Well, I cannot sleep. Some pundits want to tell me that Trump winning the presidency is comparable to Dewey not beating Truman back in 1948, but that was merely a surprise. A rather big surprise, but just a surprise. What happened with the 2016 election is an absolute jaw-dropping shocker.
For me, the only comparable event in American presidential history is the assassination of Abraham Lincoln, which was the only time in our history that the presidency changed parties without an election.
Technically, Lincoln did not run for re-election as a Republican. In 1864, he ran on the Union ticket, which explains why his running mate, Andrew Johnson, was a Democrat whose sole distinguishing characteristic was being the only Southern senator who did not resign when the Confederacy tried to go its separate way. So, the president is assassinated and, suddenly, instead of a Northern Republican, you have a Southern Democrat. That has to be the dictionary definition of “shocking development.”
It is almost as shocking to discover that a sizable segment of the American population hates the government so much they voted for somebody whom even they thought was unqualified in experience and temperament to be President of the United States. All of the stupid and insulting things Trump says are like a bed of nails. Step on one and it goes through your foot; step on 100 and you can actually walk on the damn thing.
I can make a case that Trump is in a better position to be re-elected than any incumbent since Dwight Eisenhower.
Remember how Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, and Barack Obama could “never” be re-elected? Well, they were. Because incumbents have the advantage of a clear primary road to re-nomination. Bob Dole, John Kerry, and Mitt Romney all had to defeat a bunch of opponents. Meanwhile, the incumbent is defining their opponent before their opponent is officially their opponent.
The Democratic Party might now turn to Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren, but you know Trump and the Republicans (two separate entities, keep in mind) already have the Socialist and Pocahontas in their sights.
Trump has two additional massive advantages. Absolutely nothing can come out of his closet that matters. The Democrats could never come up with as much dirt on Trump as he has already brought up himself.
Second, he is the ultimate outsider. Everybody knows he is not really a Republican and he has never shown any respect for Ronald Reagan’s “Eleventh Commandment”: Thou shalt not speak ill of Republicans.
Paul Ryan would not even say Trump’s name. John Kasich skipped the convention, which was held in his own state, and numerous other Republicans distanced themselves from the party’s nominee. Oops.
Trump wants to build a wall and make Mexico pay for it (which will be difficult, since the peso plummeted as soon as it became clear Trump was going to win). Any Republican who says, “We cannot do that,” is risking Trump telling their constituents, “I need somebody who will work with me, not against me.”
Keep in mind, the first thing the Tea Party did was not take out Democrats in elections, but take out moderate Republicans in the primaries. What kind of president goes after members of his own party? An outsider. A real outsider. Which is what Americans wanted.
Every Republican senator will be up for re-election over the next six years. Should they risk offending President Trump? Or when he says, “I want to build a wall,” should they say, “How high, sir?”
Any time Trump does not fulfill one of his promises (e.g., giving everybody a tax break), he can blame the “insiders” in Washington. He has no compunction about throwing members of his own party to the wolves.
On the flip side, where did Hillary go wrong? Even though she got more votes than Trump (and neither got as many votes as Mitt Romney in 2012), you know this is all going to be her fault, although I do not think it comes down to that stupid email server.
Four years ago, she was the most popular politician in the country, when she was Secretary of State. It looks to me like her first big mistake was resigning at the end of Obama’s first term. Believe it or not, at that point, most Americans wanted her to run for president and most people believed she would.
That included Republicans in Congress who averaged two Benghazi hearings a year. So the obvious “what if?” is if Hillary had served another two years and then resigned to run for president. Dragging an announced presidential candidate up to the Hill for hearings is not the same thing as going after an ex-Cabinet officer.
Now we have a president who has been totally vindicated by the election. He was right and everybody else was wrong, so nobody is going to tell him what to do, least of all Paul Ryan and the Republican establishment.
Goodbye, Obamacare. Goodbye, Planned Parenthood. Goodbye, Saturday Night Live. Goodbye, Voting Rights, Clean Water, and Clean Air Acts. Goodbye, NATO and trade agreements. Goodbye, immigrants. And goodbye to the America I thought I lived in. Rest in peace.