Notes on Trump 16

1. Gallup approval Republican/Conservative Republican 78%/84% (day 317, Nov 27 to Dec 3). Starting to decline. Still comfortable for primaries. Perhaps more important is significant decline in total identified as Republicans from 42% at time of November 2016 election to 37% now, a year later:

http://edition.cnn.com/2017/12/04/politics/republican-exodus-poll-democrat/index.html

Presumably this means a higher proportion of registered Republicans entitled to vote at 2018 primaries will be Trumpists since opponents more likely to be leaving. Democrats aren’t doing much to provide a home for those leaving so likely to end up either not voting or supporting a split from GOP in 2020 – both of which tend towards a deadlocked electoral college. (That throws election to House voting by States with Trump likely to have more States than electoral college or House members since support stronger in smaller States).

2. I haven’t studied tax cuts in detail but following points noted:

2.1 Substantial deficit which is main thing he needs for economic climate in 2020. Not unusual for GOP to approve a large deficit pretending that magic will prevent it biting later while making their main theme the need to stop Democrats running deficits. What is unusual is the near unanimity. Most of tea party/koch brothers voted as Trumpists so they are thoroughly intimidated by 2018 (elections as well as primaries). Lots more deficit to come for infrastructure.

2.2 Pretence from opponents that personal cuts only favour the rich may have some impact but based on joining the Republican pretence that tax cuts will expire within the 10 year limit that enables them to go through without Democrat support by pretending to balancing the budget. For next 10 years tax cuts will benefit potential Trump voters more than traditional GOP voters and “elites”. Then it will be time to continue them and further increase the deficit. Most voters will respond based on how things are going for them at time of election, not on what media are telling them now, even if they believe it.

2.3 Main target seems to be people living in States with higher local tax rates (i.e. Democrats). Removing credit for local tax rates hits them more than potential Trump voters. Result likely to be even bigger disproportion between popular and electoral college votes in 2020 (whether or not Trump wins either). eg New York and California even more solidly Democrat than before with no effect at all on 2020 outcome.

2.4 Corporate tax cuts are part of a world-wide race to the bottom which Australia and other countries will follow. Result general world-wide shift from relying exclusively on monetary measures to running fiscal deficits again – as demanded by central banks, OECD et al. State assuming greater role as the national capitalist in each country as described by Engels. Will intensify both international tensions and eventual crisis but could well postpone it further.

3. Some Fox coverage of Trump becoming somewhat hostile:

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2017/12/07/trumps-campaign-against-justice-fbi-is-working.html

Highlights difference from liberal meltdown – Fox’s occasional negative coverage is far more “reasonable” and likely to do real damage. Seems like Fox replacing NYT and Wapo as “mainstream” or “authoritative”. Interesting that this example shares liberal assumptions that Mueller inquiry will come up with something very damaging to Trump and is being attacked by Trumpists for that reason. More plausible is that the Hannity types at Fox frothing gives that impression to others working there, but actual situation is Trump wants to keep it going and denouncing it is a good way to ensure liberals and GOP never Trumpists will keep it going.

4. Al Jazeera has an interesting indicator of where some of the “resistance” may head when their current fantasies about impeaching Trump explode:

http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/opinion/sadly-frankly-donald-trump-171209093723658.html

Starts off with quite sane and sober analysis that they are indeed fantasizing and Trump isn’t going anywhere, with understanding that their fantasies are about a system they support “working” (ie the “rule of law” aka “the authorities” will rescue them from Trump via a coup led by their beloved “intelligence community”).

But then becomes clear that the author shares much of the delusionary mentality about what is actually happening now, and hearkens back to some golden era in 1974 when the system did indeed work and got rid of Nixon (who as all good Democrats remember can be blamed for the Vietnam war started by Kennedy and escalated by Johnson).

Ends up denouncing half the population of USA as fascists who worship Trump!

So that is one direction they could go. Others include just continuing to feel simultaneously smug, superior and impotent.

