There seems to be no bottom for Donald Trump in the minds of the American people. His job approval rating continues go down with almost every action, statement, or tweet that he excretes. He is a political avalanche that is hurtling down the mountainside crushing weak-kneed Republican defenders it its wake.
Gallup’s latest tracking poll shows that Trump fell six points to thirty-six percent in just the last week. Needless to say, there are lots of pending calamities facing Trump and his administration. Most notably the ever-tightening noose that is his unsavory relationship with Vladimir Putin and Russia. Not only is that not going away, it is getting more treacherous with the investigation by special prosecutor, Robert Mueller. But the week just concluded had a couple of specific anchors dragging Trump ever deeper underwater.
The most prominent news event last week was Trump’s highly promoted address in the White House Rose Garden on Thursday. (Excluding the terrorist attacks in London on Saturday that occurred to late to impact the poll). He gathered the media to announce that he is withdrawing the U.S. from the Paris Accords on Climate Change. His interminably long and rambling speech was ridiculed and riddled with factual misrepresentations and outright lies. And it appears that the public didn’t buy any of it.
The American people are more concerned about Climate Change now than ever. Unlike Trump, they do not believe it’s a hoax perpetrated by China. And specifically with regard to Trump’s actions, there is overwhelming support for remaining a part of the Paris Accords. Even a new poll by Fox News showed that Americans fear Climate Change more than Terrorism.
Consequently, it should come as no surprise that Trump’s approval rating took another dive. Following his rebuke of 147 nations who signed onto the accords, Trump seems petty, ignorant, and rabidly nationalistic. It’s a position that can only be explained as pandering to his wingnut base and corporate, fossil-fuel benefactors. Conversely, it’s a slap in the face to rest of the country – and world.
And speaking of the world, it plays a role in another news event from last week that is likely affecting Trump’s dismal polling. He just returned from his first trip overseas as president. To put it mildly, it didn’t go especially well. He praised Saudi Arabia as a “magnificent” kingdom without any mention of its severe human rights abuses. The sold them billions of dollars of weapons that previous administrations explicitly withheld from them. When he landed in Israel he mentioned to his hosts that he was just returning from the Middle East. Then he posed for some of the most awkward photos ever with the Pope. And finally, he insulted our NATO allies with ignorant rants about how awful they are.
That misadventure surely had some impact on Trump’s plummeting popularity. And along with his short-sighted, boneheaded move on Climate Change, he is assuring that his ratings will remain in the cellar for the foreseeable future. That isn’t going to help his floundering legislative agenda either. His attempt to repeal ObamaCare was rejected by the public and went nowhere in Congress. The tax proposal he put forward was equally disliked and there’s no sign that Congress will even consider it.
All of this is going to make it much easier for Republicans to abandon him when Mueller concludes his investigation. If impeachment hearings are in order, the GOP will have free reign to go along in order to save their own skins. Trump won’t have any leverage to bully them or even beg for help. He is in a downward spiral of his own making and likely already knows that there is no way out. So look for him to get even more desperate and irrational. And fasten your seat belts. It’s gonna be bumpy ride.