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“Pragmatism, compromise and even ideological agility have always been part of politics. But what is happening now is dangerous. The rationalizers aren’t just turning against their own principles; many are turning against fundamental norms of democracy. The constant rationalization has made them unrecognizable. Unlike the Republicans who were Trumpian even before Donald Trump, the rationalizers have forgotten that what they now believe they once made up.”
“Donald Trump is impulse-driven, ignorant, narcissistic and intellectually dishonest. So you’d think that those of us in the anti-Trump camp would go out of our way to show we’re not like him — that we are judicious, informed, mature and reasonable. … But the events of the past week have shown that the anti-Trump echo chamber is becoming a mirror image of Trump himself — overwrought, uncalibrated and incapable of having an intelligent conversation about any complex policy problem.”
A new Economist/YouGov poll finds 53% of Republicans said Donald Trump was a better president than Abraham Lincoln, while 47% chose the Civil War-era leader.
NBC News: “When Trump arrived in the White House in 2017, there were 241 Republicans at the other end of Pennsylvania Avenue in the House of Representatives. Today, 100 of them have gone or have announced that they are leaving. That’s 41 percent of that original 241 in the 115th House.”
“You’d have to know why he shot him.”
— A member of a panel of Pennsylvania voters from swing districts told CNN that they would still vote for President Trump in 2020 if he shot someone.
“First, the Republican Party has largely become the Party of Trump. Too many Republicans in Congress are willing, in the interest of protecting their jobs, to overlook Trump’s misdeeds (just as too many Democrats were for Clinton during his impeachment). I have no interest in associating myself with that behavior. Maybe someday, the party will return to having honorable leaders like Bush, McCain, and Romney. Until then, count me out.”
— Greg Mankiw, former economic adviser to President George W. Bush, writes that he’s no longer a Republican.
“Yeah, I disagree with what he’s doing now, I wish it wasn’t happening, but I still fully support it.”
— Rep. Mark Green (R-TN), on NPR, talking about President Trump and his pullout of troops from Syria.
A new Gallup poll finds more Americans today (40%) than two years ago (33%) believe President Trump has the personality and leadership qualities a president should have, although that still represents a minority of the public. In contrast, roughly six in 10 Americans thought George W. Bush and Barack Obama had the right presidential characteristics at a similar point in their presidencies.
A new Politico/Morning Consult poll finds that 54% say they think President Trump has been successful in business, while 36% say he has been unsuccessful. Party breakdown: “Fully 85% of Republican voters say Trump has been successful, while only 10% say he’s been unsuccessful. Democratic voters see Trump’s business career differently: 30%, say he’s been successful, while 61% say he’s been unsuccessful. Among independents, 49% say Trump has been successful, and 34% say he’s been unsuccessful.”
“Our constitutional system never contemplated a President like Donald Trump. The Framers anticipated friction among the three branches of government, which has been a constant throughout our history, but the Trump White House has now established a complete blockade against the legislative branch, thwarting any meaningful oversight. The system, it appears, may simply be incapable of responding to this kind of challenge.”