The shutdown is already over (lasted only 3 days). My blog was written on the premise of the recent pattern of prolonged shutdowns. I did write in the blog, that if the Republicans are smart, they will end this shutdown immediately, as it was THEIR mistake. And they did. The shutdown is over. Note that my analysis was assuming a long drama. As it is over, no real sense in reading that long article 'of what might have been'. I will leave it of course here onto the blog, if anyone is interested in that analysis but the drama is over. I'd call it a draw. It depends on the aftermath, if there is some marginal gain or loss on either side. I'll return with more politics later when relevant, and continue now with tech/mobile/media items for the time being. You can read the full article below:
Let us take a look at US politics. (This blog article has nothing to do with our regular topics in mobile, tech & media). So I told you back in the summer of 2015, that the 2016 election cycle would be epic, and that for that reason, I would do articles about it. And boy did that year and a half deliver. The most drama-filled and wild circus in politics culminating in Hillary Clinton winning three million more votes than Trump, but due to US Presidential Election rules, Trump became President (there was no fraud, it is just that many of Hillary’s votes were grouped in states that she had ‘already won’ so Trump’s votes were more cleverly spread-out across more states. This is not the first time that the guy with less votes became President in the USA, only that Hillary’s was the biggest margin by far. Yes, she got 3 MILLION more votes than Trump. For context Finland total population is only 5.5 million). (PS this is another of my ‘long’ articles. Is about 10,000 words or about one chapter-length from one of my hardcover books. It will take you about half an hour to read, go get a good cup of coffee first before you start. But if you are interested in US politics, this will be worth your while.)
After the election I felt it inappropriate to continue my snide remarks and ridiculing of Trump because he had won, fair and square, and had not even taken office. I wanted to give him a fair shake and the benefit of the doubt. It was theoretically possible that Trump would be a good or efficent President, and that maybe his election politics ‘persona’ was just weird. I don’t care if the President has infidelities (Bill Clinton) or speaks weirdly (Daddy Bush) or can’t pronounce ‘nuclear’ (W Bush), or is of different color than me (Obama) it is the results of the Presidency that count. So I wanted to give Trump a chance. The President’s term in the USA is 4 years, so now we have exactly the 1 year anniversary of his term (he started in January, not election day in November) and we have a record. One quarter of his time is done (of the first term, he could win re-election and get a second 4 years of course). And boy has this been a circus, even more wild than the election.
I am not going to comment on everything about what he did in his first year. Because we have just witnessed something spectacularly weird. A massive colossal political blunder by the (still learning to be the Great) Blunderer-in-Chief. Anything else Trump has messed up (or achieved) in the past 12 months pales with what just happened now, into this weekend. So as this is the 1 year anniversary, this is the perfect microcosm, the ‘case study’ and benchmark for Trump’s Presidency. In particular because this will have ENORMOUS repercussions into the next 2 election cycles (Mid Term elections in 2018, and Trump’s re-election in 2020).
So on Friday, the US government was shut down. Let me first state categorically, the SHUTDOWN ITSELF will not be a big factor in 2020 in Trump’s chances of re-election. The shutdown will not even matter much in the Midterms of this year. Yes, it will matter on the fringes, but other things matter much more, like healthcare, immigration, defense, etc. When I say ‘enormous repercussions’ I do not mean that this act of shutting down - the memory of it ‘the shutdown’ will matter much even now in November 2018. What I do mean, is that the AFTERSHOCKS from what now was done, are truly seismic. It is like the earthquake under the ocean. It may shake some island 200 miles away, but not do much damage. Not until the tsunami wave RESULT from the earthquake starts to form, and wipe out a nuclear powerplant in Japan, etc... THAT is what just happened. We had that soon-forgotten earthquake under the ocean. That is what the shutdown is (will be remembered as). What I am foreseeing is the tsunami that follows. This is a perfect metaphor for the Trump Presidency and how it destroyed itself, and much of the Republican party, and most of the Tea Party, and much of Right Wing media, all in the process.
What is a shutdown? The US government (like any government) runs on a budget. The US system has clearly defined roles of who does what. The Congress passes a budget (both the House and the Senate have to agree to that, and there often are tough negotiations between these two bodies, especially if one party controls one and the rival party the other). And then the President has to sign it. The actual procedure is for the President to draft the budget, with help from Congress, and sends it to Congress to be approved. But if the President faces a Congress where both chambers are held by the other party, then often Congress does it’s own budget and sends that to the President. And we get then the tough negotiations - will he sign it or ‘veto’ it by not signing it and Congress then has to rewrite it (to remove whatever the President didn’t want). And obviously at these moments, is where the shutdown looms large. If there is no budget, the government is shut down. Government offices are closed. You can’t get a passport. Government building projets are paused. Almost all government employees are sent home. Soldiers cannot stop their work - but get this - they won’t be paid. It is a huge mess, obviously. The last shutdown that the Republicans arranged in 2013 cost about 20 Billion dollars and caused the national economy to lose about one half of one percent in GDP. A huge cost.
To understand how enormous that amount is. The US Navy operates a dozen nuclear powered aircraft carriers. They cannot AFFORD to operate more. The ‘war hawk’ wing of the Republicans keep insisting that the US military is too weak. One way the US could increase its military is by a larger navy. The 20 Billion dollars that the GOP threw into a garbage can and burned to no gain, simply wasted taxpayer money in 2013, that 20 Billion dollars would have paid for TWO of the latest Gerald Ford class nuclear powered aircraft carriers. To put it another way. Army. The US main battle tank is the A1 Abrams. It cost $6 Million a piece. The 20 Billion dollars would get you 3,333 tanks. How relevant is that? The TOTAL inventory of US Army tanks is 6,000. So yeah. Republican Congress loonies who ‘want a strong military!’ then took the money to by three thousand tanks, and burned it. They could have grown US military’s tank supply by 50% with that money. But now. The Tea Party wanted a shutdown.
A shutdown is a massively expensive and hideously stupid thing to do. And shutting down the government is hated by vast majority of US population (but it is beloved by the Tea Party, those nutters who thought Sarah Palin was a genius. Well, perhaps she was the prototype ‘Stable’ sort of genius).
But again, remember, the shutdown will not be ‘the election argument’. I am just explaining ‘the earthquake’ that then produces a tsunami, that wipes out a nuclear powerplant...
Currently TV talking heads and pundits will be debating ‘who is at fault’ for causing this shutdown. That is a lot of heat and very little light. I can tell you how it will be judged. A bit of fault on both sides. Some will say, roughly even steven. Most Republicans will blame Democrats but some Republicans will know that Trump did this. Of those Republicans who understand the truth, some will take the ‘both sides are at fault’ ploy. Some will be honest. Others will take the purely political stance and blame the other side, because they are fighting a propaganda war, not caring about the truth. Meanwhile on the Democratic side, most know this time this was all GOP, especially the President. Some will fairly think, both sides have some blame. Some will admit that technically, due to Senate vote rules, this was also yes, brought to a close by Democrats although because the Republicans lost 9 votes of their OWN in the shut-down vote, the reality even of that math is, that Repulicans created this shutdown. And of the independents in the middle - they remember last time GOP wanted the shutdown and got it. That Trump and the Tea Party wing have been wishing for shutdowns, and that Trump had a deal in his hand, that he rejected, which would have prevented this shutdown. The VAST majority of independents will blame the Republicans and Trump for this shutdown.
How does it split? About two-to-one split blame Republicans by latest polling, before the shutdown. The nation knows this is the Republicans who are playing with fire. But most loyal Republicans will be blaming Democrats. So while you will hear a lot of pundits on this, the general noise will likely be across all media, about 60/40 in the blame game, a little bit blaming more the Republicans than the Democrats. If you want to read a good sampling of the LEADERSHIP views from both sides and by neutrals, in the typically fair ‘all sides’ coverage of the immediate aftermath of the start of the shutdown, at Politico. This is a good read. But in the end, you’ll see what I just summarized. A bit on both sides, a lot of partisan finger-pointing, but a fair reading is 60/40 more caused by Republicans than Democrats, and the single biggest cause of the shutdown is of course Trump himself.
Is it not good to shut down the government? No. If you don’t see that, please go back to school and do not post comments here. Anyone who can’t see, that the bridge that was under construction, but suddenly the government interrupts its construction - and won’t pay - will make the SAME BRIDGE more expensive. it has to be built anyway. But now after the shutdown - ALL THE WORK for that bridge STILL HAS TO BE FINISHED. there is nothing that becomes CHEAPER this way. BUT there are MANY MORE EXPENSES NOW to get that project BACK to work. So it becomes MORE EXPENSIVE to finish that same bridge. Most of government work is like that. The passport that gets delayed by the shutdown? STILL has to be processed, issued and manufactured. Etc. This is just absolutely batshit crazy stuff which the desperate side will resort to, as a last resort, when the political situation in Washington has gone into breakdown mode. When the two sides are at so poisoned relations that they cannot get along.
"When both sides..".
Yes, when both sides. So this is a situation that ONLY happens when one party controls the Presidency, and the other party controls one of the chambers (or both) of Congress. It is a sign of total utter sheer incompetence, if one party holds ALL elements of political power, and somehow shuts ITSELF down...
To understand how utterly totally bizarre and ridiculous THIS shutdown is, you have to understand what a shutdown is. A shutdown is an ultimatum, a desperate boycott move. We will not give money for government (or President: I will not sign this budget) and we will be willing to take the enormous political penalty for doing this, because of the political extremism. This has NEVER happened with one party holding the White House, the Senate AND the House. This is ludicrous! This is the Republican Senate, the Republican Congress and the Republican House, feuding so badly among each other - that they shut down THEIR OWN GOVERNMENT ???????
Again. Historically, this has never happened. It is bewilderingly weird. And the timing. Government shutdowns tend to come towards the end of a Presidency, not the beginning. It is a sign of the individual President’s power declining. As Donald Trump himself said, a shutdown is a sign of a weak President. The shutdowns tend to come in the second term of a two-term Presidency, again when the Presidential power has declined a lot from its peak early in the first term. There has never been a shutdown in the first year. Good job President Trump, you’re a record-setting President. And by ‘good’ job, that is special MAGA speech similar to how ‘Mexico will pay’ is translated into normal English as we have to rob American children’s school lunch money (literally) to pay for Trump’s wall. Oh, Mexico pays for it!
(Are you already saying, I missed Tomi’s analysis?)
So to be clear. When one party controls the White House, the Senate and the House, then there is no problem possible. They pass a budget and ram almost anything on their agenda into law (can you spell Obamacare?). This is what Obama and the Democrats did in 2008. This is what W Bush and Cheney did in 2000. The shutdown only becomes a tactic when the OTHER party gains some power. So the Republicans if Trump was the slightest teeny-weeny bit the genius he thinks he is, should have a budget and run their own agenda. Except they haven’t even PRODUCED a budget!!! They are running the country on ‘continuing resolutions’ (CRs) from month to month. It was the latest CR that became victim of the shutdown. This whole situation has NEVER existed before when one party held all 3 power in Washington DC.
So how did we get to the shutdown? There was a deal on immigration. Trump had met with Senators from the Democrats and Republicans. He wanted a deal. He (Trump) said he can accept a deal that helps some undocumented immigrants, if the deal includes some payment to the Wall he wants (that obviously now Mexico is not paying - Trump wants the US Congress to pay for the massively expensive and mostly pointless but ugly wall, with US taxpayer money). And Trump said, he will sign whatever deal the Senators bring to him. This was well documented and reported at the time.
Then the Senators went and did a deal that included DACA (tech mumbo jumbo) and helped immigrants and paid for a (very small) part (under 10%) of the Wall, and brought this to Trump to sign. If Trump had kept his word, we would have no shutdown today.
So first, understand what this means in negotiations. Trump said, go make your deal and I will sign it. He let HIS party bosses in the Senate, negotiate with the Democrats in the Senate and come up with a deal. And they did. And when Trump saw it, he said, I’m not signing that!
He would have gotten his Wall. Not the whole Wall, but a start to it. It would not have been paid for by Mexico but that was never going to happen. The con artist would have successfully have swindled the US electorate, first promising it won’t cost a penny ‘because Mexico will pay’ and now the Democrats were willing to let it be paid with US taxpayer dollars instead. For Democrats that is an intensely bitter pill, go into a nasty compromise (for them) to give the Trumpster at least a tiny corner of his Wall, so the Democrats could protect their own interests, in this case children of immigrants who came here illegally, and those children were too small to even know their parents did anything wrong. Those kids are all Americans for all intents and purposes, it would be utterly cruel to deport them (as some on the Tea Party edge of the Republican party - but not all in the Republican party) want to do.
In the 2018 elections (mid term, Congress) the issue of IMMIGRATION will be big, the issue of ‘shutdown’ will be long forgotten and occasionally mentioned. The Wall may be a topic, maybe not. So again, we are first understanding the earthquake that happened under the sea, before we get to the tsunami, that will damage our nuclear powerplant.
