Digby's Hullabaloo
2801 Ocean Park Blvd.
Box 157
Santa Monica, Ca 90405

Facebook: Digby Parton

@BloggersRUs (Tom Sullivan)

thedigbyblog at gmail
satniteflix at gmail
publius.gaius at gmail
tpostsully at gmail
Spockosbrain at gmail
Richardein at me.com


Mother Jones
Raw Story
Huffington Post
Crooks and Liars
American Prospect
New Republic

Denofcinema.com: Saturday Night at the Movies by Dennis Hartley review archive

January 2003 February 2003 March 2003 April 2003 May 2003 June 2003 July 2003 August 2003 September 2003 October 2003 November 2003 December 2003 January 2004 February 2004 March 2004 April 2004 May 2004 June 2004 July 2004 August 2004 September 2004 October 2004 November 2004 December 2004 January 2005 February 2005 March 2005 April 2005 May 2005 June 2005 July 2005 August 2005 September 2005 October 2005 November 2005 December 2005 January 2006 February 2006 March 2006 April 2006 May 2006 June 2006 July 2006 August 2006 September 2006 October 2006 November 2006 December 2006 January 2007 February 2007 March 2007 April 2007 May 2007 June 2007 July 2007 August 2007 September 2007 October 2007 November 2007 December 2007 January 2008 February 2008 March 2008 April 2008 May 2008 June 2008 July 2008 August 2008 September 2008 October 2008 November 2008 December 2008 January 2009 February 2009 March 2009 April 2009 May 2009 June 2009 July 2009 August 2009 September 2009 October 2009 November 2009 December 2009 January 2010 February 2010 March 2010 April 2010 May 2010 June 2010 July 2010 August 2010 September 2010 October 2010 November 2010 December 2010 January 2011 February 2011 March 2011 April 2011 May 2011 June 2011 July 2011 August 2011 September 2011 October 2011 November 2011 December 2011 January 2012 February 2012 March 2012 April 2012 May 2012 June 2012 July 2012 August 2012 September 2012 October 2012 November 2012 December 2012 January 2013 February 2013 March 2013 April 2013 May 2013 June 2013 July 2013 August 2013 September 2013 October 2013 November 2013 December 2013 January 2014 February 2014 March 2014 April 2014 May 2014 June 2014 July 2014 August 2014 September 2014 October 2014 November 2014 December 2014 January 2015 February 2015 March 2015 April 2015 May 2015 June 2015 July 2015 August 2015 September 2015 October 2015 November 2015 December 2015 January 2016 February 2016 March 2016 April 2016 May 2016 June 2016 July 2016 August 2016 September 2016 October 2016 November 2016 December 2016 January 2017 February 2017 March 2017 April 2017 May 2017 June 2017 July 2017 August 2017 September 2017 October 2017 November 2017 December 2017 January 2018 February 2018 March 2018 April 2018 May 2018 June 2018 July 2018 August 2018 September 2018 October 2018 November 2018 December 2018 January 2019 February 2019


This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?


Tuesday, August 07, 2018

Trump's base isn't quite as secure as he thinks

by digby

My Salon column this morning:

This past week-end, President Donald Trump tweeted a confession to the world that his top campaign operatives, Donald Trump Jr, Paul Manafort and Jared Kushner had knowingly met with emissaries of the Russian government to receive information on his opponent, which he characterized as perfectly legal and common, while also insisting that he knew nothing about it. In a previous era this would be a shocking development that would likely lead to impeachment. Regardless of the legality (and plenty of experts say that it is indeed illegal) it is certainly unethical and unpatriotic. There have been other cases in which campaigns were given stolen information a they went to the authorities with the information, they didn't respond "I love it" and then gather the campaign's top guns to hear the pitch. (The one exception that we know of is that paragon of virtue Richard Nixon's "Chenault Affair" --- of course)

Trump is obviously very agitated. That tweet and dozens more, along with his increasingly unhinged rally appearances over the past few weeks show a man who is under pressure and not handling it well. And that chaos is starting to catch up with him in a way he doesn't seem to expect or understand.

