FORWARD BASE B

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Tag Archives: congress

All Focus on 2018 Midterms

There will be periodic excitement and panic but that should not distract from the next strategic bottleneck: the 2018 midterms.  Pretty much everything going on in politics should be seen in the context of the upcoming elections.  Last year, I predicted the next major step after Trump’s victory would be to somehow bring populist candidates into congress against establishment resistance.  To my relief, we are already seeing the first challengers step up and so far the support they need seems to be there.

It is tempting to fixate on the president, but he has been mostly neutralized until he has more support from within the system.  I will assume for now he’s not going to commit obvious political suicide by signing an illegal immigrant amnesty and what we’re seeing is more showmanship to get people angry and energized.  This posturing is hurting him, but with no good moves available, he may be gambling it will hurt congress more and keep things in turmoil for everyone.

Since Trump has little actual power in the government, the most meaningful litmus test is whether he acts to increase his power.  We will know he is still serious if he fully backs GOP challengers leading up to midterms.  Failing that, we can conclude with a high degree of confidence that he has resigned himself to spending his retirement as a ceremonial figurehead.

So far, it is promising that he has steadily distanced himself from Ryan, McConnell, and the GOPe since they humiliated him on the senate floor by getting his hopes up and then immediately sinking the healthcare debate.  I have also noticed Trump has spent far less time in a White House controlled by the permanent bureaucracy and the pentagon.  It is encouraging that the frequency of leaks has dwindled ever since he started shifting his base of operations.  Now, in the coming months, he needs to endorse candidates like Kid Rock.

As the mood gets doomier and gloomier I hear more people say “we can’t vote our way out of this.”  They are right that the underlying problems are systemic but if we are persistent we will find the political process is still useful enough.  In any case, there is no reason to allow the establishment free control over any battlefield.

People tend to forget what everybody accepted as common sense just a few months ago.  This human cognitive weakness makes it easy for us to forget the strategic value of gaining every political advantage only to have nothing happen.  In less than a year, the public attitude toward government has shifted from cautious, fading reverence to outright cynicism and disgust.  Even “normies” are starting to discuss whether this democracy is still viable.  The importance of this shift should not be underestimated.  From the perspective of a dissident, discrediting the edifice of hostile rulers is nearly as good as taking over the system.

So if we are patient and can ignore distractions and drama, we keep pressing until either the populists finally gain political traction or the entire system is shown to be a sham.  Either of those outcomes is a big loss for the ruling establishment.

Update 9/17/17: I hardly wrote about Trump needing to help friendly populist candidates only to discover he’s actually attacking them by campaigning for Luther Strange in Alabama!  If this nonsense persists, it will sink him as surely as an amnesty deal.
Acting directly against his own self-interest means that Trump is, for now, effectively a puppet.
Update: 9/26/17: Trump’s backing of Strange came across as rather half-hearted and he also said good things about Moore.  It looks like Trump is powerless for now but thankfully his cooperation in this seems by no wish of his own.  Bereft of any ability to affect the politics, he is now attacking the culture, which is upstream of politics, with devastating effect.  The NFL will never be the same after this.

President Trump’s First Baby Steps (And the Big Picture)

Now that the election is won, there is much to do and the situation remains perilous.

Trump’s 1st and overriding priority at this moment is to have a unified party at his back. Without that, he’s a lame duck from the start.  Trump’s nightmare situation that he absolutely must avoid is establishment types going across the aisle and uniting against him.  At this moment, the GOP says they’re with him, but everyone likes to be associated with a winner.  As soon as he hits the first roadbump all their daggers come out again.  Until the jealous GOPe is gradually phased out,  Trump has to do business with them.  He only has a lead of 2 votes in the senate, so he can’t afford for more than one of them to cross over.  Fortunately he has a commanding lead in the house which should enable him to deal with a few defectors.
Trump’s only real and reliable protection is his overwhelming mandate from his base. There isn’t that much they can do about him directly while their constituents are behind him. But they can work with the democrat side of the establishment behind the scenes to gradually soften him up as a target, stall his momentum, and strike when the time is right.

