


      Trump is going nowhere. For all the #Fauxistance, he actually validates the kleptocracy status quo. Grifters gotta grift! We’ll see how far the DNC gets with the usual suspects clinging to the helm.

      … which leads us to:
      2018, firstly, will be a litmus test of sorts. Will Trump give just enough to rust belters to validate himself as a true agent of change? Jobs? Rising wages? Better health insurance for working class Kentuckians who need it?
      Remains to be seen …
      2020? I too call #EightYearsOfTrump if the Dumbocrats run any of the following:
      [Chelsea|Hillary] Clinton
      Franken (Yes, some media outlet suggested this!)
      Zuckerberg (#NoblesseOblige)

      Sweet Dream: Bernie/Tulsi 2020, Tulsi/Turner 2024 Tulsi/Turner 2028 #FullDemocraticSocialism

  44. Ann Thomsen

    Kill a chicken. Let the monkeys watch.

    The Super Bowl was an allegory for the times. You underestimate this team at your peril.

    While Dems dither over whether a Dominican or Muslim is the best face for the party, the 40%, [our political waistline] that determines elections, is growing weary of the riots, misinformation, and cheap shots.

    When Rahm tells dems to chill, he knows sumpin.

    Blacks will never turn out in force again for a white man or woman. Latinos will only vote chain migration for the 600 million brethren left behind. Whites won’t be fooled twice by another focus group “black boy done good” meme.

    Result? Democrats will die on the hill of identity politics.

    Expect a transgender Honduran Imam in 2020. and Trump’s the dummy?

  45. todde

    My wife keeps insisting that the job will do him in.

    She says within 3 years he will be physically and mentally unable to continue.

  46. InquiringMind

    1. 90% chance of finishing first term. Health issues would be leading cause to leave. Melania divorce would be another interesting possibility…though she may be willing to suffer through the first term if her traditional role can be minimized.

    2. 10% chance of pursuing a second term. He will prefer to pass the mantle to one of his children. (Leading candidate = Ivanka…can she be groomed in <4 years?)

    3. Things will be worse for the country as a whole because, while Trump has the right instincts for general things which will benefit the middle class voting block (infrastructure, non-interventionist foreign policy and protectionist trade stance), he is too willing (already) to waste too much time trying to solve problems the country doesn't really have (illegal immigrants sapping our wealth, refugee terrorists killing us, replacing Obamacare with another flavor of right-wing healthcare). Congress, at heart, doesn't agree with him but is hoping to slip their agenda through in between the gaps. As soon as they realize that his chaos policy hinders them, they'll start trying to force his hand…which he will take umbrage at…slowing things further…


    How will Trump deal with a recession? With unemployment benefits harder to get this time around, there will be extreme pain. I already see more people living under bridges these days than during the depths of the GFC. Will these people be dis-enfranchised enough not to matter? Will they be branded bankrupt "losers" who made all the wrong choices and don't deserve consideration, etc…?

    Will Trump be able to get meaningful trade deals done once our trading partners realize that they can find many ways to delay rather than engage in his tit-for-tat open-air negotiating style?

  47. Annotherone

    Predictions? It’s too early to tell really, too many of those unknown unknowns hovering. From what we do know I’d give Trump a better than 50/50 chance of completing one term – 75% , higher if at some point he fires Bannon. He’s too proud to step down; will quickly learn how far he can go and still avoid impeachment (I suspect he’s a quick study!) He’s not dumb, no moron – he just plays one on TV.

    I doubt he’d even run for a second term and risk losing, even if first term were seen as fairly successful. He’ll either love resting on any laurels he managed to collect, never stop telling about ’em – or plead weakening health and exit stage right.

