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2017 Political Earthquake, 2018 Political Tsunami?

donsutherland1

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When historians look back at 2017, they may well record that 2017 was the year the nation awakened from Trumpism. In starkly clear terms, exit polls in such states as New Jersey and Virginia revealed that the elections up and down the ballot were referenda on Trumpism. Up and down the ballots, the voters rejected Trumpism.

Depending what course the Republican Party takes, the 2017 election may also prove to be the cataclysmic earthquake that unleashed a political tsunami in 2018 that swept control of the House and even Senate away from the Republican Party. "May" is the operative word, as even in their weakened position, Republicans still have the strategic flexibility to do the right thing: Abandon Trump, reject Trumpism, and rediscover the nation's founding principles.

If one examines the exit polls last night, two messages are clear:

1. "Health care policy" is now a Democratic Party strength. Republican failure to come up with a coherent policy that would represent an improvement over current law combined with a reckless willingness to pursue defective bills that would have, among other things, risked millions of people losing their coverage, provided little or no premium relief, did not offer individual health purchasers the same tax treatment as employers, and masked a cynical bid to use the legislation as a vehicle to provide a low multiplier, extremely narrowly targeted tax cut, shattered Republican credibility on this issue. Once credibility is lost, it is very difficult to regain. Republicans who fail to heed the lesson of their health care debacle risk transforming the tax issue into a Democratic advantage as well. A 20% border adjustment excise tax that undermines supply chains and harms consumers, the reintroduction of "bracket creep," a politicized approach that targets taxpayers in so-called "blue states," and a plan that would result in tax hikes among many in all income groups by 2027 could bring about that outcome. For Republicans, the loss of what has long been among the Party's signature issues would be catastrophic.

2. Trump-Bannon-Coulter alt-right, white nationalist, identity politics is not a winning approach. It has been repudiated. Voters knew what the President didn't: there were no "very fine people" among the white nationalists who descended on Charlottesville like a Biblical plague of locusts. Millennial, female, and college-educated voters recoiled from the politics of depraved division.

Trumpism corrupts politically, economically, morally, and spiritually. Trumpist populism is a rejection of the nation's founding principles that embrace individual freedom, promote unity as opposed to "blood and soil" balkanization, and are anchored in truth. The political leaders who drank from the poisoned chalice of Trumpism paid a price yesterday.

Republicans now have a fateful choice before them. They can dissociate from President Trump, abandon the Trumpist populist agenda, rediscover the nation's founding principles, and devise policy solutions based on those principles for the 21st century context or they can stand with President Trump and Trumpism. If so, they will face electoral disaster in 2018 and risk the destruction of both the Republican Party as a nationally viable political party and the American conservative movement as a relevant national movement. The former course offers the possibility of political redemption. The latter leads to political damnation.

What choice will Republicans make? Will conservatives break free from the pull of toxic Trumpism?

For now, in Maine, New Jersey, New York, and Virginia, among other places, there is the rubble from 2017's political earthquake. A political tsunami watch has been posted for 2018. Whether such a tsunami occurs is still a matter of choice for Republicans, but the time for choosing is fast diminishing. At some point, the latitude for choice will disappear altogether. Then, a political tsunami will become inevitable and unstoppable. In its wake, control of one or both Houses of Congress could be lost and there is even a risk that the nation could no longer have a viable right-of-center political party.
 

Jesse Booth

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It's incredible what the Democrats can accomplish when they don't have a neoconservative Presidential candidate as their face. This is what 2016 would have looked like if practically anyone other than Hillary had run against Trump.

...Man, I really hope the Republicans can get their **** together. If we thought a two-party system was chock full of issues...
 

haymarket

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When historians look back at 2017, they may well record that 2017 was the year the nation awakened from Trumpism. In starkly clear terms, exit polls in such states as New Jersey and Virginia revealed that the elections up and down the ballot were referenda on Trumpism. Up and down the ballots, the voters rejected Trumpism.

