Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Trumpus Triumphans

Er... make that President-Elect Y2K16. The elites are absolutely convinced that their America is going to die.

I am surprised, but not as deep-down shocked as I probably should be, by the stunning Trump upset. It was only the sacrosanct polls that kept me from disbelieving that Hillary Clinton could really "win this thing." (And that type of phraseology from Democratic operatives is one of the many, many, many reasons that the liberal party's identity politics, fear-mongering and virtue-signalling failed so abysmally at winning this thing.) 

So, while the deservedly discredited corporate pundits are busy clutching their pearls* and waiting for Armageddon, let me venture out upon the glass half-full route for now. I'll patiently wait until something that post-victorious Trump actually says or does forces me tear into this personally repulsive man with all the fiber of my being.

-- Flyover Country's giant middle finger to the establishment should make it harder than ever for Barack Obama to ram through the Trans-Pacific Partnership during the lame duck session. Such an action would expose him once and for all as being a tool of the oligarchy and a disbeliever in democracy itself. The people have spoken, loudly, against globalization and trade deals.

-- Clinton Land might add financial bankruptcy to its moral bankruptcy. Since they will have zero influence on anything anymore, the global money spigot to the family slush fund will dry up. The family might even have to sell off one of its properties to help pay the bills. Chelsea might have to get a job that doesn't involve sitting on a board for a million dollars a year. Her previous threats to run for office herself if the current crop of politicians doesn't please her will come to naught. Any more talk of a Clinton Dynasty will send Democratic operatives running for the hills in horror.

-- Peace might actually have a chance. It remains to be seen whether the Neocons will suck Trump into their noxious orbit, and whether his short vulgar fingers will seek out the nuclear button as soon as a foreign dignitary pisses him off.  One thing in his favor is that he doesn't drink alcohol. (The jury is out as to whether cocaine causes his chronic sniffling.)  Also, although liberals have turned a blind eye toward Obama's drone assassination crusade, they might not take as kindly to Trump boasting about every tribal Muslim male of military age he kills, just for the sheer fun of it. Maybe Trump will never develop the taste for bloodshed. Maybe his vices stop at bigotry and fraud.

-- Without a Democrat in office to placate the masses with trickle-down incrementalism, a social and/or labor movement from the left might have an actual chance, especially if/when voters discern that Trump is totally bullshitting about feeling their pain and bringing the jobs back.

-- Fearing that the ears and eyes and brains of their little ones will be damaged by Trumpism, parents might finally cut the electronic cord, permanently, and take the kids to the library for some real entertainment. Free the shackled imaginations of youth. Make America think again.

-- We thought that Clintonoid Neoliberalism was done for when the financial system crashed in 2008, only to have the oligarchs clamp their iron jaws down on the rest of us and suck up all the gains for themselves, widening the wealth gap to historic proportions. Now that Hillary is toast, maybe the experts will realize that tender liberal market solutions to social problems are a total sham. Of course, the greed industry will die over our dead bodies.  

Like many of you, I got maybe four hours of sleep last night, and that sleep was tortured by some pretty weird dreams. Part of me still thinks I'm dreaming this whole thing, and that any minute now I'll wake up to the strident tones of Hillary's acceptance speech, lethal shards of glass from the cavernous Javits Center ceiling falling all around like joyless confetti as the rest of us take desperate cover.

So fasten your seat belts. Let the pundits roar their terrible roars and gnash their terrible teeth. Let the Wild (T)rumpus start. Let's try to make the best of another in a whole series of long national nightmares. Because there are always plenty of monsters to tame, plenty of battles to be fought. Giving up is never an option.

No Joke: Obama Reads "Where the Wild Things Are" to America's Children

* If there was a diplomatic post for Pearl Clutcher in Chief, I would nominate the New York Times' Paul Krugman for the honor. In a Tweet last night he actually blamed Jill Stein (who gleaned a whopping .07% of the vote) for costing Hillary the state of Florida.

Today, in a morning-after futile attempt at awareness, he bemoans the death of the "romantic vision" of the America he still loves: a concept he castigated only a few short months ago during his mean spirited spree of Bernie Sanders-bashing in the futile service of his failed candidate.

My response to the Pearl Clutcher of Wisdom:
The crash of '08 not only wasn't the kiss of death to neoliberalism (private control of the public sphere), it actually strengthened the resolve of oligarchs who destroyed lives and livelihoods by sucking up more than 90% of the "recovery." So maybe the election of Trump will be a wake-up call, rather than the coup de grace that liberals fear.

I can't see him lasting a full term. Perhaps he won't be impeached, but criminal indictment is not out of the question. And that leaves Mike Pence a couple of years to do his damage. We can only hope that the Dems turn the tables and become the new Party of No.