  48. Kilgore Trout

    Trump has a 75% chance of making it through his first term, doing just enough on trade and jobs to appease his blue collar support, while tossing plenty of red meat to the oligarchs–selling off federal lands at 10 cents on the dollar, opening up regions like ANWR for oil drilling, tossing out environmental regs left and right. Then near the end of term 1, a climate change ‘event’ occurs that–assuming we’re not engaged in major military action with China or Russia–even the deniers can no longer ignore. Something like a major melt-off from Greenland coupled with an ice sheet slide off Antarctica to boot. Trump does an about-face on climate change, and initiates a “Manhattan Project” for alternative energy and a sustainable future. We’re saved in the nick of time! Trump wins reelection in a landslide. Nah. We’re screwed no matter what.

    1. Persona au gratin

      Climate change denial will inevitably morph into climate change acceptance – but it’s too late to do anything about it now though anyway. And in truth, proactive climate change acceptance was always going to do likewise, as we were in no way prepared to put our money where our mouth was and actually do anything about it. How that plays out politically when the truth finally becomes widely accepted is hard to say, but then again it won’t much matter at that point anyway.

  49. Tom

    Unfortunately, the Donald is going to burn out like a meteor entering the atmosphere, probably around the 2-year mark.

    What I really want to know is, how soon will Ivanka begin positioning herself for a politics — or has she already? She exudes ambition and smarts and if the Donald manages to leave his brand in anything other than smoking ruins, I bet she has a shot at elected office down the road.

    Sure, she’s catching a lot of flack right now from Trump haters, but that’s mostly because of reflexive opposition to anything Trump related.

    But didn’t she and her husband recently convince Donald to uphold Obama-era LGBTQ protections? And isn’t she helping spearhead a push for a childcare reform bill, which includes a childcare tax credit and six weeks of maternity leave protection?

    From what I’ve read, she has business smarts and has been an integral part of the Donald’s empire for years. Now she’s learning on the job in the political realm and if she has inherited all of the Donald’s good traits, without any of the bad ones, she could be a force to reckon with.

      1. Tom

        It’s not so farfetched. There have been a number of female Republican Governors, Senators and members of the House. Not a lot, but the precedent has surely been set.

    1. aab

      I think projecting on attractive people is unwise, regardless of their gender, genetics or party.

      I think Ivanka is smarter than her brothers, and smarter and more accomplished that Chelsea Clinton. As a billionaire’s daughter and billionaire’s wife (that’s right, isn’t it? Jared is the heir to the larger real estate fortune, isn’t he?), she will obviously be a political force if she wants to be, as long as this country is a capitalist oligarchy. For the rest, “if she inherited all [his] good traits, without any of the bad ones” sounds like “11th dimensional chess” to me: just a soothing fantasy. She’s his daughter. She has her class interests. She and her husband held a fundraiser for Cory Booker. If I wanted that kind of governance, I could have voted for Hillary Clinton. (Admittedly, we have evidence of Ivanka’s competence, and Hillary was demonstrably incompetent at baseline managment, so Ivanka would be a more competent and attractive neoliberal. But that holds no appeal for me.)

      1. Tom

        Don’t know where the “projecting on attractive people” line came from, but now that you mention it, being attractive can surely help a politician.
        Didn’t know about the Corey Booker angle. That’s troubling, of course. Perhaps the scales will fall from her eyes regarding that fellow, just like they did from mine recently.
        Still, the two policy areas where she’s shown an interest (LGBTQ protections and childcare reform) seem pretty progressive to me, which I’ll take as a good sign, if only for her tempering effect on the Donald’s less benign impulses.
        As far as her being a billionaire’s daughter, etc, etc. yes, that’s true — but she had no choice in the matter, did she? Will she turn out to be neoliberal, billionaire-class defender and promoter should she run for office? I really have no idea.

        1. aab

          The idea is right there, because the evidence is right there. You just have to be willing to look at it.

          She is attractive. Barack Obama is attractive. In our culture, we are trained to take the evolved tendency to view the beautiful as “healthier” to mean those people are superior and virtuous. But there is no correlation between physical beauty and any other positive personal quality (not even physical health).

