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How long can this keep going on?

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The purpose of this thread is to facilitate a discussion of the following issue:  Almost every day now, one or more stories appear in the national media that would each individually constitute a bombshell-level scandal in the context of any previous presidential administration.  Since it’s hard to see the causes of these stories (rampant corruption, equally rampant incompetence, Titanic-level staff leakage regarding both of the former, legal proceedings flowing from all of the above etc.) changing in any significant way as long as Trump is president, the question becomes: how long can his administration last at this rate?  The floor is yours.

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  • Cash & Cable

    I mean, if the Dems swept the Montana, Georgia, and South Carolina special elections, Trump could be gone by Labor Day. We need to throw everything we have into Montana and Georgia at the very least so we can put the fear of God into the GOP.

    • King Goat

      Good lord, those are not good places for us to win. I hope not much hinges on that.

      • rfm

        Those are tough races. I hope we can take one (I honestly kind of think MT-AL might be the best chance, but I’m feeling a little better about GA-06 with all of these bombshells – though if things taper off after a few weeks I could see that receding a la the pussy tape) but I’m almost more worried about people making grave pronouncements about the state of the party if they don’t win. Clueless assholes like Matt Stoller were pronouncing GA-06 as “in the bag” for Ossoff even before the runoff and some claimed the fact that he didn’t win outright was evidence of the party’s incompetence. This is Newt fucking Gingrich’s seat! It’s been deep red for a generation and was at the forefront of the last partisan realignment. Ossoff losing narrowly there is still a big deal.

        • King Goat

          Yeah, I’m all for trying in these places, but let’s not oversell our prospects.

        • Karen24

          This is also my concern. In the real world, we’re winning by making the Republicans throw a great deal of effort into races in crimson districts. So long as we’re making them bleed money we’re doing the right thing. Winning would be nice, but it’s not yet essential. (The VA governor’s race is essential, though.)

          • King Goat

            I don’t know about ‘essential,’ but I’d second that winning VA, and I’d include NJ governor races are really important. I hope that in being fired up to win and send a message to Trump candidates are not chosen that play to that better vs. ones that would win the general in those states though.

    • Joe_JP

      So Trump stays long term if the Democrats lose real tough races by a percentage point or two? Tough odds there.

    • Quaker in a Basement

      The underlying premise is correct. The Trump administration will survive until the congressional GOP sees him as a liability against its future.

      • Pat

        You got it, Quakes. Trump only goes when Republicans decide to pull the trigger. Impeachment requires 2/3 majority, or 67 senators, to convict and remove from office. It’s a very high bar, even if we take the House back in 2018.

      • Domino

        It a choice between a rock and a hard place – Trump will continue to act as anchor on the Republican brand, for obvious reasons (notably being ignorant and incompetent). However Trump’s die-hard supporters will never give up on him, believing he’s been under siege this whole time by a whole host of nefarious and malignant actors. So if they vote to impeach him they’ll be furious at the GOP for giving in to the “witch hunt”.

        So either option is poisoned – but those are their only choices.

        • john fremont

          And of course, if it gets to the point where Trump resigns, his resignation speech will be all about how the “swamp”, the coastal elites, came after him and never gave him a chance. He will then have another rally with “his people.” The good people that still believe in this country and they will rally to it. Unless of course , the economy tanks and his supporters see the equity in their house or their 401k’s disappear a la 2008-2009.

    • djw

      Any empirical link between the outcome of those special elections and the length of the Trump presidency is, at best, weak and tenuous.

    • socraticsilence

      MT is winnable, a bit of a disclosure but I’m running some voter contact programs in the state if anyone wants to make calls.

      • bluejohnnyd

        Say someone had some free time, what would be the best place to look for ways to chip in volunteer hours from across the country, in your opinion?

  • jim, some guy in iowa

    this is all speculation, becaucse I don’t know nothin’ about nothin’, but my guess is he lasts til 2019 if the Ds do well in the midterms and til 25 if not

    • tsam

      Still don’t see 67 votes in the Senate to actually get rid of him. We’d almost have to sweep every seat up for election in ’18 to make it happen.

      • jim, some guy in iowa

        more like he blows his head gasket out of frustration

        • tsam

          Well, his past track record is loaded with scandal, bankruptcy, shit going 100 kinds of haywire all at once–I sort of think he’s comfortable with the chaos and has some way of coping with knowing the ship is sinking and he’s going down with it.

          • ap77

            True. Except he is now being embarrassed daily on a worldwide basis. We’ll have to see whether his defense mechanism of “FAKE NEWS” holds up. He is an imbecile and a psychopath, so it may well.

            On the other hand, the guy has apparently always been insanely paranoid that everyone was laughing at him. Now they really are.

          • It also seems, though, that the only people he can come up with to staff his administration are scoundrels and incompetents (with significant overlap). I know that nationally we have an almost limitless supply of both, but at some point he has to run out of ones who are willing to be so publicly embarrassed.

          • Mike Furlan

            Exactly right. He can handle it for the rest of his life, just the same way he has handled it until now.

            He is not getting impeached. Get used to having him around.

            Worse yet, and my own personal nightmare is that he gets lucky and is then hailed as a success. Then we have him for 8 years.

      • ap77

        Oh, there is literally no chance the Senate would convict.

      • revrick

        Even if the Democrats won every Senatorial seat in 2018,they’d still be 11 votes short of 67.

        • searcher

          Depends how many sitting Senators resign in scandal :)))

      • MacK

        If the Democrats won every Republican Senate seat up in 2018, it’d only take them to 56 seats, 11 short of enough to impeach.

      • DTIMG504

        I think he’ll likely resign at some point – probably when he’s facing certain impeachment (in the House) and all of his financial records and tax returns get subpoenaed.

    • My thoughts exactly. Trump is the new normal. Unless you’re a Democrat, that is, and then it’s back to life under a microscope.

    • gmack

      There are now fairly credible reports that Jared Kushner is the “person of interest” being investigated. I think that things will become considerably less predictable if Trump’s family members are getting indicted and are facing jail time.

      • BubbaDave

        The Donald would still have the pardon power, no?

        • Pat

          It may not stick, if the FBI can show that he’s pardoning Kushner to protect his own interests.

          • efgoldman

            if the FBI can show that he’s pardoning Kushner to protect his own interests.

            Except it doesn’t. Once pardoned. Kush (or anyone else) can be compelled to testify because fifth amendment protections don’t apply.

          • twbb

            Even if the pardon sticks, that doesn’t necessarily stop the investigation.

            And personally, I don’t particularly care about whether Kushner individually goes to jail. Frankly, as incompetent and untrustworthy as he is I’d much rather Trump listen to him than Bannon or Miller, so as long as those two are in the White House I’d rather Kushner stay unindicted.

  • sibusisodan

    My take: this administration can last until Congress withdraws their support.

    Which won’t happen until Republican voters have <50% approval for the administration.

    That approval line won't be crossed for a while (months?). But once it is, things will move quickly.

    I'm fully prepared for this prediction to be out of date in 12 hours.

    • Mike Furlan

      Smart money is on Republican control of Congress for a long time. Voter suppression will be cranked up as needed.

      • Voter suppression can be countered. These are stupid, venal people we are fighting here and they can be outmaneuvered.

    • D. C. Sessions

      Remember that the American public ignores Congress and the President gets the credit or the blame for anything Congress does.

