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Tuesday, March 26, 2019

In the closing ad of Donald Trump’s presidential campaign, he promised to oppose a “global power structure that is responsible for the economic decisions that have robbed our working class, stripped our country of its wealth, and put that money into the pockets of a handful of large corporations and political entities.”

The ad never used the words “Wall Street,” but the faces you see filling up the the screen — many of whom just happen to be Jewish — include Goldman Sachs chairman Lloyd Blankfein.

In the primary, Trump ripped Ted Cruz for his loans from that firm and, by implication, Cruz’s wife’s employment as a Goldman executive. Last summer, the GOP nominee claimed “Hillary will never reform Wall Street. She is owned by Wall Street!” — playing on the notion that she’d been paid off with the millions she got from speeches delivered to Goldman and other banks.

Wall Street — particularly (((Goldman Sachs))) — was the perfect anchor to toss at his opponents. And you’ll never guess what happened next.

Since won the presidency, Trump has hired three current or former executives of the investment bank for key economic positions to serve in or along side his cabinet of billionaire donors and fired generals, as they plot what is beginning to look like the biggest transfer of wealth to the richest in human history.

A fast food CEO who opposes the minimum wage has been picked to run the Department of Labor. A state attorney general who cuts and pastes from the oil industry is Trump’s choice to handle environmental protection. And the president who has never revealed the full extent of his businesses and has no plans to divest from them is operating a partnership with his daughter/First Lady, who will use his presidential power to open new opportunities to profit around the globe.

Meanwhile, the GOP-led House Oversight Committee plans to focus on intentionally failing to do any actual oversight. The committee will let Trump loot undisturbed, so long as he lets the GOP’s ruthless ambitions for hollowing out the middle class go unchecked.

And Wall Street loves it — as you can tell by the extended orgasm the stock market has been enjoying over Trump. From his massive tax breaks for the rich to Republican plans to privatize everything from Medicare to roads to schools, the bankers won bigly.

As we look back and try figure out what went wrong in 2016 for Democrats, your calculus has to start with the undeniable impact of the two letters from FBI Director James Comey and then include the mysterious variable of foreign hacking weaponized by the complicity of the media in spreading the stolen private information. Despite all this, Clinton still won the popular vote by almost 3 million, as she lost three Democratic strongholds by about 70,000 votes altogether. (And you have to factor in some misogyny unless you want to make a John Roberts-like assertion that American has solved sexism, despite our record of electing zero women presidents.)

However, it’s evident that part of that loss can be blamed on allowing Trump to pose as the scourge of Wall Street as he was acting as its Trojan horse.

Let’s clear some dangerous myths up. Clinton led in nearly swing state when it came to the economy. Trump amped up his support by focusing on cultural resentments of the “the dispossessed” with an appeal so coded to bring out the latent conservatism in our brains that it even won over some Obama voters. But that wasn’t enough for him to win.

“Clinton didn’t need to win over a single white Trump voter to take Michigan, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania,” writes New York Magazine‘s Eric Levitz. “She just needed to turn out working class Democrats.”

Clinton’s choice to make those speeches on Wall Street and Bernie Sanders’ effective use of the millions she made as a slur against her character — along with her husband’s role in the deregulation of the late 90s, which passed with veto-proof majorities — made her particularly vulnerable to Trump’s ability to frame her as a shill of the Wall Street elite. But even that wasn’t decisive.

Clinton’s choice to focus on protecting Obama’s legacy from Trump instead of an economic argument in the closing weeks as a defensive stand against Comey likely cost her those crucial few votes she needed, according to pollster Stanley Greenberg.

“This was a ‘change election’ for the new American majority too, and that late turn by Clinton produced disappointing turnout among Hispanics, African Americans, single women and millennials,” he writes. “The African Americans’ greatly diminished turnout in Philadelphia, Detroit and Milwaukee likely gave the states of Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin to Trump.”

She had the most progressive platform in history yet Trump won the change argument because he focused voters on an enemy besides the clown she was opposing. That’s how populism works — you’ve got to give people something big in the status quo to oppose. And it has to be the right thing.

