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Donald Trump Is President, America Will Survive This

Donald Trump Inauguration

Continuing a tradition that began on April 30, 1789 in New York City when George Washington took the Oath of Office as President of the United States for the first time, today America witnessed a transfer of power from one Presidential Administration to the next, from one party to the other, and from a President that leaves office with the highest popularity rating of his tenure to one that enters office amid a nation divided and, given the controversies that had rocked the political establishment for the past two years, nervous about what the next four to eight years may bring:

WASHINGTON — Donald John Trump was inaugurated as the 45th president of the United States on Friday, ushering in a new and more unpredictable era in which he vowed to shatter the established order and restore American greatness.

From the West Front of the Capitol, overlooking a crowd of hundreds of thousands as rain began to fall, Mr. Trump presented a dark vision of a nation afflicted by division and dislocation, exploited and forgotten by a group of Washington elites and diminished around the world. His arrival, he promised, would finally turn it around.

“This American carnage stops right here and stops right now,” he declared in a forceful 16-minute Inaugural Address.

“The time for empty talk is over,” he added later. “Now arrives the hour for action. Do not allow anyone to tell you it cannot be done.”

He said the inauguration represented not just the peaceful transfer of power from one party to another. “We are transferring power from Washington, D.C., and giving it back to you the people,” he said.

“For too long,” he added, “a small group in our nation’s capital has reaped the rewards of government while the people have borne the cost. Washington flourished, but the people did not share in its wealth. Politicians prospered, but the jobs left and the factories closed. The establishment protected itself but not the citizens of our country. Their victories have not been your victories. Their triumphs have not been your triumphs.”

He vowed to reverse that trend and make America first. “The forgotten men and women of our country will be forgotten no longer.”

Mr. Trump, wearing a dark suit with red tie and accompanied by his wife, Melania, in a powder-blue suit, intends to waste little time after taking the 35-word oath that was administered by Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. to start unraveling the policies of his departing predecessor, President Obama. Within hours of taking office, the new president could begin signing executive orders freezing regulations put in place in the last weeks of Mr. Obama’s tenure and reversing policies on health care, immigration and other areas.

His son Donald Trump Jr. said the new president was coming to grips with the gravity of his new position, even if it did not necessarily seem so in public. “He’s been humbled by the whole process,” he said on MSNBC. “And you know, whether he shows that outwardly or not is, you know, is one thing.”

Through a long day of pomp and pageantry that will end with three inaugural balls, Mr. Trump will have the opportunity to revel in his moment of triumph. Surrounded by relatives, lawmakers, former presidents and other dignitaries, including Mr. Obama, and the Democrat he beat last November, Hillary Clinton, Mr. Trump took command of a country unsettled after one of the most polarizing periods in modern times.

His critics have made clear they will not defer even for a day to a new leader they accuse of playing to racism and hatred. Demonstrators gathered early Friday morning to protest the new president. Liberal groups have organized a march that they expect to draw as many as 200,000 to downtown Washington on Saturday.

Violence broke out an hour before Mr. Trump was inaugurated when protesters smashed shop windows around Franklin Square in downtown Washington. A Bank of America branch had all its windows shattered and a Starbucks was left with a gaping hole in its glass front door. Police officers in riot helmets used pepper spray to break up groups of protesters, who spread out and kept breaking windows.

For Mr. Trump, the ceremonies capped a remarkable rise to power that defied all expectations, and his ascension amounts to a hostile takeover of a capital facing its most significant disruption in generations. While officially a Republican, Mr. Trump has at times assailed leaders of both parties and positioned himself as the ultimate outsider, making clear that he will follow his own instincts in determining the nation’s course.

America has never seen a president quite like Mr. Trump, the son and grandson of immigrants who grew up to become a real estate magnate, casino owner, beauty pageant operator and reality television star whose tumultuous love life played out on tabloid front pages.

Never before has the presidential oath been administered to someone who had never served either in public office or as a general in the military. At age 70, Mr. Trump will become the oldest president ever sworn in for the first time and the first born in New York since Franklin D. Roosevelt.

He is one of the wealthiest presidents ever to enter the White House, with far-reaching business ties that have already raised questions about where his interests end and the country’s begin. He arrives in the Oval Office dogged by reports about Russian interference in the election on his behalf and, in the hours before his inauguration, fresh word of a federal investigation into the Russian ties of some of his advisers.

But Mr. Trump overcame the skeptics who did not take him seriously when he embarked on what seemed like a quixotic bid for the presidency. An Ivy League-educated mogul who lives in a tower with an 80-foot-long living room in the heart of the nation’s largest city, he turned himself into the unlikely leader of a populist movement rooted away from the country’s urban and suburban coasts.

More from The Washington Post:

Donald John Trump was sworn in Friday as the 45th president of the United States, taking office on a day that has featured smaller crowds and more subdued ceremony than previous inaugurations — but still ushers in a transformative shift in the country’s leadership.

Trump, 70, was administered the oath by Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. His wife Melania Trump stood at his side. The oath was given using two Bibles — one from President Lincoln’s inauguration, and another that Trump’s mother gave him in 1955.Then, as

Then, as rain began to fall, Trump gave an inaugural address that — while short in duration — made a major break with presidential precedent. Most presidents use this moment to acknowledge the opponent they defeated, to praise America’s promise and to call upon both parties to work together.

Trump, by contrast, made no mention of his Democratic opponent, former secretary of state Hillary Clinton. He used his speech to make a wide-ranging condemnation of America’s current state — talking about “American carnage” caused by urban crime, and saying that “wealth, strength and confidence has dissipated” because of jobs lost overseas.

Trump also used his address to say that both major political parties have lost their way, serving the needs of an elite rather than the needs of the public. In grandiose language, Trump sought to cast this day as a kind of restart for American politics, with everything before — Republican and Democrat — cast aside.

“The United States of America is your country,” he said.

With now former president Barack Obama and three previous presidents watching from behind him, Trump seemed to condemn them as unfaithful to the popular will, saying that his inauguration signaled that “the people” would rule the country again.

“Today, we are not merely transferring power from one administration to another, or from one party to another, but we are transferring power from Washington, D.C., and giving it back to you, the people,” he said. He continued: “For too long, a small group in our nation’s capital has reaped the rewards of government while the people have borne the cost. . . . Politicians prospered, but the jobs left and the factories closed.”

It was a speech that closely matched the tone of Trump’s presidential campaign, which he cast as a populist insurgency against GOP orthodoxies.

But it was not as close a match with the way Trump has acted since the election — a time when he has chosen some of his Cabinet picks and top staffers from Washington and Wall Street’s existing elites. His choices have included the head of ExxonMobil, three retired generals, several top members of Goldman Sachs and several sitting GOP legislators.

“We assembled here today are issuing a new decree. . . . From this day forward, a new vision will govern our land. From this day forward, it’s going to be only America first. America first!” Trump said. This two-word slogan, used heavily in Trump’s campaign, became infamous in U.S. history as the slogan of isolationist forces opposed to American entry in World War II. Trump has used it as an economic message.

“Every decision on trade, on taxes, on immigration, on foreign affairs, will be made to benefit American workers and American factories,” Trump said.

Trump’s speech clocked in at less than 17 minutes, making it unusually short among recent inaugural addresses. It concluded with the signature promise of his stunningly successful presidential campaign, to “make America great again.”

As with everything else about the political forces that brought him to power, Donald Trump’s Inaugural Address was unique, concerning, and offered a vision of America that seemed unlikely to appeal to anyone other than people who already supported him. At times it seemed more like a campaign speech than an Inaugural Address, with frequent references to “America First” and the themes about departed jobs and closed factories that Trump often addressed in his stump speeches. What seemed lacking was what is usually the hallmark of Inaugural Addresses, the call for unity that reaches out not just to supporters but to opponents. Unlike President George W. Bush in 2001, there was no acknowledgment of the fact that Trump’s opponent in the election was present on the platform, and little effort to reach out to her supporters. The closest that the speech seemed to come in that regard was when Trump said that there is no room from prejudice in patriotism. What the speech was full of, though, was the same rhetoric that we heard from Trump on the campaign trail, including appeals to populism and nationalism at home and seeming isolationism abroad that will raise rather obvious concerns on both sides of the political aisle.

