“How Dangerous Are the Cracks Emerging in Trump’s Wall of Support?” Marc Fisher, The Washington Post, 17 May 2017

He still has a core base of supporters, but he hasn’t sought to unite Americans beyond his base.

Douglas Brinkley

(Presidential historian)

 

As President Trump is now learning, the essential chemistry of crisis hasn’t changed in four decades. Tom Railsback, one of the last surviving members of the House Judiciary Committee that voted to impeach Richard M. Nixon, recalls when he knew he and his party had to break with their President. Within the President’s party this week, what had been a fairly solid wall of support has suddenly developed cracks. “The danger he faces is his own party, with a growing chorus of leading Republicans who want to distance themselves from Trump because he has the smell of a wounded animal,” said Douglas Brinkley, presidential historian. Rep. Mike Simpson (R-Idaho): “You find Republican politicians kind of a little leery about saying either they support Trump or ‘Oh, no, this is all made-up, fake news bulls--- stuff”,  Simpson said. “They’ve seen what’s happened in the past, and as long as this continues, it’s hard to stand behind him, I’ll tell you in all honesty.” But where some see the start of a snowballing opposition, others caution that a momentary crisis does not necessarily imply collapse. But on Capitol Hill Republicans edged away from the president. Although his constituents are not following every twist in the D.C. drama, Rep. Carlos Curbelo (R-Fla.) said: “I do think it’s taking a toll on the psyche of our country. You know, this constant dose of scandal, of controversy, of intrigue, it’s just not healthy. What it does is it erodes the trust and confidence in our institutions”. Although Trump’s approval ratings are historically low for a new President, they remain well above the depths that Nixon and George W. Bush experienced at the nadirs of their presidencies. “The thing that would make these cracks really widen would be hard evidence directly linking Trump or top aides to Russia, or showing a deliberate plan to snuff out the investigation”, Greenberg said. Brinkley said: “He still has a core base of supporters, but he hasn’t sought to unite Americans beyond his base.

 

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“How Dangerous Are the Cracks Emerging in Trump’s Wall of Support?” Marc Fisher, The Washington Post, 17 May 2017

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