      As soon as Trump lose traction with Congress his power everywhere else goes to zero. Example: theoretically he pays out of pocket for the perks (like free travel) when he’s off the clock. All of those trips to Florida? To New Jersey? All that? Billable. Obama and every President before him paid out of pocket for non-State Dinner guests, etc.

      That includes the cost of keeping his family in Trump Tower NY with hot and cold Secret Service.

      Trump is on track to roll up real billions in service charges when Congress stops looking the other way on his expense account. Which, despite his pretense of being a real billionaire, he can’t pay. Now imagine if they decide to put a lock on all of his income in violation of the Emoluments Clause pending a court order. Yes, that includes the money he’s using to pay the interest on the loans to the Russian mob (which he can’t admit because obvious) and of course the Benghazi treatment.

      Hell on Earth ain’t half of it. “Not fun any more” is a world-class understatement, and “when the going gets tough, the Trump gets whining.” He’ll find some urgent reason to resign in very, very short order.

    • MacK

      I’ve run the numbers – Trump would pretty well have to Polk sub-23% to have less than 50% of Republicans (82% Republican approval when he’s at 38-9% overall.) To get to 50% Republican dissaproval seems infeasible since his 55-58% disapproval levels in General gets him only to 15% or so of Republicans.

  • ap77

    Indefinitely.

    I think folks are way too optimistic over the prospect of Trump going anywhere. Obviously, I really hope I’m wrong.

  • The Temporary Name

    He dies of a heart attack in about three months when the Secret Service finally spanks him live on camera.

    “BAD BOY.”

  • Downpuppy

    The key in all this is that the Republicans knew last summer that Trump was on the Russian payroll & didn’t care. Not only didn’t care, but actively stopped the news from getting out.

    I still see this thing blowing up, but the blast crater is going to be even bigger.

    • Yeah. There’s never been any doubt that there was a coverup, or actually multiple coverups, but I think we’ll still be astounded by how many people in the administration, Congress, and the wingnut welfare circuit were willing to be part of it.

    • Epistemic closure is complete. No findings or recommendations by any Special Prosecutor will sway anyone who watched the 2016 campaign and decided to vote for Trump. Ryan and McConnell have more than demonstrated that there is nothing too risible or scandalous that it cannot be endured in the service of their kleptocratic agendas. And if the MAGA brand is safe with the base, why should they change course now?

      I would love it if some Constitutional scholar made a case that a finding by the Justice Department that a foreign power sponsored a Presidential candidate and placed their agent in the White House was grounds for overturning the election, but then I remember Merrick Garland’s swearing-in and I LOLSOB into my Jameson.

      • humanoid.panda

        “Epistemic closure is complete. No findings or recommendations by any Special Prosecutor will sway anyone who watched the 2016 campaign and decided to vote for Trump”

        This is nonsense. Even now, 4 months in , a significant chunk of people who voted for him disapprove of his performance.

        • Ithaqua

          Not sure how much of that significant chunk is really due to the last couple of months, though; a lot of people voted for Trump as the lesser of two evils, and although they disapprove of his performance might well say “yes but Hillary would be much worse”. If he shot Mueller on national TV they would say “I disapprove, but at least he’s not running a child sex slave ring out of a nearby pizza parlor.”

          • humanoid.panda

            Maybe, but fact remains that he started his presidency at something between 45-50% approval rating. Now, no poll shows him above 40. Would some of the people who peeled off still vote for him in 2020? Sure, but he can’t afford a single defection..

        • But don’t you understand? We are already dead! It is our doom to be forever under the cruel heel of Machiavellian geniuses like Donald Trump and Paul Ryan!! There probably won’t even be elections!!! Trump will cancel them!!! Because that’s something he can do!!!! JUST LIKE GEORGE W. BUSH [email protected][email protected]

          • twbb

            Well, we ARE all typing these from the camps they threw us in right after the election, as some LGM commenters sagely predicted.

    • twbb

      I think they suspected, but I don’t think they legimately knew. Even McCarthy’s statement, while funny/tragic in retrospect, did not sound like something they clearly knew but rather something they suspected.

  • dmsilev

    How long will it take for Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell to both decide that they’re better off metaphorically knifing Trump in the back (in the eyes of many of the GOP primary base) than suffering through his continued Trumpiness?

    • farin

      4-8 years. Partisanship’s a helluva drug.

      • John Revolta

        Yeahbut………………Party before Trumpy

        • Breaking the 11th Commandment of Saint Ronaldus Magnus gets you excommunicated. Trumpy is Party at this point.

          • Dr. Ronnie James, DO

            Trump got elected by repeatedly and prominently wiping his ass with the 11th Commandment.

            • humanoid.panda

              And W got nominated by throwing sludge on McCain, and Romney got nominated by destroying whomever stood in his way..

            • N__B

              Republicans pay exactly as much attention to the 11th Commandment as their evangelical base pays to the other ten: great weapon to use against other people, without any other meaning.

      • Downpuppy

        Not so much partisanship in the old sense as conspiracy

        ZEGS & the Turtle both knew last summer what was up. Instead of stopping it, or just letting it be stopped, they took their cut & did all they could to spike the story

        Trump goes down, they go down

        We gotta burn the whole GD Republican Party to the ground

  • efgoldman

    Is it legal to host a game of chance on this website?

    • Certainly not! No office pools here!

    • Monty

      not illegal, but probably distasteful.

    • petesh

      See mine below (or above) at 8:46 or so.

  • Q.E.Dumbass

    Most likely he’s out by 2019. He very easily might be out the White House by December 31. I can’t see him getting re-elected in 2020.

    • I can’t even see Trump running in 2020. Continuing as Prez, maybe, but not bothering to run.

      • ap77

        He loves running. He gets to hold fascist rallies. Those are real fun! LOCK HER UP!

        • farin

          Why, he’s running right now!

      • mongolia

        i’d bet that even if he’s impeached he’d run again, so i’m just going to say that i can’t see him not running if he’s still there in ’20. that’s the one part of the job he actually likes doing

      • MacK

        Consider his personality and the resilience of his Republican support. I can see him concluding that since the nomination is secure, why not? That is in fact the Republican nightmare scenario, he runs in 2020.

      • Jean-Michel

        I can’t see him not running. He can never admit defeat, and while there’s been plenty of times in the past when Trump has pulled an Ah Q—lost bigly, walked away, and mentally convinced himself that he actually won—the presidency is too big for that. He’ll be the laughing stock of the world without the generous compensation (the presidency and the power that comes with it) that allows him to overlook that for now. Take that way from him and he has nothing. If he’s still alive in 2020, he’ll run again no matter what. If he’s still in office, he’ll run again even if his approval ratings are stuck in the low thirties or worse, and if he’s removed from office or somehow compelled to quit, he’ll run to stick it to the backstabbing GOP establishment. And if he can’t get the nomination, he’ll run as an independent. One way or another the GOP is stuck with him; unfortunately the rest of us are too.

        • twbb

          If he is convinced he’d lose, he won’t run. He would rather come up with some insane excuse and rationalization and not lose, than run and lose.

          • N__B

            “I will not run again so that I can spend more time with my fam…[breaks up laughing] Who wrote this? Kush?”

