Don’t underestimate Trump

Trump not only showed up for the St. Louis debate that Sunday, he stood on the stage and told Clinton that if it were up to him she’d “be in jail.” Ten days later, Trump insisted at the Las Vegas debate that allegations made against him by nine women of groping and other unwelcome physical contact were so baseless that he “didn’t even apologize to [his] wife” for his actions.

.. It is dangerous to underestimate Trump’s survival skills.

.. how tenaciously Trump pursued power, along with five key assets he has to maintain his grip on it

  1. .. Trump is an incredibly skilled politician.
  2. Second, there is the power of the presidency
    • Well-regarded people — such as national security adviser H.R. McMaster and Deputy Attorney General Rod J. Rosenstein — have shown a willingness to sacrifice their own credibility to protect Trump
    • a retinue of prominent law firms appear ready to provide legal and public relations cover in defense
  3. the desire of many observers to try to normalize Trump and get “back to business.”
    1. an agenda of repealing Obamacare and cutting taxes.
    2. It might take shockingly little .. for pundits to conclude that he is “back on track.”
  4. intensity of his most devout supporters
    1. he was probably right when he said that he “could stand in the middle of Fifth Avenue and shoot somebody
    2. this group is 25 percent to 40 percent of the electorate
    3. they make up a majority of Republican primary voters in most Republican-held districts
  5. die-hard supporters are more devoted to Trump than they are to the rule of law.
    1. an increasing number of Americans generally, and Trump supporters specifically, have “lost faith in democracy.”
    2. he may even be at his most dangerous in “wounded animal” mode.