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Toure writes: "I struggle to think of anything that's going right in this White House. So how is it more than a third of the country is very happy?"

Donald Trump. (photo: Lyne Lucien/The Daily Beast)
Donald Trump. (photo: Lyne Lucien/The Daily Beast)

When Will the GOP Finally Wake Up to President Trump?

By Toure, The Daily Beast

14 May 17


Republicans see no emerging autocrat, no flailing nincompoop, no not-really-conservative Republican In Name Only who doesn’t care about ideas. They see a tough guy.

really don’t know what they see in him. It's like they're watching an entirely different guy. Republicans on Capitol Hill and in the streets continue supporting President Donald Trump—his approval among Republicans remains in the mid 80s—even as his presidency rambles through its first months like a runaway tractor trailer that’s loose on the highway with no brakes.

What is it that Republicans are getting that makes them still so happy with Trump? He’s failing to truly advance on any significant promise (see health care, tax reform, the Wall, the ban, etc.) and the specter of scandal via former FBI director James Comey and potential Russian collusion will live, rent-free, in a cloud parked over the White House for the rest of his days in the Oval.

This is an ineffective, unmoored, scandal-plagued White House and we're not even six months in. Either this administration fails to see how valuable it would be to have the Russia allegations investigated and laid to rest or they’re guilty and afraid of being discovered.

So either they’re blind and incompetent or they colluded with a hostile world power. Maybe both. Great. I struggle to think of anything that’s going right in this White House. So how is it more than a third of the country is very happy?

Most Republicans think the Comey situation is fine and don't see it as a troubling attempt to try to stop an investigation into whether the current president worked with Russia to get himself elected.

Recent NBC/SurveyMonkey polling shows Republicans find the firing of Comey to be appropriate (79 percent of Republicans said it was, only 38 percent of all adults agreed) and they believe that Trump really did fire Comey over Clinton’s emails (43 percent said that, only 24 percent of all adults agreed) and they think that the Russia allegation is a distraction (78 percent of Republicans said so while 54 percent of all adults disagree and say it is a serious issue).

Gallup finds Trump’s approval is a robust 84 percent among Republicans but an abysmal 41 percent among all adults. We are so deeply divided that it’s as if we’re in two different realities. But why is there such a deep disconnect? Maybe it’s three things.

First, it’s him. Many Republicans simply like him. They admire him in a way that few politicians will ever know. For his folks, he's aspirational. And more they see him as an extension of themselves. That’s a power that’s hard to shake.

Second, there's the continuing disinformation campaign flowing out of the programming of Fox News and right wing radio. Sean Hannity, Tucker Carlson, Rush Limbaugh, et al, love Trump and paint a fantasy portrait where a great man is getting things done and sticking it to the spineless Democrats every chance and protecting the country.

They see no emerging autocrat, no flailing nincompoop, no not-really-conservative Republican In Name Only who doesn’t care about ideas. They see a tough guy who's pissing off the left and if liberals are mad then mission accomplished because all of this isn't about the future of the country and helping people's lives, no it's about scoring points in the big game that is politics. Great.

There is, of course, a self-reinforcing circle at play within this. The base loves Trump so right wing media loves him and feeds the base stories and opinions that make Trump look great thus making them love him more. And with those two building each other up the Republicans on the hill have every reason to serve those folks what they want. It’s sad because so many people are being lied to by their media and it’s blinding them to political realities that could damage their own lives.

They deserve to know the truth about what Trump is doing to their health care, to their taxes, to their country. But Fox and the right radio mafia are in the business of political-flavored entertainment that pretends to be news as opposed, say, the news. If you listen to them you would think that Trump fired Comey over Hillary Clinton's emails, which beside being insanely ironic is a story that was abandoned as soon as Lester Holt and Trump started talking.

That it was about Hillary's emails was the initial spin and Fox viewers continue to believe it. That's just one of the more simple examples of how their disinformation campaign has led directly to misinformed voters who've been trained to distrust experts and that builds a moat around the ignorance that Fox incepted them with.

Third, it’s race. Of course it’s partly about race—do you really think any major American conversation isn’t, at some level, going to involve race? I love the 2011 Harvard study called "Whites See Racism As A Zero Sum Game That They Are Now Losing.”

It lays bare what’s really going on: the gains Black Americans have made over the past several decades is very threatening for a lot of white people. They see it as a loss. That's why you can always expect any gain, like the election of Barack Obama, to be followed by a backlash, like Trump. The study also unveils how many whites now feel racism is more directed at them than at people in oppressed communities. It's a dangerous situation when white people feel like whiteness is becoming undervalued and even stigmatized.

