Wednesday, November 09, 2016

TRUMPENSTEIN






Observations and predictions, after digesting some of the initial shock...

 
Pretty lousy election last night.  Maybe Trump won’t be all that bad, though I can’t imagine how he could really be very good at all.
At least the stock market hasn’t started tanking yet.  Heh! 
The Republicans will be like kids in the candy store.  The first 100 days will be brutal.  

No more Affordable Care Act, probably with nothing to replace it right away. 

Fast-track approval of some new far-right Supreme Court justice chosen by Trump to replace Scalia, plus another one if Ginsberg doesn’t make it through at least the next four years. 

Tax cuts enacted for the wealthy, so the rest of us will pay even more of the burden. 

Cuts to safety net programs.  Paul Ryan’s budget enacted. 

Defunding of Planned Parenthood, Public Broadcasting, and whatever else they don’t like. 

Lots of cronies (Giuliani, Gingrich, etc.) appointed to powerful positions. 

Heavy-handed pressure or worse on unfriendly media outlets and certain offending employees. 

Restrictions on the internet (no more net neutrality). 

Federal crackdown attempts on medical and recreational pot where it has been legalized. 

Republicans will attempt to undo Roe v. Wade, and to undo as much of the New Deal as possible. 

No luck getting anywhere on overturning Citizens United. 
Trump will run the country as a CEO, with Pence and others doing the bulk of the work.  Trump will be the figurehead; he will articulate policies, others will carry them out.  Pence will be as powerful as Cheney was, but won’t have as much success at pulling the president’s puppet strings. 
The wall won’t get built, and if it does, it won’t do anything much to stop people from entering from Mexico.  Obama’s Cuba progress will be rolled back.  We will get along better with Russia…  heh!  Trump will get lots of pressure to undermine NATO.  He will try to start trade wars.  And we will find ourselves in a war somewhere, with troops on the ground.    
Police violence will continue.  Minorities will continue to become more disenfranchised.  Oil pipelines will be built wherever they can be built, and there will be continued fracking.  Protestors will be dealt with in brutal ways.  Gun sales will continue to go up.  Militias will increase, and there will be more occupations like the one by the jerks at Malheur (there would have been more such occupations anyway, but a Trump win will only embolden the militias). 


Wildlife refuges, particularly in northern Alaska, will once again be under threat.  Attempts will be made to do away with the Environmental Protection Agency. 

It is the Democratic party that needs to do a post-election autopsy this time, and it needs to be done with lots of thought.  The emphasis needs to be on how to connect with rural voters, as well as with any others who weren't enthused this time around.  A better candidate might have done the trick this time, but then again I'm not so sure it would have.     
BUT…     
Polls showed 56% of people are either scared or concerned with the idea of a Trump presidency…  the GOP will be able to stay in power for a while by keeping people afraid, but I think things will gradually come around to where people realize they don’t have to put up with some of the far-right crap.  If we see a "revolution", it won't come from the "tea party" types, but from the rest of Americans.    
If Democrats have any sense at all, the DNC will quickly tear itself down and build back up, installing people like Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren as leaders.  Look for a better performance from Democrats in the midterms in 2018, as intensive turn-out-the-vote efforts will prevail in some House and Senate races despite GOP attempts to restrict voting.  Some exciting presidential contenders will emerge for the left.    
By 2020 people will be pretty fed up with the Republican party.  By that time, the GOP will have trashed dozens of things the left (and many on the right) hold dear.  By then, the Dems will provide a better candidate that isn’t flawed like Clinton, and people will get enthused and get behind him or her.  And then, we will have to see if America makes the same mistake it did in 2004 by re-electing a consummate doofus.
Back to pot:  apparently Trump doesn’t have a problem with the medical aspects of it.  But if Pence is going to be the one doing all the work… and with him being the puritan he is… who knows what might happen.  It may be time to stock up, just in case!  J  Pot votes passing in CA, ME, MA, and NV might make it less likely that we’d see a fed crackdown on recreational sales and use, as it's in something like eight states now, and all up and down the West Coast.  It may be too late for crackdowns now.  Chris Christie is the one who’s such a hard-ass on pot, and I doubt he’d get any kind of powerful appointment after the Bridgegate thing…  but you just never know with the GOP. 
And I have doubts Trump would try and do the Mussolini thing.  I’m actually thinking it may be more of a mixed bag.  He may have some centrist tendencies, and he might do some things that are OK with people on both sides of the political fence.  He might even actually try to reach across the aisle.  But Pence will probably be whispering far-right crap in his ear.  The thought of Trump as the puffed-up figurehead running America, Inc. with Pence doing the dirty work is pretty frightening.  Trump may not have any real agenda to advance, but Pence will do whatever he can to advance a religious conservative agenda.  I’m starting to think Pence is possibly more dangerous than The Donald.
We can all hope the pragmatist in Trump comes out, that he pisses off a lot of people who voted for him by changing his mind or not following through on stuff he said during the campaign, and that maybe he won’t actually be too horrible.      
And I don’t believe Bernie Sanders would have beaten Trump, either.  To all those Bernie fanatics who are saying “We told you so”, all I have to say is “And so we will never know for sure, will we?” 
And when they say “But all the polls showed he had a better chance against Trump!” then I’ll say “Yeah, but that’s what the polls said about Hillary too, once she got the nomination…  why don’t you ask her about the trustworthiness of polls?”

I’m not sure I will ever be able to take comfort in polls again after this!  Meh...

Forgot to mention climate change, too…  efforts to slow it down are bound to take a huge hit now, and our attention-challenged public will probably start forgetting about it.  We can hope that isn’t the case. 
Whatever happens, I am relieved this election cycle is over.  I just wish it would have turned out better.


The next four years won’t be pretty, but we will survive.  The smiling face of a baby this morning at work reminded me that there is still a lot of good in the world, and that we need to teach our kids values, not ideologies.






 

2 Comments:

Blogger Tom Harper said...

I hope Congressional Democrats can find ways to stall or thwart the Trump juggernaut. When Republicans are in the minority, they're always coming up with some little-known parliamentary maneuver where one person can bring everything to a halt. (Jesse Helms was the most notorious example.) For some reason, Democrats either don't know about any of these procedures or they're too timid to use them. I hope this will change.

4:35 PM  
Blogger Snave said...

Me too, Tom!

5:18 PM  

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