I wouldn’t wish what’s happening to Donald Trump on my worst enemy.
Would I wish it on the country’s worst enemy? Oh, f*ck yeah. This and more. (I’m still pondering what Trump’s punishment should be when/if he’s frog-marched out of the White House. I’m torn between pouring molten gold down his throat as an enduring metaphor for the eternal folly of unbridled venality and greed or forcing him to eat a vegetable that’s not some kind of deep-fried potato. Still not sure which would be crueler.)
Anyway, it seems that the Trump scandal train just keeps chugging along, and people are starting to notice.
- 62 percent of Americans think Trump is not being honest and trustworthy with respect to the Mueller probe, while just 34 percent think he is. In August, 56 percent thought he was being dishonest, and 34 percent thought he was being truthful.
- More respondents (46 percent) think Trump himself has engaged in wrongdoing in connection with Russia.
- 48 percent of Americans want congressional Democrats to take the lead in setting policy, versus 21 percent who want congressional Republicans to do so and just 19 percent who prefer that Trump lead.
- Finally, the public has become more pessimistic about the economy. Just 28 percent of respondents think the economy will get better over the next year, as opposed to 33 percent who think it will get worse and 37 percent who think it will stay the same. Last January, 35 percent thought it would get better and just 20 percent expected it to get worse.
That last set of numbers may actually be the most damning for Trump. While public sentiment doesn’t necessarily drive the economy, low expectations can be an ill omen. For one thing, if people fear a worsening economy (because they see a corrupt idiot in charge of the country), that can lead to a self-fulfilling prophecy. For another, the wisdom of crowds is often a more accurate barometer than the pronouncements of pundits, particularly when it comes to the stock market, which has drifted sideways for a full year and has been sputtering badly of late.
If we do have a recession, God forbid, let’s hope it’s a soft landing. Though with Trump at the controls, we may very well crash into a mountain. Hopefully, Mueller finishes up before that happens.
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