MONDAY, JUNE 20, 2022
Political tribe, consider improving thyself: "The appearance on the front of a new arrival...became the topic of general conversation."
In those days, the new arrival was "a lady with a lapdog"—or at least, so Chekhov reported. This morning, the new arrival on the front was an ABC-Ipsos poll.
According to ABC News, the poll "was conducted using Ipsos Public Affairs‘ KnowledgePanel® June 17-18, 2022, in English and Spanish, among a random national sample of 545 adults."
That isn't a giant sample. But here's what the new arrival said, according to Meredith DeLiso, ABC headline included:
DELISO (6/19/22): 6 in 10 Americans say Trump should be charged for Jan. 6 riot
With the first full week of hearings for the House select committee's investigation into the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol now complete, nearly 6 in 10 Americans believe former President Donald Trump should be charged with a crime for his role in the incident, a new ABC News/Ipsos poll finds.
Six in 10 Americans also believe the committee is conducting a fair and impartial investigation, according to the poll.
As it turns out, that headline includes a slight overstatement. In this particular survey, 58% of respondents—that's slightly less than 6 in 10—said that Trump should be charged with a crime.
Concerning what that crime would be, respondents weren't asked to respond. Just for the record, the numbers haven't necessarily changed a huge amount from where they previously stood:
DELISO (continuing directly): In the poll, which was conducted by Ipsos in partnership with ABC News using Ipsos' KnowledgePanel, 58% of Americans think Trump should be charged with a crime for his role in the riot. That's up slightly from late April, before the hearings began, when an ABC News/Washington Post poll found that 52% of Americans thought the former president should be charged.
In April, before the current hearings began, 52% of respondents had said that Trump should be charged with a crime. Last week, after the first three hearings, that number stood at 58%, give or take margin of error.
That might be the start of a trend. Or it might be statistical noise.
Has Donald J. Trump committed a crime? We can't say we know. We do regard him as profoundly disordered, in a dangerous way, though tens of millions of our fellow citizens have a vastly different view.
At any rate, many Americans think that Trump should be charged with a crime. Then too, there's this morning's report from the state convention of the Texas Republican Party, as seen in the New York Times.
Texas Republicans Approve Far-Right Platform Declaring Biden’s Election Illegitimate
The Republican Party in Texas made a series of far-right declarations as part of its official party platform over the weekend, claiming that President Biden was not legitimately elected, issuing a “rebuke” to Senator John Cornyn for his work on bipartisan gun legislation and referring to homosexuality as “an abnormal lifestyle choice.”
The platform was voted on in Houston at the state party’s convention, which concluded on Saturday.
The state party’s resolution embracing the baseless 2020 stolen-election claims stated that “substantial election fraud in key metropolitan areas significantly affected the results in five key states in favor of” Mr. Biden. The state party, the resolution continued, rejected “the certified results of the 2020 Presidential election, and we hold that acting President Joseph Robinette Biden Jr. was not legitimately elected by the people of the United States.”
Within our nation's formal party politics, the Texas GOP's annual platform is almost always the farthest right of all "far-right" declarations. For ourselves, we note the apparent absence of any evidence regarding the claim of "substantial election fraud in key metropolitan areas."
We also note this fact:
Nineteen months after the "stolen election" in question, Donald J. Trump has never produced a white paper offering evidence in support of his endless claim that the election was stolen. He simply continues making the claim, and many of his supporters continue to believe it.
In our tribe, we sometimes tend to content ourselves with calling his claim a "lie." In our view, that probably isn't the greatest idea. More on that to follow.
On today's Morning Joe, that new ABC-Ipsos poll was the "new arrival on the front." Such encouraging news is always bruited by the tribunes within our blue tribe, dating back to the several years when we were told, night after night, that The Talented Mr. Mueller was surely on his way to bringing Trump all the way down.
Did Donald J. Trump commit a crime in connection with the January 6 riot? If so, should he be indicted?
At this point, we don't know how to answer either question. We have thought, again and again, about some of the ways our own blue tribe has possibly helped Trump stay afloat.
How can our blue tribe heal itself—or at least improve its performance? We might start with a bit of improvement in self-awareness, dating back many years.
How can it be that a disordered fellow like Donald J. Trump got 74 million votes in the 2020 election?Also, who lost Uvalde County, Texas—and Aroostook County, Maine?
In the past, we've sometimes tended to shy away from full discussion of such questions. Starting tomorrow, we'll try to go into more detail about some of the possible ways our own blue tribe—it's disadvantaged by our nation's prevailing electoral systems—might be able to improve its game, to win a few more elections.
Superman Mueller never showed up; the Steele dossier came and went. This morning, some Morning Joe pundits seemed to have high hopes for the ongoing work of the January 6 committee. Others voiced words of warning.
Meanwhile, Trump continues to say that he won by a landslide in 2020. He has never made the slightest attempt to present the tiniest bit of evidence in support of this poisonous claim.
Nineteen months have drifted by since that fateful election. The former president has never attempted to offer evidence in support of his claim. In our tribe, we seem to be satisfied with the ubiquitous claim that the fellow is lying.
Could our blue tribe improve its game? Also, why do so many voters seem to loathe us?
Tomorrow, we'll start to ponder such questions. We still can see no easy way out of our nation's very large mess.
Tomorrow: Let's take a look at some numbers