Wednesday, November 9, 2016

The morning after

"You have one day to make every dream you've ever dreamed for your family come true," said Trump in Raleigh on Monday, but every dream the good people of Raleigh have ever dreamed for their families is not going to come true.

There won't be a wall, either, or a ban on Muslims entering the US or any "vetting" of entering Muslims that's any more extreme than what already exists. And they're not going to "lock her up", either, because the defeated candidate hasn't in fact committed any crimes.

None of the things Donald Trump has promised on his own account in his Reverend Ike messages ("You can't lose with the stuff I use," Reverend Ike used to say) is going to happen, the nice ones or the terrifying ones. They are impossible and silly ideas. Where was he planning to put that wall, with respect to the Rio Grande? But...

But there will be increased harassment of immigrants and people who look like immigrants by the authorities, more abusive arrests and jailings and I'm afraid shootings of young black men, more statewide efforts to block abortion rights and legitimize discrimination against LGTB people in the name of "religious freedom", and a Supreme Court majority favoring corporations over individuals for the next 20 years. There will be more cuts in the taxes paid by people earning $5 million and more a year, by people with incomes from large investment portfolios, by multinational companies. More government money will be spent on private religious schools and arms purchases, less on retraining workers for jobs in the new economy, even less than now on feeding the hungry. NAFTA won't be renegotiated, but the Paris agreement on climate change will, halting efforts to stop the rise in global temperatures and sea levels for another four years and continuing to poison our air and our water. It's already too late to save the Florida and Carolina seacoasts, in 2020 it will be too late to save the honeybees. Obamacare won't be replaced with "something much better and less expensive" but the profits of the big pharmaceutical companies and insurers will be protected.

It's a huge Republican victory, at all levels (I can't believe the New York State Senate remains in the hands of the Republican minority and its Democrat enablers, that was really not supposed to happen).

It's just about everything they've dreamed of for the past eight years. Republicans—the real powers behind the party, not the puppets prancing on the Sunday morning TV or the miseducated and terrorized voters—love an ignorant, malleable president who's unable to grasp a policy idea. They are with their politicians the way Donald Trump is with a hopeful starlet: "They let you do it, you can do anything, grab them by the pussy."

Where I've gone wrong, I think, over the past months, arguing that Republicans are in a state of irrecoverable collapse, is in confusing the Deep Party with the clowns of the campaign and the publicity machine. The weakness and venality and stupidity of Louie Gohmert and Chris Christie, Dinesh D'Souza and Jonah Goldberg, are a feature not a bug from the standpoint of their owners, as long as it doesn't lose them too many elections, and it doesn't.

I'll be back thinking about how it happened, trying not to swing around a lot of blame, and about what we can do next. For now, a message from the Ministry of Magic, now firmly in progressive hands after its own dreadful reactionary episode (four years from the Tri-Wizard Competition to the Battle of Hogwarts if memory serves):

Go read Steve M's take if you haven't done so—there are good reasons why he's "less surprised than most people".

No comments:

Post a Comment