In one of his funniest jokes to date, President Trump Tweeted last night that his daily press conferences aren't "worth the time & effort:"
As usual, he said something that was objectively true but meant it differently than the reality-based community understood it. In fact, around the time he posted that Tweet, the New York Times published a story headlined "Nervous Republicans see Trump sinking, and taking Senate with him," which seems more likely than that the president suddenly decided to stop wasting everyone's time:
The scale of the G.O.P.’s challenge has crystallized in the last week. With 26 million Americans now having filed for unemployment benefits, Mr. Trump’s standing in states that he carried in 2016 looks increasingly wobbly: New surveys show him trailing significantly in battleground states like Michigan and Pennsylvania, and he is even narrowly behind in must-win Florida.
Perhaps most significantly, Mr. Trump’s single best advantage as an incumbent — his access to the bully pulpit — has effectively become a platform for self-sabotage.
His daily news briefings on the coronavirus outbreak are inflicting grave damage on his political standing, Republicans believe, and his recent remarks about combating the virus with sunlight and disinfectant were a breaking point for a number of senior party officials.
Glen Bolger, a longtime Republican pollster, said the landscape for his party had become far grimmer compared with the pre-virus plan to run almost singularly around the country’s prosperity.
“With the economy in free-fall, Republicans face a very challenging environment and it’s a total shift from where we were a few months ago,” Mr. Bolger said. “Democrats are angry, and now we have the foundation of the campaign yanked out from underneath us.”
Mr. Trump’s advisers and allies have often blamed external events for his most self-destructive acts, such as his repeated outbursts during the two-year investigation into his campaign’s dealings with Russia. Now, there is no such explanation — and, so far, there have been exceedingly few successful interventions regarding Mr. Trump’s behavior at the podium.
There's a great bit of dialogue* in one of my favorite movies, The American President, between Wendie Malick and Annette Bening:
Susan Sloan: Well, I - I think that um, that I - I have a lot of pent-up hostility...
Sydney Ellen Wade: Well, I...
Susan Sloan: You know, and I'm wondering who I should blame that on.
Sydney Ellen Wade: I'm not really qualified to...
Susan Sloan: You know, because I've been blaming it on my mother and my ex-husband and, well, that doesn't seem to be working.
No, Republicans, blaming your party leader's incompetence on external events no longer seems to be working.
* This dialogue also passes the Bechdel-Wallace Test: two named female characters having a conversation about something other than a man. Nice to find that in a rom-com. But it is Sorkin, so...