April 23, 2017

Sunday School 4/23/2017

On this gorgeous day, it's kinda hard to believe that folks were inside gibber-jabbering about politics, but that's what happens during Sunday School.

Today, let's check in with the folks at ABC's This Week with George Stephanopoulos; one classroom is about all of the attention I have.

The focus of the round table discussion was on Trump, and his first 100 days, and those pesky coastal elites versus Trump voters in the heartland, and the new ABC-Washington Post poll, which shows Trump voters love Trump way more than the rest of us do, which of course is no surprise - but he's got the lowest 100-day approval rating (42% in this poll) than anyone since sliced bread or something, to the extent that really matters.

Trump himself has called the 100-day measure ridiculous, at the same time as he's tooted his own horn about having the most successful 90 days since that same loaf of bread was sliced. I guess it's those fast and furious last 10 that will make the difference in his opinion. Jonathan Karl, ABC's White House guy who reported on today's show, noted
But I've got to tell you, I am seeing a mad scramble in the West Wing to try and get points on the board before the 100-day marker. On the on hand, they want to pass, make another effort to pass health care. And then there's tax reform. You mentioned the promise that he made on Friday that he is going to unveil a plan for tax reform on Wednesday of next week. This shocked his own top advisers.  The idea had been floated a few days earlier. They had agreed that they wouldn't do it yet. It wasn't ready, And then they heard him say it, clearly an indication that he wants to still get something done, something more before they reach that 100 days. 
Also chiming in this morning was Terry Moran, the network's chief foreign correspondent, with some interesting insight. Stephanopoulos asked about Trump's handling of things overseas, and wondered about the sense that "he's trimming his sails, that the world is changing Trump more than Trump is changing the world."

Moran offered this:
Well, I think what president Trump is learning, George, is what all presidents learn. It was summed up a long time ago by a British prime minister who was supposedly asked by a young reporter, "what's your foreign policy?" And he said "events, dear boy - events."  And it's true, events can drive presidents more than presidents can.
Talking about how strong Trump's support is among his base, we heard from Bill Cunningham, a radio guy from Cincinnati. He had lots to say about why people love Trump, and that he never gets a call from anyone complaining about Trump, but here's the most interesting - and, for Democrats, perhaps the most important thing he said:
You know, George, I think largely it's emotional (Trump's 'hold' on his voters). Donald Trump is a rock star. And to give you some idea, we're the middle of Trump country. I ca walk or drive to Canada, Mexico, the Atlantic Ocean, and the border of California, and never set foot in a Clinton state or a Clinton county. 
That's an uphill climb, for sure, for whoever becomes the standard-bearer for the heartbroken Democratic Party.  It seems Bernie (Still Not a Democrat) Sanders is still getting his free media time, which is good for him, I guess, but not for the party, IMHO.

Also on the show? US Attorney General Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III, talking about walls (good), crime (bad), gangs (bad), sanctuary cities (bad) and DREAMers (iffy). And the contrast there was California's Attorney General Xavier Becerra, who had these opinions about walls (medieval), crime (California has the world's sixth largest economy), gangs (not mentioned), DREAMers (we're just trying to move forward, create jobs, we did our infrastructure, keeping families together is good for the economy, hard to know who to believe) and sanctuary cities, which were recently notified by Sessions III that federal funding was at risk:
We're ready. We have been abiding by federal law for quite some time before Jeff Sessions became the attorney general. We're going to continue to abide by federal law and the US constitution. And we're hoping the federal government will also abide by the US constitution, which gives my state the right to decide how to do public safety. That's not their responsibility under the US constitution... We fully respect that they have the responsibility to enforce immigration law. So, we're in the business of public safety. We're not in the business of deportation.
When the AG of California refers to the US government as a "hostile external force" things are apt to get interesting, don't you think?

See you around campus.