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Tom Rinaldo

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Member since: Mon Oct 20, 2003, 06:39 PM
Number of posts: 18,582

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Trump is a transition figure. Pence will be cast as the next Gerry Ford.

At some point after they get enough out of him, and Trump's approval ratings sink low enough, Republicans will cut Trump loose for a President Pence. They already have enough to impeach him over any time they want. They will spin that they are true patriots, putting the interests of the nation over a president of their own party. They will saddle Trump with the blame for everything that goes wrong in and for America during his administration, and then throw hm overboard. They have to wait long enough before doing so that their own base won't punish them for turning against Trump, but they will pull the trigger then- probably within 6 months the way things are going. Most likely they will depose him on national security grounds. By then Trump will already have signed off on their conservative domestic agenda. Expect Pence to pose as a Gerry Ford after Nixon type figure temperamentally. He will be framed as a calming return to normality. The window dressing will suddenly improve dramatically and America will feel relieved when our VP is elevated to the presidency.

The daily scandal that Trump now throws out is the perfect set up to normalize the rule of a President Pence, by way of contrast, after he takes power. When asked what took them so long to deal with a rabid Trump presidency that they in fact enabled, Congressional Republicans will cite a respect for the will of an electorate that chose Donald Trump to be President. After the fact they will claim that they were always keeping a keen eye on Trump and were preparing to defend our Constitutional Republic from him if need be. I think they may be able to pull it off by claiming to still support whatever elements of Trumpism haven't by then been fully discredited (coupled with standard conservative "values" with a new improved figure head President who we will be told was a crucial behind the scenes leader in successfully navigating us away from the Trump disaster.

But Republicans can't escape political blame for the pain they will inflict on millions of people whose fundamental survival may depend on how Republicans deal with health care. Their zeal to repeal Obamacare predates the rise of Trump, his downfall will not provide them with a convenient scapegoat after the fact IF we make sure that the blame stays pinned on them now. Whether or not Democrats can retake one or both houses of congress in 2018, I think, may rest on this after Republicans help clean the White House of Donald Trump and try to take credit for that.

Democrats must continue to show that Congressional Republicans are willingly and knowingly playing with our lives if they move to dismantle the Affordable Care Act and the protections (and affordability) it now provides to lower and true middle income Americans - many of whom provided the critical votes Republicans needed last November to win a narrow electoral college majority to install a President wiling to sign off on their legislative agenda. Our problem is that with all of the ongoing pyrotechnics of a Trump presidency, it is hard to not keep all eyes riveted on him while we respond to the latest explosion, and not on Congress where the more garden variety work of the plutocracy is steadily advancing. Can we both forcefully resist Trump and keep a spotlight on Republicans in Congress? Much rides on our ability to do so.

The Main Stream Media Reporters who Donald Trump Calls Disgusting

These are the same individuals who collectively withheld all reporting on the "dossier" of how the Russians allegedly compromised Trump in Moscow, simply because they were unable to independently confirm the allegations made in it. This despite the fact that the person who compiled that dosser was and remains a highly credible source; a former British head of Intelligence for their Moscow unit. The story was widely known by most if not all major media organizations dating back to the summer, and yet not a hint of it leaked out prior to quite recently after American Intelligence agencies felt a need to themselves brief our political leaders on it.

I am not criticizing our media for withholding coverage of a story that would potentially have dominated the news for weeks prior to the election. Actually I applaud them for acting responsibly in light of the power that media always has to strongly influence events, including Presidential Elections. They should be cautious about publicly reporting potentially explosive allegations while they are doing their best to confirm details about them. But I can't help but think about how Donald Trump did his very best to sleaze them all, often by name, during his campaign for President while they all were acting so responsibly and not breaking a story that they knew would garner massive attention during the most competitive six month long domestic news cycle this country ever routinely experiences.

For some of these reporters their literal physical safety was put in question by the viscous negative personal focus that Donald Trump placed them under to his most rabid followers. Throughout it all they remained true to the ethics of their calling and suppressed unproven reports that could have severely damaged Trump's chances to become President. And in return the now President of the United States calls these dedicated men and women “the most dishonest human beings on earth”.

I haven't seen any other reflections written about what Trump put those reporters through in his campaign while all along those members of the so called liberal elite media were refusing to run with a story damaging to Trump because they could not prove it to be true. It continues to boggle my mind what a crude asshole Donald Trump is.

Yes. There were numerous factors that swung the race narrowly to Trump.

