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One Year Later: 10 Lessons Learned From the Trump Presidency


One Year Later: 10 Lessons Learned From the Trump Presidency

Bob Burnett

"The November 7 results suggest that the midterm election will be about change, throwing Republican white guys out of house. Trump has given the resistance enough ammunition that it doesn't need one focussed message."

Trump protester


Odd that he doesn’t see what rule Bernie is to play. Bernie has filled the shoes Mr. “O” never filled. There is no demo-party without the independent Bernie because he is a democratic socialist, much like FDR and LBJ when it comes to domestic policy.


Conservative: top 0.001% who have the wealth

Liberal: rest of the 1% trying to wriggle it free

The People: 99% who are seduced by the above


In the main, a pretty spot on article.


#5: “Obama was an effective President…”

Burnett is starkly out of touch with reality. Obama was indeed an effective President FOR THE ONE-TENTH OF ONE PERCENT.

Obama’s two signature efforts blocked any non-corporate health reform by passing the Republican-invented, insurance-company friendly Obamacare (taking single-payer universal coverage “off the table” and not even including the weak “public option”), leading to continuing skyrocketing consumer costs and industry profits, and maintaining the WORST HEALTH OUTCOMES (read: highest rate of people suffering and dying) coupled with the HIGHEST COSTS of any country in the “developed” world; and cemented the rule of the looting class following the 2008 “mortgage meltdown” by BAILING OUT THE BANKSTERS while leaving the rest of us to twist in the cold wind of endless debt.

What measures of national well-being improved under the “effective” Obama presidency? What measures continued to deteriorate? How does Burnett measure “effectiveness”? Apparently, only by Obama’s ability to get elected.

Obama’s “effective” presidency helped set the stage for Trump. A truly effective leader would have stood on the side of the people against the looting class, and helped clarify for everyone just what it is that we are up against. Obama went along, to get along, and he’s getting his now, receiving $400,000 “speaking fees” for pandering to bankster cabals.


Perhaps, as the multi-millionaire “co-founder of Cisco Systems,” it makes perfect sense that Burnett cannot see this truth about the Obama presidency.


" Democrats still don’t have a message. Fortunately, in 2018, that won’t matter. The November 7 results suggest that the midterm election will be about change, throwing Republican white guys out of house. Trump has given the resistance enough ammunition that it doesn’t need one focussed message."

Actually, it’s more correct to say that the Democratic Party insiders don’t want to espouse any progressive message that might benefit voters other than their donor class. Democrats shouldn’t be allowed to get away with LOTE ever again. If they want to win, it’s about time they did something for the rest of us and got away from this centrist bullshit.


One of the observations I have, one year into this debacle, is the fear of the future and an anger at the present that wasn’t nearly as prevalent 1 year ago. Whether this anger can be channeled into something positive is something we can discuss in a couple of years (if we have that long).


That is an interesting question to look at. Here’s five in each category that I think are relevant.

Some measures of national well-being that improved during Obama’s terms:
Unemployment rate went down
Education levels went up
Health measures (e.g. smoking rates went down, access to care went up, life self-evaluation went up)
Violent crime rate went down
World perception of the U.S. got much better

Some measures of national well-being that deteriorated during Obama’s terms
wealth inequality got worse
income stagnation for working people continued to deteriorate
the quality of public political discourse continued to deteriorate
the automation of war leading to its public acceptance accelerated (e.g. as measure by use of drone attacks)
global stability lessened (e.g. as measured by the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists’ doomsday clock)


I am incredulous that anybody believes that it won’t matter that Dems still don’t have a message. Their lack of a coherent message has led to devastating losses in every part of government. That would be because we clearly understand that they DO have a message: they represent Big Money.



What I also see is an irrational sense of desperate scarcity i.e. “We can’t afford to protect the environment; We can’t afford universal healthcare”; We can’t afford paid family leave among many working people" and even, “We can’t afford a living minimum wage” (!). In my area it’s: “We need to dig more coal and frack more gas - its the only thing that will save us!” Unemployed miners are even refusing free training for new jobs (like wind energy jobs) - they think it is a “liberal” trap! Even as, with the UMWA busted and now little more than an old-age benefit and-historical society, they are paying only $13 an hour for dirty, unhealthy underground work.

Meanwhile the massive Trump bull market has created stupendous wealth - for the wealthy only.

