Trump And Obama Continue A Long And Important Tradition

Despite resentments, power will transition peacefully from President Obama to President Trump. We should be thankful for that rather than protesting it.

Trump Obama Handshake

Repeating a ritual that has played itself out in some former or another only forty-three other times in American history, President-Elect Donald Trump and President Barack Obama met today in the Oval Office to discuss the transition that will play itself out over the the next two months, the state of the world that President Obama remains responsible for at the moment and which the President-Elect will soon become responsible for, and no doubt other matters both mundane and difficult:

WASHINGTON — President Obama and Donald J. Trump made a public show on Thursday of putting their bitter differences aside after a stunning election upset. The Oval Office meeting brought together a president who has darkly warned that Mr. Trump could not be trusted with the nuclear codes and a successor who rose to political prominence questioning Mr. Obama’s birthplace and legitimacy.

“I want to emphasize to you, Mr. President-elect, that we now are going to want to do everything we can to help you succeed because if you succeed, then the country succeeds,” Mr. Obama told Mr. Trump as the two sat side-by-side after the roughly 90-minute meeting. The president called the session “excellent” and wide-ranging.

Mr. Trump, who said he had never met Mr. Obama before and expected the meeting to last only 10 or 15 minutes, said it had been a “great honor” to sit with the president.

“We discussed a lot of different situations, some wonderful and some difficulties. I very much look forward to dealing with the president in the future, including counsel,” Mr. Trump said.

It was an extraordinary show of cordiality and respect between two men who have been political enemies and are stylistic opposites — Mr. Trump a brash real estate executive and reality television star whose campaign was defined in opposition to the sitting president, and Mr. Obama, a cool-tempered intellectual who has pressed a progressive agenda in office.

Mr. Trump, whose election on Tuesday stunned the president and rocked the political establishment in Washington, arrived in the White House driveway on Thursday out of sight of the crowds of reporters and news media cameras assembled there. His staff had refused to arrange for journalists to document his movements, as is customary both for the president and the president-elect, and Mr. Obama’s team did not arrange for the traditional photograph of the sitting president and his wife greeting their successors in front of the White House.

Mr. Obama said his wife, Michelle, who emerged this fall as an outspoken critic of Mr. Trump on the campaign trail, met with Melania Trump while their husbands spoke in the Oval Office.

“We want to make sure that they feel welcome,” Mr. Obama said of the Trumps.

The meetings unfolded as Mr. Obama’s staff was starting the daunting business of handing over the vast bureaucracy of the United States government to Mr. Trump’s staff, including vital national security information and resources he would need in the event of a catastrophic attack.

Ahead of Mr. Trump’s arrival in Washington on Thursday morning, top advisers to Mr. Obama had spent months preparing for a transition, a highly complex venture condensed into the 72-day period between now and the Jan. 20 inauguration. It is up to them and the Trump team to set it in motion, pairing Obama administration staff members with representatives of the president-elect for crash courses in the inner workings of the White House and federal agencies. Two war-gaming exercises are planned to help ready the new team for a terrorist strike or other national security crisis.

Mr. Obama said Wednesday that he had instructed his staff to follow the example set by President George W. Bush in 2008 and provide a professional and smooth transition for Mr. Trump’s team, despite the vast policy differences that separate the president and his successor. For all the public drama and division of the presidential campaign, in private, Mr. Obama’s aides have since July been quietly working with advisers to both Hillary Clinton and Mr. Trump to plan for the passing of power.

“As everyone has been ramping down and wrapping things up elsewhere around this building, I have been ramping up here for this next phase,” said Anita Decker Breckenridge, Mr. Obama’s deputy chief of staff. She said she had been impressed by the personnel sent by both campaigns to plan the transition.

“They have taken it seriously,” she said in an interview.

Still, given that Mr. Trump’s was a nontraditional campaign that did not have scores of seasoned policy staff members or deep relationships within Washington, it is not clear who will be assigned to do the highly technical work of taking the reins of government.

“Landing teams” now in place at each federal agency will begin working as early as Thursday with aides designated by Mr. Trump to hand over crucial operations, some of them using sensitive technology tools, such as secure websites, to make the information more easily digestible.

At the Department of Homeland Security, officials have loaded briefing materials onto tablets for the president-elect’s team in a searchable format. At the Department of Justice, officials created a cloud portal for the information.

“Our emphasis here has been putting together quality not quantity – we want to have targeted materials,” said Lee Lofthus, the Justice Department’s assistant attorney general for administration. “The goal here is not to be putting together phone books that people have to file through.”

But the crush of information may be onerous, particularly when it comes to Mr. Trump’s task of hiring 4,000 political appointees over a matter of weeks. Saddled with an antiquated personnel system when Mr. Obama was elected in 2008, his aides moved this year to build a new one designed to make it easier to track the positions, as well as the applicants and their personal and professional information.

In December, Mr. Obama’s team plans to hold the first of two war-gaming exercises to prepare Mr. Trump and his staff for a potential national security crisis.

This was no doubt a difficult meeting for both men, even though they have apparently never actually met before today. President Obama spent the past year and a half listening to Donald Trump say things and advocate ideas that he no doubt highly objects to, and the past several months not only campaigning against Trump’s election as President but doing so in a manner far more vigorous than any sitting President has ever campaigned against a potential successor as far as we can tell from the historical record. It was only a few days ago, for example, that President Obama was telling crowds in North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania and elsewhere that Donald Trump was not only wrong and shouldn’t be elected President, but that he was intellectually and temperamentally unqualified to be President of the United States. For his part, Trump, despite the fact that he had originally apparently been a fan of President Obama’s according to his own Twitter feed from 2008 and 2009, has been a harsh critic of this President who spent the last five years denouncing everything he did and the last seventeen  months campaigning to replace him on a platform that promises to undo many of what President Obama considers to be the signature accomplishments of his Administration. That’s been true many times when a sitting President has been replaced by a President-Elect of an opposing party or a President-Elect with different policy ideas, but hanging there was something far more personal hanging over this meeting. As far as we know, never before in American history has a President been replaced by someone who not only opposed him politically but also spent the better part of a year or more openly questioning the legitimacy of the sitting President’s birth and questioning whether the sitting President legitimately holds his office under the Constitution. Although President Obama has never spoken about it publicly, reports have indicated that President Obama took Donald Trump’s birther campaign in 2011 very personally and continued to harbor resentments against him for it long after Trump finally stopped speaking about the matter after the Obama White House produced a copy of the President’s birth certificate. In fact, that campaign on Trump’s part was part of the reason that Obama was so eager for the General Election campaign to start so he could get out on the campaign trail and take Trump on head to head.

This isn’t to say that there haven’t been situations in history before where candidates for President didn’t like each other. Most recently, President George H.W. Bush had to hand over power to President-Elect Clinton after a particularly rough campaign during which the two men traded sharp barbs and attacks that made it seem like there was something personal between them, but when the time came to hand over power President Bush was as cordial as he would have been to any other candidate, as Clinton himself as noted many times. Since then, the two men have become close and very unlikely friends. The most well-known example of rivals following each other in office, though, came after the hard-fought Election of 1800 during which Thomas Jefferson and John Adams, once close friends who helped forge a revolution and create what would become the United States of America waged a campaign, mostly through surrogates, that had both of them attacking each other in manners that make the worst of some of the campaigns we call “negative” today seem tame by comparison. The resentments were so strong that, when the outcome of the election was finally decided by the House of Representatives and it came time for Jefferson to be inaugurated, John and Abigail Adams left Washington in the dark of night on March 3rd, 1801 rather than participate in Jefferson’s inauguration. In addition to that, there is no record of Jefferson and Adams having met at any time after the election that put Jefferson in office. Indeed, there is no record that Jefferson and Adams were ever in each other’s presence after serving together in George Washington’s Cabinet, although it’s probable that they were on at least some occasions during Jefferson’s time as Vice-President under Adams, and they never met again after the two men left Washington, D.C even though they became famous for eventually healing their relationship and writing some of the most famous correspondence in American history. Additionally, Abraham Lincoln’s transition was no doubt difficult given the fact that he was inheriting the job from an incompetent man who did little to prevent the nation from falling apart during the transition period and who seemed openly hostile to Lincoln and sympathetic to the South, not to mention the fact that Lincoln had to travel to Washington, D.C, incognito in order to make sure he wasn’t killed along the way.

This time, though, the differences between the two men seem to be far more severe and personal. However, we can be assured that the transition will be as smooth as most of the others in American history, and that the Trump Administration will take over on January 20, 2017. No doubt there will be resentments on both sides of the table, and most likely some of the same relatively harmless pranks that Administration staffers have played on members of the incoming staff have played probably from the time that the Adams Administration took over from the Washington Administration in 1797. Additionally, as we’ve already seen, supporters of the outgoing Administration and often the losing candidate in the election will be protesting the newcomer, claiming that the new President means gloom and doom for the nation, and generally resenting the fact that their preferred candidate lost a free and fair election. For the most part, though, the process between now and that cold morning in January will unfold in a peaceful and cordial manner with the goal of ensuring that the people taking over in Washington have access to all the information and material they need to do a job whose ramifications can only be undersold by a relatively small handful of people.

