How Dear Leader Might Be Deposed

I don’t know how significant this is, but Even David Brooks doesn’t think the Trump Maladministration is sustainable.

I still have trouble seeing how the Trump administration survives a full term. Judging by his Thursday press conference, President Trump’s mental state is like a train that long ago left freewheeling and iconoclastic, has raced through indulgent, chaotic and unnerving, and is now careening past unhinged, unmoored and unglued.

Of course, Brooks is a rare old-school wingnut who insists that wingnuttery maintain the conventions of civility under the auspicses of Harvard grads. Plebian guns & gawd wingnuttery isn’t really his milieu.

The good news for today is that in the Gallup daily tracking approval/disapproval poll, the so-called president has finally dipped below the 40 percent mark. Today he’s at 38 percent approve/56 percent disapprove. Philip Bump points out that right now Trump’s approval numbers match Barack Obama’s all-time low.

Philip Bump also rights that Trump’s biggest threat is likely to come from moderate Republicans.

Like any president, Trump has a large base of people who will always like him, and a large base of people who will always hate him. In Trump’s case, the latter group may be larger than normal. But neither of these is the group that will decide his fate.

Trump’s presidency lies in the hands of the Trump-curious: the approximately 15% of Americans who dislike him but tell pollsters they think he might do a good job. A lot of these are people who voted for Trump despite having an unfavorable view of him.

With these voters on his side, Trump can wield a fearsome coalition that would help him retain Congress in two years and persuade Republicans and Democrats in Congress to bend to his agenda in the meantime. Without them, he is unpopular and ridiculous.

The “Trump-curious” were discussed by Josh Barro at Business Insider.

These polls show that a surprisingly large group of people — perhaps 15% of registered American voters — disapprove of Trump but are open to the idea that he will be a good president.

This isn’t the largest slice of the electorate. Both Trump superfans and Trump loathers are larger groups than the Trump-curious.

But the median voter is Trump-curious. The next presidential election — and the midterm election to come in 2018, as well the actions of legislators who are driven by perceptions of whether Trump and his agenda are popular — will be determined by how Trump-curious voters feel Trump is doing.

This past election was also decided by the Trump-curious: Trump won overwhelmingly among the substantial number of voters who viewed both him and Hillary Clinton negatively.

I would guess these are not people who pay much attention to politics news. Anyway, Barro says, to keep these voters on his side, Trump will actually have to accomplish things. This voter demographic seems willing to overlook Trump’s many character and psychological flaws, but if he is seen as ineffectual, he’s toast.

To me, this says it’s up to Congress. Trump is not going to change. Never in human history has a man been in so over his head while remaining utterly oblivious to it.

The Republican Party is not happy. And Republicans in Congress are losing the big  mo. They’re still not sure where to go with health care, for example. They’re stalled on a “replacement,” and I take it they’re getting no help whatsoever with the White House. House Republicans also are at war with each other over a tax bill, I understand.

Paul Ryan showed up to Senate Republicans’ weekly lunch on Tuesday hoping to salvage a controversial pillar of his tax reform plan that would change how imports and exports are taxed. “Keep your powder dry,” the House speaker pleaded.

The next day, Sen. Tom Cotton took to the Senate floor to slam Ryan’s so-called border adjustment tax, saying “some ideas are so stupid only an intellectual could believe them.”

It’s going to be a miracle if anything resembling a viable Obamacare replacement or tax bill emerges in the next six months. Meanwhile, the maladministration is going to remain bogged down in investigations over the Russian connection and whatever stupid thing emerges from Dear Leader’s mouth every day.

Congressional Republicans need an actual Republican president to forward their agenda. Trump is not that person. However, Mike Pence would do nicely.

So, if the Russian investigations don’t kill the maladministration, the GOP might. Once they get Gorsuch confirmed for SCOTUS — I’m sure Republicans are over the moon for Gorsuch —  I think the move to remove the so-called president will take shape.

10 thoughts on “How Dear Leader Might Be Deposed

  1. I first heard of Donald J. t-RUMPLE-Thin-Skin in a 1981 or 1982 Village Voice article documenting his (beyond) scummy tactics while trying to oust seniors in a rent-controlled apartment building – which soon became t-RUMP Tower (SPIT! SPIT!! SPIT!!!).

    I was ‘t-RUMP-FURIOUS’ then, and now, I’ve come to loath/despise/hate this t-RUMP trust-fund man-baby with the heat and light of a zillion-trillion-billion-million suns.

    I never thought anyone could make me hate – an emotion that I always try to avoid, since it destroys the holder of the hate-flame, but leaves the target largely intact – them more than Richard M. Nixon.

    Addled Uncle Ronnie Reagan brought out a much more mature hatred out of me – after all, in 1974, I was 16. I was nearing 30, and imo, Iran/Contra was a far greater crime than all of what Nixon did.
    I probably should have hated H.W. Bush too, but by the time he got to be POTUS, I was wrung-out on hate.

    Ah, but then I found a mother-load of hate:
    For W, Dicky Death, Ashy, Condi, “Turd-blossom!”, Yoo, AG the AG, etc…
    I had turned 42 in 2000, and a really mature (not at all, in fact) hatred came bubbling out of me and caused me to explode like a geyser at times.
    I channeled that hatred better than before, though:
    I went out, and helped organize anti-War/Torture/Rendition efforts in my part of NC.

    But now, t-RUMPLE-Thin-Skin has created a “Black-hole” of hatred within me. I reinforce my hate strength by reading about how much other people hate him!

