Home / General / Donald Trump Will Destroy the Federal Regulatory State. Just Ask Him.

Donald Trump Will Destroy the Federal Regulatory State. Just Ask Him.

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I observed on election eve that one of the biggest differences between even a generic Republican and Democratic administrations is the regulatory state: how the president directs it and who staffs it.  Well, here we go:

The unwinding of Dodd-Frank. The firing up of shuttered coal plants. The rollback of rules that increase overtime pay for low-wage workers.

Hours after Donald J. Trump won the race for the White House, scores of regulations that have reshaped corporate America in the last eight years suddenly seemed vulnerable.

While many questions remain about how Mr. Trump will govern, a consensus emerged Wednesday in many circles in Washington and on Wall Street about at least one aspect of his impending presidency: Mr. Trump is likely to seek vast cuts in regulations across the banking, health care and energy industries.

“This is going to be a president who will be the biggest regulatory reformer since Ronald Reagan,” Stephen Moore, one of Mr. Trump’s economic advisers said in an interview on Wednesday. “There are just so many regulations that could be eased.”

Let me just interject this here: yes, that Stephen Moore. I’m sure he would have been just as influential within a Democratic administration.

Anyway, it’s the strangest thing. America’s most powerful elites haven’t gotten the memo that they were supposed to be uniformly opposed to Donald Trump:

Mr. Trump will probably find common ground with many Republicans in Congress, including Speaker Paul D. Ryan, on cutting regulation. They clashed during the campaign over Mr. Trump’s past conduct toward women and inflammatory statements about ethnic groups, and many Republicans do not see eye to eye with Mr. Trump on immigration and trade.

“But Ryan and Trump are like-minded on regulation in a way they are not on trade and immigration,” said Ted Gayer, director of the economic studies program at the Brookings Institution and a former Treasury official under President George W. Bush. “That is red meat for both of them.”

Hmm, it’s almost as if the Republican Party is not united against Donald Trump but is united behind him because he is a vessel and in many cases an active collaborator they can work with to pass their agenda. This agenda, in short, is to completely gut the American regulatory and welfare states, enact a massive upward distribution of wealth, suppress minority voters, and to use the federal judiciary to attack progressive state legislatures and future Democratic Congresses on the one hand while allowing Republican statehouses and public officials free rein on the other. Admittedly, none of this is nearly as important as Hillary Clinton’s compliance with internal email management policies.

To expand on a comment I left on Paul’s recent post, in saying that the media’s coverage of this campaign was a scandal of world-historical importance, I am not saying (and am sure Paul is not saying) that, despite the immense stakes, the media should not publish reporting that is unflattering or politically inconvenient for Hillary Clinton. People can reasonably disagree about what is an important story, but “Hillary Clinton’s EMAILS are three times more important than every substantive issue put together” is several universes beyond any possible reasonable judgment of priorities. If you’ve uncovered a real story that contains negative information about Hillary Clinton, so be it, but especially in the context of this campaign that cannot justify hyping embarrassingly vacuous non-stories like “ZOMG! Political campaigns have publicists! Jessica Valenti contacted the Clinton campaign about a story she was working on! We’re through the looking glass people!” into 5-alarm CLINTON SCANDAL stories. Lefty journalists are in no way obligated to suppress their ideological disagreements with Clinton, but that doesn’t justify just making stuff up, and as you can see above anyone who asserts that there is the “smallest possible margin” between the Republican and Democratic policies or that Hillary Clinton is on the “center-right” of the American political spectrum either has no business being paid to write about politics or is lying to their readers.

The thing about a constant drumbeat of negative coverage about bullshit pseudo-scandals is that, like negative advertising, it suppresses turnout. This was hugely beneficial to Donald Trump. Ignoring or distorting or outright lying about the vast substantive gulf between Ryan/McConnell/Trump’s Gilded Age radicalism and Hillary Clinton’s moderate liberalism is also, given the unpopularity of the former agenda, hugely beneficial to Donald Trump. And even leaving aside the outcome, it’s a failure to properly inform the public. Many Trump voters have no idea what’s about to be done to them and the planet and wouldn’t support it if they knew, but the media conspicuously failed to even try to inform the public about what actually matters about the election. I’m sure many of the editors and reporters who made abjectly horrible judgments about what was worth focusing on (and frequently botched the trivia they did decide to cover) figured it wouldn’t matter because Trump had no chance anyway. Heckuva job!

 

[PC] I just want to reiterate what Scott is saying here about the professional and moral obligations of journalists.  The invidious thing about the Intercept’s an others treatment of the Podesta inbox is that this ended up hyping “news” that was barely or not at all newsworthy, and in an environment where the media as a whole had already turned “the Clinton email scandal” [sic] into an absurdly over-covered story.

Indeed, I suspect that many voters weren’t even aware that the Podesta emails had nothing to do with the email server story.  And when you add to this that neither the server story nor the Podesta story actually featured ANY serious misconduct by either Clinton herself or anyone close to her, it’s hard to overstate the perversity of the situation.  It was incredibly irresponsible “journalism,” and it ended up playing a key role in electing Donald Trump.

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  • XTPD

    On bspencer’s election thread, I posted a list of media figures whose careers the left should see to being utterly destroyed. Any suggestions?

    • twbb

      I hope you mentioned any writer or editor at the AP or NY Times who wrote and/or approved a headline with the words “shadow,” “clouds,” or “raises questions” regarding Clinton.

      • XTPD

        Forgot the AP, but I named Spayd, Chozick & Leahy. (Also, notice what Clinton stories Sparkling Glibturd includes in his election synopses, and his utter lack of repentance concerning EMAILZ).

        • twbb

          Don’t forget Healy, Lichtblau and Haberman at NY Times!

        • howard

          I have written to [email protected] a number of times to say a.) Liz Spayd is a joke as public editor; b.) The entire national politics desk should be fired.

          Amazingly enough, I have never heard back.

          • XTPD

            I personally think Burke & Zucker (NBC/CNN) should be sent to the Gulag/mauled by clowns/fed to hyenas for treason, but yes to both — someone, either on here or Balloon Juice, has suggested Spayd was a WaPo mole sent to discredit the NYT.

            Also, note that Shafer clearly thinks EMAILZ chickenfucking was totally justified.

        • Ghostship

          FFS, when are the people who add comments here going to understand that it was Hillary Clinton and the DNC that made Trump electable and nobody else. It’s beyond reasonable doubt that even Bernie Sanders could have beaten Trump but that stupid arrogant venal person, Hillary Clinton and her arselickers in the DNC thought otherwise. So stop kidding yourselves and hatching plots to rid the media of certain people, get over it and start liquidating all the fucking Clintonite holdouts still spread throughout the DNC, because if you don’t Hillary Clinton will pull the same shit in 2020 with exactly the same result regardless of what messes Trump has created in the mean time.

          • rea

            Oh, fuck off, you Trump enabler.

            • Ghostship

              No, it’s you who enabled Trump by supporting Clinton you dumb fuck.

              • wjts

                You have to admit, it was pretty clever of us to enable Trump by voting against him.

                • Ghostship

                  Did I say “by voting for Clinton”? No.

          • Yes, in an ELEVENTY-DIMENSIONAL CHESS MOVE, the DNC personally escorted 14 million GOP primary voters to the polls for Trump, then, for the pièce de résistance, HRC FORCED 59 million people vote for him.

            SEE, IT'S HER FAULT!!1!

          • howard

            Never. Next question?

          • Scott Lemieux

            It’s beyond reasonable doubt that even Bernie Sanders could have beaten Trump

            This is complete nonsense. I don’t think there’s a plausible case that Sanders flips any state Clinton didn’t except Michigan. Clinton beat Sanders in the Pennsylvania and Ohio primaries, and Bernie would have had no chance in Florida or North Carolina. It’s also hard to make a case that Bernie would have run several points ahead of Feingold in Wisconsin.

