Sunday, August 06, 2017

At The Current Rate Of Decline, Trump's Approval Rating Will Hit Zero In September 2020


Active Shooter by Nancy Ohanian

The L.A. Times' Cathleen Decker reported that "[m]ore than two dozen voters gathered in Phoenix this week delivered a bipartisan broadside against President Trump, Republicans and Democrats, dismissing the political class as serving its wealthy benefactors and abandoning everyday Americans. Their fiercest disappointment was aimed at Trump." One of the participants said that "said she will not vote for Trump again unless he fulfills his campaign promises-- specifically his pledge to provide better healthcare at a cheaper price. She noted that he had ultimately supported GOP healthcare plans that did 'the opposite.'" Oops... and here Trump has lived his whole life thinking that words, specifics and promises don't ultimately matter.

Even funnier, a 70 year old Republican donor in Virginia, Bob Heghmann, is suing the Republican Party for fraud. His suit claims that "the national and Virginia Republican parties and some GOP leaders raised millions of dollars in campaign funds while knowing they weren’t going to be able to overturn the law also known as Obamacare. The GOP 'has been engaged in a pattern of Racketeering which involves massive fraud perpetrated on Republican voters and contributors as well as some Independents and Democrats,' the suit said. Racketeering, perhaps better known for use in prosecuting organized crime, involves a pattern of illegal behavior by a specific group." He may sound like a crank-- and the only Bob Heghmann I found in the FEC files to have contributed to Republicans was one in New Hampshire who gave 3 contributions totaling $750 about 4 years ago-- but its easy to understand why he's so disappointed in his party. He's far from the only one.

A few weeks ago Peter Baker wrote a piece for the NY Times that could have been written any day in the last 6 months, Trump White House Tests a Nation’s Capacity for Outrage. "Remember that time," he asked tongue planted firmly in cheek, "President George W. Bush told his attorney general to investigate Al Gore for his 'crimes'? Or President Barack Obama called for a Justice Department prosecution of John McCain?"
Neither did that, of course, nor has any president in modern times sought to prosecute the candidate he beat at the ballot box. But when President Trump publicly declared last weekend that his Justice Department should investigate Hillary Clinton, his exhortation generated relatively little reaction.

Indeed, when he repeated it on Twitter on Monday, more attention was paid to the fact that he described his attorney general, Jeff Sessions, as “beleaguered”-- a condition that, if true, was due in large part to Mr. Trump himself, who last week said that he regretted appointing Mr. Sessions because the attorney general had recused himself from overseeing the Russia investigation.

After six months in office, Mr. Trump has crossed so many lines, discarded so many conventions, said and done so many things that other presidents would not have, that he has radically shifted the understanding of what is standard in the White House. He has moved the bar for outrage. He has a taste for provocation and relishes challenging Washington taboos. If the propriety police tut tut, he shows no sign of concer... [T]his is a president who refused to release his tax returns or divest from his private businesses, who put his son-in-law and daughter on the White House staff, who accused his predecessor of illegally tapping his phones without proof, who fired the F.B.I. director leading an investigation into the president’s associates and who has now undercut his “beleaguered” attorney general in public. When he talked politics, jabbed the news media and told stories about Manhattan cocktail parties before tens of thousands of children at the nonpartisan National Scout Jamboree here in West Virginia on Monday, it was hardly surprising.

Yesterday, Jonathan Chait went even further, asserting that the Trumpanzee presidency has already collapsed. And a 33% job approval rating-- a rating that drops by a percentage point a month-- and would, at the current rate, "hit zero in September 2020. (A highly unlikely possibility, though with Donald Trump, anything is possible.) Measured in less quantifiable terms, Trump’s political decline has not occurred in so linear a fashion. It has happened, as Ernest Hemingway wrote about bankruptcy, gradually and then suddenly."
After half a year of comic internal disarray, even in the face of broad public dismay, Trump’s administration had, through most of July, managed to hold together some basic level of partisan cohesion with a still-enthusiastic base and supportive partners in Congress. This has quickly collapsed.

Signs of the disintegration have popped up everywhere. The usual staff turmoil came to a boil in the course of ten days, during which the following occurred: The president denounced his own attorney general in public, the press secretary quit, a new communications director came aboard, the chief of staff was fired, the communications director accused the chief strategist of auto-fellatio in an interview, then he was himself fired. Meanwhile, the secretary of State and national-security adviser were both reported to be eyeing the exits. (Against this colorful backdrop, the ominous news that Robert Mueller had convened a grand jury barely registered.)

