the big gamble

It’s no secret that I continue to think that Trump, by and large, is still being underestimated. Clearly there are powerful forces aligned against him, and ongoing investigations into his connections with Russian shenanigans continue to loom threateningly on his horizon, but I’m by no means ready to assume that US political and judicial institutions will withstand Trump’s current attempts to re-shape, and in some case completely dismantle them.

Trump’s game face. As an experiment, try to reproduce this facial expression yourself, then pay attention to the kind of thinking it engenders.

The increasingly popular portrayal is that of an attention whore with the attention span of a hummingbird who is essentially in reaction mode, blundering extemporaneously from one outrageous statement to the next. And recently from one internationally dangerous provocation to the next.

I don’t think that’s what’s going on at all. I could spend all day writing about Trump’s defects of character, but it must also be said he’s bold and he’s a fighter and—this is the important part—he’s willing to undertake big gambles. And I think I see where he might be gambling now, and in a big way.

After threatening to visit “fire and fury” upon North Korea in response to further provocations and scaring the media half to death (and thus, once again, controlling them), he doesn’t back away but doubles down.

This is worth noting. He always doubles down. Always. If there is a historic example of him retreating I’m unaware of it. So I don’t think this is just Trump shooting from the hip, it’s classic Trump operating strategy.

Consider this; what if Trump actually can manage to make some “progress” with North Korea, which, to most Americans, probably means getting them to shut the fuck up and behave like we say they should. What if, as I think Trump is calculating, Kim Jong Un can be made to understand that if he, Kim, doesn’t back down he really will be destroyed, because this crazy American with another weird haircut really is not bluffing.

Listen to Trump talk about Kim Jong Un here;

“He has disrespected our country greatly. He has said things that are horrific. And with me he’s not getting away with it. He got away with it for a long time, between him and his family. He’s not getting away with it. This is a whole new ballgame.”

This is a whole new ballgame is not an off-the-cuff remark. Trump really means it.  He’s been advocating playing hardball with North Korea for years. Here he is again doubling down on the “fire and fury” thing;

“Maybe it wasn’t tough enough. They’ve been doing this to our country for a long time, for many years, and it’s about time that somebody stuck up for the people of this country and for the people of other countries. So if anything, maybe that statement wasn’t tough enough.”

Kim has figured, correctly so far, that he can talk smack all he wants, which helps him domestically, without the US going ape-shit. Trump now says those days are over. There is no rational reason not to believe he really means it.

This is not the extemporaneous babbling of someone with no idea where he’s headed, these are the remarks of somebody who thinks of himself as precisely that “somebody” he’s talking about, the long awaited no-nonsense clear-sighted leader he sees himself as and whom, in his mind, we’ve all been waiting for. And I think he’s figured that however this plays out, for him personally this can be win-win.

If Kim backs down, Trump wins a victory which has eluded all the diplomatic heavy lifting for decades.  That makes Trump a winner, and on the back of that victory he can really get some traction domestically. We can hear him crowing from here, can we not? “I was right again, and all the establishment “experts” were wrong.”

There will be rallies and cheers, and accolades all around.  The media will pivot back to calling him “presidential” again. Because of course they will. Then, if Mueller’s investigation does not incontrovertibly prove election collusion, he’s home free, because any shady business dealings won’t engender enough animosity to undo him. Not in this scenario they won’t.

Now on the other hand, if Kim does not back down, Trump deploys a military strike of some kind, I’d guess conventional weapons targeted at launch facilities and military installations and maybe Kim personally.  He has to, otherwise Trump’s the one who looks like he’s backing down, and that’s just not possible. He’s never done it in his life and he’s not about to start now. So now we have a war, which drowns out everything—Mueller, Russia, shady business dealings, everything—and Trump will have no problems with that, no matter the human cost, because of course he won’t.

I’d suppose that scenario number one would be Trump’s preference, because that would bring more accolades and invoke less opposition, but I think he’s figured that either outcome helps him more than it would hurt him, and that, after all, is the principle which has guided him his whole life.

There’s still time, I suppose, for other options to emerge, perhaps with participation of third parties (Paging China. Paging the Peoples’ Republic of China. White courtesy telephone please). But if they do, they will be have to be options which give Trump a way out that he can characterize as a win, like maybe North Korea “cancelling” the Guam thing, otherwise there’s almost certainly going to be a war.

