Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Who's Afraid Of The Big Bad Trump?


That Ryan-Trump tax cut for the wealthy was meant to save the GOP's ass in the midterms. It isn't working out as planned. The latest-- tax week-- Gallup poll finds just 39% of people approving, while 52% disapprove. When I predict that the Democrats-- despite the most venal, bungling and incompetent DCCC in history-- are going to win over 50, perhaps over 80, seats in the midterms DC types always-- and I mean always-- say, but there's a lot of time between now and election day and things can change. I agree... things will change.And all evidence point to the same thing-- that the change will be worse, even much worse, for the GOP. Have you met Señor Trumpanzee? He's a one-man disaster-making machine. Yesterday, for example, Natasha Geiling reported that a fifth Republican and a Fox News host have called on Pruitt to resign or be fired. The fifth Republican is New Jersey congressman Frank LoBiondo, following Carlos Curbelo (R-FL), Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL) Elise Stefanik (R-NY) and Susan Collins (R-ME). And "on Sunday, former adviser to British Prime Minister David Cameron and L.A.-based Fox News host Steve Hilton called for Trump to fire Pruitt, arguing that the EPA administrator has become a walking example of the kind of 'swampy' mentality that Trump promised to end. 'What we need is for President Trump to take the lead, fire Scott Pruitt, and throw out the lobbyists from his administration,' Hilton said." Although he is the quintessential Trump appointee, the Pruit p.r. war is going badly for Señor T. This kind of blatant boobery begs the question of the infallibility of Trump's connection with the carefully crafted morons known as the Republican base. Limbaugh, Fox, Mark Levin, Glenn Beck, Michael Savage, Neal Boortz, Dr, Laura, Dennis Miller, Laura Ingraham, Michael Medved and anti-Christ Christianity created this Frankenstein's monster. Does Trump own it lock, stock and barrel? Right-wing pundit Matt Lewis doesn't think so and wonders why Republican grandees are so scared to take him on.

Lewis wrote Monday, in the Daily Beast that conventional wisdom suggests that Trumpanzee’s standing remains incredibly strong among Republicans and that this notion is used to dismiss the possibility that someone (say, a newly disgruntled U.S. ambassador to the United Nations) could muster a serious primary challenge to the president in 2020. It’s also used to absolve congressional Republican enablers of their obsequiousness.  
Take, for example, Sen. Bob Corker’s (R-TN) recent comments about Republicans’ reluctance to push back on Trump’s attacks on Robert Mueller. “The president is, as you know-- you’ve seen his numbers among the Republican base-- it’s very strong. It’s more than strong, it’s tribal in nature,” Corker said. “People who tell me, who are out on trail, say, look, people don’t ask about issues anymore. They don’t care about issues. They want to know if you’re with Trump or not.”

Corker seems to be right about how GOP lawmakers generally perceive the president’s strength within the party. But do the numbers actually affirm this perception?

According to Gallup, Trump’s approval rating among Republicans is currently at 85 percent. This is certainly respectable, but hardly unique. In April 2002, George W. Bush boasted a 98 percent approval rating among Republicans, according to Gallup. This was seven months after the 9/11 attacks but his approval rating among Republicans had been at 87 percent the day of the attacks.

As someone who lived through the Bush era, I can attest that Bush was able to impose pretty strict party loyalty on the right. But by April 2006, his approval rating among Republicans was hovering around 80 percent-- not too far from where Trump is now. Those midterm elections were a disaster for the GOP. And it went downhill fast from there.

We tend to remember things like Hurricane Katrina and Abu Ghraib—huge scandals that deservedly hurt Bush with the American public. But, on the right, it was the Harriet Miers debacle that created a permission structure for conservatives to finally begin criticizing a Wilsonian foreign policy, the controversy over the transfer of U.S. ports to a Dubai firm, and, ultimately, to derail Bush’s 2007 attempt at a comprehensive immigration reform proposal that included a pathway to citizenship; or amnesty, for its critics.

The point here is that the danger to Trump isn’t merely that he could be “primaried.” A more likely scenario is that Republican politicians will eventually discover that they can stand up to a Republican president without fear of reprisal. Since fealty to Trump has always been premised on a transactional calculation (as opposed to personal affection, shared goals, or mutual respect), the only thing binding them to Trump is the perception that their political base demands it. When that changes-- and history suggests that this happens to even the most popular presidents-- the levee breaks.

...History suggests it is incredibly difficult to wrest the nomination from a sitting president. Trump is significantly more popular within his party than either Jimmy Carter or Gerald Ford-- two presidents who were able to survive primary challenges only to go on to lose the general. The question is not whether Trump could survive a primary if he had to, but how costly it would be. What is more, it is worth examining whether Trump’s popularity with the GOP base justifies the amount of deference some Republican politicians and elites are paying him.

