Donald Trump’s effect on our national political affairs is, it seems, on the wane. Or, so it would seem.
Oh, he’s still out there. Still shooting verbal “bullets” at his perceived enemies and conducting near-daily, word-salad assaults on our system of democratic governance. He’s still a discordant voice of lies and anger.
But, evidence of his “diminished political capacity” is beginning to pile up. His “endorsements” to the contrary, Georgia’s GOP primary election defeats of his picks were across-the-board. Especially Governor and Secretary of State.
In Pennsylvania, where he blustered and bloviated, his choices were mostly losers. The one “bright” spot - for him - was the very, very narrow win of Mehmet Oz, a very flawed candidate for the U.S. Senate. Unless the erratic health of Democrat John Fetterman becomes more a factor than it appears, Oz will be denied a seat in “Emerald-City-by-the Potomac.”
Don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying, or even attempting to suggest, Trump won’t continue making his presence felt in picking, choosing and supporting various far Right candidacies. He will. Oh, yes he will.
But, the size of the crowd of followers of his scorched-earth approach to politics has been diminished. The “glory days” of his influence, I believe, may be behind him. For which we, the more sane citizen participants in our political affairs, should be ever-grateful.
But, here’s a worrisome item. Recent polling of the electorate shows fewer Americans believe DJT was behind the January 6th attack on our government than did a year ago.
NBC’s May sampling found just 45% of Americans believe Trump was “solely” or “mainly” responsible. That’s down 10-points in the last 12 months! Some 55% believe he was “somewhat” or “not really” responsible.
As with many things in our lives, the sharp edges of events-past seem to dull with time. In this case, that could be dangerous.
But - two evenings from now, the House Special Committee digging into the January 6th attack on the Capitol will hold its first publically televised hearing. Several more dates, later this month, are on the schedule.
It would seem one of the main tasks of the Committee will be to bring the depth and width of the conspiracy to overturn the 2020 presidential election into sharper public focus by making more details public. Especially Trump’s participation. And his followers. Especially the well-armed ones.
Committee Co-Chair Liz Cheney, interviewed by CBS News last weekend, said the attack was “extremely well-organized” and that details already uncovered by the Committee are “chilling.”
She said those undermining efforts are “ongoing” and urged Americans to watch the upcoming programming to learn, firsthand, the very real dangers threatening our Democracy.
It’s this last part of Cheney’s statements - the “ongoing” part - that’s concerning. Seems many people thought the attack to prevent then-Vice President Pence from certifying 2020 election results was repelled, a good number of those involved were brought to justice. Just this week, Proud Boys - at least five of them - were charged with seditious conspiracy which will keep ‘em off the street for years - not months. And there’ll be more.
Sure, Trump continues to claim he won and was cheated. But, Cheney is saying there are still forces at play - dangerous forces - continuing to plot and strategize. Which could mean more militant confrontations in our streets. In Washington and elsewhere.
In the past six months or so, we’ve not heard much from the FBI, Justice Department or other federal agencies about the Oath Keepers, the Three Per-Centers and other armed groups. It’s a certainty the Feds and other agencies are keeping watch and likely have “inside” contacts reporting.
It now seems likely Trump is the public manifestation of a much wider conspiracy than generally known. If, as recent reporting has claimed, his more militant supporters are communicating and working underground, the public January 6th Committee hearings may, as member Rep. Jamie Raskin has said, “Blow the roof off the house.”
So, Trump’s about to take a backseat. He’s about to be over-shadowed. For a little while.
Resorting to an oldie - but a goodie - we all better “stay tuned.