Saturday, February 11, 2017

The voters (and others) send their regrets:
Buyers’ remorse and the Trump presidency

TURNS OUT the president-presumptive of the United States has home-wrecking capabilities we didn’t know anything about. reported on Tuesday on a couple that’s taken political differences about as far as you can go.

Gayle McCormick, who described herself for TheGrio as a “Democrat leaning toward socialist,” was personally aghast when her husband of 22 years announced his intention to vote for Donald Trump.

“It totally undid me that he could vote for Trump,” said McCormick, 73. She said she’d never thought of leaving him before for his conservative views, but added that she felt “betrayed” by his vote for Trump.

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“I felt like I had been fooling myself,” she told TheGrio. “It opened up areas between us I had not faced before. I realized how far I had gone in my life to accept things I would have never accepted when I was younger.”

McCormick obviously has her regrets about recent events. It’s a safe bet her husband may well have too, but maybe not just for personal reasons. In the last 21 days, since The Donald assumed the White House, regrets about the Trump White House have been emerging, regrets from those who voted for Trump in November and who now wish like hell they had that vote back again.

Not long after the election, someone created the Tumblr. page Trumpgrets, which catalogs the buyers’ remorse Americans have been feeling since Election Night. There’s also a similarly-themed Facebook page. And as you might expect, regrets aplenty have surfaced on Twitter, Trump’s favorite form of communication.

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But the Trump regret cottage industry that’s so rapidly expanding is more than just citizens letting off steam. More and more often, objections are growing among the very people Trump needs to have any chance of success: The people who’ve been in and of Washington for years before he got there.

Rick Wilson, a former Pentagon official versed in intel matters, and a full-throated critic of the presumptive commander-in-chief, told The Huffington Post that the intelligence community “is desperately looking for a way to get some leverage in altering dangerous policies away from a catastrophic vector.”

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ELIOT A. Cohen, for three years a counselor to former secretary of state Condoleezza Rice, wrote a brilliant piece — hard-nosed but hopeful — in The Atlantic late last month.

Cohen predicted that Trump’s poor character and choice of advisers will “probably end in calamity — substantial domestic protest and violence, a breakdown of international economic relationships, the collapse of major alliances, or perhaps one or more new wars (even with China) on top of the ones we already have.”

He continued: “It will not be surprising in the slightest if his term ends not in four or in eight years, but sooner, with impeachment or removal under the 25th Amendment. The sooner Americans get used to these likelihoods, the better.” ...

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“For the community of conservative thinkers and experts, and more importantly, conservative politicians, this is a testing time,” Cohen writes. “Either you stand up for your principles and for what you know is decent behavior, or you go down, if not now, then years from now, as a coward or opportunist. Your reputation will never recover, nor should it.”

Cohen has little hope for Trump long-term. “He will fail because he cannot corrupt the courts, and because even the most timid senator sooner or later will say ‘enough.’”

And then, in a clear shot at White House chief strategist and media prince of darkness Stephen Bannon, Cohen said Trump “will fail most of all because at the end of the day most Americans, including most of those who voted for him, are decent people who have no desire to live in an American version of Tayyip Erdogan’s Turkey, or Viktor Orban’s Hungary, or Vladimir Putin’s Russia.”

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THERE’S AN old saying beloved by the GOP — not so much a saying as a bedrock operating principle, a kind of Rule #1: “Democrats fall in love, Republicans fall in line.”

But a growing cross-section of Republicans, from voters to power brokers on the Hill to the infrastructure of the government over which Trump now presides, is expressing the deepest reservations about voting for him, and doing so for reasons that go beyond the partisanship of the moment.

For them, it’s a matter of the party’s basic survival beyond the grievous unforced error of their own making last Election Day. What’s developing is their liberating belief in a real-time Exception to Rule #1: Republicans shouldn’t have to “fall in line” if they think they’re lining up to walk off a cliff.

Tweets are the property of their respective creators. Regrets graphic:

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