Depending what course the Republican Party takes, the 2017 election may also prove to be the cataclysmic earthquake that unleashed a political tsunami in 2018 that swept control of the House and even Senate away from the Republican Party. "May" is the operative word, as even in their weakened position, Republicans still have the strategic flexibility to do the right thing: Abandon Trump, reject Trumpism, and rediscover the nation's founding principles.

If one examines the exit polls last night, two messages are clear:

1. "Health care policy" is now a Democratic Party strength. Republican failure to come up with a coherent policy that would represent an improvement over current law combined with a reckless willingness to pursue defective bills that would have, among other things, risked millions of people losing their coverage, provided little or no premium relief, did not offer individual health purchasers the same tax treatment as employers, and masked a cynical bid to use the legislation as a vehicle to provide a low multiplier, extremely narrowly targeted tax cut, shattered Republican credibility on this issue. Once credibility is lost, it is very difficult to regain. Republicans who fail to heed the lesson of their health care debacle risk transforming the tax issue into a Democratic advantage as well. A 20% border adjustment excise tax that undermines supply chains and harms consumers, the reintroduction of "bracket creep," a politicized approach that targets taxpayers in so-called "blue states," and a plan that would result in tax hikes among many in all income groups by 2027 could bring about that outcome. For Republicans, the loss of what has long been among the Party's signature issues would be catastrophic.

2. Trump-Bannon-Coulter alt-right, white nationalist, identity politics is not a winning approach. It has been repudiated. Voters knew what the President didn't: there were no "very fine people" among the white nationalists who descended on Charlottesville like a Biblical plague of locusts. Millennial, female, and college-educated voters recoiled from the politics of depraved division.

Trumpism corrupts politically, economically, morally, and spiritually. Trumpist populism is a rejection of the nation's founding principles that embrace individual freedom, promote unity as opposed to "blood and soil" balkanization, and are anchored in truth. The political leaders who drank from the poisoned chalice of Trumpism paid a price yesterday.

Republicans now have a fateful choice before them. They can dissociate from President Trump, abandon the Trumpist populist agenda, rediscover the nation's founding principles, and devise policy solutions based on those principles for the 21st century context or they can stand with President Trump and Trumpism. If so, they will face electoral disaster in 2018 and risk the destruction of both the Republican Party as a nationally viable political party and the American conservative movement as a relevant national movement. The former course offers the possibility of political redemption. The latter leads to political damnation.

What choice will Republicans make? Will conservatives break free from the pull of toxic Trumpism?

For now, in Maine, New Jersey, New York, and Virginia, among other places, there is the rubble from 2017's political earthquake. A political tsunami watch has been posted for 2018. Whether such a tsunami occurs is still a matter of choice for Republicans, but the time for choosing is fast diminishing. At some point, the latitude for choice will disappear altogether. Then, a political tsunami will become inevitable and unstoppable. In its wake, control of one or both Houses of Congress could be lost and there is even a risk that the nation could no longer have a viable right-of-center political party.
As the anger with Trump only grows each month and we can expect it to get much more intense going into 2018, next years elections are shaping up to be a true wave election. Trump and the GOP should be very very afraid.
 

CletusWilbury

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Excellent essay. I don't think the Republicans will reject Trumpism before 2018, but after the tsunami hits they will learn. The real test will be in 2020.
The GOP will recover as the Dems recovered after Reagan. Especially after the Dems are in office awhile.
 

haymarket

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Excellent essay. I don't think the Republicans will reject Trumpism before 2018, but after the tsunami hits they will learn. The real test will be in 2020.
The GOP will recover as the Dems recovered after Reagan. Especially after the Dems are in office awhile.
This was the part of the OP essay I thought really hit the nail on the head


Trumpism corrupts politically, economically, morally, and spiritually. Trumpist populism is a rejection of the nation's founding principles that embrace individual freedom, promote unity as opposed to "blood and soil" balkanization, and are anchored in truth. The political leaders who drank from the poisoned chalice of Trumpism paid a price yesterday.
That just sums Trump up perfectly.
One interesting thing emerged last night: Donald Trump unites the Democrats the same way that Barack Obama untied t he GOP after the first Obama election. That hatred of Obama was enough to serve as the platform for big GOP wins over the next several years in many election although they could not get Obama himself out.