          Childcare policy focused on 10er% income professionals is not progressive. That is what her policy ideas were/are focused on: ways to reduce the tax burden further for people making hundreds of thousands of dollars through deductions and special accounts for learning Mandarin and piano. (The additional maternity leave would be great, if it got through; it’s sort of like the Medicaid expansion in ACA. The one good, non-neoliberal part, except that they’ve already said no new funding will be allocated for it, so…) It is a neoliberal policy. She is a neoliberal. That is why she happily raised money for Cory Booker. She’s apparently to the left of her father, which is great. But you’re waving away concrete evidence in favor of some amorphous fantasy version of her that’s “progressive,” when there is no evidence of that.

          If you’re just misusing the word “progressive” to mean “typical corporate Democrat who respects people with marginalized biological identities as long as they have plenty of cash, who won’t advocate universal benefits or retribution to the exploited,” then yes, that’s probably who she is. And I understand if you are misusing the word that way, because the Democratic Party and corporate media both use the word that way, because it’s in their interest to do so, so it’s out there being used inaccurately and unhelpfully a lot.

          There is not one piece of evidence that she’s actually progressive, and tons and tons of evidence that she is a bog-standard New York bred billionaire class neoliberal. I respect that she’s more competent and ambitious than most trust fund babies. But I think you’re allowing yourself to get awfully hazy about who she is politically, either because she’s so pretty, because you are confused about the difference between neoliberal and progressive policies and values, or maybe a little of both.

    2. Art Eclectic

      Possibly, but she’ll run right smack up against woman-hating Pence, who will make sure she’s told on no uncertain terms to shut up and get back in the kitchen.

  50. Jeff N

    I think the only way he doesn’t finish his term is if he doesn’t want to… maybe heart disease, stroke… I believe a President really doesn’t have to do much. (see also: Yes Minister) ;)

  51. BeliTsari

    About the the 17th time mysterious, swarthy jihadists blow-up his one of his YOOJ, classy casinos overseas and he realizes he’s nobody stops him from using sub-launched thermonuclear cruise missiles to extract payment from whomever tortured terrorists suggest has the most oil, heroin, cocaine, diamonds… virgins’ blood, etc. Meanwhile, certain neighborhoods in the Elitist cities will marvel at the high-rise, luxury condominiums sprouting from where ghettos & barrios once littered America, as the Congress, Judiciary move into their marble plantation houses, staffed with super-predator contingency convict gig-contractors, traitorous libruls are hunted down on pay4vyoo reality infomercials, by the Party Faithful, from their free Hoverrounds (hosted by beloved Secretary O’ Collections n’ Correction, Barron) as Queen Ivanka the First takes her turn at running the country… and SO on?

  52. Art Eclectic

    I won’t speculate on how long this will last, but it is certainly clear that the GOP is using Trump as cover for enacting some seriously egregious policy and Trump either doesn’t want to understand what they are doing or doesn’t care.

    At some point, though, the declining poll numbers are going to make him take a long look at WHY and he’ll start to care. This situation is unsustainable long term, although I’m not placing any bets on who wins out. I do think the unpopularity of Republican policies will make a 2nd term questionable, short of a major terrorist incident on US soil.

    1. Persona au gratin

      Sorry Art, we have several parting gifts we’d like you to have to thank you for playing…

      No Art, Donald Trump is not a legitimate Republican, although you might well have been confused enough to believe that, confusing him with the almost identical DEMOCRAT party, which until recently had been the exclusive part of the “lowly working class,” but which has recently morphed into the party of the “upscale professional sycophant rich.” Yes, it gets terribly confusing at that point, and we’re not entirely sure as sponsors that even WE understand it all just yet, but we trust that you’ll understand when we reject your assertion all the same.

      Thanks for playing!