            • twbb

              “I’ve done what I came to do — believe me I’m not a career politician. And you know I need to get back to my business empire. I’m just so successful as a businessman. Billions and billions of dollars. So I need to pay attention to business, you know. Believe me, I’m the greatest businessman ever.”

  • AMK

    Answer is that same as it was on Jan 20th–as long as the congressional GOP lets it, which is to say as long as the GOP voting base bubble holds.

    I think it’s fair to say though that just about everybody expected Trump & Co to at least approach within striking distance of Bush II-level professional veneer after a few months. But the real kicker is that they seem to be getting worse, not better.

    • They have no idea what that level is so they’re not even trying.

      Sorry. They’re Not. Even. Trying.

  • Just a matter of time before Dr. Bornstein types up a note excusing Donnie from his official duties. And who knows, it might even be legitimate. We’ll see how Trump’s “stamina” is on this trip. Maybe his organic battery will run out overseas.

    • efgoldman

      Just a matter of time before Dr. Bornstein types up a note excusing Donnie from his official duties.

      Regardless of what any other actors (Mueller, congress) do, I believe he leaves the WH strapped to a gurney.
      He’s not getting any younger, he’s not getting any healthier. the stresses of the “presidency” aren’t getting any less; his diet and lifestyle are what they are. And apparently he hasn’t been to a real medical professional in forever.

      • XeckyGilchrist

        Strokes out straining on the toilet, betcha.

        • N__B

          He’ll die as he lives: full of shit.

          • In the end, Lord Tywin Lannister President* Donald Trump did not shit gold.

      • Redwood Rhiadra

        Wishful thinking.

        Trump is only a year older than Reagan was. And Reagan went the full eight years, with the same Presidential stresses, and also not getting any younger or healthier, and lived another sixteen more *after* his term was over. And yes, Trump’s diet is worth, but even if it cuts his life short by a decade compared to Reagan, he’d still survive two full terms.

  • Ronan

    Four more years! Four more years!

  • King Goat

    What would be better, Trump impeached or Trump riding four years like this and going down in 2020? I think the latter myself.

    • SatanicPanic

      Impeached. It’s not good to have 2-3 years of kids getting to voting age thinking the government is a joke.

      • As long as the Electoral College remains in place, this is a lost cause.

        • King Goat

          The EC is an abomination, but I wouldn’t say that. We can win PA, WI and MI. We usually do.

          • humanoid.panda

            American political history began in 2010 and skipped 2012. A well known fact!

            • efgoldman

              American political history began in 2010 and skipped 2012

              Skipped 2008, too.

        • gccolby

          As long as the Electoral College remains in place, this is a lost cause.

          Indeed, Democrats have never won a presidential election under the Electoral College system, let alone 17 just since the Civil War, or four of the last seven.

          • I did not mean that as long as the Electoral College remains in place Democrats winning the White House is a lost cause. I meant that as long as the Electoral College remains in place hoping that kids (and adults) don’t consider government to be a joke is a lost cause.

        • SatanicPanic

          I’m just saying it’s bad for the future to have kids getting confirmation of the old saw that the government can’t do anything right.

      • Davis X. Machina

        They’re the sons and daughters of the same people who had ‘Don’t vote, it just encourages them!’ as the sig on their very first email accounts, twenty years ago.

        This rot goes deep.

        Irony can kill you just as dead as tyranny.

  • keta

    The tipping point comes when GOP elects no longer feel backing Trump is healthy for their own political future. Period.

    As far as when that comes (and it will come), I would guess right around the same time Trump tries to fire the entire Congress because they’re all “a bunch of poopy-heads who don’t like winning.”

    So, late summer.

    • aab84

      I don’t really get this at all. There’s a reason Trump’s approval with Republicans is still so high, and there’s a reason he’s more popular than, say, Paul Ryan. And it’s not just Fox News.

      Trump, at least in his rhetoric, is much more attuned to the Republican base than Republican members of Congress. He combines racial/gender/religious/ethnic resentment, a promise to provide a robust welfare state for good white people, and government intervention to give good white people good jobs. That’s clearly what his base wants, and to the extent there’s discontent, it’s a result of his adoption of Paul Ryan’s agenda.

      Given all that, Republicans would be committing electoral suicide if they tried to throw Trump over. I honestly think something like 70% of them would lose primaries. And Republicans are always, always more scared of their base than the public at large. They won’t do anything, no matter what.

      • King Goat

        I don’t think that’s what motivates them, though I don’t deny it’s important. They support Trump because they see liberals attacking him and getting upset about what he does and says. That’s essentially what they’ve become now.

        • aab84

          This doesn’t explain how he won the primary. I know it was a 17 person field and opposition to him was divided, but he won it without breaking a sweat. Republican primary voters got behind him before he was just the guy that pissed liberals off, and they did it even though most of the other candidates (and Fox News) said he wasn’t a real Republican and didn’t believe in Republican ideology.

          There’s lots of evidence that Trump’s stated views are actually popular with Republicans and tap into the missing quadrant of American politics (economic populism combined with racism and xenophobia). If Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell try to take that on, I don’t see how they win.

          • King Goat

            He won without, I think, a single majority until it was down to three, right?

          • gccolby

            he won [the primary] without breaking a sweat.

            This just isn’t true. The outcome of the GOP primary was in doubt for quite some time.

            • aab84

              He won 37 states, had almost three times as many delegates as the next highest vote getter, and was the presumptive nominee with like 10 states left. By March, the GOP’s only hope was to deny Trump a majority of delegates and then take it away from him at the convention. Seems pretty easy to me.

              • Aaron Morrow

                Unlike the Democratic primaries, the Republican primaries’ allocation of delegates was non-proportional; if the party had chosen a non-Trump candidate by March Trump could have been beaten.

                • Right. For the majority of the primary cycle, even majorities of Republicans disapproved of him. If their primaries hadn’t used first past the post, he’d probably have lost.

                  And his approval ratings among Republicans are sinking; they’re currently down to 75%. Epistemic closure is certainly real, but we shouldn’t overestimate its strength.

      • efgoldman

        Trump, at least in his rhetoric, is much more attuned to the Republican base

        You recognize that the Republiklown base is a distinct minority, right? That HRC won the popular vote by almost three million? That the Amber Asshole is in the WH only because all the quirks of our electoral system came together at once?

        • altofront

          Yeah, but the question on the table is what it would take for GOP politicians to actively seek his ouster. This is like asking what it would take for them to commit mass suicide, politically speaking, since not one of them can win reelection if they enrage the Trumpenproletariat.

          There is no turd-filled taco bowl Trump can serve up that the GOP congress won’t swallow. And the only way he leaves before 2020 is if he’s forced to resign (via serious blackmail, not congressional action) or he has a massive coronary.

  • aab84

    Until at least January 2021, barring medical issues.

    • ap77

      Tragically, this is where I would put my money.

      • Thom

        Yep. And given the longevity of his parents (88 and 94), physical medical issues are not exceedingly likely.

        • Cassiodorus

          Was his father as out of shape as he is?

          • Thom

            Don’t know (and my guess is probably not, but maybe unlike DT he drank, and smoked?)

            • cato the censor

              I don’t know about his father’s health, but from pictures I’ve seen of him in old age, he stayed thin, unlike his illustrious son. Trump’s diet is crap, he never exercises, and he’s afraid of stairs and ramps because he’s losing his motor control. He continually throws raging, screaming temper tantrums in public and private, never a healthy thing at any age, especially so at 70.