Let me comment on duschbag Trump as negotiator. He did this his whole life. No sane successful sensible businessman ever does business with Trump twice. All US banks have put Trump on a blacklist (will never loan another penny to him). It is not just that businessmen won’t deal with Trump, this is far more important in politics. Especially in the Senate, who have 6 year terms (vs Congress, where they have 2 year terms, and are essentially running for re-election since they start to work). A Senator is not a ‘businessman’. He does not offer anything ‘concrete’ to a negotiation. He cannot promise tha this factory in China manufactures these smartphones for this price, that Apple can put an Apple logo on it, and call it an iPhone. No, a Senator ONLY has his word. Nothing more. Then he either stands by it, or doesn’t. I do not mean ‘election promises’ haha. I mean deals in the Senate. Once you agree to a deal, you’re in, or you need a really good valid ‘excuse’ to get out. But to pull the sleazebag used-car-salesman trick, that changes the price when you come back - THAT is Trump. He just lost whatever remaining political power he had in Congress. He told Senators he’d let them work out the deal, and he will sign it. And he didn’t. He just lost ‘bigly’.
This is the beginning of the end to Trump. But he doesn’t know it.
Chuck Schumer will be the counterpart to Trump in resolving this shutdown. Schumer is the leader of the Democrats in the Senate. Because they need 60 votes in the Senate to pass whatever compromise is negotiated to end the shutdown, and the Republicans only have 51 votes on their side, they need a minimum of 9 Democrats to join (Sen McCain, illness, blah blah, lets not get into the political weeds). Even if Trump gets the House (Paul Ryan) and Republicans in the Senate (Mitch McConnell, the turtle-looking guy), he can’t now end this shutdown. Chuck Schumer holds the power. Can you imagine how moronic a political move Trump did, by making himself and his party now the hostage to Schumer's will? And Trump keeps annoying Schumer... Schumer holds the cards. He can say yes, he can say no. Note, ALSO McConnell and Ryan can do the same, but that is not - or should not be - the argument now. They SHOULD be in agreement with THEIR President. This shutdown will be resolved by a handshake by Trump and Schumer. And Schumer knows this. I am not sure if Trump really understands this (yet, but he will, soon).
And Schumer was just burned by Trump. Schumer was part of the negotiations that led to ‘the deal’. So he was slapped in his face, when Trump then didn’t take the deal, that he had worked hard (with other Democrats, and equally much work by Republicans in Senate).
It is possible that Trump holds all the cards. That he can ‘win’ with this shutdown. That Schumer has to come to Trump and grovel and beg, and accept a LESSER deal than what Schumer had the first time. This is the weird delusion inside Trump’s head. Many on Fox and the various right wing reality denial zone believe in this childish fantasy.
The reality is, that Schumer holds all the cards. He can sit this and wait. This shutdown itself will be blamed more on Republicans than Democrats. The longer it runs, the greater the pain, and this INCREASES how much the nation will hate the Republicans for this stunt. This is exceptionally much blamed on Trump. This is politically perfect for the Democrats. The Congress is in disarray (on the Republican side) they cannot enact their neo-Nazi agenda (they don’t even have a budget) and time is running out, as the midterm 2018 seem to suggest a big wave election coming to help the Democrat political cause, and thus stop the ‘monopoly on power’ that Trump now enjoys. Why on earth, would any sane President shut down his own government when he had all the power? Well, maybe this is what they mean with the ‘stable’ level of genius.
My thesis is. That this is a ludicrously bad move by the Republicans and the longer it runs, the worse it will become for them. The only way out, is clearly a new deal between Trump and Schumer. That deal - will be worse for Trump and better for Schumer. I would guess, the new deal is identical to old, except without any money for the Wall. If so, Trump lost MASSIVELY in this gamble. But that is only the beginning (earthquake under sea). Please note, my thesis could be wrong. It is possible that the alternate view held at Fox and various right wing nutter pages, is that Trump and the Tea Party can win out of this. For that to happen, then the new deal between Trump & Schumer has to be one, where Trump gains and Schumer loses. For example Trump getting 20% of his Wall paid instead of under 10%. Then yes, Trump would have ‘won’ in this political gambit. I will have a clear SIMPLE test for us, that determines how it turns out. A fair, three-part, totally independent objective test.
THE TRUMP MIND
So we saw this guy up-close in the campaign (one disaster stumbling into the next). Yet he became President (says A LOT about Hillary Clinton, how she was able to lose to this clown. Hillary warned us many times she was not the great campaigner like her husband. Maybe we should have listened... (and yes, a few or the readers of CDB did warn this writer many times, yes, I remember!!)). The chaos got only worse in the past 12 months. We are learning about it. The Bannon confessions in the book Fire and Fury, that for example up to election night Trump and his team never EXPECTED to win. They had all planned a lucrative after-election-loss life to have great profitable careers to follow. And were utterly stunned to have won.
The preparation was non-existent. The ACTIVITIES during the campaign were self-destructive. Where Obama in 2008 made continuous positive bridge-building gestures to his early rivals DURING the late election, to ensure he had the best Democratic talent available for his cabinet if he were to win, Trump did the opposite. He carried on long feuds even past eleciton day, with various Republican rivals. So we’ve seen the Mickey Mouse club that was the early Trump administration.
Record number of resignations and firings.
Yeah Scandals-R-Us is the current White House. There are so many scandals, we can’t even keep count. The number of investigations is record-breaking (at this stage, remember, this is the first year of his administration) and the independent Mueller investigation looms over the whole Trump entourage.
But consider the PREPARATION. There are two months of time from election day to when the President takes office. That should be done to vet the best possible team to start the new Presidency. What did Trump do? Played golf and sent Tweets. Then the start of his administration? He didn’t know what he was to do, and how to do it. As I said, the Republicans have not even passed a budget. Their first year (of only 2 years they held all power) is already gone. And not even a budget. Good job! Maga!
So now this shutdown. When the LAST shutdown happened, in 2013, caused by the GOP, that was when Obama prepared very well for the shutdown, to make sure as much as possible that the nation was ok, and as much as possible the pain was mitigated. Trump was caught so much unawares, that he had arranged a weekend party in Florida (at Trump’s mansion, with high-prices paid guests) to celebrate his 1 year anniversary as President - and because of the shutdown, he didn’t get to fly his government jet, Air Force One, to Florida, and has to stay in Washington! He was livid. And morose. Now he’s stuck to watching TV replaying clips where Trump says any shutdown is the fault of the President, and only the President can get the shutdown to end. Oh, and previous-Trump also lambasted the shutdown then, for being so bad to the economy etc.