89 Responses to the big gamble

  1. Even Republicans only support him, now, at 79 percent.

    So 80% support among likely GOP voters is a positive sign?

    I’m telling you, the man is a genius at manipulation and the media is completely outmatched. Look at how he just declined to say anything bad about Nazis (!!! and yet still has 80% GOP support? After one of them maimed a bunch of people in the street, killing one?) then just let the whole media flip out for a couple of days, after which he finally came out and said a few magic words.
    Result? Twofold.
    1/ He weathers the shitstorm in the general sense, because now all the resistance can do is gripe about how it was probably “too little to late” for a while and then it all dies down as it’s quickly replaced by the next outrage.
    2/ He satisfies the Alt Right/Nazi nexus by giving them all they need to say “well yeah, he had to do that to shut people up, but he already made it pretty damn clear he’s with us on this.”
    Which of course he is, absolutely. He likes “German blood”. He’s said so right here on 9thousandfeet.com.
    Why anyone would decline to take him at his word about that is a mystery to me.

  2. KevinNevada says:

    9T:

    yes, even 20 percent of Republicans have decided that the OH is an asshole.

    That is actually a good start.

    The overall 61 percent disapproval is the number that should scare the crap out of Ryan and McConnell.

    I do take the asshole at his word. He is racist scum, like his father before him – among his other qualities which have been discussed here at length.

    Remember that the GOP’s core voters have been conditioned since Nixon’s day, a long time now, to accept the racists as part of their coalition. They decided to let that particular sort of fleas to hop on, because they wanted to win elections.

    40 years now, that has been going on.

  3. NatashaFatale says:

    Kev,

    By no standard this side of the Book of Revelations is 21% disaffection in his own party survivable for the rest of us. Couple of weeks ago he was at 80% approval in the GOP. Then he flirts with nuclear war for a week or so and praises with faint damns a nazi rally here at home – and his popularity the party that insisted it would never be his plummets a whole dizzying point. If he’d gone all the way and pushed the button on Kim he might have plunged clear down to 74 or even 73%.

    How on earth can people look at numbers like these and still imagine that the problem is Trump?

  4. Oh, and for bonus points he’s now hammering away, again, at CNN etc for being “fake news” for their “nitpicking” about his terminology, when it was, you know, obvious all along that he was condemning the culprits perfectly adequately.

    And that ±80% support has been holding steady since the inauguration, pretty much, so I’m not sure there’s a discernible trend there, and certainly not a discernible degradation in support from his base.

    My main point in these last few rants, Kev, is simply that I think he’s still being underestimated, and that the vast proportion of the negative noise he’s generating is just that – noise – and not indicative of any really significant shift in his vulnerability.

  5. Expat says:

    I suspect that a lot of the ~80% is not strictly pro-Trump but anti anti-Trumpers who have a lot more going for them than being anti-Trump. One of those enemy of my enemy things. That and of course not believing that the republic is in existential danger and that Trump won’t follow 240 years of precedent and retire if impeached, defeated in 2020 or, God forbid, at the end of his 2nd term.

  6. …not believing that the republic is in existential danger and that Trump won’t follow 240 years of precedent and retire if impeached…

    I’d be more sanguine about that issue if he’d ever, even for a brief instant, shown any enthusiasm for preserving precedent or displayed the slightest respect for political traditions and institutional continuity.

    He’s certainly spent a lot of time talking about how the entire edifice needs to be restructured, and still does.

    Like I said, why anyone would be reluctant to take him at his word is a mystery to me.

  7. Expat says:

    It might be scant comfort 9k but you will be able to prove me wrong when the sky falls. I’ll never be able to prove that the sky won’t fall. However 240 years of democratic transfer of power is an impressive and too good to fumble run. Back then Germany didn’t exist, far less the GDR or GFR, Catherine ruled Russia, Lenin and Stalin hadn’t been born, France still had 5 republics and various convulsions of empire, monarchy and commune to work its way through, Canada was a bunch of colonies, Australia had just been discovered and Great Britain was about as stable as it got.

  8. NatashaFatale says:

    On the question of will he go quietly, I learned this from our scant, beleaguered non-fake media: Trump was pushed into speaking unkind words about the klan and its ilk because “Trump’s enemies are clearly hoping to separate Trump from any and all militia groups that could take part in potential acts of civil disobedience if Trump gets impeached and the nation heads into a Civil War-type scenario.” This plays right into the hands of George Soros, who, per Alex Jones (“Your reputation is amazing. I will not let you down.” -Donald Trump), was the one who hired all those Jews to go to Charlottesville and impersonate nazis (“They almost got like little curly hair down, and they’re just up there heiling Hitler. You can tell they are totally uncomfortable, they are totally scared, and it’s all just meant to create the clash.”) Wake up, sheeple.

