Wednesday, November 09, 2016

Cruising the Web

Well, it always seemed that the Republicans nominated the one person who could lose to Hillary and the Democrats nominated the one person who could lose to Trump. I just never thought that Trump would pull it out. I have been wrong about him since he first came down that escalator. I freely admit it. My best hope would be that the Republicans would keep the Senate. Who would think that we'd be facing a Washington where the GOP controlled the House, Senate, White House, and possibly/probably the Supreme Court?

Last week 538 was saying that the Cubs had less chance to win the World Series than Trump did to win the presidency. And now both have happened.

Everyone thought that the Republicans were going to have to engage in major self examinations after the election to figure out how to put the party back together and determine how they came to such a sorry pass. And now the Democrats will have to examine their own party and ask themselves how they came to turn their party over to such a known corrupt, dishonest person to head their ticket. They'll have to fight between the leftist branch of the party and the party that will look at those results and want to bring back the working class voters that went for Trump.

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And pundits across the land will have to determine why such an appalling person as Donald Trump could become the repository of so many hopes. How unhappy so many people must be with Washington and the culture to have voted for Trump. There will be reams written about those voters and what they were expressing with their votes.

We're going to have postmortems after postmortems. And pollsters! What a laugh to see pollsters have so much egg on their faces. Of course, that doesn't mean that we won't be looking at polls every election and basing punditry on such shaky soil.

Once Trump won the nomination, I never thought that the Republicans' obstruction on not voting on Merrick Garland would pay off with a Republican being able to make the nomination to replace Justice Scalia, but now Trump will be able to choose someone from his list of 20 possible nominees. And there are around 90 lower court openings that Trump will be able to fill. Assuming he takes advice from the same people who helped him come up with that Supreme Court list, there will be a start on turning back the courts after eight years of Obama. And Mitch McConnell should get some credit from Republicans for holding firm against Obama on the courts.

The Democrats thought it was worthwhile to get rid of the filibuster for nominations. At the time, conservatives warned them that they might come to regret doing that if there were to be a Republican in the White House and Republicans in control of the Senate. Well, how do they like dem apples? And if they try to filibuster a Trump nominee, the Republicans may well follow their example and exercise the nuclear option on Supreme Court nominees. And the Democrats set the example. They were the ones who broke the glass on the nuclear option.

I remember how the Democrats treated Dukakis like persona non grata after 1988. How are they going to treat the woman who lost to Donald Trump? And despite how much they'll blame James Comey, deep down, those who are honest with themselves will have to acknowledge that Hillary brought her problems on herself. No one forced her to set up a private server. No one forced her and her husband to set up a supposed charitable foundation that served to funnel money into their own pockets. Who's going to want to donate to that foundation now? I hope they're happy with all the millions they've garnered because I doubt many people are going to be paying six figures to hear them speak now.

While I was a #NeverTrumper, I am enjoying the downfall of Hillary Clinton. She is a low, despicable woman and got what she deserved. And how typical that she wouldn't come out last night to thank her supporters and give a gracious concession speech. It just isn't in her make-up.

And the media will have to be doing the deepest dive into their own navels as they contemplate their role in helping Trump gain the nomination. They'll have to wonder how Trump could win even after they exposed all the horrible things he's said in the past. Hillary ran ad after ad simply featuring Trump in his own words. I thought those were devastating ads, but people seemed to just discount that and decide they didn't want Hillary. And there weren't many ads that gave people a reason to vote for her and not just against Trump.

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The Federalist has a list of 14 celebrities
who vowed to leave the country if Trump won. Well, buh-bye. I don't think we'll miss Lena Dunham, Barbra Streisand, Al Sharpton, Cher, or Miley Cyrus. But just like those celebrities who vowed to leave if George W. Bush won, we'll find out that those wild promises were just for show. Too bad.

While President Obama will probably blame the loss on Hillary, at some point he and his party need to look at what has happened to them since his Hope and Change victory in 2008. They lost both houses and many legislatures and governorships across the land. And despite all of his and Michelle's frantic campaigning around the country, they couldn't drag Hillary across the finish line even against Donald freakin' Trump! Obama's record of never being able to help elect anyone besides himself continues.

And now all those executive orders that he signed and his bragging about what he could do with his pen and his phone without Congress are at risk of being turned back by a President Trump. Just as the Senate Democrats set future landmines with getting rid of the filibuster so that Republicans will now be able to set about getting their nominees on the courts, he set similar road bombs by how blasted through the checks and balances of our system. I despised what Obama did to the Constitutional order as president. I don't want a President Trump to follow that model. I would prefer for a return to regular order in both Congress and among the branches of government. I have no faith, however, in Donald Trump's understanding or respect for our Constitutional system.

I'm with Charles C.W. Cooke.
Books will be written about this election. But for now, the key point: Obama failed. He is a failed president. This is his successor? We knew that Obama couldn’t sell anything but himself, but we didn’t realize how much that was true. Nor did we realize how much the Democrats’ coalition was really a transient Obama coalition; how unpopular Obamacare was; or how bad an idea it was to run a candidate as damaged as Hillary.

I am on the record as being opposed to Donald Trump, and I shall likely stay that way. But I have two hopes. The first is that he proves me wrong. The second: That the disgraceful progressive moment, which has spent years trying to dissolve the Madisonian system of checks and balances, will come finally to its senses. I cannot say I hold out much hope that, culturally, we will go from “opposition is racist” to “opposition is virtuous” in the space of just two months. But perhaps we will. Perhaps now separation of powers will be seen as a good thing. Perhaps now those who advocate it will be cast as something other than revanchists. Perhaps now Chris Hayes will realize — urgently — that “if Congress won’t act, I will” is not remotely acceptable.

In a couple of months, Donald Trump will be president, the Senate will be Republican-led, and the House will be run by Paul Ryan. What a sordid legacy for the man who would have been Democrats’ Reagan.

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Given how wrong I was about Trump for a year and a half. I just have to hope that I'm now wrong about how awful he'll be as president. Jonah Goldberg expresses what I am thinking.
This is nothing short of an amazing achievement. I’m not sure one can exaggerate what a remarkable accomplishment this is, whether you’re a fan, foe, critic, or skeptic. My views on Trump are well known and I stand by them all. Except, of course, for my skepticism about his chances of winning. I was clearly wrong about that.

And, now that he will be the next president, I sincerely hope he continues to prove me wrong. We only have one president at a time and he deserves a shot, not because I think he’s worthy or deserving — but because the country is.

As a conservative writer and as someone who has been very critical of Trump from Day 1, I feel like I have zero ownership of a Trump presidency — which is quite liberating, actually. But as an American I have every bit as much ownership of his presidency as anyone. And for that reason alone, I hope I’m proven wrong about all of my deep seated concerns and fears.

But, as a conservative, I also hope Trump surprises me. I hope the Republican House and Senate (!), work to give him a positive conservative agenda. Likewise, I hope his cadre of campaign advisers and media boosters are successful at making sure that Trump actually governs as the competent conservative they promised he would be. I think they will have their work cut out for them but they, too, deserve their shot. Indeed, they are the ones who “own this” now.

I will do my best to support Trump when I think he’s right, and I will continue to criticize him when I think he’s not. As I’ve been saying for 18 months — that’s my job.

It's funny. I always felt that Barack Obama hadn't expected to win in 2008 when he entered the primaries against Clinton. I thought he was just getting his name out there so he could run in the future. And then he turned out to win in a walk. And now I suspect that Trump never expected to win when he first entered the race. I always thought that he did it to get his mug on TV and maybe help his brand. And now he's won. It's going to be like that last scene in "The Candidate" when Robert Redford wins and then asks, "What do we do now?"

A lot of us are asking that now.

5 comments:

tfhr said...

Betsy,

Thanks for the Charles Cooke link - it sums things up nicely.

As for your comment, "Everyone thought that the Republicans were going to have to engage in major self examinations after the election to figure out how to put the party back together and determine how they came to such a sorry pass.", I'm hearing that get discounted for the most part today here in the DC area but I think it still holds true. The party leadership is just as disconnected as ever and still seems more interested in being in DC than representing Americans from here.

mark said...

Congratulations to all those who gave support to Trump. Hopefully he'll do a better job than many think is possible.

Phil Brown said...

I think Tim Alberta has since walked back his claim about Trump beating Obama in 2012. He blamed it on 1.5 hours sleep. At least he had the decency to put out the mea culpa and to leave the original article up. Honorable.

Phil Brown said...

Oops. I put that comment on the wrong day.

Rick Caird said...

I come back after not clicking on anything Betsy for months and I am still treated to some anti Trump rhetoric. Betsy tells us:

"And pundits across the land will have to determine why such an appalling person as Donald Trump could become the repository of so many hopes. How unhappy so many people must be with Washington and the culture to have voted for Trump. There will be reams written about those voters and what they were expressing with their votes."

So, the same people who were wrong for the past 18 months (including Betsy) are now charged with telling us what happened? Why would anyone, including Betsy, think these same people will suddenly be right? They will not be right. They are still caught up in their own conventional view of the world. There agenda will now be to put the best face on their own errors. NR will not recover from this. They are gone. Some of their writers (Sowell and VDH) will soldier on in other places, but the bulk will hardly ever be heard from again.

I did note that Mark made a gracious congratulatory post. I appreciated that.