There’s a fresh Nixon scandal brewing. This past Sunday, Cynthia Nixon, the former Sex and the City actress who is running for Governor against Andrew Cuomo in the Democratic primary in New York, ordered a cinnamon raisin bagel with lox, capers and red onion at Zabar’s. Outrage was instant. The New York Post deemed it a ‘horrifying’ culinary lapse. George Conway, the husband of Kellyanne Conway and a prominent conservative lawyer, asked on Twitter, ‘Lox her up?’
So far, Donald Trump, who appears to subsist on a daily regimen of about 12 Diet Cokes, steaks slathered in ketchup and eight hours of television, hasn’t weighed in on his hometown gastronomic controversy. Instead, he continues to inveigh with monotonic regularity against Special Counsel Robert Mueller. This morning, before departing for a 9/11 memorial service in Shanksville, PA for Flight 93, he made it clear that he has his priorities straight. He issued a variety of unhinged tweets directed at his dwindling band of true believers. Among other things, he complained, ‘New Strzok-Page texts reveal “Media Leak Strategy.” @FoxNews So terrible, and NOTHING is being done at DOJ or FBI – but the world is watching, and they get it completely.’
The truth is that Trump’s poll numbers are tumbling. How much lower they can go is an open question. CNN has him down to 36 per cent and a variety of other polls, including Quinnipiac, also indicate that he faring poorly despite strong economic numbers. A mere 32 per cent of voters told Quinnipiac that they believe Trump is honest. By October, the GOP may be panicking over the state of House and Senate races. Slate points out that Beto O’Rourke’s rise is so precipitous that it is prompting leading Republicans, including Donald Trump who is planning on a rally in the Lone Star State in October, to forget how much they despise Texas Sen. Ted Cruz. In West Virginia, Sen. Joe Manchin, who is embracing Obamacare, even if he doesn’t use the name, looks like a lock to win reelection. And in North Carolina, the conservative legislature may be imperiled as Republicans face a backlash over their hardline social policies, not to mention slashing spending on education. A Democratic victory in November in both the House and Senate appears increasingly plausible.
That the GOP is in such a pickle can be traced largely to Trump’s own ineptitude — the frantic tweets, the bluff and bombast, the constant turmoil in the White House, the vainglorious triumphalism. So desperate is Trump for adulation that he even faked the already good economic numbers, claiming that this was the first time in history that GDP had exceeded the unemployment rate. In fact, at an increasingly rare White House press briefing, his own economic adviser, Kevin Hassett, who was trundled out to explain in chapter and verse why Trump, not Barack Obama, deserves all the credit for the strong economy, was forthright enough to acknowledge that Trump’s tweet about unemployment and GDP was sheer piffle. Pressed on Trump’s bogus claim, Hassett cheekily responded, ‘I’m not the chairman of the Council of Twitter Advisers.’ If only.