Should I Stay or Should I Go?

Why is Trump so unpopular?

His supporters claim that a biased media and the “sore loser” Democratic Party are to blame.  While Trump supporters may draw some comfort from those excuses, the real cause is much more obvious.

Trump has lost a third of his support since taking office based on his actions.

  1.  He passed a bill that broke his promise to replace the ACA with something which provides better coverage to more people for less money.  His bill covers 23M fewer people, raises costs for the sick and elderly, removes pre-existing conditions protections, gives a huge tax break to the wealthy, and saves no more money than the ACA.  73% of voters oppose it.
  2. His admitted Muslim travel ban was poorly implemented and struck down by the courts.  Most polls show that the public supports the courts and opposes the ban.
  3. 78% of Americans support an independent investigation of the claims of Russian involvement in the election and Trump’s potential obstruction of justice.
  4. 62% of voters want to stay in the Paris Accords.  Trump announced the US was leaving based on an economic argument that was widely criticized by the fact checkers.
  5.  A majority of Americans (53%) want Trump to release his tax returns.
  6. Finally a majority (54%) of Americans believe President Trump is abusing his powers.

Trump’s historically low approval ratings are his own fault.  Neither the media nor the Democrats forced him to take these actions.  Hopefully his current supporters will also eventually hold him accountable.

For those Trump supporters who aren’t there yet, allow me to share the thoughts of Ray Dalio.  He is a billionaire hedge-fund manager who has been a vocal Trump supporter until recently.

His concern is that he hasn’t seen the pivot that he was expecting from Trump.  That was a pivot from seeking confrontation to implementing policy.  Trump won.  He has an historically unique moment for the conservative movement – Congressional and Judicial majorities.

Instead Trump has spent his time in office seeking out conflict.  Instead of making the fundamental changes in the way that government operates that he promised, Trump continues to drive the world to the brink of disaster environmentally, militarily, and financially.

Here’s how Dalio is evaluating his choice.

It seems to me people who are trying to figure out whether or not to support him are faced with three big questions: 1) what exactly is the part he’s trying to optimize for (e.g., American manufacturing workers) and at the expense of whom, 2) am I more aligned with that part he is trying to protect (e.g., American manufacturing workers) or more aligned with those who will lose out (e.g., immigrants, those who will lose benefits from his budget changes), and 3) will his path of conflict rather than cooperation be effective or harmful?

The rest of us are looking forward to 2018 when we plan to use the ballot box to vote out those who supported his plans.

24 Responses to “Should I Stay or Should I Go?”

  1. Keith says:

    Just staking out one position. Since first term presidents many times get killed in the mid terms, and Obama got smashed, even to record levels in one of his midterms, if Trump DOESNT get wiped out to levels less then President Obamas, what then should we say of Trumps overachieving? Just curious of your thoughts in advance.

    Also you reporting on Trumps low approval rating is getting a tad stale…
    Let’s go Jeff, dig into something…..

  2. Jeff Beamsley says:

    Just staking out one position. Since first term presidents many times get killed in the mid terms, and Obama got smashed, even to record levels in one of his midterms, if Trump DOESNT get wiped out to levels less then President Obamas, what then should we say of Trumps overachieving? Just curious of your thoughts in advance.

    Here are the options November 2018.

    1. Trump retains his majority in both houses. Big win for him.
    2. Trump loses the house but retains the senate. Most likely outcome
    3. Trump loses the house and the Senate. Big loss for him

    The size of the loss of a majority in the House doesn’t really matter. Unlike the Republicans, the Democrats are united. So a single vote majority is more than enough to stall the Trump agenda.

    The “size” issue is WAY more important at the state level with governors and state legislatures. That’s because the 2020 census is coming up where districts can again be redrawn. If there is a significant change in the balance of power at the state level, the advantage that Republicans have had in House races may finally be diminished.

    Also you reporting on Trumps low approval rating is getting a tad stale…
    Let’s go Jeff, dig into something…..

    Maybe stale for you, but it is starting to show up regularly in reporting.

    Here’s a quote from a Wash Post article talking about the difficulties of getting a tax cut passed.

    George W. Bush passed two big tax cuts that were largely similar to what Republicans want to do now, didn’t he? But there’s a difference. When Bush signed his first tax cut in June 2001, his approval rating was at around 55 percent. When he passed his second tax cut in May 2003, his approval was around 65 percent (it was early in the Iraq War, when everything seemed to be going well). Right now Trump is at around or below 40 percent in many polls, so neither he nor Congress is getting the benefit of the doubt.

    and

    The deep unpopularity of this agenda goes a long way toward explaining why Congress has gotten almost nothing done this year, despite the fact that Republicans control both houses and have a president happy to sign whatever they put on his desk. All Republicans feel nervous these days — their president is unpopular, so is their party, and there’s the real possibility of a Democratic wave in 2018 that sweeps many of them from office. That’s enough to make a lawmaker skittish about doing anything that might make the voters even more disgusted. So the legislative process gets dragged out for longer and longer.

    Here’s something from The Hill talking about how difficult it is for Republicans to pass healthcare reform.

    Yet another factor for Republicans is Trump’s approval rating, which has fallen to its lowest point with Republicans since he took office in the latest Reuters/Ipsos tracking poll.

    and finally from VOX

    If Trump remains this unpopular, it could hurt Republican politicians going forward. In the wake of this turmoil in the White House, Democrats have been watching vulnerable Republican House and Senate seats very closely. As Vox’s Andrew Prokop writes, low approval ratings don’t bode well for the Republican majority in the 2018 midterm election.

    “Every postwar president with a sub-50 percent approval rating around midterm time has lost a double-digit number of House seats, with truly massive landslides being common,” Prokop writes.

    In other words, if Trump’s approval rating continues to drop, he could be risking the Republican majority in Congress.

  3. Keith says:

    My point. If he gets killed in the mid terms it means nothing. He would just be average. So logic would say anything other then getting killed, see President Obama for reference of getting killed, he will have out preformed. It’s really that simple. To under perform he has to do worse then the others.

  4. Jeff Beamsley says:

    My point. If he gets killed in the mid terms it means nothing. He would just be average. So logic would say anything other then getting killed, see President Obama for reference of getting killed, he will have out preformed. It’s really that simple. To under perform he has to do worse then the others.

    I appreciate the point, but the relevance is whether or not he retains the ability to advance his agenda, and to a lesser extent whether or not the Democrats are able to advance theirs.

    Obama lost 63 seats in the House in 2010 but retained his majority in the Senate. While 63 seats is a lot, from a political point of view he ended up about average – lose control of the house retain control of the senate.

    Just to push the point to the absurd, let’s say that Trump had a 434 – 1 majority in the House and lost 215 seats in the midterm election. He would still be better than most because he retained his House majority 218-216 even though it would be a loss of historic proportions.

    What is important to me is whether the Republicans retain the ability to pass legislation without Democratic help after the 2018 election. If they don’t, then the 2018 midterms will be a success for Democrats and a loss for Trump regardless of how many seats actually changed hands. The icing on the cake will be if the Democrats have enough votes in 2019 to pass a bill of impeachment. That would indicate that a majority of the voting public may be interested in Trump being removed from office.

  5. Jeff Beamsley says:

    BTW, just curious since you were very concerned about Bill Clinton’s private meeting with AG Loretta Lynch and your conclusion that the subject was the FBI investigation of Hillary Clinton. How do you feel about Trump’s private meeting with James Comey? This in particular because of the news that Comey went to AG Jeff Sessions to ask him not to leave him alone with Trump.

    Mr. Comey believed Mr. Sessions should protect the F.B.I. from White House influence, the officials said, and pulled him aside after a meeting in February to tell him that private interactions between the F.B.I. director and the president were inappropriate. But Mr. Sessions could not guarantee that the president would not try to talk to Mr. Comey alone again, the officials said.

  6. Keith says:

    From Comey’s prepared statement I just heard read on NBC news as a time line, any fair minded person, finds nothing. Comey says nothing. In fact Trump is now supported by Comey in that three times Trump was told “your not being investigated.” He also says he didn’t feel pressure Trump tried to influence him. No obstruction.

    Please keep this in mind, Trump is a BS’er. His words are many and 80% of them are unnessary and lead to confusion.

  7. Keith says:

    http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/U/US_COMEY?SITE=AP&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT&CTIME=2017-06-07-18-50-51

    I’d ask if I were being investigated, wouldn’t you Jeff? And if I were repeatedly told I want I might ask that you publically say that if I had low approval ratings. Wouldn’t you?