The ascension of Donald Trump to the Presidency differs from many in the past, of course. While every new President enters office with some degree of opposition, Trump enters office with some of the lowest approval ratings of any new President in the modern era. Additionally, his rhetoric over the course of eighteen months of regarding minorities, women, the media, and his political opponents has many people concerned about what the next four years or longer may bring. As is often typical in these cases, there are those who are predicting and fearing the worst about the new President, and as my own writing over the past several years about Trump should make clear, I share many of those concerns. While campaigning for President, Donald Trump consciously appealed to the worst aspects of American politics, and used the rhetoric of populism, nationalism, and division for political gain in a manner unseen since the 1968 campaign of the late Alabama Governor George Wallace. His rhetoric also mirrored that of others in American history who appealed that combination of bigotry and populism that has sadly played all too well in American politics from the days of the 19th Century Know Nothing Party, to the predatory populism of William Jennings Bryan, to the divisive rhetoric of men who rose up during the Great Depression since as Huey Long and Father Charles Coughlin. As I said immediately before Election Day, all of this led me to the conclusion that Trump was a unique enough danger that he needed to be stopped at all costs.

Unfortunately, that isn’t how the election turned out, and while Hillary Clinton did win more popular votes, it was Donald Trump who walked away with the win in the Electoral College that made him the 45th President of the United States today. Since Election Night, there has been much rhetoric on both sides of the aisle about what it all means and where the nation is headed. For Donald Trump’s supporters, his victory and today’s events represent a win over the forces of an establishment that has had its hold on Washington for far too long. For his opponents, they represent a victory for the forces of division, and many of those opponents have spent the two months since Election Day predicting nothing but doom and gloom for the nation. While I remain as concerned as I was before the election regarding what Trump represents, though, I’d caution against panic mongering and fear at this point. Over the past

Our nation has faced many challenges over the past 228 years, including a war that divided the nation and threatened to destroy it even before it turned one hundred years old. It has faced dangers from overseas, including a war that was fought on two fronts and involved millions of deaths and casualties, and a quieter Cold War that threatened to unleash forces of destruction capable of making the planet essentially uninhabitable for hundreds of years. It has endured scandals and corruption in all three branches of government, racial, ethnic, and gender-based prejudice, and political polarization that was, as hard as it might be to believe, even worse than what we are dealing today. It has faced economic downturns that forced millions of people out of work and into seeming hopelessness, natural disasters, and political assassinations. Through it all the nation has survived, and it will survive Donald John Trump no matter how long he ends up serving as President of the United States.

None of this is to say that we shouldn’t stand up and speak out when the new President does something we disagree with, of course. As Thomas Jefferson put it, “eternal vigilance is the price of liberty,” and that means it is the responsibility of each of us to speak out and to act within the system when our leaders are headed down the wrong path. I fully expect that I will be critical of President Trump far more than I will be accepting of the policies he will advocate in the coming years. Of course, that was true of the man who just left the Presidency and the man before him as well, so that’s hardly a change. At the same time, though, I’m going to try to remember that America will survive this just as it survived everything else we’ve faced over the past two centuries. The damage that is done, though, will depend largely on how vigilant men and women of conscience on both sides of the aisle are and whether they’re willing to speak out when necessary. Donald Trump is our President, words that still astound me even as I type them, but he isn’t our King and he isn’t President for life. So remain vigilant, and try not to be too melodramatic about the future no matter how tempting it might be.

All that being said, I find myself much more somber this Inauguration Day than I have been in the past. Even when I didn’t agree with the incoming President very much, which has been the norm for awhile, I was at least somewhat hopeful. It’s harder to feel that today. So, if you’re mourning today, I understand exactly how you feel. However, for all the cynicism I may have about politics in general I remain optimistic about the long-term future of our country. In the end, the only way we will fail is if we fail as a people to remember Jefferson’s warning about eternal vigilence, because if we forget that then we’ll be headed down a dangerous road from which there may be no return.

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About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May, 2010 and also writes at Below The Beltway. Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. Facebones says:

    Sure, America will survive…

    Until Trump’s Twitter war with China goes nuclear.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 5

  2. C. Clavin says:

    I appreciate the optimism…but it’s unfounded.
    Nothing like this has ever happened before. So past performance is not indicative of future results.
    We now have a happily ignorant authoritarian leading a do-nothing, know-nothing Congress that is anxious and awaiting to rubber-stamp his every whim…and we have a feckless 4th Estate cowering in fear that he will twitter their ratings into the trash.
    We are, in a word, fwcked. Totally fwcked.
    Today he was inaugurated. Tomorrow the bad-actors in the world will start testing us. And when Trump fails to measure up…he will turn to Putin for guidance. And there is no one to stop it from happening. No one.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 29 Thumb down 10

  3. reid says:

    There’s not much to be said at this point, really. I’m sure it won’t be pretty, between a wingnut legislature unleashed and a petty dictator. Will you find the strength to keep blogging, Doug? James?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 4

  4. Moosebreath says:

    “Donald Trump Is President, America Will Survive This”

    That seems like a low set of expectations to have. Hopefully, it will even come true.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 24 Thumb down 0

  5. Rodney dill says:

    America will do fine, not that you’d know it from all the whining and hand wringing here at OTB.

    Poorly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 15 Thumb down 38

  6. Pch101 says:

    America survived the Civil War and Great Depression, but I wouldn’t say that they were terrific experiences that would be worth repeating.

    The fact that the low-IQ brigade and overt bigots are absolutely thrilled about this should be a warning that vigilance and a willingness to brawl are required.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 38 Thumb down 5

  7. bill says:

    should have bought stock in play-doh, legos, onesies, and silly comfort items for the pathetic crowd.

    Poorly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 27

  8. restlessness says:

    “At the bedrock of our politics will be a total allegiance to the United States of America and through our loyalty to our country, we will rediscover our loyalty to each other.”

    (emphasis mine)

    Reminds me of the dark days of the Vietnam war (‘America: Love It or Leave It!’) and the aftermath of 9/11 (Critics of the Iraq War were ‘gutless traitors’ to Ann Coulter, Colonel Patterson called it ‘treason’).

    Those weren’t elected officials – now its the President. So, yeah, I’ll cop to being a hand-wringer.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 4

  9. Just 'nutha ig'rant cracker says:

    in much the same way as Obama’s administration was not as good as we had hoped, Trump’s is not likely to be as bad as people fear. The goal for the opposition is to make sure that it is bad enough so that the nation will be discouraged from electing another right-wing nut ball in order to, paraphrasing Michael Moore, feel good about giving a giant *FLOCK YOU* to the nation.

    Should some cosmic twist of fate cause Trump to be an effective leader (far fetched, I grant, but…), the opposition’s alternate goal is to have enough wisdom to stay out of the way rather than to follow the GOP doctrine of opposing anything good that might be done because the opposition won’t be getting credit. So far, the opposition is failing in goal 2 based on today.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  10. michael reynolds says:

    @Rodney dill:

    Maybe you could go sample some of the genuine fear at Hispanic sites or African-American sites or gay or transgender sites. Of course it will be fine for you, it’s always fine for collaborators, and no doubt you will enjoy the white male restoration.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 39 Thumb down 7

  11. michael reynolds says:

    @bill:
    Dude, you don’t have money to buy stocks. You need to save up for a new MIA flag and a “Beware of Owner” sign for your front door.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 17 Thumb down 4

  12. dmhlt says:

    Survive? Probably – but ONLY probably.
    Thrive? Not a chance in Hell!

    And WRT Trump and his minion’s endless claiming of a “landslide” victory and their “mandate” – check out the NBC video by Katy Tur along the parade route:
    https://twitter.com/KatyTurNBC/status/822518057012756481
    Sad … very sad!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 2

  13. Guarneri says:

    It’s a beautiful day in the neighborhood……won’t you be my neighbor……

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 3 Thumb down 17

  14. Pch101 says:

    Trump’s war on the suckers who supported him has already begun:

    Newly inaugurated Trump administration puts mortgage premium cuts on hold

    The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development on Friday suspended a controversial plan that would have slashed the premium rates for certain federally backed mortgages.

    The reversal by the Federal Housing Administration came less than two hours after Donald Trump was sworn in as president.

    The announcement came in a letter signed by Deputy Assistant Secretary for Housing Genger Charles, which said the reduction in FHA mortgage insurance premiums that was slated to take effect on Jan. 27 would be “suspended indefinitely.”

    http://www.cnbc.com/2017/01/20/us-housing-regulators-suspend-plans-to-cut-fha-premiums.html

    FHA primarily benefits lower-income borrowers, including the idiots in the heartland who really like Trump.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 21 Thumb down 0

  15. Mikey says:

    @michael reynolds: The day after the election, a friend said, “I can’t tell people ‘everything will be OK,’ because Trump has made some promises that guarantee for many people it will most definitely NOT be OK.”

