Epilogue—The enemy will be Us: Today, we complete our second week of award-winning election post-mortem reports.
We've added a week of "Losers" reports to our earlier "Teabagged" series. Next week, we'll offer a series which bears this working title:
We're inclined to agree with Kevin Drum. We think James B. Comey's intrusion on the White House campaign may well have swung its outcome. For that reason, it's important to see how we fiery liberals dealt with the actions of this powerful insider god.
More specifically, it's important to see how our corporate liberal "journalists" dealt with the god's behavior. We'll pursue such questions as these:
How did they respond to Comey's original actions in early July? How did they respond to Fred Kaplan's instant challenge to Comey's potent claims?
What did they do when Candidate Clinton told Matt Lauer that she behaved exactly as she should have with respect to her emails? Also this:
To what extent did they tie Comey's remarkable conduct, which they surely must have challenged, to the Comeys who came before him?
Duh! James B. Comey was hardly the first high-ranking Republican to intrude on a modern White House campaign. Before Comey, we had Louis Freeh and Robert Conrad, conducting their high-minded probe of Candidate Gore back in Campaign 2000.
Before Freeh and Conrad, we had the move from Robert Fiske to the high-minded Judge Starr of the Baylor football program. This led to all those high-minded probes of Bill and Hillary Clinton.
When we got Comeyed this summer and fall, we utterly brilliant, super-smart liberals were in fact getting Comeyed again! How dogged were our multimillionaire corporate stars at handling this decades-old theme?
We'll focus on "our own Cantinflas" as we review this topic. How did we get to be teabagged losers? In part, by tolerating Hannityesque, orange-shoed TV star gong-shows like hers!
(We were "fastened to a dying animal," exactly as Yeats said!)
These new reports will begin on Monday. For today, let's finish our current series, skillfully adding an epilogue to Paul Krugman's new column.
In his new column, Krugman predicts the future. Quite reasonably, he predicts that roughly five million white working-class Trump supporters will lose their Obamacare-based health insurance under President Trump.
He further predicts that Trump won't be able to "bring back the manufacturing jobs that have been lost over the past few decades. Those jobs were lost mainly to technological change, not imports, and they aren’t coming back."
Beyond that, "there will be nothing to offset the harm workers suffer when Republicans rip up the safety net," Krugman sensibly says.
As journalists proved all year, predicting the future is hard. That said, Krugman's predictions are perfectly reasonable.
So is the further prediction shown below. In this passage, Krugman predicts what will happen when Trump's various campaign promises start to collapse:
KRUGMAN (12/2/16): Will there be a political backlash, a surge of buyer’s remorse? Maybe. Certainly Democrats will be well advised to hammer Mr. Trump’s betrayal of the working class nonstop. But we do need to consider the tactics that he will use to obscure the scope of his betrayal [of the white working class].This was not a coincidence? We don't know how Krugman knows that.
[I]f and when the reality that workers are losing ground starts to sink in, I worry that the Trumpists will do what authoritarian governments often do to change the subject away from poor performance: go find an enemy.
Remember what I said about Trump Twitter. Even as he took a big step toward taking health insurance away from millions, Mr. Trump started ranting about taking citizenship away from flag-burners. This was not a coincidence.
That said, will Trump "go find an enemy" if his promises start to collapse? It's entirely possible, but his designated enemy won't have to be flag-burners.
The enemy could simply be Us. Here's what will maybe happen:
Trump will say that Obamacare had to be repealed because it was imploding. In response to that, we'll say two things:
We'll say his claims about health care are wrong. We'll also say that his supporters only believe his claims because they're such racists and bigots.
We simply love that second play. Increasingly, it seems to be the only play we know; we rarely leave home without it. But because we'll make that second statement, his supporters won't even consider listening to us when we make the first.
We've been losing this way for a very long time. This pattern is deeply engrained in our broken political culture.
We "liberals" seem to love losing this way. We seem to love our sweeping claims more than any possible wins, more than life itself.
We can't seem to see this about ourselves. But until we decide to improve our game, it will remain who We are.
New York Daily News on our own Cantinflas: A self-described fan salutes a major star.