It’s true that his approval numbers have been creeping up a bit over the last few months, and there are a lot of competing theories among pundits as to why it’s happening. But this much is still true: Rasmussen is not a very reliable polling agency, and Trump continues to be very unpopular in a time when almost any other president (under the same conditions) would have a considerably higher approval rating.
You won’t find much looking at the results Rasmussen posts. Unlike a lot of other pollsters, Rasmussen hasn’t released how the poll breaks down, like the total number of participants, ages, political affiliation, and so on and so on. That information is useful when trying to figure out how the results came out as they did.
According to FiveThirtyEight and The Washington Post, Rasmussen does not use live callers to conduct polls (instead relying on an automated system) and does not make any attempt to contact individuals on their cell phones, thereby limiting their pool to only those with landlines, thus favoring older demographics (an insane approach for any pollster trying to get an accurate picture of what voters across all age ranges think). In other words, it’s not a very reliable poll.
To give you an idea of what other professionals think, here’s the breakdown according to Fivethirtyeight, which gives Rasmussen a C+:
To give an even better idea, here’s a Washington Poststory about what Rasmussen was reporting back in 2012 before the election:
Mitt Romney’s campaign and its allies, though, are apparently huge fans [of Rasmussen].
Even as other pollsters — Gallup, Fox News, CBS News/New York Times, Washington Post/ABC News — have shown the presidential race tilting toward President Obama in recent days, Romney aides and allied Republicans proudly tout the newest Rasmussen numbers, which show their guy actually holding a very small lead: 47 percent to 45 percent.
Rasmussen, like other pollsters, showed an initial bump for Obama, who at one point led by five points in its daily tracking poll. That bump dissipated quickly, though, and Romney now leads again — as he has in its polling for much of the past couple months.
To show just how long they’ve been producing shoddy polls, Nate Silver wrote about their performance predicting the results from the 2010 midterms back when FiveThirtyEight was still a blog at The New York Times:
The 105 polls released in Senate and gubernatorial races by Rasmussen Reports and its subsidiary, Pulse Opinion Research, missed the final margin between the candidates by 5.8 points, a considerably higher figure than that achieved by most other pollsters. Some 13 of its polls missed by 10 or more points, including one in the Hawaii Senate race that missed the final margin between the candidates by 40 points, the largest error ever recorded in a general election in FiveThirtyEight’s database, which includes all polls conducted since 1998.
Moreover, Rasmussen’s polls were quite biased, overestimating the standing of the Republican candidate by almost 4 points on average. In just 12 cases, Rasmussen’s polls overestimated the margin for the Democrat by 3 or more points. But it did so for the Republican candidate in 55 cases — that is, in more than half of the polls that it issued.
So it’s an incredibly biased and untrustworthy poll that Republicans love because it reaffirms whatever they want to believe. Romney and his crew believed it so much that they actually thought they were going to win despite most other polls indicating they were going to lose (and before any Trumpster brings up the 2016 election, those polls weren’t actually wrong; nationally, Clinton got more millions more votes, so it’s completely reasonable that most polls showed her winning by a couple percentage points). Rasmussen is just another tool in the Republican arsenal to create an alternate reality.
I am right about Amazon costing the United States Post Office massive amounts of money for being their Delivery Boy. Amazon should pay these costs (plus) and not have them bourne by the American Taxpayer. Many billions of dollars. P.O. leaders don’t have a clue (or do they?)!
Coulter: Yes. This is a different category you’re seeing now: Former Trumpers. That should be terrifying to the president. Maybe he’ll actually keep his promises. Unlike Marco Rubio. Unlike the rest of them. Unlike Mitch McConnell. We have been betrayed over and over and over with presidents promising to do something about immigration. If he played us for suckers, oh, you will not see rage like you have seen.
Steve M of No More Mister Nice Blog has a good post about how Coulter is attacking Trump from the right, so if there is ever going to be a primary challenger, it won’t be someone more soft spoken like John Kasich—it’d have to be someone nastier and more right-wing than Trump.
But I want to home in on that phrase “Former Trumper.” First, Coulter won’t admit to being one herself despite her critiques:
Bruni: Are you a Former Trumper?
Coulter: He can still come back. If he builds the wall, he’ll be the Emperor God again. I’ll throw a huge party. I’ll start a committee to put him on Mount Rushmore. But right now, if I were a betting woman, I don’t think we’re getting a wall.
