I didn’t watch the Comey hearing

Well this is odd. I didn’t watch one minute of the greatest political thriller since the 2016 election but I did watch 48 minutes of an NBA playoff game.

There’s actually a simple explanation for both. I was busy covering the Austin City Council for the Austin Monitor during the Comey hearing. As for the Cavs-Warriors game, that’s what a couple friends of mine happened to be doing. Apparently LeBron James and Stephen Curry are still good at basketball. I’ll probably check in on them again two or three years down the line.

I’m not too sorry I missed it though. The hearing largely added some color to well-established facts.

What I’m more interested is the impact the testimony will have on public opinion.

My sense is that it will take another level of scandal for Trump to drop further than he has already fallen in the last couple months (average approval rating = 39%). I’m skeptical that the onslaught of news highlighting his incompetence and sleaze will have much effect on the folks who still support him, although I’d be delighted if my instincts prove wrong.

But that’s not to say that the continued investigation of Trump –– both legal and in the press –– is of no political consequence. It has already helped to erode his support. There was a sizable chunk of the electorate, probably made up mostly of those who had reluctantly voted for him, that was willing to give the guy a chance after the election. It only took them a few months to give up on that idea. I don’t think it helps Trump to get into a pissing match with the FBI chief whose investigation into his Banana Republic-style administration he tried to obstruct.

Another thing that also won’t bode well for Trump’s relationship with the American public: Lawsuits targeting the myriad conflicts-of-interests emanating from his mafia-style real estate/government empire and the taxes that he refuses to release.