It’s time to rid America of the cancer called Donald John Trump. “The shabbiest U.S. president ever is an inexpressibly sad specimen,” says the headline of a column by Conservative pundit George Will.
Half or a quarter of the way through this interesting experiment with an incessantly splenetic presidency, much of the nation has become accustomed to daily mortifications. Or has lost its capacity for embarrassment, which is even worse.
He is an almost inexpressibly sad specimen. It must be misery to awaken to another day of being Donald Trump. He seems to have as many friends as his pluperfect self-centeredness allows, and as he has earned in an entirely transactional life. His historical ignorance deprives him of the satisfaction of working in a house where much magnificent history has been made. His childlike ignorance — preserved by a lifetime of single-minded self-promotion — concerning governance and economics guarantees that whenever he must interact with experienced and accomplished people, he is as bewildered as a kindergartener at a seminar on string theory.
A younger Conservative columnist, Jennifer Rubin, has some thoughts on why Donald Trump may not make it to a second term. She notes:
President Trump’s critics have repeatedly complained that when it comes to his rhetoric, attacks on Democratic norms and incompetence, “Nothing matters.” We’ve learned in the last couple of months just how wrong that is: His approval has cratered; Democrats won the House with a 40-seat trouncing; House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) continues to run rings around him; and Republicans now part with him on Russia policy matters — and a smaller number on reopening the government.
Noting the actions of special counsel Robert Mueller and the increasingly bipolar comments of former New York Mayor and Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani, Rubin zeroes in:
The further Mueller digs, the worse the facts get. Trump’s constant lying matters only insofar as it implicates himself in a conspiracy to obstruct the investigation. What Mueller says and does matter most of all. What doesn’t matter? Anything Giuliani says.
While Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) still refuses to bring up legislation to protect Mueller, Republicans and Democrats alike — even his acting attorney general and his attorney general nominee — make clear Trump cannot fire Mueller without unleashing a firestorm with, most likely, serious calls for impeachment. Keeping Mueller in place arguably has been the single biggest factor in eroding Trump’s power.
Polls by Pew Research Center shows 55 percent of Americans trust Mueller and feel he is conducting a fair and important role in investigating Trump’s increasingly-apparent collusion with Russians in undermining the 2016 presidential election to provide victory for the former reality show huckster and overhyped real estate developer.
Only 14 percent believe what comes out of Trump’s mouth on any given day. “Trump’s narcissism, incompetence and rotten judgment have led him to force out any adviser with a modicum of common sense, experience and influence,” Rubin says. “There is no one to head off or help get him out of jams he gets into.”
Republicans now talk among themselves about finding a GOP candidate to knock off Trump in the primaries if he decides to run again. They remain relatively united in a belief that impeaching Trump may not be the best strategy because many of them know Vice President Mike Pence and they feel he could be even more dangerous.
Several Republicans admit privately that Pence would be a disaster if he succeeded Trump and ran for election in 2020. Most consider him a bad bet because of his lockstep support of Trump’s wild conspiracy theories and incompetent actions.
“Pence has kept his nose firmy inserted into Trump’s orifice where the sun don’t shine and it stinks even worse than a swamp of lobbyists,” says one GOP senior aide who, for obvious reasons, asks not to be identified.
Over at The New York Times, Maureen Dowd notes:
After three weeks of Nancy Pelosi out-trolling Trump on the government shutdown, polls showed an erosion of his base. “We are getting crushed!” Trump told his acting chief of staff, Mick Mulvaney, according to The Times.
Suburban Republican women, who turned on Trump in the midterms, won’t be lured back by the news that thousands more migrant children had been separated from parents at the southern border and by images of the president beaming in to the annual march against a woman’s right to choose at the National Mall Friday. The vice president and his wife were on stage at the mall, and Karen Pence started a new job teaching art at a Virginia Christian school that is intolerant of L.G.B.T. students and L.G.B.T. parents.
Keep looking back over your shoulder, Donnie. That heavy-set lady who is closing in on you is warming up to sing.
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