Thursday, November 17, 2016

Another view: "The silver lining to Trump's victory"

One of the contributors to the progressive news blog Daily Kos, who goes by the name "Scandalous One," has emerged from mourning Trump's victory with a different view:   that there is a long-range silver lining.   I'm afraid I'm not there yet, but I re-post this as something to consider.

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    "After mourning Trump's victory, I took the opportunity to think things through and I suddenly saw a big silver lining for Democrats. Politics is like a game of chess. Trump's victory . . . may have put the Democrats in a stronger position going forward than if Hillary had won. Here's why I'm saying this:

    "If Hillary had become president on the heels of Obama's two terms, the Democrats would be in a very vulnerable position in the next two major elections: the 2018 midterms and the 2020 general election. Democrats would likely suffer heavy losses in the 2018 midterms due to historical precedent (the party that wins the White House usually does poorly in the following midterm elections) and sheer voter fatigue. However, with Donald Trump in the White House the tables are turned and Republicans are the ones who will be in a defensive position in 2018 as they now control both the White House and Congress and will have to give full account of their agenda and results to voters. In this scenario, Democrats are likely to make significant gains in the 2018 midterm elections.

    "Then building on that, Republicans will again be on the defensive in the 2020 general election with Trump in the White House. The core of Republican policy is set up to hurt the working and middle classes and benefit the rich and powerful. Ironically, these are the same working class people who voted for Trump. They will inevitably feel disappointed over the next four years as they realize that Trump can't magically solve their problems.

    "Going into 2020 Republicans will face die-hard opposition from Democrats, a likely disillusioned white working class GOP base (the manufacturing jobs are never coming back)  and an even more diverse electorate than today. All these factors will put them in a very weak position in that election. If Hillary had won this year, Democrats would be the ones on the defensive.

    "2020 is just the year that Democrats need to win. The next US census takes place that year and that is also when the next congressional districts will be redrawn. Democrats can use their electoral gains in 2020 to Gerrymander Republicans out of the House of Representatives and regain full control of Congress, and lock in their majority for a decade or more.

    "Also a Democratic President elected in 2020 is more likely to serve two terms, than if Hillary had won this year (one of my biggest concerns with Hillary winning this year is that she would not be re-elected in 2020 due to voter fatigue; it's unlikely Americans would allow one party to control the White House for 4 terms).

    "With a Democratic President elected in 2020 serving two potential terms (and a Democratic Congress behind him/her), Democrats would have wide sway to reshape the Supreme Court,  and neutralize most of the destruction that would come with Trump's one term in office. All this would be less likely if Democrats had retained the White House in this election.

    "Sometimes the biggest disappointments in life can turn out to be the biggest opportunity."

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Well, maybe.   I'll grant that a Clinton presidency, with this Congress, would have met the same obstructionism that Obama faced.   And winning reelection in 2020 would have the added weight of a 4th term for Democrats in the White House.

Still, four years of Trump and Trumpism is hard to stomach.   I'm losing the slim hope I had that the better Trump may emerge as the responsibility awakens something in him.    Giving Steve Bannon such a prominent role was bad enough.   But now we're hearing about the prominent transition role that Kansas Attorney General Kris Kobach is having in planning immigration policy.   Kobach has been the leading power among state governments in anti-refugee, anti-Muslim, anti-LGBTQ and anti-abortion voices, as well as the leader in devising voter suppression laws among states.  He's also being rumored as a possible U.S. Attorney General.   That would be worse than Rudi Giuliani by far.


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