The Evangelical Universalist Forum

How To Live Under An Unqualified President by John Piper

One of the great comedic clips! Lowbrow but you can’t help laughing loudly.


The frustration in President Trump’s voice is obvious when he talks about the failure of the press, the opposition, perhaps the entire country to give him what he sees as adequate credit for the state of the economy.

“We have the greatest economy in the history of our country. We have the highest job numbers. Today, it was just announced, we have more people working in the United States than ever before in the history of our country, almost 160 million people,” he said Thursday, shortly after senators were sworn in to begin the trial of his impeachment. “We’re doing an incredible job, and for absolutely no reason — and for absolutely no reason — I got impeached. It’s a disgrace and it’s a hoax.”

Leaving aside Trump’s vainglory, something clearly has changed in the way economic numbers affect how voters feels about the president. That change could shape this year’s election, thwarting Trump’s hope that consistent economic growth will guarantee a victory, so let’s take a deeper look.

James Carville, the strategist for President Clinton, gets credit for coining the slogan, “it’s the economy, stupid,” in the 1992 campaign, but the truism goes back decades further. At least since President Kennedy’s tenure — for most of Trump’s adult life, in other words — political scientists have documented that when the economy goes up, so does presidential approval. Today, that relationship has broken down.

Roughly 42% of Americans approve of Trump’s work in office, recent polls indicate. By the standard that prevailed from the Kennedy era through George W. Bush’s presidency, that’s “about 15 points lower than we’d predict” based on how people feel about the economy, Vanderbilt University political scientist John Sides recently wrote.

Several factors have combined to deny Trump the economic adulation he craves.
To begin with, the economy is not quite “the greatest in history,” as Trump proclaims. The unemployment rate is at an historic low, but judged by other measures, the economy is OK, not great.

The administration had forecast 3% economic growth for 2019; the real figure ended up around 2%, and 2020 likely will be slower, many economists predict. The economic boom of the late 1990s featured a growth rate twice that large. Moreover, much of the benefit of the current growth has gone to people at the top of ladder, leaving many Americans feeling dissatisfied. A Monmouth University poll in April found that only 12% of Americans said their families had “benefited a great deal” from recent economic growth, and only 18% said that middle-class families had benefited a lot from Trump’s economic policies.

Still, even with all that, economic numbers like this used to give incumbents more pop. What else is at play? In part, voters have other issues more prominently on their minds — some of them promoted by Trump. He does like to crow about economic gains periodically. He did so this week with the signing of a relatively limited trade deal with China, and he’ll likely do so again next week when he formally signs the new trade agreement with Mexico and Canada, which the Senate approved on Thursday.

But Trump seldom sticks to a consistent economic message for long, and economic issues take a backseat for many of his voters. The same day as the Senate vote on trade, for example, Trump was touting a new statement on school prayer designed to appeal to evangelical voters, as Noah Bierman reported.

A poll from Florida Atlantic University released Thursday illustrates how much other issues overshadow the economy for both Trump’s supporters and his opponents. The poll showed Florida, a crucial state electorally, as a toss-up. In hypothetical matchups, Trump tied or narrowly trailed each of the major Democratic candidates.

That was somewhat worse than his standing in the university’s poll during the fall, which showed the president narrowly leading each of the Democrats. In both surveys, all of the differences were within the poll’s margin of error, indicating that Florida, once again, will be up for grabs.

The poll asked voters why they picked their preferred candidate. For Trump voters, the economy landed in third place. In the matchup with former Vice President Joe Biden, for example, only 13% of Trump’s voters listed the economy as the main reason for their vote choice, ranking behind both immigration (20%) and foreign policy/terrorism (16%). The numbers were very similar when Trump was matched against other leading Democrats.

For Democratic voters, the economy ranked behind healthcare as a motivating issue, the Florida poll found. In addition to other issues, Trump’s own behavior plays a role. The tweets, the name-calling, the unremitting falsehoods — his core supporters love his style, but it takes a big toll on his standing with other voters. Even as a good economy pushes his approval upward, the rest of the package pushes him down.

But something else is at play that goes beyond Trump. As Sides noted, the relationship between the economy and presidential approval first broke down under President Obama. The economy steadily improved after Obama’s first year as the nation pulled out of the deep recession that began under Bush. But Obama got no political boost from that.

The reason why an improving economy used to improve a president’s standing is that it caused some voters to cross party lines and support a person from the other side. In today’s deeply partisan era, nothing has that effect.

