The Trump era - what's surprised you the most?

It’s been eighteen months since Trump took office.

We’ve seen the shattering of a lot of political norms. Many of these were predictable, given what we saw in the 2016 campaign - the tweets, the corruption, and so on.

But many others have been unexpected.

I never would have predicted all the staff dismissals at the White House. I especially thought that Steve Bannon, who got his million-to-one shot at real power, would make sure to hold onto it.

Conversely, one thing I expected has not happened. I thought there was likely to be a major terrorist attack on the U.S., designed to provoke Trump into a new Middle East war.

What developments have most surprised you?

That it happened at all.

I’m shocked he still has support of the party he pretends to belong to

Why would that be surprising? There was a high level of turnover in his campaign team the prior 18 months.

There’s absolutely nothing about it that has surprised me at all. I knew from the very beginning he was going to win (and nobody believed me), and so far he’s done all the things I already assumed he would do. I’ve got his fucking number - I have from the very beginning even though nobody listened to me.

That the economy’s still going strong.

What has truly surprised and shocked me has been how much the Republican Party rolled over for him and kissed his ass (after some initial hesitation). They are so afraid of Trump’s base that they are either running for the hills of retirement or sucking up to him and doing his bidding (or remaining silent) to avoid the wrath of the base

Same as Procrustus and computergeek, I think I’m most surprised that the GOP has so completely rolled over and abandoned major parts of their supposed ideology. Especially since the run-up had so many people insisting (when it was expected Trump would lose) that he wasn’t a “real” Republican (“He’s practically a New York liberal!”) or that that the GOP was going to moderate him. Instead he took complete control of the party in record time and they’re all terrified of him now.

Gotta agree with the majority here. The fact that the party has become his bitch surprised me, but probably shouldn’t have. I mean, we only thought they had principles, right.

This is mine, too. After the election I called my financial advisor and asked how to prepare for the coming financial crisis. She talked me off the ledge. To be fair, Velocity and I had good company. ISTR a Paul Krugman column predicting that the US would essentially not recover from the stock market dive that occurred immediately after the election. I still think Trump’s policies, to the extent he has actual policies, will lead to a weakening of the US’ economy, but I expected it to happen faster.

I’m not at all surprised that the Republican party has rolled over for Trump.

How little uproar this has caused internationally. Maybe the world is just putting on a pretend face but I figured electing Trump would cause the entire world to go ‘ok, the Americans have totally lost their minds. They are too morally and intellectually bankrupt to lead. Lets do it all ourselves while the Americans work through their racial resentment issues’. That has kind of happened, but not to the degree that I thought it would have.

Also I’m surprised it hasn’t been ‘that’ bad so far. No economic collapse, no war.

I guess what will also surprise me (in a bad way) is if the democratic margin in 2018 is no bigger than the GOP margin in 2010. In 2010 the GOP won the popular vote about 52 to 45. A 7 point margin. Some polls show the democrats winning in 2018 by a 7 point margin.

If ending the great recession and passing health reform is all it takes for the democrats to lose congress by a 7 point margin, I will be deeply disappointed if Trump and the complicit GOP committing treason, rampant corruption, gross incompetence, white nationalism and destroying our reputation only causes the democrats to win by a 7 point margin. At that point, why bother. The American people consider both these things equal in their eyes. If the average American voter considers mild health reform and a stimulus to end the recession as offensive as treason and declaring war on democracy, then fuck this country.

It is possible that the GOP has taken Russian money and is now complicit, so they have incentive to cover things up. Supposedly Devin Nunes is also being investigated for his own crimes, so he has incentive to cover things up.

But yes, the republicans who haven’t broken the law who are helping cover up Trump’s crimes are confusing. I think people like Gowdy realize the dam is about to burst and are keeping their distance, but they still cover up for Trump.

That he’s still there. Of course, the Republicans may be waiting for November.

I think the odds are that Russia’s money has made it deep into the political system. Exactly how is something that Mueller will eventually find out, if he’s allowed to complete his investigation.

I think some Republicans would roll over and support Trump just to annoy Democrats, but Russia has spent years trying to meddle not just with the 2016 election but with our entire system.

True, but at the same time Paul Ryan voted for Medicare part D back under Bush. So it isn’t like these people were ever principled. All that really matters to them is power.

These things take time.

The interest on the debt is going to start taking off in the next year or two. Gas prices are going to rise. There’s a growing private debt bubble. We have fewer and fewer banks and financial institutions holding more and more accounts, which means that the next time the financial crisis occurs, rather than ‘too big to fail’ the phrase du jour might be ‘too big to save’

That he still had supporters. Most people knew he was making promises he would never keep when he was running. But some people believed him. Okay, they were gullible - but you couldn’t prove they were wrong at the time because a Trump presidency was still just hypothetical.

But now he is President and he’s proven we were right; Trump is failing as President.

But he somehow still has a large base of supporters who believe him. Trump tells them he is doing a great job and they believe it. He tells them all the evidence that he’s doing terribly is just “fake news” and they believe him. He tells them things today that contradict what he said yesterday and they believe him on both days. He lies and lies and lies and lies and lies but he has people who believe everything he says.

Krugman is so regularly wrong about predictions, one could almost set a watch by it. Why anyone thinks his predictions have any credibility at all is a mystery to me.

NYT on 11/9/16 - Paul Krugman: The Economic Fallout

I’d expected him to learn how responsibility works by now. What has surprised me most is the degree of pure evil that the man harbors, and that so many people who consider themselves good Americans can still support.

Give the children back. Now.

Nothing about what Trump and his enablers and factotums are doing surprises me. I’m occasionally shocked, but never surprised. The Trump Administration is like a haunted house at a fair: you might be startled by the guy with the sheet over his head who jumps out and says “Boo!”, but you can’t claim you were surprised that a haunted house ride had a guy playing a ghost in it.