Even Trump’s supporters know he’s not a good and competent man — nevertheless, they think they can get what they want from him. It’s a cynical deal, and bad, but you can understand it.
Trump’s vagueness and flip-flops, and the suggestion that he not be taken literally, all help him with this: his supporters, who don’t all want the same things, see what they want to see.
Many Republicans wanted a corporatist to replace Scalia on the Supreme Court, so that decisions like Roe v. Wade could be over-turned and, especially, so that more decisions like Citizens United would be made. It’s likely they’ll get that with a Gorsuch confirmation, no matter how Democrats fight (and they should fight).
But beyond that, every time Trump actually does something specific — as opposed to just saying hard-to-pin-down things — he erodes some support.
For example: many Republicans — Vice President Pence perhaps foremost, along with the Christian Sharia — want to see LGBTQ protections rolled back. But other Republicans don’t, and Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner reportedly managed to prevent (at least for now) an Executive Order to that effect.
Many Republicans support multilateral free trade (as do I), and in particular agreements that strengthen our ties in Asia as a balance against emerging Chinese power. Well, TPP is not going to happen, and the future of NAFTA is in question.
Many Republicans do not support a Muslim ban which would make our country less safe and demonstrate to the world that we are not the beacon of liberty we’ve claimed.
Many Republicans support a strong NATO alliance and consider Russia one of our biggest threats — but Trump doesn’t. The jettisoning of the post-war American peace in favor of allying with Russia in a clash of civilizations with Islam is not what every Republican wants to see. (What is the winning condition — or final solution — for that kind of clash?)
Not every Republican is willing to spend taxpayer billions on a big, beautiful wall. They all know that Mexico is not paying for it.
Yes, there are some supporters who’ve been happy with everything.
But with each specific move, or lack of move, more supporters learn they’re not going to get what they want, and they learn they’ll get some things they don’t want.
Trump campaigned as almost a Rorschach test, where a large-enough coalition could believe he was on their side. As he makes specific moves, elements of that coalition learn that he’s not.
And that’s how his support erodes — because once you realize he’s not on your side, all you have left to support is his narcissism, mendacity, cruelty, corruption, and incompetence.
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It’s not Russian Roulette when there’s a bullet in every chamber — it’s just Russian.
* * *
It should be clear by now that Democrats in Congress should resist every single thing Trump attempts. Every nominee. Every law. Every single thing. Do not collaborate.
* * *
The next thing might be a “Religious Freedom” executive order that permits anti-LGBTQ discrimination.
* * *
Things move fast. History:
Jan 30, 1933: Hitler becomes Chancellor of Germany.
Feb 27, 1933: Reichstag fire.
Mar 23, 1933: Enabling Act, which establishes the dictatorship.
Things move faster these days, seems like. The question is: what will be the equivalent of the Reichstag Fire?
It has to be an emergency where Trump can claim “temporary” expanded powers.
Would massive, continuous protests be enough? Quite possibly. (Which is not an argument against protests. I’m quite definitely in favor of protests.)
But don’t be surprised when those powers end protest, free speech, and the free press, in the name of national security and order.
You might think Trump isn’t historically aware enough to know the would-be dictator’s playbook. Maybe he is, maybe he isn’t. I don’t know.
But Bannon is.
A little birdie — okay, it was Sol-meister K. — tells me that CocoaConf Yosemite is close to selling out.
Don’t miss out! It’s so beautiful. This will be my third trip — because I miss it when I’m not there, and because the people are awesome.
Right before the holidays I approached Sal [Soghoian] to review the automation work we’ve been doing, and over the past weeks he’s been enthusiastically exploring the boundaries of what’s already possible as well as helping us see what else we need to build before shipping this.
Today wasn’t so bad. Sure, the enemies of democracy, the Constitution, rationality, compassion, national and international institutions, decency, competence, ethics, art, science, and truth itself — and of anyone who isn’t a white man — now darken the offices of power. But they haven’t done much yet. The bad days are still to come.
My loathing and contempt for President Trump feels complete — but it isn’t. It will continue to deepen.
Remember today, since we may spend the rest of our lives getting back to this point.
I hope to remember tomorrow as the first of many days where the American people said “fuck you” to the new President.
Had Hillary Clinton won Wisconsin, Michigan, and Pennsylvania — states that normally go blue — she would have won an Electoral College majority and she would be President-elect.
She didn’t — despite winning the popular vote by nearly 3 million votes — and Donald Trump is President-elect.
Russia worked to influence the election. Did they succeed? Did their efforts matter?
I don’t know how you’d gauge that. But it’s interesting to note just how close it was.
Wisconsin: 1,405,284 - 1,382,536 = 22,748
Michigan: 2,279,543 - 2,268,839 = 10,704
Pennsylvania: 2,970,733 - 2,926,441 = 44,292
That adds up to Trump winning those states by 77,744 votes.
That’s a small number of votes. That’s 0.06% of the total votes cast (128,824,833) — or 0.82% in Wisconsin, 0.24% in Michigan, and 0.75% in Pennsylvania. Not even 1% in any one of those states.
If you grant that Russia’s efforts had a small effect — well, there’s the difference.
You may think otherwise: you may think their efforts had an even greater effect, or none at all, and I suspect what you think depends on which candidate you backed.
For me: I believe that everything mattered. Russia’s attack on our democracy isn’t the only issue of consequence. But, still, take away just this one thing, and I strongly suspect Clinton would have won.
PS In contrast, Clinton won the popular vote by 2,865,075 votes, which is 2.2% of the popular vote.
We assess with high confidence that Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered an influence campaign in 2016 aimed at the US presidential election, the consistent goals of which were to undermine public faith in the US democratic process, denigrate Secretary Clinton, and harm her electability and potential presidency. We further assess Putin and the Russian Government developed a clear preference for President-elect Trump.
(Via Talking Points Memo.)
Manton’s doing important work, and you should back it.
Microblogging on the open web could be — should be — the next thing. Manton’s building it. With your help.