            • howard

              I was going to leave this alone, but I’ve got a moment: anyone who thinks the anti-Semitism flag wouldn’t have been waved us living a fantasy.

              My own guess is trump would have named him hymie-i-mean-bernie….

            • Breadbaker

              Does every African-American in Michigan come out for Sanders in the numbers they did for Hillary (who lost the state by a hair)? No, she’s not Barack Obama, but there is no evidence that African-Americans or Hispanics support Sanders at a level they supported Hillary. Putting aside the scare ads that would have been used against Sanders.

            • ForkyMcSpoon

              It’s plausible Bernie could’ve won.

              Beyond a reasonable doubt? No.

              I’d be willing to rerun 2016 with him as the nominee though. What with already knowing that Clinton lost and not knowing what would happen with Sanders.

    • Bob Somerby has spent 16 years complaining about the media’s treatment of the 2000 election, naming names (many of them familiar to the readers here) and going into depth into their treatment of Gore and their focus on things that were less than trivial and in many cases just made up. My impression is that although nobody disputes what he says, Somerby is regarded as a crank if he is regarded at all.

      I’d love to think that somehow this time will be different, that this time those in the media who were the most egregious in their inanity will have their feet held to the fire. I can’t think of any reason why this will be so, though. MoDo is still alive and thriving.

      • efgoldman

        Somerby is regarded as a crank

        As are we all, here.

      • wfrolik

        Yeah, I wonder if, MoDo will make out, as well this time. Even she seemed stunned by the results. I think she was planning for 4 years of writing how Hillary=Cersei Lannister and now she’s staring into the abyss of Trump curtailing press freedoms. If she had even the slightest shred of self awareness she’d be racked with guilt.

        • XTPD

          If you look at Jack Shafer’s Twitter feed, meanwhile, he’s long since moved on from “it’s not my fault”, just passed the “but Trump’s a SUPERGENIUS HURR DURR” checkpoint, and is now at “you lost the ELECTORAL COLLEGE Dems, you don’t have any rights.” Absent concerted pressure, this is probably going to be the official Village line.

          Of course, unlike Shafer, MoDo’s merely stupid rather than evil, so who knows.

      • howard

        He’s regarded as a crank because he keeps saying the same things over and over and over.

        • Jean-Michel

          For me, it’s his weird habits of referring to himself in the plural and going off on personal obsessions that he considers bound up with his overall media critique but are really just goofy–he’s spent a non-trivial amount of time this year attacking Walter Isaacson for not making the theory of relativity comprehensible enough, and he devoted an inordinate amount of criticism to writers who gave middling reviews to the movie Blue Crush. But on balance I’m glad he’s around.

        • Scott Lemieux

          I have some affection for Somerby still, and I’ve meaning meaning to check out his reaction. But while he has made a very valuable contribution, he’s the worst salesman for it. There are way too many “Here is part 2 of my 71-part series on the second segment of Rachel Maddow last week that is just a long preamble that repeats what I said yesterday” posts and he spends way too much time complaining about how nobody listened to him.

    • Cillizza

      • ForkyMcSpoon

        He is one of the worst.

        At times he might as well have said “Yeah, there’s probably nothing to the email story, but doesn’t it just make the juiciest gossip?”

    • Mike in DC

      JoeScar
      Mika
      Tweety
      Chuck Todd

      Throwing them off the air would improve MSNBC immensely.

  • DrDick

    The GOP were never against his policies or his beliefs, since they share them, just embarrassed by his behavior and saying it out loud in public.

    • Lord Jesus Perm

      Yup. Trump’s biggest sin was being gauche.

    • Facebones

      Right. They were only against him because they thought he would lose and be a drag on the ticket.

    • Katya

      The only Republicans who were, I think, genuine in their opposition to Trump were those in the national security establishment. Many of them were genuinely horrified by his ignorance and temperament, and it now appears he’s going to have a hard time staffing that part of his administration because serious experts don’t want to work for him. But the elected officials? With very few exceptions, they had no problem with Trump other than being annoyed that he was embarrassing them by ditching the dog whistle and picking up the bullhorn.

      • wfrolik

        Not to mention National Security folks may rue the Russian connection.

      • Dilan Esper

        Mormons didn’t like him.

        • ForkyMcSpoon

          And yet… He still won a very large portion of them. I’d be interested in seeing the final numbers from Utah about that.

      • efgoldman

        But the elected officials? With very few exceptions, they had no problem with Trump other than being annoyed that he was embarrassing them

        Did any of the “today I hate him, tomorrow I love him, next Tuesday I hate him again” Republiklowns, except Ayotte, lose?
        Also, with just a couple of exceptions (Sasse? Who else) all of the Republiklowns who disavowed Orange Shitweasel don’t hold office and are unlikely to ever again.

        • mds

          Did any of the “today I hate him, tomorrow I love him, next Tuesday I hate him again” Republiklowns, except Ayotte, lose?

          Joe Heck. I think Kirk did the Trump support two-step too, which would mean that the only “vulnerable” GOP senators who lost were the ones who tried to distance themselves from Trump. Yeah, I’m sure Congress is going to rein him in.

          • ForkyMcSpoon

            Toomey and Portman distanced themselves from Trump and won, and by larger margins than Trump.

      • Connecticut Yankee

        My unscientific take on genuinely anti-Trump Rs is that it had more to do with being Jewish than it did with foreign policy hands

  • Yossarian

    This is just going to be so fucking bad on every metric you could possibly think of. I’m not sure even I can get my head around it, and I used to work in national politics/government and paid deep attention to this stuff.

    God help us all, and stand ready to fight, is the best I can offer.

    • PotemkinMetropolitanRegion

      Yea, its literally like every few hours I think of some angle or regulation and think, “shit, that’s on the chopping block.”

      • Nepos

        Party like it’s 1850!

      • Yes, this. Except these ideas come to us randomly. The Trump transition team, Ryan’s office, Yertle’s office, ALEC; they all have binders full of regulations they’re ready to repeal or water down and nobody’s quality of life will be spared.

  • Nepos

    My mom was worried that the stock market would tank and take out my parent’s retirement savings.

    I told her I didn’t think that would be a problem–with Trump in office, corporate profits will skyrocket, and stocks should follow suit.

    Let the good times roll! (for the robber barons)

    • Yankee

      The overseas markets are down, but the Dow hit a record high today.

    • GeorgeBurnsWasRight

      Long term, I think Trump’s total incompetence hurts the economy a lot. And we’ve already seen the caliber of the people he hires.

      Short term, I have been struck by how many prominent rich people have been saying they were going mostly or entirely to cash because the market was about to tank. I think in many cases they were ultra-conservatives who had let their politics override their common sense. So now that Trump has won they are plowing their money back into the market, causing it to rise.

      There’s a common pattern that the market goes up right after a Republican is elected President, only to tank later. The history since WWII is the market performs much better with a Democratic President, but the common assumption is that the opposite is true.

      • mds

        Long term, I think Trump’s total incompetence hurts the economy a lot.

        Yeah, I think running up $6-7 trillion in additional debt just to provide the massive economic stimulus of enormous tax cuts for very rich people, plus repealing Dodd-Frank, plus unshackling financial advisors from that onerous “responsibility to the client” requirement, etc, etc, means we get another hard crash. I haven’t worked out the details quite yet, but somehow it will be the fault of Democrats.

    • Joe Bob the III

      Well, your parents are going to need that money after Congress passes and Trump signs legislation turning Medicare into a voucher program.

      Trump is the guy who says the answer to affordable health insurance is health savings accounts…because tax-advantaged savings are perfect for people who don’t have any goddamned money to begin with.

