Forty-Four Percent Of Americans Continue To Be Fucking Idiots
Donald Trump ended his weekend of petty, shriveled-up raisin heart vindictiveness tweeting his latest approval ratings. His supporters, I'm sure, were waiting with bated breath like Ed McMahon at the end of one of Johnny Carson's Carnak routines. The NBC/WSJ poll covered a period during which totally random individuals with no real connection to Trump, such as his former campaign chairman and his personal attorney, either pleaded guilty or were found guilty of serious felonies. So, what was the damage? Are we close to waking from this "long, national nightmare"?
Between Aug. 18 and Aug. 22 — the day after the news involving former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort and former Trump attorney Michael Cohen — the president's approval rating stood at 46 percent approve, 51 percent disapprove.
In a separate NBC/WSJ survey, conducted Aug. 22 through Aug. 25, Trump's approval rating was 44 percent approve and 52 percent disapprove. That's within the poll's margin of error.
Republican pollster Bill McInturff of Public Opinion Strategies, who conducted this survey with Democratic pollster Peter Hart and his team at Hart Research Associates, called Trump's approval rating "remarkably stable" despite the Manafort and Cohen developments, both of which became public on the same afternoon last Tuesday.
Trump's approval is "remarkably stable"! Can you all join me in a collective WTF? He's still in the mid-40s after all this? Even after he gave an interview last week where he not so subtly implied everyone's furniture store would suddenly go up in flames if he were impeached? Yes, keeping Trump in office is for our own "protection." (What a racket!) Maybe a startling number of Americans just plain want a Mafioso as their president. Mobster movies have always been popular here -- far more popular than, say, black people, which reminds me of our previous non "unindicted co-conspirator" president.
Barack Obama's approval sank to 44 percent during the period of November 16 to 22, 2015. What nefariousness had Obama been up to then? Terrorists attacked Paris on November 13, and although Obama was later proven not to be responsible (he wasn't near France or even a croissant at the time), his approval numbers dipped quickly five points from the previous week's 49 percent. Republicans, including then-candidate Trump, hammered Obama about his perceived inability to stamp out ISIS and his refusal to say "radical Islamic terrorism," because those are the special magic words that make terrorism go away.
Obama continued to strike out with the public by not buckling under to irrational bigotry and fear. He resisted calls from Republicans to ban Syrian refugees or only accept Christians. Looking back at all this, it seems like the GOP was better at keeping Obama on the defensive. It of course helped that they controlled Congress, but Democrats, especially the leadership (looking at you, Chuck Schumer), tend to resist any urge to go for the jugular. In hindsight, maybe "unindicted co-conspirator" is too mild, too much fancy law-talking to move the needle. It's time to break out the heavy artillery. Maybe start ragging on his momma or something. Anything!
Meanwhile, Trump is so pleased that the nation stands by him (it doesn't) that he flies his approval ratings at full staff.
Besides those numbers being a lie, this is not what we needed to hear from our commander in chief on the same day a deranged individual in Jacksonville, Florida, shot and killed two people and injured almost a dozen others. But the shooter was white and one of the dead was a person of color. That won't help you build walls.
Oh, and he's straight-up lying in your gullible face about his approval ratings, but on the other hand, he's also really stupid. It's entirely possible he misread the NBC/WSJ poll, which clearly stated that his disapproval rating (all the losers who don't like him) was 52 percent not his approval rating. All those numbers are confusing. Just like I'm confused by the continued support for this ass goblin in the White House.
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Stephen Robinson is a writer and social kibbitzer based in Portland, Oregon. He's on the board of the Portland Playhouse theater and writes for the immersive theater Cafe Nordo in Seattle.