Second, it’s not entirely clear that no wall is a deal breaker, even among his staunchest supporters. Trump is attempting to create the illusion that there is, in fact, a border wall being built:
But we learned that those photos are from a project that was started in 2009, a project meant to replace a 2.25-mile part of a wall that already exists. Regardless, there are more than enough people who see something like that and think the “Emperor God” has fulfilled his promise.
Third, this isn’t the first time Coulter has started squawking. In June of last year, Coulter complained that Trump had accomplished almost nothing in his first six months. The writer, Ken Meyer, thought Coulter turning on Trump meant a “seismic crack” in his base. So I think Coulter comes out every now and then and hits Trump from the right to keep herself relevant. It’s a lot harder to keep a right-wing audience engaged if you’re not hollering about something, and it’s probably even harder when the president does your shtick on a galactic level.
Fourth, it’s doubtful that there is any meaningful faction of “Former Trumpers” in the same way it’s doubtful that the “Never Trump” camp is at all a meaningful constituency. There is nothing fearful about them. They will never be large enough of a group to pose any serious threat to Trump’s (non)popularity, and they’ll never, ever vote for a Democrat. So please, “Former Trumpers,” stay home and fume on the internet. We beg you.
You had the right to remain silent. Now every word you’ve ever uttered, and every one you ever will, can and will be held against you.
Bret, Bret, Bret. Okay, so, Williamson is a writer. A writer for magazines. The articles for which are consumed by the public. One might say, then, that Williamson is a public figure. And—now hear me out on this, Bret—the things he writes can therefore be criticized. Because they’re public statements. No one snuck into his house, stole his diary, and uploaded the part where he fantasized about hanging women who receive abortions. He admitted that to all of us on his own accord.
Sorry, first, that you have to endure having your character assailed and assassinated by people who rarely if ever read you and likely never met you. Sorry also that your hiring as a writer for The Atlantic has set off another censorious furor in media circles when surely there are more important subjects on this earth.
1) I was never aware that a prerequisite for character assassination was that one had to be overly familiar with the person’s work or, even stranger, meet the person who wrote it. My understanding was that, if you’re a writer and you write something, people are going to read, and those people might object to what you say. No one is taking Williamson out of context or drawing out implicit statements to explicit ends. Williamson has been very clear about what he says. 2) I know Bret Stephens hates people who read and have opinions on the things they read, but it’s not difficult to see why readers across the internet are pointing out why Williamson is a bad hire. It’s not “censorship.” Williamson has had and will continue to have plenty of platforms from which he can spew whatever crappy thought comes into his head.
The case against you, as best as I can tell, rests on three charges. You think abortion is murder and tweeted — appallingly in my view — that doctors and women should perhaps be hanged for it. You believe “sex is a biological reality” and that gender should not be a choice. And you once boorishly described an African-American boy in East St. Louis, Ill., “raising his palms to his clavicles, elbows akimbo, in the universal gesture of primate territorial challenge.”
“Look, I think the things you wrote are horrific, but where do people get off on judging you for the ideas you have and choose to make public?”
Oh, another thing: As a NeverTrumper, you’re guilty of being insufficiently representative of contemporary conservatism. Had you been a Trumper, doubtless you would have been dismissed as a moron unworthy of the pages of The Atlantic.
I’m not aware of anyone saying Williamson is “insufficiently representative of contemporary conservatism.” As outlined above in the views he’s espoused, he’s a perfect model of conservatism. And yes, if he were a “Trumper,” he’d be a moron. That’s not hard to understand.
To be clear, Stephens believes Williamson has written “hundreds of thousands of words of smart, stylish and often hilarious commentary, criticism and reportage,” and the best examples he can come up with are a couple jokes about Steve Mnuchin and Anthony Scaramucci. This is Williamson’s great contribution to the public conversation; not some nuanced case for conservatism in these times but “Scrooge McDuck-style sphincter-clenching.” How is it that Williamson was overlooked all this time!
Shouldn’t great prose and independent judgment count for something? Not according to your critics. We live in the age of guilt by pull-quote, abetted by a combination of lazy journalism, gullible readership, missing context, and technologies that make our every ill-considered utterance instantly accessible and utterly indelible. I jumped at your abortion comment, but for heaven’s sake, it was a tweet. When you write a whole book on the need to execute the tens of millions of American women who’ve had abortions, then I’ll worry.