When Clinton targeted the “basket of deplorables” she was rightly calling out the hatred encouraged by the Trump campaign — but she missed the key point. That hatred was used to scam voters, even the deplorables, into ignoring the reality of what Trump would do to them as president.

Immigrants won’t take away your Medicare and Social Security — actually, they’ll help extend the life of both programs. Trump and his Wall Street pals will.

The economic horrors of Trump’s policies were never an issue because his policies were never connected to who would benefit from the ripoff. And the media was so sure he was going to lose that they never bothered to even ask Trump if he would sign off Paul Ryan’s agenda to rip away the safety net.

Greenberg’s new research on Trump voters finds they aren’t troubled by his stocking his cabinet full of bankers and billionaire donors. But they’ll be pissed as hell if his tax breaks mostly benefit the rich as he breaks his promise to protect Social Security and Medicare.

As unpopular as Trump was, he found an enemy that America hates more — rich people who get rich off of you. And he was talented enough to use his experience ripping people off as evidence that he knew how to stop it. Now the payback is coming. Thanks to Trump, the richest — who have never been richer — will be getting even richer still.

Clinton had the agenda but not the populism that worked for Senators Al Franken and Gary Peters as they won in the Midwest just two years earlier. Now the wave of devastation to the middle class is coming, as Trump expects Americans to trade their retirement and health security for a few dollars a day in tax breaks,

Democrats need to make it clear: Trump has betrayed you for Wall Street. And that was his plan all along.

IMAGE: A view of the Goldman Sachs stall on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange.


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36 responses to “Wall Street Won Bigly By Running Against Wall Street”

  1. Dominick Vila says:

    Only the most gullible can claim with a straight face that they did not see this coming. In fact, they are still cheering the Cabinet nominations their hero has been making, totally unaware of its implications. Like Trump once said, he loves the uneducated, and it is not too hard to understand why. The sad part is that it may be a long time before they realize they have been had, if ever. Trump will lead them by the nose, talking loudly and often about greatness, taking credit for ridiculous achievements that are more often than not either bogus, meaningless when put in perspective, or grossly exaggerated.

    • skisok says:

      Unfortunately, there won’t be much of a change in the House or Senate in two years. Most of the seats that are up are Democratic.

      • dpaano says:

        So, do we just give up or do we fight? So what if some of the seats in 2018 are Democratic…..don’t you think that maybe, by then, some of Trump’s followers will see that they were conned? There’s always hope!

    • FireBaron says:

      Teflon Donnie is still just being Teflon Donnie. He has become an expert at speaking out of multiple sides of his mouth, simultaneously. Unfortunately for him, everything he says gets recorded and posted to the internet. Fortunately for him, most of his followers are too blinded to pay attention to his speeches where he basically tells them to pack sand where the sun never shines.

    • plc97477 says:

      They will realize they were had but will magically place the blame on Obama.

      • Dominick Vila says:

        I agree. Let’s not forget that these are the same guys that blame President Clinton for 9/11, because that tragedy happened 8.5 months after W’s inauguration which, in their opinion, was not enough time for that pathetic president to understand the dangers articulated by OBL in his Fatwah, let alone the daily national security briefings that he missed because he was too busy chopping wood in his ranch in Crawford or reading primers to little kids. I wonder what the sequel is going to be now that we have a President elect too busy his coiffure to attend the same briefings. Then again, now that we enjoy the full support of Russia we can rest assured misbehavior will be limited to mass genocide here and there, and a bit of cheering on by The Donald.

        • dpaano says:

          Oh, but, Trump says he’s too smart and doesn’t need the daily briefings. He sends Pence to these and expects him to keep track of things. He told everyone when he was campaigning that he was not going to be a full-time president and that his VP would be doing more than most VP’s have done…..I think we can believe that!

          • Dominick Vila says:

            He is so smart that he is now considering the EXXON CEO, a man with close ties to Putin, Gazprom, and the Kremlin, for Secretary of State! Might as well put a For Sale sign on the WH lawn and the Statue of Liberty!

