Donald Trump And The End of Smugness

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Argonheart_Po
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Donald Trump And The End of Smugness

Post by Argonheart_Po » Fri Oct 12, 2018 8:18 am

Like most Democrats, I reacted to the stunning 2016 election of Donald Trump with a combination of confusion and dread. After all, Hillary Clinton was the favorite and, to Democrats like me, a Trump victory seemed to portend certain economic disaster, nuclear war, and pretty much the end of America as we knew it.

But now nearly two years into his administration, Trump has presided over a “winning streak” that includes a booming economy and stock market, an unemployment level at a nearly 50-year low, two Supreme Court appointments, no new foreign wars or domestic terrorist attacks emanating from abroad, a significant degree of progress on trade relations with Canada and Mexico, a “needed reset” on the China relationship, and the prospect of peace on the Korean Peninsula.

Perhaps it is time that even his opponents reconsider Trump. Does Trump have a strategy that we can describe? Is Trump a return of Richard Nixon, of Ronald Reagan, or of something else entirely? After several months of watching the news without gaining any answers, I finally canceled my cable subscription and sought out other sources. I found some insights in unexpected places.

Trump’s presidency marks a return to realpolitik and great power politics. No one knows what goes on in Trump’s mind or if even he believes he has a strategy. What matters is what Trump does, so this essay looks at his actions, considers the bias of his critics, and seeks a new way to understand his policies. It considers the possibility that Trump has a method to his madness.
Nonsense. He’s a demented toddler who just keeps blundering around and accidentally kicking the snot out of the Really Smart People.

https://warontherocks.com/2018/10/trump ... fDOfn5U5Jw
“We make men without chests and expect of them virtue and enterprise. We laugh at honour and are shocked to find traitors in our midst. We castrate and bid the geldings be fruitful.” —C.S. Lewis

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Re: Donald Trump And The End of Smugness

Post by Godjira » Fri Oct 12, 2018 9:04 am

Congratulations. This piece has to be the biggest load ever dropped on the stew.
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Re: Donald Trump And The End of Smugness

Post by Argonheart_Po » Sat Oct 13, 2018 1:54 am

Andrew Sullivan begins to worry that Trump is a success:
Along with Gorsuch, Kavanaugh cemented a 5-4 majority for the right on the court for the indefinite future — more quickly and decisively than any Republican had hoped for. If Hillary Clinton had won the presidency, in stark contrast, we’d be looking at a 6-3 liberal tilt by now. That’s a huge, huge payoff for what looked at one point like a major gamble for establishment and religious Republicans — and there could be more vacancies ahead.

Second, it showed that the broader Republican coalition isn’t completely dead. The over-the-top tactics of the Democrats and the mainstream media in turning a Supreme Court hearing into an epic battle in a newly energized gender war may have riveted Democratic women and galvanized a younger generation … but it also brought moderate Republicans and Trumpers together again. When confronted with the rhetoric and ideology of the social justice left, NeverTrump conservatives came temporarily back to the fold. I felt it happening to myself.

Worse, there was evidence that some of the culture war issues the Democrats are relying on may not be so win-win. Yes, a focus on sexual assault and harassment in the workplace and elsewhere is important in its own right — and it strongly resonates with suburban women who may decide the midterms. But it can also energize conservative and moderate women in defense of what they see as threats to their own husbands and sons; it can further alienate more traditional working-class men from the Democrats; and it could cement a worrying shift among young white men toward the GOP since 2016.
Yeah, weird how when you constantly attack and denigrate a group of people, they start voting for the other side.

http://nymag.com/intelligencer/2018/10/ ... ments.html
“We make men without chests and expect of them virtue and enterprise. We laugh at honour and are shocked to find traitors in our midst. We castrate and bid the geldings be fruitful.” —C.S. Lewis

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Re: Donald Trump And The End of Smugness

Post by cuchulainn » Sat Oct 13, 2018 2:12 am

Russians are better campaigners than Democrats.

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Re: Donald Trump And The End of Smugness

Post by thegreenlantern » Sat Oct 13, 2018 2:18 am

I normally think War on the Rocks is an okay blog, but this article is ... really something. Take this passage:
Overall, Trump’s approach represents a reversion to a style of statecraft that flips previous approaches. Technocracy, meritocracy, and bureaucratic approaches are giving way to establishing top-level personal rapport, trust, and loyalty.
... in what universe is this a good thing, even if Trump happens to be a master of bullying charisma? Even if we elect Trump figures for the near future, each will bond with different world leaders over different issues, and American foreign policy will lurch to and fro every administration, offering little stability on which to build lasting military relationships to confront long-term challenges or certainty to American and foreign firms contemplating FDI decisions.

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Re: Donald Trump And The End of Smugness

Post by eric84 » Sat Oct 13, 2018 2:59 am

Who does trumpiedoodle have personal rapport with? What substantive results has he achieved from that?
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Re: Donald Trump And The End of Smugness

Post by BeatRaven » Sat Oct 13, 2018 3:15 am

He's really playing 3D chess is sooooo 2017. More maybe this, maybe that.

It sounds like Annotated with the tard part taken out.

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Re: Donald Trump And The End of Smugness

Post by Godjira » Sat Oct 13, 2018 3:21 am

Argonheart_Po wrote:
Yeah, weird how when you constantly attack and denigrate a group of people, they start voting for the other side.
That’s why Jewish people tend to vote Democrat.
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Re: Donald Trump And The End of Smugness

Post by Vince » Sat Oct 13, 2018 3:22 am

eric84 wrote:
Sat Oct 13, 2018 2:59 am
Who does trumpiedoodle have personal rapport with? What substantive results has he achieved from that?
The ones that didn’t laugh at him at the UN? How’s is turning your country quite literally into a joke good strategy?
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Re: Donald Trump And The End of Smugness

Post by eric84 » Sat Oct 13, 2018 3:24 am

I guess putin and Kim are rapport based relationships. What has amerikkka gotten out of it? North Korea still appears to have nukes and I can’t really name a game osirive outcome from Russia.
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Re: Donald Trump And The End of Smugness

Post by Argonheart_Po » Sat Oct 13, 2018 5:40 am

cuchulainn wrote:
Sat Oct 13, 2018 2:12 am
Russians are better campaigners than Democrats.
Well, everyone knows that.

