Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Truth and Consequences

Yesterday morning I felt confident that the country would be waking up today to the election of the first woman president.

I could not have been more wrong. 

So what happened?

This article from last week describes the weakness of Clinton's coalition that I (and many others) missed: from the standpoint of the electoral map, her strengths were over-represented in democratic strongholds and under-represented in swing states. In retrospect, it tells the story: Clinton was defeated by these demographic realities and by the anachronism that is the Electoral College, by lower Democratic turnout, and by an unusually high white rural voter turnout. It's also possible that voter suppression laws had an effect on the outcome, but that is more difficult to measure. 

What seems more pressing are the potential consequences of a Trump presidency. With this upset victory, the Republicans suddenly find themselves with more power than ever before. Despite a policy gulf between Clinton and Trump larger than in any election in memory, these differences went shamefully unreported.

Here's a preview of what we might expect from President Trump, Majority Leader McConnell, and Speaker Ryan:

- an end to environmental regulation enforcement
- a supreme court justice who is against choice, gay marriage, labor rights and voting rights
- a repeal of Obamacare, which will strip 22 million people of insurance
- a repeal of Dodd-Frank, and an end to the Consumer Financial Protection Board
- our National Parks could be sold and/or leased for development and/or mining/resource exploitation
- capital gains and other tax cuts for upper incomes
- increases in fees and other regressive taxes for lower incomes
- Medicare replaced by voucher system
- privatization of Social Security
- block grants to states for everything from education to food stamps

All in all, a pretty grim picture.

Welcome to Kansas, America.

Update: SteveM has more