The United States isn’t the only nation where this peaceful transition of power happens, of course, but that isn’t a good reason for us not be proud of the fact that we have such a long-standing tradition of such transitions notwithstanding the extent to which our political battles can come to resemble warfare in another form. In some parts of the world, it still doesn’t work that way, though. Opposing parties that win elections find the ballots manipulated so they lose. Candidates for office who opposing a sitting government often find their names removed fro the ballot in “democratic” elections and that they have no power to prevent the sitting government from using its power to prevent true competitive elections. In some cases, the winner of an election has found it impossible to take office due to the fact that his opponents supporters, or even the nation’s military, are using violence or the threat of violence to prevent him or her from taking office. In the most extreme cases, the military itself has stepped in to take power away from people elected in free and fair elections in the name of “keeping order,” which usually means maintaining the preferred status of the military and its supporters and pursuing policies that benefit them rather than the nation as a whole.

Our nation has been lucky enough to survive more than two centuries of mostly peaceful transitions of power. Yes, there have been painful times. For the most part, though, power has passed between Presidents without incident and with at least a veneer of respect and good will. This is why I find the protests that have occurred since Tuesday night to be so troublesome. What, exactly, is it that these people are protesting? Donald Trump is the President-Elect of the United States, until January 20, 2017 he will have no power to do anything at all and the Presidency will be in the hands of someone who the protesters no doubt find much more acceptable. At this point, there is nothing under the law that can be done to stop him from becoming President. When he does become President, he will have to accept the fact that his ability to act will be checked by equally powerful branches of the Federal Government in the form of Congress and the Courts. Protesting now, when he has no power to act on anything, seems utterly pointless. Indeed, instead of protesting Trump it seems clear that these people are protesting democracy itself simply because their preferred candidate lost the election. I have to wonder if these protesters voted in the election, or whether they stayed home. I also have to wonder what they think protests after the election are going to accomplish. As someone on TV put it, the election is over, it’s decided and, at least for now,, we have to accept that fact and let the process work itself out. What these people are protesting now isn’t Trump and it isn’t Trump’s ideas, it’s the fact that Trump won. They’re protesting a free and fair election that didn;t turn out the way they wanted. In the end, they’re no different than Trump supporters who talked about taking up arms if Trump lost. They have every right to do this, but they are being childish.

This scene from Game Change, the book about the 2008 campaign for President that was made into an HBO movie, put it perfectly:

As I think I have made clear since June 14th 2015, I vehemently oppose Donald Trump and wish he wasn’t President. But I also opposed Barack Obama on many issues he had campaigned on in 2008. Nonetheless, I hope that he ends up at least being an effective President who executes the basic duties of his job effectively and competently because our country can’t afford a President who is a failure. However, I’m not going to protest the fact that he won a free and fair election. If and when Trump does something I think is wrong, I will be among the first to speak out against him and I encourage others to do so as well. Until then, I am going to continue to marvel at the fact that, notwithstanding the passions that the recent election aroused, our system encourages and supports the peaceful transition of power from one Administration to the next and that, for the most part, Americans have abided by that practice. The idea of living in a nation where the only way to change power is through violence, threats, and protests, or where such methods are considered acceptable is even scarier than the worst I can contemplate from a politician I despise with all my heart. The transition from President Obama to President Trump will be hard on many people, I understand that, but it will happen and it will be peaceful. We should be thankful for that rather than protesting it.”

FILED UNDER: Barack Obama, Campaign 2016, Donald Trump, Politicians, US Politics
Doug Mataconis
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. Before joining OTB, he wrote at Below The BeltwayThe Liberty Papers, and United Liberty Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. James in Bremerton, WA says:

    I recognize the state of loss is quite traumatic. I am surrounded by the unmistakable signs of grief.

    And, I cannot possibly agree with, for example, Sorkin. I don’t find his approach at all helpful. He is calling for more of the same tribal Us v Them, false choice, false Red/Blue divide that brought us Trump in the first place.

    I am not enrolled in labeling half the country as “kooks” and “klansmen” and “biblethumpers” and so on simply because they didn’t vote for HRC. Did we expect to shame them into voting? The popular vote for Trump now exceeds 50 million votes. Is every last one of them “deplorable?” How responsible was that comment, in retrospect?

    I will agree with and work with any Democrat who wants to sit down and figure out how to talk to those we would shame. They are adults, not children. Their votes count the same as ours. They are clearly in pain. Why do we treat them so poorly? What good does Sorkin’s shame do them? And what kind of basis is that for actual progress?

    It isn’t. It’s just more of the same, and I will not participate in it. I do encourage people in positions of mentorship to stage a balance-achieving tone with your students, one consisting of outreach and inclusion, even and unto Lepers.

    Because what we’ve been doing doesn’t work, and happens to be despicable. In politics, you then get left rudderless, as the Democratic party is today, and shall be for 4 years at least.

    Please set down the tribal drum. It is not necessary to hold elected officials accountable, nor achieve lasting leadership.

  2. HarvardLaw92 says:

    Knowing the man as I do, he’s not remotely ready for this. In fact, I suspect that he’s crapping his pants at the realization that he now has to actually do the job.

    He’s always been showbiz, more concerned with appearances than results, and he can’t handle failure. More to the point, he can’t handle people who point failure out to him, and he absolutely detests dissension.

    My greatest fear – although granted, I won’t be here to see it happen – is that we’ll effectively end up with a President Pence running the show while Donald does what he’s best at (and the only thing he truly enjoys) – collecting attention. If he tries and fails – and there are a laundry lists of failures looming down the pike for him, each defeat will embitter him that much further and make him more reactionary. I’m not sure that there has ever been someone whose temperament is less suited to the office, and that includes paranoid alcoholic Nixon at the end.

    The truly scary part is that Pence is far, far worse – he is an evangelical who considers himself to be a warrior for G-d, with all the self-righteous surety of purpose and disdain for “other” that entails. The US is in for a very bumpy ride.

  3. grumpy realist says:

    Let’s see how long the protests last and how big they are. I suspect all of this will dwindle very quickly, especially with the colder weather we’re starting to get.

  4. Pch101 says:

    @James in Bremerton, WA:

    The Southern Strategy is based upon tribalism. You do know which party uses that, right?

  5. Dave Schuler says:

    I think that the grace with which President Obama is handling what must be an excruciatingly disappointing outcome to him speaks well of the man.

  6. Tyrell says:

    I remember November 22, 1963. This was the day that John F. Kennedy was killed by Lee Harvey Oswald*. I remember vividly literally every detail for the first few hours. Many people thought for sure that the Russians were behind it and it could be the first strike of an attack or invasion. Vice President Johnson was sworn in on AF One. It was later on that night and into Saturday before the Russian threat was discounted.
    *Major questions still remain unanswered about this event.

  7. @Tyrell:

    Little did we know that, as most of the nation slept, we nearly lost JFK’s successor for what would’ve been accidental reasons.

  8. bandit says:

    Low class A-hole Obama refuses photo op – stay classy loser

  9. HarvardLaw92 says:

    Why is he still here?

  10. Andrew says:

    I hear Trump is planning on taking the funds from the Great Wall of America™ and instead using it to update all the bathrooms in the Trump White House™ with the best gold!

    Alec Baldwin is definitely going to be making a lot of money.

  11. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @Andrew:

    The man has a ginormous inferiority complex stemming from his utter rejection by New York society. He came crashing onto the scene flush with his father’s cash and convinced that they’d just fall all over him. They laughed in his face, and still do to this day. He ran up against something that money couldn’t buy for him, and he’s spent his entire life engaged in this ridiculous show of ostentation as a result.

    It’s essentially a great big “well, I don’t care. I didn’t want to join your stupid club anyway” tantrum.His entire life is a testament to the proposition that money can’t buy taste, and it won’t get you past doors that will always remain locked to you.

  12. CSK says:

    @HarvardLaw92:

    Yep. He thought he could buy his way into Old New York Society–no one can–and, as you say, they scorned him.

  13. rachel says:

    Additionally, as we’ve already seen, supporters of the outgoing Administration and often the losing candidate in the election will be protesting the newcomer, claiming that the new President means gloom and doom for the nation, and generally resenting the fact that their preferred candidate lost a free and fair election.

    You and others here keep using that phrase, but here’s the thing… How “free” is an election when one of the parties targets groups of citizens for intimidation and harassment? How “fair” is it when the legislative and executive branches of a state (North Carolina, Texas, Florida…) pass and enforce legislation aimed at preventing supporters of the opposite party from voting them out of office?

    This election stinks like a 5-day dead fish, and the Party of Trump is the reason why. I hope that they will be rational and magnanimous in their use of the power that they have gained. I pray they will. But “as the branch is bent so grows the tree”. I have zero reasons to hope for it.

