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Trump badly humiliated himself — here’s how

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Since taking office, President Donald Trump has had consistently dismal approval polling, usually hovering steadily around 42 percent with disapproval in the mid-50s or even low 60s at different points. After having been obsessed with polls during the 2016 primary and general elections, Trump has largely avoided talking about his approval numbers as president because they’ve been so unimpressive (though he once bizarrely bragged about a poll finding his approval at 45 percent.)

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So it was notable Thursday when Trump tweeted a screenshot of a poll from Fox Business’s show Lou Dobbs Tonight, which claimed that he has a 55 percent approval rating — a number that would be fairly impressive compared to his baseline:

But as anyone who is familiar with the president’s polling could have told you at a glance, something was wrong with this picture. The best case scenario was that this poll was an extreme outlier for the president, showing a much more positive view of Trump than most other surveys found.

Yet it was much worse than that: an outright error. It was what Trump himself would call “fake news” had any mainstream outlet made a similar mistake that made him look bad.

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“That tweet featured a poll that was not entirely accurate, which Fox Business would like to correct,” Fox Business reporter Blake Burman said Thursday of Trump’s tweet, in a clip pointed out by Axios. “According to a poll from Georgetown University, 58 percent of respondents approved of the president’s handling of the economy. That portion of the graphic was right. However, the graphic also showed that 55 percent of the respondents approved of the president; that number is not correct. The 55 percent number was those, Stuart, who have an unfavorable impression of President Trump.”

Only 40 percent of people have a “favorable” view of the president, according to that poll. (On the slightly different question of “approval,” Trump fared slightly better — 43 percent of people approve of him overall while 52 percent disapprove.)

And in fact, that difference between the public’s view of Trump’s handling of the economy its view on his favorability is a pretty telling feature of the poll. Presidential approval is often closely tied to Americans’ view of the economy. The fact that, in Trump’s case, so many people can believe that he’s handling the economy well (whatever that means) while also having an unfavorable view of him show what a miserable job he is doing at uniting and leading the country. It also indicates that, if the economy falters between now and November 2020, his approval rating could plummet even further and drastically reduce his reelection chances that are already lower than they could be. In approval terms, Trump is operating without a safety net.

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And as of publication time, Trump has not removed or amended his false tweet.


Report typos and corrections to: [email protected].
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MLK was ‘gravely disappointed’ with white moderates — whom he believed were responsible for impeding civil rights

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"We also realize that the problems of racial injustice and economic injustice cannot be solved without a radical redistribution of political and economic power."

—Martin Luther King Jr., 1967

This Martin Luther King Jr. Day comes as moderate Democrats, falling in line behind former vice president Joe Biden, are warning that the party risks re-electing Donald Trump if it nominates too radical a candidate for president — by which they mean someone like Senators Bernie Sanders or Elizabeth Warren.

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Harvard law professor Laurence Tribe catches Alan Dershowitz in humiliating hypocrisy: ‘He’s not to be trusted’

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Harvard Constitutional law professor Laurence Tribe called out President Donald Trump's lawyer, Alan Dershowitz, Sunday on Twitter, noting that his opinions seem to evolve depending on who he's defending.

Dershowitz is on a kind of press junket for the president, defending him in various media appearances. The former lawyer to Jeffrey Epstein is handling Trump's defense as it pertains to the abuse of power. Dershowitz thinks that charge has no basis in law. In fact, impeachment trials aren't actually legal proceedings, they're political proceedings, because the Justice Department claimed that Trump can't be indicted under the law while he's president.

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‘You cannot expect anything but fascism’: Pedagogy theorist on how Trump ‘legitimated a culture of lying, cruelty and a collapse of social responsibility’

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The impeachment of Donald Trump appears to be a crisis without a history, at least a history that illuminates, not just comparisons with other presidential impeachments, but a history that provides historical lessons regarding its relationship to a previous age of tyranny that ushered in horrors associated with a fascist politics in the 1930s.  In the age of Trump, history is now used to divert and elude the most serious questions to be raised about the impeachment crisis. The legacy of earlier presidential impeachments, which include Andrew Johnson and Bill Clinton, provide a comparative historical context for analysis and criticism. And while Trump’s impeachment is often defined as a more serious constitutional crisis given his attempt to use the power of the presidency to advance his personal political agenda, it is a crisis that willfully ignores the conditions that gave rise to Trump’s presidency along with its recurring pattern of authoritarian behavior, policies, and practices.  One result is that the impeachment process with its abundance of political theater and insipid media coverage treats Trump’s crimes as the endpoint of an abuse of power and an illegal act, rather than as a political action that is symptomatic of a long legacy of conditions that have led to the United States’ slide into the abyss of authoritarianism.

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