          • dpaano says:

            I think several of his nominees are going to have problems with the confirmation hearings. I was reading an article in the LA Times the other day that said that the committee is planning on seriously vetting these individuals. Most of them, not being in government before, have NO idea how to go through a confirmation hearing and will totally go batshit!!! Plus, there’s the fact that several of both the Democratic and GOP congressmen/women are NOT in tune with some of his nominations; i.e., Sessions, Bannon, the Exxon guy, Puzner, etc., and they’re going to fight him on some of these! We can only hope that they will do that!

          • Dominick Vila says:

            They should, but I doubt they will. Mitch McConnell did not leave any doubts yesterday when he talked about where he stands when it comes to Trump’s nominations.

          • dpaano says:

            Maybe, but I doubt he’s on the confirmation committee or will be involved with the vetting of the nominees. Even if he IS on the committee, he won’t be the only one there! There are many others on the committee who will NOT be so easy to deal with.

  2. skisok says:

    I also blame the Democrats for allowing Goldman Sachs to walk away virtually scott free from the corruption they instigated not only to the American public but Europe as well. We should have had Elizabeth Warren running as the Presidential Choice, the only ranking Democrat who has taken it to these sheisters. The Clintons were in fact too close to Wall Street but I voted for her nonetheless because I knew the alternative was disastrous. The Democrats in fact also appointed Goldman Sschs executives. Maybe a viable third party would have done the trick.

    • greenlantern1 says:

      Sen. Elizabeth Warren endorsed Trump?

      • skisok says:

        Elizabeth Warren never endorsed Trump. She’s been in his case for his cabinet selections and I think the only real viable candidate the Democrats have for the next Presidential election.

    • plc97477 says:

      Ms. Warren did not want the job. The first qualification for running for president is wanting to.

    • dpaano says:

      Unfortunately, Elizabeth Warren did NOT want to run for president… can’t make someone do something they aren’t ready to do. The most we can hope for is that she and Biden run in 2020 and take our country back before it’s ruined totally!

  3. yabbed says:

    Trump has brought the US to the fulfillment of Soviet goals: America brought to its knees not with a bang but with a whimper. We fought Stalin and won. We fought Khrushchev and won. We fought Gorbachev and won. Trump simply conceded to being Putin’s handmaiden and Russia won. His huge indebtedness to Putin’s oligarchs and his psychotic need for the smallest sign of admiration has doomed this country. We are left depending on the Israeli First Chuck Schumer and conservatives McCain and Graham to stand up to the Russian interference in our democratic elections. Can we trust them to do the right thing?

    • greenlantern1 says:

      Remember Sen. Al D’Amato?
      Prefer him?

    • says:

      those that the USA fought with all had President’s on the USA’s side with DONNY DUMP he is on Russia’s side

    • Karen_in_KC says:

      Why would I trust or believe the word of anyone installed by the biggest liar in the country who has lied and cheated his way to the White House???? Why would ANYONE? The first things Russia’s dupe DT will do is put his figureheads into place. (Which he is right now). Once those ‘assets’ are in place he will (with the help of his disillusioned but uninformed groupies) begin working to replace all the Dems possible and yes, any republican who he can’t buy, intimidate or blackmail into passing laws and bills to cut down on all the rights we cherish now? Once he has all those people installed into key positions it’s just a matter of time before this country becomes just like Russia. Don’t believe that can happen in this country? Think again! Who would have believed we would have a person in the WH who listens to no one currently in our government but only to Russian loving advisors??? Someone who is a Putin dictator wannabe. Someone who thinks laws are for the stupid but not for him? A person who blatantly thumbs his nose at any rules/laws he doesn’t like and instead does just what is good for himself and his beloved Russia? He will do this insidiously, a bit at a time. It may take 2 years, 4 years or even longer. Wake up America! Before it’s too late! Before you poo-poo what I’ve said, Just think about how Germany just turned deaf and blind to what Herr Hitler did! Not to disparage Germany, its human nature (unfortunately) to disbelieve someone can be evil enough to do those things. Look what the leader of Turkey is currently doing and Syria etc. All it takes is for the public to be dumbed down (like we have been over the years) and people to become apathetic… or worse, to believe Untrue ‘facts’.

