Stephanie Ruhle and her panel begin discussing something fascinating about the Toxic Orange Tic Tac with her panel this morning, Eddie Glaude and Ben White. They talked about how if there is such a thing as a trump "doctrine" it is one that never moved past World War II. It never accepted the premise that nations SHOULDN'T be isolationist, shouldn't decide things unilaterally, shouldn't act only in their own singular interests. I suppose it's just another way to say trump favors autocrats and dictators, but for some reason, that framing felt new and creative.
The discussion quickly moved, however, into frustration over the fact that despite his going full-blown autocrat, trump never seems to suffer any measurable legal or political consequences. Some Republicans talk a good game (*cough* Flake *cough* Corker *cough*) but they still vote with him, and Republicans as a group are loathe to take any action against him. In fact, the Freedom Caucus is going in the opposite direction by wagging their dicks in the direction of impeaching Rod Rosenstein.
This led Ruhle to ask why he even bothers to do the walk-backs and clarifications? Why not just come out and say he knows Russia helped, and he's happy about it? For some reason, Ruhle is still expressing surprise that White women and Evangelicals voted for him in 2016 after the Access Hollywood tape. Incredibly, Ben White argues that they will vote against him in 2018. Check out the look on Ruhle's face when he does.
RUHLE: So why are we doing this walk back dance, and Mike Pompeo saying, "Trump knows what happened." Guess what? He knows what happened. He loves it. He could own it at this point. It doesn't matter how reprehensible that is.
WHITE: It's true. He could own it. And the base wouldn't love leave him, but it does matter in the swing districts in the midwest.
GLAUDE: I was about to say. Independents. Moderate Republicans.
WHITE: That's where the mid-terms wind up. Republicans down by 12 in the generic ballot, all those, Illinois, Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, the races where they have incumbents who are in trouble and he can't embrace the far right and say, "Go Russia."
RUHLE: Well, you know what? You gentlemen are smarter than me. I would have thought that being a serial adulterer and the "Access Hollywood" tape would have mattered to white women and evangelicals. But alas, it didn't in the last election.
WHITE: It does! It does! It didn't matter in 2016. It matters now. Look at the numbers in the polling -- look at the Quinnipiac poll showing the women's approval rating of Trump going way down.
RUHLE: You know what you can do with a poll? Blow your nose. The president won the election.
WHITE: You're looking backwards. I'm talking about 2018 mid-terms. They are narrowly divided in a lot of races and the difference is white women in the suburbs. They went for Trump in 2016. Some of this stuff is gonna matter in 2018.
GLAUDE: (laughing) I don't know. I don't know.
WHITE: Not massively, but if they move the needle one point...
GLAUDE: They didn't show up in Virginia, they didn't show up in Alabama,
RUHLE: You know what I want you to do in November? Call me.
Hey, Ben White. Even the only White woman in the discussion knows they cannot be counted on to come out against Putin's Poodle. It's cute that you have confidence in us, but you're one of the only ones.
Update: Right on cue, Fox News rolled this lady out for all to see: