Littwin: Don’t worry. It’s gonna get worse.

We’re a little more than a week into the Donald Trump pre-presidency, and things are shaping up pretty much as expected. Lots of chaos. Lots of tweets. Lots of media-bashing. Lots of congratulatory phone calls to Trump from foreign leaders on, yes, apparently unsecured phone lines (and you said irony was dead).

After losing the presidency, both houses of Congress and the Supreme Court, not to mention most governorships and state legislatures, Democrats are apparently at a complete loss as to how to deal with Trump. Meanwhile, most Republicans have quickly figured out what to do. They have unabashedly fallen in line, including some of those who were quite recently outspoken Trump critics.

One of the most humiliating (you’d think) examples in the non-Paul-Ryan category is the expected cave-in from our own Mike Coffman, who was last seen in full-on embrace of the guy he once said “should step aside” for the good of the country and who made campaign ads about how he didn’t much care for Trump.

According to TalkingPointsMemo, Coffman has had a change of heart. Coffman walked out of a Mike Pence-led House GOP meeting with a Make America Great Again hat in hand and saying how he was ready to work with Trump, so much so that he repeatedly used the word “excited,” as in, “I am excited about the next two years and look forward to working with the president,” Coffman told TPM. He said he was particularly “excited” about tax reform and repealing and replacing Obamacare.

And there’s this: “I’ll tell you what is so exciting is I no longer have to worry about executive orders or excesses in the rule-making process,” Coffman said. Yes, he actually said that. And here’s what I say, somewhat less excitedly: For those of you who live in the Sixth CD, you should probably begin writing your apology notes to Morgan Carroll. But more on that later.

First, and almost certainly worst, we have to discuss Trump’s selection of Breitbart CEO Steve Bannon as senior White House advisor. If you’re not familiar with Breitbart News, let’s just say it generally reads like an alt-right Onion except without the laughs. Bannon’s appointment is a not-so-subtle reminder to the base that Trump was serious when he ran on a platform of fear, division, demagoguery, bigotry and whatever other like word comes to mind. And if that doesn’t do it for you, note that conspiracy theorist Alex Jones — who believes, among other absurdities, that the Sandy Hook murders were faked — said he got a thank-you phone call from Trump. Yes, this is TrumpWorld. Get used to it.

Meanwhile, with the transition team in chaos, Trump is chatting up foreign leaders without getting prepped by the State Department, because winging it is certainly what great presidents do. Which leads us to his conversation with the Australian prime minister, who was apparently unable to reach Trump. To finally hook up, he got Trump’s private number from Australian golf legend and Trump pal Greg Norman. Really.

On the Democratic front, Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren have said they could work with Trump if he’s serious about rooting out corruption and going populist. This is a pretty bald attempt at co-opting a president who has no actual plans in mind and to attempt to get to him before Paul Ryan can send over the books-on-tape version of Atlas Shrugged. The problem for Democrats is that to work with Trump, on any level, is to work with the guy who brings Steve Bannon to the White House.

I assume you’ve been keeping up with the rumor mill on the leading candidates for cabinet secretaries. As Washington Post’s conservative voice, Jennifer Rubin, points out, most of the top spots seem reserved for under-qualified older men, sort of like Trump himself, or, more particularly, like Rudy Giuliani and Newt Gingrich.

A lot of this seems not quite real, but my advice for coping is to look for the humor — like Trump’s consideration of a climate denier for head of the EPA or of Rick Perry for Department of Energy, the same department that Perry famously couldn’t remember in the infamous “oops” debate. You’d like to think that Trump is just messing with us, but it’s more likely that he’s messing with the country.

No one has any idea what Trump will do, other than cuddle up with his iPhone at night and tweet nasty things about the New York Times, such as that the “failing” Times is losing circulation, when, in fact, it has gained 41,000 subscribers since Election Day. What we know is that Trump has met with Obama, whom he had basically called a traitor, and said how much he admired him and of his surprise at how big a job the presidency is. It reminded me of Trump’s meeting with the Mexican president when Trump failed to bring up that whole Mexico-will-pay-for-the-wall thing. Maybe he really is a classic bully. Read Megyn Kelly’s memoir, Settle for More, if you want to get really unsettled.

Or you could just be a Muslim immigrant who has to sign up for a Muslim registry, which has already been defended by a Trump surrogate as in the tradition of the Japanese internment camps in World War II. Or you could just be an undocumented immigrant living in the American shadows and not knowing when or if Trump will send in the goon squads to deport as many as 2-3 million immigrants. Or whether Trump will follow through with his threat to cut off federal funds from so-called “sanctuary cities,” like, uh, Denver.

