Monday, June 18, 2018

Illustrated News Flash - 4 in 5 Republicans have joined The Cult of Trump

Trump's cult
GOP bows to Trump

We’ll get to the Mournday Mourning Illustrated News in a moment. First, let’s reflect on The Cult of Trump.

Back in January I asked, and answered, Will America ever be great again? Not so long as the Grand Obstruction Party holds power.

Will America ever be great again?

It certainly won’t be after another three years of Trump. Ann McFeatters in Friday morning’s Daily Star details what Trump already has done to us in just one year, Taking the measure of Trump.

Many Americans have regarded Donald Trump as a buffoon or a bankruptcy-prone business guy with a flair for reality TV who ultimately would do little harm. Many now think he is the most dangerous president in U.S. history.

McFeatters provides a list (that I’ve condensed) of reasons to have such a fear:

Trump disparages the rule of law, is systematically ruining Americans’ vital respect for the integrity of institutions, made the country a laughingstock among former allies, taunts North Korea’s unstable dictator, is unpatriotic, is undermining the role of the federal government, is using the presidency to make millions, has declared war on the First Amendment, does not know what he is doing, is still trying to ban and deport immigrants because of their religion, is stacking the courts with people who are loyal to him, and he believes he is above the law, is widening the gap between rich and poor, and is about to complete one year of a four-year term.

And all that was before he trashed the G7 and embraced a murderous dictator (Kim) and dumped military readiness exercises on the advice of another enemy of the U.S. (Putin). So will the GOP finally wake up and reign in Trump?

Trump is unpopular, more than just about any other president the polls tell us. He is reviled by progressives and held in low regard by independents. However, most Republican voters still support him. The Gallup poll, Presidential Approval Ratings – Donald Trump, from the last week of 2017 has the numbers. Overall Trump’s approval stands at 39%. (The average approval for other presidents at this point in their term is 64%. Trump’s approval is the lowest by far of any of the last nine presidents.) However, when party affiliation is considered we get a different picture. Only 9% of Democrats approve of Trump, and only 34% of independents approve. But a whopping 82% of Republicans approve of Trump.

So I suspect that the Republican leaders in Congress continue to suck up to Trump because they know their base. As long as Trump goes along with the GOP agenda, Republicans will not turn on him no matter what the evidence says about his character and no matter how much more damage Trump will do to our nation. The question then becomes whether the much-anticipated 2018 blue wave will be powerful enough and durable enough to overcome the Republican advantages mentioned by Krugman.

What this means, among other things, is that expecting the GOP to exercise any oversight or constrain Trump in any way is just foolish at this point. Massive electoral defeat – massive enough to overwhelm gerrymandering and other structural advantages of the right – is the only way out.

Like other cult leaders, Trump demands and receives absolute loyalty by meting out punishments to those critics seen to be disloyal. Read the report by Jonathan Tamari of The Philadelphia Inquirer: Primary results show the GOP is all in on Trump (reprinted in the Arizona Daily Star, June 17, 2018).

In the election of 2018, don’t count on congressional Republicans to do anything to reign in Trump.

Now on to today’s Illustrated News from the AZBlueMeanie at Blog for Arizona.

No comments:

Post a Comment