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The Coming Trump Trainwreck

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Let's make the following assumption: Hillary Clinton is about to win the Presidency, and the Democratic Party is about to regain control of the U.S. Senate. Control of the House may remain in Republican hands.

Further, let's assume that Trump responds to the loss with his usual grace. He announces that (a) the election was rigged, (b) all major media, including Fox News, were part of the rigging, and (c) he'll keep the revolution going, he's going to create the Trump News Network, offering Movement News (after a lot of gastroenterology jokes, that phrase will be abandoned).

Assume all that, with some slight variations at your discretion. What does this mean? What will our politics look like during the first four years of the HRC administration?

I suspect that the Grand Old Party is headed for its final crack-up. The Reagan coalition has consisted, roughly speaking, of three parts: white nationalists (more or less openly avowed, or hotly denied, to be such); small government conservatives (like Ron and then Rand Paul, and at least arguably Ted Cruz), and big government conservatives (think of the Bush family, or Irving and Bill Kristol, or the fellow pictured above, Evan McMullin). It is reasonable to suppose, given the above assumptions, that those three parts will come unglued, and there will be three parties where there now are one.

The three opposition parties will give HRC little trouble. This scenario has her party winning control of the House in 2018, and essentially redefining the Supreme Court over the course of her first term. Voila! the U.S. has its "fourth republic," something far more along European social democratic lines than anything anyone expected before Trump came down that escalator.

For those who came in late, I think of the first Republic as the period beginning with the ratification of the US constitution and continuing until sectional rivalry really got out of hand and a civil war became necessary. The second Republic began when the victors in that war created three sweeping new constitutional amendments and continued until the stock market crash of 1929 and its aftermath. The third republic was in place by the time the Supreme Court caved to Roosevelt's demands in 1937, and continued until ... well, let's say the global financial crisis of 2007-08. Now the fallout from that third disaster has finally settled and -- again given the above assumptions, the fourth republic is at hands, its outlines are predictable.

I'm not cheer leading for it, just describing events as I see them. Feel free to comment but please don't shoot the piano player.

For me, the intriguing question is what happens THEN? Over time, I'm sure (and not too much of it) something will emerge as the ONE key opposition party to the HRC Dems. Perhaps the core of the new opposition will incorporate one or more of the three parts of the old Republican Party, and will combine it with disaffected Dems after some crisis within their ranks. What its broad features will be, I don't pretend to know.  I've been as speculative already as I dare.

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