    You, rich white guy, and I, upper-middle-class white guy, will certainly be OK. But my cancer-survivor friend? ACA repeal would kill her. My Muslim neighbor? He might have to go on a list. My transgender friends? Terrified of the awful bigotry Trump’s candidacy and victory have brought out and legitimized. And I could go on.

    Will America survive? Probably. Will she be the America we grew up in? Not a goddamn chance. We are now in decline, and my only hope is we can pull up out of the nosedive before it’s too late.

    I weep for our nation.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 34 Thumb down 4

  16. Guarneri says:

    Uh-oh

    http://thehill.com/homenews/administration/315226-warren-buffett-us-will-work-fine-under-trump

    Now, admittedly it’s not exactly receding oceans and healing the earth………..but it’s a start, right?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 13

  17. grumpy realist says:

    I suspect four years of us telling the Trumpenproletariat “we told you so.” Let them go down with the ship; they’re the ones who decided to drill holes in the bottom of the boat in spite of all our warnings.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 6

  18. JohnMcC says:

    Just finished re-reading “It Can’t Happen Here” from Sinclair Lewis, from back in the ’30s. Holds up amazingly well.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 15 Thumb down 0

  19. CSK says:

    @grumpy realist:

    Point taken. But here’s the thing. Much as I despise the ardent Trumpkins, labeling them as the “Trumpkinproletariat,” accurate as it may be, is the exact reason why they voted for Trump. They see themselves as victims of a Democratic and Republican “elite” (they refer to it as the “uniparty”) who regards them as trash. And, God help them, they regard a man who hates their guts (because he’s extremely socially insecure himself, as a savior.

    I’ve said this before, but when an out-of-work white guy with a high school education or less looks at the Democratic Party now, he sees Lena Dunham, a rich, famous, privileged female WASP (the WASP part is important) telling him that he should, literally, die because he’s useless. And not just useless, but actively evil.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 9

  20. grumpy realist says:

    @CSK:Well, I guess we’ll see who are those who will learn from history and who are those who will continue to believe in Nigerian spam mail….

    My goodwill towards my fellow Americans has definitely curdled. They have no respect for me, so why should I have respect for them?

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 15 Thumb down 7

  21. Terrye Cravens says:

    I did not watch any of the “festivities” today. I skipped the speech about American “carnage” and the evil establishment. Will we survive? Hopefully we will, but I will never have the same faith in my fellow Americans that I once had. That has changed forever.

    But hey, no doubt now that Trump is President, if you are white guy with a high school education and not a lot of skills you will now be guaranteed a high paying job that you can keep for 40 years after which you can retire with a nice pension and free health care. After all, they are entitled. That is pretty much what the loud mouth fascist is promising them.

    I wonder how he will explain away his failures…who will he blame?

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 18 Thumb down 5

  22. Terrye Cravens says:

    @CSK: Oh come on. I am so tired of hearing about the poor put upon white male.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 14 Thumb down 3

  23. Guarneri says:

    @grumpy realist:

    How did you get a ticket to the inauguration? Did Michael fly back from New Zealand to join you?

    http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-01-20/anti-trump-protester-reacts-donald-trump-sworn-president

    Poorly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 17

  24. wr says:

    @CSK: “telling him that he should, literally, die because he’s useless. And not just useless, but actively evil.”

    And if he voted for Trump, he should listen to what fantasy Lena Dunham is telling him.

    Honestly, if any human being is so completely stupid as to vote for a man who is going to destroy his life simply because some under-30 actress/writer with a show watched by less than a million people who has never met him and never will thinks poorly of him… well, then, yeah, dying is pretty much all that’s left to him. He should go out in the rain, look up and open his mouth like a turkey — because he is indeed that stupid.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 19 Thumb down 4

  25. dmichael says:

    @Terrye Cravens: He will blame the black guy that was president, the Democrats who don’t bow to him, the “crooked media,” the “Mexicans,” the “Muslims,” “fake news” etc, etc.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 4

  26. CSK says:

    @Terrye Cravens:

    I think you may have misread my comment. You may be tired of hearing about the put-upon white guy, but Trump won by appealing to that constituency. He inflated their notions of victimhood. He made them promises he couldn’t possibly keep. But most of all, he pretended to be like them. One of the most pathetic spectacles I saw during the campaign was some out-of-work truck driver in New Hampshire saying that he liked Trump because Trump was just like him.

    It seems there are many people who mistake crude, stupid, and vulgar for “authenticity.”

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 13 Thumb down 4

  27. Hal_10000 says:

    We have a lot of institutions that are designed to limit the damage that a President can do. Those are about to be tested, though, and I have little faith in them. Ultimately, those “restraint” on our government rely on people exercising their own power — through the ballot, through protest, through separation of powers. I’m not terribly encouraged right now, since the opposition seems to be more interested in dabbling in hysteria and fake news than doing anything constructive. And there’s a tendency to over-react to minor things Trump does instead of saving ammunition for major things.

    I vacillate between thinking, “We’ll be OK. We’ll survive this” and “We are so totally screwed”. I think Trump will pursue a less intervention foreign policy, which is not bad. But I also worry he will abandon NATO and leave the Baltics to the tender mercies of Putin. I think we could get very necessary tax and regulatory reform. But I also worry he could blow out the deficit, wreck the economy and set the environment back decades. I think he could end the Culture War. But he could also start appointing hard right judges. We’re just going have to see. Both what he will do and how Congress/the Courts will respond.

    I do think this reinforces a lot of what I’ve been saying for twenty years now about restricting the power of the President. If an election throw you into despair like this, it means the President has too damn much power.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 13 Thumb down 2

  28. Pch101 says:

    @CSK:

    The new revisionist lexicon:

    “Straight talk” = the ability to openly use racial slurs and make racist statements

    “Religious freedom” = the ability to impose a right-wing view of Christianity onto other people and to otherwise limit the ability of those people from otherwise participating in public life.

    “Bigot” = someone who opposes straight talk and religious freedom

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 14 Thumb down 5

  29. grumpy realist says:

    @Guarneri: ah yes, the obligatory piece from a Russian propaganda site….

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 12 Thumb down 2

  30. Barry says:

    Doug: “Donald Trump Is President, America Will Survive This”

    So? America survived the Great Depression. If you lost your job for a couple of years, would this bother you?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

  31. Terrye Cravens says:

    @CSK: I live in rural Indiana. I know all about that constituency…I am actually married to a farm boy with a high school education. However, he does not blame Mexicans for the fact that our little town is dying. He blames the people who have been running the place for eons and who have refused to do one damn thing to change with the times. I know these people. I know people who have kids who are still living at home at 30. I know people who are raising their grandkids because their daughter is in jail on a drug charge. There was a time when people from a place like this would have tried to improve their lives or they would have left Now they sit on their asses, blame others and wait for Donald to perform a miracle.

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  32. CSK says:

    @Pch101:

    Yes. That’s it. Tragically, that’s it. Like Grumpy, I’ve never felt so alienated from some of my fellow Americans.

    But that doesn’t prevent me from seeing just how expertly they were manipulated by a master con man.

    Sarah Palin did the same thing. She crafted a yokel persona for herself, went out and babbled a string of incoherent, disconnected half-sentences about God, guns, and religion, and–voila– she became St. Joan of Wasilla to a considerable constituency. Trump expanded on that.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 2

  33. george says:

    Trump’s going to be an awful President. But we survived Reagan (despite all the predictions that he was going to cause a nuclear holocaust, or at the minimum WW3 with the USSR), we survived the civil war, we survived the great depression (though that was a world wide phenomena), we’ll survive this.

    The problem with over the top predictions is that it creates low expectations, and in the end rebounds to make the person demonized more popular. Reagan ended up being popular in part because he didn’t do the things many were claiming he’d do (he was going to start a war with the Soviet Union, re-start McCarthy’s program, bring back slavery etc). When the worst predictions turned out to be far fetched, many people forgave a lot of things that normally would have caused problems because it was assumed that all criticism was as far fetched as the over the top stuff.

    Trump is going to provide plenty of real hardship we should bring up; giving him an easy way out by comparing him to Hitler 2.0 before he’s done anything is helping him, not hurting him.