What Stephens means here is that what you say only matters if it comes in a form Stephens thinks can be judged. In this instance, Williamson’s tweets about abortion don’t count because they’re tweets. And that’s the argument. I’m sure Stephens and Williamson don’t believe that stating tens of millions of American women should be killed in any way contributes to an already-existing atmosphere in which people feel emboldened to bomb abortion clinics or kill doctors in part because of opinions that are telegraphed and reinforced in right-wing media.
Should The Atlantic foolishly succumb to pressure to rescind your job offer, you’ll still be widely read, presumably at National Review.
The Atlantic is not going to reconsider hiring Williamson, the same way The New York Times is not going to reconsider hiring Bret Stephens (or The Washington Post hiring Megan McArdle). There’s simply nothing to support this. And even if they did, I don’t think it would be a bad move or one that threatened the first amendment. It wouldn’t be a whole lot different if Fox decided to dump Laura Ingraham because her tweet (yes, Bret, her tweet) about David Hogg caused dozens of her advertisers to flee. These ain’t charities, Bret, much as I’d like them to be, so if The Atlantic thought hiring Williamson might be a financial liability because of his unpopular opinions, that would be a pretty legitimate reason (at least in your pro-fee market eyes) to toss him.
That doesn’t mean there ought to be limitless tolerance for every shade of opinion: There are cranks and haters both left and right, and wise editors should not give them a platform. But your critics show bad faith when they treat an angry tweet or a flippant turn of phrase as proof of moral incorrigibility. Let he who is without a bad tweet, a crap sentence or even a deplorable opinion cast the first stone.
I’m not aware of any conservatives who have ever drawn a reasonable line on what should and shouldn’t be acceptable in the national discourse. I’m also not sure why critics such as myself have no leg to stand on if we’ve ever sent a bad tweet. I’m sure I have, but I’m also sure I’ve never seriously advocated murdering tens of millions of people. I’ve got one on Kevin there. I’m also not writing for a national magazine; if I were, I’d probably be more careful about what I tweet, because what I tweet would have a lot more weight than if I were just some schlub with 37 followers.
Conservative thought on issues such as this is clear: Conservatives should not be criticized for the things they say and write. To criticize those ideas is to be censorious. Their idea of free speech is not only being able to say whatever they want but not being criticized for the things they say. If they are criticized, then their right to free speech is being persecuted. Whenever something they’ve said is repeated back to them, it is never honest; the bit is always taken out of context or not recognized for its obvious humor. To criticize a conservative for what he’s written is to silence him, even if he writes for a national magazine, goes on television, and speaks at conferences.
Perhaps one way conservatives could better communicate their ideas is to write about them more often in the national publications to which they have access instead of discussing, publicly, in those national publications, how they’re being censored. But I think they’d rather just write about how they’re being censored and publishing them in well-known publications available worldwide. That’ll show ’em.
The student activists, many of them sharp-tongued and defiant in the face of politicians and gun lobbyists, have kept attention on the issue in a time of renewed political activism on the left, as they helped lead a national school walkout and pushed state officials in Floridato enact gun legislation. The effectiveness of the students’ efforts will be measured, in part, on the success of Saturday’s events — their most ambitious show of force yet.
In the wake of the Parkland shooting, students started speaking out, and they weren’t kind about it, either. A few of those students, like David Hogg, became the unofficial spokespeople for this movement of young people calling for gun control. Unsurprisingly, those on the right have decided they love their guns so much that the best course of action would be to attack the survivors of school shootings.
On Tuesday, the president’s son Donald J. Trump Jr. liked a pair of tweets that accused David Hogg, a 17-year-old who is among the most outspoken of the Parkland students, of criticizing the Trump administration in an effort to protect his father, whom Mr. Hogg has described as a retired F.B.I. agent.
From the same article, Gateway Pundit, Alex Jones, and Rush Limbaugh:
Gateway Pundit has argued that Mr. Hogg had been coached on what to say during his interviews. The notion that Mr. Hogg is merely protecting his father dovetails with a broader right-wing trope, that liberal forces in the F.B.I. are trying to undermine President Trump and his pro-Second Amendment supporters.
