From the New York Times:
Senate Democrats’ Surprising Strategy: Trying to Align With Trump
By JENNIFER STEINHAUER NOV. 16, 2016
WASHINGTON — Congressional Democrats, divided and struggling for a path from the electoral wilderness, are constructing an agenda to align with many proposals of President-elect Donald J. Trump that put him at odds with his own party.
On infrastructure spending, child tax credits, paid maternity leave and dismantling trade agreements, Democrats are looking for ways they can work with Mr. Trump and force Republican leaders to choose between their new president and their small-government, free-market principles.
Senator Chuck Schumer of New York, elected Wednesday as the new Democratic minority leader, has spoken with Mr. Trump several times, and Democrats in coming weeks plan to announce populist economic and ethics initiatives they think Mr. Trump might like.
Why are Schumer and some other Northern Democrats interested in playing nice with Trump when others are raining fire and brimstone upon the President-Elect? Well, traditionally liberal Upstate New York, which was largely settled by post-Puritans from New England, went for Trump over New York’s former Senator last week:
Julie McMahon | [email protected]
updated November 09, 2016 at 3:09 PM
SYRACUSE, N.Y. — Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump would win Upstate New York if it wasn’t linked to New York City and its suburbs.
With 94 percent of the vote counted in New York state, Trump is ahead by around 100,000 votes in Upstate New York.
Several counties that helped elect President Barack Obama shifted “red” this year. Donald Trump won in more than a dozen Upstate New York counties that Obama won in those elections.
Last year Michael Barone suggested that Trump’s precedent was liberal Republican and big spender / big builder Nelson Rockefeller, governor of New York from 1959-1973, three time candidate for the GOP presidential nomination, and VP under Gerald Ford:
I submit another as Trump’s precedent, a man on that podium in November 1964: Nelson Rockefeller. Rockefeller was considered an establishment Republican, but he operated entirely, as the title of Richard Norton Smith’s magisterial and compelling biography of him says, “On His Own Terms.” He was sometimes lavishly liberal (his Medicaid program spent one-quarter of national funds), sometimes harshly conservative (mandatory sentences for drug offenses). He spent enormous sums building Albany’s Capitol Mall and a state university system intended to rival California’s. He raised taxes so much that someone said he spends the people’s money as if it were his own.
Rockefeller was richer than Trump, a more gifted art-and-architecture patron, and less given to boasting. He had a much longer public career, from running FDR’s Latin American desk to being Gerald Ford’s vice president. But through all that, he was regarded by insiders as an unguided missile, not subject to institutional constraint, seeking power to do whatever he wanted. Rockefeller was elected governor when Donald Trump was twelve and served until Trump was 27 and about to make his jump to Manhattan.
Nelson Rockefeller was famously dyslexic, like his brothers conservationist and hotelier Laurence, Arkansas governor Winthrop, and Chase banker David (now 101). They all attended a progressive school funded by their father John D. Rockefeller Jr. that was dedicated to the ideas of John Dewey, which may have contributed to their lifelong difficulties in reading. In contrast, their oldest brother, John D. Rockefeller III, received a traditional education and was a fine student at Princeton. Interestingly, JDR III grew up to be a fairly quiet, cultured individual who dedicated himself to respectable philanthropy, while his semi-literate brothers were big personalities who enjoyed lots of success. There’s probably a lesson in this.
I don’t know if Trump is dyslexic but clearly reading is less important to him than conversation and television.
Back to the NYT article:
Democrats, who lost the White House and made only nominal gains in the House and Senate, face a profound decision after last week’s stunning defeat: Make common cause where they can with Mr. Trump to try to win back the white, working-class voters he took from them, or resist at every turn, trying to rally their disparate coalition in hopes that discontent with an ineffectual new president will benefit them in 2018.
Mr. Trump campaigned on some issues that Democrats have long championed and Republicans resisted: spending more on roads, bridges and rail, punishing American companies that move jobs overseas, ending a lucrative tax break for hedge fund and private equity titans, and making paid maternity leave mandatory.
Some Democrats are even co-opting Mr. Trump’s language from the campaign. “Every single person in our caucus agrees the system is rigged,” said Senator Debbie Stabenow, Democrat of Michigan.
Why not include The Wall in an infrastructure bill? Get The Wall passed with substantial Democratic support.
Trump seems like a response to the low inflation environment of recent years. Big spenders like LBJ and Rocky helped set off inflation in the late 1960s. Nixon’s fiddling with the economy to get re-elected in 1972 appears to have set off a lot of inflation in 1973. But nothing seems to set off CPI inflation anymore, so why not have a big spender President?
Of course, if we happen to get a lot of CPI inflation, then this will look very different.
It’s kind of like how Black Lives Matter and similar anti-law and order fads are a response to the low crime rate of recent years. We got used to the murder rate falling 3% to 5% per year, so why not cut back on law and order in the name of social justice?
But we immediately got hit with double digit inflation in the homicide rate, with much of the inflation centered in a few cities with big BLM protests like Chicago and Baltimore.