AuthorTopic: WaPo OpEd Piece Suggests Trump Losing Credibility With Voters  (Read 67 times)

Offline Eddie

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WaPo OpEd Piece Suggests Trump Losing Credibility With Voters
« on: August 14, 2018, 12:45:11 PM »
On the Mueller investigation, that is.

As always, I have to consider the source, which is the Anti-Trump Newspaper de Bezos, but if the numbers are accurate, it does look like maybe his constant Tweets and denials are less than persuasive. Maybe he needs to Tweet more.


Trump’s ranting about the Russia probe isn’t winning over voters
By Jennifer Rubin
August 14 at 1:30 PM

President Trump’s daily outbursts about the Russia investigation — Witch hunt! Hoax! — and attempts to smear law enforcement aren’t fooling the large majority of Americans. By a margin of 55 percent to 34 percent, Americans disapprove of his handling of the investigation, according to a new CNN poll. Moreover, “[Special counsel Robert S.] Mueller’s ratings have also rebounded in this poll, with 47% now saying they approve of his handling of the Russia investigation, up from 41% in June. That shift stems from a shift among Democrats — almost three-quarters now approve of Mueller’s work, 72%, up 10 points since June.” Asked whether they think Russian interference in 2016 is a serious matter, 58 percent say it is a serious matter that should be fully investigated; 37 percent say it is an effort to discredit Trump.

Trump’s credibility is low — 56 percent say most or all of what he says about the Russia probe is untrue; 37 percent say most or all is true. By a margin of 56 percent to 38 percent, people think Trump interfered with the investigation. Some 70 percent think he should testify under oath; only 25 percent do not. Finally, 57 percent think Trump knew people associated with his campaign had contacts with suspected Russian operatives, while 36 percent did not.

Omarosa Manigault Newman has degraded the presidency, says opinion writer Jonathan Capehart. But President Trump let her into the White House. (Gillian Brockell/The Washington Post)

It is far from clear that any evidence, no matter how detailed and solid, will persuade a significant segment of Americans that Trump has, in effect, betrayed his country, lied to them and obstructed justice. The large majority of those who persist in believing the investigation is in fact a “witch hunt” are unlikely to be talked out of their cultlike support for whatever Trump does or says. These are the illogical unpersuadables who gobble up every cockamamie explanation and buy into virtually any conspiracy theory so long as it exonerates the president. Alas, the latter description — illogical, unpersuadable, gullible — describes the lion’s share of Republicans these days.

The polling data should inform our assessment of the political ramifications of the Russia probe. First, because such a large majority of Republicans will refuse to accept any evidence of Trump’s wrongdoing, the strong likelihood is that the majority of House and Senate Republicans will stick by him. Some will disbelieve any and all of Mueller’s findings; others will say Russian help is fine. Still others will buy the “king can do no wrong” rationale and reject the idea that Trump could have obstructed justice. Second, even if both the House and the Senate flip, it’s virtually impossible to imagine that a two-thirds majority of the Senate will ever favor removal from office. (Censure and a resolution in support of prosecution after Trump leaves office may be cagier moves for Republicans.) Third, it behooves Democrats to start thinking of ways, if they win majorities in one or both houses, to force Trump to choose between the presidency and financial transparency (e.g. release of his tax records, disgorgement of foreign emoluments). If Trump cannot make money off the presidency, perhaps it will lose its allure. Fourth, understanding the cultish support the president enjoys in his party should tell potential GOP challengers that the chances of a successful primary are small to nonexistent. If Trump won’t leave, a Democrat or independent candidate will have to beat him in 2020.

In sum, Trump is a political problem for the country. Can the non-cultist voters organize, turn out and defeat Trump and his Republican enablers? If they cannot, no amount of evidence or threats of impeachment will save the republic. There is no white knight (Mueller or anyone else) to save our democracy. That is on us — at least the rational among us.
What makes the desert beautiful is that somewhere it hides a well.


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