Leiter's post-mortem is worth reading, as is the analysis he links to by Ian Kerr. If Trump does what he ran on (and what in his speech last night he said he wants to do: build infrastructure. And really, he's right that our infrastructure is a national embarrassment), it's going to be very interesting to see how he intersects with the Republican party in Congress, since they don't want to spend money on things like that, or any of the other populist parts of the Trump agenda. And his supporters are going to be very disappointed that he can't constitutionally do a lot of what he promised.
Here are two things that I haven't heard mentioned that need to be talked about.
- Libertarians. Gary Johnson got more votes than Trump's margin of victory in a lot of places, if my memory of late last night serves me well. What percentage of those votes came from Clinton versus from Trump? We'll never know, but in a very concrete way, libertarians own the Trump presidency. When Nader was informed that his candidacy cost Gore in 2000, the response was a smug "well, Gore should have been a better candidate." No doubt he (and Clinton) could have been better (I'm going to say something about that in point #2). But that argument fundamentally misunderstands what it means to live in a majoritarian system. In a parliamentary system, vote for the 5% candidate! You'll get a seat in parliament, and maybe even a part of a ruling coalition. But in a majoritarian system, if you vote for a candidate who can't win, you are indicating your acceptance of whoever does win. You don't care, you can't tell a difference, whatever. Because you take away a vote from the candidate you regard as less evil. This isn't strategic voting or anything like that. This is a structural feature of the system. Don't blame the parties. Blame the Constitution. Anybody who voted for Johnson in a state more of a battleground than California or Texas needs to know that they played a non-trivial part in the Trump victory. And Trump has indicated hostility to rights: during the campaign, he showed complete contempt for the 1st, 4th (and probably 5th), and 14th Amendments. And women's rights are next, given that he's going to get Court appointments. The Contrast with Clinton was very stark. A Johnson vote in a battleground state was at the level of "what's Aleppo?"
- The Auto Bailout. I had to go out and get milk this morning, and had a moan with the cashier at the grocery store. She said that she couldn't believe he won Michigan, given the auto bailout. And then it struck me. Obama made a very high-risk, unpopular decision to bail out the auto industry - and in the process saved thousands and thousands of largely-white, working class jobs in places like Michigan and Ohio. In other words, he took a huge risk to help the sort of people who voted for Trump. Did he help them all? Of course not. Did other things he do hurt them? Probably. But the rust belt would have been in much, much worse shape without the bailout. And I didn't hear Hillary mention the auto bailout even once during the campaign. When you're looking for something to say in Ohio and Michigan about how democratic party elites stand up for working people without college degrees, you should probably start there. It's an actual achievement, and it took some courage to get it done.