Sunday, November 20, 2016


James Hohmann of The Washington Post is so naive he believes Republicans will be held accountable for what they do starting in January:
Colin Powell ... warned George W. Bush about the consequences of invading Iraq: "You are going to be the proud owner of 25 million people. You will own all their hopes, aspirations, and problems. You'll own it all." As Bob Woodward recounted in a 2004 book, “Privately, Powell and Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage called this the Pottery Barn rule: You break it, you own it.”

-- Trump and the congressional Republicans who have chosen to make their bed with him are responsible for what happens from now on. There is now no one to blame if they can't pass budgets, avoid shutdowns, deal with sequestration, replace Obamacare, destroy ISIS or reverse the continuing loss of manufacturing jobs. If climate change gets worse, it’s on them. If Syria continues its downward spiral, it’s on them. If more countries acquire nuclear weapons, it’s on them. It may be totally unfair, but that’s the way our system works.
This is a joke, right?

Republicans are the masters of messaging. They're going to shift blame skillfully and relentlessly once Donald Trump is president -- nothing is going to be his fault, or Paul Ryan's fault, or Mitch McConnell's. They've been laying the groundwork for eight years, telling us that the Obama presidency was the greatest calamity in American history, on every conceivable level. They may not have persuaded a majority of Americans -- Obama's approval rating is the highest it's been in years -- but they persuaded enough voters in enough swing states to swipe the election, and they've probably persuaded a very large percentage of the likely voters in the 2018 midterms.

And if they can't blame problems on Obama, they have a lot of practice demonizing Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer. If Pelosi somehow loses her leadership position to Tim Ryan, he'll become the new right-wing Antichrist. Republicans are in campaign mode every day of every year; I bet they're already amassing oppo to use against him.

Sluggish economy? Wahhh, Obama left us the worst economy ever! Difficulties in the fight against ISIS? Wahhh, Obama weakened the American military and called ISIS the JV team! North Korea nukes Los Angeles! Wahhh, Obama led from behind! They'll use these excuses for years.

Hohmann writes:
The last time Republicans had unified control of the government, the American people were so happy with how it went that they made San Francisco liberal Nancy Pelosi the Speaker of the House and a community activist turned law professor named Barack Hussein Obama the first black president.
Yes, but that took years. Republicans started Bush's presidency controlling all of Congress; they lost control of the Senate early in Bush's first term, then regained it after the 2002 midterms. It took botched Katrina relief, a failed effort to privatize Social Security, an attempt to force the effectively brain-dead Terri Schiavo to stay on life support against her stated wishes, and three and a half years of utter failure in Iraq for voters to finally give Republicans the boot. That was after nearly six years of the Bush presidency.

Republicans were undone by the war, which had been Bush's proudest achievement. The system didn't have to force him to take ownership of it -- he reveled in being a war president. That turned sour for the GOP, but it hadn't been a problem even in 2004, despite the fact that weapons of mass destruction never turned up and Abu Ghraib torture photos did.

So trust me, the Trump and the GOP are going to avoid blame for a lot longer than they should.


Jimbo said...

In terms of the modern Presidency, we are now in uncharted territory. No one, including Trump, expected him to be President. He is utterly incompetent at even basic management - witness his business career - which means he will delegate his policy-making to his Cabinet, which is likely to be a bunch of corrupt losers like Reagan's mostly was (excepting Schultz). We also have to assume that America's many and varied rivals/enemies will rightly perceive an incompetent in the Presidency and proceed to create history and Trump will have no idea what to do. Which means random, uncoordinated reactions, especially on foreign policy/security matters where Congress always defers to the Executive (and the GOP are a bunch of spineless bullshitters). And we will have really terrible decisions likely being made and a sense of chaos in the White House. If that happens, the GOP won't be able to blame "No Drama Obama". As for the domestic scene, I'm less sure what the Administration will actually get done since he really has no mandate whatsoever and Congress, even the GOP, is terribly divided. Again, don't see how that's on Obama. As for the 2018 situation, if the Democrats don't get their mid-terms GOTV act together, they're pretty much finished as a national party.

mlbxxxxxx said...

It is going to be interesting to see if there are any rules for Trump.

Also, I think Reince Priebus needs to begin wearing a monocle and using the Col. Clink accent that I use in my head when I read his name.

Paradoctor said...

Jimbo: he's already walking back some of his worst promises. Absolute hypocrisy trumping idiotic promises; that's Trumpism, _if_ we're lucky.

Grung_e_Gene said...

Verily, this is true Steve. Hell they blamed the 2007 Republican Recession on Jimmy Carter.

Victor said...

Any bad shit that happens, will be laid on the laps of Carter, Bill Clinton, and, of course, Obama.

Any good things
(Even if he, all day, every day, and even in his most brain-addled moments, wouldn't recognize today's GOP).

petrilli said...

Such pessimism here today. I think that one useful comparison for this vile new presidency might be the occasional American doctor who confronts some long dormant horrible disease of of antiquity and fails to recognize it. Like ebola, this new reality of fear and hate was long in incubation even if the presentation is new and confusing. We will find the tools to fight, and we will fight them. The weapons will be varied and come from the most unlikely of places. I'm feeling more energized by the day as ambiguity and gray areas fall into relief. "Which side are you on," baby. As simple as that.

Unknown said...

People who are getting healthcare for the first time will probably lose it. The Republicans will find a way to blame Obama and Clinton.