By Michael Adkins
It’s “the biggest witch hunt in history” President Donald Trump claimed in response to the media interest in ties between the Trump campaign and Russia. Apparently, Mr. Trump forgot about Sen. Joe McCarthy’s nefarious actions in front of the House of Representatives during the 1950s.
“A big nothing burger” was the White House retort to Donald Trump Jr.’s meeting with a Russian lawyer. These arguments don’t play well with the mainstream media, but Trump supporters eat it up. They are far more concerned about the issues that led them to Trump in the first place: repeal of Obamacare (how’s that going for you?), building the wall, bringing jobs back from overseas and draining the swamp (again, how’s that going for you?).
His supporters believe the hullabaloo matters only to politicos and pundits, but those are the very people who deal with the American political system daily. They are the people with the greater insights into the goings-on in American government.
For the most part, Trump voters still support the president, but it appears many now in the support Trump category were previously in the strongly support category.
Does that mean his support will diminish even further? Not necessarily, but if continued damaging revelations reveal themselves, the president’s supporters might abandon him. A president is seldom strong and effective without the support of the people.
In the late 1960s, Democrats were even quicker to abandon Lyndon Johnson over Vietnam than were the Republicans in Washington. Today’s GOP has been much slower in opposing this president, but opposition within the GOP is beginning to gel.
Nevertheless, I very much doubt it will lead to Republican support for impeachment. It will take extremely concrete evidence of collusion before the GOP would rightly climb aboard that train. I doubt many Republicans in the Senate or House will support impeachment even if a solid case of obstruction of justice is proven.
Nevertheless, if more revelations about meetings with Russians or more lies about such meetings are made known, this president is going to find it extremely difficult to get anything accomplished.
It might very well be that what has been revealed is little more than naivete and incompetence from members of Trump’s inner circle. Donald Trump Jr. did a stupid thing in meeting with a Russian lawyer in hopes of digging up dirt on Hillary Clinton. And no, Mr. President, that is not what everyone else would do.
Al Gore received the Bush campaign playbook and immediately turned it over to the FBI. Anyone with a modicum of intelligence should know the difference between opposition research and gathering dirt from a foreign nation.
While the meeting might have resulted purely from ignorance or naivete, it is the lying about it that should alarm Trump supporters. The fact that Junior initially forgot about the meeting is bad enough, but Donald Jr.’s telling four different versions of the meeting should send up a red flag. It tells me that he knew it did not pass the smell test.
Most of America now is looking at issues they believe to be more important to them, and that is certainly understandable. That does not mean, however, that a serious problem does not exist.
Up until nearly the end of Watergate, a majority of the American people did not hold that issue as one of the most important matters facing the nation. Turns out the majority was quite wrong. Just because an issue isn’t affecting my day-to-day existence does not mean it has no impact on my life.
A cancer remains hidden, sometimes until it is too late.
Michael Adkins is the former chair of the Hancock County Democratic Party. He lives in Greenfield.