Reality Check #5 — It’s not going to get better

The latest surveys all testify to Trump’s growing unpopularity:

  • One third of Americans give his performance a grade of “F”
  • The most credible polls of favorability show him with a rate of from 36 to 40%, meaning nearly two-thirds of Americans have a neutral to negative assessment of him as Commander-in-Chief
  • Surveys show that his core supporters are increasingly dismayed by his ceaseless belligerence, willful ignorance, and continuing managerial incompetence.
Insider surveys suggest most knowledgeable pundits and political professionals expect his popularity to continue to sink, as additional negative revelations about the collusion of the Trump campaign with dark Russian interests are discovered. His endless Twitter war on just about everybody doesn’t bode well either. But long term, meaning in his case, the next three to six months, it’s Trump’s abandonment of his campaign promises that will cause more of his voters to abandon him.

All this negative news has fueled a fresh wave of gloating by Democrats and unceasing TV commentary with a strong flavor of “I told you so”, delivered by otherwise intelligent politicians and party pros who should know better. Sure, the mentally unfit buffoon in the White House is down, but he’s far from out.

Investigations like those underway always take many months to reach a conclusion. Watergate, the most famous of Congressional probes, required over a year to produce results, and only did so due to the more or less accidental discovery of Nixon’s secret audiotapes. In the present case, Trump’s allies control both houses of Congress, and could soon have a hammerlock again on the Supreme Court. The opportunities to hinder or outright block an investigation’s slow progress will be manifold for Trump and his cronies, as evidenced by the crude obstructions of House Intelligence Committee Chairman Nunes over the past two weeks.

Get real, Democrats, liberals, idealistic Bernie backers, and all you millions of women now living in fear for your freedom and health care: do not expect any of the President’s troubles and mistakes to lead to his impeachment this year, even if Congressional (or an independent commission’s) investigators succeed in uncovering prosecutable crimes or high misdemeanors by Trump or his immediate staff.

The truth is we’re stuck with Trump for at least two years. This makes him an ongoing threat to the health and well being of our country. Even if his legislative agenda stalls due to the infighting among Republican factions, Trump can still do serious damage with his Executive Orders, and even more harm when his Cabinet Secretaries use their power to slow or halt the enforcement of established law.

And if the thought of the would-be dictator trampling more of our rights, and attacking the poor and working classes is depressing, never forget that his replacement by Vice President Pence, should that unlikely scenario play out, would be even more of a disaster for the country.

But don’t give up, fellow progressives. Your Truthteller’s bleak outlook isn’t necessarily all bad.

We have roughly eighteen months to prepare for the the 2018 Congressional election, our real chance to resist Trump and his pussy-hating Republican allies. It’s vital we turn out the left and moderate vote in enough districts to take back the House majority and send Ryan and his pals packing. Funding for Democratic candidates is strong. The continuing string of unforced and intentional policy and legislative errors of Trump/Ryan/McConnell will drive more and more voters away from the Republican ranks, or at least encourage them to stay home in November of next year.

So this is the silver lining in an otherwise gray sky for the next year and a half. Simply by doing the job of getting out our voters, we can stop the anti-progressive legislative and policy agenda in its tracks. Even if the right wingers take a few more Senate seats next year, we can still prevent any further erosion of our rights through our control of the House.

Reason enough to roll up our sleeves and do everything possible to encourage grass-roots progressive action in all the House districts where we have a chance to win. And don’t underestimate the odds of retaking control of the Senate, as the Trump “strategy” team makes one miscalculation after another, alienating senatorial voters in the states in play. Many, many Republicans are deeply offended by Trump’s looseness with the truth and his closeness to Russia. It needs to be our mission to make those Senators who condone his behavior and policies pay for their betrayal of the rest of us.