    1. djrichard

      If Trump/Bannon are serious about his legacy being a 50 year reign of a populist party (presumably shaped from what’s left of a co-opted GOP party), they’re going to need to start staking out that territory soon with a brand name which gets institutionalized as a hierarchy with leadership at various levels of government. It has to be more than just a family brand (a la Peronists) and it has to be more people in the institution than the family itself.

      And just co-opting the GOP dead-enders will not be sufficient. This to me is the real mystery of the Trump years. Simply getting himself re-elected is a low bar compared to something like creating a new party. If he wants to pull off something of that magnitude, he’ll need to change the national consciousness by what he does while he’s in office.

      This would be a fair topic to game out too. But talk about unknown unknowns.

  53. allan

    Citizens United lawyer targets Texas campaign finance laws [AP]

    A case involving political “dark money” and the founder of an organization tied to President Donald Trump’s accusations of voter fraud could lead to a crush of anonymous cash infiltrating elections in the country’s second-largest state, a Democratic lawyer warned the Texas Supreme Court on Tuesday.

    The nine Republican justices on Texas’ highest civil court heard arguments involving the legality of the state’s ban on corporate contributions, disclosure requirements for political action committees and the question of when a politically active nonprofit should have to disclose its donors like a traditional PAC. Some believe that the case ultimately could wind up before the U.S. Supreme Court and potentially reshape campaign finance regulations nationwide.

    Houston tea party group King Street Patriots, started by Catherine Engelbrecht, has been the focus of a longstanding lawsuit by the Texas Democratic Party accusing the organization of violating state campaign finance laws by engaging in political behavior when it dispatched poll watchers on behalf of the Texas Republican Party during the 2010 election. …

    Surely John “Balls and Strikes” Roberts and Neil “Guided by My Faith” Gorsuch will do the right thing.

    The GOP plays to win. The Dems play to fund raise, list build and tweetstorm.
    The endgame will be nasty, brutish and short.

  54. Oregoncharles

    the gist seems to be that we expect continued, umm, volatility. Maybe we should regard chaos as an opportunity.

  55. VietnamVet

    Will Donald Trump last on the job till he is 78? Maybe, but that is old. It is a stressful and it takes a toll, look at the previous Presidents. Forget the Democrats, Betsy DeVos confirmation shows they have lost all power, not just for two years but forever. The war mongering, throwing the middle class under the bus and corruption assures their repudiation. To win re-election he must provide many more jobs, save Social Security and pass TrumpCare. Corporate Republicans will subvert him at every turn since the only way to accomplish his election promises is by redistribution of wealth and ending the forever wars. Also, the gutting of environmental and consumer protections will tarnish him. Maryland, etc., will be fracked and shaken. 2020 will be a mixed bag. He will be the President of the Government that was flushed down the toilet but the Democrats will have imploded. The known unknown is the wrath of the Globalists. Corporate Media is out to get him. JFK and Dick Nixon didn’t win their bouts with the Powers to Be.

  56. LifeIsLikeABeanstalk

    A late entry from the leftest of coasts.

    Right now he of the little hands is pursuing his own interests re foreign policy, trade and extra-territorial business deals while allowing the Republican Establishment to privatize everything that can’t be nailed down and institutionalize the theft both statutorily and with legal decisions accelerated through the appeal process once Gorsuch is confirmed. Somebody correct me if I’m wrong but I believe the Supreme Court can order that a case be brought directly to them if they feel the outcome has constitutional significance.

    As long as he isn’t causing congressfolks up for election in 2018 to feel too much heat or suffer a decline in donations they won’t drop him before then. Come 2019 he’s gonna get a real HARD look. With Pence having had a couple of years of OJT he’ll be a very viable option for everyone that believes in invisible sky gods. Pence will always be as dumb as a door knob. But that’s part of his charm for the big $$ play-uhs. He doesn’t think much. Or often. Or deeply. If it’s ‘aight wit Jesus, it’s aight wit Mike’. And that plays fine with the people trying to get the real work of kleptocracy done. ‘Render unto’ & all.

    it will be important to watch how well Bannon does at getting a war, or at least a heated approximation going by the end of the year. That will have a lot to do with Donald’s long term viability. If The Orange Duce surrenders Ukraine and the Baltics to Putin, let’s Rex do his magic in the Russian oil fields and maybe throws Greece and Vlad a bone with a warm water port for the Russian Navy – how much does Putin need Iran? (You can feel the Saudis and Netenyahu building to orgasm over that already, can’t you?)