And maybe Krugman will rethink his critique of the left. His call today for a romantic vision for the US would be funny were it not so tragic. In May, he sneered at it:

"Romantics: This kind of idealism shades over into something that’s less about changing society than about the fun and ego gratification of being part of The Movement. (Those of us who were students in the 60s and early 70s very much recognize the type.) For a while there – especially for those who didn’t understand delegate math – it felt like a wonderful joy ride, the scrappy young on the march about to overthrow the villainous old. But there’s a thin line between love and hate: when reality began to set in, all too many romantics reacted by descending into bitterness, with angry claims that they were being cheated."
My romantic vision of Krugman losing his column space out of sheer ineptitude and careerism is not, unfortunately, likely to be part of an American dream come true. The neoliberal concept of meritocratic experts "failing upward" will hold steady, at least until the results of climate change fry the grid.


Pearl said...

Don't Mourn Hillary's Loss

Jay–Ottawa said...

She came, she saw, she thought she held all the cards. Then the Joker finished her off. As Karen mentioned, she and Bill may have to give up a house and lots of money. How does it feeeeeeel? There goes the Clinton Foundation. As the empire implodes, so does the dynasty.

Kat said...

well, I guess my hope would be that Trump does indeed put America back to work rebuilding our infrastructure. It would be nice if he did not forget those who elected him. But Obama did, so why should I expect any more of Trump? And would Democrats work with him?

Jay–Ottawa said...

The majority of American voters have been voting for CHANGE for a while. First, they voted wisely (ha!) for Obama and, with tears in their eyes, thought they had secured it on election night in 2008. Remember the scenes in that Chicago park? It became clear Obama was not a change agent as soon as he appointed Summers and Geithner. Not enough voters had caught on by 2012. But the majority of voters, when they next had the chance, voted (unwisely?) for CHANGE again in 2016. Anything but what we've got now, they said at the polls. Some kind of CHANGE is certainly in the works now.

Kat said...

I think the most neoliberal thing about the NYT is their "smarter living" section. It is tailor made for the smug 20%.

annenigma said...

I'm relived and rather excited for the future. Bear with me while I get there.

First and foremost, Hillary was a menace to the world and we dodged a bullet and learned some very important lessons in the process.

Looking backwards, something President Obama is loathe to do, he unleashed the Hope and Change genie from the bottle then let it drift around looking for a home as he morphed into Bush III. The genie took the name of Occupy until the media killed the messenger but thankfully not the message itself. Then Bernie came along and they killed that messenger too, but not the message. They were trying to keep the Revolution from being televised.

Trump simply harnessed that movement genie which was not affiliated with any political party. Republicans are benefiting because they didn't kill their messenger as the Democrats did.

The people have have SCREAMING for major change since electing Obama and no one was in authority was listening. To everyone's disappointment, Obama became Bush III, started new covert wars while continuing old ones, beefed up the weapons industry by selling the most arms abroad, pre-emptively absolved the banksters of all crimes without even investigating first, and forced us to buy an outrageously unaffordable, defective product from the insurance companies with skyrocketing increases in premiums, etc.

Occupy galvanized the strong bipartisan feelings of outrage and disgust among voters that no one was listening to or taking to heart. Citizens were demanding a MAJOR shakeup of the rigged system and everyone was thumbing their noses at it. Little did they know that the parents of those Occupy/Berniebros living in the basement in their pajamas AGREED with them. After all, they were footing the bill for the failed economy that left their kids without a future and saddled with debt.

There's been a political revolution laboring to be born but the Democrats tried to abort it. Donald Trump took it to term and delivered it. Eat your heart out, Democrats. Trump did have a midwife nor any help from ANY of the establishment, not the media, not Wall St, not Hollywood, not the political elite, even of his own Party. Like him or hate him, that's an awesome accomplishment. The fact is, no candidate elects themselves, the voters do, too often as a result of being manipulated by the Establishment. Until now.

Bernie proved that a candidate can be real contender without begging for billions from banksters and becoming beholden to them and both he and Trump proved that the People can fund a Presidential campaign. Trump also proved that a candidate can win the Presidency without so much as a campaign 'ground game', making up their own rules. He proved that there was no need for expensive pollsters and pundits to spin things to help them win. Trump trusted the people over the pundits who were ALL wrong.

The Establishment can be defeated against all odds, providing the candidate can shine through the media blackout - shame on them. That's progress and something we should all be celebrating. The Republicans are just lucky they didn't kill their messenger like the Democrats foolishly did.

Ste-vo said...

Two thoughts. My older brother, living in Germany for the last 35 years, married to a German woman for 25 years told me in an email last night that I read at 2:18 AM, EST that he wrote at 8:06 GMT, that "indeed we are an exceptional country and that today he was applying for German citizenship."
I shared on Facebook at about 2:25 AM, that we got rid of the Bushes this year, for sure and now we are rid of the Clintons.

Ste-vo said...

Jay@Ottawa. Yes, I remember well, sitting in my living room on the 16th floor of my co-op in New Haven, CT, tears streaming down my face watching Mr. President Peace Prize, still to be crowned, and Michelle dancing at the inauguration, thinking, we have crossed the bridge. Well, we burned that bridge down a long time ago.

annenigma said...

