Morning Briefing: Ya Boring, Donald Trump
For a lot of Presidents, approval ratings start to dip in their second years, even those who were fairly popular in their first year as President. As mid-terms approached, Reagan fell to 41 percent; Carter was at 42 percent; Clinton was at 41 percent; and even Obama fell from an approval rating of 63 percent on Inauguration Day to 44 percent by the time the midterms rolled around.
The novelty wears off. The opposition mounts their offense. Items in the agenda prove to be less popular than expected, and the passion fades. I mean, it wasn’t long after the 2010 midterms that even Jon Stewart was expressing disappointment in Obama.
With Donald Trump, though, we’ve got a guy whose approval rating is already in the low-to-mid 30s, and as we round the corner into his second year in office, I have to imagine the novelty has worn off for even some of his most passionate supporters. I mean: The man is a broken record. A year later, and he’s still talking about that goddamn Wall. For a guy who doesn’t speak to the press very often, he still manages to repeat himself an awful lot. He’s got no new material. It’s been 14 months since the election, and he’s still going on about Hillary Clinton.
The emails? Christ! Still with that? (Ironically, just shortly before Trump tweeted that last night, Kellyanne Conway went on CNN and said, “Nobody here talks about Hillary Clinton.”)
For a reality show President, the guy has gotten awfully boring. Most of the “interesting” or provocative characters have been fired or resigned, and now it’s just Trump, his Twitter account, and General Kelly’s perpetual scowl. Malaise, even with that base of his, will invariably set in. It’s like those Miley Cyrus and Justin Bieber arcs, where they did increasingly outlandish things until there was nowhere left to go and then people got bored with them.
That feels like where we’re headed with Trump. I mean, when he whips his dick out and measures it against the North Korean leader’s with nuclear war as the backdrop and we mostly just roll our eyes, you know the guy has started to run his course. If the approval rating of a popular President like Obama can drop 20 points in the first two years, where does that leave Trump? 25 percent? 20 percent?
I mean, look at this:
Talk about cherry picking. In that SAME poll, 49 percent of respondents gave credit for the current economy to President Obama, and 56 percent of respondents gave Trump a D or an F grade for his first year as President. Sixty-five percent of Americans in that same poll said that Trump does not share their same values.
He’s not helping matters by contradicting his own Administration. The White House released this statement last night:
This morning, Trump seemingly contradicted that very same statement after watching a segment on Fox News.
His people must have talked to him, because just minutes ago, he corrected himself:
Meanwhile, he continues to break with House Republicans on other matters, like NAFTA. And the hard-line House Republicans have taken on immigration reform may be a bridge too far with Democrats, which could result in either Trump capitulating to Democrats or risk the deportation of 800,000 people who are making valuable contributions to society.
It’s also difficult for Trump to refute reports that he spends eight hours of “Executive Time” each day watching TV when he’s been quoting “Fox and Friends” on Twitter for the last 3 hours. And that’s where we are with Trump. We’re reacting to his reactions to a cable news television show. Donald Trump has lost our interest.