Monday, November 14, 2016

Trump is in a Box

Digesting more election postmortems over the weekend, it is apparent that Trump won in the Rust Belt thanks to Democratic voters who felt both betrayed by Obama's weakness and disgusted by Hillary's mendacity. Democratic elite who suddenly find themselves in free fall are promoting the narrative that it was racist, sexist neo-fascism that led to Trump's triumph, not regular rank'n'file union members who had once voted for Obama. They are doing this to avoid any accountability to the working class, hoping to live again to fight another day by keeping us penned in on the identity-politics-Wall-Street reservation.

Trump owes his razor-thin victory to Reagan Democrats. Now he has to find a way to get some bounty delivered to them by means of a hostile Republican congress. No easy feat. Something has to give.

Editorials over the weekend were rife with hosannas to free trade and perpetual war (in the form of Russophobia, Assadophobia and NATO maintenance), as if the occupants of the deep state seriously entertain the possibility of a Trump about-face once he enters the White House.

I suppose it's possible. But I doubt Trump wants to be a one-term wonder like Jimmy Carter and George H.W. Bush. So he will work on passing some sort of public works infrastructure plan (for the Reagan Dems) and a tax cut (for Wall Street). That's the easy part. The hard part for Trump is going to be battling the deep state on perpetual war and globalized free trade.


  1. Not sure how much choice Trump has. I've visited a few neoliberal sites like Booman Tribune and Balloon Juice, and the neolibs haven't figured out what happened yet. Which, I suspect, is as it should be. I spent the year telling them and they finally just shut me off. And now they can remain in their bubble for another four years playing identity politics and thanking each other for being so virtuous.

  2. The Democrats always blame someone else, it is never their fault. They only lost the 2000 election because of Nadar; they can not pass any 'hope_n_change' legislation because of the Repubs; they lost this election because of the racist Democrats (who voted for Obama 8 years ago). Or possibly because of third party votes, since that was a good excuse 16 years ago. If the Dems thought Trump was so bad, why didn't they run their strongest candidate. I think we all know the answers to that.

  3. I work with a young woman (late 20s) who runs the political program at the central labor council. Today she declared that the election was lost by the Dems because of a hard-shell racism and sexism. I said, "What about jobs? Trump told people he was going to get their jobs back." She said, "Regardless of people's willingness to believe Trump about jobs, they were still willing to look past his outright misogyny and bigotry to vote in a white overlord." To which my coworker, who is a 41-year-old black woman, replied, "Hillary's problem is that she ran as an old white man -- war, Wall Street, and all the rest -- except for the fact that she has a vagina."

  4. Judging from Trump's choices for his cabinet announced today, it seems like the folks who voted for him for change were, eh, FOOLED AGAIN.

  5. Pompeo and Sessions are more of the same (far right but still within the Washington Consensus). But I'm interested to see how Flynn is going to fly. The amount of column inches devoted to his appointment is a strong tell that he is not within the Washington Consensus. Nicholas Kristof's column on Sunday is a good indication. (If you want an undiluted CIA Weltanschauung read Kristof. Always voicing concern for women, children, oppressed minorities while at the same time performing joyous somersaults for Ukrainian neo-Nazis and al-Zenki decapitators, Kristof is a marvel and an aburdity.)

    A much-quoted fact recently about Flynn was how he sat at Putin's elbow at the same table as Jill Stein (!) for a celebration of RT.

    Flynn does seem like bad news for the Arab monarchies of the Gulf. But then again, he is supposed to be anti-Iran. For some reason though I have confidence that he has Wahhabism in his crosshairs first and foremost.