A few moments ago I noticed a new PPP poll showing that Mitch McConnell seems to have been damaged significantly in his home state of Kentucky by the effort to repeal Obamacare. The number that caught my eye was that McConnell has an astonishing 74% disapproval rating with just 18% approving of his performance in office. A hypothetical Democrat beats him by 7 percentage points. But that only tells part of the story.
One of the oddities of the last week-plus is that it has created what seems like a crisis for the White House which is new and perhaps a turning point. Yet the most daunting challenge facing the White House – or the two most daunting challenges – aren’t on people’s radar at all. Or, rather they are entirely unconnected to the chain of events stemming from the incidents last weekend in Charlottesville. And the events in Charlottesville have largely pushed them off the front pages.
I got an email about my post on Trump from an old friend Fred Block, a professor of sociology at UC Davis, and the author of pathbreaking books on the relationship between government and the economy. Here is what Fred wrote:
What a week. Who would imagine that Bannon would do the political equivalent of “suicide by cop” by calling Bob Kuttner? But I wanted to respond to your second childhood post about Trump.
Here’s one thing to consider as Steve Bannon leaves the White House. There’s hardly anyone in the close Trump orbit who hasn’t been tripped up in some way by the Russia investigation. There’s one big exception: Steve Bannon.
Jessica Huseman is a reporter at ProPublica covering national politics and civil rights. Prior to joining ProPublica, she was an education reporter at The Teacher Project and Slate. Her stories have been published in The Atlantic, the Dallas Morning News, and NPR.
Jessica will be in The Hive on Wednesday, May 24th for a 30-minute chat about voting rights and Trump’s shady “voter fraud” panel. Submit your questions at any time or join us on Wednesday! If you’d like to participate but don’t have TPM Prime, sign up here.
If you don’t have the twitter or breaking news wires spiked directly into your veins, for the last 10 or 20 minutes there have been a series of reports that Steve Bannon is out at the White House. First the news came from Drudge (who, whatever you think about him, is well-sourced on this front). The Times has now confirmed the story – but with a major caveat.
Every president has these industry councils like the ones we’ve been talking about in recent days. They range from meaningless to not terribly important. They’re mainly symbolic. With everything that’s happened in recent days, I don’t want to make it out like the decisions of a small number of CEOs is the biggest news. Still, we should recognize that it is entirely unprecedented to have a sitting president become so toxic that corporate America feels unable to publicly associate with him. That is totally, totally new territory.
Roy Moore–yes, THAT Roy Moore–has a plausible path to the U.S. Senate. Not a lock, but probably a lot more plausible than you realize. It’s going to be a barnburner in Alabama over the next six weeks, and Cam Joseph is on the case.
One of the many privileges I have as the proprietor of TPM is that can let my writing be driven, at least in part, by impulse. Sometimes it’s like a fever and I have to and do write constantly. Other times, I don’t feel I have anything particular to say. And while I feel some self-imposed pressure, I can, to a degree, wait. In the last six days, we’ve had the horrifying events in Charlottesville followed by a series of self-inflicted injuries by the President, driven by his own rages, damaged psyche, grievance and inner illness. In the last 36 hours, almost everything seems to be falling apart. And yet, despite the fact that these are all issues which have been central to my interests and concerns for years, I’ve found myself with little to say.