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So. That Happened.

Longtime readers of this blog will recall that our contributors here disagree on nearly everything except on the issue of Donald Trump’s utter unsuitability to serve as President. The voters, not just our contributors, spoke tonight and notwithstanding predictions both weak and strong, Donald Trump has won the Presidency. His party has retained control of both houses of Congress. Over a short period of time, the chances are good that Republican appointees will constitute a clear and reliably solid bloc of votes on the Supreme Court.1

Before you learn about how to apply for Canadian citizenship, I suggest you take a moment to soberly look to the future here. So what does America under Donald Trump look like? Realistically, I mean.

 

The President Himself

Donald Trump truly did bother me with the many authoritarian-sounding things he said on the campaign trail. It wouldn’t surprise me to see him make efforts to significantly advance the security state. Nevertheless, after a time of heightened rhetoric, it is now a time for sobriety. Trump is best categorized as a right-wing nationalist with far too much comfort in proximity to repulsive views about issues of equality and inclusion.

I am not convinced we’ve just elected a classic fascist: fascists are both friendly to large corporations (Trump is not this, at least not the Trump of the campaign trail) and capable of delivering efficient government (at best this is a wild card about which no one has any realistic basis to do more than guess). What we have done, though, is politically shat the bed. Trump is a lot of hat with very little cowboy underneath. He’ll be a terrible, embarrassing symbol of America to the rest of the world, and I have little idea how I’m going to explain what just happened to my relatives overseas. His fragile ego will make him a toy for malign foreign leaders to play with as they see fit.

Ultimately, he’s not popular with actual conservatives, a great many of whom only supported him because they saw him as less bad than Hillary Clinton. By all traditional calculi, this should eventually prove his undoing: his support group supports and backs him only so long as they are presented with an alternative course of action they deem unacceptably worse. To earn their trust and loyalty, he will have to remake himself into one of them, and he’s not psychologically capable of being anyone but who he really is: a shallow, fearful, inattentive man who makes up for his very real as well as merely self-perceived personal inadequacies with bluster, shock, and grandiosity. He is, in short, a bullshit artist.

So, what I really think just happened is we elected an American version of Italy’s Silvio Berlusconi. He’s got bromantic feelings towards Vladimir Putin and highly questionable legal dealings from his past just waiting to bite him in the ass when the conflicts of interest he inevitably doesn’t do enough about mitigating become irreconcilable with the discharge of the Presidency’s duties. There is every reason to believe that he will simply try to charisma his way out of any and all of the likely manifold political troubles he will stumble into.

 

Policy and Congress

After all, unlike those rather more dire historical comparisons, Donald Trump has also demonstrated, again and again, that he is fundamentally disinterested in governmental policy. He will offer very little direction in terms of what he wants to see the government do. He promises to enact protectionist policies to foster a re-growth of manufacturing jobs. Well, sure, I guess he’ll try. But he has to get protectionism past a Republican Congress first. Most of those Republicans are still pro-trade and ambivalent about immigration.

Trump says that he wants to beef up border security — and at least he’s abandoned the silly talk of an expensive and doomed-to-be-laughably-ineffective physical wall on the border with Mexico. Well, okay, I don’t like it and I don’t like setting the cause of meaningful and economically advantageous immigration reform back a dozen years but I guess we’ll muddle through that somehow.

Fact is, not everything Trump promised on the campaign trail is bad, either. Meaningful reform of the Veteran’s Administration is well past due and it’s shameful how we’ve been treating our veterans. Maybe President Trump will actually make that awful situation better. I’m skeptical, but it is a moral priority.

One thing about nationalists is they do tend to be on the isolationist side of military intervention. It may well be that we see pullbacks from foreign military intervention. I, for one, think we’ve been at war for too long and am not anxious to see more deployments in more theaters of military activity than are going on right now anyway.It’s hard to argue that the nation as a whole isn’t weary of our seemingly constant warfare and our young men and women coming home damaged after desultory fighting to no apparent geopolitical benefit to anyone.

Trump very obviously hasn’t a fishing clue what to do about Daesh, but can we really come down on him too hard for that? No one has a fishing clue what to do about Daesh except hope that enough of the nominally good guys in the area grind out a boots-on-the-ground military defeat against them, inch by slow and bloody inch, with air and materiel support from us. Getting Daesh actually wiped out, distasteful as it may seem, require making common cause with Russia and its puppet Bashar Assad in Syria — who knows, maybe Trump’s bizarre attraction to Putin makes him the right guy to do that. The only other real alternative may well be to tolerate Daesh’s existence, which appears to be a non-starter of an idea all around.

To the extent that policy direction comes from the White House, we’re promised it’ll come from Vice President Mike Pence. Maybe. There will be a cabinet. The Cabinet will consist of Republicans, and the talent pool from which President Trump will draw will be pretty from a body of standard conservatives. Those on the left side of the aisle won’t like them or their ideas one bit, but they will, mostly, have subject matter expertise. Their more far-reaching proposals are going to be litigated.

But really, I think we’ll be seeing most policy originating from Congress. There’s skepticism about whether Paul Ryan retains the Speakership. I, for one, am not sure at all that House Republicans are going to reshuffle their leadership because a President they almost all distrust doesn’t think that their current leader bent the knee sufficiently or for long enough — and I don’t think they relish the idea of another internal struggle to come up with new leadership. Ryan’s the best they’ve got.

Whether Ryan remains the functional leader of the Republicans in the House of Representatives or not, the achievable policy agenda is clear. Taxes are going to be cut, a bit. The deficit is going to rise, a bit. And Obamacare will be repealed, and replaced with nothing.

Basically, we’re going to revert to 2002 on a policy level. If you’re liberal, that’s not good, but no matter your political alignment, we did somehow survive it.

 

The Immediate And Not-So-Immediate Political Future

Simply put, President Trump is going to need to earn the trust of the conservatives there, who currently feel like he owes them, not the other way around. He can probably get a pre-vetted Supreme Court judge from the Heritage Foundation list appointed to SCOTUS without having to mend fences with Congressional Republicans, but I rather doubt much more than that. Donald Trump is not a guy who, by temperament, offers olive branches all that often.

The Republicans’ triumph appears complete tonight. It will be more so when they get around to reclaiming the Supreme Court to their column early next year. This is a mirror image of what the political landscape looked like in 2009. The Republicans took eight years to completely turn their fortunes around. There is no reason I can see that the Democrats could not do so as well. Perhaps the same tactic that the Republicans used — obstruct everything, constantly assail the President and impugn his legitimacy, keep the government in stasis — will work for them. Sauce for the goose works on the gander, too. This is the Era of Hard Feelings, after all.

I see the Democrats probably having to bide their time until 2020 to really have a shot at reclaiming meaningful power at the Federal level. By then, a Republican Party that is profoundly uninterested in actually governing will have four years’ worth of track record to demonstrate whether they’re actually ready, willing, and able to lead. So Democrats have substantial reason to be optimistic about the next cycle. It’s their turn out in the wilderness right now, and hopefully they find someone better than Hillary Clinton to lead them out of it.

 

Cultural Significance

I can’t shake the sneaking suspicion that Trump got all his free media and attracted so much attention by virtue of the fact that he’s spent years building up his public persona: a reality TV star, cultural icon of disdainfully vulgar wealth. So I’m a bit fearful that the White House is going to wind up looking like Saddam’s Palace before Donald Trump becomes Citizen Trump once more.

The campaign has exposed a side of him that looks much more detestable. “Deplorable,” even, although that’s a word that will need some careful rehabilitation now. This white nationalism business gets a whole lot more credibility even as Trump himself dances away from it winking and nodding. We need people to take strong, decisive stands against racial, sexual, and religious prejudice more than ever.

There will now be a prolonging of the silly-if-it-weren’t-scary debate about the role of Islam and Muslims in contemporary America. Expect to hear the word “assimilation” a lot, as in this is something that Muslims need to do more of, and expect that it will take on multiple layers of meaning, some of which will be socially tolerable and others of which will be code for something a bit uglier and more intolerant.

There will now be a prolonging of the tiresome-if-it-weren’t-still-scary role of the government in monitoring for the potential for violent activity by all manner of disliked minorities and a variety of police activities like stop-and-frisk will continue to be back on the table.

Not that a Clinton win would have cured us of our problems in those respects, but at least it wouldn’t have been what feels like a profound setback along our winding and rocky pathway towards realizing those national ideals.

Which is something I think you should remember. The pathway to realizing our cultural ideals is not straight, smooth, easy, or comfortable. There are setbacks. There are obstacles. There are those who want to go a different direction, for reasons which sound — to them — like morally good ones.

In other words, you can’t think that your neighbors who voted for Trump are evil proto-Nazis that you should hate and scorn and shun. We have to live together. The one good thing to say about (actual) conservatives is that they are all about preserving our institutions. I don’t pretend that President Trump is an actual conservative; he’s not. He’s a nationalist, and a bit of a radical. I have zero faith in his desire to preserve institutions. But the talent pool of people he’s going to be drawing from are Republicans, so expect them to push things in a conservative direction, and that’s fundamentally establishmentarian. So if you don’t like the results of this election, the right next thing to do is rely on the institutions we have in place. Our courts. Our Constitution. Our elections.

What’s more demographic and economic changes are not going to stop. America will continue to darken in its average skin color, variegate in religious faith, expand the Babel of languages it speaks, and the generations will continue to advance in age. In the long run, it’s hard to see how Republicans benefit from these irreversible and unstoppable trends.2

 

Historical Context

The fact of the matter is, we’ve gotten through things like this in our history before. I see two temperamental and political analogues to President Trump from our past: Andrew Jackson and Richard Nixon. Both of them changed the way politics was done and did some pretty damn bad things while in office. But neither of them were strong enough to fundamentally change the nature of America as a Constitutional republic.

The fact is, 2016 was a year that had good fundamentals for a “generic Republican.” Donald Trump is anything but generic, but nevertheless, he was given an opponent with a whole lot of really bad history to move past. And the even more unpleasant fact for those displeased with the results on the 2016 election is that the fundamentals in 2018 will also favor generic Republican gains, not just holds, in Congress and a large number of the governorships.

The markets have already expressed their horror at Trump’s election. Worse than they did with Brexit. They will eventually recover. Don’t do anything impulsive with your 401(k). Yes, some of our trade deals are looking murky and unreliable. But it’s not like trade is going to stop. It’ll slow. Who knows, maybe the protectionism will work. I doubt it, but I’ve been wrong about a lot of things during this annus horribilis.

 

A Personal Thought

This really has been an annus horribilis for me, and seeing an ogre like Trump ascend to the Presidency is a capstone disaster to it, both disappointing and embarrassing for me as an American.

I’m not going to opt out of this nation. I am displeased with, but accept, the results of our free and fair elections.3 Certain matters transcend partisan preference for the good of our nation as a whole. When President Trump directs our troops to war as he surely will, I shall wish them unvarnished, swift success. Should the markets collapse completely I shall hope for a prompt economic recovery. Natural disasters and other difficult-to-predict events will occur, and I shall hope that there is wisdom and good counsel and prompt solutions to those problems. Let no one wish for an impeachment or a death in office and let our fears that Trump’s terrifyingly unfiltered speeches do not too distantly alienate our allies and trading partners.

I am not now and will never count myself an ally or a supporter of Donald Trump. My presumption is that a policy idea emanating from his White House is to be opposed, until and unless I can be convinced to the contrary. When I see the government stepping on peoples’ civil liberties and reaching for more power than is Constitutionally appropriate, I shall call the government on it, even if only on these pages, and if the opportunity presents itself I shall not hesitate to argue against the government in court. Should the privilege of making such a challenge fall to me, I shall call myself a patriot for pursuing it.

May Donald Trump’s Administration be peaceful, accomplish as little of his declared agenda as possible, and last only a single term.Notes:

  1. Poor Judge Garland. What a raw deal for a supremely-qualified jurist. []
  2. Which may explain why elements of that party fight them so much. []
  3. Even though the only cases of actual voter fraud I ever heard about this time around were people trying to stuff the ballot boxes for Trump. []

Editor-in-Chief
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Pseudonymous. Practices Law. Lives in Southern California. Editor-in-Chief of Ordinary Times. Homebrewer. Atheist. No Partisan Preference. Likes: respectful and intelligent dialogue, good wine, and puppies. Dislikes: mass-produced barley pop, magical thinking, and insincere people. Follow him on Twitter at @burtlikko, and on Flipboard at Burt Likko.

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517 thoughts on “So. That Happened.

  1. All of this assumes him to be a reasonable person who won’t DO anything with the extraordinary powers a President holds, let alone anything completely off the charts with them. I’d love to think he’ll be isolationist, but I haven’t seen much if any evidence other than the weak historical trend you mention, suggesting that will be the case.

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    • Maribou,
      Clinton would have given us a 1 in 3 shot of a limited nuclear war. (And far greater that we’d see something like GWB’s Iraq disaster).

      Compared to that, all Trump has to do is not launch nuclear weapons.

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        • We’ve already got measures in place if it comes to that.
          Because Palin was a possibility (a heartbeat away from the presidency).
          The US Military will say “No” if it’s against national security.

          The problem with Hillary is her moves were likely to be viewed positively by the military and the Powers that Be. (They didn’t stop GWBush, after all…)

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    • Seconded. Burt, your post reminds me of yet another GOP establishment guy thinking thT you can control him. They all failed, and that was before he took the most powerful office in the world.

      My prediction is that Dubya just went down one notch on the list of Really Bad Presidents.

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    • No, there is always hope.

      Pandora’s worst curse and best blessing, hope will persist until the last of us takes one last breath.

      We must imagine Sisyphus happy.

      Or to quote my other favorite bit of Camus, “in the midst of winter, I found there was, within me, an invincible summer.”

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        • Jaybird is the only other person I know who loves that original essay as much as I do. A few people I know love it almost that much though. I suspect the existential comics guy is one of them.

          (Also there is an ACTUAL game involving rolling boulders up and down hills and it is in fact a game where you purportedly play a version of Sisyphus. The cut scenes are pretty entertaining.)

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    • Shake off the despair. We need our anti-authoritarian left awake and sober. We need them with sharpened spears, and wild eyes. The strong man walks among us as he always has. This season he is of the right instead of the left.

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  2. Seriously America, seriously!? I mean, I know the alternative was Hillary Clinton, but even so.

    Anyway, I can only hope you are correct Burt. Odds are that Trump will be Berlusconian, but I fear that a man as prone to avenge a slight and indifferent to procedural justice as Trump could do serious harm to your nation. If he blows up at a Supreme Court decision he doesn’t like he could do something rash and end up severely damaging your Constitutional framework.

    I wish you all the best of luck for the next 4 years, hopefully you will not need it.

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    • We keep on saying to each other that we have a Constitutional system of checks and balances in place to limit the powers of government and prevent any would-be tyrant from doing too much harm. I’d rather we not have had to put that system to the unnecessary stress test that’s so obviously imminent. But here we are.

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      • Who knows, you could get lucky. If Trump overreaches in a sufficiently egregious and ham-fisted way its possible that he could provoke a popular backlash against the Presidency like Nixon did. It’s not a scenario I’d want to have to bet on, but Trump could actually result in a rollback of the Imperial Presidency.

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      • Trump strikes me as the type of President where all the Constitutional checks and balances against an off the rail President will fair. The Republican dominated Congress has no reason to oppose him. McConnell could get the filibuster and every obstructionist tool they used against Obama. Than the Republican dominated House and Senate could write any piece of legislation. Trump cares nothing about policy. He will pass anything that his delivered to his desk.

        During the campaign, Trump personally demonstrated that he is not man to even pretend to be bound by the Constitution. He vowed to jail Hillary Clinton for being Hillary Clinton. This is a man running as dictator and Tribune of White America. The Republicans in Congress have no reason to prevent judge from misusing his power to persecute his perceived enemies as long as they aren’t Republican.

        The Courts aren’t going to stop him either. Trump is going to replace somebody very reactionary and young to replace Scalia on the Supreme Court. He will potentially get many other appointments in on Circuit and District Courts. These judges aren’t going to find Trump’s actions un-Constitutional.

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      • Burt,
        We have secret laws on the books, ones that are so secret they’re only referenced by number. The Dictatorial Executive is already here.

        An Unpopular One such as Trump can only pull back on the trend.

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        • Personally, I love the idea of Congress meeting in secret session to pass secret bills that are then signed into secret law. Violators of secret laws are then secretly arrested, secretly prosecuted and secretly imprisoned. All of this is authorized, of course, by the secret provisions of the secret Constitution.

          There’s totally a movie there. Nicholas Cage, maybe.

          Or perhaps Kim is referring to Executive Orders, which are commonly referred to by number.

          Kim, you really need to be leaking to the New York Times, not Ordinary Times. That is, if you can avoid assassination. {cue dramatic music}

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          • Why should I bother? I’m not half the writer that other people are, and there’s always Wikileaks, which is busy blathering out all the icky details of the Clinton Campaign.

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  3. So what does America under Donald Trump look like?

    The biggest shocks are going to come two, three, four years down the line when people start realizing that America under Trump looks pretty much the same as it has looked for the past fifteen years.