  8. Keith says:

    Google “Trump was told three times he was not under investigation.”
    It’s 12:40pm on Thursday. What you’ll find is only right wing media results coming up. After Comeys testimony no public acknowledgement from Wash Post? NYT? Others? He is totally exhonorated on this “Fake News” claim.

  9. Keith says:

    Comey said he was never pressured to drop the Russian investigation of the election. Again Fake News. Comey comes out of these hearings as he didn’t do a very good job. In fact he called himself coweredly …

    Bottom line NO obstruction of justice. (As of yet)

    Conversely Attorney Lynch asked him to call Bill Clinton on tarmac a matter and not an investigation.

    He made it clear the Russians acted in our election. He said no votes were changed.

  10. Keith says:

    Winners and Losers from James Comey’s testimony – CNN
    https://apple.news/AGx2WzGSgTqeDBIWX2NMH0A

    CNN says Comey is the winner and Trump the loser. How does ANY ONE reach that conclusion. Still waiting for any headline from main stream media that says Trump was cleared ….

  11. Keith says:

    CNN lead comments are Comey – Trump lied about me & FBI

    Nobody who watched would have that take away.

  12. Keith says:

    Comey called New York Times and Wash Post amount others, wildly inaccurate….. trumps Fake News claim appears to be correct. Yikes. Now where do you go for your news Jeff?

  13. Jeff Beamsley says:

    From Comey’s prepared statement I just heard read on NBC news as a time line, any fair minded person, finds nothing. Comey says nothing. In fact Trump is now supported by Comey in that three times Trump was told “your not being investigated.” He also says he didn’t feel pressure Trump tried to influence him. No obstruction.

    You bias is on full display.

    It is remarkable that you continue to use the “any fair minded person” description and then jump off into the deep end of the right wing pool.

    Comey’s testimony and his actions SOLIDIFIED the obstruction of justice case against Trump. Here’s why.

    1. If all that Trump was concerned about is whether or not he was being investigated, why did he continue to discuss the ongoing investigation of Flynn with Comey AFTER he was told three times that he was not the focus of the investigation.

    2. Trump suggested to Comey that his job depended on his loyalty to Trump. Comey refused to accept that premise and was later fired.

    3. Trump’s own comments said that he fired Comey BECAUSE Comey did not drop investigations in the Russia’s involvement in the 2016 election.

    Please keep this in mind, Trump is a BS’er. His words are many and 80% of them are unnessary and lead to confusion.

    You’ve used that excuse before too. This is basically the core question for an obstruction of justice claim. Was there intent? That is very hard to prove in a criminal case. But this won’t be a criminal case. If it gets that far, it will be a political case tried in the House and Senate. A very important detail regarding Trump’s understanding of the implications of his actions is the fact that he specifically asked other people to leave the room so that there were no other witnesses to the conversations that he was having with Comey. Comey’s reactions to those conversations which were also on the record in his testimony indicate that Comey knew EXACTLY what Trump was asking.

    By the way, please stop using the euphemism of “BS”. Trump is liar. Comey called him out as a liar in his testimony. Comey shared his memos with the press because he KNEW Trump would lie about their conversations AND because he KNEW that the only way this investigation was going to be able to move forward was with an independent counselor.

  14. Jeff Beamsley says:

    http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/U/US_COMEY?SITE=AP&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT&CTIME=2017-06-07-18-50-51

    I’d ask if I were being investigated, wouldn’t you Jeff? And if I were repeatedly told I want I might ask that you publically say that if I had low approval ratings. Wouldn’t you?

    Red herring.

    If he has stopped after he learned that he wasn’t the focus of the investigations, we would not be where we are today. It is STILL inappropriate for the President to inquire about what is supposed to be an ongoing investigation.

    To push your analogy further, if YOU were under investigation, how do you think the FBI would react if you walked into an FBI office, asked to speak with an FBI agent and then asked “BTW, can you tell me whether or not I’m under investigation”? They would ask you politely to leave. As Comey said in his testimony, they don’t generally share that information publicly because of circumstances change, then they have to announce to the press that someone previously not under investigation now was.

    The difference here is that the POTUS was asking the question.

