Trump Slumping In The Polls Again

As the midterms get closer, the public's perception of the President's job performance is getting worse.

A new poll shows that President Trump’s job disapproval appears to be spiking yet again at the same time that public support for Special Counsel Robert Mueller, the Russia investigation, and even the issue of impeachment of the President are all gaining in popularity:

President Trump’s disapproval rating has hit a high point of 60 percent, according to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll that also finds that clear majorities of Americans support the special counsel’s Russia investigation and say the president should not fire Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

At the dawn of the fall campaign sprint to the midterm elections, which will determine whether Democrats retake control of Congress, the poll finds a majority of the public has turned against Trump and is on guard against his efforts to influence the Justice Department and special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s wide-ranging probe.

Nearly half of Americans, 49 percent, say Congress should begin impeachment proceedings that could lead to Trump being removed from office, while 46 percent say Congress should not.

And a narrow majority — 53 percent — say they think Trump has tried to interfere with Mueller’s investigation in a way that amounts to obstruction of justice; 35 percent say they do not think the president has tried to interfere.

Overall, 60 percent of Americans disapprove of Trump’s job performance, with 36 percent approving, according to the poll. This is only a slight shift from the last Post-ABC survey, in April,which measured Trump’s rating at 56 percent disapproval and 40 percent approval.

The new poll was conducted Aug. 26 to 29, in the week after former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort was convicted of federal tax and bank fraud and after former Trump attorney Michael Cohen pleaded guilty and implicated the president in illegal payments to silence women who alleged sexual encounters with Trump.

The four-month gap between Post-ABC polls makes it difficult to attribute the modest uptick in disapproval of Trump to specific events. Other public polls have shown Trump’s disapproval rating in the low- to mid-50s and have not tracked a rise since the Manafort conviction and Cohen guilty plea.

Trump has tried to rally support for Republican candidates in the Nov. 6 elections by pointing to his economic record. This week’s poll finds that despite the president’s unpopularity with voters, he gets better ratings when it comes to the economy: 45 percent of Americans approve and 47 percent disapprove of Trump’s handling of the economy.

Trump’s overall popularity breaks down along lines of partisanship, ethnicity and gender, according to the poll. While 78 percent of Republicans approve of his performance, 93 percent of Democrats and 59 percent of independents disapprove. More men support him than women, and while 45 percent of whites back him, 19 percent of nonwhites approve.

The poll finds that there are clear limitations to Trump’s efforts all summer to politicize and discredit the Russia investigation. The president has fired a near-daily barrage of tweets labeling the probe a “witch hunt” and attacking the credibility of Mueller and several current and former Justice Department officials.

But 63 percent of Americans support Mueller’s investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 election, with 52 percent saying they support it strongly29 percent oppose the probe.

Opinions on Mueller’s work also break down on partisan lines, with 61 percent of Republicans opposing the probe but an even larger 85 percent of Democrats expressing support. Among independents, however, a two-thirds majority of 67 percent back the investigation.

Looking deeper into the poll, respondents were also asked questions regarding some of the latest developments in the Mueller investigation and the other legal issues surrounding the Trump Administration:

  • With respect to the case against Paul Manafort, which has resulted in one conviction on tax fraud charges in Virginia and is headed to a second trial next month in Washington, D.C., 67% of respondents think the cases are justified while just 17% say that they are unjustified;
  • Additionally, two-thirds of Americans say they would oppose a Presidential pardon for Manafort, with 53% saying they would strongly oppose it, and just 18% say they would support a pardon;
  • Additionally, notwithstanding the President’s recent attacks on his own Attorney General, 64% of Americans do not think the President should fire Jeff Sessions and just 19% believe he should. Even among Republicans, 47% say the President should not fire Sessions and just 31% say that he should;
  • With further respect to Sessions, just 23% say they agree with the President’s criticism of Session regarding the Mueller investigation and 62% say they believe Sessions is following the law;
  • With respect to the allegations against longtime Trump lawyer Michael Cohen, 61% of Americans say that they believe the President committed a crime if he directed Cohen to make hush payments to Stormy Daniels and Karen McDougal while 31% say he did not commit a crime;
  • Finally, and perhaps more significantly, 49% of those surveyed say that Congress should begin impeachment proceedings against the President. Predictably, though, those numbers differ significantly on partisan grounds with 75% of Democrats and 49% of Independents supporting impeachment while 82% of Republicans oppose it.

Getting back to the job approval numbers, these numbers show a rather surprising 22 point gap between the President’s job approval and disapproval, which is somewhat higher than, although not entirely inconsistent with the numbers that have come out from other other polls conducted over the same time period:

  • In the most recent Economist/YouGov poll, the President’s job approval stands at 43% while his disapproval stands at 52%, giving the President a 9 point deficit in that poll;
  • The most recent USA Today/Suffolk, poll, Trump’s job approval stands at 40% while his disapproval stands at 56% for a deficit of 16 points;
  • In the latest Reuters/Ipsos poll, the President’s job approval stands at 40% and his disapproval stands at 57% for a deficit of 17 points;
  • In the NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll, the President’s job approval stands at 44% and his disapproval stands at 52%, for a deficit of 8 points; and,
  • In the latest Harvard/Harris poll, Trump’s job approval stands at 46% and his disapproval stands at 54% for a deficit of eight points.

The one outlier among the recent polls is, not surprisingly, the Rasmussen poll, which puts the President’s job approval at 48% and his disapproval at 50%, for a deficit of just two points. Given the fact that these numbers are so far out of whack with the other polling, though, they ought to be easily dismissed as an outlier, which has so often been the case with Rasmussen in recent years.

In any case, looking at the poll averages, the numbers are about what you’d expect. RealClearPolitics, for example, puts the President’s approval at 42.8% and his disapproval at 53.9%, for an average deficit of -11.1 points. In the Pollster average, Trump’s job approval at 43.1% and his disapproval at 52.6% for a deficit of 9.5 points. Among Democrats, obviously, the President’s disapproval is near 90%, while his job approval stands at a similarly high number among Republicans. Among Independents, meanwhile, the President’s numbers are worse than they are among the public as a whole, with 57.4% disapproving of his job performance while 36.5% approve. Finally, the FiveThirtyEight poll average, which is weighted for poll accuracy and reliability, puts Trump’s disapproval at 54.3% and his approval at 40.7% for a deficit of 13.6 points. All of these numbers are worse for Trump than they have been in recent months, a sign that he could be headed into a downward spiral as the midterm elections approach something we can also see the RealClearPolitics chart with respect to the upward trend in the President’s disapproval numbers:

The fact that the President’s disapproval numbers appear to be on the upswing is certainly something that should worry Republicans given the fact that we are almost within two months of the midterm elections. The fact that these numbers are rising at the same time that his approval numbers remain at levels that are historically low for a newly elected President at this point in their Presidency does not bode well for the incumbent party at the polls this year. This is especially true given the fact that other polling indicates that the Democrats may be opening up a gap in the race for control of the House of Representatives that could be indicative of the “blue wave” that Republicans fear.

At the same, time though, it is worth noting that this increase in the President’s disapproval is not being accompanied by a significant drop in his job approval number. From the start of his Presidency, the President’s poll numbers have largely fluctuated between the low 40s and the high 30s. This isn’t entirely inconsistent with where he ended up in the popular vote in the 2016 election, where he ended up garnering 45.89% of the vote compared to 48.02% for Hillary Clinton. With those numbers in mind, a job approval number near 40% seems to be a fairly strong indication that the President continues to maintain the support of most of the people who voted for him, and while that may not be enough to garner a majority of the vote it could be enough to maintain a plurality that makes it hard to argue that he’s really losing support to a significant degree. As long as that’s the case, it’s unlikely that we’re going to see him change course or change his rhetoric. Additionally, Trump’s base is staying loyal to him as we can see in the fact that nearly 90% of the public thinks the President is doing a good job and they support his rhetoric and his ongoing wars against the Justice Department, the Russia investigation, and all the other allegations swirling around this President. As long as that’s the case, I wouldn’t expect the President to change. Indeed I would expect him to ramp up the poisonous rhetoric and the appeals to the base as we get closer to Election Day.

FILED UNDER: Campaign 2018, Donald Trump, Politicians, Public Opinion Polls, US Politics
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010. Before joining OTB, he wrote at Below The BeltwayThe Liberty Papers, and United Liberty Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. CSK says:

    Trump may be able to con his supporters into believing these are all Fake Polls, but he can’t, deep down, con himself. Tht’s why he’s going into a frenzy.

