Fake new, fake politics

Everyone knows that fake news is one of the big stories of the 2010s. But what about fake politics?

In a sense, almost the entire GOP establishment is a fake organization. They pretend that Trump is their leader, publicly praising the man. But privately they view him as a corrupt leader that was deserving of impeachment. They won’t say this out loud, as they are afraid of their own voters.

The NYT has a good piece on how GOP leaders like McCarthy and McConnell initially wanted to get rid of Trump after January 6, but caved when it became clear that GOP voters objected. (And of course McCarthy lied about it.) Some of the details did surprise me:

During the same Jan. 10 conversation when he said he would call on Mr. Trump to resign, Mr. McCarthy told other G.O.P. leaders he wished the big tech companies would strip some Republican lawmakers of their social media accounts, as Twitter and Facebook had done with Mr. Trump. Members such as Lauren Boebert of Colorado had done so much to stoke paranoia about the 2020 election and made offensive comments online about the Capitol attack.

“We can’t put up with that,” Mr. McCarthy said, adding, “Can’t they take their Twitter accounts away, too?”

Perhaps McCarthy can convince Elon Musk to take away their accounts.

JD Vance has been extremely critical of Trump, basically saying the same sort of things that I say in my blog. So why did Trump recently endorse Vance in the Ohio senate race? Doesn’t Trump know that Vance privately despises him, and only recently changed his tune to win votes? Of course Trump knows that; he’s ignorant but he’s no fool. Vance’s phoniness actually makes Trump even more likely to support him. Trump’s loves seeing all these GOP figures kiss his feet, and its even more enjoyable when he knows that are abasing themselves in doing so. Recall the case in Texas with Bush’s son, or the case of Mitt Romney being interviewed for Secretary of State. Thump loves publicly humiliating people; it’s a way of exercising his power.

The day after the 2020 presidential election, I said that the result was actually bad news. Instead of 8 years of Trump we’d have 12 years of the man. I was mocked in the comment section, particularly in January 2021 when the election markets showed his odds of winning falling below 5%. Who’s laughing now?

And don’t count on terms limits holding. The Constitution does not forbid Donald Jr. from running in 2028 and then effectively turning the job over to his daddy.

Once you become a banana republic, legal constraints are meaningless. Once the ethical norms are gone, government officials will do whatever they wish and no one will stop them.

PS. How many of you made 7-fold returns on Trump contracts based on my post-election advice?



9 Responses to “Fake new, fake politics”

  1. Gravatar of Aladdin Aladdin
    22. April 2022 at 10:17

    “PS. How many of you made 7-fold returns on Trump contracts based on my post-election advice?”

    Have you? Most of the prediction markets I am aware of to make that kind of bet absolutely gouge you with fees.

  2. Gravatar of Christian List Christian List
    22. April 2022 at 11:29

    One might also say the GOP is a true democratic party, where the voters actually decide which way things go. True democracy in its ugliest form.

  3. Gravatar of ssumner ssumner
    22. April 2022 at 13:48

    Aladdin, No, because I trust the EMH more than I trust my hunches.

    Christian, Now if we could only have presidential elections where the candidate with the most votes won. That would be true democracy!

  4. Gravatar of mpowell mpowell
    22. April 2022 at 18:12

    The only reason I’m not worried about a Trump dynasty is his age. If he was only 60, I’d put the odds of a 3rd term above 50%. But I think Trump’s leadership style requires too much energy for a man in his late 80s, even if he doesn’t completely lose it.

  5. Gravatar of Christian List Christian List
    23. April 2022 at 04:52


    I agree that would also be democratic. But it’s also not undemocratic if you have a historically grown system like in the US, where voting is done democratically at the state level, and then you combine the results. That is not less democratic. It’s just a different democratic system, and both democratic systems have their advantages and disadvantages.

  6. Gravatar of ssumner ssumner
    23. April 2022 at 08:10

    Christian, You just contradicted yourself; it’s as if you spew out comments without bothering to think about what you are writing.

  7. Gravatar of Sarah Sarah
    23. April 2022 at 11:00

    “Christian, Now if we could only have presidential elections where the candidate with the most votes won. That would be true democracy!”

    Are you insane? That would be hell on earth! It is called the “tyranny of the majority”, which Mills and many others discuss at length. It also has historical precedent, because that is precisely how ancient Greece destroyed itself. Rousseau also tried to bring it back under the “general will”, and it failed miserably. Smart people learn lessons, they don’t repeat them. You are repeating all the same mistakes, because you don’t read history! The framers were smarter than you. They knew this, which is why they rejected your idea.

    A short education lesson: people in ancient Greece thought they could legislate anything they wanted, because they were the majority. That idealogy became more and more oppressive towards the minority, until they no longer had any say in how they were governed. Eventually, they fought to govern themselves.

    Futhermore, the tyranny of the majority is historically worse than a dictatorship, because a despot can be removed by numbers (sheer force of the majority), whereas the minority cannot do anything other than what Afghanistan freedom fighters did – which is to shoot, run, and try to outlast your more powerful opponent until they finally leave you alone.

  8. Gravatar of Christian List Christian List
    23. April 2022 at 12:01


    no I’m not contradicting myself. Yes, I know what you’re getting at: Then it’s supposedly no longer democratic, but that’s just not true, it is democratic, just as the Greek city states were democratic. And they invented the system, the terms, the words and everything around it, so I assume they should know.

    Imagine the Greek city states would elect a common king or president. They would probably use a very similar system.

    In Germany there is a saying: Sich gegenseitig nicht das Schwarze unter den Fingernägeln gönnen. Meaning: To grudge each other the dirt under the fingernails.

    That EXACTLY is the US states and that’s the Greek city states. And most likely any long neighborhood for that matter: They grudge each other the black unter their fingernails!

    Nevertheless, no one really serious claims that the US is not a true democracy. That is not a textbook opinion. For once, be serious. The outright opposite is true: the US is the oldest democracy still in existence.

    The US has its own peculiarities. But that is quite normal when you are old. Hell, I’m in my 30s and I have my quirks in rows.

  9. Gravatar of ssumner ssumner
    25. April 2022 at 08:33

    “Yes, I know what you’re getting at”

    Obviously, you do not.

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