    Crying wolf doesn’t help – it leaves you with no credibility when a real wolf comes. Trump is a chihuahua, lots of sound but not a deep bark. The next one might be a real wolf.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 2

  34. CSK says:

    @Terrye Cravens:

    Yes, precisely. That was my point. They’re waiting for Donald Trump to make life swell again.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1

  35. Terrye Cravens says:

    @CSK: Maybe, or they are just getting even with everyone else because they feel left behind. What they are not doing is taking responsibility for themselves. And I doubt if they will see the kind of change they expect without that. They are not the same people they used to be. They have lost something.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 1

  36. george says:

    @grumpy realist:

    Most people don’t take politics seriously, and don’t care how people vote … in fact, a good percentage didn’t even take it seriously enough to vote at all. I doubt many people’s opinion/feelings of respect for other individuals have changed for better or worse because of this.

    There are people I’d trust with my life, and people I wouldn’t trust to park my car, among those who voted for any of the candidates, or who didn’t vote at all. My aunt down south just had major surgery from a doctor who’s pretty openly pro-Trump (she’s first nations); she didn’t distrust him, or lose any respect for him because of his vote. The surgery was a success, and he was very helpful, so she respects him whatever his political views. And that’s how it should be.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  37. wr says:

    @Hal_10000: “I think he could end the Culture War.”

    Ah. That explains why he’s trying to defund the NEA and NEH and removed the web pages about LGBT issues from the White House site. Ending the culture war, Sure.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 28 Thumb down 0

  38. Just 'nutha ig'rant cracker says:

    @grumpy realist: Because you’re a better human being?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  39. Pch101 says:

    @Hal_10000:

    I think he could end the Culture War.

    This must be part of a comedy routine. You can’t possibly believe that an administration that has been nostalgic about internment camps and bangs on about building a border wall doesn’t want a war on minorities.

    (Oh, I get it — you think that the people who are defending themselves from those attacks are the ones who are at war.)

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 14 Thumb down 2

  40. Senyordave says:

    This is promising:
    Steve Mnuchin said this on Thursday: Donald Trump’s presidential campaign needed better tax analysts.

    That was the suggestion made by Steven Mnuchin, Donald Trump’s nominee for Treasury Secretary, at his confirmation hearing before the Senate Finance Committee on Thursday. When asked about the tax plan Trump published last fall—which third-party analysts said would add more than $7 trillion to the national debt—Mnuchin said somewhat apologetically, “We had a rather modest campaign staff. I look forward to having access to all the people at Treasury able to model these things.”

    In other words, Trump’s campaign proposals were just a bunch of garbage. Of course, every major tax policy institute pretty much said that Trump’s tax plans were complete fantasy, as were his promises of 4%+ growth (CBO estimates a little over 2% for the next four years, and that assumes no recession). Too bad nobody cared about policy in the debates or the campaign. We have a guy as our president that would be laughed off the stage if he had run for our county council. A racist, sexual predator who is openly proud of his ignorance.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  41. Just Another Ex-Republican says:

    If you think it sucks with President Trump as an American, how’d you like to be a Ukrainian or Georgian these days? Soon to be part of Greater Russia again? The real danger of course is the Balkans, and Putin thinking he can take them back because various Trump tweets makes him think NATO won’t back them up. But non-US NATO troops will be on the ground, and once shots are fired between Russia and any NATO country, even “accidentally”, there is simply no predicting what might happen. That’s probably the only truly un-survivable possibility.

    But I expect a fairly ugly 4 years in terms of the economy, civil rights, and corruption.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 1

  42. C. Clavin says:

    @george:
    Not sure why you’d let someone with serious mental health issues operate on you…and yes…if you think this man should be President then you do have serious mental health issues.
    His first actions prove he has conned all his supporters. And they don’t care.
    Serious mental health issues

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 3

  43. michael reynolds says:

    @Hal_10000:

    It’s kind of hard to restrict presidential power when a gutless, useless Congress insists on avoiding all responsibility and hands the White House power.

    As for ending the culture war, what do you mean by that?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 2

  44. Senyordave says:

    @george: The surgery was a success, and he was very helpful, so she respects him whatever his political views. And that’s how it should be.

    Only this guy was overtly racist and an admitted sexual predator. If I were Muslim I could not possibly understand and/or respect someone who voted for a person who has just put a target on my back. Not to mention some of his trusted advisers are open bigots (Bannon, Ailes), and his two boys both are into the alt-right.

    I’m a white male with pretty decent assets and some nice pension money, so I won’t be among the people who Trump and the GOP congress will be punching down on, and my life won’t be affected as much. But I actually care about those people, so no, I have more than a little trouble respecting someone who put an “X” next to Trump’s name.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 1

  45. C. Clavin says:

    I wonder what it’s going to take for the mentally challenged people who voted for Trump to realize they fwcked up?
    A 9/11 type event on Trumps watch?
    The Trump recession?
    When he gets his feelings hurt and he pops a nuke?
    What’s it going to take to break thru the delusions?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 2

  46. alanstorm says:

    @michael reynolds:

    “It’s kind of hard to restrict presidential power when a gutless, useless Congress insists on avoiding all responsibility and hands the White House power. ”

    You can’t be serious. Were you asleep for the past 8 years of President “Pen-and Phone?”

    We survived 8 years of the most useless person ever to occupy the office. But please, remain ignorant like liberals have for the past two terms. It will help.

    Poorly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 27

  47. michael reynolds says:

    @alanstorm:
    Have you been asleep since the Gulf of Tonkin resolution?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 14 Thumb down 0

  48. Senyordave says:

    One more thing. It would be nice to tell my grandchildren (ages 6 and 4) that the president is a good person and a role model. He is almost a perfect anti-role model. Pretty much every characteristic he has is negative. He’s a bully, petty, ignorant, deceitful, vengeful,. I defy anyone to name three positive aspects of Trump’s personality.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 12 Thumb down 1

  49. grumpy realist says:

    @Just ‘nutha ig’rant cracker: At least I hope I’ve learned to carry out due diligence on people who are trying to sell me something. People who don’t are simply , well, STUPID.

    New York City didn’t vote for Trump. They knew what a blowhard scammer he is.

    And some of the promises Trump has made were just totally impossible, once you sat down and crunched the numbers. The return of coal mining jobs in West Virginia? It’s not the EPA that’s been causing the problem; it’s that production of natural gas is much cheaper. The building of a wall across the southern border of the US? Look at the logistics, not to mention the cost–it’s totally insane.

    I’m just looking forward to the fun when all this unreality hits home.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1

  50. Terrye Cravens says:

    @alanstorm: @alanstorm: I am not a liberal and Trump scares the hell out of me. I have noticed how people are trying to make this about liberal and conservatives…Trump is not a conservative. He is not even a real Republican. I have watched Republicans I actually used to respect abandon their principles to go along with nonsense they never even pretended to support before. Anti vax, protectionist, xenophobic bullsh*t that has nothing to with conservatism. This is not about liberal vs conservative, it is about sane vs insane.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 24 Thumb down 1

  51. gVOR08 says:

    @Hal_10000:

    I think he could end the Culture War.

    Why would he do that? How would he, or any more normal Republican, get reelected without the culture war?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 1

  52. MBunge says:

    I know this is a futile request but can we please stop with these ridiculous allusions and references to how much some of you care about the well-being of the stereotypical Trump voter? The clear hatred being directed toward them may be despicable, but at least it’s honest. You care about them exactly like Republicans have cared about African-Americans for the last 50 years. You’ll spew some blather if you’re put on the spot or want to make yourself feel good, but the reality is that you’d rather they ‘eff off and die because there’s no room for them in your world.

    I will also say that this attitude that “America will survive” is how we ended up with Trump. We’ve been building up to this for decades, if not a few generations, where we’ve acted as though America has a fairy godmother watching out for us and no matter what we did, she’d wave her wand and everything would be fine. I’m sure the Romans and the Aztecs thought the same thing.

    Mike

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 15

  53. wr says:

    @michael reynolds: “As for ending the culture war, what do you mean by that?”

    Maybe that once all those uppity gays and minorities and sluts are put in their place they’ll stop demanding rights, and then the war will be over.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 1

  54. I’m a Brazilian.

    I did not think that Congress would impeach an elected President on phony charges in a Congressional Coup D´Etad because I thought that we had institutions and that we were not a Banana Republic to do this kind of thing.

    Boy, I was wrong.

    Institutions are highly dependent on the people, groups of interest and political actors. Alone, they are not going to save you from Trump.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 0

  55. wr says:

    @MBunge: I don’t know. How ’bout you stop concern trolling for five minutes and we’ll see what happens with the rest of us.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 2

  56. gVOR08 says:

    @Terrye Cravens:

    it is about sane vs insane.

    Indeed.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  57. gVOR08 says:

    @Senyordave:

    Pretty much every characteristic he has is negative. He’s a bully, petty, ignorant, deceitful, vengeful,. I defy anyone to name three positive aspects of Trump’s personality.

