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Donald Trump is here to stay

A scream once derailed a presidential campaign. Now, Trump is cruising past his senior aide’s guilty plea. No help is coming, writes Andray Domise


 
President Donald Trump prepares to speak at Mar-a-Lago in Palm Beach, Fla., Thursday, April 6, 2017, after the U.S. fired a barrage of cruise missiles into Syria Thursday night in retaliation for this week's gruesome chemical weapons attack against civilians. (Alex Brandon/AP/CP)

President Donald Trump prepares to speak at Mar-a-Lago in Palm Beach, Fla., Thursday, April 6, 2017, after the U.S. fired a barrage of cruise missiles into Syria Thursday night in retaliation for this week’s gruesome chemical weapons attack against civilians. (Alex Brandon/AP/CP)

In January of 2004, a yell escaped Howard Dean’s lips, and it brought down his political career.

The former governor of Vermont had overcome a longshot candidacy to poll ahead of Democratic heavyweights ahead of the Iowa caucus, including former House leader Dick Gephardt, and Senators John Edwards and John Kerry. But Kerry and Edwards managed a last-minute push, finishing well ahead of Dean on caucus night. Undeterred, Dean addressed disappointed supporters that night in a fiery speech that has since gone down in infamy.

News media mocked the “Dean Scream” endlessly, with news and talk radio commentators questioning not only Dean’s fitness for office, but his mental stability. Though Dean later revolutionized the Democratic National Committee with the “fifty-state strategy” that helped propel Barack Obama to the White House, he would never again run for office—all because one night in Iowa, he made the fatal mistake of showing too much enthusiasm for his own campaign.

How far America has come since then.

On Dec. 1, former national security advisor Michael Flynn pleaded guilty to lying to FBI investigators. Flynn was the latest in a string of Trump’s campaign and administration advisors charged in the ongoing investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election. In presidencies past, it isn’t difficult to imagine a plea from the national security advisor triggering a cascade of congressional motions to remove the chief executive from office. But it’s been radio silence from Republican House leader Paul Ryan and Senate leader Mitch McConnell on the matter.

The very next day, a tweet went out from Donald Trump’s account, stating that he’d fired Flynn not only for lying to Vice President Mike Pence about his involvement, but for lying to the FBI. The possibility of obstruction of justice—the President knowing one of his most powerful aides lied to the FBI, but failing to pass on that information to the FBI director he later fired—would be unthinkable during, say, the Obama presidency. As would a brazen admission on social media.

Still, nothing from Ryan and McConnell.

And then came the President’s endorsement of Roy Moore, a former judge twice removed from office for misconduct, who stands credibly accused of several sexual crimes against young women. Instead, the President tweeted: “We need his vote on stopping crime, illegal immigration, Border Wall, Military, Pro Life, V.A., Judges 2nd Amendment and more.” While Ryan stood by his earlier assertion that Moore should step aside in his Senate campaign, McConnell walked back his earlier denouncement and stated he would “let the people of Alabama make the call.”

MORE: Roy Moore and the hypocrisy of America’s Evangelicals

When Trump’s candidacy moved from a joke campaign to front-runner status during the Republican primaries, many insisted he would rein in his extremist rhetoric and unprofessional public behaviour. After all, appealing to voters in the general election would require some moderation. That didn’t happen.

When Trump won the presidency, conventional wisdom held that he would have to behave like a President and pull back on some of his wilder campaign promises in order to keep the confidence of the American people. It took less than a month before Trump not only attempted to enact a ban on immigrants from Muslim countries, but began lashing out on Twitter against the judges who blocked the order.

Again and again, President Trump has shown himself to be exactly the person that candidate Trump promised. And each time, the failsafes against his authoritarian (and, frankly, racist) abuses of power have, well, failed. The very last of these was the belief that, should Trump be proven to have conspired with Russians to influence the 2016 election, Congress would immediately move forward with impeachment. 

