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Don Rogers: When the bubble bursts

No one is budging.

Six months in, Republicans still would vote for President Trump and Democrats still would not grasp this “lunacy.”

He’s slipped with independents, sure, but hardly in the sense of a ship sinking fast. We’re talking a handful of percentage points with whichever poll is keeping track.



What’s remarkable is how little the polls have changed through the turmoil.

If everyone voted again tomorrow, it’s more than a good bet the outcome would be the same: Congratulations President Trump.




The “give him a chance” chorus still rings strong as ever. To his supporters, the Republican legislators are about as big a problem as the Democrats.

Remember, the president as candidate had pretty terrible numbers. He has terrible numbers now. And he won the election.

Yes, I know. Now he can’t get anything done, at least legislatively. More than half the country, mainly city folk, hates him. If you oppose him, he’s an embarrassment to the United States abroad; an SNL buffoon good only for cheap laughs; couldn’t do more if he tried to confirm the Red Scare and Khrushchev’s infamous prediction that so frightened my mother. Who voted for … Trump.

And those tweets, wow.

And yet.

My liberal friends assume the Dems will take back Congress in 2018. Look how nutty the guy is, and history shows the other party always wins back seats two years into a presidency, after all.

Maybe, but I’m thinking it’s at least as likely Congress will get Trumpier. A few more conservatives among the Republican ranks would end this odd gridlock within one party, sure enough. And they can settle it in safely red country, the GOP having done such a good job outmaneuvering the Democrats in redistricting after the 2010 census.

By the way, the vote for Trump across the country was no anomaly, a researcher said during a panel discussion I recently attended. All Trump did was take back Reagan Country, nearly to the precinct. The oddity was Obama, not Trump.

Another researcher, a liberal who attended campaign rallies for both candidates across the heartland, declared the right showed more interest in understanding the left’s point of view than the other way around.

I found his observation really interesting, if anecdotal and at odds with what I’m finding. No, my lefty friends aren’t exactly throwing themselves at Republicans to get a better grasp of why they see things as they do. But the right certainly isn’t, either.

Both are missing out, essentially turning to authority over evidence, more concerned with being part of the team than reaching for truth, both sides easy prey for genuinely fake stories.

At gatherings of partisans left or right, I find some variant of this rally cry: “We’re all right, and they’re all wrong.” This isn’t remotely true, but it is simpler, surely more satisfying.

So we have Republicans railing at a free-market approach to carbon pollution pretty much just because a Democratic governor pushed it, and Democrats swallowing the scheme even though they railed against it as the worst thing ever when a Bush was president and did the same.

If you want to talk Russia, we know the Clintons made out directly. The Russians paid Bill $500,000 for one speech while Hillary as Secretary of State opposed Russian sanctions. She did nothing illegal or wrong, and she was in line with the rest of the Obama administration.

Still, there was as much or more evidence of some kind of quid pro quo than any of the Ruskie revelations in the Trump fiasco. At least so far.

The tang of Russian influence on the Clintons was no big thing for Democrats during the campaign. Now they consider any contacts with Russians an existential crisis if concerning the Trumps. And the reverse with Republicans. Of course.

The partisans argue these things, as always, with straight faces, oblivious to the irony of it all.

Here’s another irony, which actually could begin to uncouple Republican voters from the Trump train: Obamacare.

Voters in the red states have started to figure out they are far better protected under Obamacare than what their Republican representatives are considering and Trump more than anyone is demanding.

They support Trump as they did before, but are having serious misgivings about what losing Obamacare means for them personally.

Cognitive bias is one thing, powerful as superglue.

How long do they go with full-on cognitive dissonance?

Think things have been weird so far? Buckle up.

Publisher Don Rogers can be reached at drogers@theunion.com or 477-4299.


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