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  2. Michael Reynolds says:

    I’ve said before and still believe that the amazing thing is not that the rancid 40% stay with Trump, it is rather that he has, after almost two years, added no support. None. Zero. In fact, negative numbers. The economy is strong and we have no new wars and yet 49% of the American people want the POS impeached.

    In the minds of #Cult45 members this was to be the start of a revolution. It may yet be, but it will be a socialist one. Trump could cure cancer and he’d still not add a single net supporter, but he’s done wonders for socialists.

    If I were religious I’d thank God that the wanna-be brownshirts are so fking stoopid they chose this clown as their Führer. Compared to Trump, guys like Mussolini, Stalin and Hitler were towering intellects. And say what you will, none were weaklings or cowards. It took the Red Army practically knocking on his door before Hitler was reduced to ranting and raving and deploying fantasy forces in his bunker; all it’s taken is Robert Mueller to terrify Trump.

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  3. Kylopod says:

    With those numbers in mind, a job approval number near 40% seems to be a fairly strong indication that the President continues to maintain the support of most of the people who voted for him

    I don’t think that conclusion follows. His approval ratings have dropped significantly since the start of his presidency. In Gallup, for example, his initial ratings were 45% positive, 47% negative; now they’re 41% positive, 54% negative. Even the weird distorted world of Rasmussen shows a substantial drop: at the start of his presidency they were at 57% positive, 43% negative; now they’re at 48% positive, 50% negative. Even the GOP’s favorite propaganda poll shows a negative trendline.

    There is historically a close relationship between a president’s approval ratings and how well the president does when running for reelection. The caveat is that it’s common for presidents to experience a drop in their ratings in the first two years, and then to rebound in time for reelection. (It happened to Obama, Clinton, and Reagan, among others.) Still, I do think if the election were held today–even against Hillary Clinton–he would probably lose. Even a small drop in his number of supporters would be fatal.

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  4. MBunge says:

    “Hey, intellectual integrity! Could I introduce you to Doug Mataconis?”

    “Nah. He and I used to be acquainted but he won’t return my calls ever since this Trump guy got elected.”

    Mike

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  5. CSK says:

    @Michael Reynolds:

    What Cult45 refuses to acknowledge is that their leader despises them because they’re members of the working class. Trump is a failed social climber who’s been on a lifelong quest to disassociate himself from the lower orders. If Maggie Habermann wrote a flattering profile of him for the NYTimes, he’d dump the rubes so fast their heads would spin.

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  6. James Pearce says:

    @Michael Reynolds: Why are you even comparing Trump to Mussolini, Stalin, and Hitler? Stalin and Hitler killed millions of people.

    Trump nominated a couple of conservative judges and said some rude things.

    (It pains me to even think that Trump can be this unpopular and is basically untouchable. Might it be all this scurrilous, hyperventilating nonsense?)

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  7. Michael Reynolds says:

    @James Pearce:
    I’d explain but you don’t care, don’t listen, don’t think. You just play the same tired blame-the-Dems song and it’s just boring.

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  8. Kylopod says:

    @James Pearce:

    Stalin and Hitler killed millions of people.

    Not in their first couple of years in power.

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  9. Michael Reynolds says:

    @Kylopod:
    Thanks for saving me the effort of writing that. I was just too weary to bother.

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  10. Mikey says:

    @MBunge: Irony is truly dead when a totally sycophantic, cultist sellout like you tries to lecture anyone on intellectual integrity.

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  11. Kathy says:

    @CSK:

    Trump may be able to con his supporters into believing these are all Fake Polls, but he can’t, deep down, con himself.

    I think he can, and in fact does it all the time. That’s how come he’s so sincere when he lies. He believes the lies he tells himself.

    Deep down he may know the truth. But in his case “deep down” is somewhere between the Mariana Trench and the planet’s core.

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  12. Daryl and his brother Darryl says:

    @MBunge:

    Hey, intellectual integrity

    A Russian sympathizer questioning anyone’s integrity?
    Dumb, you are.

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  13. Gustopher says:

    @MBunge: Yeah. And why is Doug always focusing on polls and never mentions the successes of this administration. What about that, huh?

    – The start of a new ethnic cleansing along the Texas border.
    – The return of all but 500 kids separated from their parents
    – Screwing over government workers on their raises, because of the weak economy, while praising the awesome strong economy. It’s Schroedingers Economy! “We gave the money for your raises to the wealthiest Americans” is also pretty awesome.