...Trump’s popularity with Republicans is really just pretty average. There is little doubt that the intensity among his strongest supporters is high, but this asterisk is overwhelmed by another important caveat. As Gallup notes: “Fewer Americans identify as Republicans or say they are Republican-leaning independents than did so in November 2016, the month Donald Trump was elected president.”

It may be that Trump is popular among people who identify as Republicans, simply because the Republicans who don’t like him are… no longer Republicans. In others words: Trump’s approval rating in his party climbs because his party is shrinking. Maybe Bob Corker shouldn’t be quite so afraid.
Usually whenever someone decides to retire, many factors go into it. And Corker isn't the only congressional Republican sick enough of Trump to retire early. Trump-- and the albatross corollary known as impending defeat-- was a major factor for Jeff Flake (AZ), Paul Ryan (WI), Rodney Frelinghuysen (NJ), Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (FL), Dave Reichert (WA), Charlie Dent (PA), Darrell Issa (CA), Lamar Smith (TX), Frank LoBiondo (NJ), Dave Trott (MI), Ed Royce (CA), Pat Meehan (PA), Ryan Costello (PA), Tom Rooney (FL), Dennis Ross (FL)... that's a lot of careers ending prematurely.

Labels: ,


At 10:09 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

anecdotal evidence that a true Nazi party is forming in this shithole:
"...people don’t ask about issues anymore. They don’t care about issues. They want to know if you’re with Trump or not.”

When hero-worship of the demagogue supersedes all other concerns among the most evil and brain dead (evangelists are brain dead) of voters, and that demagogue is an overt racist, misognyist and raging malignant narcissist, you CAN get another, bigger, nuclear-arned Nazi shithole.
But even if trump isn't our hitler, he's plowing the field that shall grow us/US one, eventually.

Their inoculation against defeat is their "opposition" who isn't really against any of the policies because they all come from the same big donors (corporations and billionaires). Their "opposition" merely tries to maintain a façade of difference because their voters definitely ARE different.

Rather than coalesce around a truly supportive progressive movement, a number of nearly as brain dead voters both keep the "opposition" relevant (thus keeping the Nazis relevant) AND prevent any kind of truly left movement from forming.

Thus, the Nazi shitholes of America gets closer and closer to reality, in spite of the Nazis still being a small minority of americans.

At 11:08 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The fact that the Congress does nothing about Trump or his excesses only proves that Dubya was correct when he declared the Constitution to be only a piece of paper (parchment). An American Führer is now inevitable, and will be delivered just as soon as the corporate sector decides they need one.

At 12:21 PM, Blogger News Nag said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

At 12:24 PM, Blogger News Nag said...

The Democratic opposition is significantly more than a facade of difference, even though it's not nearly deep enough progressivism to my way of thinking. Work to remake the opposition you would want it to be. It can be done. The Tea Party galvanized the right into the teabagger's insane image. Progressives can do the same or similar for its own progressive positive agenda. There's really no other choice anyway except to just grouse and whine like many Anonymous commenters. And yeah the nazi thing isn't that far off from being enough of a reality to bring down what still stands of American democracy-like governance. And like an Anonymous above suggests, the corporate sector in the U.S. does provide the two major choices we get every four years. Hopefully the corporate sector continues to maintain two major factions, one of which represents a more enlightened capitalism than the even more fascistic other faction.

At 2:15 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The possibility of a progressive insurgency remaking the 'craps back into the Democrats of the FDR era is impossible.

The Nazi oligarchy needed the teabaggers to gain/keep majorities for the sake of gerrymandering. But the baggers got not a whole lot of what they wanted for their fealty. Also note that the differences on issues with the Nazi oligarchy were relatively subtle.

The 'crap oligarchy, operating in a far more tyrannical manner than did the Nazi oligarchy, does not tolerate progressives. Their constant suppression in favor of rich and corrupt fascist racists and misogynists attests to this. They don't appear eager to gain any majorities again, or are at least working hard to minimize the size of their windfall majorities.
Also note that the differences on issues between true progressives and the 'crap oligarchy are stark. Such an insurgency would mean war.

It would be no more painful but much more direct and possibly faster to repudiate entirely the 'craps and try to coalesce into a truly progressive movement. At this point, even the tiniest spark could be the catalyst. Bernie didn't have the stones; Elizabeth owes too much to the money; Lieu is proving himself to be like them; Jayapal can't get on the teevee machine to save her life; But someone, somewhere needs to sack up, especially voters.

If not, we'll just become the next Nazi regime to become a chapter in history texts. And white americans will become the next Easter Islanders... or, better analogy, the next Neanderthals. And we'll likely take the rest of humankind with us.

At 4:58 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

How to tell a DxCC troll from a normal commenter: they have nothing nice to say about most of us.

At 6:20 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You have to earn your kudos. This ain't t-ball where everyone gets a trophy for breathing.

At 8:59 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

DxCC trolls earn nothing but their click fees from the Party.

At 7:06 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

proving that Nixon was correct back in the '70s. "When the president does it, it's *NOT* illegal."


Post a Comment

<< Home