  • rea

    On my sister’s facebook, one of her leftier-than thou friends was predicting confidently that with Trump elected, we’ll now at last get single payer health care. That boy has some disillusionment coming . . .

    • efgoldman

      That boy has some disillusionment coming . . .

      What fantasy world do these people live in?

      • DrDick

        That is some serious brain damage there.

      • Dr. Ronnie James, DO

        There’s a group called “Physicians for a National Health Plan” which basically goes out every time health coverage is in the news and announces, “[This event] shows irrefutably why America’s headed for single payer.”

        Good news/ coverage goes up? “Coverage is good! But single payer is best!”
        Bad news/ coverage goes down? “Only single payer can save us now!”

        From its name, the group sounds very established and influential but after following them for a few years, I’ve concluded is basically 1 guy and maybe 15-20 docs who actually work to support him, mostly by giving talks in their respective states.

        Bottom line: with the right mental wiring, there’s a pony in there somewhere!

        • davidsmcwilliams

          Either way, looks like good news for John McCain.

    • DrDick

      Did that boy’s mama drop him on his head as a baby? Repeatedly? From a fifth floor window?

    • guthrie

      That’s actually the stupidest statement I’ve heard of so far. How old are they?

      • rea

        I don’t know these people personally–most of her friends are classical musicians or opera people–she’s in her late 50s herself.

    • “Ah say, that boy’s about as sharp as a sack full of wet mice.”

      Foghorn Leghorn

      • DrDick

        LOL!

    • Facebones

      Right. It’s the Underpants Gnomes Model

      Step 1. Repeal Obamacare
      Step 2. ???
      Step 3. Universal Single Payer!

      Where Step 2 is chaos and death until they HAVE to put in single payer….

      • howard

        Exactly.

    • Just_Dropping_By

      Well, that’s not implausible in the long run — if the ACA is scrapped, the Democrats will be starting at square one on the project in 2020, so they may come up with a different system.

      • Scott Lemieux

        If history has taught us anything, it’s that comprehensive health care reform is a done deal the second Democrats can get even bare congressional majorities.

        • mds

          You snark, but if history has taught Democrats anything, it’s that (1) the center of gravity of a future Democratic Congress is plausibly going to be further left than it was in 2009; and (2) the filibuster has to go, if it hasn’t already. So they might (might) be slightly quicker out of the gate next time, assuming there is a next time.

      • econoclast

        If the ACA is scrapped, the Democrats are just going to give up on health insurance reform. It already cost them Congress twice, and they only got it to last six years? Sisyphus would be less demoralized.

        • Rob in CT

          I hope that this is false, but you know what? I’m not sure I’d really blame them for learning that particular lesson.

    • wfrolik

      The only thing I can think of to look forward to in the future is some serious schadenfreude about all the people in for a nasty surprise or two

      • howard

        The power of motivated reasoning will keep these delusional folks deluded.

        • Jackson87

          When they deregulate everything and an age of unparalleled prosperity does not ensue, will they pause and ponder ?

          • howard

            No, they’ll blame liberals, people of color, women, gays, etc.

            Or else they’ll say mass deregulation wasn’t conservative enough.

            With few exceptions, they will not reconsider: so few people do.

    • Lost Left Coaster

      Right. And we’ll all live in cities on the Moon.

    • Yankee

      Somebody told him “You all are going to pay for everything you get” and he thought, great, this Euall must be the payer guy I’ve heard about”

  • twbb

    “This is going to be a president who will be the biggest regulatory reformer since Ronald Reagan”

    Eh, if we make it 4 years I can live with that. Reagan wasn’t particularly effective in dismantling the regulatory state, though obviously Trump will get more support from Congress than Reagan did, at least until 2018 (and hopefully past that).

    Regarding environmental regulation, the advantage is a lot of the necessary environmental regulation battles were won, and I doubt even those lunatics are going to try and get industry to remove already-existing pollution control. Plus 8 years of Bush got a lot of the more urban states regulating where the federal government wouldn’t.

    Hopefully Obama rams through a tremendous number of midnight regulations and can keep Trump’s agency RWNJs busy for a while.

    In any event what I would find useful is an analysis of who exactly he is working with in Congress. I know we like to mock McCain here, but he at least understands the necessity of a functioning government. And I am really hoping Susan Collins can get us compromises we can, if not like, at least live with.

    • efgoldman

      Reagan wasn’t particularly effective in dismantling the regulatory state

      Sanctus Ronaldus Magnus had to deal, in part, with Democratic congresses, and still some of the old-line, common-sense Republicans. Not a lot, but some.

      • twbb

        Right, which is why I pointed out Trump has an easier time Congresswise.

        But there are a few other advantages:
        1. A lot of these regulations have a lot more inertia than back in Reagan’s time. Abolishing an entire Department of Whatever would be incredibly disruptive and probably noticeably impact the national employment rate by themselves.

        2. Trump isn’t a true believer. He’s surrounded by them but if he gets too much pushback, and if the people pushing back are able to harness his narcissism (“Mr. President, you’re the only one who can save the Fish and Wildlife Service!”) they can delay him. He’s not only surrounded by tea party crazies; before they became his shills, Christie and Giuliani were ideologically moderate Republicans (jerks, but moderates). I guarantee you there will be factions forming here, and we don’t know yet which factions will come out on top.

        3. There are still some common-sense Republicans in Congress. A lot less than in the 1980’s, but they are there and many of them have developed ways . You want to stop a law that you can’t publicly come out against? Get it in your Committee.

        4. He will appoint lobbyists to a lot of departments. Lobbyists (a) are good at talking politicians into doing things, and (b) don’t want to put themselves out of a job. A coal lobbyist wants to weaken the coal industry in a way where the clients give him credit, but he certainly doesn’t want to abolish regulations altogether.

        • BoredJD

          With respect to 2) and 4), the major issue I see is that a lot of Republican “establishment” has already come out either publicly or privately against him. That includes folks from prior administrations – the type of revolving door political appointees that have ideological preferences they want to put in place but understand that agencies really rely on a large group of career employees to function, and also have an interest in avoiding major shakeups that will create scandals that will come back on their bosses.

          Trump’s history suggests that he primarily looks for loyalty above all else in his employees, so anyone that looked twice at him or wasn’t supportive enough of his candidacy is out of the running. In his place he’s going to appoint a lot of sycophants who will run these career employees out of the agency based on sheer incompetence or spite.

          • twbb

            As per your first paragraph, I am thinking primarily of people who aren’t prominent enough to have come out publicly about anybody. Think tank and lobbying firm people who are known to the more experienced politicians but not Trump. They are usually the ones appointed to positions, particularly those that require Congressional approval.

            As per your second, sure, but there are a wide variety of political ideologies in the people who have publicly come out for him. Christie and Pence won’t see eye to eye on a lot of things.

            • BoredJD

              I see Christie, Newt, and Rudy lasting a few months before Trump realizes they are not really in it for Trump, and that there is someone more willing to spend more time bootlicking then running a cabinet post.

              • twbb

                Maybe. The thing is, to the extent Trump has an actual political ideology, it is much closer to Christie and Rudy than it is to Pence or even Newt.

                Trump is…terrible. He’s a narcissist. But he’s a human being, and I think we occasionally cartoonify him a LITTLE too much here. We don’t really know what he’s going to do. We know most of it will be horrible, but he’s unpredictable.

                • BoredJD

                  See, I disagree. I don’t think Trump has an ideology, aside from obvious racism and misogyny (and those are just his prejudices). There’s nothing in his background or the profiles I’ve read of him to suggest he cares enough to formulate a coherent political outlook on anything. He may be purely animated by the love of the sale – of getting attention from people and pushing buttons and seeing how they react. I don’t think he can formulate a coherent policy position because he’s just not capable of it.

