by Jeffery Rendall
Lost in the fog of last week’s collective establishment media freak-out over Rudy Giuliani’s explosive interviews, the shockingly abusive “pen register” (predicate to a wiretap) of Trump attorney Michael Cohen and the ongoing non-issue of alleged payments to silence porn mistress Stormy Daniels were the results of a new poll suggesting that Americans…think the Trump administration is in turmoil.
Steven Shepard of Politico reported, “A strong majority of voters say President Donald Trump’s administration is running chaotically after Trump’s pick for veterans affairs secretary, White House physician Ronny Jackson, withdrew his name from consideration last week, according to a new POLITICO/Morning Consult poll.
“More than 3 in 5 voters, 62 percent, say Trump’s administration is running very or somewhat chaotically — nearly twice as many as the 32 percent who say it’s running very or somewhat well.
“A majority of Republicans, 68 percent, say the Trump administration is running well. But that sentiment is shared by few Democrats (9 percent) and independents (25 percent).”
This gem of a poll contains some other juicy nuggets but let’s concentrate on the “chaos” aspect here. Looking at this data with a critical eye, how or why would 62 percent of Americans think the Trump administration is operating chaotically? Are the nation’s laws not being enforced? Are regulatory functions being neglected? Are planes falling from the sky? Was the Lincoln Memorial annexed by Antifa?
Do these folks (who responded to the survey) have a front row seat to witness what’s going on not only in the West Wing but also to cruise the halls of executive agencies to determine how much “chaos” is occurring behind closed doors?
It’s hard enough for the average person to deduce how Washington works from a close observer’s standpoint; the rest of the opinions must stem from media reports – and the anti-Trump news industry isn’t the least bit interested in discussing the positive aspects of today’s administration. Staff turnover and incessant tales of fights between Trump and his chief of staff John Kelly (and other cabinet officers) isn’t helping provide citizens the impression there’s much tranquility in government today.
The media’s sole motivation in pushing such commotion fantasies is to attract readers and viewers – and let’s face it, havoc sells. Do you think anyone who hates Trump wants to listen to reports on how his policies are helping businesses hire additional workers or that the military is more confident than ever because our fighting men and women know they won’t be left alone and unsupported on some anonymous rooftop to die somewhere (like Benghazi)?
It basically boils down to a matter of belief – do you trust President Trump to choose the best people to serve in his government? The poll indicates Democrats certainly don’t have any faith in him (as expected) and even a relatively high number of Republicans (over 30 percent) are skeptical as well. But once again, what do the naysayers know (about conditions on the “inside”) other than what the media tells them?
Objectively speaking, the economy is humming along faster than it has in years, unemployment hit another new low last week and the foreign policy realm is loaded with good news about potential peace on the Korean peninsula. All of this “good stuff” was buried by the media in favor of droning on about Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s stupid “collusion” questions for Trump (and a possible subpoena) and Rudy Giuliani’s bizarre series of interviews where the former New York City mayor seemed to get his facts mixed up about who did what in the Stormy Daniels payoff caper.
Bottom line for most people: who cares?
Beyond this, why are pollsters even bothering to sample the public’s opinion on “chaos” in the White House when very few can speak intelligently on the matter? Opinions are cheap, especially when they’re primarily based on conjecture and speculation by self-interested journalists who despise Trump anyway.
If anything this type of distracting nonsense furnishes fodder for Trump’s enemies (Democrats, leftists and #NeverTrumpers) to contend there could be an opening to dump Trump through impeachment or perhaps even a GOP primary challenge in 2020. And if none of that works, would wishy-washy John Kasich run as an independent in the general election?
Some people think Kasich could – and should – try it. Morton Kondracke wrote last week at Real Clear Politics, “Kasich told me, ‘Republicans are angry with me now, but maybe tomorrow they will follow me.’ It’s far more probable that if they stopped following Trump they’d follow someone loyal to the party. Whether he knows it or not, Kasich is considered an apostate.
“He’s said he’s ‘unlikely’ to run as an Independent, but hasn’t ruled it out, and his chief political strategist, John Weaver, told me there’d be space for a successful third candidate if Democrats nominated a Bernie Sanders-style left-winger and Republicans stick with an unpopular Trump.
“Weaver said up to 25 percent of Republicans and 25 percent of Democrats might be open to voting for an Independent. Leading potential 2020 Democratic presidential candidates do seem to be adopting Sanders’s agenda. Sens. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, Kamala Harris of California, Kirsten Gillibrand of New York, Cory Booker of New Jersey and Jeff Merkley of Oregon all support a single-payer health care system.”
It’s not even 2020 yet and already the political boo-birds are clamoring for a third-party challenge to Trump from somebody thought to embody the political center — if there truly is such a thing. Kondracke’s article notes Kasich has been critical of the GOP tax cut, Trump’s push for tightening immigration laws (and ending DACA), has called for “common sense” gun legislation and once again defended his decision to expand Medicaid in Ohio under Obamacare.
