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D.C. drama bad news at home

Profile image for Denton Record-Chronicle Editorial
Denton Record-Chronicle Editorial

How is your 401(k) doing? The Dow Jones Industrial Average shed 373 points, or 1.75 percent, on Wednesday. Analysts blamed the loss on the continuing drama surrounding the Trump presidency.

From our vantage point here in Little D, it's hard to know what to think about what's going on in Washington, D.C.

On the one hand, Trump has been in office only four months. His supporters argue that he needs more time to stabilize his administration. Right now, it resembles a chaotic demolition derby on the dirt track.

On the other hand, leftist Democrats are calling for Trump's impeachment. They allege he has obstructed justice because he fired FBI Director James Comey in the middle of the Russia investigation.

We are not smart enough or clairvoyant enough to sort out silly, run-of-the-mill partisan politics from actual threats to our democracy and the Republic. Is Trump in bed with Russia as the Democrats allege, or is he just a different cat who sees nothing wrong with going off script to discuss intelligence about ongoing terrorist plots with Russian officials visiting the White House?

We have no idea.

What we do know is that each day brings troubling headlines and furrowed brows on the faces of cable news talking heads. The news washes over us and we don't know how much of it is serious and how much of it will disappear by the next day. We look for re-runs of the Andy Griffith Show to soothe our souls.

Are we witnessing the Democrats paying back the Republicans for eight years of unrelenting attacks on President Obama? Or is it something more? Is Trump so politically inexperienced that his incompetence is on jarring display every day?

During his presidential campaign, Trump seemed coated in Teflon. He could say and do outrageous things and nothing negative happened.

"I could stand in the middle of 5th Avenue and shoot somebody, and I wouldn't lose voters," he said at campaign rally prior to the Iowa caucuses in January 2016.

Well, that was 15 months ago. We can't even begin to remember all the controversies -- those of his own making and those manufactured by others -- that have engulfed him in the last year-and-a-half.

Now he's president. His political base remains supportive, but his approval ratings are low for a new president. An estimated 35 percent to 40 percent of the American public back him. Other presidents were 25 to 30 points higher during post-inauguration honeymoons.

Signs of Trump fatigue are setting in across the country. Democrats are united against him. And Republicans facing re-election next year are showing signs of flaking away from him because of the Comey/Russia affair.

You've probably heard the old saying, "Money talks and bullspit walks." Well, the markets spoke on Wednesday. Admittedly, one day of a down market does not make a trend. But if Wall Street loses confidence in Trump's leadership, no telling what might happen.

He will suffer and our 401(k) accounts will suffer.