  14. Jenos The Deplorable says:

    Speaking of long traditions, I foresee a return of one of them. Where the White House Correspondents’ Dinner has recently become a venue for the press and the president to get together and go after their mutual adversaries, I expect we will see a return to the press instead mocking and teasing the president. Indeed, to compensate for the last eight years, it might even be go beyond gentle mockery and teasing into outright hostility.

    It also might end up being the first with no representatives from the administration attending.

  15. Paul Hooson says:

    I was hopeful that with some cooperative statements and acts by Hillary Clinton, President Obama, Bernie Sanders and even by Donald Trump, that could only help to calm the nation. Then, this evening, Trump apparently got his Twitter account back from his campaign, which took it away from him days before the election to prevent him writing goofy statements, so tonight he writes a new unhelpful message somehow blaming the media for helping to incite the rioters and protesters. There we go, the crazy man is back again.

    Sadly, this proves that even attempting to put lipstick on a pig, still leaves you with a pig. Trump is still a crazy, and can only behave himself for only moments at a time, before he goes off the rails with full-blown doses of crazy.

  16. PJ says:

    1. Trump is not going to change.
    2. Do anyone actually expect that this transition will go horribly wrong?
    3. If there is a transition in four years, then that’s the one you should be worried about.

  17. Modulo Myself says:

    Look here–

    There was also an incident in which an otherwise nice local woman attacked a Somali woman at a restaurant–physically assaulted her—because she was so angry that she was speaking a different language and dressed in a different way. And the Congressman was shocked that many of his friends and relatives took the side of the attacker, not the victim.
    From an elite perspective, this is, at best, nativism and, at worst, racism. But the Congressman had to reconcile to himself that, no, these are friends and neighbors who are generally incredibly decent folks, good citizens, and the like.

    That’s James Joyner, who is a decent person, explaining in decent language why it’s totally good and decent for a good and decent person to assault a less-powerful person for dressing and speaking in a different way.

    This country is two minutes from turning around and heading towards a new version of Jim Crow. Plain and simple. Meanwhile, we’re getting the same advice we had when George W. Bush was elected–maybe he’s not as bad it seems. Well, Bush was terrible, so bad that the current variant was voted in by the same rubes who voted Bush in by running against the prior variant and all he stood for. And Trump is worse. HarvardLaw92 is absolutely correct: Trump has no idea what to do and the moment something doesn’t work he’s going to drop the unconvincing Presidential act and cut his losses by attacking the vulnerable. And theocrats and neo-confederate libertarians will go along, because they need this collapse more than anything in the world.

    So spare us the fantasies of aging white dudes with erections over Ike shaking JFK’s hand and how they and their father-figure fantasies bonded over the ritual of democracy.

    Trump will legally be President, but as metaphor, he’s shit who leads a party and section of this country that’s worthless and beneath contempt.

  18. C. Clavin says:

    @bandit:
    Again…you’re just wrong.
    What’s it like smelling the lead dogs a-hole?

  19. Gustopher says:

    @bandit: “Low class A-hole Obama refuses photo op – stay classy loser”

    if Obama refused a photo op, and he and Trump had never met before, then what is that photo at the top of the page? Also, related question, are you willfully stupid, or just naturally stupid?

  20. HarvardLaw92 says:

    OOOOO, the Rust Belters are NOT going to like this

    They got played like an upright bass 🙂

  21. Guarneri says:

    @HarvardLaw92:

    True enough. So he had to make concessions to his goals and go win the presidency.

  22. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @Guarneri:

    Won’t make the slightest bit of difference. He’s no closer now to getting into Union or Metropolitan than he’s ever been. The one absolute thing they require is the one thing he can never obtain.

    And believe me, he still cares about that.

  23. Guarneri says:

    I’d like to send my sincere thanks to those who made this all possible, losing the election and leaving the levers of government almost exclusively in Republican hands. And more importantly, keeping the criminal element out of the a White House.

    First, the “Elegant Black Man” whose arrogance and misguided policies managed to galvanize voters against him like no a Republican could. Second, to Donna Brazile (and DWS) for single mindedly engineering the Democrats coronation of one of the most obviously over-rated and feckless candidates in memory. With an assist, the insufferable press who laid it all out to the electorate that they had better get to the ballot box before all control was usurped by the elitists of the country. Did someone say something about awakening a giant? It was something to behold.

    Congratulations, and thank you, Democrats; you shot your dicxks off. And you have no one to blame but yourselves.

    ReplyReply

  24. Guarneri says:

    @HarvardLaw92:

    It seems to be awfully important to you he won’t make “the club.” Tough childhood?

  25. Guarneri says:

    That picture HAS to be Rodney’s pic of the week. Looks like a divorce settlement.

  26. Pch101 says:

    @HarvardLaw92:

    OOOOO, the Rust Belters are NOT going to like this

    Sorry, but they’re not going to grasp the implications of that.

    Here’s a prediction: Four years from now, when cars and other consumer products are still being imported, the Rust Belt is still covered in rust and the border wall is nothing more than a few miles of photo opportunity paid for by the United States, his most fervent supporters will blame the RINOs, liberals and everyone else as they vote to Make AmeriKKKA Great Again again. (The independents may be another matter.)

    The true believers don’t support him because of policy, but because he’s an a**hole. They relate to him because he’s a jerk and so are they. It’s about waging a personality/culture war, not about getting things done.

  27. Modulo Myself says:

    @HarvardLaw92:

    Someone mentioned Ed Meese and I thought it was a joke in that he had died years ago. Apparently not.

    The scary thing is that at an elite level Trump can be found in Goya’s portrait of Charles IV–a diminished inbred imbecile resembling a lottery-winning grocer. There’s comedy in watching elderly Republicans unable to handle chunks of time surpassing fifteen minutes take the place of real people. I have absolutely no idea how Trump will even manage to fill his days, or if he knows what that means. There’s no way, for example, that Rudy will be able to be AG, simply because he’s senile and used to sitting down and falling asleep.

    But that’s at an elite level.

  28. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @Guarneri:

    Not really. Trump managed to win with fewer votes than Romney lost with. Essentially, Clinton didn’t motivate Democrats, and we have to own that. Trump nauseated moderate Republicans, but replaced them with the great unwashed. This election was a testament to lowered expectations and the willingness of the Rust Belt class to believe anybody who’ll lie to them well enough.

    Frankly though, in retrospect I’d like to thank them as well, because they’ve set the stage for a Republican Hindenburg. You guys control everything now, so every failure over the next four years – every economic downturn, every weak jobs report, every exploding deficit number – all of it gets hung around your necks. If, as expected, the social conservatives worm their way in and start ramping up their garbage, that will be on you as well.

    You guys, and Trump in particular, have made promises that G-d himself couldn’t deliver on to a bunch of hysterics who will just as cheerfully hang you from the rafters when you fail to do so.

    And we get to sit back and just point at you when people start getting angry about their jobs not coming back, and the Mexicans still being here, and so on and so on.

    So thanks. We’re happy about it too.

  29. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @Guarneri:

    Not at all. I just find it amusing that he wants it so badly. It’s honestly sort of pathetic.

  30. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @Pch101:

    Nah, we’ll be there asking “but where are the jobs? You promised jobs. Where are they?”

  31. Pch101 says:

    @HarvardLaw92:

    They’ll blame us, not him.

  32. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @Pch101:

    Not forever. Maybe some time in the wilderness while they hang themselves is just what we as a party need.

  33. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @Modulo Myself:

    Someone mentioned Ed Meese and I thought it was a joke in that he had died years ago. Apparently not.

    Ghouls never die. They’re eternal.

  34. Modulo Myself says:

    @Guarneri:

    For people like us it’s not very difficult to lose to people like you. I had terribly wrong assumptions about the election–goodbye, they’re wrong. It’s all meaningless We all have money and privilege and ours is better than yours and thus we don’t sound as lame as you.

    Conversely, you hate losing to people like us, and it shows everywhere.

  35. Pch101 says:

    @HarvardLaw92:

    You really don’t get it. The diehards will ALWAYS blame us.

    I’m sure that there were independents who voted for both Obama and Trump who really are hoping for change and will be disappointed when the continued economic recovery continues to pass right by their towns. They haven’t figured out that no president can save them and that their best option is to go somewhere else.

    But the guys who voted for Trump because he’s a prick will not be deterred. Take some of the Trump supporters who post here — forgetting their politics for a moment, their defining common feature is that they are jerks. It’s a personality issue, and that’s what draws them to someone like Trump..

  36. Senyordave says:

    Steve Bannon for WH Chief of Staff? A guy who runs an openly racist website. This should be huge if it happens, but then again the alt-right thing should have a been a major story when he became campaign CEO. But just crickets and tumbleweeds because emails.

  37. JKB says:

    @Modulo Myself: This country is two minutes from turning around and heading towards a new version of Jim Crow.

    Not likely as the Democrats have very little political power above the municipal level. The Democrats created and enforced Jim Crow in the South.

  38. Senyordave says:

    @HarvardLaw92: Someone mentioned Ed Meese and I thought it was a joke in that he had died years ago. Apparently not.