More disturbingly for Trump, Republicans in Congress have openly broken ranks. When the Senate voted down the latest (and weakest) proposal to repeal Obamacare, Trump demanded the chamber resume the effort, as he has before. This time, Republican leaders defied him and declared the question settled for the year. When the president threatened to withhold promised payments to insurers in retribution, Republicans in Congress proposed to continue making them. Senate Judiciary Committee chairman Charles Grassley, responding to the president’s threat to sack Jeff Sessions, announced he had no time to confirm a new attorney general. Many Republican senators have endorsed bills to block the president from firing the special counsel.

The most humiliating rebuke came in the form of a bill to lock in sanctions on Russia, passed by Congress without the president’s consent. The premise of the sanctions law is that Congress cannot trust the president to safeguard the national interest, treating him as a potential Russian dupe. It passed through both chambers almost unanimously. Trump delayed signing the bill for days, then submitted to its passage in the most begrudging fashion possible, releasing a statement that reads less like something a president would publish to commemorate the signing of a law than a petulant handwritten note a grounded teen might tape to the bedroom door. “Congress could not even negotiate a health-care bill after seven years of talking,” wrote the president of the United States. “I built a truly great company worth many billions of dollars. That is a big part of the reason I was elected.”

During his very brief tenure as communications director, Anthony Scaramucci blurted out something very telling: “There are people inside the administration that think it is their job to save America from this president.” The conviction that Trump is dangerously unfit to hold office is indeed shared widely within his own administration. Leaked accounts consistently depict the president as unable to read briefing materials written at an adult level, easily angered, prone to manipulation through flattery, subject to change his mind frequently to agree with whomever he spoke with last, and consumed with the superficiality of cable television. In the early days of the administration, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis and then–Homeland Security Director John Kelly secretly agreed that one of the two should remain in the country at all times “to keep tabs on the orders rapidly emerging from the White House,” the Associated Press reported recently.

And the insurrection appears to be creeping outward. When Trump tweeted that he would ban transgender Americans from military service, the Defense Department announced there had been “no modifications to the current policy” and that, “in the meantime, we will continue to treat all of our personnel with respect.” When Trump gave a speech to police urging them to rough up suspects, several police chiefs and even the head of his own Drug Enforcement Agency registered their public objections. The accretion of these acts of defiance is significant. The federal government has flipped on its chief executive.

Barring resignation or removal from office — which would require the vote of a House majority plus two-thirds of the Senate — we are stuck with a delegitimized president serving out the remaining seven-eighths of his term. Politically gridlocked presidencies have become normal, but for the office to be occupied by a man whose own party elites doubt his functional competence and even loyalty is, to borrow a term, unpresidented. Trump’s obsession with humiliation and dominance has left him ill-prepared to cope with high-profile failure. He seems unlikely to content himself with quiet, incremental bureaucratic reform.

And yet it is difficult to see what Trump can do to reverse the situation. His next major domestic-agenda item, a regressive tax cut, is highly unpopular. He has inherited peace and prosperity. Nobody in the administration has been indicted. It is far easier to imagine conditions changing for the worse than the better.
Chait worries that Trump could turn to trying "to gain popularity by launching (or suffering) an attack," either starting a war or manufacturing some kind of a "terrorist attack" on America. He concludes that "[a] chaotic, still-understaffed administration led by a novice commander-in-chief who has alienated American allies deserves no benefit of the doubt. Everything from Trump’s incompetent management of the Department of Energy, which safeguards nuclear materials, to the now-skeletal State Department, to his blustering international profile has exposed the country to an elevated risk of a mass tragedy. A long-term task of the opposition is to prevent the crumbling presidency from transmuting that weakness into strength."

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At 6:33 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Pure horseshit. Couldn't even finish this. Everyone knows that the absolute cellar will be 30% (among everyone) because the cellar among sub sentient white racists is 75% or more. We have a lot of sub sentient white racists.

And this: "... Or President Barack Obama called for a Justice Department prosecution of John McCain?"

He had no reason to do that. But he DID have more than ample reason to call for the DOJ to investigate bush, cheney, Rumsfeld, gonzalez and every single finance corporation... and he refused... pointedly... relentlessly.

If obamanation had sought out justice... no drumpfsterfire.

Reading further would have been a waste of time.

At 2:04 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

agree with 6.33. If Obama DOJ had prosecuted the terrible financial fraud of the 2000s, no Trump


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