                  All the folks stating “well, let’s give him a chance to goven, he said that one thing about infrastructure in his 100 days policy proposal that I like” don’t understand this. His statements about policies carry no weight whatsoever.

                • twbb

                  “His statements about policies carry no weight whatsoever.”

                  I agree. Which is why I’m not willing to jump on the world-will-be-destroyed doomsaying based on the stupid things he’s said.

                • Which is why I’m not willing to jump on the world-will-be-destroyed doomsaying based on the stupid things he’s said.

                  Yup. I would be surprised if he’s capable of figuring out how to do something really evil. Running things into the ground, maybe, though.

                • (((Malaclypse)))

                  Yup. I would be surprised if he’s capable of figuring out how to do something really evil. Running things into the ground, maybe, though.

                  The indelible lesson I learned under Bush is that, if stupid gets enough power, the results are indistinguishable from evil.

                • twbb

                  Bush had some very, very sharp people working for him. They were the dangerous ones in the administration.

              • efgoldman

                I see Christie, Newt, and Rudy lasting a few months

                Is Kris Krispie free and clear in Bridgegate?

                • GeorgeBurnsWasRight

                  Apparently, though I can’t figure out why, other than the top guy rarely takes the fall.

                  Why any of his subordinates won’t testify against him is puzzling. They got people to roll on Nixon, and he was the flipping President, with far more power than Christie can ever dream of.

          • Jackson87

            IOW, the best people!

          • efgoldman

            In his place he’s going to appoint a lot of sycophants who will run these career employees out of the agency based on sheer incompetence or spite.

            Yup. Look for a lot of “heckuva job, Brownie” types.

            • brewmn

              As Colbert just said, these are the people you find at the bottom of the swamp after you drain it.

        • djw

          One of my Public Administration colleagues has been arguing your point 4. We should root for industry people as agency heads because they’ll be clueless about how government works and therefore easier for the actual civil servants to work around.

          • twbb

            That is not something that someone in Public Administration should say. I mean, that’s like an evolutionary biologist arguing for Lamarckianism.

    • rea

      the biggest regulatory reformer since Ronald Reagan

      Reminds me of the wall reformers you occasionally see spray painting gang signs

  • LeeEsq

    Even if the media did its job during the campaign, would it really matter? We thought that Clinton was going to win even with the media’s colossal failure. Even the most bearish people thought that Clinton was going to win. Based on what happened, I’m not sure that it would.

    • Who knows? The result was close enough that a lot of things could’ve been determinative.

      The bigger worry now is, given their godawful performance during the campaign, can we really expect national media to look into and report on what is sure to be a scandal filled Trump Administration? We’ve never needed investigative journalism more than we do right now, and the institutions that used to provide it just spent a year and a half blabbing at each other over emailz.

    • She had a 66% approval rating in 2009. Wonder what happened to it? http://www.people-press.org/2015/05/19/hillary-clinton-approval-timeline/

      • veleda_k

        She ran for president. There’s an article I always link in cases like these, about how women politicians, including Elizabeth Warren, are beloved when they’re in office, but as soon as they ask for power by running and campaigning, they become subjected to sexist attacks. I can’t link the article because it looks like the website has been hacked and sent offline. So that’s fun.

        • BoredJD

          I think Hillary’s public persona (at least what the media has created around her) only encourages this. She’s seen as shamelessly ambitious but ruthlessly competent. Once she is in power, people assume she’s doing a great job.

          • veleda_k

            Any ambition in women is seen as shameless.

    • jeer9

      If the Bush tape (lots of women voted for the serial groper), images of DJT spouting racist claptrap (more Blacks and Latinos voted for Trump than Romney), and his embarrassing performances in the debates weren’t enough to at least match the 2012 turnout (and apparently only 150,000 votes in key states would have changed the election), then imagining greater policy discussion on MSNBC or the NYT and the dramatic differences in their consequences as a remedy seems a bit far-fetched.

      This failure is on Clinton and her high-paid staff of advisors who were unable to use their enormous resources to do what was needed. Clinton was the anointed one, from Obama on down, she got token opposition from a crazy socialist who exposed her weaknesses, she got a fucking dunce for an opponent, and she still lost.

      Yeah, it’s the media.

      • JustRuss

        who were unable to use their enormous resources to do what was needed.

        Could you be a little more vague please? Look, it’s pretty simple: In the name of balance, the media had to counter every story about Trump’s horribleness with something about Hilary.(They probably would have ripped her anyway, because “Clinton”, but still…) So voters were faced with two horrible candidates, which killed turnout for Democrats, who don’t care for horrible, as opposed to Republicans who seem to have quite an appetite for it.

        • Just_Dropping_By

          So voters were faced with two horrible candidates, which killed turnout for Democrats, who don’t care for horrible, as opposed to Republicans who seem to have quite an appetite for it.

          The trick is not so much that Republicans have an appetite for horrible as it is that many Republicans assume that anything horrible reported by the MSM about a Republican candidate is false/exaggerated.

          • efgoldman

            many Republicans assume that anything horrible reported by the MSM about a Republican candidate is false

            Remember a few years ago, when a focus group was shown Granny Starver’s budget priorities (gut SS and medicare) and didn’t believe they were real? Yeah, that.

      • Scott Lemieux

        If the Bush tape (lots of women voted for the serial groper),

        But this DID matter. If the election had been held a week after the tape came out Clinton wins going away. Clinton’s lead faded a bit as the media moved on and then took a huge hit after Comey reinvigorated the EMAILS! story.

        Yeah, it’s the media.

        Correct!

        • XTPD

          I think every time from here on out that Trump treats the media like his personal punching bags, the left should throw “but EMAILZ” back in their stupid fucking faces.

        • efgoldman

          If the election had been held a week after the tape came out Clinton wins going away.

          Or that soon after the last debate….

        • jeer9

          If you think EMAILZ! and BENGHAZI! are remotely on the same visceral plane as the Bush tape or the racist claptrap, then you’re engaged in the same sort of false equivalence as you decry. These are Dem voters after all who supported Obama. They should have been relatively easy to keep in the fold – but they didn’t show up.

          If you want to keep blaming the media, go right ahead. (I’d love to see some improvements there as well but I’m not holding my breath.) HRC’s campaign squandered an incredible opportunity and blaming the loss on ginned-up coverage of a non-story is the worst sort of self-exculpation.

          She lost Michigan and Wisconsin (badly) to Sanders on an issue that was central to Trump (and according to some reports never visited Wisconsin during the general campaign). Even someone as “clueless” as Michael Moore saw she had a real problem there. But the election wasn’t timed perfectly and then we got Comey’s intrusion which caused thousands of Rustbelt Dems to stay home.

          Sure.

          • XTPD

            YOu…you can’t be that fucking stupid, can you? Scott’s point (and, like, 90% of the left) is that EMAILZ and BENGHAZI are absolutely nothing comparable to any of Trump’s flaws, and that the media’s treating them as such is completely unjustifiable.

          • Scott Lemieux

            Yes, clearly there is some unspecified magic technique that could have allowed Hillary Clinton to run several points ahead of Russ Feingold in Wisconsin. And it is not-at-all second-guessing to say that Clinton should have used scarce resources in a state in which she trailed in literally no polls from the start of the campaign and that Trump wasn’t contesting.

            • jeer9

              Scarce resources?

              She had 62 million as of Oct. 19th according to the Washington Post – and Trump had just 16, not to mention the 1.3 billion grand total to Trump’s 795.

              Every strategy was perfectly utilized, her camp played their hand just the way they were supposed to, they just failed to win any of the 6 key swing states. Let’s keep the gang together for the next run and demand the media do their job. That’ll work.

              At least it’s reassuring that the pre-voting polls in 5 of those states had her clearly ahead.