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      • …And I’m not saying the rhetorical level that was reached in response to his many unthinkable statements over the course of the campaign was not justified by those statements.

        But let’s get real. The greatest pain being felt *right now* is being felt mainstream members of each respective political party, about entirely normal political concerns: in the GOP, fears about what a party regime change means for careers and party ideological commitments, and among Democrats, over the lost opportunity in getting to replace a Republican-appointed Justice (and possibly seeing some of theirs be replaced by Republicans), and the likelihood that what was hoped to be generational legislation might have a much shorter shelf life.

        There may be mass deportations; there may be a wall. We may withdraw from Nato or bomb Damascus into glass. But right now, it’s those totally normal political losses that are being so keenly felt. And they would be felt just as much if the person who made this happen weren’t such an outlier in proposals, words, and behavior – that is, for Democrats, if simply any Republican at all had won, and for Republicans, if any one with so many policy orthodoxies (trade, propriety of the Iraq invasion) had, even if he had been much less demonstrably unfit for the office.

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        • I know a lot of people who aren’t within a party, possibly not even within this country, who are feeling this very very strongly, more strongly than those “totally normal political losses” you describe. Weeping, shaking, scared, vomiting … most of them are either people of color or somewhere in the QUILTBAG.

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          • Weeping, shaking, scared, vomiting … most of them are either people of color or somewhere in the QUILTBAG.

            I’ll go back to what was the point of the post that I wrote a couple of months ago. If there is a mode of political engagement or social justice that insufficiently prepares people for the perils of the real world, we have two sets of choices. We can double down and continue to demand that the world change to accommodate us. Or we can do what we have to do as individuals to make sure that things like the outcome of the presidential election does not reduce us to weeping and shaking.

            I made my choice a long time ago and that, more than anything else, is why I lead a mostly happy life. I have only a limited ability to change the world, but I have lots of efficacy over myself.

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            • With respect, I think you’re very mistaken about this dichotomy (as I’m sure you could predict I would think). Saying that they are weeping and shaking tonight does not mean they won’t stand up and fight tomorrow. I’ve put my chips on them being better fighters because they actually feel, and then sublimate, and then use their dark feelings, instead of thinking they have to choose between emotional honesty and powerful action.

              I made a choice a long time ago to focus on what I could do instead of letting myself be overwhelmed, too. It got me out of daily abuse and into a happy life, but it also crippled me, both physically and emotionally. If that isn’t how that choice worked for you, more power to you.

              My path these days is teaching me that vulnerability can increase my strength, not just erase it. I have faith in these wobbly, honest, insistent, persistent, hard-working, change-demanding kids, and I think that their generational openness and interdependence, and our generational cynicism and latch-key-kid self-suffiency can eventually win through, together.

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              • I’m not advocating for any dichotomy. You can be vulnerable to certain things without being vulnerable to everything. The key differences for me have to do with the public versus private self and with the difference between real harm and psychic harm. I am vulnerable in my personal relationships, but I do not sweat what strangers say about me on the internet. And I am vulnerable to situations that involve real harm to people, but not to situations where the harm being inflicted is psychic. And the fact is, until he actually does something, the election of Donald Trump is a psychic harm.

                You mentioned Sisyphus and Camus above and I think that is a fantastic point. But if you’re going to call on existentialism for hope, then you should incorporate the deeper point, which is that hope comes from accepting the burden of radical human freedom. And accepting the burden of radical human freedom has to involve suppressing your ego and exposing yourself to the reality of the world. One of the many problems with our present political culture is that it is centered on hiding reality, on scapegoating the other, and on protecting the ego in such a way that makes change and growth very difficult. We can continue down this path, but it won’t end well.

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                • I don’t think we’ll ever agree about whether psychic harm is real harm. I do know that I was physically harmed, once nearly unto death, as a kid, and the constant psychic harm of the threat held over me, of whether that might happen to me again, and the control and manipulation that went with it, was worse than the nearly dying. The demand that I split my public and private self was, in my case, part of that psychic harm, and so any solution that requires (rather than merely allows for) concealment and a purely private vulnerability is never going to work for me.

                  My political fears aren’t really separable from my personal fears, when my very public, as in out on the public street or on public transit, self has been groped, grabbed by the same place Trump apparently thinks is acceptable to joke about, and shoved around. (Yes, I fight back. No, I shouldn’t have to become a marksman or an aikido black belt to walk down a public street safely.) I’m not scapegoating people who disagree with me – I actually felt disturbed by all the people (not the kids I was referencing, but people my age and older) who were posting stuff on FB about “if you voted for Trump I’m never talking to you again” on their feed. I made a point of posting, over and over, just like I say in person, that we can’t ever create change if we refuse to really engage with the other half of the country, on those folks’ feed. But those people were not that common among the people I know,

                  I just don’t think the majority of people who are having all the public feels are on the path you think they are on. Certainly not the emotional students and other young people you keep seeing so differently than I do. I see them change and grow all the time. And they’re engaging their peers in effective ways, across deep disagreements.

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                  • I don’t think we’ll ever agree about whether psychic harm is real harm.

                    I never said that psychic harm isn’t real. Personal psychic harm is incredibly real and can be incredibly damaging, especially for people in vulnurable relationships. But we don’t have to make ourselves vulnurable to every bad thing that happens in the world. One of the challenges of dealing with technology is that social media amplifies all the bad things in the world and creates the illusion that we are personally experiencing public events.

                    I see them change and grow all the time.

                    I would hope so; that’s how human development is supposed to work. My comments are never meant to disparage anyone, the joking aside. The point of my comments is to say, you (the proverbial you) don’t have to be the person left weeping and shaking because some asshole was elected president. Human beings are made of sterner stuff.

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                    • ” I am vulnerable to situations that involve real harm to people, but not to situations where the harm being inflicted is psychic. ”

                      I think we’d understand each other better if you can stop making statements that I then read literally, followed by telling me you never made such statements. Or perhaps I can learn to assume your oppositions are not meant to be read literally but instead contextualized and interpreted through the lens of your other statements. I’m very literal-minded, particularly online, but stranger things have happened.

                      And the point of my comments is to say that to be weeping and shaking SOMETIMES is not to be “left weeping and shaking”. To bastardize Camus’ lovely phrase, just because you acknowledge that it’s thunderstorming, or even that it might be snowing in July, doesn’t mean you’re denying the summer inside you. Or to wrench Camus into my harness, nos doutes sont ce que nous avons de plus intimes. Our shared doubts (and fears) are one of the most intimate ways we have of connecting with each other. And intimate connection can forge strong, effective social communities.

                      Asshole presidents have the ability to start nuclear wars – the harm being potential doesn’t mean it’s not meaningful. Just that it shouldn’t stop one from forging a way forward. Which may include, productively, public and quasi-public mourning.

                      And I can’t imagine, as an aside, that Camus was asking anyone to be more impersonal in public – he was one of the most open, vulnerable, public writers among the existentialists. Engaging with reality had mixed results for the existentialists, as you probably know. Camus was pretty good at it, but didn’t depersonalize it. Sartre and De Beauvoir came to deeply regret their belief that they had to put their personal reactions to communism aside for the sake of the seemingly objective requirement to support the communist cause for the so-called greater good. And so on.

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                      • I think we’d understand each other better if you can stop making statements that I then read literally, followed by telling me you never made such statements.

                        You are right. I was unclear. In raising the categories of physical v. psychic harm and personal v. public harm, I was thinking in terms of a matrix: personal physical harm, personal psychic harm, public physical harm, public psychic harm, so on…

                        And yes, I think that if you are letting public psychic harm affect you the way that physical harm or personal psychic harm affects you, you’re doing yourself a disservice. That’s just my opinion, so we can agree to disagree. But let’s dig into this a bit:

                        Asshole presidents have the ability to start nuclear wars – the harm being potential doesn’t mean it’s not meaningful.

                        Let’s talk about asshole presidents. The one we’ve got right now is by all credible accounts the opposite of an asshole. Obama is gracious, even-keeled and magnanimous. As an avatar, he’s about the best that I can hope for in a president. He’s also commanding over a targeted assassination program that has likely murdered civilians numbering in the hundreds, if not thousands (http://foreignpolicy.com/2016/07/05/do-not-believe-the-u-s-governments-official-numbers-on-drone-strike-civilian-casualties/).

                        Do any of those people weeping and shaking over Trump have similar reactions to Obama? My guess is no. And that tells me that these reactions are about a lot more than harm; they’re about signalling.

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                  • maribou,
                    Psychic harm is real harm. Deliberate psychic harm is inflicted upon people I know by television all the fucking time. I’m NOT going to boycott any tv show because of That Fucking Door Noise, though (Yes, there are actually people out there who suffer PTSD from sound effects libraries). (Nor am I going to boycott something because they’re blatantly stealing other people’s sound effects).

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                • Here is a poem that I may need to memorize soon.

                  (Also, if you all don’t know Wendell Berry, I think many of you might like his work.)

                  http://www.context.org/iclib/ic30/berry/

                  And because I’ve basically already got it memorized already, here is the last stanza of said poem. Even though I recommend you go read the whole thing.

                  Go with your love to the fields.
                  Lie down in the shade. Rest your head
                  in her lap. Swear allegiance
                  to what is nighest your thoughts.
                  As soon as the generals and the politicos
                  can predict the motions of your mind,
                  lose it. Leave it as a sign
                  to mark the false trail, the way
                  you didn’t go. Be like the fox
                  who makes more tracks than necessary,
                  some in the wrong direction.
                  Practice resurrection.

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                  • Um, that wasn’t particularly to Kim, I just had a commenting snafu, and I meant to put it at the bottom. I hope you all go read said poem (not that you have to) – and I hope if you do it speaks to you.

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            • As a foreign national, I’d love to think you’re right but unfortunately the US wields far more power over the rest of the world than Iran does.

              And just because someone is not inside the borders of a country does not mean they don’t have family ties and long history with living there. They could even be citizens (some of them are).

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              • ” the US wields far more power over the rest of the world than Iran does.”

                Yes it does. But your country is complicit in this as well. You follow. I’m assuming you live in 1st world w. europe. You guys have been coasting for too long. Man up and cut the cord. We’ll still play nice. The entire world either blames the us or sucks up to it. Time to tell the bully to go home, that you can take care of your own affairs.

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                • From a Canadian stand point all we need from you is to not go 1812 or 1929 on us again, and if 1940 comes along we’d really appreciate it if you eventually do the right thing again also.

                  I don’t think we were particularly concerned about any of that recently but we’re less certain of you now than we were previously.

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                  • Then I’d encourage you to develop non reliance and insulation measures so you’re not stricken by any impacts. Maybe you need to put some distance between yourselves and your “friends down south”. Maybe disengage some of the ties? Too many eggs in one basket and all.

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                    • That’s nice in theory, but you can’t share a room with an elephant and expect your mitigation efforts to count for anything if he really starts moving.

                      The same three oceans that protect you from the rest of the world locks us in a room with you, for better or worse. The last 70 years that’s been much better than worse, but it becoming worse is out of our hands.

                      Americans aren’t conditioned to be able to think like smaller powers. The possiblity of doing everything right and still losing isn’t something you have to grapple with very often.

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                • Damon I live in Colorado and have done for nearly half my life.

                  I’m a Canadian national who lives in Colorado.

                  Who immigrated here in 1998, in fact.

                  So your assumptions are pretty far off base.

                  I would love to see Canada cut the cord, but I’m guessing that given they are *right next* to the United States and have had sovereignty incursions in the past, they’re more likely to focus on offering refuge and less likely to focus on blunt disapproval. At least at the federal level.

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          • I could be wrong about what is affecting people right now.

            I know that the person in my household doing exactly those things is doing them because of effects that would be in the offing had Marco Rubio won.

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        • No offense. But both of you are nominally Christian white men I think. You aren’t a person of color, a woman, a Jew, a Muslim, an immigrant, or LGBT. Republicans now have the perfect opportunity to reserve Roe, pass even more voter suppression legislation, gut the ACA, and rollback everything they hate about America since the New Deal. The best result is the United States ends up as Kansas writ large. The worst result is unspeakable.

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          • “both of you are nominally Christian white men”

            It’s amazing (but probably shouldn’t be) how often people assume that j r is white and then chastise him for his viewpoints based on that assumption. Given that various other people have said “jeez, knock it off,” repeatedly, especially.

            It’s almost as if people have an artificially narrow, subconsciously held view of what is possible for a person of color to believe or argue.

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            • True. I never actually read anything where j r referred to his race but his way of looking at the world suggests somebody not strongly likely to get punched in the face by it.

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            • It’s amazing (but probably shouldn’t be) how often people assume that j r is white and then chastise him for his viewpoints based on that assumption.

              Completely aside from whatever I am, whenever someone tries to tell me that my views are inimical to people of color, that just lets me know that the person talking is more interested in “people of color” as an abstract concept than in actual people, of color.

              I’ve never been someone who bought into the “liberals are the real racist” idea, but there are an awful lot of people who like to signal the supposed superiority of their progressive views by signalling a concern for minorities.

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              • “The Real Racists,” as it gets used here, is a strawman. That there is a certain kind of condescending, agency-denying racism prevalent in a subset of the left doesn’t excuse or erase the more textbook kind of racism you see in a subset of the right, or vice-versa. They can and do coexist.

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              • That’s fair and if you would prefer I quit attempting to ride herd on people and just ignore them instead, I will do so. You’re not wrong about what it implies, of course, I just keep hoping that seeing that THEY’RE wrong will help people quit making that set of generalizations.

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          • Look at the effects you list. I know and feel the impact of each of them. But just look at them. They make my point exactly:

            reserve Roe, pass even more voter suppression legislation, gut the ACA, and rollback everything they hate about America since the New Deal

            My point is not to deny their impact. My point is to point out that they would be just as terrible for people of that worldview had the winner been Marco Rubio rather than Donald Trump.

            (You, amazingly, failed to even mention immigration/immigrants, which is the one area where there is an argument I am wrong. If that’s where it’s felt most acutely, then I am wrong (though I think today will prove that I am right, at least about which of these is felt most broadly by those who express such things on social media.) But the set of effects *you* chose is exactly a case in my point.)

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            • To me the biggest fear is Trump turning our next mild recession into a major recession/depression while starting a trade war.

              That and further polarization based a president who is incapable of not attacking people who say negative things about him , coupled with the Democrats following the Republic/Trump playbook of all out obstructionism and an electoral strategy of the party core plus a riled up fringe.

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              • I can’t imagine the Democratic Party will try full fledged obstructionism; I don’t see any reasons to doubt that the GOP will turf the filibuster the moment they have a big enough policy prize within reach of it and this election puts many such prizes within reach.

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                • You’re probably right–plus the Democrats don’t seem unified enough to really make the strategy work. Though that doesn’t mean opposition won’t be portrayed as obstructionism of President Trump’s (Jesus Christ that was strange to type) mandate.

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              • Gaelan,
                Deutchbank is melting down, so are the Italian banks.
                This won’t be a mild recession, this will be a major global recession.

                Props to the people who held the lid on so far.

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          • Lee,
            You have no knowledge of the Powers that Be.
            Like Brexit, this is not a disaster.
            Do you know why Brexit wasn’t a disaster?
            Next morning the Auto Makers were in Merkel’s office laying down the LAW about not punishing Great Britain.

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        • I think you and jr are dead on. This was a bad outcome but the melodrama this morning is absurd. America isnt (yet) any different than it was yesterday. All we learned is that the Democrats did exactly what Bernie Sanders warned them about and nominated someone who doesn’t take the trade and immigration concerns of the white working class seriously. It cost them winnable votes in Pennsylvania and the upper Midwest that would’ve turned the election. Chris Matthews of all people made some very insightful points to this effect around 2 AM last night on MSNBC.

          The response is to push back the same as during the Bush years. Progressives have more allies and means of asserting power than they think, and for God’s sake this campus style emotionalism, identitarianism, and helplessness needs to stop.

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          • There is no evidence that Bernie Sanders could have won the election against Trump. Jew hatred played a big part of Trump’s appeal and Sanders would have been attacked as an un-American Jewish atheist socialist that wants to abort your baby.

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            • Whether he could have won or not is impossible to know and I take no position in that question. My point is that he was able to expose where her weaknesses were and maybe provide a path forward even if he himself isn’t the candidate to lead it.

              Progressives in urban enclaves created for themselves the exact kind of echo chamber they regularly and rightly criticize on the right and convinced themselves that Clinton’s shortcomings weren’t nearly as significant as they were.

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            • Other than all the polls that showed him trouncing not just Trump but “Generic Republican”?

              But hey, keep going with your historical fiction about how Trump was inevitable because racist America. I’m sure that’s very comforting for you.

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                • I’d trust the polls that worked. And the advisors that got their asses fired off the Clinton team for being right one time too often.

                  Bernie would have won in a walk against Trump. Nearly anyone (except, apparently, Joe Biden, who’s gotta have some seriously bad shit in his closet) would have won against Trump.

