Days of Change

Dead and Loving It | January 20, 2018

Politics is a job where you have to think multiple moves ahead. When your actions represent that strategy, you look like a scheming, amoral opportunist. Ultimately, a politician either is disliked and has a good chance at a future, or is liked and has a good chance at being defeated.

Donald Trump, morality notwithstanding, has been able to reverse a number of Obama’s Executive actions and got a Supreme Court Justice appointed. The legislative record is thinner. One of the reasons the Democrats were able to exert their will during the Obama administration was because they had the 60 seat filibuster proof majority for a while. Passing laws and budgets is the next stop on the road to government change and the Trump Train may not make it out of the station.

Trump is making himself and his 35% base happy by engaging in battles, but he is also energizing the Democrats who don’t always give a crap in off-year elections. Some politicians who have had a long career in Congress and don’t see much advancement or an easy reelection are deciding to step out now. They’re thinking ahead to lobbying or consulting and serving on boards, all the things Trump supporters hate about politicians. Good candidates to replace them or run in Democrat-held seats are more difficult to find this year. It’s not good long-term strategy to run in a race you’d probably lose.

What’s left? Well, there are a number of Trump supporters who are considering running. Steve Bannon was trying to recruit a slate of them for Senate races before his downfall. Are they solid individuals or a bunch of Roy Moores? Time may tell, but one thing should be taken into account. If these people are pledging their allegiance to Trump, they are not thinking of a political career longer than a Senate term. That may be good in theory, but it makes for a probable Demcoratic takeover in a short amount of time.

What we learned during the Tea Party revolt is that there was a decent amount of crazy among the candidates running under that banner. If Roy Moore is any indication, they are also popular among Trump supporters. I think this video provides an example of the allure of crazy.

The results of 2018 elections should give a good clue as to the effectiveness of Donald Trump’s first (only?) term. Is Trumpism good for rallies and lucky breaks in presidential elections? It is a movement with few signs of effectiveness where they always win despite not giving any signs that can be measured?

Sounds crazy, but some people love that.


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