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March 08, 2016


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Not bad, though I wonder how the hell a 2018 Democratic sweep happens without the complete disintegration of the Republican Party, which is not implied to have happened.

It was surprising breathful, no? (Wait, what is the opposite of "breathless" used as a metaphor?)

Might the GOP have been mortally weakened in the scenario? The word "Republican" is mentioned only once, in the second paragraph, in the context of Trump's front-runner status in 2015. The next paragraph, though, mentioned Democrats in the context of 2030 and how they hate talking about the 2016 election, even 14 years later.

Thought experiment: would a similarly-short retrospective about Governor Schwarzenegger need to explicitly discuss the collapse of the California GOP? I'm not entirely sure. This looks like a future where (at least at the time of the writing) the Democrats have established a degree of political hegemony so taken for granted that it's not worth mentioning.

I would think an utter implosion of the Republican Party -- really, look at that 2018 Senate election map and tell me how the Democrats sweep it without the GOP going the way of the Whigs -- would have more consequence than, "Compared to 2016, however, his 2020 campaign seemed lacking in energy and some wondered whether he really wanted the role."

Lacking in energy because the Republican Party fell apart to the point where Senate seats in Texas and Utah were battlegrounds?

It's too normal. It puts everything on Trump's personal desires, when 2018 would be an election of a sort not seen 1932. "Hoover seemed lacking in energy and some wondered if he really wanted the role." Am I wrong?

I'm not sure. 33 seats will be up. If the Democrats held all 23 of their seats and picked up Arizona (possible), Nevada (likely), and Tennessee (a shocker but not crazy in context), plus the House, I think it could reasonably be called a "sweep" in a look back from 2030.

But I wonder whether the Democrats could pick up four Senate seats in 2016 in the context of a Trump presidential win, which is what you would need to put the Senate in play in 2018.

It's kind of how I imagined the George W. Bush administration shaking out until 9/11 happened and removed all connection between actions and political consequences for five years.

That episode removed most of my faith in democratic feedback mechanisms as a way of undoing horrible mistakes. It did happen eventually, but after far too much time and disaster.

A couple of the other vignettes are clearly fantasy though they seem just barely plausible enough that unless you read it carefully you might miss the fantastical elements.

The Trump vignette seems pretty reasonable in terms of speculation but some bits of it seem odd - Netanyahu ignoring Iran and castigating Trump for Nazi-like rhetoric against Muslims seems a bit farfetched. At best I could Netanyahu focusing on both Iran and Trump and castigating Trump's rhetoric because it gives fuel to Islamic extremism in Iran and other places rather than because the rhetoric itself is repugnant.

The big question is really at what point Trump starts actually experiencing negative political consequences from acting like a bigoted, grotesque clown on the teevee. So far, he's probably taken a big financial hit by burning various business relationships, but he doesn't seem to care about that any more; it's about his ego. And in the primary race, he seems nearly immune to any backlash; indeed, the worse he behaves the better he does. His observation about his ability to gun people down on Fifth Avenue without consequences was only mildly hyperbolic if at all.

So it's reasonable to speculate nervously about where the limit is. Is it facing a multiracial, general-election electorate, as various people have suggested? is it after taking office and creating several months of catastrophes, like George W. Bush without 9/11? After taking office and creating five years of world-historic catastrophes, like George W. Bush with 9/11? Or is there a limit at all?

So we've seen speculation on what a Trump presidency might look like. Is this what a Sanders presidency might look like? : http://www.forbes.com/sites/scottbeyer/2016/03/11/does-bernie-sanders-actually-think-nafta-is-what-killed-detroit/#2e1dcc74239c

Detroit on steroids?

In fact, the Detroit model in terms of taxes and policy (not political dominance) might also be relevant for a Trump presidency no?

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