5. Plausible analysis that Trump doing rather well at the moment:

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/commentary-trumps-good-fortune/

6. Some Fox triumphalism:

http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2017/12/09/media-goes-crazy-over-trump-announcement-on-jerusalem-cnn-s-sloppy-mistake-and-other-journalism-disasters.html

7. Fox joining in the anti-homophobia chorus:

http://www.foxnews.com/entertainment/2017/12/04/will-msnbc-punish-joy-reid-after-homophobic-past-was-revealed.html

8. Some CNN confusion. I cannot figure out whether it is dawning on them that there isn’t even going to be an obstruction of justice claim and morphing into general outrage about having a President who agrees with most people that the system is corrupt or whether they are actually convinced by some Trumpist frothing against Mueller that they are really onto something and should keep indeed keep going in the same direction as B’rer rabbit keeps telling them not to.

http://edition.cnn.com/2017/12/09/politics/donald-trump-rigged-sick-institutions/index.html

Here’s their understanding of the B’rer rabbit Tar-baby story:

http://edition.cnn.com/2017/12/01/politics/trump-russia-investigation/index.html

Earlier they did not seem at all confused, just utterly convinced that Trump (or his lawyer) acknowledging the obvious that when Trump sacked Flynn for lying and said he didn’t want Flynn charged he knew that Flynn had lied to the FBI – that means they have “got him” for “obstruction of justice”.

http://edition.cnn.com/2017/12/05/politics/trump-russia-defense-in-disarray/index.html

Here’s some background.

Trump’s lawyer mentioned the obvious in a tweet from Trump, that he had sacked Flynn for lying to Vice President and to FBI and did not want him charged. Did not repeat Trump’s remark at the time about some other Flynn issues – presumably Flynn being an unregistered agent of Turkey and being an especially deranged Trumpist. Also did not repeat Trump’s attempt to explain in NBC interview that he knew sacking Comey would prolong the “Russia thing”.

Trump’s lawyer then explained the obvious to Axios:

  • Dowd: “The tweet did not admit obstruction. That is an ignorant and arrogant assertion.”

Axios duly ran with that as “Exclusive: Trump lawyer claims the President cannot obstruct justice”.

https://www.axios.com/exclusive-trump-lawyer-claims-the-president-cannot-obstruct-justice-2514742663.html

Lots of solemn analysis followed in which fantasists tried to convince themselves that the Chief Executive officer responsible for taking care that the laws of the United States shall be enforced is prohibited from expressing an opinion about any case.

Some actually noticed that is absurd and correctly stated that President can and does give directions to and hire and fire law enforcement officers and allocate resources and priorities and issue pardons, not just make suggestions – so that “obstruction of justice” would require a “corrupt intention”.

http://edition.cnn.com/2017/12/04/politics/obstruction-of-justice-president/index.html

But that gets buried in liberal coverage because we all know that anything Trump does is inherently corrupt and they also KNOW deep in their souls that the truth is out there somewhere and Mueller will discover it because Trump won the election by colluding with the Kremlin and then sacked Comey to prevent justice being done.

If you don’t actually KNOW that is the only possible explanation for him having become and remaining President despite all right thinking people being aghast, then you may find it difficult to follow their legal analysis.

9. NPR still deeply fascinated by Russia inquiries:

https://www.npr.org/2017/12/09/569116551/the-russia-investigations-knife-fights-over-feds-trump-jr-manafort-and-more

10. California Democrat Governor “Trump doesn’t fear the wrath of God”:

http://thehill.com/homenews/state-watch/364084-california-gov-trump-doesnt-fear-god-or-existential-consequences

11. A plausible view on Trump’s announcement re Jerusalem:

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-12-08/jerusalem-favour-from-trump-hard-to-repay/9236054

My own take is that undermining the ludicrous posturing about the US being an “honest broker” in a “peace process” has no real impact whatever. I view everything Trump does as narrowly focussed on winning 2018 GOP primaries. In this case playing to Evangelicals some of who have both a bizarre alliance with Trumpists and bizarre enthusiasm for Zionism and the end times.