              I still say the best hope for America and mankind is that he strokes out. All the other options seem too distant and hard to achieve.

  • nemdam

    He’ll be gone before the end of year. Might not even make it through summer. This is only accelerating and lots of the outlandish rumors are either true or close to the truth.

    The word “impeachment” is already getting thrown around. Republicans aren’t even pretending to defend him anymore. The White House is preparing for impeachment talks. (http://www.cnn.com/2017/05/19/politics/donald-trump-white-house-lawyers-research-impeachment/index.html) I have a bridge to sell you if you think Mike Pence isn’t implicated.

    Calling this Nixonian or comparing this to Watergate is invalid as this is categorically worse. There’s no precedent for this, and I see no reason to deny the acceleration of Trump’s downfall other than cynicism.

    • King Goat

      I think Trump is an awful cretin, and I hope this turns out worse than Watergate, but how is it as of now categorically worse? In Watergate they had a smoking gun tying the President to a burglary and subsequent break in. Is there anything like that here now?

      • nemdam

        I think being an agent of a foreign power with your party complicit is worse than a burglary.

        • King Goat

          I agree, my point is that *at this point* I don’t think that can be shown as clearly as Nixon’s involvement in Watergate was.

          Don’t get me wrong: if there were a scintilla of what’s already out there about Obama or another national Dem the right wing media machine would be repeating, magnifying, recklessly extrapolating and distorting it to call them something worse than Stalin. But my point is that the way these things are won is when it becomes so clear that even a fair number of people on the other side go, ‘oh, crap, yeah, that looks bad.’ Are we there yet?

          • nemdam

            With Trump admitting the obstruction of justice, that’s basically equivalent to the smoking gun tape.

            But I do concede one difference. By the time the tape came out, many of Nixon’s aides had resigned and been indicted. So far, only Flynn, Manafort, and Page (some during the campaign) have resigned, and no one has been indicted. But that’s only a matter of time. Further corruption will continue to come out, and the evidence will be overwhelming.

            • King Goat

              I’m not sure the admission of obstruction is clear and convincing yet.

              • If the report on what he said to the Russians can be authenticated, that would seem to be as clear an admission as possible short of “I, Donald J. Trump, fired James Comey in order to interfere with the FBI’s investigation”.

              • efgoldman

                I’m not sure the admission of obstruction is clear and convincing yet.

                In the end, I think he and his whole crime family get caught in financial crimes (money laundering, fraud, doing business with forbidden entities, maybe tax problems) rather than obstruction or other activities of his presidency.

      • Shalimar

        The crimes are far worse. All that is missing is the tape. There is no way Trump wasn’t directing everything.

    • Craigo

      There will not be 67 votes in the Senate to remove him. If he’s gone, it’s because he took the “You can’t fire me, I quit” route.

      • King Goat

        You think even if subsequent investigation demonstrably shows, for example, that his taxes come out and he’s found to be heavily tied to Russian interests tied to Putin and more ties are found between the Kremlin and his campaign/administration that there wouldn’t be 67?

        • Craigo

          Yes, because I understand that 46+1+1 is less than 67.

          • nemdam

            If there’s nothing that will compel Congress to remove Trump, isn’t the logical conclusion that we no longer live in a democracy? I have a hard time escaping that conclusion if you really believe there’s nothing that would remove Trump.

            • Murc

              If there’s nothing that will compel Congress to remove Trump, isn’t the logical conclusion that we no longer live in a democracy?

              How does this follow?

              • nemdam

                They can just rig future elections. If the President is above the law and Congress doesn’t care, why not just rig the elections Putin style? A nation where the rule of law doesn’t apply to the President is not a democracy.

            • djw

              If there’s nothing that will compel Congress to remove Trump, isn’t the logical conclusion that we no longer live in a democracy?

              Uh, no? “A group of people with poor judgement were elected, and exercised predictably poor judgement” is a not infrequent outcome of democracies.

              • Executive officers acting illegally with impunity is a hallmark of illiberal democracies, though. The rule of law is not necessarily inherent to the concept of a democracy but it is part of the definition of a republic.

                • Davis X. Machina

                  “It’s for the good of the nation.”

        • Let’s conduct a simple exercise. Go down the list of current GOP Senators and identify the 19 Republicans who are going to vote to convict. (never mind how we get a Republican House to impeach)

          • King Goat

            If clear ties to the Kremlin are shown? I think Sasse, Graham, McCain, Portman, Flake, Murkowski, Graham, Gardner, Collins, Heller, Toomey, Alexander, Corker, Johnson, and maybe Mike Lee. Three short.

            • bw

              You listed Graham twice. Did you mean Hatch in one of those spots?

              If those 16 are in, I have to wonder whether Rubio and Cruz will also be, not because of any principles (of course) but simply out of a desire for payback.

              • ForkyMcSpoon

                Good point.

                Cruz, however, will not make his decision based on such questions. He will make it based on what sets him up for 2020 better.

                …which makes me conclude that Cruz is most likely a vote to convict Trump if there are at least 66 other votes.

                If we’re lucky, in 2019 we won’t need 19 Republicans. On the other hand, our only obvious gains would come from Heller and Flake, so we’d still need to dig deep into red territory.

            • efgoldman

              If clear ties to the Kremlin are shown?

              If either a state or federal grand jury indicts him for financial crimes, the position becomes untenable even for Yertle McTurtle and his merry band.

      • cindylouwho

        Right. The only way he leaves before 2020 is if he resigns. And the only way he does that is if he has a face-saving way out. At some point McConnell, Ryan, and maybe even Jared and Ivanka convince him that his skills are wasted sitting behind a desk in the Oval and that instead, he should be out doing rallies every single day! For the wall, or whatever. Do it for your country, Donald.

    • rea

      Calling this Nixonian or comparing this to Watergate is invalid as this is categorically worse. There’s no precedent for this

      “Hegel remarks somewhere that all great world-historic facts and personages appear, so to speak, twice. He forgot to add: the first time as tragedy, the second time as farce.”

    • “Calling this Nixonian or comparing this to Watergate is invalid as this is categorically worse.”

      I heard John Dean saying the other day that most of the White House staff wasn’t directly affected by the Watergate scandal, as they weren’t involved in the crime or the coverup. With this crew, though, everybody is involved in some crime or other and once one person flips and sings the backstabbing is going to be a sight to behold. There is clearly no honor, to say nothing of respect or camaraderie, among this crew.

      • nemdam

        And don’t forget this scandal will bleed over to the Congress. Watergate never did that.

        • Why do people keep saying Congress is implicated here? Where’s the evidence? They’re certainly complicit in his ongoing outrages, but where’s the crime?

          • efgoldman

            where’s the crime?

            Follow the money. ALWAYS follow the money.

    • Karen24

      I don’t want him out. I don’t want the Dems to pursue impeachment unless we have such damning evidence of a crime so bad absolutely no one could reasonable argue with it. We cannot repeat the reaction to Watergate and the Lewinsky scandals. This has to stick.

      • nemdam

        I do want him out, but I agree on the standard of evidence. I hope it is even more overwhelming than Watergate. The good news is due to the arrogance and incompetence of this administration, I’m pretty sure it exists.