Michael Hancock has joined other big-city mayors in promising to stand with all Denver residents. Police chiefs in Denver and Aurora have said they won’t do the work of federal immigration services. And Mike Coffman? He put out a statement, according to the Denver Post, that he has previously voted to cut off federal funds for sanctuary cites — like, yes, Aurora — and that, he said, “I will continue to do so.”

I could go on, but I don’t want to peak too soon. Remember, this is just the beginning.

Photo credit: Gage Skidmore, Creative Commons, Flickr 


  1. In two years there will be a mid-term and Dems need to be thinking how to win that and start blocking some of this bullshit. Start by finding a good candidate to get Cory Gardner OUT.

  2. It’s already much worse than you think. Read Matthew Yglesias’ “We have 100 days to stop Donald Trump from systemically corrupting our institutions” on

    Trump will control the appointments to boards that rule on violations by his companies; he will go after the media; he will reward banks that give his companies favorable loans- the list goes on.

    Republicans don’t care: they are too busy gleefully planning to undo Obama’s achievements.

    The working people who voted for Trump will get the shaft: no healthcare, no safety net, no jobs- Kansas is a good example of what to expect.

    The winners: white nationalists, Putin, Assad, other autocrats, and the Trump family.

  3. The one consolation that we have going for us as SANE people is that the Trump voters will all be taking it up the butt just like the rest of us. The only difference is that we not only KNOW it’s coming, but they won’t believe that it’s him and the republicans that did it to them. They will keep blaming Obama and the democrats in spite of the evidence, the facts and reality. But then, republicans don’t seem to have been interested in reality for about 40 years, now.

  4. Trump is American Commudus
    Passed the throne by father
    Who will be his Cleander?
    When will the Shortages come?
    What will be the Plague?
    When will the Lighting Strike?
    Who is his Senator Dio?
    Who will be his Marcia?
    Who will be his Narrcissus?

    His Coliseum is Breitbart and his tweets. When will he ccall for war and send poor to save his ruined economy? Divide the people and country..

  5. “Revenge of the Deplorables” coming January 20, 2017

    I haven’t seen Mr. Littwin this unhinged since, well, last week. Whether he can sustain this level of hysteria for the next eight years is in question but it will be so much fun to watch.

    Mt. Littwin is obviously grieving bigly. But it’s unclear which stage of grief he’s in: denial, anger, bargaining, depression or acceptance. He appears to be between denial and anger but I’m waiting to see how he deals with acceptance.

    Of course, Mr. Littwin’s meltdown is in line with the rest of those who hold his political views. This, according to, is how the very tolerant and compassionate Aaron Sorkin, creator of The West Wing and The Newsroom, responded to President-elect Trump’s victory in a letter to his daughter:

    “Well the world changed late last night in a way I couldn’t protect us from. That’s a terrible feeling for a father. I won’t sugarcoat it — this is truly horrible. It’s hardly the first time my candidate didn’t win (in fact it’s the sixth time) but it is the first time that a thoroughly incompetent pig with dangerous ideas, a serious psychiatric disorder, no knowledge of the world and no curiosity to learn has.

    And it wasn’t just Donald Trump who won last night—it was his supporters too. The Klan won last night. White nationalists. Sexists, racists and buffoons. Angry young white men who think rap music and Cinco de Mayo are a threat to their way of life (or are the reason for their way of life) have been given cause to celebrate. Men who have no right to call themselves that and who think that women who aspire to more than looking hot are shrill, ugly, and otherwise worthy of our scorn rather than our admiration struck a blow for misogynistic shitheads everywhere.”

    His tolerance is surpassed only by his sophistication.

    And here from are some other reactions from several left-leaning websites:

    “An incredulous Slate immediately blamed rampant white racism for Trump’s win, front-lining a story that entitled, “White Won: Trump promised an insurgent white supremacy, and white voters embraced it.”

    Salon’s meltdown featured a front-page article called “A Nation Gone Wrong,” claiming that Trump’s victory comes as “a global wave of rage hits America,” and grappling with deep questions like “how the hell this happened.”

    Picking its own jaw up off the floor, The Daily Beast immediately promised to “Stand Up To President Trump” in the coming years, seemingly unaware that half the country voted the man into office.

    Jezebel complained in its own editorial that “The United States has elected Donald Trump, a 70-year-old tangerine Superfund site and a menace to the peace, stability, and dignity of the country and the future of the free world, as its Commander in Chief.”

    Over at Mother Jones, writers seemed flabbergasted that anyone would vote for a man over a woman and deny females a chance to make history, touting an editorial entitled “Hate Trumps History: A Reality TV Star Wins the White House in a Broken America.””

