November 21, 2016

"December 1, we'll probably start climbing out from the smoking ruin and say, 'anybody else alive around here?'"

"It'll be like The Walking Dead, right? We're going to try to come up with bands of people and walk across the country, and just not get ourselves killed or eaten, and hook up with people we think are not insane or horrible or in some way murderous. That's exactly what it's going to be like."

Post-election anxiety about putting the ruined party back together.

Imagined, pre-election, by a Republican.

I'm listening to the podcast of the episode of "This American Life" that aired on October 28th. The quote above is an answer to the question framed by host Ira Glass: "This is the big question for all these guys — what's their party going to be after November 8? What's it going to stand for?"  All these guys were "center-right" Republicans — "basically Reagan Republicans," guys with "old school conservative ideals." The guy answering the question is Rob Long of the podcast "Ricochet."

It's funny listening to the show now, because without saying as much, it's obviously premised on the assumption that Donald Trump is going to lose. I know "funny" isn't the word many people would use to describe the period of American life that began on Election Day night, and I'm sorry if I'm a bad person for finding it very funny. It's not that I'm happy with Trump. I wasn't a Trump supporter, but I couldn't stand Hillary either. I'm just experiencing a lot of the aftermath of the election as very funny. Like, why did we just spend the weekend talking about "Hamilton"?

37 comments:

Michael K said...

Ricochet and National Review are still holding their collective heads and saying "What Happened ?"

MayBee said...

. I wasn't a Trump supporter, but I couldn't stand Hillary either. I'm just experiencing a lot of the aftermath of the election as very funny. Like, why did we just spend the weekend talking about "Hamilton"?

One funny thing to me is the Republicans were supposed to spend the post-election period reflecting and rebuilding. But now that Trump won and the GOP has the House, the Senate, more Governorships, and the majority of state-level legislators, the people who got it wrong - media and Democrats- aren't asking themselves to do self-reflection and rebuilding.

And yeah, the Hamilton thing is so stupid to be getting so very much attention. But think- we spent weeks during an actual election talking about Miss Universe 1996.

Rusty said...

"I'm just experiencing a lot of the aftermath of the election as very funny."

Oddly enough. So am I. I'm finding the hardcore lefts reaction particularly amusing. Especially so since they don't own guns.
Violent bunch those socialists.

tim in vermont said...

The old Republican coalition has been nuked. It will become more clear as the months go by. Chuck is going to have to find a new party. I think the party is going to look more like JFK's Democrats. Meanwhile the Democrats are going to go full Peronism.

If they somehow manage to make this a permanent winning coalition though, the billionaires will trickle back and start to try to corrupt the Republicans the way they have corrupted the Democrats.

tim in vermont said...

I don't know that we had a good choice this time, but Trump has certainly showed people that money isn't everything in politics, getting elected on the cheap, and that is certainly a good thing.

MayBee said...

but Trump has certainly showed people that money isn't everything in politics, getting elected on the cheap, and that is certainly a good thing

Yes, and I think that's why we saw a lot of the Republican election apparatus get so freaked out. They were afraid their services weren't going to be needed anymore.

The good news for them is, CNN seems to just be plowing ahead with being all transition coverage all the time, with the exact same tired kind of coverage and pundit roundtables talking about what might happen. There's still money in being a pundit, with no accountability required.

Brando said...

There's some good lessons here, mainly how to campaign (not needing a lot of paid ads, for example) though it's hard to see how someone who isn't already a celebrity can use it. Can Joe Sixpack just dial in to Fox and Friends and get a free minute or two?

We probably will see more celebrity politicians as a result. A few years ago I laughed at Kanye West talking of running for president, but now it seems like a sure thing.

The Dems of course have a real "where do we go from here" moment--Clinton as Prez would have delayed that a bit, but now they have to figure out who leads their policy and whether they go full socialist.

Humperdink said...

This is most excited I've been since Reagan. Not a Trump supporter early on, but he won me over at the end.

The liberal's heads have been exploding since Nov 8th - what fun to watch.

Seeing Chuck Scheemer (D- Worm) squirm regarding the nuclear option question (championed by Harry Reid (D-Scumbag) is priceless. How could these two clowns think they would own the White House and Senate forever? How stupid and shortsighted.

