Wednesday, May 17, 2017

What's Happening?

I wonder what the future holds for America.

My gut tells me just more of the same: scandal, furor, hand-wringing, triangulation. I read more stories every day noting the cracks in Trump's support among Republican leaders and beating the drums for impeachment. But I can't see it. Trump's core supporters only feel confirmed in their faith, as their hero weathers assaults from liberals, the mainstream media, and the permanent security state. Polls show that 84% of Republicans think he is doing a good job. Republican politicians long ago made the calculation that they can't win without Trump's voters, so their best course is to pretend loyalty to him and keep using those votes. I don't think the math has changed. Some liberals fantasize about a revelation so awful that even hardcore Republicans will have to turn against Trump, but I find that implausible. People forget that only a minority of Republicans on the House Judiciary Committee voted to impeach Nixon, and that a majority of Republican voters never abandoned him. Since then partisanship has only gotten more intense; Trump was not far from wrong when he said that he could commit murder in broad daylight and still keep his core followers.

Plus many Democrats have made the calculation that a scandal-plagued Trump is likely to get a lot less legislation passed than a newly promoted Mike Pence, so they see no reason to stick their necks out on getting rid of him.

So I think impeachment is highly unlikely, a 25th Amendment removal even more so. My best guess is that the Washington of the past three months is the new normal.


G. Verloren said...

The people who do the mental gymnastics necessary to believe Trump is a great and effective leader whose presidency has been unfairly demonized with false claims of scandal are the exact same people who spent eight years coming up with crackpot theories and insane nitpicks of Obama's startlingly scandal-free tenure as president.

I mean, for fuck's sake - Obama was once criticized for chewing gum, on the grounds that it made him look unpresidential.

Unknown said...

In the context of John's post, today's Tom Edsall column quotes a Vanderbilt political scientist saying bluntly: "Republicans hate the Democratic Party so much and Democrats hate the Republican Party so much that they do not view the other side as a viable option." I think that answers the question of where we are as a people, and where we will be for the foreseeable future, perhaps until some dramatic exogenous factor intervenes.

I agree that removal by impeachment or mental incapacity remains very unlikely. Perhaps more likely is that he will suffer a coronary or a stroke--at this point, would any of us be surprised at such news? It also occurs to me that at some point he might resign and try to set himself up as the leader of an aggrieved, "we wuz robbed" political movement of his most faithful. I can actually imagine a movement like that becoming a going concern (at least for his lifetime), and exercising (or being credited with exercising) a kind of veto over Republican politics. I think such a role would be much more congenial to Trump than being president (a job I think he will grow to hate, if he doesn't already).

Shadow said...

Remembering the Twilight Zone episode starring Billy Mumy, "It's a Good Life." All the adults fearful of the spoiled, angry child who has the power to wink out of existence any adult (or child) he does not favor. It must be bloody hell working for him. It's not often you get a front row seat to witness a bully self-destruct. His faults are many, but I wonder if this doesn't have more to do with age (or drugs?) than anyone is discussing. Do we really want septuagenarians for president?