Wednesday, November 2, 2016

So what happens after Trump wins the election?

He's going to.  I'll quickly run down the reasons so we can get to the interesting question: what next?

Trump will win because:

  • The polls pervasively understate his support (the "shy Trump voter").
  • Enthusiasm for Clinton is low, enthusiasm for Trump is high.  Early voting is showing a pattern closer to 2008 than 2012 (high turnout).  Given the enthusiasm gap, this is bad news for Clinton and supports the Shy Trump Voter hypothesis.
  • This (like 2008) is a "Change Election".  Three quarters or more of voters think that the country is on the wrong track.  Clinton is the insider, Trump is the outsider.  Advantage: Trump.
  • The Clinton camp is paralyzed by the emerging scandals.  It's been 5 days and there's no coherent reply to the FBI reopening the email investigation.  The paralysis says that Clinton's inner circle is divided on what to do, and she has poor leadership skills - and so the campaign twists in the wind.  This is a very, very bad sign for her.
  • The Marc Rich announcement today is almost inexplicable.  There's no reason that a FOIA request announcement couldn't wait until after the election.  Instead, it came out 4 days after the previous FBI announcement.  My take is that Obama has polling showing that she's going to lose, and lose big.  It's no secret that the Obamas and the Clintons despise each other - this is his chance to dismantle the Clinton machine in the Democratic party (and hill the resulting power vacuum with his people).
  • The UK betting markets are showing the same pattern as before the Brexit vote - a few big money bets on Clinton (as with Remain), but a huge number of small bets on Trump (Leave).
  • Independents are leaving Gary Johnson and breaking hard for Trump.  The latest poll from North Carolina has Johnson down 5 and Trump up 5.  This feels like more confirmation of the Shy Trump Voter hypothesis.
  • There is very little or no equivalent data pointing to a strengthening by Clinton.  If she were actually as far ahead as we've been told, there would be evidence dropping from the trees.  There isn't.
All in all, it's safe to say that the Preference Cascade has begun.  And so a week from today we shall be looking at President-elect Trump.  I have no idea whether he will be a good President or not.  We'll see.  And so on to January.  What happens?

The Establishment despises him, and will even more come January.  The Federal Government is staffed by a disproportionate number of Democrats - they will not be in his camp, either.  Washington D.C. is littered by the bleached bones of politicians who thought that they could "change the system".  So what are some of the things that the Establishment can do to throw a monkey wrench into the works of the new Trump Administration?  Here are some possibilities:
  • The Federal Reserve could raise interest rates, several times over the course of 2017, with guidance that they will do more.  This will tank the stock market and  (officially) put the country into recession.
  • A significant minority of the GOP could refuse to vote for his proposals (e.g. Obamacare repeal).  This is probably suicidal for them after the last few election cycles and the increasing anger among the rank and file GOP voters, but they're not called the Stupid Party for nothing.
  • The Federal Agencies can basically do a sit down strike, slow rolling Trump Administration initiatives.  It's the stubborn mule syndrome.
There are a bunch more scenarios, but you get the drift.  There will be no honeymoon - it will be trench warfare from day 1.

But what we've seen clearly during the last year is that Trump is no quitter - instead he has an intense focus on what his goal is.  He also doesn't take an attack sitting down, he hits back.  I expect a Trump response to the scenarios described above would look something like this:
  • Audit the Federal Reserve.  Who got a bail out, who didn't, and why.  Publish the results (because the whole situation reeks of the insider, smoke filled room).
  • Prosecute banksters for the financial crisis of 2008.  The Obama administration owed too much to them to do this, but if the Fed declares war on Trump then there's no reason to think that the gloves won't come off.  I don't know what the statute of limitations are, but simply releasing a list of who did what and who decided not to prosecute them will inflame many voters (many of them Democrats).
  • Set up a fund to primary every GOP incumbent who refused to vote to repeal ObamaCare.  Find credible candidates to run against them.  Start with the weakest 10 or 20 incumbents who are up for reelection in 2018 and make an example of them for the others.  Keep bringing up their names as "Dead Men Walking".
  • Prosecute whole offices in selected agencies for violation of 18 USC § 242 - Deprivation of Rights under color of law.  A good place to start is at the Veteran's Administration, where a bunch of vets are showing up as Prohibited Persons in the FBI firearms background check database.  The IRS is another place to start, with the office that seemingly continues to deny tax exempt status to Tea Party groups.  A couple thousand perp walks will focus the bureaucracy's attention - as Dr. Johnson said, the idea of being hanged in a fortnight concentrates the mind wonderfully.
What do all of these have in common?  They are all aggressive counter punches, which is Trump's style.  More importantly, they all underline that the system is corrupt and rigged.  All of these target unpopular groups (banksters, incumbent politicians, bureaucrats) and are seen as being the system.

Would Trump do this?  Almost certainly not.  But Trump is unpredictable - he'll do something.  And that something will be aimed at establishment types who he will paint as part of a corrupt system.  And it will hurt them, maybe ruin them.

Just ask Jeb Bush.

The only thing certain is that the Establishment will be at war with Trump's administration from November 9.


