BOSTON (CBS) – In the wake of Tuesday morning’s jaw-dropping release by Donald Trump Jr. of emails contradicting months of denials of sketchy Trump campaign interaction with the Russians, let’s take a step back and ask a question that can get lost in all the Twitter hysteria – what does this really mean to you and me?
Let’s start with your wallet.
When Junior’s news dump broke at 11 a.m., the Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped more than 100 points; by 1 p.m. it had regained nearly all of it.
Markets don’t like instability. But the bull market and slow-but-steady job growth of the past eight years suggests our economy is more insulated from political events and instability than the Chicken Little’s of the world would have you believe. So I wouldn’t worry about your 401K today any more than you normally do.
If you’re a partisan, what does this mean for your side?
A Trump loyalist responded to my WBZ-TV commentary this morning suggesting that the damaging math in the Trump-Russia affair is starting to add up with this: “John [sic] Keller + other Anti-Trump Media + Circumstantial Proof = A Big NothingBurger,” that last noun a straight rip-off from White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus’s spin on the Fox News Sunday show.
But with Trump Jr.’s shattering of the whole “hoax” spin about the mounting evidence of Russian coziness with the campaign, all but the most willfully-ignorant Trump supporters will start to have doubts, if they didn’t already have them.
Watch for further erosion of the president’s standing in the polls, and related erosion in support for him among Republicans in Congress.
Trump haters may feel jubilant, but they should realize special prosecutor Robert Mueller will never bring charges without substantial evidentiary support, far more than provided by Jr.’s emails.
We have a long way to go before any legal issues raised here come to a head. In the meantime, while anti-Trumpers surely love every minute of media focus on Trump-Russia, at some point Democrats need to be on TV talking about what, if anything, they’re doing to help people afford health care, feel safe, and find a brighter economic future.
And what if you’re just a regular, hard-working, independent-minded American, for whom politics is mostly a distant, annoying hum?
It’s time for you to start paying more attention. Surely even you have felt the pain inflicted on our political culture, even on personal relationships, by the bitter political divisions of the last few decades.
George W. Bush’s disputed victory in 2000 left scars that never healed. As furious and cynical as it left many liberals, the Obama years did the same for conservatives.
Can you imagine what the ouster – or even the profound gridlocking – of the current administration will do to what’s left of our political comity?