With public impeachment hearings yet to come, according to the Washington Post this morning, Americans sharply divided over whether to impeach and remove Trump from office, Post-ABC poll finds:
I wish to draw your attention to the percentage who think “Trump did nothing wrong.” That would be 35 percent. Not 43 percent. Not 40 or 41 percent.
It’s 35 percent who still buy into Trump’s alternate universe.
35 percent, or something close to it, could well be Trump’s floor of support. Or the floor could be just a little lower than that. I don’t think it matters.
You will also note that 55 percent say he did something wrong, but some of them say it wasn’t that serious.
And ten percent of our population are out to lunch.
Ask yourself two questions. Are public hearings likely feature anything, anything at all, that will move the numbers in Trump’s favor? And are public hearings likely to provide information tending to make Trump’s position worse, in the public mind?
Meanwhile—even before public hearings, 18 percent of self-declared Republicans have concluded that Trump ought to be impeached and removed from office:
In Poll warning for Trump and Republicans: Danger ahead, Jennifer Rubin provides commentary and additional detail. She observes,
If they drill down on Trump’s approval numbers, Republicans might go into full panic mode. His approval numbers are atrocious among women (31/64), white college graduates (38/61), women college graduates (32/67), suburban dwellers (41/56) and independents (38/57). Among suburban women he trails 33 to 63 percent. He is surviving almost entirely on white evangelicals (74/23). …
All in all, if Republicans ever break free of their irrational fear of Trump and his base …, they might recognize that saving him is becoming incompatible with saving themselves.
True. How very true. But what Ms. Rubin does not wish to point out—because Ms. Rubin is about as tendentious as a pundit can be—is that, as long as a very large portion of their constituency still lives in Neverneverland, deep-sixing Trump is also “incompatible with saving themselves.”
As I have said before, they are damned if they do and damned if they don’t. They are the walking dead.
Sargent Weighs In
In The GOP defense of Trump is getting more corrupt. Here’s what’s next, Greg Sargent lets us know “What Trump wants from the Republicans”:
But the ultimate complication for the GOP might come from Trump himself. I submit that when Trump rage-tweets that we should “READ THE TRANSCRIPT!” and threatens to read it aloud on television, it signals where he’d really like this to end up: With Republicans unabashedly defending what he actually did do.
In other words, Trump wants Republicans to say: Trump was damn right to pressure Ukraine to investigate Biden, because Biden is corrupt. Trump himself has at times unabashedly told reporters that, yes, Ukraine should investigate Biden.
Trump has toggled between that and hiding behind his generic “corruption” claim, probably because his advisers told him the latter is safer. But I guarantee you his instinct is to go all the way.
Trump regularly calls on Republicans to fight to “win.” He wants them to throw aside any squeamishness about using all the tools at their disposal — including over the manipulation of our foreign policy and large swaths of the federal government — toward that end. Everybody is corrupt; it goes without saying that Biden and Democrats are; all that matters is who manipulates the rules more skillfully, and as a result, triumphs.
I don’t know whether Trump will end up going quite this far. But as more corruption is documented, Republicans will find it harder and harder to explain away — even as Trump’s demands that they go all-in behind that worsening picture of corruption grow louder and more insistent.
Like I said, folks.
Dead men walking.