  9. Meanwhile;

    The US government is seeking to unmask every person who visited an anti-Trump website in what privacy advocates say is an unconstitutional “fishing expedition” for political dissidents.

    The warrant appears to be an escalation of the department of justice’s campaign against anti-Trump activities, including the harsh prosecution of inauguration day protesters.

    On 17 July, the department of justice served a website-hosting company, DreamHost, with a search warrant for every piece of information it possessed that was related to a website that was used to coordinate protests during Donald Trump’s inauguration.

    They are not, of course, seeking the IP addresses of all those people who visit StormFront or any other Nazi/white nationalist websites which have been the epicenter of organization for this “Summer of Hate” thing, of which the Charlottesville action was but the opening round.
    Oh, and the FBI and DHS has been warning about these knuckledraggers all along.

    And let’s not forget that hundreds of people were “kettled” in that inauguration crowd, many of them reporters and almost all of them not breaking any laws whatsoever, and ALL of them were charged with felonies.
    There are examples of this kind of attitude on the part of legislators and law enforcement, somewhere in the republic, either at the federal the state level, almost every day now.
    Who, besides authoritarian dictatorial wannabes, behaves like this?
    If these people are not fascists, what the hell are they?

  10. KevinNevada says:

    9T and NF:

    Remember that he can be trusted for one thing, above all else: to fuck up.

    Well, just a day after that prepared sort-of-OK statement, he just let loose at another presser and shoved both feet into his mouth, again.

    Apparently there is an “alt-left” and they really triggered all the violence in Virginia last week.

    This gangster cannot play the game straight no matter how hard his daughter, and the two generals, and perhaps one or two others try.

    He will charge into the gutter every week, and yes the effects will add up even more, soon.

    Again I tell you: the devastating polls will scare the pols. They cannot afford to ignore such numbers. And Congress are getting an earful from the home folks right now.

    When Congress returns after Labor Day, I think you’ll see a larger centrist caucus.

  11. KevinNevada says:

    NF:

    specifically to your question,

    How on earth can people look at numbers like these and still imagine that the problem is Trump?

    I did state, in my post just above yours, that the entire Republican voter base has been conditioned for about 40 years now, to accept the racists as political partners. Nixon started it, Reagan doubled down and Trump has taken it to the extreme.

    Trump is exploiting something that has long been prepared, for a leader to take it that far.

    So hell yes, the problem runs deep now. When you challenge conservatives about their racist program and party, they respond with a well rehearsed set of nonsensical arguments about “the real racists are the SJW’s”, and chant “BLM” to you as if that proves anything, on and on.

    I’ve blocked several former friends on social media over this specific issue.

    Beyond the O.H., who is destroying his own administration from deep inside, on a daily basis now, we have this problem of a well conditioned right wing voting base that is very hard to share a nation with, peacefully.

    They will still be here when he is long gone.

  12. KevinNevada says:

    On the other hand, you have to watch this clip from Fox News, YES Fox News, their Kat Timpf delivered a tirade of her own, in disgust at the Odious Hairball’s performance this past few days – and especially, at the Tuesday presser.

    Check it out. The O.H’s voters do watch this channel.

    Perhaps this time, it was just too much, and will finally sink in.

    I tell y’all, fuckups are guaranteed.

  13. Well Kev, let’s not argue about this any more, but what you’re seeing as “fucking up”, I’m seeing as progressively weaponizing his base, getting them ready for what’s coming, which I still think will be a final push to the finish line by the fascisti.

    Nothing would please me more than to see the legislature act appropriately and suppress this advancing coup (which goes a lot deeper than just Trump)
    I currently remain unpersuaded that they will do so, though I stand ready to be proven wrong about that.

  14. NatashaFatale says:

    Back in the sixties it was hip to equate calls for Law and Order with overt racism and suppression of civil rights. There were good reasons for this: you only had to look at who was running on the No-Need-To-Explain-What-I-Mean-Comma-Y’all-Understand-Law-And-Order platform. Spiro Agnew, George Wallace – you only had to see their rallies, you only had to look at the crowds they drew. Yet there were many, many voters for whom the words Law and Order meant exactly what they say on the surface: Enough rioting! Enough looting! Enough mugging! Enough of scary looking people walking down my sidewalk!

