Sohn: Unhinged or just unfit, Trump is unliked

Sohn: Unhinged or just unfit, Trump is unliked

August 23rd, 2019 by Pam Sohn in Opinion Times

President Donald Trump speaks to reporters Wednesday, causing consternation with his comments about God, Jews and being the "chosen one." (Anna Moneymaker/The New York Times)

Photo by Anna Moneymaker/The New York Times

Are you still holding your ears from that thunderous sound of silence among Republicans and especially Republican Christians in response to President Donald Trump's use of God and God's various names to attract attention?

Trump tweeted on Wednesday: Israelis view Trump "like he's the King of Israel" and "the second coming of God." Later in a rant about trade, Trump told a gaggle of reporters: "I am the chosen one."

Washington Post columnist Dana Milbank responded: "Holy God complex!"

Perhaps, like us, you are still scratching you're head about Trump's recent conflation of himself and the country. He wanted to buy Greenland (we assume for the U.S.). When told by Denmark that it wasn't for sale, he canceled a planned trip there and blasted the Danes and their "nasty" prime minister. (Yes, of course the prime minister is a woman. Men are never "nasty" in Trumpview.)

And don't you love this great Trump economy? The best in the history of the world, right?

Wrong. Take this quietly reported item of news: Employers added a half-million fewer jobs in 2018 and early 2019 than previously reported, the Labor Department said Wednesday.

Repeat. The Trump administration reportedly inflated the number of new jobs from April 2018 to March 2019 by 501,000.

We've seen no explanation, but the large change means job growth averaged 170,000 a month during that 12-month period, down from the 210,000 initially estimated, according to JPMorgan Chase.

We're sure you recall Trump's reaction to last week's erratic stock market: "I don't see a recession. ... We're doing tremendously well. Our consumers are tremendously rich. They're loaded up with money. Walmart is through the roof."

Well, a half-million fewer jobs is not hay. Did we mention that the population of Chattanooga in 2017 was 179,139? In other words, in the entire country in 2018 and early 2019, the Trump administration can claim monthly credit for fewer new jobs than would employ every man, woman and child in the city of Chattanooga. There were fewer new hires in that whole year's time than would pay the workers of a dozen mid-sized cities in our nation of 327.2 million people.

And please recall that the average wage gain for most already-employed Americans, after accounting for inflation, has about the same purchasing power it did 40 years ago. Most of the real wage gains our country has seen have flowed to the highest-paid tier of workers.

No wonder we're all worried.

Labor Department officials said the revisions don't change the overall picture of our "healthy" job market. But they do mean that 2018, which had ranked among the strongest years of job growth in the decade-long recovery, was weaker than previously believed.

Even before Wednesday's reporting of Trump's God-tinged comments or the inflated new jobs numbers, six in 10 Americans had told an Associated Press–NORC Center for Public Affairs Research poll that they disapprove of President Trump's overall performance.

Sixty-two percent of Americans gave Trump a thumb's down, while just 36 percent said they approve of the job he's doing, according to the poll released Thursday.

"The numbers may be ugly for a first-term president facing reelection in 14 months, but they are remarkably consistent," AP reported. "Trump's approval rating has never dipped below 32% or risen above 42% in AP-NORC polls since he took office. No other president has stayed within so narrow a band. Since Gallup began measuring presidential approval, Trump is the only president whose rating has never been above 50%."

Hours after the God talk, a hashtag about the Constitution's 25th Amendment began trending on Twitter. Some called on Vice President Mike Pence and the Cabinet to invoke the 25th Amendment to remove Trump from office. The 25th Amendment to our Constitution accords a special role to the vice president, under which he and the cabinet can write to Congress saying that the president is unable to discharge his office. A two-thirds vote in each chamber would be required to remove a sitting president.

Don't hold your breath.

But similarly, don't forget that House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler, D-New York, is, as we speak, heading up impeachment proceedings against Trump in the wake of the Mueller investigation of Russian interference in our 2016 election.

Another new poll, one from Monmouth University, found that 41% of Americans say an impeachment inquiry (which may or may not lead to impeachment) is a good idea, but 51% say it's a bad idea, in part because it is likely it wouldn't get Trump out of office in today's Senate environment.

That doesn't mean most of the Monmouth respondents want him to remain in office.

A majority — 57% — say it is time to have someone new in the Oval Office. Just 39% said they feel Trump should be re-elected in 2020.

There may yet be hope.

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