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If you voted for Trump because he’s ‘anti-establishment,’ guess what: You got conned

Posted by on Nov. 11, 2016 at 8:00 PM
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3 moms liked this
If you voted for Trump because he’s ‘anti-establishment,’ guess what: You got conned

The greatest trick Donald Trump pulled was convincing voters he’d be “anti-establishment.”
Well, maybe not the greatest trick. But in a campaign full of cons, it has to rank close to the top. This was near the heart of Trump’s appeal to the disaffected and disempowered: Send me to Washington, and that “establishment” you’ve been hearing so much about? We’ll blow it up, send it packing, punch it right in the face, and when it’s over the government will finally be working for you again. And the people who voted for Trump bought it. After all, he’s no politician, right? He’s an outsider, a glass-breaker, a guy who can cut out the bull and get things done. Right?
But the idea that he would do this was based on a profound misunderstanding of what the establishment actually is, and who Donald Trump is.
Here’s a report on Trump’s transition from Eric Lipton of the New York Times:
An organizational chart of Trump’s transition team shows it to be crawling with corporate lobbyists, representing such clients as Altria, Visa, Coca-Cola, General Electric, Verizon, HSBC, Pfizer, Dow Chemical, and Duke Energy. And K Street is positively salivating over all the new opportunities they’ll have to deliver goodies to their clients in the Trump era. Who could possibly have predicted such a thing?
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The answer is, anyone who was paying attention. Look at the people Trump is considering for his cabinet, and you won’t find any outside-the-box thinkers burning to work for the little guy. It’s a collection of Republican politicians and corporate plutocrats — not much different from who you’d find in any Republican administration.
And it isn’t just personnel. What are the priorities Trump and the Republican Congress will be pursuing right out of the gate? There’s the repeal of the Affordable Care Act, of course. “Take that, establishment!”, 20 million people can say when they lose their health coverage. Next on the list is that eternal Republican priority, cutting taxes. If you’re waiting for your fat rebate from the government once the establishment has been sent packing, you’re in for a shock. It won’t actually be Trump’s plan precisely that will pass Congress and he’ll sign, it will be some combination of what he wanted and what congressional Republicans want. But the two share a driving principle in common, and you may want to sit down while I tell you that helping regular folks is most definitely not it.
No, their commitment is to be of service to that most oppressed and forgotten group of Americans, the wealthy. Trump’s tax plan would give 47 percent of its benefits to the richest one percent of taxpayers. Paul Ryan’s tax plan is even purer — it gives 76 percent of its cuts to the richest one percent in its first year, and by 2025 would feed 99.6 percent of its benefits to the top 1 percent.
Once that’s accomplished, Trump and the Republicans plan to either gut or completely repeal the Dodd-Frank financial regulations, the greatest wish of Wall Street bankers. Can you feel the anti-establishment wind blowing?
So what’s going on here? Most plainly, the voters thinking that Trump would vanquish the establishment were just marks for a con, like those who lost their life savings at Trump University. But it was made possible by the vagueness of the idea of the “establishment” — and some related ideas — and the way people could pour all their dissatisfaction into it and elect they guy promising to destroy it when he had no intention of doing anything of the sort.
You see, in Washington we think of the establishment as something specific to this city: the people who hold certain kinds of institutional positions and certain kinds of ideas about what should be done. We tend to think that, say, internal arguments between factions of the Republican Party represent a genuine threat to the establishment.
But for most voters it’s much bigger than that, and this is what Donald Trump recognized. By now we should understand that while Trump is an ignorant buffoon in some ways and an outright moron in others, he’s also a savant of hatred and resentment. He not only identifies the ugliest feelings that portions of the electorate have — that’s the easy part, and all of his primary opponents knew equally well what those feelings were — he finds just the right way to reach in and goose them. And he grasped that people were ready to sign on with an attack on all sectors of established power, in Washington or anywhere else.
That attack was politically potent because to those who heard it, it was about much more than politics. They didn’t really care whether the House Majority Whip is one guy or a different guy. What Trump tapped into was their sense of powerlessness, that unseen forces are pulling the strings and manipulating “the system” for their own benefit. That “system” encompasses everything from politics to the economy to their local schools to culture. The system made that factory leave town. The system lets immigrants come in and speak a language other than English. Everywhere you look you’re being held down by the system.
So when Trump complained that anything that didn’t go his way meant the system was “rigged” against him, they nodded in agreement and said, “Yep, it’s rigged against me, too.” And of course, the horror of the establishment (both Democratic and Republican) at Trump only reinforced the belief that once he was elected he’d change everything.
Now to be clear, the fact that in some ways — hiring lobbyists, cutting taxes for the wealthy, gutting regulations — Trump is going to be little different from any other Republican president doesn’t mean that he isn’t uniquely dangerous. He’s reckless, impulsive, vindictive, hateful, and authoritarian, and his presidency is going to be somewhere between disastrous and cataclysmic, likely in ways we can’t even imagine yet.
But one thing it will not be is a threat to the establishment, or the system, or whatever you want to call it. The wealthy and powerful will have more wealth and power when he’s done, not less. There’s a lot that Trump will upend, but if you’re a little guy who thinks Trump was going to upend things on your behalf or in order to serve your interests, guess what: you got suckered.
Paul Waldman is a contributor to The Plum Line blog, and a senior writer at The American Prospect.
by on Nov. 11, 2016 at 8:00 PM
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by Platinum Member on Nov. 11, 2016 at 8:06 PM
by Platinum Member on Nov. 11, 2016 at 8:07 PM
by Platinum Member on Nov. 11, 2016 at 8:07 PM
by Platinum Member on Nov. 11, 2016 at 8:07 PM
by Platinum Member on Nov. 11, 2016 at 8:10 PM