    Meese resigned in disgrace for his part in the Wedtech scandal. Over/under as to how many crooks in the Trump administration. If Gingrich is in it, there’s a least one:

    The Ethics Committee’s Special Counsel James M. Cole concluded that Gingrich had violated federal tax law and had lied to the ethics panel in an effort to force the committee to dismiss the complaint against him.

    At least Trump is starting out in his usual pattern. I honestly convinced myself he would make at least a half-assed attempt to do the right thing, but it looks like he’ll start out with a bunch of dirtbags right up front.

  39. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @JKB:

    And then, amazingly, all those Southern bigots became Republicans 🙂

  40. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @Pch101:

    You may be right, but I feel pretty confident that they were a minority of those voting Republican on Tuesday. If they weren’t we might as well close up shop on the country and call it a day.

    That decision to leave is looking better by the minute.

  41. Senyordave says:

    Doug, when you say Trump stopped speaking about the matter after Obama produced his birth certificate it may be technically true, but he did tweet this out in Sep, 2014:

    Attention all hackers: You are hacking everything else so please hack Obama’s college records (destroyed?) and check “place of birth”

    IMO his birtherism should have disqualified him from being accepted in polite society, much less being POTUS. The birther issue showed the intense racism of Trump, especially with regard to African Americans, a pattern he has maintained his entire adult life. Refusing to rent to AA;s in the 70;s, removing AA dealers in the 80’s from his casino (and getting fined $200k for it), the Central Park Five case, the birther issue – Trump seems to actually hate African Americans. Pretty scary that this bigot is POTUS, I certainly can understand why AA’s as a group loathe him. In another time, he’d be in white robes. Right, president of all Americans, at least those with white faces.

  42. JKB says:

    Here’s some Harvard profs who were clueless in their predictions in the past and history has revealed that most of these dire predictions after an election are almost always wrong.

    Joseph S. Nye Jr., professor of Government, said he fears that Reagan will prove a “do-nothing” president and that he will not be able to establish “a coherent administration.”

    The United States should fear Reagan because of his “total lack of judgment and reliance on people who are trigger-happy,” James C. Thomson, curator of the Nieman fellowships, said.

    Terming his immediate reaction to the Reagan sweep “absolute horror,” Stanley H. Hoffmann, professor of Government, said he believes the nation registered a “protest vote” against the present economic situation. Hoffman, who called himself a “reluctant Carter supporter,” said, “I’m afraid on foreign affairs–it could be a very costly experiment.”

    How about professor Nye. So historically wrong. Reagan a do-nothing president, except for ending the Cold War and revitalizing the economy.

    And what are the Harvard profs saying about Trump:

    Government and sociology professor Theda R. Skocpol called Trump’s election “a crisis comparable to the Civil War.”

    government professor Harvey C. Mansfield ’53 : “The whole thing is a victory of the lower half of the American IQ,” said Mansfield, who chose to write in Indiana Governor Mike Pence, Trump’s running mate, for president.

    “It’s a real disaster for American politics,” Government professor Jennifer L. Hochschild said. “There’s a huge section of the population that was so angry, mistrustful, furious, that they were prepared to take an enormous risk.”

    Interesting. The profs today are not near as hostile in their comments than they were about Reagan, although they do attack Trump’s voters more than Trump.

  43. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @JKB:

    Reagan was an unmitigated failure. Are you asserting that Trump will be as well?

    If so, thank you for your honesty.

  44. Senyordave says:

    @JKB: although they do attack Trump’s voters more than Trump.

    I would assume they would attack Trump’s voters more than Trump would.

  45. JKB says:

    @HarvardLaw92:

    Keep telling yourself that. Oddly, Democrats kept getting elected to state and local offices.

  46. JKB says:

    @HarvardLaw92: Reagan was an unmitigated failure.

    You are delusional.

    I hope Trump is as successful as Reagan. However, I do not assert that Trump is starting out with Reagan’s advantages. But Trump has great potential. Just putting a stop to Obama’s unilateral actions and rolling back the crushing regulation virtually guarantees a growing economy and the death of the “New Normal” that is the justification for the economy under Obama.

  47. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @JKB:

    Really? I’m looking at a map of the South and I’m just seeing a sea of red. Where are these Southern Democrats you speak of?

  48. Pch101 says:

    @HarvardLaw92:

    JKB isn’t bright enough to understand that blacks in the South are voting for Democrats, while the Jim Crow white voters moved to the GOP.

    I suppose that typing “Strom Thurmond” into a search engine must be a challenge.

  49. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @JKB:

    You are delusional.

    Reagan exploded the federal debt. He exploded the size of the federal government and presided over not one, but three of the largest tax increases in US history. The man single handedly validated Keynes. If you’re truly a conservative, you should be burning the man in effigy, not genuflecting to him.

  50. Senyordave says:

    @JKB: You really should research the subject before you make pronouncements about the economy. From 1Q08 to 1Q16 the US economy grew 10.85%. This included the recession period where the economy contracted severely from 4Q08 to 4Q09. During the same 8 year period the Euro zone grew less than 1%, and Japan did not grow at all. Stuff doesn’t happen in a vacuum, the US economy was the envy of most of the developed world.

  51. Jc says:

    Good job by the President to pass on power gracefully to a man who publicly questioned his citizenship solely because of the color of his skin. Character indeed. Now in four years (I hope, you know cuz people might now realize the importance of casting a vote) I wonder how this same ritual will be handled if Trump loses, I don’t have my hopes up. But I do hope it is to a woman, or any minority, as it would be such an appropriate moment. Losing to people he has shit on his whole life

  52. An Interested Party says:

    Along the same lines as HL92’s and JKB’s back and forth is this from Charles Pierce…

    The tragedy of American populism—whether it’s in the previous Gilded Age or the current one—is that the country’s original sin makes populism’s success almost impossible without some sort of us-versus-them dynamic. Since the myth of the American Dream almost always makes a true class-based politics impossible, the search for that essential dynamic almost invariably becomes white-vs-black or native-vs-immigrant.

    That’s happening again, with another “populist” champion and the people who now have followed him into whatever future they imagine he will bring them.

  53. Guarneri says:

    @Modulo Myself:

    I didn’t know I was on the ballot….

  54. Guarneri says:

    “Good job by the President to pass on power gracefully to a man who publicly questioned his citizenship solely because of the color of his skin. Character indeed. ”

    Well it was six of one, half dozen or f the other, as Hillary started that crap.

  55. An Interested Party says:

    Well it was six of one, half dozen or f the other, as Hillary started that crap.

    No wonder you like Trump so much, you lie as easily as he does

  56. Jenos The Deplorable says:

    @HarvardLaw92: OOOOO, the Rust Belters are NOT going to like this

    Hey, why don’t you let the Trump voters decide for themselves on how they feel about Trump’s actions when he actually does them, and just focus on your own thoughts and opinions?

    You even suck at concern trolling.

  57. Senyordave says:

    @Guarneri: Well it was six of one, half dozen or f the other, as Hillary started that crap.

    Okay, I’ll play. Let’s say that Clinton campaign started it. And Trump picked up the lie, and as late as 2014, 3 full years after Obama produced the long for birth certificate, was still pushing it. What is the explanation for that? No matter who started it, it is still indefensible.

    Let’s say a group of kids was yelling racial slurs at Johnny, and your child was among the group. Would you accept the excuse “well, Billy called him a ni**ert. I only repeated it after he said it first.”

    Because that is your excuse for Trump being a birther. Whys should it matter who started it? The whole birther movement was racist to the core, and Trump became one of its main proponents, and during the debates actually seemed proud of it.

  58. wr says:

    @HarvardLaw92: My first instinct is to disagree with you and say that the morons who voted for Trump will simply blame the Dems and the Blacks and the Messicans when he fails to come through for them. But then I remember what happened to previous right wing idols like Eric Cantor and John Boehner and I get some hope that their irrational rage and complete lack of self-awareness will overcome their slavish devotion to the savior…

  59. wr says:

    @HarvardLaw92: Yes, but Reagan was very successful in some ways. For instance, tens of thousands of peasants, along with a few nuns and an archbishop, in El Salvador and across Latin America continue to be dead thanks to the dictatorships he propped up.

  60. Guarneri says:

    Good morning, boys and girls.

    Are you all set for another adventurous day traveling down Da-Nial?? Just remember, I’ve still got some comfort dogs available for those in need.

  61. C. Clavin says:

    @JKB:

    I hope Trump is as successful as Reagan.

    Jesus-gawd…after the damage Reagan and the 30 year war on the middle-class he started…you want someone to double down?
    WTF
    Reagan and Reaganism have decimated this country.
    I’ll give you this, though…Trump is almost as bright as an Alzheimer patient.

  62. KM says:

    @wr:

    ut then I remember what happened to previous right wing idols like Eric Cantor and John Boehner and I get some hope that their irrational rage and complete lack of self-awareness will overcome their slavish devotion to the savior…

    What’s going to get him is the Wall. His devotees think it’s a done deal, a physical thing they can pay homage to. The legal logistics will kill it almost immediately. For instance, what to do about private land it will need to run through? What happens when landowners won’t sell – “gubmnit gonna steal their land!” will be all over.. What about water rights – are we to concede the entire Rio Grande to Mexico? Screw the impossibility of construction without tossing our great-great-grandchildren into poverty, who’s going to pay for the guards on this thing? It’s a wall that you can climb over it or tunnel under – hell, build a descending zip line high enough and done! Without constant maintenance or supervision, it will just be a nuisance in an already perilous journey that some seriously determined people have taken.