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            • No evidence? That’s because you’re blind and selfish, but I repeat myself.
              I talk to pollsters, and they’ve got tons of evidence. Hell, you can go county by county looking at the results if you don’t believe me, The Guardian, or WAPO.
              Democratic Turnout this time was down by 8-9%, Republican Turnout (compared to Romney) was flat.

              This is NOT “the hills came down and voted.”

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              • This is a good point. Indeed, it looks like Republican turnout was a little bit down from ’12, though not nearly as much as Democratic turnout was down.

                What I’m wary of is single-causing those phenomena.

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        • I had no investment in the Democratic Party necessarily, but I am deeply saddened by the rise of Trump. More than any other moment in my life, I see that I don’t understand many of my countrymen.

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          • What’s there to understand? It was a “kick ’em in the balls” vote.
            If you don’t understand that, I suggest you find a nice pharmacy that posts signs about “we do not carry XYZ medicine here”, and talk to the proprietor. Ya might just learn something.

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      • @j-r

        “The biggest shocks are going to come two, three, four years down the line when people start realizing that America under Trump looks pretty much the same as it has looked for the past fifteen years.”

        If this is true, they this election is really no big deal, and all the wailing and gnashing are pointless. All the “concern” is nothing but partisan disappointment. If someone had said this 12 months ago, there would be less drama. Or are you just telling yourself that? Can’t have it both ways.

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        • If this is true, they this election is really no big deal, and all the wailing and gnashing are pointless

          It will be a very big deal for all those that voted for Trump (*) because they are afraid or angry at how things are. When four years from now when the factories in middle America are still closed, the wars in the Middle Aeast are still going, and the only difference in the life of the Trump voter is that there is no more Obamacare, what then? Will this people shrug and say “well, we gave it a try, but it’s not meant to be”?

          Of will they be more angry, more afraid, and more convinced to have been, again, left behind by the elites?

          My biggest fear about a Trump presidency is not what he could do. It’s what he promIsed to, but CAN’T do, even if he tried (not that he will). What his voters completely lose trust in democracy?

          (*) as opposed to just “against Hillary’

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          • “What his voters completely lose trust in democracy?”

            They can join the rest of us who are already there. Will your scenario make contribute to the car going over the cliff a bit faster? Maybe. But the car is already headed towards the cliff and there is no turning back, barring massive massive change. Driving at 60 or 90 still gets you to the cliff with little difference in the duration.

            I wonder if this election will be the bookend to the “collapse of the american empire” historians will write one day in the history books….We shall see, but frankly, I don’t see much changing, if at all, it’ll be on the margins only. But I’m just some dude spouting off on the interweb, WTF do I know.

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  4. After the Cylons occupy New Caprica:
    Tyrol: What do you want to do now, Captain?
    Starbuck: The same thing we always do. Fight them until we can’t.

    Number Six heralds the Cylons’ arrival to Baltar:
    Head Six: Judgment day.

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  5. The best result and this is still a very horrible result is that the United States ends up as something like Kansas writ large. There will be a lot of dysfunction and economic misery but it will be in the realm of knowable dysfunction and economic misery. Structural patterns in United States politics and the growing Republican penchant for voter suppression will keep the Republicans in Congress safe even if Trump remains a one term President.

    In a response to Burt, I’ve outlined what I think the worst domestic result would be. Trump keeps good on as vow to act as Tribune and Congress and the Courts are either complicit or powerless to stop him. Internationally their could be a lot of chaos. Trump is an unstable man and is going to end up as Commander-in-Chief. We could see the full misuse of the Imperial Presidency. International markets might react very badly to President Trump, who could do something stupid like default on the debt as his usual practice. This is going to be a Second Great Depression.

    Socially, I think many of the worst elements of American society are going to feel emboldened because of Trump Presidency. He ran on a platform of hatred against the Other broadly defined. White Americans who hate the other are going to have more encourage to express this and commit crimes against those they perceive as enemies. I suspect a strong uptick in violent crimes against people of color, Jews, Muslims, women, and LGBT people. The movement for criminal justice reform and against mass incarceration is dead. Trump ran on a certain sort of law and order and that is what we are going to get.

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    • If only someone had had the foresight to limit the power of the presidency and federal government generally so that no one person, or even three hundred people, could have this kind of power. Oh, wait….

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    • The article you linked to also contains this, “Aides for Hillary Clinton, the 2016 Democrat presidential nominee, in 2008 kept a “hit list” of politicians they felt had wronged her during her loss to then-Sen. Barack Obama in the Democratic primary.” So you are more concerned by a Trump list than a Clinton one? If so why?

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      • Because Trump has a really obvious history of going after people *years later* for petty reasons?

        Whereas I couldn’t name any of people on Clinton’s supposed ‘hit list’ based on her behavior. We’re talking about the *primary* here, so most of those enemies would be Democrats, presumably. What Democrats has she attacked…ever? (No, Sanders doesn’t count. He didn’t have anything to do with 2008.)

        I mean, if anyone had ‘wronged’ her in the 2008 primary, it was Obama, but she *immediately* took a position in his cabinet, working with people selected by Obama, at least *some of whom* (I can’t be bothered to look) had to have supported Obama over her during the campaign.

        Oh, wait. It said *aides* to her made that list, not her.

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  6. First, an apologize to my left of center friends here, especially but not only Saul DeGraw. While I consider myself a liberal, I’ve been dismissive of or smirkish to many of your concerns during this campaign season and about American society and polity in general. Not that it’s a good excuse, but I just didn’t think Trump would win. Now that he has, I have to think on what’s important. One of those things is this from Burt’s OP:

    We need people to take strong, decisive stands against racial, sexual, and religious prejudice more than ever.

    While I’ve always known–and usually used–the “right words” and engaged in milquetoast tsk-tsking, I’ve done too little of taking any stand at all, sometimes inwardly rolling my eyes when, for example, someone points out the antisemitic tropes Trump uses. I have to stop that. I won’t promise I won’t backslide–in fact, I know I’ll backslide–but some things are too important and I know I’ll have to keep trying. Maybe, as Maribou says above, focus on what I can do as a person in my day to day interactions.

    So yes, let’s continue disagree on the minimum wage and conscience exemptions for union shop employees (remember how bitter our arguments got about those things?). But I have to remember that I gotta be on the same “side” as you for those important issues.

    Thanks for this OP, Burt. Much of it is stuff I technically already knew, but it’s nice to have the words here in front of me.

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  7. My personal prediction as a Jew is that Jews are screwed in a special kind of way. Trump flirted with anti-Semitism through out his campaign and it grew especially prominent towards the end. Many of his more passionate followers in the Alt-Right and Neo-Reactionaries hate Jews more than other minority group because they perceive us as the ring leaders behind everything they hate about modernity. Trump’s critics among liberals, especially the Social Justice crowd, are going to be too wielded towards seeing this about White Racism and will most likely continue to see Jews as White people rather than a targeted group.

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    • The anti-Semitism baked into Trump’s support was real and vile. But do you envision it manifesting in policy? Or are you worried more about the cultural impact and broader societal acceptance of anti-Semitism (more akin to my fears expressed below)?

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      • More in cultural impact and broader social acceptance than actual policy. My big fear is that Jewish Americans are going to end something as a monkey in the middle in Trump’s America. Trump’s supporters are going to see us as part of the Other but Social Justice activists will continually down play and ignore the Jew hatred and see Jews as part of White America.

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  8. I genuinely am concerned about raising my sons in Trump’s America. AtheistGod willing, he will be a one term President and they’ll remember him as much as I remember Reagan. But what will the influence be? I fear that Trump’s genuine awfulness is now legitimized. Now let’s be clear: Trump neither invented nor perfected awfulness, his personal brand or otherwise. But for a long time we could write off such awfulness as the province of YouTube comments sections and 4chan… a decision we made at our peril. But now we have an awful man in the White House and a sizeable portion of the population who shares or believes in that awfulness who feels emboldened by his presence there. I’m not talking policy or ideology… I’m talking character, decency, respect, humility, compassion, generosity, kindness. Or, really, a discusting lack thereof.

    How do I teach my children — at home and in the classroom — that kindness matters when our country just said, “No, no it doesn’t?” This isn’t a rhetorical question, mind you. Maybe we will collectively realize the toxicity — for ourselves and our fellow humans — of haboring and indulging in our more vile impulses after stewing in this for the next 4 years, turn about, and repudiate this. But I’m not hopeful.

    There are real policy concerns, particularly for women, PoCs, LGBTQ folks, and religious minorities. And economic worries, including (especially?) for many of the groups Trump derived his support from. I’m cautiously optimistic this all won’t turn out as bad as it could.

    But for our collective soul? Our spirit? Who we are? Yes, I scared. For my sons. For your children. For what yesterday tells them about who we are.

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    • Those are good questions. How do you teach children the value of gentleness, kindness, decency, and other values when a man who repudiated these values won the Presidency in campaign filled with everything we don’t want children to learn? Its going to take a lot of cognitive dissonance and some quick thinking to get around this.

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      • Good parenting can do a lot.

        I grew up in a snobby, closed-minded, racist-in-the-WASP-way rich town. My parents were not snobby or closed-minded people, (nor were they truly WASPs). They taught my brother and me to look at what a person does rather than what “group” he or she appears to belong to. They taught us to forgive and to give the benefit of the doubt.

        A number of times when I was older, my mother bemoaned that she “taught us to be too nice” when one or the other of us got run over by one of the little bullies at our schools. I would argue that she taught us to be exactly nice enough.

        There’s also the old saying, “If you can’t be a good example, you can be a terrible warning.” Perhaps there’s that. (And yeah. I think in certain ways I am the opposite of status-conscious because I saw the idiot posturing my classmates did over crap like Ocean Pacific shirts and Jordache jeans)

        (I honestly can’t believe that some of the stuff that came out of the guy’s mouth, did.)

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        • If I have been paying proper attention, I believe you have been in the parent game longer than I (my boys are 3.5 and 1.5). So, I am apt to defer to your judgement on the power of parenting.

          This just feels like such a huge step backwards.

          Then again, we remain several steps ahead of where we were in generations past and we emerged from those dark times. Emerge we shall again.

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          • Not a parent, just an obsolete kid who remembers all too well how awful some parts of kid-hood were. Having good parents who cared about me, and having other supportive adults (we belonged to a good church) made a big difference.

            (I was super, super, super unpopular with my peers: I was an egghead who cried easily and wore the ‘wrong’ clothes. And was immature for my age – I still liked stuffed animals when the other girls had moved on to caring more about shoes and purses. I survived being unpopular because I felt like I had people rooting for me – my parents, my friends at church, my few same-aged friends)

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            • Clearly I have not been paying attention properly!

              One of my fears is that my boys will grow up a very privileged life. They are white and male, born to middle-upper class professional parents. They even had the temerity to be fair skinned and blue eyed, one with beautiful blonde locks.

              I am less worried about them becoming victims than them becoming victimizers.

              I know there are steps I can take to steer them on the right path. But I feel like that just got a little bit trickier yesterday.

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              • Teach ’em empathy.. I had plenty of privilege growing up and I’m not a jerk. At least, I don’t *think* I am….I suppose none of us ever know for sure.

                I think being bullied in school helped me learn empathy. Maybe you arrange that for your sons? (Kidding, kidding.)

                I think if you teach them to treat people as individuals rather than to see whatever group-membership first, that helps. Honestly, for me, growing up? Who was in elected office (I was born under Nixon, Carter is the first president I remember well) had far, far less influence on me than what my parents did day-to-day.

                Maybe encourage your kids to disengage from the TV news? When I was a kid 24/7 news didn’t exist; the first really big scary-sad news story I remember was from when I was 10. My parents consciously tried to shield us, and I think that was actually a solid choice.

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        • I don’t know what the Trump Effect is.

          But what I fear is that I can no longer, “Our society values kindness and decency. It values respect and honesty. It values responsibility and accountability.” Now, maybe we could never say that. That can be debated. But I feel much less secure in my ability to say that and mean it… that I won’t have a young person say to me, “Why should I be kind? THE PRESIDENT ISN’T EVEN KIND!” who can back it up with a 10 minute montage of video clips.

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          • Clinton was not kind, or honest. Or Respectful.
            May I quote her, in upstate new york?
            “What the hell are we doing here? There’s no money here!”

            When I’m told how I should vote because of my genitalia’s similarity to the candidate’s, that is disrespectful in the extreme.

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    • : >>How do I teach my children — at home and in the classroom — that kindness matters when our country just said, “No, no it doesn’t?”

      This is where I’m at too. My daughter has to spend four formative years with Trump. A President Cruz would have been detestable in ways that are not obvious to a child, ways that I wouldn’t need to explain to her. I could point to a President Cruz and extract some kind of positive lesson: “if you’re diligent and hard-working you can make it, especially if you space out your serial killing years”. This is not the case with Trump.

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      • Kids at work are talking about “Bad Guy Trump”. Which is really a parent failing but still a reality.

        And it’s not just Trump… it’s everyone who will feel empowered to be more awful.

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    • How do I teach my children — at home and in the classroom — that kindness matters when our country just said, “No, no it doesn’t?”

      Tell them:

      “The Democrats, myself included, tried to fight hate with hate. We were so obsessed with winning that we were willing to indulge any amount of lies and hateful rhetoric. All that our hate accomplished was our defeat and it brought about the very thing that we told ourselves that we were trying to protect you from.

      We failed you.

      I failed you.

      Let our failure be the lesson. You cannot wash away mud with sewage. You cannot create a better world out of hate. Learn from our failure and pursue the constructive, not the destructive. When you are confronted with opposing viewpoints, your first instinct should not be hatred but a desire to find common ground. If you are confronted with hate, do not let yourself be turned into the very thing you profess to hate. Seek the high road when you can.”

      Either that or just say:

      “Look, don’t invest your identity into any single political party. They’re all assholes. The only people who don’t think their party is filled with assholes are assholes themselves.”

      Try to wear a stained undershirt while waving a half-full bottle of whiskey around while giving the second speech.

      (The second explanation also works for sports teams, console makers, or any other “side” you can think of.)

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  9. I woke up quite surprised this morning and heard the news. I literally LOL’ed. The news reports are already filled with recriminations as the Dems start CYAing and pointing fingers. (Turn out was low. HRC didn’t energize her base, etc.)

    The best dose of schadenfreude so far was the reporter at a election party at Wesleyan College recording the “uncontrolled sobbing” and wailing as the realization of a HRC lose became real. The election party was attended by students, recent grads, and long graduated folk. I expected to hear hair being pulled out the tone was so grim. It was still going on HOURS later. Christ, you’d thing the Nazis where shooting their relatives in the streets.

    So this next comment is directed to the more left of center folks: You always talk about democracy. Well, it’s spoken. Are you going to be obstructionist like those damn evil republicans you’re always bad mouthing (Obama’s SC nominee as example) or are you going to “work together” to see if you can get something accomplished? Or is the opposition just too EVIL?

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    • Depends. If Trump and the GOP pursue truly awful ends, I want my representatives to resist that full force. Where opportunity exists to work together to better our nation, I hope they take it.

      I do not endorse knee-jerk obstructionalism. But I do expect the Senator and Congressman I chose (who won) to protect, promote, and defend the ideals of our country and to represent the interests of me and my neighbors.

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      • So are you saying that the republicans in the senate who refused to hold a hearing on Obama’s SC nominee were engaging in “knee-jerk obstructionism”? As an example-I’m sure there are more. Is so, please explain how that is obstructionism and your guy doing what you want isn’t.

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        • “We won’t hold hearings on any Obama nomine… even one we recently endorsed…” versus “I listened to the hearings and do not find this person fit for the role.”

          Note: I never accused GOPers of knee-jerk obstructionism; I answered the question as you framed it.

          ETA- I don’t have a strict ideological test for a Justice. I’d probably be on board with anyone Counselor Likko is; I trust he can appropriately recognize those who will fulfill the responsibilities of the bench.

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      • I do favor it!

        But that wasn’t what I was asking. I was asking if the loosing party and it’s supporters have suddenly decided that they are going to be obstructionist (claiming they are doing it to save the union) and have the results end up looking a lot like what the repubs were doing. Of course the repubs were evil. Just trying to see how folks in that potion were going to rationalize that.

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        • Personally I think total obstruction on the part of the Dems is a mugs game. For one I have little doubt the GOP will defenestrate the filibuster if the Dems try and use it like the GOP did. For another I think the Dems are fundamentally more interested in deal making. For a third I’m dubious the Schumer will be able to exercise the same lockstep party discipline in the left side of the Senate that the honorable Senator from Turtle-land exercised on the right.

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  10. This is a situation that would benefit if people made an attempt to give their fears some form. Make a prediction. What exactly is going to happen in Trump’s America that has y’all so spooked?

    For instance, I worry that with both houses of Congress and a couple-few Supreme Court picks, we may see some significant backsliding on criminal justice reform and checking the growth of incarceration rates.

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    • I already outlined what I think will happen above in best and worst case scenarios. The United States could end up as Kansas writ large, an economic basket case because of massive tax cuts that never end. Thats the best case scenario. The worst case is that Trump does act on his worst instincts and the Constitution can’t stop him. That America is run like his businesses and he defaults on the debt leading to global economic crisis.

