Democrats’ Dangerous Case of Trump Derangement Syndrome

Isaac Newton’s third law of motion states that for every action in nature, there is an equal and opposite reaction. It can operate in politics, too. For example, Harvard law professor Jack Goldsmith recently wrote, “It is part of Trump’s evil genius that he elevates himself by inducing his critics to behave like him.”

Call it Trump derangement syndrome, and recognize it for what it is: something that could end up snatching defeat from the jaws of victory for the Democratic Party once again in 2018 and 2020.

Signs of that possibility are apparent in the polls. President Donald Trump’s job approval has remained low, by historical standards, but it has also remained pretty steady — and has been rising, just a bit, in recent weeks.

The standard pattern has been for presidents to start off their term with high honeymoon ratings and then sag somewhat in their second year unless buoyed (as both Bushes were) by perceived foreign policy successes.

What we saw in the midterm elections of 1994, 1998, 2006, 2010 and 2014 was the opposition party’s winning majorities in both houses of Congress, except for the Senate in 2010.

Trump’s trajectory has been different. After his controversial campaign, his barbed tweets and the revelation of the Hillary Clinton campaign-financed Steele dossier, he was never in honeymoon territory. His average job approval rating in the RealClearPolitics average never topped 46 percent — the same percentage he won in the popular vote against Clinton.

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