Blacks seemed to be surging ahead, taking their power. Within a few decades America will be a minority-majority country and then what? Taco trucks on every corner? If you were feeling like you don't recognize America because of the Black president and the trans folks on TV and Black Lives Matter and Central American kids streaming over the border and gays teaching in the schools and whiteness slowly losing power…

In that world, Trump restores whiteness to the throne of supremacy. He is an avatar for white privilege unapologetically asserting itself. He's like the human example of pissing on your territory to make sure the other animals know it's yours. He is making whiteness great again. And for that they’ll love him forever. your social media marketing partner


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+6 # mashiguo 2017-05-14 16:31
The GOP will wake up to him when he changes his party registration.
When will Democrats wake up?
Will that take a revolution?
+7 # WBoardman 2017-05-14 17:22
No matter how correct the unsupported assertions are here,
this comes down to mindless venting to no useful purpose.

Why would ANY Republican politician turn on the President
who brought the party to power over all three branches of
government? Until the power balance changes, any other
change is hugely difficult if not impossible.

Toure does note, in passing, "the spineless Democrats."
Spineless Democrats did much to bring us to our present
condition, and they are doing precious little to get us out.

Democrats with spine would have introduced a bill of
impeachment in the House on the first day Trump was in office. The emoluments clause provides a clear basis.

But there is no bill of impeachment yet before the House,
not for emoluments, not for war crimes, not for obstruction
of justice, not for anything Trump might be fairly accused of.

To get the ball rolling, the first thing you have to have is a ball.
+2 # dotlady 2017-05-14 22:49
Pissing on our territory is exactly it, thank you. An alpha animal and mad as a hatter. He's doing a great job of stigmatizing whiteness and shattering any last shred of the American dream. Although it was a dream, it was a great dream in its ideal form.
+4 # Adoregon 2017-05-14 22:53
"When Will the GOP Finally Wake Up to President Trump?"

When they stop drinking the Kool-Aid.

Trum-pets are invested in a dogmatic "faith" paradigm similar to believing in the virgin birth, while Trombies are ultra-nationali st, Third Reichean chest-beaters for whom obeisance to the leader and to the herd are paramount virtues. Unquestioning loyalty is required. Critical thinking is discouraged. Self-censorship abounds.
George Orwell used the term "crimestop" which means, "the faculty of stopping short, as though by instinct, at the threshold of any dangerous thought. It includes the power of not grasping analogies, of failing to perceive logical errors, of misunderstandin g the simplest arguments if they are inimical to Ingsoc, and of being bored or repelled by any train of thought which is capable of leading in a heretical direction. In short....protec tive stupidity.

"Comey was wise not to pledge his loyalty (fealty) to Trump, only his honesty.

My president, right or wrong?

Get a grip.
-7 # Rodion Raskolnikov 2017-05-15 04:03
The title of this essay should really be "When Will Republicans See the World Just as Democrats Do?" And the answer is Never.

This article really has no empirical base. It is just another Clinton/democcr atic party mouthpiece blabbering on about nothing.

Plenty of republicans are very worried about Trump. Everyone is. He's a loose cannon. He has no political base and no real allies in the congress. In fact, the entire republican party is not a party or responsible governors but a party of government destroyers. See Justin Frank's book "The Wrecking Crew" on modern republicans.

Trump should never have been president. He became president because the democratic party lost its mission and identity when it sold itself to bankers and gulf state dictatorships (Saudi Arabia and Qatar).

There really is no one responsible and experienced in political leadership positions now. The US is adrift and dangerous. The rabid and psychopathic neo-cons and generals in the Pentagon and CIA run US foreign policy. They have a record of one loss after another, but they won't stop.