        • paul1970

          “Administration” is a moot point.

      • D. C. Sessions

        Because 67 Senators ain’t happenin’ unless the Republicans have decided that Trump is more of a political liability than an asset, it would be crazy for Democrats to take any visible leading role in removing him via impeachment. Let the PoG step up and go for removal and let the Democrats negotiate terms.

        Whatever, Democrats have to be talked into helping solve the Republicans’ problems, at least as far as the general public sees it. The AHCA fiasco is a good example: the Hastert Rule has now turned on the Republicans. The want to be the beginning and the end in Congress, to cut Democrats out of the process. Well, now they own it, 100%. Same goes for getting rid of Trump. It’s not like Democrats are in any rush to have President Pence.

      • I agree. I was just livid at some people at Jezebel the other day who were in high dudgeon over Elizabeth Warren not calling for impeachment. What she said was as far as any Democrat should be going right now: we need answers, an independent investigation is necessary, and it’s possible there have been impeachable offenses.

        I felt the same in 2006 when Nancy Pelosi was Satan for not supporting impeaching Bush. I remember what happened in 1998.

  • Joe_JP

    Who knows.

    • wjts

      Not me. There’s no one in control. We’re face to face with the man who’d sell the world.

      • efgoldman

        We’re face to face with the man who’d sell the world.

        Only if he can produce the title, first.

  • Scott Mc

    Congress can stay irrational longer than you can stay solvent.

    • Hogan

      NICE

  • thebewilderness

    Investigations are slow and methodical things.
    June of 1972 to August of 1974 is how long the Nixon scandal lasted.
    Reagan and Bush 41 crimes were never resolved.

    • keta

      I don’t believe you can compare Watergate to the Trump presidency for an accurate estimation. Too many things are different:

      – dissemination and intense focus of news, esp. the internet/24 hr. news cycles
      – the sheer number of leakers in the Trump admin., and the loyalty of those closest to the presidency
      – the ego and stupidity of Trump vis a vis Nixon
      – Nixon lived for the office; Trump has admitted he preferred his previous life

      • ForkyMcSpoon

        Yeah, there’s a decent chance that if things keep up at their current pace, Trump’s flailing gets wilder and accelerates the problems…

        If he tries to start throwing other Republicans under the bus to save himself, things may escalate quickly…

        While it’s possible that this has a slow burn, Trump is very volatile and it’s quite possible that at some point it just explodes.

        Nixon was cool as a cucumber compared to Trump.

  • Gary K

    PredictIt current prices:

    Trump not President at year-end costs 28¢, pays off $1 (was selling for 33¢ two days ago).

    Trump impeached this year costs 22¢, pays off $1.

  • thebewilderness

    At this point I am more concerned with how many Generals and Congresscritters are serving the interests of Putin and their international sponsors.

    • Davis X. Machina

      Why do you hate peace-and-friendship?

      • thebewilderness

        Criminy! I’m a Feminist. We hate everything.

  • Karen24

    I make no predictions, but I actually hope until the end of his term. The real problem here is the GOP itself. They were okay with an unfriendly foreign power meddling in the election so that they could get tax cuts and ban abortion. We also now have a significant number of people who are open fascists. We have to get rid of all of them, and the only way to do that is to have them eat each other. After Watergate the Republicans simply killed off their entire moderate wing. We can’t have that happen now; we have to make conservatism as an ideology toxic forever. The best way to do that is to obstruct, and let them fight with each other.

    • Joe_JP

      I actually hope until the end of his term.

      I hoped that Trump would be the nominee since felt it was the best shot at Clinton winning. Better yet, that she surely would win. I think him staying makes Russian Roulette look like good odds.

  • Hells Littlest Angel

    Colonel Kurtz had a good long run.

    • John Revolta

      His methods were…….more sound than this bunch

      • BiloSagdiyev

        Ooh! I almost forgot!

        “The hair! The hair!”

  • brad

    It’s really impossible to say. The gaffes he’s about to make on foreign soil will be of an unpredictable magnitude.
    But I don’t see him surviving the summer, at this rate. At some point the calculus for McConnell and Ryan switches from trying to survive with him to doing as much as they possibly can with President Pence before they lose the House next fall.

  • bender

    I think his presidency will be over by November 2018.

    Not by impeachment. Not by the 25th Amendment unless he has has a disabling stroke or other conspicuously incapacitating health problem. (A popular President who had most of his mental faculties but couldn’t speak or had MS or Parkinson’s would probably be given the necessary help to finish out his or her term. Trump is not popular.)

    Most likely by voluntary resignation Palin-style, orchestrated by billionaire GOP donors. Possibly after being charged with a crime in the regular way, followed by resignation under pressure. Possibly by assassination, either overt or covert.

    If Trump’s misconduct leads to a physical attack on our country or a military disaster that can’t be covered up, I don’t know how that will play out.

    • brad

      The only way they’ll manage a resignation is if he’s given a blanket pardon (along with his family) and a billion+ dollar payoff on the way out.

      Which I’d say is impossible to see happening, but so is everything else.

      • bender

        Not at all impossible, if billionaire GOP donors are managing it. They want to give him and his family a blanket pardon, and Pence will do it, for the same reasons that Ford pardoned Nixon. The $billion is findable; they spend more than that on elections and lobbying. It wouldn’t have to be a billion cash; some of it would be picking up Trump’s debts and funding his Presidential Library, the latter being tax deductible. Throw in some right-wing titles and honors and there ya go.

        The Democrats would not be involved in any way except not doing anything serious to block it.

        • Pat

          Pence can’t pardon Trump for acting as an agent of a foreign power while running for (and becoming) President. Pence clearly benefited from the arrangement.

      • Ahenobarbus

        “Mr. President, you’ve accomplished more in two years than any President in history has done in eight years. You’ve made America great again. There’s nothing more for you to accomplish in this job, and the media will never appreciate you. You should leave now just to show them how bad things will become without you.”

  • keta

    Perhaps, just perhaps, on leaving his cocoon of constant Fox news fawning and sychophants stroking his ego twenty-four hours a day president Trump gets out into the real world and interacts with real people who are trying to solve real problems and all this reality creates a sort of shock to his system and this jolt in turn creates an epiphany in which Trump realizes he has a rare and golden opportunity to exert the power of his office and his country to help solve suffering not only in America but around the world and that handled adroitly and with grace this Hurculean task would confer upon the undertaker perhaps the highest standing ever accorded a political leader and his works would become legend and would live on eternally in songs and tales of his munificent magnificence.

    I’d call this a “pivot,” and note president Trump would then go on for as long as he damn well pleased.

    • Karen24

      You must live in a state with legal weed. ;)

      • LeeEsq

        It seems more like something somebody would say under LDS than weed. Weed would be more irreverent.

        • Davis X. Machina

          Oh, yeah, blame the Mormons.

        • keta

          …something somebody would say under LDS…

          I’d never mess with that shit, man. I heard it will fuck. you. up.

          • Jordan

            Come on, why don’t you let me give you a lift. I have a notorious weakness for hard luck cases. Thats why I work with whales.

            • rm

              Can you tell me where to find the nuclear wessels?

          • BiloSagdiyev

            Be careful, it’s a gateway drug. The next thing you know you’re wearing funny underwear, babbling about miracle seagulls, and visiting tabernacles.

