For weeks this fall, an ebullient President Trump traveled relentlessly to hold raise-the-rafters campaign rallies — sometimes three a day — in states where his presence was likely to help Republicans on the ballot.
But his mood apparently has changed as he has taken measure of the electoral backlash that voters delivered Nov. 6. With the certainty that the incoming Democratic House majority will go after his tax returns and investigate his actions, and the likelihood of additional indictments by special counsel Robert S. Mueller III, Trump has retreated into a cocoon of bitterness and resentment, according to multiple administration sources.
Behind the scenes, they say, the president has lashed out at several aides, from junior press assistants to senior officials. “He’s furious,” said one administration official. “Most staffers are trying to avoid him.”
From Belleau Wood to Arlington National Cemetery to the Asia-Pacific Economic Summit, Trump has gone AWOL.
What makes Trump’s perceived snub to the Asian powers more significant is that it comes on the heels of his brief European trip, which showcased his growing isolation from transatlantic allies. French President Emmanuel Macron rebuked Trump in a speech, stating that “nationalism is a betrayal of patriotism” as the U.S. president looked on sullenly.There's a natural temptation to revel in Trump's apparent misery but Schadenfreude shouldn't mask the fact that this guy is seriously unstable and volatile. Worse yet he seems to be moving to purge the voices of moderation from his inner circle, swapping them out for radical sycophants.
Trump’s relations with Latin America, already strained, are little better after the White House last week announced that he was reneging for a second time on a commitment to visit Colombia. He had planned to go there later this month on his way back from the G-20 meetings.
In April, he’d sent Pence in his place to the Summit of the Americas in Peru, citing a need to remain in Washington to monitor the U.S. response to a chemical weapons attack in Syria. He’d planned to visit Bogota on the same trip.
This time around, there appeared to be no extenuating circumstances preventing a visit.
Meanwhile, Anne Summers writes in today's Sydney Morning Herald that Trump may be a one-term president. Summers says he's cornered - and he knows it.
A helluva lot was riding on the [mid-term] elections and even if on the night it might have seemed the results were more a rebuke than a repudiation, on closer examination the results are not just good, they are very good.
The next two years are going to be very nasty. Trump is cornered and he knows it. His behaviour since the election indicates how he intends to fight: firing his Attorney-General, no doubt setting in train an attempted firing of Special Prosecutor Mueller, escalating his war against the media.
...We know from Bob Woodward’s recent book, from "Anonymous" in The New York Times and from almost everyone who reports on the White House that we are dealing with an unmoored and dangerous man. We also know that Mueller has a truckload of sealed indictments, including against members of Trump’s family.
Trump has no political skills. Nor does he know how to govern. But neither of this matters any more.
He is fighting - not for his political life, which is all but over, but for his very liberty.
The end game, as US commentators are already calling it, is likely to get very ugly.
But it is the end we are looking at, which means we can look forward to it being over.
...Trump’s so-called base is now locked geographically and demographically. They are overwhelmingly white in a country where "minorities" are fast increasing their share of the population and they are mostly older, often considerably older than the Democrats’ new base. The future is not with them, not even the near future based on Tuesday’s results when a clear majority of Americans delivered a clear and unambiguous verdict on their President.
... But the most heartening result for those worried about incipient fascism was the decisive return to blue of Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania.
In Michigan, 57.5 per cent of registered voters, the biggest voter turnout since 1967, went to the polls. In the Wisconsin suburbs the affluent Republicans who had kept the odious Scott Walker in the governor’s mansion turned their backs on him – and Trump. In Pennsylvania the Democrats picked up three seats and a governor with almost 60 per cent of the vote.
These are the three states that enabled Trump to win in 2016. Now, with Democrats in control of their redistricting and with 46 Electoral College votes between them, they will ensure he cannot win in 2020.