Given the utter pusillanimity of Republicans in Congress, it’s unlikely there’s anything short of Donald Trump standing in the middle of Pennsylvania Avenue and shooting someone that would cause impeachment to happen. Over the weekend, the Senate rammed a hastily considered tax bill through to a 51-49 approval. The bill represents an upward transfer of wealth that will likely come at the expense of millions of families, teachers, and graduate students. But it was considered in news media as a “win” for Republicans, and for Trump. Days after the bill was passed, Trump tweeted his support of Moore, McConnell declared that Alabama voters should have their say, and Quinnipiac released a poll showing solid support among Republicans for the Trump presidency.

MORE: Trump will have to learn to cede the spotlight in 2018. Can he?

While polls show general voter confidence in Trump augering to historic lows, his support among self-identified Republicans (especially those who voted for him in the 2016 election) remains strong. According to the Quinnipiac poll, 82 per cent of Republicans approve of the way Trump is handling his job as President. Fifty-three per cent don’t mind when Trump insults people on Twitter or in person, 64 per cent feel proud (rather than embarrassed) to have him as President, and 90 per cent believe the media to be treating him unfairly.

But only 20 per cent of Republican voters approve of the way Congress—again, controlled in both houses by a Republican majority—is doing its job.

The Republican representatives in Congress who have spoken out openly against Trump, such as Jeff Flake and Bob Corker, have done so at the twilight of their careers. For their part, Flake and Corker’s approval numbers promptly cratered, even though Flake supported the tax bill. As far as Trump is concerned, when outrageous news emerges about him and the actions of his administration, he can count on a shield of partisan delusion from Republican voters. The shield will likely hold, should the special investigation prove that Trump participated in a conspiracy with the Russians to swing the election.

On the other hand, as Congress gears up for the 2018 midterm campaigns, its members face a difficult choice. The generally expected choice would be to push forward with impeachment proceedings and remove the President, but risk punishment during the midterms, and possibly losing control of the party’s legislative agenda. Then there’s the choice to do nothing, as they’ve been doing already, and counting on Republican voters to write off the investigation as more fake news. So far, this seems to be the safer bet.

MORE: The coming American explosion

It may be time to make peace with the reality in which we’re living. Fourteen years after Howard Dean’s scream of excitement was deemed un-Presidential enough to doom his candidacy, America is now faced with the likelihood that a white supremacist, voted into office with possible support from Russian operatives, will serve a full term in office with no resistance from either of the other two branches of government. As long as he signs the bills that a Republican-held Congress puts on his desk, Trump is not likely to be impeached. In fact, he might just win this thing again in 2020.

There’s no help coming.


 

Donald Trump is here to stay

  1. Well he’s got Israel on his side, now watch the media kiss his ass.

    No he’s not going anywhere. Not like Rick Sanchez.

  2. “Flynn was the latest in a string of Trump’s campaign and administration advisors charged in the ongoing investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election.”
    This is the kind of statement that Trump would call fake news. I just call it awful deception. While what the author wrote here is true in the broadest interpretation, it leads the reader to believe that this “string” were all found to be involved in Russian interference. Two, including Flynn have been caught lying to the FBI-and neither lie has anything to do with interference-Flynn meeting the Russian ambassador to talk about sanctions is not interference and the young advisor who was asked by Russians to set up up a meeting with Trump which was declined. And the other two have been charged with money laundering and tax evasion from a period BEFORE joining Trump’s campaign. It is this kind of deceptive crap that got me to stop watching CNN. This is CNN’s bread and butter.
    “When Trump won the presidency, conventional wisdom held that he would have to behave like a President and pull back on some of his wilder campaign promises in order to keep the confidence of the American people.” Only those who didn’t vote for him wanted him to pull back. For the rest, that’s why they elected him-they wanted all of his promises kept.
    “The bill represents an upward transfer of wealth that will likely come at the expense of millions of families, teachers, and graduate students.” You obviously subscribe to Nancy Pelosi’s tale of lies. EVERY level in the tax system who pay taxes today have their deductions doubled. And if you call reducing the corporate tax rate an upward transfer of wealth, you are anti-business big and small. Those are the entities that create jobs both in the US and here in Canada.
    “While polls show general voter confidence in Trump auguring to historic lows,..” Now that is a lie. The most recent poll shows he’s gone up from 40% to 43% and I suspect when the tax bill gets his signature, it will rise much further.
    “The generally expected choice would be to push forward with impeachment proceedings and remove the President” What a ludicrous statement (unless you are a poor losing left winger) when there has been nothing discovered that would warrant impeachment. Even when Clinton perjured himself and was to be impeached, it didn’t happen since the vote in the Democratically controlled Senate didn’t get sufficient votes to impeach. That would be no different for Trump if the matter ever arises.