    • Hells Littlest Angel

      I don’t ordinarily go in for “FTFY” but:

      Perhaps, just perhaps, on leaving his cocoon of constant Fox news fawning and sychophants stroking his ego twenty-four hours a day president Trump gets out into the real world and interacts with real people who are trying to solve real problems and all this reality creates a sort of shock to his system and this jolt in turn creates an epiphany in which Trump realizes he has a rare and golden opportunity to exert the power of his office and his country to help solve suffering not only in America but around the world and that handled adroitly and with grace this Hurculean task would confer upon the undertaker perhaps the highest standing ever accorded a political leader and his works would become legend and would live on eternally in songs and tales of his munificent magnificence.

      I’d call this a “pivot,” and note president Trump would then go on for as long as he damn well pleased.

    • LeeEsq

      And then Tiny Tim says “God bless all of us.”

    • efgoldman

      I’d call this a “pivot,” and note president Trump would then go on for as long as he damn well pleased.

      And I’m an NBA center

  • JDM

    Given that doing something is up to the national Republican Party, it can last as long as they have no morals and no backbone, and that’s their defining characteristics now.

  • xq

    I think an external crisis could hurt Trump pretty badly. Trump’s core support hasn’t really been tested yet. All the crises so far were predictable from how he campaigned and don’t really affect people’s lives. But his admin is filled with incompetents. What happens if he bungles a natural disaster, or a major international crisis, or an economic crisis?

    • bender

      When.

  • randomworker

    We kept asking this during the primary. It kept going on and on.

  • postpartisandepression

    how long can his administration last at this rate?

    You forget the crucial piece in this whole thing – he is a republican he will last forever. No republican will EVER do the right thing.

  • LeeEsq

    Hoping that Congress will impeach Trump is like hoping the Electoral College would not elect him to the Presidency.

    • Malaclypse

      This.

  • King Goat

    The real bombshell-level scandal is this Foursquare video ad which keeps running. Ugh.

  • Sly

    ow long can his administration last at this rate?

    Until the scandals start implicating one or more of his kids.

    • bender

      Good point. That may make a difference to him. It will certainly make a difference to them.

    • Does son-in-law count as “one … of his kids?”

    • Larrry

      Everything depends on how much the anti-Trump faction of the intelligence community at its higher levels wants him out. That is especially true if one of his kids gets into trouble. I think if that happens he will declare martial law or some other extraordinary seizure of control and shut it all down.

    • nixnutz

      I don’t really think he’d make a deal just to keep his kids, even Ivanka, out of prison, but I’m looking forward to seeing that tested.

  • rea

    This is how the campaign went, you will remember. One damn thing after another. It’s Trump’s notable discovery: deal with a scandal by creating another scandal, knocking the first off the front page. Repeat to infinity and beyond.

    • mongolia

      it stopped when they took away his twitter, stopped letting him leave his estate except for campaign rallies, and had the comey letters come out.

      preeeetttty sure that tactic isn’t going to work this time

      • ForkyMcSpoon

        He also stopped giving press conferences after the one where he called for Russia to hack Clinton.

        Yet the news media that hounded Clinton for months over press conferences just couldn’t work up much indignation over that.

    • efgoldman

      deal with a scandal by creating another scandal, knocking the first off the front page.

      He could get away with that with the media, and certainly with the mouth-breathing, knuckle dragging voters.
      It won’t work with Mueller, Schneiderman, or their grand juries.

  • Barry_D

    There’s a fUUUUUUUUUUUUUUcking SwissAir ad dominating the page – you can’t scroll.

    • BubbaDave

      Yep. Got me to turn my adblocker back on for this site.

  • Joe_JP

    Meanwhile: It’s official: Callista Gingrich is your new U.S. Ambassador to the Vatican.

    • Jordan

      trololol

    • BiloSagdiyev

      This will give Newt the free time he needs to search for wife #4.

      • Larrry

        Oh, I’m sorry to hear that Callista is seriously ill.

  • Hogan

    From John Updike, “Problems”:

    2. A lives seven blocks from the Laundromat he favors. He lives 3.8 miles from his psychiatrist, the average time of transit to whom, in thick afternoon traffic, is 22 minutes. The normal session, with allowances for pre- and post-therapy small talk, lasts 55 minutes. The normal wash cycle in the type of top-loader the Laundromat favors runs for 33 minutes. The psychiatrist and the Laundromat are in the same outbound direction.

    PROBLEM: Can A put his laundry in a washer on the way to his psychiatrist and return without finding his wet clothes stolen?

    Problems for Extra Credit: If the time of the psychiatrist appointment is 3 P.M., and the city block is considered to be one-eighth (1/8) of a mile, and if A arranges the two purgative operations serially, placing the laundry second, and if, further, the drying cycle purchasable for a quarter (25 cents) lasts a quarter of an hour (15 minutes) and the average load requires two such cycles or else is too damp to be carried home without osmotically moistening the chest of the carrier, at what time will A be able to pour himself a drink? Round to the nearest minute.

    Calculate the time for two drinks.

    Calculate the time for three, with a wet chest.

    • N__B

      Now I need to reread Miss Lonelyhearts.

      • Don’t forget

        The Presidency of the Locust

        .

        • N__B

          I limit my West intake. He could write the cover off the ball but he’s the most depressing author I’ve read. So…maybe one reread every two or three years, max.

  • djw

    The certitude in this thread is remarkable to me. The correct answer is “I have no idea and neither do you.”

    • gmack

      THANK YOU. The independent investigation is really just getting started; we have no idea what information is going to come out, who might (or might not) be indicted, what deals they might cut, and so on. So far, we have some evidence that Trump might have obstructed justice and a whole lot of evidence that he’s an incompetent ass. The real fireworks (direct evidence of legal violations, indictments, dramatic testimonies, betrayals, convictions) may be yet to come, and we have no real way to determine how the relevant parties will react to them.

    • This is where I’m at. I have no reference point, no parallels. These are truly uncharted waters.

      Twice this week I found myself mired in conservative social media, and I learned that all of this is liberal lies and slander against the president. Others have said it before me, but a key difference between Nixon, Clinton, and Trump is that the former two didn’t have FOX News.

      • Larrry

        Yes, Fox News. It couldn’t push McCain or Romney in, but it could help protect the pro-Trump segment of public opinion well enough from an erosion standpoint. At best I think enough Trump supporters in WI, MI, and PA could become embarrassed enough to allow those congressional delegations to at least consider going neutral on the subject of impeachment.

    • NonyNony

      +1000

      He could be gone tomorrow. He could be in office until January 2025. He could be proclaimed dictator-for-life by Congress and SCOTUS and hold it til he dies.

      Who knows? After the ridiculous election last year anything is possible.

    • keta

      “I have no idea and neither do you.”

      Those are precisely the situations in which to evince conviction. (cute little smiley face emoticon thingee here.)

    • Aaron Morrow

      Sometimes it’s fun to play Roulette.

      My bet: after Republicans lose big in both Houses of Congress.

      • revrick

        They may lose big in the House. But they only have 8 seats up in the Senate, and most of those in the reddest of red states.

        • Gregor Sansa

          At this rate, TX is within reach.

    • random

      I second that. We are through the looking glass people, just 3 years ago nobody would have predicted we’d end up here.