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    • I have the same fear, though with recent GOP moves on criminal justice reform I hope Trump’s rhetoric was just to instill fear and gin up votes, and once in office he won’t get in the way/advocate against the possible movement on those issues.

      Trump raising tariff’s or starting a trade war. It is my understanding that he has some (though not as much as he would like) discretion in this area. His instincts here are terrible.

      Also, not just an increase in deportations, but conditions of confinement for the possible deportees that are worse than they are now. That coupled with a tightening of AG discretion on cases of Cancellation of Removal and the like.

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    • With a GOP president and Congress I expect tax cuts plus a military buildup which equals skyrocketing deficits. (Yeah, that’s not Trump-specific.)

      Given Giuliani or any AG Trump is likely to appoint, I expect that the state marijuana legalizations will become moot.

      I expect to see foreign policy even dumber and more reckless than W’s.

      I expect to see at least an attempt at mass deportations. These will inevitably affect people who are here legally but look Mexican or Central American.

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    • I’m concerned about the treatment of Muslims, especially if Trump’s other policy-ish proposals fall apart (the wall, trade wars) and he starts leaning heavily on this. More anti-Muslim violence, voluntary and involuntary ghetto-ization, and the even nastier things that tends to bring out.

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    • I agree with your worries about criminal justice reform. People voted in favor of the death penalty in a big way at the state level this time around. That, combined with Trump support, indicates to me that we’re probably entering another “law and order” swing of the pendulum.

      My prediction is that the world won’t end, much like what you said above.

      The median decision is likely to be about the same as if any other Republican had taken over. I don’t have deep concerns about his big ideas and plans because I really don’t think he has any, so he’ll probably usually rubber stamp the Republican agenda. Trump’s particular danger is in his volatility, so the tails are fatter. I think his propensity toward tantrums will cause at least a couple of extra major foreign policy screw ups that badly sour important relationships. I can only hope that it doesn’t get worse than that. Starting trade wars or real wars wouldn’t be good.

      I genuinely have no idea who he’ll appoint to the Supreme Court. Maybe he’ll appoint a highly competent conservative. Maybe he’ll appoint Dog the Bounty Hunter. Only time will tell. If it’s the former, I hope the Democrats defer and vote to approve. If the latter, I hope it’s enough of a circus to get him to reconsider, but that seems like a vain hope unless he can find a way of saving face.

      I’ve said before that for as much as many of us think GW Bush was a lousy President, he probably made the right call 90+% of the time. We just didn’t notice because the White House manages a bunch of mundane stuff that doesn’t end up in the news unless it’s melting down. Trump’s tendency to surround himself with yes men will likely lower his hit rate on the mundane stuff. We’ll probably see another Katrina type of situation where an unglamorous government agency has to step up and do something important and simply can’t get it done.

      Of course, we’ll see big tax cuts with much smaller spending cuts to offset them and a general increase in the debt load. Republican deficit warriors will coincidentally find other things to concern themselves with and we will avoid a debt ceiling showdown.

      Obamacare will be repealed or gutted and health care premiums will not start to drop. Nobody will learn anything from this.

      There will probably be at least one big scandal involving the abuse of domestic surveillance to settle either personal or political scores.

      There will probably be at least one scandal involving lots of government money being directed to Trump companies or their close associates. Given his behavior with donor money during the campaign, I can’t see him not using this as an opportunity to gorge on public money somehow. He won’t be content to earn Clinton speech money (and may not be able to after four years).

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    • — Among the other things listed, I’m concerned he’ll make concrete efforts to reverse marriage equity, and in general weaken LGBTQ protections, enough that large swaths of the country become effective “North Carolinas” where I cannot safely travel. I’m worried that my transgender friends stuck living outside the gay meccas (which are expensive) will find life intolerable. I’m concerned with a large uptick in misery and suicide among my friends, as their employment and housing prospects plummet below their already terrible levels. I’m concerned that the right-wing “culture warriors” will be emboldened and turn up their level of hatred toward us. I’m worried we’ll lose many fights and good people will suffer and die.

      I’m worried about the loss of human thriving, that vast waste of human potential, all in the names of hate. I’m worried that, in exchange for this, Trump will deliver none of his promises, that America won’t be “great again” in the manner that the “angry white men” crowd had hoped, that this is a petulant orgy of stupid, led by deeply stupid man, who will flail around and achieve nothing good.

      I’m worried that the white working class will remain the “unnecessitariat,” that they’re communities will remain choked with closed factories, empty downtowns, scattered meth-labs, and and churches that preach isolation and paranoia.

      I’m worried that “America fuck yeah” won’t do shit, and that their anger will remain misdirected.

      Stupidity won this time.

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      • v,
        may the stupidity that won cause the stupidity on the left to perish.
        Astroturf needs to get the fuck out.
        Ditto letting the drama queens narcissists lead anything.

        Ten years ago, the left was a pretty cool, strong place where good shit happened. There’s been concerted efforts to diminish the left in the past five years especially. Problem is? It was working.

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    • What exactly is going to happen in Trump’s America that has y’all so spooked?

      Repealing the ACA, thus causing me to lose any possibility of being insured.

      Ironically, parts of the ACA were already failing, and if the Republicans had retained just enough control that they could keep Democrats from fixing it, let it fail by itself by 2020, they might have gotten away with it. “It was a bad law and we tried to repeal it, but never were able to.” (Ignoring the fact that they broke part of it with the risk corridor nonsense, and that the law needed some small fixes, not repeal.)

      But instead…they basically have to repeal it in 2017. They’ve been promising it, Trump has been promising it, there is absolutely no excuse.

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      • Yep. Cutting millions off from insurance by repealing the ACA, then millions more by block granting Medicaid, is not going to be a winning move. They’ll do it anyways, of course.

        And they’ve got nothing to replace the ACA with it. I mean, nothing that’ll work. There’s a reason they never offer a plan.

        The smart move would be to just repeal the mandate and the subsidies, let it die and blame Democrats. But I think the base wants it cut out, root and branch.

        That’s the problem with the GOP — they’ve only got two solutions to problems (cut taxes and cut regulations) and if they don’t work, they have no other tools in the toolbox.

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        • I don’t think they could repeal the mandate without crossing the insurance industry badly. The Republicans may be afraid of the Trump groundswell, but they’re surely still afraid of the money people.

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          • They’re afraid of their base. Look, anyone looking to move to the lobbyist gravy train in 2018 will happily take the insurance company’s money. Everyone else? Everyone with aspirations of lengthier time in Congress, or higher office?

            They’ll do what Trump wants, because the GOP’s own base is rabidly pro-Trump even as the elites aren’t.

            They’ll repeal the mandate, and the subsidies, keep everything else, and watch it die. Then blame it on Obama.

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            • They’ll repeal the mandate, and the subsidies, keep everything else, and watch it die. Then blame it on Obama.

              Are you *sure* they’ll repeal the subsidies?

              Because that *really* looks like raising insurance premiums by a really large amount, *especially* where healthcare is already expensive.

              In fact, almost all ‘My premiums rose by 400%’ stories are actually ‘My insurer stop offering my subsidized plan and tried to put me on an non-subsidized one, and I’m too stupid to go find another one on the exchange.’.

              Well, now *everyone’s* premiums did that.

              I can see them repealing the mandate, leaving the subsidies, and then, eventually having to cap out-of-control prices more and more (Because they’re blowing a hole in the budget)…and basically *burning the insurance companies to the ground*.

              And inside my head, despite the reality of the situation where I, and everyone else, *need* insurance companies…

              ….I will be doing a secret little dance on those fucker’s graves.

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              • Yes, because they want to cut taxes and they’ll have to cut into social services. They hate the ACA with a fiery passion.

                So yeah, they’ll ditch the mandate AND the subsidies, and block-grant Medicare. They might even try to privatize SS (the beating the economy’s about to take will probably prevent that from going anywhere) again.

                They’re really short-sighted, and they think (possibly correctly) that they can blame the giant jump in premiums (and all the people suddenly unable to be uninsured, and exchanges collapsing) on Obama, and not the fact that they yanked the rug out.

                They will KEEP the “On your parents plan until you’re 27” and probably increase HSA limits, might even keep the medical-loss ratio, but subsidies and the mandate are DOA.

                Because they hate it so much, and they are so certain the public will blame Obama. Despite the fact that the public, in general, just blames whomever is President. And if they do blame Trump, well — happy day. They can scapegoat a guy they hate and replace him with someone better.

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                • They’re really short-sighted, and they think (possibly correctly) that they can blame the giant jump in premiums (and all the people suddenly unable to be uninsured, and exchanges collapsing) on Obama, and not the fact that they yanked the rug out.

                  I don’t see how that could possibly work. I mean, I’m as cynical as the next person, but when people go on the exchange and *don’t* have a subsidy like they had previous years, and the Republicans just *repealed* the subsidies in a giant ceremony of them finally ‘taking down the ACA’, I can’t even *imagine* how they think anyone will blame Obama for that.

                  There’s being dumb, and there’s being *suicidally* dumb.

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                  • Has the GOP’s hatred of the ACA ever seemed rational?

                    The ran explicitly on repealing it. They can’t NOT repeal it.

                    They’re going to yank the subsidies — why would the GOP, of all people, keep giving money to those lazy folks?

                    They may or may not shut down the exchanges entirely (I suspect they will) and “leave it to the market to sort out” and claim you can use your shiny new deduction and more HSA money to “shop around”.

                    To the vast majority of the GOP, Obamacare is three things: The mandate, the exchange, and the “subsidies to THOSE people”. The GOP will absolute-frickin-luletly chop off their nose here.

                    They’ve been promising to do it for too many years. They’ll keep the pre-existing conditions thing, maybe the medical-loss ratio requirements, and stuff like the expanded time to keep your kids on your insurance.

                    But that “hand out” to the undeserving is gone, as is the “tax” on hardworking Americans.

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                    • They may or may not shut down the exchanges entirely (I suspect they will) and “leave it to the market to sort out” and claim you can use your shiny new deduction and more HSA money to “shop around”.

                      Um, yeah, if the pre-existing condition thing is still functioning, without the mandate, (And with no subsidies needed to be gotten there.) insurance companies sure as hell aren’t going to keep their product on the *exchanges*, where sick people can find them!

                      In fact, I seriously doubt they’d be selling individual insurance at all. Sure, they have to sell to everyone *equally*, regardless of pre-existing condition…and not selling to anyone at all is certainly selling *equally*. Solve that problem!

                      Meaning literally no one can buy insurance.

                      I…think people would notice that. Just a little bit. The GOP removes some of Obamacare, entire insurance industry say ‘Uh, nope’ and walks away, and now individual insurance literally doesn’t exist. Kind of obviously fuckup.

                      Seriously, again, you’re not talking about the GOP cutting off their nose to spite their face. You are talking about the GOP calmly and methodically gluing hand grenades to their own clothing, and then jumping out of an airplane without a parachute to land in minefield being used as a nuclear test site.

                      I would say ‘They cannot possibly be that stupid’, but I am no longer making any assumptions about how stupid people are after Tuesday, when it was proven I had *no idea* just how stupid people can be. Clearly, the levels of stupid are infinite, and someone, somewhere, can *always* ‘be that stupid’.

                      I will instead say ‘The left cannot possibly get that lucky’.

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                      • You realize they’re literally planning to do just that? Phase out the ACA (just in time for the 2018 elections!) and replace it with expanded HSA’s that can be used with any healthcare plan.

                        They’re also going to block grant Medicare.

                        They have literally announced, with great fanfare, their plan to get rid of healthcare for tens of millions of people.

                        They’re going to do it, because some of them truly believe that people hate the ACA that much (they hate the name, that’s for sure), and that their expanded HSA’s and whatever the heck “sell across state lines” is, will drop health care costs so much that the results are even better.

                        And the rest…have no choice. If they vote to keep those things, they lose a primary in 2018. They have to win that before they can focus on the 2018 general election.

                        They are going to do it.

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                        • They don’t really have much of a choice but to do this do they? This is a policy that they married himself to a long time ago and has been a principal motive Force for their party during the past 6 years.

                          Second they don’t have to be forced to do this. They want to. They truly believe that it is a net to the country. I’m not sure how much they sincerely believe it’s really Liberty issue but I do think they believe it’s an economics and business issue.

                          And the fact is, a lot of people have had bad experiences with it. Not people who never had health insurance before but a lot of people who switched to it for any number of reasons. The premium increase right before the election didn’t help, the real problems pain at the rollout for individual enrollment when it didn’t work when coverage turned out not to be anything like as advertised, and when a lot of people went to actually use the product, and found it inferior to their expectations and previous experiences. It’s certainly understandable that’s something brand-new wouldn’t work right the first time out of the gate but first impressions are very powerful.

                          So, well I like the idea of mandated health insurance Kama subsidies for people who cannot afford insurance, and an elimination of pre-existing conditions as a reason to decline to write a policy, I have come to understand why some people truly do not like Obamacare. That informs my understanding of why Republicans believe repealing it is a winning issue for them.

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                        • No, I think you misunderstood.

                          I can see them dismantling *all* the ACA. Or almost all of it, maybe leaving the ‘stay on insurance parents insurance’ and a few other tiny parts.

                          That, would, of course, be suicidal, as insurance premium increases have actually been lowered under the ACA, all the shit plans are gone and might not be coming back, and even discounting the people who won’t be able to get insurance at all (like me), a lot of people are going to be utterly shocked at the *new* prices.

                          But there is a faint hope for Republicans that a lot of the little shitty ‘Not really insurance’ plans will be coming back, and maybe people will buy *those* and not notice they are both shittier and more expensive than they used to be, and, oh, BTW, they don’t actually have insurance because the policy has a $5000 lifetime cap on it.

                          What I was saying I *can’t* imagine Republicans are going to do is leaving the protection for pre-existing conditions *and* remove the mandate. That is *way past* suicidal.

                          That will result in, literally, the entire health insurance industry to say ‘Uh, no. We are not gibbering morons. Goodbye.’ and stop offering individual insurance at all. They might be legally required to sell it equally to all takers, but they aren’t legally required to sell it *at all*.

                          In fact, it might literally be the first instance, and would definitely be the *fastest* instance, of ‘Regulating a product so much that no one is willing to provide it’ that has happened in US history.

                          The really ironic thing is, half of the companies are leaving the individual market, or at least the exchanges, *anyway*. If the Republicans could just leave the thing along for a year, it would be be ‘collapsing’ before Trump is out of office. (Well, adjusting, but it could be *spun* as collapsing.)

                          Honest to God, if they do this, if they stagger into Congress in 2017 and leave the pre-existing condition protection and remove the mandate, it will be the most epic instance of snatching defeat from the jaws of victory I have ever seen in my entire life.

                          In fact, and this just occurred to me, they could actually remove the mandate from the ‘current’ year, (Aka, 2017) because that’s on next year’s taxes. They could just say, as soon as they took office (Or even before!), even before they passed a bill to do it, ‘You won’t have to pay the penalty for being uninsured. We’re getting rid of that.’. That would produce a goddamn *meltdown* in the insurance market.

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                            • Seriously, did you actually expect anything else?

                              They writing has been on the wall about this since the ACA passed. Those are the bits people like. So the GOP calculus is simple: We keep the bits they like, get rid of the ones they don’t, and if/when it fails, we blame Obama because it’s his product.

                              But as we’ve seen over and over, voters don’t really care. When suddenly healthcare costs spike or insurers leave, they’ll blame the people in power.

                              “It was the last President’s fault” doesn’t work even when it’s true.

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                              • Keeping the ban on pre-existing conditions but discontinuing the subsidy and the mandate is effectively banning insurance for those with pre-existing conditions. Politically each component is salable on its own, I suppose, the same way that an oboe, a violin, and a trumpet each can be played in appealing ways. But unless they’re all in tune with each other, the concert is dissonant and unappealing.

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                                • Keeping the ban on pre-existing conditions but discontinuing the subsidy and the mandate is effectively banning insurance for those with pre-existing conditions.

                                  Pssst, you need one more logic step there. If you make it illegal for the insurance company to discriminate in any manner against people with pre-existing conditions, and other things make you conclude that you just ‘effectively banned insurance for those with pre-existing conditions’…

                                  …what you have *actually* concluded is that insurance [in the individual market] has effectively been banned for everyone, because insurance companies cannot treat ‘everyone’ different from people with pre-existing conditions.

                                  If insurance companies cannot sell insurance at reasonable prices to people with pre-existing conditions, and they aren’t allowed to charge people with pre-existing different amounts….they can’t sell insurance to *anyone* at reasonable prices.

                                  And, of course, operating a market with completely unreasonable prices, while possible, is a good way to only attract people with expensive medical problems who are really good at math. So their best bet is to exit, stage left.

                                  I keep making a semi-serious joke, I’ve probably made it here, but I make it a lot of Facebook, when people talk about insurance premiums going up, I point out that, on average, they went down a huge amount under the ACA. People argue with me, citing rates, and then I point out I literally could not buy insurance, making *my* insurance premiums infinite, in that I could pay any finite amount of money and still not get insurance. Anything averaged with infinity is, of course, infinity, and thus average insurance premiums were infinity before the ACA. Thus their prices currently are lower by a huge amount. Q.E.D.

