Rachel Maddow shattered the conventional wisdom that Donald Trump‘s strong support from the GOP base will protect him from any consequences that come from the Robert Mueller investigation.
According to the MSNBC host, Richard Nixon enjoyed similar levels of support from the GOP faithful at the height of the Watergate scandal, but the more Nixon was implicated in criminal activities, the more his support eventually eroded. Nixon, of course, was eventually forced to resign in disgrace.
“Everybody knows from American history, even from the history of this president, that you can only take so much before even the party faithful start to wither a little bit in their support of the president,” Maddow said.
— PoliticusUSA (@politicususa) August 31, 2018
Everybody looking at this presidential scandal in a clear-eyed way knows that there’s a connection between the amount of support the president can continue to count on from the party faithful. There’s a connection between that and the extent of his own legal jeopardy. Yes, the president appears proverbially bulletproof in terms of whether or not this scandal will dent his standing with the members of the Republican base who love him the most. But everybody knows from American history, even from the history of this president, that you can only take so much before even the party faithful start to wither a little bit in their support and confidence and trust in the president. And that may be absolutely crucial as to his ultimate fate and to what happens to the fate of the president and his party together. Right? And the president’s legal jeopardy, the extent of the president’s legal troubles, the extent to which he was drawn into the scandal personally, 1973, that wasn’t yet clear for Nixon either, right? John Dean was just starting his testimony. The Republican Party chairman was telling everybody he was absolutely convinced that Nixon had no personal involvement in the crime or the cover-up, which he absolutely did. There is that level of uncertainty today as well about how much the president is going to be personally implicated in the scandals that’s continue to surround him.
The truth has a way of changing everything
Donald Trump frequently brags about his popularity among the Republican base, once even claiming that he’s more popular than Abraham Lincoln.
But as Maddow said on Thursday, that base of support isn’t as permanent as it may sometimes appear. The truth has a way of changing the most stubborn things, even in American politics.
With Robert Mueller‘s investigation likely to lay out a damning set of charges against the president in the months ahead, all while other details of Trump‘s sleezy conduct continue to surface on a daily basis, it’s likely that the worst is still yet to come.
As more details surrounding Trump‘s lifetime of corruption surface and the president is further implicated in crimes, his support will likely start to erode. Maybe not among the uber-devoted MAGA faithful, but with enough Republicans voters to make a difference.
Ultimately, the only thing that will save Trump from dire political and legal consequences is if the litany of ongoing investigations clears him of any wrongdoing. But the more we learn, the less likely that seems.
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Sean Colarossi currently resides in Cleveland, Ohio. He earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism from the University of Massachusetts Amherst and was an organizing fellow for both of President Obama’s presidential campaigns. He also worked with Planned Parenthood as an Affordable Care Act Outreach Organizer in 2014, helping northeast Ohio residents obtain health insurance coverage.