OPED: Honeymoon cooling for Trump, supporters

Celia Rivenbark
Tribune News Service

One of the most curious revelations of the Trump presidency so far has been the not-so-subtle shift in how Donald Trump's supporters defend him. Five months and an avalanche of inappropriate Tweets later, we're seeing less passion and more "meh" from the Trump faithful. There's no denying this honeymoon, while far from over, is cooling off like the mother-in-law has started sleeping in the next room. And she snores.

President Donald Trump spent his 100th day in office holding a campaign-style rally at the Harrisburg Farm Show Complex and Expo Center on Saturday, April 29, 2017. Trump bashed the media and called for legislators to push through his agenda. Jason Addy photo.

"He says some stupid things sometimes but..."

"He's crass and makes regrettable public remarks but..."

"He is offensive in his actions but..."

"He doesn't always use the best judgment but..."

"I wish he would focus and listen more to the experts but..."

That's a sampling of comments I've gleaned from letters to the editors of major newspapers. These are the people who voted for Trump and I'm sure most of them would do it again — but with considerably less enthusiasm. Don't get me wrong; I think they still have hopes Trump will settle down and act more presidential but that hope seems to be quietly tiptoeing out of the room like a new parent backing out of the nursery. Could it be the bright red MAGA hat worn so proudly back in September has been banished to the hall closet?

In my real life conversations with Trump voters, I've noticed how often they preface a comment with something like, "Well, he is new to Washington so he's bound to make a few missteps ... "

True. Except this isn't a kindergarten student blowing his nose on somebody else's shirt. There isn't any room for missteps in the Oval Office, and this shift in tone among supporters may signal they're just as fed up with Trump's disinterest in doing his job well as the rest of us. Praise be.

The only people who seem to have zero reservations about Trump are the homely bridesmaids he leans on to fluff his train, so to speak. Of course I'm referring to Mike Pence and Sean Spicer, who, more than anyone connected to this administration, seem to have been reading "Appeasing Dear Leader for Dummies" on their lunch breaks.

Of the two, Spicer is probably the worst. It's not a huge exaggeration to predict he will step to the podium one day to announce: "It is widely known that President Trump has the shiniest hair and whitest teeth of any president in our nation's history. Why, I could read a book by the light of his smile, or a pamphlet at the very least."

Lately, when I close my eyes, often beneath a cold compress after whatever action Trump has undertaken to destroy the planet and those who inhabit it, I let myself dream of better days ahead.

Like Diogenes, lantern held high searching the world over for an honest man or maybe just a low-carb bread that doesn't taste like bark, I dream of finding one Trump voter who admits he made a mistake and wishes he had voted differently. So far, no luck. But they're out there ... I can feel it.

— Celia Rivenbark is a NYT-bestselling author and humor columnist who frequently writes about politics.