I firmly believe the democrats have a Ph'd in untended consequences. Everything they touch comes to bite them or sadly, the American populace. This time it is them.

Scene from the Hunt for Red October: Russian attack sub launches torpedo - only to be sunk by it.

Brando said...

"Yes, and I think that's why we saw a lot of the Republican election apparatus get so freaked out. They were afraid their services weren't going to be needed anymore."

Admakers maybe, but I don't see why pundits would fear a Trump presidency. If anything, they are about to enter their glory years, as there's going to be a lot more to talk about and a lot more attention paid to it. I envy those pundits!

Michelle Dulak Thomson said...

Ann, I'm just so happy about the Supreme Court that I can barely think of anything else. It's ridiculous, but there it is. That was my only reason to vote for Trump (actually I didn't, I voted for Johnson, but then I'm in a safe Blue state, and it made zero difference to the outcome). But my one fear was for the SCOTUS, and it's assuaged. I mean, sort of -- Trump might easily do anything -- but Hillary would've done one thing, and it's the one thing I would rather not see done.

MayBee said...

Admakers maybe, but I don't see why pundits would fear a Trump presidency.

I was thinking more about campaign consultants. Liz Mair and Rick Wilson are two who come to mind.

hawkeyedjb said...

I'm like you, I didn't like either candidate. I didn't vote for either one. I can say "not my fault" regardless how it turned out. But I have to say, I am really enjoying the aftermath of this revolution-without-guns. I was looking gloomily forward to living under Hillary, watching her come up with a rule for every aspect of human existence, and strangling any spark of human activity that might pop up. Now I don't know what's going to happen - maybe it will be good, maybe bad - but I'm pretty certain I know what we have avoided. The thrill of the unknown may be followed by its own kind of awfulness, who knows? But we have dodged the despair of Hillary! and her detailed plans and programs for all of us. I am happy just knowing what a disappointment I am to Hillary Clinton.

traditionalguy said...

400 years ago the Leiden Community of young English separatist believers were discussing some of the group making a voyage to the New World to find a place for them all to worship God. William Bradford was 26 and second in command of the 100 or so that soon left for the Hudson River in the New Amsterdam area. But the ship landed them at Cape Cod. They made the Mayflower Compact, and then went ashore and proceeded to survive in a wilderness with God as provider.

And the beat goes on. Sunday at Bedingfield, NJ the new President and Vice President attended services at the Presbyterian Church and proceeded to survive in a Media wilderness with God as provider.

Paco Wové said...

"the people who got it wrong - media and Democrats- aren't asking themselves to do self-reflection"

When Republicans lose, it's because the Republicans are wrong.

When Democrats lose, it's because the electorate is wrong.

exiledonmainstreet said...

"We probably will see more celebrity politicians as a result."

Actually, I think this election showed the decline in the power of celebrities to influence people. Look at all the celebs who campaigned for Hill - she had everyone from Adele to Cher and Paul Simon. Trump had to settle for a has-been from a 70's TV show, Jon Voight and Alec Baldwin's lesser known brother. It didn't matter. Millions showed they really didn't care what Lena Dunham or Lady Gaga thinks. They didn't care about being with the cool kids.

Trump's celebrity helped him to get air time certainly, but it was what he said about immigration and trade and the plight of blue collar workers that won him voters. They didn't vote for him because they saw him on "The Apprentice." As Ann Coulter said, it's like there was a $1000 bill on the sidewalk and nobody picked it up except him.

Brando said...

"I was thinking more about campaign consultants. Liz Mair and Rick Wilson are two who come to mind."

Yeah there are always bad ones or at least obsolete ones. I'm guessing the good ones will have learned from this one, particularly how to get better polling than most of the polling services did this time around.

"Actually, I think this election showed the decline in the power of celebrities to influence people. Look at all the celebs who campaigned for Hill - she had everyone from Adele to Cher and Paul Simon. Trump had to settle for a has-been from a 70's TV show, Jon Voight and Alec Baldwin's lesser known brother. It didn't matter. Millions showed they really didn't care what Lena Dunham or Lady Gaga thinks. They didn't care about being with the cool kids."