Trump didn’t create hyper-partisanship, although he surely benefited from it. During Obama’s tenure, he told Republicans to ignore or mistrust economic statistics that showed good news for the man in the White House. He helped cement the partisan wall that divides America; it’s not likely to crumble any time soon.

None of that means Trump can’t win — he definitely might — but it does mean he’ll have a much harder time than incumbents with his sort of economic record used to expect.

So how do people’s feelings about the economy affect their voting decisions?
Voters who disapprove of Trump’s handling of the economy overwhelmingly say they plan to cast ballots against him. Unfortunately for Trump, those who approve of how he’s done on the economy aren’t similarly unified: Most say they would vote to reelect him, but a significant share say they would not.

How big a group is it? In a national poll taken by Quinnipiac University in December, 11% of voters approved of Trump’s handling of the economy but said they would vote for Biden over Trump, according to the university’s poll director, Doug Schwartz.

Those voters mostly identified themselves as political moderates and were about evenly divided between Democrats and independents, Schwartz said. Recent polls by Marquette University in Wisconsin showed a similar pattern in that state, which many strategists see as the most closely divided of the country’s election battlegrounds.

Overall, a small majority of voters in the state approve of Trump’s handling of the economy, but in head-to-head matchups with the leading Democrats, the state is a tossup, the poll has found.

When it asked about the economy, the poll gave voters four choices — strongly approve, somewhat approve, somewhat disapprove and strongly disapprove. The voters who approve of Trump’s economic stewardship but don’t plan to vote for him mostly come from the “somewhat approve” category, noted the poll’s director, political science professor Charles Franklin.

About a third of those who “somewhat approve” of Trump on the economy nevertheless disapprove of his job performance overall. And in head-to-head matchups, about 25%-30% of them sided with the Democratic candidates. Those defectors are enough to keep the state a tossup. If you’re looking for the swing voters in this year’s election, those people — the ones who sort of approve of Trump on the economy, but disapprove of his performance overall — are a pretty good place to start.

Time to bring in, the legal superstars. :crazy_face:


Well, you have written a book, (or maybe you posted someone else’s book) And as to all books there are beliefs and non beliefs.
The Idea of Mr Trump is the reality for the great economy is a no brainier. But you obviously don’t agree…

Hopefully some care about jobs and providing for their families with hard work or maybe they have all bought into the leftist workers paradise.

Sure Bob you are all knowing, how could I forget?

Yep, you, GOP senators & Trump are as knowable as any defendant facing indictments they’d lose.
You’re inclined to say, "PLEASE let’s NOT have any key witnesses appear at my official hearing :wink:

At least, that’s my guess here in snowflake city.

And what do US farmers think? :crazy_face:

My salutations to the modern science as it is coming closer to the mystical world of our consciousness and possibilities. Yes, you are not satisfied with what you are or who you are or what your successes or failures are. You know there are many more possibilities that need to be explored in this life. Google, search, read, expand your knowledge, but that is peripheral, good to convince others you are knowledgeable. Good to make money. Good to have fun. But your wisdom will only blossom from your quantum ground through repetitive practice of what you want to see manifest in your soul level.

We are here to take that quantum leap!!!


And on the medical front. How does modern medicine, deal with this crisis?

I’m not against witnesses but i don’t know what is it they witnessed. Oh i forgot the Dems latest star witness, Lev Parnell who also never spoke to Trump & wasn’t on the call but he heard something from someone who heard something from someone.

But finally Trump will have a legal team defending him & we will not just hear from Dem hacks.

I voted for Hillary, but this makes me kinda glad Trump won.

Surprise Impeachment Witness to Claim That Trump “Arched His Eyebrow” During Phone Call With Ukraine President

By The Editors|January 17th, 2020|Categories: Satire

(Washington, DC)—It was revealed today that one of the Democrats’ secret impeachment witnesses—a State Department employee—will claim that President Donald Trump “arched his right eyebrow” in a threatening manner during his now-famous April 21st phone call with then-Ukrainian President-elect Volodimyr Zelenskiy.

Though the identity of the witness is not being revealed by the Democrats at this time, it has been discovered through diligent reporting that the “State Department employee” is a night custodian at the Harry S Truman Building in Washington, where the State Department is headquartered. According to ‘Billy Bob’ (as we will call him), he overheard his supervisor (we’ll call him ‘Daryl’) telling a fellow custodian about a conversation between “two important-looking guys in suits” that the daytime custodial supervisor heard about from an electrician’s helper who was making repairs to the Truman Building last summer.

