Blog Credo

The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary.

H.L. Mencken

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Tired Of All This Winning

As many have noted, Trump has certainly seemed to prove the "Fifth Avenue Rule" whereby Trump can shoot someone in the face on Fifth Avenue and not lose his supporters.

However, the WaPo has a new poll and it does show some important trends.  First, somehow Trump has an 11% approval rating among Democrats.  I literally can't even.  He has only lost about 2% among Republicans (from 84% to 82%).  Again, Trump is not an outlier, he IS the 2017 Republican Party.

The most precipitous decline in among Independents, where he has fallen from 38% to 32%.  Those are obviously unsustainable numbers for re-election.  The last time a president had numbers this crappy it was Dubya Bush post- Social Security privatization/post-Katrina.  That led directly to the 2006 Democratic wave.

We are seeing the Russia story slowly build up steam.  While quite a few non-political junkies (and most Republicans) aren't paying much attention to the story, the relentless drumbeat is having an effect.  Only about a third of Republicans think Russia tried to influence the election.  This poll was in the field just as the Donald Junior story was breaking, so it's tough to say if this will have any impact on Republicans current war with reality.

The struggles for the Democrats in the poll aren't shocking.  Few can find a coherent message beyond opposition to Trump.  Given that there is no singular figure to hone a message, that's unsurprising, but they will need to craft some sort of overall message for 2018.

I would suggest:

- Fixing and improving the ACA, including a public option.
- Increased minimum wage
- Increased taxes on Wall Street/1%.
- Using those tax increases for infrastructure and...
- ...Free community college
- Criminal justice reform, especially vis a vis marijuana laws and mandatory drug sentencing
- Increased support for opiod treatments

It's coherent and simple and largely conforms to what Democrats have run on in the past.  I'm sure Martin Longman would like throw anti-monopoly into the mix.

The Republicans are unpopular because they have the floor and no one likes what they are saying besides Republicans.  Democrats are unpopular, because they are currently simply in opposition to Trumpelthinskin.

One of those is fixable.

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