Democracy Dies in Darkness


Morning Bits: Trump’s sinking ship

September 12, 2018 at 7:45 AM

President Trump and first lady Melania Trump arrive in Johnstown, Pa., on Tuesday, ahead of a memorial service for the victims of Flight 93 in Shanksville, Pa. (Evan Vucci/AP)

President Trump’s numbers are sinking like a stone. From CNN’s Harry Enten: “President Donald Trump’s approval rating in the latest CNN poll stands at just 36%. That’s a 6-point drop from 42% last month. Normally, I’d dismiss such a decline as statistical noise and want to see other polls before declaring that the President’s standing among the public has diminished. Here’s the thing: CNN’s poll is only the latest in a series of high-quality, live-interview polling over the last two weeks to show that Trump’s approval rating is down. This dip could have a major impact on the midterms if it holds.”

The voting-fraud hysteric’s chances are sinking. “Kris Kobach may be the chosen standard-bearer for the Kansas Republican Party, but elected GOP officials are less than unified behind him in his run for governor. Almost 40 percent of Republicans in the Kansas Legislature, when asked whether they will support Kobach in November, either would not say or did not respond to repeated inquiries. Four moderate Republicans, all from Johnson County, have said they will not support Kobach.”

Do Republicans see their Senate numbers sinking, too? “Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) warned on Tuesday that the November midterm elections will be ‘very challenging’ for Republicans, saying that the GOP is facing a ‘storm’ as it tries to hold on to the Senate. McConnell, speaking with reporters in Louisville, Ky., said Republicans know the ‘wind is going to be in our face’ with several make-or-break races with tight polling.” That wind is tropical storm Donald.

Have the sinking feeling that he’s totally out to lunch? This makes it worse: “President Donald Trump told reporters Tuesday afternoon that his administration’s response to two hurricanes that devastated Puerto Rico last year was an ‘unsung success.’ ‘Puerto Rico was incredibly successful,’ the president said during an Oval Office meeting with FEMA Director Brock Long about Hurricane Florence, which is expected to make landfall in the coming days. . . . His comments fly in the face of FEMA’s own admission that the agency could have ‘better anticipated’ the storms. A recent report commissioned by the government of Puerto Rico estimated that Hurricane Maria led to the deaths of 2,975 people, which would make it the second-deadliest hurricane in U.S. history.” Frightful what he thinks is a success.

Trump’s sinking below the water-line when former staffers issue non-denials. “Two denials, in particular — from former top White House aides Gary Cohn and Rob Porter — are conspicuously incomplete. Both men are accused in the book of effectively removing things from Trump’s desk to prevent him from taking certain actions. And both have now issued statements that are rather similar, both for what they say and what they don’t say. . . . Neither of them says specific details or quotes offered by [The Post’s Bob] Woodward are wrong, mind you; they say only that the overall picture is flawed.”

When they cannot bet on a win in Texas, you know Republicans’ chances of holding their Senate  majority are sinking. “Every dollar spent in Texas is one not spent elsewhere. And some Republican strategists are warning the close race between [Sen. Ted] Cruz and [Rep. Beto] O’Rourke will have a potential impact on other races, even if the incumbent wins.

Just when you think the president cannot be sinking any lower. “Before traveling to the Shanksville, Pa., site where United Flight 93 crashed into a field, the president fired off multiple posts accusing his opponents of ‘failing and lying like CRAZY’ and charging the investigative reporter Bob Woodward with acting like a Democratic operative ahead of the midterms. He re-posted tweets proclaiming his innocence in the Russia probe and thanking ‘God for President Trump.’ . . . The president’s muted speech at the site of the airline crash 17 years ago belied the conflict-ridden tone of an executive who has struggled with a basic obligation of his office: commemorating the fallen in service of pulling the country together.” Pathetic. Just pathetic.

Jennifer Rubin writes reported opinion from a center-right perspective for The Washington Post.

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