    That impulse isn’t dead today, That impulse never dies.

    Over and above the possibility of an overt fascist coup is the much greater danger of a seriously draconian crackdown on visible dissent of any kind: a modern revival of the spirit of Law and Order. Do mobs of neo-nazis upset you? Do you wish their opponents would stop stirring them up? Have you simply had enough and just want to get on with your life?

    We understand that, we read you loud and clear, and we’re putting a stop to that shit right : now. Nine kinds of SWAT team on every street: Move along, people, nothing to see here. And you, over there! No more than three people standing together, you should know that by now. So okay, one of you hails the cab and the other three go wait over there, how hard is that? Come on lady, show me what’s in that bag and it better not be a sign or a banner. You over there, what’s with the big umbrella? It sure don’t look like rain to me. And the rest of you, I told you to keep moving and I’m not telling you again…

    And we’re shutting down the hate sites right now, no more StormFront, no more 9000 feet, because we’ve learned our lesson – you don’t want an insurrection, then you stop the seditious talk before it really gets going. We know you weren’t brought up right, we know you don’t want to behave but by golly you will learn how to do it anyway…

    ***

    I put the odds of this happening at an order of magnitude greater than those of any overt Trumpean takeover – and I see the end results of both as being not that different at all.

  15. Squirrel says:

    “They made me say I’m sorry. But I’m not! I’m NOT!!! So there!”

    And dissenting voices from the legislature? Forget it. I’ve counted 13. And half a dozen of those are the usual suspects anyway.

    Someone gets him to deliver a ‘presidential’ statement. (If it wasn’t Jared or Ivanka wrote it for him, they’re going to be sacked, aren’t they? After yesterday it’ll be “You gave me that crap to read and now look what the fake news has done to me!” So even Jared might be in the shit.) The boss of the FBI briefs him about Charlottesville. Either he doesn’t listen or forgets 90% of it. And then he takes as evidence video he’s seen on Fox. . .

    So much for generals being able to, if nothing more, keep him quiet. Looking at Kelly, it’s actually hard to tell whether he was more pissed off with the press for provoking Trump into going off the reservation, or with Trump for doing it. Let’s see if he stays longer than a few weeks more.

  16. KevinNevada says:

    9T:

    indeed, let peace flourish.

    Baltimore, MD, which has more than its share of Confederate history, did the right thing last night.

  17. Over and above the possibility of an overt fascist coup is the much greater danger of a seriously draconian crackdown on visible dissent of any kind…

    Well to my eye, such a crackdown would be a natural (and indispensable) part of what I described as a “final push to the finish line” on the part of the fascisti.
    Jefferson Beauregard Sessions is just the man for the job, too. What other direction is left for him to go? At this point he’s all in, and there’s no going back and being rehabilitated as a political player of any consequence in the Senate or anywhere else.

  18. Squirrel says:

    Seems there’s a panic on. I read that a commission recommended those statues be removed eighteen months ago.

    There are apparently 1500 of these things. I’ve had a quick look at Wikipedia, and the vast majority seem to date from around the turn of the last century or the couple of decades afterwards. Apparently the statue of Lee and Stonewall Jackson was put up in Baltimore in 1948. 1948?

    You can take the statues down, but I’m not so sure about taking down the attitudes and feelings that put them up and kept them up.

  19. Squirrel says:

    From the WH post-shambolic press shouting match ‘Talking Points Memo’:

    ‘From cop killing and violence at political rallies, to shooting at Congressmen at a practice baseball game, extremists on the left have engaged in terrible acts of violence’. . .

    ‘Courtesy’ of Fox News (‘Know thine enemy. . .better’ is the current Squirrel motif. Fox News is quoting ‘Not all of them were white supremacists. . .’ Presenter: ‘Some were only interested in preserving history. . .’)

    The document also praises ICE for prosecuting a record number of White Supremacists in Texas; but it turns out, according to ICE itself they were taken down because they’d “shifted their focuses from promoting white supremacy to drug-trafficking”:

    collectively, the defendants were held accountable for 956 kilograms (about 2,108 pounds) of methamphetamine, with a conservative street value of just under $10 million, as well as possessing and using 88 firearms and dangerous weapons.