Outright hatred and loathing of Trump on the left unites the Democrat Party and last night it provided big wins in many places.

If Trump continues to slide - and there is nothing on the horizon to say otherwise - 2018 could be a major wave election.
 

CletusWilbury

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This was the part of the OP essay I thought really hit the nail on the head




That just sums Trump up perfectly.
One interesting thing emerged last night: Donald Trump unites the Democrats the same way that Barack Obama untied t he GOP after the first Obama election. That hatred of Obama was enough to serve as the platform for big GOP wins over the next several years in many election although they could not get Obama himself out.

Outright hatred and loathing of Trump on the left unites the Democrat Party and last night it provided big wins in many places.

If Trump continues to slide - and there is nothing on the horizon to say otherwise - 2018 could be a major wave election.
Thank's for quoting that from the OP, I speed read over the second sentence.

Yes, opposition is easy and governing is hard. The Dems learned that during Obama and will find that out again when they are in power. The long history of politics.
 

Perotista

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When historians look back at 2017, they may well record that 2017 was the year the nation awakened from Trumpism. In starkly clear terms, exit polls in such states as New Jersey and Virginia revealed that the elections up and down the ballot were referenda on Trumpism. Up and down the ballots, the voters rejected Trumpism.

Depending what course the Republican Party takes, the 2017 election may also prove to be the cataclysmic earthquake that unleashed a political tsunami in 2018 that swept control of the House and even Senate away from the Republican Party. "May" is the operative word, as even in their weakened position, Republicans still have the strategic flexibility to do the right thing: Abandon Trump, reject Trumpism, and rediscover the nation's founding principles.

If one examines the exit polls last night, two messages are clear:

1. "Health care policy" is now a Democratic Party strength. Republican failure to come up with a coherent policy that would represent an improvement over current law combined with a reckless willingness to pursue defective bills that would have, among other things, risked millions of people losing their coverage, provided little or no premium relief, did not offer individual health purchasers the same tax treatment as employers, and masked a cynical bid to use the legislation as a vehicle to provide a low multiplier, extremely narrowly targeted tax cut, shattered Republican credibility on this issue. Once credibility is lost, it is very difficult to regain. Republicans who fail to heed the lesson of their health care debacle risk transforming the tax issue into a Democratic advantage as well. A 20% border adjustment excise tax that undermines supply chains and harms consumers, the reintroduction of "bracket creep," a politicized approach that targets taxpayers in so-called "blue states," and a plan that would result in tax hikes among many in all income groups by 2027 could bring about that outcome. For Republicans, the loss of what has long been among the Party's signature issues would be catastrophic.


What choice will Republicans make? Will conservatives break free from the pull of toxic Trumpism?

For now, in Maine, New Jersey, New York, and Virginia, among other places, there is the rubble from 2017's political earthquake. A political tsunami watch has been posted for 2018. Whether such a tsunami occurs is still a matter of choice for Republicans, but the time for choosing is fast diminishing. At some point, the latitude for choice will disappear altogether. Then, a political tsunami will become inevitable and unstoppable. In its wake, control of one or both Houses of Congress could be lost and there is even a risk that the nation could no longer have a viable right-of-center political party.
I'd say keep tuned in. Many factors, number indicate huge Democratic gains in the midterms. Generic congressional polls give the Democratic generic candidates an 8-10 edge. Trump's approval rating is at 38%, historic low, party affiliation and identification favors the democrats today by a 31-24 margin. Most Americans think this country is headed in the wrong direction. Many more categories and figures tend to favor the democrats. That is as of today. The midterms are a year a way.