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  14. de stijl says:

    @Kylopod:

    Not in their first couple of years in power.

    Snap, son.

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  15. Kathy says:

    @Kylopod:

    Stalin might have started early.

    But the comparison ins’t on what they did, but in the rhetoric employed, and the style of governance (to use the term loosely). Things like nationalism, white supremacy, inciting hatred of a group which is also the scapegoat for all problems, cult of personality, etc.

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  16. KM says:

    @Gustopher:
    Add in BoA’s starting to demand proof of citizenship and is freezing accounts of people it “suspects” aren’t citizens. Which is complete BS since you’ve never had to prove that before since it’s NOT a legal requirement to be a legal resident to have a bank account – not even the Patriot Act went that far. US Citizens are having the money stolen and can’t get it back because the proof they are offering BoA isn’t accepting because why not have a corporation make these kinds of decisions? That can’t possible go wrong, right?

    Real American, that. Papers please only they now get to decide on the fly what papers make the cut that day and keep your wealth in the meantime!

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  17. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Asking for a friend, How is it Rasmussen is still in business?

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  18. al Ameda says:

    @MBunge:

    “Hey, intellectual integrity! Could I introduce you to Doug Mataconis?”
    “Nah. He and I used to be acquainted but he won’t return my calls ever since this Trump guy got elected.”
    Mike

    So, exactly where in this op-piece has Doug demonstrated a lack of intellectual integrity?
    Trump: “You know, I’ve been a grifter and a con man my entire life, yet guys like ‘MBunge’ love this bullsh**.”
    Palin: “I know, right?”

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  19. CSK says:

    @Kathy:

    Yeah, I actually go back and forth on whether he believes his own self-aggrandizing bullshit or not. He talks and acts like someone who’s deeply, deeply insecure. The fact that he needs non-stop adulation, and can be conned by anyone who flatters him, underlines that.

    Every time Trump opens his trap, I think of a line from Patrick Dennis: “In America, sex is like money. Those who really have it don’t talk about it.”

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  20. Kathy says:

    Back on the topic of the poll, in a recent 538 podcast, someone mentioned that support to impeach Nixon late in his second term was about 50+%, which means trump is almost there.

    This article in Time from the era, right when impeachment articles were voted on in the House Judiciary Committee, indicates the numbers better:

    Last week a Gallup poll showed that Nixon held a favorable rating of only 24% of the population, his lowest level yet. A Harris poll found that 53% of Americans favor the President’s impeachment by the House and a plurality, 47% to 34%, believes that he should be convicted in the Senate and dismissed from office.

    Given those numbers, El Cheeto still has room to fall before things go fully desperate.

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  21. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Kathy: No matter how far he falls, he can always go lower. It’s the trump rule. There is no bottom.

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  22. James Pearce says:

    @Kylopod:

    Not in their first couple of years in power.

    Oh, so the metaphor isn’t true, but it might be someday?

    That’s, um, not persuasive.

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  23. Kathy says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:

    Indubitably. But I’d be satisfied just to see him fall off the stage. Whether it’s impeachment, resignation, whatever. The question is, what will bring him down?

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  24. Inhumans99 says:

    @James Pearce:

    James, you are making me angry…I expect better of you, as you know the point Michael was making. Compared to Trump those monsters were indeed brilliant, if our President had half of their smarts that dictatorship lots of folks claim would come about might not be that far-fetched of a concern.

    Anyway, you know Michael was not saying Trump is Hitler so stop trying to be cute and do better.

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  25. Daryl and his brother Darryl says:

    OT…Mueller got another guilty plea today…Sam Patten – an associate of Paul Manafort and Cambridge Analytica…and with it another cooperating witness.
    Question to all our resident attorneys; do you think Mueller would be this far down the road if he thought there was nothing there regarding Dennison?

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  26. JKB says:

    Okay, we all know how its going to go. Democrats win in November. Shortly after taking the Congress in January, they vote to impeach. The Senate trial runs on. Maybe Trump is convicted. The world watches as armed men escort Trump out of the White House in say mid-2020. Pence takes the Presidency. The Trump wins re-election in November. And the crowd goes wild.

    Europe might want to step up their self defense plans as the US looks to be a bit pre-occupied with domestic politics and probably not worrying much about fair weather allies.

    Remember, Trump’s support has been geographically diverse and enduring in time.

