You know, being an Irishman, I love irony. And being a Murphy, I love it twice as much, since we have that stupid law named after us. When they interview Trump supporters, there are a growing number of them that say that while they’re actually rather ambivalent about Trump, they loudly support him simply because it makes us libtards heads explode. That being said, what kind of pleasure don’t they think we get when every utterance from AOC or Nancy Pelosi, or Maxine Waters makes his head spin around like Linda Blair in The Exorcist?
Trump’s rampant paranoia can no longer be disputed or denied. From his continued avowal that Obama had his wires tapped during the 2016 election cycle, to his crazed disavowal of all things Cohen, without even knowing what Cohen was blabbering about, to his insistence that the Mueller investigation was actually a failed “deep state coup,” Trump must be sleeping standing up, with his back against a wall, instead of in a box full of his native earth.
If there’s one thing that His Lowness didn’t need, it was any more fuel for his already fevered brain. But that’s exactly what he got, from aides and advisers quietly telling him that maybe his victory lap over the Mueller report findings should have been around the house instead of around Central Park, to the flurry of subpoenas hitting everything from bis accounting firm to his insurance agency, to every bank he ever stole a pen from, Trump is in an almost literal frenzy. And while Trump may be unhinged, there are two areas in which I actually think that his raging paranoia may actually be well founded.
The first area of concern would be his base. Since day one, Trump has been monolithic about his rabid base of Trombies. Everything he says or does is geared to keep them revved up and slavish. Trump’s base is to his ego what a double bacon cheeseburger is to his stomach. But there could be cause for concern there. Trump pulled out every trick in the slavish devotion playbook in 2018, everything from telling supporters that he really was on the ballot in a way, because a vote for incumbents was a vote for him and his agenda, to hyping a mythical caravan invasion from a caravan that wasn’t even expected to catch sight of his non existent wall until a month after the election. And what happened? The Democrats scored millions more votes nationwide, flipped 40 GOP House seats, as well as 2 GOP Senate seats, including one in a state that Trump carried in 2016.
Even worse is a poll that needs to be watched, but hints at deterioration in his base. Trump’s popularity among GOP voters has consistently been between 84-88%.But in a poll that Lawrence O’Donnell showed last night of registered GOP voters, only 54% were committed to voting for Trump in a contested GOP primary, 20% more leaned Trump, but could be swayed to vote for Weld, and Weld owned 8% outright. The problem here is that even if you give Trump all of that wavering 20%, that still only takes him to 74%, 10-14 points shy of his long time average. And whatever the remaining unaccounted for 28% in that poll are, what they aren’t is rabid Trump supporters, and that has to be eating at both him and the RNC like parasites.
But equally concerning, and even more immediately pressing, is the softening of his support in the GOP caucus on the hill. Through thick and thin, they have stuck through Trump through all of his shit, and a lot of that shit has ended up sticking to them. But, slowly and incrementally, that tide has started to turn. I personally think that the results of the 2018 midterms were a cold slap in the face as to the extent of Trump’s ability to control and turn out his base. And look what has happened since the midterms.
First, they publicly split with him over his decision to shutter the government over funding for his wall. Then they stiffed him of border wall funding in the new budget, and forced him to swallow it.Then they clipped him across the chops over the Saudi governments involvement in the death of journalist Jamal Khoshoggi. They followed that up in cuffing him around again over his declaration of a national emergency to bypass congress to allocate funds for his stupid vanity wall. And only a week or so, they voted to end funding for his war in Yemen, requiring him to obtain a new declaration from congress, and forcing him to issue his second veto in as many months.Even his toadying Senate Majority Leader, Mitch McConnell, told him to go and fuck himself over the issue of healthcare before the next election. And now the Robert Mueller report is about to come out. And there will be damaging revelations in it, the only question is how damaging are they. Not only that, but with congressional displeasure on both sides of the aisle growing over receiving a piece of William Barr fantasy fiction Mueller report, the top GOP members of two congressional committees are agreeing with the Democrats that Robert Mueller really, really needs to testify on Capitol Hill, to explain his actions, and his own interpretation of his findings.Trump has 18 months to turn it around with his base, but his issues with his caucus are critical right now. Trump’s greatest fear has always been that of impeachment, and his only salvation was his majority in the Senate. But 2018 showed the Republicans that there really is very little space where a seat is truly “safe,” and nobody knows how damaging the Mueller report will be. And it isn’t just the Mueller report. Trump’s hysterical, screamed-messages-from-the-bunker defense of everything from his taxes, to his business records, to his bank dealings are giving off a smell of fear and guilt strong enough to plant beans in.If things go wrong quickly, there is going to come a moment when GOP incumbents, especially incumbent Senators, are going to have to fish or cut bait. And the last thing that Trump can afford is to have people like Lindsey Graham and Chuck Grassley come into the Oval Office and tell him it’s time to call Mayflower. Because a Trump out of office is a Trump at severe risk of criminal prosecution, both federally as well as at the state level.
Obviously this is all speculation and conjecture. But remember, The Pampers President doesn’t deal in conjecture, he deals in delusion and paranoia. There is no real evidence that the GOP is ready to flip on him, even in the Senate, but that could change quickly if events accelerate, especially among constituents. But the mere thought of it could germinate into full blown certainty in Trump’s fevered brain, and if it does, he’ll melt down completely. Oh well, at least there’s always the 25th amendment, something else for him to get paranoid about.
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