If the economy is booming, all those numbers could change drastically. A chance major event might even unify the country behind Trump and the Republicans much like 9-11 did for Bush and his party. One never knows. Keep in mind that in December of 2009 all the numbers were looking good for the Democrats. The generic congressional poll gave the Dems a 5 point advantage, Obama's approval was riding high at 55% and so on. Six months later the Republicans had gained a 6 point advantage in the congressional generic poll, Obama's approval numbers dropped to 43% and the GOP went on to gain 63 House seats.

Now isn't the time to crow, six months from now, yes. But not now, things can change and always do. Going by the numbers, I would say if the election was held today the Democrats would gain 30 plus seats in the House, take control. Gain one in the senate, but the senate would remain under GOP control. Now the midterms aren't today, they are a year away. Anything can happen between now and then, it usually does.
 

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It's incredible what the Democrats can accomplish when they don't have a neoconservative Presidential candidate as their face. This is what 2016 would have looked like if practically anyone other than Hillary had run against Trump.

...Man, I really hope the Republicans can get their **** together. If we thought a two-party system was chock full of issues...
Hillary was the worst possible candidate for us Dems. I blame NY Dems for nominating her for Senate and continuing the Clinton nightmare. I'm talking about her husband's philandering. I must also blame myself for voting for her in the CA primary.
I have a question for libertarians, what's with your position on the abortion issue? (See Rand Paul) You used to with us that a prohibition would be government intrusion. Perhaps science will soon give us an answer, then the GOP could move towards principled libertarian?
And, weren't the libertarians for free trade? That's another issue I thought we were in alliance.
 

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If the economy is booming, all those numbers could change drastically.
I doubt it. The economy is doing well - and almost everybody concedes that started under Obama and continued under Obama so Trump can be President during a good economy but the credit will not be given to him.
 

SmokeAndMirrors

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DON!! Jesus have I missed you.

I wish my mind was giving me something more coherent and deserving in response to this analysis, but all I'm getting is that I very much agree we are not at the height of the storm yet. 2016 was a stage. 2017 was foreplay. 2018... frankly, I'm scared.

I really hope the Republicans can pull it together and come to their senses. Whether anyone here believes me or not, I don't want to see American conservatism die. Especially not at the hands of something as despicable as white nationalism, or as purposeless as a simple total lack of political coherency.
 

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DON!! Jesus have I missed you.

I wish my mind was giving me something more coherent and deserving in response to this analysis, but all I'm getting is that I very much agree we are not at the height of the storm yet. 2016 was a stage. 2017 was foreplay. 2018... frankly, I'm scared.

I really hope the Republicans can pull it together and come to their senses. Whether anyone here believes me or not, I don't want to see American conservatism die. Especially not at the hands of something as despicable as white nationalism, or as purposeless as a simple total lack of political coherency.
I really liked his well written essay to. Your response here is worthy.
It would help if conservatives could define their ideology, for that lack, you vote for a guy with no ideology.
It's been wandering between what was conservative under Reagan to anti-trade with a 'reject all experts' attitude. That means you're rejecting conservative experts too.
It's tough because there is a major philosophical divide between the libertarian and the conservatives. There are serious differences there, but just ignoring them by saying that's just experts arguing , just do something!, I don't get it.
 

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I doubt it. The economy is doing well - and almost everybody concedes that started under Obama and continued under Obama so Trump can be President during a good economy but the credit will not be given to him.
Perception my friend. When a voter, let's call them independents looks at the economy especially almost two years into a new president's term, they're not about to get into the nitty gritty of who and when. If the economy is in the pits or booming, whoever is president will get the credit.

Keep in mind, most voters, especially independents aren't political junkies like us on this site. They don't get involved in the intricate details. Most look at their wallet, feel if it is thick or thin and vote accordingly. Perception, how one perceives the current circumstances will win the day.
 

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As the anger with Trump only grows each month and we can expect it to get much more intense going into 2018, next years elections are shaping up to be a true wave election. Trump and the GOP should be very very afraid.
I don’t think this is the big overturn y’all are hoping for, but go ahead and celibate, y’all have lost so many lately.


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LOL.....I can't wait for the next election this cycle I was able to get registered 15 voters who had not voted in a decade or more. Dems your vote counts but getting more people is the answer. line them up and if we can get a 80% voter turn out the Republicans will be the DODO birds of politics.
 

donsutherland1

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A fascinating insight from fivethirtyeight.com's David Wasserman:

One final note: It’s hard not to conclude the August events in Charlottesville had a galvanizing effect on Democrats in that area. Across the state, raw votes cast were up 16 percent over 2013. But in the city of Charlottesville, raw votes cast were up 31 percent. Northam took 84 percent of the vote there.

What Went Down On Election Night 2017 | FiveThirtyEight

Apparently, Charlottesville's voters rejected Trump's notion that there were "some very fine people" among the white nationalists who descended on Charlottesville, triggered violence, and one of whom carried out a domestic act of terrorism with an automobile that claimed the life of one person.
 

Jesse Booth

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Hillary was the worst possible candidate for us Dems. I blame NY Dems for nominating her for Senate and continuing the Clinton nightmare. I'm talking about her husband's philandering. I must also blame myself for voting for her in the CA primary.
I have a question for libertarians, what's with your position on the abortion issue? (See Rand Paul) You used to with us that a prohibition would be government intrusion. Perhaps science will soon give us an answer, then the GOP could move towards principled libertarian?
And, weren't the libertarians for free trade? That's another issue I thought we were in alliance.
I can't speak for anyone but myself, but I'm certainly in favor of free trade and legal abortion. I would like to say that while Rand Paul has some very libertarian opinions on issues like firearms and the war on drugs, he is a Republican first and foremost, and I cannot claim to be a card-carrying libertarian either. Just an independent with a number of libertarian values.

I don't think that the Republicans will start leaning toward libertarian values any time soon, unfortunately. It's killing them, but they have a very large evangelical base that they have to keep satisfied, and any issues they moved left on would likely do little to sway voters from the Democrats, so I suspect they will continue to dig their heels in on social issues.
 

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I really liked his well written essay to. Your response here is worthy.
It would help if conservatives could define their ideology, for that lack, you vote for a guy with no ideology.
It's been wandering between what was conservative under Reagan to anti-trade with a 'reject all experts' attitude. That means you're rejecting conservative experts too.
It's tough because there is a major philosophical divide between the libertarian and the conservatives. There are serious differences there, but just ignoring them by saying that's just experts arguing , just do something!, I don't get it.
Well, I think the real solution there is one we should have dealt with literally decades, if not centuries, ago: removing impediments to viable third parties. And there ARE real impedements, in terms of what percentage makes them "worthy" of any sort of air time.

Because you're right, they are very different. Hell, some libertarians are closer to to the left of the spectrum than to typical conservatives. Some are unrecognizable under either paradigm. Why is there no choice but for them to try to shove themselves into one of the main two parties?

America is politically diverse, as much as our partisan football sometimes makes it look otherwise. We need to have the ability to elect equally diverse representation.

Part of the reason we wound up with Trump is because of so many "never Hillary's" who had no one else to viably vote for, because the leading independent candidate put on a DNC hat since that was the only way to give himself any sort of platform. A lot of people who came down for Trump, or didn't vote at all, would have voted for Bernie instead. Hell, they would have voted for a third party, if they had any belief whatsoever that they had a shot in hell of being elected.

And that same thing happens over and over again at all levels of our elected officials. There's no reason for it. It's long overdue to be fixed.
 

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Perception my friend. When a voter, let's call them independents looks at the economy especially almost two years into a new president's term, they're not about to get into the nitty gritty of who and when. If the economy is in the pits or booming, whoever is president will get the credit.

Keep in mind, most voters, especially independents aren't political junkies like us on this site. They don't get involved in the intricate details. Most look at their wallet, feel if it is thick or thin and vote accordingly. Perception, how one perceives the current circumstances will win the day.
I understand and in most times would agree with your point. Trump is different. The normal assumptions do not apply with him.
 

haymarket

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I don’t think this is the big overturn y’all are hoping for, but go ahead and celibate, y’all have lost so many lately.