If your world view is so askew that you think abusing the electorate prior to (and after) the election will help you win then almost everyone is a better campaigner than you.

Not that you’ve learned any lessons from it.
Last edited by Argonheart_Po on Sat Oct 13, 2018 5:40 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Donald Trump And The End of Smugness

Post by thegreenlantern » Sat Oct 13, 2018 5:40 am

eric84 wrote:
Sat Oct 13, 2018 3:24 am
I guess putin and Kim are rapport based relationships. What has amerikkka gotten out of it? North Korea still appears to have nukes and I can’t really name a game osirive outcome from Russia.
This is part of what I find bewildering about the article. It's not in any way clear that the author approves of the strategy he attributes to Trump, but he argues that the courage to befriend enemies and bully allies is a cogent strategy based on personal charisma. The proof of its coherence is apparently a "string of successes" that includes Kim's willingness to send home the remains of American soldiers, which the author admits is inconclusive evidence.

No shit it's inconclusive. This dude is an Asia watcher who knows that the Kim regime has survived primarily by selling an empty bag of promises over and over to the West.

He also argues that Trump swapped some "hurt feelings" with Canada for a better trade deal. Better trade deal how? The diary market concessions, which is the only tangible thing Trump wrangled from Canada, are worth something like 0.05% of total cross-border trade. Sure, Trudeau will put his big boy pants on like he's supposed to, but the cost of renegotiation itself is probably higher than additional American dairy profits, so was it worth it?

The author sounds like a Mearshimer student who underperformed because he didn't understand it was time to get off the realism train and is now trying to sell everyone on the return of realpolitik to be relevant again. Stop trying to make "fetch" happen. It's not gonna happen.

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Re: Donald Trump And The End of Smugness

Post by Godjira » Sat Oct 13, 2018 8:52 am

Argonheart_Po wrote:
cuchulainn wrote:
Sat Oct 13, 2018 2:12 am
Russians are better campaigners than Democrats.
Well, everyone knows that.

If your world view is so askew that you think abusing the electorate prior to (and after) the election will help you win then almost everyone is a better campaigner than you.

Not that you’ve learned any lessons from it.
You mean like the way the Repubs abused women?

You boys are going to get lambasted.
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Re: Donald Trump And The End of Smugness

Post by eric84 » Sat Oct 13, 2018 11:37 am

thegreenlantern wrote:
Sat Oct 13, 2018 5:40 am
eric84 wrote:
Sat Oct 13, 2018 3:24 am
I guess putin and Kim are rapport based relationships. What has amerikkka gotten out of it? North Korea still appears to have nukes and I can’t really name a game osirive outcome from Russia.
This is part of what I find bewildering about the article. It's not in any way clear that the author approves of the strategy he attributes to Trump, but he argues that the courage to befriend enemies and bully allies is a cogent strategy based on personal charisma. The proof of its coherence is apparently a "string of successes" that includes Kim's willingness to send home the remains of American soldiers, which the author admits is inconclusive evidence.

No shit it's inconclusive. This dude is an Asia watcher who knows that the Kim regime has survived primarily by selling an empty bag of promises over and over to the West.

He also argues that Trump swapped some "hurt feelings" with Canada for a better trade deal. Better trade deal how? The diary market concessions, which is the only tangible thing Trump wrangled from Canada, are worth something like 0.05% of total cross-border trade. Sure, Trudeau will put his big boy pants on like he's supposed to, but the cost of renegotiation itself is probably higher than additional American dairy profits, so was it worth it?

The author sounds like a Mearshimer student who underperformed because he didn't understand it was time to get off the realism train and is now trying to sell everyone on the return of realpolitik to be relevant again. Stop trying to make "fetch" happen. It's not gonna happen.
Yeah, the Canada example is instructive. He essentially threw the relationship in a serious crisis for dairy concessions he could’ve gotten if he stayed in cptpp. The fine print of the deal seems to indicate that it will be difficult to take full advantage of those concessions. Was it worth the turmoil in all other sectors hit by tariffs in retaliation to steel and aluminum (which remain in place)? Hard to argue that it will.
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Re: Donald Trump And The End of Smugness

Post by thegreenlantern » Sat Oct 13, 2018 8:29 pm

Trump's political strategy seems less about charisma and more about creating crises he can claim to have won by bringing us back to within a stone's throw of the status quo. Some proportion of the population, for whatever reason, views these non-events as big wins.

Liberal hand-wringing about managing or recognizing Trump's success, even if only the success of winning voters with his disingenuous tactics, really misses for me for two related reasons.

First, the base problem for advocates of responsible policy isn't that Trump is irresponsible, it's that so many Americans find his technique persuasive. There isn't really a way to win these voters without appealing to a sense of urgent grievance and by making promises to upset apple-carts that we'd all really prefer to have upright.

Second, emulation of Trump's method as a path to victory in the polls defeats the purpose of controlling government in the first place. The worst thing about Trump for American progress is the constant state of hyper-attention to the next threatened crisis he generates, but enough Americans see that as a feature rather than a bug. My goal would be to elect someone so boring I rarely think about them. But if Americans are attracted to the drama, not only is that candidate likely to lose, but the shit-stirrers will spend all their time trying to profit from making a boring candidate seem controversial.

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