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Tuesday, August 29, 2017

What the Fuck, America?

A new Pew poll finds that Trump not only is incredibly unpopular, but that he was last year, too. Per WaPo:

Polling Donald Trump is one of the most difficult and confusing exercises in modern politics. In Trump, we have a guy who won the presidency by surprisingly beating the polls in key Rust Belt states, of course. We also have a guy who maintains the loyalty of his base despite major flaws that this base readily acknowledges. As I wrote in June 2016, nearly half of Trump supporters — 46 percent — said one or more of the following: He had made a racist comment, was prejudiced and/or was unqualified to be president. Not half of all voters; half of his supporters.
Pew asked American adults how they felt about Trump's conduct in office: Whether they “liked” it, had “mixed feelings” or “didn't like it.” It won't surprise you to see about 6 in 10 (58 percent) don't like it; that tracks with the number of Americans who disapprove of Trump overall.

The other two pieces of the pie are where things get interesting. According to Pew, another 25 percent of American adults say they have “mixed feelings,” and just 16 percent “like” it. Only about 1 in 6 voters say they like the way Trump has conducted himself as president.

So how did he get enough people to vote for him to make it over the top in the Electoral College? Look at this:

Straight-up hate for Hillary Clinton.

As I write this, I just received an e-mail from Hillary's mailing list:

Like many of you, I've been following the news coming out of Texas with a heavy heart this week. The damage and destruction left behind in the wake of Hurricane Harvey is devastating, and my thoughts are with everyone affected.
We've also seen some incredible acts of kindness. From the rescue workers and volunteers who have gone without sleep for days, to Texans of all ages setting out in boats and kayaks to rescue their neighbors, to elected officials on the ground working together to put community ahead of political party, the best of America has shown up in Texas.
The Houston Chronicle has been collecting ways to help -- it's easier than ever to click and donate (I just did!).
Our friends and neighbors in Texas are counting on us, and I know we won't let them down.
Thank you,

She's never running for anything again, but she's using her resources to do good for people.

Meanwhile, the walking orange disaster is using the suffering of others to sell fucking hats:

Trump arrived in Corpus Christi wearing the white “45/USA” hat that’s available for $40 on his own website, This marks the third time in four days that the president has worn on-sale campaign merchandise during events related to Harvey, including two previous meetings for which the White House released photographs.

How can nominating literally the most admired woman in this country in the last three decades end up electing the most loathsome person in America? Obviously, we know the answers at this point, but this is just sticking in my craw today. I've had some degree of optimism lately that we will start to turn things around in the next several months, but I keep wondering if Trump is an anomaly, or whether Obama might have been. Coincidentally, the talk of the liberal intellectual interwebs is about a post that Jack Balkin wrote about exactly that question today:

A week after Donald Trump was elected in November 2016, I predicted—using Stephen Skowronek’s model of cycles of regime politics—that Trump would turn out to be a disjunctive president. He would preside over the end of the Reagan regime, just as Jimmy Carter had ushered in the end of the New Deal/Civil Rights Regime and Herbert Hoover had presided over the end of the long period of Republican dominance following the Civil War. That was not because Trump was anything like Hoover or Carter—both honest, intelligent, sober, and serious-minded men. It was rather because the Reagan regime is in a slow-motion collapse, a point I made in a speech at B.U. Law School in the fall of 2013 (and published the following year). The Republican Party, I argued, was in the midst of either a civil war or a nervous breakdown.
As a political regime grinds to its conclusion, the dominant party turns to heterodox outsiders who promise to restore past greatness, but instead find themselves overmatched by circumstance. They unravel the regime and create an opening for a new regime led by another political party.
Like Hoover and Carter, Trump is overmatched by forces beyond his ability to control. He has not ended the processes of decay; if anything, he has accelerated them.
The Trump Administration is now in its eighth month. My analysis remains largely unchanged, and recent events have only confirmed its basic outlines.

Are we waiting out a storm, or are we postponing the inevitable? I still lean towards the former, but as I wrote back in December, American electoral history keeps repeating itself. Republicans can continue to cheat, like they always do. Ralph Nader happened in 2000 and some people were dumb enough to fall for charlatans like Jill Stein in 2016. Americans can get wrapped up in anti-(small and large)democratic/Democratic propaganda, and through tactics like voter suppression and gerrymandering might very well ensure Karl Rove's permanent conservative majority. Or John Judis and Ruy Teixeira could be correct and that the long arc of history is bending in the Democrats' direction. Will America ever learn? A year ago, it felt decidedly like the Bush years taught us a permanent lesson. But apparently 2001-2008 didn't kick us hard enough in the ass and America said, "Thank you, sir, may I please have another?"

This crap is making me bipolar.

In related news, fuck Jill Stein and anyone who ever supported her.

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