    • dpaano says:

      That’s all we have to hang on to, unfortunately. And, Trump has already pissed off China when he dissed the “One China” agreement. I wonder what will happen to this country if they decide to call in all the loans, etc., in this country. It’ll be another bankruptcy for Trump to hang on his wall! However, this time, it’ll be more than just a personal bankruptcy….it’ll be the bankruptcy of this nation!

  4. greenlantern1 says:

    Didn’t President Teddy Roosevelt take on WALL STREET’s trusts and monopolies?
    Didn’t Secretary of State William Jennings Bryan, in his CROSS OF GOLD speech, take on WALL STREET?
    Weren’t they both on the same side?

  5. We have to protect our freedoms, liberty, life and happiness at any cost. Economics is the means to happiness and we must fight to create good jobs from the billions of dollars the government will spend on infrastructure renewal. We must also make sure we invest in our children’s education. We should start to organize in our neighborhoods and form networks with other neighborhoods and start developing our communities. In addition, we must make sure the traditional politicians, that hate the working class, such as Paul Ryan and Mitch McDonald are eased out of politics. Let us change the composition of the senate and the house. Let us elect people who understand our needs and priorities and work for us.

    • dpaano says:

      Easier said then done…..with the nominees that Trump has selected for the various departments, we can kiss public education good-bye, we can kiss our national parks good-bye, and we can kiss our safety net good-bye, along with our health. I did read an article in the L.A. Times yesterday that stated that a study had been done that showed that Trump followers did not live as long as the rest of us. If he has his way, and if he does away with Obamacare, you can be sure that’ll be a true statement!

  6. says:

    DONNY DUMP ‘S PLAN is to put all the people in office that has and want to screw the country and the people . his plan is to set back and get kick backs from every one he puts in into the places . and he is such an idiot ill bet if one dosent give him the kick back thy said thy would he will try to sue them . he seeks money that’s all the greedy bastard wants to make millions $$ on any way he can . like Russia’s PUTTHEAD

  7. It is a fact that Hillary missed the point. She should have stood alone as a progressive and selected Bernie as her running mate. Obama who cared more about his legacy did not help her much. That is why the insurance companies raised premiums and deductible at a crucial moment. The FBI thing is something else.

    • dpaano says:

      I don’t know if having Bernie as her running mate would have made that much of a difference….maybe I’m wrong. I think there was just too much difference between them for that to have happened.

  8. By the way, what happened to human decency and morality. How did we end up electing a totally amoral person to the presidency.

    • dpaano says:

      I think quite a few of us are asking that same question, doctor! Those of us who ARE decent and moral saw Trump for what he was, but the rest of his followers were brainwashed into believing every single word that he put out there! That’s the sad part…..we’re ALL going to suffer for their choice! Unfortunately, they will probably suffer more because they aren’t prepared for what is to come!

  9. says:


  10. stsintl says:

    Trump was selling “Snake Oil” as a cure for all ills of the working class voters. Like their forefathers in the 18th and 19th century, the under educated white voters bought it. Now they’ll find out that the “Snake Oil” they bought was nothing but a fraud. Unfortunately, this deal is going to destroy our democracy for generations to come, if not forever. We now join Russia as an “Oligarchy”. That’s what Putin wanted all along and he found DJT to get it done.

    • dpaano says:

      So very true! Those of us that are aware, informed, and logical could see that this con man was selling the snake oil to this followers. The sorriest thing now is that, despite what he’s done to date, they still idolize him and think that he’s actually going to help them! They are the ones that will be penalized with higher taxes, no medical care, no Social Security or other safety net for their senior years, etc. There’s nothing we can say to them because they still do not want to listen or to see what’s going on right in front of their eyes! How many promises does Trump have to break before they finally see the light?

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