We are way overdue for an open thread, and this is it. No doubt it will go off onto the testimony from ex-FBI Director Comey, once that gets going. But perhaps it will give those of you in earlier time zones (which is pretty much everybody else) something to talk about before that starts.)
Over the past few decades, we have seen increasing divisions in our country. Team/partisan divisions. Liberal/conservative divisions (which largely overlap, but are not really the same thing). But this year, we seem to have moved to a three-way division.
We have liberals, conservatives, and a group which, for lack of a better term, I will label the latter-day Know Nothings. I will cheerfully put words into their (your) mouths, specifically on the subject of President Trump.
Liberals (including several here): Trump is an incompetent nut case and an embarrassment. We disagree with pretty much everything he says and does. In fact, there are only two positive things to be said about him:
1) He is keeping out folks energized, where otherwise they would probably be sitting brooding in the corner.
2) His incompetence is such that, while he says horrible stuff, he is failing to actually get a lot of it done.
A President Pence would probably be able to actually enact far more stuff that we would dislike. But at least we wouldn’t have to worry that he would launch a major war out of pique or something.
Conservatives (including several here): Trump is an incompetent nut case and an embarrassment. Sure, he has said some things we agree with (subject to change at any instant), and even done a couple of things we approve of. But a President Pence would actually do lots better on both fronts. And he wouldn’t embarrass us by association -- not to mention making major losses in 2018 less likely. Plus, he would refrain from offending our allies left and right, while embracing scumbag dictators at every turn.
Know Nothings (of which I haven’t noticed any here): Trump is our boy. He says things that we have long wanted to say, but have felt constrained from saying. And, as a bonus, offends a lot of folks who have been disrespecting us. He isn’t actually getting much done, and some of the things he says he will do would hurt us if he did do them, but we don’t care. He says things that are obviously untrue, and we still don't care. He makes us feel like we matter; like we are important again. And that’s enough.
No doubt many of you can come up with more for all three. But I think that sums up much of their position. And the position of the Know Nothings suggests that, contrary to a lot of hopes/expectations from the left, Trump actions which hurt his base aren’t likely to significantly erode it. As long as he keeps spewing bile, they’ll forgive almost anything.