              • Scott Lemieux

                It;s certainly easier to allocate resources retroactively!

                • jeer9

                  Nah. It’s far easier to blame the media, as you prove on a daily basis.

                  The Clinton election team did the very best they could. There’s no way HRC could have matched Cooper’s gubernatorial performance in NC …

                  I think McCrory was a bigoted asshole as well, though.

      • GeorgeBurnsWasRight

        God, I get so tired of that “anointed one” crap. Come to think of it, the same phrase was used with Obama, so it’s not even original.

        To the extent there was any there there it was a recognition that she was the most qualified candidate, and had put the most time into building strong relationships with powerful and influential people.

        • Breadbaker

          And also voters. Remember, there was never a time when Hillary trailed Sanders in the polls, and she beat him by several million votes. The evidence of Sanders being more popular is simply not available if you go beyond various circles of friends of white, wealthy liberals.

      • brewmn

        I’m pretty sure that the fact that every voter I’ve seen interviewed has uttered a variation of the “well, I’m not crazy about Trump, but I can’t vote for Hillary because of the e-mail thing” is all the fault of Hillary and her high-paid staff of advisors, and has nothing to do with the saturation coverage of the e-mail “scandal” in the media.

      • econoclast

        The media convinced everyone that Clinton was a crook, flattening out the differences between Clinton and Trump. This is an actual thing that happened, while you were watching. You can try to shove things that happened a week ago down the memory hole, but it’s not going to work.

    • Scott Lemieux

      Even if the media did its job during the campaign, would it really matter?

      We can be about as confident as we can be about any such counterfactual that absent EMAILS! Clinton wins. The October surprise Comey letter in and of itself may have been dispositive.

      • Breadbaker

        The infiniteness of the noise to signal ratio of which cannot be overstated.

    • efgoldman

      Even the most bearish people thought that Clinton was going to win. Based on what happened, I’m not sure that it would.

      Now that things are slightly calmer ::sigh::, I’m developing a theory. (I am not a political scientist, and don’t play one on TV)

      – Everyone (pundits, press, politicians, regular people who thought about it even a little) assumed the largest gender gap in history. And why not? You had this gross, racist misogynist, gropey, ignorant tool on one side, against the single most accomplished political woman in our history, one who’s always been a leader on “women’s issues” from child care to reproductive care to equal pay…. Remember how, a few cycles ago, a common meme was “Democrats take the black vote for granted”? Now it would appear everyone, really everyone, on both sides, did the same with white women.

      – The CW since the beginning of the nomination cycle was Tangerine Nightmare was a slam dunk to beat. Again, why not?
      Think of this as the political equivalent of an experiment where the laws of physics don’t apply.
      In retrospect, he was the only one we *couldn’t* beat. Some bought his line of bullshit, some were impressed by his celebrity, there was an awful lot of stone racism, xenophobia, and misogyny, expressed openly (a KKK endorsement? Really?). “Americans won’t vote for that / he didn’t even get a party majority for the nomination / etc…” In fact, any of the “conventional” RWNJ candidates were easier to beat, because they’d campaign conventionally and be vulnerable to conventional tactics. Low-energy ?jeb?, Brave Brave Sir Wonderboy Marco, Tailgunner Teddy Cruise, all had consistent, predictable political records. Orange McRapey? Who knew? He changed it every five minutes. The argument “he’ll sign whatever Yertle McTurtle and Granny Starver put in front of him” is probably true, but it’s also inside baseball, important to bloggers and commenters, but not so much out in the wider world.

      – If this was the predicted wave election, suppression wouldn’t matter. In what turned out to be a razor-thin contest, it mattered very much at the margins in Northern states; so did the libertarian third-party vote. I don’t know how we change that by next time.

      – If this election doesn’t get Dems to work, hard, at bottom-up instead of top-down organizing, we’re never going to. It took patience, but it’s obviously worked for Republiklowns, even in places that aren’t naturally their environment. All that crap about turning TX. AZ or GA? Yeah, no. Not yet, not for a long time.

      • LeeEsq

        Charles Pierce has a theory that every politician has one opponent who is their perfect could and for Clinton, this turned out to be Trump.

      • Yankee

        The polling was wrong, and therefore the program was wrong, and therefore the result went bad. Do you count pollsters as part of the media? Media pollsters sure, and I suppose the campaign pollsters drink at the same bars.

  • Brett

    Jesus, the Overtime Expansion. That goes into effect December 1st, so a ton of people are suddenly going to get raises only for them to be ripped away when Trump undoes the Executive Order (unless he doesn’t – maybe Obama is counting on it).

    • PotemkinMetropolitanRegion

      We need to make sure people understand Trump and Republican Congress are literally taking that money out of their hands.

      • ASV

        This would be a great test case for a campaign messaging infrastructure to operate on outside of the standard campaign timeframe. First of the month after he does it, start running very simple ads: “President Obama signed an executive order putting overtime pay in your pocket. President Trump took it away.”

        • GeorgeBurnsWasRight

          Followed by Trump saying no he didn’t, and the media nodding their heads in agreement. And many of the people who are affected ignoring reality and believing Trump because he’s “so honest”.

          • mds

            Oh, come on, next you’re going to tell me that most Trump supporters aren’t actually in the most economically anxious income brackets, or that he won places with the most improved unemployment stats 2:1. In which case, I’m going to have to accuse you of being Brad Heath.

    • NeonTrotsky

      yet another victory for the common man against the elites!

    • David Hunt

      There are some parts of this that can’t go away easily. My girlfriend is getting a substantial raise from her (salaried) college job to just over the amount that is needed to pay her overtime…which they would need to given the hours she works. The paperwork’s already gone through on that for her and, I suspect, a bunch of other people. I’m hoping that it’s hard to just summarily lower a person’s salary “because we can.”

    • efc

      Yup. Not just raises. A lot of workers are going to get the same pay but have their hours slashed so they aren’t working overtime which will increase their effective hourly rate dramatically.

      Anybody who calls me to ask “can they do this?” or “Is this legal?” I’ll tell them “they sure can.” Say “thanks Trump!”

  • efgoldman

    Question on coal plants: Weren’t may of them shut down because they weren’t *economically* viable any more? Haven’t bunches of them been converted to natural gas, and all new ones the same?
    The power companies aren’t going to return to a less-profitable operation just to help Orange Circus Peanut keep a stupid, non-viable promise to the miners.

    • BigHank53

      Yes, all of that is correct.

    • delazeur

      Yes, even Obama’s Clean Power Plan would not have done much more than simple economics was already going to get us. The people who want to shift back toward coal are living in a fantasy land.

    • Just_Dropping_By

      You overlook the potential for Trump to come out in favor of subsidizing high sulphur coal consumption….

      • GeorgeBurnsWasRight

        Yep, with the right government incentives anything is economically feasible.

        Don’t forget the cost savings to coal users if all the environmental regulations are removed.

    • Lost Left Coaster

      Yeah, I’m worried about a million things, but coal making a big comeback is not that high on the list. The economics are against it.

      Drilling and mining in soon-to-be-privatized public lands, on the other hands, is near the top.

      • efgoldman

        I imagine we’ll see a lot more earthquakes in Oklahoma, and overriding of state regulations against fracking, too.

      • ColBatGuano

        Yeah, the Bundy’s are going to be shocked to discover that a global mining operation outbid them for the land their cows graze on. Damn Democrats.

    • Yankee

      You could probably build a wall out of coal, right? Or start a National Strategic Coal Reserve in a salt cavern.

