Still Worried

Despite the fact that my buddy and number cruncher for FOX, Brian Arbor, thinks that there is absolutely no way that Trump is going to win, I’m still worried. There’s a whole lotta respectable Republicans who are saying that they are going to hold their noses and vote for Trump. That’s a little scary.

My non-loony Republican friends who are voting for him assure me (and probably themselves) that the basic workings of DC will keep him in check for four years, and at least it will keep Hillary away from the Supreme Court. Drezner says that the respectable  Republicans think Trump would have to give enormous power to staff to make up for his lack of experience, so couldn’t fuck things up too much. Drezner still thinks he can fuck up foreign relations quite a bit.

Even if Hillary wins, we’re in trouble. She’s not going to start off her term with a mandate. If she can barely beat an idiot like him, she is going to have a hard time getting support to pass anything through Congress. Like it or not, politics is just that – it’s politics. You have to be liked to get things done. Being an adequate policy maker and knowing stuff isn’t enough. You have to be popular. And poor Hillary isn’t.

We may be looking at an eight member Supreme Court for four more years.


33 thoughts on “Still Worried

  1. If Alito, Thomas, or Roberts dies before Obama or Clinton can get a nominee confirmed to replace Scalia, I’m going to assume God is trying to make a point.


  2. Personally, I hadn’t noticed that our foreign relations had been so great the past eight years, what with Libya (but Obama said that was Cameron’s fault), Crimea (but Kerry said that couldn’t happen in the 21st century, so I guess it doesn’t count), the Philippines, ISIS, Syria, etc. I can’t really name a foreign policy success. It especially boggles the mind that after watching Obama cozy up to Cuba and Iran, Drezner would accuse Trump of excessive fondness for dictators.


      1. Obama’s record of job growth coming out of the worst recession in 80 years and a Congress blocking deficit spending at the time of the business cycle when you’re supposed to do it (as opposed to Republicans who seem to only want to expand government spending during an expansion), is actually pretty great.


      2. Yeah, have people forgotten how it felt 8 years ago when the bottom dropped out of our economy? Businesses shuttered everywhere. A lot of people unemployed.
        I’m sure people in my town have forgotten, which is stupid, because we all drive down Rte 6 every day. We should remember when the strip malls looked like ghost towns. And now there are small businesses flourishing in those once-empty spaces.


  3. Drezner does not have a special needs child. When you do, and you realize that things like Medicaid and SSI are going to be essential for your child’s survival once he/she becomes an adult and you are in your dotage — well then it’s hard to be sanguine about duos like Trump and Pence getting anywhere near Washington, especially if Congress remains in the R column.

    The last I heard, Republicans in Congress were dragging their feet about transferring funds from one Social Security pot to the one that pays out Disability; Republicans aren’t keen on Medicaid either.

    My kid is a couple of years older than Ian; I didn’t think too much about these sorts of things until recently when adulthood starting nearing. It is a whole nother layer of worried and scared.

    My feeling is, Cuba, schmuba, Syria, schyria, etc. I’m actually a little jealous of those of you who can put your foreign policy musings on the tops of your list.


      1. Drezner could emphasize the damage Trump could do in the foreign policy arena without waving off what could happen on the domestic policy front. I don’t know why we should assume his staff couldn’t or wouldn’t “fuck things up too much.”

        I know it’s not his field but he doesn’t have to be so cavalier about it.


      1. He does? Then I stand corrected.

        But I still think he is mistaken to shrug off how much damage could be done to the safety net by having all three branches controlled by the Republicans.


  4. I can’t do this because I’m not in the US but the Hillary Clinton website has lots of practical things that anyone can do in the days leading up to e-day. Here’s the link for things you can do from home:

    Also, you can volunteer at your local polling station on e-day to help drive people to cast their vote, etc.

    And Planned Parenthood has a section on their website (the political side of things) where they help you/others make a plan to vote. It’s here:;jsessionid=D385E11748220F9F5B75F0CFB7E5E805.app20108a?s_subsrc=4NALz1705S1N1V&s_src=VotingPlan_1116_Poll_c4_c4web&_ga=1.198557481.741500459.1478281368


    someone who always feels better by doing something…


  5. This NPR report was interesting:

    “ZITZEWITZ: We have a 12 percent difference in the value of the S&P under the two candidates.

    ARNOLD: That is, the market anticipates that stocks would be 12 percent higher under Clinton than under Trump at least early on.

    ZITZEWITZ: When we did this work on past elections, we were getting results more like 2 percent. This election is very different in that regard. The economic stakes are quite high.”


  6. Laura said:

    “My non-loony Republican friends who are voting for him assure me (and proably themselves) that the basic workings of DC will keep him in check for four years, and at least it will keep Hillary away from the Supreme Court.”

