Monday, January 9, 2017

The Blackest of Swans

The Omnivore has become convinced that the Trexpits (Trump-Exits) are increasingly unlikely to happen. What the Trexpits, you ask? Here are some:

  1. Impeachment - if the GOP were even inclined (they are not) they are more terrified of the Trump base than they are ethical (see 'Ethics Committee' vote). They might prefer Pence in some vague ideological sense. They will stick with Trump.
  2. Voter Dissatisfaction - The release of the IC report, bringing the FBI inline with the CIA, NSA, etc. changed nothing for Trump's voters (nor his left-flank's support). In short: while the FBI disagreed (or seemed to), the FBI was good. When the FBI agrees, the FBI is bad. 
  3. Resignation - Some people think Trump will resign. They clearly haven't been paying attention.
If the Trexpits will not, and never would have, removed Trump--will the left manage to mount a successful resistance?


Why not?

Firstly, it worked for the GOP because they held the House. The Dems will not capture the House for, likely, a decade. Secondly, it worked because of 2010--a good Senate election for the GOP. The 2018 Election is also good for the GOP. Finally, because of a Black Swan: Obama decided to focus on Obamacare as his first major policy. The death of Ted Kennedy and the loss of the Mass special-election seat gave them only a few actual working months of super-majority and then forced them into a chaotic scramble. This helped the GOP, even if they did not ultimately defeat the bill.

The left can't rely on a black swan (but more on that in a few).

The second problem is that the Democrats will be beset by the same kind of civil-war that plagued the GOP. It's the far-(left/right) vs. the establishment. In this election, the GOP coalesced by destroying the establishment (kinda). Basically there won't be unity until victory--and we don't know which way it'll go.

Are There Any Bright Spots For The Left?

There are some scenarios that result in bright spots. Let's look:

Michelle Obama 2020

An outside possibility of a candidate (M. Obama or not) who could generate wide-scale excitement could, yes, create a possible win for the Democrats. As Michelle has said she is in no way interested in running, this counts as a Dark Horse.

Central Fire 2018

If you are a Republican who think Trump is too cozy with the Russians, nothing he has done has acted in any way to dissuade this opinion--in fact, quite the opposite. If enough centrist Democrats and enough centrist Republicans can find agreement, there might be room for a new party (called the The Independents?). We'd know this by 2018 if there is fall-off in GOP voting or the GOP senators from more moderate states are anti-Trump. Look for Zuckerberg 2020.

Demographic Summer

Part of Trump being unwilling to act to unify the country (see: winning over Republican doubters as Job 1) is that minorities and young people are likely to be anti-Trump unless he gets terrific results. Slate Star Codex describes The Batman Effect where Trump (or Batman) makes small, flashy differences and so the press and his believers love him--but Gotham (or America) remains a shithole because beating up criminals (or personally convincing companies to say they are not moving jobs--even when they do) isn't really scale-able.

HOWEVER, The Batman Effect works much better on the Trump-Friendly. The Trump-Dubious will not be as easily swayed. Thus, if demographic trends continue, the march may bend away from the GOP. 

The Sleeping Giant Effect

Ordinary people have not been given a very good sense of the far left. They have been given confusing, contradictory information about the state of reality (the 'center'). But they are definitely opposed to Nazis. We see an effort on Twitter (@slpng_giants) to get companies to stop advertising on Breitbart. Now, note: Breitbart is huge -- they are an Alexa Score of 45. The Daily Kos is like 1005. To get an advertiser off them is a big deal. Some have refused. Over 400 have pulled their ads.

The Right has always had an economic power-factor. Either Buy American, or Shop Chick Fil'a, or whatever gold-certificates Fox News heads were selling (or right-wing book imprints) have done very well. The "left" doesn't seem to have this--although the "left" can claim a lot of the center with media / entertainment programming if you want to add that in.

In this scenario, however, affiliation with the Right / Trump becomes an anathema to The Center. In this case, companies and, following that, political winds, will work against being associated with the Trumpian GOP. 

This could also lead to ending the lack of Democratic Turn-Out (both in Mid-Terms, but even in general elections). Don't hold your breath for that, though.

Another Option - Disaster / Collapse

The Omnivore is of the opinion that America will muddle through. Fewer people will be insured--and those that are, if on their own dime, won't be insured as well. People with pre-existing conditions will technically be able to buy insurance--but it'll be out of everyone but the rich's price-range.

Russia will expand--and perhaps rebuild the Soviet Union--but we won't have a shooting war. In a fragmented EU, countries that were formerly US Allies, unassured by Trump, will find themselves siding with Putin in an attempt at security.

American Trade, hurt in Asia-Pacific by China and the death of the TPP, in Europe, by Putin, and in South America by animosity with Trump and the coming destruction of NAFTA may also find themselves less-than-willing trade partners. Americans in general will have no idea why this is happening and will be told a blizzard of conflicting stories.

However, none of this will be a disaster--probably. 

But what if there is one? What if we get into a for-real trade-war with China? A shooting war with many dead in the Middle East against ISIS? A conflict with North Korea? These are all potential scenarios--especially if Trump tries his hand at military adventurism (he's said he's unlikely to do that--but if he feels provoked, he may feel he has to hit back. A successful terrorist attack launched by ISIS could do this. Or a ballistic missile nuke-test by North Korea?).

What if the economy crashes?

In these scenarios--none to be hoped for--there is a possibility of a re-alignment. This is the ultimate black swan and the result could be the end of America (if you think it's impossible, what'd you think of Trump's chances in 2015?). But if things get bad enough we may see anything from nuclear fireballs to two new national parties.

The Useless Far Left

The one thing that The Omnivore is pretty sure won't happen is that Bernie Sanders won't be elected president and the Sanders-Left won't accomplish anything other than belatedly helping Trump. This is because their strategy was never designed to win power--just fight it. They have no clear plan to sell their affirmative vision to America (it's vote for us and win  . . . Utopia! We'll work out the details later!).

The Omnivore's hope is that young people, living through Trump-likely, will feel the "Bern" the same way Nader voters did when the Iraq war started and they knew in their hearts that Al Gore, however bad he might have been, would never have done that.

Final Black Swan: TRUMP-TASTIC!

It would be remiss to rule out that it is possible that Trump could turn out to be one of the great presidents. The Omnivore would like nothing more than, at the end of 4 years, to be able to say "I'm voting for that guy for a 2nd term!" Unfortunately this seems to be running parallel with The Omnivore also saying "And it turned out the Russians weren't so bad at all!"

. . .  and actually meaning it.


  1. Using your melano-cygnoscale as a guideline, I suppose that a putative invocation of Section 4 of the 25th Amendment would count as a... duck?

    Maybe literally.

    ... which, of course, would prove that [he's] made of wood. And therefore...

    OK, it's not that funny. But some people are just - dare I say it? - overrated.

    That's right, I said it.

    -- Ω

  2. So where does, "Has a nervous breakdown over very-possibly-false allegations involving a hilarious but minor sex scandal?" come in?

    1. Right About HERE: RTN Exclusive: The EXPLOSIVE missing two pages of the TRUMP REPORT!!