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Views from the “establishment”

May 28, 2017

It occurred to me that much of the public and media, currently calling for a nameless faceless strong-person or strong-group from the “intelligence community” to effect a transition of government and rid them of Trump, may be a step behind. They didn’t see that both the D and R parties were deeply flawed, that Clinton was a widely unpopular candidate, herself compromised as much as her opponents, and now they don’t see what may be coming next, should Trump be expelled on national security grounds. (There are plenty of other far more valid reasons he is unfit, however the path being taken now is beyond bad).

With Republicans controlling all branches of government, the Democrats have no leverage here. Trump’s replacement is likely to be a right-winger, and per current Democrat party wishes, a person or group characterized by a focus on national security. (it may be as simple as Pence). As soon as they get in, they will consolidate power and wrap themselves in the flag. The Democrats will be left with nothing, and will lack the easy target for ridicule and delegitimization that Trump is – the fallback option of gridlock and obstruction as a minority party will get a lot harder. So I hope that all doesn’t happen.

People do learn, so here are a couple of articles showing the learning process in action.

(1) An Atlantic article by former State Dept. figure and Condoleeza Rice protoge, Eliot Cohen. The criticism of Trump for coddling dictators is long overdue. Rather than a routine display of hypocrisy, I’ll take it as a positive sign of evolution.

(2) A Foreign Affairs article by poli-sci/IR profs Jeff Colgan and Robert Keohane (the latter previously co-authored in FA with leading neoliberal IR figure Joseph Nye). The authors contemplate the popularity of left-populism and right-populism, and take a stab at the overdue and obvious  — that both domestic and international power relations, and systems of governance, are approaching some sort of Marie Antoinette moment, and it really would be better for everyone if that was avoided and some concessions were made.


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