And Kasich still claims to be a conservative. Pfft.
I don’t know what universe Kasich is living in but it ain’t one Republicans call home. Donald Trump was able to come from nowhere to win the hearts of 80 percent (or more) of Republicans today because he took up the sword in advocating all these “causes” that centrist establishment figures like Mitt Romney and John McCain left lying neglected on the sidewalk outside of party headquarters.
Some people take issue with the way Trump articulates things but deep down they’re happy with the fact he’s saying them. Contrast this with Kasich who cries and whines about “tone” and “teamwork” between the parties but didn’t stir voters to select him from a slate of candidates two years ago.
If there’s someone out there who really believes in “bipartisan” cooperation, please stand up! Hypothetically speaking, is a law any more legitimate because Democrats and Republicans agreed on the terms and came together to pass it? Does the measure therefore achieve some sort of exalted status because it got more votes than a bill that squeaked by (but still passed) on a party-line vote?
Political Kumbaya sounds good in theory but the Founding Fathers weren’t just a bunch of “bipartisan” sissies who naively couldn’t figure out how to separate from the king and still have everyone remain friends. No, they drew a sharp line, declared independence and dared the greatest military power on earth to come and get them.
Even if someone like Kasich were to raise the hundreds of millions needed to finance an independent run (Kondracke’s story says there are disgruntled billionaires out there ready to support an independent candidate) he would still be competing against Trump and the Democrat nominee for media attention and loyalty in the 2020 fall campaign. Kasich’s message sounds pleasing but when you dig below the surface a “centrist” argument is neither here nor there.
Kasich is therefore nothing more than a Washington establishmentarian wolf in sheep’s clothing who’s a lot closer to the viewpoints of the blueblood Bush GOP wing than anything else. If (as Weaver claims above) supposedly 25 percent of Democrats are open to a third option, would they even give Kasich the time of day? The Ohio governor isn’t exactly a pro-life crusader but his record is much too conservative on social issues for liberals to stomach. And if anything, Kasich is known for being budget conscious – would that appeal to Democrats who don’t care for the socialist mindset takeover of the party but still like big government programs?
Kasich has earned himself the distinction of being a man without a party. If Democrats wouldn’t even fathom a “moderate” like Jim Webb (who advocated for securing the southern border before immigration reform in 2016) than how could Kasich count on liberal votes to make a viable third party run? Democrats are socialists now… even Hillary Clinton said so!
A more likely scenario is Republicans continuing to consolidate behind Trump ahead of the next presidential election. Even now, the Robert Mueller investigation could end up benefitting this year’s GOP candidate hopefuls.
Caitlin Huey-Burns wrote at Real Clear Politics, “Donald Trump’s shake-up of his legal team this week suggested he is prepared to go to war with special counsel Robert Mueller. As observers of all stripes assess potential outcomes for the president, Republican voters are cheering Trump on, signaling that the longer the investigation continues, the more they see themselves as fellow soldiers in his battle with an overreaching prosecutor.
“The Trump-Mueller clash is intensifying as primary voters head to the polls in key races that will ultimately shape the balance of power in Congress. Candidates seeking the Republican nomination [today] for U.S. Senate seats in West Virginia and Indiana, for example, have been echoing Trump’s ‘witch hunt’ rhetoric. And party strategists say base voters could be motivated not just through the primary season but into the general election by the continued investigation, which they perceive to have ventured beyond its mandate — and was possibly unwarranted in the first place.”
As the focus of the Mueller investigation moves further away from Russian collusion (i.e. its original purpose) in order to concentrate on Trump’s “obstruction of justice” surrounding the firing of James Comey, people are losing patience with the protracted nature of the “witch hunt” and its lack of results.
It remains to be seen whether the Mueller affair has enough staying power to drag out into the fall – and if it does, whether it will make any difference in individual political races. Democrats favor sustaining the snooping just in case something incriminating turns up and Republicans are frustrated at the obvious waste of time and resources devoted to something concocted by Trump’s enemies searching for a smoking gun that was never there to begin with.
It’s all part of the “turmoil” the voters are seeing in the Trump administration.
Besides, would a staff full of “turmoil” pray before meetings? Katie Leach of the Washington Examiner reported, “’There’s prayer going on on a regular basis in this White House,’ [Vice President Mike] Pence told the Christian Broadcasting Network in an interview published Thursday.
“Pence, a devout Christian, revealed that the extent to which prayer and faith plays a role in this administration is ‘one of the most meaningful things’ to him.
“’Whether it’s public meetings or not, I’ve lost count of the number of times that the president has nudged me, or nudged another member of the Cabinet and said, ‘Let’s start this meeting with prayer,’’ he explained.”
Prayers are always a good thing. Let’s hope they’re answered in productive ways.
The media created narrative of “turmoil” in the White House has clearly taken hold with the public yet it remains a mystery whether it will hurt Republican candidates this year or Trump’s reelection chances in 2020. All we can do is dig below the surface to see where the truth lies.