    He’s the anti-Obama in almost every imaginable way.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 1

  58. MBunge says:

    @grumpy realist: New York City didn’t vote for Trump

    You’ve got to be even more ignorant than Trump to hold up New York City as some sort of shining beacon of good judgment. It’s a place that was such a mess they turned to RUDY GUILIANI for salvation. And when Rudy was finished, the Democrats were still such a disaster that a billionaire businessman who lied to everyone about being a Republican was STILL preferable to anyone from the party that had run NYC longer than many of its residents have been alive.

    And after all that, NYC is STILL ground zero for the jackasses who almost destroyed the global economy and remains the temple of the moneychangers that Elizabeth Warren got famous complaining about.

    Mike

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 7

  59. michael reynolds says:

    @MBunge:

    I know this is a futile request but can we please stop with these ridiculous allusions and references to how much some of you care about the well-being of the stereotypical Trump voter?

    Bullshit. When I voted for Obama it was in the clear understanding that he was going to jack up my taxes. Not some mythical voter, not some abstraction, my taxes. My money that I earned. And the same when I voted for Jerry Brown and Prop whatever the hell it was. And they both did what they said they would and my tax hit jumped. A lot.

    Now, just why the hell do you think I would do that, Mike? I love money. I love money the way only a poor kid who grew up in trailer parks, a loser who was cleaning toilets at age 33, can love money. So why would I deliberately surrender a great big pile of it?

    Explain that to me, I’d love to hear your guess as to my motives. Just who the fwck do you think I was trying to help?

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 20 Thumb down 1

  60. MBunge says:

    @wr:

    I know people like you would prefer to just stew in your own juices, but that is what conservatives did for the last 30 years. Now look where we are.

    Mike

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 9

  61. Terrye Cravens says:

    @MBunge: My brother is a Trump voter, I do not want him to eff off and die. Btw, considering the amount of “anger” out there among Trump votes, why not go lecture them? It is not as if Trump or his supporters have tried all that hard to get along with the rest of the country…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 12 Thumb down 1

  62. Terrye Cravens says:

    @MBunge: Where are we? What does that even mean? And what is a conservative in Trump’s America? An American Firster?

    The man brayed about Hillary giving speeches to Goldman Sachs and then he puts six Goldman Sachs guys in his cabinet. That is what you get when you vote for an anti establishment billionaire.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 17 Thumb down 2

  63. gVOR08 says:

    @CSK:

    I’ve said this before, but when an out-of-work white guy with a high school education or less looks at the Democratic Party now, he sees Lena Dunham, a rich, famous, privileged female WASP (the WASP part is important) telling him that he should, literally, die because he’s useless. And not just useless, but actively evil.

    The GOPs and the CEC have done a remarkable job of redefining “elite” not as the Kochs or Soros or Adelson, but as Lena Dunham and some assistant prof somewhere, whom base Republicans have never read or heard quoted, but are sure are contemptuous of them.

    But when they look at the Dem Party, they see a mythical black welfare queen.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 2

  64. MBunge says:

    @michael reynolds:

    You were helping yourself. You voted for people who were going to raise your taxes so you could beat your chest and brag about what a wonderful human being you are. You’ve sung that tune enough around here to make it obvious that it’s a standard part of your repertoire. It certainly wasn’t because you actually care about other people more than the next guy. If you did, then you wouldn’t respond with a childish tantrum when those people tell you they are in pain and are angry that no one is doing anything about it.

    You care about others to the extent most of us do. You care as long as those people conveniently fit into the role you want them to fit so you can play the role you want. But the second those people become inconvenient, the second they want to be the star of their own movie and not an extra in yours, the loathing and disdain come exploding out of you like you ate some truck stop sushi.

    And that’s fine. Well, not fine but acceptable. At least it’s the truth and we can work with the truth. When you lie to yourself more than you lie to everyone else,,,well, that’s how you end up with something like the USSR in the 1970s, a hollow monstrosity that keeps destroying lives for no reason long after anyone could pretend otherwise.

    Mike

    Poorly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 30

  65. Mr. Bluster says:

    Gulf of Tonkin Resolution

    Wayne Morse D (former R) Oregon
    …it’s a resolution which seeks to give the president of the united states the power to make war without a declaration of war.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DyFq9yco_Kc

    Ernest Gruening D Alaska
    The United States must start with one basic truth which should be constantly reiterated: the fight in South Vietnam can be won only by the South Vietnamese. Even if the United States would or could, the fight in South Vietnam cannot be won by making of that country a colony of the United States. The French tried and failed, even though they used a quarter of a million troops.

    Extra Credit.
    Who said:
    “…we are not about to send American boys 9 or 10,000 miles away from home to do what Asian boys ought to be doing for themselves.”

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  66. george says:

    @C. Clavin:

    I suppose because he has an excellent record as a surgeon (he was highly recommended, with reason it turns out). It was heart surgery, do you think your political views could have helped you do as well?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  67. gVOR08 says:

    Yes, Doug. Something called the United States of America will survive. And it will probably only be poorer, meaner, and less secure than it needed to be. But there is a low, but not negligible, probability that it will be the United States in name only. Pay attention to the ex-pat Russian journalists and historians of Germany that are trying to warn us. If we do turn into an autarchy, it’ll be a boiling frog scenario, and it’ll be “wrapped in the flag and carrying a cross.”

    I read a blog called WWII Today. 75 years ago today the Nazis held the Wannsee conference to finalize the bureaucratic details for the “Final Solution”. Trump will need an enemy. Who do you expect it’ll be? What do you think he’ll do about them?

    “OK, there are some US citizens in the border camps, but it’s mostly rapists and murderers. And we know Trump is trying to do the right thing. And it’s Mexico’s fault for not taking them all back..”

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 1

  68. george says:

    @Senyordave:

    My aunt sees racism every day – native American women are the absolute bottom of the status as you can get. And she’s anything but a shrinking violet; she’s been involved in first nations issues for a long time, and taken all the crap that comes with that activity for decades. If she respects the doctor, and judging from what she said when I talked to her she definitely does, then I suspect he’s earned her respect.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  69. Grumpy Realist says:

    @MBunge: what I’m saying is that the population who knew Trump the most refused to vote for him.

    And considering that NYC is one of the financial powerhouses of the world I think you might want to be a little more respectful of them.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 2

  70. george says:

    @Terrye Cravens:

    The problem is that there are a lot of varieties of oppression, and many of the strongest are class based. And many of the poor are in fact white men. Telling them it doesn’t matter that they’re hurting because the average white guy is okay, and some white guys like Bill Gates are doing great is pointless.

    Jeeze, I’m not white, and I know this. Its so obvious that I don’t see how anyone can’t get it.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  71. anjin-san says:

    @Mikey:

    I, upper-middle-class white guy, will certainly be OK

    Are you sure? My family is pretty solidly upper middle class. My mother needs Medicare. My dad needed it. I am going to need it. Anyone who does not have liquid seven figure assets should be pretty nervous right about now.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 12 Thumb down 1

  72. Senyordave says:

    I still come back to the fact that we now have a bad person as president who has shown no evidence of growth. It will be interesting to see if he changes a few things like
    1. stop the tweets, at least those demeaning other people or taking credit for nothing (like Chrysler’s billion dollar plus investment in the US that was apparently planned a year ago).
    2. stop making Trump deals now that he’s POTUS. But his idea of a blind trust is turning the business over to his sons and claiming that they will not discuss business, that really isn’t possible.
    3. stop making stuff up. He just can’t stop lying

    I don’t hold out much hope, since he’s 70 and has a lifetime of abhorrent behavior that he’s never had to answer for.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 1

  73. michael reynolds says:

    @MBunge:

    so you could beat your chest and brag about what a wonderful human being you are.

    Right. I spent hundreds of thousands of dollars to impress the OTB commentariat. Of course. And with that you have officially jumped the track.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 23 Thumb down 1

  74. michael reynolds says:

    @Mr. Bluster:

    we are not about to send American boys 9 or 10,000 miles away from home to do what Asian boys ought to be doing for themselves

    I am actually, physically incapable of reading that without doing the LBJ voice.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 1

  75. Terrye Cravens says:

    @george: I am white and I am certainly not rich. But I know a con man when I see one.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  76. C. Clavin says:

    @george:
    Your argument doesn’t make sense.
    He’s a retard.
    No retard is coming near me with a scalpel.
    There’s plenty of excellent surgeons who aren’t stupid.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 6

  77. Pch101 says:

    He didn’t waste any time attacking the ACA, either:

    http://www.cnn.com/2017/01/20/politics/trump-signs-executive-order-on-obamacare/

    Some of these idiots who voted for him and his party literally voted to kill themselves.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 2

  78. Pch101 says:

    @george:

    Telling them it doesn’t matter that they’re hurting because the average white guy is okay, and some white guys like Bill Gates are doing great is pointless.