    What about retaliation? What happens when Mexico says piss off? Can’t build any government structure on their side without their permission – the legal word for that is “invasion”. That’s a potential act of war and most likely a violation of a number of treaties. If I was Mexico and wanted to piss of Trump, I rent out space for a military base to Russia, China or Iran in the shadow of the Wall Instead of being 90 miles off our coast, they could be 100ft away. What’s the Orange Menace gonna do then – blockade a walled off country further??

    He wrote check his ass can’t cash and the bill’s coming due. There’s video of teenagers chanting Build the Wall in their cafeteria – this has permeated into con culture to the point its not going get dismissed as hyperbole or a campaign promise. Trump’s so f’cked it isn’t funny.

  63. Scott says:

    @HarvardLaw92:

    Yes, let’s get to real issues. Like the Republican plan to turn Medicare into a voucherized, private health insurance system.

    http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2016/11/paul-ryan-says-medicare-privatization-is-on.html

    I believe Trump did not agree with this. Will he cave to the radical right wing of his party or look after the people who voted for him?

    Quick quiz question: What is the annual premium for an 80 year old man with diabetes and cardiac problems?

  64. wr says:

    @KM: I think it’s going to be Medicare. If Trump goes along with the current Ryan plan to end it, I think that ends Trump. These are the people who turned on Bush when he tried to kill Social Security.

    I’m am pleased that the Democrats don’t seem to be lying down for Trump the way they did for Bush — maybe a lesson finally learned. But I hope they spend some resources making sure that everyone who voted for Trump knows that the man who said he would drain the swamp and end crony control of Washington has stuffed his transition team full of lobbyists.

    And I hope they’re smart enough to use all this at confirmation hearings. If it’s Mnuchin for treasury, for instance, make him explain over and over again how the hiring of a Goldman Sachs partner is ending the banks’ control.

    According to his tweets, Trump thinks the protesters are being unfair to him. Just wait.

  65. SenyorDave says:

    @GuarneriStill waiting for an answer as to why it would matter who started the birther movement? You’re defense of Trump his questioning Obama’s citizenship well into 2014 is that Hillary started it. I say it doesn’t matter, if you support a racist movement, you’re still a racist.

  66. SenyorDave says:

    @Scott: Quick quiz question: What is the annual premium for an 80 year old man with diabetes and cardiac problems?

    He’d have to be in a high risk pool with other similar high risk people, so I would think we’d be talking about 6 figures. I don’t think vouchers will ever come to pass. I’m starting to think that this might be a come-to-jesus moment where the right wing gets boxed into doing the right thing. In two months everything is on their dime, they are responsible. People were conned but this time the GOP won’t be able to blame the Democrats, its all on the Republicans. And groups like AARP have a lot of influence. Medicare covers people the media care about, not a bunch of poor minorities.

  67. Pch101 says:

    @KM:

    You’re missing the possible play here.

    Putting aside the fact that we already have a border wall (there are photos of it on the internet for those who are unaware of this), I suspect that Trump will start talking about pulling out of NAFTA and cranking up tariffs if there is no wall, in the hopes that Corporate America will respond by building a factory or two in the Rust Belt so that he can take the credit.

    The question is one of who runs the better gambit. The smart thing for Corporate America to do would be to go to the Republicans in Congress (most of whom are free traders) and let them know that donor dollars will be flowing to the Democrats and away from them if trade policies such as this are going to happen. If forced to choose between funding for their own campaigns and supporting the president, they’ll be inclined to opt for the former.

    Trump doesn’t really have the power to pull out of NAFTA. If Mexico is smart, then it already knows this and leave the fighting to the corporations that would be impacted by higher tariffs.

    (And with a bunch of Heritage Foundation guys on his team, it’s hard to imagine that Trump is serious about any of this. Heritage bangs the drum hard for free trade.)

  68. barbintheboonies says:

    @Pch101: Everyone does it. We all seek out people who think alike. Just like posting here. We hope most will go along with us. The Americans that voted for Trump ( not me ) voted for him because Hillary acted like they did not matter. The media demonized them and they responded. Hillary may have been more qualified, but she under estimated the intelligence of the so called ignorant. People here have called them names, and showed their disdain. It did not go unnoticed with them. Michael Moore was correct when he said They said FU to America. They thought if we cannot have representation then neither can everyone else. Now would be a good time to bridge the people together. If Donald does start some crazy wars, whose kids will be on the front lines, as usual. I`ll give you a guess. All of a sudden the deplorables will be our heroes, again

  69. Pch101 says:

    @barbintheboonies:

    The Americans that voted for Trump ( not me ) voted for him because Hillary acted like they did not matter.

    I know that you have a preconceive narrative in your head, but the data tells us that more people voted for Mitt Romney than for Donald Trump.

    On the whole, Trump didn’t win voters, he lost them. Unfortunately for Clinton, a lot of them just didn’t bother to show up for her, either, and not quite enough of those who did were located in the right places.

  70. barbintheboonies says:

    @Pch101: He is a horrible person, and most people know that too. You are still giving them no credit for just a little intelligence. All the polls said she would win, they were very smug about it too. I`ll bet many of the protesters voted for Trump in the Primaries hoping for a slam dunk in the general election. We got what we all deserve. We allowed money to be the only thing keeping us from getting a good person in the Whitehouse.

  71. SenyorDave says:

    @barbintheboonies: All the polls said she would win, they were very smug about it too.

    The polls are a bunch of numbers. I work with numbers all day, and I have never seen any sign of smugness, or any other emotion.

  72. barbintheboonies says:

    @SenyorDave: Then you are blinded by the bias too.

  73. SenyorDave says:

    @barbintheboonies: I repeat that numbers do not show smugness, they have no ability to show smugness. Are you trying too say the polls were fixed? Or do you think the reporting of the data itself is smug? I work for a market research company and we report out data constantly. It is posted on servers and our customers get them from the cloud. They are numbers, there are no emotions attached to them.

    The polling firms do the same type of things, they report out their findings in the form of data. I still don’t understand your point relating polls and smugness.

  74. barbintheboonies says:

    @SenyorDave: I guess you did not watch the news casters or should I say commentators smugly announce the polls. I guess you missed the guy who told a Trump voter I`ll see you in hell. I guess he thought was that was funny. The guy was about 75 years old. Ya think maybe people kept their votes secret because of that behavior. So maybe this is why your numbers don`t add up especially in those purple states. Are you shocked, I was, but I get it.

  75. KM says:

    @barbintheboonies:
    The narrative from the cons is very interesting. The same words keep popping up: “smug”, “arrogant”, “entitled”, “stuck-up”, “out of touch”. Much like the Bundy jury who focused on the “attitude” of the prosecutor and not the actual crimes of the defendants, these voters were more concerned with being disrespected and having their fee-fees hurt by liberals then the situation in front of them. Since this is a charge normally leveled at liberals (the original being “bleeding heart”), the hypocrisy of telling half the country to get over it when they’re out on the streets showcasing their hurt feelings is infuriating. Rural America decided to have a tantrum who’s consequence will last for decades but begrudge others a few days’ worth.

    It’ is NOT a sign of intelligence to make a bad choice solely based on the perceived arrogance of another. It is NOT a sign of character to fall for a BS-artist because you feel ignored. It does NOT make you matter by participating in mass stupidity just because you can. Hillary didn’t act like they don’t matter – she didn’t tell them the lies they wanted to hear. That they felt dissed because they don’t want to accept that simple fact is totally on them and they deserve to have that stupidity pointed out while their dream dies with His Orangeness’ failures. It’s arrogance on their part to expect meek submission after 8 years of wingnut defiance of logic.

    “I told you so” is going to get old very fast in some parts of the country. Rural America’s gonna need safe spaces when they start losing Medicaid….

  76. SenyorDave says:

    @barbintheboonies: First off, my numbers couldn’t add up because I don’t work in the political polling business. Did I vote for Trump? Of course not, my wife has a movement disorder and he thinks that is something that should be mocked (and that is why it is very disconcerting to me and my wife. She was crying to think that enough people in this country agreed with him that her and other people’s disability is funny). Was I smug about the election? No, worried, I want to retire soon, I was concerned about electing someone unqualified to run the country. I guess my smug meter was off, because people I know who supported Clinton were for the most part concerned like I was. And I assume most Trump supporters were concerned on their part. I just don’t get where the smugness comes in.

  77. barbintheboonies says:

    @KM: Unlike calling people ignorant Hillbillies. White Trash. Low life. Those are some nice things. Stop being so condescending, people understand more than you give them credit for. The immigrants get it too, they know they are used for their vote.

