November 30, 2018

WE HAVE THE WORST POLITICAL CLASS IN OUR HISTORY: Michael Barone: Who’s to blame? Weak leaders, weak institutions, weak voters?

In the wake of the midterm elections, conservative analyst Yuval Levin saw no winners. “It is the weakness of all sides, and the strength of none, that shapes this moment.”

You can see what he means. President Trump hasn’t gotten everything he wanted — no Obamacare repeal, not even the wall — from the Republican House of Representatives. And on one issue or another he’ll probably get something from Nancy Pelosi’s Democrats he couldn’t get from Paul Ryan’s Republicans.

Now, maybe House Democrats will overplay their hand and help Trump win re-election in 2020. And maybe Democrats, faced with a crowded field of presidential candidates, will choose an unelectable nominee.

But even though Republicans gained Senate seats and are in good shape to confirm conservative judges, Trump is weakened by the results. Republicans lost just about every House seat he carried in 2016 by 5 percent or less. And he got only 46 percent of the popular vote.

Do the math. Forty-six minus five is 41. No way a 41-percent candidate gets 270 electoral votes in a two-way race.

It doesn’t have to be this way. CNN analyst Harry Enten points out that Trump’s job approval on the economy at this point is the second highest of recent presidents. But his overall approval is the second lowest. The obvious advice: Behave in a more dignified manner.

But Trump is not alone among national leaders in behaving in a way that makes him weaker than he might be. It seems to be a common, though not quite universal, ailment.

Yep. Macron, Merkel, and May are all more unpopular, with good reason.

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