                                  This is not really how the math works (Like I said, it’s a joke.), but to actually be serious, the surest way to get people to say ‘Maybe the rising premiums under the ACA were not so bad’ is to literally destroy their entire insurance market where they cannot buy insurance.

                                  And I know, because that’s the reason *I* find ‘Premiums went up 10%!!!!! We need to repeal Obamacare!’ to be a completely laughable complaint.

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                                • Yes, I agree that’s the outcome.

                                  That outcome is not surprising to anyone, even the GOP. That is the desired outcome, but doing it this way means the GOP can say “We didn’t ban anything you like” and “It’s Obama’s fault, the ACA is unworkable”.

                                  I don’t think that will fly (historically, the public blames the party in power even if it was the previous party’s fault, the public blames the last party touch it regardless of fault, and the public tends to blame the unpopular person over the popular. Which means, assuming life remains normal which is a HUGE assumption these days, that Trump and the GOP will be blamed).

                                  It’s another too cute by half move by the GOP, which they have tried before and routinely fail at. (Privatizing SS, the government shutdown, the debt-ceiling showdown, etc).

                                  Simple, direct, cause-and-effect is the easiest sell to the public. (Hence “last person to touch it broke it”).

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                                  • That outcome is not surprising to anyone, even the GOP. That is the desired outcome, but doing it this way means the GOP can say “We didn’t ban anything you like” and “It’s Obama’s fault, the ACA is unworkable”.

                                    You think the GOP, after yelling for years they will repeal the Obamacare, are not going to paint what they are going to do as *trumpets blare*REPEALING OBAMACARE, even if they leave some parts of it intact?

                                    So won’t them *very clearly* claiming to have repealed Obamacare, and holding victory celebrations about how the evil Obamacare is gone, and there was a big symbolic burning of Obamacare on the White House lawn, and everyone on the Sunday shows talking about Republicans fill campaign promises and repealed the evil Obamacare…going to make it hard to, uh, blame Obamacare when things immediately go tits-up?

                                    Man, I keep thinking *I’m* too cynical about the the intelligence of elected Republicans, but I can’t even grasp my mind around the fact they’d try that.

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                • Yes, because they want to cut taxes and they’ll have to cut into social services.

                  Wait, what? How does cutting spending follow from cutting taxes? Isn’t the prudent thing to do just to cut taxes and let the roaring economy make up the difference?

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                  • If they don’t cut services, it angers the alt-right (because it’s money going to those lazy mooching “others”) and rising deficits anger the business wing.

                    In short, they have to cut services to show how “serious” they are.

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                    • There will be a lobster-and-escargot ban for SNAP cards, much wailing and gnashing of teeth, and that’ll be the end of it. I think we’re about due for “guy-buys-a-lobster-with-welfare-money” as the OOTW anyway — it’s been, what, eighteen months?

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        • And they’ve got nothing to replace the ACA with it. I mean, nothing that’ll work. There’s a reason they never offer a plan.

          Sure they do! They will let insurance companies *sell across state lines*!

          What could go wrong?

          …other than the fact that, as I have pointed out recently, that is literally impossible, because insurance regulators won’t authorize the plan to sell in the ‘origin’ state if it only has doctors in other states…and all the ‘sell in other state’ concepts are ‘You can sell a plan here if you could sell that plan in the home state’…which, of course, will not be true.

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          • Pretty sure that’s just code for telling the states that they have to accept the insurance requirements for other states.

            Basically to create a cottage industry of faux-insurance (the sort that evaporates when you try to use it), unhindered by oversight or regulation by any other state but the issuer.

            Basically like credit cards, only you pay a lot more and can’t ever use them.

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            • I know what it’s *supposed* to be, the problem is, as I’ve explained before here, that to be under the rules of State A (With lax rules), and try to sell in State B (with stricter rules, but that allows buying insurance across the line), your plan has to be legal to sell in State A, because that’s the requirement for buying it in B, that it is legal in some other state.

              So, an insurance company goes and makes a network in State B, and try to get that plan certified in State A first. (The law in B says, plainly, that to buy insurance it has to be legal in its origin state.)

              But State A, no matter how lax the rules are, requires you to have *doctors* in the plan. Reasonable local doctors. A ‘lax’ regulation state might allow the closest hospital to be 100 miles away instead 30, but none of them are going to let you not have any local hospitals at all.

              Which means…you can’t sell the plan in State A. Which means…you can’t sell the plan in State B, because that requires the plan being legal in A.

              To actually do this thing, you’d not only have to allow ‘buying across state lines for the target state (Like my state have)’, you’d have to go to the origin state and…actually, I’m not even sure how to set the system up. But you can’t do it by trying to jerry-rig on *another state’s* authorization, because another state isn’t going to authorize a plan that literally has no doctors in that state!

              This, idea is, honestly, really fucking stupid. I don’t mean stupid in that it won’t lower prices, I mean stupid in that no one appears to have logically attempted to think the process through.

              It literally works for *across lines*, like, someone next to the line might want insurance in the next state, and just get all their medical care there, or even create a plan that cross state lines and sells in both…but anything else is stupid.

              And it’s even dumber for Trump to propose it, because, uh, that’s not a Federal government thing.

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              • tl;dr – Let me present a little skit:

                “Hello, insurance regulatior in Georgia, I am from Delaware and would like you to authorize a plan.”

                “Okay, so the plan is authorized in Delaware? If so you can sell it here.”

                “Erm, oops, we didn’t run it past the Delaware regulator yet. Back in a minute.”

                “Hello, insurance regulator in Delaware, I would like you to authorize a plan.”

                “Okay, you seem to have followed most of our very lax rules, where are you selling this plan?”

                “30002”

                “That…is not one of our zip codes. That is, in fact, Georgia.”

                “We’re sellling it in Georgia.”

                “But, the problem is, we regulate *Delaware* insurance. We decide if you can sell insurance *here*, not in Georgia.”

                “Erm, okay, the zip code is…19702”

                “Sounds good, that one is in Delaware, let’s check your list of doctors. Hrm, the nearest doctor appears to be 750 miles away. We might be a bit lax here in Delaware, but we’re not *that* lax. You can’t sell a insurance plan where people have to drive literally 13 hours for medical care! Your insurance plan is not authorized.”

                ….

                “Hello, insurance regulator in Georgia, I am from Delaware and would like you to authorize a plan.”

                “Is this plan authorized in Delaware *now*?”

                “So, yeah, we have a plan that *would* be authorized in Delaware except our doctors are too far away…”

                “We…do not care about your stupid technicalities. The laws says the plan must be authorized by Delaware insurance regulators, is that true, yes or no?”

                “No. The plan is not authorized in Delaware.”

                “The law clearly says, if you want to sell insurance across state lines, it has to be authorized in the originating state.”

                “But….ah….whose dumbass idea was this catch-22?”

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                • Well, surely there are solutions to this, no?

                  Carrot or stick to incentivize the originating state to grant an authorization of a plan intended to be sold out-of-state if the plan otherwise qualifies in the target state, and to create a process by which the target state certifies that, upon origination authorization, target authorization will be given.

                  Plans from initial target state T1 that are “ported” to target state T2 are really disenrollment from the T1 policy and enrollment in the T2 policy for the remainder of the T1 policy term, with identical (or substantially similar) coverage, deductible, and other benefit provisions. The underwriting gets a little more complex, yes, but again it seems like it ought to be doable.

                  So:

                  “Hello, Georgia regulator, this is Delaware Insurance Company. We would like to sell plan X in Georgia.”
                  “I see you have sufficient doctors in Georgia who are within the plan and coverage and benefit structures look good. Here’s your provisional authorization; you may start selling here after we certify we’ve received your Delaware origination authorization.”
                  “Hello Delaware regulator, please take a look at this Georgia provisional authorization, may I have a Delaware origination authorization? Here’s our fee.”
                  “Great! Here you go, good luck selling in Georgia.”

                  “Hello Delaware Insurance Company, I’m a policyholder of Plan X in Georgia and I just got a job in Arizona.”
                  “Great! Plan X is cross-compatible with Arizona. Let me have a word with the underwriter, please hold… Hello, Ms. Underwriter, Mr. Georgia here is moving to Arizona.”
                  “I see he has 4 months left in his term. Let’s pro-rate the premiums, terminate the Georgia policy and start a fractional Arizona policy.”

                  It seems like this ought to be possible. It seems like the Federal government could serve as a clearinghouse and a standard-setter for at least basic sorts of plans. Why am I wrong?

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                  • Oh, it’s certainly *possible*. And, because you have thought about it for five minutes, you have come up with a way it can work.

                    But two points:

                    1) The Republicans *pushing* selling insurance across state lines seem to not actually understand how insurance works or that this would be a problem that they even need to think about, thus they are passing laws that are literally impossible to use.

                    2) What exactly is this accomplishing anyway? If two states get together and want insurance in each to be sold in the other, then why don’t they just *create an interstate compact* to do that? Or, hell, just create *identical* rules, which doesn’t *technically* allow insurance across state lines, but it would allow any company to deal with one set of regulation.

                    In fact, what is this even accomplishing *at all*? I don’t mean ‘what good thing is it accomplishing?’, I mean ‘The Republicans think it will do something that is objectively bad, a race to the bottom of regulation, but it *it can’t even do that*.

                    Georgia, for example, passed a *state* law allowing that in 2010, but, the problem is, if Georgia wanted to *reduce insurance regulations*, they could just *reduce insurance regulations*. Why do they need *some other state* to reduce them? Huh?

                    The entire way the credit card thing works is that it is a *Federal law* that allows companies to sell them in one place and be regulated in another.

                    The problem is, health insurance can’t work that way. Health insurance, from what I understand, cannot be removed from state regulation, under the current understanding of the constitution. (The Federal government is just regulating what *counts* as health insurance for subsidy and tax purposes. States can still allow people to purchase total crap, employees just can’t get a tax deduction from it.)

                    What is even the hell? What is going on here? What is this stupidity?

                    And, I mean, if the right thinks it *is* constitutional to regulate health insurance at the Federal level, that’s one thing.

                    But it still doesn’t explain what a bunch of *state* politicians are doing.

                    And, like I said, what makes this even dumber is that insurance companies don’t want this. (Because if they did, they would be pointing out the flaws, if they weren’t writing the laws themselves.)

                    In politics, I usually don’t attribute to something to lack of knowledge that can be attributed to malice, but, damn, this ‘sell insurance across state lines’ is proving just exactly how stupid some of these people are.

                    It seems like the Federal government could serve as a clearinghouse and a standard-setter for at least basic sorts of plans. Why am I wrong?

                    Which…the ACA set up, explicitly authoring all sorts of interstate compacts for insurance and stuff. And no one used them.

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                    • Which…the ACA set up, explicitly authoring all sorts of interstate compacts for insurance and stuff. And no one used them.

                      Clearly, you don’t understand that this was both unconstitutional and an inherent threat to the concept of ordered liberty in a Federalized republic. We need to repeal that awful Obamacare, and replace it with a very slightly different system passed by Republicans and signed into law by a President Trump. Then it’ll be Constitutional and appropriate to our system of government.

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                    • The problem is, health insurance can’t work that way. Health insurance, from what I understand, cannot be removed from state regulation, under the current understanding of the constitution.

                      Oh, and if it *was* removed, that *still* wouldn’t be ‘selling insurance across state lines’, that would be Federally regulated insurance.

                      I would be completely amazed if the courts allowed the Federal government to walk into *into a state insurance regulator* and demand they authorize plans that are designed for other states. Maybe the Federal government can regulate health insurance, maybe not, but they can’t require that *states* regulate health insurance in specific ways!

                      And without the Federal government forcing this, the entire concept is idiotic.

                      Hell, if a state wants to let plans operate under another state’s rules…LET THEM OPERATE UNDER THAT STATE’S RULES. Give them an option ‘What state rules are you operating under?’

                      Yes, that is an insanely stupid amount of rules and will totally gum up the regulators, but it, at least, is offshoring all this extra idiotic work onto your own state’s regulator instead of pretending that other state’s regulators will do it for free for your state for some reason.

                      This entire thing is a nonsensical thought clusterfuck that doesn’t do anything useful, doesn’t do what it’s trying to do, wouldn’t reduce rates even if it did what it’s trying to do, and is pushed by people who have no idea about anything at all.

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                      • I’m pretty sure the GOP plan is, literally, to tell State A (tighter rules) that if State B (looser rules) that if State B sets up an insurance network in State A according to State B’s rules, State A has to suck it up and allow it.

                        Basically the same sort of “State’s Rights” stuff like Dred Scott and the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850.

                        Now in their heads, they’re probably just pretty certain that State A will love State B’s plans because they’re “better” and the free market in health care will magically make it all happen and that no coercion is needed.

                        But we’ve all learned that “State’s Rights” is not actually a think the GOP cares about, it’s just a convenient slogan.

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                        • Keep in mind that, while you lefties like to pretend that it’s a blank check for the federal government to regulate anything but sex, the actual purpose of the interstate commerce clause, as described in Federalist 42, was to prevent individual states from interfering with interstate commerce. As far as I can tell, this is the only mention of it in the Federalist Papers:

                          A very material object of this power was the relief of the States which import and export through other States, from the improper contributions levied on them by the latter. Were these at liberty to regulate the trade between State and State, it must be foreseen that ways would be found out to load the articles of import and export, during the passage through their jurisdiction, with duties which would fall on the makers of the latter and the consumers of the former. We may be assured by past experience, that such a practice would be introduced by future contrivances; and both by that and a common knowledge of human affairs, that it would nourish unceasing animosities, and not improbably terminate in serious interruptions of the public tranquillity.

                          It’s not obvious that states actually have the constitutional authority to prohibit residents from buying medical insurance from out-of-state companies. When you think about it, it really is on pretty shaky ground. If I want to send money to a company in another state in exchange for a promise by that company to pay for my medical care, and my state government prevents me from doing that, that’s regulation of interstate commerce, a power reserved solely for the federal government, not to mention something that gets pretty deep into “Who the hell do you think you are?” territory.

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                          • >>If I want to send money to a company in another state in exchange for a promise by that company to pay for my medical care…

                            You are more than free to do so. And then travel to that state to get treated by in-network doctors.

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                • Why can’t the plan have doctors in both states? So a Delawarian has options 7 miles away AND 700 miles away? One network… Delageorgia… with a desert in between the two states.

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                  • That’s how it would be presented to the consumer, I imagine.

                    Banks have figured out how to seamlessly present themselves and their sister banks in sister states as being one and the same entity. Banking rules are very different from state to state: nearly every state has unique fair lending laws, for instance, and there’s a wide variety of different sorts of rules about escheats, collection of debts, insurance requirements, withdrawal limits, and so on.

                    Still, from the consumer’s point of view, BSNB-North Carolina looks exactly like BSNB-Virginia which looks exactly like BSNB-Ohio. If I live in North Carolina, my BSNB ATM card works just fine when I visit my cousin in Ohio at a BSNB ATM, and I don’t pay any extra fees. The bank branches nowhere specify which bank I’m actually doing business with. And there’s a cover entity, BSNB, N.A. (“N.A.” stands for “National Association” but you probably already knew that) which serves as a shell for a complex network of smaller entities that fulfill a wide variety of business and financial functions.

                    So far as I know, and everything we’ve learned here from , no one has yet built a national network of medical service providers and insurance agreements. Blue Cross has come the closest, to my knowledge: some sort of Blue Cross entity is present and competing with other insurers in a large number of states. So Blue Cross would probably be the real beneficiary of legislation or regulation that permits “insurance to cross state lines,” in this vision, if it chose to do so. If a BSNB can figure out how to present itself to a consumer as a seamlessly-integrated national bank, there’s no reason Blue Cross couldn’t also figure out how to make a similar presentation to an insurance consumer.

                    What I wonder now as I ponder this issue further is, would it want to? Fact is, doctors and hospitals and other people and entities that need to be paid to render health care cost different amounts in different states, even in different areas within states. Consequently, premiums almost necessarily need to vary based on prevailing local economic conditions. Blue Cross doesn’t want to sell me a one-year term of silver-level coverage insurance in Tennessee for an annual premium of $2,000, only to have me move to California where the equivalent provider costs are twice what they were in Tennessee and therefore the premium ought to be $4,000. At least, if it does that, and it passes along the pro-rated increased risk to me in the form of a premium hike, as a consumer I’m unlikely to perceive the insurance policy as “seamless” or even “portable.” The only real benefit I’ve got is that I can buy a fraction of a year in California to cover the gap between the time I move and the regular enrollment cycle, but I’m still paying the higher California premiums as soon as I get there. So what benefit to me, the consumer, and what advantage to Blue Cross, the insurer?

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                    • So what benefit to me, the consumer, and what advantage to Blue Cross, the insurer?

                      As I said, the most baffling thing of all this is: It is easy to assume that everything the Republicans do is because they are in someone’s pocket.

                      The thing here is…they aren’t. The insurance companies *don’t* want this. (Which is obvious, because *they* wouldn’t be passing such stupid laws.)

