Perversely, the documented reporting that Donald John Trump conned just enough voters to gain a slim win in the Electoral College in 2016 when a more than three million vote majority won the popular vote and the Fact-Checking that has shown him lying to the American people more than 18,000 times during his corrupt presidency, so far, just was never enough to cut into the cult he considers his “base.”
But his incompetent mishandling of the COVID-19 Coronavirus now shows that just two-thirds of voters in this country now think he is an incapable leader and dangerous idiot.
It took a microbe that has killed more than 90,000 Americans and will up that total to more than 100,000 before this month ends.
Writes Jennifer Rubin of The Washington Post:
Over the past few weeks, President Trump’s “message” — if you believe he is consciously articulating one rather than simply lashing out impulsively — has consisted of several parts: He has handled the pandemic perfectly; former president Barack Obama and former vice president Joe Biden are criminals (for reasons he cannot explain); stay-at-home orders are a plot designed to prevent his reelection; and we should disregard expert advice on everything from masks to the drug hydroxychloroquine. His assumption that Americans would care more about reopening the economy and less about their own health has turned out to be dead wrong. It is little wonder that they are not feeling any better about the state of the country.
Gallup polling shows: “Just under a third of Americans, 32%, now say they are satisfied with the way things are going in the U.S. That is similar to the 30% recorded in April but down from the recent high of 45% in February.” Remarkably, Republicans are feeling worse with each passing month. “Republicans’ satisfaction with the country’s direction has fallen each month since February, including a 12-percentage-point drop to 48% in May.” Their approval rating for Trump was 10 points higher on average in 2019. Among all voters, concerns about the economy and government leadership have ticked up. (“[In] recent months, mentions of the economy or jobs/unemployment as the top problem have inched up, rising from a combined 7% in March to 9% in April and 12% in May.”)
Most of those 90.000 died as a direct result of Trump’s mishandling of a virus that he dismissed as “trivial” and not needing attention. He killed those people. And to this day, he continues to push for a rushed reopening of a locked-down America when the medical experts he ignored and caused those thousands of death continue to tell him that it’s too soon and many more will become infected and die.
Trump is a soulless, despicable fat, and useless piece of subhuman vermin. He does not express an ounce of compassion for those who have died or will continue to die. All he cares about is his dwindling chances of re-election to a presidency he didn’t deserve and the country he has destroyed along with a national treasury he has robbed to serve his super-ego and non-existent but self-claimed worth.
After years of witnessing that nothing seemed sufficient to break Trump’s hold on his base, we are now seeing evidence of the first real divide between Republicans’ perception and Trump’s alternate reality. At least a couple of things might be happening here that distinguish the current situation from past episodes when Republicans maintained Trump’s sunny view of his presidency no matter the circumstances.
First, the economy has played perhaps a greater role in sustaining Trump’s popularity than was commonly thought. The Faustian bargain — Trump’s craziness and lawlessness in exchange for prosperity — crumbles when the prosperity fizzles. No amount of happy talk, blaming China nor conspiratorial blather can conceal the economic devastation that affects Republicans and Democrats alike.
Second, as much as Trump likes to attack his foes in Congress, it no longer serves as an effective foil. Americans like what Congress has been doing — voting to send them checks, ramping up testing, extending loans to small businesses. “For a second consecutive month, Congress’ job approval rating remains elevated, at 31%. Congress last had an approval rating of 31% or better in early September 2009,” Gallup finds. “Congress has passed four bills to address the public health and economic harm caused by COVID-19 and is considering further legislation. Gallup found roughly eight in 10 Americans approving of the $2.2 trillion coronavirus relief bill passed in late March to provide relief for businesses and individuals affected by the coronavirus situation. Congress’ approval rating for handling the coronavirus situation is 48%, well above its overall approval rating.”
To the extent Trump and Senate Republicans are seen as foot-dragging or, worse, obstructing this sort of legislation, the worse Trump and his allies might fare. (Likewise, Trump insists on going up against figures — governors, medical professionals — whom the public trusts more than him. It is not shaking the public’s faith in his rivals, but it might be further harming his own dwindling credibility.)
Overall, the country, including the Trump base, has gotten an extra dose of reality. Trump’s usual bag of tricks is ineffective in the face of widespread death, illness, disruption of normal life, and economic hardship. Throughout his presidency, Trump has worked furiously to get people to ignore what they see, hear and experience for themselves, but now he fails to sway even some Republicans. His performance finally must be viewed in the harsh light of reality. If so, Republicans might be heading for a harsh reckoning.
As a career newspaperman who took an ill-advised break from that valid career to work as a political operative within the Republica Party from 1981-87, I can say without reservation that the GOP deserves any and all shame, degradation and destruction for its selfish, stupid, alliance with a con artist like Trump.
I came to Washington right when Ronald Reagan became president and promised the panacea of hope and glory and left when slimeballs like Newt Gingrich started taking control of the party and destroyed any illusions that the party cared a damn about the nation and its needs.
I later watched political sluts like Sarah Palin draw crowds she didn’t deserve and approval of those with IQs of less than that of an average plant.
GOP? The “Grand Old Party” became “Geriatric Offensive Pricks” who raped the nation, plundered its Constitution, and destroyed its true traditions and objectives.
Abraham Lincoln’s political party became a coven of racists, homophobes, bigots, and beasts of blasphemy. Donald Trump became the party’s poster child and he turned that poster into a horror movie ad.
May the putrid party die a deserved and painful death and take the terrorist toxin Trump with them.
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