    Combined, the 89 defendants had been previously convicted of 736 crimes. Of the 736 previous convictions, 234 were drug-related offenses; 76 were violent offenses; 36 were gun offenses; 37 were burglaries; seven were sex or child abuse offenses; and one was a murder conviction.

    I don’t know whether that’s a lie, a half-lie, a misdirection . . .what’s the difference in the WH these days anyway? Bugger all ‘anti-white-supremacy’ about those charges and convictions, in any case. Let’s just see who picks it up and runs with it without reading where it came from.

    You can easily see where this is leading, or where people in the White House want it to lead. I can’t work out whether it’s a case of asses leading a donkey or a donkey leading asses.

    This is after a 23-yr old decided to blow up a bank in Oklahoma city; “he described himself as a believer in “Three Percenter” ideology, a group that says it promotes patriotism and love of freedom and liberty.” Of course, this is yet another FBI sting, with them making a ‘bomb’ and delivering it to him, without which he might just have stuck to posting on Facebook, of course.

    Trump’s obviously decided he can only really rely on family and employees who won’t be awkward; Hope Hicks is next (‘interim’, because if she can’t rewrite the Trump messages well enough—who could?—she’ll get relegated to office tea maker). And he’s off to Phoenix Arizona to trash McCain next week. Even Fox is calling this his ‘re-election campaign’.

    Gawd, has any previous president started campaigning for a second term before even six months of the first was over?

  20. NatashaFatale says:

    Sq,

    “Gawd, has any previous president started campaigning for a second term before even six months of the first was over?”

    Well, it does ring a bell.

    Nixon to Dan Rather: “Are you running for something?”

    Rather to Nixon: “No, Mr President. Are you?”

  21. NatashaFatale says:

    9k,

    Oh hell yes, both natural and indispensable. My point, which I guess I didn’t make very well, was that a lot of people who would scream to high Heaven if Trump or one of the Trumpettes announced this as a new and desirable social order will gladly welcome it as a much-needed crackdown on the violent, anti-social alt-people “of many kinds.”

  22. Right.
    Set fire to something, blame it on “them”, install emergency—and now so obviously necessary—draconian measures of control.
    Bada Bing Bada Boom.

    Hard to believe nobody ever though of that before.
    Trump is truly a genius, breaking new ground every day. No wonder the denizens of Punditstan are confused and flailing.

    /snark

  23. Squirrel says:

    Well, Merck gone, Intel gone, AFL/CIO gone, UnderArmour gone . . .Campbell’s Soup . ..gone.

    Baby Trump’s response? (After going for Amazon on twitter as well): “I’ve sacked them all.”

    It’s like everything else. Even if the CEO’s of some of the USA’s biggest companies just stay silent, it’s not enough. It won’t save you. You have to say how wonderful and right he is. (About absolutely everything. Like glove-puppet Pence.) Were they just naive, conned, misinformed, or actually downright bloody stupid?

  24. Squirrel says:

    Fired by tweet of course. I vaguely recall (oh, how many years ago was that?) joking about ‘Government by Tweet’ (tweet first, consequences later) but it is, isn’t it?

    Now we can await Hope Hicks explaining it (away) officially. And she’s only had the job a couple of hours. . .

  25. Squirrel says:

    Oh, and 3M and Johnson and Johnson . . .But there seems to be some doubt as to whether he fired them or they were going to fire him . . . and he just tweeted his side first.

  26. NatashaFatale says:

    “I’ve sacked them all.” And good riddance. No one had deeper hopes for those people than Trump himself (“Our infrastructure will again be best in the world”), but it turns out they were all Deep State infiltrators, if not outright traitors aiming to make China great again. “…they’re not taking their job seriously as it pertains to this country. We want jobs, manufacturing in this country. If you look at some of those people that you’re talking about, they’re outside of the country. They’re having a lot of their product made outside.” Who knew? Who could have been expected to know?

  27. KevinNevada says:

    The result of the collapse of the two advisory commissions, is that the O.H. is more isolated than ever before.

    His own staff are telling reporters that the news conference meltdown was a result of his usual rage, that erupts whenever he is criticized or told what to do. (This disorder clearly goes back to early childhood. He’s been one very sick puppy, his whole life.)

    And now, previously discussed on these boards, we’ll have a fuller explanation.

    This book drops on October 3.

    You can pre-order your copy now, B&N have it for about $25, hardcover.