Who is in the transition team?

The team is currently headed by New Jersey governor Chris Christie and Alabama senator Jeff Sessions, and former Utah governor Mike Leavitt is an adviser. CNN reports former George W Bush officials and former Mitt Romney staffers are working for the team, as well as “advisers from the Hill” and several governors.

CNN also reports that Trump’s transition team is smaller than in past years, comprising only 80 employees who are said to be consulting 200 experts, though that number is likely to grow as campaign staff moves to the transition team.

The Wall Street Journal suggests they may have trouble recruiting other members for the team, since Trump has announced that anyone working on the transition team will be prohibited from lobbying the administration for five years, essentially eliminating anyone who has agency expertise and is currently using that expertise professionally.

Former New Jersey state senator Rich Bagger, who worked for Christie in New Jersey, is executive director. Publicly identified members include former Heritage Foundation president Ed Feulner, former US navy officer and longtime adviser to the Boston Consulting Group Ron Nicol, private equity fund chairman William Walton, former chief economist at Bear Stearns David Malpass, former House member Mike Rogers, retired army lieutenant general Joseph Keith Kellogg, former Ohio secretary of state Ken Blackwell, Reagan attorney general Ed Meese, George W Bush’s director of the office of personnel management Kay Coles James, former George HW Bush economic adviser and Romney transition alumnus William Hagerty, former George W Bush liaison to health and human services and Romney alum Jamie Burke, and former Dick Cheney domestic policy aide Ado Machida.

The immigration team is reportedly exclusively made up of staffers with ties to Senator Sessions.

by Platinum Member on Nov. 11, 2016 at 8:19 PM
If you're a liberal, you've probably had this experience in the last couple of days. You manage not to think about Donald Trump for a few blissful minutes, and then you're reminded of some detail — something he promised, something he said he'd do that you hadn't even thought of in a while. Oh no, he's going to tear up the Iran nuclear agreement! Jeezus, he's going to defund Planned Parenthood! And then the despair settles over you again, deeper and sharper than it was before.

I'm sorry to make things even worse, but wait until you get a load of the people Trump wants to populate the executive branch with. It won't help.

Let's run some of the early contenders down, shall we? These are obtained from leaked documents and news reports quoting people around Trump.

Rudy Giuliani, possible attorney general. From saying that "I do not believe that the president loves America" to delivering a screaming rant at the Republican convention that was so terrifying few would have been surprised if at the end of it he had unhinged his jaw and swallowed a muskrat, Giuliani has shown himself to be one of the most repellent characters in contemporary American politics. So it seems appropriate to make him the highest ranking law-enforcement official in the country.

Chris Christie, possible attorney general. Time for some traffic problems in D.C.! Christie has been running Trump's transition planning, which keeps him away from New Jersey, where his approval rating has plummeted to an extraordinary 20 percent. With a full year left in his term he might actually hit single digits, which is a good reason to get out of Trenton while he can do so without an angry mob chasing him.

Jeff Sessions, possible attorney general or secretary of defense. An Alabama senator whose lifelong cause is opposition to civil rights and who has, let's say, a colorful history on race, Sessions was an early Trump supporter, no doubt drawn to the president-elect's deep concern for the fortunes of white people.


Ben Carson, possible secretary of health and human services. Carson's ignorance about policy and penchant for bizarre conspiracy theories make him a great candidate for an agency with an annual budget exceeding $1 trillion. Perhaps with those resources he can finally prove that the Big Bang is a myth, Satan told Charles Darwin to come up with the the theory of evolution, and Planned Parenthood is a conspiracy to kill black babies (yes, those are all things he believes).

