Days of Change

A Three Legged Stool | May 20, 2018

It’s entirely possible to argue about the long-term implications of a Trump presidency. Donald Trump could fail in a way that prematurely kills interest in the Republican Party and we could end up with decades of Democrats like we did after the crash of 1929. Or, Trump could drain the swamp and usher in a baby boomer era of prosperity and government accountability. We probably won’t have any idea which it will be for six more months.

Whatever is happening in the Trump administration depends on the balance of the House, Senate and White House. Trump is (probably) in until 2020. The Senate can be held, but there is a lot of variability in the House.

The “strong and wrong” model of the Trump presidency really highlights the lack of direction of the Republican party. Trump’s original base wanted a big ass wall and tortured Islamists. None of those things are happening. We have a tax cut package that had to be revenue neutral for scoring purposes, which means mostly tax preparers are making money.

Republicans have little to campaign on, and even less on the local level. At this point, Democrats can campaign on the blue collar economic issues that Trump talked about. There are good job numbers, but people aren’t getting better jobs. Wage growth is stagnant. Housing prices are rising as well as gas prices. These were the conditions before the Great Recession.

The response to this kind of reality usually involves Trump not being Hillary Clinton. The problem is that Hillary made Democrats stay home or vote for Jill Stein. Hillary still got more votes. Now Democrats face the prospect of voting for the candidate who will help defeat Trump. On the other hand, Republicans will vote for a candidate from a Congress that Trump has frequently insulted and blamed for his failures.

Ironically, losing Congress would help Trump 2020 because life under a Democrat congress would be pretty bad and it would be the argument Trump could use to get reelected. While I am amused by Trump’s failures, there is no Democrat that would be better. Therefore, I remain indifferent.

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