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A win is a win is a win.
 

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I can't speak for anyone but myself, but I'm certainly in favor of free trade and legal abortion. I would like to say that while Rand Paul has some very libertarian opinions on issues like firearms and the war on drugs, he is a Republican first and foremost, and I cannot claim to be a card-carrying libertarian either. Just an independent with a number of libertarian values.

I don't think that the Republicans will start leaning toward libertarian values any time soon, unfortunately. It's killing them, but they have a very large evangelical base that they have to keep satisfied, and any issues they moved left on would likely do little to sway voters from the Democrats, so I suspect they will continue to dig their heels in on social issues.
How about if science can figure out how to transport the fetus to another woman? Would the evangelicals accept that solution? Maybe you can convince them on free trade.
 

CletusWilbury

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Well, I think the real solution there is one we should have dealt with literally decades, if not centuries, ago: removing impediments to viable third parties. And there ARE real impedements, in terms of what percentage makes them "worthy" of any sort of air time.

Because you're right, they are very different. Hell, some libertarians are closer to to the left of the spectrum than to typical conservatives. Some are unrecognizable under either paradigm. Why is there no choice but for them to try to shove themselves into one of the main two parties?

America is politically diverse, as much as our partisan football sometimes makes it look otherwise. We need to have the ability to elect equally diverse representation.

Part of the reason we wound up with Trump is because of so many "never Hillary's" who had no one else to viably vote for, because the leading independent candidate put on a DNC hat since that was the only way to give himself any sort of platform. A lot of people who came down for Trump, or didn't vote at all, would have voted for Bernie instead. Hell, they would have voted for a third party, if they had any belief whatsoever that they had a shot in hell of being elected.

And that same thing happens over and over again at all levels of our elected officials. There's no reason for it. It's long overdue to be fixed.
I agree totally. It's difficult because both parties oppose it (of course)
I think the best path is to try for this Instant-runoff voting for starters.
 

Roadvirus

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Outright hatred and loathing of Trump on the left unites the Democrat Party and last night it provided big wins in many places.

If Trump continues to slide - and there is nothing on the horizon to say otherwise - 2018 could be a major wave election.
The "We don't like Trump" schtick goes only so far.

In the end, people will want to see what else the Dems have to offer. If they can't offer anything else.....
 

Jesse Booth

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How about if science can figure out how to transport the fetus to another woman? Would the evangelicals accept that solution? Maybe you can convince them on free trade.
Honestly, I'm not sure what to do about the Evangelical voters. As a staunch proponent of secularism, I'm all for keeping them out of power at every turn, but I don't have any ideas for convincing them that abortion is acceptable. The awful truth about humanity is that on issues that one holds dear in their heart, information that contradicts your beliefs is often treated as an actual attack on you as an individual - it literally triggers a fight-or-flight reaction in the brain. This is why we have people who have spent years screaming at each other on the same issue for years on DP and many forums like it, especially when it comes to religion or abortion - dissent and criticism on these subjects are a challenge to the core principles that you define the world around you by, and very few people can contemplate a drastic change to their world like that. I'm included in that crowd, but I strive to be open minded as best I can.

Long story short, I don't think American voter demographics are going to shift fast enough to either force or allow the GOP to change - the evangelicals are here to stay for at least another few generations.
 

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The "We don't like Trump" schtick goes only so far.

In the end, people will want to see what else the Dems have to offer. If they can't offer anything else.....
In the long term, yes. And that's been a perennial problem with Democrats for the past 30 years.

But in the short term, no. An utterly disastrous Republican-led country is more than enough to make people vote Dem. That's exactly what happened after the Bush years (McCain lost in large part due to being considered "another Bush"), and Trump is shaping up to be considerably worse than that.

In the short term, the repulsive statements and actions of a party playing Jeckll and Hyde with Nazis is more than enough to make people vote for the party that says, "never Nazis."
 

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I understand and in most times would agree with your point. Trump is different. The normal assumptions do not apply with him.
We'll see. It is all moot anyway unless the economy starts booming.
 
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