  78. michael reynolds says:

    You know what’s fascinating to me? How little joy the right wing is actually getting from this. I watch Twitter and various social media, including this place, and even the real morons like @Bandit are showing signs of fraying. I wonder if it’s beginning to penetrate their dim little minds that once the schadenfreude wears off, they’ve done nothing but screw themselves.

    I won’t lose health insurance, they will. I’ll get a huge tax cut, and they’ll get nothing. They won’t get the fantasy ‘high-paying manufacturing’ jobs back, they will likely get inflation which again won’t matter to me, but will to them. They will terrify a lot of minority children and their parents, there will be demonstrations and riots, but I’m pretty sure they won’t be here in Marin County.

    I hate to break it to folks like @Bandit and @JenosTheCowardly but in practical terms – hardcore money terms – this is great for me, and will suck for them. My only pressing concern at the moment is whether I’m going to stay here in Marin County looking out at the Bay until my daughter is done with High School, or go live in London or Oxford, or perhaps Wellington.

    What’s changed for me politically is that I used to vote to help people like @Bandit and @JenosTheDickless, because it was my moral obligation to do so. I voted for Obama knowing I was one of the people whose taxes would go up. I voted to raise the state income tax in California which believe me, hurt. But I’ve been lucky in life – lucky because I grew up well into my 30’s as poor white trash doing shitty dead-end jobs, but found a way out of that life. “Those people” aren’t an abstraction to me as I sit atop my lofty perch, those are still in many ways ‘my’ people.

    But, ‘my people’ have told me to go fwck myself. So I am freed from my need to give a sh!t about them.

    I suspect most liberals feel that way. Did the deplorables think we were raising our own taxes because we hate money? Did they think we were raising our own taxes just to help black people? How would that work? We were raising our own taxes to help anyone and everyone left out, black, white, Latino, we just felt since we were lucky, we owed something.

    Now we owe nothing to poor and working class whites. We wanted to help workers transition from coal mining to some more viable occupation. Wanted to help people retrain and re-educate and adapt. Wanted to help with their medical costs. Wanted to help keep the teeth in their idiot heads from rotting away because they couldn’t afford a dentist. Wanted their water to be drinkable. Wanted them to know that when they got too old to work, they wouldn’t live out the ends of their lives in squalor. You know, all those evil plans we liberals are constantly cooking up.

    Now, as far as I’m concerned, the red state folks can drop dead. The fact is we have no political power anyway, so we are absolved. Cheetoh Jesus will take care of all their needs. You know, once he gets done giving me a big pile of money.

    I’m sure that won’t bother @Bandit or @JenosTheFalse, but in the end it’s really not good to have all the successful people in the country thinking, “Fwck us? No, fwck you.”

    Someone here the other day gave me the usual huffy bullsh!t about me not showing proper respect for those people. I had respect for those people. Past tense. Done now. And in a year or two, when those people start to realize that once again (surprise!) they’re still losing at three card monte I can, with a clear conscience, laugh.

    As for @Bandit and @JenosTheWhatever? You boys let us all know when those high-paying manufacturing jobs get back to your communities.

  79. barbintheboonies says:

    @SenyorDave: I do not know anymore I can say to you, that you will understand. I did not vote for Trump. I did not vote for Hillary either. The polls all had Hillary in the leed. The media and all the pollsters believed Hillary was going to win, so did I. Tell me you could not see that the main stream media was almost gleeful until they realized it was not going as planned. Almost everyone had it wrong. They do not like the taste of humble pie. I do not know what Trump will be like, I hope not like the person he was on the trail, but I will at least give him the chance, without any sabotage. I hated when Bush #2 won, but I went on. I believe the American people will not allow him or his cabinet to go too far, or we, that means all Americans, will fight back.

  80. michael reynolds says:

    @barbintheboonies:

    Of course people are used for their vote. Jesus Christ, Politics 101. Or if you prefer, Econ 101. People sell or trade what they have to sell or trade. What does some shitkicker in Arkansas have to sell or trade beside his vote? His business acumen? His insight on foreign policy? Your vote is what you’ve got. The alternative is you got nothing at all, which is what you’re working on having.

    As for ‘condescension?’ Oh, my God, everyone we said was a racist was a racist. Everyone we said was a misogynist was a misogynist. You think winning an election magically alters the basic evil that Trump voters have inflicted on this nation? It CONFIRMS everything we thought and said and feared about those people.

    Red state voters have gone from being people we thought might be messed up but salvageable, to being people we write off entirely as belonging to a different species.

  81. michael reynolds says:

    And for my lefty friends who had a wonderful time beating the crap out of me for suggesting that Syrian immigration sent the wrong message at the wrong time, look through some of what Trump voters have said. As I said the other day, I encountered three Trump voters while canvassing in Vegas. Two were openly racist, and one cited as her reason: lettin’ all them Syrians into our country.

    Is that why we lost? No, it’s just a part of why we lost.

    And how many Syrian refugees will get into the US now? Would it be none? Zero? Just like I said it would be? Right. So we got to strut and declaim and beat our chests and say, “Hah! We don’t need no stinkin’ strategy! We have our moral high ground!”

    Which I’m sure the people in refugee camps will really appreciate. Maybe we could send them a nice card and tell them we fwcked them, but we feel morally pure about it just the same. And really, at the end of the day, isn’t our precious self-regard worth a few extra dead Syrian kids?

  82. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @michael reynolds:

    Agreed. I take tikkun olam and tzedakah seriously, but I no longer feel any sense of obligation to these people or their plight. They’ve made their bed; now they get to lie in it. I wash my hands of them.

  83. Scott says:

    @HarvardLaw92: @michael reynolds:

    My feelings were very similar to yours. At least until I was slapped on the side of my head by my wife, the fourth grade teacher at a lower socioeconomic school where the kids don’t get medical care, are raised by two parents who can’t make it, by single parents, by grandparents, or even a single step parent (think that one through). They have very little. She said we can’t give up. And she’s right.

  84. michael reynolds says:

    @Scott:
    We can’t save kids from their parents.

  85. barbintheboonies says:

    You call them ignorant and you keep repeating the SOBS. I guess it never occurred to you that maybe you could be just a little bit WRONG.

  86. Senyordave says:

    @barbinthebooniesI do not know anymore I can say to you, that you will understand.

    From the person who says some people are too condescending. Could you please explain it to me in simple, slow terms so I might get just a little. People are smug in your opinion. Do I think a lot of the media was relieved when it seemed like Clinton would win? Of course, for reasons like this:

    Just hours after Donald Trump was elected president of the United States, his black outreach director Omarosa Manigault told reporters “it’s so great our enemies are making themselves clear” because her boss “has a long memory and we’re keeping a list.”

  87. KM says:

    @barbintheboonies:

    Stop being so condescending

    Some recommended reading. I know, it’s from Cracked but the article itself makes some fantastic points. It uses the analogy of a person bleeding out on the street to emphasize that usefulness is a major function in life.

    If you want to know why society seems to shun you, or why you seem to get no respect, it’s because society is full of people who need things. They need houses built, they need food to eat, they need entertainment, they need fulfilling sexual relationships. You arrived at the scene of that emergency, holding your pocket knife, by virtue of your birth — the moment you came into the world, you became part of a system designed purely to see to people’s needs.

    Either you will go about the task of seeing to those needs by learning a unique set of skills, or the world will reject you, no matter how kind, giving, and polite you are. You will be poor, you will be alone, you will be left out in the cold.

    Feeling dissed because you’re not getting credit for being “good people”? Feel insulted that what you have to offer isn’t what’s needed or wanted? Feel talked down to when it’s pointed out your contribution isn’t helping or is making the matter worse? Don’t feel like you’re sitting at the big kids table? Wonder why no one takes you seriously and you can’t seem to get ahead in life? It’s not condescension.

    It’s brutal, rude, and borderline sociopathic, and also it is an honest and accurate expression of what the world is going to expect from you. The difference is that, in the real world, people consider it so wrong to talk to you that way that they’ve decided it’s better to simply let you keep failing.

    When a voter decides that their feelings of being slighted are more important then preventing a walking disaster like Trump access to nukes, they let the patient bleed out on the sidewalk. A voter who’s priorities are so skewed is going to feel disrespected for life regardless how liberals treat them. It’s a piss-poor excuse to justify their F-U and history is going to judge the hell out of them.

  88. Just 'nutha ig'rant cracker says:

    @SenyorDave: The vouchers are not for me and you, as you noted, that would be political suicide. The vouchers are for the Medicare program that your younger coworkers and children will be getting. They have all their lives–or 15 years, whichever comes first–to save up from their minimum-wage jobs to prepare for both their retirements and future health costs. No problemo.

  89. Monala says:

    @barbintheboonies: Know what, barb? F*uck you. You think those are insulting words? Try Nigger. Spic. Wetback. Terrorist (simply based on religion). Thug. That’s what they call us. Sorry, those “real” Americans have been insulting people for centuries – and worse. People of color and non-Christians have often been (and still are) terrorized and killed in this country by these people you are supporting who are so upset because they think coastal elites mock them.

