Friday, March 31, 2017

The Trump Trajectory

Here are some things about Trump's Trajectory The Omnivore thinks you should know.

Nixon Was At 24% Fav When He Left

Right now the president has about a 40% aggregate favorability rating. Yes, it is bad--but it is not bad enough to evict him on the merits alone (yes, Gallup has him at like 35% today--but it's not the only tracker out there). Trump's floor is going to be something like 30% no. matter. what

Today The Omnivore tweeted with a Trump-Supporter who (a) doesn't think the Russians hacked Podesta and (b) fell back on "The US isn't all that innocent anyway." The Omnivore directs her to Counterpunch where she can hang with the lefties who want to talk about how the US interferes in other countries elections.

PSA: The president will be impeached by a GOP Congress at the point where you wish he would not be (because he's doing so much damage). If you are still hoping for impeachment--we're not there yet.

Flynn's Immunity Request Doesn't Mean Anything

If they offer you immunity for your testimony that usually (a) comes after a vetting where they agree what you'll give them for it and (b) is done in the context of them going after a bigger fish. You saying you'll testify if given immunity is totally different. It may even mean you don't have anything but want to ensure there's no downside. Consider that charges against Flynn aren't evident right now and doing what he's doing is the opposite of lawyering up.

There's A Different Reason Trump Might Be In Trouble Though

Trump's value to the GOP is directly proportional to his ability to sign legislation they like. They're afraid of his base--but they're afraid of the Freedom Caucus too--and if they could get rid of them, they would. Right now Trump is not looking likely to sign too much big-time conservative legislation. This isn't directly his fault--it's because a lot of conservative legislation has been developed in a context where it had better never be signed. 

Look at defunding Planned Parrenthood--yes, most conservatives hate the organization--but if they do manage to defund it, it'll hurt them bigly next election. Same with overturning Roe vs. Wade. It's a great campaign promise but if you do it, it's like prohibition: the net effects will not be popular.

Of course repealing Obamacare is the big one here--but massive tax-cuts for the rich? Well, people are watching right now. Without the secret tax-break that repealing Obamacare would give--and with Trump's build the military plus a pricey wall agenda, Trump will blow a hole in the National Debt. That isn't something movement conservatives want.

Of course Trump's problem here is not that he's causing these issues--it's that he's not a capable leader. He has no native vision, is purely transactional, and wants "a win." None of these are a surefire "win" so he's out to sea.

This can bring us to a place where the House decides president Pence will be just as capable of signing legislation (should they ever decide on any) but without the chaos. They'll have to do something about Trump's base, of course--but that's always been true.

What Does This Mean?

What all of this means is that Trump isn't "about to be out the door." Sure: there could be actual criminal charges. Could happen. No reason to think it will yet. Sure: he could resign--or have a breakdown--or totally blow his meeting with China and start a war or something. None of this is likely though. What's likely is that Trump will continue to do damage to America's reputation and institutions but will not collapse his administration or the country. 

Additionally, congressional Republicans won't have the balls to make any bold moves. Do those guys look like they have the balls to make any bold moves? No--no they do not.

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