That useless bully pulpit

That useless bully pulpit

by digby

I know, I know, there's no point in a president using his platform to persuade the American people of anything because it just doesn't work. Everything is structural and talk is cheap. But I think Donald Trump is showing that this isn't always the case:

Months of sustained conservative attacks led by President Donald Trump and his allies has harmed Mueller most among Republicans, with a record 53 percent now saying they view the lead Russia investigator in an unfavorable light. That’s a 26-point spike since July, when the poll first started asking voters whether they viewed Mueller favorably or unfavorably.

Mueller’s unfavorable numbers have hit highs among both Democrats and independents, at 24 percent and 33 percent, respectively. Thirty-six percent of all registered voters are also seeing Mueller unfavorably, which represents the highest level since the polling first raised the topic 11 months ago. Back then, 23 percent of all voters said they viewed Mueller negatively.

"Robert Mueller’s disapproval rating is at its highest point since Morning Consult and Politico began tracking the Special Counsel,” said Tyler Sinclair, Morning Consult’s managing director. “A key driver of this movement appears to be Republicans. Today, 53 percent of Republicans have an unfavorable impression of Robert Mueller, compared to just 27 percent who said the same in July 2017."

The spike in the special counsel’s unfavorable ratings come as he begins his second year on the job. Mueller has already publicly netted five guilty pleas and 18 indictments of people and companies tied to his work examining Moscow meddling in the 2016 election. But he’s nonetheless faced sharp attacks from the president, his lawyers and other associates.

Voters interviewed for the POLITICO/Morning Consult poll also have changed direction on whether they think the Mueller investigation has been on the up and up. In the latest survey, 40 percent of voters said it had been handled unfairly, compared to early February when 34 percent said the probe wasn’t being handled fairly. The percentage saying the investigation was being done fairly remained unchanged from February at 38 percent.

Obviously Republicans are far gone. They love their asshole president and believe everything he says. But the fact that 34% of Democrats and 33% of Independents are now disdainful of the Mueller probe that shows this is the result of the president's relentless criticism.

Mueller hasn't said a word and his office doesn't leak so there's no reason for Democrats or Independents to logically be skeptical at this point. The indictments that have come down so far seem to be justified and there are a lot of people cooperating. The right wing media has followed his lead to the letter but the mainstream media has been telling the story straight.

This is all because the president's relentless haranguing on twitter and in soundbites has entered the political/cultural ether and people who aren't paying close attention have just absorbed it. That's the power of the bully pulpit and Trump is proving that it's a very useful tool if a president decides to use it.

Let's see how this one goes: