I am delighted that a clear blow was taken at the efforts being made to destroy democracy and the rule of law in the US. It an important message to governments across the planet that decent people will not tolerate this. Whatever happens in the future, this verdict is about as important as it gets. I applaud the jury for their courage and decency. Well done to the court and its process.

Expand full comment

My essay concludes:



Following the announcement of the guilty verdict, knaves who have tied their hopes and ambitions to the fortunes of the 45th president were quick to engage in the same pattern of malignant, deceitful, farcical attacks on American institutions – in this case, the judiciary – in which they have engaged lo these many years. A disconcertingly large portion of the American electorate that is utterly in thrall to the 45th president is eager to believe the nonsense that the knaves spew. Indeed, they demand it.

It is my fervent conviction that the most constructive path forward in these waning months is to adopt an outlook consistent with the serenity prayer: “Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and wisdom to know the difference.”

In our daily lives, there is little prospect of changing either a knave or the knave’s manipulated/propitiated target. It is urgent that one energetically seek out and attempt to persuade those who can be reached.

We all have a role to play in this.

Expand full comment

The pattern with Trump scandals seems to be 1) Some supporters say "This looks bad," 2) they look around and see that a lot of people are apparently unmoved by the scandal, 3) The Rubios, Vances, Stefaniks and Grahams - who may have expressed some qualms when the scandal was revealed, will start aggressively defending him, saying "the Dems do worse stuff than this everyday, they're hypocrites," if it's a legal process they shout corruption and undermine law enforcement and the courts which are clearly out to get Trump, 4) Conservatism Inc. defends T aggressively. After all this, the poll numbers haven't significantly moved against him. Trump's supporters know by now that, as Karl Rove famously said, they can make their own reality. They have no incentive to acknowledge actual reality. Anyone who does acknowledge it is exiled to the Island of RINOs with Liz Cheney and other Never-Trumpers and their views no longer count. The new reality stays intact.

If Trump chops down an endangered tree in the forest in front of hundreds of witnesses, does it make a sound? No, it only makes a sound if his supporters say it makes a sound. They'll say it didn't, and also say Trump is the best tree-chopper ever and felled the tree with one blow; Trump was culling trees for wildfire mitigation; Biden cuts down way more endangered trees; Biden is so senile he no longer knows what trees are, Biden couldn't chop down a sapling, much less a tree, Hunter has chopped down way more endangered trees for drugs and bribes from Ukrainian Nazis and Chi-Coms than Trump, and he's much more sloppy about it. (Kid Rock will cut down a tree with an AR-15.)

(I think this is also the main basis for most liberal criticisms of the press. "The media is not reporting on [X]." "Yes they are - it's right here, not to mention, you must have seen [X] in the media or you wouldn't know about it in the first place." "No, if the media was doing its job, Trump would be toast. Since he's clearly not toast, the media must not be reporting it.")

Expand full comment

"For his numbers to go down, it would require Republicans to turn against him, and the only way that’s really going to happen is if Republican opinion leaders criticize him following this ruling."

You have any data supporting this assertion because his margins are not being built by the Republicans or the core MAGA base as of now.

Expand full comment

His numbers dropped after January 6th because he was roundly criticized, even by prominent Republicans, for several weeks.

Expand full comment

That's what I tried to describe in the first paragraph of my comment above.

Expand full comment

I'd say, Jan 6 time and situation don't match with the current situation. There will be no damage from current prominent Republicans or the maga base. I don't think there would be an effect on numbers even if there was, his gains are among non traditional subgroups.

Have you seen any data on low info trump leaners with conviction effect?

Expand full comment

I can't speak for Masket, but if the numbers haven't gone down significantly after all the stuff Trump has done, it's unlikely that a conviction will be the straw that breaks the pumpkin's back. Also, the margins are so small and likely to remain so after news of the conviction kicks in, that anything or any number of things can move them up or down a few points. So sure, a conviction may give Biden a few more votes in crucial swing states, enough to win, but it could also give Trump the winning margin.

In other words, non-MAGAs have been supporting Trump through a lot of awful stuff already. I can't think of any rational reason why a non-MAGA voter should be supporting Trump now. So even if I think voting for a convicted felon is irrational, my version of rationality is clearly not theirs, so thinking of rational reasons why they might abandon him is fruitless.

Expand full comment

There nothing rational with electoral data often so I'll leave that.

But especially this cycle,

I think there is clear electoral data from primaries that a Anti-Maga/Trump Repubs have caused a rapture.

It's sometimes sort of shocking that often this type of real electoral data is left out of analysis.

Expand full comment