“I’m telling you, it was bad,” Billy Bob told a reporter who promised him anonymity.”They say that old Trump put on quite the scowl when talking to that Lewinsky fellow.” When told the name of the Ukrainian president was “Zelenskiy,” Billy Bob said, “Right, right, right. Well, they say old Trump really arched his right eyebrow—I remember specifically they said right eyebrow—when talking about investigating Barack Obama’s son in return for a free weekend at a Trump casino. I think he had been given some phony, big-time job in a place beginning with a U… Utah, maybe?”

When asked if he had ever actually met President Trump, or had any first-hand knowledge of his April phone call with Mr. Zelenskiy , Billy Bob responded: “No, no, sir… saw him a couple times on that Apprentice show… I think on TV wrestling somebody once too. But now, Daryl don’t lie, let me tell you. Daryl don’t lie…”

Exactly! So I predicted you will never find out what witnesses know who know exactly what went down. Because Trump threatens to fire anyone who does testify, and GOP senators, fearing he’ll destroy their own lucrative political career, will vote against allowing any first hand evidence before reaching a verdict
(to have the swamp then exonerate him).

We can get along in the USA, says the BBC news. :crazy_face:

“A queer clergy, non-gender normative individual and a big hairy Trump guy, and here we are getting along because that’s America.”

The BBC’s Jane O’Brien meets Reverend Shayna Appel and Nick Desautels at a rally for Democratic candidate Pete Buttigieg in New Hampshire.

A Trump supporter attending a Democratic rally? What’s this world coming to??? :crazy_face:

Sounds like a typical Dem “witness”.

I hope every lie that the dem leaders have told in this affair, and others, comes out in this Senate ‘trial’.
And even more, I hope the MSM actually publishes those things, without spin and twist.
Yeah that’s pretty naive, and I don’t expect it - but I can hope. It’s a gut-wrenching world when a person has to beg just to be told the O*&*&&%*j TRUTH. From both sides: I’m not naive about the Republican guilt in this whole political landscape; but right now it is the Dems who are most obviously trying to destroy the republic.
FWIW I don’t expect any news outlet or opinion page to be without bias - I totally accept that one can be biased and at the same time fair. If a news item or opinion is from a ‘biased’ source, I say so what? They all are - but some - and you’re lucky if you find a few, as I have - are HONEST. They give facts and don’t cut and splice, or take out of context, or spin - well, ‘honest’ is the best word I know for that. Informed and honest, aware of their bias but not willing to alter facts to fit their bias. Those people are jewels. There used to be a thing called ‘journalism’. You are forgiven for not knowing the term if you are young - it no longer means what it used to.

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That’s a great summary of how most Trump defenders perceive the reality of their plight.

Hear ye! Hear Ye! Get your program here! You can’t tell who’s who, without a scorecard. :crazy_face:


This is a fun thought.

" Thought experiment No. 2: Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., is not a demagogue. (Remember, this is fantasy.)

At the very first televised hearing, when he alleged that President Trump told Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, “I want you to make up dirt on my political opponent … lots of it,” Schiff was not defrauding the public.

Instead, impeachment’s Inspector Clouseau can actually prove that Trump was asking a foreign government to manufacture out of whole cloth evidence that former Vice President Joe Biden and his son were cashing in on the former’s political influence (as opposed to asking that Ukraine look into an arrangement so objectively sleazy that the Obama administration itself agitated over what to do about it).

fantasy provided by: Andrew McCarthy. He goes on:
This is the point that gets lost in all the endless chatter over impeachment strategy and procedure. Everything that is happening owes to the fact that we do not have an offense sufficiently grave for invocation of the Constitution’s nuclear option. If we had one, the machinations and the posturing would be unnecessary — even ridiculous.

Is this true? It comes from the trump legal superstars. :crazy_face:

This story is from the online version, of the Weekly World News. But it might apply, to players in the impeachment trial. :crazy_face:

Anyone in Russia or Siberia from here, joining these Orthodox Christians?

Perhaps Trump and Nancy P., should join them? :crazy_face:

It is believed the tradition brings good health to worshippers and washes them of their sins. Above, an Orthodox priest blesses the water in Svyatoye, in the outskirts of Russia’s capital, Moscow.

Here’s an interesting BBC story today. :crazy_face:

But the BBC does cover stories like this, from other countries: