Oh shit, what are we gonna do now?

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Mongrel
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Re: Oh shit, what are we gonna do now?

Postby Mongrel » Wed Dec 07, 2016 10:20 pm

Yeah, quite frankly the most scary thing is that all the cabinet appointments have Bannon's fingerprints all over them. Which tells us that at least for now, he has an outsize amount of influence over Trump even if he is not the de facto president.

Of course even if Trump turns on Bannon on two months (entirely possible given how fickle Trump is), the appointments will already be in place and that's a massive amount of escalation/accelerationism/damage done right there.

Though I suspect Bannon still has lots of mileage from "I won you the PRESIDENCY!" with the implication of either "stick with me to keep winning" or "you owe me.", even though it's obvious bullshit for Bannon to take any credit (well obvious to someone who isn't Trump).
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Re: Oh shit, what are we gonna do now?

Postby Thad » Thu Dec 08, 2016 1:27 am

Yeah. I was expecting Pence would be running the show, given what Don Jr allegedly told Kasich ("you'd be the most powerful Vice President in history; you'd be in charge of foreign and domestic policy"). That would not have been a good thing either (something something Handmaid's Tale reference), but I think Bannon is the worst of all the previously-unthinkable options we've been presented so far.

Of course, the thing about the unthinkable is that I'm sure there are still even worse possibilities that I haven't thought of yet. I don't know who'd be a worse person to put in charge of the Executive Branch than Steve Bannon, and I hope we don't find out.

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Re: Oh shit, what are we gonna do now?

Postby Thad » Thu Dec 08, 2016 1:32 am

Linda McMahon, on the other hand, is definitely a Trump pick.

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Re: Oh shit, what are we gonna do now?

Postby Mongrel » Thu Dec 08, 2016 2:15 am

Yeah, it's funny to see the ones Bannon didn't score - you can tell if they're Trump, or someone else.

I'm pretty sure the potential Sec State noms are all from different advisors, but I'm not sure who suggested who.
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Re: Oh shit, what are we gonna do now?

Postby zaratustra » Thu Dec 08, 2016 6:34 am

Thad wrote:But Trump is stupid, he has no attention span, he's easy to manipulate, and he has no principles outside of his own personal gain.


One caveat - Trump is a chameleon that pretends to agree with everything you say for the duration of the conversation and maybe two hours after, and then promptly forgets nearly everything.

That gives the illusion he's easy to manipulate by talking to him, and might mean some people will play along right up to the point they're walked into a pit by the real manipulators.

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Re: Oh shit, what are we gonna do now?

Postby Thad » Thu Dec 08, 2016 10:07 am

Mongrel wrote:Yeah, it's funny to see the ones Bannon didn't score - you can tell if they're Trump, or someone else.

I'm pretty sure the potential Sec State noms are all from different advisors, but I'm not sure who suggested who.


Romney's certainly the "Which one of these things is not like the other?" pick. Or was until McMahon was announced.

If you'd told me four years ago that I'd be hoping Mitt Romney would become Secretary of State, I wouldn't have believed you. Course, lots of even more unbelievable things have already happened.

zaratustra wrote:One caveat - Trump is a chameleon that pretends to agree with everything you say for the duration of the conversation and maybe two hours after, and then promptly forgets nearly everything.

That gives the illusion he's easy to manipulate by talking to him, and might mean some people will play along right up to the point they're walked into a pit by the real manipulators.


Yeah, there's certainly an argument to be made that "if Trump were actually in charge" is a meaningless hypothetical because Trump was never really going to be anything but the loud guy who says stupid shit while somebody else actually runs the show.

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Re: Oh shit, what are we gonna do now?

Postby Thad » Thu Dec 08, 2016 11:17 am

On another topic: I started out by saying that if we want to beat Trump in 2020, we're going to need to find some middle ground with people who voted for him.

On the flipside, I think Democratic pragmatists need to take a good long look at what pragmatism means, and accept the possibility that it may not mean what they thought it did.

If you* voted for Clinton over Sanders because you agreed with her stances on issues more than his, or because you thought her plans were more detailed, or because you thought her experience would make her a more effective leader, that's fair enough. But if you voted for her because you thought she stood a better shot of winning in the general, I'd like you to consider that maybe you were wrong.

I think Sanders would have won in the general. We can't know for sure. What we do know for sure is that Clinton didn't.

Maybe Sanders wouldn't have won either. But I'm pretty sure that if he'd gotten the nomination and lost the general, establishment Democrats would be citing it as proof positive that he was too liberal and that if only primary voters had been more pragmatic and voted for Clinton, Trump would have lost. What's sauce for the goose...

And, again, truth is that we don't know what would have happened if Sanders had been the nominee. We know some things that support the hypothesis that he'd have won -- he had the highest positive ratings of any candidate during the primary season; this election was decided by blue-collar workers who are deeply opposed to how globalization has affected their industries; one of the biggest stories in the months leading up to the election was the discovery of massive fraud by Wells Fargo -- and some things that refute it -- he'd have certainly been subjected to constant cries of "socialist!"; he never managed to articulate any strong policy positions beyond criticism of Wall Street; he never made his case to anybody but young voters and college-educated white people.

But. What I'm saying is, if you're a pragmatist, the thing to do is at least accept the possibility that Sanders could have won. (And I accept the possibility that he could have lost by a wider margin than Clinton did.) And four years from now, when you're voting for the candidate who you think is likelier to beat Trump in the general, consider that maybe the criteria you used in the past to assess "electability" did not reflect reality.

Part of why Clinton lost was her personal baggage; there's no doubt about that. But I believe that part of it really was that she failed to connect with voters who -- while they might not couch it in these terms -- are sick and tired of neoliberalism. I think what I said about Brexit a few months ago was, "When the only two choices are neoliberalism and fascism, some people are going to pick fascism as the lesser of two evils." And I think that's what happened here.

What I'm saying is -- well, it's much the same thing I've been saying for the past 16 years -- I think we need to reassess which positions are moderate and which ones are extreme.

I don't think Sanders's stance on much, much stronger regulation of Wall Street and the banking industry is extreme anywhere outside the Beltway; I think it's a very mainstream view. I don't think his criticism of trade agreements is extreme, either -- or, if it is, we've just elected a guy who's criticized them even more strongly.

Basically, I think this election, Brexit, and Italy -- with possibly more to come -- have all made it very clear that neoliberalism is not a mainstream, moderate economic position, and that public opinion has swung hard in the opposite direction.

So next time you're asking yourself which primary candidate has a better shot of winning in the general, at least consider the possibility that being cozy with Wall Street and bullish on global "trade agreements"** are things that make a candidate less electable, not more.

(And, again: I'm not talking about people who voted for Clinton because they really liked her better than Sanders; I disagree with them but that's a subject for another post. I'm talking about people who liked both candidates equally, or liked Sanders better, but voted for Clinton because they thought she was a more mainstream candidate with a better chance of winning. To those people, I suggest that the next time you're given a choice between a neoliberal and a populist, you proceed from the hypothesis that populism is a more mainstream economic position than neoliberalism, not less.)




* The proverbial "you"; not addressing anyone specifically on the board here. I know most people here were more Sanders-leaning.

** Sarcastic quotation marks used because TPP was not a trade agreement; it had very little to do with trade and a hell of a lot to do with nations giving up their sovereignty to unaccountable corporate courts.

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Re: Oh shit, what are we gonna do now?

Postby Smiler » Thu Dec 08, 2016 12:42 pm


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Re: Oh shit, what are we gonna do now?

Postby Mongrel » Thu Dec 08, 2016 4:00 pm

Thad wrote:If you'd told me four years ago that I'd be hoping Mitt Romney would become Secretary of State


I'm not so sure about that. Even four years ago, Romney was pretty reasonable by incredibly low modern Republican standards. The typical out-of-touch rich guy, but far from the worst of them and one who had implemented progressive policies at times and worked with Democrats on occasion.
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Re: Oh shit, what are we gonna do now?

Postby Mongrel » Thu Dec 08, 2016 5:02 pm

Speaking of Trump's attention span



hoo hoo oh man, wow
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Re: Oh shit, what are we gonna do now?

Postby Büge » Thu Dec 08, 2016 5:58 pm



"both sides are bad" indeed

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Re: Oh shit, what are we gonna do now?

Postby Mongrel » Thu Dec 08, 2016 9:21 pm

So Michigan has rejected Stein's recount request because there was no fraud.

But also went ahead and passed strict new voter ID laws because they also claim that 18,000 votes were cast fraudulently.

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Re: Oh shit, what are we gonna do now?

Postby Mongrel » Thu Dec 08, 2016 11:57 pm

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Re: Oh shit, what are we gonna do now?

Postby Yoji » Fri Dec 09, 2016 4:25 pm

I was just wondering what ever happened to that guy.

Also, too: Andy Puzder for Secretary of Labor. Y'know, the guy who is on the record saying he wants to replace his workers with robots.
Andrew Puzder wrote:They’re always polite, they always upsell, they never take a vacation, they never show up late, there’s never a slip-and-fall, or an age, sex, or race discrimination case.

And speaking of discrimination, I learned today he not only defends his company's tacky ads with bikini models eating burgers with potato chips inside, but might have abused his ex-wife in the late 80s.

I'd say "this isn't funny anymore," except it was never funny. I've had head injuries funnier than any of this.
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Re: Oh shit, what are we gonna do now?

Postby Büge » Fri Dec 09, 2016 5:23 pm


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Re: Oh shit, what are we gonna do now?

Postby Mongrel » Fri Dec 09, 2016 5:37 pm

Well, I think there was an article a couple weeks ago that confirmed there actually aren't for the presidency specifically. He's actually legally allowed to keep whatever investments and businesses he likes.
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Re: Oh shit, what are we gonna do now?

Postby Joxam » Fri Dec 09, 2016 7:12 pm

Yeah problem with a lot of these 'rules' is that they essentially amount to a gentleman's agreement that both sides use because they don't want to be the first to break the agreement because they know that in 2-4 years they might not be in power anymore or are standards agreed to by better men than Donald Trump. Of course Jimmy Carter was going to put his business in a blind trust, he genuinely believed in the office he was seeking, etc.
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Re: Oh shit, what are we gonna do now?

Postby Mongrel » Fri Dec 09, 2016 7:35 pm

There was another article (maybe posted here already?) that pointed out that not only will Trump's cabinet probably be the richest in American history, but that it affords a massive tax dodge to all of them.

One really horrifying and hilarious idea is that some of the cabinet posts were simply sold outright (possibly by Bannon rather than Trump... Trumps ego actually makes me feel like he wants to treat this "seriously"; he's gonna be the besterest president, the biggest.).
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Re: Oh shit, what are we gonna do now?

Postby Mongrel » Fri Dec 09, 2016 7:58 pm

Starr's comment was "Wonder how many cronies can they fit in the presidential clown car."
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Re: Oh shit, what are we gonna do now?

Postby Grath » Fri Dec 09, 2016 8:09 pm

Mongrel wrote:There was another article (maybe posted here already?) that pointed out that not only will Trump's cabinet probably be the richest in American history, but that it affords a massive tax dodge to all of them.

One really horrifying and hilarious idea is that some of the cabinet posts were simply sold outright (possibly by Bannon rather than Trump... Trumps ego actually makes me feel like he wants to treat this "seriously"; he's gonna be the besterest president, the biggest.).

Apparently almost all of the cabinet posts have been people who coincidentally donated 100+K to the Trump campaign? I haven't fact checked that myself but it sounds probable.

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