We’re in very strange waters, and this makes it so difficult to predict the future. The President has survived things that would have decimated politicians in the past. He insulted John McCain, and specifically attacked his experience as a war hero, yet supporters, even those in the military, stood by him. He bragged about sexual assault in a more vulgar way that we’ve heard from most politicians. He threatened to use the justice department to jail his political opponent if elected. He blamed President Bush for 9/11. And all of that was before he got elected. Any one of those would have destroyed the candidacy of any normal candidate, but Trump wasn’t a normal candidate. Likewise, there have been so many things that would have crushed a sitting president, and it doesn’t seem to be doing too much harm to him.
To be fair, when I say he’s impervious, I may be exaggerating. His approval numbers are downright awful (the link points to a tracking poll, so the awful numbers today, August 16, 2017, might be very different if the link is followed in the future). He sits at 36% approval. For comparison sake, on this day in office, Nixon was at 62%, Reagan was at 63%, Bush 41 was at 69%, Clinton was at 44%, and Bush 43 was at 57%. Clinton’s ratings were considered awful, and media reports about Clinton’s frustration were abundant, but by this point in his first year, he was climbing out of the low (37%) that he hit briefly in early June and ended up with a first-term average of 50%. Trump’s approval has fallen since he took office, and doesn’t show signs of rebounding (please ignore the FoxNews headlines that made recent false comparisons). In fact, his current 36% is the lowest he’s been, and the tracking polls very likely don’t reflect all that’s happened over the past couple of days.
Yet, it seems that few, especially within his own party, have turned on him. Polling of republicans show that he has strong support, and that his abysmal numbers aren’t because republicans like him any less than they’ve liked other republicans, but because democrats and independents like him far less than they’ve liked other republican presidents (and like him less than republicans have liked other democratic presidents). I wrote about this before, and it doesn’t look like the numbers have changed much since then.
But we might have seen a little change over the past few days. I’m totally gun shy in thinking that this will do him in, I still think he’s impervious, but this seems to be sticking a bit more than the past stuff has.
Here are some (many from a collection at CNN; others from a FaceBook post that I started asking for people to share things they saw), and I may continue to update this list as more come to light. Of course, none of these words mean anything if they continue to support him and his agenda, and if nobody actually does anything to oppose him, but here are some comments made over the past few days. These give me some hope.