We can imagine how he feels. His mind has the attention span of a gerbil. And he is hypnotically attracted to the news, and obsessed by whichever channel has his face on it. So when all the pundits do the finger-pointing - he can feel ok, seeing partisan bickering, but when they run clips of his own words - that is all kryptonite for the sitting President - himself!!! He has ALL the advice there on TV, with TV Trump saying that this was the President’s fault and the President is weakened by the shutdown and the President has to negotiate to get out of it. And even a ‘stable genius’ like Trump knows, that now when he negotiates with Schumer - he has to give some concessions to Schumer, not the other way around.
Trump will feel he was tricked into this shutdown. He was let to believe, this would be good for him. And every night from now until the end of the shutdown, there will be more bad news about HIS shutdown, with the same Trump quotes played endlessly. Trump will want to lay blame. He can’t accuse Democrats of tricking him into this shutdown. He will find plenty of skapegoats among his own side. Expect poisonous Tweets from Trump as this drags on. Yes, MOST of his vitriol is at Democrats (obviously Obama caused this shutdown) but he will seek someone to blame at his side. He feels he was trapped into this dilemma. And he DOESN’T want to ever see that bastard Schumer again. Trump will postpone any meeting with Schumie like we might postpone the visit to the dentist. So he’ll look for someone to blame. Trump will be ‘interesting’ during this shutdown, mark my words.
What Trump can take easily for long periods is the other side blaming him. He’ll brush that off with ‘losers’. What Trump cannot stand, is his own side blaming him. And worst, is if his popularity polls sink. So for Trump the real motivator to get out of the shutdown is his own popularity sinking. Until/unless that happens, he isn’t in any way motivated to try to compromise with Schumer, far less abandon anything he feels he already gained last time in ‘the deal’.
The CONGRESSIONAL Republicans will feel the pain. Senators more than House members (House members pain depends on their district, some in Tea Party gerrymandered districts will feel no pain). Democrats will almost all feel the pain almost immediately. That is however, something their leadership UNDERSTANDS and knows the politics of it. They are VERY competent to handle a shutdown stare-down. Chuck Schumer in the Senate and Nancy Pelosi in the House. On the Republican side we have Paul Ryan who is smart enough to know this is political suicide for their party (but will do the bidding on laying blame on the Democrats, of course). But he has almost no power because of the revolt brewing in the Tea Party wing. Ryan has no power whatsoever to hold his caucus. And lets not talk about Turtle-face. Senate leader McConnell is in deep shit and utterly above his own mental abilities. McConnell is so incompetent, the Republicans lost NINE GOP SENATOR votes from THEIR side, that would have prevented this shutdown. He is a wimpy limp d(u)ck. This is now a waiting game. The only ones who can resolve this are Schumer and Trump. And Trump has to make concessions. He isn’t quite aware of that fact yet. And his own side is spectacularly inept, at even attempting to help him process the thinking. And his own administraiton is a bunch of loonies, who couldn’t manage to successfully heat a microwave dinner.
So Trump will be remarkably dependent on his family, giving advice, and what he sees on TV talk shows. And that message is reasonably calm now, at the start of the shutdown. The more the real pain of the shutdown starts to come in (this was for the weekend, Monday is the first weekday when the bad news parade properly begins). The news cycles from now on will be increasingly bad for Trump and his shutdown. A critical chance is when some of his fave channels shift their coverage and start to urge Trump to make a deal, and/or start to feature the ‘harm’ coverage of the damage of the shutdown.
OUR OBJECTIVE TEST OF WHO WON
The big motivator for Trump is his popularity. It is at record-low levels for a first year President. Yes, Trump is the most unpopular President in American political history, for as long as political polls have been run, for the first 1 year of any administration. So lets lock this number. We’re using again of course the RCP average (Real Clear Politics, the gold standard of polling aggregation online for US politics). Today Trump’s RCP polling average is at 39.9% approval rate.
If the shutdown causes this to shrink, that urges Trump to move. If his popularity stays flat or even improves, Trump has lots of leverage and would seem immune to damage from the shutdown.
So then what of Congress? Who wins, who loses? The metric is the same. The RCP current average, from polls conducted just before the shutdown. The ‘Congressional generic vote’ poll average has Democrats currently holding a better image than Republicans, at 7.3%. If that moves away from Democrats it is good for Republicans, and vice versa. Note the level. The statisticians estimate, that because of the gerrymandered districts and various other reasons, a 50/50 split in this measure will not result in a split Congress. The Republicans (currently) hold an advantage. And because they have an advantage of 34 seats, the Democrats would need about 8.0% generic polling advantage, to flip the House in November 2018. It is tantalizingly close today (but 10 months is forever in politics, those numbers can go any which way during the interim months).
So we have the test I suggested. If POTUS rating drops below 39.9% then this hurts/hurted Trump. If his rating improves, then clearly he gained. Similarly Congress, the generic vote now strongly favors Democrats. While both sides WILL be blamed this is the perfect measure of who gets MORE blame. How does 7.3% move. If it goes to say 9.4% Democratic advantage, then the Republicans have damaged themselves with this stunt, but if it moves to say +3.2% Democrats, then the GOP would have gained.
Lastly we have the deal. Is the new deal the same deal as Trump initially rejected? If so, it was a stalemate and no gains/no losses politically to either side. If the deal that resolves this shutdown gives more to one side than other, that side ‘won’. I am saying, Trump popularity will be down, the generic ballot shifts more to Democrats and the final deal gives more to DEMs than GOP. This is a classic lose-lose-lose deal for Republicans. It is what a loser President would do. No, I shouldn’t use such language when discussing the US President. I should use a bit more classy, ‘Presidential’ language. Yes this deal is what a shithole President would do. This is the kind of winning Trump was referring to when he said, there would be so much winning, we would be begging for him to stop with the winning. Yeah. Republicans WILL want Trump to stop ‘winning’ this way. The Democrats will laugh all the way to November.
THE TSUNAMI WAVE
Ok. You get my thesis. This is a ‘Republican’ shutdown (some disagree). President Trump will be blamed (some disagree). The political negotiating position for Trump is horrendous and he has to give concessions to Schumer to get out of this mess (not all would agree). But whether my political gut is good on this or bad, we will know soon. This shutdown will end. Likely in a few weeks. And then we can measure, by that 3 point test. And I am confident enough in my forecast, to study the AFTERMATH of THIS shutdown. So YOU can see the signs, and observe the political patterns that emerge. (and sound super smart when you talk about these things assuming the first steps go as I suggest).
So lets see the political impacts of the shutdown. The first is almost invisible but massive and already happening now. It is mind-boggling. I do not see this discussed in the press (some do mention it, nobody makes a big deal about it).
Trump’s strongest election promise, and the Republican party’s calling card, and the favorite of EVERY Republican party candidate at any level, is the theme that they cut taxes, and the other side raises taxes. The Democrats at EVERY level struggle with this regularly. It is a brilliant four-word slogan invented for the Jimmy Carter era (and before) Democrats as a slur by Republicans. It is ‘tax-and-spend Liberals’.
The Republicans celebrate as being the party that always cuts taxes, and gives big tax cuts. It started with the biggest tax cut in history, by Reagan. A record then to be broken by the biggest tax cut in history, by W Bush-Cheney, and that record one would think could never be broken, was just superceded by Trump, with the biggest tax cut in US history. Republicans love giving BIG tax cuts, especially to the rich. And then they blame the Democrats for raising taxes.
This is a conjuring trick. A nasty, smelly Flint Michigan poisoned water degree fraud, that the Republicans have been getting away with.
It is true, that Reagan, W Bush, Trump cut taxes. And they were consecutively the biggest tax cuts in history. Yes. Most of the tax cuts went to the rich. Millionaires. (nice, MAGA!). But there also were tax cuts to the middle class yes. This part is true. In any magic trick some parts are true.
Was this sane economics? No. Each of these tax cuts is (was) a DISASTEROUSLY bad thing to do, economically. EACH of the previous two led to HUGE BUDGET DEFICITS. All of them including this latest by Trump add(ed) MASSIVELY to the national debt.
Consider how unfair it is. If the country has to go into DEBT to pay for the tax cut, it means that your KIDS have to pay for the money you now received ‘as a tax cut’. The money HAS to be paid back. It is a debt. But it is paid WITH INTEREST. It costs MORE to run your country this way, than not go so much into debt. How f*cking unfair is that? And to take money from YOUR kids (and THEIR kids, your grandkids?) to pay for some white old fogies who are MILLIONAIRES anyway? This is ludicrous. As Daddy Bush said of Reagan’s idiotic economic plan, it is ‘Voodoo Economics’. And even Reagan had to raise taxes to partly try to fix the damage he did.
A lot of REPUBLICANS protested this with W Bush-Cheney, the ‘fiscally conservative’ wing who to this day hate W Bush ‘the MBA President’ for being such an economic moron and driving up the nation’s debt to record levels. Now Trump runs that same gambit.
LETS BLAME THE DEMOCRATS!
Here is the diabolical part to this, as a political gambit. The NEXT GUY has to fix it.
So I get to spend to buy my toys (say two wars in the middle east) and the poor sucker who comes after me, has to raise taxes, to pay for this.
THAT is why Daddy Bush and Bill Clinton, after Reagan, had to raise taxes to bring the budget back into balance, by Clinton’s time and start to pay off some of the debt.
THAT is why Obama had to raise taxes after W Bush-Cheney, to pay for the silly spending. And whoever comes after Trump, will have to pay for this lunacy now - it means more taxes. Of course. This is mathematics (something Republicans are increasingly incapable of).
Note the pattern:
Reagan (R) - tax cuts!! (oops, debts are growing)
Clinton (D) - ok, lets raise taxes
W Bush (R) - tax cuts !! (what, the debt is ballooning?)
Obama (D) - ok, lets raise taxes
Trump (R) - TAX CUTS !!!
This is a conjuring trick. The Republican President deliberately over-spends in his term, so that the next sucker Democrat President has less money, and has to raise taxes. THEN the Republicans can on election day blame all Democrats as ‘tax-and-spend Liberals’.
This is a brilliant political tactic and it has worked pretty well for Republicans so far. But you can see, this has run 3 DECADES. And there is only one moment in a President’s career, early in his administration, that he has the power to pull this silly stunt and go wild on the family credit card and ruin the family’s credit rating... The Democrats also see through this but are unable to stop it, until they get back into power in Congress to stop this sillyness. And they know, SOMEONE has to pay for that spending the Republicans ALREADY did. They know the longer they wait, the more it will cost, and they will every time, go through with the tax increases to try to get the budget back in balance.
This is a conjuring trick. It is a total myth that Republicans are fiscally responsible and the Democrats overspend and overtax. The ‘tax-and-spend Liberal’ went extinct in the Democratic party with Walter Mondale’s loss in 1984. Up to that time, it was a fair accusation. Since then, the irresponsible party is the Republican party.
But this trick WORKS (politically). You and I reading this blog can see the lunacy of the tactic, from an economic point of view. It is like if you have maxed out your credit card, rather than start to save, you go get ANOTHER credit card for MORE debt (and immediately with it, you spend all you can, on the NEW card... ). But politically it works, because GOP candidates can fairly point at history - look Reagan, W Bush, Trump: Tax cuts. Look at Democrats, they keep raising your taxes. Don’t vote for the tax-and-spend Liberals !!
MEDIA SATURATION OF TAX CUTS
With this massive, only-once-in-a-President’s career opportunity, the occasion HAS to be maximized. There will not be another for Trump. When the biggest tax cut in history is enacted, you don’t let anything mess with the news cycle. You don’t go calling other countries shitholes and you don’t want any pending stories out about some pornstar named Stormy Daniels. You want every second of every news channel to be about the massive tax cut you just achieved. This is TOTALLY Republican-owned material. What can the Democrats do? Come and say ‘yeah yeah good for tax cuts’? And sound like they love Trump? Or try to say ‘no no no tax cuts because of (technobabble)’ and the sound bite played at your next election is ‘no no no tax cuts’. All citizens love getting tax cuts. Always. This is irresponsible governing by Trump but it is GOOD politics. Except for the (increasingly rare) fiscally responsible Republicans, all others love tax cuts. Note, on BOTH sides of the aisle. Democrats too love getting tax cuts!
What you DON’T want is for your big tax cuts celebration to be drowned out by some other political story. Gosh, not a DOWNER story of shutdown. Gosh, not a downer story that BLAMES YOU for the shutdown. And gosh, gosh, gosh, not to drown out the tax cuts by a story that you just COST THE COUNTRY 20 Billion dollars!!!
So regardess of whether a shutdown might be a good or bad thing to do. This is the WRONG TIME to do it. Because the tax cut was the big news, and nobody would be saying one word of shutdowns now, if Trump had signed the deal he had in front of his ugly orange-color face. The Republicans could be taking a victory lap with their signature legislation and Trump would have Air Force One fuelled to fly to any trivial gathering to sing ‘tax cuts tax cuts, largest tax cuts in history’. This is lunacy to run the utterly unnecessary shutdown NOW. The first legislative victory of the Trump administration. And he utterly squandered any publicity for it. A Stable Genius.
So one of the most popular ‘trademark’ items that the Republican party is known for, is now mostly hidden from the news. But they still did enact that tax cut, they’ll get benefits of it on election day. Just that the publicity and propaganda opporunity is wasted. A wasted opportunity while not strictly ‘damaging’ the GOP. However, most members of Congress will HATE Trump for taking this celebration away from them. That may have consequences down the line, in eroding Trump support.
But the big damage comes via Trump’s stature. He was elected as the strong powerful businessman. Only he could fix things. It took his genius to sort things out. He is the master negotiator who wrote the Art of the Deal (a brilliant book ghost-written for him which clearly Trump himself has never read). He would build the Wall on the border, it would not cost one penny in taxes because Mexico will pay, and Trump will keep America safe. Maga! The Democrats were weak and incompetent and idiots. The Stable Genius would fix all the damage starting from eliminating Obamacare.
Up to today, Trump has maintained a reasonably good illusion of the strong President. Oh, no, I don’t mean to us, sane people. I mean reasonably good illusion to his base voters. The ones who would listen to Sarah Palin too. And he gets the image of being the strong President regularly reinforced on Fox News.
When Trump has to capitulate to Schumer on the compromise, and take a lesser deal than he once had. The emperor will have no clothes. There will be no way anyone can put lipstick on that turd, when he HAD money for (a small part of) the Wall and now has to go without it. The Republican base will hate how Trump gave away DACA and allows illegals to remain and get some sort of amnesty. The fiscal conservatives will be livid that Trump tossed 20 Billion dollars into a garbage can and let it burn - for THIS? A deal WORSE than what we just had? What kind of lunatic IS HE? This is the type of man who could conceivably bankrupt a casino! (Five actually. A world record in casino management incompetence but lets not go into Trump University or Trump Airline or Trump Vodka).
The voters will hate Trump for this pointless waste and damage to the USA. His standing among his base will crumble - a LITTLE TEENY WEENY bit. Barely noticeable. But his standing among those in the middle politically, who were duped to vote for him in 2016 - will collapse. And the sillyness of this gambit will embolden sane Republicans to start to call Trump out as a loonie. This first year, when Trump popularity is the lowest ever measured for any President at the 1 year mark - will be remembered as the ‘golden year’ for the man with the golden hair. (yes am calling Peak Trump). It will be FAR worse when his own side deserts the madman and he feels ever more isolated and abandoned. Even a strong President suffers from that. But a narcsissist? He will be suicidal.
ITS THE ECONOMY, STUPID
But all that could be averted, if there is salvation at the end. November 2018 will be the midterm elections. All seats in the House are up. One third of the Senate are also up. And the one overriding power in US elections is the economy. If the economy is strong, the President’s party gets good results. If the economy is tanking, the President in power and his party, get the blame.
We know, readers of this blog, how utterly unfair that is, because the President has no control of the economy. But that is how it is. And we know, the economy runs in cycles. There ARE always upswings that ALWAYS are followed by downswings, which then are followed by the next upswing. It is a wave. Has always been, will always be. And we are now on the tail end of the Obama economic wave that is soon to end. It will end. The only question is when. Will it be this summer or this next winter, or maybe go onto next summer. The end is coming. It is a wave. It is basic economics. Economics 101.
And did you notice, many banks have issued forecasts that in about a year, the US economy will be in recession. There you go, Donald Trump. When it comes, YOU will be blamed for tanking the economy. It is utterly irrelevant what is the real (lack of) power that a President has. The next recession will come, and you will be blamed. We (readers of this blog) know that the economy runs in cycles, the next recession is months or a few quarters away. Will come before 2020. Will it come this year or 2019, that is the question. It will come. It is unavoidable. Trump will preside over the next recession. And he will hate it, that they will refer to the good times as the Obama economy (with the longest streak of job growth in US economic history; jobs are always lost in recessions).
We don’t know how deep (devastating like with W Bush-Cheney) or light the next recession will be, but it will come. And then all that bullshit about Trump being great for the economy will be exposed for the myth it was, and people will remember VERY fondly (and unfairly) how good the times were under Obama. And MANY in the business side, will point to, or remind audiences, that by the way, remember the shutdown? That shutdown helped bring about this recession. So there is a nasty ripple effect in that direction too (damaging Trump).
Now recessions mean jobs will be lost. THAT hits Trump and the Republicans where they are vulnerable. Those voters who tend to vote Democrat, but took a chance with Trump. They will HATE ‘his recession’. The longest period of job growth under Obama, the good economy, is ended by the Billionaire who doesn’t care about the little guy. Because it will mean job losses, where the Orange Haired One promised jobs. Oh, Coal. Clean Coal. MAGA! MAGA! Gosh what a fraud!
Why am I writing about the economy? Because one thing is CERTAIN. About the only thing a President could do, to impact the economy, is to TANK it. To PUSH it into recession. Like how, tell us Tomi, how? By running a shutdown, that will damage the economy!!! The last shutdown was only a few weeks. It damaged the GDP by 0.5%!!!!! Half a point! That is a massive hit, on an economy that is GUARANTEED to go into recession, and the only question is WHEN. Trump has just brought FORWARD his own recession! This is indeed, a ‘stable’ sort of genius.
One of the news sources Trump loves, is the business news. THEY will make this point every day during the shutdown. And he will HATE it that he is being blamed for bringing the country to recession.
I don’t know IF this will end up bringing the recession up in time of the mid-terms 2018 by November. But unless Trump ends the shutdown now, this first week, the damage will be significant enough, to probably bring the next recession up by one PERIOD (3 months). That is madness, if you’re the ‘economy’ President. Trump will defend rising unemployment and lost jobs, when his re-election campaign comes in 2020. This hits not just Trump but all vulnerable Republicans in rustbelt states (Pennsylvania, Michigan, Ohio etc). And those states have a lot of Trump-critics on the Republican side, who can’t wait to jump on their party’s baffoon President. Like Ohio Governor John Kasich (a Republican who hates Trump) haha.
Now, if Trump was a ‘smart economist’ like say Bill Clinton, he’d be PREPARING for the downturn and ensure it is as short as possible and the damage is as little as possible. Trump has no competent support and is utterly incapable of understanding the economy himself. So the DAMAGE to the economy both of this shutdown, and the later Trump administration steps to end the recession - will be feeble and often counter-productive. This is like Trump would be laying a minefield IN FRONT OF HIS OWN TROOPS as they march forward.
(can you sense a tsunami wave building already, or is it just me?)
I told you, Trump doesn’t know what he is doing and he got bad advice from watching Fox News. Schumer is not a fool. He will insist on a private deal with Trump. No Senate and no House participation. Trump will love this. He likes to be 'in control' and to do the deal among the two of them, as Trump increasingly distrusts Mitch McConnell and Paul Ryan. And the bargain Trump and Schumer will strike, will be the holy hand grenade by Schumer. If the Senate GOP are not there to see Schumer’s tricks, this is like a grown up playing monopoly with a six year old.
If Trump was wise, he’d jump at the earliest opportunity to end the shutdown now this week (and get away with very mild concessions). But Trump doesn’t deal well with reality. He is self-destructive and plays brinkmanship. He will NOT do the easy sane thing. He will make this FAR worse - on himself - and the GOP - which only helps the Democrats. It will take a long while for Trump to ‘get it’ that he HAS to negotiate, personally, with Schumer. (Trump HATES it that Schumer is a better negotiator than Trump is, and now Schumie holds all the cards). And Trump will try any other gambit to not do that. He will send anyone else as his envoy. But because this time Trump personally f*cked Schumer, Schumer won’t waste his time with another bait-and-switch gambit. He will wait, and the longer Trump waits, the more it will cost the GOP. And now remember. This is a conflict of interest. Trump personally, has utterly different interests than the GOP as a party. Trump doesn’t understand HALF of what is being discussed. So Schumer can pull any trick he wants. Trump can give away half of the store to Schumer and not understand how that might anger some in the GOP.
And it is in Schumer’s best interest to get the GOP to fight against each other - in an election year. That is not just how you win back the House. That is how Schumer could get to even flip the Senate this year, and not have to wait until 2020.
It is utterly possible that the ‘first deal’ by Trump & Schumer ends up NOT passing the HOUSE. That their deal gets the votes in the Senate and fails in the House. And then Schumer will say - Trump, you failed. I delivered my part. And walk.
And guess what. The REPUBLICANS kept the hated shutdown GOING.
Schumer is in a “can’t lose” situation. He can patiently wait until Trump is on his knees and take whatever Schumer wants. This is the biggest political blunder in US political history.
And it will be played out in prime time. Trump’s image, for what was left of it, will be severely tarnished by this spectacle.
So what ends up out of it? At some point there WILL be a deal. Very likely Schumer insists on a budget through December, and it will be reasonably ‘sane’. It probably doesn’t have any money for the Wall, and it very probably has full protection of the ‘dreamers’ that were part of the origins of this fight. This will make individual factions of Trump’s base LIVID. He gave away the store. And they have no more leverage, because the CR nonsense (Continuing Resolutions, every month extensions rather than an annual budget) will be gone. So the Tea Party loonies can’t do the shutdown hostage game anymore this year.
That means that many who have trusted the Shithole-In-Chief, will suddenly feel utterly betrayed. He promised us the Wall. Now we have no wall but he gave amnesty to the illegal bastards? And this is our ‘master negotiator’? A part of the most loyal Trumpists will sense that sensation in their back, as if someone has stuck a knife in it, and is twisting that knife? They won’t like it. They will have a VERY loud voice in the right wing echo chamber. And that starts to erode Trump’s loyal base. What happened to the guy who wrote the Art of the Deal. And the snarky right wing radio hosts will be more than happy to gleefully remind readers - oh Trump didn’t write that book himself. But here’s an interesting book (picks up latest tell-all book from ex Trump admin members) and the most loyal edge of Trump’s support starts to rebel against him. THIS will be epic infighting just in time for a November 2018 mid-term election, where Tea Party Trumpists will feud against Tea Party extremists, both of whom are rejected by Coca Cola Classic ie GOP classic and the Democrats will laugh and laugh. And pick up the House.
(is this feeling like smart strategy, this shutdown?)
THE GRAND FRACTURE
The long-festering Republican Civil War calmed down once Trump won. They’ve now had all power in Washington DC and due to the strongly divergent interests, the GOP as a party (apart from Trump’s own ineptidude) has been remarkably weak at capitalizing on this rare moment in political power. This stage comes to most Washington DC politicians only once in a career. And they’ve squandered already half of that opportunity. But the Tea Party nutter wing has been rock-solidly behind their President.
I believe that the New Compromise that Trump has to strike with Schumer, THAT will start the Grand Fracture. A new fault starts to form in the Republican Party Civil War. It will not be only Tea Party vs GOP Classic. The new fracture is among Trump supporters. Those who still love him (the super-delusional) and then this fracture wing - of Tea Party supporters. They will be primarily driven by immigration fear politics. They fear foreigners. They are the ones who most wanted the Wall (was on the table, Traitor-Trump gave it away) and don’t want the brown people’s kids to be given Amnesty. Which Traitor-Trump now gives. THIS will fracture Trump’s support. And the problem is, that these were in his base. They will start to spread the fear, that perhaps ALL of Trump is actually a fake. He is a fraud. He lies 2,000 times per year. Then comes the next conspiracy: Actually... he may be a DEMOCRATIC PLANT. He is what we feared. He is an anti-christ. He is the White Obama. He is the embodiment of everything Tea Partiers fear (to these immigration-nutters). And the Trump loyalist cult will see ITS OWN civil war. Remember. Trump has no recourse. He IS a fraud. He built an elaborate illusion. It is all fake. It WILL collapse at some point. This aftermath of the shutdown - if he loses the Wall but gives amnesty - that I believe WILL fracture his base. Some will call him a traitor or a Democrat in wolf's clothing.
That is most of the nutter edge talk shows and blogs and experts. I would see a Ted Cruz type to lead this revolution from the outside, while obviously a John Kasich (Ohio Governor) type will lead the ‘traditional’ Republican revolt from the opposite side. Just in time for November 2018 elections, the Republicans will be in a three-way-screaming match about who is more wrong and who is the biggest traitor. This is what Trump meant, that there will be so much winning, that we’ll be tired of all the winning.
I don’t mean the GOP splits (yet) three ways. I mean that the ROCK SOLID block of Trump support we’ve seen since late 2015 - those who would stand by Trump if he shot someone on the street. THAT will see its first serious fracture. And then all in the Trump camp HAVE to pick sides. Is he a noble man for calling countries shitholes? Is he a family man for having an 11 month affair with a prostitute while married? Is he a honorable man if he paid 100 women to shut up about his affairs with them? Is Melania an illegal immigrant and shouldn’t she be deported first for having broken laws? Is Trump a Christian man for grabbing women by their (I don’t want to say that word again). If this fracture forms INSIDE his loyal base, THAT could be the cancer that destroys his career even beyond his failing Presidency.