As endorsers that's true--I can't imagine anyone (even a far-leftist) thinking "oh, Lena Dunham hates/likes this politician, she makes a good point..." But as candidates, celebrities do have the ability to use free media in a way that even elected politicians can't. Trump got plenty of free coverage from the beginning--if he had been some obscure real estate man (even running on the same issues) do you think he'd have had the same draw?

The question for non-celebrities is what they could be doing different campaign wise. The value of paid ads should drop.

jono39 said...

The Cold War became a way of life. When we "won" instead of looking critically at our Selves and our institutions, we made several more stupid wars, elected three morons in succession who drastically weakened the value of the dollar, helped North Korea to become a nuclear power, shipped our industrial base to China in exchange for cheap umbrellas that last about two days, degraded public education, sending millions to college who cannot really read and write in exchange for a lifetime of debt which they cannot repay. All of this was paid for on credit. Further, Obama armed ISIS by abandoning billions of dollars of hardware in Iraq instead of withdrawing in an intelligent way. NONE of this is reflected in our so-called free press. Millions of people voted for Mr. Trump reluctantly and with fingers crossed because they (we) knew what the Clintons would deliver.

Sebastian said...

"I'm just experiencing a lot of the aftermath of the election as very funny. Like, why did we just spend the weekend talking about "Hamilton"?" Agreed. Schadenfreude may not be the most honorable sentiment, but is enjoyable in small doses, especially since a Hill win would have triggered an orgy of contempt for the losers. Of course, as long as you haven't fully retired, there is still time to send you to UW reeducation camp if you think the travails of the left and the Dem party are funny.

Ann Althouse said...

"Schadenfreude..."

It's not that I'm happy that other people are sad. It's that I'm laughing at people who are expressing their sadness in an excessive, ridiculous way. And I find it funny that people were so presumptuous in the first place that they felt entitled to win and sure that they would. The giant splat of their fall was the result of their own grandiosity. I never saw myself as in line to get what I wanted.

I also find it funny that someone so unusual is going to be President. What a strange trip! You need some emotional skill to ride out a very strange trip. Laughter is part of it. Leaning into the freakout is not.

Todd said...

Paco Wové said...

"the people who got it wrong - media and Democrats- aren't asking themselves to do self-reflection"

When Republicans lose, it's because the Republicans are wrong.

When Democrats lose, it's because the electorate is wrong.

11/21/16, 7:28 AM


This.

Not only are vast numbers of us too stupid to vote our self interests [according to all "knowing" liberals] but the same country that elected Obama twice is just too racist to elect a old, white grandma as POTUS.

The right is racists while the left ostracizes anyone that does not toe the liberal line.

The right is racists while the left has set back black progress and destroyed black families and culture.

The media labels the tea party groups as racist but ignore BLM beating up white people.

Lena Dunham [a white child abusing woman] wants all white men exterminated.

Madonna promises free blow-jobs to any men that vote Hillary.

Team Hillary and the press attack Trump as a misogynist while rappers that rap about raping ho(s) stump for Hillary, the defender of a rapist (her husband) who is on tape laughing about getting a child abuser off.

trigglypuff and her ilk heckle speakers about tolerance and free-speech while shutting down their free-speech.

Watching all of the boo boo feelz and sad faces and tears does not upset me nearly as much as many had hoped.

The up-side to all of these crybullies wearing diaper pins is that it makes them that much easier to identify so as to avoid...

EDH said...

Althouse November 20, 2013...

Whatever happened to the "Republicans are committing suicide" meme?

It was all the rage back in September.

There was also "The death of the Republican Party."


EDH said...
Wouldn't it be interesting if the Republicans indeed cleaved into two parties -- the two major parties -- and the Democrats imploded into a fringe party, the MSNBC of political parties.

11/20/13, 4:49 PM


EDH said...
Rather than a doomsday scenario, that cleave yet conquer outcome might be an attractive strategy for all right-of-center Republicans.

11/20/13, 4:55 PM

wwww said...