Here’s another contrary view attempting to analyse Trump foreign policy from a foreign policy rather than a domestic focus:

https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/white-house/trump-s-foreign-policy-pure-trump-it-s-working-him-n815636

12. David Brooks says GOP now 100% swung from pro to anti globalization:

http://skidmorenews.com/new-blog/2017/12/5/david-brooks-says-trump-was-the-wrong-answer-to-the-right-question

13. Counter attack starting against blatant coup mongering from “intelligence community”:

https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2017/dec/5/barack-obamas-team-worked-against-donald-trump/

Here’s a breathless example of more “restrained” undermining rather than open coup mongering from US and Israeli “intelligence community” and/or journalists fantasizing about what stories they might have to tell:

https://www.vanityfair.com/news/2017/11/trump-intel-slip

14. Not sure but I’m guessing this is an attempt to wean some of the Evangelical likudniks to a more “mainstream” Zionism:

http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2017/12/09/after-trump-recognizes-jerusalem-as-israels-capital-evangelicals-work-for-peace-between-jews-and-arabs.html

15. If this quote from Chief Palestinian negotiator is accurate, it is very significant:

““Now is the time to transform the struggle for one-state with equal rights for everyone living in historic Palestine,”

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/12/09/trumps-decision-jerusalem-shatters-palestinian-old-guard/

16. Under the headline “Trump is cracking up”, NYT demonstrates that NYT is cracking up:

“If you think 2017 was bad, imagine an America without allies fighting another two-front war, this one involving nuclear weapons, under the leadership of the most hated president in modern history, while a torture apologist runs the C.I.A. The world right now is a powder keg. Trump, an untethered maniac, sits atop it, flicking a lighter that Republicans in Congress could take away, but won’t. If everything goes up in flames, we can’t say we weren’t warned.”

10 thoughts on “Notes on Trump 16

  1. So where are we? Trump lite goes down in Virginia and super Trumpist goes down in Alabama. Republicans can only be elected if they are advantaged by electoral rigging and Trumpists cant be elected at all because the basic decency of the American people propels people to the polls to stop these pedophiles and collection of assorted idiots. Trump is a stranded idiot he can either embrace the lunacy of Bannon or tow the Republican line and be nothing more than a typical Republican president. Either way we must just wait for a Lisa Simpson Presidancy

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    • This is the picture one would get from the media.

      It reflects a fantasy world in which the Democrats could not have lost the 2016 election (since Trump is an idiot and Republicans could not win elections unrigged by 8 years of Democrat Presidency).

      I disagree, as documented in detail in the 16 posts this comment responds to without actually reading or thinking about.

      It is precisely this sort of completely unreflective fantasizing about easy triumphs that enabled Trump to win before and could enable it again. The Democrats still appear to be headed on a path likely to result in a Democrat majority Congress wasting the two years from 2018 on unsuccessfully attempting to impeach Trump instead of developing policies to do anything other than further enrage and mobilize the voters who rejected them in 2016 and demoralize those who didn’t.

      BTW the decline I mentioned last week was reversed this week. (I don’t expect that to change the likelihood of a Democrat majority in Congress after 2018 elections, or the consequences I see benefiting Trump from that).

      Also BTW the Trump lite in Virginia was, as the term “lite” hints in fact a Republican incumbent pretending to be a Trumpist and irritating everybody. The “super-Trumpist” in Alabama was opposed by Trump in the primaries. Both results have actually strengthened Trump in relation to the battles he is actually fighting with the GOP incumbents for the 2018 primaries as opposed to the fantasy battles that Democrats are fighting with Trump’s twitter distractions. Meanwhile he has already got a large part of the deficit he needs for re-election and the Democrats are likely to cooperate in delivering the rest through infrastructure and counting that as another famous victory against the “Republican line” along with their famous victories against “the lunacy of Bannon”.

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  2. The president doesn’t rig elections because the president doesn’t draw the electoral boundaries. Talking about impeaching Trump is a waste of time unless anti Trump forces held both houses and were happy with a Pence presidency.The tax “reforms” are expected to blow the debt out to 22 trillion dollars but the tax cut blow out will deliver no infrastructure and will reduce services. Reports are that the USA has under-spent on infrastructure and a lot of replacement of roads and bridges is needed but this stuff should have happened in 2008 but Republicans blocked Obama on this. Democrats would like to cooperate with Trump on spending but with growth up and interest rates rising they may be better off to cut debt rather than add to it. As to having fantasies about Trumps election I am guilty as charged I thought that Trumps candidacy was similar to those of McGovern and Goldwater 2 candidates that stood outside the mainstream of their parties and lost badly. I never saw that Trump would forge together a coalition of evangelicals, racists, anti globalists and people generally hankering for the long gone good old days for his candidacy to get within 3 million of the popular vote and although I was aware that popular vote doesn’t decide elections presidential I didn’t think that he would collect enough college votes to overturn a 3 million deficit in the popular vote.