    But the BIG difference is that Trump didn’t stop there. He ultimately fired Comey BECAUSE Comey didn’t do what Trump asked him to do. That is the basis for the obstruction of justice claim.

  15. Jeff Beamsley says:

    Google “Trump was told three times he was not under investigation.”
    It’s 12:40pm on Thursday. What you’ll find is only right wing media results coming up. After Comeys testimony no public acknowledgement from Wash Post? NYT? Others? He is totally exhonorated on this “Fake News” claim.

    What “fake news” claim was that?

    BTW, also please stop using this term.

    There are dozens of stories in the NYT and Wash Post about both Comey’s transcript release and Comey’s subsequent testimony. The fact that they didn’t chose to headline the fact that Trump was in fact told that he wasn’t the focus of he investigations isn’t “fake news”. They reported that along with everything else. What they DID headline is that Comey’s testimony SUPPORTED the ongoing investigations into potential obstruction of justice claims. Trump WAS NOT vindicated and is still very much at risk.

  16. Jeff Beamsley says:

    Comey said he was never pressured to drop the Russian investigation of the election. Again Fake News. Comey comes out of these hearings as he didn’t do a very good job. In fact he called himself coweredly …

    Bottom line NO obstruction of justice. (As of yet)

    You must have watched a different testimony from me.

    “I don’t think it’s for me to say whether the conversation I had with the president was an effort to obstruct,” Comey said. “I took it as a very disturbing thing, very concerning, but that’s a conclusion I’m sure the special counsel will work towards, to try and understand what the intention was there, and whether that’s an offense.”

    Conversely Attorney Lynch asked him to call Bill Clinton on tarmac a matter and not an investigation.

    Did Lynch ask him to stop the investigation? If not, then this is not an apples to apples comparison. The rest of the Comey comment is that as a result of Lynch’s request AND her meeting with Bill Clinton, Comey CHANGED what would have been his normal reporting process. He went directly to the Press. Same story with Trump. He was not planning to say anything after his firing about his conversations with Trump, but once it because clear that Trump started lying about the reasons for the firing, Comey shared his notes with the press in an effort to FORCE the appointment of a special prosecutor.

    He made it clear the Russians acted in our election. He said no votes were changed.

    Please stop dragging this old claim out too. The election is over. It won’t be rerun. The REAL issue is whether or not there was coordination between the Trump campaign and the Russian activities AND even more importantly whether the Trump campaign has attempted to cover-up or otherwise interfere with the investigation. Those are the things that will get a president impeached, not whether or not the election itself was affected.

    BTW, Comey’s claim of cowardice was based on how he reacted to INAPPROPRIATE requests from the President. IMHO Comey is way more credible than Trump and that is really the only thing that matters.

  17. Jeff Beamsley says:

    Winners and Losers from James Comey’s testimony – CNN
    https://apple.news/AGx2WzGSgTqeDBIWX2NMH0A

    CNN says Comey is the winner and Trump the loser. How does ANY ONE reach that conclusion. Still waiting for any headline from main stream media that says Trump was cleared ….

    CNN is right. If anything, Comey STRENGTHENED the obstruction of justice case against Trump. Trump was not cleared of anything. The FBI was NOT investigating Trump for obstruction of justice. They were investigating the Russian involvement in the election. The fact that Trump wasn’t the focus of the Russian investigation is NOT NEWS. We heard that six months ago. What IS news is that Trump is STILL under investigation for obstruction of justice by Mueller because Comey VERIFIED that Trump asked him to drop the investigations after he had asked others to leave the room.

    As Nixon and Clinton have proved, obstruction of justice is what get’s you impeached, not burglary, or adulatory, or colluding with a foreign power.

  18. Jeff Beamsley says:

    CNN lead comments are Comey – Trump lied about me & FBI

    Nobody who watched would have that take away.

    Maybe “nobody” with your particular bias. I took exactly that away. If fact that was one of the highlights of the whole testimony was Comey calling Trump out as a liar.

    But that’s because I believe that he is deliberate liar and you view him as a “just a BS’er”.

  19. Jeff Beamsley says:

    Comey called New York Times and Wash Post amount others, wildly inaccurate….. trumps Fake News claim appears to be correct. Yikes. Now where do you go for your news Jeff?