The best thing Trump can do to advance his cause right now is absolutely to get Paul Ryan deposed as speaker of the house while his victory is fresh.  Ryan needs at least 218 votes to stay, so with 241 republican representatives we’ll get an early test of just how willing they are to back Trump.  Honestly the very idea that after this victory a fool like Ryan could become president if Trump and Pence are somehow both assassinated is horrifying.  The sooner he’s disarmed and slapped down, the better.  It will help Trump solidify his lead if he can make example of the ringleader of those who betrayed him, their own party’s presidential nominee, in the last month of a historic election.  That sort of treachery goes leagues beyond the bounds of forgiveness.

If Trump can get through these initial obstacles, a whole world of opportunity stretches out before him.  If he plays his hand right, he can grow his majority in the 2018 midterms and introduce a 1st wave of populist representatives who will be on his side.  From that point on, GOPe power steadily gets drowned out.
Congressional elections have proven the soft underbelly of democrat power because brown people and young people only vote for president.   If he doesn’t seriously screw up or become a do-nothing politician, Trump should be able to accomplish this.
Trouble is, it’s not as if the GOPe wall street “cuckservatives” are willing to stand idly by while they get co-opted.  Keeping them pinned down by their constituents may be the only way to keep them in line.  Trump’s influence over Breitbart and social media may help him single out the stubborn ones.  Trump can keep religious/social conservatives placated with culture war red meat even if it’s not really part of his own agenda.  So far his instincts on this have been excellent, even coming out against Roe vs. Wade in the election.  He needs the carrot of conservative justices always hanging in front of their noses.  Perhaps they can be persuaded to tolerate the growth of Trump’s power rather than trying to sabotage him if they are salivating over the justices they’ll be able to get confirmed with a stronger senate majority.

If all these steps can be accomplished, we’re looking at the 2020 election.  If Trump gets a second term, starts to max out a feasible lead in representatives and senators, the democrat party as we know it would be effectively dead.  All three branches of government would end up controlled by the republicans.  From that point on, the dominant coalition would inevitably split up on their disagreements and continue the bicameral system, though maybe they could even be looking at constitutional amendments before they part ways.  Minorities, progressives, single women, yuppies forming a defunct democrat coalition would have to join one party or the other.  Perhaps we’d no longer see all minorities voting on the same side!  Progressives and corporate yuppies could well be opposed!
But I’m thinking way, way too far ahead and indulging in fanciful speculation.

Right now huge anti-Trump protests have broken out in cities across the country.  This is excellent news!  Emphasizing the violence and chaos gives a president-elect who ran on law and order an enormous boost.  Even better, I suspect that a petulant Obama will miscalculate as usual and passive-aggressively ignore the commotion as a gesture of spite, or if he really screws up, even encourage them.  Perhaps they could even be baited into continuing until they’ve burnt up all their energy and social capital and the vast majority just wants them beaten and pepper sprayed.  It’s getting cold outside of warm/maritime climate areas of the country, but maybe they’ll come out in force again next summer with the right catalyst.
The agitation of the protesters for secession, burning American flags on veterans day, their resort to graffiti and violence, their refusal to accept the election results couldn’t be more damaging to their cause if Trump had written their script for them.  They are working overtime to discredit themselves as a viable movement in mainstream politics.  They are so delightfully foolish because the decades have made them soft and they take that mainstream status for granted.
Simultaneously, a black muslim is being considered as chair of the democrat party.  If they go through with that they are well on the way to destroying their party for good with 2020 the final nail in their coffin.  Right now though, they are reeling from the shock of the election so they may gather their senses before they do irreparable damage.  A subtle unobtrusive nudge might put them over the edge and get them to bite down on their folly and take it all in hook, line, and sinker.
I predicted months ago that progressive whites will be forced out of their own party by the minorities they thought they controlled and become a wing of the populist coalition, a process which began with Sanders being crushed beneath the monolith of the black vote and may now well continue with a takeover of the party leadership.  This would be the end of democrats as a serious party.  Lower IQ minorities have already terrifically overextended as they tend to do and if they keep overplaying their hand when they have already lost this round, they will eventually lose their say in the process.
As it is we’ll likely see voter ID laws that disproportionately shave off votes from low IQ groups.  Deportations, enforcement of eVerify, taxes on remittances, strategic welfare and public service cuts would all help sour the deal for them and thin the herd.  And if it gets bad enough, I could imagine more split votes like we see with Maine district 2 in Norcal, Southern Illinois, and  upstate New York.  From then on inconsolably disruptive minorities and rioting hipsters would be flailing in vain behind a soundproof plexiglass window while everyone else casually got on with their lives to the betterment of all.

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