Annie Karni of Politico reported this week that the president and his advisers now believe that his famous campaign statement that he could shoot someone on 5th Avenue is pretty much true:

[T]he experience of Charlottesville, as well as his ability to recover from any short-term crisis, has been empowering for Trump and his allies. Three former aides said the takeaway from Charlottesville is the nihilistic notion that nothing matters except for how things play.“The lesson of the Trump presidency is that no short-term crisis matters long term,” said one former White House official who worked in the administration last year during the racial crisis...

Even Trump’s critics admit that it had little effect in the short term. At this point, it is conventional wisdom among them that no single event will ever seal his fate — and that the only impact they might have on him, politically, is in the aggregate.

There is evidence that his numerous crises are finally starting to take that toll. According to a new poll by Priorities USA, Garin-Hart-Yang Research Group, and Global Strategy Group three recent "crises" have stuck, sharply driving down voters' opinions of his temperament and truthfulness to their lowest ratings in the eleven tracking polls they've done of the Trump presidency:
Donald Trump’s dealings with Vladimir Putin, his handling of immigration and the separation of children from their families, and the impact of his trade war have stuck with voters in a way nothing else has since the beginning of his presidency.
It would seem that the Trump team's "nothing matters" rationale may not be playing as well as they thought. After 18 months of Trump's antics it's become obvious that in every area Trump's character flaws are producing crises. Even some of his own supporters have begun to balk:
Among the 37% of Trump voters who do not strongly approve of him, just 52% want to elect Republicans to help him pass his policies. Large shares of these weak Trump voters express an unfavorable reaction to Trump’s temperament and leadership style (53%), his dealings with Russia and Vladimir Putin (48%), and his truthfulness in the things that he says (47%).  By 35% to 27% they express more doubts than confidence about whether Trump has the integrity and honesty a president should have (34% say they feel somewhere in between).
These impressions of Trump's competence, integrity and truthfulness seem to be directly related to these three recent crises and they are affecting people's attitudes about other issues. By a 56 percent to 31 percent margin voters don't like what they've heard about the trade war. And that is spilling over into impressions of Trump's allegedly brilliant economic stewardship. Only 35 percent said Trump’s economic policies are good for them, with the same number approving of the tax bill. Only  22 percent say that things are changing for the better economically.

An astonishing 64 percent say the cost of health care is getting worse and they know who to thank.

More and more are saying they want the congress to check his power:
By 51% to 37%, voters say they would rather see more Democrats elected to Congress to be a check and balance on Trump than more Republicans elected to Congress to help Trump pass his policies and programs.  Notably, voters who backed Trump in 2016 are far less eager to elect Republicans to help Trump (75%) than Clinton voters are to elect Democrats to be a check on Trump (94%).  This reflects the fact that Clinton voters are far more likely to strongly disapprove of Trump’s performance (83%) than Trump voters are to voice strong approval (63%).

This leads to an interesting strategic insight. Democrats running for office in the upcoming midterms don't have to emphasize the Russia investigation or even immigration and trade if they are in red or swing districts. Trump's incompetence and cruelty are already being taken into account, leaving the field open for candidates to focus on the bread and butter issues. Noxious Trumpism is baked in to people's impressions of his policies now and Republicans who are associated with him (pretty much all of them) are tainted as well.

Tonight we have one of those bell weather special elections for the fall in an Ohio district that Trump won by double digits in 2016 and which has voted Republican for 30 years. The GOP has had all hands on deck for the past couple of weeks but the last thing they needed was the president coming to town and holding one of his obnoxious rallies. A big part of this district is composed of those suburban, white women who really loathe him. He insisted on showing up anyway, assured that his magic touch would bring his legions of followers to the polls. Naturally, it's almost the anniversary of the atrocity in Charlottesville so he had to tweet a racist rant about Ohio's basketball hero LeBron James, just to ensure that his appearance was as pernicious as possible.

As of Election Day, Democrat Danny O'Connor and Republican Troy Balderson are tied, and reporting this week says the Democrats are surging. If O'Connor pulls it off, it's going to be hard to say that Trump's disruptive behavior "played well." In fact the signs are that people are now paying close attention and don't like what they see one little bit.