As much as we are all transfixed by the phenomenon of a singularly unqualified, self-interested bogeyman having ascended to the most powerful office in the world, as King Solomon once said, "This too shall pass." And it seems to me that it will all have passed in less than two years from now.
This always terrifying/entertaining (he never would have gotten this far if he wasn't, admit it, at least a little entertaining...) spectacle of democracy at its worst is also achieving some significant (and generally unanticipated) shifts in the body politic. For one, Trump may have permanently marginalized the Republican Party. Yes, his approval rating seems to be moving in the 36-45% range. But, this is the result of his enduring popularity among about 80% of the GOP and only about one/third of independents. This, in fact, has led to a self-murdering dynamic for Republicans; Trump is too popular with the rank and file for incumbents and candidates to buck. But, at the same time, he is also too unpopular with the country at large for a party that embraces his values to win elections, outside of deep red states, and more frequently now not even there. The 2018 mid-term elections demonstrated to just what extent Trump is pulling the rug out from under his own party. Furthermore, the extent to which those Republicans who have adopted Trump's values and have been elected to office are in the long-term, simply consolidating the GOP as a party who's core beliefs are unacceptable to the mainstream of Americans.
This is all happening as the rest of the country is moving decidedly to the left. Even if Sanders doesn't win (and I think he will steamroll right over Biden as well as all of the Bernie-lite candidates), one of the current Democratic presidential candidates (who are caught-up knee-deep in Sanders' wake) will. In addition, Trump's low approval rating doesn't reflect how soft his overall support actually is. Most Americans want to have a decent opinion of their President. But, this doesn't mean that they will vote for him if someone better comes along.
And who isn't better than Donald Trump?
So, after this relatively brief (unfortunately for the media) "Trump Hump", we are probably looking at a much more progressive President who will quickly undo as much of what Trump has undone by his predecessors, presiding over a far more left-leaning House and Senate. And this "dynamic" may very well continue to only get stronger and stronger as time goes on.
Yes, the Supreme Court is still a significant problem, and I honestly don't know how that will play out. There was some talk about Congressional hearings into whether Kavanaugh perjured himself. But Chief Justice Roberts has already made good on his stated concerns about the court having moved too far to the right (even for him) with his majority-making vote in the recent abortion ruling. But I don't want to be too overly optimistic about the Court in the long-run.
In any case, I do think we want to step back and look at the bigger picture: Yes, Trump will soon be history, and his legacy ironically may be something neither he, nor Mitch McConnell, ever intended: a New Deal Part 2, and a very progressive America for many years to come.
(Article changed on March 9, 2019 at 01:43)
(Article changed on March 9, 2019 at 03:08)