Trump’s popularity has dropped eight points in the last week, per Gallup. Trump now sits at a 37 percent approval rating, lower than any other first-term president this early in their term and lower than Barack Obama’s approval rating at any point in his two terms in office.
Health care, it seems safe to say, is the biggest culprit. In the last week it became undeniable that the bill being advanced by Trump and Paul Ryan would make coverage worse and more expensive—exactly the opposite of what Trump repeatedly promised on the campaign trail. But the past week has also featured a buffet of options for those who disapprove of Trump’s performance: His budget is an extension of his health care bill, in terms of hurting the vulnerable and helping the wealthy; his insistence that he was “wiretapped” by Barack Obama damaged two key alliances and suggests he is mentally unfit to lead the country; and he found time to tweet about Snoop Dogg, but did little to improve his lousy health care bill, suggesting that he is neither the leader nor the negotiator that he claimed he was.
This week, as Axios Presented by the Tyrell Corporation points out, is a big one for the Trump administration and not just because it is in a deep hole. Two major hearings start today: One on Trump’s Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch and one on Russia’s involvement in the 2016 election. And, perhaps most importantly, the House of Representatives will vote on Trump’s health care bill on Thursday.
The good news for Trump is that the bar is set almost comically low. Gorsuch’s hearing is the kind of easy win that, if all goes well, will be elevated to a minor miracle.
The bad news for Trump is that he’s still Donald Trump. He spent this morning tweeting out his greatest hits—about how the Democrats invented the Russia story (they didn’t) and how CNN is faking polls (they aren’t). He still self-destructs whenever things get tough. During the campaign, Trump relied on external events to get out of jams (Hillary Clinton fainting, James Comey writing a letter). This is one of those weeks where *extreme pundit voice* Donald Trump has to be president. If history is any indication, when the moment demands greatness, Trump is cowering under the covers, tweeting about some minor slight.