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  27. Michael Reynolds says:

    @James Pearce:
    The analogy – not metaphor – rests on sufficient historical knowledge. You imagine that the only way a reference can be apt is if it conforms to your very narrow perspective, an ex post facto understanding of the people referenced. You only know Hitler etc… as summaries, conclusions, parodies even, but we are obviously not at that point with Trump since he ain’t done and this isn’t decades afterward. The analogy was with other emergent totalitarians, and was thus, on-point.

    Later when you get mad and demand to know how I can presume to deconstruct your thought processes, re-read this exchange. You just revealed your limitations. But thanks for playing.

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  28. Kylopod says:

    @JKB:

    Remember, Trump’s support has been geographically diverse and enduring in time.

    The polls aren’t showing that, either. Morning Consult regularly publishes Trump’s approval ratings by state, and since the start of his presidency there’s been a definite drop in his ratings in most of the crucial states that handed him his EC victory. In Pennsylvania he went from +10 to -6, Wisconsin +6 to -15, Michigan +8 to -11, Iowa +9 to -6, Arizona +20 to dead even, NC +18 to dead even–just to name a few.

    https://morningconsult.com/tracking-trump/

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  29. Michael Reynolds says:

    @JKB:
    Ah hah hah hah! Oh this is lovely. Like a lost Stanley you search the jungle for a way out, an escape. And there it is! You’re already building your ‘lost cause’ memorial. The Trump will rise again!

    I’ve been waiting for this. The slow, ponderous, pivot as reality begins to seep into your fantasy world. We’ve gone from Trump bestriding the globe like a colossus. . . to Trump the loser who will return like the messiah and scourge all non-believers. You’ll enjoy what’s coming, long decades of stewing in bile and bitterness.

    You wuz robbed, JKB. Wallow in it.

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  30. Daryl and his brother Darryl says:

    @JKB:

    The Trump wins re-election in November.

    Can he serve from a jail cell?
    Resident attorneys?

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  31. MarkedMan says:

    On his first post in this thread Pearce was obviously pro-Trump. But that’s not the Pearce persona. “Pearce” is the faux-liberal persona who is more hard core anti-Trump than all of us put together but just wishes we would stop playing into Trump’s master plan by calling out his crimes and paying attention to the things he says. Whoever is making these posts is starting to slip. I suspect he’s got too many characters going, probably on multiple different websites as well as here.

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  32. Gustopher says:

    @Daryl and his brother Darryl: I’m not an attorney, but the only constitutional requirements are that the president be a natural born citizen, and be over the age of 35.

    Being in jail would impact neither of those. He might not be able to vote for himself, but that is neither here nor there.

    Courts have been reluctant to uphold additional requirements for federal office. There was a movement to add term limits to senators and representatives at the state level a few years back, and those were frowned upon if memory serves.

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  33. Grewgills says:

    @MarkedMan:
    Sigh, too many here are too quick to assume that all dissenters, contrarians, and trolls are one or a very few people. There are definitely a few people that sock puppet. The various iterations of Jenos are verbose, tiresome, and very obvious. He can’t change his writing style to save his life. Apparently medical care he can’t or won’t pay for has saved his life several times driving him to condemn any and all attempts to pay for medical care for other people, who like him, can’t afford it. Lavaland also has at least one and I think a couple of other obvious sock puppets and is idiot enough to use the same email account for at least one of them. This perhaps person always writes like a Russian bot and is also extremely obvious. There are, however, drivebys from conservative swamp sites and some resident contrarians and trolls that are just themselves, not sock puppets.
    Pearce is Pearce. He is contrarian, particularly on issues of race, sex, privilege, and social justice in general. His blind spots there are a mile wide. He has lately become ridiculously contrarian on virtually every opposition to Trump because they don’t match is never state best strategy. I think that part of his contrarianism is just his stubborn intransigence over being taken to task by left leaning commenters. He is now in opposition to near everything they say simply because they have opposed his (imo wrong opinions). He has become a parody of the previously thoughtful center left privileged white guy stoner he was pre-Trump.
    George is George. No one else here writes particularly like him and no one else here is near so focused on his sports analogy soap box. When he steps off of that soapbox, he can be thoughtful and add to the conversation. He is not Pearce by any stretch. His actual positions are probably closer to JimBrown## than Pearce, though his style and soap box are markedly different.

    Unless someone is obviously a sock puppet we should stop with the incessant insistence that each new (or old) contrarian or troll is a sock puppet or bot. Deal with their arguments or ignore them instead.

    I don’t want to derail this conversation further, so I’ll take my response off air.

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  34. Gustopher says:

    @MarkedMan: Oh, for fvck’s sake, Pearce has been consistent as can be for the entire time he has been posting. Your long running belief that you will expose him as a sock puppet of some dark nebulous force is as tiresome as many of Pearce’s post themselves.

    He is left of center, but hates liberals because they are smug in a different manner than he is smug.

    He is not too distant from the people who voted for Obama and then Trump, and probably would have if Trump wasn’t so blatantly racist and horrible.

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  35. Kathy says:

    @Kylopod:

    Thanks for the link!

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  36. Gustopher says:

    @Grewgills:

    He has lately become ridiculously contrarian on virtually every opposition to Trump because they don’t match is never state[d] best strategy.

    He has stated his best strategy — be excellent.

    And it sounds stupid as can be, but it really isn’t. Treat people with respect, and listen to their concerns, and eventually most people you interact with will do the same. And that will increase empathy, and that will cut the knees out from under a demagogue like Trump, who appeals to the worst in people.

    It’s hard not to give into your desire to be spiteful when someone comes around proclaiming Trump’s great success and you get to point out that this is actually a failure by every known metric. But it doesn’t help change that person.

    I don’t see how Pearce’s “be excellent” changes things in the short term. I’m not even sure that it really changes things in the long term.

    Look at the sudden acceptangpce of gay rights, though. The gay rights movement sort of whithered on the vine for decades after Stonewall, with it only being noticible in the biggest cities, and Pride parades that were a little bit of an in your face freak show. Then the AIDS Crisis and ACT UP staging die ins, and right in there people started coming out because they felt they needed to, because there was a plague in their community and no one was willing to do anything about something that just affected the “other”. Not the pink haired leather jockeys with ass-less chaps, but the people who were your neighbors down the street, and who you didn’t really think twice about. And when that happened, gays and lesbians suddenly stopped being the “other”, and mainstream acceptance came right after, with only a rear guard talking about the “homosexual agenda”.

    Those boring neighbors who came out, but just lived their lives without trying to rub anyone’s nose in it, they were being excellent.

    But I also remember Howard Dean. He had a line about how even the redneck down south with a confederate flag on the back of his pickup truck needed affordable health care. Sometimes, you can’t force being excellent.

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  37. Grewgills says:

    @Gustopher:
    Everyone should try to be good people, that isn’t a coherent political strategy though.
    Pearce’s ‘be excellent’ wasn’t offering a cogent or coherent political strategy counter to what he was complaining about. Joining with disenfranchised people marching for their rights and organizing to work for those right is ‘being excellent’. He specifically argued against that in pretty insulting terms.
    Honestly, at this point in the conversation I think his ‘be excellent’ retort was just him reading off his Wyld Stallyns bong. Perhaps you’re right and I’m just being cynical, but his arguments over the past couple of years have drained me of the benefit of the doubt I used to have for him.

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  38. teve tory says:

    Inhumans99 says:
    Friday, August 31, 2018 at 15:48
    @James Pearce:

    James, you are making me angry…I expect better of you,

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAHAHA Oh you sweet, summer child.

    😛

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  39. James Pearce says:

    @Inhumans99:

    you know Michael was not saying Trump is Hitler so stop trying to be cute and do better

    Michael was, in fact, using Hitler (and Stalin and Mussolini) as a point of reference for Trump, comparing and yes, equating Trump with what he called in a later comment “other emergent totalitarians.”

    If the analogy is good, it should stand up to challenge.

    You imagine that the only way a reference can be apt is if it conforms to your very narrow perspective, an ex post facto understanding of the people referenced.

    <—Still just a pointy YOU statement. At any rate, I don't think Trump is going to be the new Hitler, or that he's all that scared of Mueller.

    Grewgills, Gustopher, my old friends, my sparring partners. I know your comments weren't meant to be compliments, but I appreciate the acknowledgement and consideration you guys have given me. I particularly liked the stoner references. I soooo want to put a Wyld Stallions sticker on my bong now.

    Also:

    Joining with disenfranchised people marching for their rights and organizing to work for those right is ‘being excellent’. He specifically argued against that in pretty insulting terms.

