President Donald Trump ventured back into flood-ravaged Texas Saturday for an attempted “re-do” of his disastrous earlier visit that showcased an ego-driven leader who bragged about things he didn’t control and ignored those who suffered.
This time, he went to Houston where tens of thousands of residents remain homeless and continue to live in shelters set up on schools and other dry spaces, held up and kissed a black child and declared that the people who saw in despair were “happy” and “having a good time.”
Then on the Louisiana, where Lake Charles is flooded.
This time, first lady Melania Trump dressed a little more conservative. She did not leave the White House in stiletto heels and skin-tight pants. Her blouse did not show some of the cleavage from her surgically enhanced breasts. She even tried to smile a little.
But, sources close to the first family says, the Trumps climbed back on Air Force One is concern and anger over how the event was covered by the media and new reports, even from Trump-embracing Fox News, that the president’s approval level is dropping and the size of his hard-core base is shrinking.
That base complains that the president they supported with so much energy and hope has failed to deliver on his legislative promises. His once-dominant support among working class whites is now before 50 percent and mainstream Republicans now say he is ‘tear the country apart.”
New chief of staff John Kelley, the Marine general who come in to bring the chaotic White House under control, now admits to close associates that he cannot, and never will be able to, control the bombastic Trump, whose mouth destroys the best attempts to show him as either presidential or confident.
White House insiders say Keely may not make it to the end of the year in a White House where senior aides get the boot and those who remain spend most of their time trying to smooth over Trump’s screwups.
“The chief of staff says he dreams about stealing the president’s personal smart phone and stomp it to pieces,” says a White House aide. Trump uses it to send out his tsunami of tweets that contradicts stated administration policy and ignites more fires than the slim staff can extinguish.
Republicans in Congress worry that Trump’s off-the-wall antics will prevent any efforts to actually support and approve any legislation that provides any image of actually governing.
“Voters are very skeptical it will happen,” Tony Fabrizio, Trump’s pollster in the 2016 Presidential election, tells The Washington Post. “If the president can get a tax-reform package passed, it will confound their expectations and be a huge win.”
So far, Trump’s attempts to promote his tax-reform plans is vague. Even worse, it violates basic economics.
Says The New York Times, in an editorial this weekend:
The president’s claim also defies history. Wages have long stagnated, despite tax cuts in the 1980s and 2000s, while profits, shareholder returns and executive pay have soared. Profits, whether lifted by favorable economic conditions, by tax cuts or by both, have not translated into employee raises and have instead been used for other purposes. One is to buy back stock, which lifts share prices and, by extension, executive compensation. Following a huge one-off corporate tax cut in 2004, big piles of corporate cash were also used to pay dividends to shareholders, settle legal issues and finance severance packages for layoffs.
Republicans, who looked the other way during Trump’s other questionable actions, now openly question what he says or promises. His actions become more divisive, even within the GOP. Instead of working to attract support that is sorely needed, Trump holds campaign-style rallies in states he won and the crowds aren’t as large now as his base shrinks.
“It’s almost as if he’s the pilot of a plane that’s in a terrible downward spiral and he’s insisting on continuing to do things to make it worse,” says John Weaver, chief strategist for the 2016 presidential campaign of Gov. John Kasich (R-Ohio), told the Post. “You can’t govern like that, and you can’t win reelection like that, and you can’t take your party into the 2018 midterms like that.”
Polls show Trump’s latest actions brings support only from that small base. His pardoning of Arizona sheriff Joe Arpaio, the racist law enforcement officer to profiled, abused and molested immigrants, shows just 34 percent approval while 60 percent of those surveyed by the latest NBC/Survey Monkey polls shows 60 percent feels Trump was wrong.
Likewise, Trump’s threat to dismantle the “Dreamers” immigration program that allows undocumented children to remain in the United States, shows 64 percent of Americans support the Obama program that protects the children. Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, a Wisconsin Republicans, urged Trump to not end the program.
“There’s nothing he’s got right now except adulation from his base,” says GOP strategist Rick Wilson. “He could eat a live baby on stage and they’d forgive him. He can do no wrong.”
That base, however, is shrinking and the few who are left are not enough to keep him in the White House in the next presidential election and his falling support and polls numbers show he could face needed loss of support in the mid-term elections in 2016.
“Trump’s illusions depend on those who buy into his puffery,” says a former White House staff member. “It’s losing air and there may not be a patch large enough to seal that hole.”
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