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Will Trump’s presidency survive?

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So far, President Trump has gone through a Chief of Staff, Press Secretary, two Communications Directors (Spicer counts, along with Scaramucci’s disastrous 11 days), a National Security Adviser, an FBI Director, nearly an Attorney General (the jury is still out), a Homeland Security Director (he tapped the serving one to be the new CoS) and a Chief Strategist. He’s been in office just over 200 days.

This pace of turnover is completely unsustainable.

No large organization could long survive this kind of turmoil, and the United States requires, above all, stability. Free countries look to America for stability in a world filled with Venezuelas, Syrias and Brexits. America under Trump is not stable.

Trump’s presidency is based on about 25 percent of Americans who love him no matter what he does. It’s based on constant entertainment, lots of light with no heat–or heat without light depending on how you look at things. A Republican Congress, under Trump, has been able to do nearly nothing besides appoint a new Supreme Court Justice. Great: Neil Gorsuch is wonderful, but not enough.

Rex Tillerson, James Mattis and Vice President Mike Pence have spent the last six months traveling the world (but not at the same time–someone has to mind the Romper Room Oval Office) cleaning up Trump’s Twitter-diarrheic messes. Tillerson has unfilled posts at the State Department that Steve Bannon blocked because he the candidates didn’t pass his dogmatic filter.

Now Bannon is gone, along with Reince Priebus and Sean Spicer. The White House is run by Trump, his family and a couple of four-star generals. I trust the generals–mostly.

Either some discipline will be instilled, or Trump’s presidency is in danger. It’s not necessarily in danger from impeachment, because they’d have to find something impeachable. Congress does have the Constitutional authority to impeach for whatever reason it wants, but it doesn’t have the political backing to do it.

I haven’t looked at numbers, but I’d be willing to bet that the polarized elements of the American polity were just as polarized under Presidents Obama and Bush 43 as they are now. I’d bet that about 25 percent of Americans would have supported Barack Obama if he had murdered someone in the street, and another 25 percent opposed him no matter what he did. With the exception of a six month period after 9/11, I think the same thing about George W. Bush.

But Trump has made the polarization so much worse. Were Congress to attempt to impeach him, I believe violence would erupt.

So where does that leave us?

The over/under

Some of the writers here and myself have had a discussion of where things might go from here. Jesse Broadt has written her own piece calling for Trump’s removal under the 25th Amendment, section 4. That’s certainly a possibility, but again, it takes 2/3 of Congress to ratify.

Here’s our take.

Paige Rogers:

I walked out of the voting booth and, as I was walking to my car I kept thinking, “This is the 1st time I’ve voted and not been excited about it.”

I think America would end up in a civil war if Trump were to be removed, and maybe even if he we’re to resign on his own accord. Regular people became so disenchanted [and unfortunately, were sometimes disenfranchised] by the time Obama’s 2nd term ended. A vote is a vote and I think it should stand, bc I’d like for our Democratic process to remain intact. I am praying for our country and all our leaders!

Eric Dixon:

Trump is a stubborn and iconoclastic man who will be determined to prove his detractors wrong. He is capable of having (and likely to have) isolated but significant successes. 

In fact, Trump’s presidential political trajectory (if not his philosophy or temperament) can follow Ronald Reagan’s. Reagan’s approval ratings dove early in his first term as the economy fell back into recession in 1982-83, and his re-election was in great doubt going into the summer of 1984. Likewise, if Trump gets his troubles “out of the way” early in his first term, he has plenty of room — and plenty of time — to recover to a point where he can rehabilitate his presidency and his re-election prospects. I think he will serve a full term. 

A full second term. 

Dan Alexander:

I think he will serve the full first term, unfortunately. Then, sensing his own demise in the 2020 campaign, he will not seek re-election. I think he would rather step down than suffer a loss. 

Jeremy Frankel:

To be honest at that point I was sort of warmed up to Trump and was very happy about my vote because how scared I was of Hillary. I don’t regret my vote but I was pretty upset that he was the best choice there.

I do still reiterate that it seems that the one thing people fear more than Trump is the Left and the media (Hence many conservative voters). Which is why his base hasn’t shrunk much at all, throughout all the chaos.

Me:

I don’t think Trump can change. I don’t think the country can suffer him for 3 1/2 more years. The immovable object will continue to resist the unstoppable force.

I believe Trump will realize that the government cannot work with him as its leader. Congress will cease to function as a lawmaking body. The executive branch will cease to function in any capacity other than a administrative factotum.

Other nations will take advantage of American instability. We may find ourselves in an unintentional, limited but intense war. We might find ourselves withdrawing like cowards in the face of much weaker nations.

In the end, I believe Trump will resign, simply because being president will not be an enjoyable or uplifting experience any longer. The rallies will cease to be a salve for his ego. He will be alone, isolated, and unable to focus on anything but his many enemies.

He never wanted to win anyway.

Some closing thoughts

Eric Dixon supplied some happy thoughts for the weekend at the close of what’s been a terrible, awful, tumultuous week full of death and uncertainty. We could use some sunshine.

I don’t think the nation is past a tipping point.

Why? Consider what the vast majority of Americans, of all backgrounds, are doing this weekend.

They’re not thinking about Charlottesville, statues of dead men or Steve Bannon.

They’re thinking about vacations, going to the beach, a NASCAR race or the upcoming football season.

Plenty of young people are thinking about…how can I say this delicately?…reproduction. 

The supermarkets are full, gasoline is half the price it was in 2008, electricity is plentiful (and often cheaper than it used to be), the Internet is running, half the country has smartphones.

Trump could resign tonight, and none of the above will change. 

These are all signs of a confident, content — if somewhat under-informed — people, aren’t they?

Serial entrepreneur. Faith, family, federal republic. One nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.

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