Washington Post blogger Greg Sargent is one of my very favorite writers -- not just because we usually agree, but also because he's so insightful. He has a way of cutting to the meat of the matter, so I look forward to reading his new book. On Morning Joe, he discussed the Kavanaugh effect:
"Trump advised Kavanaugh to go on offense in a very Trumpian manner, right, to sort of portray himself as the big victim in this situation of a major kind of liberal/angry mob conspiracy to take down a good man and it worked, right, it got to the audience of one, meaning Trump, but it also got to these Republican voters," Sargent said.
"I think you saw Trump essentially confirm that during the CBS interview when he said, you know, one, 'You know, we won because I gave that speech,' it was the combination of him attacking Blasey Ford and Kavanaugh pitting himself as the victim that kind of put it all together for him."
"Would you agree, Greg, the constant flow of disinformation coming from the White House and specifically from the president, nearly every day has worked?" Mike Barnicle said.
"I think it's hard to say, right? There's a fatalistic view of this among some people on my side which says, you know, he's essentially created so much confusion that we'll never be able to recover truth again. That remains to be seen. If the Democrats have a good election, as it looks like we probably will, then we may sort of say, 'It worked among his voters but there weren't enough of them.' "
(Which reminded me: The number of registered Republicans is steadily dropping, and Trump's numbers among independent voters are fairly abysmal. Also, Bill Stepien, the White House political director, was Chris Christie's right-hand man -- and by the time Christie left office, his approval ratings were at record lows.)
"You write in the book about something called democratic backsliding. What are we talking about there, and what are ways to get through that?" Willie Geist said.
"Well, you know, essentially there's many ways of describing and cataloging Democratic backsliding, but what I mean is that, you know, there's essentially been a deterioration in agreement on the rules of political competition and I try to suggest ways that we can get past that," he said.
"The big case I make in the book is there's a big disconnect at the core of everything right now which is, it took a figure like a sort of hateful, menacing and, you know, as contemptuous of democracy as Trump, to focus everyone's attention on the health of the political system. But all these kind of deteriorations predate Trump and will outlast them, so I argue that we have to come up with a way of kind of hanging on to this kind of pro-democracy energy that's out there right now and hold on to it once he's gone and no longer there to galvanize it.
"The book is "An Uncivil War: Taking Back Our Democracy In An Age Of Trumpian Disinformation and Thunderdome Politics," Geist said in closing.
I already ordered it, can't wait to read it.