Thursday, December 01, 2016

TRUMP ISN'T DRAINING THE SWAMP, AND HIS BASE DOESN'T CARE

McClatchy's Vera Bergengruen went to central Pennsylvania to ask Trump voters whether they're upset because the administration he's assembling is full of lobbyists. Nope:
“This is his thing. He is a successful businessman who hires people to get him ... what he wants,” said Fred Harris, 42, who works at a gas station near Philipsburg, Pa. “If he has to use swamp people to make America great again, why not?”

“I don’t think that should be the main thing on his mind right now,” [Holly Mann, 61, a retired teacher who lives outside State College,] said. “Everyone down there is involved in the lobbying. It’s going to take a long time.”

Denise Jones, 54, in Port Matilda, Pa., agreed.

“He would never get anything done, would he?” she said. “This is real life, you can’t just play with the good guys. The important thing is he doesn’t need their money.” ...

“Of course he’s going to take on smart people, doesn’t matter whether they’re lobbyists or not,” said John Walton, 29, a truck driver from Pittsburgh who was passing through Port Matilda, Pa. “They’re the ones who know how to run ----.” ...

“To be frank, it’s more important he gets things moving, like getting rid of Obamacare and fixing the schools, and jobs” said Anne Freeman, 34, a stay-at-home mother in State College, Pa. “I don’t much care how he does it. That’s up to him.”
They say this even though they delighted in the notion of swamp-draining.
[Fred] Harris went to one of Trump’s rallies a few weeks before the election while visiting his brother in Johnstown, Pa., and says he joined the “Drain the swamp!” chants.

“Oh yeah, people loved it. ‘Drain the swamp’ and ‘Build the wall,’” he said. “But I’d rather he focus on building the wall.”
By definition, even if he hires swamp dwellers, they're not like the really bad swamp dwellers, because Trump's not an evil Democrat.
“If Hillary had won -- and you know, she really is a swamp person -- she would have had to pay back with favors all these interests that sent her money,” said Mark Ross, 57, in Unionville, Pa., who said he wasn’t a fan of Trump but liked what he said about “flushing out the scum” in Washington.

“Do I think it’s really gonna happen? Nah,” he laughed. “But better Trump’s swamp than Obama’s swamp. At least he’s gonna get us something.”
They accept it because they think they're going to get something out of a Trump presidency. But when they don't -- when the manufacturing jobs don't come back, when the wall never progresses much beyond a ground-breaking photo op, when there turns out to be no secret plan that instantly wipes out ISIS -- they'll still love Trump, because he luxuriates in their adulation, and he scapegoats the people they despise.

Years from now, probably in the depths of the next recession or during another mismanaged war, they might realize they've been fleeced, the way they eventually did with George W. Bush. But I assume Trump will be in his second term by then.

7 comments:

Chris Andersen said...

Contrast this with Democrats after Obama was elected who spent half their time running purity tests on all the people Obama wanted to appoint.

I'm honestly not sure which is worse: the way Republicans just blindly trust their leaders to do what is right or the way Democrats second-guess their leaders into the grave.

Swellsman said...

No, I'm fairly confident we're looking at a major recession hitting by about 2019. My reasoning: the unifying them behind both Trump and the GOP's domestic policies is (i) allow the ultra-wealthy to concentrate the nation's wealth into their hands even more, and (ii) drain as much money as possible from the poor, the working-class, the middle-class. There will be no increase in the minimum wage, there will be no expansion of overtime pay, there will be no expansion of Medicare to include people 55 and up, the costs of health insurance increase, etc.

Essentially, as much money as possible is going to be sucked away from the people who actually spend it and allowed to accumulate in the financial - but not economic -- assets of the uberwealthy. Lack of money to spend means lack of spending, lack of demand. Lack of demand in a consumption-based economy means a sudden grinding to a halt of the entire economy.

It will take some time for the effects of this economic debacle to kick in, once it's been enacted, and it is always difficult to time such things, but the ultimate outcome seems inevitable and - as I mentioned - I'm estimating that it hits sometime in 2019.

Jimbo said...

I'm from Pittsburgh originally. It's a really great city. There are a lot of wonderful, liberal people there. Really. Like some of the assholes quoted here, I too came from a working class background (yay, Dad, a Westinghouse union shop steward) but most workers back then had an aspiring middle class outlook. (I grew up in the 1960s.) I both totally understood and really didn't relate to "The Deer Hunter" movie because of the stalled out/dark feeling. That said it is a great favorite.

More to the point, my generation saw US Steel refuse to modernize from the old Bessemer converter technology to the new far more efficient electric arc and gas furnaces while they were piling up yuuuge profits from the Vietnam War. Instead, US Steel became a big real estate investor and went into other businesses because they couldn't "compete" with West Germany, S. Korea and Brazil (at the time) while blaming "unions"and "environmentalists". That's when I became an environmentalist. US Late stage capitalism, especially industry and mining has really entered a complete parasitical stage at this point.

Ken_L said...

It's comforting to read that some liberals understand the Trump phenomenon. I'm in despair at the smug complacency I read elsewhere, along the lines of "hur-hur-hur just wait until the rubes realise they've been conned, I'm stocking up on popcorn".

Some progressives have even convinced themselves Trump will be impeached, and are already celebrating their imminent "victory". As if handing government over to Pence/Ryan/McConnell/Roberts would be some sort of liberal triumph. The truth is that we should pray Trump sees out his term, because he's likely to do a few good things even if it's for the wrong reasons. Pence would be a horror show.

America's in a very dark place, and Democrats aren't shining even a glimmer of light at the end of the tunnel.

Boudica said...

The problem is when all they get is a photo op of the wall's groundbreaking, they'll remember it as the wall being built. Reality means nothing to his supporters.

Victor said...

PT Barnum vastly underestimated the number of suckers born in a particular period of time!

Of course, the US population back then was less dense - in both senses of that word.

Gerald Lillpop said...

Everyone needs to remember that not everyone voted for tRump because they love him many voted because they saw him as a way out of their desperation. When they see that he is a fraud they will not be pleased. I just read a story about a woman in LA who voted tRump and his pick at Treasury presided over a bank that foreclosed on this woman. You can bet buyers remorse has already set in with her.