I thought election night was funny. Well, funny might not be the word -- hilarious? surrealistic? absurd? catastrophic? the presidency we all deserve?

I laughed on election night when I saw Wisconsin and Michigan were going for Trump.

Yes, was absurd that this weekend news was about POTUS-elect getting into a twitter war with Hamilton cast.

No, not concerned that Trump doesn't like Hamilton.

I'm concerned about the potential weakening of NATO and the possibility of a nuclear or geopolitical crisis. I don't think he would purposefully cause a crisis. But Trump seems unaware of the power of POTUS to shape world events.

Meeting with Indian business men is problematic when Pakistan and India both have nukes. Trump doesn't seem to understand the potential geopolitical implications.

In an alternative universe somewhere, Kasich & Biden ran against each other. Wish I lived in that universe.

I don't care about Hamilton. I'm not worried about domestic policy or the supreme court or a trade war with China.

I want to get through the next 4 or 8 years without upending the post-WWII American world order. Hopefully we get through the Trump presidency with the NATO alliance intact, and w/ out a major nuclear or geopolitical crisis.

& yes, on some level it's funny and absurd. Here we are now, entertain us.

sane_voter said...

Funny that people are worried about foreign policy when the last eight years of Obama has severely weakened US influence across the globe and strengthened our enemies. Of course the Dems will blame Trump for the steaming shit piles left by Obama and Hillary.

CWJ said...

"The old Republican coalition has been nuked."

Up is down and down is up. Usually when your coalition is nuked, you lose. It seems as if the Republican Party managed both its dissolution and reformation within the same election cycle. Who knows what will happen tomorrow?

JAORE said...

Trump got plenty of free coverage from the beginning--if he had been some obscure real estate man (even running on the same issues) do you think he'd have had the same draw?

True enough. But, early on,I think Trump also got a lot of media play because the MSM thought they could hold him out to say, "See what a clown car he Republican hopefuls are? My gawd, they even have Trump. And he's gathering VOTES!".

Plenty of videos out there of learned elites reacting to anyone who said Trump could get the nomination, then Trump could win.

There's an old saying about laughing last.

Mike said...

Rob Long is a sharp guy with a track record of getting things done in Hollywood despite being a conservative. I would have expected him to "get" Trump better than he seems to have.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

JAORE said...True enough. But, early on,I think Trump also got a lot of media play because the MSM thought they could hold him out to say, "See what a clown car he Republican hopefuls are? My gawd, they even have Trump. And he's gathering VOTES!".

Yes, and in an entirely unrelated/coincidental occurrence it just so happens the Hillary Clinton campaign very much wanted to promote Trump (and Cruz) as viable/front-running candidates precisely because the campaign assumed that'd be the easiest way to win.

I mean, I know it's strange that the Media acted exactly as the Hillary Clinton campaign wanted them to act--just a coincidence of course--the the fact is those guys WANTED to run against Trump, and that's what they got. The fact that they still lost...well, that just shows how stupid the Media is and how terrible a candidate Hillary Herself was. Oh, and of course how brilliant are the DNC/powerful Democrats who did everything in their power to clear the path for Hillary's primary victory, too.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

One problem with the "Repub. party is split/nuked/done for" view is that down ballot Repubs did quite well pretty much everywhere--House, Senate, and state legislatures. Had Trump lost or had he won while harming down ballot Repubs I think the party would have been hard to keep together, sure. But they won.

Where they go from here, and under whose leadership, is obviously a big open question. That's unusual and there's clearly more uncertainty about the direction of the party than there has been in a long time...but given their wins one has to understand that their freedom of action is, in theory anyway, much greater than it has been in years, so the potential upside of the Trump years is likewise much greater than anyone expected.

Brando said...

"True enough. But, early on,I think Trump also got a lot of media play because the MSM thought they could hold him out to say, "See what a clown car he Republican hopefuls are? My gawd, they even have Trump. And he's gathering VOTES!"."

Yeah, his staying power surprised them. I'll admit I was pretty surprised too.

Going forward, I think a lot of candidates are going to use free media (social media, viral videos) to reach a lot more people more effectively than paid ads used to. Celebrities have a leg up (free coverage) but the rest will just have to find a way to get famous early.

