A little more than a week after the election, I weighed in with five predictions about what will happen as the new regime settles in after the inauguration. As it turns out, the Trump transition has already validated two of my predictions and there’s still almost a month before the winner of the election loser of the popular vote even takes office.
Prediction #1: I wrote that “After eight years of bleating and braying about the outrageous, unsustainable deficits that Barack Obama ran up (mostly paying for George W. Bush’s recession), Republicans will have an epiphany and realize that deficits really aren’t all that important, especially when they result from tax cuts.” According to Talking Points Memo, the House Freedom Caucus is already laying the groundwork for the new, improved GOP position on fiscal austerity. Check.
Prediction #2: I also wrote that “unattributed stories will make their way around right-wing media that the Obama team sabotaged the incoming Trump staffers through various nefarious means.” Well, the disinformation campaign is bypassing right-wing media altogether (popping up instead in The Washington Post) and the source is not exactly unattributed, but otherwise the whining has already begun. Check.
The 2016 election was wildly unpredictable but the pettiness and cynicism of the incoming Trump administration is something you could have seen coming from a mile away.
So, let me add one more prediction: The next four years are going to be far, far worse than most people imagine right now. We’ve flirted before with leaders who were unprincipled, unprepared, or otherwise unsuited for the office… and we’ve mostly gotten away with it. This time, however, I’m afraid we really screwed the pooch.