Voters reject Trump’s banana republic presidency

Voters reject Trump’s banana republic presidency
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Republicans are in trouble and conservatism is in crisis because President TrumpDonald John TrumpWHCA calls on Trump to denounce video depicting him shooting media outlets Video of fake Trump shooting members of media shown at his Miami resort: report Trump hits Fox News's Chris Wallace over Ukraine coverage MORE is running a banana republic presidency that creates:

  • record disapproval of his presidency;
  • bitter divisions among our people;
  • fear and concern from our allies;
  • aid and comfort to our enemies;
  • regular firings and resignations from his administration;
  • proliferating stories of corruptions large and small;
  • streams of news of indictments and plea bargains;
  • presidential insults that never stop coming;
  • false statements that are a way of life in the White House; and
  • an epic backlash from voters that is squarely aimed at Republicans.
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Politically, this is the banana republic factor, the recognition among huge numbers of voters that there is something very wrong and dangerous about the Trump presidency that violates core values of Americanism and does great damage to the nation.  

 

The Trump presidency has become the "Donald Trump Show," with hundreds of episodes, from his latest firing to his relationship with a porn star, from the newest indictments to his attacks against NFL players, from his attacks against the FBI to his repeated praise of foreign dictators. All of this hurts a growing number of Republicans who lose elections or retire from office.

The Pennsylvania election this week should send shivers up the spines of Republicans. The genius of the Conor Lamb campaign for Congress was that he tapped into this deep public concern about Trump without ever making Trump his issue in the campaign, which eased the way for previous Trump voters to support the Democrat without asking them to directly repudiate the president.

In Trump’s banana republic presidency, he spent the weekend before the Pennsylvania vote giving an absurd rally speech that barely mentioned the GOP candidate he supported while insulting the highly popular Oprah Winfrey and the widely respected host of Meet the Press, Chuck Todd, among many others.

In Trump’s banana republic presidency he spent the closing hours of the Pennsylvania campaign summarily firing Secretary of State Rex TillersonRex Wayne TillersonThe Hill's 12:30 Report — Presented by USAA — Ex-Ukraine ambassador testifies Trump pushed for her ouster Trump to tap No. 2 State Dept. official as Russia ambassador Giuliani pressed Trump, Tillerson for Turkish prisoner swap in Oval Office meeting: report MORE with a tweet, while rumors spread throughout official Washington that he will soon fire General H.R. McMaster, his national security advisor, after spending weeks insulting both of them.

In Trump’s banana republic presidency, the commander in chief insults his White House chief of staff, retired General John KellyJohn Francis KellyMORE, when he isn’t mocking or humiliating Attorney General Jeff SessionsJefferson (Jeff) Beauregard SessionsTrump attacks Sessions: A 'total disaster' and 'an embarrassment to the great state of Alabama' Ocasio-Cortez fires back at Washington Times after story on her 'high-dollar hairdo' Trump's tirades, taunts and threats are damaging our democracy MORE, who he reportedly calls Mr. Magoo.

In Trump’s banana republic presidency, word leaks he will soon fire his Veterans Affairs secretary, David Shulkin, who would be replaced by Energy Secretary Rick PerryJames (Rick) Richard PerryThe Memo: Drip, drip of revelations damages Trump Overnight Energy: Advisory panel pushes park service to privatize campgrounds | Dems urge Perry to keep lightbulb efficiency rules | Marshall Islands declares national climate crisis Cracks emerge in White House strategy as witness testifies MORE, who would then be replaced as well when he leaves his current post.

In Trump’s banana republic presidency, while a growing number of his associates are indicted for crimes or reaching plea bargains with the Feds, the commander in chief fends off stories of hush money being allegedly paid by one of his lawyers to a porn star with whom he allegedly had an extramarital affair.

In Trump’s banana republic presidency, the president attacks the FBI, and one of his GOP backers on the House Intelligence Committee writes a discredited memo that is heavily promoted by Russian bots.

While his newly-fired secretary of State was decimating the ranks of career diplomats, his son-in-law who cannot obtain a high-security clearance acts like a surrogate secretary of State, holding meetings with various foreign players, some of whom are reportedly under investigation by the special counsel.

These and other matters of state provide the backdrop for special elections that Democrats have surprisingly won and Republicans have surprisingly lost.  

Large numbers of voters are raging with anger and hyper-motivated to vote. Many others intuitively understand something is very wrong with Trump’s banana republic presidency and quietly vote for Democrats, who win even in districts Trump carried by 20 percent in 2016. This is why Lamb won and more GOP retirements are coming soon.

Brent Budowsky was an aide to former Sen. Lloyd Bentsen (D-Texas) and former Rep. Bill Alexander (D-Ark.), who was chief deputy majority whip of the U.S. House of Representatives. He holds an LLM in international financial law from the London School of Economics.