                      This is a nonsensical idea Republicans came up with on their own, because they are unaware that…

                      Consequently, premiums almost necessarily need to vary based on prevailing local economic conditions.

                      Which is obvious, when you pay the slightest bit of attention.

                      The extremely low-population and poor areas in South Georgia (Yes, I know everyone assumes Appalachia is the poor and low-population area. That’s not how it works in Georgia. Georgia Appalachia is too close to Atlanta to be *really* poor.) have almost no medical facilities, and the few they did have closed as the uninsured kickback went away. (And we didn’t expand Medicaid.) Insurance rates in South Georgia vs. *income* is among the highest proportion in the country, last I heard.

                      Meanwhile, insurance rates *up here*, in North Georgia, where almost every town has a hospital and lots of doctors, are fine. They get slightly higher as you get further *into* dueling-banjo areas, areas that it’s not possible to commute to Atlanta from, but worst case is that people have to drive over a or two mountain for medical care. Of course, those people usually have to drive over a mountain to get to *McDonalds*, so they’re somewhat understanding of it. (Someone put my town’s McDonalds, and strangely, my hospital, *on* a mountain. WTH? I mean, it’s not a *big* mountain, but even healthy people would have trouble walking up it.)

                      In South Georgia, you have completely flat roads…and counties (Note, Georgia counties are small compared to other states.) with one or two very small little towns where you can *hopefully* buy groceries, and *might* have one doctor, although he’s really old and not taking new patients, but sure as hell don’t have a hospital. And when you do find a hospital, it’s the only one around for two hours in any direction…and needless to say, it knows insurance companies have no choice and it can charge them whatever it wants. And it has to charge a lot, because it has a *lot* of really poor people who do not pay their bills.

                      And, needless to say, both parts of Georgia have exactly the same regulations. Hell, we don’t need to let *other states* sell insurance here…we just need to let people in South Georgia buy *North Georgia* insurance. That will solve everything! Herp derp.

                      Of course, the problem is that the Republicans that invented this idea *don’t* pay the slightest bit of attention, as evidenced by the fact that their plan, in addition to being stupid, literally cannot function as they spelled it out.

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    • “What exactly is going to happen in Trump’s America that has y’all so spooked?”

      The issue is not what Trump will do.

      The issue is what other people will do because they figure that, Trump having been elected, certain less-than-savory attitudes won’t be punished as hard as they might be.

      Like, if you tell a black girl “you should sit at the back of the bus now” and giggle wildly over how it’s funny because she’s black, get it? And you’re not actually thinking of it as racist repression–if anything, you think of it as mild shit-talking, like when she sees your Uggs and is all “yo, basic bitch”–but you used to be too scared of getting punished to make a joke like that. But maybe now you aren’t, maybe now you figure that it’s okay to cut loose with wisecracks based on racial and sexual stereotypes, for humor to allude to historical tragedies.

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    • Thinking a bit more on this, I’m going to give some pushback to you and other calls for calm. Yes, we may (and probably will) learn that President Trump yields more ame than change. But he ran on a platform of change… a platform built around targetting, otherizing, and demonizing various groups… and not just with words but actual policy proposals. Will he realize those? Probably not. But if we take him at his word that he at least intends to pursue those ends, I think a “Holy shit!” response is pretty reasonable. Maybe we shouldn’t take him at his word, but even that is an upsetting indictment of this process.

      So, yes, perspective and proportion are important… but calls for calm and NBD in the immediate followup feel similarly out of place.

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      • Thinking a bit more on this, I’m going to give some pushback to you and other calls for calm.

        When did I call for calm? I said it would be helpful to give your fears a specific form instead of the sort of free form freaking out that I’ve been seeing. If people want to freak out, that’s fine with me as well. It’s still a free country. For now.

        Personally, I think freaking out about electoral politics is silly. If it as about the passing of a specific law or a court ruling, I could understand. But freaking out because a guy you don’t like got elected just doesn’t strike me as particularly rational.

        Also, I think part of the reason that people are freaking out is that they were completely blindsided about Trump winning. And that may be a sign of people leaving in some very thick ideological and cultural bubbles. I am disappointed that Trump is president, but I accepted the possibility of this a long time ago.

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          • I know why I’m upset: a long time ago I said that Hillary couldn’t handle Trump, but I didn’t have the balls to make than an official prediction at the OT. I’m kicking my hindsight about that.

            More seriously, Trump’s policies might very well go against conventional liberal expectation, and that’s a cause for sadness and perhaps anger. But I agree with j r that fearing a Trump presidency is misguided and overblown since it presupposes an incredible lack of faith in American institutions. (And is also, perhaps, evidence of the degree to which identity politics drives the left, I might add.)

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            • Things Trump has said he wants to pursue:
              – deporting 11M+ people
              – banning Muslims from entering the country
              – overturning Roe
              – suing journalists who criticize him
              – stop-and-frisk nationwide

              Exactly which institutions should the folks threatened by such proposals put their faith in to assuage their fears?

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                • 1. What should their American born children be feeling?
                  2. What should Muslims who aren’t seeking refuge but simply want to immigrate here be feeling? What should Muslims who are already (or were always) here be feeling?
                  3. I believe Trump said this would happen “automatically”. Which won’t happen because that isn’t how SCOTUS works but seems reasonable to extrapolate that he is going to pretty aggressively pursue it.
                  4. and 5. Trump says X. Others say Trump won’t or can’t do X. We expect folks who would be harmed by X to trust the latter. Why should they?

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                  • 1. Regret that their parents aren’t legal citizens?
                    2. Trump’s restriction only applies, as I understand it, to “war torn” (something like that) countries. A British Muslim could get in just as easily as an IRA member. Easier. (Which is effectively Obama’s policy now, minus the “let’s take in 10,000 refugees” part.)
                    3. Overturning Roe would be tragedy. (Didn’t I say that already?)
                    4,5: Won’t happen.

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                    • I believe you are misunderstanding my point. You seem to be talking about how people ought to respond if and when those things happen.

                      I’m talking about how people should feel right now with the possibility of those things all much realer than they were on Monday.

                      Also, re 2, his spoken statements indicate he has pulled back to that argument, but I believe the last iteration of his policy on his website was a total ban on Muslims entering the country.

                      Your argument seems to be that fear is misguided and overblown because institutions will protect people from what they are feeling.

                      My question is which institutions? You did not answer that. Saying, “Get legal,” doesn’t tell people who are afraid of being supported why they shouldn’t be afraid. It gives them an avenue to avoid that which they fear… but not a reason why fear is misguided or overblown.

                      Your response is equivalent to saying, “You don’t have to fear being punched in the head by an angry man with balled fists coming at you if you just get a helmet.”

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                      • Well, the fear may be real. That doesn’t mean it’s justified or even rational.

                        I mean, I would be very disappointed, angry, pissed off, upset if Roe was overturned, but I’m not afraid of it happening. It either will or won’t.

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                        • Whose fear are you talking about?

                          Imagine someone approached you and said: “Hi. I’m here illegally. I’m afraid that I will be deported to a country that will not accept me, leaving me in a legal limbo. I’m afraid that my children — born here and with citizenship nowhere else in the world — will either become wards of the state here or land in similar legal limbo.”

                          How do you respond to that person?

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              • – deporting 11M+ people
                Logistics, expense, about half the Republicans in Congress and all the Democrats in Congress don’t want him to.

                – banning Muslims from entering the country
                In the short run, he can do this. In the long run, the First and Fifth Amendments.

                – overturning Roe
                No President can do this. A Justice or two he appoints to SCOTUS could combine with Roberts, Thomas, and Alito and they might. I’m note 100% sure Roberts would pull the trigger. More likely than not, but I’m not nearly as certain with him as I am with Thomas and Alito.

                – suing journalists who criticize him
                First Amendment.

                – stop-and-frisk nationwide
                Fourth and Fifth Amendments.

                If this looks like we’re going to depend a lot on the courts to serve as goalies to prevent these most egregious of excesses that I fully believe a Trump Administration will actually attempt, well, we are. The only political backstop we’ve got is that Republicans as a whole are actually ambivalent about immigration. For all the rest, we’re down to the Constitution and judges who hopefully have the balls to enforce it.

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              • Things Trump has said he wants to pursue:
                – deporting 11M+ people

                I am guessing that Trump does not deport anywhere near 11 million people. The real question is whether or not he beats Obama’s 2 million.

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                • But that’s just a guess.

                  Is someone who guesses, “He’ll pursue an immigration policy that puts me at greater risk of deportation” wrong?

                  My argument is not that these fears are assured to be realized… only that they are substantiated and legitimate.

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                  • But I think JR’s point is that the fears are already rational (indeed, I’d say expected and calculated) and we’re hypothesizing the delta.

                    It would seem reasonable that the trend will continue to make illegal immigration more risky in the short run… but it was already risky.

                    There’s sort of an unstated premise that we’re going from open boarders to a wall. More likely we’re going from constant deportations to louder constant deportations. I’m skeptical of an actual wall. Maybe a wall in spirit.

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            • No, it requires having a low opinion of the trustworthiness of the Republicans that currently control most of those institutions. Given their track record with regard to Trump, I am not optimistic.

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            • I go back and forth on this. The issue is that many minorities might not feel like America’s institutions protect them enough. There are many ways in which the law is good at protecting minority interests and rights. There are many ways in which it is stacked in favor of institutional power even if you have theoretical rights to protect you from abuses.

              The other thing is that institutions can and do fail and those failures and changes can happen overnight.

              Now I think America’s institutions are stronger than most but we are going to be put to a stretch test possibly.

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  11. I’ve been wrong on a lot about Trump, so perhaps Congress will awaken from the stupor they’ve been in since the start of the second Bush administration and jealously guard their prerogatives in the next one. I know what I’m betting on, though.

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  12. Huh.

    So my February prediction that Trump would take the Presidency came true after all.

    Weird. I could have sworn that this would be the year I was going to call it wrong.

    Oh well. A couple months ago, I slapped a post-mortem together of what the Democrats needed to do differently to win. I gotta get to work but, if I remember, I’ll post the basics here tonight.

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    • Sun Tzu says a lot about weakness and strength. Indeed, for those who have read it, you could say it is a central theme of much of his teachings. One of the interpretations that I’ve read of some of his teachings is “You cannot make yourself weak. You can only make yourself strong.” This seems odd to me as much of his teachings involve bringing about weakness in the enemy. However, it is a good rule of thumb when doing a post-mortem. You can cast blame or say “If things had gone another way” but that does not actually help a person or an organization win the next battle.

      In that spirit, here is what I believe the Democrats need to focus on in order to regroup and win the next battle. I will go over each briefly but be aware that there are many examples where the Democrats failed on each of these than just the ones that I’ve named.

      1) Get a handle on your propaganda.

      There are so many points during the election where I (if I were the head of the DNC) would have called up the NYT or MSNBC and told them to “knock it off” with the easily verifiable falsehoods or truth-twistings that it’s hard to count them all. To win a Presidental race, one has to control their propaganda to provide a reasonable picture. Setting up an 83-year-old woman into giving a Nazi salute or trying to victim-blame Trump because Anti-Trumpers start rioting outside will lose you credibility. In turn, this means that, when you do have legitimate dirt on the other candidate, people will have already tuned you out.

      2) Avoid strong appearances of impropriety.

      Rewarding Debbie Wasserman-Schultz with a chair position was a colossal mistake. Sometimes you have to let your pawns fall on their swords and leave them there. While there is the issue of them trying to drag you down with them, once they’ve disgraced themselves, their complaints will find little audience. If need be, you can reward their loyalty AFTER you win.

      3) Keep your eyes on the long game and not on short-term gains.

      Much like the EU Star Wars fanbase, the League often has trouble recognizing that they are the past. As such, they are prone to writing sneering editorials about how unreliable the youth vote is when their candidate of choice loses. Don’t fall for that. If you have to destroy a Primary opponent that has a strong youth vote, do not do it in such a way that you convince the youth vote that their vote didn’t matter. These voters may not just be what stands between you and victory. They are your future power base. Alienating them is courting disaster.

      4) Always expand your territory.

      Another thing that sites like the League which are populated with old-guard Democrats have is a contempt for the center. They quite often believe that the center is irrelevant when, in fact, the center is the most important vote in the election. To illustrate this on a crude 7-point line:

      7SD—6SD—-5WD—4C—3WR—2SR—1SR

      You will never get the people who are Strong for their party. These people will vote for your party no matter what you do. As such, these votes need little pandering and can be easily ignored. In order to win in an election year, you should tailor your campaign to shore up support among your Weak members, convert the Center to Weak party members, and move the opposition’s Weak members to the Center. During the off-election year when emotions aren’t high and your efforts will not fall prey to a Newtonian pushback is when you work on the 2 or 6 categories to weaken or strengthen their allegiance.

      5) “What have you done for me lately?”

      This is an area where the Democrats are especially weak. They talk a good game with minority communities such as Baltimore but, as soon as the election is over, they leave those communities behind. This worked in a pre-internet age when the only threat was that Warren Beatty would criticize this practice in a movie but, at a time when those minority communities are increasingly able to see how easily their complaints are being overridden, this is an unsustainable practice. While I do not expect that the Democrats will change a decades-old practice of “Promise Big, Deliver as Little as You Can.” completely, the Democrats will have to start actually putting some effort into their promises.

      6) Integrate more of the constructive into your campaign.

      By the time I threw up my hands and decided to put Harambe as a write-in candidate, I had some idea of what Trump’s platform was. I could still list off everything about Bernie’s campaign stood for.

      Even if I had somebody shoving a gun into my mouth, I couldn’t tell you any specifics of Hillary’s campaign other than that everyone who opposes her is a racist, misogynistic Nazi.

      The Democrats like to tell everybody about how they are the party of tolerance and the Republicans are the party of hate but, since the turn of the century, the Democrats have increasingly abandoned the high ground in favor of being some of the most hate-filled people on the planet. This isn’t entirely unwarranted as the Republicans sling their share of it as well but, in recent years, the Democrats have taken the “You’re with us or you’re a racist misogynistic Nazi” to new heights.

      While an election will bring out a lot of the hate, it is important to work in the constructive ideas that your Presidency will bring into the campaign for two reasons.

      a) A campaign of 24/7 hate is exhausting. Injecting elements of the constructive into your campaign will keep your followers energized and appeal to the center.

      b) The campaign is a sales job. Your job isn’t just to tell the voters why your opponent sucks but why you’re the best. Relying on your followers to say “Read her website” is asking the people who are doing the job hiring to also do the work of finding your qualifications and that is a strategy for failure. You should be parading your efforts front and center before telling me what a bastard your opponent is.

      7) Be prepared to concede difficult truths.

      If people under your predecessor’s health plan are looking at 40% increases, that is not a “minor issue”. If you are unlucky enough to have had a spouse as a former President, do not brush off questions about what policies of his you would change.

      Every campaign is going to have a moment when someone will confront you on an issue that your party has failed on. Have answers ready for those times. Even if the answers may cause you to throw one of your predecessors under the bus, you need to get in front of those issues and be prepared to give answers that may not preserve the memories of those who came before you. You may cushion the answers as best as you can and protect the party as well as you are able but be prepared to give answers that may not be 100% party line.

      Those are the seven general things that the Democrats have to work on. If they can work on these, then Trump will be a one-term president.

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      • Daaaammmnnn!

        I agree completely. And will add one extra; don’t ever bullshit yourself. The moment you do that, you have lost. Know exactly what your weakness’ are, but when someone points out a new one, take it as truth.

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      • One more:
        Stop trying to run moderate Republicans as fucking Democrats. Astroturf isn’t appealing under any circumstances, but it’s worse when you have an attractive “almost Democrat” like Bernie running.

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  13. I”m mildly concerned about some of the high up muckity mucks in the intel community and the Defense department when retired general Flynn gets elevated to a big shot NatSec guy in the Trump administration and has scores to settle. Well, concerned, but also amused.

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  14. Looking at the post election takes, there seems not enough emphasis on two things:

    1. Clinton won the popular vote
    2. Turnout was way down; both are looking like they’ll finish with fewer votes than Romney (Romney won 60.9 million; both currently have a bit over 59 million, with some West Coast votes to come)

    These were not popular candidates; looking to 2020, Republicans should be terrified that the Democrats might find someone who can restore something close to Obama levels of turnout. Democrats badly need to fix their sub-Presidential party, among other reasons because it isn’t at all clear who that would be, but without the Presidency as consolation they might actually feel pressure to do so.

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    • The problem is that I think the sub-Presidential Party for the Democrats could possibly need several splits. What would play well for Democrats in the upper mid-west is not going to fly with the Northeast, Rocky Mountain West, and Pacific Coast branches of the Party.

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    • It does look very much like most of the country got an off-year turnout. And the older white folks always show up to vote. So much for the vaunted GOTV advantage.

      It appears to me that the Democratic Party, going forward, will have to pay much more attention to being a party of the West. It’s the only region where all of the states that were supposed to come through did. And as of this AM, Clinton is losing Arizona by 76K votes on miserable turnout, while a higher minimum wage and mandatory paid sick leave initiative passed easily. Following the next census, the region will get three or four more electoral votes at the expense of the Northeast. I’m looking forward to Saul’s write up.

