Calmer Post Election Analysis

November 14, 2016

So I’ve been reading way too many political articles on Politico, CNN, the Guardian, etc… and I’m starting to form a picture of what I might expect out of Donald Trump’s Presidency.  Now these are just guesses and I’m going to try to avoid specifics on anything in particular.  Also trying to avoid getting into the civil unrest and focus more on general policy, as I will likely derail myself and completely fail to make a point.

One of the the big things I noticed after his meeting with Obama was how Trump did appear to be legitimately humbled.  On some level, I think he is just barely comprehending what he has gotten into.  He’s already begun to walk back numerous promises–Obamacare, Immigration, Investigating Clinton–in the wake of winning the election and I wonder if this trend will continue.  He’s also gone with a bit more extreme voices in his staff, but we will see about that.  With that in mind, I wonder how much leeway he has with his supporters and the Republican Party in general.

Few people realize that Trump really barely won.  Clinton in fact won the popular vote by a few hundred thousand votes.  If not for the Electoral College and very slim victories in a handful of key states–a percentage point or less in a few cases, with him receiving less than 50% of the vote in those states–he would not have likely won.  I could also speculate on how the Green Party and the Libertarians had an impact, but I’m just going to state the obvious that his victory over Clinton was deceptively narrow.  Basically, more than half the country voted for somebody else, and he won as a result of the rigging he’s decried so consistently in the past.  My point here would be, he does not necessarily carry the mandate of the people and won more on technicality than anything.

That’s another way I compare it to the Brexit.  My understanding is that a lot of the British people who voted to leave the EU are currently feeling regret over their vote and that they were lied to by the Leave Campaign.  I believe there are interviews where Nigel Farange and Boris Johnson admit a lot of the promises made by the Leave Campaign were empty ones.  Also, the economy over there has taken a heavy hit and the pound is valued lower than ever.  Coupled with the referendum being held up by a Supreme Court decision on whether Parliament should be voting on it, it is not necessarily having a favorable outlook.  And the UK has yet to exercise Article 50 and begin the two years of negotiations to leave.

My point is, the UK is still a long way from figuring out if it really is worth it to leave the EU and right now they are not necessarily feeling that confident about it.  Much like this election.  In the past week I’ve noticed a few things that I find questionable.  There are his walk backs.  After wanting to “drain the swamp” of Corruption and lobbyists, he hires a bunch of lobbyists for his team.  His “blind trust” will be run by his children, despite the obvious conflicts of interest.

I’ve got a few predictions.

  1. Trump’s Presidency will be rampant with distractions.  Between his staff’s conflicting personalities, his twitter account, and the lingering affects of such a heated campaign, there will be high potential for this Presidency to get distracted.  A lot of things can come up that could derail his agenda.
  2. As I said about the campaign, some of his more inflammatory rhetoric will come back to haunt him.  With Lindsay Graham and Marco Rubio in the Senate, you have two people that he ran against that were very resistant to him.   There’s also John McCain, who he rankled a bit.  They’re getting along now, but how much patience will Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell have for him?  Remember that Obama had a majority in the House and the Senate to work with and still had a hell of a time getting the Affordable Care Act written and passed, and that was without the aftershocks of a vicious campaign cycle.  Basically I think it will be a short honeymoon.
  3. Trump will be out of office by some point in 2018.  Throughout the campaigns, I always felt that Trump and Clinton were one term Presidents.  One way or the other, I thought there would one term for them.  Trump more so.  I thought initially it would be impeachment or resignation after losing interest, but after the grueling campaign schedule I am wondering if his health might also be an issue.  The couple of times I’ve seen him on television he does look more tired and weary.  I just cannot foresee him lasting a full term.  Mike Pence presents his own issues, however it comes about would definitely curtail his ability to do the job.
  4. The Democrats will retake the House and/or the Senate in 2018.  I think the Republicans will have a lot more fighting amongst themselves than expected.  Some of these personalities are destined to clash.  The only question is how much it will impact the midterm elections.  I think the Democrats are in better shape than most people think with the likes of Keith Ellison, Elizabeth Warren and Tulsi Gabbard forming a new progressive block.  The trouble I see is resistance from the Old School Democrats, but it helps that Bernie Sanders is probably the most popular–powerful?–Senator in America right now.
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