None of them are trivial. Republicans practiced wide spread voter suppression efforts against minority voters in particular this year. Trump got hundreds of millions in free publicity early in the race before the media quite belatedly began to actually cover him beyond the buzz they generated for him - and then for the most part only the print media got real. The overt actions of the FBI Director had him jumping into the scale for Trump rather than just putting a finger on it. Russia intervened in the election on Trump's behalf, hacking and facilitating the release of tens of thousands of emails meant to discredit Clinton. Facebook allowed fake news stories in favor of Trump to proliferate, virtually unchallenged. Third Party candidates muddied the field and got significant numbers of votes. Some Americans simply were not ready to accept a woman as President, no matter how qualified. The electoral college is undemocratic, and Hillary probably got million of more votes than Trump without winning. Others can add to this list no doubt.

All true, but Democrats still should have easily won this election for President. Ongoing demographic shifts have favored Democrats increasingly each Presidential election. The unemployment level dipped below 5% before this election. The Republicans could not have nominated a less qualified and more universally disliked and distrusted candidate for President than Donald Trump. Hillary had a well oiled highly professional campaign team, Trump ran through three different campaign managers. The official Democratic Party was unified behind Clinton; Trump couldn't even get endorsements from previous Republican Presidents or most prior Republican Presidential candidates - nor several of the candidates who ran against him for the nomination, including the Governor of Ohio where their convention was held. Trump had no high profile surrogates who significantly campaigned for him aside from his Vice President and his daughter. Hillary had her daughter and VP too. She also had Bill Clinton, and Joe Biden, and Al Gore, and Bernie Sanders, and Elizabeth Warren. And she had a very popular two term Democratic President and his even more popular wife pulling out all of the stops for her. Trump had Ted Nuggent, Clinton had Bruce Springsteen, and Beyonce etc. etc. etc.

After Romney's 2012 loss to Obama the RNC determined that Republicans needed better outreach to Latinos in order to win national elections. Instead Trump did everything in his power to push them away. Despite all of his boasting about his personal riches Hillary raised and outspent Trump by hundreds of millions during this presidential campaign. Although there were small numbers of Democrats vocal in opposition to Hillary, there were many more Republicans vocal in opposition to Trump. The Democrats had a fully functional GOTV machine, the Republicans did not. Trump was caught on tape boasting about sexual assaults. Women who were molested by him came forward. Teen beauty queens related how Trump barged in on them while naked during Trump promoted pageants. There is a trial date pending for the victims of the Trump University scam. Trump refused to release any of his tax returns. Trump admitted that he doesn't pay Federal Income taxes. Trump said he admires Putin, who most Americans knee jerk hate. The Ku Klux Klan endorsed Trump. The list of reasons why virtually any Democrat should have beaten Donald Trump is simply too long to list.

I don't say any of this to bash Hillary. After she secured the Democratic nomination I wanted her to win the election, and I worked toward that end. None of this denies her ample qualifications to have become President, nor the fact that millions of voters sincerely love Hillary, nor the obvious good that America finally electing a female President could have brought this country, and the world. But Clinton didn't win an election that never should have been close enough to slip away from her. To pretend otherwise is denial.

Yes Virginia, this was a “change election” and Hillary Clinton was never a change candidate. She was the establishment candidate all the way. Back when pundits were assuming that another Clinton Bush match-up was virtually inevitable, someone should have gotten a clue when Jeb totally bombed in the primaries. Americans were restless. Hilary's campaign doubled down on assumptions that did not bear out, and that unfortunately means flirting with the political death penalty. About 57 percent of eligible voters cast ballots this year, down from 58.6 percent in 2012 and 61.6 percent in 2008. The “Obama coalition” did not come through as strongly as hoped for, even with record levels of Hispanic participation. Yes, it turns out that it was significant that the maverick campaigns of Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders were bringing out crowds of tens of thousands during the primaries while Hilary was struggling to crack three digits at hers. Hillary always had the Democratic Party machine wired for her, and I'm not even referring to anything unethical in saying so. She spent decades in the trenches; she knew people, lots of people, and many of them personally admired her and/or owed her favors. She essentially cleared the field well before the primaries ever began (it's always been my belief that O'Malley was always running to become VP). When a 73 year old little known Democratic Socialist Senator from Vermont, who the media kept on ignore well past any semblance of objective coverage, gave her such a strong run for the money – that should have been wake up call enough. Instead, after Hillary won the nomination her campaign systematically neglected the rust belt, which ultimately resulted in her defeat.

If Democrats now ignore the above realities we will remain out of touch with a dangerously large swath of the electorate. The Democratic Party brand has suffered with working and middle class Americans in recent decades. Look below the level of presidential elections and that could not be more obvious. Democrats have repeatedly been routed in more and more state legislatures. The Clinton era is now officially over. Yes many things had to go wrong for us in order for Trump to become President. Had a few of them broken differently we would narrowly have dodged that bullet, but it was heading toward us none the less.

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