Newt Gingrich, possible secretary of state. Newt Gingrich. Seriously. Newt. Gingrich. The man who impeached President Clinton for cheating on his wife with a young staffer while he himself was cheating on his wife with a young staffer. Failed presidential candidate. Wacky Fox pundit. Zoo afficionado. That Newt Gingrich.

Sheriff David Clarke, possible secretary of homeland security. Clarke, an early Trump supporter who is one of the few law enforcement officers who wants more guns in private hands, believes that Black Lives Matter and ISIS will soon be working together. He recently showed his commitment to civil liberties by responding to peaceful anti-Trump protests by saying, "These temper tantrums from these radical anarchists must be quelled. There is no legitimate reason to protest the will of the people."

Rick Scott, possible HHS secretary. Before the reptilian Florida governor was trying to force welfare recipients to pee into a cup, he gained experience in the health care field as the head of the hospital company Columbia/HCA. But he was also in charge when it committed what at the time was the largest health care fraud in U.S. history, so he could probably teach the founder of Trump University a thing or two.

Sam Brownback, possible agriculture secretary. There would be something fitting in Brownback's appointment, because the Kansas governor has laid waste to his state with the kind of experiment in conservative policymaking Trump plans to bring to the whole country. Brownback's right-wing dream of tax and regulatory cuts was supposed to provide a national model for conservative governance, and boy has it: The economy has been weak and the state government's finances have been crippled, leading to vicious budget cuts and an internal war within the Kansas GOP.

Michael Flynn, possible secretary of defense or national security adviser. Flynn, a former high-ranking defense intelligence official, seems to have become something of an extremist nut; in his convention speech he charged weirdly that "Obama chose to conceal the actions of terrorists like Osama bin Laden" and led chants of "Lock her up!"

Steven Mnuchin, possible secretary of the treasury. Mnuchin, the finance chair of Trump's campaign, is a former Goldman Sachs banker. Take that, establishment!

Jamie Dimon, possible secretary of the treasury. What, an obscure Wall Streeter isn't enough outside-the-box thinking? Then how about Dimon, the CEO of J.P. Morgan Chase and the closest thing Wall Street has to a king? The Trump team has reportedly already asked Dimon if he's interested in being treasury secretary. Those working class voters sure have a voice in Washington now.

Harold Hamm, possible secretary of energy. The current leader of the Energy Department is Ernest Moniz, who has a Ph.D. in physics from Stanford and has overseen an explosion in the development and deployment of renewable energy. Hamm is a billionaire oilman. Because Americans want change.


Peter Thiel's brilliant bet

The way forward for Democrats is clear
Forrest Lucas, possible secretary of the interior. Lucas is, you guessed it, an oilman, because that's who we want overseeing America's public lands; he also has a side hobby battling animal rights groups, particularly on initiatives to ban puppy mills. His wife, who co-founded his company, once wrote on Facebook, "I'm sick and tired of minorities running our country! As far as I'm concerned, I don't think that atheists (minority), Muslims (minority) or any other minority group has the right to tell the majority of the people in the United States what they can and cannot do here." So they should fit right in with the Trump administration.

Myron Ebell, possible environmental protection administrator. Ebell, a climate denier from the Competitive Enterprise Institute, a conservative think tank, is already working on Trump's transition team. So if you have some toxic waste you want to dump in a nearby stream, just wait a few months.

Sarah Palin, possible secretary of keepin' it real and tellin' those elitist liberals where they can shove it. Actually, Palin has been mentioned for interior, but any position would do, to be honest. The star of Sarah Palin's Alaska (canceled), the proprietor of the blockbuster online Sarah Palin Channel (defunct), the straight-talkin'est half-term governor you ever did meet. Hire that woman, Donald.

Those are just some of the names that have been mentioned so far; there will no doubt be others, perhaps even more appalling. But if you want to throw your own hat in the ring, you can apply here.

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by Gold Member on Nov. 11, 2016 at 8:26 PM
5 moms liked this
This shouldn't come as a surprise to anyone who paid attention. As soon as he clenched the nomination the bottom dwellers of DC all came sniffing around hoping for a spot in his cabinet. Kellyanne said he would appoint those who are loyal to him (note: not loyal to America).

Interesting observation I've made is that he has walked back all of his policies and blatantly sold out on his promise to drain the swamp. The things he has not walked back are race related.
by Bruja on Nov. 11, 2016 at 9:10 PM
6 moms liked this
Not only is he not draining the swamp, he is cross breeding and creating mutants.
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