    While I still maintain that the legacy of protest post-Occupy is mostly ignominious, I’m still going to visit the Civil Rights Museum when I’m in Memphis this November. (I was checking it out on Google Earth and was shocked to find James Early Ray supporters camped outside. Protesters, man…)

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  40. An Interested Party says:

    He had a line about how even the redneck down south with a confederate flag on the back of his pickup truck needed affordable health care.

    And yet, too many rednecks down south with confederate flags on the backs of their pickup trucks consistently vote for people who will do everything they can to make sure those rednecks can’t get affordable health care…

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  41. Michael Reynolds says:

    @James Pearce:

    or that he’s all that scared of Mueller.

    You can tell yourself this only because you refuse to address Trump on Twitter. In other words, only by deliberately choosing to ignore data can you reach the conclusions you reach. Your ignorance is invincible, but in the end, boring.

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  42. Andre Kenji de Sousa says:

    @Michael Reynolds: Democrats could force Trump to release all his tax returns if they get the control of the House. Trump does not understand what he is dealing with.

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  43. de stijl says:

    @Gustopher:

    “Be excellent to each other” isn’t bad life advice. And Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure is not a bad movie – it feels goofy and stupid, but is quite savvy. That is not true of the sequel.

    And Dude, Where’s My Car? is a secretly great movie.

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  44. An Interested Party says:

    You can tell yourself this only because you refuse to address Trump on Twitter.

    Indeed…judging from his Twitter rants, Trump is scared shitless of Mueller and what he has discovered or will discover…perhaps Pearce doesn’t understand basic human psychology…

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  45. de stijl says:

    This was from another thread, but it applies here:

    @James Pearce:

    What policies do you support? What is the best way to elect politicians that support and will enact your policy preferences?

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  46. de stijl says:

    I am not a person you would normally suspect of this, but I am a monster Sia addict.

    Also Maddie Ziegler as the hyper-kinetic Sia avatar. Ever since Chandelier, I’ve been obsessed with this weird pairing of that voice with that physicality. (Chandelier has 1.9 billion views. That’s nuts.)

    LSD (Labrinth, Sia, Diplo) Thunderclouds
    https://youtu.be/kg1BljLu9YY

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  47. de stijl says:

    I need to regain punk cred:

    Archers of Loaf Wrong
    https://youtu.be/lahE0Igv49k

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  48. One American says:

    @Grewgills: I have nothing to hide, (aka Lava Land) hence why I use the same email. Just depends on that days outrage over here. Have a lovely weekend.

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  49. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Kathy:

    But I’d be satisfied just to see him fall off the stage.

    Oh oh… Can we get it on video??? I try to avoid all sight of trump but a Gif of him falling off a stage would be comedy gold!

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  50. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Gustopher:

    Those boring neighbors who came out, but just lived their lives without trying to rub anyone’s nose in it,

    Yeah, I really hate it when people rub their heterosexuality in my face.

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  51. James Pearce says:

    @Michael Reynolds:

    You can tell yourself this only because you refuse to address Trump on Twitter.

    See, that’s the peril of seeing Trump’s tweets as a “window into his soul.” Trump is the President of the United States, with all the power that entails. He has the full support of his party and millions of voters. When he tweets out “Fake news!” or “Rigged Witch Hunt!” he’s not revealing his inner workings, dude. He’s preparing the ground.

    @de stijl:

    What policies do you support? What is the best way to elect politicians that support and will enact your policy preferences?

    I don’t have much quarrel with Democratic policies. It’s mostly the politics that irks me.

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  52. george says:

    @Michael Reynolds:

    I’d argue its because his support is team based rather than idea based – people who support him mainly do so because he’s wearing the GOP jersey. There’s no way that’s going to increase, because 40% of people don’t follow the sport of politics, and 90% of the rest of them have long since picked their team (typically the first party they support is the only one they’ll support the rest of their lives).

    For most people politics simply isn’t about choosing the ideology or party that matches yours, its about picking a team (Red Sox or Yankees or Cubs) and then cheering for that team, no matter who is on the team and what they say or do, the rest of their lives. I agree that’s a very stupid way to vote, but read the stats, 90% of people stick with the same party for their whole lives.

    In fact, one of the biggest arguments for not allowing political parties is that it seems to be impossible to get most people to look beyond the team jersey once they’ve chosen it early in their lives. If we were voting for individuals people would constantly have to re-evaluate, if for no other reason than politicians tend to be older, and will die off. Its the difference between say boxing or tennis fans (who tend to be more fans of the sport than the individuals, since the individuals come and go) versus football or baseball fans (who stick with the same team their whole lives).