    – President-elect Trump had never held an elected office until he defeated Mrs. Clinton.

    – President-elect Trump had record breaking unfavorable ratings that were even higher than Mrs. Clinton’s.

    – President-elect Trump had been called the loser of all three presidential debates by every pundit in the universe.

    – President-elect Trump had been characterized by Mr. Littwin as “a demagogue, a xenophobe, a misogynist, a bigot, a sexist, an authoritarian, a boor, a crypto-fascist and the least-prepared person ever to be nominated by a major party.”

    – President-elect Trump had been—-according to some on the left—-riding around in a clown car.

    So how then did Donald J. Trump become the president-elect and the soon-to-be 45th President of the United States?

    Mr. Littwin seems either unwilling or—-and this is the more likely option—-unable to explain how this could have happened. How did Mrs. Clinton get run over by a clown car?

    TalkingPointsMemo appears to have some answers:

    “Clinton’s extreme vulnerability as a candidate suggests that other Republican challengers besides Trump might have defeated her; but Trump was also able to exploit Clinton’s vulnerabilities and appeal to a disenchanted electorate, some of whom had backed Democrats in prior elections, and would not have readily backed another Republican.”

    “The 47 percent of voters who thought Obamacare had “gone too far” went for Trump by 83 to 13 percent.”

    This year, Trump proved anything but hapless, and Clinton ran a campaign that sadly recalled Gore in 2000 and Dukakis in 1988. She was unable to distinguish her own approach from Obama’s – particularly on the explosive issues of Obamacare and immigration. She ran an almost entirely negative campaign focused on her opponents’ bigotry, sexism, and bilious temperament. To the extent that she made promises, her campaign consisted of appeals to particular interest and identity groups and of programs that read like the bullet points in an office memo and simply eluded the greater public.

    She also had an unfortunate political history. She couldn’t lay aside decades of real or imaginary scandals. And her candidacy was damaged by FBI director James Comey’s statements about her emails, but no more than Trump’s was damaged by the videotapes and other revelations. She made little, if any, effort to speak to and allay the distrust the voters to whom Trump was appealing. They were a “basket of deplorables.” She and her campaign rested their hopes on the theory, popular among liberals, of a “rising American electorate of the young, minorities, and single woman. But her listless campaign failed to attract the same kind of support from the young and minorities that Obama had won in 2008 and 2012. In Iowa, she broke even among voters 18 to 29, and in Missouri lost them. And her vote among Hispanics fell six points short of Obama’s in 2012.”

    Does that explain Mrs. Clinton’s loss or does Mr. Littwin have another explanation?

    We may never know.

    “Never before has there been an election where the news media so overtly picked a side. This was true across all platforms — broadcast, entertainment and print — almost everybody in my profession wanted Hillary to win.

    Writing in Time magazine, Univision and Fusion anchor Jorge Ramos insisted, “It doesn’t matter who you are — a journalist, a politician or a voter — we’ll all be judged by how we responded to Donald Trump. Like it or not, this election is a plebiscite on the most divisive, polarizing and disrupting figure in American politics in decades. And neutrality is not an option.”
    And then Ramos went even further, saying, “Trump has forced journalists to revisit rules of objectivity and fairness. Just providing both points of view is not enough in the current presidential campaign. If a candidate is making racist and sexist remarks, we cannot hide in the principle of neutrality. That’s a false equivalence.”

    Ramos’ remarks were celebrated by his peers.

    The Philadelphia Enquirer went so far as to editorialize, “You call Jorge Ramos ‘an advocacy journalist’? If so, America needs 10,000 more like him.” –

    “Pundits and observers will attribute Trump’s win to “populism” or his “anti-elite” message. This is nonsense. Trump ran for president as a nationalist fighter for white America. 

    Trump didn’t just win working-class whites—he won the college-educated and the affluent. He even won young whites. Seventeen months after he announced his candidacy, millions of white Americans flocked to the ballot box to put Trump into the White House. And they did so as a white herrenvolk, racialized and radicalized by Trump.” – Jamelle Bouie

    “You’d think that Trump’s victory – the one we all discounted too far in advance – would lead to a certain new found humility in the political press. But of course that’s not how it works. To us, speaking broadly, our diagnosis was still basically correct. The demons were just stronger than we realized.” –

    “’Cause I don’t have no use
    For what you loosely call the truth” – Tina Turner

    Greenlight a Vet
    Folds of Honor
    Special Operations Warriors Foundation
    Memorial Day – May 29, 2017

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