Tag Archives: Donald Trump

A reminder: Donald Trump is not invulnerable

I don’t often post poll numbers, but I have too many scaredy-cats in message groups and social media who need reminding that the president does not have anywhere near Ronald Reagan’s talent for projecting benignity. The opposite, according to Ed Kilgore:

There has been a lot of discussion in political circles about Donald Trump’s job-approval ratings, what they portend, and Trump’s Electoral College strategy for 2020, which doesn’t necessarily require a popular-vote plurality. But in the end, of course, the conjunction of the Electoral College with Trump’s state-by-state popularity is where the deal will go down….

….Civiqs shows the president’s net approval ratios being underwater (i.e., negative) in 10 states he carried in 2016: Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Michigan, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Texas, and Wisconsin. If that were to represent how the 2020 elections turn out, Trump would have a booming 119 electoral votes. And it’s not as though he’s on a knife’s edge between victory and defeat in all these Trump 2016 states where he’s doing poorly: He’s underwater by 12 points in Pennsylvania, 11 in Michigan, and nine in Arizona, North Carolina, and Wisconsin. And there’s virtually no indication that states that narrowly went for Clinton in 2016 are trending in Trump’s direction: His approval ratios are minus 18 in Colorado, minus 15 in Minnesota, minus 12 in Nevada, and minus 27 in New Hampshire. These are, by the way, polls of registered voters, not just “adults,” so they should be a relatively sound reflection of the views of the electorate.

Which is why the meek coalescing around Joe Biden strikes me as a load of codswallop. Donald Trump is so loathed by suburbanites that no one on the left will repel them; at worst they’ll stay home, and these people — white affluent women — accounted for only a chunk of the electorate that mobilized against the president in November. Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders, and, to a far lesser extent, Kamala Harris, have the policy and the charisma to chip away at the president’s feeble support. If Trump sees an uptick, blame white evangelical who distrusted him in 2016 but embraced him with open arms in 2018.

Just don’t underestimate the strength of social media psy-ops and voter disenfranchisement.

The media’s fascination with Trump voters

“But the press isn’t hyper-solicitous of the views of black voters,” Jamelle Bouie writes, proving what a tonic he is in a New York Times editorial page that publishes The Venerable Brooks and Bret Stephens. “Cable news doesn’t constantly turn to swing-state focus groups of black Democrats to gauge their opposition to the president. And Democrats in Congress aren’t worried about demobilizing a group that may determine the next election. Just the opposite.” Continue reading

The battle is joined

On May Day, 1980, Fidel Castro announced what became known as the Mariel boat lift with a speech explaining why he was opening Cuban borders to anyone who wanted to leave:

He who has no revolutionary genes, he who has no revolutionary blood, he who does not have a mind that adapt to the idea of a revolution, he who does not have a heart that can adapt to the effort of heroism required by a revolution: We do not want them; we do not need them. [cheers and applause] And at any rate, they are an insignificant part of the people

Yesterday, NPR’s George Allen headed to Miami’s La Carreta, the Westchester landmark to which any reporter heads when he wants to Feel the Pulse of the suburban Cuban-American community. The president’s remarks stirred those quiet hearts.

JOSE ANTONIO VEGA: I am a hundred percent with him – OK? – because he’s a real American.

ALLEN: That’s Jose Antonio Vega, who came to the U.S. from Cuba in 1962. Here’s Alberto Gil, another Trump supporter who emigrated from Cuba in 1980.

ALBERTO GIL: For me, he love this country. He do it every single day for make America great again. If we put the American people first, that’s what we need in this country.

ALLEN: Gil says Trump’s right in telling those who don’t like it to leave. They can go to a socialist place, he says. We have Russia. We have Cuba. We have Venezuela.

Standing at the counter, Santiago Casamayor was sipping from a tiny cup of Cuban coffee. He’s registered as an independent and didn’t vote for Trump, but he says he’s with him now. Casamayor says Trump’s comments aren’t about race.

Do you see any differences? These comments are merely representative. I have long since concluded that what infuriated many Cuban-Americans who fled in the early sixties wasn’t Castro’s golpe de estado — Cubans had become inured to coups — but that Castro, a traitor to his class, wasn’t their kind of revolutionary; they support violence against dissidents and get weak-kneed at the mention of authoritarianism.

Last night was the culmination of a modern Republican Party that began in Philadelphia, Mississippi, not far from where Southern sadists killed seven Freedom Riders; it was here where Ronald Reagan, smiling and ducking his head, appealed to states rights with the winks and nudges that Lee Atwater would’ve approved. As recently as yesterday afternoon, the bootlicking remains of the journalist once known as Jake Tapper aired anonymous quotes from Democratic House members sharing disappointment that they were being coerced into defending the four congresswomen on whom Donald Trump has turned his rage. As if they were any other fight involving Democrats than unseating the president. As if passing a “positive agenda,” whatever that means, in a GOP-controlled Senate matters. As if changing the mind of any coward citizen who thinks, “Yeah, the president went too far, but Omar and AOC….” There is “yes, but.” I don’t want those people voting for any Democratic candidate I support, nor should this candidate lift a finger to woo citizens like this.

What we saw in North Carolina yesterday vaporized any notion that Donald Trump’s appeal rested on economic anxiety; he won by barely seventy thousand votes in November 2016 because of the racial anxieties of white people and thousands of dense, insular, and racist minorities, of which Miami-Dade Cubans are a part. I’m ashamed of them, and I want no association with them.

If Trump is a racist, they all are

George Conway, one of the Torquemadas in pursuit of Bill Clinton twenty years ago and husband of Kellyanne, has had an epiphany about the president. Too little too late. No one cares about GOP flaks like Conway outside the Beltway unless a Hollywood producer too cute and clever for his own good builds a cable show around a married couple with different political persuasions. Continue reading

Our capacity for imagining the unimaginable

Traditional media has not adjusted itself to the Trump era, I’ve often noted. Accelerating the entropy begun at the height of the Iraq War and continued by the Obama White House’s campaign against whistleblowers, the Trump administration’s insistent, aggressive, and insouciant mendacity overwhelms a news outlet’s corrective efforts, yet, because those outlets need the clicks, they keep interviewing Kellyann Conway, Mick Mulvaney, and Wilbur Ross as if they were respectable bureaucrats instead of charlatans and grifters. Continue reading

The sissiness of the Democratic Party

“The future of the Democratic Party, and by extension the country, may well depend on whether the party is finally willing to ditch its fretful posture of peacemaking and give war a chance,” Alex Pareene writes in “Why Are Democrats Such Cowards?” for The New Republic. From that paragraph: Continue reading