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    • Well, we are agreed that talking about impeachment is a waste of time. It is also what the “resistance” has been obsessed with.

      GOP opponents of deficits just delivered what he nèeds. I see no sign that Democrats who support both infrastructure and deficits will fail to deliver too. They have so far not grasped what they might be “better off” understanding.

      Electoral boundaries in a few States might stop being rigged by Republicans instead of Democrats from 2018 but that wont change 2020 Electoral College or House voting by States. GOP majority states would not swing to majority of Democrats as House Reps but only to larger minority.

      Assuming both parties split Trump still has a good chance. Tactics like those used in Virginia and Alabama only increase likelihood of Democrats splitting. Not all can pretend that getting a Democrat to represent a solidly GOP state by suppressing allegations during primary to precisely time them for main election is a good way to express “decency” or win any long term support.

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  3. What do you do when elected as a Democrat to a thoroughly Republican state well you can’t look past Senator Richard Shelby elected 1986 as Democrat in Alabama only to change parties while in office thats what you can do, as they say The Republican party is the rough equivalent to the British Conservative Party and on the other hand the Democrat Party is the rough equivalent to the British Conservative party,

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  4. I can’t see either major party in USA splitting because historically they have been very stable both have been around since before the Civil war they survived the 1860’s and the 1960’s both were decades that had heaps more social division than the US currently experiences. Trump rose to power on the back of an idea that he could create “good” jobs by winding back on globalisation, red tape and being anti insider pro business and anti foreigner. He will fail on any and every measure his claims of success are ludicrous and he will more and more be exposed as a paper tiger.
    Trump rides the reactionary idea that America was great once but is not now. Roy Moore tried to help by pointing out that America was great when they had slavery. And blacks came out to vote against him in large numbers yes there are fantasists about they fantasize that civil war traitors were national heroes and that slavery times were happier times.

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  5. Nope. Trump won on basis that both parties were corrupt and Disruption was needed. He still hasnt got his own party but is well on track to have one after 2018 primaries. Likelihood of splits will become clear AFTER that totally different situation from 2018 has emerged and people have to respond to it but have no way to agree on their different responses.

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  6. How are the parties anymore corrupt that they have always been? Reagan presided over Sewergate and should have gone to prison for Iran Contragate, as should have Nixon for Watergate and who can forget Warren G Harding and the Teapot Dome scandal or Grant and the Credit Mobilier Scandal, for gods sake the VP was taking bribes to facilitate the scam. I have a very low opinion of US political parties but to say they are worse than they were well thats a big call. Yes Trump has mafia links but so did Kennedy

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  7. People are more widely aware of how bad they are than ever before. Same worldwide. “No saviours from on high deliver. No trust have we in prince or peer. Our own right hands the chains must shiver. Chains of hatred greed and fear”.

    Eventually the politics of the Internationale will defeat those of in “In Trump we trust”.

    But it wont come from pandering to liberal fantasists.

    No more responses here as just did number 17.

    Discussion more productive if posts actually read and links followed and thought about for genuine responses rather than just as basis to repeat unrelated thoughts or lack of.

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  8. Just to clarify about US elections The last presidential election was undemocratic because the college system was designed to be so. The Senate elections are undemocratic because each state no matter how many electors it contains elects the same number of Senators.
    The House is undemocratic for 2 reasons gerrymandering means that the Republicans in the last general election received 49.1% of the votes and 55.4% of the seats, coupled with voter suppression which consists of various laws and practices mainly aimed at the poor and minorities lowers the number of voters by millions. Millions of people who if they exercised their voting right would be unlikely to vote Republican.

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