    Your comment is a good example of how Fake News works.

    Comey’s claim was that the NYT story saying that there had been contacts between Russians and the Trump campaign was inaccurate. He did NOT say that they were “wildly inaccurate” as you said. What is said is that “in the main, it was not true”.

    What you, and many right wing fake news sources, did is assume that this comment meant that the story of connections between the campaign and Russian intelligence community was made up.

    What other more thoughtful news sources have determined is that Comey was NOT saying that his investigation didn’t have value. What he was saying is that the people they were turning up would not be characterized as members of the intelligence community by the FBI. The difference is that other US intelligence organizations have a broader definition of “intelligence” than the FBI.

    Some law enforcement officials took issue with the Times account in the days after it was published, saying that the intelligence was still murky, and that the Russians who were in contact with Mr. Trump’s advisers did not meet the F.B.I.’s black-and-white standard of who can be considered an ‘intelligence officer,’.

    Another possibility, according to the Times, is that Comey may have disputed with the newspaper’s description of the evidence as “phone records and intercepted calls.”

  20. Jeff Beamsley says:

    http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2017/06/08/dershowitz-comey-confirms-that-im-right-and-all-democratic-commentators-are-wrong.html

    I’ve already commented on Dershowitz. You posted this in a different form in an earlier op-ed that he authored. All he is saying is that in his opinion, Trump’s actions don’t rise to a level of criminality. He is not claiming that the actions didn’t happen (your position). He is simply saying that in his interpretation of the law, they aren’t illegal because the President has broad powers.

    But that’s not the issue. The issue is whether there is enough of a case to bring a bill of impeachment in the House. If there is the PUBLIC perception that there is enough of a case, then it is just a matter of politics. That politics will turn on the 2018 elections. The 2018 elections will turn on Trump’s job approval ratings. That’s why the job approval ratings are important. BTW, they continue to go down. Quinnipiac just broke the 35% barrier with a 34% number. RealClear Politics is still at 39% as an aggregate, but we are now entering that historic danger territory.

  21. Jeff Beamsley says:

    BTW, one other detail that is significant.

    Comey confirmed that he supplied all of his memos to Mueller.

    There is no reason for Mueller to be interested in Comey’s memos unless his investigation is looking into potential obstruction of justice claims.

    “That’s a conclusion I’m sure the special counsel will work towards, to try and understand what the intention was there and whether that’s an offense,” Mr. Comey said.

    Still want to cling to your claim that the most headline-worthy portion of Comey’s testimony was the confirmation that he told Trump in January that he wasn’t under investigation by the FBI?

  22. Jeff Beamsley says:

    BTW BTW, Trump today accused Comey of lying under oath.

    So this raises a very interesting question. That’s because Trump said that he liked some of the things Comey said, which he felt vindicated him, and that the other things that he didn’t like were lies.

    So if Comey is a liar, why would he just lie about some of the things and not all of them?

    I’ll post something about the credibility that Trump has with Republicans compared to the rest of the world.

    That gap is a problem because both can’t be true.

    So was Comey lying some of the time or is this just more BS because Trump lies all of the time?

    This also puts Trump at risk of the second big sin for a President, which is lying under oath. At some point along here, Trump is going to be asked to testify under oath. At that point he is likely going to be asked about these statements. If he doesn’t tell the truth, he will strengthen the calls for impeachment – just like Clinton claiming that he didn’t have sex with that woman.

    BTW, this is the sort of stuff that I was talking about regarding how Trump will react when his approval ratings fall into the low 30’s. It appears he will simply double down on his own version of reality which, IMHO just makes his situation worse.

  23. Jeff Beamsley says:

    BTW, BTW, BTW – You know that guy who said he was completely exonerated? The Atlantic is reporting that he is currently under investigation by Mueller for obstruction of justice.

    Clearly at least Mueller thinks that there are still some things worth looking into.

    BTW, BTW, BTW, BTW – Those rumors that were floated about Trump firing Mueller. How much you want to bet that they were BECAUSE Mueller made it clear that he intended to proceed with the investigation into the obstruction of justice claim.

    As information continues to dribble out about that investigation, how long do you think it will take before Trump has ANOTHER meltdown and tries to fire Mueller? Maybe THAT might be the event that would convince you that Trump has abused his power.

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