Our current political world in short form
That 2017 has been a year of lost opportunities is an important failure for Republicans, who are likely to accomplish even less in 2018, when the prospect of congressional elections held in the shadow of Trump’s unpopularity will brighten the already visible yellow streak running down the back of Republican Washington. Perhaps things will go differently. But it may very well be the case that 2017 represents all that Republicans will really get out of the Trump phenomenon: a little bit of reform, a lot of noise, and a reputation that may never recover and may not deserve to.
I’m amazed that my lack of interest in sports is now considered patriotic! One thing to remember is that in the age of revenue sharing you can’t watch/participate in anything sports related without supporting the NFL. Yay! Let us read more books.
crimes were committed by people who identified as Juggalos
I suppose we’re at the point where someone should point out that if you combine
- the presence of John Kelly selected as Trump’s chief of staff, Mattis as secretary of defense, and the host of other flag officers in his administration,
- Trump’s seeming aversion to the nitty gritty aspects of administration
- Trump’s inexperience with the subject matter
We largely have retired military rule – if they’re not making the actual decisions, they’re influencing the available options enough to where they might as well be. It’s a good thing for the most part – Trump seems content to play court jester and social media director, and not much beyond that. Seemingly he’s capable of being somewhat presidential, but seems content to delegate any actual decision making to others, and just issue commentary.
What if we don’t live in meaningful times, and what if the truly notable facts of the 2016 election are
- A crowded Republican field – allowing the only candidate Trump an opening against more establishment types
- A phenomenally unpopular Hillary Clinton
- Advances in media engineering (like “financial engineering” creating new mortgage products, subprime and otherwise) allowing the media to profitably saturate America with “junk” (not necessarily fake”) news.
- Increases in generalized anxiety due to Facebook, lack of physical activity and sleep deprivation
Match those two things together and we feel like we’re in some deep important times, even if in terms of importance it’s like we’re stuck in the 50s with out the cold war.
Here is yet another article about Trump, and him saying offensive things, part 3939, to wit A Deal Breaker for Trump’s Supporters? Nope. Not This Time, Either.
Trump not apologizing for anything IS what people like about him – it doesn’t matter what he’s actually said, it’s the way he says it and defends it they actually like. It’s the medium, not the message, much the same way the Democrats never minded Obama continuing Bush’s wars, NSA surveillance, or an official, not euphemistically named “Kill List”. The more offensive, the more “courageous” it seems (courageous being something that prompts criticism, which is courageous by the standards of neurotic modern times, not in any actual sense). If you’re a groupish person you are quite loath to criticize your “champion” (in the original sense of the word), and by and large you’ll come up with reasons for the behavior rather than condemn it.
So, the whole “transgender issue”, whatever that is seems to be the premier dog whistle and distraction of the age – Trump just made some pronouncement on the topic – which will gin up lots of controversy, which probably means that there is some other more important, probably brand detrimental bit of news that will be coming down the pike soon. Russia? Sessions? Healthcare?
- From some thought of Tyler Cowen – you can’t be the Court Jester and the King at the same time – the “deep state” – to the degree that it exists, which is a lot – is mostly just filling a vacuum left by Trump not actually doing things (which is probably for the best, but who know)
- NO ONE is talking about Trumps age (71), seemingly poor health, and direct family history of Alzheimers. Are we that old of a country, i.e. we’re all so old that some topics are just considered taboo across the political spectrum?
- Trump’s alienation of the Republican industry members (i.e. the people who are the assistant undersecretaries, etc, who actually know how to do stuff) will haunt him the rest of his term – leading to a lot of things not getting done (yay!).
- He has spurred the democrats to be an actual opposition party, something they generally do not do well.
- The Republican congressional majority does not seem to matter much.
The obvious (to me) parallel to the alt-right and trump is Obama’s “palling around with terrorists” in the 2008. It was a meaningless statement then, and the alt-right angle is meaningless this year, but meaninglessness hasn’t stopped anyone lately.