I don’t have any polling data to back this up, but my (quite possibly skewed) sense of things is that Il Trumpe’s rants, raves, and declarations seem to be generating less attention. They’re still awful–possibly worse as his narcissistic breaks are more frequent and apparently debilitating–but they seem less effective. I don’t seem to be the only one who thinks this (boldface mine):
His detractors have long had it but Trump fatigue is afflicting many who voted for him. They’re beginning to spill the Trumper Kool-Aid instead of drinking it. The election was a disaster for the GOP: they lost the national popular vote by 8 points. As a point of reference, Ronald Reagan’s margin over Jimmy Carter in 1980 was 9 points. Reagan was a master of expanding his base, all Trump does is shrink his.
In addition to being a corrupt obnoxious idiot, Trump’s primary political problem at this point is overexposure. Most of us would prefer not to think about politics on Thanksgiving. Trump was busy bragging, hate tweeting, and informing the country that we should be grateful for HIM.
The vast majority of people cannot sustain the level of intensity generated by this president*. People need a break from politics. Past presidents understood this, went on vacation, and made few public appearances during the holidays. Trump must always be the center of attention. He’s incapable of dialing it back during the holidays. That’s a big mistake. Thanks, Donald.
I had a brief encounter with an elderly Republican this week: “You were right about this guy. He never shuts up. He’s going to die of overexposure.”
Dalia Lithwick argues that Trump is shrinking (boldface mine):
The folks who wondered in 2016 whether blowing everything up might be fruitful and thought to themselves, “Well, heck, let’s try it,” are finally starting to get a taste of what drifting ash and falling steel beams really look like. And it looks small.
If the November midterms stood for anything, it was that in most jurisdictions that allow for meaningful voting and proportional representation, the whiz-bang showmanship of the past two years has become stale and dull. A clutch of exciting young candidates ran for office without even explicitly engaging with Trump or Trumpism. Powered by energy from below, they largely ignored the wallpaper of noise and sound that is the president. The narcissism and self-love of the ’90s TV hustler has finally just become tiresome…
But this Thanksgiving weekend, the sense beginning to emerge is of the systems of democratic governance repairing themselves—of good people standing up, of women surging forward, of teenagers answering the call, of law and truth reinstating themselves. The feeling is that some kind of fever has maybe broken. That which seemed monstrous and larger than life is mostly shadows and vapors now.
Il Trumpe and the Deplorables (band name!) can still do a lot of damage, though the House Democrats are now in a position, if they choose, to limit that damage. But, like all authoritarians, perception and the ability to hog the limelight are critical for their power. The nation–not just its legal apparatus, but the entire country–must revolve around him. Coupled with his incredible ignorance and stupidity, it gets very tiresome, and there are enough people who are roused to want something better.
In keeping with the blog’s very irregular tradition of tangentially related music videos, we end with this: