A month later, Trump is still unpopular

    Donald Trump became president of the United States one month ago today, and his approval rating at this late date is weaker than that of any previous chief executive in the history of political polling. Trump’s numbers have been in negative territory for several months, since well before he took office. Oh sure, he can say that he’s doing comparatively well in the Rasmussen poll at a 55 percent approval rating, but the more reputable polls from Gallup and Pew have him at 40 and 38 percent, respectively. Rasmussen is...

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What will wingnuts do now that Obama is gone?

  Today’s transfer of power in the White House is fraught with ironies, not the least of which is that polls show that the outgoing president is much more popular than the new guy. More to the point, the departure of Barack Obama deprives the right-wing crazies, a noisy minority, of the principal target of their political invective. The time has passed for Obama to do all the evil deeds the wackos have long predicted. He wasn’t born in Africa. He’s not a Muslim.  He didn’t seize everyone’s guns. He...

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The story of a tone-deaf Reagan’s visit to a cemetery

  In the current debate over U.S.-Israel relations, the name of Ronald Reagan is invoked by all sides in the controversy, which brings to mind a mostly-forgotten story I’ve shared here previously. This episode occurred nearly 32 years ago, when Reagan, who was in his second term as U.S. president, made a visit to Germany to mark the 40th anniversary of V-E Day, the end of World War II in Europe. At the request of West German Chancellor Helmut Kohl, Reagan participated in memorial services at a military cemetery near the town of...

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The Ronald Reagan most of his fans don’t remember

  In the nine years I’ve been writing this blog, one of my favorite subjects has been the astonishing ignorance among worshippers of our 40th president of the United States, Ronald Wilson Reagan. Many of these people, perhaps even most of them, know little or nothing about Reagan’s actual record. They tend to regard him as the patron saint of modern Republican conservatism. But such was not really the case, at least not to the extent that popular myths about the Gipper suggest. He was much less a rigid right-winger than his...

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Eisenhower and Reagan would be pariahs in today’s GOP

  The situation in which the Republican Party finds itself these days with the divisive Donald Trump as its presidential nominee has brought to mind how much the GOP has changed in recent decades. Five years ago, I offered the following analysis amid the rise of the Tea Party movement: If you measure them by the ideological standards that prevail in their party these days, Ronald Reagan and Dwight Eisenhower, the only two-term Republican presidents in the second half of the 20th century, were both squishy moderates if not actually...

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