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  15. I am driving back to CA today. My write up will come soon.

    What Trump did as I noted before and others have noted is appeal to whites without a college degree in ways that Romney never could because he was too patrician. Same with McCain probably.

    We are going to start hearing a lot about “Trump Democrats” in the media I think. I don’t expect the media to learn any lessons about what they did to enable Trump because they love the basically free copy and revenue. I suspect we will see lots of pundits dismiss the concerns of urban liberals as “touch of touch elitism.” Never mind their own elitism.

    This election shows the limits of data driven wonkish liberalism but it also shows the death of the Republican Party as the party of small government. Trump won his primary by lambasting the anti-Social Security and Medicare ethos of the Republican Party. How do Congressional Republicans get past this?

    Voter suppression did seem to work very well in North Carolina. I suspect more.

    On the other hand, there were some slow demographic changes in favor of the Democrats but not enough to withstand a reactionary-populist-racist-nationalist backlash. Sheriff Joe lost his releection but the DOJ investigation against him is toast.

    I don’t think Jaybird is right to be blase on gay marriage and legal weed. I suspect a blow back against it from the Guiliani or Christie DOJ especially if blue states legalized. I suspect Bridgegates and Warren Harding level corruption stories.

    I suspect my health insurance and possibly career are fucked.

    What happens to Republicans like Kaisch and maybe Nikki Halley?

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    • “This election shows….the death of the Republican Party as the party of small government. ”

      That was clearly demonstrated during the Reagan years, and the Republican Revolution of 92. The claims to small gov’t by the Repubs have been just claims for a long long time. The only real difference is that while the Dems never claimed/practiced it, the Repubs just claimed it.

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    • What happens to Republicans like Kaisch and maybe Nikki Halley?

      I submit: we not lean too heavily on the whole “you have to leave the party or else you demonstrate that you’re just like Trump!”

      I’d also submit that “oh, they’re one of the good ones!” will need to be rephrased rather heavily before we put that into the wild.

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    • What happens to non-Trumpy Republicans?

      Yes, a few Republicans who refused to bend the knee at all, like Ben Sasse and John Kasich, get branded as apostates and cast out of the inner circle of trust, while still being in fact quite conservative. Call it “Club McCain” maybe, or “The Gang of Squish.” At least one such #NeverTrumper must be punished in a very public and visible way, to serve as an example to the others.

      But mostly, a former #NeverTrumper who stays quiet for a while will be permitted to slink back in provided they abandon their #NeverTrump stance and is quiet about having assumed that posture. A ceremonial repeal-and-then-forget-to-replace Obamacare in the near future will offer them up the legislative sacrifice for the Grand Ritual Of Intramural Reconciliation: something they all can agree on. This is because they’re going to be needed as part of the governing coalition so most of them are going to find that probation is on offer.

      And with that said, I think there’s going to be a feeling on the part of a lot of Congressional Republicans that Trump owes them, not the other way around — Trump had basically no ground game at all anywhere, and piggybacked on top of existing machinery. So, “We got the vote out for you, Mr. President, and now here’s our marker.” ‘Tis ever the problem of a party that does take control of every branch of government: now, they have no choice but to govern and lead, and few Presidents have ever come into power with this much disinterest in actually performing those tasks, and so few legislative allies (or would-be allies) willing to fill in actual policy proposals.

      Democrats need to start preparing their 2020 mantra: “You had it all, Mr. President. A friendly Supreme Court. Both Houses of Congress. A mandate from the electorate. And what did you do? You repealed Obamacare and replaced it with nothing. You made the rich richer and the poor poorer. We’re still at war and we’re no safer than we were in 2016. The economy’s in the tank. You’ve failed as a President, and now, you’re fired.”

      And frankly, I think they’re going to take a page from the Mitch McConnell playbook about how to be a minority opposition party and obstruct everything while blaming the majority for it. Clearly, there is no need to actually be reasonable or to base one’s political actions upon reality.

      Meanwhile, as I corresponded with sometime commenter and author this morning, it falls to us — to you and I and our fellow attorneys in particular, but to all good citizens each in their own way — to insist upon strict observance of the Constitution. It’s our backstop against a President with authoritarian tendencies becoming a despot. Our Founders in their wisdom foresaw that a situation like this might arise one day, and they left us this safety net for that reason.

      Let us not allow that legacy to sit idle.

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      • Burt’s called it.

        “I think they’re going to take a page from the Mitch McConnell playbook about how to be a minority opposition party and obstruct everything while blaming the majority for it. ”

        Dems will go full on “knee-jerk obstructionism”. Let the political “holy war” begin.

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        • “So this next comment is directed to the more left of center folks: You always talk about democracy. Well, it’s spoken. Are you going to be obstructionist like those damn evil republicans you’re always bad mouthing (Obama’s SC nominee as example) or are you going to “work together” to see if you can get something accomplished? Or is the opposition just too EVIL?”

          This was your question, . I can only speak to myself and have offered you my personal preferences, what I hope to see and what I will do with whatever power I yield.

          I hope my representatives act consistently with my preferences but fear they will not. If they do not, I will have to consider that during the next election.

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              • Right. I don’t think it would be useful or even necessary for Democrats to do that. Their constituency actually cares if government works, so contributing to its meltdown might lose them as many votes as any errors they force on Trump.

                Now that nobody has Hillary Clinton to compare him to, Trump’s Trumpiness will be the media focus for the next four years. It seems unlikely that he’ll have great reelection prospects if they just let it play out.

                And as others have pointed out, as soon as there’s a rich enough policy prize at stake, the Republicans would axe the filibuster. Scorched earth obstructionism wouldn’t really work anyway.

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      • it falls to us — to you and I and our fellow attorneys in particular, but to all good citizens each in their own way — to insist upon strict observance of the Constitution.

        I love this idea.

        I certainly hope that when the pendulum swings back, and the pendulum will swing back, that discussions of strict observance of the Constitution not evolve into discussions of how, well, I need to understand…

        But, yes. This is important even if it is only just until after we repeal the 22nd to allow Trump a 3rd term.

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        • It’s kinda interesting how the Consitution went from a “piece of paper” and “it’s not a death pact”, to the holy grail of saving the nation.

          I also find it interesting we went from a liberal/social democracy to a constitutional republic……like overnight.

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      • I suspect that a number of the more moderate Republican Senators this morning are feeling a little bit like the dog that finally caught the car. With a mouthful of hard rubber, they’re thinking, “OK, now what?”

        They have laws to write and budgets to pass. Math is now something that is their responsibility.

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  16. My suggestions for those who worry that we’re all going to die.

    1. Re-read the Constitution. There’s some good stuff in there! Pay some close attention to the stuff the President is allowed to do. Maybe push for some kind of norms of what we allow Presidents to do? Unfortunately, this will likely come across as insincere given the opposition to the unitary executive under Bush and then the enthusiasm for it under Obama… but one thing that *MIGHT* be possible is the whole “hey, let’s get rid of the War Powers Act” pipe dream.

    2. Quit living in a freaking bubble. How many of us know, love, and/or work with Trump voters? (Don’t pull the “some of my best friends are Trump voters! The guy who does my drywall! The manager of the local coffee shop where I buy my coffee!”) If your immediate response is to wrinkle up your face, then you’re, effectively, in a bubble. Maybe that’s not a bad thing! Bubbles are nice places to be! Surrounded by like-minded individuals and comfortable, to be a member of a community and know that you belong and that people who aren’t like you do not belong. If only we had some way to codify that!

    3. Federalism. This is a way to codify bubbles. Let California be California, let Texas be Texas, let Massachusetts be Massachusetts, let Wyoming be Wyoming.

    4. Seriously. Legalize Pot. Like for everybody except people within a few hours of operating heavy machinery. If we could all just smoke a little, eat some wings, maybe some soft cheese on some petit toast, a little fresh fruit, listen to some chillstep, we’d be able to add some oil to the light machinery that we all work with and around every day.

    5. Maybe this whole “radical individualism” thing has done a better job of creating outgroups than ingroups. Maybe we should focus more on group membership of inclusive groups.

    6. Moral language in the absence of a shared moral foundation comes across poorly. Maybe we should be willing to agree that differences of opinions are matters of taste rather than matters of morality.

    7. Yes. We are all going to die.

    There are a few more, probably, but that’s off the top of my head.

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    • Re: #6

      As an attorney who has an immigration practice which is substantially Muslim, the opinion of some of my criminal and personal injury clients here in Louisville/southern Indiana on ‘the Muslims’ in general certainly differ from my own. But demonizing an entire group of people based off of misinformation and ignorance is not a difference I consider a matter of taste.

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        • What do you say to someone who tells you with absolute sincerity that there are Muslim areas of this country that have already imposed Sharia (there aren’t), and that all Muslims are bound to support it’s imposition (ditto)? Or that freedom to practice your religion applies to everyone but Muslims?

          How do you discover and (at times) challenge a person’s moral foundations without using moral language?

          Also, remember, these are my clients and I want them to come back. A soft spoken demeanor and a Quaker upbringing means I usually have these conversations without anyone’s feelings getting hurt.

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              • Do you really want to take turns judging other people as morally problematic?

                I was raised Babtist. *SOUTHERN* Babtist.

                You merely adopted judging people you considered to be morally inferior. I was born to it. Molded by it. I didn’t see cultural relativism until I was already a man; by then, it was nothing to me but blinding!

                More seriously: How do you discover and (at times) challenge a person’s moral foundations without using moral language?

                You do so dispassionately and by invoking sympathy and empathy. “How would you feel if…?” “How would you like it if…?” “You should experience this small part of the culture and you can see how this part is very much like your experience of your own.”

                If you come into it thinking “Westboro Baptist Church” whenever you encounter an “Evangelical”, you’re going to find that they respond as if their culture hadn’t spent the last 300 years marinading in Enlightenment culture.

                So, to answer your question, scientifically, dispassionately but compassionately.

                Much like if you were trying to explain to a young earth creationist that there is reason to believe that the earth is older than ~6,000 years old.

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                • Dispassionately but compassionately is not actually a thing, my best beloved. Pace the Buddha.

                  Compassionately but non-accusatorily is a thing, yes. Openly and nonviolently while still honest is a thing, yes.

                  And none of those three things is, in the least, scientific.

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                  • I was remembering the scientists who explained evolution to me. They handled every single “but what about?” with grace and kindness and answered questions by providing data and explanations rather than answering by talking about me personally.*

                    Scientifically, dispassionately, compassionately.

                    (*Well, at a high school dance, I was outside arguing with the earth science teacher and he did the “you people don’t want to know the truth!” thing to me and I yelled back “I’m out here talking to you!” and he said “yeah, I guess that’s true”.)

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                • You’re second point is exactly my point. I consider that moral language. You are implicitly invoking the golden rule.

                  Also please stop implying I’m judging people as morally inferior because I disagree with them. I may think their misinformed (as they do me), but I’m a pretty open minded guy.

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            • Well, Jaybird, they might be morally, genetically, intellectually, and bigly inferior, but their money’s the same color as anyone else’s, and it doesn’t matter what they think of him so long as they do business, right?

              Er, wait, that’s a libertarian defense of not-being-antiracist. Who am I talking about, again?

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          • What do you say to someone who tells you with absolute sincerity that there are Muslim areas of this country that have already imposed Sharia

            You say “In the interests of building a society with high trust and cohesion, I privilege your kind of distrust and exclusion.”

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      • I agree regarding Trump himself, but it’s also not 1830 anymore. Especially after Trump gets to nominate Scalia’s replacement and the GOP Senate confirms him and that majority on the High Court hands conservatives a series of victories, they will find it hard indeed to defy that Court without paying a political price for doing so. Even in the 1830’s and in the pursuit of a popular (if hugely ignoble) cause, Andrew Jackson lost esteem when he defied the Court.

        If I’m wrong about that, then that will represent the crossing of another line away from the rule of law. Not just the complaint that a special set of legal standards governs the wealthy and powerful (a complaint that, until recently, was traditionally made by progressives), but instead the dismissal of the law itself as irrelevant to the exercise of power. That’s not a line we’ve crossed since the 1830’s.

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    • “4. Seriously. Legalize Pot. Like for everybody except people within a few hours of operating heavy machinery. If we could all just smoke a little, eat some wings, maybe some soft cheese on some petit toast, a little fresh fruit, listen to some chillstep, we’d be able to add some oil to the light machinery that we all work with and around every day.”

      When you are in California, the first puff is on me. We are going to need it.

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    • I like #2 and #6 very much.

      I think I’m going to pursue point #2 in my personal life by taking up firearms as a secondary hobby. It’s been too long since I had a firearms safety refresher anyway and spending some time out at the range interacting with other people in that environment will be good to expose me to the way such people think and act. I expect that when they see me there and see that I have a sincere interest in learning about and gaining proficiency with the firearms, they’ll welcome me as a friend and accept whatever other differences of opinion we have because they’ll know I’m at least okay on guns. (Yes, I have the advantage of being a white dude who kind of looks likely to be Christian.)

      Let me speak to point #3, though, the idea that we should federalize things and let the states run in various directions. In my estimation, federalism is something that one political side or the other invokes when the national government is perceived to be unfriendly. I don’t think it’s a bedrock principle of most peoples’ political calculus: it’s a tool within the political toolkit to be used when convenient, and ignored when one’s side holds power. Kind of like the accusation of judicial activism: it’s something to be invoked when you don’t like the result. The method of getting to the result isn’t really so important.

      Another risk of making some sort of argument about systemically localizing or devolving policymaking is that there is no real reason it has to stop at the state level. The militia movement grew up organically at the county-organizational level; county and city and other very local-level officials can and do make powerful showings of defiance to laws imposed on them from higher levels. Legally, when put to the test, they typically wind up losing, but as a political matter this creates a breeding ground for all sorts of pernicious trouble.

      Nor am I convinced that “increased federalism” is consistent with “getting people out of their bubbles.” Law and culture are in a reciprocating feedback relationship with one another. If anything, letting Oregon use its laws to sculpt a different kind of culture than what might be found in neighboring Idaho sculpts with its laws. Living as I do in a conservative pocket of otherwise-mostly-liberal California, I encounter people all the time who complain about what a lunatic communist our governor is (1), how our laws are doing terrible terrible things to our economy (2), and how much they want to get out of California and to a place where the government makes sense to them.

      In other words, I fear that increased federalism will accelerate the Big Sort, which is an underlying demographic-geographic shift that is writ large as the backdrop of Repubilcan Ruralia’s very recent assertion of political power.

      (1) I can’t speak from informed personal experience to what kind of governor he was in the 1970’s and 1980’s, but his most recent stint as Governor has seen him do little but make tough fiscal decisions with the exception of the high speed rail project.

      (2) California’s economy is growing quite nicely, thank you very much. But facts have less to do with perception, and these people perceive a “hostile business climate” here despite abundant evidence that, in fact, commerce thrives here.

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      • I would guess that it’s a case of pick #2 *OR* #3, and not #2 when you’re winning and #3 when you’re losing.

        But we either need to figure out how to live together or figure out how to live apart.

        Because “this half gets to tell the other half how to feel about SOCIAL HOT BUTTON whether they like it or not!” is unsustainable. I think it’s unsustainable. Maybe we *CAN* go on for another couple of centuries doing this…

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    • 1. What I said above, Trump is a President to run rough shod over the Constitution and Congress is set to be complicit. Like Burt pointed out, Trump can get the judiciary he wants and can ignore what he does not like.

      2. Same for Trump voters.

      3. There are two big problems with this. There is simply little to know evidence that the conservative or right populist states would let the liberal states be liberal. During the run up to the Civil War, the South invoked state rights but did their best to get the free states and the federal territories support slavery in every way. Same with Jim Crow latter. There is no reason to believe that the present will not be the same. Second, federalism will leave many vulnerable people to be at the hands of their persecutors as it was previously. Is this acceptable to you?

      4. Good idea. It isn’t going to happen. Using drug laws to persecute is a good thing to right populists.

      5. Many people of the liberal side would agree with this to an extent. Both radical individualism and communalism have positive sides and negative sides.

      6. I think this makes a lot of sense when it comes to rhetoric at least.

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      • Trump is a President to run rough shod over the Constitution and Congress is set to be complicit.

        I think they’ll give Trump some things. I am more scared of what they will do on their own. I think they have a list of things that party leadership been frustrated about for the last six years, and once the filibuster is toast, they’ll pass a bunch of them: repeal enough parts of the ACA to guarantee it becomes unaffordable; Medicaid converted to a block grant program; rein in the EPA (eg, a one-sentence change to the Clean Air Act declaring that CO2 is not a pollutant); remove subsidies for renewable energy.

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          • It isn’t just the insurance companies going broke.

            My crappy bronze plan, in addition to the deductible going up (again) to $6600, also went from 255 per month to 374. If I hadn’t recently acquired gainful and steady employment, I’d be staring down the barrels of unaffordable health payments or tax penalties.

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            • I suspect you’ll find that when the ACA is repealed and not replaced, that your problems will get worse.

              Not that that’s occurred to Trump. It should have occurred to quite a few Republican members of Congress, but I’m pretty sure they were comfortable shouting from the sidelines and weren’t really planning to be in the driver’s seat.

              So what ARE they going to do when they repeal the hated ACA, which has the side effect of throwing the original problem into sharp relief? I hope they’re not expecting anyone on the Exchanges now to thank them. Or vote for them.

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              • People keep saying “I suspect [blank] will get worse”. Y’know what, I preferred the old way where I could (and sometimes did) go without rather than being forced by financial gunpoint to take a plan that is only marginally better and a hell of a lot more expensive than not having any in the first place.

                Underestimating your opponent is one of the reasons that your side lost. I SUSPECT that you might be better off losing that habit if you want to come back swinging in 2020.

                As for the people on the exchanges…Well, I’ve said it before. This site, being a bunch of rich white lefties, might be surprised how many people resent that choice. If we had a single-payer system…Oh wait, the League, for the most part, quite happily rejected the candidate who was proposing that.

                There’s a lesson to be learned in that.

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                • Pyre,
                  I voted Bernie. Plenty of folks here did.
                  Bernie won the primary, in terms of people who wanted to cast votes (this is different from votes actually counted, naturally).

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                  • All I can judge by is what I’ve seen when I do stop by here (which is not often anymore) and I’ve seen a lot of editorials that championed Hillary over Bernie (to put it mildly).

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    • “6. Moral language in the absence of a shared moral foundation comes across poorly. Maybe we should be willing to agree that differences of opinions are matters of taste rather than matters of morality.”

      I was discussing this on FB. We have lost much sense of perspective and proportionality. we need to gain this back.

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      • While it’s kind of true that I find myself gravitating toward a vulgar utilitarianism, I do think that a shared moral framework is required to have meaningful discussions about moral Truths.

        And if you find yourself in a conversation with someone who doesn’t share your framework, maybe take a step back and see if you share one with the other person if they took a step back.

        Now you have a shared framework and can discuss things meaningfully.

        I mean, if the goal is to discuss things meaningfully.

        Maybe we’re just waiting for them to let their guard down long enough for us to stab them in the back.

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          • If you disagree with someone on a topic, are they more likely than not to be wrong because they are bad people? Sexist, racist, otherwise bigoted?

            I mean, if you have a choice between disagreeing with someone for ordering their priorities (4 out of 5 of which are similar to yours) differently and framing your disagreement as them having differently ordered priorities, that seems like something that it’s possible to have a conversation about.

            Whether this person is a bigot for not agreeing with you is not something that you can have a conversation about.

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              • v,
                Oh, that’s an easy one. Not for the squeamish, though.
                Convince him that he’s been possessed by the devil (or at least convince his wife), and then let him suffer through a few exorcisms.

                Teaches sympathy, that.

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              • There are things that I think are possible in the short term, medium term, and long term.

                There are things that I think are beneficial to all in the short term, medium term, and long term.

                Which answer would you prefer?

                Because what I would want to happen and what I think is possible do not overlap on the Venn Diagram.

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            • This is a point that I have unsuccessfully made on this site for years. As soon as we introduce those words (bigot, racist, sexist) to describe someone or even a viewpoint, it kills the conversation. It injects irrationality into what could be a reasoned conversation. Are there people that are racist/bigoted/sexist? Absolutely. But more often than not they just disagree and because the other side cannot comprehend anyone not seeing things the same way they do, they label it as such. It’s unfortunate.

              And I think that also speaks to the much larger thing we saw yesterday, which is that Democrats simply cannot comprehend a country where Hillary could lose. They couldn’t comprehend their ideas not resonating and people voting for HC simply because she was a liberal/female/Democrat.

              Maybe we’re all the fools because Trump figured out something no one else could. Take voters for granted at your own peril.

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              • It’s not a Republican winning that I have trouble comprehending. It’s someone so manifestly repellent for so many reasons winning. Yes, liberals often over-diagnose bigotry, but if you don’t see bigotry in, say, Trump’s calls for a religious test for immigration, then I don’t think there’s much room for discussion between us. Not since Richard Nixon has a candidate had such obvious contempt for the American constitutional order, and enough of my countrymen didn’t care about these things that he’s going to be our President.

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                • If it was anyone other than Trump, I would see bigotry. With him though, I see opportunism. I see someone who put together a message that got him elected. Does that make him horrible for doing so? Absolutely. But I’m not convinced he really feels that way or that he will actually do any of that stuff.

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                  • My distress comes not from any evaluation of Trump as a person, but from the knowledge that so many of my countrymen either don’t mind or actively appreciate that bigotry. I thought that, though we may disagree strongly, we were better than this.

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              • Claiming that using those terms about viewpoints / actions “injects irrationality” into a conversation and not using them even though potentially merited is rational is, in itself, irrational and feelings-based.

                There are as many people who didn’t vote because they feel that both Clinton and Trump are bigoted champions of an oppressive system as there are people who could’ve changed their mind. Based on the early demographics, I expect there are significantly more. (There are a lot of different ways to not give a shit about people who aren’t like you, as we all know, so that’s a wide range of exception to be taken.)

                Why aren’t we more worried about how to win them over and find a way to work with them?

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                • So someone has a racist viewpoint. Do you A) Call them a racist or B) Explain why their opinion is problematic and try to persuade them otherwise?

                  I have just found that choosing A marginalizes a lot of people who are rational, and lumps them in with people who could never be convinced. IMO it’s really just name-calling designed to brand someone as unworthy of debate.

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                  • The irrationality is in worrying about the person with the racist viewpoint more than the people they are racist against.

                    When faced directly with someone holding a racist viewpoint (which, believe it or not, happens to me all the time), I b). But I also worry more about what I’m doing for victims of racism than perpetrators of it. Just like I worry more about what I’m doing for victims of classism than perpetrators of it. Etc etc etc.

                    (Not trying to hold myself up as some kind of hero or martyr. I fuck up all the time. Just i think the perspective of worrying about how to combat -ism in the way that best reaches people with -ist view points, rather than supporting people who directly experience it and need uplift and room to work, is *part of the problem*. And incredibly low voter turnout suggests I’m not wrong.)

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                    • Name-calling pretty much guarantees the conversation is over and you have lost any hope of changing that person’s opinion. If you think that helps those that they would potentially mistreat, I’m not sure I understand. I’ve always felt like changing minds was a good thing in the long run.

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                      • I just said, in the situation you describe, I b), not a). I’ve talked more than a handful of people, most of whom I am very fond of, out of more than a handful of unpleasant and mistaken opinions this year, usually by reframing.

                        But, I choose to put most of my energy and focus into “what can we do to help the people who *are* (nonpotentially, but actually) being mistreated, and show them that we care what they think and want them to vote and be engaged and will have their backs when they put themselves at risk to do so?” (nb this includes supporting a lot of people who did vote for Trump and/or who may have opinions I find highly objectionable, because intersectionality is as true for them as for anyone else), and not into “how can we convince the people who hold deeply f’d opinions to stop having them?”

                        And I feel like as a country, when the people who hold those opinions already have power (even the limited power to confirm an utter narcissist who won’t actually help them as the head of the country), we almost always try to teach / connect with / appease / whatever the people who have power in a given situation instead of uplifting the people who don’t.

                        Which is what I think is part of the problem. Because it’s a very old human habit doesn’t make it the most useful thing we could be doing.

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              • I’ll put an addendum to that. The popular thing in this cycle was to talk about how much Trump resembles Hitler.

                Comparing a guy to Hitler never works. It didn’t work against W Bush, it didn’t work against Obama and it didn’t work against Trump either. Comparision to Hitler is the secular equivalent of saying he’s Satan incarnate. It immediate kills the discussion because nobody who is possibly considering supporting a guy will think a comparision to Hitler or Nazi’s is relevant even if you have a really appropos analogy to make.

                There are many, many bad things a guy can be that isn’t Hitler. Comparisions to that might make some headway.

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                  • Iimean, I agree that Hitler comparisons and overwrought accusations of racism are db and unhelpful, but this still implies to me a view that Republicans are pretty children who will do stupid, irresponsible things because people on Facebook called them names. Conservatives give as good as they get: remember how liberals are a bunch of sissy godless communist baby killers doomed to burn in hell? Either we all get to blame our bad behavior on the names we’ve been called by our most intemperate opponents, or rank and file Republicans need to take responsibility for the fact that they’ve made a dishonest white supremacist idiot con man president.

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                    • Not to mention, you know, the alt-right. The white supremacists.

                      Obvious and proud racists are racists. It’s descriptive and accurate. Should we lie to spare their feelings?

                      That feels a little SJW, which is of course NOT an insult or derogatory term that closes down conversation.

                      It’s always so weird that the left has to be lectured on how to talk to the right, endlessly told all the ways they’ve offended the right, and how it’s really the left’s fault the right is so bad.

                      But never the reverse. Because that’s SJW’s and PC police and that’s obviously bad.

                      It’s a fun way to define yourself as automatically in the right, shut down conversation, and basically elide whole topics from debate.

                      It’s also BS. Some guy called you a redneck so you had to join the KKK? A liberal spoke about trans issues, so you HAD to vote for Trump?

                      Fun words from the “party of personal responsibility”.

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                      • One can condemn Trump without even mentioning plenty of awful things about him. I haven’t even talked today about how he promises to start a trade war that will immiserate us all, because it’s Trump rules and we don’t have to believe he’ll do any of the things we wish he wouldn’t do.

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                        • It’s pretty funny. I think Trump supporters are deeper in denial than the Clinton ones.

                          She clearly lost, so you know — being processed.

                          Trump, though, he’s suddenly generic Republican. Anything he’s said or done is non-operational. He’ll do what I think he should do, but not the dumb things he said he’d do.

                          But we should really talk more about how Clinton’s an awful candidate. It’s not like Trump’s gonna be doing anything important.

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            • I really do tend to assume the best in people. Assume positive intent and all. This is naturally easier when there is actually a relationship.

              Take Mr. Dwyer here… we had a rather nasty brouhaha a while back I am not proud of. He is someone I often disagree with, sometimes strongly. At times I am slightly skeptical of his motives. But in the end, I trust that deep down, he is a good decent man with well-formed intentions.

              After the scuffle I vowed to ignore him. But that felt wrong. Scan the archives here and you’ll see repeated attempts on my part to engage constructively with him, pointing out areas of agreement or seeking genuine understanding. Olive branches, if you will.

              Curiously, most of these have been ignored.

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              • Well, this last year *SUCKED* for this sort of thing. This election was truly, truly awful.

                I don’t know if it created a breech in our relationships with each other or merely exposed the breeches that we had papered over.

                I’m kind of hoping that, now that this ish is behind us, we can go back to arguing these things as people who want to understand each other instead of as avatars for the larger war that we cannot otherwise affect.

                We’ll kind of need to scream it out for a few days, first. And then a few days after the inauguration. And then after the first 10 days. Those are going to suck. Then the next 10. Pretty much the first 100.

                Then we should be able to talk to each other like people.

                Until the state of the union.

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  17. To the Republican Party:

    Congratulations. You put in the work at the statehouse level, built a powerful machine, and achieved strongly unified federal government not seen since Reagan.

    Now, however, comes governing. Please feel free to roll out all of your policy proposals. And then please enjoy the screaming and yelling that comes with it. Deficits don’t matter … until they do. Repeal of the ACA is easy. Fixing healthcare is hard. Demonizing our ME policy is easy. Doing something better is hard. Threatening trade wars is easy. Launching them has consequences. Promising to expel 10 – 11 million illegal aliens is easy; doing so will not be.

    The conservative press for years has promised that there are easy fixes for America’s problems. I have disagreed. It would be nice to be proved wrong. But if not, don’t worry. The Democratic Party will be around in 4 years to offer alternative solutions.

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      • Yes. It took some digging around and pleading, but we did eventually get a pro-Trump piece here on these pages offered up by some members of our community. There are conservatives who comment here and more who lurk. It’s fair to say that right-leaning voices are a dissenting minority here, which on this day of all days suggests that it’s we who are out of step with the country and not they. But yes, that group is present and I expect they will remain a minority within this community even as they enjoy their newly-empowered status in the polity as a whole.

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        • I’m more a liberal than not, but if you really want a piece on why I voted for Trump…
          It’d be hard to keep the insider baseball out of it, which is why I didn’t write one beforetimes.

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        • I would suggest that most of us are in step with most of the country insofar as we tend to gravitate toward like-minded people (on what we consider to be the big issues) rather than actively seeking out attacks that feel personal towards us and our loved ones.

          I might assume – I do, in fact, regularly assume – that the attacks I’m avoiding are in fact personal and realistically dangerous, whereas the attacks Trump voters are avoiding are a smokescreen / relatively unimportant / not coming from the people they think they are coming from …. but I’m also very very aware that they think the same thing about me. Even the Trump voters I love think the same thing about me.

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  18. This is really a novel election for me, I think, because I had such a strong expectation of the outcome and had it overturned completely. My first election in the US was 2000’s Bush v Gore and while that was an unusual outcome and I had hopes Gore would win I didn’t really ‘expect’ anything so to say. In 2004 I had expectations/hopes but I was under no illusions as to Kerry’s odds. The primary of 2008 was somewhat of a surprise but not a one day utter shock like this and the outcome was still, to my lights, good so that cushioned the blow. 2012 went exactly as I expected it would which brings us to 2016 where I, and most everyone else of my inclinations, have been entirely blindsided. So this is really new for me and certainly unpleasant. Crow is assuredly foul as well as fowl.

    Definitely big props are due to Our Todd and some iterations of Jaybird who predicted this. Congratulations are due to Notme and those few conservative true believers around here who correctly expected this; they’ve claimed not only the Presidency but are redefining or revealing the true nature of the Republican Party. I don’t really feel much obligation for apologies to the Sanders crowd since I can’t imagine how that dear old socialist was going to get a much better outcome against what Trump pulled out. That said, though, it merely indicts the Democratic establishment more scathingly since Hillary basically built her Primary victory through it methodically from 2008 on. No matter now, I suppose, the Clintons are utterly finished. They have no future ambitions on public office and their family has no younger ambitious contenders. I doubt we’ll hear much about them anymore unless Pres. Trump actually tries to go after them for some reason and we get to see if the conservative Clinton machine can actually find an actual prosecutable offense.

    Some musings:
    -Looking at the Trump coalition my mind flips back to two gaffes in the past: HRC’s “Deplorables” error and Mitt Romney’s “47% Takers” mistake. These people who turned out for Trump would probably have never turned out the same way for Romney or most of the other more mainstream GOP candidates. The GOP libertarian/economic wing may be in as deep a grave as the neocons. And that is very interesting because unlike the neocons the GOP doesn’t really have an economic agenda beyond what they crib from the libertarians. I suppose we can expect a lot more urban to rural subsidies being ratcheted up.

    -The polling errors strike me as the big story. Nationally aggregators aren’t looking too bad- Silver’s outfit came within the margin of error for the popular vote. State by state polling screwed the canine royally. One looks at all the energy that was put into AZ, Georgia, and the like and then looks at where the election was lost: razor thin margins in the Midwest, and can easily fume. That the campaigns internals didn’t sound the claxons about this seems mind boggling.

    Looking at the future?

    -I can’t get very worried about SSM; the popular will doesn’t seem present to try and claw back that advancement nor does Trumps “new” brand of Trumpism seem to give a crap about it. He basically put a cigarette out on a bible and the social cons voted for him anyhow so they can’t even claim he owes them anything. On sexuality matters it looks more like things are simply going to halt and not advance any more but are unlikely to retreat much. Good for people like me, not good for people like Veronica. I’m sorry hun.

    -Drugs. No idea. It’d be towering hypocrisy for Trump to be a drug warrior. I honestly have no idea what he’d do on the matter. Pessimistically go anti-drug so he can thump immigrants and PoC with it? Possibly ignore it. Optimistically maybe embrace it?

    -Judges: The GOP wins it all and has now enshrined as a norm that Presidents don’t get to appoint supreme court justices in their final year if their party doesn’t hold the Senate. I don’t know how long the existing liberal justices can hold on but actuarially speaking we really needed HRC to win. Assuming Trump does as he promised and nominates Heritage picks that’s going to be bleak. I can’t imagine the Senate Democratic Party will ape the GOP’s total obstruction on this even if it’d serve the GOP right. They’d lose the filibuster in the end and make themselves look as bad as the GOP. Not worth it considering that they’d lose.

    -The ACA is definitely in the crosshairs. Repealing it and replacing it with nothing as Burt speculates would be incredibly poisonous policy for the GOP. That’s literally a crotch kick to the very constituency that just elected Trump. This is an issue I think the Dems would be merited in filibustering on. Assuming it happens early enough this should tell us a LOT about what kind of President Trump is going to be. If the GOP just eliminates the filibuster and Trump signs a flat out repeal then he’ll just be a puppet for Ryan. If Trump actually cares about the people who elected him he’ll demand the GOP actually propose a replacement or a fix for the existing ACA. That will be interesting.

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