    Who is saying this?

    This is not a rhetorical question. Name names. Be specific.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  79. Modulo Myself says:

    @anjin-san: j

    Agreed. Unless you have cash, you can be destroyed via getting sick and getting old. The GOP is entering uncharted waters. This isn’t scamming people on voting fraud or attacking welfare queens. Getting older and having health issues that cost a fortune is basically universal.

    The fact that nobody on the right who hates Trump is at all blaming Trump voters is a huge tell. They seen a profound disaster coming; people like Paul Ryan have ideologies that were meant only to counter actual laws for publicity purposes. They were never intended to be put in place; and certainly not under Donald Trump.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 1

  80. bill says:

    @michael reynolds: dude, crawl out of your drunken hole and get on with life already. you don’t have much time and dying in such a hate filled mode is unhealthy.

    here doug- i fixed this for the pathetic majority in here!

    Donald Trump Is YOUR President, America Will Survive This

    Poorly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 19

  81. Modulo Myself says:

    @Pch101:

    Trump voters are just angry and they create their own betrayals because of why they are angry.

    Imagine being a Trump voter, watching the inauguration, and seeing the protests. These are people who love two things–having jobs and telling hippies, liberals, and trouble-makers where to get off.

    So if it was 1980, you tell the hippies to get a job and then cheer as the police beat the hell out of them.

    But Trump voters are terrified about their own jobs and they were glad to vote for a guy who wanted to tear down the system. They’ve put themselves out there as the people they despise, and they’re afraid, pretty much 24/7, that the people who despise them think of them as they used to think of hippies.

    And they have nothing else.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

  82. C. Clavin says:

    @bill:
    Trump is Putins President.
    And you’re a dumb fwck.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 3

  83. george says:

    @Pch101:

    @Terrye Cravens:, you’ll see its the post I responded to.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  84. Guarneri says:

    It’s 11:00 PM. Has the world ended yet?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 3

  85. Pch101 says:

    @george:

    Congratulations, you’ve managed to respond to something that he didn’t say.

    Allow me to translate: It would be great if some of these red state white whiners would find common ground with the minorities who are also screwed by the system instead of heaping scorn upon them and pretending that it is their whiteness that is the problem.

    Do you get it now?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 2

  86. george says:

    @C. Clavin:

    In this case her judgment seemed to be very good; the surgery was a success, she’s recovering, and from what she says, he’s spent quite a bit of time giving her advice on how to avoid future surgery, mainly preventative things along the lines of diet, how much exercise, doing mindfulness meditation and so on.

    Given that his track record is apparently very good, I’d say the experimental evidence is strong that he is in fact a very good bet if you need heart surgery, and want to prevent or at least minimize future problems.

    And I suppose my aunt, knowing her, would say that its probably for the best that you wouldn’t advise going to him, since he’s very much in demand and keeping silly people off of list is good for sensible types like her. Maybe that’s how she got surgery so quickly (she has little money); someone who needed heart surgery decided they couldn’t trust him with a scalpel, so they left an opening for her to slide into. In which you (or at least your intellectual kin) did her a favor.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  87. george says:

    @Pch101:

    Your translations adds a lot of words into his actually fairly direct statement. Its much more straightforward to read: “Oh come on. I am so tired of hearing about the poor put upon white male.” as suggesting white males have it easy than as a call for unity with minorities.

    Is Trump going to be a disaster? Obviously. Are a lot of his voters racist? Definitely. Are all of them? No. And I can state that confidently, given that some of my relatives voted for him (not my aunt tho, she was a strong Hillary supporter, though that doesn’t stop her from respecting her Trump supporting surgeon), and they’re not white. They’re also not self-hating or any of that other crap, though they have a pretty strong nihilistic streak (there really hasn’t been much difference on the “reservation” between Democrats and Repubs in power), and giving both Repubs and Democrats the finger was a nicer way of showing that than going out and shooting people.

    Things might be simple in your world. Its not in most people’s world.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 1

  88. JKB says:

    To paraphrase Nancy Pelosi, we had to inaugurate Trump to find out what is the real Trump. Sure with Obamacare, we discovered it was much worse than we feared, but I doubt that will be the case with Trump.

    It is a time of celebration as we’ve just survived 8 years of the most anti-America president in history. By all evidence, Trump will be the most pro-Constitution President in nearly 30 years.

    Poorly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 21

  89. Bob@Youngstown says:

    @MBunge: Way off base with the character attack.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 0

  90. James Pearce says:

    @MBunge:

    We’ve been building up to this for decades, if not a few generations,

    We’ve been building, for decades, up to having the former host of Celebrity Apprentice as president?

    @JKB:

    By all evidence, Trump will be the most pro-Constitution President in nearly 30 years.

    The former host of Celebrity Apprentice?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

  91. Pch101 says:

    @george:

    Not every white person in America prospers. But their race is not a factor that explains their lack of prosperity.

    In contrast, there are minority groups who suffer in the US at least in part because of their minority status.

    It really shouldn’t be that tough to figure this out or to see the difference.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  92. JDM says:

    I’m not a fan of Rod Dreher, but his thoughts about Trump’s ignauration and the Presidency are very good and worth reading. Rod seems very concerned.

    http://www.theamericanconservative.com/dreher/what-we-heard-at-the-trump-inaugural/

    And in the last paragraph, he has high praise for Hillary Clinton and her attending the Ignauration.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  93. JDM says:

    I’m not a fan of Rod Dreher, but his thoughts about Trump’s ignauration and the Presidency are very good and worth reading. Rod seems very concerned.

    http://www.theamericanconservative.com/dreher/what-we-heard-at-the-trump-inaugural/

    And in the last paragraph, he has high praise for Hillary Clinton and her attending the Ignauration.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  94. Mr. Bluster says:

    I am actually, physically incapable of reading that without doing the LBJ voice.

    You have just won 4 years of the yammering of President Pud.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  95. anjin-san says:

    @ Doug

    Donald Trump Is President, America Will Survive This

    Yea, there is survival. My mother has survived two rounds with cancer.

    But she’s not the same.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 0

  96. C. Clavin says:

    @JKB:

    By all evidence, Trump will be the most pro-Constitution President in nearly 30 years

    He is already in violation of the Constitution.
    What a stupid fwcker you are.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 0

  97. george says:

    @Pch101:

    Trust me, I see that difference every day.

    However, when I see a poor person and hear them complain, what I note first of all is that they’re poor, not if they’re white or black or red. That many (but not all) of the ex-factory workers in the midwest now working two minimum wage jobs are white is irrelevant, their situation sucks. They’re not complaining as white people, they’re complaining as people with lousy pay and lousy working conditions, whose children are going to have it even worse. Those are things that used to mean something to the Democrats, why has that become secondary (or even tertiary) to the Democrats? That’s one of the things people mean when they say the Dems are now Repub-light.

    I hear working class people complaining, and think they have a point. You seem to hear the same people, note they’re white, and think they should shut up and stop complaining. Trump of course is not going to help them, and probably wouldn’t even if he could – Trump is about Trump, nothing else. However, he can’t help them. Neither can anyone else – those jobs are gone mainly because of automation, with a bit of help from globalization. Trump was willing to lie to them, but for many that was still preferable to being almost completely ignored by Clinton (who couldn’t even be bothered to campaign in some of the states – think about what that says about how she felt about them).

    Obama (who is still very popular among a good portion of Trump voters) said it well: in 2008 and 2012 he spent a lot of time campaigning in those places, and it got him enough votes to carry them. Bill Clinton said the same thing during the campaign – Hillary should go there, many of those people just needed a sense of being heard. He was told to butt out by her campaign team.

    The only thing anyone is offering is retraining, hard to do when you’re fifty and working two minimum wage jobs to make ends meet. But worse, they’re being retrained for jobs which themselves will be automated by CAD systems in a decade. This is obvious to any electrical/computer engineer – programmers, doctors, lawyers, accountants, all those white collar information based jobs are going, because they’re tailor made for the up coming generation of expert systems.

    Really though, what is needed is something that was endorsed by one of the biggest right wing economists – Milton Friedman: a guaranteed annual income. Because in a couple of decades when AI and expert systems have replaced even most white collar jobs, and that is going to lead to unrest which will destroy America.