    If he lasts through 2019 he’s in till 2024.

  57. Barry Egan

    Ah, idle speculation, my favorite kind of speculation! Anyway, I’ll throw in my two cents, even if it echoes a lot of the sentiments above:

    1) I’m going to take the easy way out and say 67% chance he finishes his first term. His vanity and ego won’t let him quit but illness or outliving his usefulness to McConnell and Ryan could get in the way. Once the GOP gets their SCOTUS pick(s) over the next four years, they don’t really need him. Plus, Pence is one of their guys. But really, his age and being in less than perfect health are the only realistic reason why I see him not finishing the term.

    2) I hate to acknowledge it, but any sort of attack (TERRORISM or whatever) helps Trump retain power. Otherwise, as I said above, health issues are the only reason he steps down or, if there’s something even more egregious than what’s happened already, the party pushes him out. That being said, I don’t see him running again. I could see him saying at the end of his first term that the fatcats in Washington railroaded him (sad!), or saying his skills would work better in the private sector, or, God forbid, that he accomplishes his goals and doesn’t see a need for a second term.

    3) The outcome of the Trump presidency is generally worse for the average citizen. The House/Senate running wild with privatization of institutional social services, immigration “reforms” that hurt everyone, any infrastructure work is probably going to be done through private companies rather than through some sort of true public works projects, etc. I could see him possibly fracturing the GOP but this last election proved Republicans still and will come out and vote in predictable numbers. Maybe his actions mobilize the left, but I don’t see Schumer, Pelosi, Booker, etc rallying around popular sentiment unless things get real bad, real fast, and there are major protests (including action outside the coasts, and action that includes low wage labor) on a regular basis.

  58. different clue

    Here is an interesting article I found at Resilience.Org. It is about a growing number of Indian Tribes and Nations divesting their money and activity away from any banks involved in the DAPL. What if various non-Indian groups and persons were to do the same thing? ” Picture one hundred million pairs of strong blue hands wrapped around the throat of Big Pipeline . . . . ” Here is the link.

    This seems like an example of the kind of specific resistance targeted against certain specific bad Trump actions which deserves support. It seems quite the opposite of Trojan horse Clintonite Restorationism disguised as Resist Trump . . . . which I would like to see exposed in hostile tweetstorms
    perhaps collected under #NotMyResistance. The NoDAPL resistance might be file-able under a hash tag to be called #MyKindOfResistance . . . or some such thing.

    1. BeliTsari

      Thanks for the link. I was wondering how speculators were going to liquidate the Native American’s energy, water rights & minerals out from under their swarthy owners. Trump’s going to need to de-hyphenate these savage, pagan, eco-terrorists to liberate their uranium, dilbit, silver, water, clathate, niobium, methane… & casinos. http://www.cnbc.com/2016/12/05/trump-advisors-aim-to-privatize-oil-rich-indian-reservations.html http://www.perc.org/articles/unlocking-wealth-indian-nations-overcoming-obstacles-tribal-energy-development

  59. Fiver

    To whomever lucks out with drawing me,

    I think you’d be interested in the sort of terms the alt-right is now using to cast this political crisis. I regard this sort of stuff as clearly intended to leverage the emotional side of people’s responses. How many people are reading something like this all over the US today? Why so much testosterone all the time now? When ever did you read anything like this:


    1. Phemfrog

      Yikes! both the post and the comments for that were a little scary. I guess I should be considered a melty little Snowflake.

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