      He could resign tomorrow, be impeached in 2 years, be in office until 2020/2024/until he dies, or order a nuclear strike and get Kingslayered.

    • petesh

      Which is why a prediction pool such as that set up for games of stick-ball and hoop-ball and strangely-not-round-ball are so popular here.

      Much depends on the definition of the contest. I suggest the date be defined as (1) the date of signature of the letter of resignation, or (2) the date of signature of the death certificate, or (3) the date of application of the 25th amendment remedy.

      If I have to pick, I’ll go with Sept 1, 2017.

      • Gregor Sansa

        Sept 1, 2017.001

        • Stag Party Palin

          Watch The Price is Right a lot, do ya?

  • petemack

    2019. Long enough for the Republicans to get creamed in congress, and for at least one investigation to actually be completed.

  • Davis X. Machina

    Trump was elected by the sons and daughters of the people who thought the real crime at Kent State was that the Ohio National Guard didn’t shoot enough students. They vote.

    It’s assholes, not the poor, whom you will always have with you.

    So, how long? Indefinitely. When it’s no longer Trump, it’ll be someone else.

    • Steve LaBonne

      Christ, how I wish I disagreed.

      • Larrry

        Me too, Steve. Good point about the assholes inheriting the Earth (my interpretation of your comment of biblical proportions).

    • keta

      You’re harshin’ my buzz, man. Reality does that.

    • BiloSagdiyev

      Also, the same folks who Nixon was playing to when he pardoned Lt. William Calley.

  • revrick

    As long as Trump is still popular with the GOP base, he won’t go anywhere, and the more us libruls scream “impeachment” the more the frothing base will circle the wagons. And if that happens, GOP Representatives and Senators will be trapped.
    Pelosi and Schumer, our most shrewd politicians, know that the Democratic party wins if they mumble all the right words that the Very Serious People lap up, and keep insisting on proper and thorough investigations. This will have the effect of enraging the GOP base, and leave the McConnell-Ryan gang with no room to maneuver.
    It takes 67 votes to convict and remove from office. Schumer would be smart to tell McConnell, you deliver your caucus and we’ll come up with the rest of the votes.
    Democrats do not want their fingerprints on the body.

  • ryan.denniston

    Doncha see that really, Obama is at fault, for letting this level of scandal become exceptional. If he’d been normal, none of this would have been believable.

    • Pat

      You know, given that Trump was the leading birther, and his long time connections to Russian money, it’s entirely possible Putin was pushing the birther controversy from the beginning.

      It didn’t have to be merely McConnell and crew.

  • XeckyGilchrist

    My wife is certain that if Trump tries to cross the Russian mob, he will meet his end and it will be, I quote, “splashy.”

  • TaxesMyCredulity

    We’re in impeachment territory now, so I expect trump will just quit rather than allow that humiliation to continue. Or, he’ll try to incite his base into a Civil War.

    • Davis X. Machina

      Or, he’ll try to incite his base into a Civil War.

      Create two, three, many Oklahoma Cities.

      (W/apologies to Che…)

      • Larrry

        Let’s just cede Oklahoma as the newly designated Republican State of America and call the civil war off. Oh, and to be prudent I should mention that everyone living in and shipped to Oklahoma by The William Tecumseh Sherman Memorial Division of The United States Army at that time will be federal prisoners of the real United States of America.

        • MilitantlyAardvark

          Where the rug is as high as a rather small elephant’s eye….

  • MacK

    1341 Days assuming the Republicans don’t find a way that does not involve their having to vote for Trump to go. I regret to say that it’s unlikely, but 2802 is feasible.

    • Davis X. Machina

      I regret to say that it’s unlikely, but 2802 is feasible.

      “We’ve thought hard about this, and this is the government America wants and needs.”

      “What about elections?”

      “There are all kinds of ways to determine what America wants and needs.”

      (humanoid.panda will be along shortly to tell us we’re all hyperventilating…)

      • jim, some guy in iowa

        not to get all panda on you, but what the hell *is* your point with all this? Irony will kill us, so will tyranny, is there a way to live or should we all start measuring ourselves against shower curtain rods?

        • Davis X. Machina

          There is no ‘point’.

          Regimes — not governments of the day, actual regimes — constitutions, settled ideas about rule of law — collapse all the time.

          When it happens, it happens very quickly, too. The UK went from ‘troubled’ to ‘civil war’ in 1913-1914 almost overnight, and was only saved by the Great War. ‘Ulster will fight and Ulster will be right’ is a very Trumpy thing to say.

          Why would America be immune? That’s just another kind of American exceptionalism.

      • MacK

        What I meant to say is I regret to say that 2802 is feasible, though unlikely.

        But seriously, I see no way to 67 votes in the Senate before November 2020. There are no Republican senators with the integrity to do it, certainly not 17-19.

        • wjts

          2802 is ludicrous. He’s out by the mid-25th century at the latest.

          • MilitantlyAardvark

            That is not dead which can eternal lie.

            And if we know one thing about Trump, it is that he lies like an eternal rug.

          • N__B

            Maybe later: In the year 2525, if man is still alive / If woman can survive…

      • efgoldman

        to tell us we’re all hyperventilating…

        Because you are

  • MilitantlyAardvark

    Trump’s approval among Republicans seems to be eroding slowly. We also haven’t yet seen what happens if he either wrecks Obamacare or succeeds in destroying it. My guess is intense, infuriated, lasting blowback against him and the GOP. (I have suspicions that McConnell and Ryan have agreed never to let the recently passed abomination actually get to the Senate, while the bipartisan follies of Cassidy and friends will be drawn out unto infinity, or at least until the 2018 midterms are over).

    Right now, Trump is enraging his enemies and independents at a rapid clip, while not obviously impressing his friends and voters. That seems like an unsustainable deal, especially in combination with an incompetent, corrupt and repulsive White House crew. That said, he has one great ally, which is the Democratic party’s palsied ineffectuality as an institution. Remember that the Democrats are pretty unpopular too. If the Democrats can get their act together (not something I’d care to bet on) then they have a real chance to win America back. I’d suggest they stop the ongoing whining about Clinton being robbed, stop feuding with the annoying micro-minority of Sanders supporters who say mean things to them – and think seriously about what their program as a party is and how they plan to sell it. Not Being Trump wasn’t and won’t be enough.

    As matters stand, and barring a decisive and clear revelation of actual collusion by him personally with the Russians, Trump probably finishes out his term and slithers off into the sunset after a mass pardoning session for any and all cronies and associates.

    • MacK

      But can anyone seeing Trump being “underwater” with Republicans – his disapproval greater than his approval? That’s what it’d take.

      • MilitantlyAardvark

        I think that once you see his approval ratings dip below 30%, the GOP will panic. Right now they are hovering just below 40% and he’s at roughly 75-80% approval with GOP voters. So, get him down to roughly 60% approval among the GOP and then we’ll be talking about interesting times.

        • MacK

          I’d argue that the Republicans are already beginning to panic, because they see his numbers falling into the low 30s or possibly (unlikely) under 30% – it’s unlikely because that means losing the Republican’s core ignoramus and bigot vote.

          What is panicking the Republicans is that Trump could fall to 23% – of certainly 25% before he’s below 50% with the Republican base – and they are stuck with him as long as he polls well with the base.

        • MacK

          I’d argue that the Republicans are already beginning to panic, because they see his numbers falling into the low 30s or possibly (unlikely) under 30% – it’s unlikely because that means losing the Republican’s core ignoramus and bigot vote.

          What is panicking the Republicans is that Trump could fall to 23% – or certainly 25% before he’s below 50% with the Republican base – and they are stuck with him as long as he polls well with the base. The latests IPSO/MOR polls shows him at 75% approval with Republicans, which means that at 38% in general he could fall to 25% and still be above water with the Republican base.

      • randy khan

        As my post below notes, he’s not underwater with Republicans, but he’s getting close to being underwater with white men – the Reuters/Ipsos poll is down to a +5 approval/disapproval spread.

        • MilitantlyAardvark

          Now that is damned interesting. Maybe, just maybe, another Friedman unit will do the trick.

      • Davis X. Machina

        Who says you need Trump to have Trumpism?

        You can unleash the power of the state and put the boot to foreigners, and Muslims, and women and liberals, and gays, and the media, and uncle Tom Cobley and all, with some other totemic asshole leading the movement.

    • randy khan

      His net approval/disapproval among Republicans dropped by 14(!) points over the last two weeks in the Reuters/Ipsos poll released today. 75 approval is still not terrible, but it’s the first time it’s been under 80 percent since the inauguration..

      • MilitantlyAardvark

        Which is actually the most hopeful sign in all of this. Apparently 10% of his voters wish that Clinton had won! (Although, polls being polls, it’s hard to take that completely seriously).

    • humanoid.panda

      Remember that the Democrats are pretty unpopular too. If the Democrats can get their act together (not something I’d care to bet on) then they have a real chance to win America back. I’d suggest they stop the ongoing whining about Clinton being robbed, stop feuding with the annoying micro-minority of Sanders supporters who say mean things to them – and think seriously about what their program as a party is and how they plan to sell it. Not Being Trump wasn’t and won’t be enough.

      Leaving aside the fact that “feuding with a micro-minority of Sanders supporters” is mostly a Twitter thing, while the Democratic leadership is busily trying to integrate his peeps into the party (Ellison, the unity tour), your account of how parties gain power is wishful thinking.

      Back in 2005, the major debate Democrats had is to what extent they should give up on abortion rights and gay rights, and just finished a campaign in which the decidedly fiscally conservative Dean was the candidate of the left. Their leaders were the conservative Reid, and Pelosi, not exactly a shining ocean of charisma. And then W imploded, and they won, without “figuring it out.”

      As for the GOP: between 2008 and 2016, the had RINO hunts, and a takeover of the party by a fringe movement with hideously unpopular agenda, and then a presidential election they soundly lost, and then refusal to budge from their unpopular platform, and then a ruinous primary campaign, followed by a ruinously unpopular nominee: and yet they won, without “figuring it out.”

      So, yeah we all wish that the party with the best and most coherent platform was the one the public chose. But all evidence points out the shortest route to power is
      1. Negative unity (party members dislike each other sometimes, but REALLY HATE the other party).
      2. Congressional stonewalling.
      3. Gravity doing its work.

  • BiloSagdiyev

    “Someday this war’s gonna end.”

    https://youtube.com/watch?v=mTLqp-KKuo4

  • Larrry

    Remember how quickly his ratings spiked after bombing Syria? That’s how volatile the popularity thing is. He could bomb more prominently. Or he could do some bigger things that the resentful ignorant half of the country likes, no matter how much he’d likely be fucking things up worse than before he ‘helped’, and his ratings would go up, along with his stature among his base and also among the politically illiterate voters (THAT MAY BE MOST OF THEM).

    Or things can go on as they currently have been with investigations coming up with whatever degrees of guilt or innocence and the lying and Fox excuses would go on ad infinitum. What do they care? They’re in the White House.

    I tend to think both of the above will happen. Sadly, of course. Hopefully I’m being ridiculous and that the U.S. intelligence complex wants Trump’s humongous ass out of there badly enough to do it right and do it quickly.

    • MilitantlyAardvark

      It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a stolen White House must be in want of an Iraq invasion.

      • Larrry

        Yes, Mili.Aard, wisdom of the ages. Boom goes Baghdad and Boom Tehran. And a yay from the masses and the Saudis.

        • John Revolta

          Boom goes Baghdad and Boom Tehran

          More room for us and more cash for Don!

          • Thom

            We’ll save Australia,
            Don’t want to hurt no kangaroo!

    • humanoid.panda

      Remember how quickly his ratings spiked after bombing Syria?

      It didn’t actually. His popularity hit nadir after the AHCA collapsed, and then recovered by 2-3 points after a month without disastrous headlines. If you look at his approval rating graph, you will see no “Syria spike”, just a slow rise from 39 to 42.

  • Larrry

    Obviously it could still go either way. It depends on circumstances. If Trump appears to make progress internationally, such as in my two cartoonish but off-the-wall not-impossible examples below, then his thinning support could hold no matter what the results of Mueller’s experiment in both-sides democracy. If not, then it may take the Air Force bombing the White House to remove him (at least Farley might get what he wants if that happened).

    1) He could bomb North Korea bigly, get Seoul blown up but topple the North regime, and be heralded as the new messiah for saving the U.S. mainland from nuclear attack (and Trump Properties could be The Dealmaking Rebuilder of Seoul).

    2) He could help enact an Israeli-Palestinian (minus Gaza) peace treaty and be the new messiah in that way. After all, the West Bank has a new political leader who apparently is amenable to selling out, and whatever the agreement stipulates doesn’t mean Israel has to abide by it, as usual. It would just be doing its usual atrocities under the rubric of a [bogus] two-state ‘solution’. Everyone would win…except Palestinians, in other words, the status quo.

    As I commented elsewhere in this thread, I think everything depends on how badly the cross-leadership of the intelligence community wants Trump gone.

    • humanoid.panda

      2) He could help enact an Israeli-Palestinian (minus Gaza) peace treaty and be the new messiah in that way. After all, the West Bank has a new political leader who apparently is amenable to selling out, and whatever the agreement stipulates doesn’t mean Israel has to abide by it, as usual. It would just be doing its usual atrocities under the rubric of a [bogus] two-state ‘solution’. Everyone would win…except Palestinians, in other words, the status quo.

      Abu Mazen is the leader of the PA since 2004, and had been a Fatah functionary since the 1970s. Calling him a “new leader” is almost as bizarre as thinking that Trump will be able to broker a peace deal,or that a war in Korea ends up boosting Trump’s popularity. But hey, we are doooomed, its just a matter of finding the right fantasy scenario.

    • twbb

      Regarding 2), I think there’s at least a chance both sides think he’s so crazy that maybe they should come to some agreement while they can. I think also Israel might be freaked out that the Republican base seems to not care so much about Israel these days.

      As much as I hate to give him any credit whatsoever, I am glad he decided to hold off on moving the embassy to Jerusalem. Honestly, as incoherent as he is on Israel, he’s still better than any other of the Republican candidates would have been.

      • humanoid.panda

        As for point no. 1, the odds of Bibi agreeing to evacuate large number of settlers are nil, as are the odds of Palestinians agreeing to something that doesn’t include the removal of large numbers of settlers.
        As for point no.2: with the possible exception of Cruz, no Republican canddiate would have moved the embassy to Jerusalem.

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