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  98. Pch101 says:

    @george:

    You devote a hell of a lot of energy to living in an alternate reality where there are no poor white bigots. (Why you are so motivated to miss the obvious, I don’t know, but it seems to be a full-time gig for you.)

    The Democrats cannot reach that particular group of white voters because those voters want to hear that minorities will be made to pay some sort of price. They don’t just want to get benefits for themselves, but they also want to deny benefits to others.

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  99. wr says:

    @MBunge: Have you ever wondered why no one sits next to you at lunch a second time? If so, you should reread your message to Michael.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  100. wr says:

    @MBunge: ” the second they want to be the star of their own movie and not an extra in yours, the loathing and disdain come exploding out of you like you ate some truck stop sushi.”

    Well, yeah. If the movie they want to star in is The Triumph of the Will.

    Not you, though. You’re the guy standing on the highlights, chiding the soldiers for dropping litter as they march Jews off to the camps and tsk-tisking those who object for failing to use proper grammar, thus proving that both sides do it and you are the only pure soul out there.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 0

  101. wr says:

    @michael reynolds: ” I spent hundreds of thousands of dollars to impress the OTB commentariat. ”

    If you really want to impress me, I take Paypal.

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  102. wr says:

    @C. Clavin: “No retard is coming near me with a scalpel.
    There’s plenty of excellent surgeons who aren’t stupid.”

    I sympathize with your anger, but have you actually ever met a surgeon? Many of the most brilliant of them are really terrible people in other ways — near sociopaths. (And yes, this is a cultural stereotype, but it’s also drawn from a 30-year period over which my father had many complex operations.)

    I don’t know if the profession draws the personality type or the work changes a person, but if you were to choose your surgeon based on whether you felt he or she was a “good person,” you’d die waiting for the operation…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  103. wr says:

    @george: “giving both Repubs and Democrats the finger was a nicer way of showing that than going out and shooting people.”

    You say that now…

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  104. george says:

    @Pch101:

    There are loads of white bigots. But not everyone who voted for Trump is a bigot. Why you can’t see that is beyond me. You spend a similar amount of effort arguing that everyone who does a given action (in this case voting for Trump) does so for the same reason. That is so contrary to almost everything about human nature, so simplistic, that I find it hard to believe anyone believes it.

    People are complex. Even very simple things (say overeating or smoking – and yes, I think voting for Trump is harmful along those lines) are done for very different reasons by different people. Political views are more complicated than those, and yet people’s motivations are supposed to be identical? Everyone who voted for Trump did so for the same reason? Everyone who voted for Clinton did so for the same reason? For Johnson? For Stein? There are only four types of people in the world (well, five I suppose, given how many didn’t vote at all)? Seriously?

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  105. wr says:

    @wr: Note to self: Mbunge is the guy standing on the sidelines, not the highlights. Oh, well.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

  106. Pch101 says:

    @george:

    But not everyone who voted for Trump is a bigot.

    I never claimed that they were. But their insensitivity to the bigotry doesn’t win them any brownie points.

    If I vote for a guy who declares wars on minorities, then what does that say about me? At the very least, it’s a clear indication that I simply don’t give a f**k, which makes me clueless at best and quite possibly something that is a whole lot worse.

    You really need to work on your reading comprehension and your penchant for strawman arguments. Your passion for the “both sides do it” routine actually erodes your alleged commitment to balance. Seeing balance where it doesn’t exist is an act of self-delusion.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 1

  107. Barry says:

    @reid: “Will you find the strength to keep blogging, Doug? ”

    With Doug, it’s clear that he relies on rather foolish platitudes.

    In a sense, I should not complain – I live in Michigan, and delusions about the start of spring are how I survive March.

    But this isn’t about keeping sane during winter. It’s about ‘Winter is coming.’.

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  108. Grumpy Realist says:

    @wr: heh. I remember getting told by my flight instructor that he hated trying to teach doctors how to fly. They knew just enough to think they knew everything. Unfortunately, the confidence that allows you to do surgery can turn into overweening stupidity (“of course I have enough fuel'”) and let’s put it this way–up in the air, Mama Nature can be pretty unforgiving.

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  109. Terrye Cravens says:

    @JKB: Surely that was satire. Trump does not even know what the Constitution is much less does he respect it. He is already in violation of that document. Not that he or his apologists care about such things.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  110. Terrye Cravens says:

    @george: Who says most of those former factory workers are working 2 minimum wage jobs? Most of those factory jobs have been gone a long time and most of those people have moved on to jobs that are compatible with the ones they lost. Of course, the ones who moved to an area with more opportunities or who got training for a new and better job got there quicker. I know people who got laid off at GE in Bloomington and they got a buy out, a pension, a severance package and health care benefits as well. They did not even need to get another job.

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  111. george says:

    @Pch101:

    Its not a question of giving them brownie points, its simply a question of trying to see what drives them. I figured out in my late teens that I could either go through life hating, or in trying to understand. That doesn’t mean not opposing racism and prejudice or accepting it, it means trying to change it. Lots of my friends went the anger/hate route, and it destroyed many of them. Jails are full of my brothers (especially in Canada, where first nations are by far the major inmate population, often for things that wouldn’t be even noted for any other race – and once in, you join a gang for survival, and then really get caught in the circle of hate and destruction. Suicide and addiction is another outcome of giving in to hate. Its simply not worth it. And despite what people say, you can change prejudiced individuals opinions, which often are based mainly on not personally knowing anyone from a race. You probably won’t change their opinions about systematic racism, but you often change their personal racism, and that’s a decent start.

    And we’re always making compromises about the politicians. Everyone you vote for in America is for war, is for helping Wall Street. Does that mean voting for them means you personally support war? I voted for Obama, does that mean I support murdering people at wedding receptions with drone strikes? If you believe that, you shouldn’t be voting at all, or writing in names like Mickey Mouse.

    And I’ve never said both sides do it. What I say is what I see: both sides do bad things, but they’re different bad things, and the Democrats are less harmful on most things than the Repubs. But they’re both pretty far to the right; in Canada I tend to vote for the NDP, but there’s nothing even remotely like that in America. Just because one group is worse doesn’t mean I should be blindly supporting the lesser evil. That’s the argument of the Liberal Party in Canada, and all that happens is they campaign like the NDP, and govern like the conservatives. No thanks. Look at how the Dems have changed in the last few decades – they’ve totally given up on the working class in favor of Wall Street. That isn’t a race issue, most people of every race are working class, and I think its a slight of hand on their part to say its about race, a way of hiding the fact that they’re no longer even remotely interested in what in most of the developed world is called centralist politics but is radical socialism in America. The New Deal was just a good start, and they’ve back tracked from there, but any attention to that is met with smoke screens.

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  112. Pch101 says:

    @george:

    Its not a question of giving them brownie points, its simply a question of trying to see what drives them.

    Some of us already know. You don’t seem to be one of them.

    If a guy votes for a populist bigot because of the populism and not because of the bigotry, that doesn’t change the fact that the populist bigot is a populist bigot.

    If a guy votes for a Republican bigot because of the party affiliation and not because of the bigotry, that doesn’t change the fact that the Republican bigot is a Republican bigot.

    If a guy votes for a Christian bigot because of the Christianity and not because of the bigotry, that doesn’t change the fact that the Christian bigot is a Christian bigot.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 2

  113. george says:

    @Pch101:

    So if a guy votes for a Democratic leader because they like their social programs but not because their policy leads to bombing innocent people, that doesn’t change the fact that the Democratic leader’s policy leads to bombing people?

    So who can you vote for and not be responsible for what, as Chomsky has said, are war crimes?

    I think you’re being simplistic. But I’ll leave you with the last word.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  114. Pepe says:

    @george: When a Chihuahua feels threatened, it goes for the knuckle. One small puncture causes an infection virtually unreachable to the immune system. Then the deep muscle antibiotic injection causes hypotensive anaphylaxis. It’s a delayed reaction while you wait for your prescription for hours at the drugstore. You fall and hit your head, first on the unforgiving steel arm of a bench, then on the tile over slab floor.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  115. Pch101 says:

    @george:

    I realize that you are trying to play the role of educator, but you really aren’t offering anything.

    The reality is that Trump voters chose a candidate who ran on an overtly bigoted platform. The message could not have been more clear.

    You can rationalize that to death, but that’s what those voters did, no matter what their motivations were.

    That does not mean that all of those voters are Klansman or that they are all evil people or that some of those voters shouldn’t be moved over to the other side. But at the same time, we should know these voters are also not on the side of social justice for everyone and cannot be completely trusted.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1

  116. Pepe says:

    @Pch101: No one can be completely trusted.