Others offered more sweeping condemnations. Alex Jones, the conspiracy theorist behind the site Infowars, suggested that the mass shooting was a “false flag” orchestrated by anti-gun groups. Mr. Limbaugh, on his radio program, said of the student activists on Monday: “Everything they’re doing is right out of the Democrat Party’s various playbooks. It has the same enemies: the N.R.A. and guns.”
On CNN, former congressman Jack Kingston warned that Stoneman Douglas’ teens could be a front for liberal groups funded, naturally, by George Soros. “Their sorrow can very easily be hijacked by left-wing groups who have an agenda,” he said. “Do we really think 17-year-olds on their own are going to plan a nationwide rally?”
DOM GIORDANO: That’s what the march is gonna be about tomorrow, Lou. As you know, I’m an educator, and I see these kids, the Parkland kids, a couple of them are out of control.
LOU DOBBS (HOST): Isn’t that disgusting? I mean, we’re tuning in to high school assemblies, to get the aggregated wisdom of 18 year olds. I mean, this is really —
GINA LOUDON: Who by their own words, Lou, say that they shouldn’t be able to own guns even though they can go to war but they think that they should be able to make laws. None of this makes any sense at all. And the very fact that we are giving such gravitas to people who just — they haven’t had enough life experience, yet, Lou, to be experts on much of anything yet. And I don’t think — it’s not insulting them to say that.
GIORDANO: I have to say too, Lou, as an educator, there’s a couple of these kids that are just rude in the way that they proceed here, as if they are bulletproof, so to speak. But the media is almost laundering their own opinions through these kids.
And then there are those who want to say that it’s actually the right who are the victims here, not the students. Like Marc Thiessen at the Washington Post:
I’m not even going to show you what’s been showing up in places like Breitbart. And in case you hadn’t guessed, the comments sections at Breitbart and Fox and the like are their usual cesspools. The supposedly “respectable” conservatives can’t help but take pot shots at these students, even if they’re doing so in a way that makes it look as though the eternal bogeyman “The Left” is taking advantage of them. But a lot of right-wing pundits are pulling their hair out, insane with anger that they’re getting attention in the national spotlight and that the media won’t see that it’s the right who are the real victims here.
That’s why I won’t be surprised when some right-wing idiot—be it a sitting or former congressperson, pundit or guest, op-ed columnist, or radio host—says he wishes it were today’s protesters who had been shot instead. Today’s protests promise to be huge, and there will be someone on the right who will be so furious and so desperate to try and level the playing field that he’ll say something really outrageous. He’ll apologize, probably, but the message will be out there, and it will be one lots of Republicans agree with. That’s how bad things are.
If you’re wondering what kind of “prayerful” people are the kind that would attend the March for Life, you can be sure they’re the same kind of people who spend their weekends at abortions clinics yelling at women. Besides, the notion of any lack of vulgarity is countered by the fact that many of them are also supporting of Donald Trump, an unspeakably vulgar man himself.
At least 11 people have been killed in attacks on abortion clinics in the United States since 1993, including the Colorado attack. The most recent victims were Garrett Swasey, a police officer at the University of Colorado – Colorado Springs and a part-time church pastor; Ke’Arre M. Stewart, a former Army specialist who served in Iraq; and Jennifer Markovsky, a woman from Hawaii who was at the clinic with a friend.
And just for good measure, here’s McLaughlin making a comparison between the Women’s March and the neo-Nazi rally in Charlottesville (where they murdered Heather Heyer) without explicitly drawing a comparison, just because he’s enough of a weenie to want to be able to wiggle out of it:
I'd have the same reaction to seeing them at a march I was planning to attend as I'd have if I saw the white supremacists from Charlottesville. Not gonna join that. https://t.co/QY2iu9aKyG
On Thursday, the New York Times decided to fill up its entire Opinion page with letters from Trump fans who are, you guessed it, still Trump fans, because apparently dispatching reporters to talk to cowhands and ex-miners in local diners in towns like Dogbutt, NC, once a week isn’t enough. I’ve selected a few bits that are sure to make your head spin (“‘Vision, Chutzpah and Some Testosterone,'”New York Times, 1/17/2018):
I loved George W. Bush, but he failed on policy over and over again. If it takes putting up with Mr. Trump’s brash ways to see things get done, that is a deal I’m willing to accept. To be honest, I’m not sure he would have accomplished what he has so far without being an unrelenting public bully.
And because of Mr. Trump we have an education secretary who actually cares more about educating children than appeasing the teachers’ unions.
When asked during the campaign about his truthfulness, he replied that maybe he is too truthful. He does ruffle feathers, but seems to end up being right about most important things.
I’ve voted twice in my life: once for myself when I ran for Congress 10 years ago, and once for Donald Trump last year.
How’s he doing? He has turned a fragile nation “anti-fragile” (the scholar Nassim Nicholas Taleb’s term). Before Mr. Trump, we were scared of any volatility. Oh no, ISIS! Oh no, banks! The more chaos there was, the worse we were.
Now volatility is our friend. The more chaos, the better!
I do not understand why people still believe anything that the media, or politicians and pundits who have an agenda, say.
Granted we have the most unpresidential president of our time. Crude, rude, clueless dude — but I believe, with the help of his friends, he’s stumbling through one of the most effective presidencies in memory.
After voting for Democrats for over 60 years I voted for President Trump.
These two are great back-to-back:
He has undone many of President Barack Obama’s unconstitutional executive orders.
And the next guy:
I am very happy with the number of executive orders he’s passed
Before I respond to your questions, I have a question of my own: Did you run similar surveys for Obama voters? Or, for that matter, Eisenhower voters? Trump voters are not circus freaks to be displayed or singled out.
This last guy asks a question I’ve asked a few times on this blog: Trump voters are endlessly probed, whereas Clinton or Obama voters are rarely, if ever, asked what they think about anything, even though there are millions more of them.
The answer, though, is obvious, however annoying the constant updates from “Trump country” are. As the excerpts from the letters above demonstrate, Trump supporters are analyzed by the media because it’s fascinating to see people who are completely impervious to reality. It doesn’t matter what Trump does or says; they are able to redefine their reality accordingly. They have been convinced that the eight years of Obama were the worst years of their lives, and they have also been convinced that maybe Trump’s tweets are stupid, but they are not dangerous and his “achievements” outweigh them anyhow. My personal guess is that most of the people who believe this have not seen many tangible changes in their lives one way or the other that can be directly attributed to what they believe, and yet they believe it anyway.
You’d think that because Republicans control the House, Senate, and White House, they’d be the ones who are first and foremost held responsible for the impending government shutdown, with the obvious exception of right-wing outlets like Fox News. But you’d be wrong. From the Boston Globe:
From the article:
WASHINGTON — Democrats, whose brand as a party is based on government’s potential to positively affect lives, are seriously contemplating a government shutdown for the first time since Republicans won back Washington in last year’s elections.
Spurred on by a fired-up base who have declared themselves “the resistance” and the historically low approval ratings of President Trump, Democrats are now considering withholding their votes to fund the government until they get a deal to protect young unauthorized immigrants brought to the country as children.
The government shuts down Friday at midnight if Congress doesn’t act.
SHUTDOWN SHOWDOWN: The clock is ticking on a possible government shutdown, with Democrats fighting for a deal on the Dreamers – and Republicans are still wondering where President Donald Trump stands. @marykbruce reporting from Capitol Hill. pic.twitter.com/2Nh80K1q8l
It’s the Republicans’ own fault they’re in this bind in the first place. In their endless delays of passing a real budget, and by attempting to pass anything and everything through the House and Senate by reconciliation (rather than, you know, compromising with the minority party in order to get a normal and not minimal amount of votes), the Republicans are now in a position in which the government will shut down Friday night if they don’t pass something. They need Democratic votes. Are they doing much in the way of negotiating? Nope. And yet it’s still Democrats’ fault.
It seems lots of people have forgotten that Trump thought a government shutdown was a good idea back in May, probably because he didn’t know what it even meant:
The reason for the plan negotiated between the Republicans and Democrats is that we need 60 votes in the Senate which are not there! We….
it would appear that, yes, Trump is either stupid enough (very probable) to believe a government shutdown would also shut down the American military, or he’s deceitful enough (also very probable) to lie about it.
Now, Republicans came up with a plan to keep the federal government funded through February 16 in order to (supposedly) work on negotiations with Democrats on CHIP, but that no longer seems likely:
With a possible government shutdown looming this weekend, the House had planned to vote late Thursday on a stopgap spending bill that would keep government funding flowing to Feb. 16 as delicate negotiations continue to protect young, undocumented immigrants brought illegally as children from deportation.
Republicans, hoping to keep the government open while tempers cool, turned to a one-month stopgap spending measure, but that gambit may be nearing a dead end. Illustrating the trouble, Virginia’s two Democratic senators, Mark Warner and Tim Kaine, whose constituents include hundreds of thousands of federal workers, announced together that they would oppose the temporary spending bill. They had been seen as among the most likely yes votes in the Senate, where Republican leaders need at least nine Democrats to support the bill.
And guess who else decided to weigh in on the matter:
CHIP should be part of a long term solution, not a 30 Day, or short term, extension!
There are a lot of Democratic and left-leaning voices that seem convinced voters will not blame them for a shutdown. We know that among Republicans and especially the Trump cultists, this isn’t true. The whole point of right-wing media, and to a lesser extent the ‘both sides’ function of the mainstream press, is to shift blame to Democrats when convenient. Despite controlling congress for years under Obama and being obstructionist, the Republicans, now controlling the White House and congress, are claiming it’s the Democrats who are the real obstructionists. I’ll bet just about anything it works—if not completely, then at least well enough.
That’s where we are right now. If you’re wondering what the porn star in question, Stephanie “Stormy Daniels” Clifford, thought of the encounter, well:
The sex was “textbook generic,” she said.
Does any of this bother his supporters? Well, between calling it “fake news” or thinking it’s a sign of his virility, I wouldn’t be surprised if the Evangelicals are writing it off because Trump was supposedly a Democrat at the time. Never mind that John Edwards, who also paid off his pregnant mistress to keep quiet, faced multiple charges over the scandal. But that won’t happen to Trump. Right-wing media and the general higher standard Democrats are held to will make sure of that. How do I know that? Because Fox News knew about the affair a month before the election and decided to bury the story:
The Wall Street Journal reported on Friday that Trump attorney Michael Cohen had arranged a $130,000 payment to keep Clifford silent about the alleged relationship in October 2016. Cohen, Clifford, and the White House denied the report.
The allegation of a relationship was no secret to Fox News, though.
One of the network’s reporters, Diana Falzone, had filed a story in October 2016 about an alleged sexual relationship between Clifford and Trump, people familiar with the matter said.
Falzone had an on-the-record statement from Clifford’s manager at the time, Gina Rodriguez, confirming that her client had engaged in a sexual relationship with Trump, three of these people said, and Falzone had even seen emails about a settlement.
But the story never saw the light of the day, to the frustration of Falzone, two of the people said.
“She had the story and Fox killed it,” one of the people familiar with the matter told CNN.
More significant in terms of our culture, though, is that because Trump is a documented abuser, a consensual extra-marital affair isn’t going to bother anyone. If the Hollywood Access recording could be brushed off as something he said 10 years ago, an affair that was supposedly 12 years ago won’t bother the rank and file. Which is sad. Even more, it’s unlikely to stay in the news very long, unless of course there are a lot more salacious details (or other encounters) yet to come out. Because honestly, do you think people who write letters like this to the New York Times give a shit if Trump cheated on his wife with a porn star and then paid her off?
[Fox host] Mr. Kilmeade was almost certainly referring to a distorted finding from Survey Monkey, an online polling company. Since Mr. Trump’s inauguration, the company has conducted 602,134 interviews with adults of every race group — not just “black America,” as Mr. Kilmeade said.
Survey Monkey’s results, provided to The New York Times, show that Mr. Trump’s approval ratings among black Americans actually declined from 20 percent in February 2017, his first full month in office, to 15 percent in December. (This is consistent with polling from the Pew Research Center and Reuters.)
So how did Kilmeade arrive at that dishonest and deceitful assessment?
It is inaccurate to simply take the average of two genders without taking into account the number of people who were actually interviewed for the poll. Survey Monkey interviewed roughly 19,000 black men and 31,000 black women.
It is also wrong to compare exit polls to Survey Monkey’s results. The company surveyed adults who both are, and are not, registered to vote. By contrast, exit polls necessarily survey people who have just voted.
In addition, although the black unemployment rate has dropped to an historic low, it’s a trend that’s been continuing since about 2010:
Trump is insane enough to take credit for no domestic airplane crashes in 2017, so he’ll take credit for anything—so long as it’s not bad. Then it’s somebody else’s fault.