  • If you thought Trump's victory was horrendous, you haven't paid attention to the 500 years of violent oppression against PoC in the U.S.— Dr. Jill Stein (@DrJillStein) November 10, 2016

    Hot take from @DrJillStein : "Chill my peeps, Trump Presidency not quite as bad as chattel slavery or Native American genocide."— gocart mozart (@gocartmozart1) November 10, 2016

  • Rob in CT

    Trying to come up with a semi-positive spin here, bear with me:

    Ok, so they take a chainsaw to the regulatory state. But they fuck up everything and our side gets back into power. Do we have more of a clean slate to work with when we go to fix everything?

    Yeah, I’m not really buying that either.

    • twbb

      There’s never a clean slate. But we had 8 years of anti-regulatory insanity with Bush II, and we recovered. It is extremely hard to deal with right now, but we have to start building up now. The numbers, even at the last election, were good for us.

      This really is an opportunity to lay the foundations of an electorally successful, diverse Democratic party if we can get people who know strategy as well as tactics working on it.

      I know some of you will think I’m delusional here, but it is possible that in the long run picking up after Trump might be better than if Hillary had won. Yes, the Court will get ugly, but that won’t be permanent. The Hillary administration would have been 4 years of media-enabled gridlock, followed by a Ted Cruz presidency.

      • Yossarian

        “We recovered?” I guess that leaves out all those New Orleanians who drowned because Bush’s FEMA head was a fucking horse association lobbyist.

        • twbb

          Seriously? You think I meant by “we recovered” that every wrong was righted? There will be suffering now. I’m not saying that it can be removed without a trace. I am simply saying that this is not the end of life as we know it.

          • Yossarian

            And I am simply saying that any long run benefits to the Trump election–and I’m dubious as an empirical matter that there will be any–need to be placed next to the horrific near-term consequences a Trump executive branch will bring. Four years of “gridlock” is still four years less of Mike Brown or whatever godawful appointees Trump is sure to put at the head of various agencies.

            • twbb

              “And I am simply saying that any long run benefits to the Trump election–and I’m dubious as an empirical matter that there will be any–need to be placed next to the horrific near-term consequences a Trump executive branch will bring.”

              Ok, then what. That’s it? Game over, just crawl into bed and assume America will never be made hole and the bad guys have won forever?

              • econoclast

                Correct. Quitting is the only strategy that never fails.

      • Rob in CT

        The problem with SCOTUS is that, while not permanent, lifetime appointments mean they could well lock in a conservative majority for a long, long time. All it takes is one liberal justice dying. They’re we’re so screwed for so long…

        I understand your point about 2020. This has to be our hope, now.

    • Lost Left Coaster

      Not really buying it. But we do have Trump’s rank incompetence, both himself and damn near everyone being floated for cabinet positions right now, going for us, at least in some ways. Let’s just say that George W. Bush was dumb as a box of hammers but Dick Cheney, the power behind the throne, knew how to get shit done in Washington. I doubt that Trump even knows how a bill becomes a law. I hope that this proves to be an obstacle to his agenda. But it probably won’t amount to much.

    • GeorgeBurnsWasRight

      There’s an assumption that Republicans fucking everything up necessarily means Democrats get back into power.

      • econoclast

        Nothing is certain — the Republicans could end democracy or kill us all — but that’s generally how it works.

  • raypc800

    Trump is the catalyst and we are seeing the beginning of American History repeat itself. The second coming of the War Between the States may be at hand sooner then any want to admit. Here is a sample of what one individual experienced.
    https://twitter.com/ShaunKing/status/796518652812161024/photo/1 This is an example of more to come. The real question his how long will all of the people that Trump and his followers have shown hate for will be peaceful? I predict not much longer. Even the upper Brass in out military want no part of Trump.

    • BiloSagdiyev

      Not just one example. There are a hundred examples at that Twitter feed. People, this is must-read stuff:

      https://twitter.com/ShaunKing

      Kristallnacht is upon us.

  • thispaceforsale

    Big first test will be seeing how the Ethics in Government Act gets handled.

    • efgoldman

      Big first test will be seeing how the Ethics in Government Act gets handled

      The what in what, now? Never heard of such a thing.

  • PJ

    anyone who asserts that there is the “smallest possible margin” between the Republican and Democratic policies or that Hillary Clinton is on the “center-right” of the American political spectrum either has no business being paid to write about politics or is lying to their readers.

    Is our white leftists learning?

    Early signs point to no.

    • efgoldman

      Early signs point to no.

      Leftist purity ponies never learn. They’ve been around for as long as I’ve been politically aware (50++ years). JFK, LBJ, Tip O’Neill, Carter, Mondale, Gore, HRC…. nobody was pure enough.

      • GeorgeBurnsWasRight

        Including Bernie after he supported Clinton during and after the convention.

        Much like many conservative Christians with Jesus, I was fascinated to hear people who said Bernie’s support of Hillary was unforgivable still called them selves Bernie supporters.

        • Redwood Rhiadra

          Mostly they convinced themselves that Evul Hitlery was holding a gun to his children’s heads.

  • Nick never Nick

    Stop using Scrooge as a proxy for unhinged capitalism! I love Carl Barks, he doesn’t deserve this.

    • The Temporary Name
    • Murc

      Scrooge McDuck isn’t really an appropriate analogy to any real-world situation.

      I adore the character. I have the Fantagraphics collections of his Barks and Rosa interpretations in the room with me right now. Great art, great stories.

      But Scrooge is a complete rugged individualist fantasy, when he isn’t a tightwad billionaire satire. In real life paying your relatives thirty cents an hour to risk life and limb is horrible; with Scrooge it’s actually hilarious, because the stories aren’t really allegories for anything. You don’t want to try applying him to real life, ever, because it will ruin both your enjoyment of real life and of the stories.

      • Nick never Nick

        I totally agree (and am equally totally committed to getting the full run of Fantagraphics reprints). That’s just my point, Scrooge isn’t even a fantasy of of capitalism taken to its extreme; if anything, he’s meant to represent a modern survival of the people Carl Barks knew when he was young, miners, loggers, sailors, if they made a shitload of money. I refuse to stand by and let him become linked to Trump or the GOP!

        The only possible analogue for Trump in Carl Barks’s work is Gladstone Gander, and even he isn’t repulsive enough.

  • Lord Jesus Perm

    Lefty journalists are in no way obligated to suppress their ideological disagreements with Clinton, but that doesn’t justify just making stuff up, and as you can see above anyone who asserts that there is the “smallest possible margin” between the Republican and Democratic policies or that Hillary Clinton is on the “center-right” of the American political spectrum either has no business being paid to write about politics or is lying to their readers.

    Zaid Jilani! Line one!

    • Lost Left Coaster

      You know, when he was at The Nation, I thought that Lee Fang did some pretty damn good reporting. And maybe he still does on occasion. But that guy is an idiot. Today he had a stunningly braindead tweet asking whether or not “identity only Democrats” would celebrate if Trump appointed a person of color to a cabinet position. My lord.

      • Scott Lemieux

        Just me, but it strikes me that settle scores with your old CAP boss may not be the best use of a major media platform when Donald Trump is a major party’s presidential candidate. For all I know Jilani and Fang’s beefs with Tanden as a boss were justified but it turned them (and apparently a lot of people in the Jacobin/Chapo orbit) into wingnuts who believed that Tanden was history’s most neoliberal neoliberal.

  • Rob in CT

    H/T Cole at Balloon Juice:

    https://www.balloon-juice.com/2016/11/10/im-making-up-my-own-stages-of-grief/

    Rather than continuing the current path to undermine and block America’s fossil fuel producers, the Trump Administration will encourage the production of these resources by opening onshore and offshore leasing on federal lands and waters. We will streamline the permitting process for all energy projects, including the billions of dollars in projects held up by President Obama, and rescind the job-destroying executive actions under his Administration. We will end the war on coal, and rescind the coal mining lease moratorium, the excessive Interior Department stream rule, and conduct a top-down review of all anti-coal regulations issued by the Obama Administration. We will eliminate the highly invasive “Waters of the US” rule, and scrap the $5 trillion dollar Obama-Clinton Climate Action Plan and the Clean Power Plan and prevent these unilateral plans from increasing monthly electric bills by double-digits without any measurable effect on Earth’s climate. Energy is the lifeblood of modern society. It is the industry that fuels all other industries. We will lift the restrictions on American energy, and allow this wealth to pour into our communities. It’s all upside: more jobs, more revenues, more wealth, higher wages, and lower energy prices.