Surely, this “scarcity” zeitgeist haunting the rust belt and midwest is an invention of the the capitalist bosses who are swimming in wealth and power - but want more! More than even tax cuts, they want a cowed workforce willing to accept lower wages… “Thanks to the lib’rals things are desperately scarce and so you better take that $8.00/hour job with no benefits or you will have no job at all!” And with their favorite media beating this stuff into their head, the workers are buying it 100 percent!


The only message the Democrats need:


Direct Democracy


Rural Modoc County, California, Limbaugh and his local acolytes come in loud and clear on the am dial everywhere. It’s the one constant in mountains or canyons. Breaking from the rest of the state to protect guns, eliminate environmental laws, and stop the “illegals” and Mexican drug gangs is what we’re gonna damn-well do! Sure, Medicaid expansion gives us healthcare, the best jobs are state government ones, and a good portion of illegal forest pot grows are grown by shaved-headed white guys driving raised pickups with stars-and-bars/NRA stickers and gun racks, but it’s them illegals and liberals wrecking our land that’s gotta be stopped! Go Trump!

Oh yeah, and it’s all economic “anxiety” that’s the problem. Ain’t no racism up here!


It doesn’t matter that O took single-payer off the table because a state or two must obtain it first. Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis said that the states are the laboratories of democracy . See SPANOhio.org.


Point #7 “little doubt that the Russians … hacked DNC emails”. No, no, no! For an otherwise intelligent article, I am rattled to hear that fake story regurgitated again. They were LEAKED. Get the difference? Julian Assange as near as dammit confirmed that Wikileaks received the DNC emails from DNC staffer Seth Rich. You remember him, the young man who was murdered in Washington DC last July 10 as the result of a mysterious “botched robbery” in which nothing was stolen. Can we please have an end to people parroting the “Russians hacked DNC emails” line. Please.


Uh, the VIPS memo was disputed by VIPS members themselves. Several members who signed it, withdrew their concurrence afterwards. Forensicator modified its own claims after its analysis came under scrutiny. It’s not unassailable evidence of anything, at best it’s debatable. Why this goes unacknowledged and the VIPS memo is cited as factual is stupid. It’s not.

As to why you believe a guy charged with rape hiding out in an embassy to avoid charges is your own deal.


Trump is so extreme that whatever message the Democrats have my not be much of factor. The one exception may be health care coverage. But the Democrats will be running against hate, fascism, white supremacy, white nationalism, Steve Bannon, Robert Mercer, Breitbart, etc. Is that what Americans want? if not, they will need to vote for Democrats. Many people will probably go to the polls hoping enough Democrats win to finally control Congress and impeach Trump. He is a danger in a number of ways and his presidency is riddled with conflicts of interest. What drove the movement behind Sanders was the occupy movement. The occupy movement has now given way to a resistance movement although many people still are following Sanders. But it is organizations like Indivisible that are resisting Trump that now energy force on the left. The democratic socialist left always survives but for the moment it is the resistance left that is front and center. There must be dozens of organizations involved. It is hard not to be involved. Trump is a climate denier and is trying to wreck the EPA. He is fueling hate across the country with the effects very evident in schools, both in K-12 and at higher educational levels. He is aligned with white nationalist movements in Europe, some of which are even stronger than the white nationalist movement in the US. The tax plan he supports has been appropriately called a tax scam. And on foreign policy he hurls threats constantly that could lead to war, even nuclear war. Resistance to Trump is now what the Democratic Party is about and that should lead to many election victories.


I must say, with only a little irony, that it is nice to hear that there is a little bit of the rust belt/Appalachia even in Kalifornia.



I’m not aware that VIP signatories have since repudiated their memo asserting that the DNC emails published by WikiLeaks were leaked, not hacked. Nor have I heard that Forensicator has modified claims about its analysis. Can you provide references for your assertions? I’d like to read them. Thanks.


No problem. For the record, I am not a tech wiz or anyone close to qualified to judge these claims. All I can do is reflect the thinking of smart people who can. Here’s a good analysis:


Here’s the editorial update from the Nation with dissenting VIPS members and results from their own independent analysis:

Here’s a good wrap up from the Post:

Trump Widely Rebuked for Remarks About Alleged Election Interference by Russians
The Trump-Russia Story Is Coming Together. Here's How to Make Sense of It