In November, I weighed the possibilities, and decided that while Donald Trump might be preferable to Hillary Clinton, a drunken musk ox would be preferable to Hillary Clinton, and there were no musk oxen, inebriated or otherwise, anywhere to be seen on the ballot, but this didn't make me feel any better about Donald Trump, who had the advantage of being able to trust his gut, though said gut was capable of some really unspeakable rumbles now and then, which led me ultimately to pull the virtual lever for the otherwise insignificant Gary Johnson, who is Libertarian in the sense that "black" activist Shaun King, alias "Talcum X," is a Person of Color.
Still, it was a foregone conclusion that Trump was going to carry this state, and while it didn't seem obvious that The Donald had a path to 270 electoral votes, the cognoscenti failed to realize just how repugnant the idea of President Clinton the Second really was. As things stood, Trump's path slid smoothly past 300; and yes, he did lose two of 306 pledged electors, but Clinton lost five of 232. (One of those five went to Dakota activist Faith Spotted Eagle, who had two advantages over the "major" candidates: her negatives bordered on nonexistent, and at somewhere around 68, she was younger than either of them.)
Perhaps Faith Spotted Eagle will run for real in 2020. In the meantime, we have this man Trump to deal with. So far, the one really bright spot I've seen has been his tendency to fill Federal offices with people who don't particularly think much of those offices, which is fine with me, since I don't think much of them myself. The one I think the least of is the Department of Education, which has no reason to exist other than to extend Federal control in an area where it has no Constitutional business; to install Betsy DeVos, than whom school choice has no greater friend, strikes me as the closest thing to a stroke of genius we can expect from the Trump transition team. In second place, but not by much, is the appointment of Oklahoma Attorney General and longtime EPA foe Scott Pruitt actually to run the EPA, an agency which lives and dies by mission creep; if Pruitt can rid the place of some of its creepier creeps, he'll be doing all of us a favor.
At this point, though, what makes Trump fun, sort of, turns out not to be his policy prescriptions, which are occasionally muddled if not outright befuddling, but the effect he has on the Disloyal Opposition. No, I really didn't expect any of the celebrities who so promised to move to Canada — for some reason, none said they'd move to Mexico — but it does draw a line, and not a very long line at that, around their general level of credibility. (The exception here might be sort-of-writer/sort-of-actress Lena Dunham, who was a national punch line long before the 2016 election.) I think we can safely expect some of Trump's critics to eat their words right about the time they need something from the White House: isn't it always such?
They might want to time those needs carefully, though. I don't see Donald Trump as a two-term President. For one thing, he'll be 74 in 2020, and that's pretty darned old for anyone who isn't Ronald Reagan. Then again, who will oppose him? What's left of the GOP As We Knew It, perhaps; the Democrats, certainly, if they have a candidate. At the moment, though, the Democratic bench is emptier than Hillary's speech schedule for the next week. Rumor has it, however, that the party is planning to install Minnesota Congressman Keith Ellison as chairman, presumably for his experience raising and training musk oxen.
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Copyright © 2016 by Charles G. Hill