    “‘i love myself.’
    the
    quietest.
    simplest.
    most
    powerful.
    revolution
    ever.” —- nayyirah waheed

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  117. al-Ameda says:

    @Rodney dill:

    America will do fine, not that you’d know it from all the whining and hand wringing here at OTB.

    Well you’re exactly right Rodney, we all should stop the whining and unite behind this singularly depressing, unthoughtful, impulsive, and vindictive man and give him the same chance that Republicans gave Barack Obama.

    I, for one, hope that Trump will heed Obama’s 2011 advice to him and spend some time trying to find out exactly, ‘where are Biggie and Tupac?’

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  118. al-Ameda says:

    @Hal_10000:

    I think he could end the Culture War. But he could also start appointing hard right judges. We’re just going have to see. Both what he will do and how Congress/the Courts will respond.

    Have to see … what? Hal, Republicans completely control our federal government and are now running the table, so what exactly causes you to believe that Trump would do anything to turn congressional Republicans against him by, say, re-nominating well-known communist hate-America judge Merrick Garland to the Supreme Court?

    … And ending the Culture Wars? First, Republicans don’t want the Culture Wars to end unless the result is return to 1929. The Culture Wars have sustained Republican and working class anger and resentment for the better part of 40 years. Second, a large part of the Trump campaign was predicated on the notion that our Culture War is just so much Liberal PC designed to destroy America from within.

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  119. Monala says:

    @C. Clavin: Human beings are able to compartmentalize pretty well between their professional skills and political views. I can despise someone’s political choices and not conclude that they therefore can’t do their job well.

    In any case, few people have the luxury of choosing between surgeons, proscribed as it is by insurance coverage and location.

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  120. Hal_10000 says:

    @wr:

    Ah. That explains why he’s trying to defund the NEA and NEH and removed the web pages about LGBT issues from the White House site. Ending the culture war, Sure.

    One way to defuse Culture Wars is to stop throwing money at things that cause such controversy. And the “scrubbing” pages from the White House site is a garbage meme. It has been explained about a *thousand* times that Obama’s web pages were ported to a new site and all that’s on the current site is what Trump set up in advance. You can say they’re not talking about LGBT issues but the pages were not “scrubbed” or “removed”.

    As for ending the Culture Wars … Trump doesn’t care about abortion, the GOP does care about gay marriage anymore (which puts them to Left of where the Democrats were, like four years ago). Trump campaigned for gay votes. Pence is a Culture Warrior but these issues don’t have nearly the resonance with the GOP they did even two years ago, otherwise Trump would never have won. Immigration will be a big issue, I agree, although the GOP is already trying to run away from Trump’s extreme position.

    I’m much worried about civil liberties than the Culture War.

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  121. KM says:

    @george:

    The only thing anyone is offering is retraining, hard to do when you’re fifty and working two minimum wage jobs to make ends meet.

    No offence but that’s a personal failing on their part. How many young adults work two jobs and go to college? How many parents bust their butts with a job, a household with small children and nighttime classes? How many 50+ office workers lose their jobs and have to start again?

    The elephant in the room is the fact that many of these people *can’t* be retrained for a new career or new skills. They’re not smart enough, motivated enough, or adaptable enough to change streams. They want the factory jobs back *the way they were when they left*, nothing with computers or robotics or anything that requires higher skills. Hell, my own mother left a great job of over 35 years as a nurse because they expected her to use the computer in the course of her duties. She wasn’t going to learn to type, she’s not a secretary!!

    The jobs they want are GONE and if they do come back, will be virtually unrecognizable. Retraining is necessary no matter what.

    But worse, they’re being retrained for jobs which themselves will be automated by CAD systems in a decade. This is obvious to any electrical/computer engineer – programmers, doctors, lawyers, accountants, all those white collar information based jobs are going, because they’re tailor made for the up coming generation of expert systems.

    So they get to work for a decade then change again. What you are asking for is an impossibility: a static bubble where no tech thrives and life never changes. There will always be new kinds of jobs that require new kinds of skills. This is why these dead towns have almost no young people or ambitious sorts: they got the message and left to learn new ways of living and working. They’re willing to change and grow. Why can’t their parents?

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  122. KM says:

    @Hal_10000:

    One way to defuse Culture Wars is to stop throwing money at things that cause such controversy.

    Yes, Big Bird should die from lack of funding and NOVA is controversial as hell. The NEA’s cuts are Trump being petty and neocons stealing money for the military budget – the Koch Foundation helps fund public broadcasting so its not like its a hotbed of liberal radicalization.

    The Culture War was a right-wing meme they took so seriously its come out the other side of absurdity. They still resonate louder then you think. Defunding defuses nothing, but exacerbates liberals into thinking of ways to engage.

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  123. Hal_10000 says:

    Yes, Big Bird should die from lack of funding and NOVA is controversial as hell.

    Neither of these programs needs public funds (nor uses it). PBS funding mostly goes to support local stations. And 90% of PBS’s funding comes private sources (as you note) as does 90% of arts funding in this country. Moreover, PBS, NEA — these are basically subsidies for the upper middle class. PBS *boasts* about how wealthy and educated their audience is. But I’m sure you knew that of course.

    I don’t think PBS should be their priority as it’s a small amount of money to burn political capital on. I support PBS myself. But the case for their subsidies is weak.

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  124. Pch101 says:

    @al-Ameda:

    The Culture Wars have sustained Republican and working class anger and resentment for the better part of 40 years.

    Some folks blamed the Poles for starting WWII.

    Some folks continue to blame the North for starting the Civil War.

    Given that kind of “logic”, there should be no problem with blaming women and minorities for the Culture Wars.

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  125. Lit3Bolt says:

    @Hal_10000:

    The Culture War will never be “ended.” As long as there are country mice and city mice, there’s going to be some division.

    It’s interesting to tally the fronts on where the Culture Warriors have succeeded and failed.

    Environmentalism: A tie. The divisions here are about as deep as the religious ones, with technology and science on the liberals’ side and capitalists and SageBrush rebels on the other. Can also be a bipartisan support issue however, with backcountry hunters and fishermen working together with conservationists.

    Homosexuality: A complete rout of the Conservative side, putting Rod Dreher on suicide watch. Republicans are trying to pivot to transgender people as the new domestic bugbears, and it’s not going so well for them. A side effect however is that the issue has almost crippled “liberal” churches and denominations.

    Gun Rights: A complete rout of the Liberal side. Sandy Hook changed nothing. Liberals however have an opening of attacking Conservatives on this issue from the Right, noting that lax gun laws and enforcement lead to eased terrorist attacks, gang violence, and endanger police.

    Popular Culture: A slight win for liberals. Liberals dominate most mainstream pop culture (music, movies, comedy), but Conservatives have succeeded in dividing the media into ideological camps with talk radio and Fox News, and have their own music and entertainment. Football fans also had a tremendous backlash against the athlete protests.

    Abortion/Reproductive Rights: A slight win for conservatives, but this one primed to explode in their face if they keep poking it. We’ll have to see who the SCOTUS nominee is.

    Women in Combat: Remember this old one? Lol I didn’t.

    Civil Rights/Judicial Reform: It’s sad that this one had to be opened up again, but this will be a new front of the Culture War Or simply an old one that never went away, take your pick.

    Rights for immigrants, legal or not: This one is morphing into a culture war front with the Trump Presidency.

    The Drug War: A complete bipartisan failure of government on every level. Eventually the states started taking the lead to end it. Needs more attention than symbolic pardons (I know its different for those thousand odd people, but desperately needs focus and reform)..

    Most of these have to deal with separation of Church and State and privacy issues in some way.

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  126. SC_Birdflyte says:

    If I have any room for hope, it’s this: Trump insulted a large number of people on the platform with him on Friday. The minute it looks as though he’s committed a major stumble, knives will come out among the Republicans. Ryan and McConnell aren’t going to fall on their swords for a guy who uses them as a rhetorical punching bag.

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  127. Just 'nutha ig'rant cracker says:

    @Lit3Bolt:

    Can also be a bipartisan support issue however, with backcountry hunters and fishermen working together with conservationists.

    Yes, it could be except that in my little corner of the PNW, the backcountry folk and the conservationists have little common ground. Of course part of the reason for that problem is that the fish of record here are salmon and trout.

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  128. wr says:

    @Hal_10000: “One way to defuse Culture Wars is to stop throwing money at things that cause such controversy. ”

    Yes, there is no surer way to “defuse” a war than by unilateral surrender. Good plan there.

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