I believe that this shutdown will be seen as the trigger that caused that Grand Fracture in his base. It will start from here, and will be in full effect by Autumn but the split won’t be happening until after the carnage of the midterm loss in November 2018. The REALLY bad years for Trump start in 2019.
A NUCLEAR POWER PLANT GETS HIT...
So I had the analogy. The shutdown is like an earthquake in the ocean, almost not noticed. A few islands will have tremors. Only the political pundit class will blabber on about this (like haha, me on this blog, boring you to tears). BUT it has repercussions.
The shutdown (earthquake) results in immediate effects, that will end up in the end of the shutdown. My analysis says that this will end up being decided by Trump and Schumer. At that time Schumie holds all the cards, Trump is on his knees and the deal will be brutal to Trump. Because Schumer has to teach Trump never to try to go back on his word again, to Schumer. He cannot let these kind of brinkmanship games continue.
The ending of the shutdown has a new compromise. That deal and the effect to Trump i the tsunami that forms from the earthquake. It will now start to build with ever worse effects as it rushes towards the shore.
The tsunami hits the shore. A nuclear powerplant is there and is damaged. What is this last part.
The immediate effect of the tsunami wave finally reaching landfall is the November 2018 election. There have been 34 special elections so far since Trump got elected. The voters have a clear mind about how much they are against THIS President and his party. In 30 of 34 elections the Democrats won. In the four they lost - they did better on average by 15 POINTS vs the Trump election of November 2016. The Democrats by this measure are CRUISING for a massive election victory in November 2018. There has never been a situation, where this type of special elections wave, was somehow ‘cancelled’ by election day. There IS a hatred of Trump already in the air. The voters will show up and issue their protest.
The first midterm of the Presidency is ALWAYS a loss to the party in control. That is how it goes in US politics. Even if Americans LOVED their President like they did Obama, they still will give the other side gains in the midterms. It is far worse, if they HATE their President.
This is the year of the woman. There are more women registered as candidates than ever before (the vast vast majority of those are Democrats, against sitting men Republicans). And the Democratic party is energized (against this President) and have fielded for the first time in ages, a candidate in every Congressional district (you cannot win if you don’t even put someone up for the vote). There are a record number of Republicans who have quit the re-election (already). All the ‘mechanicals’ in this election are bad (for GOP).
Before you say, But Tomi, you said this also of Hillary in 2016 - I did, and I gave you my analysis here on the blog - and she won 3 MILLION more votes than Trump. But she lost the election yes. In this case it is over 450 individual elections to all House seats and one third of Senate seats. If I am right, and they too win their VOTE COUNTs, then no amount of tricks can get them all to avoid the election punishment coming their way.
So the indicators? We noted the RCP generic ballot? It is at 7.5% in favor of Democrats (very high at this point in election cycle). The President? He is at 39.9% approval - literally the record worst approval in polling history for the 12 month point in a President’s term. The economy is still going good but it may stall at any moment. The shutdown will bring an earlier end to this economic boom period. Maybe brings it for the election.
Now the effects of the shutdown and its aftermath. Trump will be severely weakened. His word will be a joke. Many who installed so much desperate hope into Trump, that he could bring back jobs and ‘clean coal!’ and get rid of those ugly brown people - that illusion is shattering. Meanwhile the Democrats talk to their unfaitful voters and say, we will fix this. And they will come back. Not all, but enough. Trump cannot get HIS voters to go bring in Congressional bums to mess up the picture. The shutdown is the perfect picture to draw to Republican voters - that hey, this Trump bozo made things WORSE.
That means less energized Republicans (low turnout) and this shutdown truly hurts mostly poor people (high turnout). Women voters & women candidates (high turnout - to Democrats). The Dreamers solution to the shutdown will be cheered by minorities (Democrat voters). The Tax Cut, while popular among REPUBLICANS is seen as a ridiculous gift to millionaires by most of the voters (will hurt more than help). The picture is in place for a much much worse election drubbing than what 7.5% generic ballot today would suggest.
And that is before the individual rats abandon their POTUS. The special elections have freaked out the professionals on the GOP side. They see the landslide rolling down the mountain. They are pros. THEY are telling THEIR GUY (or rare gal, on GOP side) that hey, save your own ass, abandon Trump. Trump will see unprecedented rejection of a first-term President by his own party in the midterms. This we have NEVER seen.
It is normal for the SECOND term POTUS to be so unpopular that he is not wanted in election work by members of his own party. But not in first term. I would guess about one third, could be half, of Republicans will refuse to be seen with Trump this Autumn in the campaiging. That will of course infuriate the Stable One. And he will issue Twitter edicts about the traitor wing to the party. This of course will the result in ever more bickering and chaos.
A divided party cannot win. I foresee the House flipping in November. I believe it will not even be close. So prepare for Nancy Pelosi again. And if Trump thought these negotiations with Chuck Schumer were tough (when he finally makes his deal, he hasn’t yet seen the angry Chuck Schumer), wait until he sees Pelosi, who is back as Speaker of the House, with an angry Democratic Congress hating the President and demanding he be investigated for Russia and so forth. The nightmare for Trump starts in January 2019. This year will be seen as the 'calm' year for the Genius known as Stable. The chaos will get progressively worse with the in-fighting, fingerpointing, investigations - and everybody publishes tell-all books that try to top each other, revealing ALL THE DIRT.
Because of where the seats are, I dont’ see the Senate flipping now (it will in 2020). It might flip already now, if thing really go against the Trumpo-monster. And as to POTUS fight in 2020, do not dismiss the enormous capacity of the Democratic party to nominate unelectable stiffs, like Walter Mondale, Michael Dukakis, Al Gore, John Kerry and Hillary Clinton. What the Democrats needs, is another Billy Clinton or Barack Obama, but those kinds of candidates are not exactly on the cards for 2020. Maybe one will emerge. I don’t think Oprah will run (she’d win easily). The ultimate candidate would be Michelle Obama (won’t run). There is a danger Hillary or Bernie Sanders or Joe Biden will make yet another run and then Trump would have a good chance of being re-elected. It depends. Lets wait with 2020. But for November 2018. This shutdown means, the election result is sealed. Trump blew it.
I welcome comments to the blog, please do. But you MUST have read the full article. If you post anything where I would need to reply and say ‘if you had read the full article’ then I will not do that. I will not waste the time of my readers - and your comment, however valid it may have been - will be deleted mercilessly. READ the FULL article before you post. But this blog is open to all views. PS no discussion about 2016. I admitted I got that forecast wrong. If you try to gloat here now in 2018, I will delete those comments too. Keep it about this President and this Shutdown.