  28. NatashaFatale says:

    Kev,

    I see that among the “twenty-seven psychiatrists, psychologists, and other mental health experts” who are going to teach us to perceive the inner Trump are the “new journalist” (now a somewhat dated term) Gail Sheehy, the 91 year old Robert Jay Lifton (whom I once admired mightily), and the pop self-help therapy guru Rosemary Sword.

    I have two observations.

    I don’t need to see Trump psychojargonized (“unbridled and extreme present hedonism”, “malignant normality”, “pathological narcissism”) in order to pretty much get him. Anyone who thinks they need words they hadn’t learned by the age of 16 to understand Trump and what he means to the world is probably beyond help anyway.

    And I think that constraints on long-distance pseudo-psychiatric opinionizing serve a laudable purpose. The Goldwater rule is one such constraint, and I’d like to see more of them, not fewer.

  29. KevinNevada says:

    NF:

    I understand your objection, and I’ll read the book with caution myself.

    But, the 25th Amendment solution is, I think, far more likely to survive the street protests by Trump’s Chumps, its a lot faster and can be based on solid criteria. The needed proof is already out there in the clear, sufficient to begin.

  30. What “solid criteria” would that be?

    Psychiatric evaluation from a distance is not solid criteria (nor should it ever be), especially in a polarized climate like this with so many hordes of muppets clamoring for their 15 minutes of fame.

    The 25th ain’t gonna happen. Teasing actual “needed proof”, fairly and objectively, from the tangle of partisan lunacy now bedeviling our political structure is impossible.

    And we sure as hell don’t want to introduce legitimizing long-distance psychiatric (pseudo or otherwise) evaluations as a means of concluding whether someone should occupy this or that or the other position of responsibility.
    Shit is crazy enough already without adding that madness to the mix.

  31. KevinNevada says:

    9T:

    there is enough in his public conduct to justify the beginnings of a 25th Amendment process.

    If Pence and at least 8 Cabinet members were ready to sign that letter, the Congress could appoint qualified psychiatrists to perform a formal examination, and report back.

    And the 25th does not define the criteria, anyway.

    The declaration needs only state the view of the signatories, that

    the President is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office.

    The criteria by which they decide this, and by which the Congress confirms it, are NOT stated.

    It would take 2/3 of both chambers to confirm the removal. They have 21 days to act, and in the meantime the Veep is Acting President.

  32. Not going to happen.
    No way in hell 8 cabinet members, along with Pence, will sign off on something like that while close to 80% of GOP voters still support Der Führer.
    And a poll today says about the same proportion support his statements about Charlottesville and the statue thing. I can’t actually think of anything he could do or say at this point that will crater those numbers.
    I’m not even persuaded that anything Mueller can come up with would do it.

    And so long as they don’t crater, no GOP politician of consequence is going to put themselves on record as being directly instrumental in torpedoing Trump.

  33. Squirrel says:

    Point is 80% amounts to 50 or 60 million voters. It’s pure guesswork, but you could probably double that by including people who didn’t vote but either think the same way or don’t give a fuck. Both equally disturbing.

    He keeps stirring, doesn’t he? First about ‘historic’ statuary; then he can only hold off over Barcelona for an hour or so before he starts on about the ‘pig’s blood’ solution.

    There is nothing I despise more than kids who think talking big and brutal grows them muscles. They’re always the ones who run fastest and cry loudest.

    The man is just despicable.

  34. KevinNevada says:

    9T:

    I agree that a removal of the OH via the 25th is not going to occur soon, or under the current polling. His espousal of Nazi and KKK sympathies – continuing today – won’t lose him the votes of Republicans, in sufficient numbers. The GOP’s core voters have been conditioned since Nixon’s time to accept their racist allies, in fact many of them used to be the racist wing of the Democratic Party, until Lyndon Johnson went all civil rights on them.

    You keep missing one simple point, though. Elections in the US are not decided by the core voters of either party. (They can be greatly influenced by the turnout, or lack of same, of those core voters, that is how Hillary lost, the voters in four counties in two states abstained, in sufficient numbers, for her to lose.)

    Trump has already lost the swing voters and the more he doubles down with this compulsive bullying disorder, the more he will convince them that he’s an asshole. The polls that show this, that show how thoroughly he’s lost the swing voters, are the polls that should be scaring the crap out of Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell.

    The events of this past week cannot possibly have turned this around. Quite the contrary. The corporate world is turning away from Trumpism; racism and bigotry are bad for business these days. That will soon have an effect on contributions to candidates for the 2018 round.

