Republicans are Sticking with Trump For Now

A February 19 McClatchy-Marist poll of 1073 adults (with a 3% margin of error) reveals that 58% of Americans are “embarrassed” of their president. Republicans say they aren’t. (The numbers for Democrats, independents, and Republicans were 90%, 60%, and 12%, respectively.) One could argue that this response was prompted by the limited answer choices (“proud,” “embarrassed,” or “unsure”) asked, and otherwise might not have been the first response offered by the majority.

Nevertheless, that is an astounding number only one month into a new presidency when presidents usually enjoy some sort of “honeymoon.” President Trump’s first-month Gallup approval rating of 40% (other polls vary from 38%-43%) is now 21 points below the 61% average of presidents since Eisenhower. Only Reagan and Clinton dipped below 60%.

Pundits continue to speculate about what Democrats are “sure of”: It’s only a matter of time until “sensible Republicans” abandon Trump. It will come in increments, and it’s already begun with statements about how they don’t agree with Trump on this or that. Next it will be attempts to further distance themselves as the Herbal Tea Party (alt-Tea Party? Green Tea Party?) turns up the heat. Eventually it will result in condemnation of Trump, and finally a full break, they say. Impeachment and removal is just around the corner. Maybe even faster if Vice President Pence uses the 25th Amendment.

That is probably mere wishful thinking, at least as long as Republicans are the majority party in both houses. Democrats are deluding themselves if they think Republicans would betray him so soon, especially before the mid-term congressional elections. If there is a price to pay for loyalty to Trump, that’s where it will be proven.

A lot of Republicans in Congress look at Trump like a mean old dog that they adopted to keep at home as a security system. Sure, he barks constantly (even at 3 a.m.), he slobbers all over the furniture, he growls loudly at everyone and everything, he’s obnoxiously desperate for attention, he’s easily confused, he has fleas, he’s full of gas, he tries to hump visiting friends, and he bites the pizza delivery guy. Republicans are not even sure whether it was a good idea to let him in the house. But he sure does keep the Democrats out and allows them to get some work done.

As long as Trump doesn’t turn on the Republicans, don’t expect them to take him to the vet anytime soon.