Days of Change

Live in the Now

December 23, 2017
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One thing most people would agree with about Donald Trump is that he is an expert at self-promotion. This is not due to a PR team or a complex media strategy. In fact, Trump was known to be his own hype man under the pseudonym of John Miller. Trump has spent his whole life defining his own reality and had few people interested enough to dispute. It is a singular quality that may make Trump different than any other president.

What Trump and his supporters call success relies on some level of confirmation bias. If something good happens, it was the direct, but not necessarily quantifiable result of Trump’s actions. When something bad happens, it was either out of his hands or the result of some nebulous enemy standing in Trump’s way.

The Steve Bannon controlled site best exemplifies trying to control Donald Trump, failing, and eventually having to simply flatter him and hope for scraps. This article both gives credit to Trump for everything good, while spewing hatred toward the “Never Trumpers” who are supposedly inconsequential yet belong on an enemies list for the rest of time.

If you’re not a Trump booster like 70% of the US population, what does that mean? Back in 2016, I suspect the conservatives who didn’t vote for Trump were motivated by the toxic behavior of his supporters more than any tape from an entertainment show. I certainly wouldn’t make a “I hope he fails” statement about President Trump. Mostly, I want the Republicans to succeed. If Trump’s success is fueled in part by calling every Republican a swamp creature and blaming them when Trump can’t lead the party, I’m not inclined to hope for that kind of individual success either.

Bannon plans to run a stable of candidates in Republican Senate primaries in 2018. His promotion of Roy Moore over Luther Strange actually cost the party a Senate seat. If the Democrats get to 51, prepare for more blocked legislation and a lack of new judges for years to come. Of course, Trump can still argue Republicans lost on their own merits, but that just means Trump was powerless except for his own self-promotion.

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A Win is a Win

December 13, 2017
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The term Trumpism was created as a way to describe a way to be Donald Trump without being Donald Trump. The classic way is to suck up to Trump and hope to be in his orbit. This is how contractors got shafted and investors were bankrupted in Trump’s real estate business. Then there are the people who try to be the loudest blowhard in the room. This is what Roy Moore did.

In terms of the blame game last night, Mitch McConnell was the earliest. He encouraged Trump to support Luther Strange, who already was appointed to the Senate seat and was the “establishment” candidate. Conservatives called “Never Trumpers” believed not enough support was given to Mo Brooks and that led to the Moore / Strange runoff.

The fact is, however, that a win is a win. You can blame Roy Moore or the media or “the swamp” but what should have been a 20 point victory became a 1 point loss. Not only that, but the Republicans have only 51 Senators come January. There are mitigating factors in every race, but wins and losses are easier to put on a graph.

What seems important now is that running with Trump is not a solution. However, running against Trump as a Republican has yielded little in results. At some point, will government just operate as if Trump isn’t there?



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I Feel Bad for Norm Coleman

December 7, 2017
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Just before Inauguration Day 2009, there were 57 Senators on the Democratic Party side. Roland Burris was accepted as an appointment to replace Barack Obama as Senator from Illinois, even though his appointment was by Governor Rod Blagojevich, who would later be jailed for that action. A few months later, after siding with the Democrats a few times, Arlen Specter switched to the Democratic Party in April.

While 59 seats is a big majority in the Senate, the 60th seat was the key to railroading anything the Democrats wanted. That seat finally went to recent politician and career-long comedy writer Al Franken. Franken ran against Republican Norm Coleman, who held the seat until the election. Coleman and Franken were a few hundred points apart at just under 42% of the vote each.

The problem with voting is that there is so much Democrat cheating that it’s baked into the cake. Even though Coleman was ahead at the start of the night, Franken was eventually considered with winner by a scant 312 votes. While Coleman fought the result for months, there was no way Minnesota wasn’t going to provide that rubber stamp for Obama.

With Al Franken’s departure, it would be interesting for Norm Coleman to run again, but I doubt if that will happen. Sometimes it just takes 8 years to reverse an error.

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    December 2017
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