There's no point in blaming Trump and impeaching him will only make matters worse. It will continue the destruction of elected offices and increase the power of the unelected deep state.
+4 # backwards_cinderella 2017-05-15 04:33
There is no way to make whiteness great again. Especially the way 45 is doing it.
0 # warrior woman 2017-05-15 06:11
What truly bothers me is the sense republicans aren't getting anything accomplished. The executive orders in combination of the cabinet secretaries demolishing decades of public trusts and regulations is doing enormous harm. We're in the honeymoon phase now where what has been enacted hasn't settled the harm yet but it will come and people will wonder what happened and of course, blame the liberals. We're doomed.
0 # newell 2017-05-15 07:00
Not while Trump has a 35% devout following.
+2 # MainStreetMentor 2017-05-15 07:53
House and Senate GOP will NOT move against Trump until they have their agendas completed. They are very close to fulfilling their itinerary: They wanted destruction of the ACA, and that’s happened; They want to privatize Social Security; They want the EPA gutted; They want all regulatory statues wiped away – that’s in process, they want massive tax cuts for the extremely wealthy and gluttonous rich - just to name a few. With a clueless authoritarian in the White House their chances are pretty darned good at achieving most, if not all, their objectives. Once they’ve reached their goals – and ONLY then – they’ll turn against Trump. They are not interested in governance, and most certainly not the well-being of the populace … it’s money, power and greed that drive them.
+1 # lfeuille 2017-05-15 19:09
Destruction of ACA has not happened. It has to get through the Senate which will be much harder. They haven't accomplished all that much legislatively. Most of what they've gotten has been by executive action which can be reversed in one day by a new president.
+1 # economagic 2017-05-15 08:08
I'm not surprised that no comments have appeared nine hours or longer after this story was posted. It is the kind of fluff that has driven even long-time readers and contributors away. Except for a few remaining Hilbots virtually everyone reading RSN believes that Republicans as a group are not "reality-based, " but rather in denial or Fantasyland or deliberately lying about everything that matters in order to void the Constitution and establish authoritarian rule, or perhaps all three. While there is a fair degree of truth in that view it is incomplete and therefore dangerous. The absence of finer-grained reporting even in such relatively left-leaning alternative media as exist leaves us bereft of resources for opposing whatever the reality really is.
0 # elizabethblock 2017-05-15 08:12
I have a friend who voted for Trump? Why? I asked. "I hate Hillary!" (So why didn't she vote Green?)
I haven't asked her if she's still happy with the way she voted.
0 # Blackjack 2017-05-15 09:25
This is the most accurate analysis of the Trump conundrum that I have seen. It presents a clear picture of how the true believers reached this point of political blindness. It is a sad revelation about their inability (willful or not) to discern truth from fiction, to weigh obvious evidence against propaganda, and to recognize how they have become useful tools in the perpetuation of these right-wing myths. If we trace these inabilities back to an origination point, could it possibly have something to do with the inadequacies of the education to which they were exposed? There are certainly other factors at play, but this one seems the most obvious to me. Whatever the causes, we must begin to address them with some successful remedies. . .and SOON while we still have some semblance of a functioning democracy!
-7 # 2017-05-15 09:36
While I do not agree with Trump on many issues, he has scored a significant number of wins in areas that his base wanted and expected. Just to name a few:

1. Ascension of a pro-life, pro-religious freedom, originalist Supreme Court judge.

2. Approval of oil pipelines to create jobs and reduce the price of heating oil and gasoline for consumers.

3. Vetoing the TPP trade deal.

4. Vetoing the proposed EPA restrictions on power plant emissions to create jobs and reduce the price of energy for consumers.

5. He has cut (or is in the process of cutting on additional fronts) the regulatory red tape that paralyzes US business.

And one cannot deny that economic progress (jobs and GDP and stock market) has been made and fewer illegal entries are being made by immigrants -- even though these may or may not have been due to Trump's actions or words.

There is more that his base likes and some of the specific items are very beloved, but it is clear to me that he has been very effective in moving the US in the direction he promised even in the areas that I disagree with. And all this was done in the face of uniform stonewalling and obstruction by Democrats. Toure must be blinded by Trump Derangement Syndrome not to see this.

Lee Nason
New Bedford, Massachusetts
0 # economagic 2017-05-15 15:34
The only one of those that is a victory for anyone other than the fossil fools and religious zealots and other fans of Big Government to protect their vested interests and screw everybody else is no. 3, which oil, energy, finance, virtually all other corporations, and the US Chamber of Commerce loved.

Lee, while your English composition is excellent, your reasoning tends toward logically inconsistency when it is coherent at all. Likewise no discernible consistent political position (so possibly Libertarian).
0 # bardphile 2017-05-15 10:09
They won't.
0 # chrisconnolly 2017-05-15 11:03
Lies as foundations inevitably crash while too often the truth tellers suffer the most from the crash. There is no justice, only luck and corruption.
+7 # Billsy 2017-05-15 13:11
One suspects that the primary reason for GOP tolerance of this vulgar narcissistic imbecile is that they enable one another to pass sweepingly extreme self-serving legislation while appealing to their thoughtless amoral base. I wouldn't hold any expectation of the GOP majority impeaching the liar-in-chief until he either is too much of a liability, or they are voted out of office in 2018.
0 # chapdrum 2017-05-17 16:54
This is at last a TRUE test of Republican Party patriotism. So far they are behaving as their past comportment has so sadly illustrated.

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