This is indeed dangerous. Though Trump’s ineffectiveness comes as a relief, his isolation is no cause for celebration. Whenever his back is to the wall, he becomes even more aggressive. The further he falls, and the more alienated he grows, the greater the danger that he will do something desperate — and there is much that a desperate commander in chief can do.
There’s no telling when that might happen. Perhaps if the Supreme Court strikes down his travel ban, as lower courts have done? Neil Gorsuch, Trump’s appointee to the high court, said Friday night that he is confident “government can lose in its own courts and accept the judgment of those courts without an army to back it up.” I hope he’s right. But, as if by way of reply, Trump attacked the courts again Monday with the sort of language Gorsuch had in the past called disheartening.
Trump even seems to be alienating some of his base, that 35 to 40 percent of the country that seems to back him no matter what he does. Numbers cruncher Nate Silver of FiveThirtyEight observed recently that while Trump’s overall floor of support remains about the same — 36 percent approve of the job he’s doing in the latest Gallup poll — the number of Americans who strongly approve of Trump has declined sharply, from 30 percent in February to 21 or 22 percent now — a falloff of nearly a third.