Take a moment to let that sink in: Less than three weeks after release of a nearly 400-page report documenting behavior on the part of the president that demonstrates numerous acts of possible criminality and many more examples of behavior that transgresses the bounds of ethics, propriety, and patriotism, Donald Trump has hit a nearly six-month high in his approval rating.
Yes, that rating is low by historic standards. But its current level is near Trump’s post-election ceiling, and that tells us something important about his presidency — something that should be obvious by now to all informed observers: His supporters just don’t care. He’s been metaphorically shooting people on Fifth Ave. for years now and getting away with it. And it really isn’t clear what, if anything, could alter this reality.
Over and over again we end up in new versions of the same old situation: Those who already deeply despise the president hope and wait for some new story, revelation, or investigation that will finally, at long last, destroy him politically, sending his approval rating plunging through the 30s down to the catastrophic levels Richard Nixon reached in the final weeks and months before he resigned in the face of near-certain impeachment and removal from office.