As Donald Trump continues his war with the rule of law that he used to say he believes in, there are signs that Republican support for him may be softening. Certainly, one can look at the increase in support for Trump and his Putin-first agenda and conclude the opposite. Smaller numbers with increased conformity to traits consistent with fascism gives the appearance of increased support for Trump.
A poll by the Washington Post proves that Trump is in deep trouble because despite his 2016 promises to drain the swamp, that very swamp is the biggest beneficiary of Trump’s economic policies – and worse, people know it.
Trump cut taxes and regulations that benefitted the wealthiest people, including himself, his family and his rich friends. Aside from separating the middle and working classes from their money, Trump’s policies included separating people from clean air and water, safe food, and safe working conditions.
One especially tragic result of Trump’s tax cuts is dramatic tax increase by thousands of dollars for military families’ survivor benefits. Nothing says support for the troops like a huge tax hike on benefits to their families after they made the ultimate sacrifice for their country.
Understandably, the military families don’t appreciate being stuck with the tax bill for Trump, his family and rich friends.
It comes as no surprise that some voices at Trump’s dominant propaganda outlet, Fox, are increasingly critical of their party leader. The most significant voice is that of Judge Andrew Napolitano. He acknowledged that based on the facts and the law, Trump did obstruct justice – an impeachable offense as established by the Nixon and Clinton cases. Indeed trickle down MAGA rhetoric has hit some road bumps.
It’s very likely Fox viewers will be seeing a lot less of Andrew Napolitano now that he broke with the program. Right there on Fox, Napolitano spoke about the numerous times Trump obstructed justice in his analysis of the Mueller approach.
Napolitano broke ranks in two ways that are unforgivable in Trump world. He put his loyalty to the law over loyalty to Trump and he acknowledged that the Mueller report is a credible, solid analysis of the facts and the law about the Trump campaign’s involvement with Russians and Trump’s attempts to obstruct justice.
Then Napolitano doubled down by stating the obvious: Attorney-General William Barr’s absolution of Donald Trump did not reflect the Mueller report’s findings, sentiments or intentions.
[T]he dilemma for House Democrats now is whether to utilize Mueller’s evidence of obstruction for impeachment. They know from history that impeachment only succeeds if there is a broad, national, bipartisan consensus behind it, no matter the weight of the evidence or presence of sophisticated legal theories.
The president’s job is to enforce federal law. If he had ordered its violation to save innocent life or preserve human freedom, he would have a moral defense. But ordering obstruction to save himself from the consequences of his own behavior is unlawful, defenseless, and condemnable.
This doesn’t mean that Napolitano will convert to someone with less extreme political views. It does mean, however, that Trump has lost another big voice on the far right.
In fact, now that Napolitano sided the law, Trump is reverting to the usual slander to turn his most loyal devotees against the former judge.
For good measure, Trump sent Alan Dershowitz to Trumpsplain how the law on obstruction works in a dictatorship to the former Judge for the Superior Court of New Jersey.
Trump’s war with Napolitano will no doubt turn the most devoted Trump supporters against him, that is Napolitano. But, when we consider that because Trump has not expanded his base and the slim margin of popular votes that allowed Trump his Electoral College victory, he really can’t afford to alienate any of the voices that conditioned their audiences to love Trump.
Dershowitz is without question an enthusiastic advocate for opponents of the rule of law – but as a recent convert, his credibility will be limited with the paranoid base of the president’s supporters.
The results of Trump’s “something wonderful” healthcare suggest more of his forgotten people might feel a bit betrayed. As Bloomberg pointed out at the beginning of this month, Trump’s “something wonderful” is destabilizing the healthcare system primarily because there is nothing wonderful or otherwise to replace Obamacare. In short, it means a return to the problems that made Obamacare necessary: few people covered, higher costs and less service.
Also, if Trump has a “win” in court, Obamacare will cease to exist – destabilizing the healthcare system, guaranteeing that many millions of people will lose access to insurance, let alone affordable insurance.
Trump continues down the road of barbarity on immigration, complete with Nazi era rhetoric.
Unfortunately for this president, there will be costs that go with his demagogic views about immigration. For one thing, his vanity wall and sending troops to intimidate families who fled for their lives will not stop people from seeking asylum. If you really want to stop asylum seeking then you have to make the world safer – not more dangerous.
Trump is doing the opposite with the aforementioned threats and eliminating financial aid to countries where most people have brown or black skin.
And if he does ultimately shut down legal points of entry at the southern border, American manufacturers would pay a hefty price in lost trade with America’s third biggest trading partner. It also means higher food prices for consumers and loss of trade for American farmers.
It’s small wonder that Trump’s grand strategy is limited to smearing potential opponents instead of talking about how exactly he proposes to make America “great again”. His crowned jewel is the economy, which is looking good for the swamp but not so much for the forgotten people he told would be tired of all the winning.
Their incomes are stagnant or lower than before. They’re paying Trump’s taxes. Even the most devoted Trump supporter knows that is not what winning looks like.
Instead of leading with innovative and effective ideas about how to improve our nation, all Trump has is the same tired smear campaigns. And fewer trusted voices on the far right to amplify them.
Ms. Woodbury has a graduate degree in political science, with a minor in law. She is a qualified expert on political theory with a specific interest in the nexus between political theories and models and human rights.
Based on her interest in human rights and the threats that authoritarian regimes are to them, Ms. Woodbury’s masters thesis examined the influence of politics on the enforcement of international criminal law was cited in several academic studies.
Published work includes case summaries for the War Crimes Research Office.
She has an extensive background doing legal research in international and domestic law.
Ms. Woodbury’s work for politicusUSA includes articles on voting rights, the right to asylum and other civil/human rights.