Ted said...

My hope is that a Trump will also have coatails for a bigger margin in the house and Senate. Enough to overcome the establishment RINOs as well

riverrider said...

correct in what you say the feds CAN do, but if trump lives to be prez it will scare the crap out of them and bring on the most powerful urge they have, keeping their jobs. having been one, i have seen the staunchest supporter do a 180 the day after the election with gusto and previously deadbeat retired-in-place employees suddenly get productive. my guess is they will take him seriously and go along to get along. jmho.

burt said...


Yup. I've seen the deadbeats come alive at the last minute to salvage what they have left.

But one can hope that Trump will bring in some productivity auditors from the private sector and have them look at the public sector. Ask the right questions ("Who's in charge of X? How many people actually *do* X? How long does it take to do X? How many requests for X were received and how many were completed? Who completed the most requests for X? Who completed the least requests for X?") and get the right answers. Then cut the fat and dead weight.

Those "executions" will definitely "concentrate the mind".

One can hope...

Joseph said...

Ahhhhhh...just imagining a world with DC at war with itself, instead of us. That's enough reason to vote for Trump by itself.

Rev. Paul said...

Excellent & thoughtful analysis. Shared on FB.

thesouthtexaspistolero said...

Prosecute whole offices in selected agencies for violation of 18 USC § 242 - Deprivation of Rights under color of law.

Helloooo, ATF!

Hey, a gunnie can dream, amirite?

matism said...

Unfortunately, thesouthtexaspistolero, that is one of the agencies he will not be able to touch. Daring to go after an Only One, no matter how foul their actions, will destroy his capability to deal with the rest of the sewage. But please do note that, in spite of what you think of the "bureaucracy", it is far easier to flush that toilet than you think. Look up "Senior Executive Service" and understand how it works. They effectively serve at the will of their political appointee bosses. And if their organization fails to toe the line, they can be quickly removed. When the President has the courage to make good appointments, change can happen rapidly. I would only remind you that it took less than four months for the DoJ to turn 180 degrees and refuse to charge those Black terrorists at that polling station in Philadelphia.

Why does it not seem to work as I say? Here's a subtle hint: Anyone who appoints Christine Whitman to head the EPA has NO interest in changing the direction of that agency. Now Anthony Watts, on the other hand...

And Andrew Napolitano for AG. I have seen people saying he should be one of the Supremes, but there he would only maybe be able to affect some of the cases coming before that body. As AG, he could direct prosecution of massive numbers of corrupt politicians and bureaucrats - my bet is he knows very well who they are - and might even be able to do some "judge shopping" to get the correct outcome. Now THERE would be something to strike terror into the hearts of the denizens of the District of Corruption. On BOTH sides of the aisle...

Rick C said...

I suppose President Trump could issue a press conference where he urges everyone annoyed by [slow-acting Federal agency] to go down to their local office and politely complain.

If they can't work, they can spend all day getting bitched at.

Also, these new captchas suck. Hard.

Archer said...

Independents are leaving Gary Johnson and breaking hard for Trump. The latest poll from North Carolina has Johnson down 5 and Trump up 5. This feels like more confirmation of the Shy Trump Voter hypothesis.
There is very little or no equivalent data pointing to a strengthening by Clinton. If she were actually as far ahead as we've been told, there would be evidence dropping from the trees. There isn't.

This is because conservatives who didn't like Trump were taking refuge with Johnson. Johnson, meanwhile, has shown himself to be almost as bad in several ways as Clinton herself. So much of his support will flow back to Trump.

Clinton could, conceivably, get some support trickling back from Jill Stein ... except that Stein has a small fraction of the support Johnson does.

If Clinton suddenly gained ALL of Stein's support, it would still be a significantly smaller shift than Johnson losing a mere half of his supporters to Trump.

Patrick Henry said...

Nah Trump is going to get blown out. Landslide. He's toast.

It shouldn't be surprising. A liberal Dem is going to win thanks to a baffoon liberal Dem who donated to Clinton and praised her and Nancy Pelosi.

It may be a change election, but the problem is the change agent sucks. People may not like Clinton, but they hate Trump.

There will be no preference cascade.

Jay G said...

I love you brother, but didn't you also call 2012 for Romney?

Richard said...

Should Trump win and bring in private sector productivity auditors, don't expect them to improve things much. If Trump ask, there are some corporate CEOs who will agree to provide people to do this. Then they tell their underlings to identify people. The people who get seconded to the government are the weakest available who are not producing much of anything. Would you voluntarily give up your best performers?

matism said...

If it meant that your business would have a FAR better chance of succeeding, Richard? In a New York minute.

Now if he asks the corrupt CEOs to do that, then your theory is undoubtedly correct, because THEY like things the way they currently are. My bet is that Trump has a fairly good idea which CEOs are terminally corrupt, and which have a shred of decency left in their souls.

EMS Artifact said...

I think that is a very well detailed analysis of why Trump will win. I just hope it's a correct analysis.

Frankly, it's as good as any of the professionals could do, because this election is so crazy, I don't know that anyone can predict the outcome.