    I’ve been listening to you for a while, trying to give you the benefit of the doubt with your “both sides do it” ism. No more. I remember once you responded to Michael Reynolds, who had posted about people who had lost manufacturing jobs in rural America being unwilling to either take the low-level minimum wage jobs or move someplace where they can get retraining and better jobs. He added that they want all this sympathy for themselves, but then have no sympathy for people of a different race or religion.

    Your response was to chastise him for insulting hard-working people who just didn’t want their tax dollars going to people on welfare. Somehow you concluded that “people unwilling to work minimum wage or seek out retraining” equals “hard-working,” and people of a different race or religion (meaning non-white or non-Christian) equals “on welfare.” I let that one go, thinking maybe you just didn’t read his post carefully.

    But now I know. You’re full of sh*t.

  90. Monala says:

    OK, I went on a rant and landed in moderation, so I’m modifying my comment. This one is for @barbintheboonies: :

    [Redacted set of racial and religious insults used against non-whites and non-Christians.] That’s what they call us. Sorry, those “real” Americans have been insulting people for centuries – and worse. People of color and non-Christians have often been (and still are) terrorized and killed in this country by these people you are supporting who are so upset because they think coastal elites mock them.

    I’ve been listening to you for a while, trying to give you the benefit of the doubt with your “both sides do it” ism. No more. I remember once you responded to Michael Reynolds, who had posted about people who had lost manufacturing jobs in rural America being unwilling to either take the low-level minimum wage jobs or move someplace where they can get retraining and better jobs. He added that they want all this sympathy for themselves, but then have no sympathy for people of a different race or religion.

    Your response was to chastise him for insulting hard-working people who just didn’t want their tax dollars going to people on welfare. Somehow you concluded that “people unwilling to work minimum wage or seek out retraining” equals “hard-working,” and people of a different race or religion (meaning non-white or non-Christian) equals “on welfare.” I let that one go, thinking maybe you just didn’t read his post carefully. But no more.

  91. Just 'nutha ig'rant cracker says:

    @michael reynolds: Actually, there was an article in the Atlantic about some high-paying jobs coming back into Lexington–IIRC–in that GE was reopening a portion of their giant “Appliance City” manufacturing complex to make a new high-end (retails for $3000 as I recall) water heater. Because I was in Korea, this would have been about 2014. The crux of the article was that manufacturing wages have become so depressed that it has become cheaper again to build thing here than it is to ship them from China.

    The money part for me from the article was the numbers–the factory was going to employ about 200 people at $16.00/hour–what I was making in the wholesale produce business 30 years ago working as a warehouseman. Even if those jobs come back, “high paying” means something entirely different now than it did then. I make more than $16/hour substitute teaching. I’m retired and don’t have to raise a family on it.

  92. Monala says:

    @Monala: @barbintheboonies: Let me add something to my previous comment: It’s not even that I thought Michael’s comment on that earlier thread was a very good one. It’s very difficult to pack up and move somewhere else if you don’t have money and don’t have family or friends in the new location to help you out while you seek out that better education or training. It’s very difficult to afford any kind of higher education or training in our world today– and if you fund it with student loans and don’t get a job right away you’re screwed. Meanwhile, if you stay behind and work those minimum wage jobs, you still end up in poverty. So yeah, some sympathy for people in rural communities that have lost manufacturing jobs is warranted.

    However, he was dead-on that it’s hard to be sympathetic to people who lack sympathy for others. Furthermore, the most offensive part about your comment was the default assumption that the rural white people were the hard workers, and the urban minorities were the ones on welfare.

  93. grumpy realist says:

    @HarvardLaw92: The motto I live by, even when it bites me in the ass:

    “Stupidity should hurt. Badly.”

    What white working-class Americans are going to have to come to grips with is just by their existence is no reason they’re owed a job, cheap mail, or any of the other “I deserve!” targets that they think that they’re supposed to get because of their location and skin color. Yes, you could get that back in the halcyonic 1950s, the 1950s that you learned off from TeeVee (as opposed to the real 1950s, which wasn’t all that it was cracked up to be. Ask an African-American who was working back then.) Trump has convinced you that he can “fix matters”, which is total lunacy. Automation isn’t going away, and it’s going to be even more and more prevalent as time goes on.

    And there’s NO WAY that those of us who were down there on the totem pole (non-white, non-male) are going to allow ourselves to get shoehorned back into the “Yes Massa tugging-our-forelocks” positions simply because your egos are happier when you’re on the top of the social pecking order. Grow up, dammit.

  94. grumpy realist says:

    @michael reynolds: P.S. Based on my experience in London, don’t move to the U.K. unless you’re willing to deal with really, really gloomy winter days. With rain. A lot of rain. And did I mention it rains?

    (One reason why everyone spends all their spare time in the local pub. Reminded me of the line from the Lonely Planet’s guide to Finland: “Do NOT show up in the winter, when everyone is drunk, depressed, or trying to kill you.”)

    I’m probably the only person in existence who has ever visited Belgium for the sun.

  95. Scott says:

    @michael reynolds: Maybe not but you got to try anyway. Otherwise, how are you different?

  96. michael reynolds says:

    @barbintheboonies:

    I might be WRONG about what, exactly? That in a capitalist system people with nothing to sell have nothing to sell? Or that people with only a vote have only a vote? @KM is right about you. You think we live in a world where you get brownie points just for being God’s precious little white flower.

    Are you seriously under the impression that we have a system that rewards virtue? We just elected a man completely devoid of basic humanity, let alone virtue.

    Listen, politics is not a game of virtue, it’s a game of power. The political system does not exist to make you feel good, it exists to maintain itself and by extension, social stability. That’s what it’s for: stability, continuity, a lack of surprises.

    Now the idiot Trump voters are trying to use that same system to create. . . what? No one knows. No one knows, because all those good, hard-working people just elected a narcissistic ignoramus who doesn’t even know what he believes except he knows it’ll be amaaaaazing.

    As for respect, here’s what just happened: a bunch of pissed-off white people had their feelings hurt when we accurately described them as racist, misogynist morons, so they decided to prove categorically that they were in fact, racist, misogynist morons.

    Um. . . Thanks? But really, we already knew. That’s why we kept saying it. Because it was true.

    Now, in addition to being racist, misogynist morons, they’ve elected a man who is actually worse than they are, and – even according to many in his own party – dangerously unprepared.

    So, let me see if I follow your logic:

    A) Rustics get pissed off when we accurately describe their, um, issues.
    B) Rustics prove that they are actually far worse than we thought they were.
    C) So they’ve earned respect.

    It’s like how when we liberated the camps the Nazis were all like, “See? Now do you wish you hadn’t called us anti-Semites?”

    Let me make this simple: these people have never shown the slightest glimmer of concern for anyone not exactly like themselves, in fact they’ve worked strenuously to sh!t on anyone not exactly like them. And now they want love. Yeah. Good luck with that.

  97. michael reynolds says:

    @Scott:

    I’ve paid my dues. 25,000 published pages worth of dues. I’ve fought the good fight, and spent to support others doing the same. I think I put 6 grand into this cycle – not counting the trip to Vegas to canvass. And I pay enough in taxes to buy a whole hell of a lot of books, computers and teacher hours.

    Now half my country wants me to fwck off because I’m a liberal, and a big chunk of the rest wants me to fwck off because I refuse to absorb every new iteration of grievance culture.

    At some point one has to take the hint.

    I haven’t had a chance to sit down with my wife and talk it over. But if it was just my call and I didn’t have a kid in school? I’d already be sitting in London. I’d have been on a plane Wednesday.

    To re-purpose an old cliché, I wouldn’t be leaving my country, my country would have left me.

  98. Jenos The Deplorable says:

    @michael reynolds: Now half my country wants me to fwck off because I’m a liberal, and a big chunk of the rest wants me to fwck off because I refuse to absorb every new iteration of grievance culture.

    The first half of the people you hear telling you that are the ones you’ve been telling that to for some time now.

    And poor baby. You keep calling people assholes, and your little feewings are hurt because people don’t like you calling them assholes.

    Shove your pain up your Hobbit-hole.

  99. Tyrell says:

    @grumpy realist: I would recommend Alaska.
    “On the road again, just can’t wait to get on the road again” (the incomparable Willie Nelson)

  100. barbintheboonies says:

    @Monala: Oh ya you are so mistreated. Go have a dozen kids on the government. You poor misguided fool.

  101. barbintheboonies says:

    @michael reynolds: If you could just listen instead of opening up; your rude pie hole, you would know I am not for Trump. Stop being so self righteous. I stick up for all Americans, I would like for people to at least try to do for themselves, instead of waiting for others to take care of them.

  102. Anibal Taney says:

    Hope to see more of your work soon

  103. Monala says:

    @barbintheboonies: Yup, you just proved my point. You’re a flat out deplorable racist.

  104. An Interested Party says:

    Go have a dozen kids on the government.

    Just out of curiosity, what is the point of that sentence?

  105. Monala says:

    @An Interested Party: Just Barb being racist again. (If you can’t tell, I don’t have much patience for that right now). See, I’m a black woman, so I must just be waiting to have 12 kids on the government dole!

