December 15, 2016
This morning Trump got upset with Vanity Fair editor Graydon Carter, reports about Russia meddling with the election, and continued scrutiny into his business interests. 60% of Americans think he should tweet less.
In a broader sense, I think these tweet outbursts can be taken one of two ways. One is that he’s a mastermind that knows how to keep the spotlight on himself, either to keep his opinions in the media or to distract from other news. The other is that he’s completely undisciplined and there’s no greater strategy.
I’m wondering if both are half true. I don’t think there’s a greater strategy behind his tweets, but I do think he manages to make it work sometimes. But only sometimes. If most Americans think you’re tweeting too much, and every time you attack someone they are hailed as an anti-Trump hero, I wonder how well it’s working.
Speaking of strategy and going against all conventional wisdom, I can’t really understand Paul Ryan’s strategy regarding all the programs he wants to cut. He must know these programs are popular. So if he has looked at a poll recently, there are a few theories for what he’s doing:
- He thinks once the bills are passed they’ll turn popular
- He just wants to show courage but knows the bills can’t pass
- He can’t afford to do anything else — the House wants it
Again, I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s a blend of all three. First, the Republicans ran on this platform and won, so they need to follow through.
And perhaps giving it the old college try helps him to check the item off his list. If the bill passes, he succeeds. But if the bill doesn’t pass, well, it’s those pesky Democrats getting in the way.
But what if it does pass? Does he believe deep down that cutting social security benefits for millions of people, including seniors, is a good idea? Not just politically, but morally? Americans give up a chunk of their paycheck every month in order to have it paid back later in life. If the government just refuses to pay it back, and people hear that the rich get big tax cuts, I just can’t see that playing well. Plus it’s just inhumane. People count on that money. Their money. Not Paul Ryan’s.
I just don’t see any political way out of this. Unless the Democrats stop them, I guess. In which case the GOP can continue talking big without ever having to follow through. I guess that could be the plan. But I’m not sure.
Some new poll numbers from CBS today:
34% say Trump will be “good” or “very good” as president
23% say he’ll be “average”
36% say he’ll be “poor”
In comparison, these were Obama’s numbers:
63% said “good” or “very good”
25% said “average”
7% said “poor”
And here’s George W Bush after a bruising Supreme Court challenge: (http://www.cbsnews.com/news/poll-mixed-expectations-for-bush/)
43% said “good or very good”
42% said “average”
12% said “poor”
We’ve talked about being a divided nation many times. And it’s true. But despite this divided nation, Obama is popular. Despite this divided nation, most people want Trump to release his tax returns and the same number disagree with his cabinet picks. Most Americans are concerned about Russian hacking and think we should investigate. Most Americans think the rich need to pay more of their fair share.
So we’re not divided on everything. I can’t find the last time an incoming president had polls this low. Trump has some fans, and he has some detractors. But we can’t obscure the greater truth here. He has more detractors than fans. And he doesn’t seem to be winning the middle. Can he turn that around? Does he want to?
Last thought: Bolton. There’s no way this guy is passing the nomination process. Is there? Is he just there to make Rex look traditional in comparison?