Donald Trump is not the man he used to be. As his flamboyant presidency rolls into its third month, the orange one's polling numbers are declining as fast as his lies are mounting -- which is to say very, very fast indeed. Reported the Huffington Post today:
Gallup’s latest poll, issued Friday, shows 38 percent of American adults approve of the job Trump is doing as president, and 56 percent disapprove.
That’s comparable to some of the ratings his predecessors saw. But what’s different is the timing. It took far more than a year before presidents from Ronald Reagan through Barack Obama earned the disapproval of a majority of the public, according to Gallup. It took Trump just over a week.
Trump, barely two months into his presidency, is well within the “honeymoon period” that other presidents have enjoyed. Despite a wave of high-profile controversies and setbacks, including the failure of the Obamacare repeal bill, his White House has yet to face a recession, a major international incident or any sort of crisis beyond the self-inflicted.
Just think about that -- it took Trump all of one week to reach negative approval numbers, and only two and a half months to reach catastrophically bad numbers. To put this into perspective, George W. Bush left office after wrecking the Middle East, failing miserably to respond to one of the worst hurricane disaster in US history and decimating the global economy with an approval rating of 37.3 percent. Trump is a mere 0.7 percent above that and he's only just getting started.
The numbers reflect an obvious truth that many of Trump's own supporters are experiencing serious buyers remorse and have realized that their man wasn't in fact a better alternative to Hillary Clinton, but an unmitigated disaster. The fact that the full scope of this unfolding disaster is now beginning to seep into the minds of voters who wanted to give him Trump a chance is significant because it means the president's lies and distortions are not resonating as strongly as they once were. As President Obama warned Trump before he took office, "Reality has a way of asserting itself," and if you choose to ignore it long enough as Trump has, you pay the price. The disaster of his initial transition, the spectacular failure of his travel ban, and the pathetic evaporation of Trumpcare has shown Trump to be a bullshitter incapable of delivering on his promises. Far from being a closer and a winner, he has choked when it most mattered and failed to follow through on everything he claimed would happen in his first few days in office.
The LA Times editorial board delivered this withering assessment of his presidency thus far:
He is a man so unpredictable, so reckless, so petulant, so full of blind self-regard, so untethered to reality that it is impossible to know where his presidency will lead or how much damage he will do to our nation. His obsession with his own fame, wealth and success, his determination to vanquish enemies real and imagined, his craving for adulation — these traits were, of course, at the very heart of his scorched-earth outsider campaign; indeed, some of them helped get him elected. But in a real presidency in which he wields unimaginable power, they are nothing short of disastrous.
While the Times is technically right about Trump's "unimaginable power," thankfully they have greatly underestimated his ability to use it. While Trump is still incredibly dangerous and a threat to America's survival as a first world democracy, the chinks are beginning to show. And with more than a few enemies waiting to pounce, the Trump administration's actual power diminishes by the hour.