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  53. Michael Reynolds says:

    @george:
    I agree up to a point. The two teams have different characters. One team wants to undermine liberty, the other wants to expand it. One chooses which team to support.

    But I’m aware that I’m an outlier, having never felt that sort of unreasoning loyalty. I don’t join or belong. As far back as school pep rallies I remember thinking, “What, really? This quite average school is ‘the best?'” I may lack a gene.

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  54. de stijl says:

    @Gustopher:

    ass-less chaps

    Chaps are, by definition, ass-less. Full coverage chaps would just be pants. (Sorry for the pedantry.)

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  55. An Interested Party says:

    @Gustopher: Oh my, were you traumatized by a Gay Pride parade when you were a child or something? It’s funny how when the dominant culture floods everything there’s no problem but when a minority culture expresses itself that is considered “rubbing anyone’s nose in it”…as if those parades are just about an “in your face freak show”…

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  56. george says:

    @Michael Reynolds:

    I agree the teams have different characteristics, but I disagree that most people chose their team based on those characteristics. For one thing, the characteristics have changed over time – someone who first voted for say Eisenhower is now supporting a GOP that is radically different (but according to stats will still vote the same way because once a team is chosen it’s chosen for life). For another, most people start voting when young and basically uninterested in politics; who to vote for is more often than either driven by friends, or by parents (often against their parents, part of the growing up process).

    And yes, you’re a real outlier. Not only because you vote policy instead of team, but because you spend more than ten minutes thinking about who to vote for before pulling the lever. And I suppose even voting is just barely normal, given that 40% never bother to vote at all.

    Judging the general population by political forums and demonstrations is extremely misleading; most simply don’t want to waste time following politics. I suppose that has its own kind of efficiency; if you know you’re always going to vote for the party you first voted for, why waste time reading up about it?

    Its like science buffs who are amazed that most people don’t follow scientific research (at least at the Scientific American level). They will point out how central to our lifestyle science is, how most of the changes in our standard of living in the last four hundred years is because of science, how the food they eat and the medicine they take is all based on science. And they’ll be right about how vital science is – I’d argue it has a bigger impact on our lives than politics (compare to 1500 and see how much of the change has been due to changes in politics versus science). And yet they’ll still be very wrong to think most people will bother following it outside of a few little clips they see on the news.

    In terms of you missing a gene, my take is that you’re a successful writer. Who’d buy your books if you thought like everyone else? If you weren’t ‘missing a gene’ you’d probably never have sold a book except for friends and family (I have a few friends who self-publish, and I faithfully buy their books – they’re nice people who write better than me and its important to support friends, but I can see why their stuff never caught on – there’s nothing in their writing that frames the world in a new or at least entertaining way).

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  57. James Pearce says:

    @An Interested Party:

    Oh my, were you traumatized by a Gay Pride parade when you were a child or something?

    I’ve been going to Pride (proudly) as the son of a lesbian for over 2 decades. They were not always the family friendly affairs they are now…

    Ever read (or see) anything by Larry Kramer?

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  58. Gustopher says:

    @An Interested Party:

    Oh my, were you traumatized by a Gay Pride parade when you were a child or something? It’s funny how when the dominant culture floods everything there’s no problem but when a minority culture expresses itself that is considered “rubbing anyone’s nose in it”…as if those parades are just about an “in your face freak show”…

    Dude, really?

    The freak show is a minority of a minority, which for decades was louder and more visible that the vast majority of the LGBTetc folk out there. I love the freak show — but they are celebrating that they have a right to be different, and that is true, and it helps to some extent, but it also makes the entire LGBTetc community out to be different from the rest of society.

    LGBTetc folks aren’t defined by bare asses and six foot long inflatable dildos — that’s just a small part of our lives.

    If the straight folks acted like that, well, it would be a bridal shower or a strip club. On floats. On Main Street. And that would be a freak show too. It wouldn’t represent straight folk in general.

    Society turned when the straight folk began seeing the LGBTetc folk as just folk, more like themselves than different.

    Boring queer accountants down the street did more to change society by just being public and boring, than by riding on a float dressed like the Village People.

    That said, some of those boring queer accountants were once in college, with leather chaps and a jockstrap, riding a six foot inflatable dildo twenty years ago.

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