Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Trump and Putin

What we saw yesterday was pretty amazing for one reason (well for many, really--but specifically one): It might move the needle. It could peel off some of Trump's support in a way that other actions haven't. Why?

What We Saw Yesterday

While there is some alternate-reality stuff going on here (Hannity found Trump commanding and strong) what was on display was body language of Trump crossing a red line: Looking weak.

Drudge, who maybe understands the MAGA psychology better than anyone (and, for that matter, the modern post-Reagan Republican psychology before MAGA) presented the above. He knows what's going on here: Trump looked like the one thing he cannot look like--a loser.

In the North Korea meetings, the victor was ambivalent--sure North Korea got a bunch of shit it wanted (the meeting, Trump fawning, and cessation of South Korea readiness exercises)--and America got nothing more than promises--but that didn't matter because it had the pageantry of a victory.

Trump went where no POTUS had gone before. He did so boldly--and Kim didn't humiliate him (not at the summit--you can decide for yourself about afterwards).

That wasn't the case in Helsinki.

What The Omnivore is calling out here is, specifically, the body language. Now, The Omnivore is no dentist--but it sure did look like Trump was the smaller man in the room (despite being taller).

This is the blow that will hurt. Firstly it will hurt because if Trump thinks he looked like a loser, he will be unable to countenance that (looking like a traitor is okay--but not a loser). Secondly because his base has ingested the Trumpism, they are tied to him: if he looks like a loser then they look like losers.

Since the motivating force behind what, today, is called conservatism is the demand for "respect" and the avoidance of "humiliation" (at the hands of imaginary liberal elites) this is unacceptable. From an emotional standpoint, Trump looking dominated is a serious injury--maybe even a mortal wound.

That's taking it too far right now, really--this summit--while a disaster--will not break Trump--but it may shake Trump's otherwise super-stable positives. If he loses 5% with any longevity he reaches the potential water-line where the GOP feels he is a sure loser for them. If they believe he will lose them re-election then they will bail on them--excluding the ones who are with him for ideological reasons
(which--the joke here--is "none of them").

No comments:

Post a Comment