Probably not. With Il Trumpe’s daily bolus of Twitter-rrhea, there have been many calls to ignore that and focus on the ‘real’ nightmare. This makes little sense to me. Before we get to the post title, it’s worth remembering that over 64 million people voted for Clinton: surely there are enough people to decry ALL THE THINGS. Because I doubt any one single thing in isolation is going to topple Il Trumpe. It will be several things working in concert.
Bashing Il Trumpe’s tweets does serve two purposes. First, it lays the groundwork for the belief that Trump is out-of-control. People will put up with that for as long as he is successful, but when things go south–and this happens to every president–people will not want an erratic, urge-driven president. As the internets might put it, there isn’t just one trick to stop Il Pepe. Second, some of the tweeting really seems to piss Trump off (I’ll discuss what it’s like to have a narcissist as a boss in a future post). Leaving aside any possible entertainment value (we do love publicly funded entertainment!), Trump’s narcissism will lead him to make political mistakes.
But what I really don’t understand is how most centrist and centrist-left thought leader types can be so damn certain they will be able to identify what would stymie Trump. While it was clear that the ‘Clinton Rules’ would be operative (and perhaps the ‘electability’ arguments should have considered this), it wasn’t clear at all that the emails would be the weak link. What Republicans are good at doing is throwing lots of shit against the wall and seeing what sticks (they’re also good at avoiding the consequences of doing so, but that’s beyond the scope of this post). Point being, nobody knows what The One True Thing That Will Defeat Trump™ will be, especially our Mandarin Class betters. So hit him in lots of places and see what works.
An aside: like most post-election analysis, the tweetsplaining is also an example of debate-by-proxy.
Our Mandarin Class betters for all the money they spent didn’t see this train coming. Granted, not many of us actually believed it could happen, but they are supposed to be so much better informed than us. For all the harping of how we couldn’t lose this election, they seem pretty asleep at the switch as to how to win the election.
The thing that annoys me about the centrist Clinton supporters who shoved her down our throats (which is not to say she might not have taken the primary anyway), is how as much as they talked about how Clinton was the only candidate that could win, they didn’t get that this wasn’t a contest about who was the better candidate, it was a contest about who the public would vote for.
In this regard Keynes comment about the stock market being a “beauty contest” is applicable. Like the stock market, choosing your candidate is not about choosing who is most “beautiful” but choosing who the public will think is “most beautiful”. That is, it doesn’t matter how convinced you are of your candidate’s worthiness, it matters whether the people will vote for her. In that regards, our liberal sided overclass seemed to need to get out of their insulated echo chambers and meet real people. Had they done so, they would have seen, regardless of how reasonable or fair it was, an overwhelming dislike of the woman, even by people who would ordinarily be voting Democrat or at least disinclined to vote Trump. Sexism it may have been, but calling them sexist wasn’t going to make them non-sexist, nor get them to vote. In fact, the use of that card too often I suspect backfired. Moreover as wrong as such sexism may be, if it’s an election you “can’t lose” and you’re in charge, you have to adjust for that.
In any case, sadly in some sense Clinton was the only candidate that *could* lose against Trump, an act which unfortunately she succeeded all too well at.
Dem congressional “leadership” is now going to be: Pelosi. And. Schumer.
This is a symptom of a party devoid of talent and incapable of change. This after years of Democratic losses in state and federal elections across the country. **After** the 2016 debacle, which is one of the greatest political fuck-ups in American history. Maybe it’s no coincidence that the one viable, non-odious guy who had a shot at being the Dem nominee came from **outside** the party.
Maybe the best course for leftists is to let the Beltway consultancy agency known as the Democratic Party die, and look for another organization. I hear the Democratic Socialists of America is getting new members.
“First, it lays the groundwork for the belief that Trump is out-of-control.”
I would read the NYT opinion page by By LUIGI ZINGALES called “The Right Way to Resist Trump” before coming to any conclusions about that. He has great insight, IMHO.
Those Hillary Clinton commercials that were supposed to make the Donald seem scary or horrible? A lot of people found them HILARIOUS. And the nutball things Trump says… a lot of people think they’re irrelevant, distasteful but unimportant, kooky but kind of funny, or maybe even awful but that other things were more important.
This includes people who voted for trump, voted for sanders, voted for clinton, and includes people who, at least superficially, would be traditionally considered the typical “base” of Democrats.
The people who think Trump saying crazy awful stuff is really really important – they already voted for Trump begrudgingly because he opposed abortion or they hated Hillary Clinton that much, or they already had voted for Clinton either happily or begrudgingly despite hating her.
So good luck with that make-work ground-work.
Everyone already knows Trump is out of control.
It’s not like it’s a big secret.
For me (as horrified a non-USian observer), the big shock of the election was that the FBI was so firmly in favour of authoritarianism that it would deliberately act to throw the election to a candidate openly backed by Russia. (Because by the time Comey made his intervention, there was really no doubt about that.)