To brighten the day of disappointed Democratic loyalists, just think - Chuck Schumer will soon become the new Senate Minority Leader!

So sad that most of the Dem newbies lost, the old Democratic retreads trying to return to the fray lost, but of course the incumbent$ get to keep stuffing their pockets selling our government and country to the highest bidder.

Emperor Obama not only has no clothes, he's proven once again that he's never even had coattails. He sure looks great in a tux though.

Karen Garcia said...

I voted against Chuckie Schumer (D-Wall St) in favor of the Green Party challenger.

Another thing about Hillary, she managed to drag such worthy down-ticket candidates as Russ Feingold and Zephyr Teachout right down with her.

Watching Hill and Barry shine bravely through their tear-reddend eyes and watching Andrea Mitchell and Madeleine Albright commiserating about the glass ceiling did give me some comfort today, I am somewhat ashamed to admit. But the feeling of justified anger against these people solves nothing. They refuse to take any blame. Their primary goal is to get Trump on their side and safely into their club. All is forgiven. The mutual animosity was purely a game and all for show. They will recover nicely and the rest of us can continue to sink for all they care.

Trump supporters are probably in for a yuge awakening... not that most of them were not fully aware of the chance they were taking. And why not, since they have nothing left to lose anyway.

chuck said...

Hillary won the popular vote. The Democrats got screwed by the Electoral College for the second time in 16 years, and instead of working to do away with that undemocratic anachronism, they'll be blaming Jill Stein. It's already starting.

P0sitan0 said...

Love your commentary Karen, and am sincerely hoping you'll be watching and writing fiercely as usual.

Perhaps Trump's first broken campaign promise is in appointing a special prosecutor to look into Hillary's emails or the Clinton Foundation?
A faint glimmer of hope it would be.
But appointing one would confirm the worst fears of many - we have Kim J. Trump as our supreme leader.
The glass is half full with what you've noted, and hopefully the future will confirm their validity.

Meanwhile, amongst the shards of my broken glass I see ...
Yes, he really does get to have all the nuclear launch codes.
Given the Supreme Court's role in the interpretation and survival of - well just about every law, individual right, and cornerstone of our government - RBG, can you hold on another 4 years, possibly 8 years? Please?
FDR and LBJ, your gifts to the foundation of our society - Social Security and Medicare - may becoming fond memories, mere reflections of what my parents' generation left to our country.
And for a considerable while, if you are not a "real American", I think it's best to avoid "5th Avenue", wherever that may be in your town.

And, about this "rigged system" thing:
The Founder's poison pill, aka, "The Electoral College", yields another epic fail. No where else in America do we have such a nutty process.
No other democracy in the world uses this process (except Paris I'm told, but as a former resident of that city who hopes to return often, I'll "get over it."). Now, look at our nationwide popular vote map of counties while noting all the "red squares", then imagine if "the states" each had an electoral college for Governor, and I can see 50 republican governors.
Search no further than the cruel EC rules, to see the structural proof of a genuinely "rigged system". The most obvious example - A Wyoming citizen has a 3.6 EC bias ratio over California citizen. "'t ain't fair, it is rigged!"
Many haven't forgotten the consequences of the last epic fail provided by the EC: W!

Anyway folks, Congratulations to Hillary on winning the popular vote. More Americans voted for you than Trump. Donald, ya can't win 'em all.
In that regard, Trump ..a ..Loser!!

I'd love to be present at the dinner table when Hillary has supper with Al Gore.

Zee said...


Yes, the Electoral College has its flaws, but if you don't like it, well, seek to change it--if you can.

P0sitan0's "statistic" regarding Wyoming and California may well be drawn from this article:

wherein Wyoming has one EC vote per roughly 200,000 citizens, whereas California gets one EC vote per roughly 700,000 citizens. 700,000/200,000 = 3.5 (give or take).

However, the "bias" cuts both ways:

" ... a Delaware citizen’s vote is worth twice that of a Georgian’s. " according to that same article. That is, roughly one EC vote for every 325,000 Delawarians, vs. one EC vote for every 700,000 Georgians, or a ratio of roughly 2.2 to one.

But if you don't like the Electoral College system, it can be changed if you're prepared to work a bit.

Still, many of us who live out here in sparsely-populated "flyover country" happen to like the EC system. It gives us at least some voice in the running of the country, as opposed to being totally at the mercy of the populous Left Coast and the Other Left Coast, which would be exactly the case were "one-man, one-vote" completely in play.

Pearl said...

Subject: Julian Assange Speaks About Hillary Clinton, the U.S. Election and
the Litany of Charges Against Him (from @Truthdig)

Pearl said...

Subject: Why Trump Won and Why Clinton Lost
By Robert Parry in Common Dreams


Zee said...

"Clinton Land might add financial bankruptcy to its moral bankruptcy."

Please, God, would that it were so!

Zee said...


Thank you for the link to Robert Parry's article. It's an excellent analysis.