Thursday, November 10, 2016

Post Post

A few more observations about the weird political world we suddenly find ourselves in.

First, even as Democrats try to regroup, Republicans should still be worrying.  Yes, things couldn't be better, in some ways--they've got the White House, the Congress, the Supreme Court (apparently) and a lot of state houses.  But the demographic bomb is still there.

I know, people have been warning about it for decades.  But they've been right.  As recently as 1988, the GOP were capable of winning the vast majority of states in a Presidential election.  Since then, they've only won the vote once, and have lost a lot of states they used to count on, or at least had a decent shot at.

Look at Trump's victory.  Very impressive--in fact, one of the most amazing wins in Presidential history.  Yet, numbers-wise, only so-so.  Clinton got more votes, and certain states--New York, New Jersey, Virginia, the West Coast and New England (even New Hampshire) seem gone for good.  And due to minority votes, it looks like Nevada, Colorado and New Mexico are gone.  So a Republican candidate has to win what's available, including breaking the blue wall of the Rust Belt in close fights, which was Trump's path to victory.  (The other paths available were shut off when he had trouble in the Southwest.)

Look at how easily Hillary beat Trump in New York--22 points--or California--28 points.  Meanwhile, GOP mainstays are tightening up, like Texas--10 point margin--or Georgia--5 point margin.  Trump found a new vein to mine, but the GOP still has serious problems.

They will have to reach out to (officially designated) minorities.  I'm not saying they have to change their essence, but they've got to make their case.  (It would be helpful if the economy improved while they're in charge, though I wouldn't count on that). They don't have to win them over completely, but if a candidate could get 15%-20% African-Americans and 40% Latinos, that could truly change the map.

Then there's Trump.  He hit the right notes in his acceptance speech, but he still sounds like a Democrat, or a "grand vision" Republican.  His go-to solution for most things is big government.  It almost sounded like he was announcing a huge government works program to get out nation out of the doldrums.

That reminds me, I've been hearing something rather silly from conservatives.  They point out that Senators who distanced themselves from Trump lost while those who embraced him won.  First, of course, not really true.  For instance, Rob Portman of Ohio distanced himself from Trump and more than doubled Trump's margin of victory.  More significant, most Republicans in Red States embraced Trump because Trump, of course, was doing well there--and in any case, Republican candidates are going to do well in a red state almost no matter what.  But in blue or purple states, Trump wasn't so popular, so the candidates would be more likely to distance themselves--and more likely to lose no matter what they do.

Will Trump screw up while in office?  Yes.  All presidents do.  The question is, once he screws up, will his party turn on him?  I can't even guess, though if they do, maybe we will get that impeachment people were talking about--I bet in a secret vote Congressional Republicans would choose Pence over Trump by a wide margin.

Many have seen Van Jones "whitelash" comments on CNN during election night.  I recognize he was disappointed and angry, but I think what he said was ill-considered, small-minded and ugly.  What he expressed is part of the problem, not part of the solution.  Unfortunately, many are supporting him, even thinking what he said was brave and noble.  As Donald Trump would put it, sad.

I watched Stephen Colbert's election special on Showtime.  I'm sure it was originally planned as a victory lap, so it ended up less a comedy hour than a wake.  I look forward to seeing how SNL handles this election.

Most celebrities, of course, supported Hillary Clinton, and many supported her and performed for her in her final days.  One of the biggest names was Bruce Springsteen, who, in the last days of the campaign, sang and spoke out for her.  Here's what he said: "Hillary's candidacy is based on intelligence, experience, preparation, and an actual vision in which everyone counts...to address our problems in a reasonable and thoughtful way."

What's the opposite of speaking truth to power?

A lot of Democrats are being sore losers--they're protesting Trump (a little late or early) and saying "not my President" (which was considered racist not too long ago).  Today (in fact, as I write this) some anti-Trump protestors have shut down the 101 Freeway--keep it up if you want to convert everyone to Trump.  Some in New York and California are suggesting the states secede.  It's just as dumb as when conservatives do it (or just as smart, if you like this sort of thing).  I swear just last week liberals were reminding us the country already is great.  Just how much do they think Donald Trump can change things?  Though, to be fair, seceding from the U.S. is a an ingenious way of leaving the country without having to move.

Then there's the Senate filibuster.  Not that long ago Harry Reid was suggesting it be gotten rid of for nominees.  It seems possible the GOP will take him up on that.  For the record, I (unlike The New York Times, which has flip-flopped more than once depending on who's in charge) have always opposed the filibuster.  Yes, I prefer a Senate that doesn't do much, but it's hard to justify the filibuster when the Constitution is so clear that most things only need a majority vote.  The only excuse is it's a procedural rule that can be lifted with 51 votes.

10 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

First day, Trump should repeal every executive order Obama made after the election. (And see how many people Obama pardoned can be arrested on some new charge.)

1:52 AM, November 10, 2016  
Blogger ColumbusGuy said...

Well, won't we see Michelle Obama now as the head of the party? Seems the logical choice. And now my question about why the hell the Obamas supported the Clintons, when even a post would know the Clintons would obliterate them, is moot. (Perhaps they promised to support Michelle on Hillary's path to the White House, senator (would michelle have gone New York, Illinois or California? Maybe "which will" is the proper question.)

I think Obama should pardon Clinton. That she's gone is enough, and better.

Comey, on the other hand . . .

2:49 AM, November 10, 2016  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

When I saw that Hillary planned to make her victory speech under an actual glass ceiling, I was glad she lost.

3:06 AM, November 10, 2016  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My only hope now is that Trump played his supporters for patsies. (Like Reagan did to the religious and the hard core)

3:39 AM, November 10, 2016  
Blogger ColumbusGuy said...

Yeah, because Reagan's your hero, now that he's been dead for 15 years or so.

5:58 AM, November 10, 2016  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

No not at all. But he knew how to play the simpletons. His saving grace on some things was he didn't do what his supporters and detractors thought he would do. On foreign policy, he talked right and tacked left

8:02 AM, November 10, 2016  
Anonymous Denver Guy said...

How did his vastly expanded military budget and hardball with the USSR tack left?

Well, that aside, I secretly cheered Reid using the nuclear option to get Obama's nominees through, since I knew that was the begining of the end of the filibuster.

On the other hand, I was not thrilled when he characterized Obamacare as a budget bill to avoid having to get a cloture vote (thus ramming through a bill that had no Republican support in the House through the Senate with no Republican support. Both of these were major steps toward today's polarization, which I do not think is good for America, but I enjoy the irony of how it has turned out for the Democrats.

My next concern is that Trump will take Obama's extra-official presidential decrees to heart, and try to bring on his promised changes through unilateral, executive action. Trump should play for preserving his popularity and showing he can make D.C. work these next two years, because in 2 years the nation elects the governors and legislatures that handle the next census and redistricting. Of course, maybe he could lead to drive to get politics out of the redistricting process.

9:23 AM, November 10, 2016  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't think Trump has the brains to do anything to preserve his popularity. He's done nothing so far but act like an ass, and the people have rewarded him for it.

9:42 AM, November 10, 2016  
Anonymous Lawrence King said...

"What's the opposite of speaking truth to power?"

Brilliant line.

2:58 PM, November 10, 2016  
Blogger ColumbusGuy said...

Second that.

4:43 PM, November 10, 2016  

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