    I mean, we knew this. But it’s real. It’s going to fucking happen.

    • XTPD

      Map.

      Also, don’t forget we should be due for Seattle getting flattened by an earthquake.

  • While many questions remain about how Mr. Trump will govern

    Let’s get something straight. Trump will not govern. He will rule.

    • ericblair

      I assume he’ll try to rule, but it doesn’t work like that. Presidential autobiographies tend to point out how surprisingly much of the president’s time was spent wheedling and pleading with people, not ordering them around. Trump don’t do that. I can see him starting a bunch of stupid wars with Congress when they don’t take well to being treated like The Help.

  • The Temporary Name

    It’s going to be interesting figuring out the extent to which Trump actually does things vs. hands them off. The buck stops there, or whatever, I don’t really think he gives a shit about much of this.

    • Facebones

      No, he doesn’t, and that’s the scary part. He’s going to go around and make speeches while he lets Mike Pence run things.

  • Vlad von Trumpfluffer

    It’s amazing what $800 million can buy you these days.

  • LeeEsq

    OT but apparently there are people trying to start a campaign to have the Electoral College use its “in case of emergency, break glass” power and save us from President Trump. This is a very dumb idea. Norm violation is one reason why the United States is in our current awful mess and liberals should seek to become bigger norm violators than conservatives. The people who voted for Trump and gave him his Electoral College majority would actually have legitimate reasons to feel robbed and would be patronizingly told “its for your own good.” This can’t end well. Trump managed to achieve a majority in the Electoral College and should become the next President for that reason.

    If there is a campaign to have the Electoral College save us from Trump than there should be the grace to at least let Trump’s replacement as President be another Republican rather than Hillary Clinton. Somebody like Mitt Romney. That would show sincerity of the dangers of Trump and grace that Clinton’s supporters aren’t merely doing this as a last ditch effort to get President Clinton.

    • delazeur

      I would be more concerned about the norm violation aspect if Clinton hadn’t won the popular vote.

      • Dilan Esper

        I said this before, but “winning the popular vote” is a great argument for abolishing the electoral college but a terrible argument for declaring Trump, W, or any other President illegitimate.

        Campaigns work the way they do due to the electoral college. They choose which states to campaign in, to spend resources in, and to get out the vote in. If the popular vote were the metric, they would deploy those resources very differently. They would run up the score in heavily red and blue states, for instance.

        That ISN’T saying that Hillary wouldn’t have won. She probably would have. But it would have been a different election, and we don’t know for certain that Trump wouldn’t have found a different allocation of resources that got him over the finish line.

        I really don’t look forward to four years of “Hillary won the popular vote”, unless it ends in reform of the electoral college.

        • XTPD

          You’re right on the specifics, but emphasizing that Hillary won the popular vote is useful in precluding Republican claims/media acceptance of a “Trump mandate.”

          (Also see Silver and Stern).

          • Dilan Esper

            “Mandates” are a media creation anyway. You do what you have the power to do. W proved that in 2001.

            • XTPD

              We also proved it in Dubya’s second term.

    • Lost Left Coaster

      This isn’t going to happen, and I don’t think it would save us from very many of these problems — Trumpites would rampage, congress is still fully in Republican hands, and Clinton would be impeached.

      We’ll have to find something else.

      • Breadbaker

        She would not, however, be removed. She’d finally have something in common with her husband other than Yale Law School and Chelsea.

  • AMK

    From Jerry Brown’s American government in exile:

    “We are going to be what Texas was during the Obama administration,” Madrid said. “The more aggressive the Republican views coming out of Washington, the more aggressively you will see California react.”

    http://www.sacbee.com/news/politics-government/capitol-alert/article113810948.html

    This needs to happen in every blue state.

    • Murc

      Sadly, a number of blue states seem completely fucking incapable of generating unified democratic government. Exhibit A is my own New York, where our Democratic governor conspired to ensure divided government.

    • rea

      After operation Jade Helm 17, Gov. Brown and his minions will be confined in deserted Walmarts by the US Army and supporting militias.

      • Breadbaker

        Putting Governor Brown in a Walmart truly is cruel and unusual punishment. Think of the Birkenstocks!

  • catbirdman
    • Dr. Ronnie James, DO

      Just remember: every person who partners with Trump or otherwise buys into his garbage ends up humiliated and diminished by it. He won’t partner with you unless he know someone a way to exploit you, and the minute he sees you flourishing, he thinks you got one over on him, gets envious and schemes to dump you in the trash.

  • eclare

    The thing about a constant drumbeat of negative coverage about bullshit pseudo-scandals is that, like negative advertising, it suppresses turnout.

    The Republicans have perfected the art of using this to their advantage by drumming up faux scandals. So how do we defend against it?

    • XTPD

      Fight fire with flamethrowers?

  • Bruce Vail

    It’s positively Trumpian for you to blame the media for the election of Trump.

    Trump’s sins and scandals were covered in great detail. Neither you nor I nor anyone else had any trouble finding the stories in the country’s major news outlets, or in the internet niches.

    Trump is president-elect because about 60 million Americans voted for him despite all of those stories. Not because the media failed.

    • XTPD

      You’d have 1/10th of a point if the media didn’t treat DEEPLY TROUBLING EMAILZ, by itself, as equivalent to (being a sexual predator/sucking up to Putin/treating his “charity” as a personal piggy bank/connected to mobsters/more corrupt than the Harding administration/did I miss anything?)…combined.

      • efc

        Was this somehow something new and astonishing on the part of the media? Has this blog not talked about “both sides do it”ism by the media for years? Knowing this was going to happen, maybe having a candidate without so many things for the media to point to would have been a better strategy.

        Or maybe not. Maybe they would have started to make things up about Democratic nominee X. Or exaggerate nothings out of all proportion (as they arguably did with Clinton. But unfortunately the GOP house investigations legitimized emails, benghazi etc. as “real” stories)

        In the end though, acting all astonished the media would do such a thing is kind of naive. I mean, did you expect the “Media” to just completely turn over a new leaf all of a sudden because of how uniquely awful Trump seems to be? And that doesn’t even begin to grapple with the way Facebook and other alternative, gate-kepper free information outlets might have impacted peoples’ perception of Clinton and her “issues”.

        • Scott Lemieux

          maybe having a candidate without so many things for the media to point to would have been a better strategy.

          The obvious problem here is that as Paul says none of these “scandals” involved any actual non-trivial misconduct by Clinton. You can make up scandals against anybody, and there’s no reason to think journalists who think that entitlement reform and deficit reduction are Objectively Good wouldn’t have targeted Bernie.

          • ForkyMcSpoon

            Another funny thing is that I’ve seen Bernie people claiming that the media was biased against Bernie.

            If they think that, what do they think would’ve happened in the general? They should view that media bias as a risk at the very least.

    • Scott Lemieux

      Trump’s sins and scandals were covered in great detail.

      True, and also completely irrelevant. The impact of these stories was nullified by the extraordinary coverage given to Hillary Clinton’s EMAILS!, suggesting that both.sides.do.it. And the media completely ignoring policy was also highly beneficial to Trump, since Clinton’s policy agenda is popular and his isn’t.

      • Dilan Esper

        That last part isn’t entirely true. Trump’s trade policy is popular, and his immigration policy is popular with segments of the electorate who decided this election.