    I believe it would take Trump 4 years to even get up to speed on basic “I’m Just a Bill” civics stuff, and I’m not sure that that even 4 years will be enough–people learn slowly in their 70s.

    I think a TV show showing a Trump-type candidate being managed by a savvy personal assistant would be funny–whenever things get sticky, just make sure Mr. Trump gets to meet the Redskins’ cheerleaders, go on Dancing With the Stars, or maybe a safari trip (with big game hunting!). Special guest star Vladimir Putin will take Mr. Trump on an exclusive tour of “Kremlin Kribs” and we can also do a cigar-factory Cuba episode (maybe with Rush Limbaugh in tow). Oooh, and we can redecorate the White House with more Atlantic City pizzazz!

    Purely politically, I’d like to keep Trump off the list of Republican presidents, but in terms of entertainment value, he’s obviously head and shoulders above HRC. I remember the 90s, and we’re obviously headed for a rehash if/when HRC is elected–“I lost/can’t find those papers/emails” and “I cannot recall.” Boring! But a Trump presidency will cover entirely new ground.


    1. I’m not really in a mood to be joking about the emails because of the FBI’s leaking. Even if you aren’t worried about the Hatch Act and federal law enforcement trying to influence an election, leaks from an investigation really compromise their ability to investigate anything sensitive. If a law enforcement agency is going to release allegations before investigating them or after an investigation has revealed no charges should be files, it’s a real danger to anybody who might have an enemy with a grudge.


      1. I’ve been around FBI people as I was once in a literally multi-year process to get signed up to translate for them–I’ve had the dubious honor of being polygraphed twice during the hiring process. FBI people have NO sense of humor (at least when dealing with the public) and NO imagination and NO willingness to deviate from protocol. They dot every i and cross every t. When I was applying there, I was told you’re not even supposed to say you work for the FBI–you just say you work for the Justice Department. There was also something rather unusual about computers, but I can’t recall what it was. They were really really strict. (My face-to-face experiences with them were mostly 2000-2003–very late Clinton/early GWB years).

        If even the FBI is leaking, there must be something extraordinary going on. Obama’s been in charge of the FBI for the last 8 years–if the FBI is rotting from the inside, this has all happened on his watch.

        (The FBI screening process was so slow that by the time I was finally getting somewhere with it, I had two little kids, we were about to move to TX from WADC, and I wasn’t interested anymore.)


      2. The FBI has been rotted from the inside, at least part of it. Congress has created a group in the FBI that doesn’t nothing but investigate Clintons. There is something extraordinary that has happened. The Republican Party went fucknuts and is trying to make themselves feel better by pretending all of American has the problem.


  7. That thing about not saying where you work – that was true of the CIA too. I worked at a poli-sci-type nonprofit in the 90s, associated with a graduate school, and every time they would come in to interview a certain number of people would be wearing suits, and later would get jobs in “the government” or “at State.” Of course this fooled absolutely no one whatsoever. The stupidity of it still boggles my mind.

    People get in to these organizations and stay forever, so I’m not sure you can say it happened on Obama’s watch. They could be Reagan hires for all we know.


    1. I imagine it’s even more the case that if you work for Putin, you aren’t supposed to say it. At least not if you also work for the FBI or running for office in the United States.


  8. I wonder what everyone in this thread would say now that the FBI thing fizzled. I’m still EXTREMELY WORRIED too… but I appreciated some light hearted thoughts on a possible Donald presidency (CRINGE!). But I’m with you on poor Hillary’s unpopularity. It’s ABSURDLY HIGH. 😦 Even thinking of the possibility of 4 years of an 8 member Supreme Court kind of depresses me to no end…


  9. If there’s a ray of sunshine, it is possible that out of gridlock might come improvement in the procedure for nominating and confirming Supreme Court justices. A number of worthwhile proposals have been circulated, but both parties are too interested in immediate political gain to negotiate procedural reforms. Possibly the prospect of 4 or 8 years of being unable to confirm a justice would inspire them to talk constructively.

    On most other issues, gridlock seems likely to continue.


    1. What procedural reform is possible? On confirming, you could remove the filibuster. I think that’s going to happen, but I don’t see what else you could do.

      Also, “both parties” is bullshit. The Republicans didn’t even hold hearing while the Democrats did what they were supposed to and let votes happen.


      1. I could outline proposals I have read which I consider worthwhile, but only to people who seem disposed to compromise and productive negotiation.


    2. I also think that constructive talk would be a one-way street in terms of compromise. What does it gain the Democrats to make a compromise with somebody who will almost certainly lose their primary to somebody promising to undo that compromise?


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