    • Excellent analysis. For me the big gap in the Russian “collusion” story is that no one has ever explained what the Russians could possibly have done to influence (let alone swing) the election. Short of stuffing ballot boxes, there was nothing they could have done that would have had much impact. It has also never been adequately explained why Putin would have preferred Trump to Hillary. There is no credible reason for him to favour Trump.

      • The Russians did, however, run some pretty vicious stuff on Clinton on social media during the campaign. Clinton prior to that and during the Russian election put $110 million U.S. into an anti-Putin effort in Russia. Her justification was that that money only went to organizations which supported democracy. So she stuck the bear in the eye with a big stick with her Russian election meddling and got paid back appropriately. So Putin didn’t necessarily favour Trump over Hillary, he detested Hillary.

    • Jerome -> Have you nothing better to do with your life?

      • I really enjoy pointing out liberal B.S. And they provide so much ammunition. You still can’t accept factual information I see.

  3. President Donald Trump is doing what a President is supposed to do — protecting his people from foreign enemies. If Canada’s Prime Minister gave a d… about the Canadian people, he would begin to do so, as well. But, Justin T. is too busy pandering to the current “new World Order” crowd of unlimited immigration. (Will he take a lesson from watching Angela Merkel destroy her country’s unity?? — I doubt it.) So, to the author of this article, I would say , “Sorry, Ma’m, but the American people elected their President. You may not like it, but perhaps you should stop putting someone down for simply telling the truth… as Mr. Trump does. ” (Wouldn’t it be nice to be able to believe a word that comes out of JT’s mouth???)

  4. What a confusing article! Impeachment yells are largely based on the fact that he won and Hillary didn’t. The supposed collusion with the Russians is going no where, in large part because there was no collusion. If all Mueller can come up with is charging someone about something that happened way before Trump even thought about being a candidate and charging someone else about something that happened after the election, it is a sure bet that the investigation is going no where. But it has been clearly shown that the investigators are full on board Clinton supporters so they are never going to look at any collusion that the Clinton campaign had with the Russians (see the dossier paid for by the Democrats to get the Russians to produce some dirty laundry on Trump).

    Trumps executive orders have largely been upheld by the Supreme Court. Trump is following through on his campaign promises (if only SockBoy Justin would have done the same). We will see what happens with Roy Moore – but as it stands now, as much as the MSM try to suggest that there are many many women, it turns out there is only two (the guy dated the other women and guess what 40 years ago it was no unusual for 30 year old men to date 18 year old women – still happens today) – and one of the two that have accused him have been labelled a liar by here own family members and the other apparently had her brother jailed by Moore – little facts that the MSM seem to have ‘missed’.

    And more special is the political, media and entertainment left is imploding with their bad behaviour – which is just delightful.

    The writer has fallen into the trap of not liking Trump and using that to leap into impeachment talk etc. The writer needs to go outside and actually talk to real Americans who are not coastal Democrats.

    • Well said Maureen.
      With Democrat Senator Franken being ousted by his own party and announcing his resignation today (where he admitted to absolutely nothing and made no apologies but took a shot at Trump and Moore) I am sure this is part of a grand Democrat strategy to use in the upcoming elections. They will put themselves forward as the party which cares about women while positioning the Republicans as the party which supports abusers. If you look, however, at the politics of the bulk of people in media, entertainment and government who have been accused of sexual misconduct, they are largely Democrats. There has not been a rush by the Democrats who received campaign $ from Harvey Weinstein to give it back. So, this purest, Democratic strategy should be a very hard sell and easily crushed by the Republicans.

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