    Sadly, right now between me and my Mom’s physical issues, I can’t do much that’s constructive in regards to protesting the evil, bigotry, misogyny, stupidity, ignorance – and just plain-old “Yeah, let’s fuck with them, too! Why? Whaddaya mean, ”why?’ CAUSE THEY’RE WEAKER THAN WE ARE, AND SO, WE CAN!!” – so I have a touger time venting my hatred.

    Thanks, though, for letting me vent!!!

  2. GOP has a problem next month when the debt ceiling has to be raised. Treasury can only play games to keep things running for a few months after mid March unless it is raised, and the Freedom Caucus is not likely to play nice, while the democrats have absolutely no reason to help.

  3. There is another theory about his press conference:

  4. Dan,
    Why would they?

    The only way the GOP House and Senate decides to impeach t-RUMPLE-Thin-Skin, is if he decides NOT to go along with tax cuts for the rich, and the dismemberment of The Progressive Era’s, The New Deal’s, and The Great Sociaty’s social safety-net programs.

    They’ll leave him alone through feast/famine/war/peace/sickness and health, as long as he’ll sign whatever destructive changes Ryan, McConnell, the Koch Brothers, and all of the other evil assclowns decide they want, to make the poor and middle class suffer!

  5. The only joys people like that get out of life, has to come out of the misery of others.

    It makes them feel special, and oh so very exceptional!

  6. Chris – I think Bannon would like to have a brown-shirt militia organization that would be tolerated by the police to strike terror into the anti-Trump people. This worked in Germany because the system there allowed the national government to protect the shadow police who were not bound by the law. In the US if a Trump thug strikes an anti-Trump protester, he’s arrested by the local authorities and tried in a local court – completely OUTSIDE Trump’s jurisdiction. They want to know they have immunity, and they don’t have it so a violent, fascist backlash is hard to build.

    Second, these chumps expect in thier simple-minded way that Trump is able to just DO IT! They don’t even know what ‘it’ is – fix health care, Just do it, magically. Make me ‘safe’ – whatever that is. Just do it! (As Maha has pointed out the fear of Islamic violence in the US is inversely proportionate to the probability of an actual act of terrorism. So how does Trump make people ‘safe’ against a non-existent threat?) Jobs! We are close to full employment in the US. The issue is the quality of those jobs, especially the wages and benefits, especially health benefits. There’s been no movement there nor policies or legislation likely to affect job quality.

    The proposal to use National Guard troops to round up and deport is the closest real plan to implement a police force. Frankly, I’m not sure what legal challenges to such an order would be or how successful. But I’d bet the ACLU is already drafting the challenges.

    Hitler had ruthless forces at his disposal. They murdered Hitler’s domestic opponents in a purge. See ‘Night of the Long Knives’ in history. Trump doesn’t have that kind of force and he must quell the resistance by force or by fear. He’s counting on his charm alone and even with previous dictators, far more talented than Trump, that was never enough.

  7. The Faustian bargain that’s been struck will rule the day: as long as Trump signs off on or gives serious cover to their attempts, at whatever far right extremist, ideological wet dream legislation they’ve been salivating over for years, they will abide Trump’s craziness and see his continued descent into the heart of darkness. They will do this because (a) the GOP are a bunch of cowards scared stupid of their stupid base, (b) power above all else, including country is their main concern ( c) impeachment of Nixon was a party failure they still have a sore spot over, and they don’t do failure, at least failure that doesn’t have a thread of deniability to hold on to. Impeachment of a man they’ve gone all in for won’t.

    Plus there’s the downside around the GOP base if they impeach. That large base of Trump fans that still support him are the Tea Party, the “far right” and every incarnation of GOP base support. The republicans have been deathly afraid of not just loss of their support, but having these nut jobs turn on them.

    There is zero daylight between the political and social “beliefs” of Trump and Pence. In many respects, Pence will be a damn sight worse for the nation and the world, as at least he’s affected the veneer of sanity and reason. But he will be no less zealous in pursuing the same.

    If Impeachment is being cast as THE END goal, I would say to democrats and progressives: abandon all hope to those who endeavor to cross that gate, because it ain’t gonna happen, at least not likely. And if it does, our problems are really just beginning.

    Maybe I’m wrong about that, but the democrats and progressives should be working real hard right now towards 2018. We tell ourselves the GOP got the House locked up via gerrymandering, but we did make some gains in seats there in 2016. The senate may be a bridge too far, but given the approval numbers Trump has right now, and given that 15% of Trump-curious voters, and the likelihood of Trump not accomplishing anything he promised them — he’s already shown he won’t and the GOP establishment isn’t for any of that stuff either; then there’s their Faustian Bargain to fulfill — it won’t be a hard sell to convince these Trump-curious voters in 2018 that THE GOP IS THE PROBLEM! If you want to at least put some constraints on the crazy and limit the risks we all face, then take back control from the GOP.

    But are the democrats capable of being a competitive political party?

  8. “But are the democrats capable of being a competitive political party?

    The party apparatchik will stay corrupt, and as long as they insist on serving corporate interests first, democrats will be ineffective even if they establish a majority. There is a ‘simple’ way of circumventing the party establishment – the primary.

    Voters can thwart the intent of the party by electing reform candidates who will FIRST move to get big money out of government. This clears the way for progressive legislation that will be impossible otherwise – remove big money from the field of play and ALL things become possible.

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