Monday, August 7, 2017

Trump and His Base: An Analysis


By Steven Jonas

As Trump lurches from, what appear to the outside world as, disaster to disaster, "Trump's Base," for the most part appears to remain immovable in its continuing support of him. A whole variety of episodes/policies would seem to be cause for at least some of that base's members abandoning him. There were the campaign "shocks" like that misogynist attacks on Megyn Kelly, the refusal to release his tax returns, his attack on Senator McCain, the famous "Billy Bush" tape, the promotion of violence against the media, the mocking of the disabled, the constant changes in his campaign staff and leadership, the hints of Russian involvement even during the campaign, the rank grandiosity, the making of promises he couldn't possibly keep while running as a Republican, and so on and so forth.

Then since the election, he continues to refuse to release his tax returns (although apparently Mr. Mueller now has at least some of them). There are the ongoing revelations about possibly not-above-board contacts/interactions between various member of Team Trump both (well, actually years) before, and since, the election. (The best that Hannity et al can do with those is the old tried-and-true right-wingers' "two wrongs make a right" trick: "The Clintons did it too.") There was the Trump University fraud settlement. There are the humongous number of now provable lies . There is the filling of his cabinet with representatives of the ruling class and the filling of many high-level regulatory posts by lobbyists from the businesses those agencies are supposed to regulate

"Russia-gate" is ongoing and with the Mueller/Congressional investigations, may be intensifying. (Of course, as certain Rightists and Leftists as well claim, this may all be the product of a plot by something both call the "Deep State." But if that were so, why is Trump so determined to shut down the investigation, at least at the Mueller level, over which he might have some control, as convoluted as it might be.) Related to concerns with the Russia-connections investigations is his continuing, intensifying attacks on Jeff Sessions, who happened to be the first Senator to endorse him and is himself one of the darlings of the Radical Right. His significant legislative accomplishments are nil. Most of the famous "signings" are for Executive Orders. And of course, he has been full-throated in going after the repeal of Obama Care --- which he is now threatening to sabotage --- which would negatively affect large numbers of his supporters in a number of states. (And oh yes, even with Mitch McConnell twisting Senate rules into knots he failed in that attempt.) And so on and so forth.  

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