        What IS true is that a more policy-focused media would have made Trump look very bad, because he doesn’t understand policy very well and Hillary is an expert.

        • GeorgeBurnsWasRight

          Trump doesn’t have a trade policy, he just has a collection of phrases that are contradictory and their implementation boils down to, “I’m wonderful and can get anything I want by negotiation. Free ponies for everyone!!!” The real-world test of that was his trip to Mexico, where he got squat. I suspect that Trump may dabble in trade, find out it’s hard and boring, and since he doesn’t really care he’ll be on to the next shiny object.

          OTOH, he does care about immigration, but he’s facing some highly difficult to impossible tasks to accomplish much. I guess he can create a police state and expel millions of people with great effort. All this will do is reveal how dependent our economy has been upon those millions of people who won’t be providing most of the workers in our restaurants and many of our construction companies.

          • BoredJD

            The latter is what I am deathly afraid of. He’s not going to stop by rounding up the illegal immigrants when he realizes what he can accomplish with a private army of deputized cops and novice border patrol agents recruited from militias in terms of squashing dissent and getting revenge on people who have mocked and humiliated him. And the Republican Congress will let him, because he will give them free reign to go wild in creating a Randian paradise.

      • BoredJD

        He also just doesn’t have any policy positions, as evidenced by the debate when the moderators occasionally asked him follow-up questions on what he actually planned to do or when they pressed him to come up with substantive critiques of Obama’s policies. It’s just a stream of sales talk. But exposing this is just not as fun or easy for the media as the cage match between him and Clinton over emails.

      • NonyNony

        ince Clinton’s policy agenda is popular and his isn’t.

        Um, a whole lot of what passes for Trump’s policy agenda is popular in various places, Scott.

        For example – his intent to demolish every environmental rule that has been put into place since the EPA was created? Very popular in coal states where the populace are convinced that the reason that their jobs are gone is because of government regulation and not the fact that coal is expensive and messy and other fuels are cheaper and cleaner. They figure that without the regulations the market for clean fuel will diminish and their way of life can come back.

        You can pick any of his other “policies” and see the same thing – his wall building policy is very popular in rural Ohio. As is his “keep the Mooslims out” policy (which has disappeared).

  • Old story: Republicans always have a mandate; Democrats must always compromise.

  • Avattoir

    If he fails to loot the US Treasury for himself & a select few oligarchs, and if he fails to bring back indentured servitude, the Dump administration will be viewed a failure.

    We’re so screwed.

    • Your comment reminded me that back in 2011, Gingrich was pining for the return of child labor.

  • Dr. Ronnie James, DO

    You know those people who say, “Obama said he was going to come in and change everything… But it doesn’t *feel* like anything changed”?

    Yeah…

  • Jackson87

    There really needs to be a cartoon with 2 people huddling under a bridge roasting a sparrow on a curtain rod, with one saying, ” Say what you will about how things have turned out, but at least no one in the Trump administration mishandled emails.”
    The title would be: America, 2018

  • Mark Field

    While Congress and Trump (he’s not my president) are repealing the New Deal and everything since, we’re one or two Justices away from overruling essentially all the judicial support for that: Humphrey’s Executor; Wickard v Filburn; etc. And while we might be able to win an election in the future (I rather doubt it given the restrictions we’re likely to see), undoing judicial obstruction would require something like a court packing scheme.

    My view is that the Dem position for the future has to be this: Trump is an illegitimate occupier of the White House. Any act taken during his term will be reversed and the status quo ante restored.

    • Dilan Esper

      Mark, with all respect, you’ve spent the last decade or so worshipping the founders of this country and their wonderful Constitution in comments threads all over the place.

      Now, the system that those supposedly wise souls whose work you admire so much installs a President you don’t like, and it’s drop everything, no more peaceful transitions, he’s illegitimate, every action of his is illegitimate and should be wiped away, etc.?

      We have a very flawed Constitution, which shouldn’t surprise anyone given that it was written by people whose primary goal was ensuring the long-term protection of slavery so that the Southern states, which were run by men who rather enjoyed raping their slaves, would join the union.

      But nonetheless, it is our Constitution. Trump isn’t entitled to any particular acts of cooperation from Democrats, and Democrats and the left will have to decide how they approach a Trump presidency and how much cooperation he is due, but he is, indeed, the legitimate President-Elect of the United States of America. He will be your President, and mine, and Barack Obama’s, and Hillary Clinton’s. He will be the military’s commander-in-chief. He will be the chief executive and the head of one branch of government.

      He will do many, many bad things. But many Presidents before him have done many bad things too. Democrats will have to go about both attempting to contain the damage and generating a strategy to get back in power.

      But calling him illegitimate from Day 1? That’s a non-starter.

      • Mark Field

        Since your premise is false, the rest of your response falls with it. In particular, I’ve objected very strongly to the EC; to gerrymandering; to the construction of the Senate; and to many other undemocratic features.

        But I’ll turn it around on you: you’ve argued vehemently, as recently as yesterday, that the whole Constitution was constructed to support “raping slaveholders”. If that’s your view, why are you disagreeing with me here?

        Look, I expect that the next 4 years will change the rules in fundamental ways, ways which will, among other things, make it nearly impossible for Dems to win elections. If there’s no realistic prospect of change by that mechanism, then the ultimate response has to be that policies enacted under such a regime are invalid ab initio.

        If my prediction turns out not to be true, well then we can see what happens.

      • efgoldman

        But calling him illegitimate from Day 1? That’s a non-starter.

        It’s a fucking blog, Dilan. We can call him Macaroni if we want to.

  • efc

    I almost forgot about this one.

    http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2016/11/trump-wants-to-let-wall-street-scam-customers-again.html

    Remember the fiduciary duty rule for brokers? Dead.

  • The Pale Scot

    It’ll be a little, a little too late.

    There was no wiggle room left at the time of this election for mankind to grab the yokestick back and pull out from the downfall. The positive feedback loops for tundra warming, methane clathrate disruption, ice loss in the Arctic, are apparently stronger than had been previously estimated.

    The big global reinsurers have been funding and passing papers about this among themselves for a decade. They are predicting the collapse of civilization starting 2040. The studies get circular filed because they’re bad for the prospectuses. Emerging Risk Report – 2015, Lloyd’s of london.

    First starvation, then nukes. Without stable rainfall patterns and stable petrochemical supplies, food production can’t be maintained. IIRC, forty years ago one dollar of extra investment in food (new, more chemicals and/or GMOs) production generated ten dollars in production. The last three years that ratio has been one to one.

    So 200 million Bangladeshis walk to India because of rising seas. 800 million Indians start walking to Tibet because of drought. The Indian government launches nukes at China because they have dammed the head waters of the rivers of India in Tibet, and include Pakistan just because. The Chinese try to retreat to Siberia and Mongolia to avoid their own droughts and fallout. Russia responds with nukes because booze and poverty have reduced it to a shadow of its former self.

    Just that will effect a nuclear winter, a brutal way to reduce the global population. What happens when the populations of Africa and S. America migrate north will be a side show. Cape Hope and Cape Horn are included in the reduced rainfall predictions. So go north or die. In a couple of centuries Canadian and Russian steppes would have evolved to support agriculture if they’d been left alone. That would be a little too late. I don’t have children, but I am angry for my friend’s children. If strapping on a bomb vest would make a difference, I’d do it. Hell, with all the concussions I’ve had it’d be a better death than the one I’m probably destined for.

    Without Star Trek type tech advances, the world’s carrying capacity is roughly 3 billion. One way or another we were going to get there by 2100. Apparently it’s going to be the hard way.

    PS This optimistic. It doesn’t take into account radiation from abandoned nuclear plants and storage facilities for example.

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