    It looks like the next great rally of the Nazis will be in Boston, and after that they intend to abuse Berkeley and San Francisco. I doubt that either event will turn out well for them – or for Trump.

  35. Squirrel says:

    I can’t be bothered to go through the last two polls that thoroughly, but frankly, I find them depressing. There are anomalies: low percentages even of hard-core Republicans agreeing with ‘what they’ve heard of’ (note style of question) the KKK, Alt Right, White Supremacists etc etc, but conversely, and clearly contradictorily, a majority thinking BLM is wrong/beyond the pale at the same time . . .

    And broadly, whatever Trump’s done, said, forecast or failed to achieve, virtually nothing has changed over the last six months. 50-60 percent of Republican voters and a third of Independents see absolutely nothing to complain about. No more now than they did in February. Not even the prospect of a war has made any sort of dent.

    I’ve been watching US political polls for some years now; that left-right (or from my point of view as a European, centre-right-far right) political division just doesn’t change. Except that the ‘liberal left’ has become even more demonised as a far left further off the political spectrum even than the farthest right by the rightish voters.

    I really can’t imagine what Trump could do worse (not even encouraging vigilantes to kill in the cities like Duterte) that would change that. Nor can I imagine what any kind of reform or what sort of charismatic leader (assuming there was even a remote chance of them finding one!) of a Democratic Party could.

    I console myself with the (sadly utterly remote) possibility of Air Force One landing at Northolt one day and Trump being arrested at the bottom of the stairs by a couple of waiting bobbies for inciting religious and racial hatred contrary to Sections 29A and 29B of the Public Order Act. . .(I think.)

  36. Squirrel says:

    Time I bought a subscription to The Economist. (I can barely believe I can write that.)

    Mr Trump’s seemingly heartfelt defence of those marching to defend Confederate statues spoke to the degree to which white grievance and angry, sour nostalgia is part of his world view.

    Instead of grasping that his job is to honour the office he inherited, Mr Trump is bothered only about honouring himself and taking credit for his supposed achievements.

    Mr Trump has neither skill nor self-knowledge, and this week showed that he does not have the character to change.

    After threatening nuclear war with North Korea, musing about invading Venezuela and equivocating over Charlottesville, Mr Trump still has the support of four-fifths of Republican voters. Such popularity makes it all the harder for the country to unite.

    Of course, The Economist has been a *failing*, *SAD* magazine of no importance for all of its, er, 174 years of existence.

    Maybe ‘White grievance and angry sour nostalgia’ isn’t ‘part of his world view’ but all of it.

  37. NatashaFatale says:

    Sq,

    The Economist does matter. A good chunk of that immovable 80% are business people who read it. They also read Forbes, Business Week, Fortune, Barron’s, and especially the WSJ, but The Economist gets a lot of their attention. For the most part these are not people who will ever vote Democratic (not even if the Democrats ran somebody worth voting for), but they are people who could make a GOP primary fight in 2019 inevitable if Trump is still around and they’re unhappy enough with him, They have more money than most of us and they will spend some of it from time to time. They don’t want the Charlottesville 6000 working for them (most of them have made their peace with hiring minorities and they’re not going to welcome their workforce being ripped apart from the inside). Their influence on the Ryans and McConnells is disproportionately large.

  38. KevinNevada says:

    In the other thread, I just posted up this quote from Sen. Bob Corker, R., TN:

    The President has not yet been able to demonstrate the stability nor some of the competence that he needs to demonstrate in order to be successful,” Corker said, according to a video posted by local news website Nooga.com.

    “He has not demonstrated that he understands what has made this nation great and what it is today, and he’s got to demonstrate the characteristics of a president who understands that,”

    Last night on The Late Show, host Colbert and CBS’s John Dickerson discussed the obvious mental disorders of Trump. Both are Southerners (Colbert from South Carolina and Dickerson is Texan), and both understand in their guts just how deranged this spectacle has become.

    Both were raised in Klan country, for one thing.

    So was Sen. Corker.

    One more thing. Today, one James Murdoch, son of Rupert and head of 20th Century Fox, announced that he is donating $1 Million, personally, to the Anti-Defamation League as his personal response to this shitfest – Charlottesville, and Trump’s statements.

    Yes, that is Murdoch money. $1 Million. To the ADL.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Enter the answer in digits. If you are registered and logged in, this silliness will go away. Time limit is exhausted. Please reload the CAPTCHA.