What will be interesting is how the news media will change coverage in the future. A lot seem to think they weren't biased enough early on with Trump, so I imagine their coverage will get more harsh (and less trusted by about half the population).

Brando said...

"One problem with the "Repub. party is split/nuked/done for" view is that down ballot Repubs did quite well pretty much everywhere--House, Senate, and state legislatures. Had Trump lost or had he won while harming down ballot Repubs I think the party would have been hard to keep together, sure. But they won."

The GOP will have the same challenge of any majority party--higher expectations to get results, many of which may be incompatible for different factions of their coalition. How they bridge that is anyone's guess. Last time they did it (a decade ago) they just spent like crazy, united on the War on Terror, and threw a few sops to the religious right from time to time, but it proved a short lived victory that led to the Tea Party (initially a reaction to big government Republicanism) and the Dem takeover.

Dems though, while they have the advantage of only needing to oppose, also have to figure out what sort of party they are. I'm guessing they'll move in a more leftist direction, as the "moderate" wing probably feels Clinton lost because she couldn't energize the far left. That could prove fatal to them in the long run.

For me the big question is how will polling adjust? National polling turned out to be accurate (giving Hillary a slight lead over Trump) but state level polling led to the big surprise (remember PA, MI, WI, VA, all "out of reach"?). Not sure how they'll change their calculations for the next time around.

mikee said...

I lost $100 to my wife, on a bet that Hillary would win. I bet on the old cow not because I thought she was good, but because I recognized after Obama's win in 2012 that a corrupt GOP had lost all contact with reality, that a corrupt Democrat party was running the federal government, and that the Dem acceptance of corrupt Hillary was going to be hard to beat.

I can't tell you how glad I am that I lost that bet. We have a chance now, just a chance, to remove some of the corruption from the federal government. Here's hoping we do.

Steven Wilson said...

I began the election process with Trump as my last choice. Throughout the primaries I said I wouldn't vote for him until the general election and then I would crawl across broken glass naked to vote for him and against any possible Democrat.

Once he had the nomination, I said regardless of who was elected I would cry, but if Trump were elected I would laugh first.

Well, I'm still laughing and the urge to cry hasn't arisen. Admittedly, I did very nearly overdose on schadenfreude the first two days after the election, but I've cut myself back to no more than three generous helpings a day. I don't know how all this will end, but I'm allowing myself to become far too hopeful.

If Sessions cleans out the Justice Department and sets a pack of hellhounds loose in the IRS, it will be a time for smiling.

Yancey Ward said...

The thing that beat Hillary! that hasn't gotten nearly the attention it deserves- the DVR. Think about how much time she spent raising the money to run the ads that nearly everyone fast-forwarded through without ever noticing them running.

JAORE said...

"I didn't vote for either one. I can say "not my fault" regardless how it turned out."

BS, Hawk. At the very least there was no way to tell if it might have been your (collectively with the thousand of other third party voters) fault "regardless of how it turned out". Don't go all Pontius Pilate on us here.

Johnny Sokko said...

Another wonderful thing about this election was the diminished influence of newspaper endorsements. Nobody cares anymore about newspaper endorsements.

Rusty said...

Althouse says. "
I also find it funny that someone so unusual is going to be President. What a strange trip! You need some emotional skill to ride out a very strange trip. Laughter is part of it. Leaning into the freakout is not."

Life, Althouse, is basically absurd. And the shit what doesn't kill you makes it even funnier.

Bruce Gee said...

I think any post election evaluation that doesn't take into account first and foremost that it was a judgment on Obama's presidency and policies, misses the point entirely. Trump benefited from that in spades. It won't be so easy the next time. He'd be wise to put his policies into place, then for the second term hand the baton off to Pence , who is looking very presidential.

I'm a bit overwhelmed by the amount of work that needs doing. There have to be ten or fifteen huge items that need to be addressed immediately. Putting a priority on getting the economy moving (which may actually affect five or six of those huge items) is my hope. I'm also hopeful that Trump doesn't get sidetracked, as he appeared to in the months leading up to the election. Like returning the name Denali to Mt. McKinley. Waaaay down the list.