    For however long Barb has been posting here, I have tried to give her the benefit of the doubt, that she was what she claimed, someone who was neither Democrat nor Republican, just someone who wanted to try to understand both sides. But so many of her posts left a bad taste in my mouth, I had to finally say something.

    Notice what she wrote to Michael above? He wrote this:

    Let me make this simple: these people have never shown the slightest glimmer of concern for anyone not exactly like themselves, in fact they’ve worked strenuously to sh!t on anyone not exactly like them. And now they want love. Yeah. Good luck with that.

    She wrote in response,

    I stick up for all Americans, I would like for people to at least try to do for themselves, instead of waiting for others to take care of them.

    Now where in any part of Michael’s comment did he indicate that the “anyone not like [the white rural working class]” were people who don’t do for themselves, but wait for others to take care of them? Nowhere. That’s just a stereotypical assumption of her racist mind.

  106. An Interested Party says:

    Just Barb being racist again.

    I already realized that but I was curious to see what her response would be…

  107. barbintheboonies says:

    Think what you want I know I am not a raciest. I am not a thug either. I am done trying to bring people together. I know you are not willing to even try.

  108. Monala says:

    @barbintheboonies: No, Barb, you’re not trying to bring people together. You’re trying to get other people to understand rural, working class white people, while using racist stereotypes about and dismissing the suffering other people. “Bringing together” involves give and take, seeking to understand as well as be understood. You’re not doing that.

    Btw, do you realize how many countless article and news stories there have been this election cycle about working class white people and other Trump supporters and trying to understand their concerns, and how few about any other voters and their concerns (except the undecideds)? They are hurting, but they have not been ignored.

    I do apologize for swearing and name-calling.

  109. Mikey says:
  110. stonetools says:

    That picture saddens me so much. Here is Barack Obama, a calm, gracious, thoughtful, intellectual man who wanted to do nothing more than bring the country together and do good, being forced to be welcoming to a guy who is his opposite- a guy who thinks Obama is not American and maybe not even fully human, and a guy who wants to tear down everything Obama has tried to build.
    I can’t help but feel that if Obama had been a little less gracious and naive and more partisan and ruthless , especially back at the beginning of his Presidency, he would have accomplished more and have ensured his succession, but then he wouldn’t be Obama.

  111. Jenos The Deplorable says:

    @stonetools: That picture saddens me so much. Here is Barack Obama, a calm, gracious, thoughtful, intellectual man who wanted to do nothing more than bring the country together and do good, being forced to be welcoming to a guy who is his opposite- a guy who thinks Obama is not American and maybe not even fully human, and a guy who wants to tear down everything Obama has tried to build.

    Oh, man, you’re making me cry.

    Oh, nope, it’s just the extra garlic on my pizza.

    You’re so, so right. We don’t deserve this man. No, not a man — a gift from God. And a gift that we were not worthy of. And now we have proven, beyond any reasonable doubt, that we simply were not worthy of having him.

    We should have a mechanism where that a leader as magnificent as Obama loses faith in the people, he can dissolve the people and convene a new electorate.

    We failed him, and it is to our eternal sorrow and shame that we did.

  112. Jenos The Deplorable says:

    @stonetools: That picture saddens me so much.

    Someone else saw that same picture, and captioned it “Photo finally emerges of Trump grabbing a…” well, I think you know the rest of that one.

    No, I didn’t come up with it. But I wish I had. I will plead guilty to laughing very loudly at it, however.

  113. Val Fitzgerald says:

    Since most of the country did NOT vote for Donald Trump to be President, but instead voted FOR former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton – and the Electors have not yet voted, they’ll tell us HOW they’re voting on DECEMBER 19 – and since today, Monday, November 21, the Popular Vote has by 1,500,000 votes, far outstripped Trump’s measly whatever – then HOW THE HELL IS DONALD TRUMP BEING REFERRED TO, AS “President-Elect”????

    The last time that We The People were stunned like this, was when the US Supreme Court STOPPED THE FLORIDA RECOUNT that would have given us (environmentalistic-leaning) President Al Gore, but instead gave America George W. Bush for President.

    The disasters – both foreign AND DOMESTIC that Bush Jr unleashed – took EIGHT LONG YEARS for HEROIC PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA, TO PARTIALLY FIX – in the face of a bitterly hostile Congress that nobody voted in, (but that nobody voted OUT, EITHER).

    Now the Republicans want no part of President-elect Trump – but their constituents probably well may prefer Vice President-Elect Michael Pence, R-Indiana, to be their choice as President. BUT
    Pence would have – as Presidential NOMINEE for the Republican party – have been too toxic for the rest of America to bother voting into the White House….THEREFORE, the Second part of Republican plans to snatch (in more ways than one, LOL!) the White House from We The People, is now underway, with the help of Trump himself (still counting on the Electors to do as they did once before in this perhaps-doomed century) – bellowing all over the place that HE, TRUMP, THE SO-CALLED (Media, WHY?) PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA – WAS NOT ABOUT TO LEAVE HIS PRECIOUS TRUMP TOWER (IN NEW YORK CITY) BUT TO LEAVE THE WHITE HOUSE TO THE COMPLETELY UN-ELECTED MIKE PENCE WHILST HE, TRUMP. CHOSE TO COMPLETELY DISRESPECT THE AMERICAN PEOPLE AND GIVE THEM THE UN-ELECTED PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, – SUPPOSED VICE-PRESIDENT MIKE PENCE!

    Do the American People want either Trump OR Pence, to be the President of the USA?

    Who the HELL is calling Trump the “President-Elect” when – as day after day goes by and the vote count IN FAVOR OF HILLARY CLINTON, proceeds to, each day, leave the Trumps in the background where they actually are and will stay? I mean, the President-Elect is Hillary Clinton, as all America knows by now – whether or not they (Republicans) want to accept it – so what I want to know is this: WHO’S CALLING DONALD TRUMP THE PRESIDENT-ELECT – WHEN THE POPULAR VOTE PUTS SECRETARY-OF-STATE HILLARY CLINTON SO FAR AHEAD OF HIM?

    Why in God’s Earth, (American Media), are you SO AFRAID of the Republican MINORITY (who so far have made no bones that Trump is THEIR only [though unwanted] choice to occupy our White House – that you keep calling Trump instead of winner Hillary Clinton – President-Elect??? And –

    REPUBLICANS – how could EVEN YOU, back a flim-flam artist named Donald Trump to the Presidency of the United States of America (here’s why I call him, Trump, that) – tell ALL of We The People of America, that he, Donald J. Trump who so far is NOT President-Elect – that would be former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton – THAT HE, TRUMP, WON’T EVEN LIVE IN THE WHITE HOUSE???? He, Trump, doesn’t have the Majority Vote – President-Elect Hillary Rodham Clinton took that.

    The Electoral College doesn’t vote until DECEMBER 19, 2016 –

    So, how are you (MEDIA) – calling the LOSER of the American People’s Vote – the “President-Elect”????? Who the HELL told you to do that???

    Have some decency, MEDIA. Trump is no more President-Elect (nor will he be until December when the Electoral College hoves in on the matter) THAN I AM!

    Say it after me, if you want to be known as an accurate Media – Hillary Clinton is the President-Elect – Hillary Clinton, NOT TRUMP, THE LOSER of the popular vote, with a whole month to go before the Electors hove in: tell the Truth, Media – Hillary Clinton Is The Vice-President-Elect – today, tomorrow, and every day until the Electors say different – Hillary Clinton and NOT Donald J. Trump, loser, is the President of the United States of America.

    Do NOT let down the American People, Electors, as you did when you gave America George W. Bush for President back in 2001!

    As you and everyone else in America and the World know, George W. Bush was the WORST President that we have ever had. THE WORST – UNTIL NOW?

    Media – are you going to keep on lying and calling Donald J. Trump – LOSER of the Popular Vote, the President-ELECT? WHICH HE, TRUMP, SO CLEARLY IS NOT?

    If you keep doing that, Media – acting as if Donald Trump is due to inherit the White House despite the fact that Our Whole Country Voted For (former) Mme Secretary, Hillary Rodham Clinton, to be the President-Elect – then you’re no better (and a lot worse than) the National Enquirer, which at least is still (Unlike YOU) has been RAISING THE QUESTION as to whether Trump deserves to be called “President-Elect” – or rather should the ACTUAL SO FAR “President-Elect Hillary R. Clinton” as President-Elect? I mean, SHE has the Popular Vote (by approaching TWO MILLION MORE) than, Donald J. Trump – at least have SOME accuracy, Media. Or you will lose the respect of the American People forever. It’s:

    President-Elect Hillary R. Clinton …. Not President UN-ELECT, Donald J. Trump!

    We who are starting to lose all faith in our politics – cannot afford to lose you too, Media, so call these actors what they are: President-Elect Hillary Clinton.

    Not the minority vote – and quit acting as if the Electoral College has already been bought – it’s

    President-Elect Hillary R. Clinton. Have that much decency, Media – OK?