Thursday, November 10, 2016

Tears In Beers


Newsweek was over confident. The magazine set up its front page showing Democratic Presidential nominee defeating real estate mogul Donald Trump – two days before Election Day.

Scrap that.

Prior to Mr. Trump’s victory, a Hartford Courant political writer instructed a Talk of Connecticut Election Luncheon audience that “The Donald” was sub-human, and Bill Curry, whose support of socialist Bernie Sanders quickly shifted to Democratic Presidential nominee Hillary Clinton once Mrs. Clinton had bumped off Mr. Sanders, declared that Mr. Trump was “emotionally unbalanced, a fascist, and a fraud”. Perhaps after Mr. Trump has been in office a couple of years, Mr. Curry will readjust his depreciation of President Elect Trump, even as he has frequently adjusted his politics between the now abandoned Mr. Sanders and the re-embraced Mrs. Clinton.

Nationally, people will be disputing the real meaning of Mr. Trump’s stunning victory over Mrs. Clinton for months to come, but none of the premises that put a smile on Democratic faces before Election Day held up under the withering fire of what turned out to be a Huey Long populist campaign. Connecticut's Federalist Society, Lawyers Division will be holding a post election "Happy-Sad Day" on November 10 at Vaughn's Public House, 59 Pratt Street, Hartford CT.

The women’s vote did not carry Mrs. Clinton across the finish line. Mr. Trump, who had some harsh things to say about Mexico during his campaign, was not fatally punished by Hispanics. The African American vote, an overwhelming force in President Barack Obama’s two elections, proved to be a spent storm, even though Mr. Obama had campaigned vigorously for Mrs. Clinton, who was, Mr. Obama repeatedly said, the most experienced nominee to run for president in modern history. Unfortunately, Mrs. Clinton was running at a time when the wrong experience had doubled the national debt, saddled the nation with a highly defective Obamacare health-care system, produced anemic job growth and left the Middle East in the bloodied hands of Islamic terrorists. Most alarmingly from a Democratic point of view, the Republican Party, shattered into a thousand pieces by Mr. Trump’s take-no-prisoners Primary, mobilized at the last moment to hoist Mr. Trump into the White House. Speaker of the House Paul Ryan and Governor Scott Walker are credited with delivering Wisconsin to Mr. Trump, the fulcrum that turned the election towards a sweeter and milder Republican Presidential candidate we glimpsed in his victory speech.

The fractious Republican Party now commands the heights of American politics: The Presidential office and both Houses of Congress now repose in shattered Republican hands.

Here in Connecticut, Republicans won seats in both Houses of the General Assembly. In the House, Democratic numbers are down to 79-72, owing to an eight net gain by Republicans, and the Senate is now evenly split 18-18 between the two major parties. The state GOP has been making steady gains in the General Assembly ever since Governor Dannel Malloy won office and booted Republicans out of the room where Democrats and State Employee Unions, Connecticut’s fourth branch of government, shaped Connecticut’s budget.

Following losses in the General Assembly, a ragged tailed remnant of moderate Democrats now allow that unforgiving progressives, chastened by voters, will at long last have to deal with Republicans. A bridge-building Democratic Senator, Paul Doyle of Wethersfield, says it plainly: Having lost so many seats in the General Assembly to Republicans during the last few elections, Democrats must relearn the art of governance. Governor Dannel Malloy, still bending reality to his will, now implausibly insists that he is a bridge-builder used to involving Republicans in his important decisions -- this from a Governor who has numerous times banished Republicans from the budget decision-making table.


Mr. Trump’s successful campaign is a rebuke to: a national Republican Party that lacked the courage of its often professed convictions; a foundering President who already has squandered his legacy before a single stone had been set in the foundation of his inevitable Presidential Library, Mrs. Clinton’s defeat having put a period to his efforts in refashioning the American Republic; family dynasties, the country having said NO to both the Bushes and the Clintons; a progressive driven media that still cannot understand why voters in the Naugatuck Valley, Connecticut’s Trump corridor, find the President Elect’s unalloyed brashness liberating; Connecticut Democrats with national ambitions who soon will be returning to a government wholly in the hands of the opposition; U.S. Senator Dick Blumenthal, who this political season gave his Republican opponent only ONE opportunity to debate him, and who, along with Mr. Malloy, implausibly insists he is a Pontifex Maximus (literally, the "greatest bridge-builder,” the high priest of the Collegium Pontificum in ancient Rome.) With the blessing of the Hartford Courant, Connecticut’s U.S. Congressional Delegation has become a college of pontiffs. In ancient Rome the Pontifex Maximus was appointed for life. So also in Connecticut, if one is a Democrat with the proper left of center credentials, election to the U.S. Congressional Delegation becomes in practice a life term and a permanent rebuke to democracy.

Perhaps Mr. Trump’s greatest gift to democracy American style was to demonstrate that anyone really can be elected President, even sub-human proto-fascists.


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