Mike Allen writing at the Axios morning email thingie reinforces what we said earlier: the Russian Usurper’s base is sticking with him through thick and thin (haha, they are all thick and none of ’em are thin, but I digress):
President Trump may wind up paying a huge price for the Comey debacle. But so far, it’s playing out a bit like the “Access Hollywood” tapes where Trump bragged to Billy Bush about groping women: Washington freaks and Trump Country yawns.
Instead of getting caught boasting of groping a woman’s genitals, Trump kneecapped the FBI’s top man. This time, the stakes are even higher: Trump has raised the possibility of secret taping in the People’s House. And by his own account, he crossed traditional lines of independence between the White House and the FBI.
Out in the country, though, the parallels in the public reaction are striking:
- Trump stands accused of doing something that would sink most politicians, or at least elicit remorse.
- Instead of lying low or backing off, Trump escalates.
- His staff panics but sticks with him.
- Democrats feel certain he’s toast.
- All of us in the media spring into 24/7 outrage.
- And like Trump himself, the firing is broadly unpopular: In Gallup, 46% disapprove, while 39% approve.
But just like with the “Access Hollywood” tape, the vast majority of Republicans — and especially the Trump base — seem unfazed. For all the media/Democrat/Twitter histrionics, consider:
- The Gallup daily tracking poll shows Trump’s approval has held steady (40% the day of the firing, 41% two days later).
- Polls show two countries: In NBC News/Survey Monkey, 79% of Rs thought Trump acted appropriately, and 13% of Dems.
- Most elected Republicans are backing Trump or staying silent. AP reports that at the Republican National Committee’s spring meeting out in Coronado, Calif., party leaders defended the president’s actions and insisted that they would have little political impact.
- The Comey topic is hot in traditional media, but cold on Facebook: Seven other events of the Trump presidency trended harder.
Be smart: Don’t underestimate how much wiggle room Trump bought himself with his voters and conservatives by putting Gorsuch on the Supreme Court, enforcing the red line in Syria, and muscling a partial repeal of Obamacare through the House. He has a long leash with Trump Country.
The Republicans would be nuts to try to
reign rein him in. The base would eat them alive.
Again, from Mike Allen’s morning email thingie:
Elected Republican officials are publicly defending Trump but privately are dumbfounded, disgusted and demoralized by this turn of events.
We haven’t had a single conversation with a top Republican that doesn’t reflect this. The worries are manifold:
- This kills momentum on legislating, and unifies Democrats in opposition to everything they want to do.
- This makes it easier for Democrats to recruit quality candidates and raise money for the off-year elections.
- It sours swing voters.
- It puts them on the defensive at home. They want to talk tax reform and deregulation — not secret tapes and Russian intrigue.
- But mainly it reinforces their greatest fear: Trump will never change. They keep praying he’ll discipline himself enough to get some big things done. Yet they brace for more of this.
Sound smart — CNN’s Brian Stelter: “[T]he White House doesn’t seem to be providing any spokespeople for the Sunday shows. ‘Fox News Sunday’ host Chris Wallace said: ‘We can’t even reach anybody’ at the White House — ‘they’re not available, they’re not answering the phone.”
As long as the Republicans control all the levers of power, there will be no impeachment or other action that will
reign rein in this fool or remove him from office. Figuratively (if not literally) the lunatics have taken over the asylum.
I’m not a PoliSci, and I have no forecasting abilities. The Russian Usurper is the monster that the Republicans have been creating all these years, and he has escaped into the wild. He’s destroying the brand, and their base of meatheads is cheering him on. He’s going to be in place for the duration, and even if the House/Senate turned blue in 2018 (and it won’t, or won’t turn blue enough) the only chance to remove him will be in 2020.