The first week of 2018 has been a cascade of disasters and mistakes for Donald Trump, and by the end of the year, he is in for a major reckoning from the American people.
Donald Trump began 2018 as the least popular first-year president in recent history, with hardly any accomplishments to his name, rebuked by voters in multiple states (including one he won by double digits), under multiple investigations by multiple entities, and with some of his top campaign officials either convicted or indicted.
Then things got worse.
Crews were still cleaning up confetti from Times Square on New Year’s Day as Trump emerged from another round of golf behind a strategically placed box truck to see transgender Americans enlisting in the military, just months after he pushed for a ban on their service.
People openly mocked him as he tried to take credit for the lack of plane crashes in 2017, even though no Americans have died in commercial flight since 2009.
The flow of Republicans stepping out of office, as they face the headwinds of having to campaign with Trump hanging around their necks continued into 2018, as more congressional retirements on the Republican side of the aisle were announced.
Josh Mandel, seen by Republicans as a legitimate threat to take out Democrat Sen. Sherrod Brown in Ohio, instead dropped out of the race. Trump won Ohio, but the likelihood that he will have a legislative ally there has decreased significantly.
As he issued dangerous and childish threats toward North Korea on Twitter, it emerged that the FBI had a source in the Trump camp during the election.
Then Steve Bannon, who just months ago was the white supremacist hand-picked by Trump to be his chief strategist in the White House, went on the record and described the meetings between top Trump campaign officials and Russian operatives as “treasonous.”
Trump issued a press release slamming Bannon, whose accusations came as part of the rollout for “Fire & Fury,” Michael Wolff’s book about the inner workings of the Trump team. When Trump pushed to ban the book, it jumped to the top of the bestseller list.
Not wanting to be left out of the three-ring GOP circus, Sen. Mitch McConnell, who has feuded with Bannon, jumped into the fray just as Democrats were swearing in a senator from Alabama.
The moment was a reminder of how Republicans ended 2017: rallying around a pedophile and losing a senate seat they should have easily retained.
Also creating a headache for Trump? Reports that members of Congress including at least one Republican received intensive briefings on Trump’s mental health, from a professional who believes he is in danger of a break.
Trump was also humiliatingly forced to quietly announce the death of the voter suppression panel he had assembled, after states refused to hand over private voter data to justify his conspiracy theories about illegal voting.
Then a pair of stories featuring his attorney general, Jeff Sessions, hit the headlines. First, Sessions was widely rebuked for deciding to throw out guidelines preventing federal officials from pursuing marijuana prosecutions, seen by most Americans as a waste of resources.
Then, it was revealed that Trump tried to stop Sessions from recusing himself from the Russia investigation obstruction and that Sessions was snooping around looking for compromising information on then-FBI Director James Comey before Trump fired him.
The train wreck of a week was capped off by data showing that in his first year, Trump has led the economy to a 6-year low on job growth.
2018 is less than 10 days old and Trump is already back on his heels.
He faces further revelations from investigations into Russia from both the special counsel and Congress. Investigative reporters are looking into that story, along with the rampant corruption and crony politics he has embraced.
Every day he has the potential to trigger a bigoted landmine, with his stream of comments attacking ethnic and groups and women.
He is widely disliked, and faces a rising tide of voters intensely focused on delivering a strong message at the ballot box that will send a message of resistance to his presidency. Most presidents face headwinds in the first midterm election after their electoral victories. Trump faces a groundswell with the potential to significantly rewrite the political map.
Things are looking bad for Trump, and in the middle of it all, he and his bad bigoted instincts are his worst enemies. He can often be counted on to make the worst choices and America is watching it all, and preparing to make him sorry he gets up every morning.